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Pain spectacles rule the roost - Essay Example

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Singer (5 April 1973) has rather been blunt in his arguments regarding animal liberation. He observed nonchalantly that “people who eat pieces of slaughtered non-humans every day find it hard to believe that they are doing wrong” …
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Pain spectacles rule the roost
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Pain spectacles rule the roost Of all other discriminations that we are aware of, Peter Singer (5 April 1973) had reminded us, “one should alwaysbe wary of talking of “the last remaining form of discrimination,”” which is the discrimination carried out by humans towards animals. He argued that like any racist or sexist, we believe that animals have an inferior status to us because they belong to some other species and calls this attitude, ‘speciecism’ (Singer, 5 April 1973). It is true that humans have never had the habit of viewing animals as equals. But are we as a species, sympathetic to even other human beings’ pain, once we shed the cultural and moralistic attires that we have learned to wear through human history, and stand naked in our basic human instincts? A comparison of our attitudes towards animals, especially in the context of our habit of entertaining ourselves in watching dog-fighting and bull fighting can be made with our attitude towards violence in sports. The logic is quite compulsive.
Singer (5 April 1973) has rather been blunt in his arguments regarding animal liberation. He observed nonchalantly that “people who eat pieces of slaughtered non-humans every day find it hard to believe that they are doing wrong” (5 April 1973). The Roman elites who enjoyed the fighting spectacle between the enslaved humans used to bring perfumed hand kerchiefs to the venue to avoid the distasteful smell of blood becoming too strong. And in foot ball matches of the modern days, the players are encouraged by their trainers and the spectators to start attacking each other in the similar vein of dog-fighting or slave-fighting (Gladwell, 19 October 2009). Malcolm Gladwell (19 October 2009) has made this comparison only to show that what kind of fatal injuries, the football players have to suffer so that they satisfy the spectators’ greed to see a real fight.
The question is why we are not able to play a decent, non-violent game in football? It is not because the players have some violent instinct to destruct their own health and others’ as well. It is the blood-thirst that humans have kept alive through centuries that is to be blamed. The American Congress had to keep penalties as high as $100,000 so that people do not indulge in transporting animals “across state lines for fighting” (The Washington Post, 22 August 2007). Even in preventing this kind of a cruel practice, the law makers have no common stand point. This is evident from the different laws that exist in different states of US. In Georgia and Idaho, “being a spectator at a dogfight is legal” and it is “a felony in 22 states and a misdemeanor in 26 states” (The Washington Post, 22 August 2007).
Marcelo (25 November 2009) has drawn attention to the fact that “lately football concussions and and head injuries have been front page news.” The question that lingers is whether there is a compulsion on the players to make suicidal attacks to each other just like when the dogs in a dog-fighting are trained and compelled by their owners and trainers to do the same. Here, the spectacle of pain draws the parallels between the two situations. And, Marcelo (25 November 2009) has one more question, “what kind of message are these players sending to the kids who idolize them?” The answer is, this is how a moral (or the absence of a moral) gets deep-rooted in the society and gets transmitted intact, through generations. In both the cases, the well being of the fighter is not a priority at all. This is the moment when a social observer can sincerely doubt whether humans as a species, has ever internalized empathy, as a moral value.
References
Gladwell, M. (19 October 2009), Offensive play: How different are dogfighting and football, The New Yorker, Retrieved from http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/10/19/091019fa_fact_gladwell
Singer, P. (5 April 1973) Animal liberation, The New York Review of Books, Vol.20, No.5, Retrieved from http://www.nybooks.com/articles/9900
Mercelo, S.L. (25 November 2009) Pop Warner football and head injuries, The Huffington Post, Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sheila-lirio-marcelo/pop-warner-football-and-h_b_368899.html
The Washington Post, 22 August 2007, Dog-fighting laws, Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/21/AR2007082101888.html Read More
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