‘What’s good for the goose is good for the human’

Posted on December 1, 2012


Today (1st December), an item was posted on the US Psychology Today web-site titled ‘What’s good for the goose is good for the human’, written by Dr Gay Bradshaw.

‘… Doing the right thing for animals helps mind and body –

Distance from execution helps render responsibility hazy.
—Edward Herman

And so it is, putting on a down jacket on way to ski, hike, or do outdoor chores, without a thought of where, how, and who the insulation comes from. The stuff in our pillows and jackets comes from stripping live birds of their feathers, a procedure that rips opens skin leaving the victim torn in body and mind.  A mind, when its companion body is held by the neck, restrained and has his/her skin pulled off, begins to tear. This is called psychological trauma. A recent video reveals that this experience is common to millions of geese and ducks.

But the luxury of distance is no longer possible, nor is responsibility hazy. Science openly and publically admits that birds are just as smart, feeling, spiritual – conscious – as we are (or would like to suppose we are). Escape from responsibility is impossible.  “The bird brain is a reptile brain or the reptile is a bird brain and they are both analogous to the mammalian brain having comparable capacities and functions,” states Dr. Erich Jarvis, one of the world’s leading neuroscientists. “Unequivocally”, echo other neuroscientists at Cambridge University: “humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness.” Other animals possess what prevents us, at least in the eyes of the law, from having our skin stripped and made into products.

The negative consequences of purposeful ignorance extend beyond its victims. Robert Jay Lifton wrote a treatise on the subject in his book, The Nazi Doctors.  Dissociation, cognitive dissonance, and other methods of denial are unhealthy for both the self and society. Indeed, an entire psychological movement and theory, pioneered by Stanford psychologist Albert Bandura, speaks to the importance of being able and willing to put one’s beliefs and knowledge into action. There is no distance from the execution of geese. Their bodies and suffering are right here, next to our bodies and beds. Doing what we know in our hearts and what science affirms is a step to mental and social health – for us and for the geese who long to live their lives in dignity and freedom …’

Read the item and its notes, view images and add your comment online at www.psychologytoday.com/blog/bear-in-mind/201212/what-s-good-the-goose-is-good-the-human


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