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Vol. XII • 1990

Talk to the Animals
R. E. McMaster, Jr.

Ultimately, there are only two religions on earth: the religion of the true God and a religion based on man. Each of these has a doctrine of origins and world order. In the first religion, the order is a created and stewarded one: in the second, it is one of chance and evolution.

Under the religion of man, we have all "evolved" from the slime. So we are all equal: we are all "animals." Mankind is no better (nor worth any more) than any other animal. ~AII animals are created equals. If we are opposed to the death penalty for mankind, it only stands to evolutionary reason that we should also be opposed to the death penalty for animals.

It was thus inevitable in our present religious climate that the animal rights activists would surface.

Now don't get me wrong. I love animals. My family raises llamas, fallow deer, horses, goats, chickens, cats and dogs. We love them, groom them, show them and win prizes at the county fair with them. We only harvest what we eat. But I do not believe that I am an animal. I believe, instead, that man has a unique relationship to animals in the divinely created order, namely that man has a God-given position of husbandry when it comes to the animal kingdom.

The evolutionary animal rights groups vehemently disagree with this idea. In fact, they have taken their own position to the opposite extreme. Animals, in their view, are more important than people, and it is their demand that people and their civilization retreat from their intrusions into "nature".

It is the essence of civilization, of course, to be in "conflict" with "nature". Cities, highways, homes, businesses, military installations, factories, parks--all displace the untamed environment, including the habitat of wild animals. Agriculture, as the word itself discloses, is a form of "culture" and is also in competition with wildlife. Cattle and sheep graze on land competitively with deer, rabbits and other wildlife.

But civilization and husbandry involve the management of nature's conflicts. Well-managed hunting, for example, helps maintain the delicate balance between the needs of domesticated and untamed animals. Wildlife biologists encourage hunting to maintain the right number of head of wildlife per acre and thereby prevent disease epidemics related to overpopulations from sweeping the wildlife kingdom. A wildlife activist should really go after the poachers who take more fish, birds and animals illegally each year than are legally taken.

Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., writing for the Ludwig von Mises Institute, penned a timely article entitled "Animal Crackers" in which he reports that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) recently purchased six lobsters from a Chinese restaurant in Maryland to prevent them from being "murdered, dismembered, and eaten." These "liberated lobsters" were then flown to the Maine coast (an expense coming out of PETA's $5 million annual budget) and there released into the Atlantic. Rockwell quotes Ingrid Newkirk, director of PETA, as saying, "A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy." Alex Pacheco, PETA's chairman, declared, "We feel that animals have the same rights as a retarded human child." These statements are consistent evolutionary remarks, crazy as they may be.

But not as crazy, perhaps, as the actions of radical animal rights advocates. Rockwell reports that one was arrested while trying to murder the president of a medical research company with a remote-control bomb. Additionally, radical activists have set fires to research labs: fried-chicken restaurants have been torched: fur stores have been burned down: women wearing furs have been subjected to spray-paint attacks: turkey farms have been burglarized: medical records have been stolen: zoo employees have been assaulted: and butcher shops vandalized. Arson, property destruction, attempted murder, burglary and theft are considered "acceptable crimes" by these animal rights activists. In other words, in a manner consistent with evolutionary faith, man is his own god and makes his own moral and civil lows.

Rockwell wonders why these activists don't stand between a Kodiak bear and a spawning salmon, or between a lion and an antelope. Next Thanksgiving and Christmas, the petition will be for Americans to eat tofu instead of turkey. This past Christmas, PETA urged Americans to sing Christmas carols to zoo animals "to draw attention to their imprisonment."

The Humane Society now says that bacon and eggs are the "Breakfast of Cruelty." PETA calls McDonald's "McDeath" for serving cheeseburgers. Beef may not be eaten, nor may cows be killed for their leather, or even exploited for milk and cheese. The eating of fish, chicken or even snails is to be banned. The sale of goosedown pillows, wool suits and silk blouses is to be outlawed. Geese are not to be plucked: sheep are not to be sheered: silkworms are not to be harvested. Cockroaches, too, "have a right to live" because they are "efficient little garbage collectors." A Canadian activist told The Toronto Globe and Mail that "viruses such as smallpox should be reinstated as part of the earth's natural ecosystem."

"Innocent rabbits" should no longer be used for medical testing in labs. Nor should rats be available for that use. Minks, foxes and other fur-bearing creatures are raised in "animal Auschwitzes." These fur-bearers are "maltreated while alive, killed cruelly, and worn in savagery." Wearing animal fur is said to be "no different from the Buchenwald commandant who made a lampshade out of human skin."

Given the above, it was no surprise that in early January ( 1990), the Humane Society expressed outrage over an artist's plan to snuff out his pet rat "Snuffy" by flattening him with a 55-pound concrete block. Artist Rick Gibson of Vancouver, British Columbia, declared that two canvasses would be created in smashing the rat. One would be under the rodent, and one above on the 55-pound block that Gibson planned to drop on his rat. "I'm giving a public demonstration, a free art lesson, to show people how they could do this themselves," declared Gibson.

Gibson insisted that his method of killing Snuffy would be humane and legal and that Snuffy would be well cared for right up until his end. "I have no desire to mistreat him at all." Needless to say, the Vancouver Humane Society was incensed at all this "artistry." But under evolution, there are no standards, no fixed lows. So how could they complain? On what grounds?

Gibson built a guillotine-like apparatus on which the 55-pound concrete block would slide down on a pole to smash the rat. This cruel act (in my opinion) was scheduled to occur in front of the Vancouver Library on January 6th. Gibson additionally justified his action by declaring that killing a rat for art was no worse than trapping or poisoning it as a pest, or using it for medical experiments. He said that he bought Snuffy from a pet shop, and that the rat would otherwise have ended up as a meal for a snake or a lizard.

As it turns out, Gibson was forced to call off his rat-squashing event because someone stole his concrete block. Gibson told a Vancouver crowd of about 300 people, who later angrily chased him from the scene, that he believed an animal rights activist had stolen his art creation. Gloomily, Gibson turned Snuffy the Rat back to the pet store. He called off his art project forever.

All this goes to show that when mankind drifts from the plumbline of God's Law-Word, inevitably he ends up a blockhead, smashed by madness.

(Reprinted from Chalcedon, Box 158, Vallecito, CA 95251, No. 297, April 1990.)

"Talk to the Animals"
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