Compassion, kindness and love

10897805_414209538729603_2424309430562232130_nI seldom post about ‘compassion’, ‘kindness’ or even ‘love’ in relation to nonhuman rights because whilst they are admirable qualities, compassion, kindness and love do not necessarily drive our values.

It’s not out of love, kindness or compassion that we refrain from harming other humans. For example we would quite rightly be outraged to see campaigns in favour of ‘compassionate’ domestic violence, making ‘kinder choices’ about child abuse, or being ‘more loving’ about raping and murdering. No one would congratulate me for my ‘compassion’ for refusing to steal from, harm or kill another human. No one would praise me for making a ‘kinder choice’.

No, some behaviour is deeply wrong in the eyes of the vast majority of humans and we do not hesitate to call for it to end completely; we see it as black and white. To reject what we see as wrong behaviour is basic decency. To refuse to participate is a matter of fundamental justice and reflects our deepest values.

So it is with our use of individuals of other species. Simply because they are gentle, vulnerable and have no defence against us does not give us license to ignore their rights as sentient inhabitants of this planet. In fact it does the opposite, it places responsibilities on us to safeguard their interests, to protect them. After all, deep down every one of us likes to think of ourselves as a protector of the innocent.

The truth that our nonvegan former selves did not want to hear, was that far from being guardians of the helpless, almost every choice we made of our clothing, toiletries, foodstuffs and many other commodities required brutality, violence, unspeakable harm, suffering and misery. Either through thoughtless acceptance of the mistaken myths of our childhood, or with unfounded delusions of superiority and entitlement, we ignored the catastrophic cost of our self-indulgence to individuals exactly like ourselves in every relevant way except species.

We must stop pretending that ceasing to cause completely unnecessary harm is a kindness for which we should be congratulated. Brutalising and bullying our way through life is a crime that we must stop. We do this by acknowledging the right of all sentient beings to own their bodies and their lives. And that means we become vegan. There is no other way.

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14 Responses to Compassion, kindness and love

  1. Pingback: Compassion and kindness; not what we need to ask for | There's an Elephant in the Room blog

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  7. proudwomon says:

    eloquent, heart-felt and oh so right!!!


  8. Barbara Paz says:

    I agree with your article. We do not need to be kind to animals; we just need to leave them alone and stop harming them. Having said that, being kind and compassionate to all living creatures, including the human kind, is also extremely important.


  9. cushpigsmum says:

    Reblogged this on iliketowritewhatithink and commented:
    I became vegan out of a sense of justice needing to be done. I felt a deep sorrow for what happens to animals in the agriculture industry and was outraged at what most people consider acceptable. That’s why I’m vegan. I am not being kind, I am being just and doing what is right. Animals do not need my kindness, they need my respect. And yours.


  10. Reblogged this on newveganblog and commented:
    Excellent post from a fellow vegan blogger:


  11. Jonathan Martin says:

    Insightful and excellent, applauds the Vegan Curmudgeon. Yes, going Vegan is the very least we can do, if we believe that justice matters. And, if it matters for humans, then it matters for non-humans (a premise so intuitively obvious that it goes unnoticed and unacknowledged). Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Asher Srednas says:

    So perfectly stated.


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