A response to a post by a vegan blogger about veganism and gay rights
I think that it is a logical and ethical leap to move from gay rights to animal rights. The understanding of oppression as a form of abuse transcends the human animal barrier. You are absolutely correct in saying that if you have lived with a companion animal that you know they live emotional and social lives and as such can be damaged by the removal of their freedom or their social natures.
What makes things even worse is most of the population know that places such as Huntington life sciences, routinely experiments on companion animals, and still most humans cannot make the leap from their pre-programed understanding of their pets as opposed to other animals needs. Perhaps it is because they see animals still, even in love, as property.
Property is only valuable when we have a claim to it, a vested interest in seeing it maintained. While its true rationally we can understand someone elses property as an elusive value it is not the same as actualized value of ownership. Vested interest in this case is the emotional bond or connection we create with our companions verses perhaps the monetary value of someone elses property.
I think one thing should be stated. As gay men and women every day we wake up as we are, without the ability to change what nature intended. So everyday we awake we are politicized and grouped into the LGBT umbrella and all of the connotations that this entails. The culture of protest was born out of the oppression of our fore-fathers, and as such, it is the acculturated ideal to stand up, oft times loudly, for our rights. Sadly being compassionate and standing up for all beings that are mistreated is not what we are taught is valuable nor socially viable.
One thing that i feel must change is the culture of the LGBT community. we need to understand that the fight for equality is but one fight, but the fight to reclaim our humanity from the clutches of brutality is a universal fight. Each being that is subjugated to the needs of the masses, who is looked at as less than ourselves, is by its very definition, deserving of our protections.
Those that have need will always find a helping hand to steady the pain from me. Unfortunately i am unsure that the current 'Me' culture of gay rights coupled with American idealism can sustain the notion of help to all in need, with the current power structures that feed into that selfish cycle.
I am hopeful for the future because compassion is becoming more and more commonplace, however first we must learn to accept people within our hard won movement before we can even hope to reach out further. This involves bisexual, transgendered/cisgendered individuals.
When one is left behind we all stray.