Thursday, March 05, 2020

Teaching children about animals: “inconsistency” and “confusion mixed with hypocrisy”

Jataka tales i Jataka tales ii  Jataka tales iii
Learning to be a Dutiful Carnivore 

Dogs and cats and goats and cows,
Ducks and chickens, sheep and sows
Woven into tales for tots,
Pictured on their walls and pots.
Time for dinner! Come and eat
All your lovely, juicy meat.
One day ham from Percy Porker
(In the comics he’s a corker),
Then the breast from Mrs. Cluck
Or the wing from Donald Duck.
Liver next door from Clara Cow
(No, it doesn’t hurt her now).
Yes, that leg’s from Peter Rabbit
Chew it well; make that a habit.
Eat the creatures killed for sale,
But never pull the pussy’s tail.
Eat the flesh from ‘filthy hogs’
But never be unkind to dogs.
Grow up into double-think—
Kiss the hamster; skin the mink.
Never think of slaughter, dear,
That’s why animals are here.
They only come on earth to die,
So eat your meat, and don’t ask why. 

—Jane Legge, originally published in British Vegetarian, Jan./Feb. 1969: 59.
  Shabkar_food_of_bodhisattvas_buddhist_teachings_ihd001  Animals-and-their-moral-standing-2
I came across this delightful poem of moral psychological insight in a no less profound and important essay by Cora Diamond, “Eating Meat and Eating People,” in Cass R. Sunstein and Martha C. Nussbaum, eds. Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions (Oxford University Press, 2004): 100.
Salt anthology  Animals and the moral community 

A bibliography on animal ethics, rights, and law.


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