AR Philosophy > Morality Index

The Main Animal Rights Debate
by Jamey Lee West jlwest@exchange.nih.gov

A favorite argument among anti-animal rights activists:

THEY ARE NOT HUMAN.

To which I reply, this is a tautology.

YES, BUT I MEANT THAT THEY ARE NOT IN OUR SOCIAL CONTRACT.

Okay. I knew this is what you meant. A tautology no more. I just wanted to make you say it. What you are saying is that human beings are in power. And by giving away power (rights) we are giving to those who are incapable (if not unwilling) to return it. In other words you are saying you ascribe to the most depraved of ethical systems. Some would say that you and those of your mindset are not ethical at all, since you do nothing that does not in some way guarantee a return in material form from your neighbor.

If your neighbor was truly in need, and you surmised that this neighbor was not in the contract, you would not even offer to allow him into it but would commit the most atrocious act of suffering upon him, and be without guilt by your system, since he was not a participator, a priori, in this all-important contract. You might have given kindness and seen if it were returned, but you were not bound by such contract, so you are faultless.

You ate this individual's flesh for the shear pleasure of taste; you wore his skin for the lush feeling; you experimented on him for search of your and your co-contractors' immortality. You could have shown kindness to your neighbor, (dog, cat, cow, rabbit) and maybe he/she would have shown it back (entered in the contract) but you did not. The people of your mindset two hundred years ago, were perfectly content owning slaves since they did not seem to show the promise of intellect to gain power or wealth or voting power; and they certainly possessed none at the time. You knew that you never could become them; as you congratulated yourself for being white. (maybe you are not but those of your mindset surely did).

People of your mindset, are called tyrants because they are in power, and they say that those who are their subjugates are not worthy of consideration because they have not power to share. Do not disguise your scorn for animal rights as a love of people. You have a love for power, which you mask in the insidious term, SOCIAL CONTRACT.

-- Jamey Lee West
Peace for All Beings