I spoke at an animal welfare conference. Several speakers gave interesting presentations. A researcher said that among millenials twice as many women as men research animal welfare on the web; among baby-boomers – four times as many women as men. A defense attorney said USDA wins in 100 percent of enforcement actions because they charge so many different infractions that some always stick. As interesting as were speakers, I was most moved by the participants.
The participants love their animals. Some were volunteer animal caregivers and others have their livelihoods tied to the well-being of their animals. But their commonality whether for dogs, snakes, monkeys, big cats, or owls was the welfare of the animals they own and deeply love.
They came together because the “animal rights” movement wants to end human ownership of animals. This end of ownership view sees no form of life as more valuable than another form of life. The net result of this “reductionism” is that frogs have the same value than humans. You can’t own people so you can’t have a dog or a cat or work or food animal.
However, the participants see animals in terms of relative value rather than equivalent value. The animal has value in and of itself as a creature in the wild; but also it is valuable in terms of its benefit to humanity. A medical researcher at another conference at which I spoke said of her lab animals, “Every animal is someone’s (medical) miracle.”
This little band of animal lovers to whom I spoke is woefully outgunned by the ASPCA, HSUS, PETA, etc. HSUS for example has 11 million members, a $160,000,000 annual budget, and lots of political power. These just a few well-meaning ‘moms and pops’, none of whom I expect has any money. All they have is love.
I wish these wanna-be animal welfare lobbyists the best. It was the love I saw in them that motivated me to serve them pro bono. I hope their love carries them forward.