We Are All Animal Abusers
The Story of Kevin the Dog Beater
We want to introduce you to Kevin.
Kevin is not someone you would want to spend time with. Kevin likes to beat his dog. It gives him a feeling of power and control. He enjoys it. He does it when his dog is least expecting it, just when he’s begining to trust Kevin again. Sometimes he uses a stick. Sometimes he uses a metal pole.
One day you’re walking along the street (perhaps Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow) and you see this happening. Kevin is beating his dog, badly. His dog cowers and yelps. He is clearly in pain. You can see that he’s confused. He is wondering what he did wrong. He’s so vulnerable. You look around, but no one is paying any attention. No one is doing anything.
Hurting animals for no good reason is horrible, it’s immoral, it must be stopped. Almost everyone would agree with you. We would never hurt an animal for no good reason. None of us would do that. None of us would act like Kevin.
In reality, if we are not vegan, we are Kevin. If we are using and consuming animals, their flesh, their secretions, their skin, their bodies, we are all Kevin.
Between us and the animals we consume are:
and the veneer of social acceptability.
This distance, these degrees of separation, allow us to believe that we are not involved in the exploitation. We are not the breeder, the killer, the cutter. We are only the consumer. It is not in our control, it's not our fault, it's just the way it is. No... We are all Kevin.
We pay the restaurant and the supermarket, they pay the distributer who pays the packager, the cutter, the killer, the breeder. Our money, our demand, our actions lead directly to the animal.
We are Kevin.
The packaging, the marketing, and the profit-driven misinformation have enabled us to switch off from what we are supporting, what we are demanding; switch off to the fact that we are eating the flesh of an animal killed for us, drinking a cow’s milk intended for her baby, her baby who has been killed so that we can drink that milk, and wearing on our feet the skin of an animal bred and killed for us. All of it totally unnecessary. All of it we do for the frivolous reason that we enjoy it. Just like Kevin.
We are all Kevin.
Kevin is based on Gary L Francione’s Simon the Sadist in his book Introduction to Animal Rights:
Your Child or Your Dog, and his “We are all Michael Vick”: