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Oct 18, 2007
Focus: Civil Rights
Action Request: Various
Location: United States
Slaves and slaughterhouses



    If you attended the Princeton Animal Welfare Society's (PAW screening of the film "Earthlings" last week, you are now aware that 28 billion animals are tortured, exploited, abused and eventually slaughtered for human consumption in the United States each year. But if you're like most Princeton students, you didn't go to the screening, and probably aren't aware of that fact, much less forced to think about it.

    As of this week, though, every Princeton student passing by the Frist Campus Center's North Lawn will be forced to consider these issues, thanks to a series of panels set up by PAWS juxtaposing historical abuses of human beings with ongoing abuses of animals and comparing the justifications for each. That the average student has not been to one of PAWS's more sobering events, yet will be forced to think about animal welfare thanks to the Animal Liberation Project display, in and of itself shows why the eye-catching, controversial tactics employed by the demonstration are an unfortunate necessity to draw attention to an otherwise ignored issue.

    With that said, PAWS respects the position of individuals concerned about comparing the suffering of animals to the suffering of human beings, particularly those panels that show animal slavery alongside human slavery. That's why PAWS reached out to a variety of campus groups before the demonstration arrived, giving them an opportunity to engage in dialogue with us about this exhibit. One of the most common fears expressed to us was that PAWS is suggesting that some groups are "no better than animals." This concern is, of course, particularly acute for the African-American community, who have experienced a legacy of discrimination that included the claim that they are more similar to animals than other human beings.

    These concerned students are right about one thing — we are comparing humans to animals — but wrong to say that in doing so we are being racist or degrading. Sure, African-Americans appear in the demonstration — as do Asians and whites, men and women, children and adults. The point of this demonstration is not to make any one race or group of human beings seem more "animal-like" than the others, but instead to say that we are all animals, insofar as we all want to live lives of dignity, free from suffering. We are not trying to degrade anyone — humans or animals — but instead trying to raise all beings up to the level where their rights and interests are respected.

    I know as well as you do that child laborers, slaves, political prisoners and other groups depicted in the exhibit are not the same as chickens and pigs. We know, too, that all human beings differ from one another. In the end, however, it should not be our differences that matter, but our commonalities. What all human beings share is a desire to avoid suffering and live a life of our own choosing. Whether or not you accept it, the truth is that we share this desire with nonhuman animals as well.

    Slave owners — just like animal-exploiting meat-eaters today — justified their actions by seizing upon irrelevant differences like skin color or gender to draw lines between the exploited and the exploiter, the powerful and the powerless. Today, few people accept that the lines that divide us into categories of race, gender or sexual orientation have anything to do with our right to live unfettered lives and our obligation to treat others with respect and dignity.

    This demonstration is about tearing down one more barrier that has been used to justify discrimination — species. When we challenge the justifications for speciesism, we simultaneously combat racism, sexism, heterosexism and other noxious forms of discrimination by attacking the ideology that underlies them all. This ought to be a cause that all of us, especially students from disadvantaged or minority groups, should be able to get behind.

    It is easy to understand why so many people — even those genuinely committed to living an unprejudiced lifestyle — have such a hard time with this exhibit. The demonstration demands that we do so by pointing out that meat eaters can justify their behavior only with the same delusional thinking that led to centuries of human abuse. Such a strong demand for change is bound to be a little disconcerting.

    Individual change, however, is the only way that prejudice can truly be overcome. Mahatma Gandhi once said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." If you want to see change, if you want to see an end to prejudice, then don't non-discriminate in your life. You can take a step to reject the ideology behind speciesism, racism and sexism, all at once: stop consuming animals. Becoming a vegetarian is a change for the better for both humans and animals, embodied in three meals a day.

Alex Barnard is the vice president of the Princeton Animal Welfare Society. He can be reached at abarnard@princeton.edu.
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Posted: Oct 18, 2007 8:24pm
Nov 5, 2006

Slaves and pets/animals


Actually this comparison isn’t new! The British psychologist Richard Ryder coined a term Speciesism in 1970 to make a paralell between our attitudes toward other species and racist attitudes. That’s why both represent discriminatory behavior in favor of interests of the members of our own group against interests of the members of another ones. The inherent value that we have attributed to ourselves and also the evolution theory would justify our supremacy among living creatures. On the other hand, there is any special characteristic that make us able to hold a special status face to other animals; Moreover, we could claim special status to roaches inasmuch they would be the unique specie to survive to an eventual nuclear attack.
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Posted: Nov 5, 2006 9:27am
Jun 12, 2006
Focus: Women
Action Request: Petition
Location: United States
CFAM World Cup Web Site Content
http://www.c-fam.org/wc-findmore.htm

Get involved! Sign your Petition to the German government and governing body of the World Cup games today. Learn more about the massive crime against women about to unfold in Germany.

In addition to spearheading this global petition drive and grass roots mobilization, C-FAM is working with its friendly contacts within the German government to press the case against the massive, state-sponsored abuse of women during the World Cup games.

C-FAM Joins Other Groups in Opposing Exploitation of Women at World Cup Games in Germany.

Visit this site often to see updates on the progress of our Petition drive!

Visit web pages below so see the true, shocking extent of the problem of forced prostitution in Europe and worldwide.

The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women CATW) is a non-governmental organization that promotes women's human rights by working internationally to combat sexual exploitation in all its forms. Founded in 1988, CATW was the first international non-governmental organization to focus on human trafficking, especially sex trafficking of women and girls.

"Increased trafficking of women for prostitution is akin to slavery... women are bought and sold like cattle." (Anita Gradin, European Commissioner, European Race Audit Bulletin No 25, The Institute of Race Relations, London UK, 25 November 1997)

Approximately 500,000 women are annually trafficked into Western Europe. (International Organization for Migration, Michael Specter, "Traffickers' New Cargo: Naive Slavic Women, New York Times, 11 January 1998)

The slave trade in women for sexual purposes is growing, and organized crime is more often behind this trade. Smuggling in humans is much less risky than smuggling drugs and it is highly profitable. (Commissioner Anita Gradin, "Conference on Trafficking in Women" European Commission, 10-11 June 1996)

Visit the CATW website at http://www.catwinternational.org/ to learn more about the threat to women posed by the promotion of prostitution at the World Cup games.

The United States Department has issued its fifth annual Trafficking in Persons Report, along with the $82 million in anti-trafficking assistance our nation provided to foreign governments and non-government organizations last year, demonstrates our strong commitment to this cause. See the Report here: http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2005/

The TIP Report serves to expose these despicable aspects of trafficking. It provokes, lauds, and challenges. Countries including the United States, which is dealing with its own trafficking problem, have been inspired to greater action against human trafficking as a result of this unique compendium. By reading it, we hope you are joining with us in the abolitionist movement of the 21st century to advance freedom for the world's most vulnerable citizens." - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

Read This True Life Horror Story from Germany

Prostitution was legalised in Germany just over two years ago and brothel owners - who must pay tax and employee health insurance - were granted access to official databases of jobseekers.

'If you don't take a job as a prostitute, we can stop your benefits'
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/01/30/wgerm30.xml

The group Human Rights Watch published this report about forced prostitution in the Balkans http://hrw.org/english/docs/2004/06/14/bosher8815.htm

Amnesty International published this report on forced prostitution of children in Europe. http://web.amnesty.org/aidoc/aidoc_pdf.nsf/Index/EUR700102004ENGLISH/$File/EUR7001004.pdf

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Posted: Jun 12, 2006 10:54am

 

 
 
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