is the title of a video put together by the Farm Sanctuary in honor of one of their residents who died in January of this year. We are told that Hildy was 9 years old at the time of her death and that she was a good and steadfast friend to Rhonda, Feather and Kima. The video was made last fall and gives us a good look at Hildy. Hildy belonged to that group of folks we call turkeys...turkeys don't call themselves turkeys...that's a human thing...not a turkey thing.
She was quite a being, her sweetness and gentleness just shines through.
The human animal narrating is Susie Coston. It is interesting to watch her and hear her talk about the mutilation and damaging of a baby by human animals. Her being there by the victim, caring for her and interacting with her completes the other extreme of the range of behavior exhibited by us human animals.
We casually and mostly without thought or care oppress, harm, mutilate, enslave and snuff out the lives of billions and billions and billions of living beings. Living beings like Hildy...who have feelings, who are unique, who may be shy or sweet or friendly or angry or frightened or all of these things...we mutilate and kill and eat them with almost no thought or consideration at all. We steal them from their mothers, from their families...we mangle their bodies when they are babies, we imprison them and cram them into unnatural conditions and after a bit we kill them. For "profit".
That's the horrid extreme of our behavior....regretfully that callousness and carelessness and ruthlessness and murderousness exemplifies the vast majority of the human animals.
Ms. Coston (and the Farm Sanctuary), on the other hand, exemplify the other extreme of human behavior. A human animal that is kind, accepting, caring and who is able to see and value the uniqueness and sweetness and valuableness that is someone like Hildy. Ms. Coston rejects the mutilation of babies, the crowded imprisoning of innocent beings, the prevention of the development and flourishing of each individual into the uniqueness that is gifted to each of us. She recognizes that Hildy's life actually belonged to Hildy and that much was stolen from this excellent bird being but once Hildy was given a chance...she flourished and shone.
Right now, human cultures reward the baby mutilators, the prison owners, the murderers...right now we make organizations like Farm Sanctuary and the other organizations that rescue and save all kinds of wounded and damaged and at-risk beings...we make those dispensing shelter and care and kindness go begging.
We subsidize "farms" with tax dollars, we pay mutilators and murderers with public funds and we force the kind ones, the compassionate ones to operate on the edge of despair...we make them hold bake sales and fund drives...we make them scrimp and scramble while multi-billion dollar fortunes are based on misery, suffering, mutilation and death.
We hurt and then kill and then gnaw on the bodies of millions of Hildys each year...just because we can and just because we want to....not because it is necessary...not because we "need" to...we do it only because we want to and we make the infliction of suffering "profitable".
We make the provision of care and compassion impoverishing. (what in hell is wrong with us?)
I tend to think that our capacity for caring and compassion and acceptance toward others is just as potent and strong as is our capacity for inflicting suffering and harm on others. The measure of one is the measure of the potential of the other. And just think...if we move toward mosty behaving as benevolently and life enhancingly as we currently do harmfully and destructively...well...
That movement will not be possible unless you begin to live as an ethical vegan.