Animals shouldn’t suffer to be our food

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Mahatma Gandhi once said (and I’m paraphrasing) that you can judge a society based on the way it treats its animals. I’ve always thought Gandhi was one of the greatest, most intelligent human beings to ever graced the earth. His teachings changed the world, and it’s not difficult to understand why. Especially when you consider his view on animals.

Mahatma Gandhi (Photo via Wikipedia)
Mahatma Gandhi
(Photo via Wikipedia)

Now, I feel I should make myself clear on something first. I am a human being and I did not claw my way to the top of the food chain to just eat grass. I love meat. Almost all forms of it to be exact. However, I still respect and sympathize for the life that had to end for me to continue living.

The other day I was perusing a local bookstore and found Marley and Me by John Grogan. I’d always heard it was good, so I read it. I’ll say one thing, that author definitely knows what it’s like to own a dog. I got all bubbly and happy one minute and then teary-eyed and sappy the next. If you don’t believe that animals have souls, then I suggest you read this book. Your perspective on dog people will be changed forever.

Each and every living organism throughout the entire world deserves respect. Animals have a soul if you will. A sort of essence that is noble and beautiful on its own. I’m not saying that animals have the same form of consciousness as humans. However, I can look into an animal’s eyes and see understanding, love, happiness, sorrow, contempt, and even anxiety. Animals definitely feel emotions.

That fact alone is enough proof for me to believe in the idea of animal rights, the idea that animals should not be forced to suffer abuse or neglect. Animals deserve the right to experience life as it should be lived.

And back to what I was saying before, I love meat. I won’t stop eating meat because I need to survive, and I’m skinny enough as it is. However, the stories I’ve heard about the living conditions of animals in the meat processing industry are abhorrent.

For example Tyson pumps tons of steroids into baby chickens to make them grow both faster and larger. Not only is this terrible for the animals, but imagine what those steroids and hormones are doing to our bodies.

Hens confined to single cages to produce eggs. (Photo via Wikipedia)
Hens confined to single cages to produce eggs.
(Photo via Wikipedia)

With respect to Gandhi, I think to myself what he would have to say about our society, based on the way we treat our animals. Would he approve? Probably not. And this is so because he believed in the noble spirit that exists in every living creature.

If we’re capable of causing so much pain and hurt to animals, then what’s next? Hitler took it to the next level. So did Europeans during the slave trade with the Americas.

If we intend to hold on to our own humanity, then we must start by showing love and kindness to those who feel it but can’t say it. There are many no-kill animal shelters in L.A., and they all run on a non-profit basis.

These establishments believe in the ethical treatment of animals and they could truly use any help you can give. Whether it’s donating money, or dropping off pet supplies, or even volunteering which could brighten an animal’s day, we can all make a difference, no matter how big or small. Every little bit helps and animals everywhere will sleep a little better at night.