Fish Or Man

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Does That Cage Hurt My Guinea Pig?

Or is it the fact that I consider the guinea pig MINE that is the problem?

Happily, in my travels on the internet, I rarely come across those like Alison Hills. When I do, I feel inclined to point it out. In her op-ed piece at the Guardian, Alison attempts to define the "animal rights" debate. Shortly into her editorial we find the questions;
"It would be much better to stop talking about rights and instead to ask two simple questions. When, if ever, may we make animals suffer? And when, if ever, may we kill them?"

Wonderful job... good questions raised... but her next sentence is where the name calling begins.
Extremists prefer the simplest possible answers: either "always" or "never."

For Alison, labeling someone an "extremists" makes it so much easier to throw away "the simplest possible answers." Of course, only extremists would vote for "the simpliest possible answers." Well, anyway... what's your enlightened answers to those questions, Alison?
"But it is obvious that we can instead opt for a moderate view that rejects harming animals except when the benefits to them and us are sufficiently great."

Benefits as judged by... the enlightened, of course! It may well benefit me to shoot MY dog, since they are damn expensive to feed, but is MY benefit sufficient enough for YOU? And what about MY cats? Or the racoons on MY property eating MY produce? What about those darn chipmonks? And finally those bugs in MY garden? How does the enlightened deal with these subjects, Alison?
"We may also need to treat species differently. The more sophisticated an animal's mind, the more it is deprived by a premature death. Typically, it may be worse to kill a gorilla than a chicken; but it may well be worse to kill a human being than either."

The MORE sophisticated the MORE it is deprived by a premature death??? I believe my guinea pig would tend to disagree with that notion. Still, should we only treat species differently? What about the UNenlightened and UNsophisticated humans, (judged to be by the enlightened)? Wouldn't their death mean much less then the death of an elite? Or should we treat some humans differently since certain individuals death/pain/suffering may well be a benefit to the enlightened? Still, who decides what I can do with those ants on MY property?
"We need scientists who study the physiology and behaviour of animals to help us find the truth..." "...But there can be no progress on animal welfare reform without the understanding of animals and their needs and interests, which only science can provide."

Tell me Alison, are you looking for more funding? While, scientist are well known for their abilities to inflict pain and suffering on others, are they best suited to decide a pain-to-benefit ratio that is sufficent to heal your bleeding heart? (I will stop here because I almost fell into debating with you inside your narrowminded viewpoint to the "two simple questions." My "simplest possible answer" was labeled "extermist," therefore, no debate is required with my kind, right?)

Alison goes on, and on, about factory farming and the pains many furry little creatures suffer for society's benefit of cheap meat, but I will leave that for your own enjoyment. (Good descriptions as they are, but still not close to what I could say of reaching both arms inside the chest cavity of my last deer, arms covered in blood, face smashed against the deers sternum in an attempt to reach the... for those faint at heart I will just say the deer was big).

As for Alison's attempt to answer "two simple questions," her answers call for more funding for herself and will certainly led to the enlightened gaining even more control over MY property.

Yet, isn't that what it was all about?