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Letters to the Editor

Readers write about how humans treat animals.

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How treatment of animals informs human values

Regarding Barbara Cook Spencer's April 11 Opinion piece, "When we abuse animals we debase ourselves": As a physician, I could not agree more with Ms. Spencer that the abuse and denigration of animals also debases humans.

Victims of human rights violations often express an understanding for the plight of animals abused and exploited by humans. In Pakistan, I have witnessed how impoverished and abused children and women identify with the abused work animals.

These people who have suffered tremendously know that the oppression of humans and that of animals shares the same origin.

We know animals suffer immensely, both physically and mentally, in research laboratories, in factory farms, in circuses, and on fur farms.

There can no longer be any doubt about this. We know that animals suffer from depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder, as human victims of abuse do. And we know that when we show empathy and compassion toward other species, we also treat other humans with more kindness.

Expanding the circle of compassion is in everybody's best interest.

Regarding Barbara Cook Spencer's recent Opinion piece on how society views the treatment of animals: The piece challenges humanity to fulfill our humaneness to our fellow creatures.

Is not the golden rule essential to the way we consider our relationships? For instance, how would you feel being helplessly submissive to superior beings in control of your existence? How would you like done to you what is done to animals?

In response to Barbara Cook Spencer's recent Opinion piece on animal cruelty: The author exposes an interesting conundrum in her exploration of how modern society treats animals.


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