THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS

Posted by: issodhos

THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/18/07 05:10 AM

Do you think animals have Rights? The author makes a case against such an argument. Is he wrong?
Yours,
Issodhos

 Quote:

21. THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS

IT HAS LATELY BECOME a growing fashion to extend the concept of rights from human beings to animals, and to assert that since animals have the full rights of humans, it is therefore impermissible—i.e., that no man has the right—to kill or eat them.

There are, of course, many difficulties with this position, including arriving at some criterion of which animals or living beings to include in the sphere of rights and which to leave out. (There are not many theorists, for example, who would go so far as Albert Schweitzer and deny the right of anyone to step on a cockroach. And, if the theory were extended further from conscious living beings to all living beings, such as bacteria or plants, the human race would rather quickly die out.)

But the fundamental flaw in the theory of animal rights is more basic and far-reaching.1 For the assertion of human rights is not properly a simple emotive one; individuals possess rights not because we “feel” that they should, but because of a rational inquiry into the nature of man and the universe. In short, man has rights because they are natural rights. They are grounded in the nature of man: the individual man’s capacity for conscious choice, the necessity for him to use his mind and energy to adopt goals and values, to find out about the world, to pursue his ends in order to survive and prosper, his capacity and need to communicate and interact with other human beings and to participate in the division of labor. In short, man is a rational and social animal. No other animals or beings possess this ability to reason, to make conscious choices, to transform their environment in order to prosper, or to collaborate consciously in society and the division of labor.

Thus, while natural rights, as we have been emphasizing, are absolute, there is one sense in which they are relative: they are relative to the species man. A rights-ethic for mankind is precisely that: for all men, regardless of race, creed, color or sex, but for the species man alone.

Continued here: http://www.mises.org/rothbard/ethics/twentyone.asp
Posted by: Greger

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/18/07 10:37 AM

DO animals have the same rights as humans? No. Do humans have the right to treat animals as cruelly as they wish, again, no. The murkiness of the animal rights question lies not in the actual rights of the animals but in the ethics of humanity in relation to the other species we must share this planet with. We are the most intelligent and the most destructive of beasts, the only beast who must put forth entirely unnatural laws to enforce the supposed god given rights we claim. Being at the top of the food chain earns a species certain rights but doesn't earn it the right to willfully abuse it's food sources and lesser competitors.
Posted by: Almost Naomi

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/18/07 11:41 AM

 Quote:
In short, man has rights because they are natural rights. They are grounded in the nature of man: the individual man’s capacity for conscious choice, the necessity for him to use his mind and energy to adopt goals and values, to find out about the world, to pursue his ends in order to survive and prosper, his capacity and need to communicate and interact with other human beings and to participate in the division of labor.
I believe our 'natural rights' as described above and our ability to make conscious decisions puts us a rung below animals. Animals live in the moment, act on instinct. They're naturally intuitive, generally consistent and predictable.

They don't hurt another living thing simply for the sake of hurting them. Or because they had a crummy childhood. Or because they're drunk or on drugs. Or someone paid them to. Or they want to collect life insurance. They don't start horrendous wars based on lies and profit motives.

I'm with Dr. Schweitzer. If a bug or snake or spider is simply living its life, why kill it? What's the rational motivation? I'm not talking about swarms of locusts. (Although, personally, that would be a signal for me to move somewhere else, not kill them in droves. But that's just me.) There is a Native American proverb: When we show respect for other living things, they respond with respect for us. I've found that to be consistently true.

As for not killing animals for food, the problem with that is, yes, humans could survive quite well as vegetarians, but what about our dogs and cats? They are, by nature, carnivores. Cats, in particular, need meat to survive. Do we kill our animal companions because we don't want to kill animals? Makes about as much sense as a right-to-lifer shooting an abortion doctor.

Personally, I believe animals are our teachers. If we can be humble enough to learn from them, we may not need to debate their rights.
Posted by: 2wins

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/18/07 11:56 AM

I liked the way my Lakota friend described it to me. We share the planet with animals. We must respect their place on the earth. When we rely on them for our survival, as in food, we must respect them and go through the proper channels before taking their lives. In this case, on a hunt a prayer is said and man essentially asks the animal to allow him to take the animal's life. In that way, it was explained to me, the animal's soul — yes, many believe animals have souls — is sent back to the maker in peace.
Posted by: stereoman

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/18/07 01:04 PM

I think the author is wrong on several counts.

  • IT HAS LATELY BECOME a growing fashion . . . to assert that since animals have the full rights of humans, it is therefore impermissible—i.e., that no man has the right—to kill or eat them.

I have not observed that this is a "growing fashion". I know of only a tiny number of people who assert that animals have the full rights of humans, and they are considered nut-cases, even among my most radical acquaintances. The author has firmly established, from the very first sentence, that he is about to flog a straw man, err, animal.
  • In short, man has rights because they are natural rights. They are grounded in the nature of man . . .

The writer departs here from the most fundamental statement of the origin of rights in our American heritage. The Founders did not declare that human rights are grounded in an examination of human nature. They stated that these rights were "endowed by the Creator".
  • No other animals or beings possess this ability to reason, to make conscious choices, to transform their environment in order to prosper, or to collaborate consciously in society and the division of labor.

The writer is completely and utterly mistaken in this assertion, showing an abject ignorance of the intelligence and resourcefulness of higher animals, particularly primates. His conclusion that "natural rights" are limited to humankind is thus based on fallacies.
  • Inter-species survival is a matter of tooth and claw. It would surely be absurd to say that the wolf is “evil” because he exists by devouring and “aggressing against” lambs, chickens, etc. The wolf is not an evil being who “aggresses against” other species; he is simply following the natural law of his own survival. Similarly for man.

Again, the author either demonstrates total ignorance or is being laughably disingenuous. He doesn't even bother to examine whether there is any difference between the jaw structure of wolf and man, nor whether the human digestive system more closely resembles that of a carnivorous canine or the herbivorous gorilla.

IMHO the rights of animals are defined in roughly the same way as our forefathers defined the rights of humans: they are "self evident". If you believe that some, most or all animals have been "endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights", you should show the respect you think they deserve for that. If not, you will be judged by your peers according to your actions. The consensus opinion in America today is that higher-order animals do have certain rights, although not the same ones as humans.

I have been a vegetarian for over thirty years. I would not even remotely entertain a rational thought of exercising cruelty on any higher order animal, but I still step on roaches whenever I see them. Spiders get carried outside. Being a gardener, I have a symbiotic relationship with insectivores.
Posted by: stereoman

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/18/07 01:06 PM

 Originally Posted By: Almost Naomi
Animals . . . don't hurt another living thing simply for the sake of hurting them. Or because they had a crummy childhood. Or because they're drunk or on drugs. Or someone paid them to. Or they want to collect life insurance. They don't start horrendous wars based on lies and profit motives.

<SNIP>

Personally, I believe animals are our teachers. If we can be humble enough to learn from them, we may not need to debate their rights.

Posted by: Tatuma

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/18/07 03:12 PM

 Originally Posted By: stereoman


IT HAS LATELY BECOME a growing fashion . . . to assert that since animals have the full rights of humans, it is therefore impermissible—i.e., that no man has the right—to kill or eat them.


(Unless said animal has, for the good of society and a great personal sacrifice, signed off on the vingar-based BarBQ clause, which changes everything)
Ref: Animal bill of rights, signing statement


 Quote:

I have been a vegetarian for over thirty years. I would not even remotely entertain a rational thought of exercising cruelty on any higher order animal, but I still step on roaches whenever I see them. Spiders get carried outside. Being a gardener, I have a symbiotic relationship with insectivores.


Though sorely tempted of late, as it is the daddy long legs mating season, to kill an occasional arachnid, I always either evict them to the garden, or just toss them back over the sofa, amid shreaks of "Kill that thing"! I dont know if it is many DDLs or the same one that keeps walking up my leg with mistaken amorous intent. (They all look the same to me)

Similarly I ALWAYS quickly and gently evict mayflys, the ones that look like giant mosquitoes, because I read somewhere that they only live one day and have to find a soul-mate post haste. I wouldnt want to be the one who disrupted "The Plan". Kind of makes one think...

A great and wise friend reminded me, no doubt in a frantic moment, that I should be living every day and moment as if it was my last. This is quite possible when one is "in the moment" and aware that all out there in the world is illusion anyway, though it seems so real...

Beware the RUGUs that take us from light to darkness, they are everywhere!

TAT
Posted by: issodhos

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/18/07 04:20 PM

I think Rothbard is probably correct, animals probably do not have any Rights. But for just a few notes, no time now to respond at length.

 Originally Posted By: stereoman
I think the author is wrong on several counts.

I have not observed that this is a "growing fashion". I know of only a tiny number of people who assert that animals have the full rights of humans, and they are considered nut-cases, even among my most radical acquaintances. The author has firmly established, from the very first sentence, that he is about to flog a straw man, err, animal.


This is an excerpt from Rothbard's "Ethics of Liberty", published in 1982. At the time it was written there was indeed a growing interest in the question of "Animal Rights". That it has not caught on more than it has since then does not mean that Rothbard was attmepting to set up a straw man when he wrote this portion of his book.


 Quote:

  • In short, man has rights because they are natural rights. They are grounded in the nature of man . . .

The writer departs here from the most fundamental statement of the origin of rights in our American heritage. The Founders did not declare that human rights are grounded in an examination of human nature. They stated that these rights were "endowed by the Creator".


I think Rothbard was influenced by the thinking and writings of Lysander Spooner (1808 - 1887) who sought to keep natural Rights based on a more objective set of criteria than simple pronouncement -- as is done in the Declaration of Independence (obviously, for Rights to be recognized by a political document their existence must have predated the document, meaning there must or should be other more fundamental grounds for their existence).

 Quote:

  • No other animals or beings possess this ability to reason, to make conscious choices, to transform their environment in order to prosper, or to collaborate consciously in society and the division of labor.

The writer is completely and utterly mistaken in this assertion, showing an abject ignorance of the intelligence and resourcefulness of higher animals, particularly primates. His conclusion that "natural rights" are limited to humankind is thus based on fallacies.


I think he should have worded this a bit better and perhaps have made a distinction by degree in the "transforming of their environment in order to prosper" and "collaborating". Still, it does not seem to me to impact his conclusion.
Yours,
Issodhos
Posted by: Ken Condon

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/18/07 08:47 PM

One also has this to contend with--from Genesis 1:28

God blessed them. God said to them, "Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

One can interpret this to mean man can do what he wants to with the animals on earth. God put them here as our plaything, and to eat.
Posted by: stereoman

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/18/07 10:36 PM

 Originally Posted By: Ken Hill
One can interpret this to mean man can do what he wants to with the animals on earth. God put them here as our plaything, and to eat.


True. And once upon a time, powerful men used violence and repression to impose the opinion that they were endowed by their Creator with the right to have dominion over other, lesser men, to treat those below themselves in any way they chose, to own other human beings as property, to demean women solely as sex objects or as incubators for their male heirs. The principles of patriarchy and "Divine Right" were thoroughly justified by Biblical passages, these powerful men maintained.

As time went by, we humans came to understand that these beliefs were not in line with Divine Truth. Among the first nations on earth to embrace this understanding was the United States.

Would it be altogether surprising then to find that the US is taking a leadership role in dispelling the notion that humans have a "Divine Right" to treat other animals as they please, based on a single verse in the Bible?

US Christians are adopting a new paradigm
Posted by: BC

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/18/07 11:58 PM

All living things have a "natural" right. Goofy huh? Nah... We're driven by what nature has provided us. Most animals have & react on instinct. Plants thrive on what nature gives them, and perishes when that isn't given or some other "natural" piece of life decides the plant is part of a necessary/desirable food chain. Maybe "decides" is a little generous. Animals "decide" about that food chain the same way, and sometimes/often other animals are part of that food chain.

"Supposedly" the human animal has a higher capability to make decisions. Supposedly the human animal goes beyond instinct, and appreciates, reasons and applies a minimal amount of intelligence when dealing with other life around it. Yeah, we have a salad, weed whack a...uh, weed and raise livestock as a supposed "natural" part of our own food chain.

Unfortunately, some of our fellow human beings also raise animals simply to enjoy the cruelty we allow them to provide us. Not for survival, not based on instinct, simply for our own enjoyment. Somehow, most "humans" have moved past watching lions chowing down on slaves at the Colliseum...most have moved past slavery & whipping of said slaves...most have moved past "simple" capitalistic slavery...most have moved past the same crap with the animals they share the earth with...but not all.

But what the hell...when nature calls...when evolution devolves...when instincts and the pleasure of the pain of others is what pleasures us...well, what the hell, we're the supreme beings. We're the masters of our universe. We are the highest order of intelligence. So if ya don't like your neighbor, his beast, his spouse or his kid, and you're crafty enough to gain control, chain 'em, beat 'em, drive them to attack each other, punish or kill 'em if they don't satisfy your intelligent, instinctual needs...but please...don't eat 'em. That'd be barbaric. Then again...a Vick barbeque at the tailgate might go down well for some other intelligent beings...or some dogs who have the ability to gain control, start a fire & apply barbeque sauce.

See ya...gotta take the dogs outside...
Posted by: Phil Hoskins

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/19/07 12:09 AM

A couple of points:

1. Saying man has natural rights grounded in the nature of man is the same as a pronouncement. It is an unsupportable assertion of fact which refers to itself for proof of its veracity. Circular logic at its worst.

2. To have dominion over certainly is not equal to "doing what you want with". A shepherd does have dominion but is charged with caring for and protecting the flock, and if necessary killing one of it for his survival. The notion that the creation is here for our pleasure is so absurd and revolting that to assert it offends the spirit of life itself.
Posted by: stereoman

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/19/07 01:07 AM

 Originally Posted By: Phil Hoskins
Circular logic at its worst.

 Originally Posted By: Declaration of Independence
We hold these truths to be self-evident . . .




 Originally Posted By: Phil Hoskins
The notion that the creation is here for our pleasure is so absurd and revolting that to assert it offends the spirit of life itself.


That's where "modern" (read: Librul) Christians are going in their reassessment of the meaning of "dominion" in the Genesis passage.
Posted by: BoogieMan

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/19/07 05:11 AM

There seems to be a new ongoing 'debate' going on in the web world now over the recent Michael Vick topic by those who espouse libertarian beliefs. I am not accusing anyone here of this, but I do notice a similar line of thought with this thread as I have seen elsewhere.

From what I gather, libertarians believe people should be able to do whatever they wish with animals, as they consider them their property, and the government laws reguarding animal abuse, are unjust and cross the lines of their libertarian ways of thinking.

I think this particular subject is one that would be better left alone, if it were a libertarian cause, as it is one that seems to cross barriers with all people that feel deeply towards the treatment of animals, especially those that would be pets.

I do not view animals' rights as important in this debate, as I do the responsibility we as human beings have with reguards to how we treat said animals with respect.

If I am off base on where this subject is going or coming from, then please excuse the interruption and carry on the topic as you were.
Posted by: issodhos

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/19/07 05:37 AM


Special note should be made of Murray Rothbard's first sentence in this chapter. He is specifically speaking of the idea of extending to animals the full Rights of humans. I think to determine if animals can have such Rights, Rights themselves must be examined.

Using the words or the Declaration of Independence that recognizes and references pre-existing natural Rights, can we say, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all lions are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Lions, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,--" and have it hold meaning?. When we read that all lions are created equal, this means that all lions are born with the same Rights as all other lions -- neither more nor less.

I would postulate that for individual lions to have Rights, lions as a whole must know that each lion has the Right to life. Lions as a whole must recognize that if they infringe upon the Right to life of another non-aggressor lion (by killing it for example), they could be held accountable by other lions for having done so. Is there any evidence that lions hold each other accountable for killing other non-aggressor lions? Not that I know of. Do lions aggress against and kill other non-aggressor lions? According to researchers, male lions will kill the cubs of other male lions, so yes, they do. In doing so are they held accountable by other lions? No, because it is the nature of a male lion to kill the cubs of other male lions. I would suggest that because a lion cannot recognize the Rights of other lions, neither it nor any other lion can have Rights as expressed and recognized by a human for other humans.

The fundamental natural Right of Man is self-ownership -- the ownership of one's person. Without this natural Right, man would exist in one of two states -- ownerless or as the property of another. The same is true of animals. Does an animal have self-ownership? No. And again, it is because animals in general, like the lion, do not and cannot recognize the Right of self-ownership in other animals of their kind. What does this mean for the animal? If it is a domestic animal it is the property of its human owner. If it is a wild animal, it is ownerless until it is caught or killed by a human, at which time it becomes the property of that person. And what if it is killed by another animal? Does it become the property of that animal? No. It can at most be a possession of that animal unless another animal comes along and takes possession. The one animal does not and cannot recognize the Right of the other to ownership.

So, what does the inability to recognize and have natural Rights mean for animals? Are they nothing more than property, to be treated as such, and to be used and disposed of in any way the owner so chooses, or is there something aside from natural Rights governs Man and his relationship to animals? Something that has a more solid basis than mere human emotion? Something that cannot change on a whim. I know there are spiritual, religeous, even metaphysical concepts concerning Man's relationship to animals, but is there some rational concept evidenced in nature that would form the basis of a more objective and humane relationship between Man and animal? Something that carries the profundity of Man's Rights but from its nature, serves the lesser animals? That is the second half of the issue of Animal Rights that was left and is usually left unexamined when it is concluded that animals do not have the Rights Man does.
Yours,
Issodhos
Posted by: pdx rick

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/19/07 10:31 AM

Do animals have the "right" not to be mistreated? I think so!!

Kitten Fights for Life; Girls Charged

 Quote:
A 3-month-old cat is clinging to life at a Sonoma County animal hospital after having been set on fire by two teenage girls who now face charges of animal cruelty.


The kitten, named Adam by hospital staff, has undergone two surgeries and had its tail and the tips of its ears amputated. The skin on its back was burned off in the attack, leaving nothing but raw tissue.


"The degree of injury is greater than our normal level of trauma that we care for," said Katheryn Hinkle, the head veterinarian and owner of the Animal Hospital of Cotati. "He's our most critical patient, and we're watching him constantly."


The cat, one of several feral felines trapped for spaying and neutering, was in a cage outside an apartment in Santa Rosa when two 15-year-old girls allegedly poured flammable liquid on the animal and set it on fire last month.


An 11-year-old boy and his friend saw the smoke and heard the cat, then eight weeks old, shrieking while the girls laughed. The girls, whose names have not been released, were charged with cruelty to animals in Sonoma County Juvenile Court last week.


With so much exposed skin, the cat is vulnerable to infection, Hinkle said. It cannot leave its cage and must be handled only with gloves. It will need several more surgeries to cover the wound on its back with skin.
Posted by: Mellowicious

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/19/07 10:42 AM

 Originally Posted By: issodhos

I think to determine if animals can have such Rights, Rights themselves must be examined.

Using the words or the Declaration of Independence that recognizes and references pre-existing natural Rights, can we say, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all lions are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Lions, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,--" and have it hold meaning?. When we read that all lions are created equal, this means that all lions are born with the same Rights as all other lions -- neither more nor less.


Issodhos, even though I really hate parsing any of our founding documents, I disagree with your reading here. I'm not good at naming parts of sentences but the commas here, I believe, are used to indicate independent thoughts, as in:
 Quote:
We hold these truths to be self evident -
  • that all lions are created equal
  • that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,
  • that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Lions, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,--"


Governments may or may not be instituted among lions, but if they were, their purpose would be to secure these rights - not to grant them.
 Quote:
I would postulate that for individual lions to have Rights, lions as a whole must know that each lion has the Right to life.

Once they figure it out, perhaps they will explain it to the House and Senate.

There are similar problems throughout, but I'll take exception to one in particular:
 Quote:
The fundamental natural Right of Man is self-ownership -- the ownership of one's person.


Clearly the original document did not include women; nor did it include men of color. Only later was that natural Right Recognized.

Were I a lion, I might say that it's simply a natural step to recognize my people. Your arguments on this one are a direct parallel to those used against the non-white and the female. They worked - for awhile - in those situations; as a rhetorical device , I think perhaps their time is over.
Posted by: Greger

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/19/07 11:17 AM

If the above mentioned male lion should get caught trying to kill a female lions cubs I'm guessing he would find himself in some serious trouble. There would be no investigation nor reports to the lion police, she would simply chew his balls off and spit them in his face.
As Issodos guides us through this dilemma I begin to question whether man has any inherent rights above and beyond that of the animals. He has language so that he may claim these rights, he has opposable thumbs so that an otherwise soft and easily eaten species can make weapons from whatever is at hand. He has superior intelligence and created civilisation so that bands of humans could find reason to kill other bands of humans, or not, depending on the whims of the chosen leaders.
Self ownership is simply a claim, all the beasts of the forests would make the same claim if they had the language to do so. Domesticated beasts might say that you can keep me and feed me and eat me as long as you continue my bloodline but ownership is in your mind.
And thus I come, perhaps, to the profundity you seek. The Mind of Man. That great collective vessel, capable of learning, changing, creating and adapting. It may have been divine intervention, it may have been an evolutionary mistake. Animals are mostly hard wired, they are born knowing most everything they will need to get along in a natural world. When humans are born they are a blank slate and must feed continuously from the tree of knowledge. This sets us apart and it sets us above (for now) all the other beasts. It gives man and man alone the ability to look at a situation and determine whether it is right or wrong. Squishing a fly to protect food from contamination is right. Pulling the wings off a fly just to see it strugggle is wrong. This lowly example sets the stage for mans ethical treatment of other species.
Posted by: stereoman

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/19/07 11:58 AM

 Originally Posted By: issodhos
Special note should be made of Murray Rothbard's first sentence in this chapter. He is specifically speaking of the idea of extending to animals the full Rights of humans.


That's exactly right. So how do we go from "the same rights" to "no rights at all" without pausing in between?

Your lion example demonstrates the same anthropocentric viewpoint as the author is stuck in. Why assume that lions want to be happy? Why not argue the self-evident truth that all lions are endowed by their Creator with a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of prey?

Why change the debate to whether lions should respect each others' rights? Isn't the question whether humans should respect their rights? It matters not a whit whether lions are capable of cognitive decision-making processes because we are not intent upon making laws that regulate the behavior of lions, we are instead concerned with the behavior of humans. So it makes no difference if the lion is aware of being mistreated by humans, or how the lion may or may not "feel" about that.

 Originally Posted By: issodhos
Does an animal have self-ownership? No.


You've obviously never been owned by a cat.

Seriously though, how can you be so unequivocal? I can think of all kinds of examples of animals exhibiting self-ownership: independence, shyness, defense of family and territory . . . and again, even with the assumption of self-ownership as a human right, how does that address the question of whether the right arises from cognitive reasoning or natural endowment? I maintain that the right existed all along, even before any person began to examine or rationalize it, long before it was canonized by Founding Documents, humans had just as much right to self ownership when the Chosen People were enslaved by the Pharoahs as they did when the Negro Slaves were freed by the President.

 Originally Posted By: Greger
Self ownership is simply a claim, all the beasts of the forests would make the same claim if they had the language to do so.


Well said.

Returning again to the Straw Man in Rothbard's opening sentence: I don't see where anyone is arguing that animals should have the same rights as humans. I think it's very much worthwhile to examine what rights animals ought to have, and whether - since humans are animals and clearly we agree that they should and do enjoy rights that other animals do not - some other animals ought to have rights that lesser animals don't.

In such an examination, it seems to me, a deep understanding of the nature of animals is essential, as well as of ecology. Rothbard demonstrates a woeful lack of both.
Posted by: Ken Condon

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/19/07 02:05 PM

The following is from a former congressman from Oregon, Jim Weaver. I think it explains a lot about power, empathy—even the desire to eat meat and give animals “rights”. I used the quote from Genesis previously as a text some people use to justify opposition to birth control, excessive logging of forests, over fishing, and cruelty to animals. But if one searches hard enough, one can usually find a phrase in any religious text to justify ones own preexisting predilections.

Jim Weaver is a great human being, lives in Eugene, and is retired from politics. He has written a book several years ago, Two Kinds: The Genetic Origin of Conservatives and Liberals.

His theory is that all people are genetically inclined to become either hawks or doves — conservatives or liberals, ethnocentrics or empathics, Republicans or Democrats — and it's a matter of random selection rather than hereditary. Identical twins are invariably similar in their politics and attitudes, but other siblings are often opposites.

Doves have, to one degree or another, the power of abstraction and a heightened sense of imagination. The mind of a hawk tends to be egocentric and ethnocentric and less imaginative," he writes in his book. "I do not mean to imply that doves are more intelligent than hawks. Both are capable of reasoning. They simply view things differently."

Doves are revolutionaries, he writes, standing up against tyranny, but "Hawks want power, and they have the innate aggressive urges that help them achieve power. Sensitive, empathic doves are less likely to fight their way into positions of power. People in positions of authority are thus far more likely to be unempathic, ethnocrentric hawks.

"Polls taken throughout the Vietnam war showed that the American people were roughly divided between hawks and doves, with a slight bias to the hawks. The extreme hawks and doves were each exactly 25 percent of the population, and their minds never changed."

Weaver goes on in his book to describe the many variations and combinations that make up the middle 50 percent of the population, including "stinging doves" who will fight back fiercely if attacked, and "chicken hawks" who will back down if their attacks are challenged.

He says his theory explains a lot about human nature, such as why tyrants can always find murderers and torturers to do their dirty work, why some people naturally support the environment and social services, why liberals are always squabbling among themselves, and even why some people succeed in business. Give it a read if you care, I think it is still in print.
Posted by: Tatuma

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/19/07 11:40 PM

Guns are the greatest invention of mankind, bar none. They are the final triumph of the intellect over the brawn, the final equalizer of man, and they look pretty durn cool.



There are many dangerous things out there – criminals, psychos, baboons, wild boars, Kennedys, etc. – and one is a fool not to defend themselves. Hell, I’d say a woman living alone without a gun is clinically insane. And the second amendment is the only amendment we really need; everyone will always respect your rights if you have a gun pointed at them. Thus, anyone against guns is either evil or stupid or both and is deserving of a punch’n.

Now, some people may think I would have softened my stance on firearms after I was shot by a chimpanzee, but I’m not going to selfishly turn against a fundamental right because of one accident (and, to be clear, the accident was the chimp getting hold of a loaded gun; he shot me on purpose and I appropriately sought vengeance). So on guns, put me down as fer it.

chimps with guns the video

Chimps with guns
Posted by: stereoman

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/20/07 12:36 AM



Keyboard splatter Tat.
Posted by: olyve

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/20/07 01:10 AM

well I'm going to step right in here...very carefully... amongst all the...umm...splatter and stuff \:o
and post a sirus one I've been working on.

 Originally Posted By: Greger
Being at the top of the food chain earns a species certain rights but doesn't earn it the right to willfully abuse it's food sources and lesser competitors.


Yes. Also being at the top of the food chain, we owe something back (imho) in the way of compassion and caring to the universe that has served us so well. Being cruel to animals and those lesser than us is.....cruel. It is out of sorts with the space we share with them.

Now all that said.
I am struck by this 'debate' about animal rights and have been wondering why it is making me a little cranky.
I cleaned a house today where a doe and her 3 (yes 3!) fawns, dallied about in the backyard the whole entire time I was there. It was beautiful to see. I can't IMAGINE someone wanting to shoot and eat her.
I personally kill almost no insect or animal for any reason.
However, I don't want to get sidetracked into people's rights (or not) to do that because I am trying to make a different point.

At least half this country doesn't care (judging by how they vote) if some HUMANS don't have rights at all.
20,000 die each year for lack of health care, torture is ok, bombing 30 people to kill 2 terrorists is just fine.
Collateral damage? Who's gives a f*ck?

I'm not sure debating animal rights isn't jumping a rung. Shouldn't we get the 'top of the food chain' straightened out first?
At the same time.....isn't abusing animals often a precursor to some really really nasty stuff? Jeffery Dahmer comes to mind.

Did somebody suggest that we might actually be a rung below animals? not quite Naomi <grin>?
Posted by: Irked

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/20/07 01:17 AM

We owe the world and it's lesser life forms absolutely nothing. The Almighty has created and given to us the entire world and all it contains for our sustenance and enjoyment.

TAT is dead on--Guns are the ultimate proof of our nearly divine state, proof that the Almighty loves us above all other things in His creation.
Posted by: Tatuma

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/20/07 01:52 AM

Re: Top of the food chain

This is relative, as our, dangerous to rodents and birds, Calico learned yet again as a red fox chased her from the woods to the cat door. It was very close, and a dreadful noise, but I have seen been assured that foxes dont kill cats, and that Trudy must have gotten too close to her den. (great, there are going to be a family of foxes to deal with)

I am starting to instill this awareness into son of Tat, who will be moving to the West coast, escorted and introduced to the West by me on a ROAD TRIP! He needs to start understanding about not being the top of the food chain, rather than learning the hard way.

When young he used to enjoy chaseing birds, because they always ran or flew away. One day when he was 2-3 yrs we went to a park where there were ducks, geese, and swans. Clearly all fit nicely into the bird category and thus were fair game. I, with great interest and anticipation, watched him closing on them until one turned on him and gave him a most impressive full wingspread aggressive display.


The look on his face was priceless when he learned that all birds dont run , but I would rather he learn about cougars and griz etc in a less direct way.

TAT
Posted by: Tatuma

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/20/07 02:07 AM

 Originally Posted By: Irked
We owe the world and it's lesser life forms absolutely nothing. The Almighty has created and given to us the entire world and all it contains for our sustenance and enjoyment.

TAT is dead on--Guns are the ultimate proof of our nearly divine state, proof that the Almighty loves us above all other things in His creation.


The Almighty works in mysterious ways His/Her wonders to perform.
One can only surmise about why He/She waited so long to provide guns for Creation??


Maybe it would have messed with the survival of the fittest, or perhaps personkind had some lessons that needed learning before reaching dominion over all things.

TAT
Posted by: issodhos

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/20/07 03:54 AM

 Originally Posted By: Phil Hoskins
A couple of points:

1. Saying man has natural rights grounded in the nature of man is the same as a pronouncement. It is an unsupportable assertion of fact which refers to itself for proof of its veracity. Circular logic at its worst.


Not really. It would be circular if he said that man was a part of nature, had a nature, and thus had natural rights. Notice the unexamined nature of that statement.:-) Man's natural rights were a result of analysis of Man's nature, and that is what Rothbard was saying. Surely from Aristotle to the modern philosopher, the study of man's nature has been a prime method of learning about ourselves and our place in the world?

 Quote:

2. To have dominion over certainly is not equal to "doing what you want with". A shepherd does have dominion but is charged with caring for and protecting the flock, and if necessary killing one of it for his survival. The notion that the creation is here for our pleasure is so absurd and revolting that to assert it offends the spirit of life itself.


Agreed. And a point I have occassionally made. But, do you agree that Man has natural Rights? Do you agree that they are negative Rights? Do you think animals have the same or similar rights?
Yours,
Issodhos
Posted by: issodhos

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/20/07 04:05 AM

 Originally Posted By: BoogieMan
There seems to be a new ongoing 'debate' going on in the web world now over the recent Michael Vick topic by those who espouse libertarian beliefs. I am not accusing anyone here of this, but I do notice a similar line of thought with this thread as I have seen elsewhere.


You are incorrect. I had to google the name to find out who you were referring to and to see what he was charged with doing. This thread has no connection to his story. As to libertarians -- some people are quick to label someone as such without really knowing what libertarianism is, and others happily claim to be a libertarian but are without a clue as to what libertarianism is. Labels -- tricky things, wot!:-)

 Quote:

I do not view animals' rights as important in this debate, as I do the responsibility we as human beings have with reguards to how we treat said animals with respect.


Upon what do you base this "responsibility", boogieman?
Yours,
Issodhos
Posted by: issodhos

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/20/07 04:33 AM

 Originally Posted By: Mellowicious


Governments may or may not be instituted among lions, but if they were, their purpose would be to secure these rights - not to grant them.


So far, we are in agreement, Mellowicious.

 Quote:

There are similar problems throughout, but I'll take exception to one in particular:
 Quote:
The fundamental natural Right of Man is self-ownership -- the ownership of one's person.


Clearly the original document did not include women; nor did it include men of color. Only later was that natural Right Recognized.


Actually, the Declaration of Independence made no such distinction. Doesn't really matter because the Declaration of Independence is not a legally binding document, and my use of portions of it in my example was because it is relatively familiar wording and those portions I used were reflective of the pre-existing philosophy on natural Rights. You do touch on a good point in using the word, "recognized", though. Though one may be prevented from exercising one's Rights, they remain unalienable. And that is, I think, an extremely important though little understood truth concerning Rights.

 Quote:

Were I a lion, I might say that it's simply a natural step to recognize my people. Your arguments on this one are a direct parallel to those used against the non-white and the female. They worked - for awhile - in those situations; as a rhetorical device , I think perhaps their time is over.


Piffle. Not even a good try, Mellowicious.
Yours,
Issodhos
Posted by: issodhos

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/20/07 04:51 AM

[quote=stereoman]
Why change the debate to whether lions should respect each others' rights? Isn't the question whether humans should respect their rights? It matters not a whit whether lions are capable of cognitive decision-making processes because we are not intent upon making laws that regulate the behavior of lions, we are instead concerned with the behavior of humans. So it makes no difference if the lion is aware of being mistreated by humans, or how the lion may or may not "feel" about that.

It seems to me the only one attempting to change the debate is you, Stereoman. It is about whether animals have the same Rights as Man -- not "whether humans should respect their rights".

 Quote:

Returning again to the Straw Man in Rothbard's opening sentence:


You can return all you want, Stereoman, there is no straw man.

 Quote:

I think it's very much worthwhile to examine what rights animals ought to have, and whether - since humans are animals and clearly we agree that they should and do enjoy rights that other animals do not - some other animals ought to have rights that lesser animals don't.


Show a little more patience and a little less antagonism and perhaps we will get there.;-)
Yours,
Issodhos
Posted by: issodhos

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/20/07 05:14 AM

 Originally Posted By: Greger
If the above mentioned male lion should get caught trying to kill a female lions cubs I'm guessing he would find himself in some serious trouble. There would be no investigation nor reports to the lion police, she would simply chew his balls off and spit them in his face.


Actually, she eventually mates with him. Go figure.

Anyway, I disagree with you on self-ownership and on the lack of inherent Rights (if by that you mean natural Rights), however that is neither here nor there because I am more interested in your suggestion that ethics may play a major part in how animals are eventually treated -- not based on the whimsical emotionalism and mysticism displayed by many and subject to fickle change, but a more reliable and grounded base of protection for the lesser critters.

The natural Rights of Man is the center of a political philosophy concerning the relationship between the Individual and the state, and extends to how individuals relate to each other. It is based on negative Rights. Since there seems no logical way of recognizing such negative Rights in animals, perhaps what we need to do is develop a political philosophy concerning the relationship between Man and animal. Such a relationship would probably have to be based on what is referred to as positive rights -- something more one way and directed toward a lesser living being. Determining what those positive rights may be will probably be heavilly dependent on ethical considerations, no? But that can wait for another day. Time for me to hit the sack.
Yours,
Issodhos
p.s. Thanks for the suggestion.

Posted by: Sandy Price

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/20/07 09:44 AM

Rights of Animals?

Could it be that male humans look at animals with different brain functions than women do? Men, being mainly hunters see our forest animals as feed for the family. Women see animals as family units much in the same way as they see their own families. Could it be that man has the capacity to find association with young animals who are helpless and need a little TLC from humans? We women do it all the time.

Our children find a puppy or kitten or even a bird’s nest that has fallen from a tree and brought them home. Is it not a desire to help a helpless critter? Is this not a good action to expand the child’s love for nature?

I have a keen respect for Murray Rothbard but a deeper respect for the human mind which is unique in all respects if allowed to develop individuality. There is no set model for the human brain and our strength at being top of the food ladder can be found in our individual look at the animal world as well as how we treat our planet.

Even our indigenous American natives understood the care of the soil they used to grow their grains and fruits by staggering their plants not to deplete the nutrients and probably learned too late to stop slaughtering the bison that fed and clothed them.

The human brain has learned the art of balancing what they seem to enjoy and that is showing the power of men over the animals, especially when holding the power of a gun in their hands. The female brain sees a different point of view and we tend to find this action offensive. But human nature is just that. Maybe the balance of male and female points of view are necessary for the survival of the animal world and mankind.
Posted by: Mellowicious

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/20/07 10:52 AM

 Quote:

 Quote:

Were I a lion, I might say that it's simply a natural step to recognize my people. Your arguments on this one are a direct parallel to those used against the non-white and the female. They worked - for awhile - in those situations; as a rhetorical device , I think perhaps their time is over.


Piffle. Not even a good try, Mellowicious.
Yours,
Issodhos


I didn't write the obvious because it was ... obvious.

 Quote:
The fundamental natural Right of Man is self-ownership -- the ownership of one's person. Without this natural Right, man would exist in one of two states -- ownerless or as the property of another. The same is true of animals. Does an animal have self-ownership? No. And again, it is because animals in general, like the lion, do not and cannot recognize the Right of self-ownership in other animals of their kind. What does this mean for the animal? If it is a domestic animal it is the property of its human owner.


 Quote:
The fundamental natural Right of Man is self-ownership -- the ownership of one's person. Without this natural Right, man would exist in one of two states -- ownerless or as the property of another. The same is true of women. Does a woman have self-ownership? No. And again, it is because women in general do not and cannot recognize the Right of self-ownership in other women. What does this mean for the woman? If it is a wife, it is the property of its male owner.


The argument is just as wrong if you replace the gender with a race. For me, that means the argument is seriously doubtful when applied to any class of being.

As for the Declaration of Independence making no such distinction - it may not a legally binding document, but I've never heard it discounted for that reason before, and that does not negate its effect on this country. The writers may have made no such distiction; the readers most definitely have.

Second, if you have not read it, I'd introduce you to a Declaration of the Rights of Women?; even the first two paragraphs make a huge difference.

Which is why I'll tell the lioness to get it in writing.

(Edited note: I realize this is not a discussion of women's rights. My point is that if this form of argument stands, then all we have to do re-define the kinds of people we don't like, as animals, and rights are gone. And I don't put it past us, because I believe it's been done before.)
Posted by: Greger

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/20/07 11:30 AM

 Originally Posted By: Sandy Price
Rights of Animals?
probably learned too late to stop slaughtering the bison that fed and clothed them.


Ah, lass, the Indigenous Tribes of the original occupants of this country did NOT slaughter the Bison. They killed them with respect and only as needed. The actual slaughter and near extinction of the mighty herds of Buffalo was a directive handed down from Washington. It was a simple theory, kill all the food and all the Indians will die. Genocide plain and simple. Trainloads of men with guns were sent to kill ALL the Bison. Another beautiful example of why mans "natural rights" are undeserved. Although if I think in racist terms it seems that ethics are more often set aside by white folks than by races of colour. Most all the nasty shite that has happened in in our recorded world history has been perpetrated by us white folks.
Not all of it of course,in our dim past we couldn't be everywhere at once, now we can. AS a brief f'rinstance, Iraq, everyone got along okay under Saddams brutal regime, enter the white man and the killing commences. This is strictly conjecture though and unrelated to the topic.
Issodoss, what has mankind, male, female and non white done to deserve any natural rights beyond that of other species? Religious claims don't do it for me and rescuing kittens is cute but doesn't earn totalitarian claims over the planet. All the studies and theories about mans nature have been conducted by men (and women) and so might be a we bit slanted in our favor.
Who gave us these rights and did not give them to animals?
In a nutshell is it simply that might makes rights?
Posted by: Greger

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/20/07 11:38 AM

Issodos,
I'm sorry, I got to ranting along and forgot that you had cleared up where the rights came from. Political philosophy. Quite correct.
Posted by: stereoman

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/20/07 01:29 PM

 Originally Posted By: olyve
I'm not sure debating animal rights isn't jumping a rung. Shouldn't we get the 'top of the food chain' straightened out first?
At the same time.....isn't abusing animals often a precursor to some really really nasty stuff?


Indeed.
Posted by: stereoman

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/20/07 01:30 PM

 Originally Posted By: Irked
dead on--Guns




A pun my word!
Posted by: stereoman

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/20/07 01:31 PM

 Originally Posted By: issodhos
I would postulate that for individual lions to have Rights, lions as a whole must . . . recognize that if they infringe upon the Right to life of another non-aggressor lion (by killing it for example), they could be held accountable . . .


 Originally Posted By: stereoman
Why change the debate to whether lions should respect each others' rights?


 Originally Posted By: issodhos
It seems to me the only one attempting to change the debate is you, Stereoman.


Oh.

 Originally Posted By: issodhos
there is no straw man.


 Originally Posted By: issodhos
It is about whether animals have the same Rights as Man


We are all in agreement, issodhos. Animals should not have the same rights as man.
Posted by: issodhos

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/20/07 03:59 PM

 Originally Posted By: Mellowicious
 Quote:


I didn't write the obvious because it was ... obvious.

[quote]The fundamental natural Right of Man is self-ownership -- the ownership of one's person. Without this natural Right, man would exist in one of two states -- ownerless or as the property of another. The same is true of animals. Does an animal have self-ownership? No. And again, it is because animals in general, like the lion, do not and cannot recognize the Right of self-ownership in other animals of their kind. What does this mean for the animal? If it is a domestic animal it is the property of its human owner.


 Quote:
The fundamental natural Right of Man is self-ownership -- the ownership of one's person. Without this natural Right, man would exist in one of two states -- ownerless or as the property of another. The same is true of women. Does a woman have self-ownership? No. And again, it is because women in general do not and cannot recognize the Right of self-ownership in other women. What does this mean for the woman? If it is a wife, it is the property of its male owner.


The argument is just as wrong if you replace the gender with a race. For me, that means the argument is seriously doubtful when applied to any class of being.


For those who may be confused, the second 'quote' is a paraphrase of what I wrote. The flaw in it need not be pointed out because -- well -- because it is so obvious.:-)

Yours,
Issodhos
Posted by: issodhos

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/20/07 04:27 PM

 Quote:

Ah, lass, the Indigenous Tribes of the original occupants of this country did NOT slaughter the Bison. They killed them with respect and only as needed. The actual slaughter and near extinction of the mighty herds of Buffalo was a directive handed down from Washington.


Actually, the whole "Nobel Savage" thing can be quite overworked, Greger. One tactic used by some tribes was to drive a group of buffalo over a cliff at the bottom of which was waiting the rest of the tribe to do the processing work for current consumption and preserving for later consumption – I suspect that they would have done back-flips for a functioning freezer. Not much respect there. As to claims that the American Indian did a lot of praying and respecting of the animals, it was probably more a superstitious attempt to placate the Spirit World and ensure a good hunt than out of any sense of kinship with the critterworld.

And it seems to be historically accurate that the elimination of the herds was indeed done at the direction of Washington with the intent of starving the Western Indian tribes onto reservations.

 Quote:

Although if I think in racist terms it seems that ethics are more often set aside by white folks than by races of colour. Most all the nasty shite that has happened in in our recorded world history has been perpetrated by us white folks.


Yeah, it is racist, but in this era it is to be expected and is neither here nor there. The ‘sin’ here is in the error of thinking “nasty” comes with a skin color – or even that your statement is even correct. However, that is not what this thread is supposed to be about, so maybe you or someone else could start a separate thread entitled, “Whitey is the Devil”. That could be fun.:-)

 Quote:

Issodoss, what has mankind, male, female and non white done to deserve any natural rights beyond that of other species?


Who wrote that natural rights had anything to do with deserving?;-)
Yours,
Issodhos
Posted by: issodhos

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/20/07 04:30 PM

 Originally Posted By: Greger
Issodos,
I'm sorry, I got to ranting along and forgot that you had cleared up where the rights came from. Political philosophy. Quite correct.


Actually, what I wrote was, "The natural Rights of Man is the center of a political philosophy concerning the relationship between the Individual and the state, and extends to how individuals relate to each other. It is based on negative Rights. Since there seems no logical way of recognizing such negative Rights in animals, perhaps what we need to do is develop a political philosophy concerning the relationship between Man and animal. Such a relationship would probably have to be based on what is referred to as positive rights -- something more one way and directed toward a lesser living being. Determining what those positive rights may be will probably be heavilly dependent on ethical considerations, no?"
Yours,
Issodhos
Posted by: Sandy Price

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/20/07 07:09 PM

Please don't base this discussion on skin color. I have just enough Cherokee blood to make me mocha, not black and not white. Hell, I can't do anything right not even choose the right skin color.

I declare my own animals to have the same rights and respect that I demand for myself. Being on the internet for 10 years has shown me little if any respect. I am forever labeled as pro-choice on everything and an Athiest. It doesn't get much worse than that.

Natural rights are missing in action in America with few people who give a damn. Many members of CHB show an interest in these missing rights and it keeps me here.

I'm assuming this thread is not based on the slaughter of the pit bulls that seem to be of interest of the main stream media. I'm offended by any human who can be entertained by dogs killing each other.

I have a great love for dogs and wonder if man did them a favor by taming them into believing they would be loved and cared for. I realize many children are brought into a family and treated badly and even trained as dogs to fetch and obey. Many of my greatest joys come from my association with my own dogs and those of my family.

I did not realize the government had the bison slaughtered and find it impossible to believe. But the older I get, the more reality sets in and the human race always seems to plummet into the depths of horror for many reasons. I have little respect for the human race and it seems to have gotten worse these last 10 years.
Posted by: Mellowicious

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/20/07 08:31 PM

Sandy, FWIW - Greger is right about the bison. Bison were considered a "supply store" for the indigenous population, and that is why the government hired buffalo hunters.

I want to explain (to all) the vehemence of my earlier replies.

As late as the early 1970s, state courts in the US were still defining married women as chattel.I married at the end of that decade; I would have to do a longer search than I'm willing to do, to find out if I was ever legally chattel. If not, it was a very close scrape.

My point being that I have been uncomfortably close to having my inherent rights legalized away from me on the grounds, basically, that He Who's Got, Decides Who Doesn't. Therefore the idea that one group of people/beings decides who does and does not have rights -- it makes my skin crawl.

Because if you can do that, then forget all that garbage about "inherent rights," because there aren't any. The only rights that exist are the ones you are granted by those higher on the ladder than you.

A large number of the posters on this site are white male Americans who have never had to consider the possibility of being, to all extents and purposes, owned by another human being. I will tell you that it is a difficult thing to take lightly. We are unlikely to share a perspective here.

I am not only touchy about this on my own behalf; if you have a companion critter you've been in the position of curtailing their rights and you know how uncomfortable it can be to think about.

So I will drop my argumentative stance, but I would ask that the arguments you use be carefully examined for possible dangerous parallels. As I said earlier, it is too easy to re-define what is human, and what is lesser - as you can see by looking at the status of women in countries other than this one.
Posted by: Almost Naomi

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/20/07 10:09 PM

 Quote:
Therefore the idea that one group of people/beings decides who does and does not have rights -- it makes my skin crawl.

Because if you can do that, then forget all that garbage about "inherent rights," because there aren't any. The only rights that exist are the ones you are granted by those higher on the ladder than you.
Thanks, Julia, for zeroing in on that so concisely. I totally agree. How can anyone, logically, have the 'right' to dictate inherent rights?
Posted by: olyve

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/20/07 10:21 PM

 Originally Posted By: Almost Naomi
 Quote:
Therefore the idea that one group of people/beings decides who does and does not have rights -- it makes my skin crawl.

Because if you can do that, then forget all that garbage about "inherent rights," because there aren't any. The only rights that exist are the ones you are granted by those higher on the ladder than you.
Thanks, Julia, for zeroing in on that so concisely. I totally agree. How can anyone, logically, have the 'right' to dictate inherent rights?


I thank you too, Mellow Julia.
Posted by: Sandy Price

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/20/07 11:14 PM

I saw this carefully exhibited very close to home. My husband and I had 2 daughters. He brought a son into the family with him and I thought we have the perfect combination for a successful family. By the time the girls were ready for school it was decided by my husband that they would go to the closest school.

My problem was that the Los Angeles School district had very low academic standards in the middle 60s. The two girls were born as less than equal as tney were only girls and no need to find academics other than homemaking skills.

I had read and understood Ayn Rand and had higher standards for my kids no matter what sex they were. My step son did very well in the Santa Monica school district and was allowed to stay there but the San Fernanco Valley schools were a disgrace and I found a small private school. It turned out that had I had boys no expense would have been too much for their education but the girls must just get past highschool.

I had some money of my own and the girls were in private school where they stayed until entering U of C at Berkeley. I never heard of such a thing. I learned that the head of the house hold had the rights for all of us and if I didn't obey I could be replaced. I was! He left and I declared my independence that forced me into working several jobs but I did it! The kids I raised were the ones who excelled and the other girl did time for drug smuggling and never did finish highschool. I had my nose rubbed into that Old Testament crap that Eve was to be manipulated by Adam and that was the end of the story. I became the best example of bending to the wishes of my husband until I had those kids and put a stop that crap.

I've had a problem trying to understand this notion that women were inferior. I went to an all girls boarding school where we were all competitive in academics and sports. I ran into this on the internet where I was told over and over to use a man's name when voicing my opinions or I would be laughed at. I was!

When I got into the background of the Constitution, I met up with natural rights. I am a free citizen of America because I am a citizen of the USA. Nobody granted me rights, They were mine naturally. It hit me seriously when I began to listen to the Religious Right telling me that none of us have rights except those from our creator. It meant I had to believe in the Creator and that was impossible.

I'm supposed to beg our President to allow me to determine the size of my family and explain to my grandson that he can't marry his mate. I'm supposed to beg the Congress to allow me to be given a pill to end my life and they would rather I put gun in my mouth when the pain of disease is too much for me? I'm supposed to vote for a President who will never approve of funding stem cell research?

Under the laws of the Republican Party I am not a full blown citizen with the ability to live and raise my kids according to my own agenda but I have to ask permission to make my own choices and I say it is horse pucky time. Naomi we are equals in America and it is time we stood up for our natural rights and tell the religous right to stuff it!

We don't need these social conservatives to set our morals as they have screwed up their own. I learned years ago that I, a confirmed Atheist have the ability to keep an oath and the holier than thou religious wackos cannot keep an oath.

We are the keepers of our own rights and we can take actions against this silly idea that we are inferior. We are getting smarter and we should be training our younger women to act accordingly. At this time women hold the majority of CEOs in the corporations and we hold the majority in the bankers of financial institutions. We hold the majority of professors in many Universities but we hesitate to discuss it because it pisses off the men. Oh my!

The men often overlook the basis of women's issues and we are the care takers, the healers, the teachers of the children and we are the future of our American standards. Religion is the enemy of our freedoms and we are nearly as bad as the Muslims.

We have to show what we are made of quietly so as not to disturb the manly attitudes of our mates. This can be learned and passed on to our daughters and grand daughters. We must be wise to manipulations of the proud Republican hypocrites that roam even here at Reader Rant. My money is on the ladies!
Posted by: Frazier

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/21/07 12:14 AM

Let's define 'animal rights' for the sake of discussion. I work with animals for my living, and enjoy purebred dog breeding, and competitions as my hobby. There are 'Animal Rights' groups who would like to do away with both my living, and my hobby, as both 'violate' the 'rights' of animals as they define them. So, before voicing much, I'd like to clarify the definition of 'rights' as opposed to animal welfare in the context of this discussion
Posted by: stereoman

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/21/07 12:55 AM

 Originally Posted By: Frazier
I'd like to clarify the definition of 'rights' as opposed to animal welfare in the context of this discussion


We're talking about "the same rights as humans" here, Frazier. Can you believe it?
Posted by: Frazier

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/21/07 02:00 AM

Oh I can believe it. I regularly fight PETA, HSUS, and other groups attempts to limit MY rights to enjoy my pets. Do a quick web search on Ingrid Newkirk,Wayne Pacelle and other 'animal rights' type folks. It's illuminating.

Animal welfare? I'm all for it. But I would truly like to see the definition of 'rights'. The 'right' to freely wander where the animal chooses? The right to propogate at will? No more shelters or euthanasia as the animal has a 'right' to life as it chooses? WHat are 'rights' as applied to animals?
Posted by: Greger

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/21/07 02:43 AM

For my part Frazier, I agree with you. Animal welfare is far more important than giving them "rights" they could never comprehend.
The PETA people are sort of the extreme right wing of the animal lovers. Purebred dog breeding and showing is a good thing, breeding dogs to fight is a very very bad thing. One reflects the ethical treatment of animals the other reflects a complete lack of ethics.
So far I don't think anyone among us has come out and claimed that animals should have the same rights as people but we all (I think) agree that the beasts should be treated as kindly as possible.
Posted by: Mellowicious

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/21/07 02:46 AM

Greger, once again we're on the same wavelength. Steve, I don't see anyone strongly arguing here that animals have the same rights as people. On the other hand, this thread grew rather rapidly and I may have missed it.

I had the impression that a discussion of specific rights wasn't really what people were interested in. It's been a long day, though. If you could direct me to the appropriate page, I'll re-re-read.
Posted by: Irked

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/21/07 03:02 AM

 Originally Posted By: Frazier
Oh I can believe it. I regularly fight PETA, HSUS, and other groups attempts to limit MY rights to enjoy my pets. Do a quick web search on Ingrid Newkirk,Wayne Pacelle and other 'animal rights' type folks. It's illuminating.

Animal welfare? I'm all for it. But I would truly like to see the definition of 'rights'. The 'right' to freely wander where the animal chooses? The right to propogate at will? No more shelters or euthanasia as the animal has a 'right' to life as it chooses? WHat are 'rights' as applied to animals?


The only rights anyone or thing has are the rights it is able to assert.

One can talk about "inalienable rights" "rights by virtue of birth" and even the "rights bestowed by the Almighty" and yet it is all just words.

One's "rights" don't mean anything if a more powerful being or entity decides that one does not possess that right at a given time. One's right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness can be taken from one by a neighbor, a government, a criminal, a tiger or a bacterium and so are not inherently one's own always and forever. The Almighty has provided us with the gun to equalize the struggle with many of the threats to our "rights" and unholy science provides the illusion of equalizing the threat posed by others.

One's rights are what one's might (be it brawn or dollars) will secure--all other talk is so much piffle.

All
Posted by: issodhos

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/21/07 06:53 AM

 Originally Posted By: Mellowicious

I had the impression that a discussion of specific rights wasn't really what people were interested in. It's been a long day, though. If you could direct me to the appropriate page, I'll re-re-read.


In an nutshell:
The first question in the thread was “do animals have rights?” and was based on a book excerpt written by Murray Rothbard entitled, “The “Rights” of Animals”.

The first paragraph was:
 Quote:

IT HAS LATELY BECOME a growing fashion to extend the concept of rights from human beings to animals, and to assert that since animals have the full rights of humans, it is therefore impermissible—i.e., that no man has the right—to kill or eat them.


He was referring to the full natural rights of Man, and His conclusion was, no, they don’t.

I then said that I also thought they did not have any Rights and went on to explain what I meant by Rights as held by Man and applied to Lions (I could have used bunnies, but they are not as dramatic and just look stupid when fighting each other:-)).

I then stated that aside from spiritual, metaphysical, and religious reason, is there any solid basis for claiming that animals do have rights so such 'rights' would not be left to the whim of the powerful.

I then proposed that, “"The natural Rights of Man is the center of a political philosophy concerning the relationship between the Individual and the state, and extends to how individuals relate to each other. It is based on negative Rights. Since there seems no logical way of recognizing such negative Rights in animals, perhaps what we need to do is develop a political philosophy concerning the relationship between Man and animal. Such a relationship would probably have to be based on what is referred to as positive rights -- something more one way and directed toward a lesser living being. Determining what those positive rights may be will probably be heavily dependent on ethical considerations, no?"

It seems to be virgin territory. Care to take a shot at it?
Yours,
Issodhos
Posted by: Frazier

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/21/07 10:17 AM

Issodhos,

For those of us involved in animals professionally, or as a serious hobby, 'animal rights' is not some ill-defined philosophical concept. There are groups(PETA, HSUS, DDAL and many more) who have defined what 'animal rights' are, and are working diligently to assert those rights legally, using the political process, as well as violently, using terroristic tactics(lab bombings etc)

We are involved daily in efforts to maintain our rights(privilege) to own pets, and to maintain the freedom to make medical choices for our pets(please check out California AB1634, or the current proposition in Ohio that would require dog breeders to register, and be fingerprinted!)The AR agenda has seeped into every state, under the guise of protecting all those cute and cuddly puppies and kittens put down every year in shelters nationwide. Humane Society of the United States is a massive fundraising machine, and they run ONE shelter in the whole country, they were 'front and center' in the media after Katrina, but talk to any rescue worker who was in the trenches of that mess, and you'll get an entirely different portrait from that which HSUS has painted for itself. I could go on, but not sure how many are interested in the true 'animal rights' agenda in this country, and worldwide.
Posted by: Sandy Price

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/21/07 11:24 AM

In America even under our U.S. Constitution, we are too eager to hand our natural rights over to the government. Irked pointed this out that we are only as free as we assert (I think is what he said).

From an independent society, Americans have become self inflicted slaves to the Big Daddy living in the White House. Most of us have been told Big Daddy is God in heaven who has carefully listed his rules and we can find them in the bible. Now we have taken this down a few pegs and we look to our federal government to tell us what is acceptable right down to how we treat the animals on the planet. I sometimes fear that our children are ignored over the threats from PETA and other associations.

I'm waiting for a revolution from the American people to get the government our of our lives, and learn some respect for our natural rights. When our government cannot even fix broken levees that they had built many years ago it shows all of us that we have no natural rights. We are always going to be under the domination of those we put into power.

We have given our social decisions over to the government because we cannot determine right from wrong rationally. If this continues all Americans will be slaves to the government in very short time. We saw this happen in Rome, USSR, China, Europe and our laws will soon be through petitions from a select few Americans who will speak for the rest of us. That seems to be the way human nature demands. The most obvious threat to all Americans at this time is to hand our social family laws over to the Supreme Court. We are not to deviate in any way from the standard set down by the American Christians.

The problem is that not all of us are Christians and those leaders who are, have shown to be deviants themselves. The end game is to continue to put Catholics in the Supreme Court and all of us will have to live under their decisions.

It makes me happy that I am of such an age that I will not have to see America become a massive Vatican.
Posted by: Greger

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/21/07 11:25 AM

There may be the beginings of such a philosophy at:
http://www.lcv.org/
The League of Conservation voters, I used to delete their emails immediately mistaking conservation for conservative. I consider myself a conservationist though I can make no claims to be a "tree hugger" as my business revolves around native and exotic hardwoods.
I work with cumaru, ipe', jatoba, and a few other woods you may not have heard of and prefer to imagine that they are farmed and not a direct result of rainforest destruction. The conservation and preservation of wildlife habitat gives the wild beasts the rights to carry on their lives with minimal interference. Corporate factory farms have robbed the farmbeasts of whatever dignity they may once have had as a cherished source of food and textiles. I've heard what goes on in a veal barn and wont eat the stuff, but on the other hand am willing to look away for a moment when a bit of foie gras is served. As you can see, my philosphy is imperfect and stumbling.
Ladies: Let me apologize for my gender. For thousands of years as warriors and hunters we dominated and protected, held as chattel and didn't appreciate the worth of women. Now that brains have become more important than brawn the tables are turning, but, hey, we can still lift heavy shit.
Posted by: stereoman

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/21/07 12:32 PM

 Originally Posted By: Greger
So far I don't think anyone among us has come out and claimed that animals should have the same rights as people . . .


 Originally Posted By: Mellowicious
Steve, I don't see anyone strongly arguing here that animals have the same rights as people.


Just to review: it may be true that none of us Ranters is arguing that animals should have the same rights as people. However:

 Originally Posted By: issodhos
 Quote:

21. THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS

IT HAS LATELY BECOME a growing fashion to extend the concept of rights from human beings to animals, and to assert that since animals have the full rights of humans, it is therefore impermissible—i.e., that no man has the right—to kill or eat them.


That was the opening thesis. On the second page of the thread, issodhos reminds us of the subject at hand:

 Originally Posted By: issodhos
Special note should be made of Murray Rothbard's first sentence in this chapter. He is specifically speaking of the idea of extending to animals the full Rights of humans.


I'm with you, Mellow Julia, I don't think that's what the rest of us were intent upon discussing. I replied to iss:

 Originally Posted By: stereoman
I don't see where anyone is arguing that animals should have the same rights as humans.


A page of humorous digressions, and issodhos came back with a slight equivocation:

 Originally Posted By: issodhos
Do you think animals have the same or similar rights?


In response to my assertion that his "lion" example was not germane to the opening theme, issodhos once again reminds us:

 Originally Posted By: issodhos
It seems to me the only one attempting to change the debate is you, Stereoman. It is about whether animals have the same Rights as Man -- not "whether humans should respect their rights".


And reaffirmed the serious intent of posing the question:

 Originally Posted By: issodhos
You can return all you want, Stereoman, there is no straw man.


No doubt your confusion as to the question at hand is fed at least in part by the thread starter's uncertainty. We have the title question:

 Originally Posted By: issodhos
The first question in the thread was “do animals have rights?”


But then we have the more specific question reiterated:

 Originally Posted By: issodhos
The first paragraph was:
 Quote:
IT HAS LATELY BECOME a growing fashion to extend the concept of rights from human beings to animals, and to assert that since animals have the full rights of humans, it is therefore impermissible—i.e., that no man has the right—to kill or eat them.


And underscored:

 Quote:
He was referring to the full natural rights of Man, and His conclusion was, no, they don’t.


I had earlier pointed out that none of us, not one, had asserted that animals' rights should be equal to those of humans, and it doesn't seem that anyone, including issodhos, had or has any interest in that point.

In fact, after these several reminders that the question was whether animals have the same rights as humans, our intrepid guide now offers us a completely different idea:

 Originally Posted By: issodhos
. . . perhaps what we need to do is develop a political philosophy concerning the relationship between Man and animal.


I think that's what we've all been discussing, all along. Off topic though it may have been.
Posted by: Sandy Price

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/21/07 12:56 PM

Yes indeed, Greger you wonderful men do absolutely lift the heavy shit and I in no way implied that you are redundant. The men in my life have given me my greatest joy. Now please put the toilet seat down.....that's a good boy.
Posted by: issodhos

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/21/07 08:09 PM

 Originally Posted By: Irked

The only rights anyone or thing has are the rights it is able to assert.

One can talk about "inalienable rights" "rights by virtue of birth" and even the "rights bestowed by the Almighty" and yet it is all just words.


Is this part of your satire schtick, Irked? Just curious.:-)
Yours,
Issodhos
Posted by: issodhos

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/23/07 04:37 AM

 Originally Posted By: Frazier
Issodhos,

For those of us involved in animals professionally, or as a serious hobby, 'animal rights' is not some ill-defined philosophical concept. There are groups(PETA, HSUS, DDAL and many more) who have defined what 'animal rights' are, and are working diligently to assert those rights legally, using the political process, as well as violently, using terroristic tactics(lab bombings etc)


PETA? Now that is a self-righteous group who has totally failed to control their raging inner fascist, wot! \:\/
Yours,
Issodhos
Posted by: Frazier

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/23/07 10:00 AM

LOL! I just wish they really were just a self-righteous group of people blowing hot air. Sadly, they're not
Posted by: Greger

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/23/07 11:13 AM

Agreed Frazier, these are folks dead set on controlling your right to control the rights of your animals. Self righteous fascists indeed. I wonder though, is this a movement of extreme left wing tree hugger types or is it a right wing movement, like pro lifers, simply out to control anything and everything they deem in need of control?
Posted by: stereoman

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/23/07 03:14 PM

I would liken PETA to NOW or the NEA: fighters for the rights of those perceived as "less than human" can sometimes seem overly radical to those with such perceptions, especially when they use tactics that are typically acceptable only when fighting for the rights of those considered "more than human".
Posted by: Sandy Price

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/23/07 06:43 PM

Greger. It is a very thin line between the left wing control nuts and the right wing wackos. No future on either side of that group of nuts. I grew up in a world where the state would have never dared to step into our lives as we have today.
Posted by: Frazier

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/23/07 10:53 PM

Steve,

Fighting for humane treatment of farm animals? A good thing.
Making sure animal cruelty is defined, and punishable? A good thing
Enforcing leash laws, and HUMAN responsibility for the actions of your pet? Yet another good thing

Sadly, PETA, among others are dead set to do away with companion animals NOT a good thing

I'm all for animal welfare, the proper care and humane housing of all animals, I'm not at all in favor of any group dictating to me that I must follow their dictates as far as my choice of companion goes. These are people with an agenda that goes far beyond 'humane and acceptable husbandry' and right into control freak territory. Personally, after reading many of the quotes from some of the AR leadership, I come away with the feeling that these 'leaders in the fight' dont' really LIKE animals, and they've found a warm and fuzzy way to convince the naive to follow their lead. Pacelle has been quoted as stating the goal of 'one generation and gone', meaning if all companions were spayed and neutered, we'd have no more companion animals(except for the ones we're importing from Mexico, Lebanon and other locales)
So, I'll stick with my goal to educate people on how to choose the correct pet for them, how to care for it, how to train it to be a good 'citizen' and hopefully cut down on the numbers of animals abandoned by clueless owners. I don't need the 'nanny state' to guide me in my life choices, and resent those who would impose that nanny on me forcefully, and I will resist their efforts with equal force. A side effect of 'my' fight, is that others will continue to enjoy the pet of their choosing.

Posted by: stereoman

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/24/07 12:45 AM

 Originally Posted By: Frazier
Sadly, PETA, among others are dead set to do away with companion animals NOT a good thing


Oh that's interesting! I did not know that. Who is this Pacelle person?
Posted by: Frazier

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/24/07 01:52 AM

Wayne Pacelle is currently the president of the Humane Society of the United States(HSUS)
Here are some notable quotes from both Newkirk and Pacelle. If anyone is interested in more on the Animal Rights groups, a good site to look at is http://www.activistcash.com

“I don’t have a hands-on fondness for animals…To this day I don’t feel bonded to any non-human animal. I like them and I pet them and I’m kind to them, but there’s no special bond between me and other animals.” Wayne Pacelle quoted in Bloodties"

Pet ownership is an absolutely abysmal situation brought about by human manipulation." Ingrid Newkirk, national director, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA), Just Like Us? Harper's, August 1988, p. 50.

When asked if he envisioned a future without pets, “If I had my personal view, perhaps that might take hold. In fact, I don’t want to see another dog or cat born.” Wayne Pacelle quoted in Bloodties: Nature, Culture and the Hunt by Ted Kerasote


"The cat, like the dog, must disappear... We should cut the domestic cat free from our dominance by neutering, neutering, and more neutering, until our pathetic version of the cat ceases to exist." John Bryant, Fettered Kingdoms: An Examination of A Changing Ethic (Washington, DC: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA

These and more can be found at http://www.naiaonline.org
Posted by: stereoman

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/24/07 03:05 AM

I'm just finding out about this guy, Frazier. Fascinating!

The first place I look, of course, is Wikipedia. Can't always trust Wiki, I hear, but I find them a good jumping off point.

Here's what Wiki has to say about Pacelle:

 Quote:
Since 1994, the year he joined The HSUS, Pacelle has played a role in the passage of more than 15 federal statutes to protect animals – including laws to ban the sale of videos depicting animal cruelty (1999), to protect great apes in their native habitats (2000), to halt interstate transport of fighting animals (2002), to halt commerce in big cats for the pet trade (2003), and to require government agencies to include pets in disaster planning (2006). Pacelle has testified before U.S. House and Senate committees on animal protection issues including "canned hunting," funding for the Animal Welfare Act and other programs, the trophy hunting of threatened and endangered species, cockfighting and dogfighting, puppy mills, the exotic pet trade, bear baiting, and Chronic Wasting Disease. In addition, he has been the architect of a number of amendments to end federal subsidies for programs that harm animals, including a halt to funds for the mink industry.

Pacelle has been associated with 26 successful statewide ballot measure initiatives to protect animals, challenging cockfighting, shooting of mourning doves, insupportable hunting practices, the use of steel-jawed traps, and inhumane factory farming methods[8]. He has also been instrumental in the passage of numerous state laws dealing with animal protection.

The HSUS president has also been vocal in criticizing individuals and groups who resort to intimidation, vandalism, or violence in pursuit of animal protection goals.


Kind of reads like an anti-activistcashdotcom entry, doesn't it? I mean, if the guy's done all that, I have to wonder if the quotes offered by activistcashdotcom are maybe a little out of context.

The WAPO has an interesting article about him too. In it, I read:

 Quote:
Strong accusations. Pacelle just grins. "They all go wild on me," he says, adding that he has even received death threats. "My ex-boss . . . said you could tell a lot about a person by his friends and also by his enemies. I'm happy to have some of these people as my enemies."


Additionally, the activistcash site makes some heady accusations about HSUS:

 Quote:
Despite the words “humane society” on its letterhead, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is not affiliated with your local animal shelter. Despite the omnipresent dogs and cats in its fundraising materials, it’s not an organization that runs spay/neuter programs or takes in stray, neglected, and abused pets.


Those kind of claims are usually easily vetted with Google. And sure enough, it looks to me like activistcash is being a little misleading or downright dishonest in its claims. I found very quickly that they are an advocacy organization, not a network of shelters, so of course they don't take in strays or run spay/neuter programs. But it's wrong to assume that means they are not involved with local shelters, though it is technically true that they are not affiliated. Technically. It's a technical truth. Which in my book is as good as a lie when it is told to intentionally mislead.

So why all the anti-Pacelle bloggery going on? Read the WAPO article. I found a lot of truth there.
Posted by: Sandy Price

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/24/07 09:26 AM

Sounds like the groups who bomb abortion clinics killing doctors, nurses and pregnant women just to make a point. I have owned cats and dogs for years and have found perfect friends in all of them. My dogs have been my companions even when the kids went off to college and the cats are always around the house keeping the rodents out.

I've tried to be sane in my love of animals but there is a story told by kids that I became a real witch one afternoon as I was sweeping the outdoor stairs in our mountain home. I looked down the hill and saw a young boy holding down my rooster and allowing his dog to kill him. My kids swear I jumped on my broom and rode it down to the lower property where I slammed the kid in the butt with it. My "Figaro" was dead and I told that kid that I would beat the hell out of him if he ever set foot on the property again.

I was mad enough to have tried to ride the broom but have no recollection of doing so. My kids swear I did and they cheered the wicked witch of the west all the way down. We buried my beautiful rooster and I got a call from an attorney about my assault on the kid. When he heard my side of the story, and that I had witnesses, he hung up. I never saw that kid again and someone said they moved off the hill. I let it be known that I had magical powers and to leave me alone!

You gotta do, what you gotta do!
Posted by: Greger

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/24/07 09:44 AM

Okeydokey, I read the WAPO interview and of course can't argue his stand on many points, Frazier might be more able to see through the spin than I am but his points on fighting animals, farm factories, canned hunting, and puppy mills are hard to argue with. All these are points which reflect the ethical use and treatment of animals which I have harped on during this entire thread. It becomes a question of just where do you draw the line and once it is drawn how much do you attempt to advance it.
Posted by: Frazier

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/24/07 11:03 AM

Steve

AS always, there are indeed two sides to every story, and if welfare was the sole goal, I'd be right on the front lines with these people. It's not.

The goal is to cause everyone to follow their lead, veganism,if it works for you? Great! Your choice, and I respect that. I choose to eat meat, MY choice and others need to respect that.I make the choice to purchase eggs from humanely raised chickens as opposed to factory farmed eggs, I pay a lot more for those eggs, but it's my way of supporting humane farming for the chickens.Same with meat choices.I do my best to choose food products from sources that have at least a stated interest in the welfare of the animals they raise, or the earth they farm. Why? Because of education. Not because someone, or some group forced me to choose.

If the end goal was to improve the conditions/genetic health of commercially produced puppies? GREAT, I'm all for it.But it's not, it's all about limiting the breeding of companion animals. Educating people on how to find the right companion for their lifestyle and temperament? Let's do it! Do away with puppies in pet shops? Believe it or not, I'm all for that too, but let's provide education(that word again) on how to find a good puppy, from sound parentage, with a minimized risk of genetic disorders.

As far as HSUS being 'affiliated' please check your local shelters, ask them how much money they receive each year from any of these groups. My local shelter is pretty animal rights oriented, yet these same gals have nothing good to say about HSUS, nothing. Meanwhile, I host adoption days, refer folks searching for 'just a dog/cat to the shelter, educate customers on why it's a good idea to spay the cat before she has her third litter this year, why it's OK to have intact dogs if you choose, but how to make sure they're not out there breeding randomly

I'm all for educating people, offering low cost spay/neuter clinics and coughing up money to enforce existing laws. I cringe every time I see someone's dog sauntering around in the road, I hate what feral cat populations have done to wildlife in many areas, feral cats that started as someone's pet, but, I'm not at all in favor of a relatively small group of people dictating whether I may or may not own pet animals.

So while of course there is a bias in anti groups, (there is always a bias with a point of view, Wiki has a bias based on who is doing the writing) while Pacelle et al have done some good things, they are also not in the least truly benign in their agenda. I'm probably not the most gifted writer when it comes to trying to make a point, one of my many failings. But I would ask that you not dismiss out of hand the idea that these organizations do indeed have an agenda that if implemented, would mean that your only contact with dogs and cats would be watching them in their feral state, or telling your grandkids about the great dogs you had when it was 'OK' to have dogs in your home.
Posted by: stereoman

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/24/07 11:38 AM

 Originally Posted By: Greger
It becomes a question of just where do you draw the line and once it is drawn how much do you attempt to advance it.


I see two other questions that are germane to the thread, Greger. One, which of these animals rights groups espouses giving animals the same rights as humans, as the thesis of the opening article states? Two, wherever you do draw the line, does it come up short of granting animals the same rights as humans?

I suggest the answer to question A is "none" and to question B is "no". I am looking forward to seeing evidence to the contrary.

 Originally Posted By: Sandy Price
My kids swear I jumped on my broom and rode it down to the lower property where I slammed the kid in the butt with it.


http://www.aximsite.com/boards/images/smilies/rofl.gif

Terrorist.

But seriously, Sandy, how do you equate these folks with the terrorists who bomb abortion clinics? Don't those groups espouse such terrorism as policy? Which of the Animal Rights groups similarly espouses terrorism?
Posted by: Frazier

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/24/07 12:05 PM

Steve,

Not a one of the many AR groups out there would publicly advocate violence, it would be the kiss of death as far as financial contributions go.

But don't kid yourself, there are indeed AR groups who do support violence as a means to an end, which is precisely why there is a federal law providing for the prosecution of groups who use violence or harassment as a method of closing down a legitimate business.
http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/legislat/pl102346.htm

""In recent years, the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) -- an extremist animal rights movement -- has become one of the most active extremist elements in the United States. Despite the destructive aspects of ALF's operations, its operational philosophy discourages acts that harm "any animal, human and nonhuman." Animal rights groups in the United States, including ALF, have generally adhered to this mandate. A distinct but related group, the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), claimed responsibility for the arson fires set at a Vail, Colorado, ski resort in October 1998................................"
http://www.fbi.gov/congress/congress01/freeh051001.htm

and yet some more interesting reading:
http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?aid=42

After my day in the salt mines, I'll try and dig up some more interesting links to AR group actions for your reading pleasure<G>
Posted by: stereoman

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/24/07 12:07 PM

Frazier:



Good post. I especially appreciate knowing how much you are doing in your day-to-day life to advance our human understanding of, and concern for, the humane treatment of animals. I conclude from your post that despite your obvious care and concern for our furry and scaly friends, you also do not find it "fashionable" to propose that animals should have the same rights as humans, which was the claim that started the thread. I have labeled that claim a "straw man" (or "straw animal" if you will ), and am still awaiting even the slightest shred of evidence that it is the least bit fashionable.

On to your post! You seem to know a lot about "these people" and their agendas. I am such a skeptic when it comes to figuring out what other people think, and what motivates them. I tend to draw conclusions from three factors, in order of importance: A) their actions; B) their words; and, C) what other people say about them. You've expressed what people in your own area who are concerned about animal welfare have said about them, and that counts. You've also described their actions - or lack of actions - at the local level. I've found evidence of their actions that is counter to what your locale has experienced. That counts too.

 Originally Posted By: Frazier
. . . while Pacelle et al have done some good things, they are also not in the least truly benign in their agenda.


"Not in the least" is a strong accusation. it appears that we agree they have done some good things. I'd like to know what they have said or done to demonstrate that the efforts they made in bringing these good things about were "not in the least benign".

 Originally Posted By: Frazier
I make the choice to purchase eggs from humanely raised chickens as opposed to factory farmed eggs, I pay a lot more for those eggs, but it's my way of supporting humane farming for the chickens. Same with meat choices.




I'm not a vegan, I'm not even a "healthy" vegetarian, I eat so much crap. But I'm with you on the eggs. And heck, what's the diff, if they cost more? They TASTE SO MUCH BETTER! A happy chick lays better eggs. No doubt in my mind. I can make a big fluffy omelette with ONE happy egg that comes out flat and flacid with TWO prisonfarm eggs. So which is cheeper?

And I agree with you that education is more important than imposition. But looking at the laws that have been passed through the advocacy of groups such as HSUS, I have to ask:
  • Are the people who are affected by these laws educatable?
  • Do any of the laws go beyond reasonable concern for the welfare of the animals?
  • Do the laws impose harsh or unreasonable penalties?
  • Do any of the laws unreasonable impose the rights of the animals over the rights of the humans?
And getting back to the subject of the thread:
  • Do any of the laws afford animals the same rights as humans?

BTW Frazier, we currently have 21 pets. One dog, one cat, and 19 fish. Ok, I admit it's a little strange to refer to fish as "pets", especially when most of them cost $0.125 each, but once my Beloved has given them names, they are members of the family. And she has named all of the fish. Except the two that I named.
Posted by: Sandy Price

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/24/07 04:58 PM

Did I not read that PETA tried to stop circuses from having live animals to the point of picketing and shoving people who were in line to buy tickets? It happaned in San Luis Obispo when a traveling circus came to town. Did I not read that PETA actually bombed a medical facility where animals were being tested?

I ran an animal placement center in California and had members of Peta picket me for finding homes for puppies that had been left on our beach. I placed two puppies with a family from San Francisco who had lost their dog to old age and they took two of our puppies. Their kids were in tears they were so happy. Peta's Problem? The family was Vietnamese and Peta felt they would eat the dogs. I heard many times that these lost and homeless animals should be put to death.

There was a baby panda who was adopted by a private wild animal park and Peta demanded that they keep hands off the baby and let him die a natural death. After a while I get fed up with these protestors who have actually thrown paint on someone wearing an ermine or mink coat. I've spent most of my life protecting animals, having them healed by Vets, neutered and spayed by many of my friends who paid for this procedure. I turned my book store over to an Animal Rescue team to show the animals on my front porch of the store and keep track of who took what. All innoculations were paid by my friends and we had a number over 200 dogs placed in homes in our first year.

We took in oil covered ocean birds and if a car accident in our village left a dog without owners for a few weeks, they came home with me. Every park ranger in San Luis Obispo knew I would take in a sick or injured animal. I didn't see PETA show up for any reason than to shut me down for my work.

I had a pissed off Pelican dropped off at the store by a Park Ranger that had been shot in his wing. I had large cage and finally got him down to a wild life vet where he was cared for. It was the only time I got hurt was pushing a sardine down his throat and got my hand caught on that claw on the tip of his beak. 7 Stitches later I was just fine. Don't talk to be about PETA or any of those save the animal groups. I took many wildlife rehab training classes and never saw a PETA member in those classes. We took many trips to the Mammal Rescue group in Monterey and never ran into a PETA member at the meetings.
Posted by: stereoman

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/24/07 05:31 PM

 Originally Posted By: Sandy Price
Don't talk to be about PETA or any of those save the animal groups.


So in your estimation, Sandy, does PETA advocate that animals should have the same rights as humans? And, how are they related to HSUS? or Greenpeace? Just thinking out loud here - it seems to me there is a continuum of "save the animals" groups and somewhere on that continuum would be your animal shelter, your local no-kill animal shelter (we have one here - do you all have one?), your local Humane Society, HSUS, Animal Liberation Front, Earth Liberation Front. Just like every anti-war group is not necessarily International A.N.S.W.E.R., I think there are a lot of folks who want to "save the animals" who aren't PETA people.

Like you, Sandy. Heck, you've made it abundantly clear that you believe in Animal Rights. Your actions prove you to be a Save the Animals kind of person. But PETA you ain't. Am I right?
Posted by: Sandy Price

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/24/07 08:54 PM

No, Steve, I do not believe animals have the same rights as people. I'm not certain that people even understand their own rights. I've seen a lot of cruelty done to animals by people and consider them to be lacking in respect for an important part of nature. I also belonged to the "Save the Oak" society in the San Fernando Valley. Watching a 400 year old tree being cut down to build a parking lot upset me. Living in the Santa Monica Mountains saw much destruction in our natural rivers and when these water run off creeks were removed or even moved, we saw a lot of damage to people's properties. We tried to pass zoning laws to keep people from destroying the run off areas because these floods were blamed on God and no suits could be brought against anyone simply removing the top of a mountain causing major floods below them. To me a balance in nature is as necessary as a balance in political actions.

We have a sheriff in Maricopa County who has moved his prisoners into tents even during the summer months when he saw the dog kennels without air conditioning killing the animals. He brought the dogs and cats into the prisons and moved the prisoners into the tents. That seemed a bit extreme to me but I was not elected Sheriff.

I'm not in the business of mandating any treatments of animals and I realize that certain critters are bred for food, fur, and medical science. I have always supported the L.A. Zoo when we lived in the area and love the circus for the animals. When I saw the belly bands that were put on the bucking broncos and bulls, I quit going to the rodeos. We raised dogs, chickens, cats, and horses and we took the responsibility for their well being and their health. When people drop their unwanted pets out in the ranch areas and beaches I feel for their well being and being in a tourist village it was a good thing to place these animals with people who wanted them.

I have a very old black cat sitting here on my desk that 14 years ago was dropped out of a pick up truck taped in a box at a YMCA camp grounds where I worked. She has been on my lap and desk ever since.

The difference in my work and PETA is that they want laws written by the government to mandate that furs should not be worn or animals not used for medical reasons and that kind of government control is out of line in my world. You forget, my end game is a limited government not a Big Daddy directing my actions.

In the Santa Monica mountains we have forest fire storms and not all the animals make it. We had a large animal kennel run by the county that was a drop off place for burned pets and wild life. Many of us worked to help put these animals down to relieve their misery and many of us could not ignore this need and we pitched in to help the county vets. Funny, I never saw a single PETA member show up. They will never get their hands dirty to help the animals, they simply want the notoriety of the media.

I have no idea if we have a no kill kennel in this area. If Americans want to help the animal world it has to come from their hearts not from their laws.
Posted by: Greger

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/24/07 11:21 PM

 Originally Posted By: Sandy Price
it has to come from their hearts not from their laws.


Well said Ma'am

Posted by: Frazier

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/25/07 10:49 AM

Steve,

Are people educable? Well that's a question in and of itself<G>
Some are, some aren't, but we keep on trying.

In answer to your question about assigning human status to animals, Ingrid Newkirk has stated that animals have the same rights as a retarded child, so yes, PETA's founding member does indeed believe animals have 'rights' as we define them for people. BUT, perhaps the debate should clearly define rights?

On the question of relations between groups, the national groups run the gamut from the extremists at ALF to the warmer and fuzzier images of PETA(with all their celeb spokespeople) though I have to wonder, do those spokespeople go beyond the surface of the AR movement? If you look at the membership/administrative lists, there actually is crossover of personnel, so a relationship exists.

Bottom line for me is this, fighting for animal welfare, and humane treatment? I'm all for it. Unfortunately when legislation such as AB1634 in California is introduced, and you really start digging into it, and realize that for all intents and purposes this bill is the start of the slope that leads to the outlawing of all breeding of dogs,cats, and once the door is open, many other companion species, it changes your outlook. This bill, as well as the legislation in Louisville KY, the nasty legislation in Denver CO that resulted in pets being confiscated from their homes and euthanized, the HEART ordinance in Albuquerque NM, all these efforts have been backed and supported by DDAL, HSUS, Peta and smaller groups of loosely affiliated AR folks. It scares the bejeebers out of me, and makes me angry as all get out. Yes, my outlook will enable some irresponsible folks to breed, own etc, however, those same folks aren't going to follow any law passed anyway, the only folks who do get hurt are those who currently live within the law, as always.

Georgia has some of the strictest breeding requirements in the country, if you have more than one litter of puppies in a 12 months period, you are required to purchase a breeding license,and open your home to inspection by the Ag department. Reality? This has done zip to cut down on the number of shelter animals, why? Because there is no enforcement other than on breeders of purebred animals who compete(because your name, dog's date of birth etc are all public access through show catalogs) How many wellbred Yorkies are in shelters? Next to none. What DO you find in shelters for the most part? Randomly bred dogs, a large number of larger breed/mix breed dogs,and a whole lot of cats. Why? Because there is no true effort at education. If we really applied revenue toward reaching out and educating people on the idea of voluntarily spaying and neutering their pet, it would be a start,if we offered low cost spay/neuter clinics to those who are income challenged, that would be a huge help, enforcing leash laws already on the books? THAT would do more than anything to cut down on the numbers of randomly bred litters in any area.

So, animal rights? Yes, they have a right to humane care, good food and secure shelter, they have a right to be protected from the dangers living in a human society exposes them to, but, (there's always a but<G>) there is a limit, such as removing the definition of property and assigning the term 'guardian' to owners(RI, CO) another slippery slope from a legal standpoint.

I could write volumes, but it's very hard to cover all these items in a couple of posts to a list, and I end up confusing issues<G> So I'll leave things here
Posted by: stereoman

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/25/07 01:43 PM

Good post, Frazier. Yes, we have to keep on trying to educate ourselves. In the meantime, as you and everyone else (with one notable exception) posting on this thread agrees, we have to have some laws to protect what rights we agree that animals do have.

Are animals entitled to the same rights as humans? None of us here believe that, and no one has presented any evidence that it has "become fashionable" to make such a claim. But some animals are entitled to some rights, especially those animals that we humans take in as pets or companions, raise for food, or exploit for trophies or entertainment. On that we all seem to agree.

Again, with one notable exception. "Animals have no rights at all" is the opinion of one.
Posted by: issodhos

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/28/07 04:53 AM

Greger,
Sorry for the delay in responding, but I have been on the road with a laptop that developed a serious case of the “finicky keyboard”. It preferred to decide when and what to delete as I typed. After having gone through my entire vocabulary of profanities – and discovering that they became more ineffectual with repetition – I decided to confine myself to short posts, if any, until I returned to my home PC.

You suggested that it was through ethics where we would probably find the most solid foundation for a political philosophy addressing the relationship between man and animal. I think it is certainly the primary door through which we must pass on our way to such a political philosophy.

In the original post Rothbard has shown why natural Rights such as those that exist between men, and man in relation to the state cannot apply to animals. In some following posts I stated that animals could not have any Rights, and used as example the impossibility of lions exercising Rights or respecting the Rights of other lions. The example would show how even more ridiculous inter-species Rights would be if “lions” was replaced with “animals”. There is no escaping it, animals are incapable of having Rights as we commonly recognize the concept.

Yet, and this is where ethics may prove initially valuable, I would suggest that at least a majority of individuals in most cultures sense that animals should not be treated badly, tortured, or abused. It seems widespread enough to accept it as a recognized wrong (ethically speaking). Unfortunately, not all people are in agreement as to what constitutes abuse or torture or the degree to which either may be tolerated in the name of a ‘greater good’. Here we run into the problem of situational ethics that would leave us no closer to a goal of determining the fundamental philosophical “man – animal” relationship. In other words, if the animals were capable of demanding certain basic treatment they would still be left with no real philosophical basis for making their demand.

The natural Rights man recognizes and extends to others of his species are known as Negative Rights -- Rights that cannot be morally infringed upon by an external aggressor force. That is to say, one has the Right to life and no one else, including the state, can morally take that life if one is not acting as an aggressor. There is however, a second type of ‘rights’ that are referred to as positive rights. I, and others who adhere to the concept of natural Rights recognize that Positive rights are really just privileges bestowed and rescinded at the whim of others (government) and are destructive of the exercise of natural Rights. Indeed, they are not so much privileges as they are obligations on others. I mention this only because it takes me in the direction of the concept of a philosophy of man’s relationship to animal that would be more one-way and be more an obligation of a sort since there can be no demand of reciprocity from animals.

This still leaves us with the question of why man should have any obligation to treat animals differently from how other species of animals and other animals of the same species treat each other. After all, animals kill their own kind, predators of one species kill other species as prey, one group of animals will kill another animal or group of animals if they are perceived as a threat or encroach on their territory (larder), and they do not extend any sense of obligation to other animals. In short, it does not answer the question, why man should not treat domestic and wild animals as property or potential property and with the full Right to do with that property as he pleases.

I think a philosophical answer may lie in the thoughts of Thomas Paine. I refer specifically to his “Agrarian Justice”. While I am not fully on-board with the entire essay, I do appreciate and accept the fundamental distinction he makes concerning property and land. His point is that while one may own in totality a barn one has built or purchased from another who has built it, or one may own in totality a crop one has raised, and is thus free to use and dispose of both as he sees fit, he cannot own the land in totality because he did not create it and it is fundamental to life. Even today, ownership of land is recognized as actually owning a “bundle of rights” to which one can put the land to use, but one does not have the ownership prerogative or Right to unlimited use or disposal of it.

If we consider this distinction and apply it to the relationship between man and animal, we must find that whether domestic or wild, man did not and cannot create life – the most fundamental of all things.

I would suggest therefore that a political philosophy concerning the relationship between man and animal is not based on rights of any sort but on a unidirectional “Obligation” from man to animal. This Obligation is conditional in that man does not incur it unless or until he interacts with an animal (“interacts” being the taking of a wild animal for food or the raising of a domestic food animal for the same, or having an animal as a companion, or the ridding of an area of a ‘pest’ animal, etc.).

This takes us to the point where Conditional Obligations should be enumerated for a unidirectional, one-on-one relationship between individual humans and individual animals, with the intent being to address the acceptable treatment of animals by man.
Yours,
Issodhos
Posted by: Fermi paradox

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/28/07 01:59 PM

Issodhos: "This takes us to the point where Conditional Obligations should be enumerated for a unidirectional, one-on-one relationship between individual humans and individual animals, with the intent being to address the acceptable treatment of animals by man."

After considerable cogitation, I have concluded that for the tenderer cuts, the acceptable treatment is "Medium Rare", and for the tougher cuts, the acceptable treatment is slow cooked in a stew or braised in a wine sauce. This is not to say that there aren't alternatives, like curries from the East, mole from Mexico, etc. I'd draw the line somewhere, but would not impose my culinary prejudices on others.
Posted by: Greger

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 07/28/07 02:30 PM

Issodhos,
The philosophy is sound and largely inarguable. Rights of animals being replaced with mans obligation to animals works for me. The Rothbard quote left itself open to emotional and ethical questions which I'm sure you knew about before beginning this thread and I applaud the eventual conclusion you brought it to. All in all it was fun.
Posted by: issodhos

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 04/02/08 03:35 AM

Further thoughts?
Yours,
Issodhos
Posted by: 2wins

Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS - 04/02/08 03:47 AM

i will have to reserve my comments until after i have finished my wild bore steak and flossed with elk sinew. if that's all right with you.