Why Love One and Eat the Other?
On January 10th, 2016 an Australia Day advert was launched with media headlines (Lee Lin Chin Wants You To Eat Lamb In This New Australia Day Advert) In this TVC, Indonesian-born, Australian television presenter and journalist Lee Lin Chin played the protagonist who encouraged all of us true Australians to eat lamb this coming Australia Day. The take away message? How un-Australian it is not to eat a baby animal on this particular 'so called' patriotic day. It also featured one vegan man’s house being torched down because - by him being vegan - he wasn’t Australian enough. This scene basically discriminates against a minority group who fight for animal rights and encourages violence against them. You can view the advert here.
Let us consider for a moment the consequences had the same advert been created in China with the headline, "Joan Chen Wants You To Eat Dog This New Chinese Day”. The whole world would be outraged. And, say a canine rights activist's house was torched down, there would have been total anarchy. In the end, ask yourself, what is the difference between a leg of lamb and a leg of dog? I'll tell you what: the lamb is a baby animal which is only three months old. Dog, cat, lamb, baby are all feeling, sentient beings who fight for their last breath. Have you ever thought about why we eat lamb and not pet dogs? Why we cry over lions getting hunted and give no thought to the torture a cow endured whose flesh we hungrily bite into. What makes you believe that your pain and suffering is any less than a cow, pig, chicken, fish or lamb? In fact, if I sliced off your nose and also sliced off a chicken’s beak, the sensation of pain is scientifically-measured as being about equal. You will both cry out in agony. Are you aware that debeaking is a standard practice in the egg industry? What about this other standard farming practice where baby pigs get their testicles ripped off? If you're a man reading this, just imagine someone tearing off your balls.
Around 60 billion animals are killed yearly for our pleasure and society seems to think that it’s okay. Not only killed, but go through excruciating torture, similar to a human holocaust in order to end up as a hamburger or a sausage roll which is usually scoffed down within minutes. Have you ever taken a moment to think, was this animal I’m eating frightened to be loaded onto the truck of death as they smelt blood? How did they feel while being put in tiny cages for a whole year without once being able to turn around? What did that mother endure when her baby was torn from her within minutes of birth as she cried out for him for days? We never give these things a thought because we are taught not to. But what’s most ironic is when a boy hits his dog or hamster on the head then that is deemed an horrendous crime. The animal welfare and police get involved and may even arrest the boy. A Facebook page is opened up condemning the boy’s actions and accusing him of being a sociopath. When in fact these same people are supporting the brutalising of other sentient beings with their dollars. Even last year’s horrific Yulin festival in China highlighted our society’s cognitive dissonance. Crying “murder!” for approximately ten thousand dogs, perhaps eating a hotdog as they were signing the ‘STOP THE YULIN FESTIVAL’ petition. Totally unaware how they are contributing to the torture of billions of animals killed per year. That is what we call speciesism, no different to racism. It’s when we selectively choose to love one species above another. We selectively choose to value one life and ignore the suffering of another we deem unworthy.
I believe that most people are kind, yet have been programmed by society not to be to certain animals. These animals are slaves to be used, exploited and abused. They are a commodity, a burger, chicken wings, leather handbag, and a fur jacket. We care more about not damaging material things like cars and phones than we do about a breathing, feeling being.
Let me ask you this, should we despise slave owners who were socially conditioned to believe black slaves didn't matter? To be used, abused and exploited. Or what about people who were brought up racist? Is it our right to condemn them? How about people in Asia who eat dogs? Should we label their culture as barbaric while we eat a cow who is just as sentient?
If I lived in the days of slavery and wrote a similar article about slaves in the newspaper, most of society would deem me crazy. They would say things like, “I don’t know how you do it? I could never live without my slave”, "That's the way it's always been." “You are so self-righteous! it’s my personal choice”, "Who is going to build our cities, clean our homes and look after our children?”, “Slaves have been put here for us to use.” I’m sure scenarios like these did happen when the minority of slave abolitionists fought so hard to abolish an outdated, legal and cruel practice.
Why are humans so deeply conditioned that they rightfully believe that these sentient beings willingly offer their lives to them? That they are property to be used in anyway. We put birds in cages, because we like the look of them. Force giraffes into animal prisons, because we like visiting zoos. Make elephants perform unnatural acts, because we like to be entertained at circuses. We have no problem blinding dogs, because we like wearing makeup. Rip off a fox’s skin, because we like fancy jackets. We slaughter billions of animals, because we live in a world lead by gluttony and taste. The whole time these animals are crying out in agony. Pleading with us to stop through their screams. Yet all we do is take, take, take, hurt and destroy. Mankind believes that he is so special, but are you aware that if humans became extinct all life on earth will thrive and flourish. However if all insects disappeared within fifty years all life on earth would end. And mankind walks around like they are the kings of the world.
Believe it or not, I was once very anti-vegan. I had this preachy vegan friend named Eddie, who at the time annoyed the shit out of me and didn’t stop talking about how meat is murder, etc.. But I was so deeply conditioned into my ways it took me a very long time to open up my mind. I lost every debate with him and said the typically illogical stuff like most omnis now say to me “I don’t care, cows are just dumb and here for us to eat.” “Why the hell are you not fighting for human rights?” “But cavemen!” “Dude, what about protein?” “It’s my personal choice.” Then slowly as I lost each argument I began to realise how wrong I was and that there is no such thing as personal choice when it involved the life of another. I was so wrong about every misconception I had ever been taught, especially the one about how protein, calcium and iron can only be found in animal foods. Plants have all the nutrients the human body needs, minus the saturated fat, antibiotics and hormones.
Another misconception that many argue is “But we are natural carnivores.” If so then why don’t you go out to the nearest farm, pounce on an animal of your choice. With your bare hands and no tools rip it apart with your teeth. Now, enjoy eating it raw devouring every piece of intestines, arteries, testicles, anus and brains. Furthermore to support my argument, omnivores have sharp claws and teeth to kill and tear into their meat. A bear? Now that’s an omnivore. An omnivore’s intestinal tract is very short and only 3 times their body length which allows decaying meat to be digested quickly. Humans, similar to herbivores have similar flat, rear molar teeth useful for grinding and just like these non-meat eating animals they also have intestinal tracts so long that they are about 10 to 12 times their body length which makes meat difficult to digest. More importantly, you may notice that many studies have proved that people who consume high amounts of meat have a higher risk of cancer, diabetes, cholesterol, heart disease and 2500 people in the USA alone are dropping dead per day because of meat related illnesses. (Heart disease being the biggest killer) Learn more here:http://badassu.net/100-scientific-reasons-to-not-eat-meat/
Meat production is also killing our environment and the biggest contributor to global warming. Eating one burger impacts our environment just as much as having two months’ worth of showers. A meat patty releases as much greenhouse gas as driving for ten miles. There's no way someone can claim to be an environmentalist and eat meat. To learn more here: http://www.cowspiracy.com/facts
In the end I don't blame the individual who is conditioned into a cruel society, but fault the society which conditions them to believe it’s okay to be a speciesist from the day they are born. I am quite optimistic for the future of animal liberation and you may ask why. In history we have always had the oppressors, the oppressed and the compassionate minority who were fighting for these victims’ rights. This minority were mostly deemed fanatical in society’s views. They were mocked, laughed at and even called terrorists. But if it wasn’t for a few activists spreading awareness and planting the seeds of injustice, then perhaps today the slaves would have never been freed, black people still segregated on buses, and the majority of women oppressed. The difference between a human animal and a non-human animal is vocal expression as well as basic human rights, and it is our mere duty to be their voice. So the next time you condemn a hunter or a dog eater ask yourself, “How am I better?” As well, please consider how it’s not patriotic to celebrate over a tortured dead body. Finally, ask yourself this simple question, “Which side of history do I want to be on?”