This letter was in response to an article in the Star-Ledger titled "For these birds, the end is near," and dealt with a woman who raised animals and then killed them for food.
The letter was published the week of Dec. 6, 2004
Liz Jackson says she won't name her farm animals - the last time she did, for a rabbit, was was unable to kill her. She also says that she considers herself "non-violent," even though she slaughters animals regularly and works for a state agency, the Division of Fish and Game, whose business is recreational hunting. This letter is not an attack on her, but instead an opportunity for us to consider the very dysfunctional way we deal with animals.
No one wants to have their pet killed or eaten, yet, there is no difference between all our pets and the billions of animals that are hunted or butchered for food. No one wants to be considered a violent person, yet when hunters shoot arrows into the flesh of living, feeling beings, or when animals have their throats cut so they may end up as meat on the table, this then is the very essence of violence.
The reality is that people choose which animals to love and which will be destroyed. The better, non-violent choice is to simply consider that each and every animal is an individual life, and, whether named or not, they all deserve our compassion and protection.