I believe it is perfectly OK to kill cats. I really do. I am convinced that anyone who sees a cat walking by and then kills it is not doing anything even slightly immoral. If it’s done painlessly, better, but it doesn’t make someone any more immoral for doing it painfully. I myself have sometimes enjoyed throwing a cat strongly against a wall over and over until after thirty long minutes of agony, it draws its last breath. There is no particular reason for this belief of mine – I think they’re ugly and make a street look aesthetically less pleasing – but besides that I just tend to think that there is no problem killing them.
Appalled yet? Feeling a bit disgusted with what a horrible human being I am? Perhaps some of you have skipped a couple of lines of that first paragraph to see if this article would get any better (or worse). I find it interesting that whenever I discuss this moral belief of mine – that there is nothing wrong with killing cats – people tend to become heated and angry. I’ve been doing it my whole life, as has my father, and his father before him. It’s perfectly natural for me that killing cats is fine. I don’t understand what all these people want from me; why do they care so much that I like to tear a cat to pieces with my bare hands? Sometimes I find people extremely judgemental. To each his own, I say.
Now enough of this madness. I’m sure you didn’t actually believe any of what I just said, although perhaps the visual imagery of me breaking a cat’s bones one at a time until it was fully paralyzed and then leaving it in a garbage can, still conscious, to slowly suffocate will have disgusted you. I don’t believe that killing cats is OK, under any circumstance whatsoever, unless, of course, that cat is somehow endangering your life. And most of you reading this will think that I am perfectly normal for believing that killing cats is morally wrong, as you will agree with me that killing an innocent dog is morally wrong, and slaughtering a family of innocent hamsters is also morally wrong. But I’m sure that many of you will also find me completely insane, will find me a true radical, when I suggest that killing a cow, or a pig, is just as immoral.
Not at first of course. If I were to suggest that whenever I see a cow in a field I like to slit its throat and let it slowly bleed to death over a long drawn out period of time, you would probably still call me immoral (although I’m sure that you’re becoming increasingly suspicious as to the direction I’m headed, and are starting to erect your moral defences). But if I were to take it a step further, and say that it is immoral for someone to slaughter a completely innocent cow in a slaughterhouse, there you will disagree with me completely. But your disagreeing with me is betraying a great hypocrisy in your moral beliefs. Because why is it always wrong for me to randomly kill a cat, but not wrong for an animal to be murdered and it’s corpse eaten for dinner?
The first thing people tend to reply to this accusation that they are being hypocritical is that cows are being slaughtered for a reason: so that we can eat them. The cat, on the other hand, is being killed completely gratuitously. But it is not so. Let’s examine the reasons for the two killings. The cow is being killed so that people may eat its carcass as a nice juicy steak. Do humans, at this point in the evolution of our species, need to consume meat in order to survive? The answer is no – we don’t. We can survive in perfect health without consuming any meat, and to those who argue otherwise, I urge you to take up the matter with all the thousands of vegetarians and vegans from birth who are somehow still alive and in perfect health. I will not go into the health benefits of no longer eating meat; I’ll leave some links at the bottom of the article for those of you who are interested.
Having established that we do not require meat in our diet, the reason for eating the cow becomes simply that it tastes good. We don’t need it to survive, so it really comes down to a question of taste. For most of us, it is perfectly fine to kill a cow if it tastes good. Of course, no one admits this to themselves, but that, in essence, is what’s happening. There are people that say we eat meat because it is natural. If you want to become a hunter-gatherer, in which case it is indeed natural to eat meat, be my guest. But in the societies in which we live in today, the way in which we eat meat is completely unnatural. Having someone else kill a poor animal that has lived in confinement its entire life, then transporting its dead body across vast distances until I it finally arrives to your home packaged in such a way as to look as little as possible as ever having once been alive is the furthest from natural you can possibly get. To quote one of my favourite Youtubers, if you want to do something natural, go shit in the woods.
So you see, me killing the cat and you ordering the killing of a cow (indeed, you buying meat is placing a direct order for the killing of another cow) is not so different after all. You had the cow killed because of taste, as did I. I thought cats looked ugly, and thus they were not to my taste. I didn’t think they made for pleasant scenery.
Now I know a lot of you will probably admit to the moral inconsistency – and then just reshuffle your values to accommodate this new fact. Or you will say things like, “I completely agree, and I respect your decision, but there is no way that I could possibly ever stop eating meat”. Bullshit. Not three months ago, I would out-burger anyone who ever went to McDonalds with me. I once won two free Big Macs from one of my friends because I bet him that I could plough through those two more Big Macs after having just devoured four cheeseburgers and two large fries. I loved burgers. I loved meat. When I first moved to university, I went through twenty-one home-made hamburgers in less than two weeks. But, I realized that while I was calling it meat, the word meat is a direct synonym of dead, murdered cow. A synonym for an animal that was killed for no reason at all, other than my personal taste and comfort. After having recognized that simple fact, it became harder for me to continue eating meat than to stop.
You can laugh, you can call this a stretch, and you can call me a crazy radical. But I am sure that if you think about it long enough, you yourself will realize that there is absolutely no difference between the random killing of an innocent cat on the street and the random killing of a cow in a factory farm. In fact, what you’re doing is probably worse: because while the cat at least had the chance to live its life as it pleased, the cow you have killed has lived in confinement for the whole of its miserable existence. For all of you out there that say you love animals, especially for all of you who detest hunting, for all of you who raise indignant cries against animal abuse: think about the fact that the meat you eat was once an animal too.
here are some links for more information on the food industry, and why it is no longer possible to morally justify the eating of animals.
Academy Award Nominee for the Best Documentary Feature, this documentary talks about the growing need for reform of the food industry.
This powerful, 11 minute film takes viewers on an eye-opening exploration behind the closed doors of the nation’s largest industrial farms, hatcheries, and slaughter plants — revealing the often-unseen journey that animals make from Farm to Fridge.
A glimpse into how animals are really treated behind the closed walls of factory farms, as well as other instances in which animals are treated abominably.
A long speech by Gary Yourofsky, animal activist, that completely destroys every possible excuse not only for not being vegetarian, but also for not being vegan.
And, as promised, some links for those of you who still believe that not eating meat is unhealthy and dangerous. Keep in mind that the average American man has a 50% chance of contracting some kind of heart disease, the average American vegetarian has a 16% chance, and the average American vegan has a 4% chance. Also keep in mind that the only sources of cholesterol are animal products.
I listed the sources in order of what seemed to me from most reliable to least reliable; starting from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine to Weight Loss Resources. I recommend you go through all of them, and do as much of your own research as you like. I guarantee that you will find no qualified sources that argue that a properly planned vegetarian or vegan diet is unhealthy. And yes, babies have died at the hands of crazy vegan parents. This had nothing to do with the parents being vegan, just like when a baby dies at the hands of a meat-eating parent no one blames it on the fact that the parents were eating meat. Some people are insane and won’t feed their babies enough. Not that they don’t feed them enough meat – just not enough, period. If you don’t feed a baby a sufficient quantity of food it will die, whether the little you feed it is meat or carrots.
National Health Service (NHS)