When millions of chickens are tortured, killed and eaten, no one bats an eye. No one cries over a plate of steak or questions a Thanksgiving turkey. But when a rich man, dentist Walter Palmer, paid a great amount to kill Cecil the lion, people all over the world cry out for justice. We can compare this to when people want dog fighters to be punished, but willingly give money to support the meat industry where animals are equally abused. Yes, the killing of Cecil deserves attention, but this tragic event has an even bigger picture to look at.
Cecil is No Different From Other Animals
There is a huge hypocrisy that no one wants to discuss. Why? I believe it comes down to guilt. If people can place blame elsewhere and remove themselves far enough from the problem, they can feel better about themselves.
What makes one life more important than another? Why are petitions being created in order to get justice for Cecil, but not for the equally innocent pigs that are trapped in overcrowded factories? Shouldn’t all lives matter, without regard to “cuteness” or “lovability”? The public masses are so quick to protest when it comes to a trending topic and then disappear once it is forgotten after a few days. That doesn’t mean the real problem goes away.
The bigger issue arises when there is only a handful of people that are demanding justice or humane treatment to the animals in the meat and dairy industries. It pains me to have conversations with people who cry over news about Cecil, while they are eating a burger or wearing leather sneakers.
How Can We Enforce Animal Equality?
So, how do we bring awareness to the public that will stick? What story would have to be shown to change peoples’ minds? It is a touchy topic because nobody wants to reassess their own actions. It is easier to blame other people, to look away from the real problem than to actually do something about it.
If you know someone who is upset about a dog abuser, or a lion hunter, ask them: what they are doing differently? Just because they are not the ones who are torturing the animal, does not make them any less guilty. Maybe it is just me, but I always take great concern when people want to run away from the real problem. Perhaps the media has to bring more light to the issues of factory farming and the process of killing. This way, instead of being part of the reason it occurs, we can band together and come up with a better solution. It is hard, like all good causes, but in the end it would be worth it if we can prevent any more animals from suffering.
Yes, taking the life of a lion is sad, but no less than a cows’ or a pigs’. We need to stop separating beliefs on which animals are pets, or attractions, and which ones are food and products. This seems to be the only way to get it through to the public and end the hypocrisy.