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I understand your point that ending suffering in whatever way possible is the immediate goal, Elaine. You misinterpret what I have said if you think I said we should focus on "that one issue" (compassion) to the exclusion of any other. I said repeatedly that the issue of compassion shouldn't be ignored in favor of the health aspect, which seemed to be what had been suggested at some point (can't recall by whom). Limiting results in "converting" people to a meatless diet is most likely to occur if discussion of all the issues around a meatless diet are limited. Results are indeed the bottom line, and those that are based on a foundation of mercy are far more likely to be heartfelt and lasting (saving more animals in the long run), than those based on self-interest.
It's no more like trying to legislate morality to elucidate the terrible harm being done to the animals than it's like trying to legislate morality to elucidate to a child abuser (analogy, not comparison) the harm done when he punches his child. The most compelling point is that the child is harmed, not that the abuser might break his hand on the child's face, though one could mention that he may break his hand, if that may be what stops him from doing it again. Whether or not the child abuser is moved to feel compassion is beyond anybody's control, but it's incumbent upon us to speak out about the suffering of the victim, regardless how anyone responds. Some may respond with compassion, some may feel nothing, but we shouldn't neglect at least making the point in a meatless diet discussion, since the animals can't make it themselves.
Since you yourself say that you "certainly don't hesitate to mention the suffering of the animals," I'm not sure what you're debating, or what you mean by "Like it or not". I think it's fairly clear I'm fully aware that most people aren't on board the compassion train when it comes to diet, and probably none of us here like it much.
Go on to: Comments by Betty - 18 Feb 2009
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