“Beasts of England”

I was working on my final paper today when I came across and very interesting song…

Beasts of England, beasts of Ireland,

Beasts of every land and clime,

Hearken to my joyful tidings

Of the Golden Future time.

Soon or late the day is coming,

Tyrant Man shall be o’erthrown,

And the fruitful fields of England

Shall be trod by beasts alone.

Rings shall vanish from our noses,

And the harness from our back,

Bit and spur shall rust forever,

Cruel whips no more shall crack.

Riches more than mind can picture,

Wheat and barley, oats and hay,

Clover, beans and mangel-wurzels

Shall be ours upon that day.

Bright will shine the fields of England,

Purer shall its waters be,

Sweeter yet shall blow its breezes

On the day that sets us free.

For that day we all must labor,

Through we die before it break;

Cows and horses, geese and turkeys,

All most toil for freedom’s sake.

~ “Animal Farm” by George Orwell

I found this song interesting, because although from a fiction story, it seems to bring up an interesting argument. Is it true that animals would be better off without human presence? For one, it can be argued that all animal cruelty will cease to exist. Nature would be able to function the way it’s supposed to, without the intervention of humans doing things like controlling the weather or playing god by saving species that should be extinct. In addition, animals could be free–dogs would no longer be subjected to human civilization, as would cats and horses. Cows and chickens would no longer be farmed just for the pure desire to eat. Tuna would be happily swimming in the ocean, instead of watching their numbers rapidly decline. Condors would be happily living without humans destroying their habitats. And marine animals would be able to live in non-polluted waters.

Yet there seems to be a major issue forgotten. Some animals have become dependent on human life. Dogs, cats, and horses are still able to live in the wild, yet they thrive in human societies today. Cows and chickens may be bred simply for food, but in the wild they will all be eaten eventually. Condors may have been able to live without human destruction, yet the reason condors are still around are because people saved the last pair alive in Bir Sur, California to breed until numbers could go up. For some species, it is non-negotiable: humans are more of a problem than they help. But for other species, humans have changed the traits that are the strongest, and now they are dependent on human society.

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