Editorial: I Love Animals
Animals can be many things, and over the years we have domesticated animals to such an extent that we consider them to be our friends and companions. Some people see their animal cohorts as their equals, and a lot of people attribute various personality traits to their pets which defy the simplicity of their animalistic nature.
Personally, I like animals because they are delicious.
There’s a lot of debate within the spiritual community as to whether or not it’s alright to eat meat; animals are, after all, just another expression of ‘source’, and have just as much right to exist as the rest of us. Organised, mainstream religions may even have their own rules regarding which animals it’s alright to eat, and some (like Buddhism) ban their members from eating meat in any form.
Why? Well, it’s pretty self explanatory really: People are animals, and if one eats flesh it’s sort of like you’re eating one of our peers. It’s another resident of Earth you’re chomping down on, not just a boneless chicken wing served in a bucket- and if you believe in such ideas there’s every chance that the chicken that wing came from was a reincarnation of your own mother. Well, that’s why the Buddhists don’t eat meat anyway.
But Threejumps! Loads of animals eat meat, why should they get to do it and not us? Well, once again the reason behind that is self-explanatory. Humans may be animals, but we’re complex animals capable of cogitation and experimentation, and we transcended our actual physicalneed to eat meat long ago. If you don’t have to kill something to survive, then surely you shouldn’t do it- that just makes sense, right?
So why do I still eat meat?
Surely by my own ethical standards and observations I’m a hypocrite for indulging in the ingestion of slowly decomposing, charred animal products? Well, perhaps- but there’s a difference between eating meat and eating the kind of garbage most people consider to be food, which happens to have once been an animal. The trouble with the fast-food industry is that it removes any semblance of dignity that the creatures it reconstitutes once had. So much effort goes into tricking us into believing that what we’re eating is delicious that we forget that it was once alive, and therein lies the problem.
If one is to eat meat and still claim to be an ethically sound being then one has to be prepared to face up to the fact that an animal has died to provide them nourishment. Part of that comes from the acceptance of death as a natural part of life on Earth, but part of it comes from defining what one is willing to do in order to gain food.
There’s a great line in Crocodile Dundee (the Paul Hogan masterwork) which sums up the belief of the Aboriginal people of Australia: “You don’t kill something unless you’re going to eat it.”
Well, that makes sense, right? Killing something for the express purpose of eating it is fine, so long as you don’t kill for pleasure, or indeed for sport- and the inedible parts of said animals can be put to use as well. Hides, furs and bones make excellent materials for use around the world even today; and the vast majority of this material comes from the meat industry. Admittedly we can replicate their effects just as easily now with petrochemicals, but that’s equally awful in itself, and if something’s dead anyway it’s a waste to simply discard the bits you’re not going to eat.
I’m not really sure why I wrote this editorial- perhaps it’s the fact that I’ve not eaten properly in about a week due to being poor (the last 48 hours have been powdered mash, long-life soup and nothing else) and my vegetarian friend has been harping on at me about my attitudes towards meat. If they don’t want to eat meat then fine- they’re morally awesome, but that doesn’t mean that I’m morally bankrupt simply because I can justify my diet of cow faces and pigs’ ass.
I mean beef and bacon are awesome, right?
TL;DR- if you can’t kill to eat then don’t eat meat. Revere your prey, and respect their sacrifice as their life now sustains you.
P.S. Don’t turn your nose up at meat that’s “left over”, that just makes you wasteful. If meat is going to spoil then you may as well eat it no matter what- it’s better than wasting it and means that dear old Porky didn’t die in vain. Oh, and veganism is pointless. Just saying.