Other Vegan Views articles
Editorial by Harry Mather, Vegan Views 73 (Summer 1996)

"Racism is a blight on the human conscience. The idea that any people can be inferior to another, to the point where those who consider themselves superior define and treat the rest as sub-human, denies the humanity even of those who elevate themselves to the status of gods." Vegans are as much concerned with human rights as with animal rights and will applaud those recent words of Nelson Mandela and his work in ending official racism in South Africa. Mandela also praised the support of Fenner Brockway in the struggle for a free South Africa. Brockway, who in died not so long ago aged 99, was a vegetarian concerned about the rights of animals. The apartheid concept was based on the idea that certain people are superior and can therefore treat people they consider inferior in any manner that suits them, without consideration for their desires or instincts. Vegans extend their circle of compassion beyond the human species to the animal species as far as practicable. In over 50 years, vegans have proved that it is practicable to avoid exploiting animals, just as there is no need to exploit humans. Above all I cannot understand why factory farming, once exposed, can be allowed to continue. Nor can I begin to understand how feeding meat to herbivores could have happened and why those who introduced this peculiar, unscientific idea have not been named and condemned.

Considering the tyranny of some races over others Nelson Mandela asked, "Why did we allow these things to happen?" Concerning the evils of factory farming we may well ask the same question. In elevating ourselves to the status of gods, as beings apart from the world's ecological system, we only prove that we have not attained the intelligence and compassion which are the nature of human beings.