Friday, September 11, 2015

A Response to a New Convert to Animal Rights and Veganism

I too am (mostly) on a "whole-foods, plant-based diet". I've encountered a lot of "yeah, buts" when asked, but I think you can't argue with results. And people like Colin Campbell, John MacDougall, and Caldwell Esselstyn have results. The results are also evident in my own personal experience. The last time I had a thorough checkup the doctor said that all my results were "so normal, it's abnormal". At age 66, I work a job that requires much physical effort.

Having said that--I DO eat meat now and then and feel no qualms about doing so, except for the knowledge that I shouldn't do it too often, or too much. Since my worldview is informed by the Bible, I make a clear distinction between humans and animals. Yes, we ARE similar, physically, to animals--is that so surprising, since we occupy the same environment? But there is an enormous gulf between humans and animals, which even the animal-rights activists tacitly admit. The animal-rights groups are very convinced of our duty to act morally toward animals, a burden they would never place upon animals. In this respect, they are recognizing that we ARE different, and fulfilling the Biblical mandate to be stewards of the natural order, although they would never admit it.

That doesn't mean I advocate cruelty or wanton violence to animals. Far from it. Since we are the humans, the ones made in the image of God, we understand the moral aspects of our dealings with other living things. The animals do not. The steward (that's us) is placed OVER those things which are entrusted to him and for which he must give an accounting. The animal-rights proponents' logic, IMO, is a little skewed since it starts with the false premise that the difference between humans and animals is one of degree, not of kind, but their conclusion, that it is contingent upon humans to care for animals, and not vice-versa, is entirely consistent with their humanity.

I find it interesting that you admit your moral perceptions have been greatly influenced by your desires. That's a very great part of the human experience in a nutshell! However, we can't always arrive at correct conclusions regarding ethics, morality, or many other things simply starting from ourselves and working our way out by reasoning, because that same reasoning has been demonstrated by our own experience to lead to false conclusions. How do you know your original premise (eating "dead animals" is okay) was wrong, and your later conclusion was right?

On the subject of "rights": I don't use that term very often. Libertarians (and all other political groups) like to use the term to run interference for them, but I find I can't truthfully or honestly use it very often, or very forcefully. I find myself instead confronted with the reality of privileges, obligations, and blessings.

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