If modern society was cast in a Greek tragedy then our character description would be this: exhibits hubris – grotesquely arrogant, casually cruel, doomed to be clubbed to death by a winged deity. And the only proof that the audience would need of our hubris would be a few examples of the way we treat animals, or more accurately, the way we share our planet with the other animals.
From the cashed-up, drunken swill at the Melbourne cup roaring and vomiting up betting tickets while a majestic race-horse buckles, collapses and is slaughtered in front of them, to the 17,000 greyhound dogs per year in Australia that are killed for not making the grade, to keeping chickens and pigs in factory farms, to testing cosmetics and pharmaceuticals on mice, there is no doubt that we are the unfeeling unthinking tyrants of our world. Humans, it seems, are profoundly inhumane.
Of this list of everyday sadisms, there is one particularly repugnant practice that should be banned: keeping animals in captivity for our own entertainment. I am not talking about animals kept in captivity for conservation or rescue purposes. There are certain zoos that perform good work. But if we wince at the idea that only a few decades ago you could find lions in circuses, or if we read with horror of gladiatorial combat with bears in a blood-soaked Roman empire then surely supporting any modern industry that converts animal cruelty into human amusement, makes hypocrites of us all.
See on www.dailylife.com.au