In response to your article “Idaho 1 of 3 Campaign Asks Voters to Raise Their Paws for Animal Rights” (6 Oct. 2011), I would like to answer an important question: Why should animals have rights? It has been scientifically proved that all animals feel pain, just as we do. Yet most people are horrified to learn that chickens have their beaks barbarically cut off when they’re only days old, piglets are castrated and have their teeth cut off, and cows are skinned and dismembered, often while still conscious—just so that we can eat their flesh. Cows are also forced to walk miles in all weather conditions without food or water, only to be horrifically slaughtered and skinned so that we can wear expensive jackets. And heartbreakingly, baby elephants are beaten until they’re crippled and bleeding, just so that we can pay to see them stand on their heads. Those are just a few of the standard practices used in today’s industries.
It is no coincidence that actions that will help animals will also, in turn, help humans and our environment. For example, as vegans, we advocate a nonviolent diet that, if followed by every human, would not only save billions of animals from torture and slaughter each year but also save many humans from such meat-related illnesses as heart disease, cancer, and strokes, among others. Furthermore, the elimination of intensive factory farming would save vast amounts of precious fresh water and top soil, resources that we are losing at an alarming rate to nonrenewable activities such as breeding and raising animals for food.
Together, we must reject all oppression, disrespect, violence, and cruelty in order to build a better, more peaceful world. Let us remember that it is the same philosophies and lines of reasoning used to justify human oppression—such as race, money, weakness—that are used to justify cruelty to animals. Whips, chains, bullhooks, cages, and shock prods have no place in the present, just as they had no place in the past. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” For more information, visit peta2.com, where you can also request a free vegetarian/vegan starter kit.
College Campaigns Assistant