Tag Archives: Dogs

Into the Great Wide Open

Since going vegan in 2013, my view of animals has changed so much. I used to be that person who thought of animals as “just animals” and that eating cows, pigs, and chickens were “just the way things are”, never giving them any thought beyond that.

In June of this year, Julian and I adopted our first dog, something I know I would never have done had I not been vegan. Even the animals we are conditioned to love and care for and not eat, I viewed as more of a nuisance or obligation; I didn’t really “get” the love that people had for their pets and I certainly didn’t see those pets as individuals or companions, mainly because I’d never experienced it before. We had a dog when I was about 4 or 5 who was returned to the shelter when she tore the kitchen curtains up. We had a cat when I was in grade school who was given away when we moved cities. This attitude of animals being disposable if they inconvenienced us continued when my brother was old enough to get a dog (I don’t know what happened to his dog because I had moved out of the house by then. All I know is the dog did not stay long). By the time I was on my own, I knew I never wanted pets, which, on one hand was good because I still viewed animals as expendable but it was also – to use an expression I’ve learned from therapy – a missed experience. Had I developed a better understanding of animals and a proper empathy toward them, I could have provided a loving home to one for many years. Continue reading

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The Unspoken Prejudice

I generally don’t write a lot about cruelty cases towards cats and dogs unless it’s to compare the difference in how cruelty towards them versus the animals we eat is generally viewed.  It’s not that cats and dogs don’t need the attention or are immune from suffering at the hands of their owners – far from it.  It’s just that when they are found to be abused, it’s one outcry I don’t feel I need to add my voice to. Stories of animal cruelty that make the headlines involving dogs and cats are usually met with an instant public outpouring of anger and a call to action, having been long-established that it is socially unacceptable to abuse them. What I’m more interested in is A) despite it being socially repugnant to abuse cats and dogs, why do people still do it? and B) why do we continue to view the mistreatment of “pet” animals as any different from the animals we consider to be otherwise? Continue reading

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