Living a moral life in today’s world can be almost impossible. From the clothing that you buy, to the food you eat, to the politicians and companies that you support – it seems every step you take treads on the wellbeing of someone or something. Animals are mistreated, people are enslaved, and the pockets of the rich seem to endlessly expand at the expense of the population. If you’re a westerner, you’ll quickly find how difficult it is to separate yourself from the mistreatment of living things. I certainly know that this is the truth in regards to myself.
This all begs the question, what can you possibly do if this is the case? Should everyone be a vegan, who wears non-wool clothing, using devices that we make sure were not built by mistreated children in societies without a decent moral law system? Well, I’ve thought about this long and hard, which is why I’ll be the first to say that this is not an easy situation to overcome.
Capitalism drives the morality of our world out the window, pushing companies to squeeze more and more profit out of society. Billions of dollars are spent on ad campaigns that make sure that you, as a citizen, remain trapped in mindset that is okay with the idea of idolizing material goods. Have you ever wanted a Ferrari? I have, that’s for sure. But have you ever wondered ‘why’ you wanted one? It’s a $300,000.00 dollar car that although I’m sure is an engineering marvel of the auto world, is still just a car in the context of civil driving. Materialism is a problem that is being force fed to each and every one of us in a mirage of ways. It is a true distortion of what really matters, here on our blue planet.
To be act in a way that is morally acceptable, is to view the world as a whole – rather than through the narrow keyhole of western life. In 2013, the WHO estimated that 6.3 million children died under the age of 5, 2.9 million of which were in the African region. I’m trying my best here not to sound illogical, but seriously, how the fuck are we sleeping so soundly at night when our fellow human beings die before even being given a shot at life? It’s disgusting, and it needs to change immediately. We need to change this, immediately.
Unfortunately, its not only humans that are undergo unjustified horrors, but animals as well. Apparently, and I didn’t know this, male chicks are in most cases, instantly killed upon hatching. Why, you may ask? Well, because roasters have little use outside of breeding. According to this article by the Independent, the majority of males are killed immediately following their hatching.
“Instantaneous mechanical destruction (maceration) is listed as an approved method of culling chicks, poultry and ducklings by the RSPCA under its welfare standards.
Under its requirements, chicks should be killed within 15 minutes of hatching.”
Although instantaneous may sound humane to you as the reader, let me remind you about what is actually going on here. Chicks are born, sexed and killed based solely on their market value. Life is being removed, for the sake of profit. This isn’t a problem with farmers, this is a problem with our entire society right from the foundation, upward. We have this twisted view that not all lives are considered equals. That includes humans, as well as other Earthly inhabitants. It IS immoral, and it IS wrong, and we should be doing something about it. I wish this situation was an isolated horror, but it isn’t. Animal mistreatment is a ‘norm’ that seems to appear in a surprising chunk of our food industry.
Now comes the big question, what can we do? Morality is never a cut and dry topic, and often the utilitarian approach is quoted as being morally sound. The greatest good, for the greatest number means taking the moral value of feeding people on Earth, and weighing it against the wellbeing of animals. As you can probably already guess, we won’t solve this overnight. So what can be done? I, as one person, have no idea. What I do know, is that we have to work to solve this as a society. Regardless of what you may have read in the inspirational quotes section of your favourite website, no one person has ever changed the world. It takes people who have a like minded view, who have passion and who have the drive to go a touch against the grain in the name of being a moral society.
Therefore, I would say that the most likely answer is empathy. I couldn’t come up with better words, therefore I will let C. JoyBell C‘s thoughts close this blog post.
“Empathy is the ability to step outside of your own bubble and into the bubbles of other people. Empathy is the ability that allows us to be useful creatures on this planet; without empathy, we are a waste of oxygen in this world. Without empathy, we are lower than animals. Empathy is the ability that allows us the perception of things around us, outside of ourselves; so a person without empathy is a limited human being, someone who will only live half of a life.”
We can act, and we can fail to act – the choice is ours.