Our local high school is sponsoring an "animal rights" club as an extracurricular activity. The issues surrounding the philosophies of animal rights and animal welfare are very familiar to those who work with animals in industry, entertainment, sport or recreation. As society has migrated from our agricultural roots to a more urban existence, the importance of distinguishing between animal rights and animal welfare becomes critical.
Animal rights is a philosophy that animals have rights similar to or the same as humans. True animal rights advocates believe that humans do not have the right to "use" animals in any capacity. They would prohibit raising animals for meat, milk, eggs, leather, fur, feathers, wool, or even honey. They would also ban rodeos, horse racing, circuses, hunting, life-saving medical research using animals, petting zoos, marine parks, and the breeding of companion animals as pets, police dogs, seeing eye dogs and working dogs who help with hunting and herding on farms. In short, any use of animals for industry, entertainment, sport or recreation would be eliminated.
Animal Welfare, as defined by the American Veterinary Medical Association, is a human responsibility that encompasses all aspects of animal well-being, including proper housing, management, disease prevention and treatment, responsible care, humane handling, and, when necessary, humane euthansia. Animal welfare uses science-based care and treatment guidelines in caring for animals.
Impressionable high school students should be aware of the true nature of PETA and other "animal rights" groups. They are hypocrites.
PETA kills thousands of defenseless pets at its Virginia headquarters. Since 1998, PETA has opted to kill 25,840 adoptable dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens instead of finding them homes. In contrast, other shelters in
the area save the majority of their intakes.
Despite its constant moralizing about the "unethical" treatment of animals by farmers, ranchers, scientists, fishermen, and countless other Americans, PETA
employees were recently convicted of picking up puppies and kittens from local veterinarians offices (supposedly for adoption), killing them in the van and then dumping the bodies in dumpsters. They never even made it out of PETA's
PETA president and co-founder Ingrid Newkirk has described her group's overall goal as "total animal liberation." This means no meat, no milk, no zoos, no circuses, no wool, no leather, no hunting, no fishing, and no pets (not even seeing-eye dogs). PETA is also against all medical research that requires the use of animals.
PETA has given tens of thousands of dollars to convicted arsonists and other violent criminal terrorists. And its infamous "Holocaust on Your Plate" campaign crassly compares the Jewish victims of Nazi genocide with farm
I hope our high school students will do a bit of research into the differences between animal rights and animal welfare and not blindly follow vegan teachers with an animal rights agenda.