When I was a kid, I felt betrayed when I finally understood that meat came from animals. I was so naive. “Doesn’t it hurt them?” thinking somehow we sliced off pieces of their legs but left them alive. I was horrified to learn that “we” killed animals to get the dinner on our plates. But I shoved my misgivings to the back of my mind and continued to eat meat, though I can’t recall ever eating much of it. Luckily my mom was a big believer in salads. Which isn’t to say I boycotted meat, at least not consciously. It wasn’t until I was 20 that I went vegetarian, and a while after that before I went vegan.
That was a theme in my life, it seems, to learn about things that humans would do to animals, like sending dogs up into space to die, and somehow not believe the horrible reality at first. And then I would never think “well, of course, it was just a dog”, I would be incredibly sad about the animal when I learned what had been done, thinking “how could they do that? why was that allowed?” I think I always believed that animals had just as much a right to live as humans. It is weird to me that not everyone thinks this way.
INDIEchouette wrote a touching and insightful post about Laika, of the tragic sputnik space dogs, recently. I don’t know much about INDIEchouette, other than she’s got her head on straight. I assume she’s a she. I probably shouldn’t assume anything. But still, I’m not sure I could say it quite this well, so I’ll quote her (or him):
Now, most of you are probably like, “Oh, that’s sad, a dog died in space.” But if that’s the case, then you’re not looking into it deep enough. Poor Laika was taken off the streets basically to die. She was sent into space to die. Upon leaving the atmosphere, she got stressed out–nothing was familiar, and suppose she realized she’d never go back? She was lonely and devoid of a family already, but this was just taking advantage of that…they exploited her, and she died more alone than she would have as a stray.
Straight to the point – they exploited Laika, and that was wrong. I thought so when I first learned of it, though I didn’t have the words to express myself so well. It is awesome to see that others reacted the same way.
Propaghandi, from “Meat is Still Murder”:
Meat is still murder. Dairy is still rape.
And I am still as stupid as anyone, but I know my mistakes.
And I have recognized one form of oppression, now I recognize the rest.
Life’s too short to make others shorter.