Animal 'rights' don't exist - animal welfare is our responsibility
by Kathy E
(Clinton, MO USA)
I completely agreed with your viewpoint, that there is no such thing as Animal Rights per se. However I do believe it is our responsibility to make sure the animals live a safe, comfortable, well fed life. Not overfed, just well fed. Fat animals are not happy. I do believe abuse is real. Beating a dog for barking or laying in the wrong spot is abuse. Feeding a dog commercial food instead of a raw diet? NOT abuse, just a personal choice. Caging 10 chickens in a 3x3x2 cage? Abuse. Free ranging or using a good sized cage or run is not abuse.
There will always be stresses in an animal's life, but it is possible for the rancher or pet owner to minimize them.
I do not treat my meat rabbits like I treat my kids. They would be fat and unhealthy if treated like people; they are treated like rabbits. My rabbits look great and are healthy.
About stopping the human use of all animals? If we stopped eating cattle we would need to kill them all or they would overrun the earth and turn it into one big dessert. If we stopped eating deer they would become hugely overpopulated and the population of predators would go up to meet the need of control. This would result in way more people being hurt by both the deer and their predators.
Many animals in zoos are too old or too tame to be released and would starve to death or be killed quickly if we released them into their natural environments.
Thank you for publishing your thoughtful and forthright philosophy on animal rights. The guilt maelstrom howling around carnivores from the vegetarian blow-hards is fatiguing, but not ever entirely convincing. Nice to read a cogent rebuttal to the seemingly prevailing beliefs that animals are our equals and that lovingly raising them and humanely slaughtering them to feed ourselves is tantamount to murder. Thanks for the logical breath of fresh air!
I read your article, and since I read animal activism pamphlets before, I was not shocked. What shocks me again and again, is how far away we seem to drift (as a society) from not just humanities' roots, but also from nature. Although most folks have a problem thinking themselves as animals, it is clear that we are part of the natural world, right? Although not all of us are religious, none can deny that we're not robots, or programmed machinery, we must eat, take shelter, and have company.
There are people out there that keep cats, bunnies and dogs because there is no person available to live with them. Some of them are the people that think of their pets as their kids. They don't have kids, or maybe their kids are long gone to their own lives, and homes.
Since it is my sincere belief that none of these activists have been on a farm (not talking of industrial mammoths here, or concentration camp style farms), so they have no idea about animal husbandry done right, at least they can see people in the cities, and their need to have pets, and the need of their pets to have owners.
In our home, the raising of animals is our pleasure. The killing for the table is a holy time, which we show to our children when they participate. I have often offered to have our family "go vegetarian" for the sake of soft hearts. No one has ever wanted to make that switch. What I see are children who are not hardened, but respectful, responsible, and loving of all the living creatures on our homestead.
Thank you for your thoughtful article. Thank you for calling vegetarianism what it is: a religion in which some want to politically move others to buy into their poorly reasoned propaganda.
A poorly cared for plant can show signs of abuse or neglect. Including the inability to absorb and provide nutrition to those who depend on it for sustenance a common problem in 'Big AG' techniques. Houses, clothes, and tools can show signs of abuse or neglect. For that matter even DIRT can show signs of abuse or neglect. If you want to live well, you care well for the things that provide for your care living and non-living.