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Jordan Heron - The Vanity Card Series

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I must be on some sort of animal rant. After last week's diatribe against banning the horse slaughter, I have PETA stuck in my head. And it's not a pretty sight in there.

I have some pretty fundamental issues with extreme "animal rights" groups...

First, I just can't accept the principle that we don't get to use animals. After all, we ARE animals. Looking around the so-called animal kingdom, we see a lot of violence. Not a lot of useless wasteful violence, although there is some. Most of it is violence around survival. Making sure you and your "herd" are safe. Making sure you and your "herd" have food. And if you happened to evolve into a carnivore, making sure you have food usually means killing other things. I really don't see this as a problem. I also don't see the "we have risen above violence" as anything but extremely arrogant. To paraphrase Battlestar Galactica, we have not yet proven that we have any right to be here. So how dare we think we are actually "better" than all the other animals that are here. We eat, sleep, fuck and die. It's kind of natural. Too think we are above that is somewhat presumptuous.

It reminds me of a great Star Trek scene, where Picard is lecturing some culture about killing animals while programming the food replicating machine to give him a turkey dinner. We've risen above killing animals, he says. And I think, so instead of killing, we replicate a nutritonal substitute in the shape and texture of an animal, thereby killing it ceremonially, rather than physically. How sick is that? If you're against eating animals, don't make your food look like animals. Hell, if that's allowed, let's make all the replicator meals look like Wesley Crusher.

But I digress...

Second, even if I DID accecpt the first principal, there's nothing we can do about it now. Lab animals, house pets, domesticated flocks of sheep and herds of pigs and cattle and horses. Do you really think they can survive on their own? We have screwed them over, evolutionarily, by domesticating them. Even if they did deserve to be free, do you think they could be. They couldn't. Most of them would starve and die.

Do you think, if you could ask them, that they'd choose that freedom?

Hey, mister horse, how be I set you free?

Sure, boss, if that's what you think.

By the way, I won't be coming out to feed you or see that the water tank is full three times a day. I won't be having your feet trimmed every six weeks, in case they don't wear evenly. Or having your teeth floated if you chew in a lopsided manner, ending up with abcesses inside your mouth. I know that hurts a lot, so just be more careful when you chew. And I won't be blanketing you if you're cold or calling the vet if you're sick. Oh, and you won't be behind a fence, so watch out for traffic. And hunters.

Yeah, my horse would really be into that kind of life.

I used to raise show rabbits. And yes, I would occasionally eat them. We had one acquaintance that couldn't stomach that thought. She released all her excess rabbits into the woods behind her house. In her mind, there was a lovely colony of angora rabbits living free, right out there in the wilds of her suburb. In point of fact, she often commented on the large number of foxes that she noticed living near her house. Hey, lady, of course there's foxes - you're feeding them rabbits!

Even if we should go back, we can't. So stop calling it PETA, and start calling it "People For Ignoring The Fact That Domestic Animals Can't Be Freed". Or doesn't PFITFTDACBF make a good acronym?

13 October 2010

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