Animal Rights Zone

Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism

Learn about the true meaning of animal rights, including what is and is not rights advocacy and examples of rights advocacy compared to other advocacy: http://www.rpaforall.org/rights.html

From the introduction:
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"Animal rights" is almost always used incorrectly by the news industry and most animal organizations and advocates. This hampers animal-rights advocacy by creating confusion about its goal, divergence from rights-promoting strategies, and delusion about what constitutes progress toward animal rights. People have helped animals in countless ways for thousands of years without promoting rights for them. Promoting rights means describing the rights other animals need to lead fulfilling lives, why meaningful protection is impossible without rights, and why human beings as well as other animals will benefit when all have the rights they need.
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Tags: Abolition, Rights, Welfare

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Kerry, recall I said "severe_and_readily avoidable suffering" - emphasis in the original. More nonhuman animals lower down the "food chain" are preyed upon by nonhuman predators than by humans. But e.g. the  plight of small "prey" fishes or crustaceans in the oceans can't be our top priority - and in any case, intervention at lower trophic levels would call for advanced nanobots and computational micromanagement that are decades away even if an ethical case for compassionate intervention existed.

I'm mystified why you believe advocates of global veganism and /or compassionate intervention are putting forward to arguments to "obfuscate" rather than pursue a logical line of reasoning. Rather I was under the impression that most critics here would make the opposite charge i.e. that systematically following through the implications of this sort of perspective (e.g. a classical utilitarian ethic, or the claim that every sentient being has a right not to be harmed) to their logical conclusion leads to an intuitively absurd outcome. 

Who exactly are you suggesting is being "disruptive" or a "sock puppet"? I think on reflection  - or at least a little detective work! -  you may wish to withdraw this remark. For what it's worth,  I either know (or know by reputation) the participants in this debate. They are each passionately sincere. And the reason I was keen to point to the areas where we all agree, notably the imperative need to end factory farming, was precisely to try and keep the temperature here  as low as possible. Animal advocates should assume mutual good faith - even when we believe those in the movement who disagree with us are profoundly mistaken.

No one here to my knowledge is advocating "animal  execution". We are disagreeing on the ethics of selective fertility control (cross-species immunocontraception or sterilants, etc) as a tool of compassionate stewardship of Nature; and whether the loss, gain or tweaked expression of a handful of genes regulating metabolism amounts to a pernicious loss of species identity. I  guess one might talk instead of "animal execution of generations yet unborn" or some such inflammatory expression. But I don't think such rhetoric would be helpful in clarifying the points at issue.

Despite that fact that there is no published animal rights theory (that I know of) that holds nonhuman animals accountable for their actions (morally and/or legally) and all deal specifically with human actions alone, this potential for such conclusions to be drawn from the term "animal rights"  has led me to speak mostly of "animal liberation" over the last year in casual conversation. Certainly, one cannot logically draw the conclusion that animal liberation means genocidal intervention. Rather, animal liberation means every animal living wild and free.

But you're doing the same kind of genocide every time you engage in selfish interventions in nature.

Brandon Becker said:

Despite that fact that there is no published animal rights theory (that I know of) that holds nonhuman animals accountable for their actions (morally and/or legally) and all deal specifically with human actions alone, this potential for such conclusions to be drawn from the term "animal rights"  has led me to speak mostly of "animal liberation" over the last year in casual conversation. Certainly, one cannot logically draw the conclusion that animal liberation means genocidal intervention. Rather, animal liberation means every animal living wild and free.

Unintentionally killing animals by stepping on them when walking or other similar behavior is dissimilar to intentionally forcibly sterilizing every carnivore and other non-herbivore on the planet in the interest of creating your transhumanist techno-dystopia. That's not the kind of "global veganism" I work for and there's nothing "compassionate" about this fascist eugenics program.

It is known in advance that your lawn mower will painfully shred insects. It's a mistake to use the word "unintentional" here. "Selfish" is the proper word.

Brandon Becker said:

Unintentionally killing animals by stepping on them when walking or other similar behavior is dissimilar to intentionally forcibly sterilizing every carnivore and other non-herbivore on the planet in the interest of creating your transhumanist techno-dystopia. That's not the kind of "global veganism" I work for and there's nothing "compassionate" about this fascist eugenics program.

I don't own a lawn mower and don't like monocrop grass yards (or other destructive agriculture for that matter).

All the more reason to focus on humans and leave animals alone.  However, the point about accidents is correct.  It has been estimated for example that if medical science gets to the point of being able to make humans live forever, the average lifespan would be around 200 years because an accident will finally kill you.

Bonn1997 said:

It is known in advance that your lawn mower will painfully shred insects. It's a mistake to use the word "unintentional" here. "Selfish" is the proper word.

Brandon Becker said:

Unintentionally killing animals by stepping on them when walking or other similar behavior is dissimilar to intentionally forcibly sterilizing every carnivore and other non-herbivore on the planet in the interest of creating your transhumanist techno-dystopia. That's not the kind of "global veganism" I work for and there's nothing "compassionate" about this fascist eugenics program.

David, if you are 4 people then you need to ensure you are all on the same page because there have been some quite disparate remarks happening between you. Hence the perceived obfuscation, because some of the responses have been directly contradicting what other comments have been and have been made to try to discredit points that have been made by myself or Brandon or other who hold the leave them alone view.

I also have no way of knowing whether some of you actually exist.  There is a computer program for example used by sock puppets to create 10 personas for these discussion forums that has got into animal rights groups for the past couple of decades. I note what you say, but you still might be the same person.

There has also been no mention from any of you of what would happen to ecosystems were you to start extirminating top order predators.  That was the point of my wolves - elks - beavers example.  However, you have finally made reference to an inability to address the lower order creatures other than with nanobots etc.  Potential disaster in the making perhaps?

I have not seen anything that any of you has posted that even remotely justifies getting rid of whole species. I think you will find if you attempt to get rid of whales, polar bears, arctic foxes, snow leopard, crocodiles, tigers, tasmanian devils, sharks, snakes, and so on, you will be making this earth a poorer place for it.

As I said before, what you are advocating has nothing to do with animal rights.  I will have greater respect for you if you turn your attention to human predation and social systems that result in the horrendous cruelty and suffering of animals. Just yesterday on Care2 I read of a monkey in a pharmaceutical company that was boiled alive when they forgot to remove it from a cage that was subsequently put through a wash cycle in near boiling water.

These are the things that are the evils in this world. Do something about the pharmaceutical companies David and the factory farms and animals used in research. Billions upon billions of animals, birds and reptiles tortured every year for human greed. This is why I have to wonder if you truly support animal rights at all, because the proposals that have been put so far by your associates have clearly avoided talking about changing humans.  That is speciesism and sheer hypocrisy.



David Pearce said:

Kerry, recall I said "severe_and_readily avoidable suffering" - emphasis in the original. More nonhuman animals lower down the "food chain" are preyed upon by nonhuman predators than by humans. But e.g. the  plight of small "prey" fishes or crustaceans in the oceans can't be our top priority - and in any case, intervention at lower trophic levels would call for advanced nanobots and computational micromanagement that are decades away even if an ethical case for compassionate intervention existed.

I'm mystified why you believe advocates of global veganism and /or compassionate intervention are putting forward to arguments to "obfuscate" rather than pursue a logical line of reasoning. Rather I was under the impression that most critics here would make the opposite charge i.e. that systematically following through the implications of this sort of perspective (e.g. a classical utilitarian ethic, or the claim that every sentient being has a right not to be harmed) to their logical conclusion leads to an intuitively absurd outcome. 

Who exactly are you suggesting is being "disruptive" or a "sock puppet"? I think on reflection  - or at least a little detective work! -  you may wish to withdraw this remark. For what it's worth,  I either know (or know by reputation) the participants in this debate. They are each passionately sincere. And the reason I was keen to point to the areas where we all agree, notably the imperative need to end factory farming, was precisely to try and keep the temperature here  as low as possible. Animal advocates should assume mutual good faith - even when we believe those in the movement who disagree with us are profoundly mistaken.

No one here to my knowledge is advocating "animal  execution". We are disagreeing on the ethics of selective fertility control (cross-species immunocontraception or sterilants, etc) as a tool of compassionate stewardship of Nature; and whether the loss, gain or tweaked expression of a handful of genes regulating metabolism amounts to a pernicious loss of species identity. I  guess one might talk instead of "animal execution of generations yet unborn" or some such inflammatory expression. But I don't think such rhetoric would be helpful in clarifying the points at issue.

I do not follow your argument. I argued that humans intentionally cause substantial avoidable harm to animals through their selfish interventions in nature. And you concluded that that means we should not focus on animals in nature?

Kerry Baker said:

All the more reason to focus on humans and leave animals alone.  However, the point about accidents is correct.  It has been estimated for example that if medical science gets to the point of being able to make humans live forever, the average lifespan would be around 200 years because an accident will finally kill you.

Bonn1997 said:

It is known in advance that your lawn mower will painfully shred insects. It's a mistake to use the word "unintentional" here. "Selfish" is the proper word.

Brandon Becker said:

Unintentionally killing animals by stepping on them when walking or other similar behavior is dissimilar to intentionally forcibly sterilizing every carnivore and other non-herbivore on the planet in the interest of creating your transhumanist techno-dystopia. That's not the kind of "global veganism" I work for and there's nothing "compassionate" about this fascist eugenics program.

At this point, we do not know what would happen to ecosystems if we engaged in altruistic interventions. Likewise, we cannot know the effects of the selfish interventions in nature we currently are engaging in. Lack of knowledge merely means that we need to learn more.

Kerry Baker said:

David, if you are 4 people then you need to ensure you are all on the same page because there have been some quite disparate remarks happening between you. Hence the perceived obfuscation, because some of the responses have been directly contradicting what other comments have been and have been made to try to discredit points that have been made by myself or Brandon or other who hold the leave them alone view.

I also have no way of knowing whether some of you actually exist.  There is a computer program for example used by sock puppets to create 10 personas for these discussion forums that has got into animal rights groups for the past couple of decades. I note what you say, but you still might be the same person.

There has also been no mention from any of you of what would happen to ecosystems were you to start extirminating top order predators.  That was the point of my wolves - elks - beavers example.  However, you have finally made reference to an inability to address the lower order creatures other than with nanobots etc.  Potential disaster in the making perhaps?

I have not seen anything that any of you has posted that even remotely justifies getting rid of whole species. I think you will find if you attempt to get rid of whales, polar bears, arctic foxes, snow leopard, crocodiles, tigers, tasmanian devils, sharks, snakes, and so on, you will be making this earth a poorer place for it.

As I said before, what you are advocating has nothing to do with animal rights.  I will have greater respect for you if you turn your attention to human predation and social systems that result in the horrendous cruelty and suffering of animals. Just yesterday on Care2 I read of a monkey in a pharmaceutical company that was boiled alive when they forgot to remove it from a cage that was subsequently put through a wash cycle in near boiling water.

These are the things that are the evils in this world. Do something about the pharmaceutical companies David and the factory farms and animals used in research. Billions upon billions of animals, birds and reptiles tortured every year for human greed. This is why I have to wonder if you truly support animal rights at all, because the proposals that have been put so far by your associates have clearly avoided talking about changing humans.  That is speciesism and sheer hypocrisy.



David Pearce said:

Kerry, recall I said "severe_and_readily avoidable suffering" - emphasis in the original. More nonhuman animals lower down the "food chain" are preyed upon by nonhuman predators than by humans. But e.g. the  plight of small "prey" fishes or crustaceans in the oceans can't be our top priority - and in any case, intervention at lower trophic levels would call for advanced nanobots and computational micromanagement that are decades away even if an ethical case for compassionate intervention existed.

I'm mystified why you believe advocates of global veganism and /or compassionate intervention are putting forward to arguments to "obfuscate" rather than pursue a logical line of reasoning. Rather I was under the impression that most critics here would make the opposite charge i.e. that systematically following through the implications of this sort of perspective (e.g. a classical utilitarian ethic, or the claim that every sentient being has a right not to be harmed) to their logical conclusion leads to an intuitively absurd outcome. 

Who exactly are you suggesting is being "disruptive" or a "sock puppet"? I think on reflection  - or at least a little detective work! -  you may wish to withdraw this remark. For what it's worth,  I either know (or know by reputation) the participants in this debate. They are each passionately sincere. And the reason I was keen to point to the areas where we all agree, notably the imperative need to end factory farming, was precisely to try and keep the temperature here  as low as possible. Animal advocates should assume mutual good faith - even when we believe those in the movement who disagree with us are profoundly mistaken.

No one here to my knowledge is advocating "animal  execution". We are disagreeing on the ethics of selective fertility control (cross-species immunocontraception or sterilants, etc) as a tool of compassionate stewardship of Nature; and whether the loss, gain or tweaked expression of a handful of genes regulating metabolism amounts to a pernicious loss of species identity. I  guess one might talk instead of "animal execution of generations yet unborn" or some such inflammatory expression. But I don't think such rhetoric would be helpful in clarifying the points at issue.

I am pointing out that humans exact the greater toll when it comes to killing.  That's a different discussion than the genetic manipulation of animals in nature, which is about extirminating whole species.  Humans have developed social systems and methodologies that completely disregard animals, for example encroachment on native habitat. We are the greater evil.

Bonn1997 said:

I do not follow your argument. I argued that humans intentionally cause substantial avoidable harm to animals through their selfish interventions in nature. And you concluded that that means we should not focus on animals in nature?

Kerry Baker said:

All the more reason to focus on humans and leave animals alone.  However, the point about accidents is correct.  It has been estimated for example that if medical science gets to the point of being able to make humans live forever, the average lifespan would be around 200 years because an accident will finally kill you.

Bonn1997 said:

It is known in advance that your lawn mower will painfully shred insects. It's a mistake to use the word "unintentional" here. "Selfish" is the proper word.

Brandon Becker said:

Unintentionally killing animals by stepping on them when walking or other similar behavior is dissimilar to intentionally forcibly sterilizing every carnivore and other non-herbivore on the planet in the interest of creating your transhumanist techno-dystopia. That's not the kind of "global veganism" I work for and there's nothing "compassionate" about this fascist eugenics program.


Hi Kerry, can you please elaborate on that and provide statistics? Specifically about your statement that we "exact the greater tolls when it comes to killing." Stats please.


 Kerry Baker said:

I am pointing out that humans exact the greater toll when it comes to killing.  That's a different discussion than the genetic manipulation of animals in nature, which is about extirminating whole species.  Humans have developed social systems and methodologies that completely disregard animals, for example encroachment on native habitat. We are the greater evil.
 

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