Do you love animals?

I know I do.

And most of you will also say yes, without a moment’s hesitation.

But, here’s the thing… do we all really love animals?

After watching a two-minute video featuring Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard, the answer to that question will most likely be a no.

“How dare you say I don’t love animals! My family and I are crazy about them! I have a dog and a cat at home, my grandparents have two birds, my little sister has a pet rabbit”, you might say to me.

Oh sure, you love dogs, cats, and all that. Open your wardrobe, however, and you’ll find a winter coat lined with rabbit fur. Your uncle has a bird taxidermy collection stowed away in his attic. You discover that your own friggin’ wallet is made from cowhide leather! And last night, after finishing late from work, you stop at a KFC branch for a chicken fillet burger.

That is the paradox.

Some might argue that chickens, pigs, cows, and the like, don’t have feelings or don’t feel pain. And that is completely untrue. It is a known fact that these poor animals (yes, including fish!) go through so much pain and suffering so that their skins and fur can be used for everyday items to make them more “authentic” and of a “higher quality”, and so that they can become food for human consumption.

Now, having said all this, you might call me a hypocrite after you’ve read my post. And you’d be right to, because although I understand the suffering that animals go through in order to become the food we eat, I feel that I’m not yet ready to give up eating meat. I do, however, plan on being a vegetarian someday in the future. It’s only a matter of when, not if.

– Preston Carbonaro