Death for Dinner

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.”

But bacon!

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 

17 comments

    • Brynn 19 December, 2018 at 11:24 Reply

      I wasn’t arguing that animals are as important as humans, just that cows, pigs, and other animals used for food are as important as animals like dogs or cats.

      • William 11 January, 2019 at 11:33 Reply

        People do eat cats and dogs so who cares? It’s all food anyways, some people like cows and pigs, but they still eat them. We need to eat meat to live, and there is plenty of cattle and pigs. Don’t just think of the United States, think of other countries that may eat things we love. Its part of the life cycle. If we didn’t eat them then they would over populate, and just don’t think of those or point out those two animals mainly, because those aren’t the only two main things. Why would people love Cows and Pigs more than a dog or cat? their dirty animals, who would want them anyways? you cant keep them in your house. This whole topic is useless, pointless, or a waste of time. You are not going to change anyone’s minds. Not mine at least.

  1. Anon 17 December, 2018 at 13:50 Reply

    Look here’s the thing, no one is going to stop buying anytime soon and that’s how it is. The almighty dollar is as described, almighty, and humans enjoy the finer things in life. Meat tastes good and I recognize that the argument against this is our tastebuds aren’t worth the lives of animals. From a moral standpoint I understand the concept however it fails in application because no one has to see the animal suffer they just get to taste it. I’m going to Chick-fil-a right now.

    • Lain Iwakura 19 December, 2018 at 14:14 Reply

      I have a really abnormal moral philosophy towards death that causes me to disagree with this article as a whole (i might explain it in another comment if i stop being lazy), but your critique of it is of low value. Your reasoning would lead to the dismissal of any political movement that starts on the fringe of society and is hindered by capitalism. Setting aside whether or not the article is right, it’s still potentially capable of getting people to change their diets, as is any argument. It’s difficult in this case, obviously, but no revolution has ever been easy. Discouraging people from even trying to fix the world just because it seems impossible to do on a mass-scale is the most complacent, counterproductive thing you can possibly do.

      (Also that last sentence from you was the most #OwnTheLibs thing I’ve ever seen oh my god)

  2. anon 18 December, 2018 at 16:04 Reply

    Here come the “edge” lords with their bacon comments. Wish you mentioned more about the environmental and economic effects of animal agriculture and not just “animals have lives too. ” Sure people love animals but what about how America capitalizes off the meat, dairy, and egg industry. It not only affects our health but our environment. Also, it affects low-income places and redlining. The comments are right about meat tasting good and not wanting to stop and the industry is going to keep feeding us animals because money. We have the technology to make as good tasting alteratives but that industry is not government supported. Eat vegan support alternatives if you can because if people find value then only then will animal agriculture decrease.

    • Anonymous 9 January, 2019 at 14:47 Reply

      Just saying 1 who cares what the government thinks as long as its not illegal and 2 its more expensive do change your industry all of a sudden imagine you harvest livestock and then it becomes illegal you cant support your family and you go out of business because its expensive to get all of the equipment needed for that. There is more than just im going to help the planet because killing cows and other animals (which has been around since the beginning of man) is wrong . Now i’m going to finish my meat lovers pizza.

  3. Jacob 20 December, 2018 at 11:06 Reply

    If you don’t want to eat animals then don’t. BUT don’t tell me what I can and can’t eat. My life. My choice of food.

    • Lain Iwakura 21 December, 2018 at 21:50 Reply

      Just a word of advice, no matter how much a given community believes in subjectivity, they’re almost always going to frame their opinion pieces as if they’re trying to force the reader to agree. Setting aside the issue of if this particular article is actually framed like that, it’s generally just a good idea to go into an article under the assumption that the author, beneath whatever rhetoric they use, is trying to persuade you via reasoning, not trying to somehow “force you.” It just generally leads to better discussion and less frustration.

  4. some one 20 December, 2018 at 11:08 Reply

    SO is it ok for other animals to kill and eat each other, but we can’t. meat is a part of humans. it gives us iron and other heathy things. if we didn’t kill any animals, they would over populate. that’s why there is hunting .

    • urmum 28 December, 2018 at 15:50 Reply

      the problem is animal agriculture not eating meat. Also no they would not overpopulate. Nature takes care of that. Although livestock animals would freak out because their evolutionary code has been altered by humans. They would actually drastically decrease if we stopped animal agriculture. Do the research. stop just spouting out what your mommy and daddy and the meat and dairy industry have been telling you. Also while the article and author obviously are sided with veganism, the point of the article is to question why is it any different to eat a dog instead of a cow.

      • Dog Farmer 8 January, 2019 at 09:39 Reply

        I don’t think it’s any different to eat a dog as it is to eat a cow. It shouldn’t be a big deal in our culture but it is. If there was a need I would raise and slaughter thousands of dogs if America was a fan of the meat. I’m out here starting a business what are you guys wasting your time on?

  5. A Smol Jewish Boi 9 January, 2019 at 14:39 Reply

    People have pigs and chickens as pets so don’t say they aren’t as important. The reason they don’t eat cows is because they represent strength in hinduism. I’m a jew and you know what bacon is pretty damn good. Also just so you know it took 1 google search for this so next time your going to say something at least make it something I can refute with a google search. Also its fine to eat beef like if a jew ate pork its just shunned based on the seriousness to the religion you can still eat beef.

  6. Lain Iwakura 14 January, 2019 at 12:38 Reply

    You have taken a complicated issue and you have trivialized it with your answer. Setting aside the issue of if you’re right or not, comment sections like this one, ones of hostility and clashes of pure ideology, are what happen when you take an issue that’s incredibly multi-faceted yet easy to have an opinion on and write an incomplete analysis of it for its own sake. Nobody’s minds are changed or even somewhat persuaded and the entire climate surrounding the issue just gets that much more hostile. In the future, either write something that will definitively both start and end the discussion through being irrefutably right or at least frame it as “just trying to provide a counterpoint to whatever view you already hold.” Framing things like you are objectively correct via taking the moral high ground in your writing (and especially title; I get that they teach you to write catchy titles in this class but don’t do it at the expense of productive discourse) in an article about such a huge issue is just irresponsible and accelerates the Angry Jack Effect (as outlined in a fantastic series of video essays called “Why Are You So Angry” which analyzes hateful responses to political opinions online) way faster than it needs to.

  7. Anon 15 January, 2019 at 10:17 Reply

    What happened to the time when people could have their own opinions and keep it to themselves instead of trying to force it onto others. I’m rather sick and tired of people trying to shove veganism down my throat. I eat meat, I don’t believe that it is morally wrong, and that is not going to change. there are animals that would kill and eat us because of the way that nature works. Now I don’t have anything wrong with the vegan lifestyle, but I immensely dislike when people try to force veganism on others. It is ok to have your own opinion.

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