Friday, February 11, 2005

Shunned analogies

They say that a visit to a battery-hen facility or a slaughter house would be enough to cause a major change in one's dietary habits. I haven't made any such visits, but the reports alone are enough to make me seriously consider becoming a vegetarian. (If I do, though, I'll try not to rant about it in these pages.)

At all events animal rights is generally considered to be a left-wing cause, something "progressives" take up, while conservatives disdain it.

Let's now make a switch, one that current rules of the game, based on left-right polarities, forbid. What about abortion? Opposition to abortion is generally accounted a right-wing cause. Again, though, they say that hearing the amplified sound of a fetus in the third trimester or witnessing a partial-birth abortion would be enough to change the minds of most "pro-choice" persons.

Thus we tend to avoid both abattoirs and abortion providers. We tend also to avoid comparing the two. But should we? A critique of one seems to suggest a critique of the other. Or conversely, perhaps both can be defended.

In the area of personal disclosure, let me indicate that a couple of years after she gave birth to me, my mother had an abortion. Instead of being an only child, I could have had a sibling. Or the fetus aborted could have been me.

The personal element tends to affect one's judgment on these matters. But isn't that as it should be?