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Crazed Rant Disguised as English Paper
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Crazed Rant Disguised as English Paper

So we're writing argumentative essays for my English class. My professor wanted us to start by writing from our own perspective, without any research or sources. This is what happened. 

 

We humans tend to see ourselves as separate from the rest of our world. We see ourselves as being beyond nature and above other animals. We use this to justify exploitation and abuse of the creatures we think of as “lesser.” The reality is that we are as much a part of nature as all of the other animals and the similarities we share with them are far greater than the differences between us. We are hurting ourselves and the planet as a whole by denying our connection to the other species who share the Earth with us. The human race will only be able to advance is we learn to respect other animals and end our exploitation of them.

We humans have so separated ourselves from other species that the word “animal” has come to mean any creature who is not human, when in fact we ourselves are animals. As much as we may want to believe that we are so very different from other species we really are not. Anyone who has taken the time to get to know any nonhuman animals is aware that, whether those animals are apes, dogs, pigs or any other species, they have thoughts, feelings and needs just like we do. We tend to recognize these things in the animals we think of as “pets.” We admire them for their loyalty and notice their unique personalities. The truth is, these things are the same for all animals. We just choose not to see them in some species.

Usually, when we choose not to see the intelligence or awareness in a particular species it is because we want to use them for some purpose that we believe will benefit us in some way. Farmed animas are especially hard hit by this. We like to think that farmed animals are stupid and not entirely aware of what is going on around them. We like to believe that they do not have emotions, that they have no need for things like love and companionship, that they do not understand things like boredom, loneliness or despair. There are few people in this word who have ever taken the time to get to know farmed animals on a personal level but those people know very well the extent to which these animals feel. Pigs have the intellectual capacity of three year old human children and an equal sense of curiosity. Cows form bonds with their calves as strong as any between a human mother and her child. Roosters have a strong sense of responsibility and will gladly risk their lives to protect their hens. We think of things like curiosity, love and responsibility as human qualities, but they are not. These are animal qualities; humans just happen to be one of the many species of animals that has them.

Every day we abuse and exploit other species in countless ways without even thinking about it. We use them for food, clothing, entertainment and research without ever questioning our right to do so. What makes us believe we have this right? What truly separates humans from other animals? The only answer seems to be intelligence, but does the fact that we are smarter than other animals really give us the right to use them and destroy them as we please? Should more intelligent humans have the right to enslave less intelligent ones, or to kill them? So what is it then that entitles us to use other animals the way we do? The answer is nothing.

There is more than morality though that should compel us to end our mistreatment of other animals. Our own survival depends upon it. Our abuse of other species is, literally, killing us and the planet. Almost all of the problems in our world today are related to our use of nonhuman animals, in one way or another. Consumption of animal products has been directly linked to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, strokes, obesity and osteoporosis. All of these diseases could be nearly eradicated if we just stopped eating animal products, but instead we torture and kill even more animals in the name of research trying to cure them. Animal research gets us nowhere, because despite our many similarities with other species, the slightest difference can cause a treatment to be effective in one species and ineffective, or even toxic, in another.

Besides the many health issues it causes, animal agriculture is to blame for a multitude of other problems as well. It is the number one contributor to global warming. It causes contamination of ground water and crops and leads to deforestation. It also plays a key part in world hunger. Impoverished countries use their land to raise cattle for export to the United States and other countries, thus using up the land that could otherwise be used for growing crops for the people who live there.

There are many tolls that our mistreatment of nonhuman animals take that are quite obvious and concrete. One that many people are not aware of though, is the emotional toll it takes on us to live in a society that is built upon violence. Do we really want to live in a world where everything form our food, to our clothes, to our medicine is drenched in blood? Do we really want to raise our children to believe that killing is wrong, but only sometimes?

The only way humanity will be able to overcome these problems is by rediscovering our connection to other animals. With respect and compassion for other species, we can become better than we are. Only by saving other animals, can we save ourselves.

 

*Photo- Theresa from Farm Sanctuary, Watkins Glen. I think I've used this one before, but she deserves to be seen again. 

Image credit: Tobias Akerboom (at hutmeelz)

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  1. JustVegan
    great thoughts. it is true that we humans consider ourselves superior and thus justify all our deeds. voted. do come and check my post on roasted corn red pepper pasta salad and vote if you like.
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    1. Whitney Metz
      Whitney Metz
      Thank you very much! I will check out your post :)
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  2. SnakeWitch
    I voted. This rant is full of well-justified arguments. Just remember: slavery has almost entirely been abolished. Humans managed to understand that, even if it took a while. I believe veganism will eventually be understood as well. We need to keep up the fight.
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    1. SnakeWitch
      Can't wait to know your teacher's reaction. By the way, I have a new post up, even if the title is wrong - you'll see it in my comments - but stop by and have a look!
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      1. Whitney Metz
        Whitney Metz
        Actually my teacher is vegan too. So she had me read my paper in class. It went a little better than I expected :) I will check out your post.
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    2. Luella Berg
      Luella Berg
      Actually, though the U.S. has indeed abolished slavery, I believe that there are more human slaves worldwide today than there ever were in the U.S. before the civil war. Humanity still has a long way to go.
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    3. Whitney Metz
      Whitney Metz
      Thank you :) I agree. Assuming we don't destroy ourselves first, I think people will get to the point where veganism is the norm. I try to keep reminding myself of that.
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  3. Anita Vegana
    This is not crazy. Quite the contrary - what you say makes more sense than general society. I voted. Please come read about how you can unwind after a good rant like this one, Why Aren't Some Beers and Wines Vegan?, and vote if you enjoyed it. Thank you.
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    1. Whitney Metz
      Whitney Metz
      Thank you, I really appreciate that :) I will check out your post.
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  4. Veganara
    Veganara
    Voted. I wouldn't call this a "rant" - it is beautifully expressed, heartfelt and persuasive! You know that I am 150% behind you on everything you say! I have come to the conclusion that what differentiates humans from animals the most is our egos - we have this tremendous sense of self-importance and futile greed that they don't have! More, more, more the whole time....I wish more people could disconnect with their egos and become more in tune with their souls/spirituality. Btw, my latest blog is about making cream from cashew nuts, please check it out if you have time!
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    1. Whitney Metz
      Whitney Metz
      Thank you so much Maggie :) Your comments are always so kind and encouraging. I agree completely, if we could just get past our egos the world would be a MUCH better place for all of us. The cashew cream sounds amazing, voted.
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  5. Luella Berg
    Luella Berg
    This essay is awesome. I agree with the above comments that it is not a "crazed rant." You don't give yourself enough credit. Voted.
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    1. Whitney Metz
      Whitney Metz
      Thank you very much Luella! I felt pretty crazed writing it :)
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  6. Andrea Martin
    Andrea Martin
    Most humans are so narcissistic they take offense if anyone "dares" to assert they are part of the animal kingdom. Hmmmm. I guess they must be plants or yeast. It all amounts to having the social license to be a bully. People abuse and use animals because they can. Societies condone this violence. They create ideologies to vindicate abusing non-humans. Of course, this simply translates to subjugation across the board. It is a circle of sadistic intent. If you think you are better than someone - there is someone who thinks they are better than you. This ideology of "caste" heirarchy is deeply ingrained in human cultures. I wrote a post on this right to violence a few months ago - "The Chickens' Message on Compassion." http://www.howtodothings101.com/chickens-message-compassion/
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    1. Whitney Metz
      Whitney Metz
      I agree completely! I hope we will eventually get to the point where we will accept that we are a part of the animal world, and that other animals are as deserving of freedom as we are. I loved (and shared) your post! I don't actually write here anymore, which is why it took me so long to get back to you. I mostly use my Youtube channel now https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvmLbfc7Eo2oOB5mJ4ReHsQ
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