Posts tagged " animal rights "

My vegan relative really gets to me!

April 30th, 2019 Posted by Ask the Rabbi 23 comments

How do I convince my relative that she is wrong to be so concerned with animal rights & veganism?  She is a good person but its seems that she is more concerned w/animal welfare than people welfare.  Where did this attitude come from?

Bernadette

Dear Bernadette,

We have a two-word answer for you: You don’t. In general, it is usually ineffective and often destructive to try to persuade anyone to abandon their convictions and sign on to our own beliefs.  Trying to change the religious, political or social beliefs of others generally achieves nothing but damaged relationships.

Arguing about facts is fine because the answer can easily be discovered.  We could insist that Mount Rainier is 14,400 feet high and thus some 2,000 feet higher than Japan’s Mount Fuji, to anyone who claimed the opposite.  But arguing about beliefs is quite different. We would nod smilingly at the person who expressed the view that Mount Fuji is the most beautiful mountain visible from a major city.  We believe that this distinction belongs to Mount Rainier near Seattle but why would we argue?  We have different beliefs.

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Bloody Beastly Behavior

August 27th, 2018 Posted by Thought Tools 25 comments

I cringe whenever I recall the many instances my adolescent pranks and puerile pronouncements cast my parents down to the depths of hopeless gloom.  They had little excuse for optimism about the prospects of their first-born.  But seldom did the white heat of their anger flame more menacingly than when I dismissed myself as an animal.  Admittedly, I had learned to light their fuses so I knew just what to say when Mom reacted to my disgustingly slurping soup out of the bowl by spitting these words at me, “Stop eating your soup like an animal!”  What I said was, “But since I am an animal, it’s okay if I eat this way, right?”  In order not to posthumously ensnare my saintly mother with the government’s Child Protective Services, I’ll leave you in the dark as to what she then did to me.

Not to leave my long-suffering father out of this stroll down memory lane, I recall his reaction to our picnic in the park being marred by a nearby amorous couple’s inappropriately public displays of affection.  “That’s how animals behave,” he exclaimed.  That was a poorly chosen moment for me to disagree with him.  I mildly explained that I thought it was rather charmingly natural that they were indulging their animal instincts.  I think it was the word ‘charming’ that sealed my fate.  Or perhaps it was the approving way in which I uttered the word “natural”.  Either way, the father-son bond became taut and suspenseful for a day or two.

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