For think the root is due to

For many people, media outlets can be a key sources of
information and is a powerful way in which animals are represented in our
society and mirrors our values. The news coverage in general of farmed animals reinforces
the notion that animals are seen as bodies not beings.  

When I think about how our society values one animal over
another, I think the root is due to human exceptionalism and speciesism. There
are social, political and environmental implications when we ignore who animals
are and think of ourselves as above and better than them. Singer uses the word speciesism
to describe giving preference to our own species over another, in the absence
of morally relevant differences. The article does briefly question the farmed
animal welfare, however it doesn’t discuss whether it is right for us to breed,
use, kill and eat them in the first place, and fails to describe the animals as
inherently valuable individuals.

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The role of language in media is really important as it
reinforces the power relationship between humans and animals and language
itself provides us with a way of structuring our experience of ourselves and
the world. For one, language in our world is a way in which reflects the
prejudices of its users and in this cause results in the demean of animals as
it portrays this idea that animals are at our disposal. For example, in this article,
using the words such as livestock and meat instead of cows, chickens and pigs,
is a way to reinforce the human-animal divide in which that farm animals are
bodies not beings, consequently distorting our view of animals and reality. Language
also introduces this element of speciesism in the way that, would this language
be used for other animals that tend to be valued higher in our society?

In New York Times, Rethinking
the Meat-Guzzler, the article emphasizes the negative consequences humans
and the environment face at the hands of today’s meat farming, however, it
makes no similar critique of what it might be like for the cows and pigs who
live in overcrowded and foul conditions and are raised purely for the
production and consumption of meat – their
bodies. “These assembly-line meat factories consume enormous amounts of
energy, pollute water supplies, generate significant greenhouse gases and
require ever-increasing amounts of corn, soy and other grains, a dependency
that has led to the destruction of vast swaths of the world’s tropical rain forests”1.
 The article clearly presents the animals
as a commodity and fails to acknowledge their emotional perspectives. This is
evident as the article relates the value of meat to oil, “The two commodities
share a great deal”1. Anthropocentric news frames like this and
others miss an opportunity to balance agriculture stories with an animal
welfare or rights perspective. The impact of this view manifests how we view
other animals in relation to ourselves and greatly influences how we treat them,
for example how we let factory farms exists in the first place mirrors our
societies values and once again, fails to acknowledge animals having emotions.

Animals play many roles in human society, including those
of companion, entertainer, food item, and commodity. There are many discourses
and ideologies that influence how animals are socially constructed. For
example, how animals are represented in the news is a really powerful way our
society portrays animals and highly influences how they are treated by human
society. In this reflection I will focus on how news about farm animals – Livestock – generally, reinforces the human-animal
divide where farm animals are seen as bodies not beings. Although it’s not
always the case, news media often objectify nonhuman animals freely through commodification,
failure to acknowledge their emotional perspectives and failure to describe
them as inherently valuable individuals.

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