Wednesday 17 January 2018

Fiona is in good company

Madam – As a regular reader of the Sunday Independent I would like to commend Fiona O'Connell for her continual support of animals. She is sadly one of very few in the media who champions the cause of the creatures with whom we share this planet.

Last week (Sunday Independent, March 24, 2013) she highlighted an interesting perception: that because people show concern for animals it precludes them from having a regard also for human beings. Ms O'Connell quoted Martin Luther King, the renowned human rights leader, as one of many famous people who showed compassion and kindness to animals. Such traits are I believe indicative of a person's character.

The French philosopher Voltaire's observation over 200 years ago is still relevant today: "People must have renounced, it seems to me, all natural intelligence to dare to advance that animals are but animated machines... It appears to me, besides, that [such people] can never have observed with attention the character of animals, not to have distinguished among them the different voices of need, of suffering, of joy, of pain, of love, of anger, and of all their affections. It would be very strange that they should express so well what they could not feel."

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