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Wesley J. Smith - The Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement
 

Wesley J. Smith - The Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement

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The Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement - Wesley J. Smith, Award winning author and Senior Fellow in Human Rights and Bioethics at the Discovery Institute, from 2010 Animal Ag Alliance ...

The Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement - Wesley J. Smith, Award winning author and Senior Fellow in Human Rights and Bioethics at the Discovery Institute, from 2010 Animal Ag Alliance Stakeholder's Summit: Truth, Lies and Videotape: Is Activism Jeopardizing Our Food Security?, April 28 - 29, 2010, Washington, DC, USA.

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    Wesley J. Smith - The Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement Wesley J. Smith - The Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement Document Transcript

    • This is a transcript of the audio from the presentation The Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement - Wesley J. Smith, Award winning author and Senior Fellow in Human Rights and Bioethics at the Discovery Institute, from the 2010 Animal Ag Alliance Stakeholder's Summit: Truth, Lies and Videotape: Is Activism Jeopardizing Our Food Security?, April 28 - 29, 2010, Arlington, VA, USA. Link to audio: http://agtoday.us/wesley-smith-audio-2010-ag-summit Ned Arthur: Hello, and welcome to this special Truffle Media Networks program featuring presentations captured at the Animal Agricultural Alliance Stakeholder's Summit: Truth, Lies, and Videotape: Is Activism Jeopardizing Our Food Security? The summit took place April 28th and 29th in 2010 in Arlington, Virginia. Today we hear from Wesley J. Smith, author of A Rat is a Pig is a Dog is a Boy: The Human Cost of the Animal‑rights Movement. Smith is senior fellow in human rights and bioethics at the Discovery Institute. Wesley Smith. Wesley Smith: I really appreciate the opportunity to be here today, because I think that you all who work with animals, who raise animals, who bring food to the table, are under a terrible assault. You are actually being depicted, and I think quite successfully in many quarters, as cruel, as abusers, as anti‑animal, and indeed, as the enemy of decency and humane care. There's a reason for this: That you are not dealing with people who want to reach accommodation with the animal industries about what is proper animal husbandry‑‑and what are proper welfare practices. You are not, in other words, dealing with a traditional animal welfare movement‑‑which all of us would support. Proper and humane care of animals is a duty of humanity. You are dealing with a movement that is actually anti‑domesticated animals of every kind. Animal‑rights is not animal welfare. I think the first task that might face you is that it is very important to extract in people's minds the differences between animal‑rights and animal welfare. Because right now, particularly because of media and their lazy use of language. And their stampede to pursue emotional narrative stories which really are devoid of fact and devoid of intellectual content‑‑the very high emotive aspects. Wesley J. Smith - The Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement - Audio Transcript Page 1 of 12
    • The term "animal‑rights" is just used any time an animal issue comes up. So when Michael Vick abused the dogs, and tortured the dogs‑‑it was called an animal‑rights issue‑‑and it had nothing to do with animal‑rights. That was an animal abuse issue. It had to do with proper, humane treatment of animals‑‑animal welfare. Because animal‑rights is not about treating animals more nicely. Animal‑rights is not about better methods of animal husbandry. Animal‑rights‑‑if you don't learn anything today, learn this‑‑is an ideology. It is a dogma. In fact, for many of its adherents, it is a quasi‑religion‑‑or even all the way into a religion. As a consequence of that, it becomes almost impossible for you to sit down and work out a reasonable accommodation that will last very long, because their intent is not that you not have 1,000 gestation crates. Their intent is not that you don't keep chickens in battery cages. Their intent is that you have no pigs. Their intent is that you have no chickens. Their intent is that there be no domesticated animals at all. And in fact, the agenda is to do away with all animal domestication‑‑which they see as a multi‑generational project. This is based, not on what might be just called, "Well, I just want animals to be treated more nicely." It is based on a set of ideas. It is based on a set of beliefs. Quite often, in these discussions, what this belief system is never gets described. So, let's get into what that is. First off, there's an ideology that might start with Peter Singer‑‑who is not, by the way, technically an animal‑rights advocate. How many of you know who Peter Singer is? About half. All right. Peter Singer is somebody you should know about. Peter Singer is the jump starter of the animal liberation movement. He's a utilitarian philosopher who is right now at Princeton. Not coincidentally, Peter Singer is also the world's foremost proponent of infanticide‑‑that is the right of parents to kill a baby if that baby does not serve the interest of the family. Now how are animal issues and this infanticide‑‑which is a bioethics issue... How are these connected? They're connected because Peter Singer does not believe that human beings have any special moral status. That is that being a human‑‑a member of the human species‑‑is morally irrelevant. That, by the way, is a belief system that most people in the streets would disagree with‑‑but has become very profoundly accepted‑‑particularly at the university level, and among the intelligencia. They reject what I call in the book, "Human Exceptionalism." Peter Singer was the person who basically popularized this idea. He's also the one that popularized the concept of speciesism. Have you all heard of the term "speciesism?" Right, I would hope you would have. Speciesism, meaning that if you treat an animal differently than a human Wesley J. Smith - The Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement - Audio Transcript Page 2 of 12
    • being based on species membership that is speciesism, a form of discrimination akin to racism. Now a lot of people will look at that, and say, "Well, they don't really mean that." Yes, they do. They mean it literally. They mean it emotionally. They mean it wholeheartedly. They believe animal‑rights, as opposed to animal welfare‑‑and we always must keep those distinct. Animal‑rights believers accept and wholeheartedly embrace the idea that what is done to an animal‑‑is the same thing as if that same activity were done to a human being‑‑meaning that, in their view, cattle ranching is akin to human slavery, and just as evil. It's not hyperbole. A lot of people say, "Well, they can't really mean it." They mean it. One of their greatest strengths is that nobody... Not nobody, but that many people think, "Well, they can't really accept that," when they do accept it. A lot of people think, "Well, they really think like we think. They just have a more emotional sense about animals," or, "They really want to go further, perhaps, than we might, but we can reach a reasonable accommodation." How many times have I heard, particularly in the animal industry‑‑people saying, "Well, if we just sit down talk with them. If we just meet with them, they will see that we have good ideas, and that we have good intentions. Then, we can reach a reasonable accommodation." Let me tell you, they don't think you have good intentions. They don't think you have good ideals. They think you're evil. They think you are evil. I know that's hard to consider, and it's hard to accept. But it's true. Animal‑rights, as opposed to animal welfare... People can say they have different opinions about whether it's proper keep open‑range chickens for eggs‑‑or battery cage chickens for eggs. That's a legitimate discussion to have‑‑in terms of animal welfare versus human benefit kinds of judgment. But, they don't believe animal‑rights meaning‑‑that we should look at the human benefit at all. We should look at animals as being equal‑‑animal‑rights. Now, Peter Singer doesn't accept that. What Peter Singer did was that he popularized the term "speciesism." Then, the second thing he did was he said, "We need to give animals equal consideration in determining whether or not an activity is beneficial or harmful, moral or immoral." What he means, in terms of determining it‑‑he doesn't believe in rights. He's a utilitarian, so that which increases happiness or reduces suffering is how‑‑I'm being very quick here‑‑how he would determine something is beneficial. Wesley J. Smith - The Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement - Audio Transcript Page 3 of 12
    • But, when you give animals equal consideration in that determination‑‑then for Peter Singer, for example, raising cattle for slaughter for meat would very easily be deemed to not be beneficial‑‑because the cattle should have equal consideration with a human being. Now, he makes animal‑rights activists angry‑‑because he has actually said, "Well, it's OK to use monkeys in trying to find a cure for Parkinson's disease," because he believes in what's called the "quality‑of‑life‑ethic." So, that if there's a conflict in essential interests, that entity‑‑be it a human being or be it an animal that has a higher cognitive capacity, should benefit. So he has said, "It's OK to use monkeys in finding a cure for Parkinson's disease because the Parkinson's patients have greater value than the monkeys in terms of cognitive capacity." But he would say the same thing about disabled babies, and has. Being very quick here, because I've got 30 minutes. I mean, I'm a lawyer. [laughter] Wesley: I make Castro seem short‑winded. But just so you're aware, this is how. It was Peter Singer, with the book "Animal Liberation," that got this really going‑‑with the idea of equal consideration and saying that being human does not give special value. It is speciesist, and therefore we have to determine which beings have greater moral value than others. And he decided it would be based on whether one is a person‑‑which is the cognitive capacities I talked about. And in this view, there are animals that are persons and humans that are not persons. Moving very quickly‑‑and I am moving quickly‑‑this is all described at much greater length and time and examples in the book. The animal‑rights activists took this idea of equal consideration and stampeded past Peter Singer so that he's now kind of looked at as almost an old, dinosaur conservative by animal‑rights activists. Because animal‑rights activists are saying not only is speciesism wrong‑‑but human beings and animals have equal moral value because what gives value is either the ability to suffer‑‑this is the PETA approach: if an animal can suffer, that's what gives value, that's what gives it the right to rights, if you will‑‑or the Gary Francione approach. Gary Francione is a law professor at Rutgers, and he believes that mere sentience gives any individual‑‑by which he's talking about animal, human, whatever‑‑the right not to be property. And when you think about mere sentience, what a low common denominator that is, if a fly landed here and I went to grab it, as the president once did [laughs] , or smack it with a fly swatter, that fly‑‑that fly knows‑‑it's sentient enough to know that something's coming to get it and can fly away. Wesley J. Smith - The Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement - Audio Transcript Page 4 of 12
    • So think about if Gary Francione's approach were accepted widely, that if you are sentient, be you an animal, an insect, a fish, you have the right not to be property. And of course, that would be the end of all animal husbandry, which of course is the goal. Again, with the idea of painience, or the ability to suffer, that is also a very low common denominator. And that actually came from a fellow who is less well‑known than Peter Singer, less well‑known than Gary Francione, less well‑known than Ingrid Newkirk‑‑who is the head of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. And he's the one who actually coined the term speciesism. Peter Singer popularized it. And just so you understand where they're coming from philosophically, Richard Ryder said this: "Our concern for the pain and distress of others should be extended to any painient, pain‑feeling being, regardless of his or her sex, class, race, religion, nationality, or species." Indeed, if aliens from outer space turn out to be painient, or if we ever manufacture machines who are painient‑‑then we must widen the moral circle to include them. Painience is the only convincing basis for attributing rights or, indeed, interests to others. That is the moral philosophy of the animal‑rights movement. And that is why since you all... And by the way, the idea of pain is very elastic. So it might be being bored. It might be being afraid. It might be having liberty constrained. And that's why, when people in your industry herd cattle or when you raise pigs or chickens, it is deemed evil, because they literally believe you are interfering with the rights of a member of the moral community. And so they react as angrily as we would if these same things were being done to human beings. And let me give you a, really, very classic example of that. And this is from the Holocaust on Your Plate campaign. Do you all remember the Holocaust on Your Plate campaign from PETA? Just a few of you. All right. Holocaust on Your Plate was a pro‑vegetarian campaign run by PETA for several years, about five or six years ago. And realize that the Holocaust on Your Plate and most animal‑rights are not aimed at people of my age. They are aimed at, as I heard an earlier presenter say, people in the schools: young people, children, high‑school students and college students. Holocaust on Your Plate went to universities throughout the world. They went to rock concerts. It went to any place that a lot of young people would gather. And of course, there was never any contra discussion with these young people. And animal‑rights advocacy is based on hyper‑emotionalism‑‑the emotional narrative, the depiction of animals, often false, of supposed cruelty being done just as a normal part of everyday animal husbandry. And what was really offensive about this, on several levels is, for example, they would have photographs. And they had that famous photograph taken in Auschwitz in the bunks‑‑the inmates in the bunks‑‑the multi‑tiered Wesley J. Smith - The Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement - Audio Transcript Page 5 of 12
    • bunks, of the wooden bunks in Auschwitz‑‑juxtaposed next to chickens in a cage. The message being that's the same evil. Of even greater offensiveness was dead Jews in the concentration camp lying on the ground after the liberation‑‑juxtaposed next to a pile of dead pigs, which, when you consider it was Jews that were dead‑‑is offensive on many, many levels. And here's a quote from the Holocaust on Your Plate: "Like the Jews murdered in concentration camps, animals are terrorized when they are housed in huge, filthy warehouses and rounded up for shipment to slaughter. The leather sofa and handbag are the moral equivalent of the lampshades made from the skins of people killed in the death camps." I've been to Auschwitz. I've been to Birkenau. I've stood in a gas chamber. I've seen the crematoria. I walked that horrible rail terminus where Jews were separated out for immediate slaughter or for torture in the forced‑labor camp. And any movement that can't distinguish between normal animal husbandry and the worst evils ever perpetrated against humankind has no business preaching morality to anyone. And the problem is, people out there in the general world are not aware of what juxtapositions and how these people actually think. They have successfully, through very effective propaganda‑‑and in fact, the only person I've actually seen who was actually able to counter some of their edginess and creativity is David. [claps] [laughter] Man: Thank you, Wesley. Wesley: Yes. That's $20. [laughter] Wesley: But through their effective propaganda, they have people thinking that, as I said at the beginning‑‑and I'm repeating myself, but I have to‑‑because you have to understand this‑‑that when you take a cow, even using Temple Grandin's methods, and you slaughter that cow‑‑you have done the equivalent of taking a Jew to a gas chamber and committed genocide. Please understand. And you think, how can they think that? They do. I've had people say, "Well, they're crazy." No, they're not. They have accepted a crazy, I would say, belief system‑‑but they are acting logically on a belief system. We are a logical species, and when you accept a view, you act out on it. Osama bin Laden has accepted a certain, particular view, and he and Al‑Qaeda act out on it. I'm not equating animal‑rights with Osama bin Laden, but you see the same process. And it is an anti‑human view. It is a misanthropic view. It is a view in which Ingrid Newkirk has actually stated that if 5000 monkeys could be used to find a cure for AIDS she would rather not see a cure for AIDS. It is a view in which Ingrid Newkirk has stated she wishes human beings had never appeared on the planet. Because there is a great deal of self‑loathing in the animal‑rights movement, and a projection of innocence onto Wesley J. Smith - The Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement - Audio Transcript Page 6 of 12
    • animals and nature. And you have a real task ahead of you, educating people not only about what they're actually believing‑‑that it isn't being nice to the animals. But that the impact on humanity of preventing animal husbandry, preventing animal domestication and so forth‑‑would be very, very harmful. I want to get just into a couple of aspects in which some of the things that you see animal‑rights activists doing‑‑to give you an indication of how far they are willing to go to interfere with your work, and impede your businesses and destroy your way of life. Because that is their goal. And I want to show you just some of they've done. But I do want to show something that I think is an area that you all haven't milked well enough. In terms of the benefit people receive. I was stunned when I read this‑‑I'm about to read you a quote‑‑how efficient and how green you might even say, the use of animals is. Now this is about what happens... This was written by a lawyer named Steven Wise who is an animal‑rights lawyer, who wishes to have courts declare animals to be practical persons so that they can, by court order, be made part of the moral community. But he was worried because he said, "The efficient use of the cow is something that most people aren't aware of, and most people are not aware of how many areas in which a slaughtered cow is used," and I hadn't been. But listen to this quote from him. He says, "Today, the use of non‑human animal products is so diverse and wide‑spread, that it is impossible to live in modern society and not support the non‑human animal industry directly." You have to let people know that. He goes on, "For example, the blood of a slaughtered cow is used to manufacture plywood adhesives, fertilizer, fire extinguisher foam and dyes. Her fat helps make plastic tires, crayons, cosmetics, lubricants, soaps, detergents, cough syrup, contraceptive jellies and creams, ink, shaving cream, fabric softener, synthetic rubber, jet engine lubricants, textiles, corrosive inhibitors, and metal machining lubricants." "Her collagen is found in pie crust, yogurts, matches, bank notes, paper and cardboard glue. Her intestines are used in string for musical instruments and rackets. Her bones in charcoal ash for refining sugar and ceramics, and in cleaning and polishing compounds. Medical and scientific uses abound, and there is much, much more." That is a powerful message of human benefit received from the proper and humane use of animals. A powerful message. And it is a message that is not getting out. All that is getting out is emotionalism about an animal stumbling. You've seen the ads from the Human Society of the United States on television. That's what's getting out, and people are reacting to that. My mother is almost 93, and we live in California, and she voted for proposition two purely based on the emotion of chickens have the right to walk. I couldn't talk to her about‑‑it might cost two more bucks per dozen for eggs. Wesley J. Smith - The Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement - Audio Transcript Page 7 of 12
    • You and I can afford it, but what about the woman‑‑the single woman raising three kids? You're saying she must pay two bucks more a month for eggs. They didn't care about the poor people. Because that isn't shown as a vivid picture of a suffering animal which is deemed as being purely innocent. In an age, in an era where everything is emotion, emotion, emotion, there has to be a way to show the impact, the adverse impact on suffering humanity. And that's going to be to find a way to use emotional narratives that demonstrate the incredible benefit we receive from the proper and humane use of animals. Part of which I get into in this book, but you could write several books about it‑‑several books about it. But let me show you how far some of these people are willing to go in terms of destroying your work and destroying the benefit we receive from animals. This is a medial research case. I know you're not researchers. But this will show you the ruthlessness of the movement. Back in the late 80's there was a scientist named Dr. Edward Taub. He was doing work on monkeys. He had an idea. He thought, the old ideas of the brain as being non‑plastic might be wrong. If I could show that the brain has some plasticity I might be able to develop a rehabilitation method for stroke victims so that even though they couldn't feel their limbs, they would be able to use their limbs. He got an NIH grant‑‑properly reviewed‑‑and started conducting some research with monkeys to determine whether these monkeys actually had that kind of plasticity in their brain, so that they could use their limbs that had been numbed surgically. A fellow named Alex Pacheco infiltrated the lab. Alex Pacheco was the co‑founder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Alex Pacheco has said that the time will come when we look upon the murder of an animal in the same way as we now look on the murder of a man. Alex Pacheco pretended to be a student volunteer. He gained the trust of Dr. Taub. Dr. Taub went away for a two week vacation. And suddenly the custodians of the lab stopped showing up. And it was not cleaned. And it became filthy, and disgusting, and dirty as you could imagine. Alex Pacheco could have alerted‑‑as he was supposed to as the student volunteer, supposedly, administration to say, "Oh my gosh, we've got a cleanliness issue here, a sanitary problem, because the custodians of the lab haven't shown up, coincidentally," we might add. He didn't do that. He brought in other animal‑rights activists to see the now filthy lab. He took a lot of pictures. He put one of the monkeys in a device that if properly used would hold the monkey still, but he put the animal in improperly, so the animal was struggling. How many of you have seen the picture of the animal looking like it's on a crucifix, screaming? That was the picture Alex Pacheco took during that‑‑they call it a direct action. When he had enough, he called the cops. The monkeys were confiscated and taken away. Dr. Taub returned from vacation and he was arrested on 119 counts of cruelty to animals. Can you imagine? You come home, ready to go back to work, and you're arrested. Your animals are confiscated, your life's work has been Wesley J. Smith - The Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement - Audio Transcript Page 8 of 12
    • destroyed. He eventually cleared his name in the courts. He was subjected to five investigations by professional organizations, and given a pristine clearance in every single one of them. He was called a Frankenstein... I've interviewed him‑‑called Frankenstein on the front page of the Washington Post‑‑subjected to death threats. Alex Pacheco got to appear before congress, and talk about how cruel we are to animals, because our congressional leaders react to the emotional narrative of the moment. It took him eight years to get back to his work. And thank goodness, he did develop his theory, and it's called Constrained Induced Movement therapy. Today, it is successfully rehabilitating tens of thousands of stroke patients around the world. He is down at the University of Alabama now. He's won awards for this. People are coming from all over the world to learn the technique. And it is now being applied to children with cerebral palsy. But realize, even knowing the outcome of that monkey‑‑the Silver Spring monkey case, and the monkey experiments that led directly to that incredible human benefit‑‑PETA today, at least the last time I looked on their website‑‑brags that they were the first people to have a "vivisecter" as they would call him arrested‑‑for cruelty to animals. That's true as far as it goes. They don't tell the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey used to say. That is the ruthlessness of this movement. And that is the intent they have to all of you. To destroy your work, destroy your herds, and prevent you from eventually, by law‑‑prevent all of us, by law, eventually from being able to eat meat, for there to be any medical research using animals, and some even say no dogs and cats. No pets. Gary Francione, for example, even though he takes in dogs that are not otherwise adoptable and cares for them properly, he says, "they are refugees in a world in which they do belong." Wayne Purcell of the Humane Society of the United States, before he joined that group, which is a stealth animal‑rights organization. They don't pitch the dogma like PETA does, but believe me, they are chomping from the outside in. The intent is to destroy your work. Wayne Purcell said, before he joined HSUS... He said about domesticated animals, "One generation and out. We have no problem with the extinction," was the word he used, "Of domesticated animals, because they are the product of selective breeding." Once they destroy all animal domestication, if you happen to have a run‑in with a wild animal, the idea is that we must give them equal consideration. Because this is a subversive anti‑human movement that seeks to completely destroy our use of animals, and they don't care the human harm that will be caused thereby. There's one area that I think you ought to be aware of. It was alluded to in an earlier presentation that I heard, in terms of lawyers. They want animals to be able to sue you directly. It is a huge agenda item on the animal‑rights Wesley J. Smith - The Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement - Audio Transcript Page 9 of 12
    • agenda. That is, get animals standing for lawsuits. Of course, the animals wouldn't be bringing the lawsuits. The animals have no idea what's going on here. It would be people like Wayne Purcell bringing the lawsuits. People like Ingrid Newkirk bringing the lawsuits. People like Alex Pacheco bringing the lawsuits with the intent of fair and foul to destroy your business. Imagine trying to get liability insurance if you're a cattle rancher, and filling out a questionnaire. "Have you ever been sued by your herd?" [laughter] If they get their way, that would actually happen. What liability company would actually insure a cattle rancher if they could be sued by the herd? There have already been lawsuits filed in the names of animals. Most of them are being thrown out. There was one lawsuit filed that wasn't an animal‑rights lawsuit. It was an environmental lawsuit in the name of all the whales and dolphins in the world. That got to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals‑‑where anything can happen‑‑said, "Well, we're not going to allow these whales and dolphins to be named to this lawsuit as litigants. But if Congress wants to allow it, it can happen." Don't think that as HSUS pours money into initiatives that they won't one day put an initiative on a ballot saying that animals have the right to be litigants, and have animal standing. That has already been done in Switzerland. There was an initiative that was decided in March‑‑it lost‑‑to give animals the right to a lawyer in court. That's just the beginning, because these people come back again and again and again and again. And in Switzerland, there is one canton, which is the equivalent of a state‑‑where when there's a charge of abuse, the animal has the right to a lawyer. The Wall Street Journal had a great article about this one lawyer who was representing a pike, where the fisherman had been accused of abuse because he took too long to reel in the pike. And, even though the pike had been eaten, the pike was the client of this lawyer. When the fisherman actually had to go through a tribunal to say he wasn't an abuser, he won the tribunal and the lawyer for the pike was thinking that he might just bring an appeal. Realize that that's just treating animals as if they were children in an abuse case. What we're talking about, animal standing, is animals bringing direct actions, direct lawsuits based on supposed abuse, or other‑‑just use. If you think that doesn't have high friends in high places, Cass Sunstein, who is the president's regulations tsar, has written several times‑‑before he went into government‑‑that he believes animals should be able to sue. So has Laurence Tribe, a famous Harvard law professor who represented Al Gore in Florida in 2000 in that Wesley J. Smith - The Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement - Audio Transcript Page 10 of 12
    • election fight. As he extolled Steven Wise, he said animals should have the right to sue. That's coming, I'd say within the next five to ten years, you will see real efforts to make that happen, and they're already planning, I'm sure... In fact, they're filing case after case, just waiting for that one judge who will say, "Yes, I'm going to allow the chickens in the cage to be named litigants." In Europe, there was a lawsuit filed by some animal‑rights activists in Austria to have a chimpanzee named a person, declared a person by the court, so that they could be named a guardian of the chimp, as if he were a child. Now, the Austria Supreme Court threw it out. Good for them. But the European Court of Human Rights accepted the case on appeal. It doesn't mean that they'll rule that the chimp is a person, but it does mean that they're thinking seriously about it. Spain has passed the Great Ape Project, which creates a moral community of equals among and between human beings, orangutans, bonobos, chimpanzees, and gorillas. This was the brainchild of Peter Singer, started in 1993. 15 years later, he's got his first success. He admits it's a speciesist adventure, but he said, "Once people accept that great apes are the same as people, that will break the species barrier, and that will open the flood to other animals." So this is what you're dealing with. This is the implacability of the movement who have declared war on you‑‑and I don't use that term loosely. They have declared war on you, and they seek to destroy your work and your livelihoods. There's somebody in the audience here today who's had a foie gras farm declared illegal in California based on pure emotionalism and illegal tactics by animal‑rights activists, who threatened the children of a chef who was going to put foie gras on the menu. That resulted in a successful banning of foie gras in California by the legislature. So don't think that you will necessarily have friends in the elected areas of government. I would just close here by saying that maybe you should consider these thoughts: Assuming that one of your colleagues, or one of your co‑industries is being attacked by the animal‑rights brown shirts. Assuming they've done their job correctly, an attack on one should be deemed an attack on all. Because if you don't hang together you will certainly hang separately, to quote Benjamin Franklin. I don't think there's any point in sitting down and trying to explain yourselves to people who are animal‑rights activists, again, as opposed to animal welfare. They don't care about your good intentions. If they are... PETA will sometimes make a deal‑‑like with Burger King‑‑to lay off for a while, but that's just a tactical movement forward from their perspective. I think you have to do a much better job of explaining not only the great traditions of animal husbandry‑‑how you care for your animals‑‑how animals are treated properly and humanely‑‑but also the tremendous human benefit we receive from the proper and humane use of animals that would be lost if the animal‑rights activists get their way. Wesley J. Smith - The Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement - Audio Transcript Page 11 of 12
    • Ned Arthur: Wesley J. Smith speaking at the Animal Ag Alliance Stakeholder's summit in April of 2010. This program is a production of Truffle Media Networks, which is solely responsible for its content. May not reflect the views, opinions, or positions of our sponsors. The content is designed with you, our listener, in mind. Check the TruffleMedia.Com website for more presentations from this important meeting. I'm Ned Arthur, and we'll be talking soon. Wesley J. Smith - The Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement - Audio Transcript Page 12 of 12