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Unmistakable Parallels

Calvin Freiburger...
You wrote an opinion piece on Live Action News on October 6, 2013, entitled, "The Unmistakeable Parallels Between Abortion and Slavery."
Doesn't the fact that "blacks were held like cattle" as you put it, indicate to you that it's wrong to enslave animals, too?
You quote Dr. Josiah Nott from the 19th century saying, "...the negro is a totally distinct and inferior animal or species of animal from the Caucasian..."
Doesn't that indicate that if animals were never enslaved to begin with, the idea of enslaving certain classes of humans might not have arisen?
And you speak of "Christianity's key role in ending slavery."
Did Christianity end slavery, or was it secular social progress, with the Christians resisting abolition as many Christians today resist animal rights?
I would like to see organized religion join the struggle for animal rights. 
Religion has been wrong before. 
It has been said that on issues such as women's rights and human slavery, religion has impeded social and moral progress. 
It was a Spanish Catholic priest, Bartolome de las Casas, who first proposed enslaving black Africans in place of the Native Americans who were dying off in great numbers.
The church of the past never considered human slavery to be a moral evil. The Protestant churches of Virginia, South Carolina, and other southern states actually passed resolutions in favor of the human slave traffic. 
Human slavery was called "by Divine Appointment," "a Divine institution," "a moral relation," "God's institution," "not immoral," but "founded in right." 
The slave trade was called "legal," "licit," "in accordance with humane principles" and "the laws of revealed religion." 
New Testament verses calling for obedience and subservience on the part of slaves (Titus 2:9-10; Ephesians 6:5-9; Colossians 3:22-25; I Peter 2:18-25) and respect for the master (I Timothy 6:1-2; Ephesians 6:5-9) were often cited in order to justify human slavery. 
Some of Jesus' parables refer to human slaves. Paul's epistle to Philemon concerns a runaway slave returned to his master. 
The Quakers were one of the earliest religious denominations to condemn human slavery. 
"Paul's outright endorsement of slavery should be an undying embarrassment to Christianity as long as they hold the entire New Testament to be the word of God," wrote Quaker physician Dr. Charles P. Vaclavik in his 1986 book, The Vegetarianism of Jesus Christ. "Without a doubt, the American slaveholders quoted Paul again and again to substantiate their right to hold slaves. 
"The moralist movement to abolish slavery had to go to non-biblical sources to demonstrate the immoral nature of slavery. The abolitionists could not turn to Christian sources to condemn slavery, for Christianity had become the bastion of the evil practice through its endorsement by the Apostle Paul. 
"Only the Old Testament gave the abolitionist any Biblical support in his efforts to free the slaves. 'You shall not surrender to his master a slave who has taken refuge with you.' (Deuteronomy 23:15) What a pittance of material opposing slavery from a book supposedly representing the word of God." 
In 1852, Josiah Priest wrote Bible Defense of Slavery. Others claimed blacks were subhuman. Buckner H. Payne, calling himself "Ariel," wrote in 1867: "the tempter in the Garden of Eden...was a beast, a talking beast...the negro." Ariel argued that since the negro was not part of Noah's family, he must have been a beast. 
"Eight souls were saved on the ark, therefore, the negro must be a beast, and "consequently, he has no soul to be saved." 
The status of animals in contemporary human society is like that of human slaves in centuries past. 
Quoting Luke 4:18, Colossians 3:11, Galatians 3:28 or any other biblical passages merely suggesting liberty, equality and an end to human slavery in the 18th or 19th century would have been met with the kind of response animal rights activists receive today if they quote Bible verses in favor of ethical vegetarianism and compassion towards animals. 
Some of the worst crimes in history were committed in the name of religion. 
There's a great song along these lines from 1992 by Rage Against the Machine, entitled "Killing in the Name". 
Someone once pointed out that while Hitler may have claimed to be a Christian, he imprisoned Christian clergy who opposed the Nazi regime, and even Christian churches were subject to the terror of the Nazis. Thinking along these lines, I realize that while I would like to see organized religion support animal liberation (e.g., as was the case with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the American civil rights movement) rather than simply remain an obstacle to social and moral progress (e.g., 19th century southern churches in the U.S. upheld human slavery on biblical grounds), this support must come freely and voluntarily (e.g., "The Liberation of All Life" resolution issued by the World Council of Churches in 1988). 
Religious institutions can't be coerced into rewriting their holy books or teaching a convoluted doctrine to suit the whims or the secular political ideology of a particular demagogue. American liberals argue that principle of the separation of church and state gives us freedom FROM religious tyranny and theocracy. Conservatives argue (the other side of the coin!) that one of the reasons America's founding fathers established the separation of church and state was to prevent government intrusion or intrusion by persons of other faiths or other denominations into religious affairs. 
I agree with Reverend Marc Wessels, Executive Director of the International Network for Religion and Animals (INRA), who said on Earth Day 1990: 
"It is a fact that no significant social reform has yet taken place in this country without the voice of the religious community being heard. The endeavors of the abolition of slavery; the women's suffrage movement; the emergence of the pacifist tradition during World War I; the struggles to support civil rights, labor unions, and migrant farm workers; and the anti-nuclear and peace movements have all succeeded in part because of the power and support of organized religion. 
"Such authority and energy is required by individual Christians and the institutional church today if the liberation of animals is to become a reality."
At a pro-life demonstration years ago, when Father Frank Pavone of Priests For Life asked Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King if the pro-life demonstrations were comparable to the civil rights movement, she replied, "Father, this IS the civil rights movement!"
If protecting unborn children is a noble cause and calling, a just and religious cause, like the civil rights movement, why should pro-lifers have to resort to lies and deception?
The Ten Commandments warn against bearing false witness.
Jesus, in his Sermon on the Mount, said: "Let your word 'yes' be yes and your 'no,' no. Anything beyond this is from the evil one."
(Isn't Satan known as a deceiver?)
Even the apostle Paul, who taught a completely different theology than that of Jesus, condemned dishonesty (Colossians 3:13).
The apostle Paul said, "If anyone has confidence in the Law, I am ahead of him."
Does that mean Paul places himself ahead of Jesus, who repeatedly upheld the Law (Matthew 5:17-19; Mark 10:17-22; Luke 16:17), as did his apostles (see chapters 10, 15 and 21 of Acts)? 
If Christians aren't even following the moral instructions Paul gives throughout his epistles, if they aren't even following Paul, then no one's going to take them seriously, what to speak of putting them ahead of Jesus!
Boy, they "believe"!
Paul quotes Jesus as having said to him three times, "My grace is sufficient for thee." (II Corinthians 12:8-9) Christians sometimes misinterpret this verse to mean they're free to do as they please—ignoring the rest of the New Testament, and (especially) Jesus' and Paul's other teachings.
The apostle Paul taught his followers to bless their persecutors and not curse them (Romans 12:14), to care for their enemies by providing them with food and drink (12:20), and to pay their taxes and obey all earthly governments (13:1-7). He mentioned giving all his belongings to feed the hungry (I Corinthians 13:3), and taught giving to the person in need (Ephesians 4:23). He told his followers it was wrong to take their conflicts before non-Christian courts rather than before the saints. (I Corinthians 6:1)
The apostle Paul wrote in I Corinthians Chapter 7:
"It is good for a man not to touch a woman, but because of prevailing immoralities, let every man have his own wife and let every woman have her own husband.
"The husband must render to his wife the obligations that are due her, and similarly the wife to her husband...
"Do not deprive each other, except by mutual agreement for a time to devote yourselves unhindered by prayer; and come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you on account of your lack of self-control."
(The apostle Paul's words here suggest regulated or restricted sexual activity, even within marriage!)
"I say this by way of concession, not as a regulation. I wish all were as I am (celibate), but each person has his own gift from God, the one in this direction, the other in that.
"To the single and the widows, I say that it is good for them to remain as I am (celibate); but if they cannot restrain their passions, let them marry, for it is better to marry than to be consumed by passion.
"To the married couples I command -- not really I but the Lord -- that the wife must not leave her husband; and in case she does separate, she must either stay single or make up with her husband. And the husband must not divorce his wife.
"...if the unbeliever wants to separate, let there be separation..." 
(Jesus forbade divorce, except in the case of unfaithfulness. And here we see Paul forbidding divorce, except in the case of an unbeliever demanding separation!)
"Regarding the unmarried I have no divine injunction, but as one who has received mercy from the Lord to be trustworthy, I give my opinion... it is good for a person to remain in his present situation. 
"Are you united to a wife? do not seek release. Are you unattached to a woman? Do not seek a wife. But in case you marry, you do not sin; nor does the unmarried woman sin if she marries...
"The single person is concerned with the Lord's affairs, how to please the Lord, but the married person is concerned with things of the world, how to please his wife; he has divided interests.
"The unmarried woman or the virgin is interested in the Lord's affairs, that she may be dedicated to Him in body and spirit; but the married woman is concerned with things of the world, how she may please her husband."
"I mention this for your own good, not to throw a rope around you but to promote proper behavior and undisturbed devotion to the Lord."
Paul repeatedly attacked sexual immorality.
"This is God's will—your sanctification, that you keep yourselves from sexual immorality, that each of you learn how to take his own wife in purity and honor, not in lustful passion like the gentiles who have no knowledge of God." (I Thessalonians 4:3-5) 
Paul told his followers not to associate with sexually immoral people (I Corinthians 5:9-12, 6:15,18). He condemned homosexuality (Romans 1:24-27) and incest (I Corinthians 5:1).
"Make no mistake," warned Paul, "no fornicator or idolater, none who are guilty either of adultery or of homosexual perversion, no thieves or grabbers or drunkards or slanderers or swindlers, will possess the kingdom of God." (I Corinthians 6:9-10 [NEB])
Paul condemned wickedness, immorality, depravity, greed, murder, quarreling, deceit, malignity, gossip, slander, insolence, pride (Romans 1:29-30), drunkenness, carousing, debauchery, jealousy (Romans 13:13), sensuality, magic arts, animosities, bad temper, selfishness, dissensions, envy (Galatians 5:19-21; greediness (Ephesians 4:19; Colossians 3:5), foul speech, anger, clamor, abusive language, malice (Ephesians 4:29-32), dishonesty (Colossians 3:13), materialism (I Timothy 6:6-11), conceit, avarice, boasting and treachery. (II Timothy 3:2-4)
Paul told the gentiles to train themselves for godliness, to practice self-control and lead upright, godly lives (Galatians 5:23; I Timothy 4:7; II Timothy 1:7; Titus 2:11-12). He instructed them to ALWAYS pray constantly. (I Thessalonians 5:17)
Paul praised love, joy, peace, kindness, generosity, fidelity and gentleness (Galatians 5:22-23). He told his followers to conduct themselves with humility and gentleness (Ephesians 4:2), to speak to one another in psalms and hymns; to sing heartily and make music to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16)
Paul wrote further that women should cover their heads while worshiping, and that long hair on males is dishonorable. (I Corinthians 11:5-14) 
According to Paul, Christian women are to dress modestly and prudently, and are not to be adorned with braided hair, gold or pearls or expensive clothes. (I Timothy 2:9)
The late Reverend Janet Regina Hyland (1933 - 2007), author of God's Covenant with Animals (it's available through People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA) says Christians citing "three times..." are quoting Paul out of context. Paul was very strict with himself:
"But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." (I Corinthians 9:27)
Regina Hyland said this verse indicates it's possible for one to lose one's salvation (a serious point of contention among born agains!).
Christians who focus only on II Corinthians 12:8-9 MUST be quoting Paul out of context, because otherwise it doesn't make any sense: on the one hand, Paul is warning that drunkards, thieves, homosexuals, etc. will not inherit the kingdom of God, and on the other hand he's saying if you call on Jesus three times... you can do whatever you want?! 
Boy, not all Christians are pro-life! Couldn't pro-choice Christians cite "three times..." to justify their right to abortion?!
The traditional interpretation of II Corinthians 12:8-9 is that Paul had a "thorn" in his side, and asked the Lord what to do about it. The response was simple: "My grace is sufficient for thee." This was a response to a specific problem, not a license to do as one pleases, or why else would Paul himself have given so many other moral instructions throughout his epistles?
Reverend Frank Hoffman, a retired pro-life vegan Methodist minister, and owner of the, Christian vegan website, says he agrees with the traditional interpretation. 
The apostle Paul told the gentiles to train themselves for godliness, to practice self-control and lead upright, godly lives (Galatians 5:23; I Timothy 4:7; II Timothy 1:7; Titus 2:11-12). But even conservative Christians distinguish between victimless crimes and crimes with victims. 
But If a pregnant teen goes into a Crisis Pregnancy Center, the Christians there will not judge her for the sin of fornication, nor equate the victimless crime of fornication with the sin of killing an unborn child. 
Even conservative Christians distinguish between crimes with victims and victimless crimes.
Pro-life feminist Juli Loesch wrote:
"Each woman has the right (to contraception)... But once a woman has conceived, she can no longer choose whether or not to become a mother. Biologically, she is already a mother... the woman's rights are then limited, as every right is limited, by the existence of another human being who also has rights."
Recognizing the rights of another class of beings limits our freedoms and our choices and requires a change in our lifestyle — the abolition of (human) slavery is a good example of this.
Are whites free to own slaves or lynch blacks? 
No! Because of the civil rights movement, we've corrected that injustice.
Is domestic violence tolerated? 
No! Because of the women's movement, domestic violence is unacceptable.
Should hate crimes against LGBTs be permitted under the guise of "choice"? 
No! LGBTs have rights.
This isn't rocket science, but if animals have rights, then our freedoms and choices to commit crimes against animals are similarly limited.
"Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment," insists People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
As the animal rights movement continues to influence mainstream society, humankind is finally ending millennia of injustices against animals.
Like pacifists and/or pro-lifers, vegetarianism in itself is merely an ethic, and not a religion, and not confined to any single religion, though it has served as the basis for entire religious traditions throughout history: Buddhism, Jainism, Pythagoreansm, and possibly early Christianity all immediately come to mind.
As an ethic, vegetarianism has attracted some of the greatest figures in history.
The Table of Contents to Rynn Berry's 1993 book, Famous Vegetarians and Their Favorite Recipes: Lives & Lore from Buddha to the Beatles lists:
Pythagoras: "An ancient Greek religious teacher."
Gautama the Buddha: "An ancient Indian savant and religious teacher."
Mahavira: "The historical founder of the world's oldest vegetarian religion---the Jains of India."
Plato (and Socrates): "Pythagorean philosophers who are the founders of the Western philosophical tradition."
Plutarch: "An ancient essayist and biographer, famous for his Lives of notable Greeks and Romans.
Leonardo da Vinci: "Italian Renaissance man; Leonardo is one of Western Civilization's greatest geniuses."
Percy Shelley: "Scientist, classicist, aesthete, Shelley was probably the most gifted English Romantic poet."
Count Leo Tolstoy: "Nineteenth century Russian author, Tolstoy is considered to be the world's greatest novelist."
Annie Besant: "Nineteenth century English social reformer and spiritual once a feminist, a labor leader, a theosophist, a freethinker, a devoted mother and a founder of the planned parenthood movement. She is one of the most remarkable women of modern times."
Mohandas Gandhi: "Indian civic and spiritual leader; inventor of the hunger strike; architect of Indian independence; father of modern India."
George Bernard Shaw: "Celebrated wit; peerless music and drama critic; essayist and dramatist of genius."
Bronson Alcott: "American transcendentalist philosopher; father of Louisa May Alcott; founder of the first vegetarian commune, Fruitlands."
Adventist physician Dr. John Harvey Kellogg: "World-class surgeon, pioneering nutritionist, and food inventor extraordinaire. Kellogg invented peanut butter, flaked cereals, and the first meat substitutes made from nuts and grains."
Henry Salt: "Venerable figure in the vegetarian movement; author of such vegetarian classics as Seventy Years Among the Savages, and Animal Rights."
Frances Moore Lappe: "Author of Diet for a Small Planet, Lappe's two million copy 1971 bestseller put vegetarianism on the map, and awakened Westerners to the nutritional and economic benefits of a vegetarian diet."
Isaac Bashevis Singer and Malcolm Muggeridge are described as the first major literary figures in the West to turn vegetarian since Tolstoy.
Brigid Brophy: "Noted for her formidable intellect, Brigid Brophy is an English novelist, biographer, and critic of the first rank. She is the first major woman novelist to become a vegetarian."
Pythagoras warned: "Those who kill animals for food will be more prone than vegetarians to torture and kill their fellow men."
"When we turn to the protection of animals, we sometimes hear it said that we ought to protect men first and animals afterwards...By condoning cruelty to animals, we perpetuate the very spirit which condones cruelty to men."   
--Henry Salt 
George T. Angell, founder of the Massachuse­tts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said, “I am sometimes asked, ‘Why do you spend time and money talking about kindness to animals when there is cruelty to men?’ I answer: ‘I am working at the roots.’” 
"The vegetarian movement," wrote Count Leo Tolstoy, "ought to fill with gladness the souls of all those who have at their heart the realization of God's Kingdom on earth." 
Animal advocacy has a long history within Christianity.  Christians today should support animal rights as they support civil rights and/or protection of unborn children.  
I'll be honest with you: we humans can't end abortion (or war) until we cease to kill animals.
Religious pro-lifers claim they don't have to "work," but aren't they "working" to protect the unborn?
We see pro-lifers lobbying Congress; signing online petitions; contributing financially to right-to-life groups; educating the American people, the American public and the younger generation on life issues; engaging in political activism; engaging in activities that require effort, with a specific result (e.g., greater protection of the unborn) intended as the desired outcome.
If faith in Jesus is all that's required, why are pro-lifers struggling or engaging in "work" to end abortion?  Why doesn't the abortion crisis magically go away as soon as one accepts Jesus as one's Lord and Saviour?
Beyond mere faith in Jesus, we see religious pro-lifers engaging in religious activity: praying for an end to the abortion crisis; 40 Days For Life of Prayer and Fasting; the Walk For Life, etc.
Again: if faith in Jesus is all that's required, why do pro-lifers have to struggle, or engage in effort or "work" to end abortion?
Legal abortion is promoted in China, and we now see a gender imbalance of 37 million more males than females in China, due to sex-selective abortion.
Ending abortion in China would end the gender imbalance.
Whether expressed in terms of karma (action and reaction) or a secular slippery slope argument familiar to pro-lifers, clearly, there is a direct cause-and-effect relationship: allowing one social injustice to flourish results inevitably in other social injustices.
Please consider these other direct cause-and-effect relationships:
The Worldwatch Institute estimates one pound of steak from a steer raised in a feedlot costs:  five pounds of grain, a whopping 2,500 gallons of water, the energy equivalent of a gallon of gasoline, and about 34 pounds of topsoil.
Thirty-three percent of our nation's raw materials and fossil fuels go into livestock destined for slaughter.  In a vegan economy, only two percent of our resources will go to the production of food.
"It seems disingenuous for the intellectual elite of the first world to dwell on the subject of too many babies being born in the second- and third-world nations while virtually ignoring the overpopulation of cattle and the realities of a food chain that robs the poor of sustenance to feed the rich a steady diet of grain-fed meat."
--Jeremy Rifkin, pro-life AND pro-animal author, Beyond Beef: The Rise and Fall of the Cattle Culture, and president of the Greenhouse Crisis Foundation
According to the editors of World Watch, July/August 2004:
"The human appetite for animal flesh is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage now threatening the human future--deforestization, topsoil erosion, fresh water scarcity, air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, social injustice, the destabilization of communities and the spread of disease.
Brother David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk, similarly says in the February 1995 issue of Harmony:  Voices for a Just Future (a peace and justice periodical on the religious left):
"...the survival of our planet depends on our sense of belonging -- to all other humans, to dolphins caught in dragnets to pigs and chickens and calves raised in animal concentration camps, to redwoods and rainforests, to kelp beds in our oceans, and to the ozone layer."
Is ending abortion "work"? Or is it merely ceasing to do evil, as the prophet Isaiah (1:11,15) says, when quoting God Himself attacking animal sacrifice?
Opponents of global warming, global hunger, the energy, environmental, population and water crises aren't offended when told veganism (ceasing to kill animals) is the solution to each of their respective crises.
Perhaps it's time pro-lifers take a serious look at animal rights as THE political strategy for ending the abortion crisis!
(Even with sentience, rather than species membership, as the criterion for personhood, most abortions would have to be prohibited.)
I understand Christians aren't interested in being "converted" to another religion! Animal rights, as a secular, moral philosophy, may appear to be at odds with traditional religious thinking (e.g., human "dominion" over other animals), but this is equally true of:
...democracy and representative government in place of monarchy and belief in the divine right of kings; the separation of church and state; the abolition of (human) slavery; the emancipation of women; birth control; the sexual revolution; LGBT rights...
...all social progress since the end of the Dark Ages and the beginning of the Age of progress even conservative Christians take for granted!
Some of the greatest figures in human history have been in favor of ethical vegetarianism and animal rights. These include:
Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Leo Tolstoy, Mohandas Gandhi, Alice Walker, George Bernard Shaw, Robert Browning, Percy Shelley, Voltaire, Thomas Hardy, Rachel Carson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Victor Hugo, John Stuart Mill, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Pythagoras, Susan B. Anthony, Albert Schweitzer, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Gertrude Stein, Frederick Douglass, Francis Bacon, William Wordsworth, the Buddha, Mark Twain, and Henry David Thoreau.
Abraham Lincoln once said: "I care not for a man’s religion whose dog or cat are not the better for it.
Some of the most distinguished figures in the history of Christianity were vegetarian.  A partial list includes:
St. James, St. Matthew, Clemens Prudentius, Origen, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, St. Basil, St. John Chrysostom, St. Jerome, Aegidius, St.Benedict, Boniface, St. Richard of Wyche, St. Filippo Neri, St. Columba, John Wray, Thomas Tryon, John Wesley, Joshua Evans, William Metcalfe, General William Booth, Ellen White, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, and Reverend V.A. Holmes-Gore.
In a 1989 interview with the now-defunct Animals' Agenda, Reverend Andrew Linzey, an Anglican clergyman, said:
"We treat animals today precisely as we treated slaves, and the theological arguments are often entirely the same or have the same root. I believe the movement for animal rights is the most significant movement in Christianity, morally, since the emancipation of the slaves. And it provides just as many difficulties for the institutional church..."
The International Network for Religion and Animals was founded in 1985. Since then, numerous books have been written on animals and theology, including: 
The Vegetarianism of Jesus Christ: the Pacifism, Communalism and Vegetarianism of Primitive Christianity; Food for the Spirit: Vegetarianism and the World Religions; The Souls of Animals; Replenish the Earth; Of God and Pelicans; Is God A Vegetarian?; God's Covenant with Animals; They Shall not Hurt or Destroy; The Lost Religion of Jesus; Good News for All Creation;Vegetarian Christian Saints; The Dominion of Love; Good Eating; Of God and Dogs; Every Creature a Word of God; School of Compassion, etc.
All of this biblical scholarship by Christian vegetarians and vegans (and their friends in the non-Abrahamic faiths), trying to reconcile biblical tradition with animal rights, would be unnecessary if the other side would treat animal rights as a secular civil rights issue applicable to **everyone** -- including atheists and agnostics -- as they view their own (sectarian?) opposition to abortion.
Nor is anyone preventing pro-life Christians from listening to the vegetarian and vegan voices (past and present) in their own biblical tradition.
In the April 1995 issue of Harmony: Voices for a Just Future, a peace and justice periodical on the religious left, Catholic civil rights activist Bernard Broussard concludes:
"...our definition of war is much too limited and narrow. Wars and conflicts in the human kingdom will never be abolished or diminished until, as a pure matter of logic, it includes the cessation of war between the human and animal kingdoms.
"For, if we be eaters of flesh, or wearers of fur, or participants in hunting animals, or in any way use our might against weakness, we are promoting, in no matter how seemingly insignificant a fashion, the spirit of war."
Nor is anyone preventing pro-life Christians from listening to vegetarians and vegans throughout history!
The Table of Contents to Rynn Berry's 1993 book, Famous Vegetarians and Their Favorite Recipes: Lives & Lore from Buddha to the Beatles, includes:
Pythagoras; Gautama the Buddha; Mahavira; Plato (and Socrates); Plutarch; Leonardo the Vinci; Percy Shelley; Count Leo Tolstoy; Annie Besant; Mohandas Gandhi; George Bernard Shaw; Bronson Alcott; Adventist physician Dr. John Harvey Kellogg; Henry Salt; Frances Moore Lappe; Isaac Bashevis Singer; Malcolm Muggeridge, and Brigid Brophy.
Nor is anyone preventing pro-life Christians from listening to secular vegetarians and vegans today!
"A world of authors, philosophers, and scientists -- including Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, St. Francis of Assisi, George Bernard Shaw, Mark Twain, and Alice Walker -- are or were vegetarians. Nowadays, there are countless celebrities -- actors, writers, athletes, thinkers -- who have embraced the ecological sanity and compassion of the vegetarian diet.
"A number of these people have been outspoken. Among celebrity vegetarians are:
"Film stars Orlando Bloom, Liv Tyler, Brad Pitt, Richard Gere, Jude Law, Josh Hartnett, Gwyneth Paltrow, Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin, Drew Barrymore, Ryan Gosling, Kim Basinger, and Dustin Hoffman.
"Recording artists Dr. Dre, the B52s, Paul and the late Linda McCartney, Chrissie Hynde, Joaquin Phoenix, Andre3000 Meatloaf, Peter Gabriel, kd lang, Elvis Costello, and Melissa Etheridge.
"Models Brooke Shields, Christy Turlington, Cindy Jackson, and Christie Brinkley.
"Sports stars Hank Aaron, B.J. Armstrong, Andreas Cahling, Sally Eastall, Sylvia Cranston, Chris Campbell, Aaron Pryor, Edward Moses, Robert de Castella, Anton Innauer, and Killer Kowalski."
--excerpted from The Higher Taste: A Guide to Gourmet Vegetarian Cooking and a Karma-Free Diet (Bhaktivedanta Book Trust: 2006).
Nor is anyone preventing these Christians from joining any number of secular animal rights and welfare organizations: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA); In Defense of Animals (IDA); Friends of Animals (FoA); Last Chance for Animals; Mercy for Animals; Vegan Action; Vegan Outreach, etc.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is challenging those who think they can still be "meat-eating environmentalists" to go vegan, if they really care about the planet.
peta2 is now the largest youth movement of any social change organization in the world.
peta2 has 267,000 friends on MySpace and 91,000 Facebook fans.
A few years ago, PETA was the top-ranked charity when a poll asked teenagers which nonprofit group they would most want to work for. PETA won by more than a two to one margin over the second place finisher, The American Red Cross, with more votes than the Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity combined.
Pete Cohn of Veggie Jews (in San Francisco, CA) once told me Rabbi Michael Lerner (founder, Network of Spiritual Progressives) focuses on Palestinian issues, not animal rights! But in November 2007 (shortly before moving to Israel), Pete said to me, "PETA's not Jewish."
John Stuart Mill observed, "The reason for legal intervention in favor of children apply not less strongly to the case of those unfortunate slaves — the animals." 
In his book, Christianity and the Rights of Animals, Reverend Andrew Linzey, an Anglican priest, notes that "In some ways, Christian thinking is already oriented in this direction. What is it that so appalls us about cruelty to children or oppression of the vulnerable, but that these things are betrayals of relationships of special care and special trust? Likewise in the case of animals who are mostly defenseless before us."
The issue of whether or not the unborn are persons being denied rights, executed, and even treated as tools for medical research, the way we once treated minorities, slaves, indigenous people, etc. and the way we currently treat other animals, is distinct from discussing the social factors (poverty, discrimination, etc.) which cause women to seek abortion in the first place.
For a discussion of the latter, I would refer you to pro-life feminist literature.
Personhood must be resolved before we can discuss whether abortion should be legal or illegal.
The abortion debate centers on the personhood or moral status of the unborn, and the extent of individual and/or marital privacy. Therefore...
The abortion debate is an appropriate forum for discussion of animal issues!
In the cases of animal rights and abortion, we're discussing extending our circle of compassion to embrace an excluded class of beings: beings on the fringes of our moral community which are accorded only marginal personhood, often inconsistent at best.
The unborn, for example, are considered persons if they are "wanted," and are otherwise regarded as insentient "tissue" to be discarded. Animals like pets, are considered part of the family, whereas other animals are considered "food" or tools for medical research.
Ingrid Newkirk, Executive Director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), said at the Festival for the Animals in San Francisco, CA on June 14, 1992, that in previous centuries, Native Americans were killed for "sport." 
(Vegan labor leader Cesar Chavez spoke at that festival as well.)
Christian writer C.S. Lewis compared vivisection (animal experimentation) with Nazi physicians experimenting upon concentration camp prisoners. 
Isaac Bashevis Singer has compared the killing of 50 billion animals every year to the Nazi Holocaust, saying for the animals, "it is an eternal Treblinka." The phrase "eternal Treblinka" became the title of Charles Patterson's 2002 book comparing humanity's mistreatment of animals with the Nazi's "final solution."
In The Dreaded Comparison: Human and Animal Slavery, author Marjorie Spiegel quotes former Alameda County supervisor John George pointing out that black Americans were the first laboratory animals in America.
In a 1979 interview with vegetarian historian Rynn Berry, civil rights leader Dick Gregory has also expressed the opinion that the plight of the poor will improve as humans cease to slaughter animals: 
"I would say that the treatment of animals has something to do with the treatment of people. The Europeans have always regarded their slaves and the people they have colonized as animals."
PETA employee Dan Matthews compares seeing a fish caught on a hook writhing in terror with his own cowering in fear at the hands of gay bashers in his autobiography, Committed.
Pro-choice feminist writer and Christian theologian Carol J. Adams (she has a Master's degree from the Harvard Divinity School) compares the way humans oppress other animals with the way the patriarchy oppresses women (including domestic violence) in her 1991 book, The Sexual Politics of Meat.
Comparisons between humanity's treatment of other animals and the treatment of oppressed classes of humans are familiar, and I drew a comparsion between the killing of animals and the killing of unborn children in my 2006 book, The Liberal Case Against Abortion. 
The issue isn't just vegetarianism out of kindness to animals or even ending global hunger or concern for the environment -- it goes deeper than that. We're talking about the systematic oppression and subjugation of other animals.
John Stuart Mill wrote:
"The reasons for legal intervention in favor of children apply not less strongly to the case of those unfortunate slaves -- the animals."
Henry Bergh, founder of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), successfully prosecuted a woman for child abuse in 1873, at a time when children had no legal protection, under the then currently existing animal protection statutes. This case started the child-saving crusade around the world.
Cardinal John Heenan wrote in 1970:
"Animals...have very positive rights because they are God's creatures...Only the perverted are guilty of deliberate cruelty to animals or, indeed, to children."
UC Berkeley law professor John T. Noonan, Jr. compares the suffering of animals with the suffering of (born and unborn) children, and the humane response in each case:
"...if you will do this for an animal, why not for a child?...There are no laws which regulate the suffering of the aborted like those sparing pain to dying animals...Can human beings who understand what must be done for animals and what cannot be done for unborn humans want this inequality of treatment to continue?
"...we are bound to animals as fellow creatures, and as God loves them out of charity, so must we who are called to imitate God. It is a sign not of error or weakness but of Christlike compassion to love animals. Can those who feel for the harpooned whale not be touched by the situation of the salt-soaked baby?"
And the converse is equally true: Can those calling themselves "pro-life," claiming the "respect life" and believe in the "sanctity-of-life" respect the lives and rights of animals?
I'm told Democrats For Life of America (DFLA) held a vote several years ago on whether or not to include animal rights on the agenda, but there weren't enough pro-animal votes at the time for animal rights to be included. That's democracy.
At least animal rights are being given serious discussion in DFLA, and maybe pass when brought up for discussion again.
Democrats For Life of America, 601 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, South Building, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20004 (202) 220-3066
Like the 19th and 20th century movements for women's rights and civil rights, there are parallels between animal rights and prenatal rights (the rights of unborn children).
I wrote in my 2006 book, The Liberal Case Against Abortion:
The case for animal rights and vegetarianism should be readily understandable to the millions of Americans opposed to abortion on demand.  
"Although I may disagree with some of its underlying principles," writes pro-life activist Karen Swallow Prior, "there is much for me, an anti-abortion activist, to respect in the animal rights movement.  
"Animal rights activists, like me, have risked personal safety and reputation for the sake of other living beings.  Animal rights activists, like me, are viewed by many in the mainstream as fanatical wackos, ironically exhorted by irritated passerby to 'Get a Life!'
"Animal rights activists, like me, place a higher value on life than on personal comfort and convenience, and in balancing the sometimes competing interests of rights and responsibilities, choose to err on the side of compassion and nonviolence."
Both the anti-abortion and animal rights movements consider their cause a form of social progress, like the abolition of human slavery or the emancipation of women.  Leaders in both movements have even compared themselves to the abolitionists who sought to end human slavery. 
Dr. J.C. Willke, former head of National Right to Life, entitled a book Abortion and Slavery.  Like abortion opponents drawing a parallel between the Dred Scott decision and Roe v. Wade, Dr. Tom Regan also draws a parallel between human and animal slavery in The Case for Animal Rights:
"The very notion that farm animals should continue to be viewed as legal property must be challenged.  To view them in this way implies that we cannot make sense of viewing them as legal persons.  But the history of the law shows only too well, and too painfully, how arbitrary the law can be on this crucial matter.  Those humans who were slaves were not recognized as legal persons in pre-Civil War America.
"There is no reason to assume that because animals are not presently accorded this status that they cannot intelligibly be viewed in this way or that they should not be.  If our predecessors had made this same assumption in the case of human slaves, the legal status of these human beings would have remained unchanged."
Each movement sees itself extending human rights to an excluded class of beings.  Each movement claims to be speaking on behalf of a class of beings to defend themselves from oppression.  Each movement compares the mass destruction of, in one case the unborn, and in the other case, the mass killing of animals, to the Nazi Holocaust.  
Each movement has a component that engages in nonviolent civil disobedience and each has its militant faction:  Operation Rescue and the Animal Liberation Front.  Each has picketed the homes of physicians who either experiment upon animals or perform abortions.  The controversial use of human fetal tissue and embryonic stem cells for medical research brings these two causes even closer together.
Each movement is usually depicted in the popular news media as extremists, fanatics, terrorists, etc. who violate the law.  But each movement also has its intelligentsia:  moral philosophers, physicians, clergymen, legal counsel, etc. 
Feminist writer Carol J. Adams notes the parallels between the two movements: "A woman attempts to enter a building.  Others, massed outside, try to thwart her attempt.  They shout at her, physically block her way, frantically call her names, pleading with her to  respect life.  Is she buying a fur coat or getting an abortion?"
The Fur Information Council of America asks:  "If fashion isn't about freedom of choice, what is?  Personal choice is not just a fur industry issue.  It's everybody's issue."  
Like the abortion debate, lines are drawn.  "Freedom of choice" Vs Taking an innocent life.  "Personal lifestyle" vs. violating another's rights.
Animal rights activists have even proven themselves to be "anti-choice" depending upon the issue.  A 1994 letter in The Animals' Voice Magazine, for example, states:  
"Exit polls in Aspen, Colorado, after the failed 1989 fur ban was voted on, found that most people were against fur but wanted people to have a choice to wear it.  Instead of giving in, we should take the offensive and state in no uncertain terms that to abuse and kill animals is wrong, period!  
"There is no choice because another being had to suffer to produce that eventual ban on fur would be impossible if we tell people that they have some sort of  'choice' to kill...remember, no one has the 'right to choose' death over life for another being.
Similarly, a 2003 letter in Veg-News reads:  
"I did have some concerns about (the) Veg Psych column which asserted that we must respect a non-vegan's 'right to choose' her/his food.  
"While I would never advocate intolerance (quite the opposite actually), arguing that we have a 'right to choose' when it comes to eating meat, eggs, and dairy is akin to saying we have a 'right to choose' to beat dogs, harass wildlife, and torture cats.  
"Each is a clear example of animal cruelty, whether we're the perpetrators ourselves, or the ones who pay others to commit the violence on our behalf.  Clearly, we have the ability to choose to cause animal abuse, but that doesn't translate into a right to make that choice."
Recognizing the rights of another class of beings, of course, limits our freedoms and our choices, and requires a change in our personal lifestyle.  The abolition of (human) slavery is  good example of this.  Both movements, however, appear to be imposing their own personal moral convictions upon the rest of our secular society.
Animal rights activists point out the health hazards associated with meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products, while anti-abortion activists try to educate the public about the link between abortion and breast cancer.  
The threat of "overpopulation" is frequently used to justify abortion as birth control.  On a vegan diet, however, the world could easily support a population several times its present size.  The world's cattle alone consume enough to feed 8.7 billion humans.
Both movements use similar political economic boycotting, displaying graphic photos or videos of abortion victims or tortured animals, speaking of respecting life and of compassion, etc.  
Both movements cite studies that unnecessary violence towards an oppressed class of beings leads to worse forms of violence in human society -- this is known as the 'slippery slope.'  The term was coined by Malcolm Muggeridge, a pro-life vegetarian.
Anti-abortion activists, for example, consider abortion the ultimate form of child abuse, and claim that since abortion was legalized, child abuse rates have risen dramatically.  Acceptance of abortion, they argue, leads to a devaluation of human life, and paves the way towards acceptance of infanticide and euthanasia.  
Animal rights activists, likewise, compare the lives of animals to those of young human children, and insist that a lack of respect for the rights of animals brutalizes humans into insensitivity towards one another. 
In a 1979 essay entitled "Abortion and the Language of the Unconscious," contemporary Hindu spiritual master Ravindra-svarupa dasa  (Dr. William Deadwyler) wrote:  
"A (spiritually) conscious person will not kill even animals (much less very young humans) for his pleasure or convenience.  Certainly the unconsciousness and brutality that allows us to erect factories of death for animals lay the groundwork for our treating humans in the same way." 
Vegan author John Robbins writes in his Pulitzer Prize nominated Diet for a New America (1987):   
"The way we treat animals is indicative of the way we treat our fellow humans.   One Soviet study, published in Ogonyok, found that over 87% of a group of violent criminals has, as children, burned, hanged, or stabbed domestic animals.  In our own country, a major study by Dr. Stephen Kellert of Yale University found that children who abuse animals have a much higher likelihood of becoming violent criminals."  
A 1997 study by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) reported that children convicted of animal abuse are five times more likely to commit violence against other humans than are their peers, and four times more likely to be involved in acts against property.  
Pro-lifers who kill animals are thwarting their own cause! 
Russell Weston Jr., tortured and killed twelve cats: burned and cut off their tails, paws, ears; poured toxic chemicals in their eyes to blind them; forced them to ingest poison, hung them from trees (the noose loose enough to create a slow and painful death.)  Later killed two officers at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. 
Jeffery Dahmer staked cats to trees and decapitated dogs.  Later he dissected boys, and kept their body parts in the refrigerator.  He murdered seventeen men.
Kip Kinkle shot 25 classmates and killed several in Springfield, Oregon.  He killed his father and mother.  He said he once blew up a cow. He set a live cat on fire and dragged the innocent creature through the main street of town.  His classmates rated him as "Most Likely to Start World War Three." 
As a boy, Albert De Salvo, the "Boston Strangler," placed a dog and cat in a crate with a partition between them. After starving the animals for days, he removed the partition to watch them kill each other. He raped and killed thirteen women by strangulation.  He often posed bodies in a shocking manner after their murders. 
Richard Allen Davis set numerous cats on fire. He killed all of Polly Klaas' animals before abducting and murdering Polly Klaas, aged twelve, from her bedroom. 
After sixteen-year-old Luke Woodham mortally stabbed his mother, killed two classmates and shot seven others, he confessed to bludgeoning his dog Sparkle with baseball bats and pouring liquid fuel down her throat and to set fire to her neck.  "I made my first kill today," he wrote in his court-subpoenaed journal.  "It was a loved one...I'll never forget the howl she made.  It sounded almost human." 
In June 1998, Woodham was found guilty of three murders and seven counts of aggravated assault.  He was sentenced to three life sentences and an additional twenty years for each assault. 
Theodore Robert Bundy, executed in 1989 for at least fifty murders, was forced to witness a grandfather who tortured animals.  Bundy later heaped graves with animal bones. 
David Berkowitz, "Son of Sam," poisoned his mother's parakeet out of jealousy.  He later shot thirteen young men and women.  Six  people died and at least two suffered permanent disabilities. 
Keith Hunter Jesperson, the "Happy Face Killer," bashed gopher heads and beat, strangled and shot stray cats and dogs.  He is known to have strangled eight women. 
He said: "You're actually squeezing the life out of these animals...Choking a human being or a cat--it's the same feeling...I'm the very end result of what happens when somebody kills an animal at an early age." 
Carroll Edward Cole, executed in 1985 for an alleged 35 murders and reputed to be one of the most prolific serial killers in U.S. history, confessed that his first act of violence was to strangle a puppy under the porch of his house. 
Robert Alton Harris murdered two sixteen-year-old boys, doused a neighbor with lighter fluid and tossed matches at him. His initial run-in with police was for killing neighborhood cats. 
Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, which launched the modern day environmental movement, wrote:
"Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is whether its victim is human or animal we cannot expect things to be much better in this world. We cannot have peace among men whose hearts delight in killing any living creature. By every act that glorifies or even tolerates such moronic delight in killing we set back the progress of humanity." 
In a December 1990 letter to Eric Mills of Action For Animals, vegan labor leader Cesar Chavez similarly wrote:  
"Kindness and compassion towards all living things is a mark of a civilized society. Conversely, cruelty, whether it is directed against human beings or against animals, is not the exclusive province of any one culture or community of people. Racism, economic deprival, dog fighting and cockfighting, bullfighting and rodeos are cut from the same fabric: violence. Only when we have become nonviolent towards all life will we have learned to live well ourselves." 
Mother Teresa, honored for her work among the poor with the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize, wrote in 1992 to Marlene Ryan, a former member of the National Alliance for Animals. Her letter reads: 
"I am praying for you that God’s blessing may be with you in all that you are doing to create concern for the animals which are often subjected to much cruelty. They, too, are created by the same loving Hand of God which created us. As we humans are gifted with intelligence which the animals lack, it is our duty to protect them and to promote their well being. 
"We also owe it to them as they serve us with such wonderful docility and loyalty. A person who shows cruelty to these creatures cannot be kind to other humans also. Let us do all we can to become instruments of peace—where we are—the true peace that comes from loving and caring and respecting each person as a child of God—my brother—my sister."
Pro-lifers have reason to be especially concerned about violence towards animals.  Animals are sentient beings possessing many mental capacities comparable to those of young human children.  If we fail to see them as part of our moral community, how will we ever embrace humans in their earliest stages of development?  
Anti-abortionists look in horror as an entire class of humans are systematically stripped of their rights, executed, and even used as tools for medical research.  Yet this is what we humans have been doing to animals for millennia.
Marjorie Spiegel, author of The Dreaded Comparison:  Human and Animal Slavery, writes:  "All oppression and violence is intimately and ultimately linked, and to think that we can end prejudice and violence to one group without ending prejudice and violence to another is utter folly."
On the surface, not eating animal products sounds like a roundabout solution to the abortion crisis. 
However, John Robbins, author of the Pulitzer Prize nominated Diet for a New America (1987), points out that the Rainforest Action Network did not start as an animal rights group. But when they discovered the real cause of destruction of rainforests in Central America was the American fast-food market, they called for a boycott of Burger King.
Vegan author John Robbins provides these points and facts in his Pulitzer Prize nominated Diet for a New America (1987): 
Half the water consumed in the U.S. irrigates land growing feed and fodder for livestock. It takes 25 gallons of water to produce a pound of wheat, but 2,500 gallons to produce a pound of meat. If these costs weren't subsidized by the American taxpayers, the cheapest hamburger meat would be $35 per pound!
Livestock producers are California's biggest consumers of water. Every tax dollar the state doles out to livestock producers costs taxpayers over seven dollars in lost wages, higher living costs and reduced business income. Seventeen western states have enough water supplies to support economies and populations twice as large as the present.
U.S. livestock produce twenty times as much excrement as the entire human population, creating sewage which is ten to several hundred times as concentrated as raw domestic sewage. Meat producers contribute to half the water pollution in the United States. 
A 2007 pamphlet put out by Compassion Over Killing similarly points out:  
Nearly 75% of the grain grown and 50% of the water consumed in the U.S. are used by the meat industry. (Audubon Society)
It takes nearly one gallon of fossil fuel and 5,200 gallons of water to produce just one pound of conventionally fed beef. (Mother Jones)
In their 2007 book, Please Don't Eat the Animals, mother and daughter Jennifer Horsman and Jaime Flowers write: 
"Half of all fresh water worldwide is used for thirsty livestock.  Producing eight ounces of beef requires an unimaginable 25,000 liters of water, or the water necessary for one pound of steak equals the water consumption of the average household for a year.
"The Worldwatch Institute estimates one pound of steak from a steer raised in a feedlot costs:  five pounds of grain, a whopping 2,500  gallons of water, the energy equivalent of a gallon of gasoline, and about 34 pounds of topsoil.
"Thirty-three percent of our nation's raw materials and fossil fuels go into livestock destined for slaughter.  In a vegan economy, only two percent of our resources will go to the production of food."
According to the editors of World Watch, July/August 2004:   
"The human appetite for animal flesh is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage now threatening the human future -- deforestization, topsoil erosion, fresh water scarcity, air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, social injustice, the destabilization of communities and the spread of disease."
Meat-eating pro-lifers and/or meat-eating pacifists saying, "First let's end abortion and/or war, and then we'll move on to animals, are comparable to a Green Party activist saying, "First let's end the water crisis, and then we'll address animal issues." 
If we address animals first, there won't be a water crisis!
Mostly religious in nature, the anti-abortion movement will need to become completely secular, as it attempts to convince the courts, the legislatures, philosophers, ethicists and universities that human zygotes and embryos should be regarded as legal persons. 
Conversely, the animal rights movement is secular and nonsectarian, but -- like the civil rights movement -- will need the inspiration, blessings and support of organized religion to help end injustices towards animals.  
The Reverend Marc Wessels, Executive Director of the International Network for Religion and Animals (INRA), made this observation on Earth Day, 1990:
"It is a fact that no significant social reform has yet taken place in this country without the voice of the religious community being heard.  The endeavors of the abolition of slavery; the women's suffrage movement; the emergence of the pacifist tradition during World War I; the struggle to support civil rights, labor unions and migrant farm workers; and the anti-nuclear and peace movements have all succeeded in part because of the power and support of organized religion.  Such authority and energy is required by individual Christians and the institutional church today if the liberation of animals is to become a reality."
At a speech before the National Right to Life Convention in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, on July 15, 1982, Reverend Richard John Neuhaus of the Evangelical Lutheran Church said:
"...The mark of a humane and progressive society is an ever more expansive definition of the community for which we accept responsibility...
"The pro-life movement is one with the movement for the emancipation of slaves.  This is the continuation of the civil rights movement, for you are the champions of the most elementary civil, indeed human right -- simply the right to be."
While there are indeed similarities between the present day anti-abortion movement and the anti-slavery movement of centuries past, the pro-life movement, actually, also has a lot in common with the animal protection movement -- a fact which pro-lifers should readily  acknowledge.  The animal rights movement should be supported by all caring Americans.
Ingrid Newkirk, Executive Director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, admitted in a 1992 interview with conservative talk show host Dennis Prager, that the animal rights movement is divided on the issue of abortion.  
Where should an animal rights activist stand with regards to abortion?  
Mohandas Gandhi, India's great apostle of nonviolence, once wrote, "It seems to me clear as daylight that abortion would be a crime."  
C.S. Lewis and other Christians have acknowledged that denying rights to animals merely because they do not exhibit the same level of rational thought most humans exhibit upon reaching full development means denying rights to the mentally handicapped, the senile, and many other classes of humans as well.  Herein lies the basis for better understanding and cooperation between two movements seeking liberty and justice for all.
As early as 1988, bioethicist Art Caplan saw parallels between animal rights and prenatal rights. He was worried: if we give rights to animals, will we have to give rights to the unborn, to be consistent? "That's going to be the end of abortion!" he exclaimed.
In their 1993 article, "The American Left Should Support Animal Rights: A Manifesto," which originally appeared in the now-defunct Animals' Agenda, Anna Charlton, Sue Coe and Gary Francione similarly wrote:
"A frequent concern voiced by animal rights advocates involves abortion. Some animal advocates think that recognition of animal rights means opposition to abortion..."
Bryan Kemper of StandTrue Ministries wrote on August 23, 2007:
I am disgusted that we as a nation are so outraged over dog fighting while thousands of babies are being mutilated daily. Michael Vick could have invested his money into an abortion clinic and he would not be in trouble, in fact he would be protected. It may be against federal law to inflict cruelty on animals but it is perfectly fine according to the law to dismember little baby boys and girls any time in the first nine months of their lives. 
"I am horrified by dog fighting just like most people; I think it is a barbaric practice and should be illegal. I am not, however, okay with the fact that our federal government allows more protection to a dog than a human person. It is absolutely asinine that we as a society can get in an uproar about dog fighting and still allow the destruction of almost 4,000 precious children each day. 
"Organizations like PETA are in their own words, 'bellowing for strong action on behalf of dogs.' 
"I wonder if PETA would support the NFL if they made rules against its players being involved in paying so called 'doctors' to kill their own children. John Rolfe, a writer for Sports Illustrated wrote, 'Only a drooling, spiral-eyed sadist would insist that drowning, hanging or electrocuting innocent dogs should be an un-punishable offense, let alone allowing them to rip each other to shreds for fun and profit.' 
"I wonder if he would include injecting saline into a baby while still in the womb, or suctioning their body parts off with a hose into that  category. Where are we heading as a nation if we cannot protect the most innocent and vulnerable citizens, the pre-born children, yet we can offer such protection to dogs? Since when are dogs more human than babies? 
"God have mercy on our nation, we are so blind. PETA is asking the public to help demand that the NFL add cruelty to animals to its personal conduct rules. I want to ask the public to ask PETA to demand the same protection for babies in the womb. I challenge PETA to show some consistency in their crusade against cruelty and work for the same protection for humans as it does for animals.Call PETA at 757-622-PETA (7382) and ask them why they won't stand up for the babies with the same passion they stand up for the dogs."
The late Reverend Janet Regina Hyland (1933 - 2007), responded:
"Dear Bryan Kemper, You are certainly fighting the good fight against the brutalization and slaughter of babies who are still in utero. And the dedication and efforts of those engaged in this struggle will result in laws that prohibit the scourge of abortion. 
"God calls us to join forces against the brutality and violence that surrounds us, but not all are called to the same cause. 
"Some are called to direct their primary efforts against pedophiles and sexual predators. Others are working to outlaw the domestic violence that finds its target in children and women. And still others work to end the brutalization of helpless animals. 
"Just as you acknowledge being horrified by dog-fighting, you must allow that many people who belong to groups like PETA are outraged at the brutality of abortion. And the fact that there are laws that provide penalties for animal abuse should not discourage or anger you. People have been fighting for laws against animal cruelty for more than a hundred years, and those efforts are now paying off. 
"Your efforts are challenging the status quo and will ultimately result in laws against abortion. We all need to learn from those who struggle to end the suffering and untimely deaths caused by various illnesses. 
"People who direct their major efforts against cancer do not demean the work of those whose primary concern is ending the suffering of diabetes or asthma. They understand that they are all working, in different venues, to end the scourge of disease. 
"In the same way, those of us who actively working to end the suffering and death caused by various kinds of brutality and violence in the world, need to understand that each of us are doing the work to which to which we have been called. And we do not have to denigrate the efforts of those whose calling is different from our own. 
"In the love of the Lord, Rev. J.R. Hyland, IMF"

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