Companion animal rescue organizations do great work, so don’t take what I’m about to say the wrong way. But I find it strange that some people will work tirelessly on behalf of dogs and/or cats, and then go and eat a hamburger or steak. WTF!? Perhaps even worse is when these organizations sell hamburgers and hotdogs to raise funds to help companion animals.
Is it logical or acceptable to use the flesh of animals who have suffered to raise money to stop the suffering of animals we hold so dear? This is something I struggled with during my time volunteering with a rescue organization. I just couldn’t find a way to reconcile using hamburgers and hotdogs to raise funds to save dogs and cats. The irony was mind-boggling and completely lost on everyone else.
Animals—ALL animals—can know suffering. Presumably, people who work in companion animal rescue understand that the animals they rescue suffer, and they work hard to end that suffering. However, animals that we consider food and raise on factory farms know suffering, too. So why are they forgotten about? Is it because they aren’t cute and cuddly and don’t afford us with the immediate benefit of loving companionship? Or is it because they are so far removed from our daily personal experience that it is easy to simply forget about them?
What makes a dog or cat so different—in our minds—from a cow or pig? If you step on a cat’s tail, she’ll yowl in pain. If you castrate a pig with no analgesic, as is done in “pork farming”, the pig will squeal in pain. What is the difference? Why do we allow such brutality to be knowingly perpetrated against the pig, but we express disgust and revulsion toward someone who would knowingly harm a cat? Is it because we think the pig is destined for our dinner plate and so is not entitled to some degree of compassion? Why is it okay for us to eat the flesh of animals like pigs and cows, but not the flesh of dogs or cats? If we came to know a cow or a pig and saw him/her as an individual, as we see our companion animals, would our attitudes change?