Conversation with my sister, Ingrid…
I got a comment from my sister, Ingrid to my last “Animal” post:
There is a definitive line drawn between animal lovers (ie. pet owners who value their pets) and animal right activists who assume that animals carry the same set of emotions and feelings that people do and should therefore be treated equally.
I have two poodles. I love them to death, I feed them treats, and take excellent care of them, but they are not my child. They do not get deferential treatment when the choice is the child need new whatever or the dogs are low on dog food.
My biggest issue with animal rights organizations is that they feel animals deserve the same rights as humans. They do not. This is why they can so carelessly describe human rights issues and animal rights issues as being the same.
While I love my “butt butts” and treat them like members of the family they are not equal members. They are the expendable members. The first to go if money gets too tight for their care. That would break my heart, but it is true.
I agree with Byrdparker in that there is a hierarchy and there is nothing wrong with following the natural order of things, we should just do it naturally without artificial growth hormones and antibiotics.
Animals are not human. Dogs do have feelings and emotions, but they are not the same as our feelings and emotions. We should care about the earth’s lesser creatures, but not to the extent that we overshadow the natural order that makes humankind the top of the food chain. We have too many human atrocities that overshadow the ones inflicted on animals. Our time and effort are much better spent creating a better world for all humankind first then we can worry about the abuse of animals.
And my retort:
Ingrid, I hear what you’re saying but vehemently disagree with you.
Nobody that I know of says, nor do I say: “animals carry the same set of emotions and feelings that people do and should therefore be treated equally.” Animals may or may not have the same or they may have a completely different set of emotions/feelings than people. And I don’t know what treating animals “equally” would look like. But I do know that we treat animals abysmally, horribly, and the main reason that we do so is because we believe that we are so-called superior.
When the white man wanted to mistreat you, he first called you inferior, an animal, in order to justify not caring anything about you and what he did to you. When you say your animals are expendable, that is the same mentality of the captain on the slave ship, who knew, when things got rough, which piece of cargo was getting thrown overboard first.
I’m talking about the mentality, the brainwashing or conditioning that began long ago. Its been filtered, twisted, repackaged today, for ex-slave and ex-slave master alike. (One of the few things that the ex-slave and ex-slave master can agree on is their right to make animals their meal. And to blind themselves to the exact nature of how animals are treated in our gluttonous name)
Most human beings are accorded “human” status today, meaning they are not officially considered subhuman. But you and I both know that people of color, black people, still carry the taint of their being owned, being sold, being branded, being transported, being caged like “beasts.” That could not have happened if man had not first declared himself superior, greater, better than the animals. And given himself the right to abuse at will.
There is a hierarchy, by the way, because men decided that there would be hierarchy. And they placed themselves at the top…just like men decided that there would be a ‘human’ hierarchy and women would be positioned beneath them. Or when whites decided there would be a ‘colorized’ hierarchy and niggas would be beneath them. (I mean, “why should we be equal; whites are superior to us aren’t they?! I mean after all, they told us so!!!“) Straights over gays, religious over non-religious, its all a part of the same hypocrisy. And we have bought into the concept of hierarchy hook, line and stinker.
Animals are not exactly like humans, but humans are animals. We are more alike than different. And if you truly look at the nature of so-called human atrocities, their root is in the human atrocities we have visited on animals. And first, in our brains, the divisions we’ve created between ourselves and each other. And animals.
It would make sense to me to deal with the divisions, break down the false divisions between animal US and animal THEM, that, rather than reinforce and solidify them. Perhaps that could help us break down the divisions between human beings.
If you truly want to end human atrocities, perhaps destroying the concept of hierarchy in all of its forms would be a good starting point.