Sunday, December 16, 2007

The good news: Rodney Coronado is going back to jail. The bad news: it isn't for long enough

AR arsonist Rodney Coronado is headed back to jail yet AGAIN. Coronado plead guilty Friday to demonstrating how to create an incendiary device with the intent of having someone else go out and commit a criminal act. Under the plea deal, the judge will be asked to impose a sentence of one year and one day in prison. The maximum sentence would have been twenty years. This is what, the third time now that Coronado has been convicted of a crime? And he only gets a year? How many times will this waste of oxygen be allowed to commit crimes until someone finally throws the book at him? I would think that eventually some kind of habitual criminal law should kick in. Lock this loser up for good. He is obviously incapable of being a productive, responsible citizen.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Deconstructing Gary Francione's FAQ's #2

I'm going to move on to question #2 of Gary Francione's animal rights FAQs in this series that I introduced a couple of weeks ago. That post and my analysis of question #1 can be found here. Francione's FAQ's can be read here.

"Question #2: Rights were devised by humans. How can they be applicable to animals?"

The critical question we need to ask ourselves here is "what is the ultimate purpose of rights?". In other words, why do we even have this concept that we call rights? The idea of rights, and I'm speaking specifically of basic rights here, such as the right to life, as opposed to non-basic or political rights, such as the right to vote, is a human created legal construction that protects the individual person's most basic interests. The purpose of rights, however, goes far beyond simply protecting the interest of the individual person. It ultimately extends to protecting the interests of the whole of human society. We grant rights to individual persons because it is ultimately in the best interest of the well being of our species to do so. If we did not do this, chaos within the human community would run rampant. For example, if the right to life, the most basic right of all, did not exist and was not enforceable by the power of law, we could kill each other at any whim with impunity. It doesn't take a whole lot of imagination to figure out that if this was allowed to happen, complete chaos and disorder would run rampant, human civilization would grind to a halt, and the survival of our species would be very much in doubt. From a completely logical, realistic, and rational standpoint, the ultimate purpose of rights seems clear: to protect the well being of our species from our own actions.

How does all this apply to animals? Well, the answer is, it really doesn't. Animals operate in an amoral plane of existence where the only law is the law of natural selection. There are no rights to anything in the existence of the non-human animal. Animals do not have rights that protect them from being used as resources or exploited by other animals. Since that is the case, by what purely rational grounds should they have rights that protect them from being used or exploited by humans, which are animals as well and are just as much a part of the natural biosphere as are non-humans? There really is no logical or rational grounds, and to single out Homo sapiens as the only species that shouldn't be allowed to "exploit" other species is arbitrary and irrational. If a rabbit does not have an inherent right to not be killed and eaten by a hawk, then by what rational grounds should that very same rabbit have a right to not be killed and eaten by a human? The answer is none in reality. A right is a human-created moral or legal claim against another person or persons. Since animals operate in a state of existence where such moral or legal claims do not even exist, let alone are enforceable, it is nonsensical and illogical to suggest that the human created construction of rights is, or should be, applicable to them.

I think it should also be noted here, that in his answer, Francione makes a statement that is really a half-truth in a disingenuous, cynical attempt to defend his weak position. Francione makes the following statement in his answer: "Rights concepts as we currently understand them were actually devised as a way of protecting the interests of wealthy white male land owners; indeed, most moral concepts were historically devised by privileged males to benefit other privileged males.". This is a half-truth that's very misleading and it's highly insulting to the intelligence of his readers. While this statement is certainly true in regards to many political or non-basic rights, it is not true in regards to basic rights, which are, of course the rights we are talking about when we are discussing animal rights. The idea of basic rights can be traced to ancient civilizations. Though none of these codes specifically contain the term "rights", which is a fairly modern term, they certainly contain the concept of it. One of the most famous of these is the Code of Hammurabi from ancient Mesopotamia, circa 1780 b.c.e.. Hammurabi's code laid out laws, and punishments for breaking those laws. Among the issues addressed in Hammurabi's Code were the rights of woman, children, and slaves. The Cyrus Cylinder, considered by some to be the world's oldest true human rights document, was written by the Persian king Cyrus. Among the decrees in this document were the abolishment of slavery and allowing religious freedom in the empire. Another example is ancient Hebrew law, which is the first five books of the Old Testament. One need only read through these books to see that there certainly is a conceptual form of rights, though the term is not explicitly used. And of course, the Greeks and Romans also had rights concepts in their laws as well. An excellent timeline on the history of what we call human rights can be found here. Francione is a law professor. He ought to know exactly what the history of rights is. He is either incredibly ignorant and uneducated on this subject, or he is intentionally trying to mislead the reader; I don't see much other judgment one could make. Neither one is acceptable for someone in his position. Furthermore, in my opinion, his gratuitous use of racial, class, and gender demagoguery is seriously embarrassing to his credibility and only detracts from his argument. I think it speaks volumes about him and the nature of his agenda, but once again, you can make your own call.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

"The Onion" video lampoons animal rights

I love The Onion. It is consistently one of the funniest bits of satirical genius around. They've put together a little skit mocking AR that is absolutely hysterical. I thought I was going to split a gut when I watched this. I love the "I'm not going to lose another job because of a goddam water buffalo" line. Enjoy!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Pro-AR blog wants ordinance to require a "vegan option" at every restaurant. No, I'm not kidding.

This gem may very well qualify as the "animal rights idiocy of the year". Here is a post on the pro-AR AnimalBlawg that must be read to be believed. This blogger has come up with a daft idea that could only come out of the bowels of animal rights idiocy: an ordinance that would require restaurants to have at least one vegan option on their menu. Yep, that's right. This blogger wants to use the power of big government to tell restaurants what food options that they have to offer on their menus. I guess it isn't enough for these control freaks to have regulations that tell restaurants what they CAN'T serve, such as the Chicago foie gras ban, but now, in her mind, we must also have regulations that tell restaurants what they MUST serve. I can't help but wonder if such an ordinance would also apply to restaurants that really specialize in serving primarily meat, such as steak houses or barbecue joints, for example. What is the likelihood that vegans would patronize such establishments anyway? I have long made the claim that animal rights isn't about animals so much as it is about control, coercion, and social engineering. This is yet further evidence. I have a better idea. How about we let the power of good, old-fashioned free markets decide what restaurants serve? If vegan food becomes popular in a certain locale, then wouldn't restaurants that serve such fare begin to appear just because market forces would dictate it? Seems so to me, and no big government is required! This is just another example of how some ARAs seek to use the power of the state to control, dictate, and regulate. Why is it that some people think the solution to every "problem" ( in this case a "problem" that is only a product of her own mind! ) is more government, more laws, and more regulations? Sad. Very sad.

ALF plants fake bomb at medical school

The Animal Liberation Front ( ALF ) has claimed responsibility for a bomb threat at the medical school at the University of California San Diego ( UCSD ). A fake bomb was planted at the campus of the UCSD medical school Wednesday, causing the buildings to be evacuated. According to one report the device was "covered with bullets". The FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force are investigating. Let's see. Here we have ALF planting a phony bomb on a college campus, causing research buildings to be evacuated. Sounds like it certainly qualifies as an act of terrorism to me. I would challenge any ALF apologist to make a coherent, convincing argument that this doesn't qualify as an act of terrorism. I'm not holding my breath. I'm also not holding my breath that you will here any of this condemned on any pro-AR blog or website.

Comments from "Warwak"

Yesterday, a commenter who is posting anonymously, but calling himself "Warwak" left some comments in response to comments from someone else. The whole thread can be read here. I'm assuming that this "Warwak" is in fact fired vega-vangelist teacher Dave Warwak whom I have blogged about multiple times. This same person has left these kind of "pot-shot" comments here before. Some of them I have published, others I have rejected simply to save "Warwak" the embarrassment of their inaneness, such as "you're killing my friends", for example. Mr. Warwak, if this person is you, and I have every reason to believe it is, since the style and content of these comments matches your rhetoric, would you care to actually debate the issue of animal rights with me? I am more than happy to engage you in rational debate based on reason and critical thinking, either here on this blog, or in another forum. Instead of taking pot-shots in old, buried posts at me or other readers, have some intellectual courage and let's debate the subject.
Just for fun, let's dissect some of the statements made by "Warwak":

"Yes, this is a monstrous Holocaust and is responsible for MOST of our problems. "

The first thing the reader should notice is Warwak's misuse of the term "Holocaust". The word "Holocaust", when used with a capitol "H" refers to one thing, and one thing only: the Nazi Holocaust. Warwak's apparent inability to use words properly puts his credibility in doubt, as far as I'm concerned, especially considering this is someone who is supposed to be teaching our young people. Beyond that though, it shows just what the basic mindset of ARAs is. To the animal rights mind, the life of an animal and the life of a human are of equal moral worth. That is why they incorrectly use terms like "Holocaust" in reference to slaughtering animals for food. In their world view, if murdering millions of Jews and others is morally wrong, then it must also be equally morally wrong to kill billions of animals for food. This, of course, is patently absurd and irrational because they are failing to make the distinction between the vicious murder of people for no other reasons than hatred and racism, and the simple utilitarian use of animals for food, and such inane reasoning shouldn't fly with the thinking person.
In the second part of this goofy statement, Warwak makes the comment that the use of animals for food, etc. is "responsible for MOST of our problems". Where is the support for such a statement? He offers none at all. Furthermore, what problems is he talking about? He doesn't say. How do you even define "MOST of our problems"? Not a very objective or specific term is it? To blame "MOST" of the problems that plague the human race on one specific thing is exceptionally poor reasoning. It is grossly simplistic, as most people recognize that most problems are complex and have multiple roots and factors that often vary from problem to problem. But alas, simplistic people love simplistic reasoning don't they?

"It really is about peace, love, and compassion for all."

Except, of course, for the animals that are killed and harmed so that vegans and ARAs can continue to live the lifestyle they enjoy, while arrogantly claiming faux moral high ground. The lives and the "rights" of these animals are swept under the rug, so that the ARAs hope you don't notice their hypocrisy. Out of sight and out of mind. I wonder if Warwak has ever stopped to consider how his use of an electrically powered computer to get on blogs and pontificate to others about the supposed evils of their lifestyles effects the suffering and death of animals. Don't count on it.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

On hunting and an honest relationship with the world

Recently, on a pro-AR blog, the blogger commented, and I'm paraphrasing here, that, in his opinion, that by going vegan, one enters into a more honest relationship with the world. This is a comment that piqued my thoughts. I began to consider that, in fact, it is not the vegan who has the most honest relationship with the world around them, but rather it is the hunter. Few understand the circle of life and sustenance, which always includes death, better than the hunter. In this natural world in which we live, life must feed upon life in order for life to continue. That is the natural way of things. It has been this way since before the evolution of humankind, and it will be this way long after we have gone extinct. This cycle of life consuming life is not evil or immoral, it simply is reality. When one hunts, one becomes an active part of this cycle in the most intimate and connected of ways. By doing the stalking, the killing, the preparation, and then the eating, the hunter comes to develop a true relationship with the natural world that is far more honest and fulfilling than the vast majority of humanity will ever experience. Few, save for those that raise and slaughter their own domesticated animals (and to some extent, those who grow and harvest their own fruits/vegetables) , understand where their food comes from, or the nature of the cycle of life, quite like the hunter does. The masses that purchase meat at the super market don't experience this honest relationship because the realities of the cycle of life are largely hidden from them; they simply are purchasing a convenient finished product. They miss out on the honest relationship with the world mostly through ignorance ( sometimes willful ), or laziness. The ARA/"ethical vegan" also misses out on a truly honest relationship with the world, and indeed has a DISHONEST relationship with it, but for a different reason. It comes in the form of denial about, or disdain for, the natural ways of this world. This denial or disdain can be either conscious or subconscious. In my experience, The ARA/"ethical vegan" frequently yearns for a world in which there is no "exploitation" ( they sometimes call such a vision a "peaceable kingdom" in AR-speak ), and they often seem to believe that they can make this world vision a reality through their lifestyle choices. This, of course, is not realistic, and is a form of Utopianism. And as is often proven time and time again, there are few relationships, whether they be between people and other people, or people and the world around them, that are more dishonest, and often more destructive and dangerous, than those based upon Utopian visions.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Dennis Kucinich schmoozes AR leaders

Given we're coming upon a major election year, here's a video that should be watched. Congressman Dennis "cuckoo" Kucinich ( D-OH ), a Presidential candidate, can be seen in this twenty minute video schmoozing with animal rights leaders in a conference call. It is nauseating to see Kucinich and the ARAs pandering to each other in this way, but I think it's important to see just what kind of radicals that this man, who wants to be our President, identifies with. If you are a sportsman, farmer/rancher, supporter of bio-medical research, or just want your freedom to make your own lifestyle choices to be respected, be very, very wary of this guy. How someone this radically leftist and out of touch continues to get elected is beyond me.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Deconstructing Gary Francione's FAQs #1

A pro-AR "abolitionist" reader recently challenged me to debunk Prof. Gary Francione's twenty animal rights FAQs. He did this in manner that struck me as somewhat smug and arrogant, as if Francione's opinions are somehow holy gospel and unassailable. I've decided to start a new series here in which I will deconstruct all twenty of Francione's FAQs. I will not be doing these all in row, but will be blogging on other things, and doing these from time to time, perhaps maybe one a week or every two weeks. The first thing readers will need to do is read through Francione's FAQs. They can be found here. The first thing I noticed about this FAQ, and perhaps you have as well, is that some of the questions that Francione asks himself seem to be perhaps "spun" or "loaded" in such a way so that he can indulge himself in circular reasoning. He words the questions in such a way so that he can give exactly the answer he wants to give,and wants you to hear. This is common in my experience in these "FAQs" where any kind of ideological, religious or political agenda is involved. Keep that in mind as we go through them. Let's get started and look at question #1.

"1. Question: Domestic animals, such as cows and pigs, and laboratory rats would not exist, were it not for our bringing them into existence in the first place for our purposes. So, is it not the case we are free to treat them as our resources?"

In his answer, you will notice that Francione goes on to use an analogy about using children as resources. He makes the following statements: "The fact that we are in some sense responsible for the existence of a being does not give us the right to treat that being as our resource. Were that so, then we could treat our children as resources.". This argument fails on a couple of fronts. First off, is the fact, that in reality, we DO in fact treat our children as resources in some respects. When I was kid, my parents used to make me do household chores such as mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, washing the dishes, etc. Also, anyone who grew up on a family farm or ranch knows how hard they worked to help keep things going for the family. There are also examples that don't involve contribution to the family. The Girl Scouts sell cookies every year as a fund raiser. The girls go door to door, or set up shop in front of a public place, and work to sell cookies. These are all examples of treating children as resources. Children are providing labor for either the benefit of their family or an organization that they belong to. Francione's answer implies that it is always morally wrong to use children as resources. Using his logic, however, all the things I mentioned above, would, in fact, be immoral because they all, in reality, use children as resources. The notion of kids mowing lawns or selling cookies to help an organization they belong to, being immoral, is of course, patently absurd. The question here isn't whether it is right or wrong to use children as resources, but rather, what should be the rational moral limits of using children as resources.

This analogy also fails on a second front. The astute reader will notice that what Francione is implying here, is that if it is immoral to use children as resources, then it must also be immoral to use animals as resources. Yet, he makes absolutely no argument here to support such a claim. He offers the reader no rational, convincing reason as to why children and animals should receive the same moral treatment. None at all. When drawing his analogy, he simply seems to ASSUME that children and animals are ENTITLED to the same moral consideration, as if it is some kind of self-evident fact, which of course it is not. He utterly fails to give a single reason why animals and children should be afforded the same treatment and it's glaringly vacuous.

The astute reader should also notice the intellectual slight of hand that Francione utilizes in the second paragraph of his answer. In the second paragraph, Francione talks about the immorality of treating people as property. However, the original question was about treating animals as RESOURCES, not about treating them as PROPERTY and the two are not the same thing. What Francione has done is subtly tried to shift the argument from the question of treating animals as resources to a question of treating animals as property. This is a straw man fallacy. A straw man fallacy is a logical fallacy in which a person attacks or introduces an argument different from, or irrelevant to, the original subject. Francione's second paragraph of his answer qualifies as fallacious, because, as I stated, treating someone as a resource, and treating them as property are not one and the same. The two are separate arguments. We treat people as resources all the time and it is not considered immoral. For example, if you have a job, you are a resource to your employer because you provide labor for them. Indeed, most large business have departments dedicated to managing personnel that are usually called "human resources departments". Although you may be considered a resource by your employer, you are not your employer's property. Rather, you are a person of free will that can choose to leave your employment any time. In our society, treating a person as a resource is not necessarily immoral, but treating a person as property always is. In his answer, Francione either fails to make that distinction himself, or he is intentionally being intellectually dishonest, and hopes that his readers don't notice the distinction. You make your own call.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

I want to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving today. Today is a day to contemplate how fortunate we are to live in a land of liberty and prosperity, and to celebrate the earth's bountiful provision. My wife Stephanie and I are fortunate to have a nice home, good jobs, etc.. We are only so fortunate because of this land of liberty and opportunity in which we live, and for that, I am grateful. Stephanie and I will be hosting both her parents as well as mine at our home today. We'll be foregoing the traditional turkey in favor of roasting some wild ducks that I got while enjoying quality time in a frigid duck blind with my dad and two wet, smelly dogs a few weeks ago. We'll be enjoying our day, and I hope you will too. Eat, drink, and be merry, and enjoy time with family and friends, for life is short.


AR idiocy in the news......

AR lunatics threaten to destroy golf course with heavy equipment over duck cull

A golf course in Australia has been threatened to be damaged with a backhoe because they culled ducks that were damaging the greens. No, I'm not making this up. There's really nothing I can say about this latest round of animal rights lunacy that it doesn't say for itself. This story is funny, but it is also very sobering at the same time, because I think it is indicative of a society that is unfortunately becoming more hyper-emotional and less rational all the time. That some people would be willing to commit criminal property damage, and thus risking their freedom and other rights, their job, their reputation, etc. over a simple cull of a few wild ducks is baffling to me. I honestly cannot comprehend such irrational behavior. The growing over-the-top emotionalism of society is a scary thing.

Yet another frivolous PCRM lawsuit dismissed

A class action lawsuit brought by Physicians' Committee for Responsible Medicine board member Dr. Milton Mills against dairy sellers has been dismissed by a federal appellate court. The lawsuit sought to have warning labels regarding lactose intolerance placed on dairy products. The court rightly found that the minor discomfort that goes with lactose intolerance is not sufficient grounds to award damages. I love this quote from the courts ruling: "A bout of gas or indigestion does not justify a race to the courthouse." Indeed. If I had a dollar for every time that the ideological hacks posing as a medical group at PCRM abused our legal system with its frivolous, agenda-driven litigation, I could retire right now and spend the rest of my life fishing. How many time will this boy be allowed to cry wolf before the courts stop listening?

The actual court ruling, in PDF format, can be viewed here.

A truly sanctimonious, crazed celebrity activist

Like probably many others, I despise celebrity activists. Not only are they condescending and insulting to the intelligence, they are also generally "rebels without a clue", as well as incredibly sanctimonious and hypocritical. Such is the case with Heather Mills, vegan activist and estranged wife of AR zealot and ex-Beatle Paul McCartney. Earlier this week, Mills stormed out of a radio interview, drove to London's Hyde Park in a Mercedes SUV, then launched into a bizarre diatribe about the alleged ecological dangers of livestock, in which she actually asked "why don't we drink rat's milk?". Apparently, Mills didn't bother to think about how one would actually milk a small animal like a rat, nor the fact that an animal that size would produce such a minute amount of it that it would be useless. Additionally, for some reason, Mills let the gas-guzzling SUV continue to idle while she was giving her self-serving little screed.
Here we have a pompous, narcissistic, pampered celebrity pontificating to others about how they are supposedly destroying the planet with their eating habits, after showing up in a fuel-inefficient vehicle that she lets idle while giving her sermon! The hypocrisy of that is so incredulous, that one is really at a loss for words. It's right up there with that elitist Al Gore telling us serfs that it is us driving our cars to work that is the problem, while he continues to trot the globe in a kerosene-guzzling private jet, and owns a home that uses more electricity in a month than most of us use in a year.
I have long wondered what is going on with environmental and AR crusaders, from the common everyday ones to the celebrities and elitists, in regards to their own hypocrisies. Is there something psychologically that blinds them to it, so they are not able to see it, even though it is apparent to everyone else? Perhaps that is the case with some. More often, though, it seems that many simply try to rationalize their own hypocrisy, as can be clearly seen if one reads various pro-AR blogs, as well as some of the comments from ARAs that have been left here at this blog. In my experience, ARAs and green crusaders tend to be privileged and well off in comparison to the rest of the world. They enjoy the luxuries that their life affords, but at the same time they seem to have a psychological need to feel morally superior to others. Thus they rationalize their own actions in an attempt to maintain their facade of moral piety. I can't help but wonder if a shrink would have a field day with Ms. Mills and her ilk.

Friday, November 16, 2007

More animal rights idiocy du jour

I think this little bit of animal rights idiocy speaks for itself. Apparently in this person's warped world, insulting a pigeon is "much like using the n-word". Right. Calling a pigeon "a flying rat" is akin to using one of the ugliest racial slurs there is? I bet she also believes killing chickens for food is on the same moral plane as the Holocaust. And these nuts want to be taken seriously?

Monday, November 12, 2007

The animal rights idiocy du jour

There is a letter that an ARA, one Arthur Poletti, wrote addressed to his Congressional representatives ( Senators Barack Obama and Dick Durbin and Representative Dan Lapinski ) that has been published on the pro-AR website that really is a must read. This letter is a rambling, shrill diatribe that provides some insight into the mindset of some ARAs. It is so full of petty lust for power over other people's lives, crackpot "the sky is falling" scenarios, and patent absurdities, that is extremely entertaining, as well as utterly nauseating, at the same time. Let's take a look at some of these crown jewels of absurdity and moonbattery that Mr. Poletti is offering us and his politicians.

"The human race cannot run away from or escape the consequences of global warming. Monumental cataclysmic disasters that are going to continue happening unless the wisest, practical, and most realistic solution is implemented immediately, if not sooner!"

Here we see Mr. Poletti talking about "monumental cataclysmic disasters" that are, in his world at least, going to happen if, of course, we don't ban animal agriculture right now. Of course, like all self-anointed gloom and doom prophets throughout history, he doesn't back up his cataclysmic scenarios with anything resembling undeniable facts. Also check out the last line, where he says "immediately, if not sooner". What is sooner than immediately? Absolutely hysterical!

"If government leaders do not begin to write emergency legislation designed to pass laws removing animal flesh from the food chain soon then humans, animals, and the earth will be confronted with the continuous escalation of widespread nonstop mega catastrophes!"

Ah, here we're getting to the meat ( pun intended ) of Mr. Poletti's agenda. What Mr Poletti wants is to use the power of the state, in the name of impending doom of course, to further erode people's liberties, in this case the freedom of choice regarding one's diet. The notion that people should surrender more of their liberties to the state to fend off some impending doom is a lie that tyrants of all stripes have used since the dawn of tyranny itself. And so it continues to this day.

"Removing animal flesh from the food chain may be the only realistic, viable, manageable, enforceable, and most effective government solution immediately needed to slow down global warming, and to ultimately play the largest role in stopping it."

Trying to ban animal based foods is not "realistic", "viable", or "enforceable". In case Mr. Poletti isn't yet aware of it, we have tried prohibitionist policies in the past, and they are monumental failures. For example, if we can't realistically and viably enforce laws banning the production and use of marijuana, then how are we ever going to realistically and viably enforce laws banning the production and use of meat, especially when one considers there are many more meat eaters than there are pot smokers!? Albert Einstein once said that "the very definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result". Mr. Poletti seems to fit that bill as he seems intent in his desire to cling to failed policies of the past.

"Global warming is potentially the most formidable, seemingly impregnable, possibly unstoppable deadly force in the history of the world."

It may very well be unstoppable, especially if all or most of it is natural in nature. The fact that Mr. Poletti seems to forget in all his doomsday prophecy is that, throughout its long ages, the earth has been both much hotter, and much colder, than it is now, and life on this planet managed to survive it.

"During the next few years a large number of countries will likely be engulfed in any one or many of the following calamities.

A constant escalation of heat waves, violent torrential storms, hurricanes, catastrophic flooding, cyclones, earthquakes, tsunamis, uncontrolled wild fires, draughts, famines, diseases, and starvation."

This one is really funny. We've all seen global warming alarmists seemingly blame everything from hot days to cold days to bad hair days on climate change. But EARTHQUAKES and TSUNAMIS? Earthquakes, and the tsunamis that can follow them, of course are caused by the movement of the earth's tectonic plates. Notice that Mr. Poletti offers no evidence that climate change affects the movement of these plates, which have been in motion since the beginning of time, and will always continue to be so. What an absolute riot!

These are just a few choice samplings of Mr. Poletti's absurdities. There are many more that seem to go on, and on, and on. Enjoy the laugh, folks!

Hypocrisy, thy name is Ingrid Newkirk

There as been a lot of discussion here recently about the inherent hypocrisy of so many in the animal rights community. I don't think that hypocrisy is any more evident than in a recent story involving none other than Ingrid Newkirk, founder and president of PeTA. According to an October 30 post on PeTA's blog, Ms. Newkirk recently broke her wrist in a fall. What's interesting here is this quote from Ms. Newkirk: "Thank goodness for IV ( intravenous ) drips." Yes, indeed, thank goodness for them, but does Ms. Newkirk have so much a clue as to the history of IV use ? The intravenous system of medication delivery was first developed in the 1930's. It was tested intensively on various kinds of animals including monkeys and dogs. Not only was the IV technique tested extensively on animals, but of course so are the drugs that are used in it. So here we have one of the kingpins of the animal rights industry, being more than willing to enjoy the benefits of animal research for herself when she is in pain, but continuing to pontificate to the world about the supposed evils of animal research, not to mention disseminating all kinds of distortions and lies about how supposedly useless and unnecessary it is. ARAs may try to rationalize, spin, and justify such a thing, as they do with all of their hypocrisies, but the bottom line is still the same: it is utterly one of the most debased forms of hypocrisy there is. Beyond that, however, it is incredibly selfish. For Ms. Newkirk to accept the fruits of past animal research for herself, all the while wishing and trying to deny others the fruits of current and future research is about the height of arrogance and selfishness. Par for the course for the typical animal rights advocate.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Response to pro-AR comments

I will get back to the discussion about "loaded AR terminology" in the next post ( hopefully! ). A pro-AR reader, Claudio, recently left some comments about the incidental deaths of wild animals that occur in crop agriculture, which I think is a dilemma of hypocrisy for ideological vegans who like to claim they live a "cruelty-free lifestyle" and like to use that as some kind of unjustified moral bludgeon against other people. Recently, he also smugly challenged me to "feel free to debunk it". As I have done before, I like to move pro-AR comments that I think are of some value to the forefront so readers can read them, and my response, without having to dive into old, dated posts. Claudio's remarks, and the original post he was responding to, can be found here. I'm not going to reproduce Claudio's comments in full here, simply for the reason they are lengthy, so please read them in the original thread.

"However, there are exceptional circumstances where incidental deaths of right-bearers are not punished and can be considered as a necessary evil. For instance, in an exclusively human context, the air pollution caused by human activities kills a great number of people and has severe consequences on the health of many more."

The analogy Claudio is using here is not a good one. In fact, it utterly fails. The fact of the matter is, polluters can be, and in fact are, punished under the law. Government regulations require pollution controls on everything from cars to power plants. If industries fail to implement controls or exceed the amount of pollution specified by law, they can face criminal charges and large fines. In some instances, even city governments can be fined, or face loss of federal subsidies for various things, if they exceed a certain number of "smog days". Drivers of cars that don't pass emissions tests are required to repair them so that they do, or face fines. Polluters are compelled by law to rectify the problem and they can continue to face ongoing consequences until they do. The reason we have these laws is because, as Claudio stated, pollution has a negative impact on the health of people, who are rights-holding beings. The laws are intended to minimize, as much as possible, the impact pollution has on people. This is not the case with incidental animal deaths in crop agriculture. Outside of perhaps endangered species laws, which are designed to protect only certain species, there are no laws that exist that even so much as attempt to protect animals from being harmed in crop agriculture. And of course, you will hear no ARA clamoring for there to be so, even though these supposedly "rights-holding beings" such as birds, insects, and rodents are killed by the thousands, if not millions, in industrialized crop agriculture. You see, for the majority of ARAs, their own complicity in animal suffering and death is a matter of "hear no evil, see no evil". Why? Because no one like to face their own hypocrisy. At the most, some will make rather transparent attempts to justify or rationalize their complicity with weak arguments, as Claudio has done here. If animals are "rights holding beings", do we not owe it to them to implement laws that at least try to save as many of them as possible from a cruel death at the hands of industrialized crop agriculture? It would seem so if we are going to claim animals have rights and we are going to be morally and intellectually consistent with what we say we believe. If it was millions of human children, rather than millions of sparrows and field mice, that were being killed by crop agriculture, would Claudio and his fellow ARAs demand that something be done right now to stop it, like most rational people would, or would they simply blow it off as "collateral damage" or "a necessary evil" as they do with animals that are killed? If animals hold the same basic rights, such as the right to life, as do human children, then how can they possibly dismiss the deaths of the animals if they would not dismiss the deaths of the children? This is why animal rights is such an intellectually bankrupt and ethically vacuous position: it has a flawed foundation of self-serving, selective moral outrage that results in blatant hypocrisy.

"As I stated in another forum, non-human animals will never be members of human society, because their lack of moral agency, so they can’t engage in a human social contract."

Which is precisely the reason animals do not have rights. The concept of rights is nothing more than a kind of social and legal contract that has been devised by humans to help maintain order and protection for people in human society. It helps protect us from chaotic, destructive behavior that would have negative impacts on the survival and well-being of our species. It is really nothing more ( unless, of course, one subscribes to some kind of "natural rights theory", which I reject because it is logically indefensible ). Animals operate in an amoral plane of existence in which the human-derived concept of rights is irrelevant. Rights have no use, and no meaning to, non-human animals, because it doesn't fit into the nature of their existence and not even the most intelligent of them can grasp the concept.

"In this aspect, they are like the marginal human cases."

Animals are nothing like marginal human cases. A marginal human case is a case in which a human is either permanently or temporarily incapacitated from being a moral agent. There is a huge difference though, between a marginal human and an animal. If the human were not incapacitated or disabled, they would be a moral agent, because moral agency is a general characteristic of humans. That is not true for animals. Even the most intelligent, fully functioning animal does not possess even the potential to be a moral agent. Moral agency is a characteristic of humanity. Just because that characteristic is "broken" in some individuals, that doesn't mean it ceases to be a general characteristic of humans. Suppose we have a car that doesn't run because it's engine doesn't start. Just because our car is incapacitated and doesn't work properly , it doesn't mean that it no longer possesses all the basic characteristics of a car. It would run if we were able to fix it. It isn't a kitchen sink, a TV set, or a chair. It is still a car because it still has all the basic characteristics of a car. Likewise, marginal humans retain all the basic attributes of humans, including basic rights, because they are still humans that are simply in a disabled state, in which their moral agency isn't functioning, that may be either permanent or temporary.

"(because since they are sentient they are right-bearers)"

A statement of opinion and not of fact. I have yet to see a convincing, rock-solid argument from Claudio, or any other ARA, including their beloved Gary Francione, as to why "sentience" is a valid criterion that should trump all other criteria for determining what is, and what is not, a rights holder.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

AR idiocy in the news......

The Animal Liberation Front ( ALF ) , a domestic terrorist organization, has claimed responsibility for an attack on the home of Dr. Edythe London, a professor and researcher at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine. The vandals flooded Prof. London's home with a garden hose, doing $20,000-$40,000 worth of damage. In a rather courageous act, Prof. London wrote a response to the attack that has run in today's Los Angeles Times. In this response, Professor London outlines the work she is doing and why animal use is important to it. Professor London's calm, well-reasoned response to the ALF terrorists is, IMHO, nothing short of awesome. Prof. London has done a tremendous service to the research community here, because her response shows scientists to be the reasoned, rational people they are, while making the ALF thugs look like exactly what they are: cracked lunatics who think they have a right to terrorize others and commit criminal acts in the name of their ideology. Big time kudos to Professor London for putting out this courageous response to the ALF dirtbags.

In another story, a New Jersey appellate court has dismissed a lawsuit against Huntington Life Sciences ( HLS ), a pharmaceutical testing firm, by the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ( NJSPCA ) . NJSPCA sued Huntington for allegedly causing unnecessary pain and suffering to animals, and had sought restitution from the company. The court rightly dismissed the case, because HLS has no legal obligations to NJSPCA, and thus there is no grounds for a claim of restitution. Seems to me like a frivolous lawsuit in which an animal advocacy group was trying to use the legal system as way to steal money from a legitimate business that it happens to dislike. I'm certainly no law expert, but I can't help but wonder, and hope, that perhaps this case will set a precedent in cutting off AR groups and their lawyers that hope use litigation "on behalf of animals" in the future as part of their strategy.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A potentially interesting discussion

There are two people who are working on their Master's degrees in conflict resolution that will be holding an on-line discussion between pro-AR folks and anti-AR folks as part of some research they are doing. This is not a debate, but rather a discussion on why each side thinks the way the do. Perhaps we can all learn something of value from this. If you would be interested in participating, go to this thread at the discussion forum and post letting them know. Please also let them know if you are pro or anti AR. Details about the time will be forthcoming in that thread.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Thinking critically about AR terminology Part 1

In some recent comments, an anonymous commenter noted the use of "loaded words" in rhetoric from ARAs. I agreed with this person and threw out some examples. While on a hunting trip, I got thinking more about that issue while spending contemplative time in my tree stand, so I though I'd explore it a little more in depth.

First, I think it is helpful to determine what "loaded words" or "loaded terminology" is and why it is used. "Loaded terminology" is terminology that generally contains biased and/or emotionally charged words. The purpose of it is to to use said biased or emotionally charged words to bend people's opinions. "Loaded terminology" is often used in argumentum ad nauseam fallacies. This simply means that someone repeats an argument or term so often, that those listening eventually no longer question or think critically about the argument or term's validity. We see ARAs do this with the terms I'm going to take a look at. By using these terms, they hope that those who hear or read their rhetoric simply accept these terms at face value without questioning them. However, much to their chagrin, not everyone is that stupid or easily lead.

"Loaded term" Number 1: "Vivisection"

"Vivisection" is perhaps the loaded AR term that one encounters most often. ARAs often use this as a blanket or umbrella term to refer to scientific research utilizing animals. But is that fair or intellectually honest? The word "vivisection" comes from Latin and it literally means cutting up a living thing. The emotional charge of this word is pretty self-evident. What we need to ask is whether its use is accurate in most cases. Does all, or even most, scientific research using animals involve procedures that are gruesome enough to justify the use of such a graphic term? Hardly it would seem. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture ( this is the federal agency that oversees animal research ) data, 60% of animal tests only involve slight, momentary, or minor distress such as injections, blood draws, change of diet, etc. . With 3 out of 5 procedures utilizing animals requiring only minor invasiveness, or none at all, the blanket or generalized use, as well as plain overuse of a "loaded term" like vivisection is dishonest and misleading at best.

In part two of this post, I'll analyze some more common AR terminology.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Comments back on

Hello all. I got back from our hunting trip last night, sooner than expected, but that's a good thing. Thanks to heavy snow in the mountains that made tracking easier, all seven of us filled our elk tags, and one buddy of mine filled his bear tag, too. Anyway, I've turned comments back on if there is anything you'd like to discuss.


Friday, October 19, 2007

More details on "a gathering of lunatics"

A while back I commented on an upcoming AR conference entitled "Smash the State, Crush the Cage", that I dubbed "a gathering of lunatics". More information on that conference to be held Nov. 9-11 at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts is now available, and it certainly is "a gathering of lunatics" as it has attracted some of the craziest of the AR crazy as speakers. On the docket:

- Dr. Jerry Vlasak, self-anointed "ALF press officer" who is infamous for his repeated calls for the murder of scientists.

- Peter Daniel Young, who served two years in federal prison for breaking into a mink farm and releasing the animals. Young was fugitive from the law for seven years. He was finally arrested when he was caught shoplifting CDs from a Starbuck's shop, in sight of a uniformed cop ( a real rocket scientist, huh? ).

- Pattrice Jones, a self-described "eco-anarcha-feminist animal" ( WTF? )

If you really want a laugh, check out their paranoid security guidelines page. I particularly like this statement: "Do not attempt to buy drugs while on Hampshire campus." I think that itself speaks volumes about the types of individuals that will be attending this conference. As a final note, a big "shame on you" has to go out to Hampshire College for agreeing to host this intellectual bankruptcy.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A little housekeeping: subscription now available, going to be on vacation

First, I just wanted to let everyone know that if you want to subscribe to The Speciesist's Corner, you can now do so. Just click on the little orange icon on the top right, and you will be taken to Feedburner where you can subscribe in the reader of your choice. Secondly, I will be leaving tomorrow to go on our annual elk hunting trip with some friends. I will be gone for most of next week. While I am gone, obviously I will not be posting and comments will be turned off because I will be unable to moderate or respond to them. I will turn comments back on when I get back. Comments will still be on through tomorrow morning, and I'll turn them off when I leave.


Pro-AR blog laments success of wolves, grizzlies

It is sometimes said that animal rights really isn't about animals at all. A recent post, ironically titled "The Betrayal of Wildlife" on the blog of the rather bizarre, pro-AR website seems to confirm this. In these comments, the blogger laments the reintroduction of wolves and the expansion of the grizzly bear in the American wilderness. Why would someone who claims to care about animals decry a conservation success story that is unfolding before our very eyes? Simple. She is opposed to hunting. She is showing opposition to the return of top predators to their rightful place in the ecosystem simply because somewhere down the line, should these animals increase their numbers to a large, sustainable population, God forbid, a hunter might shoot one, and we just can't let that happen. You see, with this blogger, it isn't about animals and what is best for them. It's about ideological purity. She is so intellectually entrenched in her opposition to hunting that she would rather see two magnificent creatures that are symbols of wilderness continue in their threatened state, rather than be returned in significant numbers to ecosystems in which they have a rightful place and fill an important role. How warped, myopic and inane, not to mention selfish, is that kind of thinking? It blows the mind. It absolutely blows the mind. I don't think it can be stressed enough that with some ARAs, it really isn't about animals. It IS about themselves and their self-serving ideological purity. It's not hunters nor conservationists that betray wildlife, it's the myopic, self-serving, absolutist attitude of some of the hardcore ideologues in the AR movement.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

"The absence of hypocrisy"?

Recently, in a blog post, an "abolitionist" pro-AR blogger made the comment that "abolition is the absence of hypocrisy". That blog post can be read in its entirety here. Just how valid is this claim that "abolition is the absence of hypocrisy"? Are these "abolitionists" actually free from hypocrisy? Do they actually practice what they preach so incessantly and obnoxiously ? Hardly it would seem. This "abolitionist" blogger admits on her own blog to giving her dog a diabetes drug that is derived from pigs, and is a byproduct of the pork industry. She also freely admits to feeding her cat fish. Here we have someone who claims that she wants the abolition of all animal "exploitation", yet she is supporting two industries, pork and fish, that she claims to hate and want abolished, for the sake of her own pets! That isn't just hypocrisy, it's also "speciesist", that cardinal sin of sins that ARAs claim to hate so much, because she is apparently willing to place the needs of her own dog and cat above the "rights" of the pigs and fish that she claims shouldn't be exploited. To say that is hypocrisy would be an understatement. It's more like living in a glass house and throwing boulders!
Such hypocrisy, however, isn't limited to this particular individual, it permeates the entirety of the whole AR/vegan/"abolitionist" movement. Countless wild animals are killed in industrialized crop agriculture to produce their vegan, allegedly "cruelty-free" foods. Many ARAs have been known to freely accept medical treatments that are based upon animal research, while they pontificate about the supposed evils of "vivisection". They use computers to preach and proselytize on their countless blogs and websites. Computers of course, are powered by electricity, and the production of electricity, even more environmentally friendly production methods such as wind, hydro, and solar, causes countless animal deaths through pollution, wildlife displacement, and habitat destruction.
Upon closer examination, it would seem that the "abolitionist" AR lifestyle is anything but the "absence of hypocrisy". There is plenty of it to be found, and most of the adherents to the AR lifestyle are too sanctimonious and arrogant to address it. Instead, they make all kinds of rationalizations and justifications for their hypocrisy, because to seriously address it would require them to step down from their faux moral high ground and reconsider their chest-beating narcissism. And few of them are willing to do that in my experience.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Nobel Prize award helps debunk "anti-vivisection" myth

Last week, the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine was awarded to three scientists for their work in developing genetically modified mice that are designed to develop a range of diseases that give researchers new ability to study these medical conditions in great detail. Martin Evans of the University of Cardiff ( Wales ), Oliver Smithies of the University of North Carolina, and Mario Capecchi of the University of Utah shared the prestigious award for their work in this field. According to the article, a statement from the Nobel assembly said the following:

"In summary, gene targeting in mice has pervaded all fields of biomedicine. Its impact on the understanding of gene function and its benefits to mankind will continue to increase over many years to come."

Wow. Now that's a statement that is as completely damning to prevailing animal rights lies and myth as I've ever heard. We are told constantly ad infinitum et ad nauseum by ARAs that biomedical research using animals is completely ineffective. We are told that it isn't necessary,because after all, we have computer models and cell cultures. We are told that it doesn't do anything to enhance human health. These are all lies and mindless propaganda that not only flies in the face of historical fact, but in the face of this current story about the latest cutting edge technology. Now the question is, who do you want to believe? Credible scientists and the committee that awards the most prestigious prizes in science, or zealous animal rights ideologues? I know where I stand, but everyone can make up their own mind.

Congratulations to these three scientists for winning this award for their groundbreaking work. And thanks to the good folks at Americans for Medical Progress for the heads up on this story.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Vegan blog chides Warwak

Well, it seems that fired vegan evangelist teacher Dave Warwak is, in fact, so out of line that even fellow vegans are now jumping from his cause like rats from a sinking ship. A post yesterday on the Super Vegan blog blasts Warwak for, just as I said, asking students to hide his proselytizing from their parents, accusing the school of reckless endangerment for serving milk, and childishly refusing to return to work unless all animal products were eliminated from the school cafeteria. The title of the post rightfully referred to Warwak as "obnoxious". Indeed. Not to mention reckless, irresponsible, a faux victim, and not particularly truthful in light of the fact he's changed his story several times. I can't help but wonder if the vegan ideologue who left comments on my blog, still is actually ignorant enough to think that Warwak is victim of persecution by a quasi-fascist society that simply hates vegans.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Scientific studies in the news.....

Here's some interesting studies that have just come out that challenge some of the myths put out there by pro-vegan groups. Rest assured, you won't be hearing about any of these from the ideological hacks at Physicians' Committee for Responsible Medicine, PeTA's phony medical front group.

First, a study out of the University of Hawaii published in the International Journal of Cancer has found that there is no evidence that eating lots of meat affects a man's risk for developing prostate cancer. The study was conducted on an ethnically diverse group of men and found that there was little supporting evidence that showed a relationship between meat intake and and prostate cancer risk among any of the racial/ethnic groups.

This study coming out of Australia has found that drinking milk may help stop the metastacizing of breast cancer cells into the bones. The study found that women who are calcium deficient may be at a higher risk for metastatic disease. The finding of this study were published in Cancer Research, the journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Dave Warwak:The gift that keeps on giving

The saga of fired vegan-evangelist art teacher Dave Warwak just continues to get more and more bizarre. As expected, Warwak filed the appeal of his firing. As one might of guessed, his appeal contains some real winners, and his grandstanding continues to get more and more outrageous. In his appeal, Warwak accuses the school district of violating a Federal Trade Commission ban on false advertising by refusing to remove posters promoting milk from the cafeteria. This is nothing but a transparent red herring. The content of the posters is irrelevant to Mr. Warwak's own personal conduct in the classroom, which is the real issue here. Even if the posters are misleading advertising, and I highly doubt he can prove that, it still doesn't excuse his reckless propagandizing in the classroom. Once again, Warwak is trying to shift the responsibility away from himself and trying to blame someone or something else for HIS actions, and it just doesn't wash.
Warwak goes on to claim that his decision to teach veganism to his students was made to educate them about how the meat and dairy industries use their "influence to shape and guide the values and morals of society through indoctrination". What? The hypocrisy of that statement is so outrageous that it blows the mind. Here we have someone who is indoctrinating children to his own, personal ideological views, without the knowledge and consent of their parents. To compound his wrongdoing, he instructs his students to keep it secret from their parents and other teachers, a clear indication that he knew what he was doing was wrong. For this guy to feign indignation about indoctrination while he himself was knowingly and intentionally engaged in the most vile form of indoctrination is so beyond the pale that one is at a loss for words. The fact that he would have the audacity to make such a statement is indicative of just how irresponsible, disconnected, and self-absorbed this individual is.
I don't think the state Board of Education will take Warwak's appeal seriously. He is clearly trying to avoid personal responsibility for his actions, and his "arguments" ( term used lightly ) to defend those actions are, at best fallacious, transparent, and feeble, but I'll continue to keep on eye in this story.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Vege-vangelist teacher Warwak wants his job back

Apparently, vegan evangelist teacher Dave Warwak's fifteen minutes of fame isn't over yet. I commented a few days ago about Mr. Warwak's firing, and now it seems the nutty art teacher wants his job back and has filed an appeal. That didn't take long. I guess he figured out it's hard to buy tofu when you don't have a paycheck, but I digress. What's really incredulous here is Mr. Warwak's asinine accusations against the school district. Warwak accuses the school district of exposing him to "hatred, contempt, and ridicule". Is this clown for real? What Warwak is doing here is all too typical in today's society: he's playing the victim and refusing to take personal responsibility for his own actions. Warwak just doesn't get it. The district didn't open him up to "hatred, contempt, and ridicule", he did that to himself through his own actions. And now he doesn't have the manhood to take responsibility for those actions. We see this so much in America today, that it certainly doesn't surprise me, but it never fails to annoy and outrage me.
The spin that Warwak tries to put on his actions is equally as outrageous. Notice that Warwak claims he was only trying to educate students about the power of advertising in the visual arts when he demanded promotional posters for milk be removed from the cafeteria. Who does he expect to believe this lie? We know for a fact he was proselytizing to students. We know he was distributing vegan propaganda to students. And on top of that, we know he tried to hide it from parents and fellow faculty members. It seems Mr. Warwak is every bit as shameless in his self-serving, faux victimhood and in his intellectual dishonesty as he is in his zeal for vegan evangelism.

Oh, the irony of it.....

Convicted dog fighter Michael Vick has gone to PeTA headquarters to voluntarily take PeTA's "animal empathy course" which consists of eight hours of study. Let's get this straight. Here we have an organization that itself kills hundreds of animals every year, in spite of the fact they claim animals have rights, and has had one of its employees convicted of illegally dumping carcasses of those animals in a dumpster and then uses the term"ethical" in its name, lecturing another animal killer about "animal empathy"?! WTF? The irony of it is nothing short of delicious, or as that credit card commercial says, "priceless".
In honor of this momentous occasion, the Center for Consumer Freedom, a perpetual thorn in PeTA's side, has come up with a rather clever spoof of said "animal empathy" course in which they attack PeTA's rather self-serving, callous attitude toward their fellow human beings. Kudos to CCF for providing a much needed laugh on a bad day.

Monday, October 1, 2007

ARAs suspected in theft of rabbit....from preschoolers

Here's a sick story coming out of Spokane, Washington. Animal rights advocates are suspected in a theft of a pet rabbit from a preschool class. The rabbit, which was a class pet that the five year old children had named "Sugar Bunny" was stolen and PeTA literature left behind in his empty hutch. Wow. How utterly despicable. Just when you think that these "animal liberationist" types can't stoop to anything lower, they actually do. What utter cowards these ARAs are. Stealing a pet from five year old kids. What sheer courage that must take! What moral fortitude it must take to commit such a deed! And the "animal liberation" folks wonder why the vast majority of the public has nothing but contempt for them and their "movement".

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Austrian court won't delare chimp to be a person

About six months ago, I commented on a court case in Austria in which the court was to rule if a chimpanzee is entitled to "human personhood" or not. Well, the court dismissed the case earlier this week, which is good news to anyone opposed to such lunacy. The plaintiffs have said they will appeal the dismissal to the Austrian supreme court, but hopefully sanity will win out yet again and they will also dismiss this farce. Although I'm an American and this case was in Europe, I watched it closely because of the chance that is could set a very bad precedent, that could, sometime down the road, have ramifications elsewhere. It's nice to see that the judge here decided to use judicial restraint here, instead of engaging in legislation and social engineering from the bench, which seems to be all too common these days, both here in the USA and abroad.

Vege-vangelist teacher fired by school board

A few weeks ago I posted about crackpot teacher Dave Warwak , who came under fire for proselytizing his vegan agenda to his students without the knowledge and consent of their parents. According to this report, Warwak was fired by a unanimous vote of the school board, after he claiming he wouldn't return to the school until the cafeteria removed all meat and dairy from the menu. Besides Warwak's crazy, juvenile tantrum about the cafeteria, what's interesting here is what some of the students have said. Apparently Warwak asked them to not report his evangelizing to their parents or to school administation. That is pretty damning evidence in my book that Warwak knew full well that what he was doing was completely unacceptable. A teacher doesn't ask students to not tell their parents or other faculty members about what is going on in their classroom, unless that teacher has something to hide. Period. Mr. Warwak has thrown away his teaching career in order to become a "martyr" for his fanatical veganism. I hope it was worth it to him to not only throw away his career, but to make himself look like an utter idiot in the process. I guess he could always get a job as a paid shill for PeTA. And BTW Mr. Warwak, don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Vegan evangelist teacher leaves rambling diatribe on PeTA blog

I posted the other day about the story of art teacher Dave Warwak who has been suspended by his school for continually proselytizing veganism to his students. Well, Mr. Warwak has left a bizarre, rambling diatribe on the comments section of the PeTA blog post regarding his suspension ( scroll down and read the comments by Warwak ) . Notice that Mr. Warwak doesn't answer ANY of the arguments directed against him. Not a single one. Instead, he offers up all kinds of strawmen and red herrings that range from references to humane education to school shootings. It all amounts to nothing more than hyper-zealous, self-serving grandstanding. It's so all over the place and off the real issues that it barely seems coherent! I left comments in response to Mr. Warwak's rant on the PeTA blog, that, as of this time, have yet to be published ( If it turns out that PeTA doesn't have the courage to post my response to Mr. Warwak, I will post it here. ). I think that most reasonable people that read Mr. Warwak's comments can see them for what they are: an intellectually bankrupt, rambling screed of a zealous lunatic, that is barely even rational. Hopefully, Mr. Warwak isn't typical of the quality of teachers in today's public schools. If he is, the next generation and this nation, are in deep, deep trouble.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Study: Human toddlers smarter than chimps. Well, duh!

A new study seems to have confirmed what most of us, save for perhaps some in the AR community, have suspected all along: human children are smarter than chimps. The study found that human children at 2 years of age have superior social cognitive skills to apes. ARAs sometimes will use the fact that some scientists claim that humans and chimps share so much genetically that the two should, in fact both be classified in the same genus, or even the same species, as a transparent, feeble attempt to justify "personhood" for chimps. Such an opinion is in the scientific minority however, because genetic similarities are not the only criterion used in determining taxonomic classification. It also involves other factors such as anatomical/physiological similarities, as well as behavioral/social similarities, and in those respects, humans and chimps are obviously quite different. This study seems to help confirm that fact. Well, there you have it: two year olds are smarter than chimpanzees. But what about PeTA members or ALF thugs vs. chimps? That comparison hasn't been made yet. My money would be on the chimps.

Teacher removed from classroom for proselytizing veganism

A Chicago-area art teacher has been removed from the classroom for proselytizing veganism to his students according to this report. The teacher, Dave Warwak, who has been a vegan since January ( ever notice how the most recent converts, be it to veganism or religion, are always the most obnoxious ? ) , gave talks about veganism to his 8th grade students and distributed a pro-vegan book to them.
Not surprisingly, PeTA has gotten their collective panties all in a bundle over this. One of their talking heads posted about it on their blog, and this post and its subsequent comments seem to be centered around the idea that this is somehow a free speech issue. That however, doesn't wash. It is a well known fact that free speech does in fact have its limits, often dependent on the situation. If someone was to proselytize like this to their co-workers, and it was reported, in most workplaces, it would be considered a form of harassment and creating a hostile work environment. It could be mean discipline anywhere from a warning to suspension to termination. Why should this situation be any different? If it is "creating a hostile work environment" to push one's own personal views on to fellow adults in the workplace, why is not equally, or perhaps even more so, a form of "creating a hostile learning environment" to push one's own personal views onto children in the school? Additionally, there is the issue of parental consent. Children cannot give informed consent to be proselytized in this manner, so their parents must give consent for them. I wonder how many even knew about Mr. Warwak's pontificating, let alone approved of it. By not informing the parents and seeking their permission, Mr. Warwak violated those parents' right to decide what values, ideologies and philosophies are appropriate to be taught to their children. I don't have children, but if I did, I know that I wouldn't want them being proselytized to about veganism anymore than I would want them to be proselytized to about creationism, Islam, environmentalism, or any other ideology or religion, especially in a public school, that I, a taxpayer, pay for. School should be about education, not indoctrination or social engineering. Mr. Warwak is paid by the taxpayers to teach students art, not to abuse his position as teacher and use it as a bully pulpit to evangelize his students into his ideology. Every time he chooses to pontificate about veganism to these kids instead of teaching them the curriculum he is charged with teaching, he fails them. He is wasting students' time and taxpayers' money. Shame on him. And shame on the AR/vegan ideologues who support him and disingenuously claim that this issue is about something that it's not.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Respones to pro-AR comments

A couple of ARAs left some comments to older posts that I feel a need to respond to. I've decide to respond here, as opposed to the comments section of deeply buried, old posts. Here's the comments that were left:

In response to a post about a Canadian AR group exploiting children for ideological gain, Jason left the following comment:

"I'm curious what the difference is between allowing your child to participate in an animal rights protest and allowing your child to be in a Mcdonalds ( sic ) commercial?
Are the children being "exploited" by their parents and Mcdonalds ( sic ) as well? Or is it only because you disagree with the message of these particular children that you find it so offensive? Though I have no children, if I did I would be proud if they chose to protest against animal cruelty. That is so much better than joining the brainless masses who live their lives without any thought to the well being of others. It's sad that selfishness, cruelty and greed are considerd ( sic ) the "status quo"."

What Jason is offering here is essentially a straw man argument. Instead of addressing the original issue of whether Liberation B.C. is engaging in child exploitation for ideological gain that I raised, Jason sets up the issue of McDonald's advertising and chooses to attack it. For the sake of argument however, I'll answer what Jason has raised here. I agree with Jason that McDonald's using children in advertising is a form of child exploitation, and I'm not particularly fond of it. I think the ethics and level of responsibility of such business practices are questionable at best. However, I do see a difference between the two. Animal rights is a complex enough issue for adults to understand, let alone kids. It is an emotionally charged issue that involves arguments from diverse, complicated subjects such as ethics, philosophy, and biology, that young children cannot comprehend. Children cannot understand the issue from a rational perspective, only from an emotional one, and that leaves them extremely vulnerable to indoctrination. In short, children CANNOT give informed consent as to whether or not they want to be part of such ideology. Kids being involved in fast food advertising is somewhat different. It does not involve emotionally exploitative indoctrination to a worldview, philosophy, or ideology, as involving kids in AR protests does. I acknowledge that it certainly involves predatory/exploitative advertising of potentially unhealthy products to children, whom again, cannot give informed consent, which is unethical and irresponsible. It does not however, sink to the same low of emotionally exploiting children in order to indoctrinate them into a particular worldview that they can't fully grasp the implications of, or simply using them as pawns for ideological gain, IMHO. That is simply disgusting and reprehensible.

Regarding a post about the animal deaths involved in the production of vegan foods, "halv" left the following comment:

"Wow...comparing the unfortunate and unintended killing of small animals during produce farming to the fully intentional killing of animals for meat production is really stretching it. That's like saying someone who accidentally hits a deer with their car is the same as someone who goes hunting. Your getting desperate Grizz.
But your attention seeking ways continue....and sadly I'm helping it along by writing in."

Bringing up the issue of the extensive animal death involved in the production of vegan diets isn't "stretching it", it's a valid point, and one that ARAs don't really have a sufficient answer for. If animals are truly rights holding beings as the ARAs insist, then how can these deaths simply be ignored and written off? Rights is serious business, and the violation of any rights-holding being's right to life, the most basic right of all, must be addressed, whether that violation is a matter or intention or negligence. If animals have rights, then no amount of "collateral damage" to those rights-holding entities can be acceptable. I wonder if "halv" would say that x number of human children being killed in crop agriculture is acceptable "collateral damage" that cannot be helped, or if he/she would say that any number of human children being killed in crop agriculture is unacceptable and all measures must be taken to prevent it. If animals hold the same basic rights as human children, then how can it possibly be ethical to blow off the deaths of those animals any more than it would be ethical to blow off the deaths of the human children? The reason that "halv" and his/her ilk don't want to seriously address this issue is because it reveals the hypocrisy, and ethical/intellectual inconsistency that lies at the heart of AR ideology. If vegans/ARAs seriously confront their own hypocrisy and their own complicity in animal death, it costs them some of the moral high ground that they like to believe they hold, and many of them are far too arrogant to give up that psuedo moral high ground. I'm curious as to how "halv" came up with his/her sophomoric little ad hominem attack in the last line. "Halv" gives no supporting evidence for the charge that I'm "attention seeking". What I seek to inform people about is the dark side of the AR movement, its implications to personal liberty, as well as it's hypocrisy and intellectual inconsistency, and the last thing "halv" and other ARAs want is for that to be exposed. "Halv", thou doth protest too much.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

A gathering of lunatics.......

........will be happening in November according to this release. A conference entitled "Smash The State, Crush The Cage" will be held November 9-11 at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. From it's bizarre, radical title, one can probably guess that this will be a gathering of the looniest of AR lunatics such as the so-called "anarchist" crowd. What's interesting here is the last line of this release. Apparently everyone is welcome except "representatives of the military, the police, and/or federal agencies". Hmmmm. I wonder why that would be? Talk of violent overthrow of the government and and other criminal activity per chance? As per usual for the nutty, malcontented "anarchist" crowd, these folks don't seem to be real bright. The surest way to attract the attention of law enforcement is to tell them to stay away. I'd love to be a fly on the wall at this one.

Friday, August 31, 2007

PeTA attacks Gore on meat; then called out by astute blogger for their half-truths

First, let me apologize to readers for the lack of posts in the past couple of weeks. Sometimes the demands of everyday life, such as a more intense than usual work schedule, can leave you a little ragged. Hopefully, I'll have a little more time on my hands here real soon.

According to this report in The New York Times, PeTA is now attacking former Vice-President and global warming crusader Al Gore for being a meat eater. PeTA claims that Gore's carnivorous habits cost him credibility on environmental issues. I thought the fact that Gore travels the globe in private jets and owns a home that uses more electricity in a month that many average Americans use in a year, had already sufficiently discredited him, but I digress. In their criticism of Gore, PeTA cites a U.N. report that claims that the livestock industry produces more "greenhouse gas" emissions than all forms of transportation combined. PeTA uses this report as ammunition for its argument that Gore, as well as the rest of us, ought to become vegan so that we can, to use a vapid cliche, "save the planet". Well, it turns out that PeTA either is intentionally not telling the whole story about the U.N. report they cite, or they cannot read ( I leave it to you to decide which is more likely ). An astute blogger has pointed out on his blog that PeTA isn't telling the full story about the U.N. report. It turns out that what PeTA isn't telling the public is that the report makes no recommendation that people "go vegan" or cut animal products from their diet. What it does do is make suggestions to the livestock industry on how to cut and better manage its emissions. What PeTA has done here is only tell half the truth, and as the old saying goes, the best lies are always half true. Kudos to Eric at The Observation Deck and to the Center for Consumer Freedom for pointing this out.

Wayne Pacelle continues to be in damage control mode; interviewed by "friend" reporter

I posted a while back about questions that have arisen concerning HSUS's fund raising activities in regards to the Michael Vick dogfighting case. I even suspect that it was one of Pacelle's paid, sycophantic hacks at HSUS who left comments on this blog in regards to that post ( read the comments to see what I'm talking about ). Well, it turns out that HSUS president Wayne Pacelle is still in damage control mode amidst criticisms of HSUS. Check out this article, in which Pacelle is interviewed by a reporter who is a friend of his. As to be expected, Wayne's buddy and interviewer only throws him softball questions ( go figure! ). That's pretty lame Wayne, that's pretty lame. This is what's supposed to pass for journalism here in the brave new 21st century? Thanks to Americans for Medical Progress for bringing this rather "so-pathetic-it's-funny" "interview" to my attention.

British ARAs claim contamination of children's first aid product

A British extremist AR group calling itself the "Animal Rights Militia" is claiming that it contaminated containers of a first aid cream primarily used for children because they believe the manufacturer to have ties to Huntington Life Sciences ( HLS ) according to this report. It appears that no actual contamination probably took place, but claiming so is itself a criminal act. I guess it isn't enough for AR extremists to resort to things like beatings, arsons, and grave robbery. They now have to engage in scare tactics involving products used primarily by children. How sick is that? And ARAs wonder why people consider them to be crazy or mentally ill. I would welcome them to prove me wrong, but rest assured that you will here nothing but deafening silence about this on the pro-AR blogs.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Is animal rights a religion?

That is a question I've asked myself and thought a lot about. AR and fundamentalist religions certainly share a lot of attributes. They both proselytize, often obnoxiously. They often both view the "unbeliever", the "heathen", or the "pagan" as some how morally and ethically inferior to themselves. They both involve adhering to some sort of self-denying dogma. For the fundamentalist Christian, this dogma may involve abstinence from things such as alcohol, dancing, or sex. For the ARA, this dogma manifests itself as veganism. Like the "religious right", they often seek to make their own personal beliefs a matter of public policy enforced by the power of the state. And most frightening, like militant, fundamentalist Islam, AR has its extremist zealots that are all too willing to engage in violence and terror tactics in order to get others to bow to their beliefs.

With there being so many similarities between AR and religion, I began to wonder if anyone had actually studied this in an academic or professional way. Sure enough, that is indeed the case. In 2000, a paper entitled Every Sparrow That Falls: Animal Rights Activism as Functional Religion was published by Wesley V. Jamison, Caspar Wenk, and James V. Parker in the journal Society and Animals. In this study, the authors found that AR activism functioned as a form of religious belief in the lives of activists. The authors used Yinger's typology of functional religion as a standard and analyzed how well AR beliefs met the criteria for functional religion of that typology. The criteria for functional religion in Yinger's typology are as follows:

- Conversion experience

- Community

- Creed

- Code

- Cult ( collective meanings expressed as symbols and rituals )

The study found that AR meets all five of these defining criteria. Interviewees that participated in the study recalled having "formative events" in their lives that lead to their conversion to AR ideology. Converts, in turn, form communities as they seek out the company of those who share a similar set of beliefs. The authors also found common beliefs among ARAs that add up to a functional creed, or system of beliefs. Among these beliefs are the following:

- Assertion of the moral righteousness of the movement

- True belief necessitates proselytizing/evangelism

- Human use of animals is wrong and is not necessary

- A belief in the moral "goodness", as opposed to the moral neutrality, of

- The belief that suffering is always "evil" and the alleviation of suffering
is always "good".

The study also found that AR, like religion, involves a code, or a set of appropriate and inappropriate behaviors that are to be followed by the believer. In other words, legalism or dogma. As I hinted at before, in AR, that code is veganism. Finally, we come to cult, or the use of rituals and symbols. Participants in the study reported that how at AR meetings, participants would talk about themselves and their failures to keep the code ( like a confession of "sin" ) in a ritualistic manner. Much like a profession of faith in religion, participants also noticed the importance of personal profession of beliefs in AR. The study also found that many ARAs also used symbols such as pictures of animals being used in research, much like religions use symbols. An ARA may identify to such a picture as a symbol of "unnecessary" animal suffering in much the same way that a Christian identifies with the cross as symbol of Christ's suffering.

I found this study to be quite fascinating. It confirms much of what I have long thought: although the AR quasi-religion lacks the spiritual deity of traditional religions, it has almost all the other hallmarks, from evangelism to militant fanaticism. To read this study, go here.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Going to be away for a couple of days

Just a little note to let you know that we will be gone camping for the next couple of days, so I won't be able to publish or respond to any comments until probably Monday.


Even after threats to kill, teen ARA avoids jail time

A 17 year-old ARA in the U.K. has managed to weasel out of jail time despite issuing threats to kill researchers and police officers, according to this report. The teen was given a 12 month "referral order" ( I'm assuming this is something similar to what we in the States would call "probation" ) instead of jail time, because he suffers from "a depressive mental illness". Well, cry me a freakin' river. As if that should somehow be an excuse to not be held responsible for his actions in any kind of meaningful way. Hopefully, just hopefully, this young person will get the right kind of help, and a change of direction in life, before it's too late. If not, another young life will be wasted, and another "useful idiot" for the AR cause will be born.

This columnist gets it about animal rights

Here is a fantastic op-ed piece that really is a must-read, especially for those who maybe still do not understand the difference between animal rights and animal welfare. The author, Colleen Carroll Campbell, cuts rights to the chase about what is probably the core belief of AR-ism: that humans and animals have equal moral value. I particularly like this statement: "More soothing rhetoric and sentimental appeals often disguise the misanthropic message of the animal rights movement: that the human person is just another animal with no greater dignity or claim to life, liberty and happiness than any other.". That just about fits the AR moral mindset to a tee. That's the warped, misanthropic mentality that allows Jerry Vlasak to spew the kind of murderous rhetoric that he does. After all, if humans and animals are morally indistinguishable, then it is logical after all to kill X number of scientists in order to save X+1 number of lab rats is it not? It's the same warped, misanthropic mentality that allows PeTA to imply that slaughtering chickens for food is morally equivalent to the murder of Jews in the Holocaust. It's the same warped, misanthropic mentality that allows Ingrid Newkirk to claim that if animal research found a cure for AIDS, she would be against it. Kudos to Ms. Campbell for being a straight shooter and telling it like it is.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Poll added

They have a new feature here at Blogger that I though I'd try out that allows you to post a poll of visitors to your blog. It certainly isn't scientific, but I thought I'd try it just for fun. I'm curious to find out if readers think if those threatened by AR extremists should, or should not, posses a firearm for personal protection. There is no right or wrong answer, and although I support the notion, I think both positions have valid points. Thanks for sharing your opinion!

Monday, August 13, 2007

PeTA employee in alleged "dognapping" facing arraignment tomorrow

I commented about a while ago about two PeTA employees who had been accused of allegedly stealing a hunting dog belonging to an animal control officer in rural Virginia. Apparently, the charges against one of the employees, Carrie Beth Edwards, have been dropped. However, the other employee, Andrea Benoit has been indicted on the charge of grand larceny of the dog, a class 5 felony, and she is scheduled for arraignment tomorrow, August 14. The court document concerning the indictment and arraignment can be viewed here ( pdf file ). I'll continue to keep an eye on this as it progresses.

Animal rights violence and the right of self-defense

Yesterday, I commented on a couple of articles about two researchers who have been victims of AR criminal activity once already, and have had threats of further violence directed at them. I got to thinking about the kind of psychological trauma that these people and their families are being subjected to by the extremist AR criminal element. How does one in this situation get a little more sense of personal security and peace of mind while under ongoing threats from such criminals? Sure, they can have security stepped up at their home and place of work, as well as increased law enforcement presence as well. But even the best security measures are not always perfect, and often law enforcement can only show up AFTER one has been victimized by criminals. Enter the Second Amendment to the Constitution of The United States, a fundamental part of The Bill of Rights. In my view, anyone who is being harassed or threatened by AR criminals, or any criminal for that matter, ought to lawfully exercise their right "to keep and bear arms". I think a law-abiding citizen in such an unfortunate position needs to purchase a firearm and get good training in how to use it properly. If legal in their area, they should also seek a concealed carry permit. Self-defense of one's person and one's family is a fundamental legal and moral right. One of the articles I commented on yesterday said that "a possibly messy and tragic showdown is brewing". I hope that is not the case. Being pro-active about one's own self-defense, in my view, can be crucial in preventing one from becoming a tragic victim of society's thugs. It is time to use that right.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Tensions over AR extremism heating up in L.A., Oregon

Animal rights thugs have stepped up their sick little jihad against scientists in both Los Angeles and Oregon recently. I have commented before about the ALF's attempted firebombing of UCLA researcher and pediatric ophthalmologist ( That's right, they're harassing someone who helps kids see better. How freakin' sick is that? ) Dr. Arthur Rosenbaum's car. Here is an excellent article that appeared last week in L.A. Weekly last week that details ALF's terrorizing of Dr. Rosenbaum. The article does of fine job of exposing the role of the inflammatory rhetoric of AR whackjob-in-chief and Hippocratic oath ignorer, trauma surgeon Dr. Jerry Vlasak, in the increasingly tense climate of fear, violence, and intimidation. The last sentence of the article is nothing short of chilling: "A possibly messy and tragic showdown is brewing.". Let us hope not. Let us hope that the terrorists are found, arrested, tried, convicted, and severely punished before that happens. If this unfortunately does end in tragedy, one thing is for sure: Dr. Vlasak, like the coward that he is, certainly will not accept responsibility for the role of his vile rhetoric in it. He will simply let his sycophantic "useful idiots" take the fall.

In a similar story, another researcher in Oregon is being terrorized by AR criminals. The garage door of researcher Dr. Eliot Spindel was spray painted by ALF and a caustic chemical thrown on his daughter's car. A release on the North American ALF website then further threatened Dr. Spindel with more vandalism and violence including broken windows and firebombs. Jim Newman, communications coordinator for Oregon Science & Health University, where Dr. Spindel works, has a great quote here. According to Mr. Newman: “Americans have the right to protest against things they feel strongly about,” Newman said. “But the harassment and frightening small children at researchers’ home and property damage goes clearly beyond the boundaries of what free speech is all about.” Exactly. But ALF terrorists, like their Islamo-fascist brethren, recognize no such boundaries. Like all terrorists, they have no respect for the rule of law or the rights of others, and they have a smug sense of "moral rightness" about their own beliefs that they think somehow gives them license to terrorize those with whom they disagree in order to advance their own agenda.