While perusing Facebook recently, I saw a post that caught my eye for the disturbing picture it contained: a picture of an educated, well-spoken person I know, posing with a decapitated head.
Was it a picture of a trophy hunter, proudly displaying their kill? No. Was it a picture of a member of ISIS with its latest victim? No. It was a picture of someone posing with "Jazz Hands" in front of a pig carcass displayed at a restaurant.
By the following day, the picture had garnered 28 "Likes."
Imagine if this picture was taken with any other animal, like a cat or a dog. Imagine the outrage this post would generate. But it didn't.
Are we so removed from where our food comes from, that the death - and by extension, the life - of an intelligent, social animal is just a joke to us?
That pig likely took a long, scary ride on a truck to a slaughterhouse, where he waited in line to take a captive bolt to the head. Did he smell the corpses and blood of the pigs slaughtered earlier that day? Did he feel afraid as he neared the front of the line? Did the captive bolt render him unconscious, or was he "processed" while still alive and aware of what was going on?
That pig met a terrifying end because people like the taste of his flesh. And then his body was fodder for a "funny" picture.
What saddens me the most about this isn't the picture - it's the fact that we live in a society that isn't outraged by the picture. When I see that picture, I see an individual that had very little dignity in life, and apparently, no dignity in death.
I wish the poster and the people who liked the post could see that picture through my eyes, if only for a moment. You can accuse me of being too sensitive, but I'll choose my sensitivity to suffering over your ambivalence to it any day.