Education & Reference
Animals Donít Have Rights, But Humans Do Have Duties
Source: American Farm Bureau's Focus on Agriculture | By John Hart | Week of August 30, 2010
In a 1986 interview with Washingtonian magazine, Ingrid Newkirk, the founder and still president of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, made a provocative statement that continues to be noticed today.
When asked if animals should be used in research to help humans, she replied: ďAnimal liberationists do not separate out the human animal, so there is no rational basis for saying that a human being has special rights. A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. They are all mammals.Ē
From this provocative statement comes the title of Wesley J. Smithís new book ďA Rat Is A Pig Is A Dog Is A Boy.Ē In this exceptional book, published earlier this year, Smith makes the strong case that the animal rights movement is actually an antihuman ideology. In essence, Newkirk and other proponents of animal rights believe humans and animals have the same moral value; they are equals.
In an interview earlier this year, Smith said: ďAnimal rights, properly understood, is a rigid belief system that says people have no right to domesticate animals, because what matters most in terms of moral value is the ability to feel pain and suffer. Hence, cattle ranching is as odious as human slavery. And that needs to be rejected, because it would cause tremendous human harm if it were ever adopted throughout society.Ē
At its core, extreme animal rights ideology is opposed to medical animal research and the use of animals for food, both of which deliver value and improve the lives of people. Many animal rights activists equate meat with murder, even though the term is formally defined as the killing of a human being.
An overriding theme of Smithís book is that humans are clearly different than animals.
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