Animal Rights and Human Wrongs

I recently heard an animal rights activist who called herself pro-choice on abortion say that we pro-lifers are hypocritical because we don’t show the same level of concern for dogs and cats that we do for the unborn child.  Of course, like almost every other pro-choice argument, this one is firmly rooted in mindless stupidity. 

When someone suggests that the lives of human beings and the lives of animals are morally equivalent, what they are saying is that if they ran over someone’s five-year-old child with their car it would be no bigger deal than if they had run over a squirrel.  By this standard, if a family doctor told a husband and wife that their child has an incurable and fatal disease, that would be no greater tragedy than if their vet told them their pet hamster was dying.

Clearly, this whole line of “reasoning” is nonsense. 

The reality is, having known thousands of pro-lifers, I can state with no fear of being inaccurate that the overwhelming majority do indeed care about animals.  In my own case, our family includes a cat, two dogs, two rabbits, and five fish.  We demonstrate our affection for them in many ways, not the least of which is in vet bills that often appear higher than the debt of some third-world counties.

I also feel confident that most pro-lifers probably share my opinion that people who abuse or neglect animals are cowards who deserve to spend a significant amount of their lives sitting in small, cold, dimly-lit prison cells. 

However, anyone who suggests that the lives of animals are morally equivalent to those of human beings is in need of psychiatric help.  But if these animal rights wackos honestly believe that they are, I have a legitimate question for them. 

If animals have rights in the sense that humans have rights, how do we protect those rights?  I’m not talking about protecting animals from having their rights violated by humans.  That’s relatively easy.  What I’m asking is how we protect animals from having their rights violated by other animals.  After all, most of the abuse done to animals is not committed by people but by other animals.  Moreover, it is illogical to say that we will only protect the rights of animals when those rights are being violated by humans. 

So how do we fix the long-standing problem of animal-on-animal abuse?  Should we assign police officers to patrol the nation’s fields and forests?  And what do we do when the authorities catch some furry or feathered miscreant?  For example, if a hawk has been apprehended for swooping down and eating a chipmunk, does the arresting officer have to read the hawk his Miranda rights?  And how do we make sure that the hawk understands his rights if the cop isn’t fluent in hawk?  Also, if the hawk can’t afford an attorney, do we appoint one to represent him at trial? 

Another question is whether we should create an animal DNA database so that when one mouse steals another mouse’s cheese we can identify and prosecute the right mouse.  After all, as an enlightened and civilized people, surely we would not want to incarcerate an innocent mouse.

As we contemplate these weighty matters, let’s not forget that over 3000 innocent human beings will be sent to the gallows today with no trial, no judge, no jury, no appeal, and no stay of execution.  And this holocaust will be repeated tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, and the next day, and so forth.  Meanwhile, not one animal rights organization takes a position against it. 

Now that’s hypocrisy.

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i was just reading about this very thing the other day.
i THINK what happens is people get confused in regard to the difference between 'rights' and 'welfare'.
animal 'rights' activists tend to believe EXACTLY what you've said in your blog...animals are EQUAL to humans.
animal 'welfare' people (like myself) know this is insane.
yes....animals should be treated as kindly as we can treat them. HOWEVER HOWEVER...they are NOT human nor should they ever be accorded 'rights' that would make it legally seem as if they were.
# Posted By kbharbert | 5/25/07 11:01 AM
The subject of animal rights is very, very dear to my heart. And when one's heart is moved, wondrous things can happen. I certainly appreciate your dedication to your pets, Mr. Crutcher. In my opinion, anyone who treats their pets with love and tenderness can't be all bad. Moreover, this attribute carries another inestimable benefit: It mitigates against human error.

Last year, someone named Mark Crutcher let loose with a doozy - right there on national television (or something eerily akin to it: a video with Operation Rescue's Troy Newman inside his newly-purchased world headquarters).

Many of us in the pro choice community believe that the onus is inordinatelyplaced on the woman (or young girl) in crisis pregnancy situations - sometimes to a grotesque degree.
I know this to be true from an intensely personal perspective; thus, I observed with great incredulity your statement that "God places a child in a mother's womb."

I became pregnant after enduring unprotected micro-sex, Mr. Crutcher. In the years since then, I haven't done so. Unsurprisingly, I haven't become pregnant since that dismal day in early 1975 when my family doctor mournfully broke the news that I was pregnant.

I didn't exactly savor your comment; I didn't find Mr Newman's play on words ("they had to come through the back alley") all that scrumpdillyicious, either. However........

Humor - and kindness toward animals - can accomplish much. I would never disparage anyone's love for their pets. Nor do I believe that this love is the sole province of pro-choice individuals. I have always loved animals: before I was pregnant, after I was pregnant, when I was a fledgling "pro-lifer," after I came back out as a choicer. This love has remained omni- present - and it shall always remain so.

Candidly, Mr. Crutcher, your comment last fall conveniently removed my ex-boyfriend (a serial rapist/impregnator) from the equation. I do not seek to change your mind about
abortion; however, I did not become pregnant autonomously. And, if the all-knowing Being in whom you believe so strongly placed me in this position, it's no wonder my erstwhile faith is in tatters.

I may be an agnostic, but I love animals with my whole heart and soul. I'm not an atheist; if anyone asks me why I'm not an atheist, I cite my love for animals as one of the most powerful and salient reasons.

You left the serial sex dwarf with the Y chromosome out of the picture, Mr. Crutcher. As a very young woman I couldn't help but include him. It took me nearly seven years to recover from that debacle, but by the summer of 1981 when my heart emerged from the abyss, a wondrous little animal helped me come back to life. That June, my mother had purchased a six-week-old kitten whom we promptly named "Natasha."

Natasha was snow-white in color, possessed of fur like spun silk and a coquettish personality to match her sweet nature. During her second day as a member of our family, Natasha followed me into the kitchen. She looked up at me with the most precious, perfect face I had ever seen in my 22 years, and I was convinced that someone or something greater than myself had blessed my life at that glorious moment.

"Where did you come from, Natasha?" I asked her. Within seconds, I was convinced I had the answer. "God sent you to me!!" assured her with tears of joy. I wasn't attempting world domination, Mr. Crutcher. I wasn't picketing clinics or inserting myself in other's lives with prurient interest. I did not believe that anyone not a Catholic (my former faith) would merit eternal damnation.

Conversely, I was merely euphoric that, after nearly 7 years of unremitting emotional anguish, that a miraculous little feline had touched my life so wonderfully.

You haven't changed my mind as regards my abortion, Mr. Crutcher. If, however, you treat your animals with kindness and solicitude, you have certainly touched my heart today.
# Posted By Pro Choice in Kansas | 5/27/07 7:25 AM
I can't believe your negative and narrow view point regarding animal rights. I am pro-life, ALL life, to say animals don't deserve any rights is hypocritical. How convenient to exclude them. Who's next? the disabled? Shame on you!
# Posted By Susan Chicago, IL | 6/12/07 11:42 AM
Except that when you say "the disabled" you are obviously talking about people that he adamantly defends.
# Posted By alex | 9/30/11 2:03 PM

Mark Crutcher of Life Dynamics