melbourne vegan

Jaclyn McCosker


Meat eaters confuse desensitisation with necessity

Meat eaters confuse desensitisation with necessity

During the documentary Cowspiracy I was hit with a realisation about the thousands of angry meat eating comments I’ve seen on Facebook over the years. Meat eaters confuse being desensitised to violence as coming to terms with the fact violence is necessary.

You know the scene, where that man murders and butchers a duck? He explains that when he was 4 his father first made him watch a slaughter. At first it was horrifying but then he realised “it was just something that had to be done.” (Of course, the movie goes on to prove beyond a doubt that it in fact, does not need to be done.)

It was very clear that this poor little boy has confused his need to desensitise himself to violence with an adequate justification of violence such as that “humans need to eat duck.” He was forced to watch an act of unspeakable graphic violence while barely out of toddlerhood, and as such, that child has grown up apologetic of violence towards animals. He has been raised to see systematic slaughter as a simple life necessity because it is his family’s chosen livelihood.

What he fails to include in the facts of life, is the fact that duck is not remotely necessary in a human diet. Nor is it an economically or environmentally sound choice. The only part that’s necessary is his family trying to make back the money they’ve invested in the duck farm to make a living.

And breeding ducks for money? That’s not necessary.

Before you dismiss this, of course I’m not talking about this man alone. A scroll through the comments section on any vegan post will tell you that the “but it’s necessary” argument is strong. On account of our imaginary canine teeth, usually. Or because lions do it, apparently.

A woman just yesterday blew up at an article about banning chick hatchings in school. “I was forced to watch a slaughter as a young child and of course it was horrifying but I got over it. It’s just part of life.” I simply commented in response, “It’s only part of life if you choose it to be. You could choose to keep everyone alive and happy.”

We know through many decades of science that eating animals is A) the leading cause of death in Western countries and B) the leading cause of climate change. We know beyond any measure of a doubt that pure vegetarian diets fulfil 100% of all dietary requirements, and consistently cure people of chronic ailments like diabetes, cholesterol deficiencies, chronic anaemia, congested arteries, cancers, and all sorts of life-threatening conditions. We all know at least one person that’s living proof of this.

For many decades the links between climate change, cancer and a meat eaters diet have been consistent, but still millions of people defend violence as necessary.

The slaughter of animals for food is absolutely in no unsure terms, unnecessary. It is a lifestyle choice you make every day, and it’s one you can stop making at any point with little to no effort.

Children don’t need to be exposed to violence unbefitting their age, and they don’t need to be forcefully desensitised. They are allowed to stay children, foster compassion, love animals and grow up to make the world a kinder place. It’s time we took the blinders off to see the difference between “necessary actions” and “habits I was raised with.”

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