One thing that is really getting to me about this whole thing is how people are freaking out because it’s a well known lion. It doesn’t matter if the lion was famous or anonymous or even if it was a hyena; how the fuck is wounding an animal with a bow and arrow and then following it for 40 hours before shooting it dead an enjoyable pastime, let alone one that’s worth paying $55k to participate in?
And this leads me to another point: many people are (correctly) upset about the 40 hours of pain this animal had to endure before finally being killed. These are the same people that get upset about cruelty to dogs and share horrifying stories on Facebook, or freak out when they learn about someone microwaving a kitten, or any number of horrible acts committed against animals – but it seems to only cause outrage when the cruelty is against species that are commonly regarded as pets. A lot of these same people will happily buy and eat factory farmed meat without thinking twice.
I hate knowing this, but pigs are just as smart, just as emotional, and just as maternal as dogs. A pig bred for meat suffers for a lot longer than 40 hours (from birth to death, their life is little other than pain, cruelty, and discomfort). Their suffering is mental, physical, and emotional.
Lately, I’m struggling to keep my mouth shut. I’m struggling to stop myself from calling out hypocrisy. You cannot own a dog (or any pet) and claim to love it and recoil at cruelty to dogs – then turn around and eat mass-produced bacon.
Would you rip out your puppy’s teeth, cut their ears, and clip their tails without anesthetic? Would you keep your bitch separated from her pups by a metal fence from the minute they’re born, only giving them enough contact to feed? Would you keep your dog in a crate that didn’t allow him to turn around or move properly? Would you euthanize unwanted or sick puppies by holding them by their hind legs, lifting them up, and then slamming their heads into the ground? Would you kill your dog using gas while they scream and thrash, then slit their throat and hang them upside down to bleed out while they’re (very often) still conscious?
Then rethink your meat choices.
Don’t get me wrong: I fucking love meat. It’s delicious. It’s hardwired into us to be delicious.
When I can get it from someone that can guarantee that the animal was raised and killed in a humane manner (labelling doesn’t mean shit nowadays – you need to know the farm), including living a natural life with sun, space, and freedom, I’ll go to town on that shit.
Ignorance is not an acceptable excuse anymore, and wilful ignorance (not wanting to know because it makes you sad) is even worse. Mass meat production is horrible, and it should make you sad.
Watch your dog: it misses you when you’re gone. It wants warmth and comfort and contact. It needs stimulation, sun, exercise. It likes a comfy bed and cuddles. Pigs (and most other vertebrates) are exactly the same. They feel heat, cold, pain, happiness, sadness, and anxiety. Stop lumping animals into specific groups based on whether you think their species deserves a good life or not. As animals, we all deserve comfort and freedom. All of us.
If you can watch videos of what goes on in factory farms and still go to the supermarket and buy your favorite brand of pre-packaged bacon, then go home to your dog and treat it like royalty, then I don’t know what to say to you. You’re part of the problem.
And no, I’m not linking to any videos of factory farming practices to prove my point. Use Google like an adult and do your own research. It’s all there, in the open – as much as the industry wants to hide it.
And no, I’m not perfect. I wear leather, I eat eggs and some dairy, and most seafood products. But I’m trying, and I’m learning. I encourage you to do the same.