#4 | Roland Halpern | Nonhuman Animals

Submission 4
Roland Halpern
First Universalist of Denver

What is your suggestion or idea?

The UUA continues to ignore the plight of animals, which are sentient beings and as worthy of God’s love as any human. The current focus on racial justice fails to acknowledge that once, and to a varying degree still today, people of color, primarily Blacks, were viewed in society as animals, being less than human. We should not try to right the wrongs of one group while ignoring the rights of every being. As Black activist Syl Ko states ““We cannot talk about nonhuman animals if we do not talk about race. And we cannot talk about race if we do not talk about nonhuman animals. I do not think antiracism is effectively mobilized if we leave out billions of beings who we view through racial thinking.”” The Unitarian Church has a long history of racism, which it is just starting to acknowledge, but refuses to accept that nonhuman animals are worthy of respect and have every right to be free from exploitation as any other living thing. Why not the ““inherent worth and dignity of every being?”” Limiting it to ““every person”” excludes thousands of species. There can be no justice when we do not stand up for the oppressed, whether they walk on two legs or four.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

Every living thing deserves the right to be free from exploitation.

Have you discussed this idea with your congregation or other UUs?

Most UU’s don’t care. Being able to eat a steak seems more important than accepting the fact an innocent living being’s life was taken when it didn’t have to be. As long as we as a faith, and as a society, feel it is acceptable to kill others there will never be equality. Unfortunately, as a ““faith”” UU’s are unwilling to accept this and thus continue to support racism. Animals are a race too. Hopefully one day UU’s will walk the walk, but unfortunately that day seems a long way off. What monsters we have become, and oh how shallow is our faith. If we would only look in the mirror, but the UUA refuses to see it’s own reflection. Racism will continue to be alive and well with the Unitarian Universalist faith. The 8th Principle is just another faux attempt to support equality. Equality for who? How can you have equality when billions are invited to the table, not to acknowledge their existence, but to eat them. Frankly I am ashamed to admit I belong to a faith that ignores the suffering of billions of sentient beings.