Thursday, March 3, 2011

Can't I love both Animals and Humans?

            I have been a vegan long enough to hear numerous questions or comments used to either inquire, criticize, or judge my vegan lifestyle or my love for animals. Although I used to take offense to those who are judgmental, I now realize that they are just doing it to deal with their feelings of guilt or they are truly ignorant regarding some of the issues surrounding animal rights/welfare. Although I attempt to not take these comments to heart, the one statement that truly continues to rub me the wrong way is when people ask me, "Why do you care about animals when humans have so many problems?"

            Recently I have been smacked in the face again with this thinking again. While taking a walk in my neighborhood I saw a recently vacated office space. Inside the office were 3 cats. From the door I was unable to see if they had food or water and of course I was concerned as to whether or not they were being taking care of. So what did I do? I called the "For Lease" number that was listed on the door. The person who answered the phone was very cheerful, but when I asked about the cats their tone changed and the replied, “the cats are fine”. I then thanked the person and hung up.

            The next day as I was taking my walk I wondered to myself if I was the only person who had called about the cats. As I approached the same office building, my question was answered as I saw this sign:

I first felt humor due to the fact that the owners would be so irritated that they would post such an unprofessional sign on their office in a neighborhood that apparently cares about the welfare of these cats. I then felt irritated at the fact that someone else thinks that because one cares about animal issues that they cannot also care about human s.

            What I find ironic about people who have the feeling that animal issues do not matter when compared to human interest issues is that they usually are doing nothing to help humans themselves. Not volunteering, not donating, and not writing letters to their congressman. And that people who dedicate their time to animal interest issues usually care a great deal about humans as well.

            What some people fail to realize is that we all (animals and humans) live and must coexist on this earth. Abuses that happen to one are often felt and often affect the other. The beauty of being human is that you can care and love more than one thing at a time and that they love you feel for one does not affect the love that you feel for another. 

Your thoughts?

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