When did we loose our compassion and respect for the animals?
|When you were a little child one of your first
experiences of books probably was a book with cardboard pages. On every
page there was a beautiful picture of an animal living in our surroundings,
on farms, in a zoo or freely in nature. Your father or mother put you in
his or her lap, kept the book in front of you and pointed to one animal
at a time copying their sounds. Here you got your first lesson in love and
respect for animals.
Not long after this you could by yourself point to an animal and say “baa-baa”, or “piiiip”, or “oink-oink” etc. This was a situation of consideration, love and security.
Gradually you were transferred from your mother’s breast to meals at the table, where several dishes were served to you by the same people who earlier taught you to love, consider and care for these animals, and be happy about them. You were to eat what was served from the plate, on the spoon towards your open mouth, and at the same time you got to hear how good it tasted and how nutritious it was for your body. It’s called “meatballs”, “black pudding” and “chicken” etc. Nothing in this situation reminded you of your earlier experience of the picture-book, except for the names of the animals, for example “chicken”. But you did not connect these names with the pictures from the book, since there was no similarity between the dish on the plate and the living, yellow, soft chicken you remember from the picture-book. After some time you learned to like the food that was offered to you.
If the parents, at the time of
presenting the food on the plate, instead would have given different alternatives
and told the child “here are mashed bananas, and different kinds
of fruits”, “here are different root vegetables”, “and
on this plate lies a rabbit or chicken” and explained what kind
of treatment the animal had suffered, it is unlikely that we would have
one single meat-eating child on this earth after such a frank introduction
of the food.
Text by Simon Andersson
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