Tag Archives: cognitive dissonance

Cute Baby Animals and Cognitive Dissonance

I don’t think either of us really knows where to start with this particular post but it happens enough that we wanted to write about it and here’s my take on the issue. The scenario goes like this: Brent posts a picture of me petting a cute animal on FaceBook and moments later an assortment of people make remarks about how delicious the animal looks, how they would prepare it, or compliment the presentation of the “dish”. Some of them delete their comments, others apologize, some do neither and there’s often a lot of backpedaling [and desperate grab-backs, and then more backpedaling, but I digress]. It wouldn’t be an issue except that this kind of trolling never happened before I came out as a vegan.

I’m aware that people eat animals and their reproductive secretions. I used to myself. Still, I realize there’s something different in how people regard me because I’m openly vegan. I choose to refuse animal products and claims of “it’s really good” or “you have to have some” or “it’s all natural” aren’t enough to convince me otherwise. What I mean to say is that I realize my choice makes some people uncomfortable and they are merely trying to return the favor. The trolling in question is a symptom of congnitive dissonance: when one simultaneously holds two beliefs that conflict with one another. I make this judgement because this trolling behavior is especially common from those who publicly pat themselves on the back for pampering beloved family pets and those who trumpet about how their beef is free range and grass fed… as if that makes slitting the throat of a living creature without anesthetic and scalding it to get the fur or feathers off while it bleeds to death somehow less injurious to the animal.

I suppose I should take triumph in knowing that the seed is planted. I shamefully remember the time a good friend asked me why I was vegetarian and not vegan and the excuses that I babbled. Pardon my language; in retrospect I sounded like an asshole. Looking back, I am much more aware of the hypocrisy of calling myself an animal lover and participating personally in the slaughter of sheep and chickens on the family farm and outsourcing most of my slaughter to 9 conglomerate slaughterhouses that process most of the meat in the United States. Killing something and tacitly condoning it’s suffering is not commensurate with loving it unless perhaps you’re psychotic. The cognitive dissonance will rattle in each of their brains and maybe resolve and maybe not… but the seed has been planted.

This is Christie, signing off.

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