I have a proposal for fellow vegetarians. Create a market for animal products that don’t require slaughter. Demand organic milk from local farm raised cows. Eat goat milk products. Why?
This past week we stayed at East Hill Farm. Farmer Dave Adams discussed why the rare breeds that he raises need to be slaughtered for meat. He explained that if we can’t create a niche market for these animals among meat eaters who prefer farm raised animals, there would be no way of protecting the survival of these animals. In other words, to ensure the survival of the population they must be killed. If not, it will be impossible to afford to keep them.
I’m worried about this because it makes sense. The animals that Dave Adams raises come from original farming gene pools that no longer exist in the age of industrial farming. If they can’t serve as food there is so material reason for their being, and so they will become extinct. If some people eat them, they will survive because there is a market for them that will support their survival.
Is this what has happened to our psyches? The things we create – like art, music and dance – only become important if they have a market. The only parts of self expression that can survive are those that generate income.
Now that we know how closely linked we are to animals, I think that vast capacities of the human mind may be subject to the same kind of risk that affects animals – extinction.
If we create a market for human animal products, in some way, we might also create a market for the parts of the self that have long ago succumbed to consumerism’s knife.