Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Issues with animal rights

Animal Rights. There's two subjects I don't like, economics and ethics. I've read some economics, but it still seems like voodoo. Yeah, that's all I can say. When I start to think about ethics and then write on them, my brain stops and I start focusing on all the paradox's and problems that exist. Taking any sort of hard stance on the issue seems impossible, because good and evil does not seem to be a binary issue, but something with many gradients in between. The issue of animal rights is an interesting one and worth exploring.
Animals are an important part of society and serve a useful propose. We would not be at this level of a society without domesticated animals. This is not a personal idea, but historical fact. When large groups of people gather, the waste that is made (whether it's trash or feces) attracts rodents and other creatures that carry diseases that humans were not immune to. And as people started to travel, hitchhiking diseases came with us. Domesticated animals like dogs and cats helped kill and protect cities from being wiped out. Other animals served as tools and transportation to help build more impressive technology. Whether someone is a cat or dog person or doesn't own a pet at all, animals were the link that made civilization possible.
How animals are treated though, has gotten bad. They are forgotten or seen as tools or merely food. The animals that provide food are genetic mutants and might not be animals. On an organic farm, chickens are given space to roam and walk around. Meat chickens are bred to have huge thighs and huge breasts which gives them a strange waddle while they walk around. After 8 months, it's really a mercy to kill these animals since it becomes hard for them to walk at all. Antibiotics have become a necessity for cows, since their tits have become bred to a point where infection is inevitable, and infection will cause pus and all sorts of nasty things to go into the milk. This is not a factory farm problem, this a problem caused by a 1000 years of breeding with one thing in mind: Bigger, more food, more appeasing to the eye.
So what's the problem with ethics? When it comes time to research on the issue of animal rights, a few writers take an extreme stance. Tom Regan's 1986 paper, The Case for Animal Rights reads as a call to arms for animal rights. His choice of words make his case aggressive, and he claims that to be against some problems in the system, a true activist must be against the whole system. The stance is fine. The system is fucked. It's the extreme nature of that line of thinking that is a problem, and is an argument taken for Eco-terrorism. Putting people in danger to save animals is an extreme that is far from what makes sense. Murder of one group to save another group cannot be the correct answer. This is where the whole thing falls apart for me.
And there are groups that make animal rights an issue, which is good. How they choose to relay that message is a problem. PETA seems to treat people as dumb, either by participating in a naked protest using beautiful women or by making a pokemon game with no understanding of the source material (PETA black  and blue. I refuse to link traffic to their site.) These tactics either assume that the only way to make people listen is to use sex, or are built purely on passion but no knowledge. Sex works, sex sells, fine, but how many people leave their teenage years and can still be convinced to do something by the promise of seeing a naked body? Advertising that uses sex uses the promise of the act itself; perfume with pheromones to attract the perfect mate, the right clothes to hide some features, accentuate others, and shape what needs to look good in order get sex. On this subject though, sex is only one thing. Sex sells because it's a desire everyone can relate to, but it glosses over other issues. How can animal rights benefit people? People have other desires beyond sex, so the focus shouldn't be on "animal rights is sexy" but "this how animals rights benefits the person watching or reading this".
I can take a stand on GMO's and animal breeding. It's a job I've worked and have seen negative consequences. And the problems seem to lie in how groups of people think about an issue, then react on an animal level, as opposed to reason. On the surface of animal rights lies a lot of people and stances that give the idea a bad name. This helped set my mind on some issues I want to address in the future as I approach the topic more and more. In the meantime, click the ads on the site. 30% of the revenue I get goes to animal shelters. Or you can click the "Dog Lovers Unite" tab to find a link to donate money to the cause.
It's Wednesday, and I don't need a smart post to gain readers as much as I need a post to help me focus my goals. I'm half way done with my translation post. I had something on Sunday when I said I would have it, I just wasn't sure of how to post it. I can't just put a sketch in the bottom and say here it is! What I can do is post a screen capture of it, though. Or not since this computer doesn't have a button to screen capture. Later I'll get a picture.
I have found pure evil. It is called "Derivative Clicker" and it proves that I don't need a game with characters or story or 3 hour cut scenes. Apparently, I need a button that makes the numbers go up, a button that buys other buttons, and button that makes numbers drop. That's it.  I need an account on github, 'cause that place is the shit.


  1. This is a somewhat tough issue--not one that I've dwelt upon very much. I don't like the idea of animals being abused, but then again I'm not a fan of animal rights extremists. GMO's might have a lot of potential for feeding the world and creating sturdier lines in the future, but care needs to be taken. It can be a scary sounding proposition.

    Hope you caught my comment on your "Why Your Blog Sucks" post. I think my suggestion would appeal to your readers.

    Tossing It Out

  2. Sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing your point of view. There is so much going in with Animal Rights currently.

  3. This is a hard issue to tackle. I have 5 different drafts of this. This can be better though.

  4. Life would be a lot easier if everything was cut and dry, wouldn't it?

    As far as mistreating animals - we need to be more serious about the implications. The person who is cruel to a defenseless animal is a "special" kind of person...we should keep our eyes on them.