What is it that arouses the sympathies of people (especially leftists) toward animals? Whales are held in the highest regard, as we see from this video:
What if somebody made a similar video (with the same dramatic narrative) – about his success in rescuing a sardine from a net. Instead of being awed, viewers would laugh. When my mother asked me what I thought of the video, which had been circulating through the family, I replied, “I guess size matters when it comes to animals”. Then I asked her if she would be similarly impressed by a video of a sardine rescue. She laughed.
Americans eat sardines by the million and think nothing of it. Even vegetarians eat sardines and think nothing of it. If we were to confront a sardine-eating vegetarian, and ask him why he allows himself to eat the flesh of this creature – and why he considers the life of a sardine worth less than the life of a dolphin, he might give one of these answers:
“And I’d rather kill a cow than a human but that doesn’t mean I have to do either. Why do other animals have a right to life but fish don’t? Most animals that we eat like cows are incredibly stupid, I doubt they really have that much more self awareness than a fish. Plus fish still feel pain as far as I know. It seems quite arbitrary to have fish as the cut off point, why not include all animals that can feel pain?”
“I follow a pescetarian diet but I do it for health reasons. I have been thinking about cutting out all fish for a while now for ethical reasons and I was trying to think of justification for eating fish but not all other animals and I couldn’t find any.”
“You don’t have to do either, no, but I don’t mind people doing what’s practical for them as long as they are doing something. I’m vegetarian but not vegan because it’s not practical for me at the moment. I’m okay with that. Some people will be pescatarian but not vegetarian because it’s not practical for them to be vegetarian at that time. Some people might eat meat less often. None of it is pointless because it’s better than nothing. You can give £10 to charity when you could easily give another £10 and it’s still a good thing to do even if you could do more.
“I think fish are less capable of emotions like fear, a sense of loss at losing their babies etc., and are less self-aware than mammals. Humans can see certain emotions in mammals that they can’t see in fish. It doesn’t mean that fish don’t suffer, but they probably suffer less.””
“I think it’s quite easy to see where the line can be drawn. Fruit and vegetables don’t have central nervous systems, they don’t feel pain, they don’t feel anything. They don’t know who their ‘children’ are and they probably don’t care. It’s impossible to harm a fruit or vegetable.
A lot of animals kept for consumption aren’t really kept in very good conditions for any of their lives because its expensive to give them good living conditions. Free range is okay but it’s expensive. I went to an abattoir once and it actually traumatised me, it was horrible and the animals were really agitated. It was like they could sense what was coming, they were all just lined up waiting to be herded in and shot. It’s that that puts me off eating meat. I actually wouldn’t mind eating meat if I went along to a farm and someone just went out and picked a cow/chicken whatever and just killed it quickly.”
The underlying theme seems to be a goal to minimize suffering. Since fish (apparently) don’t experience as much pain as mammals, it is therefore more acceptable to catch, and eat them. Sardines are assumed to experience little, or no, pain. Whales do appear to experience pain. Larger mammals have been observed exhibiting human-like behaviors such as joy or mourning. The large lizards and crocodiles can live a long time – but they do not arouse our sympathies because they are not like us. Their cold eyes and their cold blood seem alien to us. But more importantly, they are dangerous to us. It is difficult to feel a connection with a creature that would think nothing of tearing us to shreds and devouring us. The large tortoises, posing no danger to us – but who live a long time – do arouse our sympathy somewhat.
If we don’t count pets or livestock, then we might come up with a list of priorities that help determine whether we are likely to feel a connection with an animal:
1) Intelligent (assumed to go hand-in-hand with the potential for suffering)
2) Similar to us (preferably a mammal)
3) Large (not a bug or microbe)
4) Pleasing to the eye (butterflies and ladybugs)
5) Useful to us
6) Not particularly dangerous to us
The left is used to seeing things in black and white. It lacks the ability to see shades of grey or to allow for fine distinctions. The mind of the leftist is dominated by boundaries. His most sacred boundary is, of course, the line between human and non-human. All the distinctions listed above, that apply to animals, lose their importance when dealing with humans.
1) He will not value the life of a less intelligent human more than that of a more intelligent one (not that we should either, when dealing with individuals).
2) He will not value the life of a large human over a small one (not that we should either).
3) He will deny that any humans are more, or less, similar to himself to the degree where he would value one over the other (allowance is made for his own family of course).
4) He sees no difference in degree of beauty between a Bantu and a Japanese (or so he says… in practice, he will much more likely take a Japanese wife than a Bantu one).
5) He is careful to remain ignorant as to racial differences in achievement.
6) He is careful to remain ignorant as to racial differences in crime.
Obviously not all of the criteria, listed above, should be applied to how we value other humans, either as individuals or as groups. There is no reason for us to value large humans over small ones – except for women, who care first and foremost about an eligible man’s height and sports teams. As for intelligence, obviously there are other factors that help us determine how much we value another individual. But, when it comes to groups of people, we will always value the more intelligent over the less intelligent – unless we intend to use them only as slaves.
If I were given a choice between two populations, both of whom wish to immigrate to my country, I would use all the above criteria (except for size) in my decision. Who, in his right mind, would disagree? Would you rather have the dangerous group come to your country or the safe one? The more intelligent one or the less intelligent one? The one that is similar to the native population or the one that is very different? It is important to remember that, in this scenario, we cannot judge each potential immigrant as an individual; all we have is general information about them.
Leftists tend to be as rational as the rest of us when choosing their favorite animals – but when it comes to humans, they turn into blundering idiots. They realize, subconsciously, that there are racial differences, but their urge to deny this forces them to reach conclusions that are the opposite of reality. They end up favoring the least desirable races (at least verbally) and disdaining the more desirable ones. Perhaps by doing this, they imagine they are doing a good deed by giving a crutch to those who were shortchanged by nature.