Thanks for the great discussion about my last post on Darfur and Michael Vick. I want to start with a great and honest comment from one reader:
…humans are not “of greater worth” than animals. Humans *are* animals, and we are not the “best” animal either. That is purely a rather arrogant Judeo-Christian concept that is not shared by a great many people of other faiths in the world.
What this reader writes is an accurate description of what many people believe – whether they admit it or not. Charity reminded me of something I’d forgotten:
During the Katrina disaster and it’s aftermath, I had a number of co-workers [more] worried about what happened to the animals than to the people who suffered. Maybe it is just because at the time I was a new Mom (though I doubt it). To me the human tragedy overshadowed the animals. I will never get out of my mind the picture of a woman standing on an overpass crying/screaming while dead bodies floated along the flooded streets in front of her.
I know several people who adopted pets from New Orleans. I’m thrilled that they did. They actually did something tangible to lessen Katrina’s horror. They are doing more than I did.
But we will reach a frighteningly dangerous place in this world if we fail to believe human lives are more important than animal lives. If we really get to that point we will not have elevated animals to the level of man. We will have reduced the level of man to that of the animals. And that will not be good for us or for them.