When Tradition becomes Atrocity
Don’t twist our traditions to meet your expectations.
That’s what the headlines read. Today, everyone is trying to preserve their cultural history. And they should! There are few things more important than knowing where you came from, and preserving the integrity of a lifestyle that others are trying to either erase or alter for their own, often fashion based purposes.
But do we need to preserve every tradition? Especially, when these traditions are cruel and exploitative to animals, and backward?
I don’t think so.
In fact, I know that there are some traditions that need a severe revamping – if not just to be completely destroyed. In this case, they have become an atrocity upon our world.
When people think of Spain, they picture golden coasts.
And oh so tasty meals and the comfort of a home found on a foreign shore. They flock to the country for the architecture, the museums, and the historical artefacts scattered about the world. And, of course, they come for the chance to bear witness to the long-standing tradition of the bullfights.
At first glance, people assume it to be a sport of bravery. They associate it with speed, finesse, and the skills of a gentleman that could rival Zorro. The startling reality is that it’s simply a way to profit off of animal cruelty while citing tradition as an excuse to let it happen.
The problem is that most who attend the fight don’t realize what’s happening. The color red does not taunt the bull into a rage. The knives it’s been stabbed with prior to being herded into an arena have.
In another section of the world, culture dictates that the fishermen of the Faroe Islands treat the slaughtering of whales like a sport. Locals set sail in search of a pod of whales or, on occasion, dolphins. When one is located, they maneuver their boats and nets about until they’re able to drive the pod into shallow water. At this point, other men descend on the animals, using knives to slaughter them.
They say it provides food for the island, but the method is far from caring towards the creatures themselves. Knives, as you might be able to fathom, are not lucrative when it comes to culling those massive sea beasts. The whale’s death is often drawn out and, in the end, treated as a sport.
The man who kills the biggest whale is awarded a carcass of their own to take back for their family. Are whales the only sustainable meat source on the island? No! These are men who also raise goats, chickens, and cattle for their food.
The whale hunt is little more than tradition being kept alive. In this case, are those traditions really something that we want to uphold? Culture or cuisine shouldn’t be excused for animal cruelty. Change needs to happen - tradition or not. Animals have destinies, too.
Humanity must cease exploiting them with the lame excuse that man rules over the world.
Humans have no right whatsoever to assume the role of fate towards animals. And if they continue to play fate, it's at their own peril, as the coming years will show.
Sadly, what will come will be more than deserved. Cause and effect, guys. Cause and effect.
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