Animals Are Us

Animals Are Us

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We are all human animals. Sometimes we forget that. Not only do we forget that we are animals, we even force our pets to forget that they are animals. Our pets are expected to have impeccable manners, communicate with ease, are compared to our children, scolded for doing anything intrinsic to their species, and in certain house-holds forced into Vegetarianism!

I was at my gym on Saturday when I grabbed a small part of Madagascar on tv. The small bit I saw had Alex the Lion drawing a boundary between him and the Zebra who was on the ‘Wild’ side of the island they had been transported too. The lion missed his safe cage in New York and missed his nice cut and cooked steak. He was so used to eating steak that he did not even realize that the zebra, hippo, and all his other friends we indeed steak.  What does this make him? A laughing stock? A lovable character on Madagascar? A cartoon? An aberration? All of the above, yes, but certainly not a lion.

Today we human animals are also that: laughing stocks, aberrations, and cartoons, all of the above but not the predatory animals we were designed to be.
We are also predators. We were designed to hunt down smaller animals, we were given superior brains to make tools and hunt instead of only raw power and strong teeth, but we have always been carnivores. As part of the food chain we have a vital role to play. When left in the wild, a lion will hunt prey to feed himself. He will not ask himself whether; he is doing the right thing or not by killing the animal. But he only hunts to feed and will leave prey well enough alone when he is not hungry.
I love animals. I love their innocence and purity, I love that they think of their primal needs first and not inconsequential bullshit. And that’s probably why I am asked ever so often, how as an animal lover, I love eating animals so much. Isn’t it against your principles they ask?

I love animals, I also love eating animals.
Here’s why.

1)   I am an animal. A human animal is a predator, a carnivore, and has hunted and fed of animals for 200,000 years. I am a human animal, but I am not a cow, a chicken, or an elephant. If I were one of these, I would have eaten grass and grazed all my life. My body would have told me I am eating something wrong if I ate meat. Today, my body is telling me I am doing many things right because of the evolutionary way I eat.

2)   I am also human. We are lucky we are able to think and feel with as much depth as we can. Which is why I can reach out and care, protect, and love the animals that I am not going to eat. If I could, I would only eat the animals that were raised and killed in the most humane way possible. If I lived in California perhaps, this is what I would do. I live in India, where I cannot find out whether the chicken I am eating has been treated and killed with kindness. So I eat then anyway because that’s what my body needs.

3)   Animals are more human than humans: A predator kills to eat. A predator does not torture his prey, does not kill for fun, and does not hurt for game. Humans on the other hand torture animals, and torture their own kin for the fun of it. Mental and physical torture, agony inflicted for the fun of it and killings for reasons other than to survive, are mere news stories that do not move us when turning a page of a newspaper.
So me eating a fish that has been put on this planet to keep the ecosphere thriving, as well as to be on a human plate and in a larger predator’s stomach, is hardly a heinous crime.

4)   Grains are food for plants: Grains are not human food, they are indeed seeds for plants. That’s why I don’t eat the stuff. They came into the picture pretty recently, and by then we were already a well-developed, thriving, happy and healthy, superior species, who ate animals and plants. Lots of them.

5)   I listen to my body: I know I am eating right because that’s what my body is telling me. By eating in a way that is detrimental to my body, I may have aches and pains and other illnesses that so many people ignore over the years until they become chronic pains. By then they are overweight, low on energy and basically unhealthy.

So thank you very much, but I prefer to be true to the animal that I am, love animals as a human, and eat animals like a predator.