Published in the Nov/Dec 2004 issue of Orion Magazine

Dear Editors:

The killing of 19,026 animals per minute can hardly be done humanely (“Crimes Unseen,” July/August 2004). But even if it could be done, should it be?

Since no modern North American needs to consume other animals, attempts to legislate ethical high ground into the matter are in vain.We humans have a tendency to agree amongst ourselves that dominating other animals might be acceptable if done with the proper degree of care. Then we gather together and come up with the rules on just how much care is required, while the industries that own those animals know that our Congress, as the traditional guardian of property rights, will usually decline to require any level of care that substantially interferes with the industry’s bottom line. So what we actually see is an eternal tug-of-war, when we could drop the rope.

Some groups say that progress has been made in reaching humane standards; but those standards only delay the day we come to understand, as Alice Walker once put it, that the animals of the world exist for their own reasons.

Friends of Animals wholeheartedly agrees with the many advocates who, as Dena Jones indicates, “have concluded that the only way to be assured one is not contributing to the suffering of animals is by not eating them.”

Lee Hall
Legal Director,
Friends of Animals
777 Post Road
Darien, Connecticut U.S. 06820