Put your Empathy where your Mouth Is
Suddenly, drastically, I’ve become a ‘meat shunner’.
A ‘meat lover’ all of my life, I’ve now become an ‘animal lover’.
It literally happened overnight after watching Earthlings, a one hour and a bit documentary about the cruel, callous and disrespectful way humans treat animals for food, clothing, entertainment, experimentation (research) and sports.
This five-year old film touched me emotionally and intellectually.
The result: I can never look at fried chicken; roast lamb, beef or pork; a whopper burger, beef steak and other meat and seafood with hungry eyes ever again.
I resolved to change my eating habits and attempt to become a vegetarian, if not a vegan, after only 20 minutes into the film.
Aside from the horrific images, there were three things from the film that stood out for me. Mind you, these are not secret information or new revelations. We all know these but we haven’t taken this knowledge into our heart and mind:
1. Animals are creatures who have a right to co-exist with us on Earth, free from deprivation, torment, maltreatment, pain and suffering.
2. Animals are beings who ‘live, breathe, eat, play, show emotion, experience pain, hunger, thirst’ like humans.
3. Animals are pitifully, horrendously and mindlessly maltreated and killed long before they arrive at our table, on our plate and into our mouth.
Some claim Earthlings is just a propaganda tool. I think those who say this are missing the point. It’s clear that killing animals for food or for other uses, whether painlessly or otherwise; or killing or maltreating animals for fun or in the name of research is seriously barbaric, inhumane and primitive.
So out of my belated respect, empathy and compassion for my fellow ‘earthlings’, I’ve started eliminating all meat and meat products in my diet.
There are those who say the animal carnivores are more cruel toward other animals. Perhaps the animal carnivores have no choice but to kill their fellow animals as a source of food for survival. Humans, however, do have a choice and can make one.
What can you do?
The next time you take a bite of that suckling roast or barbequed meat, spare a thought at what the animal may have endured before reaching your plate as described in ‘Earthlings’:
• “branded on the face with red hot irons [cows]
• dehorned with pliers and tail docked [cows]
• ears clipped, teeth cut, castrated – without pain killers or anesthetics [piglets]
• de-beaked and hoisted upside down and throats slit to bleed [chickens]
• electrocuted [food and circus animals]
• burnt [pigs]
• tied at the neck and kept restricted to keep muscles from developing [calves]
• shackled alive, suspended on a bleed wheel where their throats are slit and immersed in scalding tanks to remove their bristle, with many still struggling as they are dunked upside down where they are submerged and drowned [pigs]
• skinned alive for furs and all leather goods
• harpooned [whales].”
And for dolphins unlucky enough to get caught in the waters of Japan? Some are cut in half while still alive!
Excluding the whales and dolphins, these are factory farm animals. What do you think happen to strays or once-loved pets which are impounded? Some are packed very tightly in gas chambers and gassed as this method is less expensive than the quick and lethal but more humane method of injection.
For the love of animals, face the inconvenient truth: partaking a piece of animal flesh—albeit in sanitised, spiced, cooked, packaged or beautifully-presented form— is tantamount to being complicit in their continued deprivation, suffering, abuse and painful death by human hands.
I no longer want to take part, even indirectly, in this sadistic and disrespectful treatment of animals.
I now refuse to be a part of the meat industry’s continued existence. [Watch Earthlings, Sam!]
And this without fully knowing yet the meat industry’s role in climate change and on the damage to our environment, water and air.
I feel genuine pity to those whose livelihood involve killing or butchering animals. Get out of that hellhole called abattoirs or slaughterhouses. Surely, there is a better way to make a living.
We are thinking, compassionate and loving human beings. We have the power to spare the animals their lives. Let them die a natural death and not directly or indirectly through our hands.
In human hands, animals suffer in millions, daily, all over the planet. It’s time to stop creating hell on earth for animals.
Open your eyes, heart and mind.
It’s time to decide and choose: either you’re FOR the animals’ rights or AGAINST them.
As far as the animals are concerned, there is NO in between.
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