Sunday, January 31, 2010

Swiss to Vote on Giving Animals Lawyers

Don't tell me I am an alarmist about human exceptionalism. The Swiss--who have already declared the intrinsic dignity of individual plants--are now going to vote whether to permit animals to sue in court. From the story:
Switzerland will hold a referendum next month on whether domesticated animals should have the right to be represented by lawyers in court. The country recently changed its constitution to ensure the protection of the "dignity" of plant life and passed a law last year guaranteeing rights for all creatures - from guinea pigs to goldfish. If Swiss voters approve the referendum in March, every canton in the country will be obliged to appoint a lawyer to act on behalf of pets and barnyard animals in order to protect them from abuse.
Of course, the real litigants will be animal rights activists--who put this initiative on the ballot. They will use lawsuits to oppress animal using industries by bringing cases fair and foul. As I point out in my upcoming book, A Rat is a Pig is a Dog is a Boy, gaining legal standing for animals to bring cases in court is one of the top agenda items of the animal rights movement.

We'll see if the Swiss are really so far gone that they will allow their animal using industries to be ruined by animal rights lawyers. If the Swiss pass this nonsense, their agriculture will be turned into Swiss cheese and they will have only themselves to blame.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Prosecute Animal Rights Pie Thrower to Full Extent of Law

To protest the seal hunt, and animal rights activist put a pie in the face of a Canadian government minister. From the story:
An incident in which the federal fisheries minister was hit with a pie by a seal hunt protester should be seen as a terrorist act, says a Liberal MP. Gerry Byrne made the comment to Newfoundland radio station VOCM after Gail Shea was hit in the face Monday by an American animal-rights activist, unhappy with Canada's seal hunt.

New York City resident Emily McCoy, 37, a member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is charged with assault. Byrne told VOCM the government should investigate the incident based on the definition of a terrorist act under the law in Canada. McCoy was arrested after the incident in Burlington, Ont. Shea was not injured, and said she has not changed her support for the hunt. In a statement following the incident, PETA executive vice-president Tracy Reiman said: "A little tofu pie on her face is hardly comparable to the blood on Ms. Shea's hands."
No, this isn't terrorism--although terrorism is engaged in by some animal rights extremists--but it is a violence, literally an assault and battery on a government official. That is dangerous breach of the public peace. And it should mean serious jail for the perpetrator.

Moreover, I am really sick of PETA's and other animal rights extremists' self righteous claims of entitlement to humiliate and threaten people "in the name of those who can't speak for themselves." That is not free speech. It is not "civil disobedience." It is not "Ghandi" or "King." At best, it is tantrum throwing. At worse, a threat to the public peace and civility needed for free societies to function.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Rat is a Pig is a Dog is a Boy On the Air

I was interviewed a few weeks ago by NRO's John Miller about my forthcoming book, A Rat is a Pig is a Dog is a Boy. We discuss the difference between animal rights and animal welfare, human exceptionalism, the ongoing devaluation of human life, and about my friendship with novelist Dean Koontz, who very kindly wrote the preface. Check it out.

The book was supposed to be out today, but--as frequently happens in publishing--was delayed a few weeks. But if you are of a mind, you can pre-order here, with delivery to your mailbox circa Feb 15.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Martin Luther King--Human Exceptionalist

Martin Luther King was one of the three primary inspirations in my formative years (the other two being Ralph Nader and JKF). He was all about expanding inclusion in the human community, and alas, we now see many in bioethics and in other disciplines seeking actively to shrink it by rejecting human exceptionalism.

We we will never know for sure, of course, but I have little doubt that King would have rejected such dangerous reductionism. Indeed, he embraced the importance of simply being human, stating:
Man is man because he is free to operate within the framework of his destiny. He is free to deliberate, to make decisions, and to choose between alternatives. He is distinguished from animals by his freedom to do evil or to do good and to walk the high road of beauty or tread the low road of ugly degeneracy.

Martin Luther King, Jr., The Measures of Man, 1959
Indeed. We are the only moral species, a crucial intrinsic attribute that is unique to our natures as a species:
Man was born into barbarism when killing his fellow man was a normal condition of existence. He became endowed with a conscience. And he has now reached the day when violence toward another human being must become as abhorrent as eating another's flesh.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Why We Can't Wait, 1963
I will never understand the desire to deny our exceptionalism. It doesn't lead to hubris, as the unexceptionalists claim, but to benevolence and duty.

Bizarro Stumbles Into Truth

The tremendously talented cartoonist--and animal rights zealot-- Dan Piraro, stumbled into truth in this cartoon. Meat provides good and nutritious food for people at a very reasonable price. That is a tremendous benefit for society that animal rights believers will never talk people out of.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Rat is a Pig is a Dog is a Boy Soon Available

My new book, A Rat is a Pig is a Dog is a Boy: The Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement is at the printer and will be available in early February (with a good discount at Amazon), a few weeks later than expected, but what else is new in publishing? This is the final cover.

I admit to being pretty jazzed. This is my 12th book and it never gets old. More importantly, I hope A Rat is a Pig, etc. adds substantially to the debate and particularly helps clarify the crucial difference between animal rights and animal welfare, as it focuses us on the importance of human exceptionalism.

Special thanks to the novelist Dean Koontz for his splendid preface. Here's an excerpt:
Like every antidemocratic ideology, this one [animal rights] is by definition antihuman, and like any antihuman ideology, it ultimately deteriorates into a nihilistic bitterness that is anti-life. . . . Wesley J. Smith knows too well that if the activists ever succeeded in their goals, if they established through culture or law that human beings have no intrinsic dignity greater than that of any animal, the world would not be a better place for either humankind or animals.
Here are some other endorsements:
Clearly written and authoritatively referenced, Smith’s book is a real eye-opener. The book exposes animal extremism for what it really is: a threat to both animal and human well-being. Long on fact and logic, A Rat Is a Pig Is a Dog Is a Boy will frustrate those animal rightists who use fallacious logic and erroneous ‘facts’ to buoy their arguments.
—P. Michael Conn, scientist and co-author of The Animal Research War

A rat is a pig is a dog is NOT a boy, is Wesley Smith’s powerful message. He argues fervently that human exceptionalism with due attention to humane treatment of animals is a moral imperative if our society is to survive. And he magnificently defends his view that at its core the term animal rights ‘actually denotes a belief system, an ideology, even a quasi religion, which both implicitly and explicitly seeks to create a moral equivalence between the value of human lives and those of animals.’ The book is a chilling, authoritative account of the danger that animal rights extremism poses to medical progress and is one that I highly recommend to a general audience.
—Adrian R. Morrison, author of An Odyssey With Animals: A Veterinarian’s Reflections on the Animal Rights & Welfare Debate
Thank you Drs. Conn and Morrison for your kind words--and your efforts on behalf of human wellbeing.

No reviews yet. I expect some to conflate animal rights with being nicer to animals, meaning that I am for animal abuse. Of course, neither is true. And that is one of the important points I make in the book. Publicity plans are still being formed. More when I know more.