Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Animal Rights: A Primer

In its April issue, Catholic World Report published a fascinating interview with Wesley J. Smith, a Senior Fellow in Human Rights and Bioethics at the Discovery Institute. The subject was animal rights, and how the animal rights movement constitutes a sort of pseudo-religion and an assault on Christian principles. Smith is the author of a new book entitled A Rat Is a Pig Is a Dog Is a Boy: The Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement. The title comes from an actual statement from Ingrid Newkirk of PETA in which she affirmed the moral equivalence of persons and animals.

The interview is replete with great quotes, so I thought I’d pass a few along:

On the belief that the ability to feel pain is the only moral measure:

This view is very destructive, because if you destroy human exceptionalism—which is what the animal rights movement intends to do, it disdains human exceptionalism—if you say that we are not the highest life form on the planet, if our lives do not have greater value than those of animals, then you have completely changed how we perceive ourselves. Animal rights people may think they are raising animals to the level of people, but what they are really doing is reducing people to the level of animals.
Read the rest of this very interesting commentary over at Catholic Culture

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