December 12, 2010 § Leave a comment
I’ll preface this blog with the fact that I’m kind of playing devil’s advocate and know that dolphins and chickens aren’t on the same level.
I don’t really understand why we feel compassion for certain animals but are indifferent to the suffering of others. I have always struggled with why people are so eager to defend certain animals yet have no problem with supporting the mass murder of others. When I was little I read a statistic about how dolphins and cows come from a common ancestor, something to think about. It’s surprising that people are so willing to protest the slaughter of 23,000 dolphins in a year when they gladly support industries that mercilessly kill 35 million cows in the same amount of time and 23 million chickens per day. I think that in order for humans to feel sympathy towards animals they must project human-like qualities onto those animals. In the case of dolphins intelligence (and their ever present smile) plays a huge role in why we relate to them but the source of an animal’s value doesn’t necessarily stem from our perception of their intelligence but greater influenced by factors such as cuteness. I will use the overused statistic favored by vegetarians, pigs are smarter than dogs but they aren’t quite as cute or cuddly. I’m not going to argue against the fact that dolphins are very special animals, it’s just that I think that all animals are valuable.
December 8, 2010 § 1 Comment
Generally, I don’t consider myself an animal activist. I do love animals, but I have no problem eating beef or chicken. Watching The Cove yesterday though, I felt awful watching the dolphins being killed. Maybe it was just that actually seeing the killing firsthand makes it more impacting, but why is it that I would never eat a dolphin, or a dog, but happily eat a cow?
I think it sparks from the way we interact with the animal. Animals such as dolphins, dogs or horses are very friendly to humans and one can really build a relationship with them. They have a lot of humanlike characteristics and humans feel like they can relate to them. This makes it feel like humans are killing one of their own, almost like killing another human. Cows on the other hand, aren’t very friendly to humans and don’t show the same emotion. Therefore, it is hard to connect with them and feel sympathy for them.
Another thing why I have no problem eating animals is that i don’t see the killing. Since I never plan on eating dolphin, I am actually glad to watch a documentary educating me about how people are trying to stop the hunting. At the same time though, I would never want to watch a cow being slaughtered because then it triggers the reaction of guilt about eating them. I don’t think it would stop me from eating them entirely, but for a small time, I would hesitate before doing so.