Today I was having tea with a friend, and she brought up how a friend of her's mentioned how people are so outraged at the massacre of 100 healthy sled dogs(more on that here) in Whistler. What she didn't, and I don't, understand is how people are so enraged at this, yet it doesn't seem to make as much as a difference to them that thousands of cows, pigs, chickens, ect. are brutally murdered and kept in deplorable conditions. Are they not animals as well? Last I checked they were all sentient beings, capable of feeling pain and all equally deserving of proper living conditions, the right to mother their young, to enjoy being outdoors, to eat the food they were meant to eat. In my opinion, no matter what anyone says there is no 'compassionate' way of killing something. Just because cows are not necessarily kept as 'house' pets doesn't mean they should be treated differently than your cat or dog. Why the double standard?
Usually I try not to force my views on others, or attempt to stay as far away from the 'preachy vegan' stereotype as much as possible. Desire to not rock the boat, or make others uncomfortable. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, are they not? But in this case I really can't abide that point of view. While yes, I believe it's fair to allow others to come to their own educated conclusions without me breathing down their shoulders, I think the key word is educated. The majority of people I've met have no interest in educating themselves to the cruelty that most animals are subjected to, the unethical treatment of workers in slaughter houses, and the extreme waste of potential farmland and damage to the environment that is factory farming. It's an absolute waste of resources, the amount of land needed to feed a non-vegetarian compared to a vegetarian(3 acres vs 1). Plants feed the earth, the air, they keep the soil healthy in a sustainable manner. Even if you don't happen to care about the death of an animal, wouldn't it make sense, to borrow a phrase, not to shit where you eat? Everyone needs to live someplace, and earth is the only place we have.
The protest I hear the most often when discussing meat eating(and non eating), is that people miss the taste of meat. To put it bluntly, I believe that's selfish. You can't imagine forfeiting a few moments of your pleasure for the greater good of the wellbeing of the planet, the life of another sentient being, your own health even? The tradition of eating it, family meals, not wanting to be the odd one out? Sure it may be difficult, and sometimes you might want to eat meat. To be honest, my tastes have changed completely. I never crave meat, and never want to eat it. Somewhere in the back of my head I could imagine perhaps it tastes good, but the cons far outweigh the pros to me. To my health, and the knowledge that I couldn't sit comfortably eating something that was murdered in a cruel manner so I could eat it. I'm not expecting this of everyone, but even little steps help. Eating less meat, consuming less animal byproducts. Even just educating yourself on where it comes from, and it's impact on the planet. Does it not deserve even that? I'm not trying to say I'm perfect, or that you have to be either. it's unrealistic to expect that you can go through life without touching a single animal byproduct, they lurk in places you can't even imagine. I'm just trying to stress the point that you should attempt to at least educate yourself on a topic before making a decision based on simply your comfort levels, or what's just convenient to you. Choosing to be ignorant is a huge shame.
A couple books that I found really interesting on this topic: