Speciesism Must Stop Now
Humanity doesn’t depend on animal meat to survive, so why are innocent creatures suffering?
By Rae-Kwon Andrews, Saint Leo University
Have you ever asked yourself why you eat certain animals, but claim to love the ones you keep as pets?
Most humans don’t or are unable to come to terms with that question, yet have little concern about why. People are raised consuming animal products from birth. Before children learn whether a cow or a chicken has feelings or the capacity to think, they have already been fed baby formula with cow’s milk, though the milk’s intended purpose is for a calf, not a human. As children enter grade school, they gain common knowledge of animal names painted through friendly pictures. Kids often have coloring books that glorify animals, yet the condition that is speciesism is not easily broken. In other words, many individuals are unable to connect the turkey they color for Thanksgiving, and the one they proceed to eat later for a feast.
Due to the human ego and the failure to express compassion for all beings, people aren’t thoroughly educated on their food choices, nor on how their food is prepared. Ask yourself why society is never shown pictures or videos of slaughterhouses in grade school. By the time someone sees this kind of footage, it is usually coming from a vegan, a lifestyle choice that unfortunately has an underserved, bad reputation.
The truth of the matter is that humans in present day (the only time period that matters) do not need animals for survival. Humans are not obligate carnivores, like cats, for example. People are able to survive and thrive on a plant- and fruit-based diet, a diet that has no cholesterol in it, by the way.
So, why are billions, repeat, billions of animals slaughtered each year for consumption when people are able to survive without killing sentient beings? The typical human ego will propose arguments such as “We’re the top of the food chain,” or “It’s the circle of life.”
Not only is the food chain something humans constructed and supposedly put themselves atop, but it doesn’t necessarily apply to people. Humans are not in the wild fending for themselves. If you take a look around and notice all the infrastructure around you, that’s not wilderness. People are secluded from the “wild.”
If you take a look at your hands and notice how they aren’t claws, it’s clear that eating other animals isn’t folks’ necessary form of consumption. The circle of life occurs when a lion attacks a gazelle in the wild, not when farm animals are bred and slaughtered. No true predator is mass producing their prey.
Take a look at the “food chain,” and see which animals are also using slaughterhouses. Humans have painted a picture of being the greatest beings on the planet, when in reality, people have caused the most damage and created unnecessary problems.
Animals have been suffering since the beginning of time, and people have always exploited them, whether by using horses for transportation, zoo animals for entertainment and, of course, by eating them. Through every tragedy that humans have endured, animals are still being exploited before, during and after those experiences.
When the Twin Towers dropped, animals were being eating all over the country. People attended zoos, where animals are slaves and coerced into performances that aren’t natural to them. Humans don’t have any good answers for why things are done this way, outside of “Oh, it’s tradition” and “But I like how it tastes.”
It is astounding how the majority of society is ignorant as it embraces animal consumption and exploitation. Maybe it’s not so astounding when you consider the fact that humans can’t get along with each other, hence concepts like racism, homophobia and xenophobia. Why is it so hard for the majority to acknowledge that an animal’s purpose is not to be consumed and exploited? Is no one sick of these “isms” and phobias being created? Why are humans still lacking compassion? Why are national leaders allowing such conditioning to occur?
People have created reality as they know it, but that doesn’t mean it’s ethical. Humans aren’t doing animals a favor through artificial insemination, exploitation, slaughter and consumption. It’s no different if you replace that animal with another animal, such as a human.
The gap the human race has created for itself is rather disgusting. Societies must take a hard look at themselves and realize that they are fucking up badly. Not only is killing something for food or for sport unethical, but these actions are also causing harm to nature and earth.
Individuals aren’t educated on the resources that animal agriculture takes and uses, nor on the anatomy and psychology of animals. Folks are hugely disconnected and in deep cognitive dissonance in regard to their levels of sentience. They see headlines, such as the death of Harambe, and create hashtags and memes as if they truly care about animals. Harambe was no different from the chicken or cow on your plate, which, by the way is not healthy for you at all. It is saddening for vegans to see such unconcerned beings going through the motions in an uncompassionate world.
Life doesn’t have to be this way. Humans do not have to mistreat animals any longer. Individuals do not have to carry on this façade of being the greatest beings because if that was so, people would be doing things different. Perhaps they wouldn’t be fighting against others who look or worship differently, or electing greedy politicians and continuing to play the billionaire game of capitalism.
The way folks treat other beings, who have more similarities to themselves than differences, says a lot about humanity’s lack of growth. Countless centuries have passed, and humans still can’t treat each other with respect. They still believe that they must kill innocent beings to survive. Why do so many humans want to have something in common with cavemen?