Looking at the world and our place in it, it seems simple enough to realize that when we are able to make things better for others without any cost to ourselves, we would do so. For if there were a way to feed a hungry stranger which didn’t cost a thing, then the hungry stranger would be fed. This seems unquestionable.
In the real world though, there are costs attached to most things, but even still, if we were able to feed a hungry stranger without muchcost to ourselves, we would do so, or at least we should do so, if the stranger was truly in need and without other options. We’d all hope, no doubt, that if we found ourselves in such dire straits, or worse, if our children did, we’d all hope that strangers would do what they could to help. It’s better to be kind than not.
But in some cases, we really can help others at no cost to ourselves, especially when the help we can offer would mean so much to them.
The cow, pig, chicken or fish who loses her life to become someone’s dinner loses everything in the world, for once and for all. It would mean so much to such a being to be spared the butcher’s block, to go on living the only life they will ever have. It would mean so much to them, as only they can understand it, on their terms, from their perspective.
Would it cost the rest of us so much to grant them their lives? In comparison to the loss of everything they have ever been, could ever know and might ever be, is the next meal you eat worth that at all? If you were stranded at sea, with nothing to eat, and no-one to help you, foregoing the food you could get from a fish might mean your certain death. That would be a cost too grave, perhaps, to let fishes live. But in this world of plenty, of excess, of bounty, can the deaths of fishes be sanctioned?
I think not.
You have the power to make the world a better place for so many others, so many who have no power. You can do it without any cost to yourselves. You are not stranded at sea with no other options, you can easily choose to stop being part of the slaughter. It would cost you next to nothing, and to them, it would mean so much.
Please go vegan.