Recently I’ve been pondering the incredible connection between people and their pets. Within my own family, I’m absolutely loving watching the bond between my 3 kids and our dog and cat grow stronger as the years roll by. Being an animal lover myself, I’m thrilled that my kids share my passion – and I know they’re not alone.
Many Australians are barking mad (pardon the pun!) about their pets. We have one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world with almost 2/3 of households owning a pet, and for so many of us our pets are an integral part of our families. Amongst my extended family, friends and the people I see in parks and on the street, I’ve been noticing the huge amount of affection and adoration we have for our furry friends.
This has led me to ponder something else: For a nation of pet lovers, why is it that many people accept the terrible mistreatment of animals raised for food? Anyone who has lived with an animal knows beyond any doubt that they have the ability to feel pain and fear. Science tells us that some farm animals, for example pigs, are at least as intelligent as dogs, if not more so. So why is it that many of us are willing to buy and eat animal products produced using cruel methods, for example eggs from hens confined in cages or ham and bacon from pigs confined in sow stalls?
Now I know that giving up meat altogether is a big step and I realise that not everyone is willing to do it but there is something we can all do to help alleviate the suffering. By making a commitment to only buy animal products which are either organic or true free range, your really can make a difference. It’s not a huge sacrifice, it’s just about choosing one product over another. Please visit our website www.consumewithcare.org for information on which animal-friendly products to buy and where you can buy them.
Perhaps we, as animal lovers, can extend our compassion beyond our pets to the other animals we share our world with. Whilst I accept that many people choose to consume animal products, I believe that respect and care can be extended to the animals farmed for food who give us so much, including their lives.