I recently read an interesting article called ‘Animal Suffrage’.
In it, the author, a veterinarian and former Vice President of Humane Society International, talks about how humans easily rationalize using animals for their benefit, not merely for financial reasons, but because people truly can’t accept that animals are worthy of our respect and care, and that they have feelings and empathy just as we do.
He argues that we suffer from “…a gross indifference that can rationalize animal cruelties and animal suffering because feeling for animals is either denied or repressed. Such a lack of empathy and compassion is as much a product of nature as it is of nurture; of how we our raised, influenced by cultural values and attitudes, and how we choose to respond to another’s plight that we may or may not have caused.”
He says that in order for things to change there must be an inherent change in us:
“The nascent Animal Suffrage movement is one that recognizes that social change, moral progress, and especially the improvement in the treatment of animals, will never come through reason alone, but through a combination of sound science—facts—and genuine feeling, concern and commitment. Suffrage implies suffering with and suffering for, and it is only through such suffering that humanity will ever put an end to inhumanity in all its forms and situations.”
Here is Dr. Fox’s full article: