May 202014

animalwelfareTonight ends my Dominion Over Animals post series. I’m stopping at eight installments. Could have done 50.

I hope I’ve conveyed that there’s a lot for reasonable people to think about when it comes to how we treat animals. That’s been the point.

I skipped what I consider to be obvious things. Reasonable people don’t kick their dogs, or bet on cockfights, or eat shark fin soup. But there are a lot of reasonable people who go to the circus, or give no thought to buying eggs at the grocery store.

My friend, partner, and occasional Jiminy Cricket Saintseester aptly pointed out to me that these are invasive tendrils indeed. It’s great to stand up and say you’re going to buy cruelty-free eggs from a local person. Are you going to stop buying mayonnaise too?

Mayonnaise was her example, but the quandary extends to any processed food, or anything you buy in a restaurant, that contains an animal product. Some places take great pains, but most don’t. Generally, if you’re being served in a restaurant, or you’re purchasing a mass-market packaged grocery item, it’s a safe bet something heinous—something of which you wouldn’t approve were you granted an uncensored look—happened to bring it to you.

And that’s the hard one for me to think about. Killer whale shows, elephant shows, hunting—all of that’s easy for me to package and put away. But eating in restaurants? Wow, I don’t think anything else gives me so much pleasure for so little money. What am I party to if I continue unfettered?

Honestly, we’re still circling the problem at my house. We’ve made a solid change on eggs, but that’s all so far. We’ve begun discussing meats, when and how we’ll eat out, and so forth, but heightened awareness has not yet translated to action in those arenas. It’s a primary goal of mine this summer, though, and I anticipate reporting further changes.

Start yourself thinking. You might be surprised where you go on this. There is plenty for a middle-of-the-road sort of person to consider here.

You can read back over the entire post series. If you are interested in giving, learning further, or both, I recommend the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The ASPCA is a grounded and practical charity top to bottom, unlike some other organizations vying for your money and attention in this arena.

Thank you, readers, for exploring this topic with me. May none of us ever lose our capacities to learn and change.

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