My mother-in-law is a truly humble, kind and lovely woman. But she was born and raised on a farm so she and I don't always see eye-to-eye on everything to do with animals.
We began with a lovely dinner she had prepared and were having a wonderful conversation about anything BUT animal conservation. But the inevitable happened....the talk moved closer and closer to dogs (near and dear to my heart as I have three of my own) and she made a comment that "old dogs should just go somewhere to die".
Because she's a lovely woman and has my utmost respect, I didn't say much at this point. (I know, those of you that know me well cannot believe I didn't lose my mind). But her next comment got me thinking. My lovely, sweet mother-in-law felt that since animals don't have the ability to reason or the same level of intelligence as man, they should not, therefore, be shown the same level of respect or "rights" for lack of a better term.
Well this one I couldn't let slide......I told her that those were two of the very same arguments used by men to prevent women from voting. And white slave owners used to tout that as a reason to keep their slaves. And based on that logic, then mentally challenged people certainly shouldn't have rights either. Something only seems unreasonable until reason prevails. As I said before, it's a being's ability to suffer that qualifies it for rights.
I love my mother-in-law dearly and I truly hope she will invite me back to dinner one night, but that commentary certainly sparked a reaction in me. I don't propose to change the world - I'm only one small voice. But if we can impact and educate those around us, the world will change on its own.
And some people may never see the reasoning behind the fight for animal rights. But once a species is eradicated it's gone forever. And if man hasn't figured out by now that every single thing in nature serves a purpose, then I say man is the one that is lost.
Just a thought.....