24 January 2013

TDIV Q&A: How can people love their pets but still eat animals?

From a young age, many of us are taught that some animals are ok to keep as pets and other animals are around for us to eat. We are told that dogs and cats are “pets," and cows, chickens, and pigs are “food." However, animals such as chickens, ducks, and rabbits are often kept as pets but are still used as food. In fact, many people who keep these animals as pets have probably eaten a plate of chicken with their pet in plain sight. How does one not see the connection?

Each animal may look different, like each and every human does, but it does not mean that one is more deserving of life than the other. We often don’t learn that these animals all have the same souls and one of them is not better than the other. Why does one animal deserve to live so another can die? This makes no sense since many of our pets in the United States are often used as food animals in other countries.

When we support one animal to be eaten, we are actually supporting the use of all animals used for food. One simply cannot say it’s ok to eat one animal but not the other, especially when farm animals are proven to show the same, or more, emotions as the animals we use as pets

It is unfortunate that we grow up with this mindset, because once we make that connection for ourselves, we are often faced with guilt and disgust that we have spent a portion of our lives eating animals and contributing to such horrid violence. On another note, many of us grow up feeling guilty about what we are eating, but we are forced to believe that we need to eat animals in order to live a long, healthy, life. This information couldn't be more wrong! It's a shame that kids are not taught early on that all animals are living beings and are not just food.

Even if a person has pets at home, they cannot truly be an animal lover if they are befriending one type of animal but choosing to eat the others. A true animal lover does not want animals to die a traumatic death for their own selfish need, and an animal lover does not say “I love animals, but not enough to stop eating them.”

You can consider yourself a dog lover and still eat other animals, but you are still supporting the fact that dogs are being eaten in other countries. If you give up eating all animals, you are no longer contributing to the violence. You are doing the best that you can possibly do to make the world a better, more compassionate place.

Alexandra Beane | Facebook | Twitter
Minnesota Alexandra is a lover of all animals, but has a soft spot for especially dogs and rabbits. She believes that life is not complete without an animal to love. Alexandra is highly passionate about animals and animal rights, and wants to raise awareness of the cruelty that many animals suffer in the best way she knows how, and this is by written word. Alexandra is a recent graduate of Metropolitan State University in Minnesota, with a degree in Professional Writing and a minor in Creative Writing. She absolutely loves to write news and creative nonfiction, and obsesses over spelling and grammar.

Photo credit: Łukasz Tyrała