Here is a fundamental precept of justice, extended to nonhumans. How do we treat those at our mercy–the helpless children or animals over whose lives we have power?

This image was created by vegans, and it speaks to the ethics of meat production. But I am a Kansan, so I’ve also unfortunately seen this principle in operation with humans who are disadvantaged (Sadly, you don’t have to live in “Brownbackistan” to see it).

When generational poverty is somehow perceived to be the sufferer’s “fault,” there is a fundamental disconnect that discounts experience, culture, and socialization. When the abused “asked for it,” when the mentally ill are somehow “lesser” beings–that is where our ethics are found to be in eclipse.

When those who suffer are “other,” then who or what are we?

IMAGE: Many thanks to the Fluff2BuffMom blog.