A video of a father and son killing a hibernating mother bear and her two cubs in Alaska was recently released. The act has been widely and fiercely condemned, and the two men were criminally prosecuted and sentenced.
We couldn’t agree more that this was a horrific and inexcusable act of senseless violence. And if this upsets you too, then good, it should.
But here’s the uncomfortable question. How is what these men did any morally different from what the rest of us do when we pay for and consume meat, dairy, eggs and other animal products?
When we buy and consume animal products (whether fur, eggs, leather, wool, dairy, meat, poultry, fish, or other otherwise), we are directly paying for and supporting horrific cruelty, suffering and death imposed on countless billions of vulnerable animals. And, just like the senseless killing of these bears, it is all unnecessary.
Of course, there are important psychological differences between the men who killed these bears for their sick enjoyment versus people who simply continue socially-conditioned habits of eating and wearing animal products. However, there is no *moral* difference between the two — they both involve unnecessarily harming and killing animals for trivial and unnecessary purposes (i.e., enjoyment, pleasure, taste preference, etc.), which is a violent and morally unjustifiable act.
So, if you agree that it’s wrong to kill animals like these bears — if you think it’s wrong to needlessly harm and kill animals — then the only rational response to accepting that is (at a minimum) to live vegan.
Going vegan also happens to be very healthy and one of the most positive impactful actions you can take for the environment and to help preserve the natural habitats on which bears and so many other species depend.