the guilt of killing the innocent





The Guilt of Killing the Innocent
"A conscience cannot prevent sin. It only prevents you from enjoying it"
Harry Hershfield


Have you ever hurt or killed something throughout your life and felt bad about your actions? A sense of wonder and reason probably crossed your mind and all you could ask yourself was, why? There\'s many times people feel guilty about their actions and sometimes have a feeling of sadness and depression. Animals are a huge part of the world that cause remorse among society. Many people share love, bonds, and relationships with animals, but continue to hunt them for pleasure and nourishment. There are times that people feel bad about what they do to a creature just for a few minutes of pleasure or just a bite to eat. It\'s amazing how close one can feel to an animal and then go to many extremes to kill it. Besides reality within humans, there are many authors that incorporate guilt with killing throughout their novels. Humans and authors novels such as James Serpell\'s In The Company of Animals and Ernest Hemingway\'s Old Man and the Sea, portray images throughout their ideas that dispense thoughts and representations of killing animals through feeling a sense of shame.
Take for example the millions of vegetarians throughout the world. They are all different in their selection of foods, opinions of animals, and what they eat. Some people won\'t eat certain meats while others will go to the extreme of eating nothing that comes from animals, whether it is eggs or gelatin. Vegetarians feel a sense of disgust and a sick sensation of eating a creature that God placed on the earth. They feel that God placed the animal on the earth to live in peace and harmony, not to face the trauma and death for the benefit of others. Vegetarians feel it is disrespectful towards animals and believe it is not fair to kill off an innocent creation. Some feel very strong about the issue that they will protest the slaughtering of animals and the plan of making garments from their skin and fur. They experience guilt by eating the remains of a dead animal that used to be alive. The torture and pain that each animal endured causes vegetarians to feel bad about eating them. People are still fighting to discontinue the violation of animals, but the guilt and feeling of shame will never leave the mind of a true vegetarian.
Besides humans, Hemingway displays a similar portrayal of remorse with the killing of an animal throughout Old Man and the Sea. A close relationship that is united between a man by the name of Santiago and a marlin allows ones emotions to take a toll and undergo an adventure of guilt. Santiago has a strange appreciation and sympathy for the fish. Marlins, to Santiago, are ornaments that create a feeling of nature and loyalty towards him. The old man holds a bond and strength of love and devotion with the creatures lurking the environment that he is surrounded by. The turtles for example have similar characteristics like Santiago, such as a heart, feet, and hands. The flying fish act like his family members since they encompass him everyday by playing and searching for food. Over time Santiago and the marlin mold a connection that causes the old man to feel more emotion for the fish than expected. On the first day, Santiago speaks to the marlin "Fish…I love you and respect you very much. But I will kill you before this day ends"(60). By the end of the day, the marlin is still alive, but trying to strive for every last bit of its lasting life. Santiago then sympathizes for the fish and does his best not to disturb or violate the marlin during the sunset. " The setting of the sun is a difficult time for all fish"(81). Santiago wants the fish to rest in peace and cares for the well being of the creature. The old man distinguishes the great worth of the fish that he never knew existed. "Then he was sorry for the great fish that had nothing to eat and his determination to kill him never relaxed in his sorrow for him. How many people will he feed,