Animals Have Emotions

Yes.  Animals do have emotions.  

I am meat eater.  I do not always eat the best meat available, but every day I get a little closer to knowing where all my food comes from - whether it is a plant or animal.  I don't have guilt for eating meat.  I've given it a lot of thought.  What I have guilt for is when I eat meat that wasn't grown in humane conditions - and, I can tell the difference between one my own home grown chickens verses a chicken I purchased in the store.  I can tell the difference between the way a deer tastes over beef I purchased at the grocery store.  I am lucky that I have a dear family friend who raises pigs and his sausage makes store bought sausage not even worth considering.  The thing about knowing my food is knowing the conditions they lived in and knowing they had a good life and have eaten well.  It doesn't feel greedy to me.  I don't think they are all grown to be consumed, but when I put a chicken on the chopping block it has one unpleasant moment of a life full of insects, scratching, companions, and life.  In that moment, there is no struggle - no fight - they relax completely and accept their fate.  I do not feel guilty for this and the first time I did it I wanted to.  I really wanted to.  

What I see in my animals.. What I have experienced in the animal companions I have lived with is that they feel.  They communicate through body language and sound the same way we do.  And, they should be treated as though they are not 'just' animals.  They are living beings and when we eat them and consume them we should give thanks for the lives we are taking and we should acknowledge we are taking a life.  Our animal production in the United States is sad.  I look forward to the day when I am able to raise the large majority of the meat we eat.  Every day, we get a little closer.

I am pretty certain this monk is advocating for us to not eat meat.  I am likely going to continue to eat meat as I believe it is my role in the food chain to do so.  However, I completely respect folks who choose to not eat meat or believe we shouldn't.  I have given my choice a lot of thought and consideration over my life thus far. 

A Plea For the Animals


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