As part of our on-going discussion about the horse industry, I feel it is important to discuss the differences in animal rights v. animal welfare.
From the Animal Welfare Council Website:
Animal Welfare, as defined by the American Veterinary Medical Association, is a human responsibility that encompasses all aspects of animal well-being, including proper housing, management, disease prevention and treatment, responsible care, humane handling, and, when necessary, humane euthanasia.
- Animal welfare proponents seek to improve the treatment and well-being of animals.
- Animal welfare proponents believe that humans can interact with animals in entertainment, industry, sport and recreation, and industry, but that the interaction should include provisions for the proper care and management for all animals involved.
- Animal welfare proponents support self-regulation of animal sports, including rodeo, polo, three-day eventing, FFA competitions, horse racing, field trials and endurance riding.
- Animal welfare groups utilize scientific evidence to base animal care and handling guidelines.
Animal Rights is a philosophical view that animals have rights similar or the same as humans. True animal rights proponents believe that humans do not have the right to use animals at all. Animal rights proponents wish to ban all use of animals by humans.
- Animal rights proponents support laws and regulations that would prohibit rodeos, horse racing, circuses, hunting, life-saving medical research using animals, raising of livestock for food, petting zoos, marine parks , breeding of purebred pets and any use of animals for industry, entertainment, sport or recreation.
- Animal rights proponents believe that violence, misinformation and publicity stunts are valid uses of funding donated to their tax-exempt organizations for the purpose of helping animals.
- Arson, vandalism and assault are common tactics used by underground animal rights groups to further the animal rights cause. Groups such as the Animal Liberation Front, which have been classified as terrorist by the FBI, routinely use criminal activities to further their cause.
Here are some quotes from some of the crazies, yes, I said it, crazies, on the Animal Right’s Front:
“It would be great if all the fast-food outlets, slaughterhouses, these laboratories and the banks who fund them exploded tomorrow… Hallelujah to the people who are willing to do it.” Quote from Bruce Friedrich, PETA Spokesperson at the “Animal Rights 2001″ convention.
“We are not especially ‘interested in animals.’ Neither of us had ever been inordinately fond of dogs, cats, or horses in the way that many people are. We didn’t ‘love’ animals.” –Peter Singer, Animal Liberation: A New Ethic for Our Treatment of Animals, 2nd ed. (New York Review of Books, 1990),Preface, p. ii.
“Pet ownership is an abysmal situation brought about by human manipulation” (Ingrid Newkirk, PETA founder Washingtonian Aug. 1986) “In the end I think it would be lovely if we stopped this whole notion of pets altogether” (Ingrid Newkirk Newsday, Feb. 21 1988)
“I’m not only uninterested in having children. I am opposed to having children. Having a purebred human baby is like having a purebred dog; it is nothing but vanity, human vanity.” Ingrid Newkirk, PeTA’s founder and president, New Yorker magazine, April 23, 2003
“Surely there will be some nonhuman animals whose lives, by any standards, are more valuable than the lives of some humans.” Peter Singer, Animal Liberation: A New Ethic for Our Treatment of Animals, 2nd ed. (New York: New York Review of Books, 1990), p. 19.
“Sometimes I think the only effective method of destroying speciesism would be for each uncaring human to be forced to live the life of a cow on a feedlot, or a monkey in a laboratory, or an elephant in the circus, or a bull in a rodeo, or a mink on a fur farm. Then people would be awakened from their soporific states and finally understand the horror that is inflicted on the animal kingdom by the vilest species to ever roam this planet: the human animal! Deep down, I truly hope that oppression, torture and murder return to each uncaring human tenfold! I hope that fathers accidentally shoot their sons on hunting excursions, while carnivores suffer heart attacks that kill them slowly.
“Every woman ensconced in fur should endure a rape so vicious that it scars them forever. While every man entrenched in fur should suffer an anal raping so horrific that they become disemboweled. Every rodeo cowboy and matador should be gored to death, while circus abusers are trampled by elephants and mauled by tigers. And, lastly, may irony shine its esoteric head in the form of animal researchers catching debilitating diseases and painfully withering away because research dollars that could have been used to treat them was wasted on the barbaric, unscientific practice vivisection.” Gary Yourofsky, PeTA Humane Education Lecturer, quoted in the University of Southern Indiana Student Newspaper, The Shield, January 24, 2008
“If you haven’t given voluntary human extinction much thought before, the idea of a world with no people in it may seem strange. But, if you give it a chance, I think you might agree that the extinction of Homo Sapiens would mean survival for millions, if not billions, of Earth-dwelling species … Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on earth, social and environmental.” “Les U. Knight” (pseudonym), “Voluntary Human Extinction,” Wild Earth, Vol. 1, No. 2, (Summer 1991), p. 72. (to you I say, start with yourself if you feel that way, sir.)
“Humans have grown like a cancer. We’re the biggest blight on the face of the earth.” Ingrid Newkirk, PeTA’s founder, president and former national director, Readers Digest, June 1990
I could go on and on with more quotes, but I believe y’all have the point by now. I am pro-animal welfare. Anyone that makes their living from farming/ranching has no choice but to be that way. Anyone that truly loves their animals is pro-animal welfare. That said, it’s unreasonable to expect that no more animals will be abused as long as you have humans beating/raping/abusing other humans. Additional legisltation won’t help- it’s the same with guns- if someone wants a gun, they’ll do their best to get one regardless of how many gun laws there are on the books.
Healthy, happy animals are the best way for farmers and ranchers to make their livings. Further, it is my own personal view that morally we are obligated to take the best care we can of God’s creatures. With that said, I believe that includes hunting, fishing, spaying, neutering etc. Nothing is worse than seeing Mother Nature at her cruelest, with over-population of deer herds- where sickness and disease reign supreme.
As usual, comments and discussion is welcome so long as you can refrain from name calling.