Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Livestock and the Culture of Life

In a Newsweek column, George Will discusses a new book arguing for less cruelty in the livestock industry. The unique part is: the author of the book is a conservative. As is Will. And Will also seems to have bought into the idea that we owe more mercy to the animals we eat.

The fight for animal rights has long been the domain of the far left. In fact, as Will notes, many animal rights activists are so removed from reality that the rest of us are pushed away from the cause. But maybe we shouldn't be. Maybe we should acknowledge that our livestock are living beings who deserve a certain level of comfort and mercy. There's no need to become vegetarians or resort to anything remotely radical. But it may be time to rethink how we as a society treat these animals.

It's certainly worth talking about.

UPDATE: AmbivaBlog has more and gives the author of the aforementioned book the First AmbivaBlog award. An award meant to bring "attention and praise to thinkers who violated the conventional boundaries of left and right in the course of doing justice to reality." Conservative calls for animal rights certainly do that.


At 1:45 PM, Anonymous Jennifer said...

I am thrilled that the right is widening its boundaries of which lives on this planet are important. I have never been an animal rights activist, but I am appalled by the treatment of animals raised for consumption. I try to vote with my pocketbook in the grocery store, but I'm suspicious that the chickens that lay "free range" eggs are not really all that better off.

I've been hoping for many years that the right and the left could join together on some issues of mutual concern, and I hope that the right will consider the left an ally in this. Working together on issues would go a long way in building trust and diluting the anger and hatred that have been so pervasive.

At 2:33 PM, Anonymous Chris said...

I agree. I don't believe that compassion for animals is a left or right issue, but a general reflection of how we interact with other beings, including human ones.

Good subject for a blog post.


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