Over four centuries from the first voyages of discovery, European societies developed an appetite for exhibiting exotic human “specimens” shipped back to Paris, London or Berlin for the interest and delectation of the crowd.
What started as wide-eyed curiosity on the part of observers turned into ghoulish pseudo-science in the mid-1800s, as researchers sought out physical evidence for their theory of races.
Finally, in high colonial times, hundreds of thousands of people visited “human zoos” created as part of the great international trade fairs.
~ Hugh Schofield (December 27, 2011)
Someone told me today that some “animal rights people” think it’s a bad idea to adopt or foster homeless animals because it reinforces the notion that nonhuman animals are pets, and that we should kill or let all dogs and cats starve. I was asked for my view on this position. That’s easy: there are many bad ideas in the world and this is one. Adoption and fostering is an important part of animal rights activism.
~ Gary L. Francione (December 27, 2011)
I urge all advocates for animal rights, all vegans and anyone who cares about nonviolence, justice, morality and respect, and who wants to see an end to oppression, discrimination and slavery, to go vegan, to nonviolently promote veganism unequivocally in everything they say and do as an advocate, and to unequivocally oppose all discrimination, including against our fellow human beings, in everything they say and do and in their actions as a member of their community.
~ Elizabeth Collins (November 8, 2011)
I hate to kill.
I know that must sound like an odd confession coming from an avid deer hunter, a guy who, like thousands of others in my home state of Pennsylvania, spends the better part of the year looking forward to those few short weeks in October and November, and especially to the special flintlock season that begins the day after Christmas, when I can load up my rifle and get lost in the mountains behind my home all alone. But I suspect that if you could wade through their boot-top-deep braggadocio and really talk to hunters, many of them would tell you the same thing.
For me, and I suspect for many others like me, the art of hunting is far more profound than taking trophies. It’s about taking responsibility. For my needs. For my family. For the delicate environmental balance of this wounded but recovering part of the country. There is something sobering about hunting for your food. Meat tastes different, more precious, when you’ve not only watched it die, but killed it yourself. There is no seasoning in the world that can compare with moral ambiguity.
Justice and respect for all living beings is the ideal focus. Regardless of how various factions approach the problem, if we stand steady with a message of all beings’ rights not to be owned or used—no exceptions, no excuses—we’ll at least be on the ethical high road.
~ Leah Comerford (November 7, 2011)
If YOU stand for Justice—Stand Tall—Be Vegan!
Think, then Go Vegan!
I’m 60 years of age and became a vegan less than a year ago, rather late in life unfortunately. I immediately embraced abolitionism as it seems the only logical way to end the exploitation of nonhumans. I have run an environmental management consultancy for over 20 years and live in Essex in the UK. Virtually all my advocacy is done face-to-face and I recently delivered the message to over 300 people in a series of workplace presentations at the invitation of one of my clients. At some point I would like to get involved with running a vegan stall and I’m exploring the possibility of participating in vegan education talks in schools. Any change is exponential and every vegan created accelerates the momentum of that change.
~ Alan O’Reilly (November 6, 2011)