“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” -Mahatma Gandhi
There is much debate on whether or not Gandhi actually said this, but for my purposes it’ll work to help me get the ball rolling. It’s a good quote after all. The question I will try to tackle within the next few sentences is do we, the “stronger” more able species, have the duty to protect our weaker more vulnerable counterparts, animals? What do you think? Please know that I will not be trying to change your lifestyle or make you feel a certain way. However, if some change occurs, preferably a positive one, then good for you. You’re already a better person than I am who enjoys eating products that come from animals, and going out fishing.
Perhaps you’re a more rational thinker. In that case, I’m just going to throw a bunch of facts your way. According to the Humane Society, animal abuse is done across all social, cultural and economic statuses. However, it seems like men make up the majority. Those who abuse animals are also likely to commit other acts of cruelty, like domestic violence and child abuse. Don’t take my word for it. Go on and do your own research.
Now, what can you do to help? Perhaps the most efficient and hardest way for some is to simply stop eating anything that comes from animals. If the majority of us were to say no to corporations that specialize in this business, then they would no longer have a reason to continue since there would be little to no profit. For those of you who would retaliate by saying well what about plants what if we could communicate with them, then what? Don’t ask me. Ask somebody else. I don’t have the answer. If the interest is there, another way you could help is by educating yourself so that you could educate others. Donating your time or money, or both to an organization dedicated to preserving the rights of animals helps as well. What then? Is it our responsibility or not?
To learn more, check out these great resources:
Stallwood, Kim M. A Primer on Animal Rights: Leading Experts Write about Animal Cruelty and Exploitation. New York: Lantern Books, 2002.
Call number: 179.30973 P935 2002
Yount, Lisa. Animal Rights. New York: Facts on File, 2008.
Call number: 179.3 Y883 2008
Iacobbo, Karen. Vegetarian America: A History. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2004.
Call number: 613.262 Ia1 2004
Beers, Diane L. For the Prevention of Cruelty : The History and Legacy of Animal Rights Activism in the United States. Swallow Press, 2006. EBSCOhost.
Byrd, Jason and Natasha Whitling. "Animal CSI. (Cover Story)." Scientific American, vol. 316, no. 1, Jan. 2017, p. 56. EBSCOhost.
Tanner, Julia. "Clarifying the Concept of Cruelty: What Makes Cruelty to Animals Cruel." Heythrop Journal, vol. 56, no. 5, Sept. 2015, pp. 818-835. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/heyj.12122.
Extinct Species: Red Alert to Humanity. Princeton, NJ: Films for the Humanities and Sciences, 2004.
Call number: DVD 333.9522 Ex85 2004