A large percentage of the people in the United States and other Western "First World" countries have companion animals, also known as pets, in and around their homes. Most of these are dogs, cats, horses, parakeets, etc. We humans tend to form very close attachments to these non-humans, and the death of one usually causes deep mourning in the other. It is doubtful that any of these humans would ever consider killing the "pet" they love, let alone cook it for dinner. Such a thought would most likely sicken them. These feelings of compassion are natural. They are part of the way in which God created us.
But, at the same time that we are having these loving feelings towards our own companion animals, are we also chewing away upon the flesh of another animal, just as lovable, such as a chicken, a pig, or a cow?
We would never consider keeping a dog in a cage so small it cannot turn around or lay down. We would never let our cat live in a box where it had to lay in its own feces. We would never keep our parrot in a cage so small it cannot spread its wings after clipping its beak so short it can barely eat. Yet, this is the common method used to keep cattle, veal, pigs, turkeys, and chickens.
Because we humans have compassionate hearts, we want people who are cruel to our pet animals to go to jail. Yet, daily most of us vote in favor of horrid cruelty by purchasing the meat of other animals. Many humans fail to make the connection, or simply may not WANT to make the connection, which is a form of denial and leads to the hardening of our hearts. In our minds, we sanitize what we are doing. We see only "food", or we picture only the living animal and not how it got to our plate. We even name them differently – a steer or pig is called “livestock”. A turkey or chicken is called “fowl”. I've even heard the argument that horse slaughter in the US is bad because it competes with the beef industry. Really? Then I hear, "but humans NEED meat to survive" or "man has developed as an omnivore, we are SUPPOSED to be this way." Again, really? I am perfectly healthy not eating animals or their byproducts. I understand that no one wants to be called cruel. But people who promote cruelty rarely like having others tell them they are doing so. They like to maintain the illusion that they are somehow good people, and having others point at them and reveal that, hey, they're not doing good THINGS, really rankles them.
So, to my omnivore friends, which of the following meats is it okay to eat?
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