Out of Sight, Held In Mind

Canada Geese and morning fog in Golden Gate Park, by Brocken InaGlory (Wikimedia Commons)

By Risa M. Mandell

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) new website hides animal welfare data, “based on our commitment to being transparent, remaining responsive to our stakeholders’ informational needs, and maintaining the privacy rights of individuals.”

Here the USDA uses language to proclaim the exact opposite of its action.  Umberto Eco wrote:

Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak.  Newspeak was invented by Orwell, in 1984, as the official language of Ingsoc, English Socialism.  But elements of Ur-Fascism are common to different forms of dictatorship.  All the Nazi or Fascist schoolbooks made use of an impoverished vocabulary, and an elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning.  But we must be ready to identify other kinds of Newspeak, even if they take the apparently innocent form of a popular talk show.

Yes, Ur-Fascism will say day is night and night is day, and because direct object follows verb follows noun and the stationary is official, we are expected to uncritically believe.

Related to those who suffer legally behind closed doors, PETA released an alert last week regarding geese whose feathers are “privately” ripped from them,

Here’s what you need to know about live plucking:

  • Workers rip geese’s feathers out while they’re fully conscious, leaving open, bloody wounds.
  • They pin geese down by stepping on their delicate wings and necks.
  • These live-plucking farms are linked to some ‘Non Live-Plucked Products Guarantee’ and ‘Responsible Down Standard’ companies.
  • One buyer who admitted to selling to a ‘humane’ company even bragged about duping customers.

Our global, technological village compels us to be vigilant protectors of the vulnerable, knowing as we do that each being avoids pain and distress, and to humbly assume their voice to protect them from harm.  This particular harm is a result of commodifying life.  No good can come from it.

Until the price of vegan winter clothing and bedding insulated with primaloft or other plant stuffing becomes affordable for all, we can buy second-hand and in that way avoid contributing to the acute pain and suffering of these noble creatures.

The Humane Party is the U.S.A.’s first political party committed to:

Rights for all animals—not just the human kind,

Full realization of an ecosystem-neutral, sustainably prosperous economy, and

Running and electing only candidates who have committed to humane values both personally and politically.