Why I’m not an animal rights advocate

Firstly, I’m not against animals.  I’m VEGAN.  In my personal life I minimize my use of animal products.  When I buy clothing new, I try to find vegan clothes.  Used clothing I’m recycling, so my ecological foot print is still smaller, and the cow has probably been dead for 10 years.  (no use crying over spilt (soy)milk)  I don’t agree with cruelty to animals and I avoid products that have had animal testing.  

That said, I don’t consider myself an animal rights person.  I only have a finite amount of time to focus on promoting ideals that are important to me.  The bottom line is that I have other ideals that are more important to me.

 Here’s where I disagree with some animal rights people: I think humans are more important than animals.  If I was (in some bizarre set of circumstances) forced to choose between ending the life of an animal (even an endangered species) or ending the life of a human being, I will always choose the human life.  Even if the person is a liar or cheat.  (don’t ask me about a murderer… I haven’t thought it through that well yet).

( Now Meat-Eaters tend to rejoice at this news.  Using poor logic they assume because I value human lives over other animals they think I’m completely ok with killing animals.  That’s not true.  I always try to end as few lives as possible in my daily living.  This includes saving lost spiders, snakes, and beetles.  Just because not killing animals is lower on my list of reasons to be vegan, doesn’t mean its not on the list. )

Back to the topic at hand.  I just can’t get all worked up about bunnies getting mascara shoved in their eyes when people are living in war zones, or the rate of HIV infections in Paupa New Guinea is has incresed by 30% in the past year.  Or Thousands of women in America live in abusive households fearing for their lives.   (and we’re the progressive 1st world?).  Nestle and other corporations are marketing baby formula in third world countries that have contaminiated water sources which then poison the children.

 I don’t disagree that Vick should be punnished for his role in dog fights, but why are people who beat their wives allowed to continue playing in sports and get off with fines instead of jail time?

Human beings are suffering, beaten, abused, starving, diseased and dying.  I’m not sorry I can’t expend the energy to get that upset about another species when mine is in such a sorry state. 

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Published in: on August 28, 2007 at 12:14 pm  Comments (6)  
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  1. Funny – I completely disagree. I would always choose the endangered species animal over a human. There are too many humans on the planet and we spread like a virus here. People are a dime a dozen and most humans contribute nothing useful to this world when you get right down to it, and most are ignorant and cause more harm than do good. In fact, I give no money to any ‘save the babies’ compaigns, cure any disease campaigns or any such rubbish – I only give money to charities that buy land so that it cannot be developed, or which preserve habitats or fight for better legislation to protect what little is left animal life that is wild in this world. It’s too bad that being vegan didn’t teach you anything about the need for biodiversity if we are to all survive, or how the politics of ever-exanding economies and ‘humans uber alles’ attitudes cannot possibly be a sustainable way to exist long term. We already are overpopulated and our population is just increasing each year with no signs of slowing – this is what is killing the planet. But you would rather save someone from starvation in a war zone so they can live to breed and have more babies and use more resources rather than save a species in danger of dying out because we as humans are so over-populated that we are overrunning it’s natural habitat? I am not saying that wife beaters should not be punished, as I think they should. But I also do not think it’s worth spending the time to save most of the ignorant humans on this planet – there is too much else at stake that is being damaged by the human race, and yet at the same time is tied up in our very survival as a species. Because, if we end up as the only species left on this earth through our own stupid actions then what exactly is the point? Do we all just become cannibals? In the long term it’s in our interest to decrease our population rather than let it continually increase, and to act to protect the earth and the other creatures on it to ensure our own long term survival as a species that shares this planet with many others in a complex ecosystem. Did you never read Shel Silverstein when you were small?

  2. Would it be too easy to suggest that we stick bittergirl here in one of those war- and disease-ravaged places and then see how much she values critter life over human life? :p There’s all kinds of opportunities for analysis there … I mean, it just so happens that most of those places and suffering peoples are women and people of colour, but bah, that doesn’t matter, the world’s better off without them anyway. Hmm. Who gets to decide who’s “too ignorant” to be saved? What are the criteria? Do you realise what kind of really dangerous ideologies you’re trucking in with that kind of thinking?

    That’s pretty much why I’m not an animal rights activist, come to it. People like PETA, who’re willing to sacrifice human lives to save animals, are generally overprivileged asshats who, like bittergirl, don’t see all the issues inherent in their oh-so-noble quests.

    You’d think that if overpopulation was the problem, they’d get behind all kinds of sex-positive, reproductive rights justice activisms — but I’m willing to bet they’re more fans of things like forced sterilisations for “those people.”

  3. Sure stick me there. I think you will see my values do not change quite frankly. I will feel more sorry for the dogs on the street than for the kid in the street. I have been like this since I was a child (and no not a rich one) – I happen to be very empathetic towards animals.

    So then you resort to calling me a racist based on this – that is quite a flying leap. You have no idea what color I am to start with, do you?

    In fact one of the things that most recently affected me was all the families (mostly poor and black) screaming at having to leave behind their pets in New Orleans at GUNPOINT, and there was plenty of room for them to be carried onto the buses (but it wasn’t hygenic or some other crap and suitcases were deemed more important than animal lives in such a case). And it was the mostly white police keeping the pets off the buses and later machine gunning them to death in the schools where people were told they’d be kept to be picked up later. I do not see animal rights as a color issue as you seem to do.

    And frankly I have been around the block and I realize a lot of things – and one of them is that ignorance is bliss and that there are far too many ignorant people in the world living blissfully as rampant consumerists (most of them in fact white) who think it’s more important to have the right to fly over in their private jets to Utah to hunt moose on a ‘hunting reserve’, than for wolves to be returned there. Since the wolves eat some of the moose they want to shoot, they are backing arial shooting of wolf packs even though they are still on the endangered species list.

    In fact it is in large part the first world contries that drive the consumer greed that is killing rain forests and driving most of the extinction happening right now.

    And, my dear I subscribe to many causes and I imagine that I was protesting for keeping abortion legal and fighting against investment in South Africa due to their apartheid policies quite likely well BEFORE you were born. Also I happen to have lived in poverty for the majority of my life. But now due to the state of the world and my analysis of what is going on I definitely do think that ecology and animal issues are the most important thing – because in the end if we take care of that we will take care of our species and if we destroy it then we also die out.

    You make a lot of assumptions about the rest of my political thoughts and my racial background and are quite prejudiced about who I am based on my comment to you – and that is indeed the mind and the folly of idealistic youth trying to fit people into the boxes they’ve been told about in school, rather than seeing that reality is a bit more grey.

    Claiming to be a vegan and saying you are not being an animal rights activist as an post on your blog is a bit rich, frankly. Like you are trying to dodge criticism from those who do not like vegans so they will not constantly harp on you about ‘why are you vegan, are you one of those crazy animal rights activists?’. Well there are worse things to be accused of. To me that is akin to being a woman manager in a large corporation (not that this happens too often) who claims she’s not feminist, even though she got there as a benefit of feminist actions for the past 100 years, and mostly because she doesn’t want men to criticize here for being a ‘ball breaker feminazi’.

    I guess you didn’t also see my other comments on a few of the anti-abortionist blogs around wordpress (who do things such as challenge the fact that the world population continues to grow because they feel anyone concerned about world population will want to start forced abortions to control it).

  4. And … you need to learn to differentiate between the author of a comment and the author of a post, since nakedthoughts hasn’t responded at all to you and frankly I think it’s “a bit rich” of you to attack her like that. What, are we playing more-progressive-than-thou now?

    That said, I apologise for attacking you. It was a knee-jerk reaction to your first comment, which sounds on its face very similar to many other arguments I’ve heard from people who do support eugenic policies and all kinds of other really nasty shit in the name of animal rights that is, yes, racist and sexist and degrades the rights and humanity of women and minorities. Frankly, I will not truck with that shit, and I have no respect for people who do.

    Go ahead and take care of the animals. Gods know they need it! But if you don’t mind (and frankly, even if you do) I’ll stick to looking out for my own species first.

  5. “Human beings are suffering, beaten, abused, starving, diseased and dying. I’m not sorry I can’t expend the energy to get that upset about another species when mine is in such a sorry state.”
    your quote here

    Okay look at this comment and please realize that animals are abused and neglected also and that is a HUGE indicator of conduct disorder. If animals had more rights and people were more severely punished for their actions towards them then the abused, suffering, beaten and dying humans wouldn’t have this problem. Have you ever researched the relationship btw animal cruelty and human violence. Obviously not. Because it is a very strong correlation and even though you do not think animals deserve that attention, its actually the humans that will be benefiting too. Those humans that you cherish the life of so greatly. Have you ever looked at our notorious rapist and serial killers? Well Check out their history of animal abuse. It is kinda funny how they all had previous instances involving animals. And to think, if animals had rights and were protected, no one would have been raped, abused or murdered. Only the little furry animals that you find irrelevant. They would have had rights, gotten hurt and ruffed up a little. However their rights would have locked up the jackass that later turned his violence to humans. You claim to value human life so much, well try researching a bit more before you try solving the worlds problems because you sound nothing but ignorant here.

    I’m not saying we should get rid of laws that are in place that protect animals. I think that individuals who torture animals for the sake of fun are sick and should be dealt with. however, lots of PEOPLE are abused and neglected in the same way, say pigs in a slaughterhouse are. I think we should deal with the people first. then save the pigs. I don’t think it’s right to kill something with the intelligence of a three year old, but i don’t think it’s right for children to be dying of starvation. However I think we could feed more people in the world if everyone was vegan. save the people first.

  6. Dear Nakedthoughts,

    As a new vegan, I was ECSTATIC to read this post of yours. I completely agree with you. All the vegans I have known are all about animal rights and something about that just doesn’t sit well with me, and you hit the nail on the head…thanks! Just to really make my day–you’re pro-life (i.e. anti-abortion), too, right?

    I am Pro-choice. Please feel free to peruse my journal to find more comentary on my views. I don’t not eat eggs because of the egg. I do it for the chicken. and my health… and I don’t like eggs. Just as I don’t drink dairy because I wouldn’t like someone squeezing my tit’s and taking my milk. I wouldn’t want someone harvesting my eggs either. (though for a mammel that sounds even more painful than for birds. ) and Just to make sure you know… countries where abortion is Safe and legal and people have access to birth control, have a LOWER abortion rate than countries where it is illegal. also fewer women die from sticking coathangers up themselves. I reccomend the book “This Common Secret” by Susan Wickland. It is a powerful book, and very educational.

    nakedthoughts


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