Well, it’s been quite some time since I’ve made an entry here. Lots has transpired that I could comment on…. Trent Lott has been in the news lately for his recent bout of foot-in-mouth disease, so I guess I ought to say a word or two about that.
Before I do, however, I’m going to take this opportunity to touch on the PETA issue I mentioned in one of my earlier posts. This morning I was listening to my favorite local talk radio station, WNIS. Tony Macrini hosts a morning radio show on WNIS, and today he had a couple of representatives from PETA as guests. He asked them to explain what PETA stands for. In a nutshell, the reply was that animals are not ours to use for food and/or clothing. Animals have certain inalienable “rights,” according to PETA, that we are morally bound to recognize and respect.
Granted, people should not engage in the wanton abuse of animals (see Proverbs 12:10). But do animals really have rights? In my never-to-be-humble opinion, the notion of animal rights is absolute nonsense. What right to survival or lack of suffering does a wildebeest on the African plain have — especially when it is in the process of being disemboweled by a pride of hungry lions? It would be ridiculous to speak of punishing the lions for violating a sick and weak wildebeest’s rights by hunting it down and killing it.
Macrini rightly pressed his guests on this very issue. Their reply was that animals kill one another for survival, and that this is excusable. There are, however, some other reasons why animals kill one another — reasons which 1) the PETA babes failed to mention, and 2) ostensibly have little to do with survival. For example, some animals will not hesitate to kill offspring. Male bears will often destroy the cubs of a rival just to perpetuate their own young. Charitable, no? And recent studies have found that bottlenose dolphins routinely attack and kill porpoises with stunning savagery. The scientists who have conducted these studies are apparently baffled by such behavior.
The truth is that animals are stepping all over one another’s supposed “rights” all the time, and nothing humanity can do will ever change that. PETA spends a whole lot of time fussing at people for violating animal rights by killing and eating them, but they give animals a pass for doing the same thing because they’re “innocently feral.” Sorry, guys, but you can’t have it both ways. You want to treat animals like people by giving them rights heretofore accorded to humans alone. Then you turn around and excuse the animals for violating those same rights. But if some dastardly people dare to impinge on an animal’s so-called rights, you protest and picket like there’s no tomorrow. So according to PETA’s logic, human beings are the only ones who can violate animal rights.
Unfortunately, this just doesn’t work. A right, by definition, is something that is inviolate. Animal rights either exist at all times or they do not exist at all. You can’t have the luxury of invoking the rights of animals to decry the behavior of people while simultaneously revoking the rights of some animals to excuse the behavior of others. What a self-contradictory position!
And with that, I close. Trent Lott will have to wait for tomorrow.
aka The MonT-SteR