Erich Fromm warned us about impending future catastrophes. The problem he presented is hideously simple – while we live in an era of rapid technological progress and ever growing understanding of the universe, most of us are still holding the emotional frame of mind that is more fitting to the stone age. While our ideas about astronomy, mathematics and the sciences are expanding, our understandings of Politics, the state and society are stuck far behind. We hurt ourselves, writes Fromm, as we obey people who not only control us, but also who themselves obey to archaic passions, fear, hate and greed.
We talk about ‘Free world’, but we do everything we can in order to avoid it.
While our own thoughts and opinions are fixed without any will for a change, like cavemen who are now capable of controlling nature, we do develop the ability to enrich the world of justifications for those ancient statements. This is how we build a new world of domination (and I’m going to concentrate on animal domination), rich with new forms of animal prisons, castration devices, milking machines, different methods of slaughter, public receptions and genetic mutations of our animal slaves, all of this under the archaic notion that “They were meant to serve us”.
Another tool exists in order to preserve the understanding that the lives of animals have to be trampled down by our feet – Money motivates biased researches and sponsorships of corporations who wants us to obey that ancient rule of oppressing the weak. Milk and meat companies release information about the necessity of these products in our lives, while the knowledge about the catastrophic damage these industries cause to animals, people and the environment is being deliberately hidden from us.
We like to consider ourselves as morally evolved, at least when considering other humans, but around us other people are suffering immensely while we do nothing for them except, maybe, expressing vague sympathy. The inventions of state, religion or money help us justify needless suffering of other human beings, while we need even less effort than that in order to justify animal suffering. It’s sufficient that we rely on our history of exploitation in order for this exploitation to justify itself in sort of cosmic inertia. When talking about humans we think differently. Even though murder, theft and rape are there with us since the dawn of mankind, most people at least show some willingness to stop these actions. Animal abuse does not win that same decision to be stopped, and when we are confronted with the call to respect the lives of non humans we shield ourselves with the simplest, most superficial logical mechanism in order to prove the way we treat animals as justified. They differ from us spiritually, they differ from us biologically.
There are three primordial elements that we try to avoid at all costs – Fear, Pain and Death. However, we cause these three unwanted elements to non humans continuously, while trying to figure out justifications for this wrong doing. Thousands of creatures died today, like on any other day, under our cruel hands, and their different parts will be served on our tables. We, who left nature, wandered and searched for the meaning of life. The most logical meaning for life is offered by John Gray in his book “Straw Dogs”, when he suggests that the purpose of life is simply to see and to experience. We have robbed all other life forms of this modest purpose, giving them only hell to see; only hell to experience.