Observations of an Overthinker

Timing, self-narrative and dominance of any kind.

No one wants to be told what to do. No one likes being lectured. When asked, everyone believes they’re doing as much as they can to help. I’m no different.

For over 20 years I’ve had a very strong stance against intolerance. The more I revealed the more I was faced with a moral dilemma: What do I do? Say? And to what degree? I’ve always felt the best practice is exercising my vote, being present and doing what I believe is right at all costs.

Similarly, I’ve been an animal lover ever since I can remember. (Something I’m learning isn’t entirely true.) After seeing Food Inc. in 2008 I went for 7 years without eating beef and 3 years without eating pork. I kept it to myself as an invisible badge of honor waiting for the moment I could brag. Not many cared. I did. I’ve been lacto-pescatarian for a while now and leaning towards going completely vegan. The COVID-19 quarantine has sealed the deal for me. Timing. 
 
I just watched the 2018 documentary Dominion and the only word that comes to mind is horrific. I can think of several other words to describe what I saw but that’s what I keep coming back to, horrific. I didn’t wanna watch this film. I was asked by a lifelong friend to watch it several times. I kept saying “I will” knowing I’ve seen enough slaughter films and don’t wanna see another. Or worse yet, “I’m making strides towards a vegan lifestyle.” While true and now official, that’s not the whole story this movie portrays. If he would’ve told me more about the theme of the film I may have watched it sooner. My fault, not his. Self-narrative is key. 
 
We all have a graphic slide of slaughterhouses in our minds. For some even cinema. The monochromatic red horror coated walls no matter where you look. A room of terror; the look of panic and fear in one’s eyes, all for the viewer’s entertainment. Our consumption of animals is no different. Seeing slaughterhouse workers morally absent of consequence is heartbreaking. Some laughing while kicking, beating, shocking or throwing animals around is the markings of the Holocaust. One of the reasons I didn’t watch it is I knew it would further my lack of faith in humanity and I don’t need any help there. I kept telling myself I’m doing what I need to do working towards a better way of life and that’s good enough. I still maintain trying is better than not but let’s be clear, there’s no humane way to kill something that wants to live.
 
I don’t like how I used to distinguish animals differently: dogs over dolphins, cats over cows. I also don’t like how I rationalized their pain by my superiority. I’ve read “might equals right” as a supporting fact for animal consumption. Meaning, humans are intellectually and physically superior to animals so we can do what we want because no one can stop us. While true, it doesn’t make it right. I have never in my life felt worse than when I see someone afraid of my strength. Afraid of me. It’s the most humbling thing there is to me; the dominance of any kind. 
 
I now put the ethical treatment of animals as a whole in a sacred column. I’m flawed and I’m sure I’ll stumble along the way learning how I can do better but starting with a vegan diet seems right for me. May we all try to evolve. At least try. What’s a world worth living in without kindness?
 
© Tanzer Words