Vegan lifestyle articles that discuss ways of living in peace with humans, animals, and the environment.
Those of us who have crossed over to the side of understanding the need to protect the rights of these sentient beings realize that we must be the voice and the force for these animals because they cannot fight back on their own. They have a strong will to live and thrive and yet are being held captive to a system that systematically uses, abuses, and slaughters them for pleasure and profit. The issue of animal rights, as we see it, is no different than any issue of human rights that has been fought for and won over the years or still presently today.
“The intrinsic meaning of animal rights is that no animal
should be used or killed for human purposes. Their rights as individuals are
sacred, and no benefit to myself or my taste buds can trump their right to
- Eddie Lama
There is a battle going on. You may not see it played out in the media as would be with typical conflicts or hear it being discussed in the break room at work. None of our military budget is being designated towards the support of this war. It is a war that has been going on for centuries upon centuries, and yet there is strong indication that it may be coming to a head in this next generation. The conflict of which I speak is war that is being raged against non-human animals by a majority of the human race. The casualties to the animal population is well over 60 billion each and every year and while some would say that it is a losing battle to engage in, I believe it perhaps to be one of the most noble of causes that we can engage in and one that will help to shape the future of our planet for both humans and animals alike. We are seeing unprecedented victories now being won in the arena of animal rights, and though ground being gained is often slow and hard-fought, it is time now more than ever in our history to press on.
Those of us who have crossed over to the side of understanding the need to protect the rights of these sentient beings realize that we must be the voice and the force for these animals because they cannot fight back on their own. They have a strong will to live and thrive and yet are being held captive to a system that systematically uses, abuses, and slaughters them for pleasure and profit. The issue of animal rights, as we see it, is no different than any issue of human rights that has been fought for and won over the years or still presently today. Men and women enslaved in our own country needed advocates and people willing to go to war to fight for their freedom. It would have been nice to have seen the tragedy of using another human for profit and pleasure and resolved it in a peaceful and intelligent manner, but instead it divided a country. There was a huge price to be paid but the victory was won. It would take another hundred years to fully ensure human rights for all, and it seems ridiculous now that it took that long for small-minded humans to realize that humans should be free and with rights in which to live their lives.
A hundred-plus years ago women were given the opportunity to vote and it is puzzling today why this right was ever denied to them in the first place. It makes no sense, other than the idea that some humans wish to control others. It is a major flaw in our humanity. This flaw is certainly evident in regards to our treatment of animals. People exercise their control over animals because they feel they can and it has been something that has been going on for a long, long time. That is never a good excuse because what we have seen throughout history what humans have done left to their own devices. Instead of being caretakers of animals and sharing this planet with them, we have turned them into a commodity and have treated them as a lower form of being, which they are not. I believe those that actually engage in this war against animals reduce their own humanity in the process. it is time for people to step back for a moment and realize that we are all connected as living beings on this planet and what happens to one affects us all. Do you want to change the world? Do you want to change how humans treat other humans? Then let us begin by changing how we treat animals.
This is not a battle that is going to be fought with traditional weapons of warfare. It is going to be fought with our voices, our words, with our hearts, and with our minds. It is not a battle raged with hate and violence, because I believe that is counter productive in so many ways. If you are defending animals and are filled with malice and hate, I suggest that you retreat for a bit to adjust the attitude and the manner in which you are conducting yourself and directing your energies. I doubt that it is winning anyone over and probably appealing only to those who are moving in the same vain. This conflict will be won with strong fortitude, reason, and will…but will be wrapped in love and compassion. This is going to be the way of the world that we long to see and the paradigm that is in fact being built right now. There are obvious reasons why you may not see the media coverage on this, but the world is in fact changing as tens of thousands of people every day are crossing over to compassionate, conscious eating and living. This battle is being won, one person at a time, and it is happening.
The question now is to ask yourself what side of this historic battle do you want to find yourself on? You may say you love animals and yet in reality you love only a species here and there of animals and contribute to and support the system that is enslaving, using, and slaughtering the rest. I must point out that any justification that one can offer today for using and killing animals can be handily refuted. We do not need them to clothe ourselves. We do not need them for our entertainment. We do not need them to experiment upon in labs. We do not need them for our food. There are not only adequate but actually superior alternatives that are readily available to us that will actually benefit our health, the planet, and of course the animals. Nothing changes if we do not change, and we as humans need to realize that we need to change for our sake as well as that of the animal population now and in the future. We are citizens of this planet and we need to establish and protect the rights of all inhabitants upon it. If you say you just don’t care and just can’t get out of your own way, then I am not sure what to tell you other than try to do a heart check and find a bit of compassion somewhere in there. Put profits and your palates aside, or perhaps move to the side, because we are coming and we are coming strong. With love, compassion, reason, and everything we need we will see this conflict to its end. We will press on.
Paul Graham was born and raised in Northern California and has lived in
Las Vegas since 2004. He is a top wedding officiate, a green Realtor and
writer. He has a daily vegan food blog,
in Vegas which is 365 days and 365 vegan meals in Las Vegas.
Paul’s e-book, Eating Vegan in Vegas: If It Can Happen Here, It Can Happen Anywhere is now available at www.sullivanstpress.com.
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