To the Editor,
In Ruth Bard’s letter (Animal activists must re-examine priorities, Letters, Aug. 20) she criticizes the folks of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society for trying to stop the slaughter of dolphins in Japan while at the same time there are people starving in the horn of Africa.
I have been sponsoring poor children for more than 25 years, but at the same time I admire the work that the dedicated folk of the Sea Shepherd do and as well their ambition to stop the slaughter of dolphins in Japan.
I am happy there are people who can devote all their time to caring for the Earth and its creatures and it would cheapen us as a species if we were only obsessed with our own kind.
There are many people who have sold all they have and devoted their skills for the benefit of the poor. These true philanthropists are not the type to go around and criticize other people for devoting their care to the animals.
In finding a balance in this world, it is important that we all have the freedom to follow our own personal convictions without ridicule, because it is only through that we can find our own unique inner personal wisdom and objective in life.
In some Asian countries, eating monkey brains while the monkey is still alive is known to be still practised in a few restaurants. Perhaps some would be against banning this barbaric practice because some monkey hunters and restaurant owners in Indonesia would not be able to provide a decent living for their families.
Some people die for principle and living by personal principle is the only thing that can elevate a human to be worth more than a simple-minded beast. Living without principle can be a worse fate than hunger and death.
I believe in God, but I also believe it would be a case of arrogance to think we are worth more than other self-aware creatures solely on a claim of birthright.
Protecting other self-aware creatures and preserving nature for the benefit of the countless generations to follow is an important sign that some humans are living by personal principle.