Friday, February 20, 2015

Ⓥ Contradiction

I think most people pretty much assumes that anyone who is vegan automatically loves animals (as in loves being around animals, taking care of animals, etc.) However, over the years, I have come across a few vegans who didn't have companion animals, or who even claimed not to particularly like animals. I always found that to be contradictory. I thought, what would possibly motivate someone to become vegan if they don't even like animals?

I have recently come to the realization though, that one's personal feelings about animals really shouldn't have any bearing on whether or not those animals deserve basic rights. I, personally, have never been much of a people person. I don't particularly enjoy the company of most people. That does not mean that I would ever want to deny those people their rights, or that I believe that they should be killed or tortured. The same principle should apply equally to non-human animals. Whether you like a particular animal or not should not determine that animal's overall worth anymore than your feelings about a particular human should determine that human's worth.

So really, when you think about it, it's perfectly logical that there would be vegans who don't necessarily enjoy being around non-human animals. For them, it's simply a matter of right and wrong as opposed to a judgement based on their own personal feelings. These people simply understand that, no matter how you may feel about an individual, of any species, it's wrong to deny that individual his or her rights.

I think this is something that we may want to keep in mind when talking to non-vegans. I have always believed that it was crucial to our cause to convince people that all animals are lovable (which, of course, they all are, at least to the degree that all human are) but that really shouldn't matter. The issue should not be whether or not animals are worthy of our compassion, that should be a given. The issue is whether or not we are willing to acknowledge the rights to which they are entitled simply by their status as living beings.

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