Good Point, Holly, Except Lincoln Never Said It

Ohio University junior Holly Jensen, treasurer of the Athens Animal Rights Coalition, recently penned a letter to student newspaper The Post Online. Jensen wrote to complain that The Post Online had unfairly panned People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ habit of comparing animal agriculture with the Holocaust or slavery.

Jensen complained that numerous humanitarians supported animal rights, including Abraham Lincoln who said,

I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being.

Of course this quote might actually be a bit more persuasive if Lincoln had ever actually said it. It doesn’t appear in any of his articles, speeches, written correspondence or other utterances. Its very language speaks of a 20th century sensibility rather than mid-19th century.

Although it appears on literally hundreds of animal rights web sites, not one includes a link to a reference where Lincoln is supposed to have said this and none of them seem to think “hmmm, maybe we might want to know if this awfully contemporary sounding sentence couplet really came from the mouth of a 19th century president.”

The worst culprit is In Defense of Animals which for years has sold a t-shirt with the bogus quote on it.

But then this is the animal rights movement we are talking about — it is not like accuracy and truth telling have ever been major priorities.


Humanitarians back PETA’s message. Holly Jensen, The Post Online, October 3, 2005.

Animal Rights Activists Want Ohio University to Open Animal Care Review Committee Meetings

Ohio-based animal rights activists want Ohio University to open up its Institutional Laboratory Animal Care and Use Committee meetings, but the university has so far refused on the grounds that it is not required by law to do so and it does not want to set a precedent of opening meetings that it is not legally required to open.

Two groups, Ohio-based Protecting Our Earth’s Treasures and OU student group Athens Animal Rights Coalition, want the university to open the meetings.

Protecting the Earth’s Treasures’ Rob Russell told The Athens News that the meetings should be open because,

This is a federally mandated committee, at an Ohio public university.

Athens Animal Rights Coalition president Noelle Elbert told The Athens News,

They should be public. Other universities in Ohio have to go by the rules, and we don’t understand why OU doesn’t.

. . .

We’re concerned about the animals. Because what are they hiding, if they don’t want you to sit in on the meetings? . . . I pay to go to this school, so don’t I have a right to know what’s going on?

But Ohio University director of legal affairs, John Burns, noted that Elbert has been given copies of the minutes from all of the animal care committee meetings, as well as a tour of Ohio University’s animal facilities. “There has been a lot of information provided to her,” Burns told The Athens News.


Animal rights activists wonder what OU committee is hiding. Jim Phillips, The Athens News, November 24, 2004.