06 July 2004

A Puzzle

Anyone who cares about the amount of suffering in the world and wants to do something about it should be concerned about nonhuman animals. Nothing humans do to one another comes close to matching the enormity of what they do to animals. If you eat beef, for example, you are contributing quite directly to a practice that treats sentient beings as little more than flesh-making machines. If you don’t believe me, read this story from The Washington Post. (Here is the same story on a different site.) If you’re not crying by the end of it, you’re not functioning properly.

I’m puzzled by people who care a great deal about the feelings and social status of homosexuals but not at all about animals. Even if you think animals count for less than humans, this is irrational. No homosexual is confined, castrated, and chopped to pieces while alive, the way the cow whose flesh you eat was. All you have to do, if you’re a feeling, thinking person, is stop contributing to the horror. Stop rationalizing your behavior. Stop pretending that the animals whose flesh you eat lived happy lives and died painless deaths, for it’s almost certain that they did not.

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