Establishing a Dialogue
Nick Pecoraro - 01.09.2019
Feel like you want to get involved in helping better animals’ lives but don’t know how? The truth is, because of the established carnism in most societies, we’re taught to think of some animals as “food/ property” and others as our friends. Some of my friends who care the MOST about animals, who are really in the field everyday helping animals, still eat cows, chickens, and pigs. The point I’m making is that we are all herd animals who suffer from many of the same “group think” pitfalls we accuse others of so readily. I wonder if there’s a way to really break open the conversation more, to eliminate the shame factor, and work side-by-side on the issues we all care about. Most people may not identify as vegan or vegetarian or pescatarian or even flexitarian, but most people do not like the idea of innocent, baby animals getting hurt. It’s about establishing a dialogue, creating the space in society where we can have a truly productive conversation about what is a complex and difficult topic.
I watched an interview of Natalie Portman recently where she brought up how it’s not really fair when many write off eating meat as culturally integral to many folks’ traditions or upbringings. Of course, we should not normalize cruelty because of culture, we all can likely agree on that. But there is a history there that should be acknowledged.
Another interesting thing to note is that for most people for most of time, the linked ideas of ethics and food were mutually exclusive concepts. One was diet, one was morality. They were often unrelated. Not to mention survival was the name of the game for so long; you ate what you had, and that was that.
We are entering a new era; yes, food deserts are real and we need to do a better job of getting healthful whole foods to low income communities; We’ve also entered a new era of cruelty to animals on industrialized factory farms. Maybe there’s a way we can talk about this together, better. As Bruce Friedrich says, “People don’t eat animal products because of how they’re produced… [but rather] DESPITE how they’re produced.” How can we best work together towards a kinder world?