“150 years ago, they would’ve thought you were absurd if you advocated for the end of slavery. 100 years ago, they would have laughed at you for suggesting that women should have the right to vote. 50 years ago, they would’ve objected to they idea of African-Americans receiving equal rights under the law. 25 years ago, they called you a pervert if you advocated for gay rights. They laugh at us now for suggesting that animal slavery be ended. Someday they won’t be laughing.” Gary Smith.
I have contemplated this idea, articulated by Gary Smith so well, over the past few years and I am convinced that the issue of animal rights is a great social justice issue that has has been present before us for quite some time. Just as the colonists here in the United States struggled, fought and achieved independence in the latter part of the 1700′s, we faced another crisis in this country a little over a half century later over the issue of slavery. This was something that was so in-grained in at least a part of this country, and many thought that slavery would always be a part of our way of life. It took bold leadership speaking out against slavery for years until things finally came to a head and forced our country into a civil war. Just as our own forefathers had fought for freedom a little less than a century before, the country went to war over human slavery and freedom for all. We know how that turned out. It began the road towards rights for African-Americans that would not be fully addressed until almost 100 years later. Many lives were lost but we ended up doing the right thing.