On taking a moral high ground

While eating lunch today, I overheard a group of people talking. One of the girls was reading a paper, and showed her neighbour a passage. She read it out loud. It was about honour killings in Arab countries. Her neighbour was horrified to hear about this. And rightly so I think. But then the sentiment shifted. In a sarcastic tone she said “because that makes so much sense” (you could almost hear her rolling her eyes). My question is this:

Why can’t we direct criticism without taking the moral high ground? Why is it we can’t take some of that criticism and direct it to some of the things that happen within the legal framework of our own western, secular countries? Things that are also horrifying. Like the way corporations exploit children in sweat shops; like the way factories owned by western corporations pollute the environment in developing countries and poison villages; like the way animals are kept in abhorrent conditions, only to be killed for their fur (all because we deem it “fashionable”). This is just to name some things.

Should I bring up these things, roll my eyes, and proclaim- as people indirectly support and contribute to sweat shop labour, animal testing, factory farming, and environmental destruction- “because that makes so much sense”? Nah, because I’m just as implicated. The point is there is no moral high ground to take.


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