Opinion Article on Animal Abuse

The immorality of consumption and animal abuse

Mahatma Gandhi stated that “the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way it treats animals,” meaning that the way we relate to other species is a reflection of the degree of cultural refinement. of our societies. And although in principle it is easy to agree with the Indian leader, it is not so easy when it implies a radical change in our lifestyle, such as food, entertainment or consumption.

Modern industries have been adept at hiding from us the way in which they make their products: with what they make them, in what way, how they test them. And we inveterate consumers play the same game, since deep down we prefer not to know.

We cover our eyes to the food industry, whose animals are raised in cruel and unsanitary conditions, and then loaded with antibiotics to fight the infections that their own way of life generates. We cover our eyes in front of the makeup testing laboratories, where animals are forced to undergo product after product so that you or I can use a shampoo with rinse without running the risk of an allergic reaction, since a hundred animals have already had them in our place.

We cover our eyes, because deep down we do not care, or because we feel that there is nothing to do, that this implacable industry is the same one that gives us work, brings us ready chicken to the supermarket or allows us to believe that we look the same hairstyle than that movie star who advertises shampoo.

What does this say about us, in Gandhi’s terms? What does it say about our morality, our empathy, our vision of life beyond our species?

Our animal victims

I do not propose a return to the caverns, nor the strictest vegetarianism, nor a life that is inimical to hygiene and social customs of the time. Those are arguments with which any attempt to think in moral terms of what is clearly a monstrous reality is often ridiculed: we treat animals as merchandise.

And that is something that a couple of centuries ago we hardly did with human beings as well: we reduce them to slavery. Only in the case of animals it is much worse: we push them from birth to a handicap, to a place of inferiority and suffering, because they do not even have a voice to express to us, in terms that we want to understand, that their suffering is identical to ours. . The slave at least had the word, with which he could curse the master and swear vengeance on him. Our animal victims don’t even have the comfort of rage.

That human beings must feed on plants and animals, is a reality that for some is inescapable. Furthermore, a practice that did not invent modernity but has accompanied us since we emerged on the face of the planet and that we even share with the animals themselves. We cannot at the same time consider ourselves superior, take the place of command on the planet, and treat them in a way that we do not reserve even the most infamous of our species.

If there are human rights, if we really consider them the foundation of a moral existence in front of our fellow men, how is it that we have not done the same with the universal rights of animals, the vast majority of whom suffer like us, feel like us and die like us?

That is something for which the modern world has no answer.


  • “Opinion journalism” in Wikipedia.
  • “Cruelty to animals” in Wikipedia.
  • “Universal Declaration of Animal Rights” in Affinity Foundation.
  • “Animal abuse” on Telesur.

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