I’ve often found it interesting how many of my friends are fierce animal lovers — but only cute animals, the kind you don’t eat. They’ll protest when someone who mistreats dogs isn’t imprisoned, and they’ll get upset about the treatment of whales and dolphins, but they also talk about how much they love bacon.
I’ve had them explain to me that it’s two different things, because some animals are raised solely for slaughter. I am not certain why that matters. If dogs were raised solely for slaughter, then it would be fine to mistreat them, too? (Many of these same people also scream when they hear about other cultures that eat dogs.)
Some try to do the right thing, by only buying meat from animals that are “free range” meaning that the animals led torture-free lives (well, until they were killed). Of course, “free range” is one of those phrases like “all natural” — there is no official government agency deciding who can use the term, and there have been plenty of examples of farms claiming their animals are free-range when they’re really only slightly less crowded than the factory farms where the animals can’t even turn around in their pens.
As I posted previously, I am a pescatarian, which means I eat fish — so you can call me a hypocrite too if you want to. The fish I eat are pretty low on the evolutionary ladder and yes, although they do feel pain, they are usually not raised in inhumane conditions, either. So I’m not 100% consistent; at least I am trying to practice what I preach.
I’m really not going anywhere profound with this. I have no great final comment that sums up everything with wit and insight. I’m just hoping some of my friends realize that to those of us who don’t eat farm animals, you seem, well, inconsistent. Discriminating against animals based on whether you eat them or not doesn’t seem right to me.