Thursday, May 12, 2011

Anytime money enters the picture...

then our animal sisters and brothers will pay with suffering, misery and death. Anytime some advantage is seen for a human animal, then our animals siblings will pay with more suffering, misery and death.
American Bison skulls, circa 1870
The annihilation of the vast Buffalo herds offered a dual benefit to the United States, the killing of the Buffalo also helped destroy Native American societies.  Check out the meaning of genocide.

If you think the persecution of the Buffalo for greed is an historical anomaly, then you might want to read this story about what is currently occurring in Montana. We are still trading the lives of the Buffalo for dollar bills.

I sometimes wonder if many (if not most) of our human animal cultures aren't led around by the sociopaths among us.
A Sociopath is a person who lacks two very human characteristics, a conscience and the ability to feel empathy for another human being. They never feel guilt or remorse for their actions and have no capacity to love. To sociopaths, other people are only things to be manipulated, dominated and exploited. 
Needless to say, sociopaths have no feelings for animals that don't happen to be human either. Are these the yahoos that are driving our cultures? Estimates of the frequency of this condition in human populations range from 1 to 4 percent. Given the current population of the US, that means there are anywhere from 3 to 12 million of these grotesque beings around. If you want to get really spooked, read Martha Stout's book The Sociopath Next Door.

By the way, you might want to consider this. The US is a culture that rewards, strongly, many behaviors associated with sociopathy.  Ruthless business operations including pursuit of profit above all else, "salesmanship", "marketing", etc. Sound familiar? You might want to watch The Corporation, a documentary that details how "successful" businesses are more often than not indistinguishable in their behavior from that of sociopaths.

Is it the case that human cultures typically acquiesce to the sociopaths among them? Is that why we are so lethal to the other Earthlings? What the hell is going on? How can horrors like that depicted in the photo above happen?

I ran across the photo and wanted to write something about it. I discovered we are still destroying the Buffalo for money (or just for the hell of it) and then got to wondering why...why does this crap just go on and on and on?

Maybe it is just that the sociopaths influence so much of what is considered "normal". Although I gotta tell ya, anybody that considers what is shown in the above photograph as "normal", is a whacko  as far as I am concerned. Yet, if the bones of all the animals killed every day were stacked up, one days bones next to another days bones, next to another days bones....would those massive killings be considered a "normal" event?

I can't accept it as normal, I can't accept killing a sentient being for no good reason (and "tasting good" is not a legitimate reason, profit is not a good reason). The killing (and/or suffering) of these beings is wrong and repugnant and abhorrent and disgusting.


Denbeath said...

To a person who posses a Moral Compass, this is a most horrifying picture.

We live in a world that has been taken over by Sociopaths. I think Compassion needs to be seeded, cultivated and nurtured. Starting from the bottom. Teaching children from a very young age the value of 'life'. Do not step on bugs. Do not kill the spider but catch him and put him outside. No living organism should be referred to as 'it'. Terminology is important.

Thank you for this post. It is very sad but necessary lesson.

Have Gone Vegan said...

Wow, that's a shocking photo! But highly effective. I completely agree with your assessment of money, and it reminded me of what I wrote nearly a year ago in my last post of my now retired personal finance blog:

As some of you know, I've been vegan for two years this summer (almost as long as I've had this blog), and in that time I've come to believe that if the love of money isn't the root of most evil, then certainly greed (whether for wealth, status or power) is the likeliest contender. Whether it's the grinding up of male chicks at birth because they're economic liabilities, or the skinning of cows while they're still alive because it's not cost effective to make sure they're all unconscious first, money is at the heart of a lot of animal cruelty. And when this cruelty is ignored, condoned, or even actively encouraged by both individuals and institutions representing commerce, science, medicine and entertainment, then as far as I'm concerned the acquisition of money can no longer be viewed as a positive or even neutral endeavour. And it's not just related to how we view and treat animals as property. Common to how we treat the environment (think BP), and each other, many if not most of the social injustices continue to exist because of the economic gains from them.

How human animals have treated and continue to treat other animals could certainly be termed sociopathic in my opinion. And evil too. :(

veganelder said...

Thank you for your excellent comment HGV. You are quite correct, our sociopathic behavior includes our destructive and ill-informed behavior toward our planet as well as her children.

Bea Elliott said...

Ugh! What a photo and story to go with it for sure. When I think about most of our activities as humans whether in finance or in regards to the way we treat fellow Earthlings, the word "predator" always comes to mind. And yet each of us individually aren't this. We not individually "sociopaths". Something must happen to trigger this when we operate in "competitive mode". We're so removed from cooperation (one on one) that we do the most horrible things on a massive scale.

Each time I'm in traffic and I see the thousand/million cars around me - I know this is what drives us toward that negation of cooperation. It will only get worse with lack of resources and any decent, civil "human" connection with each other.

Veganelder - You said it once and I'll repeat here: Glad I'm old. :(

veganelder said...

Thank you Bea for commenting. I fear we are approaching a confluence of factors that are going to be unlike any seen before. In the past humans had the option, when things got bad (environmental destruction, etc), to pack up and go elsewhere...when the sh*t hits the fan this time there will be nowhere to go. Age related departing from the likely disaster scene seems to be a decent option.