Huffington Post contributor Marc Bekoff (Professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado) has written two books, The Emotional Lives of Animals (2008) and The Animal Manifesto (2010). He studies animals’ emotions, and illustrates not only that many animals have vast emotional and moral capacities, but that humans should have more compassion towards these sentient beings. Duh.
Bekoff notes in his HuffPost piece that he continually gets the response, “I know animals suffer, but I love my steak”. How often have you heard that? In grad school I was baffled by the otherwise intelligent individuals, well versed in ethical theory and otherwise quite profound, who offered up the same response to issues of animal suffering and exploitation. So, duh. Meat-eaters are often self-serving and as he points out, consciously deny an animals suffering in exchange for gastronomic pleasure, which incidentally, they think doesn’t exist in a vegan diet. Bekoff isn’t throwing out any surprises for me, or for meat-eaters.
Also, a day earlier HuffPost posted this article in which Bruce Friedrich says that eating animals is indefensible. Duh. I say duh, but what I mean is, YEAH (although in my much more pessimistic jaded tone and manner, because for realz, this seems like simple logic emmiright?). Friedrich travels around to college campuses debating the merits of vegetarianism tho, which I think is super cool. Also, he said this, which I had huge feelings about, and I wanted to share those feelings, because they felt good.
“Vegetarianism allows me to live my values — to “pray ceaselessly,” as St. Paul puts it: Every time I sit down to eat, I cast my lot: for mercy, against misery; for the oppressed, against the oppressor; and for compassion, against cruelty. There is a lot of suffering in the world, but how much suffering can be addressed with literally no time or effort on our part? We can just stop supporting it, by making different choices.”
Sigh. Yes. Share your feelings.