WHAT IS ANIMAL RIGHTS
– and why should we care?
Imagine that a few people think we humans just aren't good enough to own or use animals. In fact they're so convinced of this that they have formed large organizations that work tirelessly around the clock and around the world to eliminate animal farming, eating of meat, use of animals in research, hunting, circuses, zoos, and yes, owning animals as pets.
This isn't just a bad dream – it's real. These people are called the ‘animal rights' (AR) movement. While there probably aren't more than a thousand people in the U.S. who accept the whole idea – that humans should be completely separated from our animals even if that means that many species become extinct – they are supported by many more who back important parts of the movement's ideas.
---> Many supporters believe that eating meat is wrong.
---> Others think that medical research using animals is unnecessary and cruel.
---> Yet others believe most pet owners are irresponsible.
It is those people – the ones who are deeply committed to their own small parts of animal rights – who are the foot soldiers, carrying the movement forward.
Fewer than a thousand run the AR corporations, make the plans, draft the laws, organize the conferences, deliver the speeches, and do the on-the-floor lobbying. Tens of thousands back laws in narrow areas: animal rescuers may support anti-tethering laws to ‘stop irresponsible owners', misguided home breeders back anything labeled as fighting ‘puppy mills,' and animal shelters support close regulation of pet breeders and rescuers.
The money to support the animal rights agenda comes from millions of Americans who love animals and who, without understanding how their money will actually be used, mail checks to HSUS, PeTA, and other lesser known AR organizations.
This is America: It is our right to believe whatever we want and to try to convince others of what we believe. However the AR movement goes beyond that. The biggest thing they do is pass laws that make animal use, breeding, and ownership steadily harder and more costly. This happens in several steps.
How Animal Rightists Pass Laws
|The money to support the animal rights agenda comes from millions of Americans who love animals and who, without understanding how their money will actually be used, mail checks to HSUS, PeTA, and other lesser known AR organizations.|
- They invent problemsor magnify small ones.The real problems generally are much less than the good that comes from the same activity but we are only told about the problems.
"Pet breeders are just exploiting animals for money" – although if there were no breeders there would be no pets, and it's almost impossible to make money if you breed as a hobby. And, anyway, what's wrong with making money?
"Hunting is cruel and unnecessary" – never mind that for many species hunting is a main way of controlling populations of animals for which there are no longer enough natural predators to prevent starvation, disease, attacks on humans and pets, collisions with our automobiles, and so on.
"‘Pet overpopulation' leads to the tragedy of euthanasia" – although the animal shelter euthanasia rate has been falling steadily for decades, is now only 10-15% of what it was 30 years ago, and a growing number of areas have a shortage of dogs.
"Animals are dangerous and cause human health problems" – though most of us have pets, serious problems are rare, and study after study shows that pet owners are happier, have lower stress levels, and may live longer than other people.
"Animal farming is cruelty" – though cruelty is already illegal and the practices being attacked are ancient and often inspected and specifically approved by the government.
|Because many important animal practices are unfamiliar to most of us, we may not see what's wrong with these AR campaigns.|
The attack will always fall where most people will say "Oh – that's not something I do" or "That's not important." Only 7% of the population hunts, something like 2% farms, and much less than 1% breeds dogs at home. Because many important animal practices are unfamiliar to most of us, we may not see what's wrong with these AR campaigns.
- The animal rightists batter public officials to solve the problemsthey've announced.Although they are a small minority, they never stop complaining.
Los Angeles, for example, is on its fourth well qualified animal control director in five years. Why? Because no director delivered the ‘no kill' shelter the ARs demand – an unattainable goal for a properly run municipal shelter in a large city. The shelter's statistics are not bad and they are improving but that's not good enough.
- When officials say "Okay, tell us what to do," the ARs are therewith examples of laws passed in other places.They cite misleading or phoney statistics, even outright lies about the success of the law and if pressed on the issue, simply repeat their views.
For example when they're proclaiming "horrible pet overpopulation" they promote laws requiring all pets to be spayed or neutered and requirements for hobby breeders to get expensive licenses and permits. "This law was a big success in San Mateo," they say.
If you tell them "This law did not work in San Mateo County" they say "This law was a big success in San Mateo."
If you answer "But the shelter euthanasia numbers went up, and licensing went down in San Mateo," they say "This law was a big success in San Mateo."
|Surprisingly, when the subject is unfamiliar, the bigger the lie, the more likely people are to believe it.|
Surprisingly, when the subject is unfamiliar, the bigger the lie, the more likely people are to believe it. This ‘big lie' tactic isn't often encountered by lawmakers and since doing independent research is time-consuming, they often end by accepting the lies.
- Since the new laws never solve the ‘problem,' the ARs seek greater punishments and still more lawsto help enforce the old ones, such as a requirement for all pets to be microchipped with the numbers in a government database. They talk only of the good effects – "This will help more lost pets get home" -- although the real purpose is to catch people who are violating their other laws.
They can nearly always find important organizations that will support the proposal because (for example) "Veterinarians can't be against a law that just improves enforcement of something that's already the law."
- As one law begins to spread, a new ‘problem' is identifiedand the next step begins – go back to #1, above.
A few quotes from leaders of the movement
These days the animal rights movement mostly keep quiet about its true goals. But in earlier times they were utterly frank.
Ingrid Newkirk, president and co-founder of PeTA: "I am not a morose person, but I would rather not be here. I don't have any reverence for life, only for the entities themselves. I would rather see a blank space where I am. This will sound like fruitcake stuff again but at least I wouldn't be harming anything."
|Wayne Pacelle, President of HSUS: "One generation and out. We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding."|
Michael W. Fox, Scientific Director and former Vice President of HSUS: "Man is the most dangerous, destructive, selfish, and unethical animal on earth."
"Les U. Knight" (pseudonym), "Voluntary Human Extinction," Wild Earth, Vol. 1, No. 2 "If you haven't given voluntary human extinction much thought before, the idea of a world with no people in it may seem strange. But, if you give it a chance, I think you might agree that the extinction of Homo sapiens would mean survival for millions, if not billions, of Earth-dwelling species ... Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on earth, social and environmental."
Wayne Pacelle, President of HSUS: "One generation and out. We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding."
This is sick stuff: The truth is that animal rights is mental illness masquerading as philosophy.
There are no longer any nationally known organizations that just want good care for animals. From 1980 on, they were all taken over by animal rights zealots who continue to operate them under the "animal welfare" label but actually promote the end of human use of animals.
|The truth is that animal rights is mental illness masquerading as philosophy|
Today, HSUS, PeTA, the ASPCA and dozens of less familiar organizations spend about $200 million a year sent by people who want to help animals, working against animal ownership.
Never give money to any of these organizations!
If you want to give to help animals, give directly to your local animal shelter: they use contributions to provide real care, and they nearly always need more than they get.
What's going on is a quiet, mostly non-violent war for the future of America. The major battles are just starting: they will be fought and won by one side or the other over the next five years.
|What's going on is a quiet, mostly non-violent war for the future of America. The major battles are just starting: they will be fought and won by one side or the other over the next five years.|
For example, between the end of 2005 and mid-2006, Long Beach California, Los Angeles County, and Albuquerque, New Mexico all passed new laws making it much more difficult to own and breed pets. Each of these new laws was in turn the worst ever seen in the U.S. and we are likely to see yet worse in the months ahead, particularly in Southern California.
If those who believe that humans and animals belong together don't turn the tide, then 20 years from now our country will have fewer good pets and will be less happy and less prosperous than it is today. None of us asked for this war, but if we do not fight and win, the losses won't be undone in a century.
As published in Show Site Magazine September 2002
By DIANE KLUMB
Hi. My name is Diane, and I am a Breeder. I am good at it, and I am damned proud of it. I bought my first show dog in 1969 and whelped my first litter in April, 1975.
I have, since that inauspicious beginning, in partnership with my long suffering husband and a few good friends produced a few dozen champions, some top producers, a handful of Specials, and a lot of superb close-working grouse dogs and well loved companions. We kept a fair number over the years and sold the rest. (NOTE: I said sold, not 'placed'...we'll address that particular idiocy later.)
We owned a kennel for many years, and trained gun dogs. This involved the killing of untold numbers of game birds, all of which we ate. I have more recipes for pheasant, grouse and woodcock than you can shake a stick at. We showed our hunting dogs and hunted over
our show dogs.
I do not believe for a minute that the whelping or sale of a single one of those purebred dogs is in any way responsible of the euthanization of a million unwanted dogs a year at the shelters around the country, any more that I believed that cleaning my plate when I was a
kid could in any way benefit all the poor starving children in Africa, no
matter how much the nuns or my mother tried to make me feel guilty about it.
I couldn't see the logic then and I can't see it now (although today I would maybe refrain from suggesting that we bundle up Sister Edlita's meatloaf and actually send it to the poor starving children in Africa.)
Look at it this way:
If I go to a bookstore specifically to buy Matt Ridley's The Human Genome (which, as it happens, I recently did) and that bookstore does not have it, I will do one of two things - I will order it, or I will go to another bookstore the does carry it and purchase it there. What I will NOT do is take the same money and buy Martha Stewart's latest cookbook instead, because this is not what I want. Guilt without logic is dangerous.
Show breeders are simply not responsible for the millions of unplanned and unwanted mongrels produced in this country. Period. So don't let anyone make you feel guilty about it. I do not understand why the top horse farms in this country are not in the least embarrassed by the fact they make a lot of money doing it, yet in the world of dogs if one is to be respected, one is to lose one's ass financially. That is a load of horseshit, pure and simple, yet we accept it meekly and without question.
Why is that? Basic economic theory suggests that if we are not turning a profit, one of two things is wrong - we suffer from poor management, or we are not asking enough for our product to cover our production costs.
What are our costs? Well, if we are breeding good dogs, besides basic food and veterinary costs we ought to be adding in the costs of showing these animals, and advertising, and health testing, which are not expenses incurred by the high volume breeders (puppy mills). OK, so we have much higher costs involved in producing our healthier, sounder animals. Yet the average pet shop puppy sells for about the same as the average well bred pet from show stock, and often theysell for much more.
What's wrong with this picture? We're stupid that's what's wrong.
- Why does a Jaguar sell for ten times more than a Hyundai?
A. Because it's worth more and everyone knows it.
"And everyone knows it" is the key phrase here, folks. But somehow no one knows our puppies are worth more and we're embarrassed to tell them. Why is that? The difference between the sale price of a multi million dollar stallion and what he's worth as horsemeat on any given day at a livestock auction is quality. Yet we cannot address this issue in dogs because we are embarrassed to talk about money and dogs in the same breath.
Why is that? OK, I'll tell you, because someone has to come out and say this sooner or later. There is a war going on. Unlike most wars, however, this one actually has three sides rather than two. We have Show breeders, who are producing a small number of purebred dogs. We have High-Volume breeders who are producing a large number of purebred dogs. We have Animal Rights Activists, who believe that neither group has the right to breed or even own purebred dogs, much less make a profit at it.
While the first group is busy trying to get rid of the second group because they don't like the way they breed dogs (which by the way ain't gonna happen as long as the American public wants purebred dogs and the first group won't produce them) the third group is winning the war.
You think I'm making this up? Then how come we've started saying we "placed" our puppies instead of sold them? We talk about the new "adoptive homes" instead of their new owners. What's next? Instead of price of a puppy, we'll charge an "adoption fee?" What's wrong with this new language? I'll tell you - We didn't come up with it, the Animal Rights Activists did - we are just stupid enough to use it. We are stupid, because it's based on the premise that we have no right to own dogs. It is based on the premise that dog ownership is the moral equivalent of human slavery, and that the species homo sapien has no right to use any other species for any purpose whatsoever, be it food, clothing, medical research, recreation or involuntary companionship.
Now, I don't know about you, but my politically incorrect opinion is:
Our species did not spend the last million years clawing our way to the top of the food chain to eat tofu. The stuff tastes like shit no matter how you cook it, and there is absolutely no sense pretending otherwise.
Animals who kill other animals for their primary food source are called predators. Their eyes are generally on the front of their skulls, they have teeth designed to tear flesh from bone, and a digestive system designed to digest meat (like us). Animals that live primarily off vegetation are called herbivores. They have better peripheral vision, flat teeth for grinding, and the most efficient of them have multiple stomachs, which we do not (like cows). And lastly, Animals who live primarily off what other have killed (carrion) are called scavengers (think about that one long and hard.)
Man like the canid, is a pack-hunting predator, which is probably why we get along so well. (If that fact bothers you, get over it.)
How did we get to the top of the food chain? We are the most intelligent and efficient pack-hunters ever to suck oxygen from the atmosphere, that's how.
We are certainly intelligent enough to understand that maintaining that position on this small planet depends on responsible stewardship, not guilt.
And we are so damned efficient that we can support a tremendous number of scavengers in our midst.
Like the Animal Rights Activists, for instance. (Me, I think we should dump the whole lot of them buck naked in the Boundary Waters and see how well this equalitarian philosophy of theirs plays out, but that's probably too politically incorrect for anybody else to consider. Sigh.)
So what do we do? Well, to begin with we need to regain control. The first way we do this is with language, which is the tool they have been using on us. These people who don't want us to "own" dogs are likening themselves to Abolitionists. That's a fallacy, unless you accept the premise that dogs are really little humans in fur coats, which frankly is an insult to a species that has never waged war on the basis of religious differences.
No, the group they really resemble is the Prohibitionists-remember them?
A particularly annoying bunch of zealots who firmly believed and somehow managed to convince our duly elected representatives that alcohol was a bad thing, and any beverage containing it should be illegal in these United States of America.
Very few Americans actually agreed with this, by the way, but by the time Congress got its head out of its collective you-know-what, a whole new industry had developed- Organized Crime. We look back at that whole debacle now and wonder how anything that stupid and wrongheaded ever happened.
Well, boys and girls, in the inimitable words of the great Yogi Berra: Its's Déjà vu all over again.
The Prohibitionists are back. And once again, we are buying it. Amazing.