I received this email today from a good friend who is an active and committed Catholic.
"It just dawned on me that, with your new stance on animals, you will be a huge proponent of pro-life. Then it dawned on me that all the vegetarians and vegans in the world must be pro-lifers too. Terrific!"
I looked at that posting and a big bunch of love washed over me for my friend. I love the logic and I love that vegetarianism sparks all sorts of fiery conversations. Using this logic, I too can assume that all those who take a pro-life stance must also be vegetarian or vegan. Life is life, right? Terrific!
These analogies and leaps of logic seem funny in a way but really, are they so far off? To me, this banter addresses the illogical ways we deal with the lives of animals and the ways we compartmentalize "life".
*We adore our pets but think nothing of eating pigs. Yet, pigs are more intelligent than our pets.
*We teach children to be kind to animals while we feed them chicken nuggets and a glass of milk.
*We make fun of and are repulsed by the fact that they eat dogs in rural China yet we slaughter 10 billion farm animals in America each year.
*We spend millions of dollars visiting zoos and animal refuges each year while wearing leather shoes and coats and stopping by the zoo café for a hamburger or hot dog.
Safari Kitchen at the San Diego Zoo
"The Kitchen is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the view of Lost Forest. The menu includes burgers, Hebrew National All-Beef hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, BBQ pork riblet sandwiches, taquitos, and nachos. Enjoy a specialty coffee drink and pastry at the adjacent Jungle Java!"
Is a beating heart a beating heart? Or not?
Not to infuse too much drama but that IS the question. Do you believe that animals exist solely for our use, our consumption and to endure our treatment of them? Or do you believe that they are uniquely created from the same light that created us -that they feel, love, mourn and know?
Q: If I know it's true of my dog, then why don't I believe it of a cow, a pig or a chicken?
"If any kid ever realized what was involved in factory farming they would never touch meat again. I was so moved by the intelligence, sense of fun and personalities of the animals I worked with on Babe that by the end of the film I was a vegetarian."
- James Cromwell
"The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different."
"All beings tremble before violence. All love life. All fear death. See yourself in others. Then whom can you hurt? What harm can you do?"
Thanks to my friend for the thought provoking email! These are all things I will continue to ponder...
With love, Lauren