When we look at the vast amounts of videos which circulate social media, viewed by millions – what is so often their subject? Its animals! Who doesn’t express the odd “oooh”, and “aaah” or laugh at puppy videos, kitten videos, horse videos, babies and dogs videos, cats getting frights videos, baby elephant playing with their trunks videos, foxes jumping on beds videos and animal rescue videos? You name it, we all watch it!
And why? Well, for the love of animals.
In general, we humans have a natural affinity for animals and an inborn desire to interact with them. The simplest example of this is to watch children: given half an opportunity, most children will reach out to stroke any cat, dog or rabbit they find themselves next to.
Our affinity to animals is reflected in our day to day lives by the pets we keep. It’s the soothing purr of a kitty on your lap, or the ever-enthusiastic canine greeting when you arrive home. Its that unconditional love and acceptance which our animals provide that bring us both great joy and pleasure.
This is not just a personal perception either; its been scientifically researched. Many studies have now shown that human-animal interactions actually have both psychological and physiological benefits, helping to reduce our stress and anxiety levels and enhancing overall human health.
Many animal lovers take their passion for animals to the next level – perhaps by providing foster care for pets without homes, or by volunteering at local animal shelters, or by only buying pets from rescue charities, or by donating to animal organisations.
The love and care for animals has inspired wonderful human beings all around the world to work in the fields of conservation, zoology, marine biology, veterinary care, and animal activism. These professions often require incredible commitment and courage – which we humans are capable of, because of our great love for animals.
We are naturally “animal lovers”.
But what many of us don’t realise, is that every day we are living incongruently with this most sacred and natural of our values.
We are living, every day, completely out of alignment with our deep love for animals.
Lets take a closer look at this quandary.
We go to great efforts to protect and care for certain groups of animals.
Yet at the same time, we are party to the cause of great suffering and ultimately death of many other animals.
On the one hand, we see domestic animals such as cats, dogs and horses, or wildlife such as whales, elephants and rhinos; as having a certain value.
But on the other hand, we see cows, pigs, sheep, fish, chickens, turkeys, lambs and calves as having a lesser value and somehow “different”.
Why do we do this? Well, we “animals lovers” suffer from two Conditions:
Firstly we are an expression of Speciesism. Like Racism, Classism and Feminism – Speciesism is cut from the same cloth as other discriminatory belief systems. Speciesism is a form of discrimination in favour of one species, over another – whether it be human as superior to animals, or dogs as superior to pigs, cats superior to chickens, horses superior to cows.
As a result of this, we suffer from Cognitive Dissonance. This is the mental discomfort experienced when we hold contradictory beliefs or values.
A leader on this topic is Dr Melanie Joy. Dr Joy’s work centres around the psychology of eating meat and what is known as the “meat paradox” which is our inconsistent, irrational and species-specific attitudes toward various animals; why we express affection towards certain animals while eating others.
Speciesism and the Cognitive Dissonance it causes, are entirely cultural.
From infancy, we’re taught to see “farm animals” as different to other animals.
We are taught that animals which become our food do not have the same capacity to feel emotions, needs, and fears – as the other animals we love, cherish and protect.
You and I are not alone, we are all in the same boat, raised with the same prejudiced belief systems.
But when looked at this entirely objectively - we can see just how absurd it is.
If we strip away our cultural conditioning, we see that farm animals are exactly the same as all other animals.
Farm animals too feel pain, feel fear, feel hunger, sense danger, are sentient, express happiness, have needs such as freedom to move, to play, to bond, to nurture, to nest.
Their lives are as valuable, each and every one – as any other animal that we cherish, respect, protect and love.
Its simply the function that we have placed on them, that means we see them differently in our minds. It’s a perception… in our minds…of them. But they themselves, of themselves, intrinsically, are no different to any other animal.
To be the ultimate animal lover and to truly be alignment with our values, we have to recognise that we cannot stroke the head of our dog affectionately with one hand, whilst placing our fork into the flesh of a steak with the other.
The steak was once a living, feeling, sentient animal, just like the dog sitting next to us.
We cannot love the one and eat the other. They are no different. They are one and the same and are all deserving of the same treatment.
When this penny drops and we stop resisting the truth we have always known, its as if the pieces of a puzzle fall into place. To truly be the ultimate animal lover, by its very essence, we cannot support the suffering and killing of farm animals, any more than any other animal.
Its at this junction of awareness, that we can choose to adopt a plant based lifestyle.
And here is the really good news. There is an incredibly powerful sense of joy, peace and contentment that comes with feeling truly and honestly in line with your values. That sense of conflict disappears, that pressured hunt for organic free-range meat as a conscience-appeasing choice is no longer necessary.
You have found a Truth and it feels so good.
No taste sensation will ever compare to that very deep feeling of being in integrity with your love of animals.
If you want to become the Ultimate Animal Lover but you need a helping hand, then look no further. We are here to support your journey going forward and we have a FREE PLANT BASED NUTRITION VIDEO SERIES for you, which covers everything you need to know if you would like to consider a vegan lifestyle.
The choice is yours. Be the Ultimate Animal Lover you know you can be.
The medical and/or nutritional information on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please seek medical advice before using diet to treat disease.