Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Remembering Hildy...

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.


Christina said...

"What the hell is wrong with people".....I only wish I knew.

Godspeed Hildy.

Anonymous said...

I love those birds. Thank you for this post.

veganelder said...

Thank you for commenting Christina and DEM.

Christina: I wish I knew too. :-)

DEM: You are seriously welcome. :-)

Bea Elliott said...

I don't think I'm alone in the way I cringed seeing that 3 second shot of Hildy's mutilated toes. Anyone with a shred of decency would react the same. We know as a species what is unthinkable and unacceptable... And yet - Once we attach a "food purpose" to a living being - All that kind sense and compassion becomes void. We numb ourselves to every response that would be normal.

Hildy and all her kinds of other animals then become jokes to toss around at the dinner table... Or worse yet, they just become invisible.

I think that's what's wrong with people. We are in a self-induced, spiritual suicide prompted by being dutiful, unquestioning, morally-stunted infants, who follow whatever scripts we were given as kids. It's cowardice and ignorance that keeps Hildy and billions of others trapped in such murderous systems.

I'm grateful to anyone that has the courage to step up and do right. Farm Sanctuary and posts like this all work towards that end. Thank you.

joan.kyler said...

Farm Sanctuary is a wonderful place and Susie is an amazing woman. We've had adopted cows there for many years. Our darling Rhonda died a year ago, but sweet little Lawrence came into our lives.

I don't understand how people can spend billions of dollars a year pampering their cats and dogs, the chosen ones, and yet allow the unchosen - cows, chickens, pigs, ducks and turkeys - to suffer all their lives and end up on dinner plates.

Question everything.

Annie said...

Thank you for sharing this. Kel and I get such joy and fun out of watching the wild turkeys that frequent our bird feeders. I can't imagine doing them harm. And yet each time I see one here (safe) - I know that it's very likely that beautiful bird will be killed and (maybe) eaten. I wish I could tell them all to just stay here, safe on our land.

veganelder said...

Thank you for commenting Bea. Whatever the issue(s) is/are that prevent us from behaving like responsible members of the community of life...we desperately need to remedy them. Hildy's mutilated feet, her mutilated beak are eloquent testimony toward our abysmal failings. Hildy was an innocent...but we humans aren't.

veganelder said...

Thank you for commenting Joan. My thanks to you for supporting the efforts of the Farm Sanctuary.

I don't understand either.

veganelder said...

Thank you for commenting Annie. I wish I could tell them to stay there too.

Have Gone Vegan said...

A great video to forward to folk at turkey-focused holidays to show them that these birds ARE individuals. I think that's one way to help people identify these beings as living creatures rather than as food products.

I agree with you that the human capacity for caring is potentially as great as the tendency to harm, and also with Bea that cowardice and ignorance play a great part in the current sorry state of affairs.

veganelder said...

Thank you for commenting HGV. They are as individual as are human less, no more...that truth appears to threaten so many of us, doesn't it?