Sunday, January 10, 2010

Animal Cruelty

I just wiped the tears from my cheeks while watching the hour and a half long documentary film Earthlings narrated by Joaquin Phoenix. It's really intense, just heart-breaking really... I never really gave a huge amount of thought to animal suffering, of course being a vegan, I know it exists and I've certain read quite a bit about it. I've also seen some of those short PETA films about the suffering but I've mainly gone vegan for health reasons. I stopped eating red meat when I was 14 and I stopped eating all meats all together at the age of 21. I stopped eating dairy and eggs over a year ago. I certainly do feel compassion for the animals and object to eating them as well as purchasing their skins and so forth. In general, I do whatever I can to avoid contributing to their suffering although being a student with very little money and being given an old pair of leather boots or whatever... well I think it's worse to throw the boots away which contributes to harming the environment. However, when it's time to get a new pair of boots, I look for ones that are cruelty free.

Anyway, my point being, no matter what I thought I knew, after watching this film my heart just aches with the tragedy that has befallen the wonderful creatures that share the earth with us. The horror that befell the Jews during the Holocaust, the sexism and racism that has existed for centuries (and still exists today), homophobia, and every single other prejudice that humans have for their fellow beings, are at the same damn level that animal cruelty exists on. Species-ism. I wish that everyone would watch this video, I wish that everyone knew what they unknowingly or knowingly participate in. Most people are ignorant about how they get their food, clothing and entertainment and many will never know, but even if just one more person learns of the horrors that animals suffer through for human beings, then at least that is something. Some very powerful words echoed from this film, 'We reap what we sow' and 'what comes around goes around'. People are killing themselves and we don't even know it. Read something, watch something, learn something; everyone should watch this film. Don't turn away because you feel guilt or horror because we've all contributed knowingly or unknowingly, the least we can do is feel sorrow for what we've done. Then we should resolve to change our ways, to speak out, and to be empathetic and compassionate towards the creatures that share our planet. And then, when we can do that, stand up and fight for their rights because don't we all have rights? Even if we're not all at the same intelligence level animals still feel pain. It's our job to protect them as caretakers of the earth.

This is a graphic film but very important. Watch it and tell your friends to watch it.