Cruelty Vs Compassion

One reason the human species has been so successful and dominant is our compassion and our aversion to cruelty. Evolution has built this behaviour into our psyche. Compassion rewards us with feelings of joy, elation. Cruelty causes feelings of sadness; feelings that burden our memories. This inbuilt behaviour means we work together in families, tribes, communities, caring for one another for the common good.

Compassion is the chord that binds us together

This is not unique to the human species. Many other animal species can only survive by living together in packs or herds for much the same reasons as we did. However, in humans, this survival mechanism has become something much greater.

It has become a very sophisticated network of cooperation and specialisation that has helped us become so successful and dominant

Our inbuilt compassion and aversion to cruelty have been carried through to our companion animals-our pets. We have a kinship with all animals. We can identify and connect with all of them. Around 10,000 years ago, when we began to domesticate wild animals, things changed. They became our slaves, our food, our clothing. For those animals this was the start of disaster-the beginning of their holocaust. Our compassion towards those animals seemed lost. Animals became a commodity and they were treated as such with no concern for their fear or suffering. And on such a massive scale – around 67 billion murdered every year. This is the biggest crime ever committed by the human race.

If people really understood what was happening, the livestock industries would be forced to close down overnight. There would be such an outrage. We still have our compassion.

So the industry has learnt to keep it out of sight. Factory farms are kept away from the public and entry is restricted. People accept the neatly wrapped packs of meat in the supermarkets and feel no connection to the suffering that got them there. Milk is displayed in containers often picturing contented cows grazing on green pastures-far from the truth.

And the worst aspect of our livestock industries with its horrendous cruelty is – it achieves nothing. In reality it is destroying our health and our planet.