Faulty logic - It’s okay to kill animals because animals kill animals
The “circle of life” argument is often used by meat eaters to justify the meat and dairy industry, and how humans use and abuse animals every day.
If you’re unfamiliar with what I’m talking about, it’s the old argument that dictates that because animals kill and eat other animals, the natural progression of that is that humans also kill and eat animals, thus justifying our behaviour.
This makes about as much as saying that because we’ve done something for a very long time, it’s okay to continue doing it. It blatantly ignores the problem, and conveniently sweeps all suffering under the rug.
There are many things to say about this, all from cherry picking preferred animal behaviours, to the fact that we have a choice where animals don’t, or that humans can thrive without meat, or the horrendous torment that goes on in slaughter houses, but in the end, it comes down to choice.
A matter of choice
When it comes to this argument, the logic is simple and definite.
- Animals kill for survival.
- We kill for food we don’t really need. We kill for sport.
Humans are not required to eat meat or dairy products to thrive. In fact, a lot of illness and disease is directly linked to the consumption of animal products. Humans thrive on vegan diets, as long as they have a rudimentary working knowledge of what goes into their bodies (the same is true for a meat based diet). If you can read, you are smart enough to be a vegan. It is not difficult.
Meet your bacon
Just because you think pig flesh tastes good, doesn’t justify stuffing billions of pigs into cages so small they can’t stretch their legs or turn around. They literally can’t move. Pigs, by the way, mostly spend their lives laying on concrete, simply because that’s easiest to clean with a high pressure hose. No thought goes into what this means for the pigs welfare. It's a big old money machine, and it knows exactly what it wants!
Cherry picking behaviour
A lot of animals smell each other’s asses when they greet, but it’s not like humans have chosen to adopt that practice.
Similarly, a lion may sometimes kill their own offspring, but it’s not like you could ever use that as a defence in a court of law, if ever you killed your child.
“Respectfully, dear judge, the reason I killed my child, is because I saw a lion kill his on the discovery channel, so I figured it’d be okay.”
Clearly, it’s very unfair to pick some animal behaviours to copy, but not others. In other words, we shouldn’t pick behaviours just because they’re convenient, or “taste good”, or you fill in the blank.
Long-term torment versus. quick kill?
When a lion hunts prey, the kill is usually performed pretty quickly. When you enjoyed the pig flesh you cooked for breakfast this morning (also known as bacon), know that the pig that was sliced up to produce it, and that it lived and suffered for a long time before being killed. Her mother was raped and impregnated, her offspring taken away and caged, and from there fattened up with inhumane nutrition, manipulation and abuse; only to finally be killed and slaughtered so you could enjoy a 10 minute breakfast.
I’m not trying to shame or make you feel bad, i’m trying to shake you awake!
I think we are all responsible for knowing where our food comes from, so that we can make an informed decision as to whether it’s morally right to consume it or not.
Where the argument falls apart
Claiming that it’s okay to abuse animals because animals kill animals in the wild, or that humans are somehow entitled to abuse animals because we are more intelligent or reside at the top of the food chain, is ignorant at best.
Like both myself and many like me have said before, the metric to go by is ability to suffer and nothing else.
Now that you know the facts, will you make the right decision?
Speaking of pigs..
Normally, I'd show you a video of what pigs go through on a daily basis. Today, however, I figured I'd just write about it instead. If you think you can stomach watching where your bacon comes from, go to youtube and search "pig abuse undercover". Click on any of the results that pop up. That's all I'll say on the subject for now.
You know what? Fuck it. I'll show you a video regardless: this is what you choose to eat.
For the animals,
Capacity to suffer
Gary Yourofsky on Keeping your sanity in a cruel world
The ethics of drinking milk
Will animals go extinct if the world becomes vegan?