A thought on ‘less use’

When we talk to others about ‘less’ animal use, we are encouraging them to think of nonhuman animals as a quantity that can be reduced, in the same we that we think of using less oil or less sugar. It’s not surprising that this can seem praiseworthy.

Only, they’re NOT a ‘quantity’ that we can cut down on. They are nameless, it’s true, but even their numbered ear tags should always remind us that our victims are a number, a group. Their numbers may be breathtakingly large, but they are nevertheless individuals, sentient, each one unique, each one with an equal right to their own life, each one desperate to live that life unharmed. When we think of them as individuals, see them in our mind’s eye, gazing on us with the fear and desperation that they endure as the inevitable consequence of our treatment of them as resources, it becomes unthinkable that we could ever condone the inflicting of needless harm on any one of them.

Rather than encouraging the continuation of unnecessary harm that is ‘less’ use, let’s remember always the individual faces of those who are depending on us to end the system that regards them as things for our use. When we fail to represent them as individuals, we are utterly betraying those unique children of other species who will continue to endure the existence that our needless use inflicts on them.

‘Less’ use does not cut down harm for all our victims. At best ‘less’ use may save a small number of individuals but for the rest, the torment of their existence as commodities and commercial assets will be unchanged.

What’s even worse, those who continue to pay for it by not being vegan will feel encouraged that they are doing something positive and that’s not true. We owe them better than that. We owe them the truth.

Which one do you think deserves to die for human indulgence? Whose desperate pleas deserve to be ignored? Who deserves to stand quaking and trembling in the gore of the slaughterhouse? Could any of us make that choice? I know I couldn’t. They all deserve the very best that we can do for them, and that means asking others to stop deliberately hurting them. All of them. That means asking others to be vegan.

Be vegan.

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11 Responses to A thought on ‘less use’

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  7. Thomas K says:

    I do love your writing style!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Shannon says:

    All of them. Pure and simple. Use of another without consent even a teensy bit will ultimately result in exploitation, particularly when $ is to be made from it. Just say no, and as a vegan, GET IN WAY when others don’t. That means speaking up often and putting the face to their morally contradictory choices.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Keith Berger says:

    Thank you for this poignant and compelling essay with its reminder that, when we view non-humans as individuals rather than identity-less objects in abstract groups, we come to the understanding that exploiting and killing them is morally unacceptable. With such an understanding comes a choice – change our behavior to live vegan and therefore with ethical integrity or continue on as we were, knowingly complicit in the wanton destruction of innocent lives to serve and satisfy our pleasure, comfort and convenience.

    For me, there was and is only one choice – to live vegan.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. So true, so sad. So sad.
    But people just don’t see the reality, just the abstract idea of it, they are too distanced from it to really feel it, and it makes it too easy to dismiss and ignore; they are lazy and don’t like having to think too much; wilful ignorance, that is encouraged everywhere. Or they flat out don’t care and that’s another matter.
    It is truly haunting isn’t it, to know the overwhelming suffering going on every day that is just accepted as how things are??
    Humanity does have a fundamental flaw I believe, the evidence of which is everywhere.
    All we can do is keep on and keep caring, in any way we can.
    Thank you for being one of the carers…..

    Liked by 1 person

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