If you follow my blogs, you might recall one I wrote last August entitled 'The Quality Of Mercy Is Not Strained'. Ostensibly it was about a bull that had been betrayed by its owner and met a tragic end in the bullring. (You may care to refresh yourself about its content before going on.) Yesterday, someone had clearly read it and reposted it because there was a veritable deluge of comments written about it. But one in particular caught my eye and has prompted this blog. Here it is, shared in its entirety, complete with my response.
It began with this undoubtedly heartfelt comment:
Yes, I will still fuel on meat as i need the protein and i see the protein and not the animal BUT........this photo is bullshit, as it shows a cowardly traitorous and weak act of falseness.........
That TRAITOR kid in the photo, raised that poor bull had been brainwashed by the scum of the earth......I see........a coward, a traitor, a weak-being, a false skinny animal giving a bullshit message to the better soul.......
The false one obviously don't know how to love.......
Entertaininment?! Dafuq is that entertainment?! Would it of been "entertainment" if his friend would of been killed by the bull?!
Now those of you who know me will be well aware that I do not tend to miss opportunities to expound upon the agenda I have been tasked to deliver and feel so passionately about. So although he probably expected no response whatsoever, here's the message I replied with...
Thank you for your interest in my blog, and your heartfelt and powerfully expressed comments. Since you have taken the time to let your thoughts on the issue be known, I’d like to share some of mine with you.
Statistical analysis tells me that this particular blog has been read and shared by more than many of my others, and there are also more comments upon it than any other. Whilst this pleases me in some ways, to be honest I have long feared that those reading it wholly missed the point, and your comments would seem to confirm this.
I am particularly concerned with your response that: “I'm still going to fuel on meat".
Let me rephrase that for you.
I'm still going to fuel on flesh.
I'm still going to fuel on suffering.
I'm still going to fuel on cruelty.
I'm still going to be complicit in taking lives unnecessarily.
I'm still going to sponsor acts of terror against creatures who simply want to stay alive.
You say that your logic for doing so is: “I need the protein” and “I see the protein not the animal”.
I’d like to point out that the 'need for protein' argument is pretty much the weakest, most empty and ill-informed of excuses that may be offered in favour of eating meat. Scientist and dieticians have long accepted that the flesh of other creatures is wholly unnecessary as a protein supply. Indeed eating it can be massively harmful for us. Would you like me to send you the scientific facts that prove this? To imagine that we may only get protein from dead animals is a ridiculous myth. But scientific fact aside, I can send you a list of the world class athletes (for whom protein supply is essential for peak and winning performance) who are vegan. If they can be successful without being part of the slaughter of 1.6 billion innocents per year, I’m sure you can too.
When you confess that ”I see the protein not the animal” I find myself wondering how you are so acutely aware of the suffering of the bull, yet you seem perfectly happy to allow even more horrendous tortures to take place in your name (as a meat eater) and feel perfectly reconciled with them.
Are you not aware of what happens to animals that are part of the meat production industry?
The vast majority of animals on the planet are now raised to feedlots wherein they seldom if ever see the sun. They live thankless lives during which they undergo routine abuse, before they are deprived of their all-too-brief lives at the hands of uncaring murderers whilst experiencing terrors every bit as vile as those the bull has gone through. They scream, cry tears and fight for the lives they cherish. I am able to send you videos that will demonstrate precisely and graphically what they go through if you are really in the dark about this. But I can promise you that if the plight of the bull moved you, you will shed rivers of tears for what you will see.
I totally concur that all bulls used for this barbaric sport deserve better. So why don’t all animals?
Maybe it is time to ask yourself how is it OK to view the vast majority of animals as simply protein if you can see the soul of the bull?
When you are prepared to turn a blind eye to their suffering is it:
Because it is convenient for you to pretend that the other creatures don't mind what fate they will face?
Because you may imagine that farmed animals are without the personality and feelings that you are endowing the bull with?
Because this bull had allegedly been loved beforehand and other animals aren’t?
Because this bull somehow has more feelings or a greater desire to live than any other animal that has been bred for food?
Because you recognise the perfidy with which this one individual has been treated but don’t think we owe a duty of kindness and compassion to all other beings?
You identify the bull as a 'better soul' than the man in the photo. Well maybe, but how did he come to be that way? If he is a better soul, might it not be the case that all animals are also possessed of equally worthy souls and deserve something a lot better than to end up on our plates?
You declare your condemnation for the hideous cruelty inflicted upon the bull. Can you not extend your compassion to the countless others who die agonising deaths unnecessarily because of fallacious myths about protein or our ignorant belief that animals are less important than we are?
Here’s the bottom line Chris.
While right thinking people continue to use vacuous and ill-considered excuses for why they still eat meat, the horrors that humans perpetrate upon the other beings we share the planet with will continue.
Perhaps, since you have sought to express your concern for this hapless soul, you might like to consider if you really feel comfortable being part of the mindless slaughter?
Wouldn’t you prefer, for your own sake and theirs, to have the clear conscience that can only be experienced by those who have realised that 'enough is enough' and chosen not to participate in a global slaughter that claims as many animal lives every five days as have been lost in all the wars since records began.
The truth is you don't need to get protein from other living beings.
That's a choice.
So ask yourself: Is complicity in cruelty, torture and murder, however it is wrapped up and excused, one that you want to live with?
Is that who you are?
If it is, please don't feel the need to be concerned about how this bull or any other creature meets its end.
Take comfort in the knowledge that it's just another piece of protein.
Only you know that’s not true, don’t you?
Here's my on-going concern. Chris was not the only one who could see only the plight of the unfortunate bull.
Maybe there's a message here for you too..?