Soon, Australians will be firing up their barbecues for an Australia Day feast, but after a thought-provoking protest in a busy Sydney mall, they may be reconsidering what they’ll be cooking this year.
PETA supporters took to Pitt Street Mall to barbecue a “dog” over a banner proclaiming, “If You Wouldn’t Eat a Dog, Why Eat a Lamb? Go Vegan!”
Of course, the “dog” was just a prop, but the idea of barbecuing dogs rightly causes outrage amongst Australians. Meanwhile, millions of other equally sensitive and intelligent animals are forced to endure horrific suffering when they’re bred, raised, and killed for the meat industry.
Anyone who’s repulsed by the prospect of chowing down on dog meat should question the incongruity of their compassion towards other animals.
This is called speciesism –a form of discrimination based on nothing more than species –and like all forms of discrimination, it cannot be justified.
As humans, we instinctively feel compassion and empathy for animals, but we’re taught that it’s OK to enslave and eat some of them, without a second thought as to who they are as individuals.
In the meat industry, lambs are torn away from their loving mothers to be packed into filthy trucks bound for the abattoir, the throats of many chickens are cut while they’re still conscious, piglets are castrated and their tails are cut off without painkillers, and cows are trapped for years in a cycle of pregnancies, births, and stolen babies.
While humans typically consider dogs to be loyal companions, with personalities of their own, the sheep, chickens, pigs, and cows who are cut up into bite-sized pieces for human consumption are just as feeling and loving.
To care about animals – as most Australians claim to – should be to care about all animals.
Many animal-free options (which are also better for your health and the environment) are available for your Australia Day barbecue.
This year, leave the baby body parts off the barbie and try vegan.