If Just I Justify

If Just I Justify

The little “justifications” we make to partake in the luxuries of life will ultimately be the demise of humanity.

We turn a blind eye to that which causes discomfort. People act as though being thoughtful is necessary, yet letting the issues of others, trouble us too profoundly does not cause them less pain but only adds to our own. To avoid unpleasant feelings, we justify non-action with the question, “What good will it do?”

Many people did not vote in the last few elections. The given explanation is that they held the unpopular vote, “one vote” will not make a difference. One person cannot make a difference is a common excuse used in various forms for various issues. We tell ourselves that we are not affluent or wealthy enough to make a difference. We show brief moments of disgust and perhaps make a Facebook post, then go on about our day, focusing on our issues as an individual rather than taking an actual stand. 

Justifications like this allow us to continue with our lives and still partake in the problematic industries and reap the benefits of blindness. 

Few people would openly admit they are an advocate for animal cruelty. Many people, however, take comfort in the idea that there are issues far too crucial that need immediate focus, thus preventing them from participating in such a minuscule issue.

Justifying cruelty is a lazy and irrational attitude. There will always be numerous social issues that need immediate attention. While one cannot focus on every aspect of potential change, it is at least every individual civic duty to find an area of specific interest to give their attention to without demeaning the significance of other issues.

Many people are against animal cruelty, but not enough to boycott purchasing animal byproducts from industries that participate in the maltreatment of animals. I am not a vegetarian; I like meat. However, I cannot watch the slaughtering of animals; it makes my stomach churn, and the lack of compassion the whole industry shows is disgusting.

Sales Barns, for example, are likely necessary to rancher life in the mid-west. However, watching the cattle shoved into tiny show tanks while the auctioneer pokes, swats, and prods the cattle is sickening. These auctions occur, so people can gawk and decide how much money each cow’s life is worth. Videos have surfaced of cows with broken legs, or merely well-aged, being shot in the head, or hung upside down and hit in the skull with a hammer, then taken off to be processed.

Pigs are often jammed-packed in a small crate. Their teats suckled until they were raw, cracked, and infected. They then are forced full of semen, forced to procreate until they are no longer able repeatedly, and then they are slaughtered and eaten. Chickens have a sad life, too. Most people know this but reason or justify the act of purchasing and eating meat. A significant line of thinking is whether an individual chooses not to eat meat or not will not change the fact that others will, and the mistreatment of animals will continue either way. 

Sweatshops are full of poorly treated underage children and desperate adults, hoping for a brighter future, being paid very little, and working very hard in conditions not conducive to good health. That is something no “moral” human would openly admit to being okay with, but when we purchase the clothing and products built and created in these factories, we support that business—the same “business” treating people just as poorly as the animals in a slaughterhouse. In purchasing the products, we support the company and the system of abuse. We do not like sweatshops, but we like Nike; we want Nike more than we do not like sweatshops.

To stand up against the maltreatment of animals and human trafficking, we need to give up the benefits we gain from the abuse we detest. Unfortunately, as a majority, we are not willing to do that. Our weak, sick, poor, and middle-class folk are allegorical animals to the wealthy. There is enough money in America that no one should live in poverty. To raise those in poverty up to the middle class, we would need more government programs, more welfare programs, more funds for the education system, more scholarships, more, more! More government funding would mean much higher taxes and ultimately take away some key benefits the rich and powerful receive at the disadvantage of the poor. So, keep eating that steak, and the rich, will keep eating theirs.