In a documentary I saw years ago, the camera had visited one of the big orphanages in China, an institute from where many horrifying stories were told. One of them, a story I remember to this day, was about a small child, a seven years old boy, who grew within these walls with no one to take care of him as a human being, with minimal contact with other children and with no contact or experience whatsoever in any form of language. This child was spending (wasting) his time strapped to a chair, drooling from his mouth and staring at everything around him. When he was allowed to be free and have contact with other children, all he could do is to try and hit them with his head. Aside for this blunt action, this child has no knowledge and no tools about how to interact with other children.
Here is a question to discuss, although not at this moment. Is this behavior, under the many layers of culture and language, human?
Years later, when I read and saw the female breeding sows confined to tiny cages in which they cannot even move, I learned that their only means of communication is to bite the tails of the sows that are being confined in the cage in front of them. The communication is sick and damaging when the body is shut down and the soul is imprisoned, stripped of any tool of progress and under constant siege.
Sometimes we have all the necessary physical and mental tools for communication, but above them are rose clouds of firm education and numbing culture that are doing anything in their disposal in order to prevent any change to the norm which dictates that mankind’s place on earth is high on the throne. Today at midday I was participating in a quiet demonstration for animal liberation. A man stood in front of me, examining the signs I was holding in order to understand what this demonstration was all about. When he realized we are here for the animals, he said “Oh, so I can throw pieces of meat on you, and it will be funny!” When I asked him why would such a thing make him laugh, or for that matter, why would he even do such a thing in the first place, he could not give me a straight answer or explain his automatic response, a response that was more embarrassed than embarrassing.
Worse than him were parents who were passing by in the street with their children. When Ori, my spouse, approached them, smiled and asked what they think about animals, the children happily replied that they love animals and even took the brochures she held in order to read more. It was their parents who told them off, took the brochures from their hands and gave them back to Ori. The situation I am describing might look legitimate in the eyes of these parents, and even in the eyes of some of my readers, and we might even think that we can compare it to a scenario in which adults and children are exposed to new religions or beliefs. Our culture has maimed us to such a degree that it makes us believe that people who are trying to expose dark and horrible secrets (not only those that concern animals!), much unlike the presentation of a new metaphysical religion that has promises to offer but no proofs to offer, are people that we should be careful of.
Today hundreds of thousands of children will sit around the table and eat different kinds of food with no idea where they came from and how much suffering and pain were involved in their production. Our love to those who are close to us the most can convince us to hide the magnitude of the horror that we have enforced upon these loved ones when we turned them into its consumers. If this is not a twisted form of ill communication, I have no idea how to name it.