A recent local news item that caught our attention was about a peacock in Makaha that was bashed with a baseball bat and left to die a painful death.
According to the report, a condo resident was kept awake at night by crowing peacocks in the condomium complexes grounds, she said the incessant noise drove her "cuckoo". Not being able to take it anymore she grabbed a peackok by the tail and "whacked him in the head" and then threw it away in the bushes. The peacock took an hour to die, all the while crying in pain. The police were called and the woman was charged for animal cruelty, and has made appearances in court.
The story continues to generate a lot of media interest and several letters to the editor. Some differing viewpoints expressed were:
- The woman was very cruel and engaged in a heinous act and should be punished
- Her actions were acceptable because the peacock was a pest and the woman was merely engaging in pest control
- Animals are just property, so people can do whatever they want with their property
Despite the outcry over cruelty to this one animal, no one considers the fact that in our meat-based society billions of innocent animals are being cruelly slaughtered and butchered in the U.S. every year. There is no outrage about that.
Cows, calves, pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, and other animals are kept in small cages, in jam-packed sheds, or on filthy feedlots, often with so little space that they can't even turn around or lie down comfortably. Crowding and filth create an atmosphere that fosters and incubates diseases. They are deprived of exercise so that all their bodies' energy goes toward producing flesh, eggs, or milk for human consumption.
They are fed drugs to fatten them faster and to keep them alive in conditions that would otherwise kill them, and they are genetically altered to grow faster or develop commercially desirable traits that they would not have naturally.
These innocent animals endure horrendous suffering while alive, and are then cruelly slaughtered, all to satisfy our craving for flesh and blood. As I mentioned above, the Peacock incident triggered a letter to the editor saying that animals are “property,” that they have no right to life and exist merely for man’s pleasure. The idea that this earth and all the creatures on it exist for our enjoyment is the crux of the problem. This attitude leads to a selfish and reckless exploitation of the earth and its’ creatures. In contrast, a vegetarian lifestyle awakens our spirit of compassion and guides us towards a kinder, gentler society in which we exercise a moral choice to protect animals and see ourselves as caretakers and custodians of the environment—not as exploiters of them.
With such an attitude we will take better care of the earth and all of its inhabitants.