All I see in my twitter feed is pictures of mangled up dogs and dolphins!
Don’t worry; I’ll not post any here. As you can imagine they ain’t pleasant.
Now of course I care about the fate of dogs and dolphins, but here’s why all the attention on these two animals annoys me:
It’s like they are the easiest animals to feel compassion towards.
Everyone loves dogs because they are our pets. They are furry and sweet and respond when we call their name. They are often subservient to humans.
We love and value dolphins because we are told they are intelligent. We know they are friendly towards us and have often saved human lives. We are fascinated by their mysticism and otherworldliness, and the fact that we still don’t know much about the way they communicate. People like to ‘swim’ with captive dolphins in theme parks.
It seems that because we ‘know’ dogs, and we ‘exoticise’ dolphins – we care about them more than other non-human animals.
It also seems like some people pick a well-loved animal to campaign for, perhaps in an attempt to prove (though to whom I don’t know!) that they are good people and love animals – and to distract themselves from the fact that they are not vegetarian or vegan, and so don’t have as massive an effect as they could on reducing animal cruelty.
This is commonly known as ‘selective compassion.’
I get that some animal species are endangered and this is why their survival may seem to need to take precedence, but the truth is that an individual animal in any oppressed group is endangered, and the only reason there are a tonne of chickens and cows in existence at any one time is because we over breed them unnaturally for commercial gain. They are bred TO BE brutalised. *
I can’t see that one situation is worse than another.
How can we care more about the fate of dogs and dolphins when:
– The capacity of any animal to suffer and their desire to live a life free of pain is exactly the same as ours!
Isn’t this like caring more about racism when it’s directed at one race rather than another? Shouldn’t we be fighting racism wherever we find it existing against ANY oppressed group?
Doesn’t ANY being that is mistreated for being ‘other’ deserve our compassion?
Any Farm Sanctuary worker will tell you that cows, pigs, sheep and chickens all have distinctive personalities, and are friendly towards human animals and love being petted JUST as much as dogs – it’s just that we are never exposed to these animals enough to experience this for ourselves.
Turkeys ADORE human company, being petted and sitting on laps.
Have a watch…
In my opinion, we all need to work to stop the unnecessary brutalising of any living being, not just those that are perceived as cuter or more intelligent.
It’s the ‘feeling entitled to brutalise’ that is the stem of the problem, not the choice of animal.
*You should know there is graphic content contained in most of the videos I’ve posted links to here. If you can – and especially if you are unaware of the way these animals are treated – please watch one or two; it’s reality!
Also, no matter if the video is from the US, Canada, the UK or Australia, these practises are common everywhere.