The new conceit is that the animals conscientious people eat are “humanely raised and slaughtered.” There is a verdant, wildflower-filled meadow somewhere out there where the animals gambol and the noble farmer dwells with his family in a farmhouse. This is what all those who are conscientious meat-eaters consume. All of them. It just so happens that despite smaller farms representing a very, very small percentage of the industry – the USDA’s own census shows that more than 99% of animals come from industrial settings - somehow, as if wishful thinking made it true, humanely procured animal products is all that everyone eats. In the house and out of the house. For breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Why have people bought into the lie of humane slaughter so fully that they are willing to sacrifice the integrity of their critical thinking? Because it benefits them to maintain their privileges and to not think that they are jerks in the process.
I don’t think that omnivores are all jerks, I really don’t. That’s silliness. To me, the steadfast clinging to fairy tales tells me something refreshing about the core of humanity - that we want to believe that we are good people because we want to be good people - and it tells me something positive about what we think about eating animals as the status quo. It tells me that people are uncomfortable with the act of eating animals at its root and this kernel holds a lot of hope for me.
The human urge to believe in false narratives when presented with an ugly truth is just too alluring for most to resist. When the rest of society is deeply invested in maintaining the fabrication, critical thinking short-circuits so quickly you can practically hear it happen.