Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Real Animal Rights Activist Would...

The animal rights movement is already dead and it cannot be fixed. No coat of paint, no rearrangement of the furniture, no extreme measures can fix it. It always has been and always will be an expression of the desire of some humans never to have existed, projected mentally onto the circumstances of non-human animals. Unfortunately, their kind of suicide is always murder-suicide, taking humans and animals with them. The animal rights movement is more dangerous to the lives of animals than anything.

The new movement is what I call animal culture, which depends upon and values human rights and the human right to own animals. I do not want this to be a new animal rights movement or a "real" animal rights movement. The use of animals is one of the most normal things about humans, even when you regard humans as just another animal. Life feeds on life. Life depends on life. It has always been done this way because it has to be done this way. Study biology from the first molecules on up. It becomes plain that the products of life are shared in a complex system that benefits from animals and plants feeding on each other and that the eating of meat has its place biologically.

There are human needs that find some kind of satisfaction in the idea of animal rights. Humans have a need to be compassionate. This need is not well satisfied by finding humans to be violent against or by finding animals that are better off dead or not having offspring. At the same time that someone employing the witch-hunt mentality has done "something good for the animals" he or she has participated in the destruction of a business that breeds animals, that may have been more than good enough to produce healthy and happy animals, and nothing has improved. This is the same emotional downhill slide that every crusade against an alleged evil takes people. That is how atrocities happen.

Real compassion is a positive thing. People help each other when they're down. We are polite to each other. We share our strengths. When did anyone last get together to help a neighbor who was down, maybe a wage-earner who couldn't afford to pay someone to fix her floor or the owner of a breeding operation whose heart couldn't take the stress while she couldn't live without the income? Where is the humanity for humans?

Those who have real compassion for animals have compassion for humans too. I've just explained what real compassion is. If we want well-run stores, restaurants, governments, menageries, or dog breeders, we need to give more than just our checks. We need to give of ourselves, to contribute to the smooth operation of the businesses that provide us our goods and services. Breeders and keepers of menageries literally provide us with life, so it is all the more important to give of ourselves to help them. Giving up the ego needs that require some of us to be controlling and adversarial is just one of the things that we have to do. We have to add positive emotional energy. We have to say that so and so who has a breeding kennel is doing a service for humanity and for the animals, and that such service requires respect, admiration, and even love.

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