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A Rat Is a Pig Is a Dog Is a Boy: The Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement Hardcover – March 2, 2010
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Like every antidemocratic ideology, this one [animal rights] is by definition antihuman, and like any antihuman ideology, it ultimately deteriorates into a nihilistic bitterness that is anti-life. . . . Wesley J. Smith knows too well that if the activists ever succeeded in their goals, if they established through culture or law that human beings have no intrinsic dignity greater than that of any animal, the world would not be a better place for either humankind or animals.”
About the Author
More About the Author
Smith left the full time practice of law in 1985 to pursue a career in writing and public advocacy. He is the author or coauthor of eleven books.
His book Forced Exit: Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide and the New Duty to Die (1997, Times Books), a broad-based criticism of the assisted suicide/euthanasia movement has become a classic in anti-euthanasia advocacy and is now in its third edition published by Encounter Books in 2006. Smith's Culture of Death: The Assault on Medical Ethics in America, a warning about the dangers of the modern bioethics movement, was named one of the Ten Outstanding Books of the Year and Best Health Book of the Year for 2001 (Independent Publisher Book Awards). His Consumer's Guide to a Brave New World, which he explores the morality, science, and business aspects of human cloning, stem cell research, and genetic engineering, appeared in 2004.
Smith next authored A Rat is a Pig is a Dog is a Boy: The Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement, a critical look at the animal rights/liberation movement. The best selling novelist Dean Koontz writes of the book in the preface, "Wesley J. Smith knows too well that if the activists ever succeeded in their goals, if they established through culture or law that human beings have no intrinsic dignity greater than that of any animal, the world would not be a better place for either humankind or animals."
Smith's most recently published book is The War On Humans, an ebook that critiques the growing radicalism within the environmental movement. The legendary civil libertarian, Nat Hentoff, praised the work: "If there were an international award for continuing to focus on and document cultural and political threats to basic human life and potential-I emphasize human--the winner would be Wesley J. Smith... [In The War on Humans] Smith has now written a riveting expose of this multi-dimensional assault on human beings that for life saving reasons--I kid you not--must be read by human beings beyond their political, religious, and all other affiliations."
Smith formerly collaborated with Ralph Nader, co-authoring four books with consumer advocate. In addition, he co-authored (with Eric M. Chevlen, MD), Power Over Pain: How to Get the Pain Control You Need.
Smith has published hundreds of articles and opinion columns on issues such as the importance of being human (human exceptionalism), assisted suicide, bioethics, the morality of human cloning, the dangers of animal liberation, the anti-human elements in the radical environmental movement, legal ethics, and public affairs. His writing has appeared nationally and internationally, including in Newsweek, New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Forbes, The Weekly Standard, First Things, National Review, The Age (Australia), the Telegraph (United Kingdom), Western Journal of Medicine, and the American Journal of Bioethics. He has also been published in regional publications throughout the nation and internationally in newspapers in the UK, Italy, Australia, and Canada.
Throughout his career in public advocacy, Smith has appeared on thousands of television and radio talk/interview programs, including such national programs as ABC Nightline, Good Morning America, Larry King Live, CNN Crossfire, CNN World Report, the CBS Evening News, Coast to Coast, the Dennis Prager syndicated radio show, The Dennis Miller Show, the Mike Gallagher syndicated radio show, Afternoons with Al Kresta, EWTN, CSPAN-Book TV, Fox News Channel, and CNN Talk Back Live. He has appeared internationally on Voice of America, CNN International, and programs originating in Great Britain (BBC), Australia (ABC), Canada (CBC), Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Germany, China, and Mexico.
Smith is often called upon by members of legislative and executive branches of government to advise on issues within his fields of expertise. He has testified as an expert witness in front of federal and state legislative committees, and has counseled government leaders internationally about matters of mutual concern.
Smith is an international lecturer and public speaker, appearing frequently at political, university, medical, legal, disability rights, bioethics, religious, and community gatherings across the United States, Europe, Mexico, Canada, South Africa, and Australia.
Top Customer Reviews
The book is divided into three sections. The first addresses the ideology and non-violent aspects of animal rights (AR) activism. Smith explains how the AR movement frequently utilizes propaganda like techniques to sway the public to their cause. Part II reveals the more sinister side of the movement by detailing terroristic activities perpetrated by members of the radical fringe of the AR movement, such as the Animal Liberation Front. Perhaps the most frightening aspect of this section is how Smith carefully shows how mainstream AR activists have failed to harshly condemn violence and terror used to further their cause and in some cases even employed those involved in violent activities. The last section explains how animals have benefited humans and how adoption of the AR agenda will diminish humanity. Of particular note, is his careful discussion of the role animal testing has in medical advances which contradicts the repeated claims of many AR activists and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
Smith is careful with his wording and avoids painting with broad strokes. He concedes examples of cruelty when he believes the evidence supports it. In my opinion, Smith's greatest contribution consists in his insight into the way AR activists manipulate the media, the public, and assault the judicial system in a take-no-prisoners attempt to implement their agenda.Read more ›
Those arguing for animal rights have to of course deny that there is anything special or valuable about human beings. Thus the campaign to grant animals rights is really the campaign to dethrone man and disrobe him of any unique significance.
That is the argument of this important book. Smith makes the distinction between animal welfare and the animal rights movement. The former is something all of us should be supportive of. This has to do with the humane treatment of animals. But the latter is something we all should be quite worried about.
What looks like a noble and worthwhile crusade is at bottom really an anti-human ideology. It is in fact "a belief system, an ideology, even a quasi religion, which both implicitly and explicitly seeks to create a moral equivalence between the value of human lives and those of animals".
This movement is often extremist, utopian, and open to the use of violence. For those who are still trying to figure out the book title, it actually is a 1986 quote from the head of PETA, Ingrid Newkirk. She said all four are mammals - end of story.
The true believers in the animal liberation movement are not just gentle dog lovers or cat owners. They are fanatics who are quite happy to harass, vandalise and destroy anything they consider to be abusive to animals. Indeed, Smith warns us of what sort of world we would live in if these radicals had their way:
"Medical research would be materially impeded.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Animal cruelty is definetely wrong. But the thing that makes it so wrong is not only that it hurts an animal, but that it "makes us less human", as Wesley Smith says. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Kona
Excellent and informative narrative about the animal rights movement and its anti-human sociopathic agenda.Published 18 months ago by Marcella Covault
Finite research, presentation of facts. A clear deliniation between Animal Rights and humane treatment of animals. Terrorism and abuse of the human species revealed.Published 19 months ago by Dean Miller
I have not read the book yet, but heard an interview with the Author which is what lead me to buy it! Read morePublished 19 months ago by 494life
I am wondering why Wesley J. Smith has taken the Ingrid Newkirk quote which clearly describes all mammals as equal (a sentiment I personally agree with) and used it as his title... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Katie Spiers
From a religious point of view (Judeo/Christian) we are given dominion over animals, but that doesn't give us the right as humans to abuse animals or consider their existence any... Read morePublished 21 months ago by M. Fox
I have not finished the book yet but so far it is clarifying what I wondered about the animal "rights" movement. Read morePublished on July 1, 2013 by Michigan Fan