This week on AgriTalk, Wesley J. Smith – author of “A Rat is a Pig is a Dog is a Boy: The Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement,” talks about his book.
Listen to the audio here.
The author says people confuse animal rights with animal welfare and they aren’t the same thing at all. Animal welfare says we have a right to make proper and humane use of animals. We have a duty to treat animals properly. But there is a moral distinction between animals and human beings.
Animal rights properly understood is a dogma, it’s almost a religious belief, says Smith. What gives moral value to life is the ability to suffer. Since a cow can feel pain and a human can feel pain cattle ranching is akin to slavery in the mind of animal rights. The ultimate goal of the animal rights movement is the complete elimination of the domestication of all animals.
According to Smith, this would create a terrible human toll, it would cease a lot of our thriving, and it would interfere with proper medical research. This distinction between animal rights and animal welfare needs to be made clear, as there is a lot of anti-humanism growing out there and animal rights is part of that, notes Smith.
A lot of people have stereotyped this struggle as something that affects only livestock owners, says Mike Adams, host of AgriTalk. But this affects everyone. We would all be impacted if some of these groups had their way and took their agenda as far as they like.