A Simple Substitution
Often we don’t realize the truth of something until we think of it in a different way, and then suddenly our eyes are open and can never be closed again.
It’s that way with how we view (or don’t view) the animals we eat, wear and exploit in a myriad of other ways.
I think of the traditional luau where the pig is the centerpiece.
Now substitute that pig for a dog or a cat here in the western world and no one would come to the party.
Nothing is different except that people have likely known and probably bonded with a dog or a cat in their lifetime and it’s unthinkable that they would allow someone to slaughter the animal and put it on a spit for the devouring of its flesh.
Pigs remain unknown largely because most people don’t interact with them–but they are every bit as friendly, loving and affectionate as our pets–and more intelligent, as well (not that that should matter in how they’re treated).
A relative of mine didn’t need the substitution idea to have a light bulb moment.
My cousin invited me to a family reunion many years ago where he was throwing a luau party and when I asked if there would be a pig on a spit, and he said yes, I declined to go.
He later confessed to me that he “felt like Jeffrey Dahmer” as he prepared the pig in the bathtub (I didn’t ask for details, and I don’t know that he would have given them).
He had a moment of clarity–a moment that connected his heart and his head to this once living, breathing creature–a creature who had done him no harm and one that he didn’t need to eat to be healthy.
He felt for the animal who he knew did not want to die anymore than he would at the hands of a merciless killer.
He suddenly understood that cutting up a body for consumption was bizarre and disturbing, not something most humans would want to do.
He realized the darkness of it all–this was what a serial killer would happily do (and most have done to animals before moving on to humans).
Will you make the connection?
Will you remember the pig is not unlike your beloved cat or dog?
Please take a moment to think of the frightened pig in the slaughterhouse, imagine it’s your cat or dog, left to die a brutal death at the hands of people who see it as nothing more than an inanimate object, and please, for the sake of mercy to all animals, make a choice to not support the unnecessary killing.