We humans do this really dumb thing where we want to compare everything. Nothing can stand alone as good or bad or tragic or happy. Everything has to be “as good as…” or “as funny as…” People call Sam Smith “the male Adele” because he can’t just be Sam Smith. He has to take the place of Adele (who is only like, 25, so nobody is taking her place yet). When tragedies occur, they are “the worst ___ since ____.”
That’s fine, I get why we have to do it. We want to reconcile this new thing with an old thing, or we want to compare it to decide whether we like it more or less. But sometimes, we go a little overboard.
Once, someone asked me if I thought the Holocaust or slavery was worse. They weren’t trying to be funny or just get a random opinion. They actually wanted to debate me on which tragedy was worse (they had already decided the Holocaust was). My answer? Are you serious? And then I said a bunch of other stuff along the lines of you cannot compare human suffering because it’s all pretty awful. Whether it’s one dead or thousands, one enslaved or millions, it’s all injustice. So on. So forth.
ANYWAY, I say all that to say this. About 5 minutes ago, Aaron Paul tweeted this:
You are terrible.
Everyone who actually cares about living creatures.
Release your slaves.”
Personally I thought it was great (I’m bias maybe because I think Aaron Paul is pretty awesome… but I digress). Anyway, so someone commented this: “dude, little kids in palestine are being bombed rn and you’re talking about sea creatures lol.”
So many things can be said about this reply but I’m going to try to stick to my point. (But I have to say this. Lol? Seriously? You just brought up a serious issue and you end it with lol?).
Why can’t someone take up issue with the mistreatment of animals and the death of children in war ravaged countries? Is it impossible and/or ridiculous to care for both things? Do you have to put aside the mistreatment of animals to care about human suffering? I don’t think so. I think our brains, while sometimes faulty (like when we end a sentence about children dying in Palestine with lol) but I think we can manage to advocate more than one issue. Sure, on the scale of things that matter, dying children are above enslaved Orca whales. But that doesn’t mean you can’t voice your disdain for both.