Animal Rights Vs. Baby Rights

Laurie Johnston/Maple Farm Sanctuary

I read “Veganism in a Nutshell” in the fall issue of Spirit of Change and on a moral, common sense level it makes absolute sense that animals should not be raised to be euthanized for the food chain. The author states: “Animal rights is now the greatest ‘social justice’ issue since the abolition of slavery.” She also uses the terms “murdered” and “killed.”

I bet the author doesn’t bat an eye over the murders and killing of babies during abortions, especially partial-birth abortions. Where’s the outrage over killing babies? Where’s the social justice? These are human beings! So, I think “Animal rights is now the greatest social justice issue since slavery” is in err. I’m not an avid right-wing anti-abortion proponent, but this paradox popped into my mind when reading your article (animals but not baby humans). Something is very wrong in our society.   — BD

“Veganism” author responds:

In my letter, (“Veganism in a Nutshell,” Fall 2012) I had quoted Philip Wollen from his oration at the St. James Ethics Center Intelligence Squared Debate in Australia in May, 2012. In his l0-minute speech, he gave numerous reasons to support his argument that "animal rights today is now the greatest social justice issue since the abolition of slavery," and I concur.

I agree with the letter writer (BD) to deeply question important ethical issues. Some of her or his sentiments remind me of the noble writings of Vasu Murti who stated, "I believe there is a karmic connection between the killing of animals and the killing of human beings: abortion, like war, is the karmic reaction for killing animals."

Over 2,000 years ago, Pythagoras proclaimed that what we sow in our treatment of animals, we will eventually reap in our lives. In his book, The World Peace Diet — Eating for Spiritual Health and Social Harmony, Dr. Will Tuttle gives many examples of this philosophy; as we excessively impregnate, by domination, billions of hens, heifers, cows, turkeys, sows and goats, we see millions of young women facing the difficulties of unplanned pregnancies. As we cut short the lives of billions of piglets, chicks, kids and calves, so, too, with the humans. As we fatten billions of young farm animals (bought and sold by the pound), we have a pandemic of childhood obesity. And as we hyper-confine and separate the families of billions of sentient beings in factory farms and slaughterhouses, filling them with fear, terror, anxiety, loneliness, sadness and depression, we have a growing epidemic of mental illness in our youth, as well as terrorism for all.

It is quite common that wherever the subject of animal rights is raised, it is often met with disdain and accusations. Why is this?

I appreciate this opportunity for dialog. Thank you Carol Bedrosian for publishing Spirit of Change for the past 25 years; you've created an enlightening and great magazine. Peace.

Marlene Narrow
N. Brookfield, MA