Monday, September 10, 2012

Religion in animal rights movement

I know that by writing this post about this forbidden topic and I am opening a can of … peas. But I think it’s important to discuss it. Before I state my opinion on this subject, I have to say that I respect religious people and I don’t consider them stupid, bad people or anything else degrading, I just don’t respect religion. Now I would be impressed if you take my opposition of one of most successful tool of controlling people to claim that I hate or don’t respect religious people. It happens all time when you voice your opposition to religion.

I have seen an effort to suppress discussion of religion in animal rights movement. Some even say we shouldn’t discuss it. Why should we leave out that? Religion plays an integral part in the lives of many people, majority of them not vegans and they frequently use their religion to defend use of the other animals. Leaving out discussion of religion would cripple our advocacy.

Maybe some people won’t discuss people because of fear of driving religious people away. I am not suggesting when talking to religious people you automatically criticize his religion. When talking to people about veganism, I never did that. You know why? Because they didn’t use religious arguments. Often people ask me what I eat or is it hard not to eat animal products. We haven’t come to the discussion of the philosophy of veganism. But when we do, if they use religious arguments, I will not hesitate to refute those arguments. 

I was thinking is the possibility of driving people away a sufficient reason to declare religion immune from criticism. But there is no reason to declare any idea immune to criticism. Salman Rushdie said it better “The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible.” Anything can drive non-vegans away. The mere fact that you are a vegan can spoke them or the claim that there is no moral difference between killing a human animal or non-human animal. What’s going to be? Are we going to select some ideas open to criticism and other not in other words to declare that critical thinking is not welcomed in animal rights movement or we will discuss all ideas. It’s not like we need people to critically think about their action towards other animals. 

You may argue that religious vegans are more progressive that religious non-vegans. They support women’s, LGBTIQ rights etc. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t criticize religion. Vegans who are religious cherry-pick their religious books as religious non-vegans. Both ignore parts of their books which doesn’t support their word views.

I avoid talking about people, I rather talk about ideas, but now I have to do it. In discussions I have seen that religious people don’t like any criticism of religion even a joke about religion is off limit. Any criticism of their religion isn’t welcomed. Religious people tend to be insecure spoiled individuals with whom you must be careful and not say anything that may offend them like expressing your opinion about religion because they love to stay in their bubble that logic and reason cannot usually penetrate. They are personification of ignorance and proud of it.

I must say it again I didn’t wrote this post to declare open season on religious people, or to claim that we need to go after religious people every time when talking to religious non-vegan. My point is that discussion of religion and it′s critiques are sometimes required, because of its importance. And I see nothing positive in surrendering critical thinking, it impedes progress of society.