My Thursday post about the animal rights movement generated tremendous interest. I’m glad to see this because it poses a significant threat to not only fishing, but hunting, agriculture, medical research and even horse-drawn carriages in New York City.
Right now especially, it is emboldened by the general tone set by the President and his administration. I’m not saying that all animal rights advocates are Democrats. But the movement is right in line with the general tone of traditional culture and values being wrong, cruel, and unenlightened.
One point that I failed to make specifically in that post is advocating for animal rights is not the same as caring about the welfare of animals. Many of us care about their welfare and want to see them well treated.
But we do not believe that they should be given legal rights and/or equal rights with humans, and that is the objective of the most zealous in the animal rights movement.
If you want to discover just how pervasive this movement is worldwide, arrange for a daily or weekly Google Alert for “animal rights.”
Here are three examples:
Also my book, Why We Fish, explains the danger that this movement poses specifically to recreational fishing in an essay entitled "No Fishing?" Here’s an excerpt:
Anglers and hunters view fish and wildlife as resources to be used, while being managed wisely and treated with respect. Traditionally, most Americans have agreed with that “utilitarian” philosophy.
But as people become more urbanized (and often more affluent), some begin to favor a “mutualism wildlife value orientation, viewing wildlife as capable of relationships of trust with humans, as if part of an extended family, and as deserving of rights and caring.”
Mutualists, the authors say, “are more likely to view fish and wildlife in human terms, with human personalities and characteristics.”
What’s coming down the road in the United States if mutualism prevails?
The Swiss Animal Welfare Act of 2008 highlights the nightmarish possibilities. The legislation makes catch-and-release illegal because “it is in conflict with the dignity of the fish and its presumed ability to suffer and feel pain.”
And, finally, here's a recent site set up to counter propaganda from the Humane Society of the United States and other animal rights groups. You've likely seen its tear-jerker commercials soliciting donations. In reality, only a tiny fraction of that money goes to shelters that care for abused animals. Most of it goes to fund its political agenda.