Whenever there is an animal involved in a situation of conflict with respect to humans, I sometimes hear people – vegan or not – rejoice in human suffering or withhold sympathy for the human.
It is that “serves them right!” response. Think of the toreador getting gored or the hunter getting shot or the non-vegan contracting a diet related disease.
I read an article about the majority of chicken corpses in the UK containing the E.coli bacteria and someone commented that they would withhold sympathy from the humans and side with the chicken victims.
I understand that reaction, but I ask this:
Why rejoice in human suffering at all? Does that advance any cause? Does bacterial justice serve any purpose other than to satisfy one’s own prurient Schadenfreude? And what if that bacterial justice felled someone we loved? Or even us before we went vegan? Or our mum? Or that friend who we have almost shown the light to? Or us (or anyone we love) should we/they develop an infection that cannot be cured because of antibiotic resistance?
And why do we need to be so ugly in rejoicing in others’ suffering when we are advocating for the cessation of suffering in the first place? Are our hearts and minds not big enough to have room for all? I don’t think so. I think we can all do better than that.
And if you are not vegan and you are shaking your head in agreement or getting incensed when an animal you fancy gets hurt or killed (gorilla/dolphin/dog/cat), then I ask you, what have the cows, pigs and chickens done to deserve to be killed, other than to be tasty for humans? Because we have no objectively good, or not arbitrary and self-serving, reason to inflict the unimaginable suffering and, ultimately, death upon them.