Talk To You Soon
In an article on animal rights entitled "Just Like Us?" appearing
in the August 1988 issue of Harper’s, bioethicist Art Caplan was willing to
seriously discuss the rights of animals, but warned:
"...if you cheapen the currency of rights language, you’ve got to worry that rights may not be taken seriously. Soon you will have people arguing that trees have rights and that embryos have rights..."
A quote attributed to Ingrid Newkirk, Executive Director, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is: "I don't care about abortion. I care only about sentient life."
I'm pro-life, but I do see her point. If we can't respect sentient life, how will we respect insentient life (trees. embryos, etc.)?
Ingrid Newkirk, Executive Director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), similarly observed:
"…having a car is not a fundamental right, whereas the right not to be abused is. For example, children have a right not to be used in factories. That right had to be fought for in exactly the same way we are fighting for animal rights now."
John Stuart Mill wrote: "The reasons for legal intervention in favor of children apply not less strongly to the case of those unfortunate slaves -- the animals."
Animals are like children. If you can't see a toddler as a person, how will you ever see a zyogote as a person?
Henry Bergh, founder of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), successfully prosecuted a woman for child abuse in 1873, at a time when children had no legal protection, under the then currently existing animal protection statutes. This case started the child-saving crusade around the world.
Would pro-lifers be offended by Art Caplan's (or Ingrid Newkirk's) pro-choice sentiments if the rights of human children (instead of animals) were being discussed?
If unborn children should be valued equally with already born children, shouldn't pro-life Republicans be at the forefront for greater social support for pregnant women, mothers and children?
If vegetarianism were solely about "fitting,* or following a peculiar set of "dietary laws," why would pro-lifers be offended by pro-choice vegetarians and vegans?
Clearly, they're offended because they know vegetarianism involves the animals' right to life, and thus these pro-choicers appear to value animal life over human life in some circumstances.
Leonardo Da Vinci, Count Leo Tolstoy, Mohandas Gandhi, Henry David Thoreau, Susan B. Anthony, George Bernard Shaw, Percy Shelley, Benjamin Franklin, etc. were all vegetarian, and none of them were Jewish!
Adolf Hitler thought Albert Einstein's scientific discoveries were mere "Jewish science," and thus not applicable to gentiles. Pro-lifers, relegating animal rights and vegetarianism solely to Judaism are as bigoted as Hitler.
There is a sad irony here, as many liberals likewise think abortion is sectarian: if you're not born-again, you don't have to be pro-life.
And issues like animal experimentation, circuses, fur, etc. have nothing to do with diet, eating, or food. The issue clearly IS the animals' right to life.
If conservative pro-lifers still think Art Caplan's words are *sick*... ascribing personhood to animals but not to the unborn, how do they justify their own support for corporate personhood?!
(You remember Citizens United?)
And trees are living beings, whereas corporations are inanimate legal constructs.
(The very word "inanimate" comes from the Latin, meaning "without spirit.")
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