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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Bonn.  Genetic 'tweaking' as David puts is hasn't really been explored but I assume to try and find a genetic link to eating meat.  The discussion then went on to ask what happens to those species that are not by virtue of where they live, e.g. polar regions, or physiological aspects such as the raptors with their beaks that are designed for tearing and not suited for eating vegetation.  That was when the notion of immunocontraception to allow the species to die out.  My interpretation of extermination is to take action to eradicate a species, which is what was suggested.  My concerns about genetic tweaking to turn carnivores into vegans remains one of the effects on the ecosystem.  There is a very potted version of the discussion.

Kerry, the Earth can support only a finite number of sentient beings. Population numbers of different races and species have traditionally been regulated by starvation, parasitism, disease and predation. However, one species has discovered the technologies of fertility control. Most of its members now enjoy the benefits of birth control and family planning. Should members of other species be condemned to suffer the cruelties of traditional Darwinian life indefinitely?
(cf. http://usc-es.academia.edu/OscarHorta/Papers/982391/Natural_Disvalu...
Maybe so. But in future, the case for such discrimination will need to be argued rather than assumed.

Your theory that you may be arguing with computer-generated sock-puppets is intriguing. Perhaps developments in artificial intelligence are progressing faster than I'd realised. However, you might want to consider the possibility that you are engaging with real-life animal advocates who are struggling with some very difficult issues.

David. If the human race is so advanced that they enjoy birth control and animals don't, why are human numbers reaching the point of unsustainability?  Humans have been in over population for quite a while in case you haven't noticed.

In doing so, humans have been pushing animals out of their homes for decades. Tigers are now down to estimated 3,700 and seriously endangered. In fact most of the larger animals are, as a result of human disregard for the animal kingdom.

If what you suggest were true, these top order species would be in far greater numbers than they are and humans would be much less. It is not animals in their native habitat who are the problem, it is us. In fact, what you are proposing is simply continuing the suffering of animals. Change people David, that's where the greatest good will be achieved in animal rights.

That's a reasonable concern, and a good reason to learn more. If, as Horta argues, there's already net suffering, then there may not be anything (other than a lot of suffering) to lose anyway. It's also a good reason to stop our selfish interventions in nature.

Kerry Baker said:

Bonn.  Genetic 'tweaking' as David puts is hasn't really been explored but I assume to try and find a genetic link to eating meat.  The discussion then went on to ask what happens to those species that are not by virtue of where they live, e.g. polar regions, or physiological aspects such as the raptors with their beaks that are designed for tearing and not suited for eating vegetation.  That was when the notion of immunocontraception to allow the species to die out.  My interpretation of extermination is to take action to eradicate a species, which is what was suggested.  My concerns about genetic tweaking to turn carnivores into vegans remains one of the effects on the ecosystem.  There is a very potted version of the discussion.

Bonn, while the motive guiding selfish interventions is a bad one, the effects need not be, especially if we accept that there is net suffering and basically nothing to lose.

Agreed; we don't really know what the effects are, and several different arguments at this point would be plausible.


Adriano Mannino said:

Bonn, while the motive guiding selfish interventions is a bad one, the effects need not be, especially if we accept that there is net suffering and basically nothing to lose.

Kerry, I'm inclined to agree with you about human overpopulation. However, who are the surplus? Folk who think the world has too many people generally don't have themselves in mind. 

Like you, I'm keen to change people. However, what if rational argument fails? Moral apathy is sometimes impossible to overcome. Once again, we may look to technical solutions. Thus the development and commercialisation of in vitro meat should allow global veganism / invitrotariansm by mid-century without the slightest inconvenience to consumers.

 Compassionate stewardship over the rest of the living world will take longer. But I'm (tentatively) inclined to think it will happen when oversight is feasible at minimal cost and inconvenience to most humans later this century and beyond. Prediction should of course be distinguished from advocacy.

David.  You said humans have contraception.  Your first sentence seems to contradict what you are claiming for a start.

The problem with human overpopulation is the most pressing issue today.  It affects not only us, it creates global warming, destroys natural animal habitat and creates a demand for food that is becoming increasingly difficult.  The term food security has now come on the agenda in countries like Australia.  Overseas countries are rapidly buying up our farmland and it has finally occurred to politicians that if here is a global famine, the food produced here will not be ours.

On the subject of the rest of the living world, the logical argument should be how to feed them without they having to kill for food.  Animals don't in most cases kill for anything other than food, and when they do it is often a result of deeper psychological injury.  For instance the elephants in Africa that turned rogue and killed several people because it was concluded they had been abused in Uganda dring the Idi Amin regime and suffered PTSD.

Feeding animals will then not require that you do anything to them. As the technology has commenced, it seems that this would be the most efficient and effective way to resolve your issues and mine.

If the cost of this is an argument, we can assume it is payment for the land that the animals have had forcibly taken away.  Small price to pay for beauty.

What about lions systematically killing the offspring of rivals? What about rape, murder and even tribal warfare in apes?

And again: Contraception would not harm any individual.

Adriano, this is hardly exclusive to carnivores. 

Your position in this thread has been to use contraception to eliminate species.  The point of my previous post was that if humans had used contraception responsibly, which David had extolled as a great technological advancement, then human population would not be in the numbers it currently is.

You can't decide to eradicate those species of animals that you think are non-deserving of preservation and not address the crimes of humanity against them.  Not focusing on humans will make any intervention in the animal kingdom pointless, as we are the primary predators here.

You raise issues such as rape, murder and tribal warfare. Sounds pretty human to me!  It happens in every species, meerkats, elk, ants, you name it every species is trying to protect its own patch.

I would suggest that human encroachment on native habitat has only exacerbated that behaviour as we leave them every smaller patches of land to fight over.

Again, what you are suggesting is to make a complete transformation of every species of plant and animal on the earth. David has suggested that's not possible and I have taken his position to mean, and correct me if I'm wrong, that he is looking at top order predators only.

Your position is quite simply not one that has been thought through. I include Horta in that. He is an academic looking to be the next Watson & Crick.  But as has been pointed out it has not considered too many aspects like the affects on the ecosystem, like what you do about herbivores when they no longer have natural predators, like what you do when weaker members of a species are no longer threatened and consequently an increase in illness occurs. 

You may claim that these are the things to be researched and fair enough.  But when you come here and one of the elements of your position involves extermination of species and genetic manipulation a la Monsanto, of course you are going to get aggressive objection.

"You may claim that these are the things to be researched and fair enough."

So you're saying our response to your entire criticism is reasonable (or at least fair)?

"But when you come here and one of the elements of your position involves extermination of species and genetic manipulation a la Monsanto, of course you are going to get aggressive objection."

Most thinkers ahead of their time face aggressive objection. Adriano's and David's argument is logically flawless; every objection you've raised is taken into account in the qualifications to their claims that they've made.

No they aren't Bonn.  For example, how to manage an ecosystem once you start removing elements.  An ecosystem incorporates everything from your basic simple cell organisms up to top order predators.  David stated that to manage lower order creatures would involve nanobots etc and this would not be feasible.

What Adriano has stated in previous posts is that humans should be treated differently because of our superior cognition, yet when it suits he asks about things like rape which presumably for an animal like an ape to experience as rape implies equal cognitive abilities.  This is what I meant by obfuscation.  Comments are reeled out to suit you when you respond to one element, but can be changed to challenge another.

I remind you that David and Adriano have both supported the notion of getting rid of species.  I asked why the idea of developing food sources for animals that would remove the need to slaughter animals can't be considered that would also mean no need for extermination.  No response to that has been received, instead a comment to move the discussion away from alternative options that might satisfy all of us.  It seems that the clear intention here is to just get rid of the animals that Adriano and David find personally offensive.  Hypocritically they are not touching the issue of human predation. It's been acknowledged but neither have discussed what can and should be done to eliminate human cruelty.

There may indeed have been a great deal of thought put into this, but very little critical thinking. 

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