In reference to Karen - 27 May 2012
Welcome to the group, Karen. I’d like to think you’ve come to a good
place for you. The messages are moderated so that, while you will find the
people may disagree with your positions on certain things, they must do so
respectfully or have their message rejected.
I’d like to comment on the perceived preachiness of vegans and vegetarians. Some people certainly assume a holier-than-thou attitude when it comes to animal issues, as well as a host of other things. However, I also think that, when many animal advocates simply point out what happens to nonhumans on today’s farms, they are often perceived as preachy by those who don’t want to hear the message so they criticize the messenger.
Part of what alienates us is our disregard for members of a society who know what happens to animals yet refuse to make the relatively small changes in lifestyle that would eliminate their contributions to the practices. It is like being an abolitionist in the antebellum South. Everywhere you look you see people engaging in reprehensible practices, and you can’t help but be dismayed and disappointed. The main difference is that people once believed that the southern economy absolutely relied on slaves. Even those who found slavery ethically problematic could not imagine another way. In contrast, nearly everyone knows we don’t need to abuse animals – evidently, people do so out of preference and convenience.
The other part that alienates us is that we are unwelcomed by people who don’t want to hear our message. Indeed, many of us have experienced being unwelcomed in churches if we insist on bringing up animal issues as a Christian concern.
While this Internet discussion list isn’t the same as a church community, hopefully it helps address some of the needs all of us have for a sense of connection and community.