Thursday, August 04, 2005

George Will: treat farm animals well

Conservative columnist George Will published a fascinating column earlier this month, describing the conservative case for treating animals humanely, and better protecting farm animals in particular. I pinch myself and ask, did he really write this? Did he really link to these photographs of farm animal suffering?

Will draws on the work of conservative speechwriter Matthew Scully in a magazine published by Pat Buchanan.
Animal suffering on a vast scale should, [Scully] says, be a serious issue of public policy. He does not want to take away your BLT; he does not propose to end livestock farming. He does propose a Humane Farming Act to apply to corporate farmers the elementary standards of animal husbandry and veterinary ethics: "We cannot just take from these creatures, we must give them something in return. We owe them a merciful death, and we owe them a merciful life."
Will doesn't favor animal "rights," but favorably quotes Scully to say that Judeo-Christian morality holds cruelty to animals to be evil. I always keep an eye out for unusual political coalitions who might support sound and ethical U.S. food policies. George Will and PETA take the cake.

I want to suggest some topics for future columns for Will, as long as he has the courage to follow Judeo-Christian values through to their true implications. August: justice for the poor and oppressed. September: just war and the murder of innocents. October: falsehood and dishonesty from the mighty. November: material accumulation as a barrier to holy purpose. This could be quite a season.

No comments: