I’m no fan of clichés. I believe they represent questions, not answers. Too often feeble minds present them as if they proffer an end to debate, but instead they tender nothing more than points demanding further review.
Nevertheless, I wish to focus on one particular cliché that continues ringing in my head: What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
We eat meat. We eat just about any living thing that holds some value as a consumed commodity. We eat animal products taken by force so long as we can find some nutritional and palatable value in the endeavor.
So then let the greater intelligence come and slice up human flesh for their next meal. Let the shark eat the man who swims into alien territories. Let the bear rip limbs from the dim hiker who wanders into nature’s realm. Let the cougar tackle the biker who rides through its realm, and let that great feline then nibble a bit on this limb, then the other. And let us humans not think less of them for doing what we do, for practicing what we preach. For if it’s acceptable for us to eat other beasts then let it likewise be acceptable for them to eat us.
For we’re the dimmer species for thinking our rules don’t apply to anyone or anything save us.
Think about it: A vastly superior alien species discovers our planet. They think so differently from us that they see us as an unfeeling, unthinking, unintelligent source of meat. So they begin eating us, culling us in large numbers from the very planet that gave life to our species. They place women in assembly lines to produce milk and eggs, and they build confining spaces in which to raise our kind for brutal murder once our bodies reach a consumable stage.
How do we respond? As humans go, we take umbrage at the callous nature of such beings, and then we spit upon their image and name as though we are above such action, such primitive inhumanity.
What bathetic scenes we would make, yes? Our feckless displays would fall on deaf ears, however, for in their eyes we would be inferior, emotionless beings driven purely by genetic programming and instinct. We would be cattle, nothing more.
In the final analysis, we could only look on as what’s good for the goose was visited upon the gander.
My decision to go vegetarian never once spurred preaching to others about the moral justification I felt inherent in my resolve. I readily admitted not eating meat stemmed from an ethical conclusion. But lambaste others with that realization? Nope. Not me.
That said, though, I increasingly find myself pushed to a vegan lifestyle based entirely on how I would like to be treated under similar circumstances. The conclusion is simple: What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If I fail to adhere to that premise, I would have nothing to complain about were the tables turned.
And I assure you the tables will someday be turned.
So don’t take offense that others eat cats and dogs. Your cultural inhibition toward such things is entirely that: cultural. Your emotional connection to those species fails to diminish their apparent nutritional value to those of different upbringings.
And don’t take offense that some people consume other humans, for perhaps they seem willing to visit upon us the very insensitivity we readily dish out to every species we deem unworthy of respect. Should one human see all others in the same light, who are you to question that decision?
After all, what’s good for the goose. . .