Animal Rights Groups Go Too Far

Animal rights groups, such
as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, claim to be preventing
animal abuse, but instead seek to impose their antihuman ideology by trying
to stop people from using animals to save human lives and helping terrorist
organizations firebomb and threaten those who oppose them.

The modern animal rights movement
got its start in the 1970s when Tom Regan and Peter Singer both wrote
books claiming it was “species-ist” to make moral distinctions
between human beings and animals.

What does this mean? After
a speech on animal rights in 1989, an audience member asked Regan, “If
you were aboard a lifeboat with a baby and a dog, and the boat capsized,
would you rescue the baby or the dog?”

Regan responded, “(If)
it were a retarded baby, and a bright dog, I’d save the dog.”

Ingrid Newkirk, PETA national
director and co-founder, put the matter bluntly by noting “6 million
people die in concentration camps, but 6 million broiler chickens will
die this year in slaughterhouses.” That Newkirk is comfortable comparing
the raising of chickens for food to the Holocaust illustrates the depravity
of the animal rights extremists.

Groups like PETA take this
misanthropy and run with it by working to ban all medical research involving
animals.

It is difficult for people
today to imagine how devastating diseases such as polio, small pox, rubella
and tetanus were before vaccinations were developed. Thanks to vaccines,
all of these diseases have been practically eliminated in the United States
and are slowly going by the wayside in the rest of the world.

Other human problems have
been brought under control thanks to products synthesized with animal
products. Insulin, for example, has allowed millions of diabetics to prolong
their lives.

Animal experimentation was
essential for developing organ transplantation procedures that save thousands
of lives annually.

Yet groups such as PETA want
humanity to abandon this progress and stop all further medical research
on animals. Placing animals on a higher moral plane than humans, these
extremists put more value on the lives of pigs used to produce insulin
than the lives of millions of human beings who will die if they don’t
get insulin.

As Newkirk put it, even if
animal experimentation would find a cure for AIDS, “we’d be against
it.”

PETA gets a lot of support
from people because it successfully hides some of its extremist beliefs.
A large number of those who contribute to PETA are pet owners rightfully
concerned about animal abuse. Little do they know that PETA advocates
eliminating what it calls “companion animals.”

According to Newkirk, “pet
ownership is an absolutely abysmal situation brought about by human manipulation.”
PETA and other animal rights groups seek to rectify this “abysmal
situation” by ending the breeding of domesticated animals and allowing
those species to become extinct.

Of course this means eliminating
the use of guide dogs for the blind and macaques who are trained to care
for paraplegics.

PETA spokesperson Kathy Guillermo
told a radio audience, “I’m against using guide dogs,” and Newkirk
has said, “(In) a perfect society, we won’t have a need for (guide
dogs).”

In case you think this sounds
a bit unfair, remember a blind person or a paraplegic means no more (if
not less) to animal rights activists than a dog or macaque.

Since PETA has been unable
to convince many people to adopt its extremist positions, it sponsors
terrorist groups who use violence to force change. PETA is closely affiliated
with the Animal Liberation Front, a group classified as a terrorist organization
by both the FBI and Scotland Yard, which firebombs laboratories and uses
threats of violence against people to try to achieve its means.

ALF has caused millions of
dollars in damage to laboratories, which it sets on fire.

Not only does ALF end up destroying
valuable research data that could save human lives, but it usually ends
up killing many of the laboratory animals it’s supposedly acting on behalf
of.

PETA knows no bounds to its
support for animal rights terrorists. When Fran Stephanie Trutt, a member
of the extremist Friends of Animals, was convicted of attempting to murder
Leon Hirsch, president of the U.S. Surgical Company, PETA paid all her
legal expenses.

Thankfully, there are still
brave souls in the scientific community and the public who are willing
to speak out against these absolutely unethical animal rights fascists.

This article originally
appeared in the Western Herald.

PETA's Position on Pets and Standards of Truth in the Animal Rights Movement

When I started this web site
I expected to get a lot of mail from animal rights activists who disagreed
with me, but what I didn’t expect was all the people indignant over a
relatively minor issue: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal’s positions
on pets.

In several articles I’ve pointed
out that PETA advocates phasing out pet ownership. In response I received
many email messages from activists saying this is a lie, and furthermore
that PETA president Ingrid Newkirk has never advocated phasing out pets.
In the world of the true believers, this is simply more anti-animal rights
propaganda. So to clear it up, lets look at what both PETA and Newkirk
have to say about pets.

On its web site, PETA publishes
a fact sheet called Companion
Animals: Pets or Prisoners?
which outlines:

In a perfect world, animals would be free to live their lives
to the fullest: raising their young, enjoying their native environments,
and following their natural instincts. However, domesticated dogs and
cats cannot survive “free” in our concrete jungles, so we must take as
good care of them as possible. People with the time, money, love, and
patience to make a lifetime commitment to an animal can make an enormous
difference by adopting from shelters or rescuing animals from a perilous
life on the street. But it is also important to stop manufacturing “pets,”
thereby perpetuating a class of animals forced to rely on humans to survive.

This is a straightforward position
– people should take good care of domesticated animals that currently
exist (certainly a sentiment this write agrees with), but since pets are
a “class of animals forced to rely on humans to survive” they
are not allowed to “live their lives to the fullest” and the
best remedy would be to “stop manufacturing ‘pets’.” The world
would be a much better place for the animals if humans would simply stop
all breeding of domesticated animals.

In a roundtable discussion
in Harper’s Magazine with Newkirk, animal rights legal theorist
Gary Francione and medical ethicist Arthur Caplan, Newkirk conceded that
this means allowing domestic animals to go extinct as a species:

I don’t use the word “pet.” I think it’s speciesist
language. I prefer “companion animal.” For one thing, we would
no longer allow breeding. People could not create different breeds. There
would be no pet shops. If people had companion animals in their homes,
those animals would have to be refugees from the animal shelters and the
streets. You would have a protective relationship with them just as you
would with an orphaned child. But as the surplus of cats and dogs (artificially
engineered by centuries of forced breeding) declined, eventually companion
animals would be phased out, and we would return to a more symbiotic relationship
– enjoyment at a distance (Hitt 1989, p.223).

You can’t get more explicit
than this, yet just a few weeks ago an email from an animal activist crossed
my desk claiming it was an outright lie that Newkirk ever said anything
advocating an end to pets.

The interesting part of the
debate over pets is the inconsistency by animal rights activists. Quite
simply, if animals have rights then Newkirk is absolutely correct – keeping
them as pets is an abomination. If animals have rights, who are human
beings to selectively breed them for traits that human beings prefer?
Beings with rights should be able to pursue their own courses of action
rather than be trapped in cages of our making.

But most animal activists
don’t agree with this view. A 1990 Oregon State University study of the
opinions and attitudes of animal rights activists who attended the 1990
March for the Animals, found that 87 percent of such activists either
strongly approved or approved of keeping animals as pets; only 4 percent
were opposed or strongly opposed. A 1990 Utah State University study of
activists who subscribed to the pro-animal rights magazine Animals
Agenda
found 89 percent of respondents approved of pet keeping. Furthermore
in open-ended questions on the OSU study, emotional experiences with pets
was often cited as a motivating factor for animal rights activism (Guither
1998, pp.68-9).

There are two conclusions
I draw from this. First, it is fascinating that so many animal rights
activists not only know so little about issues such as medical testing,
but often they seem to have even only rudimentary knowledge of the animal
rights movement itself. Part of this is fostered by parts of the animal
rights community which actively discourage any sort of criticism of the
movement. The best example of this is Merritt Clifton’s firing as editor
of Animals Agenda in 1992 motivated, in part, from Clifton’s criticism
of the high salaries paid to people at many of the larger animal rights
organizations such as PETA and HSUS. Ironically, there is far more of
an active debate within animal agriculture and medical testing industries
over methods and the treatments of animals than there is within the animal
rights movement over its methods and direction.

Second, the hostility of animal
rights activists to the charge that PETA advocates an end to pets, along
with the research data showing overwhelming numbers of animal rights activists
with high attachments to pets, is further evidence of the largely sentimental
motivations of some of the most active elements of the animal rights movement.
Although philosophers such as Tom Regan and Peter Singer might attempt
to ground their views in logical arguments, many animal rights activists
seem to be motivated largely by their emotional attachment to animals.

This in itself is not unusual
— the foot soliders in most political movements often have different
motivations from those who lead those movements. But in this case the
response of activists is typical of a general problem with the animal
rights movement; namely the tendency to damn the facts in favor of political
expediency. Consider the animal rights activist who insists she’s thoroughly
investigated PETA’s position and asserts categorically that they’re not
committed to the eventual elimination — is it any surprise that this
same activist may put forth an explanation of how insulin was discovered
without any animal experimentation? Is there any significant difference
between these activists cavalier attitude and that of PETA’s well documented
habit of publishing photographs purporting to be documentation of animal
cruelty that later turn out to be pictures of something other than what
the group claimed? Or Neal Barnard’s habit of quoting from texts and simply
leaving out the parts that mention animal experiments in order to deceive?

Lots of political movements
have members who shade the truth, but the animal rights movement borders
on a full fledged Potemkin Village of deceptions, half truths and illusions
clung to for the very same emotional satisfaction that motivates its adherents.

Thank You, India

This week India hit the 1 billion population mark (actually, statisticians do not really know the population of countries such as India accurately enough to give such precise dates, but lets not nitpick). While India’s population hit the 1 billion mark, the hits to Overpopulation.Com went through the roof as well. Quite a few news sites link back to Overpopulation.Com on a regular basis any time a news story relating to population comes along.

Protesting Panty Raider

For whatever reason, Simon & Schuster agreed to publish computer game developer Hypnotix’s latest game, Panty Raider: From Here to Immaturity (the first time I read an announcement of this game, it was so bizarre I was convinced it was an April Fools-style joke). Apparently in the game the player strips a model down to her underwear and then takes pictures for aliens, of all things.

Hypnotix games tend to be attempts at parodies of traditional games or genres. After the success of the various Deer Hunter computer games, for example, Hypnotix developed Deer Avenger in which the deer turn the tables and hunt humans who were stereotypical rednecks. Panty Raider appears to be a lame attempt to spoof the “Mars Needs Women”-style B movies.

Unfortunately, that’s got the usual suspects all uptight (Naughty game has knickers in a twist). According to Diana Zuckerman of the National Center for Policy Research for Women and Families, Panty Raider is not just going to be a stupid game, but is “extremely negative and dangerous to girls and women” because of the behavior it will encourage in young boys. Zuckerman’s complained to Simon & Schuster about the game. So has the group Dads and Daughters, which sent an email to Simon & Schuster urging the company to pull the game.

Simon & Schuster maintains that the game will have an M rating, meaning it is intended for mature audiences only, but that’s not good enough for Zuckerman and DADS. According to Zuckerman, the simple fact that the game involves aliens is proof positive that the game is being marketed to kids, while DADS resident expert Joe Kelly told USA Today that if it were really marketed only to adults, the models would strip to the nude (apparently the only sexually oriented content adults are ever interested in must contain full nudity.)

I’ve never understood why executives give the go ahead for crap like Panty Raider while other worthy games never get close to market (or why studio executives green light Danny DeVito movies for that matter), but the idea that this game is “dangerous” to women is beyond absurd. The only danger this game poses is to the suckers who waste their $19.95 on probably one of the most moronic computer game concepts ever.

‘Alienation of Affection’ Lawsuits A Backward Relic

ABC News’ 20/20 show recently reported (Thief of Hearts) on a phenomenon that should have died at the end of the 19th century — the alienation of affection lawsuit. Alienation of affection is a common law legal remnant of a period when women were considered little more than property of their husbands. Since a wife was property, stealing a wife was theft, and hence alienation of affection allowed aggrieved men to sue a man who lured his wife into leaving him, thereby depriving him of his rightful property.

A lot has thankfully changed in the past 200 years, but unbelievably alienation of affection remains in the law codes of 9 states — and people are suing each other using it.

In the case 20/20 reported on, a man left his wife after 9 years of marriage after a woman he met at a business convention pursued him by writing him letters. The aggrieved ex-wife, Candie Vessel, sued her husband’s new flame, Cathy Nolen and won a half million dollar legal judgment from a Utah jury. In an infamous 1997 North Carolina alienation of affection lawsuit, a woman won $1 million from her ex-husband’s lover. And don’t think it’s just women using the law. In 1997 a North Carolina jury awarded Jacques Moryoussef $250,000 after he sued another man for alienation of affection after Moryoussef’s wife left him — part of that included a $50,000 award for acts of adultery committed by the other man with Moryoussef’s wife.

That these sorts of laws are still on the books anywhere in the United States is an outrage. They encapsulate a view of women, men, and marriage that deserved to die. It is ironic that some conservative elements in places like North Carolina and Utah have championed these laws as protecting traditional marriage, when in fact they champion a very bizarre view of self responsibility which holds external forces responsible for the philandering spouse who is, under this sort of law, a victim when he or she abandons his or her mate.

Alienation of affection laws should be repealed in every state where they are still in force.