Animal Rights Zone

Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism

this is to let all members know i hav desided to leave ARzone - an why .

firstly ,i am completly disgusted by some of the views expresed on this site,an the way other members hav failed to question them. society in general is so rife with prejudise against nonhumans an arrogant ideas about human superiority ,but it is shocking an demoralising to find such views expressed hear of all places . i want no part of a forum wher people defend welfarist half measures an support the exploitation an property status of nonhumans in any way . this is a betrayal of evrything the animal liberation mevement stands for - an if animal rights zone fails to condemn ignorant speciesism lik this then it needs to change its name .

secondly ,i am also disgusted by the lack of support an respect shown for roger yates - he has basicaly had all his briliant hard work hear thrown back in his face . ther are few people (an certainly none on this site ) who understand what this movement needs as wel as he does,or who hav worked so tirelesly for the animals .

in conclusion ,id lik to join him in disasociating myself from the inacurately named animal rights zone ,wher the ideals of veganism an liberation for all sentient beings are undermined by misguided human supremasists who actualy advocate animal use . 

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Tina, I replied to your other comments HERE, but I will add that comment to this post as well, as I think it addresses the false accusations and hurtful comments you are making here as well. 

I will just add that I believe it is highly inappropriate and unacceptable for you to allow your personal dislike for Tim to cloud your judgement on this issue. The fact that you continually and incessently refuse to actually read what is being said around you, and continue to make ridiculously unfair and incorrect accusations about Tim makes me wonder what your real agenda here is. PLEASE read Tim's essay again and PLEASE make at least some effort to understand what he is saying. To suggest that he is endorsing any form of exploitation is ridiculous. You are wrong, and your refusal to address the facts is becoming annoying.

I ask you to please refrain from making false allegations about Roger on this site. That is disrespectful both to Roger and to ARZone and myself. 

My comment from the other post: 

Hi Tina, 

I have absolutely no desire to argue with you, or to speak to you in a disrespectful manner, but when you continue to make false and misleading statements like "his posts sugested that ther are circumstanses in which using other animals for our own purposes would be moraly aceptable", you make it very difficult to hold a reasonable discussion with you. 

The essay we are speaking about suggests that there may be circumstances in which it is not an act of exploitation to consume honey, and that the consumption of that honey, in and of itself, is not a harm to the bees. The harm is caused when the bees are exploited and commodified for their honey, not when humans eat the honey. 

To take honey from a naturally abandoned beehive does not cause any harm or exploitation and is not an act of commodification, objectification or oppression. Not to eat the honey from an abandoned hive is a personal choice, and a choice I respect, however one would choose to look at their decision, but, it is just that, a personal choice, and in no way that I can determine, an act of exploitation. 

You have also stated that Tim is: "questioning the level of consiousnes of nonhumans an excusing animal use".

Again, there is no "use" that Tim has excused, so I won't go over that again. To question the level of consciousness is our duty, as vegans and as advocates for the very individuals we are speaking of. Not to ask such questions would be irresponsible, lazy and immensely unfair to those we claim to be working for. I honestly don't understand how any advocate for other animals couild be offended with questioning these issues and working toward better solutions to the problems we, and other animals, are facing. 

Claiming that "Roger was forced to leave", again, is misleading and completely wrong. Tina, are you making these false claims intentionally, or do you just not care for the truth? This claim in particular hurts and offends me. I would never, EVER force Roger, who I consider a very dear friend, to leave ARZone, and you have absolutely no right to suggest otherwise. 

Please consider the hurt some of your false accusations cause in future, prior to posting such comments. 



Tina Cubberley said:

hi red dog ,

thanx for your support an comments hear -i quite agree,rogers absense wil be a huge loss to arzone .but i completly support an understand his desision to leave this site -it is simply unaceptable to work alongside those who defend exploitation in any way. the fact that tim giers speciesist attitude to other animals is defended at all hear angers me - an i am also very disapointed in the lack of support for roger shown by those who worked with him . his activism ,an the imense amount of time an effort he has given to making this site what it is (or rather was) deservs more respect .

red dog said:

If Roger has really left, that is a big loss for ARZone. He's done great work here and I can't see the site being half as good without him. I'm also really disappointed to see the disrespectful tone that's crept into certain discussions lately, including the recent honey discussion. It wasn't necessary to call Roger confused, and it isn't necessary to suggest Tina has no interest in thinking.

Until now I thought ARZone was doing a good job of encouraging critical thought while at the same time respecting the real live animals who are the subject of our discussions--not abstractions whose experiences we should feel free to trivialize because we're bored. I didn't always agree with Roger, but I can understand why he reacted the way he did to the honey discussion. What if someone in your family was attacked, and some guy on a message board suggested your family member was an inferior life form who acted on instinct and couldn't make choices? And that therefore the attack was nothing to get upset about?

I agree with you, Frank. Have you read the essay in question? The author of the essay doesn't endorse any sort of exploitation whatsoever, and, I think, makes that very clear. 

http://arzone.ning.com/forum/topics/bees-make-honey-tim-gier



Frank Panetta said:

I don't know if there is a universally accepted definition of veganism, but in my thinking, I have absolutely no right to in anyway exploit another sentient being.   

Tina, I thought you were leaving ARZone, have you changed your mind?

Tina, you make the claim that: 

the fact that tim giers speciesist attitude to other animals is defended at all hear angers me

Could you please explain how Tim's attitude is speciesist, and how that "speciesist attitude" is being defended, and by whom?

When one makes such claims in ARZone, in the spirit of rational discourse and civility, it is expected that they are able, and willing, to explain and justify such claims making. If not, we would all be free to make absurd claims about each other, and I don't think that would be helpful, do you? 



Tina Cubberley said:

hi red dog ,

thanx for your support an comments hear -i quite agree,rogers absense wil be a huge loss to arzone .but i completly support an understand his desision to leave this site -it is simply unaceptable to work alongside those who defend exploitation in any way. the fact that tim giers speciesist attitude to other animals is defended at all hear angers me - an i am also very disapointed in the lack of support for roger shown by those who worked with him . his activism ,an the imense amount of time an effort he has given to making this site what it is (or rather was) deservs more respect .

red dog said:

If Roger has really left, that is a big loss for ARZone. He's done great work here and I can't see the site being half as good without him. I'm also really disappointed to see the disrespectful tone that's crept into certain discussions lately, including the recent honey discussion. It wasn't necessary to call Roger confused, and it isn't necessary to suggest Tina has no interest in thinking.

Until now I thought ARZone was doing a good job of encouraging critical thought while at the same time respecting the real live animals who are the subject of our discussions--not abstractions whose experiences we should feel free to trivialize because we're bored. I didn't always agree with Roger, but I can understand why he reacted the way he did to the honey discussion. What if someone in your family was attacked, and some guy on a message board suggested your family member was an inferior life form who acted on instinct and couldn't make choices? And that therefore the attack was nothing to get upset about?

I am opposed to actions by humans that cause harm in the lives of others, when such harms would matter to others, whether they are aware of the nature of those harms or not. 

Frank Panetta said:

I don't know if there is a universally accepted definition of veganism, but in my thinking, I have absolutely no right to in anyway exploit another sentient being.   

Thank you Carolyn, I appreciate that you've taken the time to read and understand what I've written.  

As I understand the concept, anarchism is the rejection of the authority of the state in recognition of the rights of autonomous agents to govern themselves in all matters.  Therefore, it seems incongruous to me that an anarchist would deign to impose their views on another person - it seem antithetical to the principle of anarchism itself.  However, I will leave you to your understanding of the concept, it really matters not at all to me, I was just amused by what I take to be another inconsistency in your views.

To the matter at hand, bees, nor anyone else, has rights in the absence of rational actors who can grant them.  

Bees have no rights against natural predators, because those nonhuman predators of bees - the birds and other insects who eat bees - are not able to grant the rights of bees.  Neither birds nor bees understand the concept of rights and there is nothing about birds, bees or any other nonhuman animal such that any one of them will ever grant rights to another - or stake a rights-based claim against another.  Therefore, if bees have rights, it can't be anything about bees that causes bees to have rights, it must be something about humans or other rational actors that leads to bees having rights, if bees do have rights.  We talk about rights when we recognize that others have interests that matter to them (whether they recognize it or not)- we decide to protect those interests with what we call rights, but there aren't any such things as rights inherently existing in any nonhuman animal or anyone else. 

Just so that everyone knows that I'm not out on a limb here, I think it might be helpful to the discussion about what rights are and where they come from if I post this:

Question 2: Rights were devised by humans. How can they even be applicable to animals?
Answer: Just as the moral status of a human or animal is not determined by who caused the human or the animal to come into existence, the application of a moral concept is not determined by who devised it. If moral benefits went only to the devisers of moral concepts, then most of humankind would still be outside the moral community. Rights concepts as we currently understand them were actually devised as a way of protecting the interests of wealthy white male landowners; indeed, most moral concepts were historically devised by privileged males to benefit other privileged males. As time went on, we recognized that the principle of equal consideration required that we treat similar cases in a similar way and we subsequently extended rights (and other moral benefits) to other humans. In particular, the principle of equal consideration required that we regard as morally odious the ownership of some humans by other humans. If we are going to apply the principle of equal consideration to animals, then we must extend to animals the right not to be treated as a resource.
It is irrelevant whether animals devised rights or can even understand the concept of rights. We do not require that humans be potential devisers of rights or understand the concept of rights in order to be beneficiaries of rights. For example, a severely retarded human being might not have the ability to understand what a right is, but that does not mean that we should not accord her the protection of at least the basic right not to be treated as a resource of others. (emphasis added)

The above statement, Tim, seems to suggest that rights are not something that an individual is born with, nor are they something that are automatically given by God.

Rights are something, according to Gary Francione, who, some believe, created the animal RIGHTS movement in 2006, are "accorded" to others by humans, for example he says: "a severely retarded human being might not have the ability to understand what a right is, but that does not mean that we should not accord her the protection of at least the basic right not to be treated as a resource of others."

Also, Professor Tom Regan, who has been described as the philosophical leader of the animal rights movement. has said: "As already noted, whether humans (let alone animals) have rights is among moral philosophy’s most contentious questions."

Would you agree with me then, Tim, when I say that if the philosophical leader of the animal rights movement sees how difficult a concept "rights" is, and if the leading theorist of the abolitionist movement thinks that rights are something that humans extend to others, then perhaps some people who comment on internet forums thinking that these things are simple matters about which there can be no discussion or disagreement are either confused about the issues, or just avoiding the facts. 

 

 

Tom Regan's attempt to explicate his own view of moral rights, by his own account and as Carolyn mentioned above, involves examining "among moral philosophy’s most contentious questions". These are not easy questions and they cannot be answered by reading one quote from any book or by reading any simple statement on one website.

In his landmark book, The Case for Animal Rights (1983), Regan explains and defends his conception of moral rights and, by his own words, that book "means more" to him "than all the others" (Empty Cages, 2004, p. 72). Regan has never repudiated the essential arguments he made in "The Case" and there is no reason for him to. In that book he makes a thorough, detailed and wide-ranging defense of the "rights-view" considering not only the strengths of his view but also the weaknesses of it and the many possible challenges to it. It takes Regan the first 7 chapters and 264 pages of that book just to lay the foundation for his argument for rights - he begins actually making the case for rights in chapter 8. If people on this thread think that they can do, in one or two throwaway comments on the internet, what it took Tom Regan a 400 page book written over a ten-month period to do, then I submit that they don't understand what they are going on about. In any event, Regan argues for a position -- he doesn't just assert things as if they were true. Moreover, just in case Regan gets a lot of things right in The Case for Animal Rigths, that doesn't mean that he gets everything right or that, in the end, his position is ultimately a satisfactory one. That is for the reader to decide, hopefully based on a clear understanding of all the complexities the issues involve.

It is commonly thought that there is "one true way" to think about moral philosophy - for example, it is not uncommon to hear 'animal people' talk about utilitarianism as if it is obviously false or that only people who aren't genuinely concerned for other animals suscribe to utilitarianism. This thought is incorrect. No one can prove any theory about morality; moral theories are not the sort of thing that are subject to proof. All that a person can do is think deeply and considerably and then come to a judgment about which theory both best describes what morality is as well as best prescibes what moral behavior ought to be. But there is no fact of the matter on which anyone can ultimately prove that any particular theory is "right". Indeed, all moral theories lead to either aburdities or contradictions (or both) when taken to their logical conclusions. (Read about what Kant has to say about whether a person ought ever to tell a lie and you'll see quickly what I mean.) If utilitarianism is obviously false, then a "rights-based" theory is also obviously false. But we need not think of the theories in terms of truth or falsity at all. What we ought do is think in terms of how we ought to behave in the world, and why what we do - to and for others - ought to matter, to them and for them. If believing in "moral rights" makes it easier for you to do the right thing, great, but don't mistake what makes something easier for you with what makes something "the truth".

I will leave you all with this quote from "The Case" wherein Regan presents how he will go about framing his defense of the "rights-view". If you all want to read this as his statement that "rights" have an ontological status in reality such that "rights" exist absent the formulation of them in the rational minds of moral agents, I will not bother to try further to dissuade you, but whatever you do, please just don't take my word for it; read the book!!

“[D]isenchantment with the idea of moral rights can be partly explained by... impatience with the method of validation some have favored – for example, that moral (natural) rights are conferred by nature itself, or that they are ‘self-evident,’ or, relatedly, that they are there to be discovered by the ‘pure light of natural reason.’ One can agree that these are unreliable procedures for validating rights and still allow that rights can be validated – that is, that good reasons can be given to recognize some claims to rights as valid claims. (...) The validity of a right...must depend on its compliance with moral principles whose validity has been independently established.” Tom Regan, The Case for Animal Rights, 1983, p. 270

Hey everyone,

Before I even started typing this a sense of regret overtook me because I try to stay out of these frays, but I wanted to talk about something that I think is applicable to this debate. Back in the 1970's there was an exorbitant amount of internal conflict between various environmental organizations. The contentious debates between various groups got so heated that it threatened to delay the progress of the very movement that these organizations had supposedly formed to advance. This led Dave Foreman (I know, I know...) to say the following: “One of the things we said when we started Earth First! was, ‘We’ll let our actions set the finer points of our philosophy.’ That’s one of my disagreements with the Greens, is that they seem content to sit around and hammer out these detailed agendas and statements of principles and all of this, and they don’t ever do anything about it. Earth First! is the only activist green group around, if you want to look at it that way. The others are debating societies. 

 

Dave's point here was not that debate wasn't healthy, or necessary, or that it couldn't help inform action. His point, in my opinion, was that debate could become unhealthy, not necessary, and stifle action. 

 

Reading the honey posts and this thread makes me wonder what the benefit of this specific debate is. No body seems to be arguing that bees should be exploited for their excretions, or that humans are somehow entitled to make money off of the labor of these insect nations. (I can already hear Tim gearing up to debate whether insects can have nations, but let's save that for another time, Tim!) Since no policy is being set here I am having difficulty figuring out what the importance to our praxis is. 

 

This contentious debate doesn't seem to serve the best interest of animals, it has gotten so heated that it seems to be wasting the time of those participating, and worse, it appears to be keeping people from working together who would otherwise seem to have much in common. We are already so marginalized and weak compared to our opponents, is it really wise to allow a debate (upon which nothing substantial rests and for which no one side is likely to win) to fracture us even more?

 

I love that AR zone allows people to discuss issues of importance, and I also like that people take their points of view seriously. But c'mon. Every so often can't we have the maturity and tactical sense to just let something drop? Come on back, Roger, we need you. Stick around, Tina, we need you too. Tim, you appear to be a smart, lovely guy, but is it really that important that everyone accept your views? And Carolyn, I think that deep down you must recognize Roger's departure as a loss. 

 

In short: Let's keep these debates civil and have the sense to recognize when they get in the way of advancing what we all want for non-humans. Just my two cents.

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