Final Paper Abstract: Yemen

A theme I explore in my tweets are the allowance of cruelty and neglect to animals and innocent humans during this time of war in Yemen and in the Middle East. The Quran clearly states that none are to cause harm to innocents, plant, human, or animal. “And there is no creature on [or within] the earth or bird that flies with its wings except [that they are] communities like you. We have not neglected in the Register a thing. Then unto their Lord they will be gathered” (Qur’an, 6:38). What drives the fascination behind the ongoing atrocities is the fact that the countries and people violating the rights of living beings are Muslim countries.

Animals are the victims of human conflict in Yemen. I understand the argument “people are more important blah blah” but honestly I’ve never differentiated the importance of human life from “animal” life. We are all People in my eyes. Throwing human conflict upon citizens is horrible enough, but throwing it upon the innocent life of animals is also sickening. These animals were meant to be food, and in becoming food, I think there is a sacredness and a respect that is given to them. There is reason. There is no reason in killing for sport, for advantage, to cause harm not only to them but to others. Animals at Taiz Zoo in Yemen are starved to death of food, water and health care.War is leaving 281 animals to die of starvation and thirst. They have been forced into cannibalism against their own family members. I find it sickening how nothing is being done about it. There are people in the local community there fighting with no income or food themselves and retired people using what they have to save them. I feel as a thriving country we should be able to help so much more than we have, for the humans and animals in Yemen. It is far too easy to turn a blind eye. The moment these animals.were taken from the wild or born from one of the animals in cages, they became more than ever our responsibility.

The information I gathered on this topic was primarily by Yemeni human rights organizations. Twitter led me to news articles, but for the majority of the project I stayed inside the confines of Twitter. While I admire how the internet and social media is able to bring together many people into conversations about a very specific topic and area of the world, I did run into the language barrier problem. I would have loved to be able to translate and follow accounts that were in Arabic, but unfortunately the translation tools I attempted to use yielded scrambled results at best. Surprisingly, one post I made was born in my Facebook feed; a video of Yassmin Abdel-Magied describing Sharia Law to those who never had heard of it, as a lifestyle code of conduct and unspoken rules within a community on how to act within that community as well as to outside communities.


I was raised in a Christian household, with a Catholic father and a Born-Again mother, both very involved in the faith. I followed their faith despite the calamity in my life. Eventually though, the struggle became too harsh, too long, and I decided I did not wish to spend my life honoring a god that permitted me to be subject to so much cruelty. Instead I pulled the Vermont classic and found peace and guidance in nature and kindness. My goal was to be the opposite of everything that had caused me pain. It is because of this background, that I can slightly begin to sense what those of faith in Yemen are struggling with in regards to their faith. Overall as I have examined the country during this assignment, I have been astonished by ongoing faith and hope, amid all the horrors. I respect and admire the strength these victims have to persevere the way they do.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, I have been very interested in a sad sort of way in the politics surrounding the war, particularly in how Western powers are playing their parts. President Trump in the span of two weeks dropped bombs in Syria in order to boost his approval ratings. When this failed to yield a substantial gain in supporters, he flipped to the opposite approach, proclaiming that the United States will not become involved in Syria. It is such a strong example of white western privilege, that while human atrocities are occurring every moment, these governments are playing games of favor, in total safety. It’s no skin off their nose whatever happens to the people of Yemen. Since Yemen is established in such a way that it needs to import 90% of it’s food, without aid or the ability to import, a famine and mass starvation are inevitable. The only thing I can imagine this raid accomplishing is putting the nail in the coffin. It’s so idiotic to arm anyone if the goal is to end war. There is zero supportive intention behind this action, it is entirely fueled by the opportunity to make money.

2 thoughts on “Final Paper Abstract: Yemen

  1. Spencer Kristiansen

    This is a very interesting piece of work and appears to have limited literal correlation to my own but I believe the underlying principles are actually very similar. I studied the topic of socialism and whether it is a successful instrument in actually applying equality, justice, and prosperity across any entire nation. What I discovered is that governments, leaders, and even citizens have such polarizing ideas of what equality and prosperity actually look like, that entire nations will make decisions to propel one sector forward at the cost of another. Though political and economic decision making often fails to include major groups, like animals, certain religious groups, the environment, etc., I firmly believe that if any decision takes into consideration this quote from a notable philanthropist/doctor then it is definitively correct; “The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world.”-Paul Farmer. No one can agree on what is best, but if we can all fundamentally agree on what is wrong then we can all move forward without detriment to one another.

  2. Robert Mitchell

    While our topics differ greatly (I talked about access to clean drinking water in Peru, for reference), I see one striking connection I wanted to point out. You mention how animals were brought into and negatively affected by human conflict, and generally mistreated. In Peru, there’s a lot of illegal gold mining going on, which pollutes bodies of water and the fish living in them. This goes a step further in the cycle by contaminating humans and other animals that eat the fish. It’s really sad to read about how the people who do this have no regard for the wildlife they’re directly affecting.


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