by Michæl W. Bard
©2009 Michæl W. Bard
Recently there was an interesting ad series posted in the local transit system by some human vegetarian group. One was comparing a kitten to a piglet, and asking why we eat one and not the other. Then it went through endearing piglet characteristics, and the horrible life they lead on the farms that force grow them for harvest. Or, you dont eat the cute kitten, so why do you eat the cute piglet?
This is of more than academic interest to me because not long ago, to keep my sense of the perverse happy, I hunted down a local butcher that specializes in horse meat. And I picked up a pound that was expensive, but not grossly so, and made a chili out of it. Now, as far as I know, the horse I consumed was not raised on a farm dedicated to the mass production of meat for consumption. Likely it was an unsuccessful result of racehorse breeding, or a culled harvest of a wild herd.
I told some of my furry friends, and their reactions were interesting. Some were horrified, and refused to even talk about it. Others were fascinated and wanted to know what it tastes like (very dry meat with a slightly sweet aftertaste; if you cook some, definitely add oil).
Why is there this reaction? The horse is dead. He/she led a life far less horrific than a pig or chicken. He/she was killed reasonably humanely. Meat is meat. And yet, there is a kind of horrific fear or fascination about it. Same thing with any other unusual meatrabbit, ostrich, dog, cat, whatever.
Certainly theres cultural upbringing at work. Theres an emotional attachmentmost of us have pet and skritched kittens, interacted with them. Same with horses, though less frequently. Virtually none of us ever see pigs and chickens whose racial members we end up eating. Fully understandable.
So, what is the point of this? More an observation than a point. Other than the number of people who were very strongly against eating certain meats, I doubt the reaction was that much different from any other social group. It was also not split amongst carnivore/herbivore fursona lines.
We may be furries, we may believe we have a special connection with all animals, some animals, or just a specific one. We may believe that we hold animals higher than other humans. Well, we dont. Percentage-wise, we still have the same roots. We are human at the core, with an unusual set of interests. We are non-furries, and non-furries are us (remember the kitten-vs-piglet ad!). Though, of course, there are exceptions in both camps.
So, remember that next time you find someone online bashing non-furries, or get pissed off at a human bashing furries. Were all alike, more so than different. We all have beliefs, prejudices, and social drives. Lets welcome the non-furries, give them a chance. Were all on the same planet together, and life will be much nicer if were friendly co-habitants with them, rather than superior bigots.