This week the nation has fallen in love with the story of a koala saved from the awful fires raging in NSW here in Australia.
Let me first state that this was a beautiful story of one incredible woman doing a brave and selfless act, and this is in no way an attack on her or this story. What I did want to state in this piece is the hypocritical nature that is illustrated by the masses regarding the plight of one individual animal.
There is almost no one in Australia who could not feel for and sympathize with this poor koala and its loss of home and family. It is a universal feeling, something that all humans (Barring some extreme exceptions) can connect over and agree upon, and that is that harm to an animal hurts, not just the animal but us as well. It hurts because we see in them a side of ourselves and at these brief fleeting moments we make the connection.
We can feel for them, connect to their suffering and show empathy to an individual animal in a given situation such as this. The problem is that whilst many people were sharing this video and discussing the tragedy with co-workers and friends, they were also causing equal or more harm to animals just like this beautiful koala by the food they eat.
Let’s take a typical example of someone who sympathized heavily with this story but is a meat/dairy consumer. In the morning they supported the killing of an animal more intelligent than this koala and even their 3-year-old toddler in the bacon they ate. They supported the shredding of a ‘minute old’ chick by the eggs they scrambled. At lunch, they supported the slaughter of a chicken who like the koala had a personality, family, and emotions just like us. At dinner perhaps it was a beautiful cow that was slaughtered for their pleasure in that beef casserole. They may have even had full cream milk in their coffee, meaning the ripping of a baby calf from its mother in order to ‘take’ her milk for them to consume. None of this takes away from the story and it doesn’t make anyone a bad person at all. We were all indoctrinated into a world where this way of living is normalised and even celebrated.
What it does show is the disconnect from the truth of meat/dairy and animal consumption. This story proves that at our core, we all love animals and sympathize with their plight just like we would one of our own. Through indoctrination, we have learned to treat a sad animal story as something completely disconnected from all other forms of cruelty. We have been led to support industries that at our core, go against all we believe in, and to add insult to injury we even defend these industries and belittle opposition to them through negative associations to veganism.
Veganism isn’t a cult or group of unemployed hippies, its a belief that this Koala and all animals deserve to be cared for, loved and to have the chance to live.
Veganism isn’t bad, veganism is what you feel when this koala, Cecil the lion or even ‘Free Willy’ are put in harm’s way.
Veganism is the way your heart actually wants you to live.
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