Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Ethics, Karma And Dead Deer

Dear You know who you are.

We live in a world where it is socially acceptable to have others mistreat animals before we eat them. Fact.

Unless you have hunted: felt your nervous system change gear and go into predator mode, killed and felt the vortex of emotions, then feasted on the flesh of another being, your opinion is abstract, a fantasy based on accumulated preferences, prejudices, and reactions to social norms. It's your right to engage in that, I'd defend that right to the death if need be. Just, please, please dont eat a burger from a factory farm and tell me killing is wrong.

So you used to be vegetarian, but now you eat some meats, but nothing with a face. A lot of animals died for your vegetables to grow, so it's OK to kill mice and bugs but not deer? I keep searching google images for that 'fish that doesn't look like fish', and the 'faceless animal' (we both know you've never tried worms) and they don't seem to exist. Those soya beans grew in a field where a lot of plants and animals had to die for a mono-culture to exist. Your morality, the same morality your parade in front of me, can only exist if someone else kills and processes animals for you out of your sight.

Oh you like eggs? Me too, lets us put the suffering of the factory chicken to one side for a moment, and think of the Fox who had to die so you could have eggs. Non lethal means? So you'd prefer Mr Fox starved to death rather than the bullet he never saw coming?

Karma: I'm going to spell this out for you. Nowhere in the original concept is there a one-to-one relationship between actions. End Of. Karma is not a concept of fairness, never has been never will be. "Karma's a bitch, she'll get you every time" is an entirely western concept. A comfort blanket for the person who wants revenge, but wants to take no responsibility for seeking revenge and cannot bear to think of themselves as a vengeful person. I'm sorry but life just isn't one plus one equals two.

Now for the emotive bit:

The other day a wannabe Buddhist and I sat down for a chat, I'll admit I was stirring the pot - when I need to spend time with someone who agrees with me I stay at home and talk to myself - I told him about WDM Bell and the 1,100 elephants he shot. Bear with me I said it was the emotive bit.

Wannabe Buddhist pulled his 'oh the pain of the world' face and told me that it was to be Bell's karma to be the last elephant, and to be shot by a fat american. Putting to one side his prejudice against fat people (frankly he could lose a few himself) and his prejudice based on the accident of a persons birthplace.
Bell did it for the money, yes he revelled in a sense of adventure, but fundamentally he shot the elephants because he wanted the money their ivory was worth. As a by product of the way he hunted, he fed hundreds of people. Yep he went to Africa and fed poor people. Where Elephants lived wild and free he shot them without their ever having known he was there, they were dead before the rifles bang reached their ears. The locals ate them. Where the Elephants were trampling and eating the crops of the poorest people on earth, he turned the loss of farmed foods into meat. Now tell me about about your cozy definition of Karma.

Sitting Bull "when the buffalo are gone we will hunt mice, for we are hunters and we want our freedom."

Let's not get started on the racism of your views about indigenous hunting, me and the deer are indigenous to northern europe, maybe if I dressed a little more colourfully you'd show me the same courtesy?

At last when we've talked it over, and you can't overcome the simple honest logic of the meat eater hunting their own dinner, I ask you if your objection isn't simply that I enjoy it, and you've said yes, so I'd like to pose this question

We humans are hard wired to enjoy the things we need to do in order for us to survive, thrive and procreate. Only in industrialised society do people toil at jobs they hate, to live lies that leave them unfulfilled.  I wish to live wild and free in nature, I'd like my dinner to live the same way, it's a freedom I'd extend to you too.

Thanks for reading

If this post has made you think differently about your dinner, or your more certain than ever, or somewhere in between Leave a Comment I'd like to hear what you think.