Saturday, November 12, 2011

After abolition, what will it be like?

Once we recognize the truth that a life belongs to the being that posses that life and start trying to behave that way...then what?

Pretend human animals have grown-up or awakened or learned, finally, that you treat those with less power with care and consideration. That you don't exploit them or harm them simply because you can...and...if you do there are moral, cultural and legal sanctions.

Once we get there, what will it be like?

I presume other animals will have some sort of cultural and legal status similar to children. No more slaughterhouses, no more 'dairy', no more organized exploitation of any species (without breaking the law). The amount of misery and death dealt out by human animals will be reduced tremendously...but it won't be gone.

The current furor and turmoil over the child sex-abuse scandal and Penn State's venerable coach Joe Paterno made me think again about what will it be like in the post-abolition world.

Sadly enough, animals will still be harmed, animals will still be exploited, animals will still be tortured and killed...the litany of misery will continue just as it continues today for those vulnerable and innocent ones we call our children.

One of the many differences will be that the legal system will have avenues with which to punish those who harm the helpless.

But make no mistake, the helpless will continue to be harmed. Every human animal that occupies a status that, in the not so distant past, was considered to be eligible to be owned as 'property' continues to be more vulnerable than those that have not recently occupied such statuses. Children, women, African Americans and on and fact....we're oriented toward equal opportunity exploitation...all you have to do is belong to some group or status that is less powerful than some other group and status and....we'll increase your risk of being harmed and/or exploited at no extra charge.

All you have to be is "different" and be less powerful.

And...even those who hold themselves out to be paragons of virtue and character, just like the Catholic Church and Coach Paterno did, even these institutions and humans will pose danger and risk, directly or indirectly,  for the vulnerable.

Unless...unless what? Can we do better than we do now regarding those with little or no power? Is how we behave now toward our children (I'm referencing them because I am presuming we care for them the most) the best we can expect from ourselves? Maybe we have more work to do on ourselves than we realize....because how we treat our children has lots of room for improvement. Lots.

But, providing our fellow animals with protections and considerations similar to those we ostensibly extend to our children is a big first step. You can start your own journey in the right direction by living as an ethical vegan (if you haven't already).


Molly said...

The future of humanity does worry me. Like you said, even if we do go in the right direction as a whole, there are still those who seem to keep devolving. I'll sound like a misanthrope when I say this, but the Earth would be so much better off without humans. Still, maybe there's hope. I try to stay optimistic. :)

Harry said...


Without a quantum shift in how we exist the world will remain packed with misery. We must treat the entire world and everyone and everything within and without it with love and compassion. Care and kindness.

We need a quantum shift more than we need a legal system to protect the vulnerable. With a quantum shift the vulnerable won't be so. Will this happen in our lifetimes? Unlikely. Or in those of our children? Unlikely still. But a generation or two is just a small fragment of human animals' existence and I believe that quantum shift is possible. But only if enough of us take the little steps that lead to bigger ones ... As you said, become an ethical vegan.

joan.kyler said...

We are devolving morally. We're a nation that preaches avoidance of responsibility. Parents defend children who have done wrong. Everyone has an excuse, it's no one's fault. From 'it depends on what your definition of 'is' is' to Paterno and others reporting the incident and leaving it to others to make sure something was done. We all have to make sure something is done. If we see pain and suffering, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to bring it to everyone's attention, explain why it's wrong, and to stop it. It is not someone else's responsibility, it is ours.

veganelder said...

Hey Molly VF, thank you for commenting. I would have to agree that so far at least, we have shown ourselves to be the criminal element in the family of animals.

veganelder said...

Hi Harry, thank you for commenting. Indeed a quantum shift of some major magnitude is needed and as soon as possible. Love, compassion, care and kindness I wish for too but I would settle for leave alone and let live and quit harming.

The social shifts I have seen in my lifetime (civil and voting rights for minorities, protection against sexism, ageism, etc) lead me to think that some sort of legal protections must be implemented and those legalisms assist in the quantum turning. In the end you want the mindset to change...from what I've seen the legalisms help in the mind changing. One reinforces the other. There is always going to be a fringe that don't "get it".

A much bigger change than humans have ever engaged in is called for and I have no idea how it will play out...but a massive shift must occur.

veganelder said...

Hey Joan, thanks for commenting.

You write "we have a responsibility".

I agree and I suspect we are going to have to move away from some of our individual "rights" and our "mind your own business" notions. I presume we're going to have to become much more cognizant of what our neighbors are up to and much more intrusive (in some ways) into one another's lives. Probably on the order of a very small town culture or small tribal culture. That really is our evolutionary history, it is only in the last few thousand years that we've grouped together in large numbers and we don't seem to be handling it very well.

As big a pain in the ass (in some ways) as it might be we're likely going to be needing to be much more nosy about what folks are doing than we may be used to.