Was Killing Cecil Cruel?
An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org

FROM

David Cantor, Responsible Policies for Animals (RAP)
August 2015

Cruelty to animals is a symptom of civilization’s millennia-long animal-abuse policy, not the basic problem advocates need to address.

The Philadelphia Inquirer published my letter dissenting from the standard “cruelty” outcry against the dentist and the physician from the U.S. who recently killed “beloved” and “protected” lions in Africa. See the letter I originally submitted and below that the (heavily edited) published letter.
 
The original version is the better model if you might wish to help promote the radical paradigm shift Responsible Policies for Animals is urging upon schools, universities, the news industry, and other institutions and authorities. The RPA paradigm reflects the way equal rights come to exist for new groups of persons – perception and understanding of the rights-denied group’s innate equality, personhood, and expectation and need of justice.
 
Animal advocacy’s standard anticruelty paradigm maintains the double standard for treatment of human beings and other animals by pretending (1) far more abuse is cruelty than really is and (2) merely not treating nonhuman animals cruelly can afford them the protection they need to lead a fulfilling life. Cruelty to animals is a symptom of civilization’s millennia-long animal-abuse policy, not the basic problem advocates need to address.
 
The news industry only very rarely gives voice to the precise animal-rights paradigm. Your letter-to-editor writing can help create the needed change. A very high percentage of my submissions have been published over the past quarter-century. I can get you going quickly and easily if you wish. Get in touch anytime.
 
Best wishes,
 
David Cantor
Executive Director
Responsible Policies for Animals
P.O. Box 891, Glenside, PA 19038, USA
215-886-RPA1 / [email protected]1.org
www.RPAforAll.org

 
Original letter submitted to The Philadelphia Inquirer
 
Dear Editor,
 
The Minnesota dentist’s killing of the lion Cecil in Zimbabwe was not cruel (“Killing of Lion Stirs Less Outrage at Home,” July 31, 2015).  That is crucial to understand if we wish to reduce animal abuse, which has only increased, intensified, and diversified for tens of thousands of years since humans started organizing to kill their natural predators, including lions.
 
Cruelty, perpetrated for the purpose of causing pain and suffering, accounts for only a minuscule portion of the atrocities our species perpetrates against other animals. Social status, not cruelty, is the usual motive of dentists, physicians, executives, politicians, officials, lawyers, and other status-oriented humans who “go on safari” and adorn their homes and workplaces with defenseless nonhuman animals. They inherit and distort the practice of prehistoric hunting cabals who elevated themselves socially by protecting their extended families from large cats, raptors, dogs, and reptiles – our species’ natural predators.
 
We cannot solve a problem that we identify incorrectly. We can reduce animal abuse, but not by fighting cruelty or changing our shopping choices. Only by nurturing an entirely new perception and concept of ourselves as animals and of other animals as persons equally entitled to respect, justice, and equal rights such as all persons need for a chance at a fulfilling life. We are all complicit in animal abuse, a basis of civilization. Scapegoating each week’s highlighted killer can only distract from the enormous task at hand.
_______________________
 
Letter published in The Philadelphia Inquirer
 
ISSUE: ILLEGAL HUNTS
 
Redefining our relationship with other species
 
A Minnesota dentist's killing of the lion Cecil in Zimbabwe was not cruel ("2d American accused of illegally killing lion," Aug. 3). That is crucial to understand if we wish to reduce animal abuse. Hunting perpetrated for the purpose of causing pain and suffering accounts for only a minuscule portion of the atrocities perpetrated.
 
Social status, not cruelty, is the usual motive of professionals and other status-oriented hunters who go on safari and adorn homes and workplaces with trophies. They inherit and distort the practice of prehistoric hunting cabals, which elevated hunters socially by protecting their extended families from predators.
 
We can reduce abuse not by fighting cruelty or changing shopping choices, but only by nurturing a new perception and concept of ourselves as animals, and of other animals equally entitled to respect, justice, and equal rights. Scapegoating the latest illegal hunter only distracts from this enormous task.
 
David Cantor, executive director, Responsible Policies for Animals, Glenside, [email protected]


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