Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Welcome Back to Batangas (Part II)

Flash back to 28 December 2003... The place, a small non-descript barangay nestled in the backwoods of Batangas City, close enough to Pallocan West to matter.

Today I observed the slaughter of goats and pigs. Their throats were slit amidst laughter and anticipation of the morrow's anniversary meal. The screams of the animals were pitiful.

One pig strenuously objected to being dinner, breaking free of human and rope restraints and charging the newly-made gazebo in which I slumbered, half-unaware, in peaceful fits. They caught (him?) her and dragged her (him?) back to the slaughter ring, gurgling, a steel knife embedded in its throat.

I do not take death well.

It's a truism that some death is necessary if some life is to continue. We must kill to eat, to live. Often the harm we inflict is unintentional yet as necessary as it is inexorable. Even the life-affirming Jainists submit to this: breathing itself constitutes irreperable harm to the organisms snagged by nasal cillia.

Perhaps children in the cities should be made to observe exactly what happens in a slaughterhouse, just so they know what it means to throw away unwanted meat.

"A cow died so that you can have a hamburger. It could have lived happily chewing grass, screwing, giving birth and lactating for humans and bovine young. It served a grisly but necessary purpose by its immolation, its translation into meat. Throw away that half-eaten burger and that cow would have wasted its life prolonging yours. Please show a little respect by finishing your meal."

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