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Vail: Human rights more important; Animals still deserve respect, protection, freedom from abuse

By Joshua Vail
On October 26, 2010

I like animals.

I don't think dogs or cats should be abused. I don't think food animals should be brutalized even if it's cheaper or makes them taste better.

And kicking dogs is just not cool.

But I think people are more important. I have a hard time worrying about puppy mills when there are still places in the world where human slavery is essentially a reality.

When we have entire nations without freedom of information or religion, I care more about that.

When people don't have drinking water or they're starving, it holds more weight for me. I really have a hard time worrying about poor conditions at chicken farms when kids are starving to death.

Admittedly, in a choice between saving a kid and a dog, the kid wins every time. The dog comes after.

I have the same feelings about human rights. I'm going to have more concern for and put more effort towards human rights.

In a choice between supporting animal rights organizations and supporting human rights organizations, the humans win every time. The animals come after.

Admittedly, this attitude comes from my upbringing as much as anything. I have five siblings. I never had a dog.

I've never had a strong emotional bond with an animal, and my few experiences caring for, in some cases even just encountering, family or friends' pets were not positive.

I was raised to believe that humans have more worth than animals. A human life is worth more than an animal's life.

I can't prove this as a fact, any more than I can prove the worth of anything else, but it's what I believe.

So I don't consider killing an animal to have the same weight as killing a human.

Thus, when someone comes to me and says "meat is murder," I'm like "No it's not," simply because I don't believe it is.

If you want to convince me that meat is murder, you would have t I do consider killing an animal for no reason wrong.

I guess ultimately, I'm going to say that animals are deserving of some kind of respect, but not as much as humans.

They are deserving of some kind of protection, but not as much as humans.

This doesn't mean an animal's life is worth nothing.

It doesn't mean that the suffering of an animal is meaningless. Just that, to me, it doesn't mean as much.

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