Animal Rights is Wrong

Posted on 08/11/2009

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Animal Rights is Wrong by Loretta Baughan

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It always amazes me to see how many people fall prey to the slick photos of puppies and kittens national animal rights groups use to solicit donations. Too often, people who support these organizations are misled into thinking they are actually helping animals or their local humane societies. Despite having a name that suggests an active role in overseeing or operating local humane societies, in reality the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is little more than a $200-million dollar lobbying organization tirelessly working to ramrod their anti-animal, anti-people agenda into law.

On occasions where cases of animal abuse or neglect become the focus of media attention, HSUS jets into town to hog the spotlight while soliciting donations from the unsuspecting public. Like a thief in the night, HSUS packs up and exits – along with the public’s donations – as soon as the media’s attention fades, leaving struggling, underfunded local animal shelters and rescue groups bearing the financial burden of care for the confiscated animals.

“The Humane Society of the United States works with local Humane Societies across the country. We don’t control every local Humane Society in this nation. These organizations strive to the greatest degree to provide homes for animals and to encourage adoption, to spay and neuter animals. And if a decision is made to euthanize, it is a failure of society, not the local organizations who are striving to do their best.”
–Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) testimony at the Methamphetamine Enforcement and Treatment Act of 2007, the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act of 2007, and the Preventing Harassment Through Outbound Number Enforcement (Phone) Act of 2007 hearing before the subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security; Committee of the Judiciary in the House of Representatives, February 6, 2007, pg 104

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“Primarily they felt that the organization took on many issues purely for their publicity value, regardless of the facts of the case; subtly misrepresented itself in its fund-raising efforts by leading contributors to believe they were donating to local humane societies for animal rescue, when in fact these groups received no money from HSUS; and frequently sought to gain credit for the work of smaller less funded organizations.”
Dogs Best Friend by Mark Derr (2004), pg 257

It doesn’t help when the media interviews HSUS or PETA representatives every time a news story related to animals comes along. Those involved in animal rights groups are largely ignorant of animal husbandry practices. You would be hard-pressed to find anyone associated with any animal rights group who was raised on a farm or who ever raised a litter of puppies or kittens. Yet, these people are viewed as “experts” in all things animal? Hardly. Instead of rushing to mouthpieces for animal rights organizations who exaggerate non-existent “problems” and demonize those who have dedicated their lives to their animals, the public would be much better served if the media would turn to the true “experts” who actually care deeply about animal welfare: legitimate organizations that represent farmers, hunters, fishermen, ranchers and dog breeders, to name a few.

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In order to understand the issue, one has to first grasp the difference between “animal welfare” and “animal rights”. Some animal rights groups, seeking to appear less radical so as to gain members and increase donations, will claim they are “animal welfare” organizations. But the terms are not interchangeable. In fact, they are opposites.

“While those who adopt the animal welfare position seek merely to reduce animal suffering, supporters of animal rights aim to abolish it, demanding not bigger cages and “humane treatment”, but rather, empty cages and total liberation. Animal welfare philosophy accepts the property status of animals, but animal rights philosophy insists that animals are subjects of their own life and no one’s to own.”
Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?, Reflections on the Liberation of Animals by Steven Best and Anthony J. Nocella (2004), pg 26

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) are two high profile animal rights groups. While PETA is best known for their outlandish publicity stunts, HSUS is often referred to as “PETA in suits”. In recent years, HSUS has attempted to distance themselves from the “animal rights” label in an effort to appear mainstream so as to appeal to more donors. They often refer to themselves as “animal advocates” or “animal protectionists”. So what does that mean?

“Animal advocacy groups are, in a sense, attempting to interfere in the relationship between property (the animals) and the property owner.”
Animals, Property, and the Law by Gary Lawrence Francione (1995), pg 81

“I regard myself as an advocate of animal rights – as part of the animal rights movement. That movement, as I conceive it, is committed to a number of goals, including: the total abolition of the use of animals in science; the total dissolution of commercial animal agriculture; the total elimination of commercial and sport hunting and trapping.”
–Tom Regan, known as the “father of animal rights”, The Struggle for Animal Rights, published in Animal Rights by Andrew Linzey and Paul A.B. Clarke, pg. 176 (2004)

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“Much of the work of animal advocates is aimed not at research but at hunting, trapping, animal farming, and the slaughter of animals for food… However, a great deal of the currently much-expanded activity of animal activists seeks not the humane treatment of animals but their total “liberation” from all uses by human beings, including the wearing of fur and leather, eating of meat and poultry, and keeping of pets.”
–Morton M. Hunt, The New Know-nothings: The Political Foes of the Scientific Study of Human Nature (1999), pg 307

“But antivivisectionists and animal protectionists have been a significant part of that landscape as well, lobbying for the restraint or abolition of animal use in research. Are they friend or foe to the veterinarian?”
What Animals Want: Expertise and Advocacy in Laboratory Animal Welfare Policy by Larry Carbone (2004), pg 125

Philosophically, there is no difference between groups or individuals who identify themselves as “animal rights” or “animal advocates” or “animal protectionists” since they share a common belief that animals should not be owned or used by people.

Let’s remove the mask and identify the Humane Society of the United States by their actions, not their lip service. HSUS has demonstrated on numerous occasions a complete intolerance for hunting, as evidenced by their ongoing efforts to effect bans against hunting in various areas of the country. They also seek to abolish other animal-related activities and uses, as well.

“In recent years, HSUS has succeeded in helping enact laws that ban certain especially cruel hunting practices. For example, it was able to end such practices as bear baiting and hound hunting of bears, mountain lions, bobcats, and lynx in the state of Washington; same-day airborne shooting of wolves and other predators in Alaska; hound hunting of bears and bobcats in Massachusetts; hunting of bears in Colorado with bait and dogs, as well as bear hunting there in the spring and summer…”
Losing Paradise by Paul G. Irwin, Hunting – Sport or Slaughter? (2000), pg 83

“The HSUS is now anti-circus, anti-rodeo, recommends eating less meat as the first line of attack on the cruelty of factory farming, and encourages the use of alternatives to animal testing. Would it be such a bad thing if violent animal rights activity made the HSUS look very mainstream…”
Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?, Reflections on the Liberation of Animals by Steven Best and Anthony J. Nocella (2004), pg 124

“By contrast, animal rights advocates oppose any and all human “use” of animals. They invoke the Kantian idea that human beings should be treated as ends, not means – but they extend the idea to animals, so as to challenge a wide range of current practices. These include the use of animals in rodeos, circuses, zoos, agriculture, hunting and scientific experimentation. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the Humane Society of the United States are committed to this basic approach.”
Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions by Cass R. Sunstein and Martha Craven Nussbaum (2005), pg 5

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The whole premise behind animal rights is a belief that animal ownership is the same as owning slaves and that their struggle to achieve rights for animals is the moral equivalent of the civil rights or women’s suffrage movements. These radicals view those who own animals as committing what they call “speciesism”, an offense they claim is equal to sexism or racism.

“…a central goal of the animal rights movement – eliminating the idea that animals are property…”
Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions by Cass R. Sunstein and Martha Nussbaum (2005), pg 11

“Animal slavery has a grip on our society that is entirely like the stranglehold that African slavery had on the antebellum South.”
–Norm Phelps, The Longest Struggle (2009), pg 280

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Some fanatic animal rights believers advocate for “non-human” animals to be granted “personhood” and legal rights enabling individuals and groups to take owners to court on behalf of their animal. In reality, it is human life they wish to devalue, lowering us to a status equal with – or less than – animals.

“Animal rights promotes the idea that people should have no more rights than animals. As PETA cofounder and national director Ingrid Newkirk puts it, “I don’t believe human beings have the ‘right to life’. That’s a supremacist perversion. A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.”
AnimalScam by Kathleen Marquardt, Herbert M. Levine and Mark LaRochelle, pg. 5 (1993)

“A chimpanzee, dog, or pig, for instance, will have a higher degree of self-awareness and a greater capacity for meaningful relations with others than a severely retarded infant or someone in a state of advanced senility. So if we base the right to life on these characteristics we must grant these animals a right to life as good as, or better than, such retarded or senile humans.”
–quoting Peter Singer in The Animal Rights, Environmental Ethics Debate by Eugene C. Hargrove (1992), pg 20

“The animal rights movement would allow people no more rights than rats or cockroaches. The real agenda of this movement is not to give rights to animals, but to take rights from people – to dictate our food, clothing, work, recreation, and whether we will discover new medicines or die. Animal rights pose an extraordinary threat to our health, freedom, and even our lives.”
AnimalScam by Kathleen Marquardt, Herbert M. Levine and Mark LaRochelle (1993), pg 6

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The concept and doctrine of “animal rights” is far from mainstream. It is a radical belief. It is un-American. It is dangerous. You don’t have to take my word for it because I have included a multitude of published quotes right from the horses’ mouths… the leaders and founders of the animal rights movement, as well as a few well-versed experts. Their words are disturbing and, at the same time, revealing. Please read them carefully. These people are committed to their cause, are extremely well-funded and have well-established connections in all levels of government. Their words should be a wake-up call for those who support any animal rights organization – financially or otherwise.

“If we are serious about animal rights, we have a responsibility to stop bringing them into existence for our purposes. We would stop bringing all domestic animals into existence for human purposes.”
–Gary L. Francione, Professor of Law, Rutgers University School of Law, when asked if he supports the use of dogs to assist the blind and disabled in An Interview with Professor Gary L. Francione on the State of the U.S. Animal Rights Movement, Friends of Animals, published on The Animal Spirit website.

Our “one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all” is quickly becoming a land of intolerance as these and other special interest groups seek to gain the power of the law to advance their fanatic agendas at the expense of liberty and justice. These radical animal rights groups believe that they should dictate to the rest of us how to live; what we can and can’t do. Their demented goal is to create an utopian society where people cannot eat meat, eggs or dairy… cannot wear leather, fur or wool… cannot enjoy aquariums, zoos, circuses, rodeos, dog or horse races, field trials, hunt tests or dog shows… cannot hunt, trap or fish… cannot own, use or breed any animals… where advances in medicine are stiffled and a place where guide dogs for the blind and service animals for the disabled are forbidden. These animal rightists have no respect for other peoples’ freedom to decide these things for themselves… no respect for the US Constitution. Just intolerance. That’s not the America I believe in and that our founding fathers sacrificed so much to establish and preserve.

Tell everyone you know that animal rights is wrong.

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Loretta Baughan

Loretta Baughan is the founder, editor and publisher of Spaniel Journal. She is an award winning professional photographer, webdesigner, owner of Autumnskye, LLC. Loretta is a member of the Dog Federation of Wisconsin, the National Rifle Association and is the Wisconsin contact for the Sportsmen and Animal Owners Voting Alliance. She resides in northern Wisconsin, with her husband, Steve, and their three children.

Posted in: HSUS, PETA