Animal agriculture is under a terrible assault by animal rightists. “You are depicted as cruel, abusers, anti-animal and enemies of decency and humane care,” said Wesley J. Smith, acclaimed author and senior fellow in human rights and bioethics at the Discovery Institute. “You are not dealing with people who want to reach accommodation with animal husbandry and its practices. We are not dealing with an animal welfare movement. Animal rights is not animal welfare.”
Smith, speaking at the 2010 Animal Agriculture Alliance meeting in
“Animal rights is not about better methods of animal husbandry,” he said. “Animal rights is an ideology. It’s a dogma and even a quasi-religion for some. It becomes impossible to sit down and work out a reasonable accommodation that will last. Their intent is not that you don’t keep chickens in battery cages, their intent is you have not pigs or chickens and there be no domesticated animals.
“They believe animal rights as opposed to animal welfare accept and embrace idea that what is done to an animal is same as done to a human being,” Smith added. “They believe cattle ranching is akin to human slavery and just as evil. They don’t think you have good intentions or ideals. They think you are evil.”
Animal rightists believe human beings and animals have equal moral value, he said. “If you are sentient, an animal, insect or fish, you have a right to not be property which would end animal husbandry.”
Smith noted PETA’s campaign several years ago targeted to college-age students that displayed photos from
Smith says it’s a misanthropic, anti-human view. “There is a great deal of self-loathing in the animal rights movement. The impact on humanity of preventing animal husbandry and domestication of animals would be very harmful.”