Thursday, July 23, 2009

Very Good Ideas

Most of what the ownership rights side says is negative. It needs to be done, it is good work, we're right to do it, but it is still negative. We report government abuses and the solutions are always implied. In order to progress we need to take that very frightening next step, often onto a surface that we can't see, don't know if it even exists, and seems to be over a bottomless abyss.

If the government abuse is banning people's pets, the implied positive response is that those pets should not be banned because it is a very good idea to keep pets and everyone knows that. It's been hard to get everyone to admit that, hasn't it?

Sometimes we need to say that "it's a very good idea to..." whatever it is, to add positive energy to the whole thing. Appropriate to the situation, we might say that it's a very good idea and explain why, or just say that it's a very good idea. This is the treatment for all those people who say that something's a bad idea for reasons that carry very little strength. Arguing their reasons down without explicitly saying "it's good" robs us of most of the impact of the argument. They don't have that handicap. Here are some examples of arguments that have more positive impact:

"It is a very good idea to keep a wallaby as a pet because it helps conserve the species, wallabies are pretty good pets, they are very harmless, and they make people happy. This argument outweighs the arguments against that are loaded with negative emotion and bogus science."

"It is a very good idea to keep a lion as a pet if one is able to keep it fed and clean, because this helps conserve the species, it puts a person's humanity to good use, because lions give a lot of love, because a human should have the right to choose, and because the danger is less than riding a bicycle in Kansas City."

Or, for a short one: "It is a very good idea to keep a monkey as a pet" with no explanation needed.

We need the positive attitude. We need to talk about specific benefits and stand on the idea that those benefits, for human and animals, far outweigh the drawbacks. We need to keep away from qualifiers that can be interpreted broadly and stick with specifics, such as keeping the animals clean, healthy, and well-fed, which is part of healthy. "Humane" and "responsible" are catch-all, overly broad terms that have been abused to death the last few years. We must use specific terms so people can know what we're talking about.

It is a very good idea to do this so that we have a better chance of winning back our rights. We do after all have to tell them what we want, don't we? Don't we also have to tell them that it would give us pleasure and improve our lives?

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