Saturday, March 31, 2007

The charade of veganism part 1: Veganism's inconvenient truth

There are many in the AR/vegan movement that like to label their lifestyle as "cruelty-free". It's a term that seems to get thrown around quite a bit. Indeed, one need only Google "cruelty-free living" and links to several guides to "cruelty-free living" will be provided. But just how "cruelty-free" is the allegedly "cruelty-free" AR/vegan lifestyle? Is it really all it's cracked up to be , or are ARAs only doing lip service to the term? I think that closer analysis reveals that the "cruelty-free" lifestyle is rather hollow indeed. Consider this. Most grains, fruits and vegetables are grown in large-scale agriculture. These large farms use machinery to cultivate, harvest and process the crops. The fields on farms are often home to small animals such as field mice and birds, for example. These animals are often run over by, or get sucked up into the machinery during harvesting, cultivation, etc. Not only does this cause animal death, can you imagine the suffering involved in being chopped up alive in the bowels of a combine? Additionally, the use of land for agriculture also deprives some wildlife of valuable habitat, particularly wetland species such as waterfowl. Furthermore, grain elevators, where harvested grains are stored, employ poisons, traps, and other such methods for controlling mice, rats, and other pests. Yet more suffering and death. Finally there is the pesticide issue. Unless one is only consuming organically or veganically grown produce and grains, something I doubt most vegans do, the foods they are eating come from crops that have been sprayed with pesticides to control insects, which are, of course animals. Yet more massive animal death. The fact of the matter is, large scale destruction of animals IS involved in production of most so-called "vegan" foods. No matter how hard the AR community tries to spin it, this fact cannot be denied. In the next post, we'll look at some of the excuses and rationalizations offered by ARAs when they attempt to dismiss what is their own hypocritical "inconvenient truth".

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Indoctrinate U.

I'm going to leave to the AR topic for just a moment. There is a new documentary coming out, appropriately titled IndoctrinateU that I think could be very, very important. This film exposes the growing suppression of thought and expression that is not "politically correct" or leftist in nature that has become a cancer on the campuses of so many American colleges and universities. It sad that what should be the leading marketplace of ideas has degenerated into a cesspool of the thought police and the jackboots of political correctness. You can find out more, and watch a trailer here. This could one to keep an eye on.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

A bear cub and the paradox of animal rights

This story about a polar bear cub named Knut and the AR lunatic that wants him dead has made its way around the globe in the past week. The paradox here is absolutely mind-boggling. If animals truly have rights, as the ARA Mr. Albrecht presumably believes, then how can it possibly be ethical to kill this cub? After all, the right to life is the most basic, most sacred right of all. Without the right to life, all other rights are rendered irrelevant. Just because Knut was born into a situation, a zoo, that Mr. Albrecht and his ilk find objectionable, that should not render Knut's "right" to live as non-existent should it? This is a prime example of the kind of hypocrisy that infects the AR movement. We also see this with PeTA. They pontificate ad nauseum about the supposed "rights" of animals while they kill homeless pets by the thousands. IMHO, animal liberation types like Mr. Albrecht are complete phonies. They use the "rights" of animals simply as a facade for their lust for power and desire for control over human society's relationship with animals. They are apparently willing to trample on the very "rights" they claim to champion when such "rights" present an inconvenience to their greater ideological goals.
I find it interesting that none of the pro-AR blogs I have glanced at this week have come out and condemned Mr. Albrecht, or even bothered to comment on this story for that matter. When it comes to the outrageous words or actions of their peers, supposedly "moderate" or "mainstream" ARAs seem to have a "hear no evil, see no evil" attitude. It seems to be an unwritten rule in the AR culture that you do not criticize or condemn a fellow ARA.
I humbly suggest that the world would be a better place if we had more bears and fewer AR wingnuts. How about we keep Knut and euthanize Frank Albrecht instead?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Reminder: "Meatout" 2007 on Tuesday Mar. 20th

Just a reminder, "The Great American Meatout 2007" is Tuesday March 20th. I suggest celebrating with a nice steak, rack of ribs, or chicken breast thrown on the grill if the weather is nice. Maybe a trip to your favorite steak house, seafood restaurant, or barbecue joint. Whatever your favorite highly carnivorous treat happens to be. If you really want to be politically incorrect, maybe try foie gras. If you're in Chicago, this would be even more fun because its contraband! Think of it as a celebration of all that is hedonistic and enjoyable in this short life, and a big symbolic middle finger to sanctimonious, freedom-grabbing ARAs, food cops, and vega-fascists.

PeTA's latest idiocy posing as "art"

It seems that the folks at PeTA are back to their old ways of trying to be as offensive as possible as an attention seeking device. In the same spirit as the infamous "Holocaust On A Plate", "Animal Liberation Project" and the "he died for your sins" billboard, PeTA has now launched this little piece of garbage posing as intelligent social commentary. Like its predecessors, this "diner" featuring famous vegetarians at the Last Supper seems to have the gravitas of a feather. And like its predecessors, it too will probably be left to simply rot on the ash pile of history. Something tells me that this won't be very popular in religiously conservative Texas. I'm not sure why PeTA thinks that offending people's basic sensibilities is a way to win new converts to their cause. The similar stunts mentioned above only served to alienate people. As Einstein said, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Still, I for one hope they keep doing it. For one, it's just too damn much fun to comment on, and two, if they want to shoot themselves in the foot, that's just fine with me.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

AR jackassery from north of the border

AR groups are well known for their penchant for exploiting youth and children for ideological gain. For example, PeTA uses its "TeachKind" propaganda to attempt to get a foothold into taxpayer-funded public schools to indoctrinate kids into AR-ism and veganism. So really, this story about a Vancouver, B.C.-based AR group's plans to use children in a protest against the annual Canadian seal hunt certainly comes as no surprise to those of us who have a healthy amount of cynicism about the AR movement. Even though it isn't surprising, it still causes me to bristle and makes me mad as hell that people insist on stooping to this level. I find Mr. Hearn's comments to be spot on. What Liberation B.C. is doing is indeed "sick" and "utterly despicable" to use Mr. Hearn's appropriate words. It goes beyond the actions of Liberation B.C., however. All of this really begs the bigger question: what the f*ck is wrong with the parents? I believe strongly that it is the right of parents, not zealous ideologues or government bureaucrats, to pass on their values to their children, even when said values are somewhat bizarre and out of the mainstream, such as AR. However, parents teaching their children their beliefs and values is NOT the same as knowingly and willfully allowing their children to become someone else's political or ideological pawns. One must question how serious any parent who would allow Liberation B.C., or any other group for that matter, to exploit their children in this way takes their parental responsibilities.
I would challenge anyone to defend the actions of Liberation B.C. and their moonbat-in-chief, Ms. Chang, but you're going to offer a better defense than the farce of one put up by Ms. Chang. I guess I can't really blame Ms. Chang for her inane response, however. After all, when you're trying to defend the indefensible, you're bound to come out looking silly.

Good discussion on animal rights on national talk radio today

Nationally syndicated radio talk show host Dennis Prager had a pretty good discussion on his show today about animal rights. It stemmed from a story about Buddhist monks whose temple has been infested by venomous red fire ants and how the the monks will not exterminate them because of their philosophy of "non-violence". I certainly don't agree with Prager on every issue ( he's a religious conservative and I'm a secular libertarian), but I do respect him as a critical thinker. As an agnostic leaning somewhat toward atheism, I take issue with Prager's notion that "secular thinking" or "secular values" leads to the idea that human life and animal life are of equal moral worth. Having said that, Prager does a pretty elegant job of exposing some of the people who subscribe to the equal moral worth dogma of animal rights, simply by letting them speak for themselves. The folly of some of the callers who support the human/animal moral equivalency idea is really quite priceless. You can listen here. Simply click on the listen icon under the "Humans v. Red Ants" title. Enjoy.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Stupidity in Spain

This kind of stuff really pisses me off for several reasons. First off, is simply the fact that it is simply idiotic, gratuitous cruelty that seems to serve no real legitimate purpose. Secondly, is the effect that this kind of idiocy has on legitimate hunting. ARAs would be quick to try to attempt to link this type of activity with traditional hunting in their propaganda. It is not hunting, however. There is nothing about catapulting baby quail into the air and shooting them that is in the spirit of conservation, sportsmanship, or fair chase. Nothing at all. This is the kind of thing that all sportsmen should be quick to condemn. Our future depends upon making sure the public clearly understands the difference between sportsmanship and gratuitous cruelty and stupidity.

Friday, March 2, 2007

One year later, Pro Test controlling research debate

This is some good news coming out of the UK. According to this article, one year after it was formed by 16 year-old Laurie Pycroft, the pro-research group Pro Test has shifted public opinion in favor of research as the new research lab at Oxford nears completion. It seems to me that there are three important factors that have led to Pro Test's success, and I think some ideas about how ARAs should be dealt with in the court of public opinion can be gleaned here. First, is that the British government has, within the past year, seriously cracked down on the country's worst AR terrorists. Virtually all of Britain's most violent AR criminals are now where they belong: behind bars. It's a lot easier to get those who support ongoing research to come out publicly with there support when they aren't facing arson, beatings, death threats, and other such criminal activity. Secondly, the university itself has cracked down on over-the-top, excessive protesting tactics used by ARAs. Now, I fully support the free speech rights of everyone to express their opinions. However, I think it is pretty well established that one person's free speech rights cannot violate the rights of another person. The university has, rightfully, in my opinion, restricted protesters to demonstrations that do not disrupt the day-to-day activities of the university. Other people have the right to pursue their studies without continual disruption from protesters. Finally, and most importantly, is that scientists themselves are informing the public about their work. This, I think, is key. When the public is informed about the goals and methods of research, they are more likely to support it. When the public is ignorant, they are less likely to support it, and more likely to buy into AR propaganda. When a scientist speaks, I don't believe that the word of pseudo-philosophical ideologues can compare to it in credibility. Hopefully the Brits, many of which have long been bogged down in AR insanity, are finally returning to some science and reason.