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".