Recently I watch a documentary, The Cove, about the slaughter of dolphins off the coast of Japan (See more on this website). The courage of those game changer profoundly touches me, and I sympathize with those spiritual beings. After I smoothed my emotion, I asked myself why I would get moved so much. More specifically, what should I respond to the kids of my own in the future if they using a finger to point the pork then ask me: “We eat pork, why should we not eat dolphin.”
Because pigs are clever and lovely fairly (Peppa Pig would vote for that), I could not just give the reason that dolphins are more spiritual, which is so open-ended and even could not persuade myself.
Maybe from the movie The Cove I could pick up some reasons, like the dolphin meat is poisonous, the slaughter is inhumane, the behavior of the Japanese government is sneaking, etc. However, if all those shortcomings were overcome or even disappeared, could we insist that we should not eat dolphin in general?
After some struggles of myself, I start to believe it is for the same reason we should never eat other people, I mean, human beings.
Before Darwin’s theory of evolution became familiar to the public, people held on a thought that God creates people and human beings are the center of the universe. Under that assumption, a human has the right to eat everything including dolphins. Thanks to goodness, the science uncover that human is not superior to other kinds of animals but much luckier. That means all sorts of animal have the same right to exist on the earth. Among human beings, we share an equal right, and no one can justify someone’s life is more valuable than others’. So we don’t trade lives.
While we can not rely on God theory, how can human beings find rightness and meaning in living? The answer is lying on ourselves, our feelings. I could so far as to say we are the miracle of the universe. As human beings, we should trust ourselves, paying more attention to ourselves. If something we don’t feel right, we should avoid to do it. If we fright cousins of man, we would feel sad, not to mention when we deprive their lives and eat them.
That’s because we human beings are born to cooperate and love with each other. Among the path of evolution, cooperation help humans overcome the hardships exiting in nature. Comparing to the Neanderthals, we, the homo sapiens, believe and share the specific meaning, like love, loyalty, and future. Those inherent characteristics are shared among humans and fixed in our DNA. If something wrong with someone’s behavior, he or she would be punished by the law of nature. For instance, people with a higher level of aggressiveness would have more possibilities of catching an illness.
When it comes to dolphin, the answer is also quite clear. How similar are dolphins to people? Can dolphins empathize with people? The Cove told us they could. We should not eat dolphin, because we believe not only they have the equal right to live on the earth, but also they like us, and we should not eat friends of man.
When it comes to pigs, how similar are pigs to people? Can pigs empathize with people? I don’t know. So the answer depends on your feelings, if eating pork makes you feel bad, you should not eat it even be against the consumption habit of people. I believe pigs could also feel pain, but unfortunately, the humane butcher is still lack of promotion.