How lockdown could change your life forever
– Asking people to stay at home to use this time to attack the virus. – Around the world right now hundreds of millions of people are at home. Either through self isolation or forced quarantine. We are living through an unprecedented situation. The everyday aspects of our life
That we have always taken for granted have been taken from us if only for the time being. And even though this will pass, living in isolation with our desire for contact, communication and connection being compromised is undeniably hard both physically and mentally draining.
Yet for most of us this time will exist as nothing more than an inconvenience. Our current hardship is created to protect those more vulnerable in society than we are. And to protect healthcare workers who show endless bravery by saving lives everyday.
In reality it's never been easier to live through prolonged periods of quarantine. We have Netflix, YouTube and social media. We can watch movies, play video games, listen to music, read, write, pick up a new hobby, exercise, meditate. We live in a time where we can easily distract ourselves.
And even though we may feel upset that our freedoms have been restricted for now, we should at least feel grateful that we have had and will have again the freedoms we have until this point underappreciated. So perhaps we should use this time to reflect,
And wherever or not we deny others the freedoms that we yearn for ourselves during this pandemic, the freedom to see family, the freedom to see friends, the freedom to do what we want, the freedom of being autonomous, the freedom of not being isolated,
Of not being confined, of not being restricted. Perhaps we should then think of the mother pigs currently trapped inside farrowing crates and gestation crates, tiny metal cages so small that they're unable to turn around instead they can only stand up and sit down for weeks, even months at a time.
Desperately biting on the bars, hoping they will one day break, but of course they never do and they never will. Of what of the pigs being fattened up for slaughter? Kept in tiny concrete pens, no windows, no fresh air, no sunlight.
Highly intelligent beings driven to insanity, their teeth clipped out, their tails chopped off. Or the new born calves in the dairy industry taken from their mothers within the first 24 hours of being born and forced to spend their first months of life
In solitary confinement hutches. Unable to run and play, instead they suck on the bars and call out for their mothers, desperate to be nurtured and cared for. Instead they're trapped and alone. What about the egg laying hens?
Incarcerated in cages so small, they can't spread their wings. Forced to stand on wire mesh, their beaks sliced off, or the free range egg laying hens, no longer in small cages, but instead one big cage. Where a farmer can legally house nine birds
Per square meter of space. The free range label nothing more than a marketing ploy in an attempt to hide their suffering. Perhaps we should think about the chickens raised for meat, trapped inside windowless barns, their body selectively bred to reach slaughter age in just six weeks.
Their organs failing and limbs deformed, laid on their backs unable to move, slowly dying on the feces filled floors. What about the animals forced to entertain us? Locked in tiny enclosures endlessly pacing, or imprisoned in swimming pools.
Goaded to jump through hoops and perform tricks. What of these animals and their freedom, their desire for life? Our lives will return to normal and everything we currently miss will soon be part of our normal life again.
But for those hidden away, they will never have the freedom they desire. Their incarceration does not exist as a means to protect them, but instead as a means to exploit them. They bite on the bars, they frantically try to escape
And they cry out for help, yet it is all in vain. Imagine if from the moment you were born, somebody else had already decided to deny you everything, your autonomy, your life. Imagine if from the moment you were born, someone else had already decided
How long you were going to live and how you were going to die. It is in times of crisis that we show how unified and interconnected we all are. We share a common fear, but we do not just share that fear with others of our own species,
But others from different species as well. The fear of pain, the fear of loneliness, our life will return to normal, our freedoms returned, our fears eased. But for the tens of billions of others around the world, their suffering and their fear will continue
For as long as we allow it to. If freedom, connection, family and autonomy are things we want for our own lives, then what right do we have to deny those very things to others when they too want the same for their own existence. They nurture and they care, they enjoy their life,
They show happiness, they enjoy socializing and family. They enjoy their autonomy, they enjoy their freedom. And just as we do, they deserve their freedom. We are empathetic beings, so perhaps now in the time of our own personal isolation, we should think of others
And the isolation and incarceration we force them to endure because of our choices.