Why vegetarian? It’s really about humanity.

Posted on October 3, 2007

It’s not only about health, land use efficiency, environmental health, or even animal welfare and rights. It’s about us, we people, developing sensitivity to life, a.k.a.: love. Increasingly, we notice the suffering of others, human or animal.

When we distinguish a between the compassion for humans and animals, we use a mental abstraction: concepts to ignore the presence of life. We display a willingness to explain away suffering. However, deprivation of material or psychological necessities is the same for all forms of life, though respective of particular needs. Sympathy that so distinguishes between types of life is thus partial sympathy, being blocked by beliefs sustained by our societies, traditions, or economic needs.

Can we really live this baseless discrimination, even while those around us are doing the same? How can we say that we are civilised or that we have love when we turn a blind eye to suffering? Why restrict sympathy, compassion and care to some lives but not others?

All life deserves consideration. Those who feed us with animals are desensitised to life: they cannot sense life or suffering. They cut away at creatures while they are still alive. I feel sympathy for these people: they do our dirty work. We are innocent because they cannot feel.

It’s not all about animal welfare or rights: it’s about humanity, and our own evolution. We need to re-sensitise ourselves to life. We need to do away with socially created traditions and concepts that confuse our perception of what is alive and what that means.

I hate to be a preacher (I really do), but yet again I am compelled to write my heart out, for my own sake.

Sign the WSPCA’s Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare