The blood was thick under my feet, with the dark crimson color masking the wooden boards beneath it. The sight by itself made me sick to my stomach, let alone the constant rocking from the crashing of the waves. At the age of eleven I had never witnessed a murdering before. Of course I had squished an ant or spider that dared to step in my way, yet never before did I see the emotion and pain that came in the final moments before death. In the arms of a stranger, the fish looked so innocent and helpless as the sharp blade pierced his scales. It was in that moment that I truly realized…
I believe that all living creatures, whether a person or a fish deserve the right to live, and no living being should die in vain for another being’s pleasure.
Few differences divide us from our fellow animals. A life is a life no matter its IQ, physical features, or species. The necessities for survival- air to breathe, food to nourish, shelter to protect- are universal. A bond between a mother and child is a force that can withstand nature’s most powerful elements, regardless of its species. A cow shows love as it cares for its calf, giving it the nourishment needed to grow strong and healthy. A hen incubates the egg pecking in defense if disturbed and rarely leaving the nest to eat, drink, or bathe. Their connection with their offspring goes beyond birth, as they put their life on the line for their children as a mother does for her child.
People will fight for an end to poverty, disease, war, and genocide that cause unjust deaths, yet when it comes to another living being beyond a human life, people fail to see the importance in the issue. At the age of seventeen, I may not be able to come up with the cure for AIDS and the saving of some lives may be too far from my reach. Yet I, only a mere seventeen year old, can save the life of one cow, chicken or fish that may have otherwise been killed for the pleasure of a stronger and more powerful force. If a sick or less fortunate person was in danger, we would all be willing to help save his or her life. To me, animals are no different.
When referring to human lives, killing is considered murder- a crime leading to severe punishment. In the fishing world, killing is considered success- a trophy to be proud of. People may not be willing to give up the hearty taste of a piece of meat, but is the few seconds of satisfaction that comes with a good meal worth the death of a living thing? I believe in speaking for those that cannot speak for themselves, saving a life otherwise lost for the passing pleasures of a stronger force. I believe that all living creatures- whether a person or animal- have the right to live their life!
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.