but I could never with a clear conscious say that my life, as a human being, is more important than the life of a hummingbird’s or even an ant’s. Why do we, as human beings, think and are made to believe that we are so much more gotdamned precious than everybody and everything else?
I’ve seen ‘white people treat animals better than they treat Black people/POC’ come across my dashboard on tumblr on multiple occasions. I know it’s true, I’m not arguing against that and I think its fucked up. But I wonder: Do the POC who say that believe that animals should be treated horrifically in order that they, as humans, be treated better?
I understand that Black people have been treated and still are not treated any better than mules and dogs that whites and their own people don’t like, worse even. But why do we have to have a one-up over somebody, anything, in order to feel justice? Why does our right to freedom and humane treatment somehow justify cruelty towards animals?
Did you know there’s a study that suggests that there are Americans who believe that one American life is worth more than tens of fifties of hundreds of Afghan and Iraqi lives?
Where are we going to draw the line at whose life is more valuable?
For most people who aren’t racist, xenophobic assholes, that line is between humanity and animals.
I was very pacifist as a child and this is that pacifism showing.
Anybody who has been following me on tumblr long enough might know that I love cats. Cats are a part of my family.
When I was in the 12th grade, I was required for my biology course to engage in the skinning and dissection of a cat. Many Black people hate and loathe cats, to the point of violence, I know this from experience. I think, if I remember correctly, I got a ‘D’ in that class; it was huge chunk of our grade and I could only do so much and then go home and look my cats in the eye, but hey I passed and went to college.
At the time, I wondered what kinds of lives the cats had had, why they had to have pregnant cat for one group in the class, how the cats died and how they got on the dissection in front of me and why. In my head, none of the answers were pretty and it sickened and poisoned me to listen to students and the teacher–Ms. Mason, who hated cats–take a twisted pleasure in cutting the bodies of the animals up, peelings away fur, skin, and muscle.
I am a omnivore, I get much of my food from the slaughter and grotesque treatments of millions of animals a year. I’m not proud of it, I feel it’s poisoning me spiritually, if not bodily, every bite I eat. I believe some people should be punished by pain of death, meaning capital punishment. I’ve tried to take my own life and still think my existence in this world is a mistake. But it doesn’t change what I believe in–the sanctity and preciousness of life, that includes animals, and I don’t believe humans should make them to suffer anymore than we make each other to suffer.
Where do we draw the line at what life is valuable and what role does anthropocentrism play in the answer?