When we last met, we discussed the post-War pamphlet's raison d'être—to bask in America's newfound authority and to lay the groundwork for a corrupt ethic.
We would like to lead off this session with an examination of a pernicious theme:
Farm animals are the equivalent of (human) employees.
We label this pernicious not because the animals are undeserving of respect and consideration. No! We find the suggestion offensive because it is so blatantly disregarded by those who make it! Are employees forced onto trucks, gently or otherwise? Are they routinely executed? (Routinely? No.) And yet this is what When Handling Livestock... would have you believe.
For see the hog sanding his own bed for the long drive to The End. See the cows cheerfully repairing the fence that keeps them prisoner!
Even when the pamphlet is content not to state the "livestock = loyal employee" equation, it is promulgating the idea that the animals are, at the very least, essentially human. Animals, it happens, prefer steps—just like people! (Or, just like hobos, at any rate. And what tale have they told the pigs? "Sure, tie up your bindles. You'll be able to unpack in an hour or so, when you get to the new plant.")
Striking, isn't it, how reluctant the pamphleteers are to take note of the conclusion implied by their premise. Do animals also, like people, prefer not to be concussed, dispatched, and slaughtered? The pamphlet does not say.
And look at this scene! The hog-handlers, in their uniforms with the rolled cuffs, are playfully slapping their hogs with "canvas slappers"… in moderation!
Nothing to be alarmed at. It's just good-natured frat-house hijinks. Again, though: just like people!
And finally, one last piece of animals-are-people-too nonsense.
Yes! ONE Bruise Is ONE Too Many! The poor hobbling, bandaged pig! The convalescing sheep! The sling-wearing cow!
Indeed, one bruise is too many. And why? It
Their hollow effigy of "care" goes up in flames. The dollar is their only criterion. And they boast about it.
(Thanks again to Dr. Jonna for the referral.)