We’re sitting around the kitchen eating breakfast and listening to a Gary Francione podcast and started spinning ridiculous scenarios. The lone cow on a deserted grass island was the silliest.
Imagine you’re stranded on a pristine grass-covered island with plenty of fresh water. It’s been a couple weeks without a meal and you’re getting weaker by the day. Attempts to catch fish have been a complete failure and foraging was a total waste of calories. You’ve resigned yourself to the harsh reality that you’re going to starve to death and have some hard vegan choices to make?
Option 1) You eat the cow… You mourn the loss of your only companion and thank the gods for your good fortune of landing on Cow Island. Your belly is full for the first time in weeks, and you dry the bones and hide to make clothing and a simple shelter. And you use the dried salt accumulated on the beach rocks to preserve the meat.
After a month or so (you really don’t know because you’ve lost track of time), your food supply runs out, and quite frankly you’d rather starve than eat another bite of salt cow. You’re lonely as hell and don’t see the point of going on. You’re left with the unpleasant choice- a slow agonizing death from starvation, or drowning yourself in the ocean and possibly making a nice meal for a shark.
Option 2) You let the cow live… During your brief stay on Cow Island, you’ve had countless hours to observe your sole companion who seems to be perfectly adapted to life here. While she is thrilled to have your company, she’s not dependent on it. Little birds land on her back as she lazily grazes on miles of lush grass. Yes, you know how good she’d taste, and it just so happens you brought along your butcher’s knife and a bic lighter. But before you go insane with hunger, you make one last rational decision. You come to the conclusion that the cow can live out her days happily on the island with or without you. You on the other hand lack the ability to digest grass and will absolutely die of starvation whether or not you eat the cow. So you say goodbye to your bovine buddy and take that long swim into the sunset.
How does this apply to the real world? I’ll leave that to you to work out. I’m not quite willing to hit the water just yet, but sometimes I wonder if the animals we share the planet with would be better off without us… Of course they would, but that’s nature’s call to make I guess.