Ever thought about this, before the first supermarket appeared on American topography, apparently in 1946 …and in India maybe a decade ago… where was the food? The food was at home, in the garden, local fields or forests, backyards, pantry, food bought from the vendor vending peddling it door to door, or at the weekly market. Most of them fresh off the farms
There were the backyard kitchen gardens, I remember we had tomatoes, lemon and eggplant in or kitchen garden, Baiyamma next door, had a brood of chicken. There was a whole biologic activity happening. The backyard kitchen not only added to the landscape, it was a living organism, the mushrooming engineering colleges and the Business management courses have turned these, we have little Kitta who is Akshay these days, working in a mall as an attendant, the farms lay barren and the average farmer is over seventy.
There were farms that raised pigs, chickens, and other farm animals, some of them became food, and others became family. Animals that are aware of their feelings and emotions are called sentient animals, this could be negative like pain, frustration and fear, it could be positive like comfort, enjoyment, contentment, and perhaps even delight and joy. Some interesting abilities farm animals.
- Sheeps can recognize up to 50 other sheep’s faces and remember them for about two years.
- Cows get excited when they discover how to open a gate leading to a food reward
- Mother hen teaches her chicks to choose food
Sentience becomes essential as it allows the animals to cope with the world. The animal is able to sense a predator. It also helps animals handle social interaction both within its own species and the between other species.
This becomes relevant, because the evolution of animals occurred to cope with the wild, and domestication has altered the basic motivation and behaviour pattern. When animal husbandry has got institutionalized then many sentient animals are subjected to pain and deprivation. Commercially farmed animals are caged, and are in overcrowded sheds this confinements does not allow the natural animal behaviour.
May be it is in the perception, I mean animals that are eaten are probably not looked on like living, may that could explain why people love dogs and eat cows and not because cows and dogs are fundamentally different.
Here is a quote from the Buddha I think it is pretty interesting…. “Jīvaka, I say that there are three instances in which meat should not be eaten: when it is seen, heard, or suspected [that the living being has been slaughtered for oneself]. I say that meat should not be eaten in these three instances. I say that there are three instances in which meat may be eaten: when it is not seen, not heard, and not suspected [that the living being has been slaughtered for oneself]. I say that meat may be eaten in these three instances.”
― Gautama Buddha, The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya
Anyway this attempt at musing basically because today is the world farm animal’s day an international campaign for the farm animal rights movement. The idea is to resources and awareness and animal advocacy campaigns. This is apparently in honour of Mohandas Karmchand Gandhi.