Humanity describes the nature of being human. It is an exclusive quality to the human species vs any other sentient being. Humanity is tied to our moral agency and that helps us understand what behavior is classified as good or bad. A moral agent is someone who is making choices based on right and wrong vs instinct or primal urges. As humans, we are moral agents unlike the lion who acts on their instinct to hunt and kill. While we share many biological characteristics with animals, it is our ability to choose to act with responsible moral agency that sets us apart.
Our moral agency helps us make sense of our world. For example, responsible moral agents avoid taking actions that would hurt others on purpose. Moral agents analyze what actions to take that would cause the least amount of harm to others. We have even created layers of accountability when someone violates the universal human code of moral agency. We call that the legal system or the justice system. Our definitions of accountability, the classification of the act itself and even the victim who is wronged has evolved over time as we humans have expanded our realm of what right and wrong are. Progress since the Enlightenment has ignited social justice movements around the globe for human minority groups.
There has been tremendous growth in the extension of human compassion and mercy beyond ourselves to include other sentient beings who have the capacity to suffer. We see this with increased accountability for individuals who commit animal abuse as well as rules, policies and regulations governing how we treat animals in the food production system. It is our mission at The Pig Preserve through education, to increase awareness of applying our innate moral agency to nonhuman victims as well. The consequences of the massive system of violence in Animal Agriculture directly impedes our human progress towards peace, progress towards a cleaner, healthier planet and progress to eradicate discrimination – even among ourselves.
When we learn as children to pick and choose who is entitled to be included in our application of compassion, we continue a system of violence and discrimination. All sentient beings are equally deserving of protection of their own self interest – the interest to live. And we know now, more than ever before in the history of animal studies, how complex animals really are, their cognition and their fight to live. They move towards pleasure and away from pain just like humans do. They have a vested self interest to live.
Our moral agency to ethically choose to protect thier self-interest to life should and must override our unnecessary and selfish desire to kill them. We have a responsibility to protect the weak from harm, for our own imposed narrative of how an animal should live and die. We have moral agency, compassion and humanity to choose to protect them and the human ingenuity to create a thriving world without the use of animals
The decisions we make at every meal, every purchase in the store and every individual who needs our help present themselves everyday. All of us at The Pig Preserve maintain a vegan outlook and application of our daily lives which in turn, helps all animals everywhere – not just the residents here.
We encourage you to take similar steps in broadening your compassion and moral agency to include all sentient life, not just humans. We recommend getting started with a 3-week session with the mentors at Challenge22.com. Learn more about how you can participate by visiting their website.