Monday, June 25, 2007

Jerry Vlasak launches insane homicidal diatribe on pro-AR blog

Self-anointed "animal liberation press officer" Dr. Jerry Vlasak has offered up a bizarre, misanthropic, venomous screed in the comments section of a pro-AR blog. Most of this is Dr. Vlasak regurgitating what we have heard from him before: calls for the murder of animal "exploiters", and it really does speak for itself. It is the ranting of a lunatic. There are a couple of statements made by Dr. Vlasak, however, that are worth analyzing:

"Despite all the millions of dollars and untold human hours spent on currently accepted tactics of education, legislation, and demonstrations, more animals are being tortured and killed every year, both in the US and worldwide than at any time in history. As a scientist and physician, I am taught to question techniques that do not improve results."

And as a physician Dr. Vlasak is also taught to be beholden to the Hippocratic oath to do no harm. Yet he is a constant promoter of violence and a purveyor of violent, irresponsible rhetoric. The Hippocratic oath is supposed to be the physician's highest ethical standard, and Dr. Vlasak seems to ignore his responsibility to it at every turn, choosing instead to promote the very opposite: harm to his fellow human beings.

"Fear is an effective factor in altering behavior,......."

Yes indeed, it certainly can be. Just ask al-Qaida and other Islamo-fascist, jihadist groups. They live by the very same same creed as apparently Dr. Vlasak does: if people reject your point of view, then by God, FORCE them to accept it through terror, intimidation and violence. Indeed, the use of fear and intimidation to coerce is the very definition of terrorism. Such tactics have no place in a free, open, and democratic society, Dr. Vlasak.

"Lastly, anyone who believes in the possibility of total animal liberation while billions of humans continue to inhabit and decimate the planet is delusional. Only when most humans have died off will there be a chance to returning to a society that values all beings for who they are."

This one is so insane that it is truly frightening. Now Dr. Vlasak is apparently, at the the very least indirectly, advocating for genocide. I wonder if he would volunteer himself to be in the group of "most humans" who have "died off"? Don't hold your breath. Again, I ask the same question: how can a physician, who swears an oath to not harm people, take such a position and still be considered credible? I leave it to you, the reader, to decide.

I don't believe that most people in the AR movement share Dr. Vlasak's crazy views. He is the most lunatic of the lunatic fringe. Something also tells me that Dr. Vlasak wouldn't actually himself do the things he advocates, because, like the rest of radical AR leadership, he is a coward. He has no intention of giving up his ivory tower for 6x6 cell and a girlfriend named Bubba. But if he can find at least one "useful idiot" who is willing to do his bidding, then he has, at least in part, accomplished his goal. Dr. Vlasak's latest trip into madness reminds me of this great quote by Roy McMurty, Attorney General of the province of Ontario, which I will leave you to ponder:

"It is important to answer the mad man. It is important because, left unanswered, his lies and his malice can poison the climate. They can do worse. They can make other men mad. Left unanswered for long enough, they can nourish everything in men and women that is hateful and destructive and murderous. Our end is to ensure that every time the madman shouts in the market place, he is answered."

Dr. Vlasak and his ilk are madmen, and their "shouting in the marketplace" must be answered.


Anonymous said...

Well Said!!!

padraig said...

You have Vlasak pegged perfectly. He advocates and even solicits violence but it's always in his "sure would be nice if someone else would do something" way. God forbid he should get his hands dirty.

He may hate fur, but he sure loves to weasel.

Roger Yates said...

Your articles "debunking" animal rights are very weak. Take, for example, the nonsense from Edwin Locke in 'Animal "Rights" Versus Human Rights'. Locke writes, "man's rights do not depend on his ability to feel pain; they depend on his ability to think." Of course humans can think of rights - and one reason why rights are needed for the protection they offer is that we feel pain: that we feel pain turns out to be an excellent reason for thinking up the idea of rights. Therefore, all sentient animals, thinkers or otherwise, such as human babies, can benefit from rights-based claims.

Locke also asserts that, "Rights protect men against the use of force by other men." Likewise, rights can protect children, the elderly and those who are mentally differently abled 'against the use of force by other men'. Clearly, many nonhuman individuals are in a similar situation, needing and deserving this protection, regardless of whether they can think in ways that some human animals can.


Grizzly Bear said...

Thank you for your comments. The basis of rights has been discussed extensively here before. The idea of rights is a human construction that is based upon reciprocation, personal responsibility, and moral judgment. Please go to the blog archive and go to the May 8 post, where a lengthy, but very well-made argument showing why this causes the idea of animal rights to fail can be found. The author also shows why the "argument from marginal human cases" that you are hinting at, fails under scrutiny. I will not revisit the same territory here, as it would be simply redundant and overly time consuming to do so, but please read that post and subsequent discussion, and feel free to comment, if you like. As I said before, rights is based upon reciprocation, personal responsibility and moral judgment. These things require the thoughts of a rational being, which is what I think Locke is hinting at when he says "they depend upon his ability to think". I'm not sure how this qualifies as "nonsense". Without rational thought, the idea of rights falls apart, and ceases to exist, much like a building without a foundation. BTW, how exactly does this relate to this post about about Vlasak and his little homicidal diatribe?

Roger Yates said...

Sorry I posted in the wrong place - I was sent this thread and then saw the other material.

Thanks for pointing me toward the May debate - including a 11,000 'letter' from the 'ex-AR' and veggie (if veggie probably not AR in the first place).

I find some rather large holes in this reciprocity thesis - including a potential misreading of what rights are in AR - i.e. fences that protect those who require certain types of protection. Therefore, the notion of sentience is not arbitary at all - but one heck of a good reason why a being could do with some protecting: it is the logical basis of some claimed "human rights" such as the right not to be tortured.


Grizzly Bear said...

"Thanks for pointing me toward the May debate - including a 11,000 'letter' from the 'ex-AR' and veggie (if veggie probably not AR in the first place)."

Just how would you know she is not formerly AR and not a vegetarian, sir? I have been reading Carol's analysis of AR issues for quite a while now, and I find her to be quite knowledgeable and credible. I must say Roger, I find it very presumptuous and arrogant of you to be that cynical about someone you don't even know. For someone with an advanced degree, such commentary isn't very professional, IMHO. Furthermore, this isn't so much a "letter" as it is a guest post on this subject that I invited this person to make.

"I find some rather large holes in this reciprocity thesis - including a potential misreading of what rights are in AR - i.e. fences that protect those who require certain types of protection."

Which is it Roger? Do you believe in rights for animals or do you believe in protections for animals? The two are not the same thing. If you only believe in "protections" for animals, then I would argue that you are not an animal rightist, but rather an animal welfarist. AR, as I understand the concept, believes that animals are not to be "exploited" by humans under any circumstances. AW, on the other hand, recognizes the human need for use of animals, but believes we have a moral duty to protect animals from gratuitous cruelty in that use. We already have various laws in place that give protections to everything from wildlife to lab animals to pets to food animals. If you simply believe that some of those welfare "protections" may not be strong enough, then you and I may actually have some common ground. Again, that is a welfare, not a rights position.

Roger Yates said...

GB - I am not questioning whether Carol is a vegetarian or not. You raise the rights-welfare distinction - I was merely pointing out that the latter advocates are vegetarian at best. The rights view is associated more strongly with veganism.

The rights view of Gary Francione would suggest that many nonhuman animals, as rightholders, are protected from being the property of human animals. It is in this important sense that protections are important - AR would rule out rather than regulate use so, to answer your question, I take a rights not welfare position on human-nonhuman relations.