[revised 10/19/2023: added some text, fixed grammar and some math]
[Update: I will be writing a new article which will analyze all human deaths by war, terrorism, etc. vs annual livestock deaths]
Welcome to Cognitive Dissonance 101 and the Pandora’s box gameshow of “Which Life Form is More Valuable Than the Other?”
The killing of approximately 6 million humans (European Jews) by humans (Nazi Germany) over the course of 4 years, i.e. the Holocaust, happened.
However, those numbers pale in comparison to the millions of livestock murdered on a global basis every day by humans.
The current estimate based on 1 particular website is 92 billion killed annually as of 2023. How many is that per day? 92 billion livestock divided by 365 days in a year = 252,054,794 livestock killed globally every single day by humans for human consumption, whether it’s out of true necessity due to hunger, or simply as a fun party snack.
Now, let’s do the math when comparing the murder of humans during the holocaust to the murder of livestock every day: 6 million humans killed during the holocaust over the course of 4 years is 0.0238095238 (2.4%) percent of 252 million livestock killed every single day, and that’s just in 2023. Do the math all the way back to when humans starting using livestock, and you’re probably in the trillions, maybe even more, with the holocaust becoming even more insignificant in comparison.
And I haven’t even mentioned how many trees (another organism like humans and cows) have been cut down due to deforestation. You could take all the human deaths to due accident, murder, war, and terrorism throughout human history, and it probably would be a grain of sand on the beach compared to the human destruction of life via deforestation and livestock.
Why am I using the holocaust as an example for this comparison? Because one: from a human perspective, it’s one of the biggest tragedies in human history, and two: humans hold this event in high regard when talking about their morals and ethics and things that humans shouldn’t do (i.e., genocide, murder, etc.).
Why is all this important and what’s the point of this article?
It’s simple: that as a whole, we humans are arrogant hypocrites (you could even say lazy) when it comes to which particular life forms on this planet get to live a natural life, prioritizing the welfare of humans and their pets over all other life forms.
We say that murder and killing is unethical and immoral (we even invented god to try and force people to not kill each other and to obey their masters), that the holocaust was bad, that terrorism is bad, that racism is bad, sexism, money laundering, Ponzi schemes, stealing, abuse, rape, pirating software, speeding, war, etc., all the while eating our burgers and chicken nuggets (which I love as much as anyone!).
Oh, and btw: even if you are vegan, you still participate in society, which means you are complicit to all this as well. The only people innocent here are those not a part of human society, namely the aboriginal and native tribes living in the jungles of the amazon that are completely cutoff from modern society, for example. The rest of us, as long as we use society’s roads, cellphones, trash, bikes, used clothes, electricity, water, etc., we are complicit, whether omnivore, vegan, or otherwise. Oh and I’m not trying to guilt vegans, but many people will say “this is why I’m vegan” in response to livestock, but “going vegan” doesn’t actually solve that, it just eases the guilt.
We say that certain life on this planet, especially human life, has a right to live a free and natural life, is deserving of rights, perhaps is even protected by certain laws because it’s on the verge of extinction, but if you’re a cow, pig, chicken, fish, etc., then you’re only purpose is to live an unnatural life on a farm, whether free range or in a crowded pen, simply to be slaughtered for human consumption.
We say “equal rights” and “animal rights”, yet: livestock.
Which is it? Is life precious? Okay, then that includes livestock. Set them free. Is life not precious? Okay, then all murder, including slaughtering livestock and humans killing humans should be legal and lawful. Make up your minds! It’s one or the other, not “humans, cats and dogs are special, but trees, cows, pigs, etc. are not”. That’s just Hypocrisy for Dummies. Besides, since when did humans get to decide what is best for life on the planet? That’s just arrogance.
Prior to the advent of livestock and factory farming: cows, pigs, chickens, fish, etc. roamed the earth freely, and when early humans hunted them, it was probably only 1 at a time most likely, leaving the rest of the herd/flock/school alone. Just like when a bear eats salmon as it prepares to hibernate: it doesn’t eat all the salmon. Yes, it eats as many as it can, but there are far more salmon than the bear can eat. Not to mention that the bear doesn’t farm the salmon nor deplete them.
Ancient humans were born, lived, hunted, killed, and died, melting back into the earth (i.e. no coffins), all while having a miniscule impact on the planet.
If we are to say that morals and ethics are important, if we are to say that any life is valuable or precious, that any life human or otherwise deserves rights and laws to protect them, then that means all life. You don’t get to pick and choose. We don’t own the planet.
It’s time we act like the mature and “highly evolved” species we try so very hard to portray ourselves as with our politics, our books, our technology, our so-called intelligence, and put an end to the hypocrisy and most especially the blasé faire attitude towards other life forms that are not humans, pets, or protected species.
Cows, pigs, chickens, fish, turkeys, lobsters, etc., don’t exist merely for human consumption and human entertainment. They are organisms that have a right to live a natural life in the wild just like blacks and women have equal rights in human society.
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, right? Right.
Aside from that, I also believe it is the objective truth that no life is more valuable than another, especially human lives compared to the lives of cows and chickens, not to mention trees, worms, bugs, parasites, etc. Humans are just as insignificant and expendable as cows & chickens, from an objective view (meaning: not a personal, subjective, biased view). The earth itself, even the universe, doesn’t give a shit about any life on this planet. One can try to argue or justify that human lives are more valuable, but those are human-based arguments. They are subjective arguments. From the perspective of any other organism we are food, a source of food (for pets), or a potential threat.
Actually, in regards to human life being more valuable, one could easily argue that humans are far more detrimental to the planet than all the other organisms combined due to 3 simple things: deforestation, agriculture, and livestock (factory farming).
If we are to have a conversation about ethics and morals, then that must include all life, not just the lives of humans, their pets, trees, and certain protected wildlife on the brink of extinction.
If humans are the “ambassadors” of the earth, if we are here to be earth’s “protectors” and such, as some like to claim and think, and which I think is nonsense, then it’s time to make good on that and put an end to livestock. Plain and simple. No more factory farming. No farm-raised anything. No supermarkets. No restaurants.
“But how are we going to eat if there are no livestock or supermarkets?” 3 words: hunting, gathering, and fishing. There are laws in place that permit people to hunt and fish only a certain amount of deer, trout, pheasant, etc. Well, the same should be put in place for cows, pigs, chickens, etc.
TLDR; the holocaust happened, it’s not a big deal in comparison to the insane amount of livestock murdered on a daily basis on a global level, and we need to stop being arrogant hypocrites about which lives are valuable and which are not. Either by putting an end to livestock and deforestation once and for all, or, if cows and pigs truly have no value other than food and can be killed so easily without a second thought, then the same applies to humans: murder, war, terrorism, rape, etc., all should be legal since human lives have the same value as cows, pigs, fish, etc.: none.
Sorry if any of that is repetitive or if I left out any other arguments, perspectives, and facts, but I do this for fun and not for money, and I’m all out of energy at this point.