Friday, June 4, 2010

To a Generic Animal Rights Twit:

When you have a problem, you seem to be unable to stay away from inflammatory and disrespectful rhetoric which tests the bounds of civility. This throws your alleged empathy for the animals in people's faces and you seem to believe that you have license to hurt people if they don't measure up to what you think of as standards, using that "empathy" as an excuse.

My caring is genuine and it is a real part of me, deserving of respect. I look at people funny when they declare that I must not care if I do not do things as they believe that I should. If I go along with them then they have control, as if they own my animals and I do not. I would not say that they actually have any standards outside of "he's always wrong." The argument shifts to keep whoever they target in the wrong. They just move the goalposts and the crosshairs. You're still targeted.

Were I to make no concessions to practicality I would be a poor caretaker of animals. If I decide that I can take care of four animals and I do not intervene to keep a fifth from dying because I am conserving resources to take care of the four that I already have, I don't want to hear it. If I put their needs ahead of my own too much that can become abusive of myself and frankly, those people who ask me to do so hate me and want me dead. If I have five animals and I am overextended, if I kill one and eat it (or any variation thereof) that is because I have to. Human needs and appetites have validity and are at least as valid of those of non-humans. I will not keep four animals that I do not want just to prevent myself from receiving verbal abuse from any given person. That would also be a bad reason to keep the animals. It is more respectable to keep them to for my personal satisfaction than it is to keep them to feed the political monster that "humane" has become or to avoid criticisms from people who usually have less than no standing in my life. This would include but not be limited to fighting them for entertainment, and it is through no virtue of yours that I detest animal fighting and will avoid it.

Because I am extending myself to help maintain the lives of several other creatures, oh yes it does mean that I have rights to what I want and need. I have earned a greater right through my work, exactly the way that a worker earns wages. I rarely push the "they're socialists" button but animal rights twits seem to universally hate the capable wage-earner who earns their money by actually working for it. This goes hand in hand with hating the meaning that another human gains from his or her life, the intangible profit. Threatening people into "good" behavior takes away that meaning. It robs them of that meaning and gives it to those who are making the threats. There is no meaning to an act of kindness to an animal if I do it because someone threatened me. Taking that meaning away from me takes away one good reason that I have to be kind to animals.

The one valid measure of whether I should keep an animal is if I want that animal or have a use for it. I do not alter my choices to try to gain left or right-handed compliments from you. What you "find disturbing" is a rhetorical device. Perhaps you need more experience in the real world. Perhaps you just need to shut up.

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