Can We Value A Life?
On my way back from work today I saw this poster.
Normally, considering the fact that we are bombarded constantly with advertisement, I don't really stop to consider adverts but this one was so captivating that I couldn't help but pause and take a photo.
Having been a meat eater all my life (except for 6 weeks during Lent 2015), I have never given too much thought to the meat I eat apart from if it's organically or sustainably sourced. Of course I've had vegetarian friends who have argued their veggie ethos to me as I tuck into a burger but nothing they said has ever really stuck with me or had a long term affect.
But something about this advert, really drew me in... perhaps it was the way Go Vegan World personified, and this sounds strange to say,... the cow. The advert pulled on similar heart strings to those tugged when watching aid appeals on TV, that personalise your connection to poverty or war stricken families in such a way that although they are undergoing such pain and suffering in a world so seemingly different to the one you live in, you cant help but feel guilty and obliged to help.
What I felt was further intensified when I went on to https://goveganworld.com that opens with the hard hitting message:
“The greatest problem on earth today is the notion that some lives matter less than others. We imagine that non-human lives hardly matter at all. We live as though our difference from other species entitles us to use them and that they exist for our benefit. This view is not only inaccurate, it is unethical.”
Sandra Higgins, MSc Couns Psych, MBPsS, Founder & Director, Eden Farmed Animal Sanctuary Ireland, Go Vegan World Campaign Director
Whist many people may say that animals, especially those bred for agricultural purposes, serve the purpose of feeding our ever growing population, Go Vegan World propose an interesting concept regarding the value of life.
Go Vegan World proposes the idea that veganism resonates with our basal values as human beings, in the sense that most people would agree that it's wrong to harm sentient beings because we understand that they experience pleasure and pain just as we human do.
What's interesting is that even after you've read this far down into the post, it is still easy to uphold the conventional belief mentioned above - that animals are bred for agricultural purposes and hence forth are to be eaten.
But let's take China and the Western world as an example. In countries such America or the U.K. animals such as dogs are common pets with people often showering their pets with gifts, loving treatment and homely conditions. Yet, in areas of China such as the Guangdong Province dog meat is common eaten. I can imagine that for many of you if someone was to enter your home take away your beloved pet, kill it and eat it you would bear some issue with that, which brings us back to the argument made by Go Vegan World - why don't we view other animals, namely agricultural animals, with the same compassion.
This isn't to say that I'm condemning all meat eaters, hell, I'm one myself but I can definitely say that the argument made by Go Vegan World provides a lot of food for thought. After exploring their website further, I can say that they have definitely made me think of food in way that I wouldn't have necessarily considered on a day to day basis by introducing the value of life argument. I've linked their website again below if you are interested in learning more about what they do and their mission.
GO VEGAN WORLD WEBSITE