While advocating for animals, have you ever had someone criticize you for not caring about people? Farm Sanctuary recently posted a blog about the notion that many people hold that animal advocates care more about animals than people. By maintaining this idea, people can more easily dismiss what we are saying about compassion.
As the blog states, "The idea is not a new one. In the 1940s, one leading psychiatry journal even published a scholarly article entitled 'The Cruel Vegetarian.' The author - the head of psychiatry at a major American hospital - argued that vegetarians were domineering and sadistic and that they "'display little regard for the suffering of their fellow human beings.'"
The blog refers us to research that indicates that FMRI brain scans of both vegetarians and vegans show more empathy toward both human and animal suffering than omnivores. As we know from the study of the California prison and several schools that offered vegan meals, violence at those institutions was significantly reduced. So it could be that our brains and our actions show more empathy because we are not eating violence, or it could be a combination of having more empathy before going vegan and then, perhaps, empathy increases even more after going vegan.
The article shows photos of the brains as seen in scientific articles by Preyo and Arkiwawa, 2008; Filippi et al, 2010. Check out the blog at http://ccc.farmsanctuary.org/read-the-blog/
to see the beautiful vegan brains and read the entire article. It's the July 12 article entitled "The Caring Vegetarian."
Good advice from the blog that I thought we could all share: "So when talking to friends, family or the public, it may be helpful to mention our concern for some of these [human] issues. It's easy to point out that we eat vegan for the same reason that we donate to fund anti-malaria efforts in Africa: they are both easy ways to reduce the amount of suffering."
As always, thank you for uplifting humanity, lighting the way to a nonviolent, loving world, and doing so much from the depths of your hearts to end suffering.