You made a good point about animals.
On the other hand that issue is on a higher ethical plane. First humans have to eliminate religiously borne discrimination against humans in the form of sexism, racism etc.
I thought we were talking about the creation of a more logic based, ethical society. What, other than characteristic human selfishness, makes the mild religious discrimination I face, more urgent than the tortured lives and deaths that all other animals under our "dominion" face. If it's just us, us, us, what will really be much different in our brave new world?
Also, why must solving other ethical issues always wait until "we get ours"?
"all other animals"? I don't think your adorable dog and my beloved cats are suffering any torture, and when my cats have reached the end of their enjoyable lives, and there is no relief for their suffering, I have put them down as compassionately as possible. I AM in favor of compassionate farming of animals, but cannot be consistent if I oppose experimentation on animals as long as they are given compassionate treatment. If I did, I and millions of others wouldn't be alive today. Yes, I'm talking about insulin.
The compassionate answer to world overpopulation is prevention of excessive births, not abandoning efforts to ease the suffering of those already here. (Really over-used the word "compassionate!!!!)
Natalie, we pride ourselves on our rationality. You are aware that animals used food food and research are NOT treated compassionately. So, how can you approve of these exploitive businesses (and pet breeding), as though they were compassionate? I agree with you about human overpopulation, completely. That is why, before having any children, I was sterilized at the age of 24. Have you any children? All births (after 7 billion!) are excessive! Like lots of people, I fight for justice for people, AND to stop the exploitation of all other animals for all human uses. They don't belong to us, any more than we, as women, belong to men, or blacks belong to whites.
This discussion got way off topic. My bad. I'm sorry. My dream of justice for all will no more come true, than our lovely fantasy of an atheist nation/state of Vermont. Let's get back to Plutocracy or Democracy.