Eating animals: Our personal choice?June 30th, 2016
Guest blogger Carl Scott shares his views on eating animals. Carl is an ex-slaughterhouse worker, comes from a meat-eating, hunting family and has now become one of the country’s most outspoken animal rights activists.
Some people say what we eat and other lifestyle choices that involve harming animals are a ‘personal choice.’ They say things like, “I respect your choice to be vegan. But you should respect my choice not to.”
Sorry. I can’t do that. I can respect you as a person. I’ve killed countless animals in my life, and I’ll be the first to acknowledge that good people can make bad choices.
But the problem with exploiting animals is that it cannot really be considered a morally acceptable ‘personal choice’ because…
… there is an innocent victim involved!
So while I can respect you, I truly CANNOT respect your choice to harm animals.
In all of the most important ways, the other animals are very much like us. They are not like plants or inanimate objects. They are conscious and sentient. They have thoughts and emotions. They have meaningful and complex social relationships – friendships and family bonds. They love. They grieve. They remember the past and project into the future. They problem solve. They have language. They even dream. And so much more…
Do we consider it a matter of ‘personal choice’ to kill another creature capable of thinking and feeling? To deny someone their freedom or autonomy for no good reason? Of course not.
As an ex-slaughterhouse worker, I know it can all seem so necessary. I had to keep killing those animals – to keep my job, to keep the business running, and to feed the world. But the truth is, there’s nothing necessary about it. I stopped eating animals and the world didn’t end. Once you accept that we don’t actually NEED to eat animal foods or exploit animals in order to meet any of our other needs, it changes everything. Then when you also consider that exploiting them causes unnecessary destruction to the planet and even unnecessary human illnesses, how can it be justified at all, for any reason? It simply can’t.
Carl once spent 30 days in a cage to raise awareness of the suffering of hens.
The more you look into the whole thing, the more you realise that in this day and age, there really is no legitimate excuse for causing harm to animals. It’s simply a bad habit we got ourselves into a long time ago, when we didn’t know any better, which unfortunately stuck. But now the time has come to, collectively, as a society, indeed as a species, break that habit and create a better future for ourselves and the other animals we share this planet with.
They really cannot and must not be considered objects, things, or resources for human use or consumption any more.
So… If my telling you that your ‘personal choice’ to harm animals is unacceptable bothers you, then sorry, but tough luck.
I know that no-one likes to be told what to do. I don’t myself. But someone has to speak up on behalf of the animals, because we know what they would say if they could speak to us. And for better or worse, I have become one of the voices speaking on their behalf.
The animal rights movement is not going away. There are more and more of us all the time, taking the side of the animals. So if you’re not vegan already, now is a good time to start thinking about it.
Why not take SAFE’s 30-Day Go Veg challenge?
You’ll be amazed by how easy it is.