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Caught In The Crosshairs: Animals and Rhetoric During The Culture Wars

The growing political correctness involving animals is worrisome, with its emphasis on the divine/human connection, the supremacy Homo sapiens, and the lack of empathy for other sentient creatures.

ROLAND VINCENT: ‘Last January Ingrid Newkirk was scheduled to give a talk at Google, sponsored by Googlers for Animals. However, when Newkirk arrived at the Google parking lot (after paying her airfare from Washington, DC), she was disinvited (banned). She has yet to hear from anyone “in authority” at Google about why she was turned away from a long-scheduled talk. But one employee admitted some people found her planned discussion racist. The subject of Newkirk’s talk was racism, sexism, and speciesism… But some Google employees complained that the comparison between race and species was offensive and that comparing the two while human beings were still suffering from racism was not acceptable…

Some will argue that comparison between human beings and animals is a false equivalence and that the comparison is invalid because human beings are superior to animals. To refer to animal “slaves” (metaphor) or to say that the slaughter industry is like a “holocaust” (simile) is objectionable to them. So critics maintain that the species barrier must hold for language too. No matter how similar the violence, no matter how similar the justification for abuse built on a foundation of dominance, no comparison must be made between human and animal victims or between the traumas inflicted upon them…

The growing political correctness involving animals is worrisome. It is reminiscent more of the Christian Right than the Progressive Left, with its emphasis on the divine/human connection, the supremacy Homo sapiens, and the lack of empathy for other sentient creatures… Abolishing speciesism and reducing animal suffering will be difficult enough without having to invent a new language and rhetoric to avoid offending human sensibilities and inciting the outrage industry. We cannot afford to back down now or be bullied into silence. That would be the ultimate betrayal of those we are fighting for’. SOURCE…

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