According to your reading of the animal treatment texts we closed the class with (“All Animals Are Equal,” The Jungle, “Because They Matter,” “Sympathy,” and The Dreaded Comparison) compare how food animals and laborers in large institutions and systems, like food industrial production or the university, are forced to be objects for exploitation. Please avoid an uncritical “humans are more important than animals” or “comparing humans to animals is dehumanizing” argument. Account for how the readings deal with that problem or complicate such an easy “escape” from the issue, instead.
As part of your response (perhaps 100 words or so), reflect upon some of the new restrictions you have experienced or heard about for students and university staff, instructors, and other community members during this term of social distancing. Discuss some of the challenges to personal mobility and socialization you know about as a result of this time. Which aspects of the university under quarantine seemed to maintain an ethical treatment of these parties and communities, and which aspects could have been more considerate of equity, welfare, and happiness?
Usually, for this assignment, I would ask you to go somewhere on campus to take some pictures of domesticated/managed animals designated for food use (cows near the dorms, chickens, etc.). The wild turkeys and the Physics Building cats don’t count for this, and likewise, your household pets would not fit in this case. But let’s see what we are capable of, in June. If we can venture out more freely at this time to find some traditional ‘livestock’ anywhere, let’s upload those pictures here in the forum as part of our posts! Or hey, if you get some exercise and run into cows or pigs or something, even if we’re still social distancing, get a picture with them if possible!