Saturday, July 21, 2018

Animal Rights, Barbarism With a Smiley Face

Charles Danten

I argue that animal rights, along with no-kill shelters, unscientific vaccination, animal activism, and “medical training” of pets to lessen the stress of manipulations, for example, is one of the ways our society validates the use of animals as a commodity. 

Indeed, mankind is clever at finding ways to rationalize and put a smile on this and all self-serving, unnecessary, wasteful, cruel, and aggressive exploitations of those we metaphorically call our children. 

In a world of consumers, everything has a price, including peace of mind. 

While the emancipation of women and blacks makes sense, the same cannot be said about the emancipation of domesticated animals. From their cognitive perspective, emancipation within the status quo is meaningless. No domesticated animal will ever be free to exercise his rights. An emancipated domestic animal is by definition a contradiction in terms, an oxymoron. 

Lawyer Anne-Marie Bourgeois Sohm, lecturer at the Faculty of Law of Clermont-Ferrand, France, is clear that the need to give rights to domesticated animals is a false one:

Would this change [giving rights to animals] really make a difference in the animal condition? Would the end justify the problems caused by the change in our traditional legal structure? We must, alas, answer in the negative. The animal, the beneficiary of such rights, can never exercise them, it is his master, or a body authorized to do so in its place, which does so. However, in the present context, it is already the case. (1)
In the context of our legal systems, animals will always come last. We all know it is easier to write laws than to enforce them. Where will we get the resources to do so? Will we have a special animal brigade, the equivalent of the Miami vice squad? Come on. 

The best example is the multiplication of violent crimes in our society, or the persistence of behaviors contrary to the law, like drug usage, pedophilia, and prostitution, despite stricter laws, closer surveillance, and more and more severe punishments. The difficulty involved in getting people to treat animals decently is less surprising when we look at how people behave towards each other. 

Putting the focus on animal rights will serve only to make lawyers richer and animal activists more passionate.

Furthermore, by perpetuating the fallacies described in this blog, animal rights - and adoption for that matter - does more to nullify the wanted effect of saving animals and to amplify the dreaded effect of consumerism, with all its inseparable atrocities. The equivalent would be like paying a ransom to terrorists for a hostage; we don't do it because we know it just feeds the problem viciously. So we sacrifice a few for the common good. It makes a lot of sense.

The intention is undoubtedly sincere in a number of people who are truly concerned for good reasons by animal suffering, but it is legitimate to ask if this will to humanize animals is not diverted from its true purpose for business and ideological reasons in order to prevent any hindering to consumption and to impose on the public ideas and customs contrary to the laws of nature and common sense.

The industry and animal rights advocates, which are a kind of fifth column financed by private donors and the wealthy multinationals that control the market, are seeking, for example, to pass a bylaw that would prevent Quebec apartment building owners not only to prohibit pets, but to expel the owners of delinquent pets. 

Is this really out of goodness of the heart? There’s reason to doubt it, as no action to help animals where it really counts, at the root, is truly taken. For understandable reasons, from a commercial point of view, all the preventive and corrective measures taken are aimed at issues adversely affecting demand, consumerism, and serving at the same time to inflate sales of the many services offered by this commercial sector such as dog training, psychological assessments, etc. 

In other words, just as certain countries use human rights and democracy to invade and destroy countries that don't think or behave the required way or to impose by force on their citizens unpopular policies, such as massive immigration, multiculturalism, and globalization, animal rights activists and other animal activists use a humanistic and progressive rhetoric to silence all criticism and impose and defend practices and ideas that are not in the interest of the public, animals, and the environment.

Emancipation of domestic animals within the status quo may be meaningless, as explained above, but emancipation for animals in general would have meaning only if it referred to granting animals the right to live out their lives without interference or exploitation. 

This would mean the end of domestication and thus pets. 


Budiansky, Stephen (1998). If a lion could talk. The Free Press.
Bernardina, Sergio Dalla (2006). « Épilogue en forme de satire. Du commerce avec les bêtes chez les Terriens civilisés. » L’éloquence des bêtes. Métaillé.
Hoffer, Eric (1951). The true believer. Thoughts on the nature of masse movements. Harper and Row.
West, Patrick (2004). Conspicuous compassion. Why sometimes it’s really cruel to be kind. Civitas.


Anne-Marie Sohm-Bourgeois (1990). La personnification de l’animal: une tentation à repousserRecueil Dalloz Sirey, 7e Cahier.