Letters

From all-creatures.org
and The Mary T. and
Frank L. Hoffman
Family Foundation

Letter from Ruth Eisenbud: On Honoring "Pigness" - 8 Feb 2010

Dear News Staff at NECN:

It occurred to me that the following was your idea of a sick joke: I turned off the news today when you announced that you would be airing a report about a man who honors the 'pigness' of his pigs, so that they may be killed to produce tastier meat. We do not honor our 'humanness' with a comfortable life so that we may be more valuable when slaughtered.

Pigs are intelligent animals who have the full range of emotions often attributed only to humans, as borne out by scientific studies which have just begun to explore what compassionate and brilliant humans ranging from Pythagoras to Leonardo DaVinci to Isaac Bashevis Singer have long understood:

"The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men." Leonardo da Vinci, artist and scientist

"For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love." Pythagoras, mathematician

"How can we speak of right and justice if we take an innocent creature and shed its blood?" Isaac Bashevis Singer, Nobel Laureate in Literature

The dichotomy between how humans and animals are viewed is a direct result of religious teaching of the Judeo-Christian tradition that sanctify the killing of animals for mans benefit in a hierarchical scheme designated as Dominion. As aptly noted by Pythagoras this tradition has brought neither joy or love to humanity and has in fact lowered the bar of permissible violence. It is not coincidental that there is so much recent violence in American society: our youth engage in random shooting incidents in their schools, adults do the same in public spaces, as well as the recent killing of Dr Tiller and other acts of violence towards abortion providers.

You see it is quite simple, when you teach someone to kill, whether it be an animal or a human, within a religious context, acts of violence will increase. Dr. Margaret Mead understood the connection between violent teachings and acts of violence:

"No society that feeds its children on tales of successful violence can expect them not to believe that violence in the end is rewarded" Margaret Mead

When we teach our youth that it is fine and proper to kill animals, we are in effect teaching them that life is NOT sacred and that one may kill for any number of reasons, from anger, to gratification, to revenge.

Those who endorse, carryout and benefit from the killing of the pigs roll about in a muddy, murky morality, as they consider pigs expendable to their pleasure. while upholding their right to kill another living being, with a smug sense of superiority.

Since meat is not essential for human, survival, there is absolutely no reason to kill a pig either for a gourmet meal or a church barbecue. Gratuitous violence leads to more of the same.

The Jain religion of India is founded on the principle of Ahimsa: non-violence for all beings. It is not coincidental then, that the Jains have the lowest, almost non-existent, rate of violent crime in India. When you teach individuals to respect life, ALL life, they do.

Ruth Eisenbud
Cambridge, Ma