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The PETA Practical Guide to Animal Rights: Simple Acts of Kindness to Help Animals in Trouble Paperback – Bargain Price, May 26, 2009
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
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“This book is the ultimate animal rights encyclopedia—chock- full of facts and resources that will guide you at home, in the marketplace, in life.” - Woody Harrelson, actor
“A terrific book that uplifts you by showing you there are easy, sensible, clear ways to help animals that you might never have dreamt of.” - Martin Sheen, actor
“This guide eloquently and truthfully spells out the situations animals find themselves in due to mankind’s arrogance, and it offers us viable options that help both the animals and ourselves.” -Nigel Barker, photographer and judge for America’s Next Top Model
“A great read for those of us who believe that we should no more discriminate on the basis of species than we would on the basis of gender, race, or religion.” -Famke Janssen, actress
“Ingrid voices the horrors of animal abuse and shows us how we can lead a truly compassionate life. God bless Ingrid!” -Bea Arthur, actress
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Rights that protect persons from injustice, tyranny, and oppression are (1) Constitutional guarantees against unreasonable and unwarranted intrusions; (2) those guarantees established by the courts or by legislation as flowing from rights established in the Constitution. Rights are not caring, compassion, helping or rescuing others, humane treatment of others, or eschewing products made by harming others. Rights work to establish justice, not kindness.
Three things must happen for a new group of persons to acquire rights such as humans have under the U.S. Constitution and many other nations' Constitutions: (1) The public comes to recognize the personhood of each member of the excluded group - defined as someone worthy of life, respect, and fulfillment, not as something to disregard, use, own, or destroy; ideologies and invidious distinctions holding some beings superior to others give way to the inherent worth, equality, and interrelatedness of all. (2) The public recognizes wrongs done to the excluded group and its members by practices and policies previously deemed morally acceptable. (3) The new group's rights are established in the Constitution by the amendment process, to prohibit recognized wrongs and mandate that laws, policies, and practices comport with these guarantees. Once rights are established, implementing and enforcing laws are passed.
Rights are incalculably helpful in making progress toward justice as meant in the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble to the Constitution, that is, as a desired state of affairs innate to the human imagination because all sociopolitical animals pursue it for themselves and the common good. Books that support this understanding include Inventing Human Rights by historian Lynn Hunt, Rights from Wrongs by law professor Alan Dershowitz, The History of Human Rights by Micheline R. Ishay, Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Women's Rights Movement by Sally G. McMillen, The American Soul by Jacob Needleman, Universal Human Rights in Theory & Practice by Jack Donnelly, Wild Justice by Marc Bekoff and Jessica Pierce, Baboon Metaphysics by Dorothy L. Cheney and Robert M. Seyfarth, Good Natured: The Origins of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other Animals by Frans de Waal, and many others.
"Legal protections" not flowing from rights do not protect. More dog-fighting takes place today than before the practice was banned in all 50 states. Dogs, like all other nonhuman animals, have no rights. Billions of nonhuman animals suffer intensely throughout their lives because they lack rights and are the property of humans. Millions of pampered pets lead unfulfilling lives because breeding for traits desired by humans (rightly rejected as eugenics when perpetrated on humans) leaves them dependent on humans for their basic needs, perpetually docile, obsequious, and juvenile with immature brains, and subject to every kind of abuse the human imagination concocts as well as harmful neglect.
Prohibitions against murder, rape, and other violence against fellow humans are not the reason the vast majority of humans do not attack other humans. Humans for the most part get along because biology, sociality, morality, and ideology combine to produce civility. War, persecution, and genocide occur mainly when authorities impose an ideology that suppresses natural restraints against harming other humans. Original humans, weapon-less plant foragers, exercised similar restraint toward nonhuman animals. But not in recent millennia. Humanist and speciesist ideology, practice, and policy suppress humans' natural affinity for other animals but cannot stamp it out. It is strong and easily revived through persistent contemplation and study of nonhuman animals. But the devastation humans wreak on the living world, and our species' overpopulation and environments made "safe" by removal of most other visible beings, leave life-destroying activities well protected today.
Rights do not come to exist for new groups of persons because people are kind to members of excluded groups or refrain from purchasing products made at their expense. Humans' Eighth-Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment by the state can only protect humans against official cruelty if the other rights Amendments are respected and enforced - Amendments that prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude, unreasonable search and seizure; that guarantee rights of free speech, assembly, and redress of grievances - the precise configuration ingeniously crafted by the founders from centuries of theorizing, experience with rights of British citizens alongside divine-right monarchy, an emerging scientific grasp of human nature and institutions, and a desire for long-term peace and tranquility rooted in justice.
Despite this well-established understanding of rights, for reasons not explained in the book, The PETA Practical Guide to Animal Rights says,
People who support animal rights believe that animals are not ours to use for food, clothing, entertainment, experimentation, or any other purpose and that animals deserve consideration and what is in their best interests, regardless of whether they are cute, useful to humans, or endangered, and regardless of whether any human cares about them at all (just as a mentally challenged human has rights, even if he or she is not cute or useful and even if everyone dislikes him or her).
I do not see rights language there or elsewhere in the book, just some animal advocates' mental states. Nonhuman animals are in fact - under current law, lacking rights - the property of humans to use in the specified ways and for "any other purpose." Grasping this is crucial for all who might want nonhuman animals to have the protection and empowerment that only rights afford and who might discuss animal rights privately or publicly. And looking closely at purposes which the Practical Guide says other animals are "not ours to use for," we see that most victims are animals enslaved and bred by humans. Omitting from consideration are the vast majority of members of Earth's million-plus animal species - despite the book's apparent blanket plea on behalf of all animals.
The Practical Guide does not answer questions like, Considering the set of rights necessary to protect and empower human beings, how can rights of other animals consist only of not using them? What about not destroying their homes or poisoning their water, their air, their soil, and their food? What about not invading and occupying their homes? What about not altering their climate more quickly than natural evolution processes can reckon with? If humans only had a right not to be used by others and lacked the other rights designed to end thousands of years of tyranny, would they be able to lead fulfilling lives? If not, then do all animals not need a full complement of rights like humans have? As I see it, by failing to campaign for such rights, we forever maintain the kind of double standard that rights can eliminate, keeping nonhuman animals in their current subordinate, vulnerable, stressed, miserable, and declining state.
The Practical Guide and other books by the author promote and reinforce pet ownership, so "any other purpose" in the above-quoted passage must be taken with a grain of salt. Love and companionship are among the most popular purposes for exploiting nonhuman animals. Humans' deeming their affection for other animals a legitimate basis for owning, confining, and enslaving them generates incalculable suffering. Horrible factory-farming practices the book decries, for example, can be traced back many thousands of years to the compassionate act of rescuing baby pigs whose mothers were killed by humans' unnatural and unjust practice of hunting. What about the global scourge of cruelty and neglect endured by dogs, deplored in the Practical Guide? Had humans not commandeered free-living dogs' genes in one of their longest-running eugenics programs, docile, defenseless canines would not be available by the hundreds of millions today to kick, stomp, torch, chain, starve, drown, train for fighting, injure and infect in laboratories, and keep alone, confused, frustrated, sad, and unable to eat, play, or relieve themselves while human owners live their unnatural lives at work, school, recreation, entertainment, celebration, and worship.
The Practical Guide gives many highly informative and engaging details of who - "not what" - nonhuman animals are: the complex experience and the sophisticated intelligence and capabilities of octopuses, birds, fish, and others often overlooked in humans' fascination with beloved or "charismatic" animals. This kind of knowledge can help establish nonhuman animals' personhood in the public mind - a key part of the process of establishing rights of all animals. But the book does not make a case that nonhuman animals are biological persons who should be deemed persons under the Constitution and the law. Rather, it shows that the terrible suffering which humans inflict on other animals is experienced by sensitive and intelligent beings. There is all the difference in the world between the two arguments. The one promotes a full complement of rights. The other just lends force to the book's exhortations to speak out for the animals, fight cruelty, promote compassion, and adjust eating and shopping choices to avoid supporting industries that use nonhuman animals - conscientious objection, not fundamental policy reform leading to rights. This sampling represents the animal-advocacy strategy promoted in the Practical Guide:
The beautiful thing is that activism is easy and takes as many forms as there are drops of water in a river.
I came to see that although most of us grew up knowing and believing in kindness to animals, wanting animals to be treated with decency and respect, something has gone wrong. Luckily, we can fix the problem.
I hope to motivate and empower you to make the vital changes that must come about. For you are the most important asset the animals have: you are the voice and lifeline they depend on.
... millions of compassionate people who have switched from being sloppy shoppers to caring consumers.
... you can easily understand just how important you are to animals in trouble.
PETA members ... don't accept cruelty; they openly and firmly object to it and, in many cases, get it stopped. It is thanks to them that great changes happen.
Quite a few "great changes" have "happened" to nonhuman animals since PETA started "selling compassion" (PETA co-founder Alex Pacheco as quoted in The Animal Rights Movement in America by Lawrence Finsen and Susan Finsen) more than three decades ago: Far more are used for every imaginable purpose (and some unimaginable ones hidden from view); far more are victims of cruelty and neglect; far more are slaughtered or hauled out of the oceans for food; countless more billions of animals have endured agony from poisoning of their bodies, homes, and food and the heating of their planet by humans; the rate of species extinctions has reached an estimated one thousand times the rate before humans started hunting and herding animals and farming unnatural plant foods rather than foraging for their natural ones; far more species are near extinction; and by every other meaningful measure, nonhuman animals' plight has worsened.
Just as raising awareness of humans' plight, speaking out against cruelty to humans, and other "easy" forms of activism do not remedy humans' plight, doing the same on behalf of nonhuman animals does not remedy theirs.
Why not? Because nonhuman animals continue to have no rights; no large-scale organized endeavor has been undertaken to establish their rights the way rights come to exist for new groups of persons; few people realize that, so the need for the effort remains unrecognized; and millions of people, thinking compassion is the means to rights, fail to see the need for a new strategy that comports with rights theory. The emphasis on fighting "cruelty" blinds people to the reality that nearly all suffering comes from injustice, almost none from cruelty. Cruelty is perpetrated for the purpose of causing pain and suffering. Nearly all atrocities against nonhuman animals, including those deplored in the Practical Guide, have other motives and purposes: safety, status, career, profit, habit, tradition, ideology, amusement, recreation, relaxation, medicine.
Compassion, literally suffering with another, a natural human trait, is not the basis of rights or a means to establishing them for new groups of persons. If it is mentioned at all by the great rights theorists and advocates throughout human history, it is so rare as to be irrelevant. I have not been able to find it in The Federalist, circulated to promote ratification of the U.S. Constitution. It played little part in the framing of the Constitution or its rights Amendments, the founding or strategy of the women's rights movement, or the civil-rights movement leading to the Voting Rights and Civil Rights Acts.
But when one's only tool is a hammer, everything can look like a nail. Here is an example of how the Practical Guide misleads by insisting that compassion can generate the protection nonhuman animals need. Among the many actions on behalf of animals praised in the book is the time, during my employment in PETA's Research & Investigations Department, when I drove Big Bruno, the exuberant dark-brindle greyhound my spouse and I adopted from a racetrack, to the Capitol at Richmond to oppose legalization of dog racing in Virginia. I had received a tip that a bill to permit dog racing was being drafted and the racing industry was seeking sponsors in the legislature. While I entered the Capitol, showed legislators, aides, and newspersons a video, and gave out literature about suffering caused by the dog-racing industry, a friend held Bruno on a leash outside, where he was photographed and videotaped standing on the capitol steps and greeting, beneath a shade tree, a busload of schoolchildren arriving at the Capitol on a class trip.
Items appeared in Richmond's evening news and in the next morning's newspapers, featuring the charming Bruno and outlining the case I'd made against dog racing. The Practical Guide says the dog-racing bill "did not receive even one vote; after seeing Bruno on television and in newspapers, compassionate citizens could not imagine condemning tens of thousands of dogs like him to death every year." But the bill could not have received any votes: It was never introduced in the legislature. Nor did "compassionate citizens" rally: There was no need to organize a letter-writing campaign or a demonstration, since the bill's prospective sponsors declined to introduce the bill. The racing industry threw in the towel because we had shaped the public narrative rather than react to the industry's narrative. The tip we received before the bill was introduced obviated the need to pit compassion against exploitation. The outcome resulted from a strategy any engaged citizen can apply to any political interest, whether related to inanimate objects or beings deserving of compassion. Nor has compassion yet eliminated the dog-racing industry two decades down the road, or any other animal-exploiting industry.
The definition of "animal rights" can only be based on the meanings of "animal" and "rights." It cannot be based on what is "practical" for "helping animals in trouble." Wishful thinking might delay some advocates' noticing the contradiction contained in the Practical Guide's title and subtitle. "Simple acts of kindness" have nothing to do with establishing rights of those one is kind to. Nor is working to establish equal rights of all animals "practical" in any conventional sense. Human beings are so far from comprehending, let alone establishing, equal rights of all animals, that impossible is closer to the reality. Rights of all animals will be established, but not soon, and the task is far from "easy"; it requires study and dedication on the part of all who wish to create the needed change.
The need of rights being clear, animal-rights advocates must persist, with little discernible progress from day to day. Fortunately, rapid communications methods and mass literacy can enable the needed change more quickly than philosophers of the 17th and 18th centuries were able to make equal human rights the basis of governance. Seeing how working for nonhuman animals' rights will reduce human suffering, loss, deprivation, and early death will help, as will more complete public discourse on the holocaust against nonhuman animals and the shocking, deplorable, and unacceptable extent of its depredations.
Nonhuman animals have no rights today - only ineffectual anticruelty laws that do not protect the animals because they need rights for their legal protections to be effective. Not persons under the law like humans, they are subject to every possible injustice that human beings can imagine - and they imagine plenty. If cutting live frogs in half is something travelers to Vietnam "get to see" according to a popular travel show, and if cutting fins off of millions of sharks each year and tossing the animals back into the ocean alive is a legitimate way to make soup, and if "rattlesnake roundups" are sanctioned socially and legally, and if fishing is legitimate therapy for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, and if news, schools, universities, civic and youth groups, and places of worship say next to nothing about our species' impacts on nonhuman animals, then the thousands of victories achieved for nonhuman animals, including those I contributed to personally in many years of applying the strategy outlined in the Practical Guide, cannot represent progress toward rights of all animals.
Not only do nonhuman animals suffer more over time with no rights amidst ever-intensifying human overpopulation and ever more destructive technologies, but self-serving dogma that whatever people do to help animals advances the cause of animal rights has generated many political and intellectual absurdities. Here are a few: Conferences called "animal rights" that do not discuss how rights come to exist for new groups of persons or promote any particular rights of nonhuman animals. Vegetarian conferences that characterize themselves as promoting animal rights merely because some participants eat plants-only out of concern for animals used for food. Animal-behavior experts described by themselves or others as promoting animal rights merely because they urge people to respect nonhuman animals. Countless news items calling people "animal rights activists" who merely object to practices that cause nonhuman animals to suffer.
Conflating humane treatment and rights might also be debasing human rights, though this is difficult to prove, and sloppy public discourse by officials and newspersons also contributes. Discussions of torture by the U.S. government, uprisings known as Arab Spring, and other matters related to the establishment, enforcement, and violation of human rights in recent years have often substituted for the question, Have rights been violated?, the question, Were people treated inhumanely? Inhumane treatment can include shouting at people, insulting, frightening, deceiving, or confusing people, imposing any unpleasantness at all - since "inhumane" just means unkind.
Inhumane treatment in itself does not violate rights or subject perpetrators to prosecution, impeachment, or other legal action. Upholding our Constitution (our primary task as citizens) and ensuring that our government observes international laws and treaties and avoids exacerbating animosity and terrorism against us require that we understand and keep clear in our thoughts and actions the difference between rights and personal conduct like kind or unkind treatment of others. The rule of law, a core requirement of a functioning democratic republic, will be undermined if we are told repeatedly and consistently over a period of decades that rights are tantamount to humane treatment or that inhumane treatment per se violates rights.
Early in my days as a full-time PETA employee, circa 1990, eyeing the close-up photograph of a winsome pig on the cover of the latest issue of PETA News, I said to Newkirk, the magazine's editor, PETA's national director, and the occupant of an office a few yards from my cubicle, "He looks just like a person." Her reply: "He is a person." Striking, memorable - and true. But what logically flows from animals' personhood is not merely that humans should treat them humanely and urge others to. All animals deserve to lead fulfilling lives as they would if humans had never fashioned a spear, a club, a fishhook, a herd, a fence, a building, a boat, a farm, a food-storage facility, a trap, a gun. Compassion, speaking out, and shopping mindfully cannot get the job done; long-term persistence and dedication to equal guaranteed basic autonomy, ecology, and dignity rights can.
Animal Right #1: Animals should have the right to live, just like the rest of us are afforded the right to live."
Sounds loving, rational, fair, and obvious, right? Not to PETA.
The problem? PETA has stated and I paraphrase: "We dont believe in an animal's right to life".
Say what? Exsqueeze me? Come again? What did they say?
That's right, the woman who wrote this "Animal rights guide", Ingrid Newkirk, head of PETA, DOES NOT believe in the most basic right that we all should be afforded: The right to live, love and be loved.
No, when it comes to cats and dogs, Newkirk says that "killing someone is the kindest thing we can do for them".
I know. Sounds like something Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Adolf Hitler, or Josef Stalin would say, right? Truth be told, PETA has alot in common with the above mentioned serial killers:
From the year 2000 to the year 2010 (in the last decade) PETA has murdered over 20,000 precious cat and dog souls. Twenty Thousand. Adoptable, healthy, precious Children of God. Murdered. Out of "kindness". Insane isnt it? Sadly, it's true too. With "friends" like these, cats and dogs dont need any enemies. Frankly, anyone who's idea of "rescuing" someone is to kill them.... that lost soul needs a lobotomy. Something just isnt working right in their head.
PETA doesnt deny it, they admit with pride to this insane, homicidal, behavior.
So, when it comes to our four legged family members, PETA believes only one right should be given to them: The right to be murdered.
If you support PETA, if you buy this book, you will be funding murder. You might as well contribute some cash to Osama Bin Laden. He believes that murdering someone is the "right thing to do" like PETA does. Granted, Bin Laden killed 17,000 fewer precious souls on 9/11 than PETA has in the last decade, but every individual living soul is precious, and one murder is one murder too many. I couldnt care less what species, race, religion or nationality someone is, WE ALL DESERVE TO LIVE, LOVE AND BE LOVED.
That ultimate truth, for some reason isnt currently penetrating the thick skulls of the cat and dog murderers. Yet the ultimate truth, it remains.
Many do not know that during WWII the Nazis were mass breeding (can anyone say "Puppy Mills?") children, who would form their "perfect Aryan army" and run the world. What did the Nazi's do, to the kids would werent the "perfect specimens" that they wanted them to be? They murdered them and called it and I quote" "Humane Euthanasia". Sound familiar? "It was for their own good", said Hitler's men..."They would have had a hard life (who doesnt?), so we did the humane thing...we killed them". PETA and other cat and dog murderers speak these identical words 70 years later. So much for evolution.
PETA is no different than the nazis in this respect. While they *seem* to be against Puppy Mills, they are in favor of murdering our four legged family members. They are PRO MURDER!
We know this from PETA's own documents. They dont deny it.In fact, Newkirk herself admits to going to work at an Animal Control agency, before she somehow became head of PETA...... she went to work early so that she could begin to murder the cats and dogs who resided there. So much for believing in "animal rights".
Also, think about this horrific information: In 2006, an official report from People for The Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) shows that they took in 3,043 animals, of which 1,960 were cats, 1,030 were dogs, 52 were other companion animals, and one was a chicken. Of these, they killed the chicken, killed 1,942 cats, 988 dogs, and 50 classified as "other companion animals." They found homes for only 2 cats, 8 dogs and 2 of the other companion animals.
By the numbers:
* PETA killed 1,942 of the 1,960 cats, finding homes for only 2.
* PETA killed 988 of the 1,030 dogs finding homes for only 8.
* PETA killed 50 of the 52 other companion animals (rabbits, guinea pigs, etc.), finding homes for only 2.
* PETA killed the chicken they took in.
That's a 97% kill rate. (This was based on PETA's own reporting to the Commonwealth of Virginia, which only requires "recordkeeping and reporting of only those animals taken into custody... for purposes of adoption.")
I thought, that before you purchase this hypocritical book, that you know the truth about PETA.
I also ask that you please help us end this modern day holocaust of innocent living souls (cats and dogs in 'shelters' and pounds, and who are unfortunate enough to fall into PETA's lethal hands.), and you can do this by NOT DONATING any money to PETA.
PETA members, it's time to ask yourself a question: "Am I a member of this group because I want to rescue and save the precious lives of my fellow living precious souls, or am I a member because I want to fund the murder of beautiful souls who are equal to us human animals, and who deserve to live, love and be loved equally as much as we human animals do?"
Ask yourself that question, PETA members. If you, unlike the heads of the your group, have any compassion, reverence for life, and sanity, you will choose to save lives, instead of choosing to end them. Rise up, PETA members, and peacefully, and without hurting or killing anyone, kick the 'leaders' of your group to the curb where they belong. It's time for a peaceful revolution. A No Kill revolution!
It's time to find someone to lead PETA in an ethical way. Killing isnt ethical.
You can make that happen, by not using your wallets and pocketbooks to support those who support "Humane Euthanasia" (Murder).
PETA Supports murdering cats and dogs. How Un-ethical of them.
The ASPCA suppports murdering cats and dogs. How cruel of them.
The HSUS supports murdering cats and dogs. How Inhumane of them.
Many so called 'shelters' murder cats and dogs. So much for 'shelter'.
Many 'rescue' groups murder cats and dogs. I wouldnt want them to 'rescue' me, would you?
We can make a difference. The person reading this right now can make a difference. Write, call, fax, email your President, Senators, Mayors, Governors, Animal Control agencies, Animal Shelters, City Council members, etc. and demand that no cat or dog is murdered in your community, effective immediately. Together, we can stop this modern day holocaust. Love can and will defeat indifference, and life can and will defeat death. This can be done by righting the wrongs. One voice at a time, we can form a shockwave, a scream heard around the world, a scream that says "Get over yourselves, members of the human animal species. Your DNA is 98% identical to a Chimpanzee. You are an animal, too. All the ignorance, arrogance, indifference, and incorrect religious dogma in the world cannot change the fact that we are all made of skin, blood, bone, hearts, brains and souls. We are all one."
Scream it until they believe it. They can run from the truth, but they cannot hide from it. For it resides even in the dark, misguided souls of the killers themselves....yes, they know the truth.....and they will be defeated by the truth.
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored"
"One determined person can make a significant difference, and a small group of determined people can change the course of history."
"Knowing is not enough...we must apply. Willing is not enough...we must do."
"Ethics, too, are nothing but reverence for life. This is what
gives me the fundamental principle of morality, namely, that good
consists in maintaining, promoting, and enhancing life, and that
destroying, injuring, and limiting life are evil."
--Albert Schweitzer, CIVILIZATION AND ETHICS, 1949
The killing must end. We must end it. Let's go..
For example, dogs are called "man's best friend," but many are kept chained in lonely backyards 24 hours a day, with nothing to do but pace the dirt, pant through sweltering summer days, and long for a friend. Elephants and chimpanzees are beaten and chained for humans' "entertainment." Pigs, cows, and chickens are treated like meat, milk, and egg machines--crammed together by the hundreds on filthy factory farms and deprived of everything that makes their life enjoyable, even the feel of grass under their feet or the sun on their backs.
This comprehensive guide to animal rights provides concise, straightforward information about how animals suffer in the entertainment, clothing, food, experimentation, and "pet" industries; compelling stories; fascinating facts about animals; simple steps to take to stop cruelty; and frequently asked questions, which will prepare both new and seasoned activists to be the most effective animal rights advocates they can be.
It's empowering to know that in these times when so much seems beyond our control, each of us can stop animals' suffering through our daily choices, such as eating veggie burgers and buying products that aren't tested on animals. This book will make you want to change the world for animals!