I reflect on each day to figure out what lesson life has taught me and then I share it on this blog. Here is what I thought about today…
A local burger joint, Square 1, has a new billboard with a picture of a bespectacled smirking cow and the phrase, “humanely raised” plastered on it. This is a phrase I see often at burger bars, restaurants, and grocery stores (ironically, Square 1 offers a pretty delectable vegan patty, too).
Let’s be clear about something. There is no way to humanely raise anything with intent to murder. Being nice to someone before you kill them is not a justification for killing them. The phrase itself – “humanely raised” – is a contradiction in terms. To be “humane” requires, as a prerequisite, being “human”. Being human means being the only living being on the planet with both a conscience and the distinction of choice. We are not only the rulers of the entire Animal Kingdom but also we are the only species able to choose whether to live by murder, or thrive another way.
I do not grand-stand on my vegan soapbox often but the phrase “humanely raised” or “humanely farmed” or “humanely…” anything irks me in the worst way. If we choose not to live within a strong moral or ethical framework, that is our choice (as are the consequences of that choice), but at least let us not try to hide behind a blatantly hypocritical justification for living as a matter of our convenience.
If your character is so weak you simply can not keep yourself from murdering and eating burned animal skin and flesh, that’s your own weird problem. As an alternative, though, I recommend this: have a little self-respect. Our species can be better than a life of apologetically murdering for convenience.
Skipping a burger tonight won’t kill you.. or the cow. And that is actually being humane.
(And, hey, I know many people – including some of my family and friends – are going to make a crass joke here, “If God didn’t want us to eat burgers, then He wouldn’t have made them taste so good…” or some other juvenile justification, but it is not funny to me. I’ll laugh with you because I am polite and I am in the minority, but I really don’t see the humor.
Also, this is not a shot across the bow toward non-vegans. The shot across the bow was when people hypocritically started using “humanity” as an excuse for being anything but human, and directed that at vegans. Apologies for my directness. I don’t usually like to take a superior tone because I am not a perfect vegan, or a perfect person either. But I couldn’t stand by idly on this one. Rant over.)