Using animals does not go along with a clear conscience
Everyone wants to live with a clear and
clean conscience. A clear conscience provides rest and
you can be proud of it. A clear conscience has to do with
the conviction that you are making the right choices.
Everyone once had to make
a choice of which he knew it would affect animals,
for instance eating meat.
How to deal with the contrasts in making ones choices?
The answer comes with learning how to choose and to detach.
Sometimes it is wise to make a choice, and sometimes you
don't have to choose. But when do you know what is best?
We deal with a number of questions that have to do with
choices that, in the end, also influence the life of animals.
The relationship between mankind and animals is the touchstone
of human civilization.
Positive and negative
is both the starting as well as end point of the process
of choosing. The conscience puts you before choices
and also evaluates your choices. It is good if a clear
conscience is based upon positive motives. It can however
also be based upon negative motivation. You may f.e.
behave ethical out of being afraid to be punished, in
the present or later. This does not show high standards
and also points towards sheer self-interest. Fear and
moral dilemma moreover get in the way of a true compassion
with others (man or animal). Finally, a negative motivation
brings no rest.
Purity and others
purity, you will soon find out that the word purity
or fineness has a somewhat sterile overtone. And sometimes
even draws back. In particular when a "pure"
way of life is being forced upon by others or has its
consequences for others, for example when a society
is being "cleansed" from unwanted elements.
In cattle farming: when a farm is being cleared due
to Foot&Mouth or BSE. Then freedom and solidarity
are at stake.
The one, direct side: Not eating meat
Whoever eats meat,
has an animal die for him or her. If for the sake of your
life and health you do not want to sacrifice animals,
you have to become a vegetarian
or vegan. That is a pure weighing. Thereupon it is
necessary though to do a little extra effort in order
to stay healthy, because simply skipping meat from your
menu and not adding something extra can influence your
health in a negative way. He or she who tries to achieve
purity by simply giving up, runs the risk that this may
lead to shortages. Also there is a fair chance that the
food becomes too tame. Choose a healthy and varied menu.
If you are serious about it, you will never long for your
old food habits no more.
The other, indirect side: Health and taste
Meat consists of
ingredients that your body can use to maintain a healthy
balance. But meat is being degraded first in your digestive
organs.Therefore it is also possible to stay healthy by
feeding yourself these essential ingredients directly.
Almost all the necessary elements are found in plants
(vegetables). All it takes is to practise yourself in
tasty preparation of the right
combination of these elements. Do a bit of reading and research and you will find out that the number of
possibilities to combine vegetables and protein-replacements
in an appetizing and pretty manner, is countless. As a
consequence, health is automatically guaranteed by the
variations of your menu.
To do - to know
In order to have
a clear conscience with regard to animals it doesn't take
doing a lot, but you can however do
many things for animals. On this website we show several examples.
It is important that you do know what your actions may
bring forth for animals. By "actions" we mean
your choice of food, of clothing, of keeping pets or not,
and the ways of entertainment with animals you might favor.
To develop a clear
conscience in respect of animals it is mainly a matter
of leaving things out: not eating meat and fish, not wearing
fur or leather clothes and not keeping pets that did not
come from a shelter or asylum.
What does matter is to forget that using animals would
be essential for
your health or for your or other people's well-being.
Those are mainly fallacies and sometimes such untruths or myths are the
cause of animal suffering.
for freedom, and are entitled to freedom. No-one is
obliged to turn in his freedom for the sake of others,
but someone who materializes his freedom by never minding
other people's interests, is acting anti-social. Emancipation
does not stop with the black fellow man and with women
rights, but also concerns animals. Animals
too have a right to freedom. The awkward thing is
that animals cannot fight for this right. We, humans,
will have to liberate society from an injust treatment
of animals. It ought to be legally justified and supported
that it is a human right to tackle others on injustices
they cause to animals.
To set limits
a meaningless concept when no limits can be set. Limits mark a free area. In order to enter
someone elses territory, you have to respectfully ask
or negotiate his or her permission. Respect means keeping an appropriate distance to the other person.
This distance enables the other person to make clear
in a reasonable way what he or she is or is not willing
Animals also make clear when others trespass their
borders. But animals that are kept within industrial
farming under unnatural conditions, cannot show to the
consumer anymore that their limits were ignored and
borders exceeded. Man himself should be the judge of
of life of an individual is partly depending on his
ability to take care of himself and partly on the conditions
that are provided by a society. Every individual has
to decide in his life to what extent he makes use of
the possibilities that society offers and in how far
he or she is a supplier of quality to others. What you
do for your own Self, you do for a fellow creature,
be it human or animal. What you do for an other being,
you do for the Self.
Politically spoken it comes down to knowing when you
vote liberal and when socialist parties. Some parties
intend to exceed these two opposite choices by presenting
themselves as liberal-socialists, but that sometimes
blurs the true character of political issues. A similar
pure reflection, may by the way at a certain moment
lead to a liberal vote and at some other moment to a
choice for social politics. Therefore the historical
context is important.
With regard to animals kept in cattle farming the question
is whether the interest of the farming business exceeds
the interest of the animal. If a shortage on food would
occur in a society (which happened in Europe during
and after the Second World War), it is reasonable to
give the farmer more freedom in order to produce much
food. In our contemporary Western nations however, there
famine problem; the only hunger that can be pointed
at is the urge of the industrial farmer to earn a lot
of money. When the farmer is not subjected to rules
and regulations, this would cost the quality of life
to the animals in his stables.
The general interest of society
of life within society depends on the offers that its
individuals, who together form a society, are prepared
to bring. "Every" working member pays taxes.
Yet money is not the only thing a society can run itself
by. To stick to social rules, requirements and decency
is also of importance, preferably voluntarily. These
matters, in a way, are universal. To a certain extent
it is also necessary that again and again these requirements
are being re-determined. Should that not be the case,
then societies become rigid and can only function if
rules are ignored or offences are being tolerated.
In politics every time again the balance is settled
anew; sometimes liberals win some, sometimes socialists
do and sometimes christian-democrats parties. If this
balance is settled by means of an election-war where
themes are an issue that have to do with the sense of
security of people, than fundamental
needsare at stake. The interests of the animal
are once again forgotten: "morals first, then food".
In times of famine it is the opposite but the result
is the same: the animal is forgotten. This matters in
as far as people who want to make money at the cost
of animals, see their chances to do a good stroke of
business at all times. They are also the ones that plead
for an international accessibility of trade markets.
In that way more turnover can be generated and the law
of the jungle is in force. In cases like this, the one
with the least clear conscience earns the most money.
involvement belong together, but hold grounds of tension.
Both a lack or an overplus of involvement is bad for
your conscience. By becoming too much involved, you
can show a lack of respect for the other(s).
The reverse also applies. Neo-liberalism has led to
a harsh, competitive mind that over-emphasizes self-handiness
and own-responsibility. This has interfered with the
welfare of many people to such extent that psychologically
speaking one may not expect much involvement with others
(animals) no more. As individuals we are responsible
for detaching ourselves from the pressure of our surroundings
in order to enter into and maintain relationships in
a healthy manner.
There are good
reasons to choose for the companionship of an animal,
f.e. for pets that need a home. However people who seek
emotional compensation with animals for what they seem
unable to find with other humans, do better not to keep
a pet. To animals, the human need for attachment is much less wanted. True love for animals therefore
means setting the animal free.
People who say they get back more from animals than
they do from people, probably require more from animals
than they themselves are able to give to humans as well
as animals. Such people are not in full balance and
do an injustice to others.
The ambition and
the ideal Happiness
He who chases happiness,
will lack the repose to experience such happiness. Feeling
happy has something to do with the right balance between
effort and being at ease. But happiness also has to do
with chance. A blisfull feeling is often something that
overcomes you by chance. Many feelings of happiness arise
in the natural scenery. Apparently nature provides for
the place and circumstances that can evoke feelings of
joy or spiritual
feelings. Although we cannot look into the heads of
animals, to them this will not be very different. When
an animal can live in its proper habitat in free nature,
it has the best chance of feeling happy now and again.
For most of the living creatures, the best chance on
happiness comes with living a natural life. That means
living in an optimal balance, aiming for freedom. Freedom is, means and purpose. Love is freedom. Freedom
is "pure" to such extent that it only works
when simultaneously applied for by its opposite (to
set limits). To keep this in mind, brings the best
chances of becoming and staying happy.
The reality Well-being
is dependent on the correct amount of effort to fulfil
our fundamental needs, but also to grow mentally and spiritually.
If we force our efforts in this respect, it leads to stress.
Our spiritual development is partly focused on acquiring
freedom in order to expand ourselves. As for the remainder,
we are focused on others and on "higher purposes".
For animals kept in industrial farming things are no
different. Too little distraction caused by an unnatural
life in the stables, leads to stress by frustration
and underutilizaton (weariness). Subsequently, in turn
this indigence of tribulation leads to a non-preparedness
for the stress of transport to the abattoir. In fact
the well-being of the animal is at stake in all the
phases of its life. For our own welfare, we no longer
require using the animal. Not as a pet and not as a means of nourishment. For our good and
our mental or spiritual growth, we had better free ourselves
from our deep-seated inclination to make use of animals.
This emancipation is a good step when setting out for
a life with a clear conscience.