Sunday, June 8, 2014

Flies in the watering trough

Guest: Eli Kassirer, local peace and human rights activist, talks about whether animal rights belongs on the list of progressive goals for a better social order. 

The circus is in town, and what better time to look at the animal rights movement. I have always been an advocate of animal rights. Even as a kid, I spent time taking flies out of a large watering trough that stood in a field of cows. Nobody seemed to mind; certainly not the cows that occasionally came over to watch a small boy dipping blades of grass into and out of their tank. Then it was the stray cats with various skin diseases. I beg my father for money to buy medicines and then put ointment on their reddened and chapped bodies. 

It is surprising to me that I am not more into animal rights after all these years. Perhaps it's because I now understand how many humans are tormented and abused. Maybe helping animals and humans stems from the same impulse. Cruelty should be stopped, whether it comes from a sadistic person, from a predatory capitalist system, or from the mysteries of our universe. Why do so many flies find themselves drowning in a large, metal watering trough?

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