Letter to the editor from Patricia Perron

Dear Ballard News-Tribune,

Good day. A person need only recognize that animals have an emotional and tissue likeness to humans to realize that humane treatment is logical. Any child inherently knows that to maltreat anyone is upsetting and wrong. A child has to be desensitized to learn cruelty. Many societies do this with keen intent. A person doesn't need to be an animal lover, or know anything much about animals to see how deeply connected our welfare is rooted in our treatment of animals. Neuroscientists now conclude that our cerebral cortex evolved by way of compassion - fairness and logic are inextricably linked. We were evolved to be humane problem solvers - not only technical problem solvers.

I had no idea of the kind and extremity of maltreatment of the world's animals until two years ago, when my students researched the origins of their food. The first - very first - thing students found out was that the animals are treated so horribly, they were traumatized to witness it. We, all of us - teacher, students, parents and admin - could scarcely believe our eyes. Secondly we found out that the stress of maltreatment and the chemicals given the animals were bad for us and the animals.

Yet - who knows about this? It is suppressed, has been for decades. Big money threatens the soul of this nation, a nation so fortunate to have our Constitution as a compass.

I noticed that the extreme cruelty seems to be connected to society values (including our own) that think a boy has to toughen up to be a real man. This is, of course, perverse - boys, as the rest of mammals, are emotional beings. They need to have a full emotional health to be happy, to be functional men. I also found that people who didn't get full emotional nourishing as infants - love and affection - grew up with emotional disconnect, and this means potential danger to society and - animals.

Because of Internet and education, I believe these erroneaous beliefs will change. Decades - a century? Sooner?
Meanwhile, animals are so vulnerable. Their safety and care is dependent on our consideration and enlightenment.

You can do so much to advance the cause of global peace by supporting changes in attitudes that will bring about change, notably that animals have rights - simply by being made of the same matter we are. As far as we really KNOW, life is very rare, so we need to revere it.

Short-sighted monetary gains that put our posterity at risk can only be countered by principled minds. You can advocate for reverence for life, and hence survival in health and peace, by educating the public, by supporting humane practice, not just for people, but all life. Yo can make it a point to promote stories that educate and inform, challenge prejudice and ignorance about what makes a man manly, and that a high priority must be pt on humane treatment of animals. It is simple decency, and visionaries predict that decency will pay off in the future. It's good insurance.

Please promote humane treatment. Please know it begins with self-love, which comes from parental affection. In the meantime, we can protect the vulnerable and tender and innocent - to keep our humanity. This would be our children, our battered youth, and the animals of the world, who outnumber humans many, many times over.
Thank you.


Patricia Perron

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