As the title says, what is the difference?
This is a question I ask often to non vegans. I am sure most vegans do too. It is basically, what is the difference between pet animals and food animals? I have still yet to get an answer which really answers it.
Is it merely culture? The fact we are brought up to pet a dog and eat a pig? Is it the legalities of eating pets? (I’m guessing the RSPCA would get involved if you killed and ate a dog; if not to prosecute then to offer you a manual on how to kill it and then charge you to put their logo on). Do we see something in a dog or cat that we don’t in other animals? What about rabbits? You could have two stores in town side by side both selling rabbits. One to eat and one to pet. A butchers and a pet shop.
(Pet rabbit Versus Food Rabbit)
Is it because we believe pigs and cows to be dumber than cats and dogs? Which is false as pigs are in the top 5 smartest animals.
(OH. MY. GOODNESS!!! How freaking cute!? How is this Pig any different to a dog?)
We have been brought up, by in large, to see certain species as not worthy of life, or only worthy of it to fulfill our needs. It may be a harsh way at looking at it, but when you get down to the nitty gritty, that’s what it is. We petition other cultures not to eat animals we see as deserving of life; yet will sit and eat the bodies of other animals every day.
If we take a look at some countries around the world, or cultures. There are some who will not eat cows; as to them, cows are sacred. They may look to us and think we are barbaric to kill and eat a cow. Imagine if tomorrow they started petitions to stop the “UK BBQ season” festivals. We look at the Yulin Festival and think they are barbaric. Eating dogs and cats. Culture seems to be such a strong overriding factor, and I get it. I do. I ate meat for 30 years and made jokes. I would be disgusted at those eating dogs and cats, discussing it while eating bacon and eggs without seeing the hypocrisy. So I do understand how culture plays a part. Growing up we look to our family, our friends. We don’t think there is anything wrong with eating animals because we always have. But, if it is possible for a meat eater to be totally impartial (it is a difficult thing with this subject because you either do or don’t eat animal products, although I would argue that a vegan is more impartial as 99% would have been a meat eater at some point so can see both sides, some just forget that) and think about what meat is. Meat is the muscle and body parts of a once living breathing animal. An animal who would have had a mum or a baby, an animal who would’ve wanted to live and play and grow old (for those of you who argue how can we know what they want, I would sooner go with the belief they want to live and be wrong, rather than assume they want to die and be wrong) who then is either gassed, shot, stabbed and cut up. As kids, if we were told the true horrors of where our food comes from, if we understood it and could see it, I am sure that the majority of us would never want to eat meat again.
One of the troubling things though, I think. Is that people who wish to not contribute to the death of other beings get mocked. We don’t mock those who don’t want to rape, we don’t mock those who don’t want to go kill….but people who want to stop the needless deaths of billions of animals a year? Yeah mock those assholes! It is crazy.
Anyway, if you have any thoughts or comments about the subject or indeed an answer as to why we eat one and not the other which satisfies you, please let me know.