It a simple statement of fact that our victims are sentient, that they value their lives and that we have no need to use them because every use requires that their right to live unharmed is overruled in favour of the convenience and indulgence of our species.
Today, reading comments. opinion pieces and articles on social media, a thought occurred to me. It seems that any statement of support for animal rights, the moment it is articulated, becomes an ‘attack’. Not only does putting nonhuman animals front and centre become an attack, but the ‘victims’ of the perceived attack are all desperate to draw attention to themselves as the one(s) subjected to the worst degree of offence.
Suddenly there are editorials and comments reacting angrily that this is anti-freedom-of-choice, anti-farming, anti-animal-consumers, and ‘getting at’ those who wish to continue to unnecessarily harm animals in various ways. Apparently it’s even anti – people who identify themselves as vegans but are facing challenges sourcing various consumer products.
The thing that needs to be said is that being pro-nonhuman animals does not automatically mean being anti-anyone. Because guess what? It’s not about us. Any of us. The humans and their organisations and institutions clamouring and waving their hands in outrage at the back of the room are not victims.
The position of ‘victims’ has already been filled more than adequately by almost 70 billion sentient land based individuals each year, with additional uncounted trillions of aquatic creatures. The position of ‘victim’ comes with an automatic death sentence after an existence as a resource, a commodity and a commercial asset. All our species faces, at the worst, is the inconvenience of re-learning how to live and to make consumer choices that align with the values that we already think we have. In the grand scheme of things, I know which role I’d rather fill.
Perhaps it should also be noted that if we consider that the first paragraph of this essay is a personal attack, then it may well come from the voice of our conscience. When I was young, there was a saying, ‘If the cap fits, wear it’. Be vegan.