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INGRID NEWKIRK: No one will be free until we all are

It is human supremacism to think that there is something sacrosanct about a woman’s experience of rape and that it’s not the same for a cow imprisoned on a dairy farm.

INGRID NEWKIRK: A BBC announcer recently got into trouble for using the phrase “nitty-gritty,” which some people believe harkens back to the detritus found on the floor of slave ships. Other linguistic scholars dismiss that as nonsense. Nevertheless, these days one has to tread carefully, as it’s not good enough to condemn racists: People who inadvertently cause offense must be called out, too. Fair enough… I’m all for trying to make positive changes, but here’s something I don’t agree with.

Some have said it is insensitive for PETA to mention the importance of the struggle for animal rights in the same breath as praising Martin Luther King Jr. To me, that’s as misplaced a concern… Struggles for justice take many forms and King himself recognized that. He was even criticized by his own followers then, as PETA has been now, for involving himself in issues outside the Black civil rights movement… I believe, as did King, that injustice isn’t a single issue, and it is to King’s immense credit that he recognized the power of uniting the struggles against the many forms of injustice.

Never being silent was his life’s work, and it is PETA’s obligation… Our job is to wake people up, shake people up and find creative ways to call for an overarching view, not slink into a corner and pretend that our movements are unrelated. Perhaps particularly when people are already upset with one form of injustice, that’s the time to convince, even challenge, them not to abandon those who are always on the margins… Each one of us is needed in the struggle for animal liberation, and we will not be whole human beings until we reject supremacism in all its ugly forms…

Atrocities are atrocities no matter the victim’s age, religion, identity, nationality, ethnicity, gender – or species. It is human supremacism to think that there is something sacrosanct about a woman’s experience of rape and that it’s not the same for a cow imprisoned on a dairy farm if a man shoves his hand deep inside her and inserts a long syringe. Aren’t her pain and fear just as real as a woman’s?

If we turn a blind eye to heinous acts of abuse and killing that happen to those who don’t happen to be human, that is human supremacism… In the end, the only relevant divide should be between those who want liberty and justice for all and those who want it only for the few they narrowly identify with. Perhaps this year we will look deep inside ourselves and realize that what animals have, including their very lives, is theirs alone, not ours for the taking. SOURCE…

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