HUMAN RIGHTS vs. ANIMAL RIGHTS
Only Christian cultures wrestle with the difference between animal rights and animal welfare so this Christmas we need to understand how that happened.
TEACHING ANIMAL RIGHTS
Roberta Lee, PhD, Science Editor | December 2013
Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims comprise the largest religious sectors on the planet and they are not concerned with what we term “animal rights” or more ambiguously, animal welfare.
So let us go back to Genesis in which we learn that God decreed we shall “have dominion over the fish of the seas, over the fowl of the air. And over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
As an educator, I postulate the conflict is because we and our children have been confused by teaching materials, from elementary school through university levels.
As far back as 1992, prominent educators warned us of the “Trojan Horse” in our culture. Patrick H. Cleveland, Ph.D said “A chilling indication of how misinformed they (students) are came in a 1991 Gallup poll demonstrating 67% of American teenagers "support animal rights" including bans on all laboratory and medical tests that use animals. They appear to be unaware of the serious consequences of such a ban.” Remember, this was 1992 in which he prophetically stated “How well today's students understand it will affect the fate of millions in the next century through education, regulatory and political processes.”
He also observed “animal rights groups such as the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have developed propaganda programs aimed at school children” but his real concern at that time will surprise you. While most animal owners had heard “animal welfare” and the name PETA was familiar, although misunderstood - no one suspected the true threat to our children’s education. Dr. Cleveland, with uncanny foresight went on to state “A far more dangerous assault has been launched on the classroom by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) under the Trojan Horse of environmentalism, saving endangered species and ‘animal protectionism’. This camouflaged assault is welcomed through the front doors of the schools by many unsuspecting environmentally conscious teachers and administrators as it is proffered by an established group that is well respected for its previous work in animal welfare - HSUS.”
We must, as parents, educators and scholars, confront truth. Life in the wild is not like a Disney movie. It is violent and cruel. Life frequently ends in sickness, injury, or being killed and eaten by predators. In nature, there is always a pecking order among animals of the same species and it is ruthlessly enforced. These facts of nature are often ignored by the animal rights groups who say if humans left animals alone, animal suffering would end.
While it is true that animals are caged, penned, experimented on, hunted, shot, trapped, and slaughtered, were it not for that fact of life, our forefathers would have frozen to death instead of evolving as nomads who conquered continents; in fact, we would not have evolved from pre-historic, dull-witted, leaf-eating mammals into protein-eating omnivores, capable of projected reasoning and cognitive skills.
Certainly we would not have used horses, oxen, and dogs to move ourselves and our goods, to cultivate and conquer our land and to help fight our battles. We would not have medical advances that save human lives. Without life-extending advances developed through animal research, you probably would not have even known your grandparents. In fact, you might not have survived as an infant.
Throughout my professional life, I have struggled with animal issues. There are no easy answers but a lot of progress has been made in the last 50 years. There are laws designed to minimize the suffering of animals on the farm, in laboratories, during shipment, even at slaughter houses. But typical of human nature, we’ve gone to extremes in protecting animals - and in how we educate our children.
In the 90’s, California incorporated HSUS's educational program as part of its environmental education curriculum guide. “ Animal Rights ii” had yet to become a buzz word so teachers failed to recognize that HSUS's animal protection philosophy was not animal welfare but was instead, an animal rights philosophy based on the precept that it is morally wrong for humans to use animals in any way whatsoever. History teachers should have rebelled, knowing that man has always used animals, without which we could not have advanced our own history. Civics teachers should have seen what was coming but obviously, they did not. But then neither did religious leaders...
Consequently, our entire political, moral, and religious foundation was changed. HSUS, calling itself "animal protectionists" in order to not be confused with the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and PETA, leaned heavily on the environmental theme as it infiltrated our educational system. Did your children receive an HSUS newsletter in the 90’s? It was called "Kids in Nature's Defense" and it went out to millions of elementary school students across country. HSUS also developed a “Student Action Guide” that promoted radical activism and support of new earth and animal protection clubsConsequently, our entire political, moral, and religious foundation was changed. HSUS, calling itself "animal protectionists" in order to not be confused with the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and PETA, leaned heavily on the environmental theme as it infiltrated our educational system. Did your children receive an HSUS newsletter in the 90’s? It was called "Kids in Nature's Defense" and it went out to millions of elementary school students across country. HSUS also developed a “Student Action Guide” that promoted radical activism and support of new earth and animal protection clubs.
Sure you helped your kids with multiplication tables, learning to read and write well, but how well did you monitor the peripheral education your child was receiving?
PETA now also provides teaching materials which many educators gladly accept if for no other reason, it saves hours of prep time. Do you ask to see such material? Well, if you didn’t know your child was being indoctrinated at the most “elementary” level, you would not know to ask. Is it too late? Or do you and your offspring already share vastly different concepts about religion, politics, and animal rights?
TALK TO TEACHERS. Whether you have children in school or not, your taxes pay teacher salaries and it is your right to insist that teachers are factually correct, in step with our cultural majority, unbiased, and fully informed on the animal rights agenda. Take or email this article to teachers and principals in your area and follow up to be sure they have read and digested the truth. It may be contrary to what a teacher personally believes or what they themselves were taught, but it is our religious foundation and the freedoms for which Americans have fought and died across the globe.
Our religious beliefs tells us what to do and how to treat animals. Within all of us, there is a voice that we too often ignore. Oh we hear it all right but sometimes we decide not to listen because it conflicts with what we were taught. Is it right to raise animals for food? Is it right to own and keep animals? Would your saddle horse, house cat, or dog live longer and better in the wild? All of these questions are answered from within and by logic.
Whether you believe in Creationism or Evolution, ask yourself whether as a human being, it was meant for you to have dominion and control over (other) animals? If the answer is yes, then you have a duty to protect and care for them.
You don’t need a university professor, a legislator, and least of all, HSUS or PETA to tell you how to respect other living creatures.
If you own a dog and you recognize him as your friend, I don’t have to remind you that your dog is the only living sentient being that gives love and fidelity without question, an animal that will give its life for the one they love unconditionally.
Everything, yes everything is on this earth for a reason. Regardless of your religious affiliation, you know that every living thing is a part of the whole, and it is part of us ourselves. That is the message we should impart this Christmas as we shun the subversive (political) message of animal “rights.” My dog and my cat care not a whit about Animal Rights ii. They only care about me.