Humans are part of a social and technological revolution that is ongoing. Despite the advances we’ve come to conceive as a species, other life forms co-inhabiting the Earth are still victims of ill cultural practices that, for centuries now, have been perceived as necessary for our survival. People rely on natural resources to fulfill their needs and maintain their health. As a consequence, animals are the unspoken victims of maltreatment, both in a domestic environment and in the wildlife. Being aware of the ongoing practices that cause animal harm and understanding their dynamics in relation to society will help us cultivate long-term, sustainable alternatives to end this mistreatment and the damaging effects it has on animals.
Clothing and the Textile Industry
We do not know for sure when people started wearing clothes, but anthropologists discovered that animal skins were initially used in prehistoric times for extreme weather protection. Fabrics appeared in the Middle East during the late Stone Age. Ever since the early development of the industry, clothes reflected the social status of people wearing them. Today, every human being wears clothes, but most of the consumers are unaware of how they are made and of the processes undertaken by the industry.Even though the methods of production have evolved, there is still a high demand for leather, which is basically chemically preserved, for hides and skins of dead animals. Leather, wool, fur, silk, and other raw materials used to craft clothing lines don’t just grow organically and still keep animal slaughter alive for the sake of profit.
Food production is different matter. The steadily increasing human population has forced food producers to slaughter more poultry to satisfy the consumerist needs of society. Since the need for food is enhancing, chicken and turkey are mostly bred for meat and have become genetically manipulated to get to maturity as fast as possible. The environment they are brought up in is unsanitary and they develop health conditions like lameness, painful leg problems, and respiratory fatalities. The danger comes in when these conditions are transferred to people after food consumption. Not only are the animals mistreated, but the effects get affect people ingesting their meat.
Milk and Dairy Products
The next time you crave for a bowl of fresh ice-cream, you may want to reconsider.The amount of milk demanded by consumers in the United States is generated by more than nine million cows. The animals, however, must be cycled through pregnancy or nursing to produce this much milk. This means they are forcefully impregnated or inseminated to satisfy the increasing demand. Ironically enough, milk can be a human health hazard if consumed in excess and can cause health problems like anaemia, iron deficiency, lactose intolerance and even skin problems like acne.
Oil and Hunting
Perhaps one of the most televised depictions of animal harm is found in the hunting industry. Whaling has been a cultural practice in many countries, particularly Japan, still remaining an ongoing operation in other countries like Norway or Iceland. Mostly hunted for the meat, oil, blubber and some scientific research, whales are still killed in large numbers around the globe. Despite the fact that public demand for products has decreased lately, whaling is an ongoing practice that causes animal harm for the sake of profit.
Another example of aliment consumption that hurts the environment and the wildlife is palm oil, a commodity for products like cereals, soaps, and sweets. Palm oil can only be collected from tropical hotspots like Africa and Asia, which also happen to host some of the densest rainforests. These natural habitats house a large variety of animal species including Sumatran orangutans, tigers, elephants, and sun bears that can be wounded during the harnessing.
What You Can Do to Stop
Based on the problems outlined above, you can support alternative products sourced from plants and even plant and grow your own goods. Also, buying meat and meat products that are strictly regulated can also be an alternative to stop animal harm, hunting and exploitation.
Learn and read about ways to protect animals. Without enough knowledge of what the root problems are, we can never permanently end animal harm. People have the greatest effect on the environment. If not managed carefully and knowingly, the damages can be long-lasting and impact other segments of the natural world, like plants, waterways, ocean life and the wildlife.