Wednesday, May 2, 2007

A compassionate moment

If you've never seen a painted bunting song bird, you don't know what you are missing. They are certainly one of the most beautiful birds you'll ever see, at least the most colorful. The secretary for the building where I work was shocked when she heard a loud thud on the window beside her desk yesterday. A painted bunting flew right into the window, knocking itself out. The administrative assistant, most definitely a meat-eater, gently picked up the bird and put it in an empty, but very large, pot to keep any wild cats from coming to attack it. She then called university staff to see if anyone would come take care of the bird. Of course, their answer was, "Call the zoo." The others in the building came to look at the bird to give their view on the bird's health. When I got there, the bird was coming to, and by the time another employee went down the stairs to see the little creature, he had recovered and flew away. I was impressed with how everyone reacted to this animal getting wounded. The point of my story is that meat-eaters can show great compassion when confronted with animal suffering when they personally see what a creature is enduring. They can't see the suffering animals are enduring each and every day in our agricultural system. They don't want to be told where their meat comes from. They want to ignore it. If you told me (as a vegan) about the origin of my food at the dinner table, I would be fascinated by the tale of the farmer's labors. If you told a meat-eater about the source of her food at the dinner table, you would like get kicked out of the house and told to never come back. I have no problem going into the garden to pick a tomato or yanking up an onion for my dinner. I'm certain a large number of meat-eaters would have problem snapping a chicken's neck and plucking its feathers or cutting a cow's throat and disemboweling it. I'm tired of the ignorance I see around me. I wish people would open their minds a little and expose themselves to a little more information. If you don't want to be told about the origin of your food at the dinner table, don't you think there's something wrong with the food that you are about to shove into your mouth?

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