We are born compassionate beings. Babies and toddlers often show unprompted moments of kindness, yet somewhere along the way some of us seem to lose this trait. Road rage is one example. Trophy hunting is another.
The case of Cecil the lion lit up the compassion impulse in so many of us despite the fact that Cecil was just one of thousands of animals that are killed in the name of amusement each year. In BC it is the threatened grizzly bear that is trophy hunted. If each one of our grizzly bears had a name and their individual and unique personality traits were well documented as was the case with Cecil, would we fight harder to bring an end to trophy hunting here in BC?
As well, because we are compassionate we would never subject our pets to inhumane conditions yet we continue to eat meat from factory farmed animals who suffer horrifically. It’s easy to forget their suffering because it is well hidden from us. (“If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.” Paul McCartney) Cecil became instantly famous because he had a name, but all animals can suffer stress and pain, not just the majestic lion, and not just our cats and dogs. The factory-farmed animal doesn’t know anything but a life of stress and pain.
If we truly want to live our lives with the compassion and caring that is hard-wired in our hearts, we have to take a stand against both trophy hunting and factory farming. If we choose to eat meat, we should know where it comes from, know that the animals were free range and humanely cared for and slaughtered.
“The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Mahatma Gandhi