Humans are very peculiar creatures. We are very inconsistent. People who rescue dogs and cats or bunnies kill and eat cows and pigs and chickens and fish. Most never think about it. Most humans at least consider themselves animal lovers, if not animal rescuers. While many people have different opinions on what love actually means, most will agree it isn’t hanging someone upside down and slitting their throat. Or paying someone to do it for you. I think most people can agree that isn’t love. Especially when you don’t have to do it. it isn’t love to take someone’s baby away so you can have the milk meant for the baby. It isn’t love to decide from the day someone is born when they will die.
And most people in Western society would be disgusted if asked if they would like to eat dog or cat meat. But why? Pigs or chickens aren’t any different. They didn’t suffer any less than the dog or cat. It is still dead flesh. Why is it okay to kill a pig but not a dog?
Really, there isn’t a rational answer. The reason is we see dogs and cats in our everyday lives, we know them, many of us have furry family members. Especially for those of us growing up in cities, we don’t get the chance to get to know farmed animals. Many of us hardly even see them. And if we do, we see them in places they will eventually be killed not places where they are respected as individuals, unless you are one of the lucky people to visit a farm animal sanctuary. But they are just as individual, just as emotional and just as deserving of life.
It isn’t just farmed animals either. There are many animals, like rodents or snakes or sharks that are considered undesirable or unworthy of consideration. We do things to rats we would never do to a dog. But there is no rational reason for this. We are simply conditioned to think this way. Sharks suffer, snakes feel pain, rats and mice have emotions and want to live just as much as any dog. Species alone does not justify exploitation. A snake is no different from a dog when it comes to suffering. It doesn’t make a difference to the animal what species they are, so it shouldn’t make a difference to us.
Something also very strange I have encountered is the extreme disconnect people have in their heads between buying the product and killing the animal. They say ‘ They were already dead, I didn’t kill them’ or ‘If I had to kill them myself I would be vegan’. While it is true the animal in the store is already dead, your buying their dead body encourages the slaughter. You are participating in this violent system. When you buy animal products, you are essentially handing someone a knife and saying ‘go kill that animal over there for a product I don’t need.’ Hiring someone to do it for you isn’t any different than doing it yourself.