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A Just Cause
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A Just Cause

I have always believed very strongly in the idea of following your heart when it comes to deciding what is, or is not, ethical. I believe that deep down everyone really knows what the right thing to do is. The problem is, this doesn't always work for everyone. For one thing, it is sometimes hard to tell the difference between what is right and what is expected. Things sometimes feel right because everyone does them and no one questions them when, if people really stopped to consider what they are doing, they would realize they are morally unjustifiable.

I personally feel that animal rights is one of the most important issues facing our society today. For me, it is something I don't even have to think about. I know, without a doubt, that the way our society treats animals is reprehensible and we must do everything in our power to stop it. Unfortunately, there are many people who disagree. These people just don't inherently feel for animals the way I, and many others I know, do. Many times these people have asked me what makes me believe I am right when so few people agree with me.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that there a a lot of people who feel just as strongly about causes that I completely disagree with. I started to wonder if there was some way to decide which causes are just, and which are not. To try to solve this problem, I came up with a list of things that I think define a cause as just or unjust.

 

A just cause:

1. Has legitimate moral reasons why you should do something, not only why you should be allowed to do it.

2. Has supporters who are not directly affected, but are advocating for those who are.

3. Is supported by those who stand to gain nothing if their goal is achieved.

4. Uses only the truth to gain new supporters.

5. Refuses to resort to violence to achieve goals.

6. Is based on love and acceptance.

7. Seeks to reduce suffering.

8. Relies upon the strong or privileged standing up for the weak or underprivileged.

9. Has supporters who gladly sacrifice time, money and personal convenience for the good of the cause.

10. Spreads a message of equality.

11. Proclaims rights for all.

12. Works for the greater good.

 

An unjust cause:

1. Has reasons (good or bad) why you should be allowed to do something, but no reasons why you should do it.

2. Is supported only by those who are directly affected.

3. Has supporters who stand to gain, monetarily or otherwise, if their goal is achieved.

4. Must lie in order to gain new supporters.

5. Resorts to violence or threats of violence to achieve goals.

6. Is based on fear and prejudice.

7. Ignores or denies suffering.

8. Relies upon the strong or privileged standing up for their own interests.

9. Has supporters who refuse to make sacrifices.

10. Spreads a message of superiority.

11. Proclaims the rights of its own group while denying those of others. greater profits.

12. Works for greater profits. I'm not saying this list works for every cause, but I think it is a good place to start.

 

Thanks for reading!

Image credit: Tobias Akerboom (at hutmeelz)

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  1. SnakeWitch
    I would like to add number 13 to your list of good causes: the group verifies with the ones affected, whenever possible (because animals can't talk), that they are truly doing what is in their best interest. At times we do things that we think are right because they are right for US, but the affected group doesn't need it, nor want it. So, the one supporting have to be careful not to take over and lead; they are really just there to offer a helping hand (once again, not the case for animals). Number 2 for the list of causes that aren't justified is a little tricky. Only at first, I would have to say, and at times it stays that way because no outsiders pay attention. Thanks for this list, it really helps put things in perspectives! I voted for you! I have two new articles out: BBQs for Vegans 101 and Tropical Weather Can Mean Greener Travel. Come vote for me too!
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    1. Whitney Metz
      Whitney Metz
      Those are excellent points! Thank you. Some day I will have to make an updated list. I really appreciate the vote! I read and voted for your posts too.
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  2. Veganara
    Veganara
    Vote no 4 Whitney, I loved this piece, and agree wholeheartedly!
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    1. Whitney Metz
      Whitney Metz
      Thank you so much :)
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  3. Virtually Homemade
    Virtually Homemade
    Great post and welcome to flaming vegan! Voted! Check out my baked oatmeal recipe and vote if you like:)
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    1. Whitney Metz
      Whitney Metz
      Thank you very much! I voted for you as well. It sounds delicious!
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  4. BuddhasDelight
    BuddhasDelight
    food for thought, thank you. i am definitely one of the bleeding heart animal lovers out there. a few quotes from our buddy Einstein on the subject... “Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” “Our task must be to [widen] our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” On the day he became a vegetarian, Einstein wrote, “So I am living without fats, without meat, without fish, but am feeling quite well this way. It always seems to me that man was not born to be a carnivore.” thanks for the post! voted! please check out my new apple blackberry crumble and margherita pizza quinoa recipes and vote if you like them. thanks! cheers, and i look forward to reading more thought-provoking articles from you! Bless the animals, bless us all! :)
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    1. Whitney Metz
      Whitney Metz
      Thank you very much! Great quotes fro a great man! Your recipes sound delicious! I voted for them. Thank you, I plan to have another article soon. I look forward to more great recipes from you :)
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  5. evalovesbend
    Very interesting and true. Vote #9. Check out my post the art of popsicles and voted if you like it!
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