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Watch Your Back: Iím A Terrorist

Watch Your Back: Iím A Terrorist

I’ve been called a terrorist on several occasions. I’ve been lumped in with suicide bombers and crazy people who fly planes into buildings, killing thousands.

Why? Because I work for an animal rights organization. That’s right; I’m a hardened criminal. I spend my days promoting vegetarian food and writing about cockfighting, dogfighting, and hunting. If you’re not careful, I might suggest that you choose cruelty-free products or attend an animal-free circus instead of one where the trainers allegedly beat elephants.

Yeah, watch out for me, boy. Sometimes my co-workers and I stand in front of KFC and McDonald’s with signs informing people that the fast food companies buy chicken from suppliers that scald the birds alive. I’ve even dressed up as a rat to protest animal testing.

Some people find these actions threatening. They somehow equate promoting compassion with committing violent crimes. There’s even an Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act to silence people—including everyday law-abiding grandmothers, teachers, lawyers, and bus drivers—who dare criticize those that make money terrorizing animals in slaughterhouses, laboratories, circuses, and fur farms.

After 9/11, everyone was talking about ways to reduce the pain and bloodshed in the world, but animals were often left out of the discussions. Relatively few people were concerned about violence to animals or what they could do to stop it. But animals matter too, and while there isn’t a whole lot that most people can do to drastically change the situation in the Middle East, everyone can make a difference for animals simply by eating a vegetarian diet and showing basic compassion for animals.

The wise philosopher Pythagoras reportedly once declared that “as long as humanity continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower beings, we will never know health or peace. For as long as people massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.”

Other great peacemakers and famous figures have embraced this idea. Gandhi, for example, spoke out against killing animals for food. His birthday, October 2, is commemorated both as International Day of Nonviolence and as World Farm Animals Day.

Nobel Prize-winning Yiddish author Isaac Bashevis Singer, who fled from Poland to the United States in 1935 and took a room above a slaughterhouse, was one of the first people to equate the treatment of animals in slaughterhouses with the treatment of humans in concentration camps. He advocated vegetarianism until his death in 1991 and urged people to speak out against all atrocities.

Playwright and humanitarian George Bernard Shaw also often wrote about the ethics of eating of animals. He called meat-eaters the “living graves of murdered beasts” and also opposed animal experimentation and cruel sports like hunting and fishing.

There is no just excuse to terrorize animals for any reason. Like us, animals value their lives and struggle to avoid pain and suffering. As we remember all of those who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks, let’s also reflect on what we can do to show kindness and empathy for animals. It won’t make you a radical terrorist, but it will help make a radical difference in the world.  For inspiration, listen to PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk’s address, Nonviolence Includes Animals, at the International Nonviolence Conference in Bethlehem.

 

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44 comments

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7:24PM PDT on Oct 4, 2009

I know how you feel about being called a terrorist! The current Administration has labeld me this because I oppose their programs and policies!
Peta some times is their own worst enemy by doing acts of violence to get their point across and yet many acts of violence against animals are ignored- It sickens me when I hear what some are capable of doing against the very animals God put here to be our companions! Good luck to you-

4:20PM PDT on Sep 17, 2009

What the deceived author doesn't tell us in the article is that, in the end, such groups are for the elimination of our pets, or "companion animals" as they are calling them now.

They are currently waging a war against animal ownership, going to great lengths to accomplish their goals. Some go as far as to actually release stolen animals into residential areas, while calling contacts in news and government to press their agendas.

Innocent people are hurt and innocent animal owners are blamed.

Laws against pet ownership are being passed right now! First, keep law abiding citizens from owning unpopular or scary animals by preventing their transport across state lines. In that way an owner, with a legal pet, who wants to move to another state where his pet is also legal, will become a criminal by the act of crossing the line between these two states. The animal will be seized and destroyed and he might end up in jail! Look up H. R. 669!

As rare animals disappear in the wild, it becomes more important that they have a place to exist in private ownership. Being pets will save them from extinction. The most popular pet, the cat, won't become extinct anytime soon. Zoos can't do it alone. 95% of exotic animals are in private ownership.

I believe in Animal Welfare, pet ownership, conservation and Wilderness.

I don't believe in Animal Rights as these groups profess.

See more - http://www.rexano.org - http://www.felineconservation.org - http://www.exoticcatz.com an

9:27AM PDT on Sep 17, 2009

Okay first Peta goes to far attacking and distroying personal property. They need to stop for a second and step back and get away from the extreme behaviour that makes people walk away from them and makes animal rights activists look like they are insane. People will listen to them when they calm down. I like animals but not where people and my stuff are attacked. I don't insult Vegans or vegetarians more meat for me I figure. It's their choice let them be. I support non violent groups like the Aspca and the Humane society.

9:33AM PDT on Sep 16, 2009

bravo, you've got to have a sense of humour about it all! take [back] the pejorative words that are use against you and own them to take away their power. sadly there are far more "eco-terrorists" in prime time fiction than ever in real life.

1:27AM PDT on Sep 16, 2009

Oh and Elinor, I am so sorry that your coworkers feel the need to make fun of you. There is no excuse for it and if I, a meat eater, saw such behavior towards a vegan I'd give the rude persons a stern talking to. They're just juvenile idiots who feel the need to ridicule things they don't understand. Like I was made fun of for being the chubby, smart, liberal girl when I was in school. They made fun of me because I was different, and because they could. It's inexcusable. Your diet does not scare me, but neither does it work for me. I think the fur trade should be abolished, as well as cosmetic testing. I want the standards of animal testing to be raised to protect the animals from unecessary pain and suferring, but I think that by oppossing all medical research on animals, PETA misses and opportunity to make inroads to better treatment of animals used in medical research. Oh, and by medical research, I DO NOT mean testing the newest fad diet pill or hair remover - I mean cancer, diatebtes, spinal cord injury - you know, stuff that will improve an save lived, human and animal.

Those of us who care about animals need to work together, even if we don't see eye to eye on every issue. I hope that is possible. Thanks for listening everyone.

1:16AM PDT on Sep 16, 2009

I don't really have a problem with PETA, and I certainly don't think you're a terrorist. However, comments such as the one made by Bill Maher, insisting that biomedical research involving animals isn't worth the human lives it saves, hurts the animal rights movement and makes Peta look like an extremist group. I must also take issue with the fact hat PETA uses celebrity quotes, such a one from Alicia Silverstone, where she said that when she stopped eating meat her skin and hair looked better than ever - well, duh, because she probably stopped eating fast food! I think if PETA focused it's message on ending cruel factory farms practices and unnecessary cosmetics testing, the public would be more receptive to their message and more animals would be spared. I personally think that the best way to shut down factory farms is to buy from organic, local family farms, and that to call people who do this murderers is ridiculous and hurtful to the cause. I really wish I could be vegetarian, but I've tried, and I get weak without meat. If you don't believe me, that's just too bad; you don't know about my individual body and health issues. I'm glad being vegan works out well for you, but please try to work with people like me who support ending needless suffering for all creatures, instead of acting like people like me are the problem (not that you specifically said I was, but many involved with PETA do).

8:32AM PDT on Sep 15, 2009

It is too bad the word terrorist has become so dilute as to apply to animal rights activists. Though I suspect this is due to the activists that do take it a step further, destroy property (like throwing buckets of blood or red paint) on people's clothes and property in order to convert them. I have been a vegetarian, on and off vegan for about 40 years. It works for me, though i did still manage to get cancer (unlike most of my omnivorous friends, so let's not operate under any illusions) but am, hopefully, well now (should I credit my diet with that?). Adolph Hitler, not a pacifist, but an arrogant, eugenist mass murderer, was reportedly a vegetarian, so no, not eating meat will not necessarily reduce aggression. Our author seems very nice and seems anything but a terrorist, such is the disadvantage of categories.

6:56AM PDT on Sep 15, 2009

Welcome to the crowd. In case you hadn't heard, just about every American citizen is a "terrorist" these days. Esp if you disagree with the current administration over anything.

4:23PM PDT on Sep 13, 2009

I have been under the impression that my dogs could not be vegetarians because of the high acidic bodies dogs have. Opposite of humans who have high alkaline bodies. I thought dogs and wolves were carnivorous. I recently found out the both are omnivores. Because they can digest both animal and vegetables, they can, and according to what I've read, thrive on a vegan diet. I am going to try to slowly change their diet to vegan. I already make their dogfood because commercial dog food is unreliable. Their health, coat and digestive system improved dramatically with home made food that consisted of only foods that humans would eat.

3:00PM PDT on Sep 13, 2009

Although I work hard to be empathetic and caring and understanding, somethings continue to elude me. I simply cannot understand how anyone's diet can be scary to another person, particularly a vegan or vegetarian diet. I can, I suppose, be firghtened of a cannibal's diet, supposing also that I ever meet a cannibal.
I do occasionally eat meat, but we eat mostly fruits and veggies, breads, cereals, and pastas - because it's healthier for us. I don't like factory farms and we invest time to avoid their products. I love animal-friendly and eco-friendly products and the internet is a great gift for finding out who refuses to do animals testing!
So, I don't understand how some find the author frightening or vegan diets threatening. Wow. I'm not easily frightened but neither am I fearless. It's the religious whack jobs that I think are scary; fundamentalists of all religions who are willing to kill and destroy in the name of whichever god they have been indoctrinated to follow blindly.
People who thoughtfully choose to do intelligent and sustainable things are not the least bit scary but are quite adminable - I'd say.

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