By Brynn McCabe
When we think of our favorite animals, most of us think dogs, cats, or maybe even wild animals like lions or dolphins.
But when we think of what’s for dinner, we think of cows, pigs, and chickens.
Why is it ok that a cow or a pig has to sacrifice it’s life for your burger, while a dog deserves to lie in your cozy bed at night?
What criminalizes the killing of one animal, but normalizes the killing of another? Who are we to determine which lives are worth more than others?
This bias comes from how we grew up and what we are conditioned to. But that doesn’t make it okay.
“It differs country to country,” an anonymous student said. “Which honestly suggests to me that the difference is more in our own beliefs than in any actual scientific difference. Americans do not eat dogs, but some cultures do. In India, cows are sacred and are not eaten. It’s all sociology.”
People in different countries experience a different bias, and eat different animals.
But to people like Grandview librarian Shoshannah Turgel, who was prepared with her vegan lunch and reusable coffee cup, using any animal for human consumption is utterly unacceptable.
She has been vegetarian since 1st grade, and went vegan during college.
“When I first moved [to China] 15 years ago, you would see dogs on the menu,” said Turgel. “There’s [been] an international backlash when people see that, [so] they do [it] less and less, but they certainly still serve it.”
However, as a vegan, it wasn’t more offensive than eating a pig or cow, because Turgel realized that eating dogs wasn’t any different.
“People would [say] ‘Oh my god we can’t go to that restaurant because there’s a dog on the menu!’” said Turgel, “But there are cows on the menu, and chicken and all these other things that are equally unappealing to me.”
All animals deserve to live, despite how we normalize the purpose of them.
Even if the purpose is food, they don’t deserve to be killed by the billions every year
25 million animals are killed a day for food in the U.S. alone. Through a year, this will include 39 million cows, billions of chickens, pigs, and even goats.
Just because most of us were raised in a meat-eating culture doesn’t excuse the loss of all of these innocent lives especially when considering the cruel conditions they are put through.
Outside of slaughter houses, you can hear the screams of pigs as they await death in their pens.
Baby chicks are sent through a grinder after they’re born in the egg industry--simply because they won’t be as profitable.
And cows, who are often forcefully impregnated to stimulate the production of milk in the dairy industry, spend their last moments in a small pen, stunned with a gun to desensitize them from pain--disregarding that the gun often misses.
“I saw a video of a cow that was slaughtered while it was giving birth,” said Jason Kosanovich, Grandview Geography teacher and recently-converted vegetarian, “There’s no concern for the animal or their well-being… [the mother] cow had to know she was bringing a calf into this world and was not going to be with it.”
Cows, chicken and pigs want to live just as much as any dog. They want to be with their babies just as much as any mother after giving birth.
When Mrs. Leone, a grandview teacher, was 20, she went vegetarian.
“ I was following a farmer’s truck, and these poor chickens were just stacked on top of eachother,” said Leone, “it was so hot, and on the edges some of their wings were hanging out and flapping in the air going down the highway.”
“I was just horrified.”
Your taste buds are nowhere near more valuable than the lives of these animals.
Animals are not products made for humans, they are living beings, just like dogs or cats.
If someone were to defend killing dogs because of taste, most people would be disgusted. It’s the same concept. It’s an animal that wants to live, an animal that deserves to live despite its mental capabilities or cuteness.
Animal agriculture companies like Tyson and Hormel are killing these animals for your consumption. And they’re only in it for the money. When their goods are no longer being bought, they will no longer be produced. And the animals, living, breathing, feeling beings, will get what they deserve.
To live. To be with their families. To be respected.
We need to stop demanding this torture. These animals want to live, they deserve to live, and there are countless other means of obtaining the nutrients we need.
To do this, we need to stop eating meat. Stop drinking milk. Stop paying for these animals to be murdered.
“They won’t slaughter a cow they won’t sell,” said Kosanovich.
Featured Image courtesy of google