The Neverending Story: Our Treatment of Animals
(copyright Mark Cox; source)
I am not hypocrite. I do not hold that it is ok to kill pigs for food, but it is not ok to kill dogs or dolphins with the same aim. “Superior” flesh-eating animals (humans included) always kill in order to feed themselves. This is nature’s food chain. Moreover, what we eat is determined by nature in case of non-human animals, and by culture in case of humans. So probably an Indian is equally outraged by the thought that I eat cow, as I am outraged by the idea that Chinese people eat dogs.
The problem is not so much the fact that we kill for food – the problem is rather what we eat and how we treat those animals before eating them. I hold it is immoral to kill animals from endangered species for food; and it is immoral to treat animals with cruelty before or in the course of killing them. Moreover, to mistreat and kill animals just for fun (as toreros do in Spanish bullfighting) reveals (at least for me) something very ugly about human being as such.
But toreros are not the only mean exponents of human nature. There are also the inhabitants from the Faroe Islands. They kill every year hundreds of whales and dolphins, and they really seem to find a lot of fun in this show. Indeed, everything looks like a popular festival. What kind of festival? You can read the story and watch some pictures (don’t look if your heart is weak!) here. You can find out more about the history of whaling in the Faroe Islands here. And the proof that they also kill dolphins is to be found here.
Of course, they defend their practice by saying that this is their tradition. But tradition alone, tradition in itself can never be a good argument. The human being must adapt itself and change its habits, if these habits have disastrous physical and moral consequences. But probably I’m too naïve.
[By the way: aren’t whales and dolphins endangered species?]