The very term ‘animal rights’ often causes people to put up a defensive barrier. In their minds, they think that if a person is for animal rights, that he or she must therefore be (largely) against human rights. The term ‘animal rights’ is correct of course, but I’ve found the term ‘animal wrongs’ to be much more helpful in talking with people about various animal-related issues. It is natural for people to want to do right and unnatural for them to want to do wrong. We just have to help them see that it is right to be against animal wrongs.
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Please click to view EARTHLINGS … EARTHLINGS is an award-winning documentary film about the suffering of animals for food, fashion, pets, entertainment and medical research. Considered the most persuasive documentary ever made, EARTHLINGS is nicknamed “the Vegan maker” for its sensitive footage shot at animal shelters, pet stores, puppy mills, factory farms, slaughterhouses, the leather and fur trades, sporting events, circuses and research labs. The film is narrated by Academy Award® nominee Joaquin Phoenix and features music by platinum-selling recording artist Moby. Initially ignored by distributors, today EARTHLINGS is considered the definitive animal rights film by organizations around the world. “Of all the films I have ever made, this is the one that gets people talking the most,” said Phoenix. “For every one person who sees EARTHLINGS, they will tell three.”
The Billions Slaughtered
Animal Rights, Human Wrongs
There are, I know, those who profess to believe in animal rights but do not avow these goals. Factory farming, they say, is wrong — it violates animals’ rights — but traditional animal agriculture is all right. Toxicity tests of cosmetics on animals violates their rights, but important medical research — cancer research, for example — does not. The clubbing of seals is abhorrent, but not the harvesting of adult seals. I used to think I understood this reasoning. Not anymore. You don’t change unjust institutions by tidying them up.
What’s wrong — fundamentally wrong — with the way animals are treated isn’t the details that vary from case to case. It’s the whole system. The forlornness of the veal calf is pathetic, heart-wrenching; the pulsing pain of the chimp with electrodes planted deep in her brain is repulsive; the slow, torturous death of the raccoon caught in the leghold trap is agonizing. But what is wrong isn’t the pain, isn’t the suffering, isn’t the deprivation. These compound what’s wrong. Sometimes — often — they make it much, much worse. But they are not the fundamental wrong.
To right the wrong of our treatment of farm animals requires more than making rearing methods “more humane”; it requires the total dissolution of commercial animal agriculture.
The fundamental wrong is the system that allows us to view animals as our resources, here for us — to be eaten, or surgically manipulated, or exploited for sport or money. Once we accept this view of animals — as our resources — the rest is as predictable as it is regrettable. Why worry about their loneliness, their pain, their death? Since animals exist for us, to benefit us in one way or another, what harms them really doesn’t matter — or matters only if it starts to bother us, makes us feel a trifle uneasy when we eat our veal escallop, for example. So, yes, let us get veal calves out of solitary confinement, give them more space, a little straw, a few companions. But let us keep our veal escallop.
But a little straw, more space and a few companions won’t eliminate — won’t even touch — the basic wrong that attaches to our viewing and treating animals as our resources. A veal calf killed to be eaten after living in close confinement is viewed and treated in this way: but so, too, is another who is raised (as they say) “more humanely.” To right the wrong of our treatment of farm animals requires more than making rearing methods “more humane”; it requires the total dissolution of commercial animal agriculture.
Tom Regan The Case for Animal Rights
The Tom Regan Animal Rights Archive: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/animalrights/
Gary Yourofsky, Georgia Tech, Summer 2010
TheAnimalHolocaust | December 22, 2010
Watch Gary Yourofsky’s entire speech on animal rights and veganism recorded from Georgia Tech from Summer 2010. Gary is a national lecturer on veganism and does over 200 talks each year. His charismatic preachy style is one of a kind – a must see.
Please share this brilliant speech in any way you can.
Hunting is Vicious and Cruel
Circuses, Zoos, and Marine Parks are Cruel
Includes animals exploited for hunting, entertainment, fun, sport, and ritual