with Chris Hedges
RT America on Feb 10, 2022
On the show, Chris Hedges discusses veganism and mass incarceration with educator and poet, Gretchen Primack.
The poet Gretchen Primack has for many years taught in the American prison system. Her book Visiting Days gives words to the suffering and grief of those locked in cages across the country.
She is acutely aware that our prison system, the largest in the world with 25 percent of the globe’s prisoners, although we are less than 5 percent of the global population, not only destroys the lives of those we lock away, but those on the outside who must also bear the trauma of mass incarceration. Prison culture poisons us all.
She draws parallels between what we do to human beings we lock in cages, often for decades, and what the animal agriculture industry does to animals. This barbarity is related. Primack argues that once we treat all living beings as sacred, which means becoming vegan, we will live by the values that most of us already profess, in our words if not our actions: cruelty towards sentient beings is a sin.
Gretchen Primack’s poetry collections include: Visiting Days and Kind.
From the archives:
Chris Hedges: Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, and Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industry
The Environmental Christmas Hangover by Graham Peebles
What Would Happen If We All Refused To Go Quietly To The Slaughterhouse? + The Roots of Resistance
Chris Hedges: Is Animal Life Sacred?
David Kirby on “The Looming Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy and Poultry Farms on Humans and the Environment”
Animal Factory – A Book Review
Howard Lyman: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won’t Eat Meat (must-see)
I whole-heartedly agree, it’s medieval, brutal torture. That is why I’m so thoroughly with restorative justice, that should also include and embrace all animals, indeed all sentient Nature.
This conversation immediately made me think back to the Slaughterhouse episode of Jan. 23rd. Then I searched five years further back, to revisit ‘Is Animal Life Sacred?’ ~ so I don’t think I can add much to the comment I posted then, except that I feel even stronger about these issues now….especially with the prospect of Chinese ‘high-rise’ storied pig installations and cow-cities, which frankly I find loathsomely repellant, and think are dreadful.
Chinese planning seems to have chosen to exaggerate the frenzied proliferation of vast mushrooming conurbations that segregate urban and rural existence to an obsessive degree; evidently in the perceived interest of alleviating the suffering of a traditionally impoverished peasantry, but why? Truly intelligent life is about balanced, ecologically systemic accomplishment, not artificially enforced factory extremism &/or the perverse cosmetic appeal of mega-glitz.
So, as I’m still not an advocate of ‘extreme’ veganism, I believe that responsible and compassionate animal husbandry should be the enduring norm that will benefit everyone the most, & indeed forever; especially those precious domesticated breeds that veganism would render extinct, while others see fit to claim the right to insist on exploiting them so despicably cruelly.
Sustainable vertical seafood harvesting along the lines advocated by Bren Smith, is a new peerless way to work with thriving marine systems, moving with the tide of ecological sustainability not against it, as happens presently world-wide ~ through relentless over-consumption and extravagant artificial forcing, resulting in the criminal exhaustion of all species and natural environments; ruthless forest clear-cutting, severe river pollution and the totally mindless plundering of our global oceans all compound the suffering humans inflict on our environments and ultimately on each other….so Ecocide should indeed be made the fifth formally recognized international crime, because it proscribes violence against the living biosphere itself, as all planetary life is sacred & such actions are entirely heinous and villainous. We should aspire to become imaginative stewards, not debase ourselves as savage, ignorant destroyers of subtle existence.
Thanks for your commentary, David, as always.
And thanks for the link, too.