Why do Lions Deserve Better than Chickens?

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There’s a bit of a furore going on in the animal activist world (yes – I am an animal activist) right now about that dentist, Walter James Palmer, who arranged to have the beloved Zimbabwean lion, Cecil, lured out of his protected environment, and then shot him with a bow and arrow.  Unfortunately our good dentist is a crappy shot, so he only wounded poor Cecil who had to be tracked and finished off with a gun forty hours later.  Now the knock on effect is that all of Cecil’s cubs will be killed by the lion who takes his place in the pride, so blood and pain all around all because some small tooled little tool prefers moving targets.
In one way it’s great that people are upset enough about this to rant loudly on their blogs.  In another way it’s quite sad.  Cecil had a good life, apart from the last forty hours.  The life of the chicken who supplied the egg that went into the activist’s breakfast pancake was infinitely worse from birth to death than Cecil’s, and that’s a thing that we choose not to consider.  Not to mention the millions of newly born male chicks that get thrown alive into meat grinders every day to support the egg industry.  That chicken was no less intelligent or sentient than Cecil, but because chickens can be bred by the billions and are considered “food” animals, that’s ok.  If we don’t want to eat it we are appalled by the killing of it.  If we do want to eat it, any old abuse is just fine and dandy.  There is no killing that is also humane.  It is what it is, and shouting about the killing of certain animals while condoning the killing of others seems wrong to me.
I feel no more outrage at the killing of Cecil than I do at the death of baby cows turned into veal for the milk industry.  Why is it considered alright, and even cool, to rage and rant at the death of rhinos and elephants when the daily violent lives and deaths of multiple billions of little souls destined for plates around the world slips beneath our notice?  They have no value.  Attempting to show that they really do have value incites rage.  That’s why we hate the vegans.  We freak out when hunters adorn their walls with the dead heads of deer, but we’re quite happy to snuggle down in winter under our goose down quilts.  We don’t consider the pain ridden source of our feather dusters as we hum and clean our mantels who generally end up as handbags to be proud of, but we rage when we see people dining on dogs in the East.  What is the difference between the life of a sheep and a dog?
Our modern lives are all about pain.  We inflict it on ourselves, each other, but mostly on anything that can’t escape our hungry clutches, and we vociferously hate it when anyone points this out to us.  It would be much kinder if those who mourn the death of Cecil chose to focus on the death of the pig who provided their breakfast bacon – that little guy had a much crappier life and death.  So forget about Cecil.  He got off lightly considering the rest of the awful things we cause to happen to other creatures every second of every day, while choosing to ignore.  I’d much rather be a free living lion finally killed by a hunter than a cow.  Shouting about Cecil while munching your poached egg makes no sense to me.  This is the life we have chosen, and it’s best lived cloaked in silence so we can eat guilt free.

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61 thoughts on “Why do Lions Deserve Better than Chickens?

    T Ibara Photo said:
    July 30, 2015 at 3:30 am

    Thank you Jo. This is so true, and you explained it so eloquently and clearly.

    Liked by 2 people

      jorobinson176 responded:
      July 30, 2015 at 11:19 pm

      Thank you Takami. It’s tricky, this old life. ❤

      Like

    D. Wallace Peach said:
    July 30, 2015 at 4:08 am

    What a great post, Jo. I think you will open some eyes and hearts.

    Liked by 1 person

    Holly Jahangiri said:
    July 30, 2015 at 5:31 am

    Thank you for writing this. Now I don’t have to. You’ve said it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    roughseasinthemed said:
    July 30, 2015 at 8:07 am

    No argument from me. I think you are brave to write the unpalatable. (Pun intended).

    Liked by 3 people

      jorobinson176 responded:
      July 30, 2015 at 11:21 pm

      Fabulous pun – love it. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

        roughseasinthemed said:
        July 30, 2015 at 11:29 pm

        Truth is though, people will applaud your post, and then tuck into a burger, bacon and eg sarnie, chicken whatever😦

        Yeah, Jo’s a great writer and she has these crazy animal moments but anyway, we can live with that.

        I swear, it’s easier to convince people about feminism than animal rights!!

        Liked by 1 person

          jorobinson176 responded:
          July 30, 2015 at 11:45 pm

          I used to be like that, so I totally get it. It’s hard to juggle the “right” of a person to not be forced to witness the process of the life of the chicken to the roast dinner for me with the fact that if they did have to witness these things, they probably wouldn’t be able to eat it. Those little guys are so clever and totally have souls. I really don’t reckon God put them on any sort of list of eatables. ❤

          Liked by 1 person

            Holly Jahangiri said:
            August 9, 2015 at 6:20 pm

            Actually, if you believe in the Old Testament, there is a list of what (supposedly) God put on the list of eatables. See http://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/what-does-the-bible-teach-about-clean-and-unclean-meats/which-animals for more info.

            That said, I’ve been known to enjoy a good rabbit stew. I hope I’m not going to hell.

            Like

              Jane said:
              August 9, 2015 at 7:16 pm

              Holly, I will mention that the list of permitted/not permitted animals in the Bible were laws given to Jewish people and others, ie non-Jews, are not bound by those laws. I did NOT bring that up at all to raise any religious issues, one religion vs another, whether the Bible does or doesn’t Truth, which is where I HOPE this conversation will NOT go, except to say that I was pointing out that mankind has been slaughtering food (beast, fowl, fish) for centuries in order to exist with what is available; and there are laws in my religion, at least, that prohibit hunting because it causes suffering to the animal, which is not permitted… and other laws to eliminate the animal’s suffering during the process of slaughter.

              I think that mankind can pay attention to the issue of causing suffering to animals and do our best to minimize that, while utilizing what is given to us for nourishment and health. Personally, in my family, we rarely eat meat, we occasionally fowl, and we do eat fish regularly for its Omega-3 value.

              Interestingly enough, if you’re interested, in the Jewish religion we cannot eat an egg if we determine there’s a blood spot in it, because that would indicate the egg had been fertilized and a chicken embryo was in formation. So before we eat an egg, we have to check it for blood spots and if we find one we cannot eat it.

              Liked by 1 person

                Holly Jahangiri said:
                August 9, 2015 at 7:47 pm

                Oh, not my intention to start a religious debate! Just pointing out that there IS a Bible-based list of which animals are edible and which aren’t. I think that for its time, it was also a rudimentary food-safety primer, whether you believe it’s God’s law or not. (Think of trichina larvae, and the fact that microscopes had not been invented, nor did people have the understanding that certain deadly organisms could live in undercooked – but not well done or frozen – meats.) Commercially packaged eggs (even the non-cruelty-free kind) are candled to see if they’re fertilized before packaging. I remember learning how, at a smallish family farm in Ohio, years ago.

                Like

    Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life. said:
    July 30, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Jo Robinson with her thought provoking article on animal welfare… where do we stand?

    Liked by 1 person

    eleanorvisser said:
    July 30, 2015 at 11:24 am

    Hahahaha Jo, you are rocking quite a few guys boats. Good writing. Read the whole piece mind you, and the one of the hugging too. Loved it, lovies

    Liked by 1 person

      jorobinson176 responded:
      July 30, 2015 at 11:23 pm

      Not so worried about boats. Love you my friend – hopefully drinkies soon. ❤ XXXXX

      Like

    macjam47 said:
    July 30, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    Great post. Sad but so true. I buy range free.

    Liked by 1 person

    noelleg44 said:
    July 30, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    I mourn the way in which this lion was killed, so totally unnecessary, but you have balanced the story with a fine post. Just to add fuel to the fire, I can’t believe the media have made this into such a huge to-do, when we were also presented with videos of doctors selling aborted fetus body parts. Where is our sense of moral balance?

    Liked by 1 person

      jorobinson176 responded:
      July 30, 2015 at 11:26 pm

      Me too Noelle. That idiot man is a criminal. He would have seen Cecil’s tag too before the final kill shot, and he tried to get rid of the evidence, which makes it even worse. The moral balance has gone out the window. I just reckon that two wrongs don’t make a right. ❤

      Like

    vanbytheriver said:
    July 30, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Wow. Speechless.

    Liked by 1 person

    Raggy trousers part dos | Clouds moving in said:
    July 30, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    […] Jo posted a nice one about it all and the hypocrisy surrounding okay to kill these animals and eat t… […]

    Liked by 1 person

    sonmi upon the Cloud said:
    July 30, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    Brilliantly pointed out. I couldn’t agree more,

    – sonmi.u.t.C

    Liked by 1 person

    Jane said:
    July 30, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    To answer your question “Why do Lions Deserve Better than Chickens?” … Because African lions are facing extinction????

    Liked by 1 person

      jorobinson176 responded:
      July 30, 2015 at 11:32 pm

      Thank you Jane. I don’t believe that the value of the life of a soul has anything to do with the quantity of subjects left in any particular species. That’s just me though, so no conflict. I reckon that it’s a given that not too long in the future, all we’ll have are non-edible specimens in zoos, and a whole lot of edibles in the factories. One species of Rhino has only four living members on the planet. Doesn’t justify the killing of the billions in my eyes though. ❤

      Like

    Gigi Sedlmayer said:
    July 30, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    Wow, yes, speechless. but please consider, that God gave us the chickens and the cows for our consumption, he didn’t (Did NOT) gave us the lions and rhinos and even the deer for our consumption.

    Liked by 1 person

      roughseasinthemed said:
      July 30, 2015 at 11:34 pm

      Really? So why do people eat venison (deer)? And actually, lion meat? Did chickens and cows come with labels?

      ‘Edible. Eat me.’ ??

      Liked by 1 person

        jorobinson176 responded:
        July 30, 2015 at 11:37 pm

        No difference in my book – all little souls with the labels WE have applied.

        Like

      jorobinson176 responded:
      July 30, 2015 at 11:34 pm

      Thank you Gigi. Respectfully – I don’t believe that the God that is in my life would condone what we’re doing to the chickens and the cows any more than he would what we’re doing to any other creature that we hurt. Our intestines are not designed to digest meat, so I find the whole idea that God designed us to eat meat a bit odd. ❤

      Like

    Jane H. said:
    July 30, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    Gigi, He did give lions and rhinos and deer for food as well, and it’s well documented in the Bible! People in many subsistence societies for thousands of years the world over ate what they could kill, or they didn’t eat. They used the skin for clothing, shelter, shoes; they used the bones for utensils and other items, they used basically everything for survival. It’s fairly recent in human history that animals have been domesticated and/or food industrialized for mass consumption and have selected the meats that best appeal to their taste buds.

    What’s not excusable is causing animals to suffer in the pursuit of gaming OR killing for food. And the killing of animals such as rhinos simply for their horns – which many cultures consider magical or aphrodisiacs, etc. – is also inexcusable and, in fact, illegal. The killing of Cecil was both immoral and illegal.

    Liked by 1 person

      jorobinson176 responded:
      July 30, 2015 at 11:51 pm

      Again – with respect Jane – this is a touchy subject. The bible was written and edited by man, whereas God makes his wishes known in our hearts. I would not want any God in my life who approves and condones the way that any food/product animals are raised and killed by us in my life. I would be afraid of such a God. I never posted this to get into arguments. Things are what they are. We need to look, and use the free will granted to us to decide how we live, and what we choose to fight about. I’d rather fight for the chicken and the lion rather than one above the other.

      Liked by 2 people

    billyraychitwood1 said:
    July 30, 2015 at 11:39 pm

    So very well stated!

    Liked by 1 person

    ajoobacats said:
    July 31, 2015 at 12:46 am

    I think we are all so desensitized to killing, we get our meat and poultry all packaged attractively, which masks the truth and I am considering giving up all animal products. It’s something I have been considering a while and I think with the upset I have felt over Cecil, it’s time to implement it and put my money where my mouth is.

    Liked by 1 person

      jorobinson176 responded:
      July 31, 2015 at 12:51 am

      You’re so right. I reckon if we had to look them in the eye while they were alive we wouldn’t eat them. These days when I see meat I tend to see the face that probably came before – I can’t eat that. Still – I love the taste of meat and cheese, so I eat lots of the substitutes – there are some great vegan munchies, and I feel so much younger and more alive than in the days I used animal products – not a hardship at all. It didn’t happen overnight though, and it’s not easy to give up the habits of a lifetime. Worth it though. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

        ajoobacats said:
        July 31, 2015 at 1:00 am

        I can’t help but feel all life should be valued and, for me, giving up meat and animal products would work well, I don’t love meat. However, I’m not sure my husband could do it. I automatically have gravitated to vegan foods for a few years now and for me it feels right.

        Liked by 1 person

          jorobinson176 responded:
          July 31, 2015 at 1:05 am

          I agree. My hubby also would probably never stop eating meat, although as time goes by I’m getting more and more uncomfortable cooking it for him to be honest, even though I don’t eat it myself. It’s the way we were raised though – with all the justifications firmly in place thanks to that, so anyone who makes the decision to go vegan is a hero in my book.

          Liked by 1 person

    eloisedesousa said:
    July 31, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Reblogged this on Thoughts by Mello-Elo.

    Liked by 1 person

      jorobinson176 responded:
      July 31, 2015 at 1:27 pm

      Thanks for sharing Eloise! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

        eloisedesousa said:
        July 31, 2015 at 10:41 pm

        I feel the way you do and am quite disgusted that the media and public only deem it necessary to cry fowl when it’s a celebrity creature, be it human, animal or otherwise. The rest fall like trees in the forest, out of sight and therefore out of mind. Doesn’t stop their suffering though.

        Like

    Diane Tibert said:
    July 31, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    I agree with you: I’d rather live roaming free and be killed by a hunter than to be caged in a space no bigger than my body, injected with chemicals, physically abused and slaughtered. Sadly this is the life of a chicken and other animals that provide meat for our table these days, and it will continue as long as humans turn a blind eye to it. This is why I’ve chosen to raise my own. The chickens destined for my supper table run free in my backyard. They have six acres to run about on, scratch, sunbathe in the dirt and chase bugs until their heart is content. They do everything they would naturally do in nature.

    My laying birds enjoy the same. We keep them until they die a natural death even if they’ve long since stopped laying eggs. We DO NOT eat goat meat, but we have them for milk. They are our pets, and they get the best care we can provide.

    I understand some people choose not to eat meat or any animal products (such as milk, eggs), but we do. Humans have been eating meat and eggs and drinking milk for centuries. We were designed to eat both, animals and plants…just like chickens. To say no animal should eat another animal (and humans are animals) is ridiculous. Not only would animals like sharks, coyotes and eagles die, the population of their prey would explode, creating horrible conditions on Earth.

    It’s all in finding a balance. The thought of reintroducing wolves into Yellowstone National Park to hunt, kill and eat deer might seem horrible to some, but the park was out of balance. Nature was out of whack. The wolves balanced the habitat in less than 20 years. You can see the remarkable video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysa5OBhXz-Q

    The wonderful thing about Earth is its regeneration abilities. When humans become extinct, Earth will balance itself in less than 50 years.

    Liked by 1 person

      jorobinson176 responded:
      July 31, 2015 at 1:40 pm

      Many kudos for looking after your own animals and doing it all yourself. I love having chickens running about – miss my little guys from Zimbabwe, but I can’t keep any here. A lot of people only have the option of buying their own but there are so many people nowadays who are trying to eat kinder which is wonderful. For me it’s not so much the fact that people eat animals and animal products as the way those animals are treated and slaughtered – there’s too many and there’s also too much waste which means a great deal of them suffer and die for absolutely nothing.

      We can digest meat and milk although neither are requirements for our health or protein intake at all – we eat these things because it’s the only way we have known, and as you say – traditionally for a long time, and also because we like the taste. I’m healthier now than I ever was when I ate meat. Carnivores and predators all have their place and killing is a natural part of life – they don’t breed, cage, torture and terrify their dinners before they eat them, and we have all the faculties to see why this is wrong. I reckon at the rate we’re going, when we do go extinct there won’t be anything left to balance though. It’s just so wonderful to see more and more people actually having a look at how their food gets to their plate and taking personal action for the good of the animals – every single one helps. 🙂

      Like

        Jane said:
        August 9, 2015 at 3:56 pm

        ” For me it’s not so much the fact that people eat animals and animal products as the way those animals are treated and slaughtered.” It’s good to see you recognizing this, Jo. This is not a distinction that your blog post made. “There is no killing that is also humane.” Your post really just slammed anybody and everybody throughout all of human history who eats even an egg.

        Liked by 1 person

          jorobinson176 responded:
          August 9, 2015 at 4:09 pm

          It wasn’t my intention to slam anyone at all. We are the products of our upbringing, and most of us are inherently kind – we love animals. I’ve eaten them all for most of my life, and enjoyed every aspect of cooking. I was a caterer for quite a few years, and I’ve got a cook book that I worked on for years that I can never publish because – well – just can’t now. When I ate factory farmed eggs I didn’t know how they were produced until I googled it – then I got my own chickens. It’s a personal journey and not an attack. We all have to make our own decisions according to what we know. I just think that it really is important to know. It’s always freedom of choice.

          Liked by 1 person

            Jane said:
            August 9, 2015 at 6:14 pm

            Jo, I appreciate your comment, that it wasn’t your intention. It was a very emotional post and as such really did make many sweeping comments about anybody who eats meat or fish or even an egg, and ignores all of human history and the need for survival, to stay alive using and eating what you have available around you. Many over the course of human history have tried to do this in ways which are painless for the animal. My religion forbids hunting altogether because it inflicts pain on the animal. We don’t all run around trying to “inflict (pain” on others and on ourselves, and we certainly do not all run around trying to inflict pain on “anything that can’t escape our hungry clutches,” (At worst, I think it’s that people are not always sensitive to how their actions are affecting others and the world is far too complex to always be aware of how every single action of ours is affecting everybody else. ) It’s okay to want to call attention to issues of the egg industry; for example I did a search after reading your post and learned something I had not known. So from that aspect, it was informative. But to slam everybody who cared about the murder of Cecil, which was a major trauma and event to the nation of Zimbabwe, because of some logic that if they care about the murder of Cecil they are not paying attention to your issue of how eggs are processed, is not fair to the nation of Zimbabwe. There is a time for everything. You are certainly free to raise attention to that issue but don’t detract from what this meant to Zimbabwe and its attempts to preserve its national heritage and allow these lions to roam free. Already we see that one of Cecil’s cubs was killed by the the rival lion who stepped in to take his place. The destruction of world wildlife and world rainforests etc. is also an international issue that will play out globally. And many people care about that as well. The transformation from rural agrarian societies to urban ones where food is processed hundreds if not thousands of miles away, rather than locally, is playing out in how animals are killed for food and this is a relatively new phenomenon. There are numerous solutions to this problem, which would be something we could discuss in a future post or comment. Thanks.

            Like

              jorobinson176 responded:
              August 10, 2015 at 2:58 am

              Glad you got all of that off your chest. I lived in Zimbabwe for eighteen years so I know all about that. I’m not going to retract a word I said here regardless. Every little thing is there for us to either choose to see or to make a lot of noisy justifications. Doesn’t really make any difference to what is.

              Liked by 2 people

                Jane said:
                August 10, 2015 at 3:07 am

                It’s okay, Jo. Yours is a fair blog, because it gives us a chance to voice our thoughts and reactions and for others to react to that too.

                Liked by 1 person

        Holly Jahangiri said:
        August 9, 2015 at 7:42 pm

        Pretty sure predators do terrify their prey, but it’s not really their intention.🙂 They don’t get off on it or do it for sport.

        Liked by 2 people

          Jane said:
          August 9, 2015 at 8:00 pm

          I would agree, Holly, for the most part. but the Cecil case has taught me something about the animal kingdom: One of the fears was with Cecil dead, that Cecil’s brother would step in and kill Cecils’s cubs and this had apparently occurred, the idea being that he would kill off Cecil’s bloodline and inject his own.

          Liked by 2 people

            Holly Jahangiri said:
            August 9, 2015 at 9:09 pm

            Yes. That’s how lions operate. They don’t play nice when it comes to ensuring their bloodlines. Humans used to do similar things.

            And no, I’m not missing the point that the current situation was caused by unwarranted human intervention. But this is result is about how lions behave. The consequences are tragic, but our interference (any temptation to “Save Cecil’s Hapless Cubs”) would possibly only make the situation worse. We make choices every day that interfere with nature. But we are also PART OF NATURE. Fire ants don’t seem to serve much of a purpose – but I’m sure there’s something that can stomach them, and if nothing else they might be food. Same with us. If we destroy other creatures, we destroy ourselves. Maybe not today or tomorrow, and maybe – worse than outright destruction – we make our own existence miserable. Everything we do has consequences.

            But what male lions do – while horrifying to us – is what male lions do. And they may bring themselves a little closer to the brink of extinction, too, in doing it.

            Liked by 1 person

              Jane said:
              August 9, 2015 at 11:32 pm

              We are definitely part of nature! And there’s no way man can isolate or act independently of it. It’s an interesting point you raised, Holly, about the male lions maybe bringing themselves a little closer to extinction by that particular behavior of killing off the brother’s bloodline. Like many behavior, they were probably originally intended to perpetuate the species, but in this case, at this point in their dynasty, maybe just the opposite.. Kind of reminds me of humans needing to be weighty to protect the species in case of prolonged famine but in the absence of famines the excess weight is destructive…. I wonder here if humans are all that different…. Hopefully we’ll be able to stop ourselves in time!

              Eating fire ants? Yuck!

              Liked by 2 people

                Holly Jahangiri said:
                August 10, 2015 at 12:10 am

                That’s how it goes, sometimes – adapt or die. Humans are not always to blame for it, either. We will likely bring about our own destruction, but so will other species through little fault of ours. “Nature” will recover and thrive; like dinosaurs, we may not. Some of our efforts to “save the planet” have been misguided and had disastrous, unintended consequences, too. Not that we shouldn’t try to do better – mainly to minimize our own footprints on the planet – but we’re not always the best judge of what nature needs, either. See the National Geographic article on megafires, for example.

                Liked by 2 people

                  Jane said:
                  August 10, 2015 at 3:03 am

                  Hopefully we do learn and change in time, Holly! Will check out the NatGeo article when I have a chance. Thanks for the reference.

                  Liked by 2 people

    Heartafire said:
    July 31, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    I don’t know anyone who hates vegans. I abhor the mistreatment of animals, the barbaric killing of chickens and cattle makes me sick, I realize that to provide meat for food the killing of farm animals is necessary and must be done in the most humane way possible. I eat meat and do not apologize, perhaps I will decide to be a vegan some day, still, I feel we are carnivorous beings and have hunt and gathered from the beginning. The killing for sport is a cowardly act, the display of antlers or heads on a wall is the true mark of disrespect for life and the mark of a despicable narcissist. The killing of this lion or any killing for sport should be treated as a felon and punished as such.

    Liked by 1 person

      jorobinson176 responded:
      July 31, 2015 at 1:46 pm

      Going vegan isn’t easy or instant – it’s a process, and if you don’t really want to it will be even harder. Most vegans are really cool and loving people, although some can be really over the top. One woman virtually yelled at me for an hour at a dinner I went to once about the horrors of meat eating until I finally got a word in edgewise and pointed out that I wasn’t eating any. 😀 Narcissist is the first word that came to my mind when I looked at the picture of that dentist – so chuffed with himself for doing something so very mean and small. Cecil was so used to humans it must have been like shooting fish in a barrel – and the idiot still missed.

      Liked by 2 people

        Heartafire said:
        August 3, 2015 at 3:24 pm

        It is such a painful thing, the killing of Cecil and all creatures, this man has become a pariah and I can’t feel bad for him.

        Like

    Hawkeye said:
    July 31, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    Reblogged this on .

    Like

    lorriebowden said:
    August 16, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    Powerful!!!

    Like

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