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To the editor:
According to "Old Macdonald's high-tech farm" (McGill Reporter, Oct. 25), the fact that the first milking begins at 5 am on the campus farm sounds brutal, but isn't really, since students are given the chance to do real farm work.
But what does sound brutal to me, if I may be permitted a strong opinion, is that the mammals (cows and pigs) and birds (chickens) being described are fated to be slaughtered for the meat market. Someone, or some people, will deprive these fellow creatures of their lives. Why?
Do we have answers to such questions other than that there is a thriving commercial meat market and that many of us are strongly socialized into a meat culture.
Yet, there is no getting away from the fact that eating birds, mammals, as well as fish, means that with each slaughtered individual, we destroy the life of a separate sentient, feeling creature. It is highly ironic that the section of the paper containing the article is entitled "Slice of Life."
Some of us hold with George Bernard Shaw when he said that animals are his friends, and he doesn't eat his friends. There are, needless to say, vegetarian, even vegan farmers.
By typing in Farm Sanctuary on the Internet, one can explore a very different perspective on the kinds of animals we eat, in which they are considered to have the right to live out their lives rather than being sacrificed for the meat market. This perspective is far more prevalent among students at McGill today than when I graduated.