In a recent Yahoo! poll, readers were asked if they felt that animals were capable of experiencing grief. An astounding 95 percent of readers -- nearly 500,000 strong -- said yes. Wow. That is a lot of people who understand and believe animals do in fact experience emotions. However, if the poll had featured livestock instead of a dog as its choice image, the results may have been a little different. If 95 percent of people felt that all animals are sentient, they likely would not show up on their dinner plates, and there most certainly wouldn’t be a need for factory farms.
This did not make sense to me, so I dug a little deeper and found out that there is a belief system most omnivores follow.
As defined by author Dr. Melanie Joy,“Carnism is an invisible belief system that conditions people to eat certain animals, making it a given rather than a choice”. Dr. Joy says it best in her book “We love dogs and eat cows not because dogs and cows are fundamentally different--cows, like dogs, have feelings, preferences, and consciousness--but because our perception of them is different.”
Although 95 percent of humans believe that animals do experience feelings, pain and sorry, they turn a blind eye when it comes to what is featured on their dinner plate. I have personally heard people say it is wrong to eat animals, but they maintain their omnivorous innocence by not thinking about where their food came from.
It is still commonplace where misinformed individuals still hold the belief that we cannot sustain a healthy life without the consumption of meat, and also that we are born and bred carnivores. Unfortunately our society has become desensitized to the slaughter of billions of animals, and most believe that it is requisite for survival.
Photo credit: Yahoo.com