The Kind Life is a community around Alicia Silverstone and The Kind Diet where friends, doctors, experts in green living, and members share vegan tips.

Kind 101

What PETA Really Stands For

I read this on Peta’s website a while back and wanted to share it with you all. It’s a really powerful explanation. 

People

I am you, only different

Human beings create temporary and arbitrary boundaries to exclude beings who aren’t like them. Human beings have justified wars, slavery, sexual violence, and military conquests through the mistaken belief that those who are “different” do not experience suffering and are not worthy of moral consideration.

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These boundaries change throughout history, and we’re horrified now to recall the abuse inflicted on others once classified as outsiders: the extermination of Jewish people by the Nazis, the enslavement of African people by American plantation owners, and the slaughter of Christian people for entertainment by Roman centurions. Laws now forbid discrimination based on gender, race, religion, ability, age, and sexual orientation. Yet just a century ago, human beings who were seen as different by those with power faced torture, exploitation, and death.

JoanneMcArthur

Sometimes those in power claimed that juvenile or dark-skinned human beings couldn’t feel pain. Sometimes the powerful claimed that their superiority was granted by God. Our society no longer believes that any human being has the right to rape, torture, or enslave another human being for any reason. We accept that all human beings share a fundamental value and celebrate our differences.

J.McArthur

Ethical 

Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you.

Jo-Anne McArthur

We are taught the Golden Rule as young children, and all major religions teach principles of nonviolence and kindness. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Ethical treatment—the Golden Rule—must be extended to all living beings: reptiles, mammals, fish, insects, birds, amphibians, and crustaceans.

Jo-Anne McArthur

Would we imprison our children in cages too small for them to move? Would we violate our sisters and steal their babies? Would we deliberately infect our friends with diseases and leave them untreated? Of course not—so why would we do the same to other beings? We must abandon the archaic and incorrect boundary of “human,” which we use to justify the ongoing massacre of billions of beings.

Jo-Anne McArthur

More than a century ago, Charles Darwin showed that all beings had the same common ancestor. All beings share the desire to live. We all feel pain, joy, grief, and pleasure. We all have worth.

Treatment

Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

Jo-Anne McArthur

All beings desire freedom to live a natural life, according to their inherent desires and instincts. While the lives of all beings necessarily involve some amount of suffering, human beings must stop deliberately inflicting suffering on all beings for our own selfish desires. We lose nothing in replacing a cheeseburger with a veggie burger or a leather purse with a fabric one. But beings we exploit lose their lives just for our fleeting fancy.

Jo-Anne McArthur

We are taught from a young age to discriminate among beings. We are fooled into eating the flesh of some beings, ignoring the cries of hunted beings, and cuddling with furry baby beings. We grow up confused—as adults, most of us feel sick and sad when we see living beings tortured and killed, yet we purchase and consume the flesh, fur, secretions, and skin of living beings every day. We work hard to deceive ourselves and each other in order to maintain the illusion of a real boundary around “human.”

Jo-Anne McArthur

The threats of economic collapse, the defiant claims of inherent rights, and the stubborn refusal to change behavior—these tired arguments have been heard and overcome many times in the past. Every time a boundary shifts, the suffragists or the abolitionists or the emancipators are at first ridiculed and belittled for their stance of equal consideration. Eventually, the lies are exposed, and freedom is won—for women, blacks, Christians, gays, Asians, the Irish, Catholics, Jews. Let freedom now include all beings.

Animals

We are all animals.

Jo-Anne McArthur

Human beings have few, if any, unique capabilities—many beings can learn languages, enjoy complex social bonds, sacrifice pleasure for the good of others, use tools, imagine, and dream. Many beings remember information, play with friends, enjoy intimacy, gossip, and mourn their deceased. Some beings have enormous capabilities beyond our own—in navigation, endurance, communication, and detection of natural phenomena. We don’t yet fully understand how all beings think—or what they think—but dismissing their mental world as less developed, rational, moral, or intelligent than our own is clearly a mistake.

Jo-Anne McArthur

Regardless of their capabilities, no living being deserves to be abused. We believe that it’s wrong to torture infant and disabled human beings who don’t have the same abilities as adults. In the same way, all beings deserve liberty and respect notbecause they share the characteristics we admire in ourselves but because they areliving beings. We share the same evolutionary origins, we inhabit the same Earth, and we are ruled by the same laws of nature. We are all the same.

Jo-Anne McArthur

 

 

Photo Credit: Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals, 11th photo down ©iStock.com/luxiangjian4711

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  • Katie S.

    Beautifully written explanation of why vegans do what we do.

  • KatieKaboo

    So powerful. How can anyone not be moved?

  • Jessica Caneal

    Except they believe all pit bulls should be killed. I’m sorry but this in combination with some of the tactics they use to further their cause means I simply can’t support them.

  • Cindy Stoppa

    That was really nice. It wasn’t pushy or belittle-ing to anyone. Even tho I am not vegan, I try to keep my meals meatless sometimes. I need to do it more. I was convicted, I have to say. Thank you.

  • BunnyLuv Mac

    My heart breaks for these innocent animals. People are hard to change. They get set in their ways. Their ability to delude themselves is endless. And sadly our leaders, in every arena, are sorely lacking in direction and wisdom. If we have any hope of putting animal abuse behind us we must work on the coming generations. The children. Most children actually fear animals until they learn better. I think schools have to step up and make it a point to teach children the truth about animals. And no I’m not talking the poor caged class rabbit. More time spent outdoors with animals. Perhaps at a local sanctuary. Animals calm the mind like nothing else. Once kids no longer fear them then they can begin to love them. If they can love them they will want to protect them. Children are our only hope. And don’t even get me started on school cafeteria food. THAT has GOT to change NOW!

  • Emily Meath

    I love this, great reminders. Thanks for sharing!

  • Lainey

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. It’s so beautiful.

  • Cheryl

    Beautiful, thank you.

  • http://www.vegnut.com Rhonda

    If all of mankind would become kind beings, then the world would be a better place for all. I wish for all animals to be able to live their own lives free from harm (there is a great site with articles about this subject, I thought I would plug them: http://www.freefromharm.com)

  • Moya

    Thank you so much!

  • Corina Gómez

    Thanks for sharing this! <3

  • Leah Tannehill

    So true! Totally needed that today. <3

  • Elise A.

    Thank you for sharing! I found myself getting a little teary eyed. Okay, a lot teary eyed.

  • Jessika

    To
    clear up any misinformation, this is PETA’s position on pit bulls: http://www.peta.org/blog/peta-position-pit-bull