Tag Archives: Human

Even Carnivores Know That Animals Are Sentient Too

Pigs behind bars

Image by Farm Sanctuary via Flickr

I stumbled across two stories in my ‘green’ mailer this morning that grabbed my attention.  These two stories made me sad because of the way that people treat animals but it also made me happy because it shows me that people are slowly but surely being made to account for their behaviour towards other species.  The mistreatment of animals is something which has bothered me for a long time. Considering how many animals we have tamed and how many species we have turned into pets one would think that most human beings would have realised that animals have emotional responses and experience distress just like the rest of us.  Since we’ve figured out the difference between right and wrong more or less the same time we bit the golden apple,it stands to reason that the average person can figure out that hurting something and causing it suffering and distress is wrong.  The people who don’t acknowledge this are generally the same kind of people who rationalise using abortion as a contraceptive because a fetus is not a person….  I’ll be honest with you.. I really don’t like those people.

Here are the links to the aforementioned articles:



As De Lange said in the one article: “Animals are sentient beings and should be shown compassion and respect.” I agree 100%.  And no, I’m not of the vegan or vegetarian persuasion.  And no, I don’t favor posting horrible pictures of animals being mutilated in order to convince people to be nice.  I do try to spread the word about the mistreatment of animals and share info when I can.  I think it is important for average people who care to stand up and speak out.  Ever since Free Range products have been made available I have stopped buying regular animal products and by-products and if I can’t afford to do so then I skip on buying meat, etc., altogether.  I can’t stand the way dairy farms treat their cows and I definitely can’t support the battery chicken industry or the guys who put their cattle in little metal boxes… I understand the need to provide the masses with a cheaper solution but I’d rather not eat than know that I basically permitted torture so that I can stuff my face.

This was winner in a logo-design competition t...

Image via Wikipedia

You don’t have to give up your lifestyle in order to be a kinder, more conscientious consumer, everything has its place on the food chain after all.  And you don’t have to refrain from eliminating pests but should perhaps take the time to consider humane means of doing so. As human beings we have been given the ability to reason and we should use our reasoning abilities more often.  We are not the only species living on this planet and we are not the only species who feels.  Animals are Earthlings too.  Perhaps it is time for us as a species to re-evaluate the way that we go about doing things.


The Invisible People

by: Lukas VanDyke, Lukas VanDyke Photography

Image via Wikipedia

I was walking towards the counter at the local Friendly Grocer when my eye caught the coloured man in the paint smeared blue overall pants begging to my right. As usual my nose wrinkled at the smell of his pungent body odour and I experienced a small feeling of disgust and revulsion. Trying my best to ignore him as he tried begging in my direction I paid and went to sit outside while waiting for my cheeseburger.

From the corner of my eye I saw him being chased out and continued to watch him as he took a seat in front of the laundromat. All the while praying fervently that he would not try to get my attention or ask me for anything more. As I sat in the shade of the umbrella dragging on my cigarette and sipping on my juice I suddenly noticed something. Every person walking past was trying their best to ignore him. Here was a man, a human being, and every person who walked past was doing their utmost to ignore his very existence. It was then that it dawned on me, that I realised how horrible that must be. To be invisible like him.

I sat there thinking about his smelly self and how he should take a shower and put on some deodorant. At the same time a feeling of shame crept over me. For I realised that this poor man probably didn’t have the money to buy deodorant or soap. Probably didn’t have the luxury of taking long bubbly baths or hot showers. As he drunkenly stumbled head first into a pot plant I wondered at the fact that I would probably be drinking too if people blatantly ignored me. Making me a non-person, a non-human. Giving me less compassion than they would an animal.

Yes, the stereotypical beggars are annoying people who want to take our hard-earned money and spend it on booze. They smell and they’re loud. They intrude on our personal space. Still, how cruel are we to treat them as if they were invisible? To turn them into a nothing in our peripheral vision.

It was then that I got up, walked over to him and offered him the better part of my grape juice. That I acknowledged his existence because no-one else did. I wanted to share this story because I think a lot of us respond in the same way. Next time you want to shrug off a beggar, at least offer them the courtesy of responding with a yes, a no or a hello. They are people too.


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