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Sep 12

How We Treat Animals Reflects Our Humanity

 

Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Vol. 13, Issue 90
Sunday, March 30, 2008 

“How we treat animals reflects our humanity”

Lately there have been many news stories and letters to the editor regarding animal cruelty, including the dog that was stolen and killed (for food), the “pet” pigs who were brutally killed (for food), and, of course, the cruel treatment of “downer” cows, which resulted in the largest meat recall in U.S. history.

What is the common thread, the underlying issue, in these cases? The answer is that our culture and economic system are built upon a solidly established, habitual way of ignoring the interests of animals. If we thought of animals as conscious individuals whose lives have value, we simply could not treat them so horribly.

Many people object to cruelty on moral grounds, and are saddened or outraged by acts of cruelty. Others think animals fall outside the bounds of ethics, and to these people I say: Humans aren’t the only important species inhabiting the Earth, even though we act that way.

If our culture is to survive, we humans must change our thinking about our relationship to all the others who share it with us. It is in our own self-interest to extend our circle of compassion to include them.

If you’re a person who thinks animal rights is a stupid concept, think again. The way we use and abuse animals is linked to the human problems of racism, poverty, world hunger, ecological damage, sexism and war.

 

Pamela Davis
Animal Advocate Inc.
Honolulu