Sunday, August 03, 2008

There has been a predictable media outpouring over the death of Solzhenitsyn. I did not know this until today, but he lived in exile from Russia in Cavendish, Vermont from 1976-1994. Cavendish is a beautiful little town just up the road from Ludlow, where I lived and worked for six months.

I have been fixated on rereading Edward Abbey since my recent trip through Utah and Colorado. About ten minutes ago, I was flipping randomly through Edward Abbey's essay collection One Life at a Time, Please, and landed here:

Perhaps my hero Solzhenitsyn would scorn my saying so but I am tempted to believe that the systematic cruelty inflicted upon animals trapped in our food and research apparatus is comparable - for who can measure the aggregates of pain, the sum of suffering? - to the agony that contemporary despotisms have exacted from human beings caught in their archipelagos of tyranny. Not merely comparable but analagous. Not merely analagous but causally connected. Contempt for animal life leads to contempt for human life.

Please see Derrick Jensen


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