What animal activists want you to hear

Staff writer, Lyn Jarrell and her cat, Mountain-Dew, pose for a photo. Jarrell believes that people need to be more open-minded and supportive of animal rights activist groups.

Photo courtesy of Jeanette Jarrell

Staff writer, Lyn Jarrell and her cat, Mountain-Dew, pose for a photo. Jarrell believes that people need to be more open-minded and supportive of animal rights activist groups.

Lyn Jarrell, Staff Writer

People tend to view animal rights activists as a trivial group, and as a result, they tend to dispose of our suggestions, needs, and wants too quickly.

Not all our wants can be met, of course, that’d be impossible for anyone, but when it’s reasonable and then gets shut down, it tends to leave us doubting ourselves, and doubting our reasoning and purpose as an activist group.

Sometimes, it can lead to overly demanding activists within our animal rights community,- (for example, PETA, an activist group that originally promoted protection of animals, has begun to demand acts of veganism) -causing a false perception as to who we really are and what our purpose truly is.

There are different types of animal rights activist groups, and society tends to mix all of those groups together, combining our purpose with another’s, which can lead to confusion and distrust within our community.

Lyn Jarrell
Staff writer, Lyn Jarrell’s cat, Perseus Apollo, poses for a photo. Jarrell believes that people need to be more open-minded and supportive of animal rights activist groups.

Each animal rights activist group have different motives, views, values, and purposes. I will admit, there are some animal rights activist groups that are a bit much, otherwise known as “extremists,” and I know that they have done some pretty damaging things within our community and others.

Those groups are the ones we hear about daily, which really creates a stigma within our community, that, if these “extreme” animal rights activists are causing trouble and controversy, then that must mean that all the other animal rights activists are just as bad. And then we become frowned upon by those outside of the community.

No. Not every animal rights activist groups are “extremists” and cause damage or violence. Most of our groups within the community that shares some of the same beliefs as we do, are only wanting the people of our country, world, and society, to understand where we’re coming from when it comes to animal rights, to try seeing our perspective and then maybe having a change of heart for the good.

We don’t want to cause violence. We don’t want to damage properties or other people’s things, we don’t want to sneak into your backyard and snatch your pets up and leave. Most of us within our community are against that. After all, most of us know that, at the end of the day, it’s your choice to help us support animal rights or not.

Those of us within the community and violence free activism, are only hoping that we had made some sort of impact or influence on you to choose what’s most important and right, rather than you oppose us and choose wrong.

In the book, “Animal Liberation” by Peter Singer, he states that

“the basic principle of equality does not require equal or identical treatment; it requires equal consideration.”

Meaning that, whether you walk on all fours, or just on two, you still have feelings, and animals do too. So considering that animals feel things that humans do, wouldn’t you want animals to have rights in order to feel safe?

Jeremy Bentham, the founder of the reforming utilitarian school of moral philosophy, stated that when deciding on rights, “The question is not ‘Can they reason?’ nor ‘Can they talk?’ but ‘Can they suffer?”

Meaning that it shouldn’t matter whether they can talk or not, but it should matter if they can suffer. “All animals have the ability to suffer in the same way and to the same degree that humans do. They feel pain, pleasure, fear, frustration, loneliness, and motherly love. Whenever we consider doing something that would interfere with their needs, we are morally obligated to take them into account.”

There isn’t much of a difference when it comes to animals and humans, except for appearances and physique, so why would it be unjustified for humans to inflict pain onto other humans, yet justified for humans to inflict pain onto animals?

I mean, we all feel things, and have a mind of our own. So why ignore the pain that animals feel and suffer through, just because they’re animals and can’t even speak for themselves? I read a quote within our animal rights activist groups, and it said, “Animals don’t speak for themselves. Lend them your voice.”

We’re saying that as humans, we have the capability to speak up for the rights of animals, and not keep quiet and expect things to change. For those who want a change for better within the animal rights community, you’ll have to get up, join in and support, and make change happen.