Thursday, August 26, 2004

An interesting exchange about animal rights


you decide....
Posted by me on Wednesday February 25, 2004:
Re:We cannot please everybody, all the time.
I agree. I was against the war. I am against death penalty (although I may be swayed towards the idea that it should be on the books for a once-in-a-decade occasion of having someone really horrible on trial, e.g., a serial rapist/killer, or Osama). I am for everything neccessary to make gay couples equal in the eyes of law with everyone else even if it is not called "marriage". My personal "hot button" issue are animal rights. If that is all I cared about, I would be voting for Bush and calling Jesse Helms out of retirement - Jesse was the staunchest fighter against the PETA, ALF and other "animal rights" terrorist organizations. Yet, I am willing to swipe aside my little pet peeves, and support a guy who inspires me, a person who is going to help us build One America in which it is possible to move forward on ALL issues. We can only move the society forward step by step. Radical changes will be met by fierce resistance. Thus Edwards today, so we can have an America in the future in which Kucinich will not be regarded as unelectable.

Re:We cannot please everybody, all the time. Posted by X
Why do you hate animals and prefer that they be treated with no respect or decency? Why are groups that try to alleviate the appalling suffering animals endure considered terrorists? Quite puzzled here.

Re:We cannot please everybody, all the time.
I LOVE animals. That is why I am a biologist right now. I am all for alleviating animal suffering. PETA and AFL have nothing to do with it (SPCA does). I have studied the issue a LOT, and their official FBI designation as "special-interest domestic terrorist organizations" is completely valid. I can provide references to relevant literature.

Re:We cannot please everybody, all the time. Posted by Y
Real biologists are the friends of all of life. Sometimes we need to read and get a bigger picture. Be more inclusive. See what really hurts your animal friends in general and specific pets as well. My two cats love me, and I them. References can be spouted easily. Is what I'm saying a reference? And your comment above a reference? Reliability (Is there consistency, correlation) needs to be tempered with validity ( Have you really measured what you said you measured?). I'd like to hear your views on global warming. Can you tell me what they are and give me references? Did you think we should have turned our backs on Kyoto?

Re:We cannot please everybody, all the time. Posted by me.
I am friend of all life. I have pets. I used to have horses. I do animal research. I teach biology. I read profusely. I have dealt with rational issues of animal care and use for 10 years. I have dealth with irrational issues of the politics and religion of animal "rights" for 10 years. Tom Regan and David Singer, two ideologues of the movement have destroyed each others arguments - thus, both arguments for the "rights" have been destroyed from WITHIN the movement. As usual, the followers don't read - they follow their knee-jerk emotional reaction. Watched "Bambi" too many times. Afraid of insects at the picnic. Never had to live in and with nature, to forage or hunt for food for survival. Anti-abortionists have, frankly, a stronger case for their fight (in which they use very similar tactics). As far as anything in science is "fact", global warming is a fact. Tons of data for it. No data against it. Turning away from Kyoto is a crime against humanity.

Re:We cannot please everybody, all the time. Posted by Y
Alexander Solzhenitsyn: Justice is conscience, not a personal conscience but the conscience of the whole of humanity. Those who clearly recognize the voice of their own conscience usually recognize also the voice of justice.

Re:We cannot please everybody, all the time. Posted by X
You just said your hot button was "animal rights." Now you suddenly love animals. ARe you sure you're not for Kerry? Surely, there's another of Jesse's causes that you can publicly support on here. Animals don't need YOUR kind of help, I assure you. PETA has gone over the edge, no doubt. But there are TONS of great organizations besides the SPCA. You have no idea what you're talking about, clearly. The SPCA in my city is horrible. How do I know? I didn't READ about it (or spend all day on the computer), I WORKED there. Many great sanctuaries, rescue groups and organizations are worthy and do an extraordinary job in helping animals. But then, they're probably not on the FBI reports. Good grief. I won't sit here and brag about my occupation or my degrees, but please stick to what you know. This isn't one of them.

Re:We cannot please everybody, all the time. Posted by me.
"PETA has gone over the edge, no doubt. But there are TONS of great organizations besides the SPCA." Obviously, as this is your quote, we agree. I wrote SPCA just as one example of TONS of wonderful organizations that do great work and that did NOT, like PETA and AFL go over the edge into the murky waters of terrorist tactics, bombing buildings, threatening researchers, vandalizing laboratories etc. So, if I am ignorant on this issue, you are exactly where I am, so we can be ignorant together. By the way, there is another cause that Jesse pushed and I like. He fought really hard against media consolidation in order to save small local radio stations. Of course, he really wanted to protect the proselytizing Christian stations, but the biggest effect of his efforts was that he saved - NPR! Wrong motivation perhaps, but grand result. These two causes are the only ones, I'm afraid...lol...and he was in Senate forever! I was so happy to see ole Jesse retire. Good riddance. As for mentioning Eeyore and me in the same sentence, I don't think I even have to say anything. If you do it on a new thread, there will be plenty of people jumping on you for questioning my loyalty to Edwards. I've been here for a looooong time. Voted for Edwards in 1998 for Senate. Will not let these challenges go unanswered.

Re:We cannot please everybody, all the time. Posted by X
I never questioned your loyalty to Edwards. I made a Kerry quip as an analogy about your own contradictory statements about ANIMALS. It was clearly a joke. Nice try. And from the looks of things here, folks are jumping on YOU for your unnecessary and inflammatory comments. For those of us who have spent a lifetime fighting for animals, your comments are insensitve at best. You said your hot button was animal rights. Then you suddenly pretend to love animals. Your posts don't even make sense.

Re:We cannot please everybody, all the time. Posted by me.
In a black and white world they don't make sense. In a world with many colors and shades extremes are rarely valid, but a more complex view somewhere in the center of a multidimensional world makes sense indeed. It takes an open mind and a lot of learning to be able to comprehend the complexity of every issue. If a conservative Republican calls you a commie just because you do not agree with him 100%, don't you feel mad at such shortsightedness and absolutism? If I am called an animal-torturer just because I point out that PETA is a terrorist organization, don't I have the right to feel mad at such shortsightedness and absolutism?

Re:We cannot please everybody, all the time. Posted by X
No, they don't make sense in ANY world. I'm glad there is no censorship here. When someone is rude and arrogant I never say "show them the door," I say, "thanks for letting me know." No one called you a animal-torturer. OR said you didn't support Edwards. You make all of this up. Whoa! Bizarre. Patronizing is certainly one way to communicate with people. It isn't, however, very effective. What about, "sorry for the rude comment about animals?" Nah. That's how we do it in my closed-minded, stupid little world. Not your superior, all-knowing one that comprehends the complexity of EVERY issue. "99 out of every 100 people will never, ever admit they've done something wrong." I won't say who said it. I'm sure you already know. Have a nice day.

Re:We cannot please everybody, all the time. Posted by X
No, they don't make sense in ANY world. I'm glad there is no censorship here. When someone is rude and arrogant I never say "show them the door," I say, "thanks for letting me know." No one called you a animal-torturer. OR said you didn't support Edwards. You make all of this up. Whoa! Bizarre. Patronizing is certainly one way to communicate with people. It isn't, however, very effective. What about, "sorry for the rude comment about animals?" Nah. That's how we do it in my closed-minded, stupid little world. Not your superior, all-knowing one that comprehends the complexity of EVERY issue. "99 out of every 100 people will never, ever admit they've done something wrong." I won't say who said it. I'm sure you already know. Have a nice day.

Re:We cannot please everybody, all the time. Posted by me.
I never said anything rude about animals. I wouldn't. I couldn't. I loved them since the day I was born. I went to vet school, then switched to biology, both because I love animals. I have no idea where you found that I said anything rude about them. What I have stated is that PETA and ALF are officially designated as terrorist organizations, and that I believe that it is rightly so. Their members kill, through ignorance, more animals in a year, then I will do in my lifetime. They release captive animals, often domesticated, into environments in which they are picked up by predators within hours as they have no survival skills. They also kill people. I know researchers who are guarded by Secret Service around the clock and they work on VOLES! Most monkey/ape research in the USA is dead as no new students want to live that kind of life - in daily fear. Animal research is severely inhibited in the USA because of legislation animal rightists managed to lobby for over the years, so American scientists do expensive molecular biology which provides data that are, in turn, just hypotheses to be tested in whole animals. The whole-animal work now increasingly gets done abroad and it tends to lead to patents for the firms abroad instead of our firms. At the same time, I cannot offer undergraduates real research experience and I had some really talented people move to other professions after they saw what a hassle it is to get any animal project approved (not to mention that some of the best experiments are not even proposed as we KNOW in advance they will not pass muster). And why? Because Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees have to have a person on board not associated with the University and that person, by some magic, always turns out to be an animal rightist. The story is even more complicated by the fear of the committee members from public outcries triggered by PETA activists so they adopt Gestapo-like regimes of laboratory control that makes more and more American scientists quit animal work, or science, or job in the USA. On the other side of the department are my ecologist friends. They are constantly under threats because they collaborate with hunters. Nobody knows, understands, and loves nature, animals and ecosystems as well as hunters do. Carnivores require large territories. Urban growth has eliminated carnivores from many areas of the country. In a few places, it is possible to re-introduce them, as has been recently done with wolves. In most places, that is not possible. In the absence of predators, the herbivore populations have a huge growth in numbers and densities, stripping their habitats of food and ending up starving to death. In such case, it is our moral duty to step into the role of the top predator and carefully and selectively reduce the herbivore numbers. Hunters really know how to do it right, often better than ecologists do. It is a tough life. No lion sleeping with the lamb. In such a situation the herbivore has three choices: a) to die a slow painful death of starvation, disease and parasites; b) to die after a short and brutal chase by a pack of wolves that starts eating it before it is even dead, or c) to die instantly of a bullet. For a) death is inevitable. For b) there are some slim chances of escaping. For c) only very few animals are killed, thus chances for every animal to survive and reproduce are much greater. If you were a doe, and these were your choices, what would you choose? "Bambi" has ruined the reputation of hunters among city-dwellers who are alienated from nature - folks who tend to join PETA and ALF out of ignorance of how nature works and under the influence of 100 years of Disneyfication (that is actually a technical term for this) of nature. Was this rude about animals? Did it in any way detract from the most invaluable work of hundreds of organizations that really do care about animals for their own sake, not out of some quasi-religious fervor? I adopted my beloved cat from such an organization. What can possibly be insulting, haughty and arrogant about anything I posted? Explain please, before you repeat your ad hominem attack.

Re:We cannot please everybody, all the time. Posted by Z
I am an animal lover as well, and if I were voting solely on this issue, I would NOT vote for Bush or Kerry because they are BOTH hunters. Why would you vote for Bush on this issue??

Re:We cannot please everybody, all the time. Posted by W
Card carrying PETA member here and proud of my support for an organization that has done so much to open peoples eyes to the incredible amount of suffering we cause to animals every single day without even thinking about it or noticing the effects of our actions. I have nothing but respect for them and for all animal rights groups and might have to start making a donation in your honor for every time you blast them on the blog!

Re:We cannot please everybody, all the time. Posted by me.
Hey, no problem. This is the biggest tent I've ever seen - bodes well for the general election. I do not want to start another "hot button issue" flaming thread on the blog, gay marriage is emotional and inflammatory enough, but....I do want you to donate to Edwards, so, I will post my point of view, in as inflammatory language as I can make it, on my custom blog. Check me as your "friend" so you'll be notified when it appears. Then, you are welcome to present your case there - and donate, of course. How about that? LOL

Re:We cannot please everybody, all the time. Posted by W
Yeah - I was going to add a comment that I didn't want to start anything new either. I considered not posting at all. But I just felt it was important not to let it go by without some protest, on behalf of those who have no voice at all! I'd rather you spend your time coming up with all those great links and trying to convert the undecideds to Edwards than waste your time trying to make a case that I just won't be able to agree with. As you said it is a big tent and we're both already standing under it! Enough said!

Re:We cannot please everybody, all the time. Posted by X
Your inflammatory language of hatred of animals will not inspire ME to contribute to this campaign. "You can judge the greatness of a nation by out it treats its animals." -- Mahatma Ghandi

Re:We cannot please everybody, all the time. Posted by X
"You can judge the greatness of a nation by HOW it treats its animals." Sorry for the typo. I was miffed. And I make typos when I'm miffed. Edwards stands for decency, morality and respect for ALL which is why I got back into politics this year. This "Jesse Helms" post infuriated me and turned me off more than any other I've read.

Re:We cannot please everybody, all the time. Posted by Y
A peanut farmer once said. "The sad duty of politics is to establish justice in a sinful world." -Jimmy Carter I go back to my original comment. We can't please everybody all the time. Do we want Bush out or not. There is more than enough injustice in the Bush administration to vote him out. We all have our special reasons to remove him. He is a divider. Please let JRE hold us together until we have completed that sad duty. My Signature: "Politics of Optimism through 2008 and beyond!"

Re:you decide....
Posted by S
This exchange is a perfect example of your argument that logic ought to be taught in school. You made statements that were straightforward and easy to understand, yet people completely failed to comprehend what you were trying to say. They picked out a couple phrases that made sense to them and made erroneous assumptions based on those. When they got frustrated because they couldn't understand you, they called you a troll. You get the gold star for patience for hanging in there and explaining your position as long as you did. My Signature: "Keep movin' on, keep workin' it. We need some Real Solutions!"


Re:you decide....
Posted by me.
Thank you. I though I was going crazy. I kept re-reading my post to try to figure out what could they misconstrue, but I thought I was clear. It is one of those emotional irrational issues that triggers aggressive responses no matter how it is worded and what is really meant. Just like pro-lifers, or religious super-fundamentalists - there is no discussion with them because they are too emotionally invested in an idea to allow questioning and reason to intrude. They are too afraid that their strongly held beliefs will be exposed as illegitimate and that would hurt a LOT. They have a deep nagging feeling that their argument does not really hold water, so they defend it very aggressively with irrational attacks.

And I added this on the JREG forum later:

Several of my colleagues have bodyguards because they work at places like Yerkes Primate Center, even if they do not work on primates. Yerkes is surrounded by electric fence and has guards 24 hours/day. I cannot bring friends to see my laboratory here at NCSU. Yes, people have been attacked, and even killed, and bombs exploded in buildings by the ALF and PETA. Stick to SPCA if you want to do some good, and leave the terrorists behind. Most of all, get educated about the clear and crisp distinction between Animal Welfare and Animal Rights - two very different things, as different as Heaven and Hell, former guided by compassion, the latter by ignorant zeal. Many people confuse the two, and that confusion is purposefully promoted and used by the "Rights" terrorist organizations. Their propaganda materials are designed to lure in people who like animals and who should join the SPCA or some such benevolent organization. One has to be very well informed to realize what their game is. I have posted links to several informative articles elsewhere about a month ago. I'll try to find them later if I can.

Here are the articles and websites. Some seem reasonable, some are straddling the line, some are over the top. Make distinction between animal welfare (good stuff) and animal rights (terrorists). And yes, we are carnivores. Here are some contrary views - make up your own mind:

http://reason.com/0010/fe.fg.science.shtml
Science and Self-Doubt

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,28412,00.html
Animal Rights, Research Wrongs

http://sanfrancisco.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2004/02/09/story3.html
Animal rights 'terror' rattles biotechs' cage

http://www.amprogress.org/ResearchOpposition/ResearchOppositionmain.cfm
Animal Welfare or Animal Rights?

http://www.junkscience.com/news/animal.html
Animal Rights:Teaching or Deceiving Kids

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=12072
The Terror of "Animal Rights"

http://www.acs.ohio-state.edu/homelandsecurity/focusareas/domestic.html
Domestic Counter-terrorism

http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewNation.asp?Page=%5CNation%5Carchive%5C200310%5CNAT20031028a.html
New Science Curriculum Aims to Curb 'Animal Rights' Influence

http://www.amprogress.org/ResearchOpposition/ResearchOppositionList.cfm?c=74
Animal Rights Philosophies

http://www.amprogress.org/ResearchOpposition/ResearchOppositionList.cfm?c=20
Activist Tactics

http://www.amprogress.org/ResearchOpposition/ResearchOppositionList.cfm?c=17
Animal Rights Violence

http://mtd.com/tasty/
People Eating Tasty Animals

http://www.fatpet.com/elvessa/rights.html
Why Cat Fanciers Support Animal WELFARE, not Animal RIGHTS

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