Vegetarians, eh? They always seem like they’ve got something to prove, don’t they? And vegans? Don’t even get me started!! They are like turbo-charged, establishment-hating, militant vegetarians – “YOU CAN’T EAT THAT BROCCOLI!? IT LOOKS LIKE A TREE! Tress are precious….the Earth is weeping! HAVE YOU NOT SEEN POCAHONTAS!!?”
(I get that vegans eat broccoli).
I know it’s really bad, and I shouldn’t behave like this – but whenever I encounter someone that is absolutely convinced of their beliefs (to the point where you can’t even have a reasonable debate or discussion with them), I cannot help but assume that that person is just an idiot. I knowww I knowww, that’s bad, I’m bad, what an awful bastard, but I can’t help it! It’s instinctual.
SO, for years and years I’ve shunned the constant barrage of people telling me that eating meat is wrong. Man with a placard? Idiot. “Meat Is Murder” poster? Idiot. Ex-girlfriend banging on about it? Idiot. You get the point.
However, one evening, not so long ago, I woke up sweating and terrified after a mind-altering dream. I sat up in bed and with an almighty, adrenaline-fuelled jolt, I realised what the dream had proven to me:
It is an objective fact…that eating meat is morally wrong, if you’re a sentient being who is capable of rational thought.
And do you know what? Without meaning to run the risk of sounding like one of them there aforementioned idiots, I simply cannot see a counter-argument for it. This is what happened in my dream…
("Heya Alien dude! I bought you a plant pot, that's super cute innit!?"
"Yeah....I'm still gonna eat you though..............soz.")
Imagine that one day, aliens came to earth. Imagine that these aliens were smarter than us, stronger than us, had technology we can’t even comprehend and were able to communicate with each other through a dialect so sophisticated, it would take scholars thousands of years to decipher the complexities of their utterances.
We, as humans, would SHIT ourselves and end up saying, “Look aliens, I know that earth is super rad…totally get that…buuuut as you’ve mastered the art of interstellar travel…could you…I dunno…like…maybe fuck off somewhere else?” And, what do you think would happen? The aliens would look at each other and think, “What in the infinite-galaxies are these weird beings!? Hahaha – listen to them, aww they are SOOOO silly!! They’re trying to communicate with us with their strange rudimental language, hahaha they sound funny…I wonder what they are trying to say?”
Realising that they can’t understand a word we’re saying, we’d really begin to panic. Some of us would run. Some would plea with them not to kill us and our families. Some would mount an extraordinary offensive (Americans), and some of us would desperately try to demonstrate to them that we’re alive, that we ARE, that we EXIST.
Unfortunately for us, after a couple of hours of all of this, the aliens would probably decide that as funny-looking and silly-sounding as we are…they may as well just eat us – after all, they can’t just have all these odd creatures roaming willy-nilly around their new home and, well, aliens need to eat like anyone else!!
At first, they’d murder a couple of us to sample the native cuisine, we’d totes, blates, be amazeballs-tasty (obvs) and before we’d had a chance to truly comprehend the impending horror, the unprecedented slaughter of the WHOLE OF HUMANITY, would begin.
After a couple of hours of unmitigated bloodshed one of the more savvy, philosophical aliens would stop everyone and say “hang about alien dudes…if we just eat all of these odd creatures now, then they’ll be none left!! Then all we’ll have to eat on this planet will be like, grass and shit, HAHAHA – WHO WANTS TO DO THAT!?! NOT US!! That sounds like some hippy bollocks!! So…I’ve been thinking…how about we farm them? If we just breed them continually, if we just keep making more, then we’ll never run out!!”
All the aliens would be like, “OMG…DURRR!! GREAT IDEA!!!!” and the breeding programme would commence. Humans would be selected based on their type, ability to produce tender flesh and their fertility…we’d be rounded up and thrown into farms/death camps. Anyone that didn’t meet the exacting requirements of the aliens would be exterminated, ground up and sold in cut-price alien-supermarkets.
During the breeding programme the aliens would realise that the female human-creatures tend to produce this delicious, nutritious white fluid when they are pregnant! The savvy alien would notice this right away and say, “Fuck guys, if we pump the woman human-creatures full of hormones, we can make it the case that they produce that white fluid stuff ALL THE TIME! Not only have we got food, but we’ve got something to drink too!! Put like two-hundred of them in that cage over there, hook up the pumps and let the good times roll!!” Over time, this practice would become commonplace, the world over, and every man, woman and child, would either be pumped, bred or slaughtered…But no matter what despicable path lay before us, there was one certainty, we would all surely die, as part of the alien-owned world.
(This is obviously a picture of a bunch of cows being milked...but hopefully you're with me enough to get the point I'm making...)
Humanity would be broken, silenced by the absolute understanding that our families had been murdered, or worse, dragged into one of the breeding or milking programmes…humiliated daily. We’d thankfully consume the slop that the aliens provided us with each day and we’d live out our lives in a state of constant and perpetual fear, fear that our time would soon come, fear that we’d be marched into one of the industrial looking buildings, and be killed for consumption. When they came for us, we’d cower in the corner of our fenced areas, we’d run, we’d struggle when we saw the guns – but all attempts would be futile. The killing would be daily, the killing would be constant.
Eventually, the aliens that couldn’t be arsed to do the breeding and killing themselves would pay others to do it for them, and the human-meat sellers would start to create their empires. We’d be packed into trucks, butchered and flown all across the world. The human-meat-sellers would start under-cutting each other, driving the price of human-meat down and the conditions in our farm-come-death-camps would decrease even farther. The efficiency of the killing and the breeding would continue to increase, in order to match demand –and with the rise in need, our rights as live beings would be crushed into nothingness. Humanity would be a distant memory, a shadow in the sun.
(When she got home, Susan reviewed what she'd bought...and felt uncomfortable about a couple of items....)
We’d stop communicating , we’d stop making bonds of friendship. Love? Relationships? Laughter? The very emotions that make life a life worth living would only serve to add to the agony of our certain, imminent deaths. Our once fluid, dynamic, hyperbolic, vivacious language would be reduced to grunts, moans and whimpers. It wouldn’t take long for it to become better to say nothing, to know nothing and to feel…nothing.
This industrialised murder would go on for years. Yes it would be normalised, rationalised and scrutinized by the more philosophical aliens, but ultimately it would also end up being ratified. “Hey, the aliens need feeding! The protein is too nutritious to ignore! Right?”
Then…one day, after hundreds of years…one of the aliens will awake in the night from a deep and terrifying dream – a fantasy about an all-powerful alien race coming to earth and disrespecting the sanctity of his life in such a fundamental way. He’d sit up in bed, covered in sweat and think about the dream was telling him…
…and then he’d realise.
I’m not asking you to stop eating meat – but if we weren’t the dominant race, if weren’t at the top of the food chain, then as thinking-feeling-intelligent beings, who are capable of rational thought, who are capable of transcending our basic needs and living our lives based on our own innate understanding of what is right and wrong…we’d soon change our opinions on whether or not it’s ok to eat those that are weaker than us.
Just because we’re currently at the top of the food chain…that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t learn a lesson from my fucked up dream.