The reason these industries are getting widespread support is because we’re all being manipulated and have been manipulated since we were children.
Part of this is done by the industries themselves, who spend millions of dollars on advertising every single day. They have no problem killing an animal, putting their dead body in a box with a toy and some fries, using a clown to promote it, and calling it a Happy Meal. Children cannot see through that kind of manipulation if adults don’t point it out.
And that’s the other part of the problem. Most adults not only act as enablers who actively pay the industries to kill animals for them, but those who are parents also act like flying monkeys. They manipulate their own children into supporting these industries.
Parents start feeding their children meat before they can talk. The children get used to eating animal products for years without realizing that animals are being killed for them. And all this time, their love for animals is actually encouraged. They grow up with Piglet, Peppa Pig, and petting zoos, while unknowingly eating actual pigs.
What they learn about “farm” animals is propaganda. Pictures and stories about happy animals living harmoniously on farms and “giving” us eggs, milk, and meat. The farms look nothing like the buildings and cages where animals actually live, the male chicks who get killed because they don’t lay eggs are never covered, the calves who are taken away from their mothers so we can drink their milk are never covered, and the slaughterhouses where they all get killed are never covered.
Some children do actually see through the manipulation and want to stop eating animals. But usually, that just leads to more manipulation. For example, they are told that the animals are already dead anyway, so they might as well eat them, as if that’s a reason to keep paying the industries to kill animals. Or they are told lies, like that the animals are treated well and killed painlessly after a happy life and that animal products are necessary to stay healthy. If all of that fails and a child still resists, parents often simply fall back on force.
This manipulation that starts in childhood continues in adulthood. Companies shamelessly market the bodies of animals that they abused and killed with photos, videos and drawings of happy animals. Organizations that claim to want to protect animals still condone killing them. Journalists consistently present the “hardworking farmer” narrative and never ask them basic questions like: “How can you say you love these animals when you’re killing them all?” And while anyone can post pictures on social media of the meat they eat, footage that actually shows how the animals lived and died immediately gets covered with a graphic content warning.
The animal industries also abuse the legal system to attack their competitors. For example, they’ve managed to get lawmakers to make it illegal in the entire European Union to call soy milk “soy milk.” And in various US states, a vegan burger can’t legally be called a “vegan burger” anymore. These are just two examples out of many, and the industries are continuously pushing for more of these laws to make it impossible for plant-based competitors to market their products. Of course, their official story is that they’re just trying to protect consumers from “misleading” labels so they don’t get “confused.”
Furthermore, the animal industries exploit people’s lack of knowledge. For example, they often imply that more ingredients in plant-based products means they’re automatically less healthy than animal products. Or they cherry-pick certain plant-based products with sustainability problems, like avocados and quinoa, and conveniently leave out that most of the demand for these products comes from meat eaters and that they’re not even an essential part of a plant-based diet. Or they emphasize that their products are “local,” while leaving out that one person adopting a plant-based diet does more for the environment than seven people switching to local food.
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