archives : about : quotes : norwegian : RSS

Capacity to suffer

What determines whether we we should care about other beings or not? Where do we cross the line?

Should it be based on intelligence? Meaning, should we only care for those equipped with a certain level of cognition, and if so, how much?

Some claim that because humans are more intelligent than animals, animals aren't part of the equation. They say it’s okay to create a society based specifically upon bending animals to our will and consumption. If this is true, why do we care about dogs, but not pigs? Or horses? Or sheep? Clearly this argument does not hold water. Selectively caring for some, but not others, makes no sense.

In some parts of the world people eat horse, which to most of us seems wrong, yet, we can’t really justify why? Why is it not okay to eat horse, but it’s okay to eat pig? Better yet, why don’t we eat dogs or cats? Is it simply based on tradition?

Just because we’ve been doing something for a long time, doesn’t make it okay.

From a moral perspective, when we try to make the case for eating one animal but not another, we’ll always end up with a fallacy.

Truly, this is best explaining simply based on where we grow up, what our parents teach us, and what we teach our kids. If you grew up in Norway, eating horse seems off-putting, whereas if you grew up in Central Asia, it’s commonplace.

Norway recently had a “scandal” involving horse meat, where a supplier were charged with selling over 300 tons worth of horse meat camouflaged as other types of meat. People and authorities were outraged, but why? If you’re okay with eating pig, why does it bother you to eat horse?

Asking the right question

To determine whether we should care about the welfare of another being or not is about asking the right question, not trying to create a scale of intelligence or other absurdities we’ll never be able to agree on, and more importantly, will never make sense to the victims.

The question, thus, isn’t whether they can talk, or whether they can reason. The real question is; can they feel pain? Do they have a capacity to suffer?

If the answer is yes, don’t eat them.

Humans claim to be moral, but most people don’t seem to care about this at all. If you asked an average consumer to thrust a knife into the throat of a cow so he could have something to put on the grill, he’d most likely not be able to do it. That’s why we pay people who are able to perform the unspeakable; so that we don’t have to.

Just because they are not the same as us, does not mean they are any less worthy, or don’t have the same rights to a peaceful life without the abuse the meat and dairy industry impose upon them.

Caring for some living beings, but torturing others, is nothing but pure speciesism. It’s prejudice. It’s racist.

If you replace the animals in any slaughter house with jews, you’ll be looking at a concentration camp; because that’s what these buildings are, buildings designed to torture, exploit and kill.

As the most intelligent and capable species in the world, the human animal, it’s our responsibility to take care of those who need it, not exploit their weaknesses.

We claim to be moral. We claim to care. I just don’t see it. What's wrong with us?

Most people will probably tell you they care about animals. Some have cats, others dogs. But they don’t give a seconds thought to the flesh that’s on their dinner plate.

Can you honestly defend caring for some, but not others?

For the animals,

Related entries

The ethics of drinking milk

You are lactose intolerant

Will animals go extinct if the world becomes vegan?