Author Archives: Stephen Vantassel - Page 2

Is Fishing Different from Trapping? Part 1

Animal rights protest industry activists know how to exploit the public’s ignorance and prejudices. One of the most successful ways they do is by using the political tactic of divide and conquer. By attacking trapping, animal rights protest industry activists can frequently gain support from sportsmen and sportswomen in opposing trapping. The irony is that these sportspeople think that hunting and fishing are somehow more humane than trapping and therefore immune from the animal rights activists ire.

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Does Poison Discriminate?

I continue to be fascinated by the arbitrary ways people make decisions. For example, people that would decry the use of traps a cruel and indiscriminate will never take two seconds to consider the effects of their use of toxicants. True, ignorance may play a part but not all instances of ignorance are morally innocent. Sometimes people are ignorant because they are willfully so.

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Mrs. Obama Why You Should Wear “Wild-harvested” Fur

I was saddened when I learned that the First Lady said she won’t wear fur. I didn’t hear this directly, but from the animal rights protest industry group, PETA that used her image in an ad. I wasn’t surprised to learn the Ms. Obama avoids fur. Being anti-fur is almost a requirement to be a leftist and anti-environmentalist. Yes, I assert that being anti-wild fur harvesting, makes you an anti-environmentalist.

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Traps are Not Indiscriminate

One of the most pernicious and misleading claims of animal rights activists (ARA) is their assertion that traps are indiscriminate. Their claim suggests that traps can simply hurt anything and everything that happens upon them because traps cannot distinguish between pets, wild animals, or children. By emphasizing the randomness of capture, ARA exploit the public’s fear of unknown risks in the hopes that this fear can help motivate the public to ban traps.

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Dialogue with Animal Protectionists?

One of the hallmarks of contemporary culture is the naive notion that dialogue can conquor all disputes. You hear this sort of nonsense all time, i.e. If we could communicate better we would be able to resolve our differences. The fact is dialogue only works with people who share a sufficient number of values to allow compromise (unless of course, one side capitulates). A classic counter example to the belief that dialogue can resolve all disputes, is the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Does anyone really believe that both sides don’t understand each other?

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Criminalization of Food

A December 7, 2010 Metro Reporter sub-headline reads “Gino D’Acampo, the winner of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, and fellow contestant Stuart Manning are facing criminal charges for animal cruelty after cooking and eating a rat on the TV programme.”  I have noted for sometime that the end result of animal rights legislation would be the criminalization of all kinds of human activities. It appears the slide toward moral devolution is occurring faster than I anticipated.

According to the story, these two contestants were hungry and decided to kill a rat and eat it. It seems the idea of the show is to put celebrities into difficult situations and see how they behave and interact with other contestants. For killing the rat, the two contestants have been charged with animal cruelty, which in Australia (where the filming occurred) can be a few years in prison (according to a Dec 7, 2009 AP article, Sydney).

I suspect the officials charge is over the killing of the rat was unnecessary and being recorded could be a kind of animal snuff-film. At the very least, we must commend the officials for not being biased against rats as animal rights protest industry activists wish. But I am concerned with the direction this kind of prosecution can go, in addition to being concerned that charges were brought up in the first place.

I believe these types of prosecutions will become more frequent in the years ahead. Animal rights protest industry activists will use them to test how far they can implement the elements of their religion. Let’s just say that sometimes the slippery slope argument (i.e. if this happens this result is inevitable) is a fallacy. But I must say that the predictions of those, like myself, regarding the end desires of the animal rights protest industry are beginning to become true. Thus the slippery slope argument isn’t always a fallacy.

Stephen Vantassel is a tutor of Theology at King’s Evangelical Divinity School. He specializes in ethics (particularly environmental ethics and political commentary).

Copyright 2009. Stephen M. Vantassel.