In the beginning of this month, the Danish government decided to murder the about 17 million minks imprisoned in Denmark’s fur farms, due to concerns that the COVID-19 mutation discovered among minks would spread to humans.
The decision created a storm of criticism, but unfortunately (though expectedly), not for the right reasons. It is not for the murder of 17 million animals (which are three times the human population in Denmark), it is not for the murder method, it is not for the fact that these animals are being murdered to protect the species who is actually responsible for their exploitation and their infection, and it is not since it is unfair that the victims of industrial farming are paying the price for another one of the consequences of industrial farming and not the ones who created and maintain industrial farming, and it is not for the fact that there are still industrial farms or any farms whatsoever, no, it is not for any of these reasons, but for the fact that many people would lose their jobs (there are more than 1,100 mink farms in Denmark), and for the fact that Denmark would lose much of its revenue as it is the biggest mink exploitation industry in the world accounting for 40% of global production, and for the fact that it later appeared that the mass murder had no legal basis, and because the 10 million minks who have already been murdered so far have been buried in too shallow mass graves and so in the last couple of days many of the mink corpses are rising from the ground to the surface due to gas accumulating in their decaying bodies. Danish officials are worried that the mink corpses could cause a severe phosphorus and nitrogen pollution, especially in water sources.
The Danish agriculture minister resigned due to the public outcry and the new one wants to dig up the mass graves and incinerate the minks’ corpses
After ordering the murder of about 17 million minks, the Danes have regrets. But their regrets are not for the murder, or for being the biggest mink exploitation industry in the world, but for burying all the murdered minks instead of burning them, and all the more so in mass graves which are too shallow.
Denmark’s prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, broke down in tears while meeting a mink farmer whose victims were murdered, but not because she saw in her own eyes the horror of mass gassing animals, or since she had a revelation of the scale of the damage of the fur industry and of her decision for millions of minks, but for one human family, one family of mass scale exploiters. She said: “It has been emotional for them, and… Sorry. It has for me too.” But of course, there are no emotions for the minks, not during their exploitation in the fur industry, and not during their mass murder. Another example of how speciesist this world is.
Animal rights activists are rightfully claiming that it is an opportunity to end the fur trade and that it is totally irrational to sustain what is clearly the reservoir of this virus. But humans are not rational, and this golden opportunity to end once and for all, at least the fur industry, won’t be taken. Despite the current outrage in Denmark, things would soon be forgotten and even the Danish mink industry would comeback, not to mention the rest of the species exploited in the fur industry in the rest of the world, which so far have not been significantly affected. The growing demand in countries like China, South Korea and Ukraine for example, is not likely to significantly decrease and so even the fur industry won’t be permanently shut down
Danish Lawmaker Signe Munk said that the buried minks are “a ticking environmental bomb” and so must be removed. But it is humans who are responsible for all this and they are the real ticking environmental bombs. How is it not already totally obvious that they must be removed?
As far as humanity goes, the lesson to be learned from this isn’t that nonhuman animals must never be exploited since it might end up hurting human animals as well, not to mention the really important lesson – the moral one – which is that nonhuman animals must never be exploited since it certainly ends up hurting nonhuman animals, a lesson which we can only dream of, but that if humans decide to mass murder nonhuman animals then they need to burn them, not bury them in shallow graves. That is humanity. Always excel at doing everything wrong. And the ones paying the price are hundreds of billions of nonhuman animals every single year.
But the ceaseless mistake is also ours, it is also us activists’ fault for providing humanity with endless chances.
The new Danish Agriculture Minister Rasmus Prehn said: “If there is one thing we have learned from the last few weeks, it is that the decisions we make must be made on the best possible basis.” But he is wrong. It is much more probable that no lessons would be learned and things would go on as they are, with decisions never made on the best possible basis.
If there is one thing humanity should learn from the passing year is that no animal industry should exist. If not for the sake of the animals, who humans don’t really care about, then for their own sake, as most pandemics are zoonotic. Yet, not even wet markets which are the origin of the original strain of covid-19, and not even fur farms which are the origin of the new strain of covid-19, will be shut down, not to mention every single animal farm everywhere in the world. Humanity never learns. Hopefully at least some humans would learn that humanity never learns and look for other ways to stop their endless mistakes.