Compassion and empathy research institutions must include all sentient beings in their missions

As such, I was particularly heartened to hear last week that an open letter has been sent to 12 leading institutions, including those cited above, to overcome their blind spot concerning nonhuman animals. The Vegan Society’s Research Advisory Committee members, Dr Richard Twine and Dr Kay Peggs are among more than 30 social scientists from the UK, US and Australia who have signed an open letter urging 12 leading institutions whose work focuses on empathy and compassion to overcome their apparent disregard of nonhuman animals. …

The idea for the letter was developed by vegan psychotherapist and social worker Beth Levine and underlines ways in which cultural norms position nonhuman animals either as commodities to be exploited for our pleasure, or as having interests ‘less than’ those of humans.

It also highlights the negative impact these social norms have not only on nonhuman animals, but ourselves and the societies we live in: