Pamela Burns of the Hawaiian Humane Society stated in her letter to the Honolulu Advertiser editor published on June 2, 2009 “Our staff has worked closely for years…to educate about the proven link between animal cruelty that can quickly escalate to violence against people.”
This is great, and we laud the Humane Society’s efforts to reduce cruelty to pets. However, a deeper point raised by this letter is the widespread view that pets are somehow more valuable or important than cows, pigs, sheep, goats, etc. That cruelty to a dog or cat should be a crime because they are “pets” and people “love” them, but the mistreatment and brutal murder or slaughtering of innocent cows is not a crime or doesn’t matter because people don’t “love” them. This is a contradiction that no thoughtful compassionate person can accept.
Please consider that the cow is like a mother in that she freely provides her milk to us. In modern society instead of being respected and treated like a mother, the cow is cruelly mistreated throughout her life, her babies are taken away from her and turned into veal, and when she is no longer of any use, i.e. no longer producing milk or veal, she is brutally slaughtered and turned into hamburger meat. In fact, prior to the mad cow disease scare, her mashed up body parts were even fed to other cows, i.e. she was cannibalized.
If you are still with me after reading that rather brutal view of things, a second point is that we agree with the Humane Society that there definitely is a link between cruelty to animals and violence against people. The widespread consumption of a meat diet, based upon industrialized slaughterhouses killing over 33 billion innocent animals a year in just the USA, results in a hard hearted “me” centered society. If we are ready to murder an innocent cow merely for the sake of tasting flesh and blood (and not out of necessity), then we are that much more ready to commit violence against others if they get in the way of “me” and “my” enjoyment. A society comprised of individuals who are focused on “I”, “me” and “mine” is not a very compassionate place to be.
Please “Love Life!” and “Love animals, don’t eat them!”