Now that’s a controversial title! It’s a title with a chip on its shoulder and that’s intended.
There are individuals who see all animal issues through the anthropomorphic lens of the companion animal, the individual animal as sentient being, with emotion alone and with an arrogant indignation towards those who allow for differing relationships between animals and people, depending on the setting. The individuals to whom I refer also have a tendency to view mankind as a scourge upon the earth, whose impact should be minimized or eliminated. It appears that the extreme among the environmental movement overlap with this anti-human world view.
What has been self-identified as the “animal rights” movement for some 4 decades has as its name a choice of phrase of a kind with other sensational names of their own design including “factory farm”, “puppy mill” “specism”, and “horse slaughter”, all phrases designed to evoke the emotion and image of cruelty or unfairness, as well as to liken the plight of animals to the oppression of human minorities.
Unable to easily convince a majority of a general public skeptical of their goals and motivations, or a majority of the US Congress, to stop animal use for human purposes, the animal supremacist movement uses the worst examples of human-on-animal cruelty that can be found to try to make their case. Their tactics are Alinsky-esque, using the”Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. ” strategy, so much in the general political news these last few years.
Take “cage-free” poultry for example. By characterizing the egg laying hen in human terms and demonizing their husbandry, the animal supremacist movement has managed to convince a segment of the public and politicians to create new rules for farmers, rules that raise their costs. Thus the cost of eggs also rises, and make no mistake that, that is the strategic intent. Based upon an animal welfare argument with an unproven value, the price of poultry and eggs has already gone up, squeezing small producers. Some will go out of business and the price will then rise further as supply is diminished. The higher the price, the less eggs and poultry lower and middle income families can purchase. This is also intended.
Now comes new research disputing the “cage-free” approach, diminishing its purported animal welfare and health benefits. Too late for the farmers who have gone out of business. Too late for the price of our food. (See: http://www.feedstuffs.com/ME2/dirmod…01E0548971C681)
In every state capital there are animal supremacist activists fighting for animal supremacist positions, often in marginal or minor business areas in that state. Any victory is then used as a model for political activism in other states with major investments in the affected industries. In this way, circumstances in states with less to lose in an area of animal use, are then used to affect circumstances in states with large animal use industries of the given type. It’s pure politics and in this case it results in higher prices, hurts our families and hurts our nations food industries
Wanton cruelty, as in the recent awful beef cattle production revelations in Texas, are not to be condoned. That said, animal use industries are important parts of our society, our strength as a nation and our security. We must never reach a point where we import most of our animal protein, as we now do our oil and our manufactured goods. A strong, self sufficient America undergirds all of our basic freedoms. In his book “Guns, Germs and Steel”, Jared Diamond argued that domestication of animals was required for civilization to develop. Tossing that away in our “developed” nation would also be tossing away a most basic aspect of human survival. This must never occur.
It is for this reason that the most extreme elements of the animal supremacist movement should be seen as the subversive actor they are in our national politic.
We need animals and animal industries to enjoy the healthy, fulfilling lives we do. Cruelty is wrong, but a self sufficient United States is required to allow all of us to hold any political points of view at all. Don’t be misled. The extreme animal supremacist movement’s point-of-view is anti-American
For those who disagree, I wear my patriotic chip on my right shoulder.
(originally posted at PetDocsOnCall.com, April 2011)
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