The lofty vision of Animal Rights is not complete without a lofty vision of Human Rights. Human suffering often comes from the exact same source as animal suffering: A lack of respect for living beings and the sanctity of life.
Think of the tragedy in Norway two days ago. A maniacal Norwegian gunman's grisly rampage through a youth retreat at Utoya Island on July 22, where he systematically murdered close to a hundred youths (the death toll still isn't clear), coincided with the detonation of a lethal bomb blast in Oslo the same day. The Mayor of Oslo, Fabian Stang, offered the following reflection on the day of tragedy: "I don't think security can solve problems. We need to teach greater respect."
He is right. Think about it: Greater respect.
Greater respect for the happiness and well-being of others.
Greater respect for differences of opinion and the right of all people to express their beliefs without fear of retribution or imprisonment.
Greater respect for the profundity of life.
I'll let President John F. Kennedy have the final word.
"If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal."- John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)