A Dead Animal for Food is No Different Than A Dead Animal for a Selfie
I’m sure by now you’ve seen the story of the dolphin that died as a result of some people taking selfies with it. While people band together in disgust, and some pointlessly argue that the dolphin was deceased pre-selfie, I’m sitting over here once again puzzled by how people who presently eat and wear can be so shaken by this single act of suffering.
It’s downright absurd to mourn the loss of a dolphin with one Facebook like, and then celebrate the loss of another animal moments after by liking a photo of someone’s steak dinner. It’s true, while you stare at this lifeless dolphin and feel sadness, I stare at your towering burgers and feel the same hideous regret for a human choice. In both scenarios, an animal dies for a human’s pleasure, and in both scenarios, it’s completely unnecessary.
Besides the obvious fact that selfies serve little more instant-gratitude than a meal does, people will still surely argue that an animal in the wild didn’t have it coming quite like one raised for our consumption. I disagree, no matter the geography or rarity of a species, the taking of a life cannot be justified by our desires, not matter how frivolous or “necessary” we deem them to be.
I have an incredible love for dolphins, but won’t cite their intelligence, grace, or rarity as giving them any more value than a cow, chick, or pig. When we take to social media with our pitchforks over one creatures peril, it gives us all permission to continue the false hierarchy of animals, or speciesism, that animal agriculture relies on.
What this dolphin can, and hopefully will act as, is a connection. I don’t look to lessen the way we view it’s needless death, but instead hope it heightens the way we can see all animal death. The beach goers may just be regular people, but so are the people responsible for enslaving us in to believe that wearing, consuming, and using animals for entertainment is any better.
The only way to get justice in this matter is to be honest about our discomfort with using animals, and to stop all uses of them in our day to day lives. The next time you login to a social account to post or like a photo that celebrates animal use, think about the dolphin and consider what the difference is. You don’t need bacon anymore than these people needed a selfie, so please go vegan.