Hello everyone! Today’s post will be a long, thoughtful one, which is quite rare for my blog, as I usually like to keep things cheery. I wanted to write this before I head off to stay with my dad for a couple of days. If we visit anywhere nice to eat, I will post some pics when I get back!
So here are my thoughts on a couple of matters which have been going through my mind these last few days:
Firstly, the time which may well have been when I first realised that I was being a massive hypocrite…
In 2013, I was lucky enough to be invited on a work experience trip to Italy. There were eight of us in total, and we were living together in an old house in the ancient city of Lanciano, in Abruzzo. We took part in lots of cultural experiences, one of which was a traditional meal at a local farm.
Part of the meal consisted of meat skewers. We all ate quite a few of them and, at some point, someone (it might have been me, I don’t remember) asked what meat they were made from. One of the Italians replied that it was dog meat. As you can imagine, I was horrified, and couldn’t tell if he was being serious. Eventually he admitted that it was a joke, and that it was actually lamb meat. I’m now very ashamed to say that I was relieved and carried on eating.
In the back of my mind, though, I was aware of my hypocrisy. Why should I care for a dog, but not care about a lamb? They are both sentient beings, and I love both of them! The answer was simple: social conditioning and cognitive dissonance. We are brought up to see some animals as pets and others as food, even though they are, in essence, exactly the same. Most people, especially children, think lambs are just as appealing as dogs (not that that should have to be a reason for us to respect them and allow them to live).
The fact that in some other parts of the world, cows and pigs are sacred, and dogs are eaten, proves this. Animals are completely at the mercy of our social traditions.
I think I am right in saying that that was the first moment I knew I was going to end up ditching meat. I had already started cutting out a lot of red meat by that point; I had never been keen on it anyway!
The second thing I wanted to talk about is the fact that it is Holocaust Memorial Day tomorrow (27th January). I want to start off by saying that I think it is very important to acknowledge this and use it as a reminder of the dreadful events of the past, and that we should never allow anything like that to happen again.
But the horrible truth is that it IS still happening. In every slaughterhouse in the world. And it is still legal.
The last time I touched upon this subject was some time last year, after I had seen some distressing footage of pigs being killed in gas chambers for food, and I had a rant about it on Facebook. Even though my post was very logical, albeit emotional, I was immediately attacked by several people, and unfortunately had to go on an “unfriending spree”…
So that you hopefully understand where I’m coming from, I just want to outline a few key points:
- The word “holocaust” does not solely relate to the terrible events of 1933 – 1945. The dictionary definition for holocaust is “destruction or slaughter on a mass scale”. Over 56 billion animals are slaughtered every year worldwide. If that is not an example of a holocaust, I don’t know what is.
- Hitler was actually inspired by slaughterhouses for the concentration camps, and the comparisons are hard to ignore, from the transportation to the killing methods used, to the use of body parts afterwards. Many Holocaust survivors have also pointed out the similarities!
- I am NOT disrespecting what people went through during that time; I am pointing out the horrors of BOTH things: the Holocaust of the war, and the continued holocaust of our fellow animals. The only reason people would be offended by the comparison is if they see humans as more important, or more deserving of life, than other animals. Or they don’t want the apparent inconvenience of seeing the truth.
Here ends my thoughts for now. Until next time…