Animal Rights is a World Problem, Not Just a Sportsman’s Dilemma
By: Dennis Foster Date: 02/25/2012 Category: | Animal Rights Extremism |
Paul McCartney and other celebrities are rekindling the attack on hunting in England. Animal rights groups use popular celebrities to attract enormous and effective press coverage for their cause. Last year's 300,000-strong march on London bought time for the Countryside Alliance, but time passes and the antis are bringing the issues back into public view.
Animal rights activism must be recognized as a threat not only to sportsmen but also to an entire way of life. Hunting exists in England today because the diverse country people set aside personal differences and, through the Alliance, rallied to fight a common enemy. On a larger scale, whole nations must also put aside their differences to fight a global animal rights threat. England is on the front lines in the battle against the antis and urban domination. Winning in England is imperative to the rest of the developed world. Animal rights organizations are well-funded and have been internationally coordinated for some time. The same organizations that confront the British threaten other nations. The tactics are the same in each country. They continue to appeal to an urban population, which constitutes the voting majority. They use celebrities to project their messages to the media. We continue to squander our assets defending individual issues such as hunting with hounds or with weapons and we lose sight of the animal rights master plan: a petless, meatless society. It is a mission so radical that it is unbelievable to the public eye and ear. We must expose the master plan. So far, we have failed to convince the public how much it will affect their lives.
North America and the United Kingdom are wasting time and money because they are not learning from each other's mistakes or capitalizing on each other's accomplishments. Other nations, like some individual country groups not affected, are apathetic. Some of our groups appear to believe that if they don't get involved, maybe the antis will leave them alone.
The threat of urban majority and disunity
The animal rights movement has been able to advance because of urbanization and the inability of countryside organizations to unite. Country life cultures have become the minorities throughout industrial nations, and their lifestyles are in danger of being dictated by urban majorities. These urban people receive their education in animals and wildlife through Disneyland fantasy. Huge, well-organized animal rights organizations feed the fires that pressure politicians and the media to keep anti-hunting issues in front of the public.
Animal rights groups like the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Humane Society of the US, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and the Animal Liberation Front all coordinate their activities and work in some degree throughout Europe and North America. These organizations are bureaucracies with well-paid staffs.
It is time to expand our thought processes and our base of support. Each country must get industry involved. Animal rights groups target businesses that profit from animals, businesses such as sporting goods and clothing manufacturers, animal feed companies, pharmaceutical companies, and the meat and fishing industries. These types of businesses must increase their financial support to those fighting on the front lines.
Tracking the funds
We might be less concerned over the individual politician's attempt to pass laws criminalizing our activities and more concerned about exposing his or her motivation for supporting animal rights. Tracking the money trail to campaign finances is a means of doing this. We need to identify the organization pressuring that politician and contributing to his political campaign. Animal rights success is predicated on our inability to expose them for who they are and what they stand for and on our failure to address the issues to the public's satisfaction.
Animal rights capitalizes on public confusion. Their names confuse the public. We are not sure what each of the organizations really stands for. Most of the public believes they are humane organizations, but they are not: animal rights and humane organizations are not the same.
Animal rights groups are political organizations. Their funds and efforts focus on changing laws to suit their beliefs. True humane organizations concentrate on preventing animal suffering and abuse. Most of us support humane organizations. However, many of us unwittingly support animal rights groups because of their clever use of names and their ability to capitalize on humane issues. These groups take humane issues to the public to obtain funding, but the funding does not necessarily go to the humane issue. It more often funds rights issues.
The domino effect
Animal rights doctrine believes that animals have the same rights as humans. Paramount in understanding this movement is accepting that the goal is a petless, meatless society. To achieve the goal, animal rights activists target individual pastimes one by one. By doing so, they are able to get financial support from those involved in similar activities who do not yet realize they are also targets.
We call this the domino effect: first attack those activities that appeal most to the public's sense of outrage (trapping) and those that involve a small number of people who are unable to muster the resources to fight back (foxhunting). Take them down one at a time.
There is an order of ranking among animal rights organizations. The degree of radicalism in each is designed to appeal to a different segment of society. The larger, more successful organizations concentrate on softer, less radical issues that are popular with the public. At the same time, more radical groups concentrate on issues that forge new frontiers with the public. For example, the majority of animal rights organizations will support an anti-hunting campaign while the radical organizations generate publicity against fishing to get the public thinking that fishing is wrong as well, and they begin projects to eliminate zoos and animal parks.
The groups intend to abolish each of these pastimes, one by one, while they keep the financial backing of interests yet to be targeted. As a classic example of the crusade, animal rights groups intentionally stayed away from fishing issues in England. Fishing is just too popular and after all, the sponsor of the hunting ban bill is a fisherman. The groups weren't necessarily looking for support from the fishermen, they just didn't want the fishermen to rally to the hunters' cause. While they were leaving hands off the fishing sport in England, however, they were actively attempting to ban the sport in the US.
Emotion vs logic
To stop animal rights, we must address issues that have been used by these groups most successfully. Their most effective weapon has been emotion. The countryside movement will never gain majority support by appealing to fact or logic alone. It's no contest; emotion wins every time. If the public considers practices to be cruel or inhumane or believes stress is wrong for the animals, then we lose.
But it is a definition we are dealing with, not a quantifiable term. Words such as stress, cruel, and inhumane mean different things to each of us. Humane feelings are defined individually, depending on past experiences and their consequent perspectives. Few of us would agree to the same definition.
We must re-define these words in a way that makes sense to the public. An example: animal rights groups have been successful in getting the media to show films of dead animals being torn apart by hounds. To most people, this would appear to be cruel or inhumane. But put in proper context, while it still may be offensive, it can be understood as a natural process. A dead animal being torn apart is just a different means of consumption and, obviously, dead animals don't feel pain. Is that scene very different from father carving the Christmas turkey while the kids gnaw at the drumsticks? These types of analogies are necessary if we hope to at least gain public tolerance. We must use examples the common urban dweller can understand.
Animal rights targets
If we put all the animal rights targets into four categories, the Animal Rights Doctrine Master Plan is easier to understand. The principle or rationale for eradicating one activity sets the stage (and the precedent) for all of them to be abolished.
- Trapping, hunting, and fishing are essential tools for wildlife management and bring funding to wildlife and habitat conservation, yet are condemned by animal rights groups as inhumane because they result in killing animals.
- Horse shows, dog and horse racing, rodeos, polo matches, three-day and carriage events, endurance riding, show jumping, dressage, dog and cat shows, and other types of competitions involving animals are marked for elimination because they are "exploitive" and result in stress, which is considered a form of animal abuse by activists.
- Circuses, zoos, aquariums, nature parks, and pets are on the animal rights' list for banning as exploitive. Animal rights groups consider pets as slaves and confinement of animals for education or entertainment to be cruel.
- Fur industry, animal-based medical research, animal and fish farming, and eating meat or fish are considered both murderous and barbarous by animal rights groups and are targeted for elimination.
We don't have to like these animal-based activities. We don't have to agree on whether this one or that one is right or wrong.
We simply have to:
- learn to tolerate each other's legal activities;
- take the lead in formulating reasonable and acceptable guidelines for the conduct of our activities, and
- do our best to educate the public.
The English have not concentrated on fighting animal rights groups or exposing their hidden agendas. They continue instead to fight only the individual politicians and their new anti-hunting bills. This lack of understanding insulate animal rights organizations. On the other hand, the exposure of animal rights philosophies and political influence was influential in last year's defeat of animal rights referenda to stop various forms of hunting in the US. For several years, animal rights organizations have been successful in using referenda to abolish different hunting practices in individual states. In 1998, the hunters won against animal rights campaigns in Alaska, Minnesota, Ohio, Utah, and Wyoming. They won despite starting out considerably behind in the polls in some of these states. Pro-hunting forces won when they got an early start organizing and implementing an extensive fund-raising effort and used professionals to craft and deliver their messages to the voters. They triumphed because they did not dwell on individual issues but concentrated on exposing the full agenda of animal rights groups and the intent to use one ban to set the stage for elimination of all animal-related activities. The strategy worked because it appealed to common sense.
We must convince our governments that country minorities have the right to live our lifestyles and follow our traditions and heritage just as other minority groups have the right to pursue their traditions and heritage. We must demand these minority considerations from our governments. Without minority considerations, we cannot expect to win. Every time animal rights groups take an issue to the polls, we are in grave danger of losing just because of sheer numbers.
Just as the countryside movement united diverse groups in England, nations must unite to present a world front against animal rights usurpation of our rights.
Here's what we must do:
- Identify the animal rights organizations behind the attacks and their hidden agendas.
- Identify the politicians manipulated by animal rights groups and expose their motivation by identifying their lobbyists and campaign supporters.
- Deal with the issues of precedent and try not to ignore or denigrate other issues while defending our own.
- Draw major industries, pet owners, meat eaters and any other group that may become a target of animal rights activism into the battle.
- Police our own organizations and institute appropriate guidelines of behavior before government or animal-rights-oriented bureaucrats intervene.
- Counter the emotional ploys used by animal rights organizations and expose their deceptive practices and how they capitalize on subjective terms and definitions.
- Address the activists use of inflammatory words such as "cruel," "inhumane," and "stress" with objective definitions that make sense to the general public.
- Make a clear distinction between animal rights organizations and humane organizations.
- Avoid attempts to be politically correct and instead concentrate on being politically sensitive.
- Obtain minority considerations from our governments to give us time to educate the urban majority before they make us all criminals.
- Identify teachers who are teaching animal rights propaganda to our school children.
- Continue to educate the public using scientific facts and proven wildlife management principles.
- Hold our educational institutions, the media, and our politicians accountable to the truth.
- Educate the public to the distinctions between fantasy and prejudice. We must do all of these things to save country lifestyles in industrial nations for future generations.
About The Author
All Authors Of This Article: | Dennis Foster |