We fear things in proportion to our ignorance of them.
The police pull up in back of my car and run my plates - they don't see you as you are; they see you through a racialized negative gaze. I think the best thing is not to internalize it too much, or it'll make you crazy because you know it's going to happen again.
I have never really been fond of animals. I certainly wasn't an 'animal lover' when I became involved in the movement. I just came to be persuaded that animals should be treated as independent sentient beings, not as means to human ends.
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