“It’s Not Like Someone is Right and Someone is Wrong”
I’ve heard this one before, and so has everyone else when you have a disagreement with another person; and in some cases, it’s true– i.e., when someone likes chocolate better than vanilla and the other person likes vanilla over chocolate. A simple difference in tastes.
But let’s take a closer look at this thinking when someone is defending a position that causes unnecessary suffering, such as why it’s o.k. to use animals (“God gave them to us to use”, “it’s tradition”,”we need animal products”, “we’re used to doing it”, etc.).
No one likes to feel they’ve been mistaken about something, and no one likes to have someone tell them how to think or feel.
I get that completely.
But if someone truly believes it’s o.k. to use animals, most of the time that person hasn’t a real clue as to how “using” them causes unimaginable suffering to sentient beings who are no different from a pet cat or dog, because most of the time they haven’t allowed themselves to watch a documentary of actual footage of what man does to animals to “process” them into products.
If they did, they would have to at least begin to admit to themselves, however painful it is to do so (I’ve been there so I know), that if in fact they don’t wish to cause unnecessary suffering and death to other animals, then using animal products is wrong to their own moral stand– that of compassion and mercy, which most people will say they have for other creatures.
Most people like to think of themselves as good and caring, and certainly not cold and without a heart.
But if we don’t want to hear or see or have spoken the reality of animal exploitation, then we are not acting good and caring.
The human ego is a real troublemaker, and we all have one. No one likes to admit they’re wrong about something that they’ve been rather satisfied with for a long time and especially when it reveals to them that they’ve been living a lie.
Again, I’ve been there, so I know.
My ex-husband used to say that mere vegetarianism wasn’t eliminating animal cruelty and death, because only veganism truly eliminated the use of animal products, and I would on and off again go vegan, but would find my way back to eating dairy products again and again, with all kinds of excuses and justifications.
Perhaps part of my resistance was an unconscious need to feel “right” and the usual struggle of power between spouses, I don’t know for sure.
But in order to be the person I said I was, I certainly had to overcome that and look myself in the mirror and say, “if you truly care about animal suffering, then you need to walk the talk, because you can’t have both a concern for animals and the use of products borne directly from their suffering. Period. The end.”
It was a hard pill to swallow, so I get it that people don’t want to face it, but in the end, it’s not about us, it’s not about our egos, it’s not about our pride– it’s about the animals that suffer unthinkable cruelties while being raised and transported and finally slaughtered mercilessly.
There is most definitely a right and a wrong when it comes to animal abuse if we say we have compassion for all creatures, because if we hate the thought of a cat or a dog being abused/killed, then this simply must apply to all sentient beings.
Let’s not be afraid to admit when we’re wrong and move forward to correct it and live our lives in line with our true hearts and souls.