You make bunny cry

2010-04-22 12:42
When buying a new shampoo (or whatever), I'm always sure to ask the same question: "Has this been tested on animals?"

"No," they often assure me.

"Well, do you have anything that was?"

And of course they always do, because just about everything you put on, in and around your body has, at some point, made bokkie cry. Which is fine by me. I don't want to end up with a head full of blisters because some tree-hugging liberal scientist was too much of a pussy to inject a little shampoo into a bunny rabbit's eyes before flogging their jumped up soap to innocent consumers.

Now don't get me wrong – I've given this a lot of thought. During my ideological post-adolescence I self-righteously became a vegan, which lasted for nearly three years.  And I hate vegetables, so I'm sure you see the nobility of my sacrifice. Delirious with starvation, I eventually allowed myself dairy. Then eggs. Then fish. Then I devoured at fat, rare steak after drunkenly convincing myself that the animal had died peacefully in its sleep. Probably.
In hyper-defence mode, I started campaigning for vegetable rights, which fitted neatly into my newfound carnivorous lifestyle.

"It takes a single cow to feed a family for weeks," I'd opine to vegans. "But do you know how many lives are lost because you're inhuman enough to order a bean sprout salad? You're eating BABIES!"

I still supported Beauty Without Cruelty, but then suddenly, Doc Martens became required footwear for gothy metalhead nerds. Bugger. Hobbling painfully out of the shoe shop as if the Mafia had just prepared me to sleep with the fishes, I realised that protesting against fur coats was no longer an option if I wanted to remain hypocrisy-free. So I thought, what the fuck, and bought a leather jacket. Awesome.

I'm not completely without conscience. I still support PETA's anti-pet stance, although I suspect this has less to do with animal liberation, and more to do with the fact that I think pets are like babies that never grow up, and then die just as you're getting used to picking up their shit.

I've realised that my attitude to animal cruelty all comes down to my personal convenience. Like Christopher Reeve - who couldn't give a tinker's cuss for stem cell research until the horse he was torturing got its own back - our principles are purely selfish, and often saturated with hypocrisy.

We protest vivisection, despite the fact that just about every cure and medical advancement we have wouldn't have been possible without it – including cures for cholera, smallpox and polio, and treatments like insulin penicillin pain killers and pacemakers. Here's a challenge: next time you're ill, ask your GP for medication that hasn't been tested on animals, and see where that gets you.

We protest fur, while wearing leather shoes. We condemn traditional slaughter while standing around a fire topped with blistering flesh. We measure the carbon footprint in our groceries, then go home and make more babies. You might say, "Chris, you arsehole, those are entirely different things!" But do you honestly think an animal cares why it's being murdered? It's time to come clean, and accept the fact that animal rights take a distant second place, not only to humanity's survival, but also to our comfort, convenience and yes, even pleasure. So how about we dispense with all this fashionable, animal-loving bullshit, and live our lives without the constant need to apologise for being what we are?

That's what every other creature on the planet seems to be doing.

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