“We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form.”
~ William Ralph Inge
We humans are a peculiar species. Every year we spend tens of billions of dollars caring for certain animals, and tens of billions of dollars hurting and killing others. Some of us worship cows. Some of us put them on the barbeque. Some worship cats and dogs, and others eat cats and dogs. Even within the same country, some people love and adore rabbits as companions, and some pay money to shoot them and serve them for dinner.
We capture animals from the freedom of the wild and enclose them in glass or behind bars so that we can marvel over how beautiful and majestic they are. We mourn the impending extinction of animals like lions and elephants, and yet we also hunt and kill these beautiful creatures and bring their body parts back home as trophies.
Yes, we are very, very confused about what animals really mean to us. Here are a few examples:
Live Animal Charms
Animal activists have been protesting this new fad: tiny animals such as goldfish, salamanders and turtles, are encased in plastic trinkets which sell for $1.50 and attach to your keys or phone.
Crab Vending Machines
As if live animal charms weren’t motivation enough to avoid that trip to China, how about not wanting to ever see live crabs being dispensed from vending machines?
Larvae as a Delicacy
Chad Klyne from Without Borders stumbled accidentally onto this experience, stating: “It was not sweet in the slightest. It was somewhat savory with a smoky flavor from the grill. But the texture…. it was the texture that was the most disgusting. It was like biting in to a cream filled doughnut but only to find that it is not sweetened cream but savory bee’s larvae!“ Mmm mmmm…
When I was a child, one of the most nightmarish things I could imagine was to be eaten by a wild animal while still conscious. In certain restaurants in China, people do exactly this to fish. In Korea, they do it to octopus. Yes, I think this one actually takes the cake. Oh no, wait… Read the next one before you decide.
A balut is a developing duck embryo that is boiled alive and eaten in the shell. It is commonly sold as streetfood in the Philippines.