A Matter of the Heart
There is often raging debate going on about veganism and animal advocacy, with those opposed to the idea of eliminating animal exploitation often using arguments that are intended to expose any weakness in logic or rationality that can be found.
There are numerous good rational and logical reasons to avoid animal exploitation, including environmental ones, but that’s a subject for another blog.
The main problem with seeing a movement that seeks to raise the status of the “lower” animals at our mercy to one that considers their needs and desires as a movement born of intellectual thought is that essentially the basis of animal advocacy is rooted in the heart, not the head.
Don’t get me wrong. I have always admired intellect. One of my best friends who left this earth in 2001 was one of the most brilliant minds I had ever encountered, and I loved to observe her keen mind at work.
And there is no doubt that intellectual thought has led to many advances for mankind and is necessary for our ongoing evolution.
But one need only to pause for a minute and think of all the destruction that a brilliant mind can cause to be soberly reminded that intelligence alone isn’t all there is to the creation of a compassionate and just world.
The notorious conquerers and dictators, as well as serial killers and other sociopaths may possess high intelligence, but when the mind isn’t married to the heart, evil can and often does follow.
At its core, animal advocacy is a message of compassion, of mercy and of being able to see ourselves in another being and put ourselves in their place.
This is why I’m hard-pressed to understand why anyone would be against something which seeks to eliminate the suffering and deaths of other sentient beings as much as possible.
My friend Dana reminded me earlier today of the quote, “To determine if something is humane, first ask yourself if you would want it done to you.”
It’s really that simple.
All the eloquent words, all the brilliant arguments, all the endless debates can be useful, but humans don’t usually change their minds or open them up to a new way of thinking unless their hearts are first moved to do so.
It’s not with arguments that the plea for mercy to animals is won, it’s with the appeal to the human heart.
For only in the heart can true mercy be found.