In the animal welfare sector, I am privileged to work alongside many passionate individuals who, feeling secure in their expertise, vision and generosity, have little use for a monopoly on legitimacy. However, as in all other areas of life, I also notice energy being wasted as the compulsive need to establish some futile authority stifles the allies who ought to receive support. Welfarists, abolitionists, vegetarians, vegans, ethical meat eaters, employees of such non-government organizations (NGOs) and supporters of such other charities all possess an awareness of injustice which continues to elude the majority of our fellow citizens. Despite this extraordinary community of spirit, it is not uncommon for infighting to take precedence over our shared struggle against the real enemies of justice that are disrespect, lies and ignorance.
Egocentricity may manifest itself insidiously, or it may express itself openly and violently. While working with a large animal welfare NGO, I was once made aware of security threats against the staff: to the extremists in our field, who objected to our work with decision-makers and industry players (i.e. with those who have in their hands the fate of billions of animals), we had become the enemy. Men and women whose days were spent advocating for more justice being targeted by so-called righters of wrongs, is somewhat reminiscent of some grievous events.