Letter writer: Animal farming debate reflects larger decisions

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I was very moved by John Sanbonmatsu’s thoughtful letter, “Flawed Arguments Offered for Animal Farming” [Dec. 7, Xpress]. In the past few months, strong arguments have been made by both sides regarding the lives and killing of animals, including my own two  letters. I am grateful we are having these conversations, and people are making new choices around plant-based diets.

The bigger picture that is starting to emerge, however, reflects where we are as humans in regard to how we treat others, how we treat ourselves and how we treat the planet. We know of human atrocities in the past involving each other as well as animals. It seems to be the result of depersonalizing the “other” and then rationalizing our aggression to take what we want as a result.

So many of us felt devastated by the recent election results and felt we immediately fell backward in time. Many minority groups are now wondering about their safety and place in this country. We are at a pivotal point in humanity. We can go backward or go forward in terms of how we treat others. Like a slippery greased pole, the momentum to slide downward is strong. At the same time, awareness is trying to free up old patterns and break through in new directions.

I don’t agree with Frank Salzano’s letter from Nov. 30 [“Wild Abundance Looks Forward to Apology,” Xpress], where he says, “People are going to eat meat, and sorry to say this, but get over it!” No, people are not necessarily going to continue to eat meat. We are changing. The key, it feels, is to continue to have the courage to see the other, be it a human or animal, with fresh eyes and with the awareness that the “other” is a living, sentient being just like myself.

This is not only true with how we view animals, but so crucial in the coming months as strong forces in the political realm try to convince us otherwise. It feels we are on the razor’s edge just now, and all the small decisions we make add up to the direction we are heading. We can choose a healthy, plant-based diet that shines kindness on all creatures and this planet or, regressively, can choose a path of ignorance with regard to the suffering of billions of animals and the planet that is destructive and leads nowhere but down.

— Miriam Hard
Asheville

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9 thoughts on “Letter writer: Animal farming debate reflects larger decisions

  1. boatrocker

    You know what? For regularly engaging the wide eyed vegan cultists here, forget it. Count me out. Let someone else waste their time.
    It’s like trying to engage the KKK in conversation. By that:

    Ken Ham and his creationist Kentucky ‘Ark’
    Kellyanne Conway and the hole in her factosphere
    Kim Davis and her Christian Sharia law

    This is me tagging out like a pro wrestler and wishing others luck with The Flat Meat Society ™.

  2. Mike

    If you don’t like animal farming, eating meat, or having pets in the home, by all means DO NOT DO it. I will not try to force my will upon you and I will try to protect you from anyone who does so.

  3. The Real World

    Well, hallelujah! I came across an article yesterday in Bold Life Magazine (of Hendersonville) about a lady who IS DOING what some of us have been suggesting. Which is to be encouraging of veganism and making it EASIER for others to consider or become vegan. She has a nice website with lots of info plus a recently published book titled, Vegan Curious. http://aishaadams.com/

    Here’s the article: http://www.boldlife.com/essential-ingredients/

    From now on I’m going to plug her website/book when these types of letters get posted. Well done, Aisha!

    • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

      IMO if vegans truly wanted to wean folks from eating meat, they would encourage everyone to raise farm animals. Case in point, I bought a couple of goats once with the intent of raising a meat herd. Once I realized how much they trusted me there was no way I could let those animals be slaughtered, and I will probably never eat goat meat as a result. They were just about the best pets I ever had. Emotional attachment wins out any day over abstract ethical posturings.

      • boatrocker

        I’ll eat them for you. My only complaint about them is how darn noisy they are at all hours.

        • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

          You must be thinking of donkeys. I never heard my goats at night. They like to sleep.

          • boatrocker

            Goats ‘talk’, and donkeys are not for my farm animal perview.
            Baaa, baaa, baa, etc.

  4. think critically

    Wow, we agree on something.! You are absolutely correct. As the saying goes, out of sight, out of mind. People are wired to care about those close to them, those they know personally. This is the disconnect we work to change.

    Asking people to extend compassion to animals by not eating them is not “abstract ethical posturing,” it is asking them to widen their circle of compassion. If you had bought a couple of cows, pigs, chickens, and turkeys along with the goats, you might be a vegetarian or a vegan. Animal activists ask that you consider the fact that just because you don’t know the animals that you eat, doesn’t mean that they are any less worthy of being respected than your two goats. And, according, offer them the respect they deserve, which means not paying someone to kill them so that you can eat them.

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