Monday, October 12, 2009

Speciesist Reporting in Gainesville Sun


The confluence of articles on the front page of the "Local
and State" section of the Gainesville Sun October 11th, 2009 tells us much
about humanity. The news portrayed how we care for and admire plants, bats , and
dogs, and also our own species as we muddle through our health care reform
attempts.  Embedded on this page though
were children chasing a pig, as intelligent and feeling as the dog, and a man
cooking pigs and chickens, who feel, suffer, and have inherent worth and
dignity comparable to the other species mentioned.   We are a remarkable species in how much we
can care for those unlike us, and our ability to form relationships and see
beauty around us is an incredible resource to enrich our lives and other beings
on this planet.  It is a resource that is
underused and undervalued.  My dream for
the beloved community of all species is that we might grow our inclinations of concern
and compassion in a more consistent and thoughtful fashion.   I 
mourn that we do not examine our speciesist views that assign
more value to some species, and hence treat other species with less respect.  I lament not just the immense suffering of
other species, but of our own.  When we
treat others as objects and not as beautiful beings we live in denial that we
make tragic choices in our lives that negatively and painfully impact other
species, environments, and human communities. 
Because of this denial we perpetuate the misconceived notion that the
desires of the powerful  naturally trump
the flourishing of the less powerful, and this hurts us all.  For deep down, I believe that we all long for
a beautiful world of peace and health for everyone, and if we can live according
to these values, we would find greater joy and satisfaction.

(shortened version of this appeared as a letter to the editor

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