Its odd yesterday I pet my dog and cooked some bacon and eggs. Yes I washed my hands after petting the dog but I also thought about the action of cooking and eating animals right after petting one.
In 2020 Joaquin Phoenix won a Golden Globe and encouraged the venue to go vegan then thanked the venue when they indeed did go veagan. Later that same year the actor won an Oscar and made an impassioned speech about how he came to the realization that being a vegan was for him a moral choice.
Joaquins’ speech had mixed reviews. Some people took it to heart and others dismissed it. I was tempted to totally dismiss it myself on its face, however I have watched it twice now an I have also had moments like the one I described at the opening of this post.
Earlier this year I heard a venture capitalist in an interview mention that Patrick O. Brown reached out to him and told him that the current world state of agriculture was unsustainable. The venture capitalist asked the founder if he had a plan to make it sustainable he said that he did and then the venture capitalist forked over the money to put that plan into motion. Essentially the most unsustainable thing is the rate and way the the humans on our planet consume other animals on the planet. This is a pretty interesting article that speaks to how and why agriculture in its’ current state is unsustainable.
Sustainability aside I am having a real hard time understanding why I was able to eat a pig and not my dog (same applies for chicken, cow, duck, quail …. man humans eat a lot of animals). Annually in in Yulin, Guangxi, China there is a dog festival where dogs are the main course. Culture has a lot to do with why dogs are eaten in some places and not in others but living sentient beings should they be eaten at all?
It is feelings that make something sentient. The act of dismissing a cow because we don’t understand their feelings or how they express their feelings is a little bit arrogant and dangerous. Cows are highly social animals and seem to have complex feelings, the same applies to chickens. With knowledge comes power and responsibility.
As a world we no know much more about our fellow species on the earth like cows chickens, dogs and horses. Most species survive on earth for about 100,000 years, that’s the pattern formed through studying evolutionary biology. Man has been on earth for 300,000 years. Cows have only been around for about 10,500 years, part of me wonders if humans will survive if we continue to kill other species at the rate that we are killing them now.
Again above all else I kept coming back to the fact that animals have families and friends. I am not trying to be all “Pollyanna: here but I mean I am really almost ready to stop eating other animals.
I often like to try and put myself into another person shoes or this time another animals shoes. I imagine the cows life on a ranch and their interaction with each other before and after they realize their fate…
A cow named Jim: “So Bob is gone?”
An enlightened cow named Frank: “Yep, I heard that the cow with no hair that stands on two legs took Bob to the red building shot him in the head, chopped him up and froze his body parts.”
A cow named Jim(after throwing up in the field): “Holy crap cow! are you serious?”
A cow named Frank: “Yep reputable source told me so.”
A cow named Jim: “Man three years old too. Wait how old are we?”
A cow named Frank: ” 2 and a quarter and we are breaking out of here tonight”
I tried to make it a little funny and light because that is how I roll but there is really nothing funny at all about the way animals are slaughtered and processed. Keep in mind that a cow will live for about 15 years if they are not slaughtered too.
I am not trying to convert everyone I am not even converted myself (yet). I just think that I need to learn more about the animals I decide to murder and eat before I decide to murder and eat them. Knowledge is power and should make me act more responsibly.
Is a person who knows right and wrong more wrong for doing the wrong thing? If we know that animals have feelings, families and lives and we end those so that we can eat are we wrong? These questions have been gnawing at me for quite some time now.
I don’t have an answer. I really don’t know but I do know that Chipotle has a plant based chorizo that I plan on trying tonight for dinner.