The Great Denial
It’s interesting that, as children, most of us grew up loving animals. As adults, many of us still do. WE love our pets and cherish them sometimes above other humans!
But here lies the great disconnect…
We eat animals!
So, what is the difference between a Pig and a Dog? Why do we distinguish the difference between a Pig and a Dog when it comes to which one to eat?
Yes, I’m probably offending some Dog lovers out there. But in all fairness to the Pig, it got the bad deal in this world. And it’s been proven that Pigs are just as smart if not SMARTER than a dog!
Look at the video below, if you don’t believe me….
Pigs are wonderful, beautiful creatures. How was it that we came to slaughter them for ham, bacon and pork chops?
The Big Turning Point
I have a story to tell…
Once, when I was visiting the Philippines and staying at my wife’s home in the Province, the locals there wanted me to do “the honors” by slaughtering the Pig to be used for the upcoming celebration. For them, I was the guest from another country and their idea of respecting this notion was to have me slaughter the Pig for the feast!
Naturally, I was hesitant at first. For one, I’d never killed a Pig before. And two, the thought of slitting another living being’s throat to me, was hideous!
I got to the point where I was holding the machete. And I even began drawing the blade across the poor Pig’s throat and it left a long scratch mark but it didn’t draw blood.
I couldn’t do it!
I simply could not do it!
So, I graciously apologized and told the men that I couldn’t go through with it.
Back at the house, sitting in my bedroom where I was staying, I heard the squeals and cries of the Pig in the distance as the men finished the job and slaughtered the Pig.
I was mortified! I didn’t cry, but I was very depressed and disturbed after that.
And, it made me do some serious soul searching as to why humans have to slaughter another sentient being for food.
In Defense of All Sentient Beings
A sentient being is different from a plant or other lower forms of life.
A sentient being has a face, it has an advanced brain with an extensive nervous system. It’s consciousness is such that it can perceive pain and suffering, it can experience joy and happiness. Sentient beings can have emotions. And though they may not speak our language, it’s obvious that sentient beings can communicate to us in other ways (however limited), just as dogs and cats can.
The Meat Industry and the Great Disconnect
The Meat Industry has expanded greatly since the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution. But humans have been eating animals for thousands of years. But, the big difference is that the Meat Industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that is dependent on how much animal meats you will purchase and consume each year. They are powerful, and they take advantage of mass media marketing via television and other outlets to spread their message that we somehow need to eat meat, and the more meat the better.
Milk does a body good. Remember that slogan?
Animal products are big business, and the Meat Industry is clever in sending subliminal messages that we need to consume a lot of animal products every day. And our so-called societal norms are telling us to consume eggs, bacon, sausage for breakfast… a chicken, turkey or cheeseburger for lunch… and a steak or some other meat dish for dinner.
But the big disconnect is when we are unaware of the harsh, brutal reality in which these animals exist. Maybe we are unaware of their horrific living conditions, or maybe we know and are turning a blind eye, for which that is even worse if you already know and continue eating animals, and are perpetuating this whole cycle of greed and profiteering at the expense and suffering of these animals.
When I was first diagnosed with high blood pressure and high cholesterol (back when I was an omnivore), I was told by my doctor to follow a strict, healthy diet that only allowed animal foods once or twice a week! And, specifically, this was either turkey breast or fish.
It’s obvious that many Americans are simply consuming too much animal products each day. And it’s at parties, picnics and special get-togethers that people are going to consume the most hotdogs, hamburgers, fried chicken and steaks.
Incidentally, heart disease is still the leading cause of death in the United States, a country where there is an abundance of animal meats found in every supermarket!
One has to wonder whether this is too much. But I can tell you now, based on my own experience, that it is.
But, once you start thinking that, then there’s that thought that’s been drilled into our brains since we were children; that we need to eat enough animal products to get enough protein!
This is a myth. Humans can get all the protein and amino acids they need from plant food! The animals we eat seem to get all the protein they can eat from grains and grass!
Thus, we are getting second-hand nutrients and protein through the Cow or the Chicken or the Pig, and we had to have fed tons of these grains and grass for the life of that animal, only to slaughter it and get that protein and nutrients second-hand, at a great cost of resources.
The latest research I’ve heard, in light of the severe drought situation in California, is that 1 lb. of beef requires the equivalent of 6 months worth of showers. Now that’s a lot of water, and although I do question whether this fact is accurate or not, it does seem about right the more I think about it. A Cow needs a LOT OF WATER during it’s lifetime. So there isn’t much of a cost savings in that area, especially if raising cattle in California.
If we are eating meat just for the taste, being that we can get all our protein and nutrients from the plant kingdom, then that truly is a great waste of resources just to satisfy our selfish taste buds, while billions of animals are being slaughtered every year for this.
Developing Compassion for ALL LIVING SENTIENT BEINGS is (what I believe) the next step in our evolution as human beings. Since we are the smartest and most capable of sentient beings, we have a greater responsibility to lesser sentient beings and the planet. And in the end, this will come back to us two-fold in a very positive way if we do the right thing, or in a very negative way if we continue to destroy and pillage the planets resources.
“With great power comes great responsibility”.