Monday, April 18, 2011

Thought of the Day: Fortune and Responsibility

I, like many of the readers of this blog, am incredibly fortunate – so overwhelmingly lucky that it is hard to recognize its amazing and unlikely extent. I don’t have to worry about my personal freedom or fret about the well-being of my loved ones, let alone my next meal or having a roof over my head.

This is, of course, in stark contrast to animals raised for food, whose lives, from their first moment, are agony – a horrible, painful struggle merely to stay alive … until slaughter.

To slightly modify the saying, with overwhelmingly good fortune comes great responsibility.

Every day, I know that I am one of the relative handful of people who will provide these animals a voice – again, along with the readers of this blog. We, as thoughtful advocates, recognize that we have very limited time and resources. It would be easy, of course, to use our limited time to defend and protect our personal beliefs, to make sure that what we want is respected, that we are treated purely and fairly.

But everything we say and do can, and I believe, should, be judged by how much it actually helps the animals – how well our actions continue to further expose and end the horrible hidden brutality experienced by farmed animals. Relative to the amazing good fortune into which we were born, it costs us so very little to ignore the petty and small, and instead focus on making a real difference for the animals.

From time to time, various things can, of course, seem vitally important (or insulting) to us and our personal beliefs. But if we can put ourselves in the position of a broiler chicken with a broken leg, unable to reach  water, it really isn’t that difficult to gain perspective such that we focus not on intra-vegan squabbles, but rather on constructive, life-changing and life-saving outreach.