The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK—It is a great disappointment to find that the Arabs have succeeded in winning a delay until April 3 in the United Nations on the simple vote to send the Secretary General of the U.N. to the Near East.

This effort of the Arabs, in which the Soviets supported them, resulted in a decision against the plea from the United States, supported by Britain, France and Australia. The only concession granted was that they would meet again on Wednesday to hear nations from this troubled area who are ready to speak.

It seems that a policy of drift is pleasing to both the Arabs and the Soviets. This is understandable, since it always is easier to make no definite decision. But when so much is at stake and every day means the possibility of more loss of human life, it seems that people who do not wish to make decisions are taking great risks.

I will never cease to marvel at the patience and self–control being shown by the Negroes in the bus situation in Alabama. If this is the result of the leadership by the ministers—and the first trial has found a minister guilty of conspiracy—then all I can say is that these particular men are showing a Christ-like spirit and a self-discipline which is rare indeed.

The Alabama law, under which this minister was convicted, seems almost archaic. How can you tell an American citizen that he has no right to join voluntarily with others, to move about a city in the way he chooses? It is no conspiracy. It is a voluntary association of people for a purpose they feel important.

If we are not careful, we are going to become the laughingstock of the world because of being forced into such completely ludicrous positions. This particular situation seems to me one of the most ludicrous, if only the tragic and dangerous background could be forgotten.

I have a letter from a lady, Mrs. Alice Morgan Wright, of Albany, N.Y., asking support for a bill HR 8540, introduced in the House of Representatives.

This bill would require the use of humane methods in the slaughter of livestock and poultry in interstate or foreign commerce and for other purposes.

Mrs. Wright has taken the view for a long time that kindness to dumb animals is the beginning of kindness to all humanity, and that if we permit cruelty in the treatment of creatures that cannot speak for themselves, we are likely to permit cruelty, in the long run, to human beings.

There are, as usual, a number of bills of this purpose being introduced in the Senate and House, and most of these bills require that animals be rendered insensible before the killing begins.

It seems to me that the industry itself would have seen to this a long while ago. But it would probably cost a little bit more to do it in the humane way. So it will take pressure on the part of those among us, who agree that even dumb animals have a right to be treated with mercy, to get these bills enacted.


(Copyright, 1956, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

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  • New York (N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, March 29, 1956

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.