Just a thought...
Most of us never get to question the beliefs we adopt when growing up. The values of society are the ones we often take for granted.
But what if they're wrong to begin with?
We've come a long way...
but we're not there yet.
In the last couple of decades, our societes have made some ethical progress. More and more we reject the dscrimination and oppression based on trivial aspects such as the colour of our skin, the gender we partain to, our ethnicity, our social status, our sexual preference...
Many of us came to realise those are not the criteria to treat someone with respect.
But then, what is that one criterion? As humans, we all are very different, yet in one sense, we are very much alike.
No matter what race, gender, religion, nationality, ethnicity, age, subculture or social group we belong to; no matter our intelligence, fysiology and capacities; no matter our preferred food, sports or country to travel to...
All of us can feel. The same fear. The same happiness. Loneliness. Grief. Joy. Frustration. Love and friendship.
This leads us to the same basic desires, and the same basic interests. This makes us the same, although we are all different. No matter who we are, we know perfectly what we strive for and what we want to avoid in life. We are all sentient beings. It is the most important basis for morality.
But we're not alone
Although we try our very best to deny it
Only some people deny that other animals can, to a great extent, feel the same emotions. Most of us realise well enough that pigs, cows, chickens and fish, just like cats and dogs, are very aware of what happens of them.
They too are sentient beings. They too have the same desires, the same interests.
Have a look for yourself...
Our societies have made some progress, yet in all of them we are still raised and educated into believing that what those other animals feel, is not important. Their desires, interests and very lives are valued less than the taste, comfort or social ease we obtain from making them from someone into something. The reason? The species they belong to.
This not at all very different from racism, sexism, ageism, ableism... and is known as speciesism.
It is a discrimination, leading to oppression. And it is unjust.
So what now?
The next step in ethical progress: veganism
Once we realise what speciesism and its moral implications are, the following steps are logical. We can choose to abstain from the objectification and commodification of other sentient beings, and live a life in which we do not consider them our property. We can choose no longer to partake in their enslavement and killing. We can choose a vegan lifestyle.
Being vegan is exactly this: abstaining from the consumption of animal products (whether we eat, drink or wear it), products that have been tested on them, or come from their labour or captivity. It is, in practice, abstaining from their slavery.
Let's inform ourselves to do the right thing
Veganism is a healthy and suitable choice for every human, in any stage of life. To make the transition though, we need some more information. So have a look at some websites such as Animal Equality's website, Vegan Action, Vegan.com or the Vegan Society. Or try to find vegans in your neighbourhood; chance is they're willing to help you out with the ethical choice you made.
It is never to late to do good for others. Why not start now?