I always find it a bit odd, how people seem to be able to have double standards, seemingly without even knowing it.
Looking over my face book news feed, I am drowned by people posting “save the dolphins, don’t kill the elephants, stop horse slaughter…” And I agree, absolutely. What is really getting to me about those kinds of posts is when I know the person posting them happily eats meat every day.
So, if anyone could answer me a few questions, please, a few things I just can’t wrap my mind around. Why is it worse to club a seal in the face, than it is to hang a chicken upside down by its legs, and chop off its head with a machine?
Because the seal looks so darn cute and a chicken is just an ugly bird? Because the seal looks much more cuddly with its huge dark eyes?
Okay, just an example, and please don’t misunderstand me, I absolutely think it’s wrong to be killing seals. And dolphins. And Elephants. And rhinos. And cows, and pigs and chickens, yes. They are every bit as intelligent, they feel pain every bit as much, and they are just as terrified as they enter the slaughter house, as any other animal is.
No I don’t eat meat. I haven’t since I was 6 years old, when I made that choice much to my mom’s dismay. (And the social workers who thought I was too skinny and would absolutely never grow up if I wasn’t forced to eat meat again….)
Thing is, even as a child, I despised the idea of eating another fellow being. Maybe I am just strange, maybe I am the kind of person that tend to over-empathize, maybe I am just too soft hearted, or maybe… I just feel the pain of those around me, very acutely, for some odd reason. I have always felt a little off, that way, like I understood animals in a way most people don’t…
And now I sound like a complete lunatic.
Being a vegetarian was never a choice for me. This is who I am. From the bottom of my soul, this is everything I am, explained in the simplest of ways.
It has caused a lot of friction in my family, my grandparents hated how I wouldn’t eat anything for Christmas, and even now, they don’t feel like inviting me over (okay because my boyfriend has got long hair- the horror-but also) because they find it insulting that I won’t eat their food. “What an odd child, eating potatoes on Christmas eve.” Suggesting to them, or even to my mom, or any other part of my family really, that there are a lot of things you can eat that doesn’t include meat, is impossible. Then I am just being cheeky.
What they don’t seem to get is how deeply this affects me.
Now, I am not the kind of vegetarian who ruins dinner for everyone else. I can sit by a table and watch people eat meat without comment, I never try to make anyone feel bad about it. Not unless they push me. (When I keep quiet about something, those who know me tend to understand to leave the subject or I will blow up at some point. My granddad never learned….)
I have lots of friends, all of who eats meat and I accept that. You can’t change the world. I just don’t get how those same friends can feel so horrified that cats and dogs are eaten in China for instance. You think your own dog is intelligent? Try working with a pig… really. There isn’t much difference.
Not to mention how we treat our farm animals in Denmark. Sure, looking at pictures of cats and dogs in cages, is heartbreaking. One must wonder, have any of you ever been to a farm? Do you know how cows and pigs are treated? How they are held in small cages, forced to sleep in their own excrement’s, some of them covered with untreated sores, pumped full of antibiotics on a daily basis… what is the difference? I really can’t tell?
It’s always so easy to rant and rave at the world, and to shake your head at those crazy Chinese who eats dogs… but are you any different?
I am not saying that we should stop eating meat worldwide, just to please me. I would love it if farm animals were treated with compassion, dignity, empathy and love, not like some sort of vegetable being grown and chopped down in due time.
I just don’t get the double standards in most people…
My boyfriend is a vegetarian too. I couldn’t be with him if he wasn’t. I never told him that. He just stopped eating meat when he met me and I am so grateful for that. Once again, this is something so fundamental inside of me, I couldn’t live with someone day in and day out, who didn’t understand that.
So, what am I missing here? Tell me, what is the difference between a dolphin and a trout, between a dog and a pig, or a cow and a horse? How is it that some lives seem to be worth more than others, in the minds of the human race?