Double Standard

As many of you probably heard, Dr. George Tiller, a doctor that performed late-term abortions was murdered at his church this past Sunday.

Any death is tragic, and this one also serves as a reminder of the “special” legal hurdles faced by animal rights activists. The man that shot and killed the doctor was not called a terrorist by the government or by the media, even though the action he carried out was based on his religious and philosophical views. The man is an extremist. He is part of a group that fights in behalf of the voiceless and the anti-abortionist movement as a whole professes to value all human life.

Animal rights activists are often compared to  anti-abortion activists , and we do have many similarities to the Anti-Abortionist movement. We both proclaim to value life, we both conduct protests and we have been known to label members of the opposition “murderers”.   It is worth noting however, that 4 people have been killed by anti-abortion activists, while zero people have been killed by animal rights activists.

The government however, treats us differently. If an animal rights activists commits an action in the name of Animal Liberation, we are automatically labelled terrorists. Anti-abortionists are not. They are only prosecuted based on their crime, not on their ethical, religious or philosophical views. The man that murdered Dr. Tiller will be charged with murder, not terrorism.  He will not be tried in Federal Court, and it is unlikely that he will receive a special sentence.

This double-standard treatment is unfair, but this should be nothing new to us.  Animal rights activists are fighting against unequal standards every day. Dogs are given more protection that pigs, cows more protection that chickens. Any cute animal has more advocates that the less visually appealing. We should not let the injustice that we face at the hands of the legal system deter us.

We must keep fighting on behalf of the voiceless, for the obstacles that we face, are nothing compared to the injustices faced by the animals.

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About rachel

Hi, I'm Rachel and I've been active with NARN as long as I've been vegan 13 years! I made the choice to be vegan after learning about what happens to egg laying chickens and dairy cows. I had previously been vegetarian for 7 years because I finally made the connection that beef came from cows and pork came from pigs (duh, I know). I didn't want my food choices to cause the death of an animal. It just seems like common sense to not eat animals if you care at all about animals, the earth or your fellow human beings. I became active with NARN because after I found out about the atrocities happening to animals, I felt that I had to do what I could to help stop these injustices. NARN is local, puts the animals first, and networks with other groups. We aren't worried about getting credit - just helping the animals. One of my favorite quotes is: "I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is, above all to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all." ~ Leo Rosten and "Progress in every age results only from the fact that there are some men and women who refuse to believe that what they know to be right cannot be done." --Russell W. Davenport

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