As bad as Iraq is, it pales in comparison
Well, with the revelation of the Abu Ghraib, among other things, sympathies and disgust are reeling forth from around the globe. The acts done arre surely despicable.
But they pale in comparison to what happens here in the USA, in Europe, and other places, on a scale so large as to dwarf anything else. The wanton, widespread, and unimaginable torture that billions of farmed animals, millions of animals in cruel (and most often, useless) experiments, and thousands of animals used for entertainment suffer is beyond me to comprehend. While we lament about a few prisoners in Abu Ghraib, or the weddings that are bombed, creatures who, for their whole lives suffer a combination of intensive confinement, filth, disease, antibiotics, artificial growth hormones, beatings, chemical burns, severing of body parts, brain grafts, and isolation.
The sheer scale--millions in experiments, billions in agriculture--of the suffering warrants attention greater than any other tragedies that continue today within the sphere of human control. In the USA alone, around 10 billion poultry birds are slaughtered after only 7 1/2 weeks, half the time that it took only decades ago(!), due to selective breeding, dark, crowded, filthy environments that prohibit or discourage physical activity, and growth-inducing antibiotics.
The crimes committed in Iraq surely have my ire, and their victims my sympathies. They are despicable occurences. However, I cannot help but see an inconsistency in how we react to these events and what happens and what we support back in our own nations. It is easy to speak out against, condemn, or lament for what transpires in a foreign nation half-way around the world. It is much harder, although much nobler and more honest to notice the atrocities that occur at home for what they are and to react accordingly.