3.04.2010

pets and food

For those of us that have pets, we LOVE them, as should be. I've had a variety of pets in my lifetime and can't really imagine life without them. Animals somehow remind us of our primal connection to nature, to the non-verbal, to dependence and unconditional love.

Why, then, can we so easily separate the animals we keep as pets from those we label 'food'?

I never really asked myself this question until my vegan odyssey.  I happily had a pig as a pet, and then had another's flesh on my plate. I knew the two were somehow similar, they were pigs after all, but their differences in appearance and their immediate relation to me made me absent-mindedly accept Chiqui = pet, Bacon = food.

The way I see things now is that a life is a life. It's shocking to some people that I equate human life with animal life, but after much thought that's the conclusion I've arrived at and that is what keeps me committed to a vegan lifestyle. If we wouldn't (and don't have the need to) harm another human being for food, why should we harm another sentient-living-being for it? 

Even if you can't jump on the human=animal bandwagon yet you have pets, I would think that you can appreciate that animals are sentient beings--they have emotions, they feel pain, pleasure, experience love and family relations. However different from our own definitions of these terms it doesn't deny their capacity to experience them, right? I hope we're all on the same page here, because I really want this to sink in as far as possible.

For what reason do you accept some animals in your life to be pets in your home and for others to be food, or entertainment, or clothing? 

If you have an opinion that differs from mine I would love to hear it! ("There are as many ways to live as there are people in this world Harriet, and each one deserves a closer look" Gully, Harriet the Spy)

The idea from this post came from a TV ad for premium dog food so I'll address that topic in the future; it simply required an introduction to the pet vs food debate. Therefore, please do your homework and give this issue some serious thought (for your own peace of mind mainly) and we'll return to this later.

It's almost Friday people...look alive!

EcoVegan

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