Maligning and Denigrating Animals
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Maligning and Denigrating Animals
Comments by Laurie Ulrich Fuller - 7 Aug 2007

Which is perhaps why Christian animal advocates need to expand their arguments so they can discuss the biblical basis for compassion toward animals AND discuss the simple humanitarian reasons for it. If we can bridge the gap between the religious and secular meat-eaters, we can bring the message to more people. Conversely, secular activists -- and I'm sort of in both camps, doing most of my advocacy outside of the religious "realm", yet I'm a Christian -- have to be able to respect the belief system of the person to whom they're speaking. I want to just choke some of the Amish I see along the roads here, their sweat-drenched horses gasping for air on the hot blacktop (and knowing what sort of animal atrocities are back home on their farms), but if I were to speak to them on the subject of animal cruelty, I'd have to be prepared to hear and respond to their religious perspective. The hearing part is what's hard - because of course I don't want to hear the litany of reasons THEY believe their treatment of animals is sanctioned by God - I think it's a sick twisting of the words and intent. But if I ever want to sway even ONE of them, I have to be willing to hear their views and respect where they come from.

At the other end of the spectrum, the aforementioned angry young animal activists do alienate people, but it's all part of being young and believing in something. At least they care about something, which is in short supply among many people in their teens and early 20's "these days" (now I really sound old!). Having become politically aware during the latter 60's and early 70's, I was very angry about the war, about pollution, about the implementation (or lack thereof) of new Civil Rights laws, etc., and protesting seemed natural, as did stirring the pot and getting people inflamed - if only to keep the subject on people's minds. While I find the younger animal rights activists to be a bit annoying now - having kids with 3 colors of hair and multiple piercings on their faces show up and turn off a lot of the public at a protest can be a problem - I am glad to see young people caring so much about a topic and being willing to hurl themselves into the mix. All types of advocates -- religious, secular, young, old, reserved, aggressive - we have to all learn to work together or at least accept each other's part of the whole process. The more types of activists there are, the more people we can reach, because for every polite Christian out there biting into a ham sandwich at lunch, there are angry young tattooed and pierced kids ordering a burger, and we need voices ALL of them will hear.

L.

Laurie Ulrich Fuller
www.freedomforanimals.org

Go on to: Comments by Vegan - 7 Aug 2007

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