“Animal rights” is a concept that is fast gaining traction in law. Many see animals as holders of rights in much the same way as humans. The movement is only one of the standard-bearers of cultural revolution aimed at destroying property and civilization.
Wild Animals as Landowners
One extreme advocate is a professor of law at Arizona State University, Karen Bradshaw. She believes that the law should enable wild animals to own real estate. The introduction to Wildlife as Property Owners summarizes her argument.
“Humankind coexists with every other living thing. People drink the same water, breathe the same air, and share the same land as other animals. Yet, property law reflects a general assumption that only people can own land. The effects of this presumption are disastrous for wildlife and humans alike. The alarm bells ringing about biodiversity loss are growing louder, and the possibility of mass extinction is real. Anthropocentric property is a key driver of biodiversity loss, a silent killer of species worldwide. But as law and sustainability scholar Karen Bradshaw shows, if excluding animals from a legal right to own land is causing their destruction, extending the legal right to own property to wildlife may prove its salvation. Wildlife as Property Owners advocates for folding animals into our existing system of property law, giving them the opportunity to own land just as humans do—to the betterment of all.”
However, the animals are apparently socialist. The government will manage and care for animal-owned real estate. Thus, the proposal serves both the animal rights movement and socialism.
An Argument Without Facts
Rancher and economic historian Paul Schwennesen’s review refutes many of Prof. Bradshaw’s premises. He demolishes the myth that wild animals do better on publically owned land. Wildlife does not necessarily leave when developers move in. Many small mammals and birds thrive in heavily urban areas. Many newly-developed suburbs face wildlife issues, including raccoons, deer, coyotes, and even bears.
A 2016 article in National Geographic begins with the paragraph: “In downtown Chicago, a coyote spends his entire life in one cemetery, eating chicken that Sunday mourners place on the graves. On Manhattan sidewalks, ants survive on hot dogs and potato chips, seemingly no worse for the junk food diet. And in Los Angeles, a mountain lion roams the Hollywood Hills, tiptoeing around throngs of tourists without ever being seen.” In more rural areas, Mr. Schwennesen points out, wild animals often prefer privately owned lands like his ranch. Readily available water and the residue of agricultural activities draw them.
The Animal Rights Illusion
Man and animals have always co-existed. The earliest historical reference to humanity refers to the relationship between people and animals.
“And he said: Let us make man to our image and likeness: and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every creeping creature that moveth upon the earth. And God created man to his own image: to the image of God, he created him: male and female he created them. And God blessed them, saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth. And God said: Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed upon the earth, and all trees that have in themselves seed of their own kind, to be your meat: And to all beasts of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to all that move upon the earth, and wherein there is life, that they may have to feed upon. And it was so done.” This is found in Genesis 1:26-30.
Proper Treatment Versus Rights
This concept of the role of animals allows man to use animals to perform services or to eat them if need be. However, it does not allow man to treat them with wanton brutality.
According to Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Church also opposes cruelty towards animals because it inflicts hard on the soul and mentality of men. People must not abuse animals “lest anyone by exercising cruelty towards brutes may become cruel also towards men….”
Thus the prohibition of cruelty does not come from animal rights but from the proper order of society that can be jeopardized by such behavior.
Over the years, many jurisdictions passed laws that forbade cruelty to animals based on this Biblical outlook.
The phrase “animal rights” entered common usage about 1975, as many people claimed a moral equivalency between humans and lower animals. This definition is found on Rights, Elephants and the Catholic Left’s website:
“Animal rights are moral principles grounded in the belief that non-human animals deserve the ability to live as they wish, without being subjected to the desires of human beings. At the core of animal rights is autonomy, which is another way of saying choice…. Animal rights come into direct opposition with animal exploitation, which includes animals used by humans for a variety of reasons, be it for food, as experimental objects, or even pets.”
Can Animals Have Rights?
There is a massive difference between this view and that of Genesis. Indeed, the animals do engage in behavior that resembles human decision-making. For instance, a dog might choose between two bowls of food or sit in the lap of one person over another.
Such acts are not choices. The missing element is reason—a quality uniquely given by God to humanity. Animals have no consciousness of their acts but rely upon some combination of instinct and experience.
Additionally, an essential component of having rights is respect for the rights of others. If people violate others’ rights, they face penalties in the form of fines and imprisonment—according to the harm they have done.
Animals may live in packs or flocks that bear some superficial resemblance to human communities. However, they are obeying their instincts which can include cannibalism and fratricide. Moreover, no hungry carnivore respects the “rights” of the animals upon whom they prey.
On the other hand, the natural moral law—given to all people in all cultures and all—informs the individual that killing, attacking or stealing from another is wrong. Modern man labels such manifestations of natural law as rights.
“Animal rights” activists pretend to endow animals with human rights. In practice, their philosophy robs humanity of its divinely given dominion over the animals. As always, destroying humanity’s relationship with God is a primary goal of the secular left.
This plan fits in with the leftist perspective of class struggle. However, in this case, classes are replaced by species. Thus, the cause of “speciesism” is akin to racism, sexism and all the rest of the left’s “-isms.” Speciesism includes owning pets, exterminating pests that endanger human health, consuming meat and dairy products, and using animals to test promising but unproven medications.
The animals’ decisions are conveniently made by the activists in the government, who will use the full power of the law to destroy what remains of Western Christian civilization.
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