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Animal Rights Extremists Part II

Animal Rights Extremists Part II

We continue this series from the last part examining some of the Animal Rights extremists' ideology.  In researching this form of extremism, it would appear they have an ideology behind their madness.  This ideology seems to come from various religious and philosophical sources or the members are from a variety of religious backgrounds and philosophies.

With a few exceptions, one being on humanist, most of the sources are religious based.  ALF copied “Some Reasons Why Humanist Reject the Bible”.  Supposedly they it used “with permission” from the American Humanist Association, oddly enough, changing the title to “Humanist”.  I used this article for a paper I wrote a few years ago.  The essay has nothing to do with animal welfare and rights, but you can compare the two copies, along with the little bit of redecorating they did of the article.  Did they copy and paste the statement “used with permission” or did the AHA organization know they used it?  If so, either the AHA person they spoke with did not know what ALF was using it for or ALF used some of their personal techniques to acquire it.  Given what I have learned from their website and other sources, as well as looking the article over, skepticism overcomes me and I question ALF's use of the article.

Another exception, which they linked to, was a source from Landover Baptist Church concerning Vegans, which they did not copy and slightly redecorated.  I am guessing they know it is satire and do not take Landover seriously concerning veganism.

Finally, there is a video by Carl Sagan, an article concerning Madelyn O’Hair, and a link of atheist quotes.  None of them deals with animal rights issues.  Most rational atheists, who understand the science and its benefits, as well as the ethical standard, guidelines, rules, and regulations, would probably take the extremists to task on their various ideologies, creeds, and philosophy.

The other sources are religiously based, with a lot of emphasis on Christianity and Vegetarianism.  It makes you wonder what is happening within the Animals Rights groups, especially in terms of extremism.  Obviously rational thinking, despite their education levels, is not part of their ideology.

One essay includes “The 10 Commandments for Caring for Animals”.  When I was a Christian, I probably would have agreed with it and maybe even welcomed it.  However, one commandment contradicts an area of the last part to this series, which I will focus on, even though there are obvious violations a few other commandments of theirs.  As a lover of animals, which includes humans, I focus on it because it bothers me even more than their stealing and property damage:

6) Thou shalt not kill innocent animals, wantonly, by delighting in slaughtering them for sport, recreation, fashion, or other destructive and frivolous uses of God’s Creation. "I will make a covenant with the beasts of the field and with the fowls of heaven and I will break the bow and the sword and I will make them to lie down safely" (Hosea 2:18-20). "Thy righteousness is like the great mountains O Lord, thou preservest man and beast. How excellent is thy loving kindness, O God." (Psalm 36:7-8).

Scientifically, humans are animals and towards the end of the last part, at least one extremist was not above killing scientists, who are humans.  Now if the Animal Rights extremists have this in their supposed 10 Commandments, then why would they want to kill the human animal?  The threat to kill humans is a contradiction in this commandment.

They also have another set of “10 Commandments” and interestingly, “Thou shalt not kill” is number nine and not six.  Appears they are as bad as Christians concerning the “10 Commandments” and have at least two sets as well.  The ninth one, in this set, is again interesting:

9. Killing animals or birds for sport is forbidden.

If it is forbidden, then why does Dr. Jerry Vlasak endorsed the murder of scientists who use animals in their medical?  Why does Animal Defense Militia endorse similar violence?

A.D.M. operatives are directed to kill on sight any human suspected of violating the fundamental spiritual rights of any single or multi-celled creature.

If killing is “forbidden”, then why kill any human animal, who violates another creature’s “fundamental spiritual rights”?  For that matter, whose “spiritual rights” are the ADM and ALF imposing on whom?  Who is to say that other animals have spirituality?  How do they know other animals have spirituality?

It might be the extremists do not see humans as animals or they do not follow these so-called “10 Commandments”.  Whatever the case, despite not being within their creed, philosophy, and guidelines, it appears their concept of a deity and interpretation of the Bible or other religious text drives at least the individuals and influences their behaviours.Personally, I would not want anyone who cares less for the human species than they do for other species near any button that could destroy us.

ALF does have a creed though and there is yet another interesting statement in their creed, of which they once again contradict:

4. TO take all necessary precautions against harming any animal, human and non-human.

Thus, they do view humans as animals, but they are hypocrites concerning their beliefs, creeds, and philosophy.  If they ascribe to non-violence and take precautions against harming animals, then we are back to why they wish to kill the human animal.  It is a contradiction in thought and action.

Within their mission statement, one is to “consider the danger to other sentient beings”.

2. Danger to other sentient beings. Take into account humans as well as rodents you can't see. Realize that 'change' may upset a miniature ecosystem on which some beings may rely. Fires or bombs can kill mice and birds you didn't see.

Take into account rodents, who at one time became so numerous that they contributed to the Bubonic Plague?  Rodents multiply faster then rabbits, or so it seems, and are hardly in any danger of extinction, despite cats and human methods to control their populations.  What better species of animals is there, in which to attach electrodes to their skulls, and find out how the brain works?

Although those little white lab rats are rather cute, but even as a vegetarian who loves animals, I would sooner give up 20 or 100 rats to save my child’s life.  I would also sooner kill flea-ridden rats to prevent another surge of the plague and rabies from their bites.

Mind you, I am talking about rats and not Old Bossy, the sweet cow, or Koko, the gorilla who signs, which carry a different set of scientific experiments altogether.  I am also not talking about drilling holes in its skull either.

She seems very happy and living very well, without any pain, suffering, or trauma.

ALF is also a secret society, as seen in their PDF article on “Who is ALF?”  Like many secret societies, members are not to divulge their membership with ALF.

The A.L.F. is not a group per se.  There are no membership lists and no leaders.  Because their activity is illegal, A.L.F. activists keep their involvement secret – from the public, their families, their friends, everyone – in order to remain free and continue carrying out actions.  Anyone carrying out an action according to the A.L.F. guidelines can consider him/herself an A.L.F. activist.

“Because their activity is illegal”?  Martin Luther King never once told his Civil Rights Activists to keep their identity a secret, but then again, they did nothing violent while protesting various laws.  Not even the sit-ins at restaurant counters were violent, despite violating certain segregation laws of the day.

ALF states that they do not ascribe to a religious deity when it comes to morality.  This begs the question, “Then why all the religious sources, including and especially Christianity, on their website?”

Again, we see religion, specifically Christianity, mentioned in a statement concerning ALF’s philosophy:

Many of the world's great religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism explicitly teach reverence for all animal life.  It is the Judeo-Christian Bible, however, that shapes most American's religious sensibilities.  Examining the Bible, we see strong indications of the moral value of non-human animal life. In Genesis, the description of creation clarifies that vegetables, not animals, were created to be eaten:

And God said: "Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed to you it shall be for food." Genesis 1:29

Adam and Eve were vegetarian. The Bible goes on to say:

"and to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every living thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is a living soul, [I have given] every green herb for food." Genesis 1:30

Non-human animals have significant moral standing in the Bible. God created animals first. God then made fruits and vegetables for people, and fruits and vegetables for animals. The animals receive from God and therefore have value. Animals are even said to have "living souls." In fact, the fourth commandment which mandates the Sabbath day of rest says that animals must be given a day of rest as well.

Like many other religiously based extremists groups, they interpret the Bible in a manner that fits their beliefs. They cherry-pick it and pull verses out of context to suit themselves and to justify their behaviours. If this had been the basis of my own vegetarianism, it would have went out the window a long time ago. Not once have I ever established my dietary preferences based on the guidelines in the Bible.

As for killing the human animal, ALF justifies it in the article concerning their philosophy:

We know that killing is sometimes necessary, and our intuition tells us that there is a difference in the magnitude of killing an ant and killing a human.  Few people would question the right of a human to kill another animal in order to survive.  In fact, humans must kill all the time.  Our bodies are continually killing off viruses and bacteria.  As we walk, we kill plants beneath our feet.  Killing is dearly a part of the cycle of all life. But killing a virus is not of the same moral magnitude as killing a cow.

I will agree there is a vast difference between killing a virus and killing a cow, but talk of killing the human animal that is extreme.  However, the dairy farmer, who practices organic methods of milking, is not the same as a beef farmer who pumps the cattle full of antibiotics and hormones only to bulk them up for slaughter.  Either way, there is no justification for killing humans, unless you are a lion or bear.  As much as I despise the thought, what would ALF do, if they released a lion from the zoo, with the idea of giving that lion freedom, and it attacked them?  Without any weapon, their human bodies would be at the mercy of the lion, who was better off in the zoo, if not for his sake, but for the humans’.

Religion and science teach us of our connection with other human and non-human animals. Religions teach us that all humans are members of our extended family and that humans and animals emanate from the same divine source. Science has taught us that humans share evolutionary ancestry with other species of animals. Monkeys are referred to as "our closest relatives" in the animal world.

Correction:  Apes, specifically the Bonobo, are our closest cousins, not monkeys.  Monkeys are a step lower on the evolutionary ladder and not our closest cousins.  They are our cousins though.  However, whether or not they emanate from a divine source has yet to be proven.  It cannot be proven or disproven, but this is no excuse for killing a human in favour of the AIDS infected monkey.

ALF’s whole site pushes veganism as though it were part of another religion, expecting everyone in the world to convert.  It is in their manifesto and in a statement that insists "veganism is not dogmatic".

From their manifesto:

We must first and foremost forge channels of communication to link vegan and nonhuman animal liberation communities with human animal liberation and environmental communities, representing a politics for the 21st century.

Unlike vegetarianism, veganism eliminates all animal sources of food from the diet.  This includes dairy products and eggs.  As a vegetarian, who imbibes dairy products, I am in no position to state emphatically veganism is dogmatic, but such a diet is not for everyone.  While calcium supplements could be beneficial, there is no substitute for a natural source of calcium.  Humans make supplements from chemicals and not all supplements are completely soluble by our bodies.  Add to that, no chicken was ever killed for her eggs and without a rooster present, there is no “baby chicken” in that egg.  Secondly, no cow died from sharing her calf’s milk with us nor has any calf died from sharing their mama’s milk with humans.  The only thing humans need worry about, as far as animal welfare concerns and the milk, is whether the cow was pumped full of hormones.

In addition, there are questions as to whether or not veganism is maintainable by many diabetics, who cannot process the complex sugars found in potatoes.  Such a diet would greatly limit their food choices.  Not only that, children need sources of fat for their growing bodies and brains.  A vegan diet has little by way of fats and while vegetable oil provides some fats, it is not enough for growing children.  Thus, it is extreme for human diets and some dairy products, including butter, are necessary for growing children.

Their source on “veganism” which quotes The American Dietetic Association’s 2009 position paper on vegetarian diets states:

Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.… An evidence-based review showed that vegetarian diets can be nutritionally adequate in pregnancy and result in positive maternal and infant health outcomes.

Again, there is a difference between veganism and vegetarianism.  The full report they are quoting from appears to be here or here.  ALF is not rightly representing the two views and the actual nutritional needs of all age groups.  A total vegan diet is not the best for everyone and insisting that it is, is just plain dogmatic and while some people may ask me why I am a vegetarian, I would never insist, like an Evangelical Fundamentalist, that everyone should be a vegetarian.  ALF's stance is radical and very much Evangelical Fundamentalist in nature, whether they all ascribe to religion or not.

To be continued with Part III Animal Rights Extremists’ anti-science stance.

Special treats (now this is what I’m talking when it comes to science and loving animals):

Betty White, Animal Welfare Advocate, meets Koko: http://www.koko.org/world/kokoflix.php?date=2011-05-23

Bill Shatner meets Koko:

More such sweet videos of Koko to come.

About Mriana

Mriana is a humanist and the author of "A Source of Misery", who grew up in the Church of God, Anderson Indiana. After she became an adult, she joined the Episcopal Church, but later left the Church and became a humanist. She has two grown sons and raises cats. Mriana raised her sons in the Episcopal Church, but in their teen years, they left the Church and she soon followed. One of her sons became a "Tao Buddhist" and the other a None, creating his own world view. She enjoys writing, reading, science, philosophy, psychology, and other subjects. Mriana is also an animal lover, who cares for their welfare as living beings, who are part of the earth. She is a huge Star Trek fan in a little body.
  • MG

    "Like many other religiously based extremists groups, they interpret the Bible in a manner that fits their beliefs. They cherry-pick it and pull verses out of context to suit themselves and to justify their behaviours." isnt this exactly what christens also do?
    "Women should be silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak, but should be submissive, as the law also says." (1 Corinthians 14:34)
    "Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel. " (1 Peter 2:18)
    "One of illegitimate birth shall not enter the congregation of the Lord." (Deuteronomy 23:2)
    "But if … evidences of virginity are not found for the young woman, then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones…" (Deuteronomy 22:20,21)

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