Saturday, June 19, 2010

Letting go of things too easily

I've sometimes accused people of being "AR Lite" and a lot of times the problem isn't that we're "AR Lite." We're "Freedom Lite." We give over a little bit of our freedom for a "good reason." The only people who suggest "good reasons" are hostile to the cause of freedom and in fact they are hostile to humanity's eating, drinking, excreting, and living. The vine that a fruit comes from does not get more poisonous than that.

"Freedom Lite" means that we want freedom for everyone except drug users, perverts, hoarders, and people who cut you off in traffic and talk in the movies. We all have "good reasons" why a marijuana user can't be allowed to stock groceries at Walmart, why anyone who ever had sex for any reason other than procreation must not be allowed near any civilized company, and why smokers must endanger their health by smoking outside in below zero weather. Breeders are necessary for the perpetuation of any non-human species that has trouble surviving in what's left of the wild, and guess what. We have "good reasons" why anyone who breeds animals outside of a carefully managed program is "irresponsible" at the same time that the AZA wants to manage their "generic" tigers to extinction and their program is too complicated to allow for breeding of the animals that they do value.

"Freedom Lite" also means that we easily cave in to restrictions on our freedom for something like the Endangered Species Act, which is much more punishing for breeders than poachers. An act that has caused a lot more harm than good, if we can't make more than a faint protest against this act, we need to pull it together here. Just one of the ideas that I like is the idea that if anything, government should subsidize the breeding of endangered animals, and forget "genetic purity." Most likely the buffalo have benefited from being crossbred with the common cow, proves they're the same species anyway. It would be like being forced to only have purebred dogs, and in fact the AR people are yanking us both directions. They say no purebred dogs and only purebred big cats. We know what's up with that. They hate us. They say so in their rantings.

If we want to ask good and decent people for anything, we have to ask for something that has substance. "Freedom" is a good thing to ask for, and put something behind it. It's better to be more explicit, as in "we want the freedom to breed tigers, lions, leopards, ocelots, cheetahs, and other exotic animals." Then when our Congress people sent back boilerplate, write them again and again and again. We will be a lot better able to pull together when we all know that we are pulling for the same thing, not just for a privileged few to have essentially the same thing they would have without a big tea party.

How important are we to ourselves? By use of shame, shame that we haven't earned but is like a magical tarball that some people seem to be able to paste on our souls, a lot of us have become convinced that what we want is not important. At the same time the same people tell us what we should want. Huh? They tell us that our animals have rights that matter more than our own then they come and take those animals away and kill them, using excuses and "good reasons." Gee, I think I'll order a bunch of select literature from the library, including Aristotle's Rhetoric and Noam Chomsky's "Manufacturing Consent" and see if I can figure out the message. Gentlemen, we are saved, a linguist has arrived.

Even this crap about "hoarders" is geared to make a lot of us more eager to part with our worldly treasures. We've got a modern bonfire of the vanities. So while they sell the idea of rescuing a lot of animals and keeping them in comfort for the rest of their lives, they have a label and a power and limits to our freedom and somehow anyone who doesn't work for the HSUS becomes a "hoarder" and local sheriffs can treat them the way that they do suspected pedophiles, or worse.

I know it's discouraging. The only way that we can feel better is to work with each other, comfort and console each other, and let each other be who we are.