Most people are against cruelty to animals.
Many people have or have had a pet they love, pamper and protect like family.
Yet sadly there still exists a massive disconnect between the animals we see as friends and the animals we see as food.
I know that disconnect can’t simply be cuteness induced. Because, there are some really ugly yet really well loved dogs!
In fact, before today’s show gets too serious I have a little story involving one supremely cute cat and 3 very ugly dogs. Last week I was in Noosa staying with my family for Christmas. Now you might recall I have a little brother called Thomas. If this is news to you then I should share that although for around 30 years I was an only child 11 years ago my parents welcomed: The Golden Boy into the family. Irresistibly cute. Endlessly entertaining. Sir Thomas, the golden boy… is a cat.
As well as beautiful and intelligent Sir Thomas is also hugely territorial and does not hesitate to attack dogs that get to close to his home. This happened on Christmas day when our relaxed family lunch was interrupted by what first sounded like a squealing pig and rather turned out to be the neighbours dog which Thomas had launched himself at. Pumped up and in full lion mode Thomas then proceeded to stalk two decent sized bull dogs being walked past our house. We literally had to call him off.
Because, to get to the point (!) my family love, protect and pamper Thomas like the family he is and I’m sure the owners of the bull dogs feel the same affection for their more aesthetically challenged dogs!
So what’s happening to make normal, caring humans worldwide abandon the natural compassion we exhibit as children (and still show to our chosen few animals) and knowingly contribute to the enslavement, torture and murder of billions of sentient beings each year?
Beyond that… What can we do to make a change and extend the compassion we shower on our pets to all the other animals we share our planet with?
In today’s show: Speciesism – What is it and why we must fight it.
Speciesism is the illogical, immoral, heartless and ignorant discrimination against certain species of animals. Woah, I’m jumping in all guns blazing right? I hope you stick with me as I dig in and explore each aspect of speciesism.
One: Conditioning v Logic.
“How barbaric that they eat dog. Horse. Whale.”
I’ve certainly said something similar in the past. Since adopting a 100% plant based lifestyle I’ve come to believe there’s no difference between eating a dog and eating a pig.
As a society we’ve simply been conditioned to believe one is acceptable and one is not. I ask you: WHY?
Because we always have? (that could have been said for slavery. Male dominance. Heterosexual dominance)
Because one animal is smarter? (that’s likely the pig!)
Because one animal is cuter? (have you seen a piglet?)
Because one animal tastes better? (I guess that’s a judgement impossible to make if like me you’ve never eaten cat or dog. However I do know your taste buds mature and change aligned with what you choose to eat.)
Is there any possible logical reason to eat one animal and love another? The ONLY reason is Speciesism.
Two: Normal v Moral.
“Humans have always eaten meat. Certain animal were put here for our use. We’re at the top of the food chain and it’s our right.”
When I used to declare “I could never be vegetarian!” my focus was purely on ME and my needs. Though they weren’t actually needs they were actually just wants. Taste and conditioning and societies norm based wants.
It was such a lesson to consider that what I’ve “always done” might be (was) utterly immoral. In absolute conflict with my values and beliefs.
As the landscape changes so far as what is normal and what is moral it takes a willingness to risk change, vulnerability and at times, scary self reflection in order to question: is what you’ve always done what you should continue to do?
Three: Taste and Convenience v Heart.
I’d hazard a guess that this is the most common reason people still consume animal products. When most people plan a meal they are not considering – where am I getting my protein, iron, B12, zinc and calcium as I do when I plan my meals.
Generally it comes down to: What do I feel like? As in what do I feel like tasting and what am I up for preparing. The great news here is that there is a vegan alternative for every single animal based product you could ever desire.
It just takes some initial groundwork to source them. It’s a little less convenient initially. However if you were to ask yourself: “What is more important my taste and convenience or someone else’s life?” surely that short term inconvenience is manageable.
Four: Ignorance v Understanding.
I’ll certainly put my hand up and admit to years of ignorance with volition. I chose to NOT look at certain videos about the dairy and egg industry because I wanted to stay ignorant regarding the cruelty involved.
I knew knowledge and understanding would force me to make some changes.
In hindsight that was such a selfish stance. However as hugely opposed to speciesism as I am, I recognize trying to force understanding on another person is fighting a losing battle. I’d rather invest my time and energy with the people who’ve already decided to align their actions with their belief that cruelty to animals is ignorant, immoral, illogical and plain heartless.
To end on a more positive note, if you’re trying Veganism for the first time this year. If you’re just dabbling – not yet ready to commit 100%. Perhaps you think it might be too hard, too boring or just not healthy then please know everything counts.
Move at the pace that works for you. Reach out for support to the numerous healthy, happy and non judgmental vegans online if you feel stuck, isolated or overwhelmed. Reach out to me! I’m here for you. Here are some of my favourite resources to make adopting a more plant based or completely vegan lifestyle simple and sustainable.
In closing I’d like to share 3 learning from the golden boy – Sir Thomas…
He has taught me a lot though I’m certain there’s plenty to learn from any and every species.
- Thomas expects you to love him on sight. And he’s rarely disappointed. He just assumes you’ll appreciate how gorgeous he is and in true cat fashion he knows it’s your loss if you fail to fall for him on sight. How much time and energy do we humans in contrast waste worrying what others think of us?
- Thomas is free with his love and never holds a grudge. Even when he mistakenly gets locked in the garage for a few hours Thomas is ready and welcoming when someone goes hunting for him and discovers him sitting patiently at the garage door.
- Thomas gets great joy from the little things. A sunny spot. A leaf or cockroach to chase. Some disgusting cat food. He truly is a master of the art of appreciation.
That’s it for this week in Healthification. Huge gratitude to YOU for sharing this week with me.
The Healthification podcast is proudly bought to you by my FREE ‘Easy Vegan’ plan. It took me 25 years to transition from a meat eater to a happy, healthy, non-judgemental Vegan! You can do it in just 3 days with my simplified ‘easy vegan’ plan! Get the fit, strong, and healthy plant based body you deserve… while avoiding ALL the mistakes I made along the way!
Till next time, remember Creating a body and life you love is Freedom. (If this ex-carb queen, NON-genetically gifted, naturally uncoordinated VEGAN-chick can do it – so can YOU!!!)
If you liked ‘Speciesism – What is it and why we must fight it’ you’ll also like: Fat Fighting Transitional Foods.
If you’re yet to share the Healthification love – just click here to zip over to iTunes and leave an honest rating and review. It’d help me out big time. With gratitude, Kate.