Sunday, January 27, 2013

For Many, "Pro-Life" is Merely a Misnomer

Every day on my way to work I pass by the local Planned Parenthood. Standing at attention in the same place near the entrance—rain or shine—is an older gentleman holding a crucifix and rosary beads, and wearing a banner with an image of the Virgin Mary. I realize he stands there in protest of abortion; yet, I can't help but admire him for his passion and the tenacious activism he exhibits for his cause.

I wonder, though, if this man is aware that just down the street from where he's standing is a slaughterhouse—Catelli Brothers—where baby cows and lambs go to be wantonly killed for human consumption. I also wonder if he realizes that the hundreds and thousands of animals who spend their final days there, were already born and had mothers who tried to care for them but were robbed of this innate desire. Finally, I wonder if he is conscious of the fact that these innocent and once very alive beings are victims of a human society that sees them as little more than unfeeling objects to be used and discarded.

Those who claim to be pro-life should ask themselves if they really are for life—all life? Do they eat animals who are killed for their gustatory pleasures? Do they wear the skins and fur of animals who are killed for their vanity? Do they patronize venues and events that torment and sometimes kill animals so they can be entertained? Can they truly be called pro-life when their actions support cruelty, murder, and death?

New to the area, I inquired about the Catelli Brothers slaughterhouse. A coworker informed me that neighbors had complained about noises emanating from the abattoir—specifically that of screaming animals. The company had to make alterations to keep the noises hidden within. Sadly, rather than change our archaic habits in order to end this senseless and gratuitous brutality, we blame the animals for shouting out for mercy, calling out for their lives because they want to live and not have their throats slit or have a bolt shot through their brains—all standard methods of slaughtering animals for food.

Animals are no less creatures of God than human animals. Those who take the Bible literally and believe humans are made in the image of God have a moral obligation to respect and protect every living creature whether that fellow creature is an ape, a pig, a spider, or another human. I believe all life is equal, that no one being is superior to another, and that all life should be afforded the same dignity, respect, and right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I marvel at how people can compartmentalize animals (animals we pet, animals we eat, animals we lock up at zoos, animals we experiment on, etc.), and disconnect themselves from those who, just like us, feel joy and pain, happiness and sadness.

There are so many living (read: already born!) beings in this world who needlessly spend their days in endless misery. It doesn't have to be like this. It is grievous that as a species we can have so little compassion for the suffering of others, especially those animals whom we label as "food"—pigs, chickens, cows, goats, turkeys, ducks, lambs, etc. Unlike the unborn embryos and fetuses of human animals, who don't have nerve pathways to even feel pain until about 28 weeks in the womb; these animals already exist and feel pain every moment of every day of their short miserable lives. "Food" animals are expressly created to be killed—63 BILLION of them every year. If that is not immoral and unethical—and sinful—then I don't know what is.

As each workday begins, I pass by the gentleman standing outside the Planned Parenthood and can't help but feel a tinge of sadness and a sense that he is lost. The Catelli Brothers slaughterhouse is just down the road but a world away.

Visit Vegan Starter Kit to learn more about how you can help animals by going vegan today!

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