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  • Shawn Hosford

A Reckoning

Picture this, I am waiting for a friend. We are headed out for a walk with out dogs in the woods. While waiting I am catching up on some news: (https://www.democracynow.org/2018/5/30/39_arrested_protesting_industrial_farm_supplying

https://www.democracynow.org/2018/5/30/bred_to_suffer_glenn_greenwald_on).


I’m almost finished with both articles when my friend shows up. I am on fire. I bound out of the house, locked and loaded for bear (or any other aggressively pernicious animal who might cross our path).

At the end of the article about US industry experimenting on dogs, Glenn Greenwald says: “We need to have a reckoning with ourselves. What are we willing to morally permit to happen to other living beings?” Prior to the article on dog experimentation, he spoke about Whole Foods and Amazon mistreating chickens and the lies surrounding Whole Foods’ “cage free organic eggs.” That article made me so thankful for access to my dear friend’s real free range chickens and their eggs. 

In any case, Greenwald’s question struck a nerve. I wondered when we will each have our personal reckoning on what every one of our everyday routines and choices condone, support, and facilitate. As I listened to the animal activists force their way into filming the horrific conditions of the supposedly “free range” chickens, I felt sorrow.


I flashed on the farmer eking out a living and the sheriff charged with arresting the activist — all while the CEO and senior managers of large corporations make more money than any one person can spend responsibly in one lifetime. That doesn’t even factor in the returns stockholders will be expecting.


Where is our personal reckoning, and responsibility? Have we become so accustomed to novelty, newness, and subsidized bargain consumption that these supersede the lives of others. 

Greenwald’s question of reckoning felt important for all of us to ask. Diving deep into ourselves, coming face to face with our actions and taking responsibility for how our choices impact others (including the rest of the animal kingdom and our planet) is something I think extremely worthy of our time.

When you purchase a product can you reckon with what it took to make the item? If others were enslaved (human or animal) are you comfortable using the item? Are you spending time to reckon with where our society needs your assistance? Do you know that in 2016, 61,000 dogs were used in corporate experimentation in the US? Is that okay with you? If not, what are you going to personally do to stop supporting it?

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