Three days off the grid and I’m feeling good, made even better to see a very good review of A Rat is a Pig is a Dog is a Boy in the American Spectator. From the conclusion of the review by Rev. Michael P. Orsi:
Smith debunks activist claims of the need for animal rights, providing numerous examples of efforts to treat animals humanely. He shows how laboratory protocols and even slaughtering techniques have been scrutinized and improved so that animals will feel as little anxiety and pain as possible...
But Smith’s primary concern is with the degradation of the human person inherent in the attempt to make animals equal with people. He demonstrates how this leveling harms science, medicine, education, good nutrition, and, of course, human dignity — all of which reflect the ultimate objective of the movement: elimination of people.
This anti-human agenda has progressed to the point at which some now assert that even plants may have rights. Smith relates how the Swiss added a provision to their constitution requiring that “account is to be taken of the dignity of creation when handling animals, plants, and other organisms.” This has been interpreted by the Swiss Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology to mean that plants should never be harmed or destroyed “arbitrarily.”
Smith doesn’t connect animal rights activism with the broader environmental movement, but the similarly anti-human aspect of the “green” agenda demonstrates a natural linkage (which would make an intriguing subject for a follow-up book). One need only look at the environmentalists’ emphasis on caring for the ecosystem while decrying the damage done to it by human beings with their infernal “carbon footprints.” Both movements seek the reduction of human presence on the planet through birth control, euthanasia, eugenics — even by starvation, if you carry the policies they advocate to their natural conclusions.
Legislation and court rulings that buttress the concept of animal rights (and now, plant rights as well) undermine critical thinking about the uniqueness of the human species. Smith has done a marvelous job in pointing out the absurdity of animal rights and the concrete danger it poses. This book should be read by anyone concerned with human welfare. Religious leaders, especially, should take note and warn their adherents of the underlying threat that this radical movement poses to our Judeo-Christian belief system and to all human life.
Hey, thanks Fr. Orsi. There are a lot of comments about the review and the issue of animal rights over at the American Spectator site if anyone wishes to chime in.