07 October, 2007

I can't worry about animals when so many people are suffering.

Vegans here this a lot. Usually from some one very well intentioned, and supportive, but mislead none the less.

There is no reason that animal suffering and human suffering have to be separate. There is no reason that you cannot work towards ending both. In fact, if you look at the parallels between animal and human slavery, it doesn't make sense to separate the two.

I don't know how many times I have heard "It's just cow/chicken/pig, it doesn't really know any different". Now try a little experiment. Insert a race, gender or sexual orientation for the animal. With in the last 100 years (and it is probably still going on today) I am certain people said "It's just a black. They don't know any thing different than being a slave". "It's just a Jew...", "It's just a fag...", "It's just a woman...". The list could go on and on. Hopefully, these last few statements have made you cringe. Our goal is the first one ("It's just cow/chicken/pig, it doesn't really know any different".) will too.

Historically, it hasn't been long since people were legally bought and sold as slaves. And don't kid yourself, illegal slavery is alive and well. And it's not just in "some other country". There is still a market here in the US. There are some great websites (do a Google search) that will help you learn about total abolition. Slavery is wrong. It doesn't matter if it is a black person, white person, cow, pig, chicken, or turkey. It's wrong to use sentient beings for our personal gain.

The other point that bears mention, is that working in a slaughter house is not an easy job, not by a long shot. In general, it's something most Americans do not want to think about. They don't want to think that their steak used to be a cow, and they don't want to think about the worker that has to murder that animal. I can't even begin to fathom what it would be like to take an untold number of lives daily. Also, violence breeds more violence. I am sure every one has heard the statistic that a higher percentage of mass murderers abused animals as children. Or that animal abuse leads to violent crime. What type of violent habits does murdering animals for your livelihood lead to? Plus, no one should have to make their living as a murderer.

Lastly, many of the workers in slaughterhouses are injured by equipment or repetitive motion and are often illegal immigrants (I hate that word, but I don't know what else to use). This means that more often than not, they do not file workers compensation claims or receive treatment. Drug abuse is prevalent (mostly uppers) because of the long hours workers put in.

It goes with out saying that when you go vegan, you aren't just helping animals, you are helping people too. The two issues aren't separate.

So how about you go vegan?


  1. Great post! It's really hard to explain this to people sometimes because they JUST don't get it!

  2. Good post, but I think a lot of omnis still won't 'get it' because their underlying assumption is that animals deserve less than humans.

    They might even agree that there are relationships between various forms of violence, but deep down, they don't think saving an animal life is as valuable as saving a human life. Most of them wouldn't even consider any animal (their own pet) or any large number of animals (an entire species) equal to a single human life. Sad, but that's where they are mentally.

  3. Gandhi once said you can tell the greatness of a nation by how they treat their animals.

    If we don't treat the weakest, most vulnerable among us--animals--with respect, what does that say about us?

    I wonder if a person truly can be able to show and feel compassion towards a human if they think they can't "worry" about animals. After all, it is easy to relate to another human, but it's not so easy to relate to an animal such as a bee.