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Is it Wrong to Steal Because it's Illegal or Unethical?

January 2, 2021

Imagine you lived in a community where stealing from others is legal. It's also considered socially acceptable to take from others if you are cunning enough to do it. If someone steals from you, you are allowed to retaliate or steal it back, But if they get away with it you cannot use legal action against that other person who you can prove stole from another. Society accepts it as the way the world works: You get what you can get.

Would you steal? 
If you answered no, why? 

Would you Pay Someone Else to Steal for you?

What if someone offered you a service. For $10 they would provide you with $50 worth of goods, (with a small 2% risk factor that the person might get caught and get beaten up and return with $0). They don't mention they are stealing it, just providing it to you. But remember stealing is legal and the most cost effective way to provide $50 worth of goods. 

This example illustrates a dilemma of outsourcing ethically immoral behavior to another, in order to benefit. This example is exactly what people do when they buy factory farmed animal products. You yourself may not mutilate, artificially inseminate, abuse, neglected and eventually transport and slaughter pigs, cows and chickens, because it's an atrocity. But so many people pay others to do it for them, stealing the life from those animals, and stealing the babies from the animals mothers a few days after birth for a life of filth, isolation and captivity.

We live in the 21st century. Plant based alternatives that are healthier and taste good are now available to consumers. We are presented with a choice when we go to the store. Do we buy the ethically immoral products that steal from animals and we pay someone else to take on the devilish deed? or do we act in alignment with basic human decency, and buy only products that don't involve theft, torture, mutilation, slavery and slaughter? 

Do you Buy Cruelty Free? Or do you just Pay Others to Steal for you?

Even with better quality and more ethical plant based products are available to us, many people's communities haven't thought for themselves and adjusted their behavior. Many people don't want to put the time and attention required to change, especially if others in their social circle are close minded to it. Your close-mindedness feeds their close-mindedness.

So many people follow the herd without thinking for themselves.  Would I steal?  Would I enslave a pig in a small cage? Would I slaughter defenseless captive, neglected and abused animals?  Would I pay someone else to do it and perpetuate this unethical activity so I don't have to think about it? 

If you buy animal products, the answer to that last question is yes. 

Why is Animal Abuse and Mass Animal Captivity Considered Socially Acceptable to Buy?

We only have so much time and attention. So we usually specialize in a few things we do well. These things often become our career and contribution to society. Then others who are contributing to society help us with the other aspects of our lives so we don't have to figure them all out ourselves. 

If you examine your beliefs you will likely find you share similar values to your family, your friends and the community you identify with. This allows us to learn from others we trust, often simply mimicking and accepting the beliefs of the group to be true and right without needing to examine every aspect to confirm its the right way to do things. 

We all do this. We have to. But as we learn new information we do adjust our beliefs and choose differently than our trusted community over time. That can be uncomfortable, but that is when we grow. It allows others in the community to adjust and grow too.

Factory Farms are relatively new in the history of humanity. Before the 19th century it wasn't an issue. But now it is. Society hasn't caught up yet. It takes individual consumers to change, to help shift society. Will you do the right thing?

Once it becomes socially unacceptable to buy from factory farms, the same way it has become socially unacceptable to steal from others or own a slave, then our legal system will reflect the values of our more ethically aligned society. Change starts from within the hearts of each consumer. You decide with what you buy.

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