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What's happening these days in regards to "animal welfare and mistreatment of farm animals" – quotations on purpose – amazes me every day because, where does human welfare stand?
Last week, the Spanish newspaper El País published a news item on how an animal rights group teaches life and death of farm animals, whether chickens or pigs, with a well-known technology: virtual reality.
This group shows a way "in which the viewer has the feeling of being in the scene,” which "tells the life and death of chickens raised on factory farms." In the video, you feel "surrounded by many other [animals] like you, who desperately call to their mothers, which they will never get to know.” Appealing to the cheapest of sentimentality and providing a level of "humanity” to something that so far no one has measured, they hope to "shock people through a more real experience."
The other aspect is that, although they acknowledge that it is increasingly difficult to access the "hermetic world of livestock production", they obtained it through deception; by winning the confidence of producers, not knowing they were activists of this group, that allowed them to videotape in processing plants. A very unethical way of those seeking culprits.
Finally, the news item contains a video (in English) with one of the activists wearing a virtual reality headset looking astonished at the grisly task that we do to produce animal protein (although I really do not know what exactly she is seeing), and cries inconsolably, “How can that happen?” If only she would cry for a reality that is not virtual, such as civilians trapped in Aleppo, Syria, or the miserable children of the Brazilian favelas which, by the way, wish they could eat an egg or a chicken drumstick.
Why don’t they make a virtual reality video, with sensors placed on your abdomen, of a starving child of the famine caused by drought in Somalia, surrounded by others like him, to feel what it is to be chronically hungry? What do you think?