Sunday, April 01, 2007

Applied ethics and cows

COW is the name of a fine little perfumery in Stockholm, where you can find Philosophy's fab products, Laura Mercier, Vincent Longo and other special, high-quality products. Some of them you can't find anywhere else in Stockholm. COW in this case stands for Cosmetics of the World.

But it wasn't that kind of COW I was to write about, but that dear animal cow who gives us in abundance but doesn't get much in return. Once again, unfortunately the way the humankind in general treats animals does leave a great deal to be deserved...

And since I think repetition can be a good thing, especially when it comes to thick-headed ignorants and egoistics I do have to quote one of my favourite quotes again:

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated - Gandhi

I've had no problems in using a lot of milk in my tea and other dairyproducts in cooking and baking. Cows need to be milked and why let that wonderful product go to waste? I haven't got a vegan attitude towards products with animal origin, as long as the animals that have provided the product in question, have had and has a good life - well, I would never ever go back to eating meat, no matter what because that just fills me with disgust...

But after reading an article in the latest issue of Djurens Rätt (Animal Rights), the magazine from Sweden's Animal Rights organisation - the largest in Scandinavia with 36,000 members - about the way the vast majority of cows are treated, I felt just sick.

And the tea with milk (the only must in my food-life!), the lattes, cheese-sandwiches, the créme fraice-pastasauce, the cottage-cheese pie, the vanilla yoghurt smoothie just aren't the same. The bite, the gulp just keeps growing in my mouth and the aftertaste is bitter...

Soyamilk is just so disgusting, oatmilk too, what am I to do? And the use of leathershoes, it's said to be a bi-product from the meat-industry, but when buying them don't I support that horrific industry anyway?

Not to mention my weakness for handbags, very special handbags, made from the finest piece of... cowskin. What about Blända, Rosa, Tindra, Luella (the naming isn't quite clear, not really a part of the distinguished family...), Lill-Tindra, Elvira and Bella? I'm absolutely convinced they made certain in the respective cowish wills that their skins were to be donated and made into handbags for Pia and no-one else ... or?

Now and then one starts to think about the ethics in life, about the inconsistencies in one's own moral standpoints. The conclusions drawn aren't always very flattering... On the one hand you want to be a compassionate, caring humanbeing with a strong ethical sense of what's right and what's wrong.

On the other hand you also want to be able to relax and enjoy life here and now, which sometimes also includes more superficial matters like a heavenly handbag and must-have-shoes, without thinking and seeing further than the content of your wallet and the end of your nose.

And isn't it better to at least having made SOME ethical and moral standpoints regarding what you eat, drink, the cosmetics you use, the clothes and accessories you wear, than having adopted couldn't-care-less-selfish-attitude?

Perhaps it's just these smaller steps in the right direction that in the end will matters the most? When they're more easily adapted in every-day-life. And as so often a more kind of laidback and diplomatic approach when discussing difficult (?) moral and ethical issues is a more successful way to go.

A world, a life that's only seen in black and/or white is, in my opinion more difficult to change for the better. And isn't it better to be able to see both the grey nuances and all the colours of the rainbow between? Also for your own sake.

The only thing black and white, in the end, is a happy cow.

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