Friday, May 16, 2014

Animal lover

Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m an animal lover,” while enthusiastically biting into their hamburger, pork chop or chicken drumstick? 

I have. Many times. Too many times to count, actually. And these people not only included acquaintances, friends, and colleagues, but family members too. Close family members, like my brother, my mother and my father.

Let’s be clear. When people say they love animals, more often than not, what they really mean is that they love pets. Sometimes that love can be extended to wildlife (although many wildlife lovers show their love by hunting them), or sea life (who doesn’t like Flipper?) or even insects, like bees. But, rarely, would this sentiment ever be extended to farm animals.

Why do you think that is?

While there is still a real issue with pet abuse and neglect and homelessness, it is quite clear that most people relate readily to animals who have been domesticated to live with us in our homes and become a member of our family. Unfortunately, farm animals, who are domesticated, have never held that distinction in most people’s minds.

Horses are a clear exception. Yet they have traditionally never been farmed for their meat. 

So why are farm animals exempt from any regard for humane, anti-cruelty treatment?

After all, they are sentient. They have feelings. They have emotions. They like to play, they fight, they nap, they show affection, respond to kindness, run from abuse, and have sensitive natures that guide them to avoid harm and seek comfort. 

Yet, billions of these farm animals are slaughtered every year to feed the 7 billion people (and growing) on this earth. Without a thought as to their plight. They are factory farmed on an assembly process as if they were non-sentient beings, things, like automobiles, furniture, appliances or any other commodity. These sentient creatures are “farmed” by being bred by us simply to be slaughtered within a few weeks or months after their artificially growth periods. In the process of their short life, they are maimed, prodded, cut into, severed, drowned, burned alive and thrown away like trash if they falter or even happen to be born the wrong sex (chicks).

No matter what religion or spirituality or philosophy one may hold, I cannot imagine that anyone could believe that animals were put on this planet solely for us to eat and exploit. We can never be truly compassionate unless we consider the plight of all animals in this world, not just the ones we have been conditioned to care about. Be a black sheep and speak up for the animals….all animals.