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JUL 29, 2010: Is violence the answer?

Like many other people who have attained Animal Empathy Enlightenment, I have often found it hard to view images of animals being beaten, tortured, mistreated in a variety ways, or killed. The first reaction of many people upon seeing such images, is to get revenge for the suffering inflicted on these animals. To hurt the people causing this suffering. I have a couple of friends who claim that they would like nothing more than to massacre humans who massacre other animals, and to torture humans that torture other animals, etc. This is an understandable, emotional reaction, but it does go against EFFA's core beliefs.

In belief # 3 in our Statement of Beliefs, it is clearly stated that the mass killing of animals for meat, and the daily suffering that these animals have to go through are partly to blame for the current sad state of the world. The paragraph goes on to talk about cause and effect (some call it karma), a concept we firmly believe in. This is why we cannot condone violence as outlined in the paragraph above. This type of violence will only spew more violence into the world. And this violence will not just "disappear", just like the suffering of millions of animals daily doesn't just "disappear". Guideline # 6 in our "10 Principal Guidelines" also touches on this topic, stating that violence is not the answer, and that a positive attitude will, in fact, help you to do more to help other animals. Also, if one hopes to convince people to change their ways, exhibiting violent behavior will most likely have the opposite effect.

This, of course, does not mean that we recommend doing nothing. You should always stand up for animal that you see being abused. Furthermore, in order to save an animal (or animals), it is sometimes necessary to break the law. That said, when it comes to what to do with "animal abusers", the main short-term goal should be to make sure that they are punished to the full extent of the (existing) law. There are laws in place in many parts of the world that safeguard animal rights. Are these laws perfect? Far from it. Are they always enforced? Of course not. If there are no such laws in place where you live, get political! Find out what you can do to make those in government aware that a law is needed. We at EFFA like to practice what we preach. We plan to "get political" as well, to start a political party whose goals will be (among other things) to change the current animal rights laws to foster a better relationship between humans and other animals, to create tougher laws with more severe punishment for animal abusers, and to educate people in order to change the way we as a society think.

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