At one time or another we have all said, ‘It’s my life,’ and we have all been told, ‘It’s your life’. We all understand and are deeply aware of this concept, that no matter how we may seek to influence another human, in the end it all comes down to their own right of determination.
Not one of us could put a monetary value on life. Life cannot be bought, and it cannot be sold. We are outraged at the deliberate taking of human lives in any circumstance; to needlessly take another’s life is one of the ultimate taboos. It provokes strong emotion in us as we consider how we would feel if the deceased were close to us; we grieve the wasted potential, the lost opportunities, the lifetime of joys and sadnesses that will now not be possible.
What makes us imagine that we as a species are any different from the millions of other species in this world? They share our sentience, our capacity for joy and happiness, grief and misery. The life of every individual matters to them. They form bonds with family and friends, they seek to avoid pain and they fight with every last breath to remain alive. They are aware of what is happening to them.
They are like us in every significant way and like us, their lives are beyond price. But their lives can be stolen.
Indeed their lives must be stolen so we can sell the lifeless corpses of life’s rightful owners by the pound or kilo, so that we may enslave and corrupt the reproductive processes of our innocent victims to sell their milk or eggs, so that we may test chemicals and procedures on their trembling pain-wracked bodies, use them as ingredients or commodities, or be ‘entertained’ by the results of our having broken and bent their innocence and vulnerability to our will.
Every nonvegan consumer choice involves the theft of a life. Every life, a life to which we had no right, a life whose owner’s fundamental right to live we ignored. Every theft is an affirmation of our lack of respect for the vulnerable, a gesture of our support for needless violence and oppression. In most cases, it is also an action that completely contradicts our own perception of ourselves – and the impression we like to project – as someone who ‘cares for animals’
We can reject our role in the nightmare, can live and thrive without causing needless harm. Why not start today?