Here is Part 2, as promised. (Part 1 here) Friend posted this a couple weeks later, and then I commented on it. Let me know if my arguments make any sense!
Let me start by assuring you that I never come to conclusions on an issue–never toe a moral line–without an almost excessive amount of deliberation, and even then, my mind is never fully made up. That is why I love discourse like this between two people who can civilly debate in the hope that both will come out better than they started.
It is for this reason that I’ve decided against my original idea of posting a contiguous essay (the first draft of which clocked in–unfinished–at over 11 pages), because I do not simply want to be seen as trying to bury the issue in words. I’d much rather argue fairly brief, focused points that I hope will garner response, which, in turn, can be responded to.
I also have to say that, though we disagree, I have incredible respect for your position. It really is nothing short of courageous to be empathetic beyond the realm of your species. I consider myself an extremely open-minded person and have always found it easy to empathize with those of other genders, races, cultures and religions, but the extra-species gap is one I haven’t bridged.
I do want to state that my perspective of our species is not grounded in any sort of us-and-them morality. I very much understand your closing point–that we as humans are animals. But at the same time, we both know that we as humans are far removed from anything else in the animal kingdom. Which is how I’d like to begin. Continue reading
I posted the following as a note on Facebook a while ago. It was around the time that in California, Prop 2, a VERY modest farm animal welfare reform passed, but Prop 8, a ban on gay marriage passed as well. It’s not the most well-designed and thought out piece on the issue. It was really just a quick expression of my feelings, so please pardon any incoherence. Here it is…
November 6, 2008 –
My friend, whom I have known since I was about 3 or 4 years old, sparked quite a bit of conversation this morning with his status….
And don’t get me started on how, in California, animal rights apparently outweigh human civil rights.via Twitter
I wouldn’t call what those animals got in return for the passing of that proposition “rights.” Just a BIT less horror and discomfort in their short, tortured lives for the overfed gluttons of this country. Even if you do endorse the exploitation of animals, don’t you believe that they somehow deserve at least a little less inhumane treatment?
Perhaps you aren’t implying you are against what Prop 2 did, but I don’t think you can compare the two propositions – since Prop 2 really didn’t give those animals any rights. They are still innocent, emotional, sentient beings who remain prisoners and cannot live their lives as they will.
But I do think that’s crazy that the human civil right to which you refer got overturned.
I guess as we treat our animals, so we treat our people we feel are sub-humans.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not for more animal rights and less human rights. I am for more human AND animal rights equally.
[personal comments removed]