It’s a Question of Compassion

As an animal welfare blogger, I am often dismayed to read that some who advocate for animals can be quite cruel when it comes to one certain animal- humans.

Whenever I write about product testing on animals, someone invariably comments, “Why not do that to prisoners and leave the animals alone?”

Each time I read those words, I cringe.

Is one species more worthy than another?

Why not indeed? Perhaps because of the blatant unfairness that is the criminal justice system in practically every country on this planet? After all, we frequently read about a person in the US who is released from prison after years of incarceration for a crime he or she did not commit. At the same time, those who almost toppled the world’s economy are walking around scot-free, paying practically no penance whatsoever.

But, no, my reasons for cringing have more to do with the moral argument that we are all worthy of compassion, regardless of our sins, and regardless of our species.

The truth is, we abuse animals- be it in the lab, or the race track, or the dinner table- for one reason: we want to live forever, and we want to feel young, look beautiful, and have fun while doing so.

For me, it’s not about choosing one living creature over another. We are all equally precious.

Lab testing? Oh, but (insert name of cute blonde white child here) needs this medicine to live. Well, that is a compelling argument. But for the money that is used to experiment on animals to keep a handful of white blonde kids alive in the US and Europe, we could keep thousands of kids alive in other parts of the world who suffer and die from perfectly treatable conditions, such as dysentery, cholera, starvation, and, of course, war.

We are wiping out our world’s large animals, such as elephants, rhinoceros, and tigers, to sell their body parts to rich people to use as medications we all know don’t work. Same thing with keeping bears confined to mine their bile.

Oh, and don’t get me started on fur coats, race tracks, and throwaway pets! You can’t even pretend these practices have any sort of legitimate reason for existence.

Malachi was discarded like yesterday’s trash.

No, we are a species of toddlers who want what they want when they want it and to hell with anyone who gets in our way of getting it.

Instead of allowing others to suffer for our comfort and longevity, I challenge us to rethink what it is to live a good life. It shouldn’t mean a few of us get to live in the lap of luxury while other living things, equally special in the eye of the Universe, suffer in order for us to do so.

Does that make me a socialist? Perhaps. But it also lets me sleep well at night to feel I am not at war with the rest of the planet.






36 thoughts on “It’s a Question of Compassion

      1. Love it! I have a friend who has spent 20-something years in prison {less than a year to go!} and he is the most amazing positive, kind person you’d want to meet.

  1. Rumpy that was my first thought too as I started to read your post. What’s with the people who have to stay in jail because of an error of justice? I think we rather should switch or forget some of our habits… it’s not our “right” to (mis)use animals :o(

  2. We are all equally precious. If only all believed that – and that fair is fair – then there might be real progress..until that time, each can try and make their corner of the world a better place – take care of those within reach, then stretch a bit farther…hopefully that effort will spread and spread to eventually cover the whole world.

    1. Thanks. This idea we have that everyone is in prison because they need to be is ludicrous. There’s plenty of unsolved crimes in the world, meaning many criminals are NOT where they need to be.

  3. An honest, good life is the result of honest, good work. I appreciate you saying what I think a lot…no living thing should be diminished/ignored/abused for me to “have it better.”

  4. I love dogs and cats woof! Woof! Meow! Meow! I try to help in my community so that animals – sorry not animals, OUR FRIENDS can live happily with us.. I really feel sad when my bowl of milk stays empty if I have left it for cats, while going outward.

    Your friendly neighbourhood,
    Swetank. Meo-oof!

  5. Testing on prisoners is a horrible thought. Testing has been done on minority groups in the past, it seems humans haven’t really moved on much! Lots of people don’t give a thought to the conditions that people in other parts of the world work in to produce items for multi-national companies that are household names.

  6. There awe people here in ow own country da U.S. dat awe stawvin’ and goin’ wiff out daily necessities and they’re not all childwen. But meez dusn’t mean tu get on meez soap box. So meez will just say, hav a gweat weekend.

    Luv ya’


    1. There are indeed, Dezi. But for some reason when we talk about our own poor, people act like it’s THEIR fault they’re poor. Of course, if they’d actually MEET some of these people and find out about them, they’d see it’s not that easy.

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