”Ask the experimenters why they experiment on animals, and the answer is: “Because the animals are like us.” Ask the experimenters why it is morally okay to experiment on animals, and the answer is: “Because the animals are not like us.” Animal experimentation rests on a logical contradiction.” ~Charles R. Magel
In Chemistry today, we were studying Eutrophication (the enrichment of a body of water with nutrients). This results in excessive plant growth, which in turn decreases dissolved oxygen levels in water…la di dah I won’t bore you but in the end, all sorts of things die. I was listening to this and I thought to myself, well, you know it’s fish, who cares? Right? No, totally wrong.
I got home tonight and decided to check my e-mail. One of the messages was one of those forward-me-to-a-million-people-or-risk-sudden-and-imminent-death-by-a-loose-panda-tomorrow-at-one-in-the-morning but I opened it anyway. Turned out to be a forwarding list for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), against animal skinning. There was a video link attached (I wouldn’t say I’d be allowed to post the link here). It had a warning of being seriously disturbing, but I thought, c’mon it can’t be that bad. I clicked the link, switched on the video and went back to my inbox while it was loading up. I went back to that tab just at the moment a guy was bludgeoning the head of a racoon before skinning it alive. Yes, you read right – alive. Then it showed the little helpless eyes staring at you, with blood all over the place, which basically reduced me to tears. I quickly closed the link and re-read the e-mail. Apparently, if I had stuck around to watch the rest of this footage, i would have seen it’s heart still beating. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with the world?
Now, I think I sound like a hypocrite. I do Biology, I did a heart dissection three times. I watched a rat dissection at the end of fifth year as an end of term ”treat”. I eat meat. It’s not like I personally went up to these animals and committed the heinous acts depicted in the clip, but by consuming, am I not in some way creating a demand? I’ve never done Business or Economics, so if I’m wrong, please correct me. Why don’t we ever learn or even talk about this kind of stuff somewhere along our Leaving Certificate studies? Not even in C.S.P.E. Well, not really anyway, at least i don’t remember.
On the other hand, what about the circle of life? What was it that Mufasa said to Simba? ”When we die, our bodies become the grass, and the antelope eat the grass. And so we are all connnected in the great Circle of Life.” I don’t know what to think or what excuses to make. But I won’t look at a fish dying the same way again.