Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Crazy Carnivore: A tribute

I am a meat eater. I'm a carnivore to the core. I eat hamburgers with extra mustard without remorse, and I am fully aware that before that patty gets mixed with herbs and fried well done, it had been a part of a living creature. That queasy thought that it came from a living creature is easily pushed away because what I usually see in front of me is just a chunk of meat and not practically the animal. It's a matter of ecology and I am merely playing a part. I'm like Dracula, honoring the presence of blood (meat), which serves as a part of my sustenance and nothing more.

But I am also human and considered to be a complex creature. Psychologically something must be wrong with me when I see pigs, chickens or cows being transported to their supposed doom and I have the urge to click the lock and let them all lose. At some point when I see those instances, as a meat eater, I always feel the need to be punished. But logically that doesn't make any sense. I go to the market and love gazing at fresh produce, seafoods and meats. I do not feel any remorse when they are already cleanly packed when in reality, before it even reached that state, an animal was killed. I do know that, but it makes the guilt less gnawing.

But seeing calf on a stick roasted with its full anatomy, pigs roasted and live pigs transported is simply heart wrenching. They're treated just like what humans would treat them, like animals. They are lured to horrendous transportation, oblivious that they will be delivered to farms only to be killed in able to feed hundreds of carnivores they once considered their masters. We essentially take care of them only to let them be killed for us to eat. The process and mere thought just saddens me.

But that is how the world turns. That is how ecology works and unless all of us start to be vegetarians, then pigs, cows or chickens will always be killed and mass produced. Unfortunately, it is also very easy for all of us to do "genocide" to lesser mammals even because of a single sign of threat that could prove lethal to humans in the future. Wiping out the possibility of epidemic and spreading of viral disease that can cause complications and death to humans should, by all cost, should be prioritized.

Ever since the Ebola-Reston Virus found in hogs were discovered first in the Philippines, people all over the world have become wary. The word Ebola is first tied up with Monkeys and that particular brand of Ebola virus is very dangerous to humans, which can cause deteriorating death. I believe it has also been used as the topic of a major motion picture starring Dustin Hoffman. Negative visions would usually plague a cautious human mind like epidemic, pandemic or much worse, an outbreak when global recession is happening and availability to medicines is weak. This is something that we are fool not to avoid at trying, economic times.

As much as this brand of EBOLA-RESTON virus found in hogs IS NOT PROVEN to provide massive or direct threat to humans, Global communities still usher pressure to have it completely eliminated. Understandable. A negative strain in livestock, whether or not it directly affects humans, disrupts peace of mind. The saying of "better safe than sorry" becomes the new motto.

Hence with the approval of the government and local dealers, 6,000 pigs in a particular Bulacan farm in the Philippines were incapacitated, killed, burned and buried yesterday. It was all over the news to inform the public that big precautionary measures are already being done to appease carnivores and to appease the global community. Despite the "inhumane words" of killed, burned and incapacitated, we could only feel relief for the smart act for the common good.

But again, as humans, we have the ability to be tugged and to act differently. Individuals, who have the capacity to freeze compassion in their hearts, were the ones to do the killing because people like me cannot. I'm not literally a pet activist in all sense of the word. I'm not essentially sentimental, but I'm sure I would puke at the sight of pigs being transported and prepared to be shot on the spot just so that my race could be safe. I might even cry with them.

According to reports, before the killing began, they offered a prayer for the safety of the people and the deliverance of the hogs that shared a common place with a few of those infected. If hogs could only understand, they should know that they will be killed for the common good. A countdown was made; and one by one they were shot. Pet activists were present to make sure that the killing was efficiently done in the most "HUMANE" way possible. Nevertheless, they too had to freeze their hearts although they were already breaking.

We're such complex creatures. Even though it was a smart move to eradicate pigs as part of a safety measure, I just know I wouldn't be able to do it. I'd rather incapacitate a burglar than an ant. And the fact that I know that I'm a meat eater, doesn't make me any different than those who kill hogs for a living before it gets delivered to my plate or delivered for my own safety. In this regard, I am a coward. These hogs might have surrendered to the rules and reasons humans created for them, but I couldn't be able to enforce it face to face. As long as I'm safe, healthy and enjoying my occasional burger I would be willing to be oblivious of the process. But I can't help but to find myself surrendering to my pysche and emotions, which could make me suffer from occasional heartbreak. I am a human and a complex carnivore praying for the death of those I love to eat and be set free at the same time. If that's not crazy, I don't know what is.



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