by Tandis Bishop

Many Americans appreciate the companionship of a dog or cat. We care so much about our beloved pets that we treat them like part of the family. We buy them clothes, serve them special meals and treats, and if the need arises, we will spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on medical expenses without a second thought.

So it is no surprise that most people cringe when they hear that cats and dogs are considered a delicacy in other countries. Who could imagine that these sweet little animals that we love as our companions are regularly killed and eaten by civilized people in different cultures. But consider the cow for example. They are revered as sacred by millions of people in the East, but in the United States tens of thousands of these gentle, passive creatures are ruthlessly slaughtered each day.

How can we justify this selective love and care? What a cold and heartless world it would be if each of us only cared about the suffering of those we know, and ignored the pain of everyone else. If you eat any type of meat, please consider the trail of suffering that brings that animal to your plate. Never in a million years would we allow our pets to be sent to a factory farm, only to die a painful death in an inhumane slaughterhouse. We should be compassionate to all animals great and small, not just the ones we know personally as our pets. You have a choice. Please do not contribute to the suffering of innocent animals. Become a vegetarian.