Saturday, September 7, 2013

Animal Activism

I love animals and I try to stand up for them -- up to a point. Like all things in my life I try to do this in moderation. To my mind this is a cliff that a lot of people jump off. I am against the inhumane treatment of animals and advocate for them on occasion. I think that PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) often crosses the line in their efforts on the behalf of animals.

I don't view animals as little people with fur. I do view them as living, breathing beings possessing varying levels of sentience. So I still eat meat. I might still wear leather if I could afford it. I won't wear fur.

What is the difference between leather and fur? I accept leather as being an extension of the meat I eat so that the more of the animal is being used and not just discarded. With fur we keep the skin and discard the rest of the animal. There is a fine line in there, but I have defined it for myself.

I have been a vegetarian and found that it did not work well for me. I need more protein in my diet than I can manage without meat. This is directly tied to certain health issues. I am also mom to a lovely little cat and it seemed strange to be willing to buy meat for her but decline it for myself. Even so, I generally only eat meat once a day.

I find the beating and abusing of animals abhorrent, as I do in the treatment of humans. This is as true for food animals as it is for soldiers. I am also pro-choice when it comes to abortion. I believe in gay marriage. I think that cockfighting and dog fighting are reprehensible. I am on the fence about bull fighting because it is not a part of my culture.

I let my cat outdoors to face the world on her own -- this was and still is an act of love. When I adopted her I had every intention of her being an indoor cat since her previous owner had had her declawed (which I oppose). She did not do well as an indoor cat. She became depressed, lethargic, gained weight and her fur became tacky. So I let her out. Within three days she was healthy, happy, and had a gleaming coat. And yet people will still criticize me for my decision.

The issues around animals and what is cruel and what is kind are not quite so black and white as
people what them to be. I try not to anthropomorphize animals and layer human thinking over them. I see them as thinking feeling creatures. I will not post and share horrible pictures and tales of slaughter and abuse. To my spiritual thinking this feeds power into those things. I will post cute, happy animals. Even better I will write and post articles of people who treat animals well and do fantastic things on their behalf. I will feed power to the good.

I try to approach it all with love and gratitude. I love animals and am grateful that we share the planet.

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