Skip to comments.Animal 'Rights' versus Human Rights ( Us vs. PETA )
Posted on 06/02/2005 7:21:14 PM PDT by smoothsailing
Animal "Rights" Versus Human Rights
by Edwin A.. Locke
02 June 2005
Rights can only be held by beings who are capable of reasoning and choosing.
Human life versus animal life. This fundamental conflict of values, which was dramatized a few years ago when AIDS victims marched in support of research on animals, is still raging. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has just launched a campaign against Covance, Inc., a biomedical research lab in Vienna, Va., that uses animals for drug testing.
It is an indisputable fact that many thousands of lives are saved by medical research on animals. But animal rightists don't care. PETA makes this frighteningly clear: "Even if animal tests produced a cure for AIDS, we'd be against it." Such is the "humanitarianism" of animal rights activists.
How do these advocates try to justify their position? As someone who has debated them for years on college campuses and in the media, I know firsthand that the whole movement is based on a single -- invalid -- syllogism, namely: men feel pain and have rights; animals feel pain; therefore, animals have rights. This argument is entirely specious, because man's rights do not depend on his ability to feel pain; they depend on his ability to think.
Rights are ethical principles applicable only to beings capable of reason and choice. There is only one fundamental right: a man's right to his own life. To live successfully, man must use his rational faculty -- which is exercised by choice. The choice to think can be negated only by the use of physical force. To survive and prosper, men must be free from the initiation of force by other men -- free to use their own minds to guide their choices and actions. Rights protect men against the use of force by other men.
None of this is relevant to animals. Animals do not survive by rational thought (nor by sign languages allegedly taught to them by psychologists). They survive through sensory-perceptual association and the pleasure-pain mechanism. They cannot reason. They cannot learn a code of ethics. A lion is not immoral for eating a zebra (or even for attacking a man). Predation is their natural and only means of survival; they do not have the capacity to learn any other.
Only man has the power, guided by a code of morality, to deal with other members of his own species by voluntary means: rational persuasion. To claim that man's use of animals is immoral is to claim that we have no right to our own lives and that we must sacrifice our welfare for the sake of creatures who cannot think or grasp the concept of morality. It is to elevate amoral animals to a moral level higher than ourselves -- a flagrant contradiction. Of course, it is proper not to cause animals gratuitous suffering. But this is not the same as inventing a bill of rights for them -- at our expense.
The granting of fictional rights to animals is not an innocent error. We do not have to speculate about the motive, because the animal "rights" advocates have revealed it quite openly. Again from PETA: "Mankind is the biggest blight on the face of the earth"; "I do not believe that a human being has a right to life"; "I would rather have medical experiments done on our children than on animals." These self-styled lovers of life do not love animals; rather, they hate men.
The animal "rights" terrorists are like the Unabomber and Oklahoma City bombers. They are not idealists seeking justice, but nihilists seeking destruction for the sake of destruction. They do not want to uplift mankind, to help him progress from the swamp to the stars. They want mankind's destruction; they want him not just to stay in the swamp but to disappear into its muck.
There is only one proper answer to such people: to declare proudly and defiantly, in the name of morality, a man's right to his life, his liberty, and the pursuit of his own happiness.
Edwin A. Locke is Dean's Professor Emeritus of Leadership and Motivation at the University of Maryland at College Park and is a senior writer for the Ayn Rand Institute in Irvine, CA.
The Institute promotes the ideas of Ayn Rand--best-selling author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead and originator of the philosophy of Objectivism.
I once heard a PETA spokeswoman on my local radio show state that if there was a baby and a snake on the road that she would swerve to hit the baby in order to miss the snake. Absolute demonic freaks.
In principle, I agree with the article's premise.
We do slide down a little bit of a slippery slope when the concept of "rights" is tied to being capable of reason and choice.
The mentally ill, children, are not able to meet the criteria.
Do they drop down to the level of the animal???
Objective viewpoints often follow down a narrow path.
We have a responsibility,of course,to reason well,and choose wisely.A responsibility at which PETA fails miserably.
Many commonsense, compassionate people who love their animals do not understand the true nature of the animal rights movement. They care about their animals and want to insure they are treated humanely. Because they have been misled into believing that the movement is about something else (helping animals), they "think" they are for animal rights. What they actually believe in is animal welfare, from a responsible animal ownership perspective. They own and love animals and care for them and do not want to see any animal abused.
Do not confuse these feelings of compassion for animals with a movement that actually has no true regard for the protection of an animal's or a human's rights. If a person truly cares about animals, it is critical to realize the difference between the two philosophies. Every person who thinks he/she is for animal rights, when they are actually for animal welfare, poses a threat to themselves and others when it comes to our continued right to own animals. They help perpetuate a philosophy that has the potential to legally change our relationships with animals, permanently. This can happen because those laws that are passed by the animal rights people put us closer and closer to the place where our right to own any animals, for any purpose, has been legislated away.
True animal rights people hate humans and feel they are a blight on the planet. They only tolerate themselves and each other so they can carry on their campaigns against the rest of humanity. They don't particularly like non-human animals but by constantly claiming "animal abuse" they can play on the emotions of softhearted animal welfare people and solicit money from them to promote their agenda.
A part of the animal rights movement is to legally elevate the animal to a level as high as, or higher than, that of a person. When this happens those animals that depend upon us for their food, shelter, vet care, and affection are actually put at risk because the animal rights sponsored law has decreased the expected responsibilities of the animal owner.
If animals are to have the same legal rights as people then they will be expected to have the same level of responsibility as people, also. Is not one of the most important differences between humans and animals that humans are expected to take responsibility for their own actions and the actions of the animals owned by them? If the legal system sees fit to place animals on a par with people then might I ask that my pets take their turn paying the rent, buying my food as well as their own and paying my doctor's bills as well as their vet bills? Think about it the next time you get a solicitation from one of those "animal rights" organizations, such as HSUS or PETA or one of the others, that neither helps or likes animals, and does not pay the rent for you or your pets.
These organizations care about only two things: (1) making more money for themselves and to (2) support and promote an extremist agenda that advocates no interaction whatsoever between humans and animals.
PETA and sop-called animal rights advocates have properly been placed on our federal domestic terrorist list. The entire environmental movement is fundamentally flawed. Its advocates place human beings outside the nature system.
Environmental extremists portray all human activity (with the possible romanticized exception of primitive cultures) as in conflict with mother earth. This pathologic atavistic view can only be maintained in the presence of a fundamentally flawed understanding of nature.
If mankind is the product of millions of years of evolution are we to assume that nature has produced the instrument of its destruction? If so, then why should anyone assume that this destruction should not move forward with due diligence. The position is absurd on its face.
By virtue of evolutionary thought Nature must be considered good. If it is not then mankind is placed in the position of claiming his own good as supreme. In either case the role of humans in nature can only be given priority for the use of the resources of the earth.
By any logic there is no controversy about the use of nature by humans for their good. It is the illogical reactionaries who have the problem. Ignoring their irrational hysterics and placing them in therapy are long overdue.
In politics whoever wins the battle of semantics, wins the war
You are correct, the word "rights" in this day and age has been so corrupted of it's true meaning, just about anything these days has the tag "rights" attached to it to give it air of importance
That is my PETA thread signature. I think it is a justly, funny tribute.
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