Originally Posted by ElaineV
I never used to think there was a difference between eating dogs or eating pigs. I was vegetarian, in part because there wasn't a significant difference.
But I have to admit, now that I am older and I have strong bonds with two dogs (when I was a kid we had cats but not dogs), I do feel differently
when I see or hear about cruelty to dogs. Don't get me wrong, all animal cruelty is wrong, all animal exploitation is wrong. But... dogs are sooo trusting and soooo loyal and soooo affectionate. And so whenever I see or hear about cruelty to dogs I can't help but think of my dogs and it makes me more sad and horrified than thinking about chickens or pigs or cows. It just does.
It's the same now, too, with little kids. Whenever I hear about terrible things happening to babies or toddlers, it feels different now because my son is a toddler. I think of him and it makes me more sad to hear about child abuse, neglect, sickness, or death. It's not that kids matter more than adults or anything, it's just that it feels different now.
I feel the same when I hear/see/read things about rabbits. Before I had them, I knew the horrible things that happened, and it saddened me, but I didn't have the same connection as I did when hearing things about dogs, cats, or fish. When it was a dog I'd see my Cosmo, a cat my Freckles, and now when it's buns I see my babies.
But now it's also the same for me with other common farmed animals, after I got to know a couple hundred of them. When I hear stories about specific parts of the animal agriculture industry, I can picture the one(s) who went though/was going to go though the same. Those veal calves are Phoenix and Cupid; those turkeys are Jordan, Comet, Reese, Magnolia; those battery cage hens are... uh I can't remember anyone's specific name; those goats are Ramona, Noel, Hal, Chili, and Debra; those goat 'lawnmowers' are Melvin, Jacob, and Bones; those pigs are Rosa, Lily, Cesak; those ducks are Daisy, Matt, and Lenny; and on and on.
Most people in NA, Europe, and parts of Oceania had a disassociation with "those" animals, and a lot of those who do see them on a daily basis have removed the idea of them practically even being a life or just see them as things of disposal after retrieving what is wanted from them. We see dogs and cats everywhere, it's acceptable to love them, and the market for supplies for them as pets is huge. We don't see them as anything but that. But in reality there is no difference between them, or a duck, or a pig, or a cricket, or even a human. We are all animals, and some animal out there eats them. The difference is in the US we are taught that cats and dogs are only friends, while chickens and cows are only food. In China, although I think there is a small push for all dogs to be seen only as friends (can't remember what breed but there's one that goes for thousands of dollars as pets; no one would imagine eating them (I'd think) but then again people eat woolly mammoth, tigers, giraffes, etc. simply because they can and it seems "rich" so who knows), they're the same as a chicken or cow and raised as such.