Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Hypocrisy and Animal Rights

Among child molestation and genocide stands animal abuse. Animal abuse has become such a repulsive practice that we now have entire TV shows dedicated to eradicating it and punishing these subhuman practitioners. However, even the smallest degree of coercive force used against animal abusers is even more vitriolic to liberty than the harshest of animal abuses. Animal 'rights' in America fails utterly when given the most cursory glance under a logical magnifying glass.

Today we enjoy meat from slaughtered animals on an almost on a tri-daily basis. Meat has become so ingrained into the American culture that grilling is also known as the great American pastime. The businesses engaged in slaughtering animals on a large scale are even traded on the stock market. If animals are more than property, as activists and much of the world is convinced how can we permit this widespread murder to occur? Many people will answer, “because we consume them to continue living” or other sundry arguments amounting to “fulfillment of needs.” Then animals don't have “rights” so much as they have privileges. We don't murder another to fulfill our needs; the other person has a right to their body and life. We allow animals to be killed to fulfill our needs, yet we don't allow animals to be abused to fulfill the bizarre needs of an individual. If these were rights and not privileges both of the above statements could not be contradictory because either animals have the right of their body or they don't. If they have the right to their body they cannot be slaughtered without consent; something I have never heard a chicken consenting to. Ergo, animal abusers are punished not because of their affront to a creature's rights but because their actions are deemed socially deviant.

Now sure, I admittedly find animal abuse repulsive and the direct loss to liberty from using force against animal abusers to be small. However, we should never direct our full attention to the immediate costs of an action; by allowing the state to punish an individual for his personal behavior because a large enough group of individuals deems it inappropriate, we set a precedent for further encouragements on liberty. We have not come to the point in time where the kid burning ants with a magnifying glass becomes the neighborhood Jeffrey Dahmer and we may never. However, by allowing even a modicum of animal rights hypocrisy to continue we legitimize the use of force by the state to satisfy the tastes of the majority.

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