While the issues of immigration still pound on and the need to write compassionate pieces to bring about positive change are very much needed I want to take a few posts to write about animal rights. Having become vegan a little over five years ago I have come into a state of consciousness where I find it very difficult to believe it is ok that others eat flesh. For me the struggle for animal rights is just as real as the struggle for human rights and in many ways the two are welded together. Do so many fail to address animal rights because the struggle for human rights is just too great? Doesn’t it make sense that compassion for animals would lead to compassion for human beings?
The idea that animals are beneath us is a construct of many years of indoctrination. In the past eating animals was easier than growing food because growing food takes time and care. Killing an animal just takes some sort of weapon and the desire to kill. It is a quick and effective way to find sustenance. Generally we pine that things which take time and care offer the greatest reward. So it would seem that looking after your crops would provide a greater source of completion and satiation. One becomes one with the earth and the elements counting on each to provide the proper environment for their nourishment.
The need to break out of cycles is one we’ve been engaged in for some time. In this country we’re still battling against racism and the idea that dark-skinned people are somehow less than their light-skinned sisters and brothers. The need to take this same approach with animals is very real and should not be ignored. Choosing to allow factory farming and the torture of animals for clothing and food is simply another mindset we must break. It is no longer ok to ignore the cries from the slaughterhouse. It may sit in some desolate part of Oklahoma, far from your ears, but the screaming happens every day. Millions and millions of animals are killed for our consumption each year.
I believe it’s time for all people working in rights organizations to take a holistic and comprehensive approach to rights in general. Why is it ok to ignore the issue of animal rights? This is a question I would like to ask everyone involved in the struggle for human rights?