When meat-eaters read this title I suspect they immediately roll their eyes and presume a Vegan or vegetarian, leftist, tree hugger is at it again. But I don’t see myself as any of those things. I see myself as a middle-ground thinker who finally came to a realization.
When I began scrutinizing my eating a few years ago I had the thought to eliminate animal protein from my diet, but I didn’t know how to do so. I continued to eat meat for a couple of years, but the entire time I had the idea of quitting locked in the back of my mind. I came to the conclusion that animals have souls or spirits however you want to view it. And if I were going to be truthful I didn’t feel it right to slaughter these animals as a product, which is how they are treated by the companies who are killing them. My thought was that if I were going to eat an animal then I owed it to them to kill them myself.
Many self-sustainers kill their own meat and hold the same opinion. I believe any person who consumes meat should be required to go to the slaughter house and watch the process. They should be required to partake in each aspect versus just going to the store and picking up a package of ground beef. You should have to watch the hog standing in the pin trembling with fear as its time draws to a close.
In my heart I just can’t participate in how these animals are treated and I don’t think it is responsible to allow myself to continue with such a casual attitude.
I look into the eyes of our little dog Bentley and I know he has a soul. He displays an entire array of emotions from happiness to sadness, he feels pain and excitement. But most notably he shows a level of love that permeates my soul and he has a personality that is like no one else I’ve met. He has a right to live just as much as I have a right to live. And then I think there are some societies that would eat him and this thought is beyond my comprehension. From that realization I simply extended it to my experiences looking into the eyes of other animals and seeing them display many of the same characteristics along with demonstrating their own individual personality. The individual personality factor drove me to the conclusion that if I were going to eat meat then I owed it to these animals to take their life myself. And if I were not willing to do so then I would not eat them.
I will admit that it bothers me when I see all of the meat at the grocery store. Not because I think it is wrong to eat animals, but that it is irresponsible for humans to eat animals that they are not willing to kill for themselves. I think the Native Americans had it right when they practiced thanking the animal for their sacrifice and showing some respect to the land and the animals.
In the end treating animals like a product is morally and ethically wrong. And in my mind there is no way around this moral dilemma. I either kill the animal myself or I don’t eat meat.