For several years now, I’ve increasingly struggled with eating meat. It got to the point that every time a took a bite of a nice, juicy steak or sizzling link, I’d think of the last few minutes of that poor damn animal — the terror and probably the pain it went through. I read about some woman who filmed cows being led up the path to the slaughter — how they had to be poked and pushed because they could smell death in the air.
I used to fish. Nowadays, I look at somebody reeling in a fish, and the poor animal is flopping around desperately trying to get free. Then they leave him or her lying on the deck or the ground. I remember seeing that fish opening and closing its mouth and gills, trying, trying to breathe. Sure, a fish is “stupid” compared to a human or a dog, but you can’t tell me it doesn’t feel the pain. That’s what pain is for, after all — to let an animal know that something dangerous or harmful to its system is happening.
As a Marxist, I know that there really isn’t any fundamental difference between the human species and other species, except that we can foresee the more remote consequences of our actions. But we all feel pain, joy, etc. As somebody who lives with two dogs, I can see that it’s complete nonsense that animals don’t feel emotions. How else to explain why my dogs jump around wag their tails, lick me when I return after having been gone for a few days?
It’s finally gotten to the point that I feel bad with every bite of meat I take, even though I like the taste.
So I’m going to try to stop eating meat.
Categories: John Reimann's personal blog