The suffering you cause may be your own

Via Gary Smith
on Mar 18, 2011
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All religions, spiritual philosophies and ethical codes teach that when we come upon suffering, we do all that we can to help alleviate it. Most of us would agree that we have both a moral and ethical duty to help those that are suffering. I think we would also agree that it is our moral and ethical duty to avoid causing suffering.

If the above is the case, then how do we find ourselves confining, torturing and murdering 10 billion land animals (and billions more fishes) per year in the United States alone? Worldwide we murder close to 60 billion land animals (plus trillions of fishes). How have we created such a contradiction in what we believe is moral and ethical in our behaviors?

You don’t get to say you’re not culpable because you don’t directly confine, torture and murder the animals yourself. Paying and supporting others to cause suffering is no less immoral or unethical.

You don’t get to avoid the reality by refusing to witness the suffering of animals when it is shown to you.

Science has shown that animals feel pain and experience suffering, and that we cannot only survive but thrive on a vegan diet. How do you justify causing such suffering? You can ignore the suffering you cause by getting your flesh and animal by-products at a grocery store or restaurant, but it’s impossible to ignore the truth; you not only aren’t working to alleviate suffering, but you are actively causing it.

This inconsistency with your deepest beliefs is causing you much suffering. The physical suffering is much more obvious than the emotional suffering. The physical suffering manifests as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancers, liver disease, kidney disease and the like. The emotional suffering is much deeper and less obvious.

I believe that it is impossible to live a life making immoral and unethical choices and truly be happy. When we cause suffering, we suffer. If you take a moment and search your heart, you will agree that causing suffering causes pain in your heart. There is nothing more empowering than removing yourself from a system of oppression and suffering. There is a profound peace in knowing that your choices cause the least possible amount of suffering.

So, what are you going to do about the inconsistency in your belief system and your behaviors towards animals? Are you going to continue to cause suffering and pretend that there are no consequences, or are you going to stop causing suffering by going vegan and abstaining from supporting businesses that use animals for food, clothing, entertainment and research?

Are you going to stop causing suffering and start working towards ending suffering? Ultimately the choice is yours to make. Please don’t take too much time deciding, because the animals need you.

*Courtesy of The Thinking Vegan.


About Gary Smith

Gary Smith is co-founder of Evolotus, a PR agency working for a better world. Evolotus specializes in nonprofits, documentary films, animal advocacy campaigns, health/wellness, natural foods and socially beneficial companies. Gary blogs at The Thinking Vegan and writes for elephant journal, Jewish Journal, Mother Nature Network and other publications. Gary and his wife are ethical vegans and live in Sherman Oaks, CA with their cat Chloe and two beagles rescued from an animal testing laboratory, Frederick and Douglass.


One Response to “The suffering you cause may be your own”

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