We all bleed the same colour.
This is one of the most profound things I’ve ever heard. It’s something that should be obvious to us, something that should be so clear, but it isn’t. We don’t think of animals on equal footing to us because we’re humans. We’re “better”. We’re “at the top of the food chain” and deserve to eat everyone “below” us and treat them like they’re nothing but food.
It wasn’t so long ago that humans were enslaved and tortured because of their race. A quote as upsetting and true as the one above would’ve taken many racists aback, because there was a time when black people were not even seen as human, let alone treated as such. Racists of the time forgot or didn’t care that we all bleed the same colour. We are all the same and we are all deserving of respect and life.
But the same rings true for animals.
Cows? Pigs? Sheep? Chickens? They bleed red. They feel pain. They have families. They deserve life.
We are all earthlings. What gives humans the right to decimate other species? To eradicate habitats and rip families apart? What gives us the right to torture? To eat other animals and call it our right? The fact is we are not entitled to that right. We have taken that right.
We have enslaved and tortured and murdered for so long that we’re desensitised to it. We walk along the meat section at the supermarket and casually drop a packet of chicken fillets into our trolleys, maybe treat the kids to steak or lamb, and we don’t think about where our food came from. We don’t think about the life that was cut short, the family that was destroyed, the pain that a sentient creature went through for our taste buds; the barbarity of our actions and our indifference to it.
And they are our actions. Just because you don’t slit the throat of the animal yourself does not mean you are not complicit in his or her murder, because sitting idly at your dinner table commenting on how tough the meat is, knowing full well that you’re eating a dead carcass, makes you complicit. When you ask for your steak “bloody”, you’re complicit. When you order your child chicken nuggets, you’re complicit. When you tuck into that lamb biryani you’ve been looking forward to, you’re complicit. When you cut a slice of veal, you’re complicit. When you pour milk in your tea, you’re complicit. When you crack an egg for your morning omelette, you’re complicit. If you eat animal products, you are complicit, and you’re contributing to a horrific industry that traps, tortures and murders innocent, sentient creatures. This is reality.
I saw the quote just today when I was on Hannah Gregus’ Instagram browsing through her photo project, Sympathy at Slaughter, which chronicles the suffering animals face when sent to slaughter. You can check out her amazing work by clicking here.