The AR movement has gotten bad press over the past few
years in part because of the actions of loosely-knit organizations like
the Animal Liberation Front, but also because most people simply refuse
to acknowledge that their quarter-pound cheeseburger used to be a
living, breathing, sentient organism. The "liberation" of lab animals
and factory-farmed fur animals, as well as the often wanton and
indiscriminate destruction of facilities and equipment used to exploit
animals, have caused our movement to be ostracized by society in
general, and in particular by those diametrically opposed to the AR
movement. People get uncomfortable when you try to tell them their lunch
once had a brain and emotions.
The addition of animal rights law courses at major
universities such as Harvard Law School have forced the American public
to reexamine the use of animals in entertainment, lab experiments, fur
farms, and for food and clothing. The idea that animals possess inherent
rights, much as those enjoyed by humans, is becoming a mainstream topic,
rather than the lunatic fantasies of animal-loving tree-huggers.
The Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and the New
York Post, among others, have printed articles recently about the
fledgling field of animal rights law. This week alone, National Public
Radio, the Diane Rehm Show, and CNBC have broadcast shows regarding this
issue. Although the media do not always cast a favorable light on the AR
movement, we should feel encouraged that it is being discussed at all.
As many learned thinkers have pointed out, we have moved past the
"denial" stage, and are now full-swing into the "discussion" stage.
Acceptance must surely follow.
Go on to
Dissection And Student Rights ~ The American Anti-Vivisection Society
Return to 1 September 1999 Issue
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