Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism
A shark has been 'bludgeoned to death' in front of horrified people in a town in NSW.
Of course I am as horrified as my fellow countryfolk but can't help feeling mad at their disconnect. How do we get people to make the connection? These people will head home for a plate of 'meat' & will be consumed with what they witnessed by the seaside but not give a second thought to what they did not witness at the abattoir.
I think we should take this opportunity to discuss the disconnect with our non vegan friends & family etc.
People seem outraged that a baby Great White Shark has been bludgeoned to death on the NSW south coast. I agree with them, this is a disgrace.
But, the fact that the men who did so were "fishermen" (this means they were also bludgeoning/suffocating fishes to death), and that the people who were crying for this baby also eat other babies (sheeps, chickens, cows ...) seems to be lost on those mourning the death of this particular baby. Why can't we treat all babies, adults and other individuals equally?
Sharron, you've suggested that we use incidents such as this one to talk to people about why they don't think about the killing they don't see when a killing like this one that they do see bothers them so much. I agree with that, but I think there's something more going on than just not seeing.
When something like this happens, I believe that people are shocked because they rightly understand it as senseless. However, people do not understand as senseless the killing of the billions of other animals. Because these billions are slaughtered for the food, clothing and other things we make from them, that killing is understood to have a useful purpose. The purpose makes sense, so the killing make sense.
I think it wouldn't matter to most people if they saw how other animals are routinely slaughtered - indeed, most people who do see it don't stop eating and using other animals. As long as the killing makes sense, as long as it serves a useful purpose, it will continue. How do we get people to understand that it doesn't make sense?
Interesting perspective Tim. I have never been a supporter of the saying 'if slaughterhouses had glass walls everyone would be vegetarian' perhaps for just this very reason. People believe that they have some sort of right to eat 'meat'. I see how someone could believe there is senseless killing, like this example, & killing that makes sense - food.
Short of absolutely losing faith in the human race, short of smashing my head against a brick wall 'how do we get people to understand that it doesn't make sense?'.
The answer please........
I think that the conversation about other animals must occur within the context of a broader discussion of the exploitation of the many at the hands of the few - we have little chance of re-imagining our relationship with other animals when we seem unable to imagine our fellow human beings as equals.
I think perhaps this incident, and the reaction of onlookers and those still reacting to it through social media etc, is a perfect display of speciesism.
It seems to me that the reason many onlookers were distraught was because the GW shark is an endangered species, and recognised as quite a magnificent species. I don't think the reaction and subsequent commentary would have been similar at all if the species of shark killed had been something less "magnificent" or particularly not an endangered species. I also don't think the reaction would have been as emotional if this individual slaughtered wasn't a baby.
Interesting Carolyn. I sent the story, via email, to my neighbour & asked for her point of view. Her reply was 'oh it was just a baby'. I took that to infer that had the shark been older it would not have been so awful.
That's interesting, Sharron. I wonder if those who were upset about this baby being killed, consider that the babies they, and most humans consume every day, are hurt and used far more.
Yes, it seems people were upset because this poor little soul was a baby.
They tend to forget that when the baby grows that their lives are just as important to themselves and their own species around them.
And that the grown sharks that are slaughtered were once babies enjoying their lives while growing to adult hood.
It truly is getting people to look within and realise that the adult animals were once babies and that they deserve to live and survive till the end of their natural lives. And for whatever reason people push this reasoning aside. Why? Because I feel they are scared to feel and rationalise the truth ... scary stuff.
What Sharron and people like myself need is "The answer please........"
I may start a new thread asking this, as some of us newbies really need some guidance here.
It would be great to start a new thread, Kath! I think we could all use some guidance from each other! :)
Sadly there is no single answer.
What we have here is an example of moral bankruptcy...a lack of moral intelligence from a species that boasts about its rational superiority over the animals ; there is no genuine shame or sense of guilt and what little there may be expressed is soon forgotten because what humans often refer to as "conscience" is sadly lacking or totally non-existent.