Saturday, June 20, 2009
Gosh, I Love Animals
I am just passing along some memorable passages from my favorite crazysexylife.com blog posse. Read, enjoy, absorb, ACT.
As global citizens, we implicitly understand how acts such as torture and genocide against other humans are wrong. But, I remain perplexed by our failure to empathize with other animals. Humans are not alone in our capacity for emotions such as horror, helplessness, shame, and empathy. Elephants and chimpanzees experience PTSD and other forms of psychopathology as a result of trauma. Learned helplessness has been described in victims of domestic violence, as well as rats exposed to inescapable shocks in the experimental laboratory setting. Even upon being handled, mice become distressed. Nonhuman primates, dogs, mice, chickens, and sheep demonstrate empathy. Pigs kept in isolation become withdrawn and refuse to move or eat when they become depressed. Fowl chicks separated from other chicks become anxious and depressed, and their symptoms improve when they are reunited or when they are treated with medicines used in humans. And the list goes on.
Our philosophy is pretty much in line with that of the author and feminist Alice Walker “The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men.” It’s time we question our our self-appointment dominion over the animal kingdom and make every effort to break bad cultural habits namely, that of eating them. And when people say “but we’ve been eating meat for thousands of years” tell them that we were slave-owners for most of our existence as a species too. For thousands of years women and children were treated as property–but of course that didn’t make it right. Just because we’ve been doing something bad or oppressive for a long time doesn’t justify our continuing to do it.