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.
Controversy ahead. As I’ve just said on a friend’s blog post – I don’t eat meat – I try to avoid using any animal products, and without being preachy, I’m against killing any sort of creature for any sort of reason these days. I do cook meat for the meat eaters in my life – freedom of choice has nothing to do with recipes as far as I’m concerned, and not my karma. I don’t hate them for eating it – I ate it for most of my life, so I get it. Bacon is fabulous on a plate of anything. I commented on a supposedly good friend’s remarks a good while ago about hunting critters (not to eat) that were endangered because of some flimsy thing, and was immediately unfriended and severely crapped upon before being blocked, so I’m a bit wary about posting about such a sensitive subject. I never foist my personal beliefs on others in harsh ways, because I believe that we’re all on our own trips, and what is good for us when it is, is. Something has been getting up my nostril lately though – and I really hope that talking about it isn’t going to make any of my friends enemies. Still….
Matthew McConaughey has been coming under a lot of fire since it’s been discovered that he is part owner in the “canned hunting” 22 000 acre ranch run by his brother in Texas. Canned hunting revolts me, and the tiny enclosures of lions and so on so killed is way beyond my comprehension. If I only had the choice to eat meat or die, I’d rather eat his hunted buck any day of the week than some horribly farmed cow. Hunt for meat – alright – you can’t eat lions – leave those guys alone man. 22 000 Acres is not canned hunting by any stretch of the imagination though, and the vicious comments he’s been getting on his various online sites are truly appalling. Those of you who are faint of heart – look away now. De-beaking, throwing baby chicks into grinders for the egg industry, production of fois gras, veal – eating baby animals of any sort, milk, down for feather pillows or comforters – ugh – all of these industries are so, so much worse than hunting. Rearing them, transporting them, killing them – all atrocities in my eyes. Hunting is cleaner I think. Quick and unexpected, and by far the better of two evils in my meat free thinking. I may be wrong. I prefer murdering veggies myself – so just saying.
In my opinion meat is meat, and if you’re going to eat it, why be holier than thou? Eat the meat that requires less terror and pain from the original supplier of said meat. Why the species issues? Why care if it has digits for fingers? Why is killing and abusing some species ok while other species is seen as rotten? Seriously – I’d like to know. As I said earlier – meat is meat – killing is killing. Why munch happily on a sheep and be appalled by eating any other thing? And if you’re going to eat one animal that’s had a crappy life because – well – it’s food – then shush about what anyone else eats. There’s no difference – a cow is a deer is a lion is a monkey.
Heading off to hide under my bed now………