Friday, December 19, 2008

"All Living Beings Wish to be Free"

I first heard of PETA in my teen years, when I made the life-changing decision to become a vegetarian. I've never eaten animal flesh since, save a few years in my late twenties when I confusingly decided to dabble in pescetarianism. Why I thought consuming any level of mercury in fish, whatever amount of omega 3 fatty acids it contained, was an acceptable notion I have no idea. Let alone neglecting their feelings as living, breathing creatures who have as much a desire to live as any cow, chicken, pig or human. But I am now fully committed down the path of veganism, with no desire to look back.

Ingrid Newkirk continues to be a source of inspiration, particularly in her arguments on the moral issues of how we treat animals. Our society is so dependent on animals, as a food source (often poor), for fashion (which we tire of so quickly), for entertainment (to amuse ourselves for a few fleeting hours) and more. Yet they are such an after-thought to many, and to most, their treatment is not thought of at all.

On this snowy weekend, I took the time to listen to Ingrid's moving speech, "Non-Violence Includes Animals," and encourage others to as well.

"How we treat animals goes to the very heart of who we are."

"failure to recognize the us in them."

"They are treated like things, like commodities, machines and objects. They are treated like everything but as animals."

"There is no human nature. It is shared nature, for all animals laugh, and lie and cheat and love and breathe and are lonely and feel pain and wish to be free."

"There will be a day...when we will stop saying, we are human beings, treat us like human beings and start saying, we are living beings, treat us, please like living beings."

Check out PETA's official page on Youtube.

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