Slavery is the great test question of our age and nation. It, above all others, enables us to draw the line between the precious and the vile, whether in individuals, creeds, sects, or parties.
~ Frederick Douglass (1859)
The intentional, unnecessary deaths we inflict on sentient individuals of other species worldwide—mainly for food choices—is greater in five days than the deaths we’ve inflicted on humans in all wars and all genocides in recorded human history. Even if every non-vegan cut their current animal product consumption by 90%, it would take us only about 41 days to kill as many nonhumans as we’ve killed humans in recorded history.
Our treatment of individual sentient nonhumans as renewable resources—as property, things, commodities—is a moral blind spot. The reason for this moral blind spot—the reason we contribute, individually and collectively, to this extreme and senseless violence—is that we have been heavily indoctrinated into speciesism throughout our lives. Additionally, by nature, we often “rationalize” this indoctrination and ignore unpleasant facts for various reasons.
~ Dan Cudahy (February 20, 2011)
The RSPCA believes that whether it’s chicken, ham or turkey, you can enjoy your Christmas lunch and still care about the animals that provided it.
~ Heather Neil (December 13, 2010)
Claudette, my nine-ish year old Hotot / dwarf mix … is, as I was informed by my local rabbit rescue guru, bonded to me. She expresses this via chin rubs to shoes I’ve not previously worn around her (rabbits have scent glands with which they mark territory), a distinct drop-off in the bitchy behavior she demonstrates to nearly all other humans she’s encountered, and tooth-grinding purrs as I stroke her silken fur. We belong to each other.
At the same time, I can’t pretend that the most astonishing bite of food I ate in 2009 wasn’t a smoked rabbit kidney. In my defense, I didn’t order it; it was a gift from the chef of my favorite local restaurant. The rich, gamey, smoke-soaked flavor built in my mouth and did not ebb for many minutes. It made me grateful to have a tongue.
I debated for a minute or two before I ate it, and I apologized to my rabbits (there is another besides Claudette) upon my arrival at home. Yes, I sometimes anthropomorphize, but I felt genuine guilt when I looked into their faces. I take care of these animals. I enjoy and yes, love them. It is truly unnerving to know, quite specifically what is under their fur and how it tastes.
~ Kat Kinsman (February 8, 2011)
Consumers continue to tell us that they are concerned about the welfare of animals, and this is even more evident at Christmas time. That’s why we’ve been working hard with our suppliers and the RSPCA to help customers clearly identify which turkeys meet the RSPCA’s tough free-range standards.
~ Allister Watson (December 13, 2010)
Not everybody has a knack for farming, and there are always risks. If a pig dies, it’s a huge loss to a small farmer, and it can be hard for him to start over. Rabbits are easier to replace. And they’re not competing with humans for food—they eat the green leaves, grasses and banana peels that humans have no way of digesting. They’re a high-quality source of protein that’s leaner and lower in cholesterol than most meats.
~ Myriam Kaplan-Pasternak (December 13, 2010)