Animals & Animal Rights

There has been much talk lately where I live (the Seattle area) of the Makah Indian tribe, who have recently renewed the practice of whaling. Having just had my eyes opened by your books, I said “this is wonderful. They are returning to something that worked for them for a long time.” No-one else sees it that way however. Everyone here was angry, daring to lecture the Makah people about the “sanctity of life,” but I knew it was just because these supposed environmentalists had been conditioned to think that their way was the one right way to live. I was so excited to see a principle from your works in action, but became extremely disappointed when no-one gave what I had to say much thought. How do I find a positive in this situation, when few see it as such, and the rest won’t listen?

Yes, but how are the strategies proposed in Beyond Civilization supposed to eliminate pollution, overpopulation, crime, teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, poverty, police brutality, political corruption, racism, child abuse, violence against women, homophobia, pornography, violence in film and music, exploitation of the elderly, date rape, judicial malfeasance, insider trading, road rage, and media bias?

You answer the questions about vegetarianism in strictly economic or agricultural terms. But vegetarianism can be a political stance as well–a desire on the part of people to NOT take from other species, to not use them, but in your words to “let all life forms continue to live and evolve.” A broad way of defining vegetarianism is that it not only involves not eating animal products but not wearing animals, not using them for research, not exhibiting them unnaturally, etc. In other words, if one looks at your 3-part definition of the Taker mentality, vegetarianism seems to fly in the face of all three. Why then, if looked at from this perspective, can we not say that vegetarianism, in its respect for the equality of all life on the planet, isn’t an example of the Leaver mentality? (I realize it isn’t the ONLY re-visioning necessary because we can still treat the earth as though it belongs to us even if we are only eating plant life. I also realize that Leavers ate meat albeit in a different spirit.)