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A Case for Species Equality


Submitted By Ejl9queen
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Ignorance is the speciesists’ first line of defense. Yet, it is easily breached by anyone with the time and determination to find out the truth. Ignorance has prevailed so long, only because people do not want to find out the truth. “Don’t tell me, you’ll spoil my dinner,” is the usual reply to any attempt to tell someone just how that dinner was produced. Even people who are aware that the traditional family farm has been taken over by big business interest, that their clothes come from slaughtered cows, that their entertainment means the suffering and death of millions of animals, and that some questionable experiments go on in laboratories, still cling to a vague belief that conditions cannot be too bad (unless the government of animal welfare societies would have done something about it). But it is not the inability to find out what is going on as much as the desire to not know about facts that may lie heavy on one’s conscience that is responsible for this lack of awareness. After all, the victims of whatever it is goes on in these awful places are not members of one’s own group. It all comes down to pain and suffering, not intelligence, not strength, not social class or civil rights. Pain and suffering are in themselves bad and should be prevented or minimized, irrespective of the race, sex, or species of the being that suffers. We are all animals of this planet; we are all creatures. Nonhuman animals experience sensations just like we do. They too are strong, intelligent, industrious, mobile, and evolutional. They too are capable of growth and adaptation. Like us, first and foremost, they are earthlings. And like us, they are surviving. Like us, they seek their own comfort, rather than discomfort. And like us, they express degrees of emotion. In short, like us, they are alive. Most of them are even vertebrate, just like us. When we look back on how essential animals are to our human survival, our absolute dependence on them, ironically, we only see mankinds complete disrespect for these nonhuman providers. This is what it is to bite the hand that feeds us. We even stomp and spit on it. Change is inevitable, either we make it ourselves or nature itself will force us to make it. The time has come for consideration of our eating habits, clothing habits, entertainment habits, and above all, our thinking. If there is any truth in what goes around comes around, what do they get for their pain? Do we even give it a second thought? They are earthlings, they have the right to be here just as much as humans do. Perhaps the answer will be we reap just what we sow. Of course these animals feel and of course they experiene pain. Has nature endowed these wonderful animals with springs of sentiment so that they should not feel? Or do animals have nerves in order to be insensitive? Reason to man is a better answer. But one thing is absolutely certain: all the oppression under the sun done to animals could be avoided. Is it not enough that they should live in constant retreat from human expansion? When we wince at the struggling of animals, that feeling speaks well of us, even if we ignore it. And those who dismiss love for these fellow creatures as mere sentimentality overlook an important part of our humanity. It takes nothing away from a human to be kind to an animal. It is even within us to grant to them a fulfilled life. We all are earthlings. We need to make the connection.

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