© 1994-2005 THE KING'S Community Church
Six Billion Chickens
The animal rights movement
Part one of a two part series by Dave Matherson
Man's rebellion against God takes many forms, but as king Solomon once observed, "There is nothing new under the sun." Such is the case with the environmental and animal "rights" movements that have captured a growing amount of media attention over the past two decades. These trendy and fashionable causes are really little more than a modern day manifestation of a sin that is rooted in antiquity, but they do threaten to further undermine the already eroded Christian foundations of our culture.
Environmental extremism and the animal "rights" movement are closely linked in terms of their core beliefs. While environmentalism encompasses a broad spectrum of issues, animal rights deals with only one: the relation between human beings and animals. This essay deals with the animal rights movement (really a movement within a movement), and in this first of a two part series, we'll look at the philosophy, origins, and influence of animal rights. In part two, we'll examine the movement's tactics and the inroads it has made in our culture.
Have you ever gone to the circus...?
...you are a primitive, arrogant, cruel, barbaric, murdering "speciesist,"
If you answered "yes" to any of the above, the animal "rights" movement would like you to know that you are a sick, exploitive, bloodthirsty person. Furthermore, you are a primitive, arrogant, cruel, barbaric, murdering "speciesist," not fit to lick the boots of a crustacean. Such kind words of encouragement are actually just a collection of animal rights rhetoric seen frequently in their publications and literature and used regularly against their enemies - namely, you and me.
Roll-over Marx and Lenin!
Just how large and influential has the animal rights movement become? In the United States alone, it is estimated that there are over 7000 different animal rights advocacy groups. About 56 of these groups maintain fully staffed offices in Washington, D.C. to lobby and harass federal politicians. These offices employ over 700 people, and have a combined annual budget in excess of 219 million dollars. Some animal rights groups even employ professional fund-raising firms from New York and Los Angeles and spend over a million dollars annually on advertising alone. The largest North American animal rights group is People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (P.E.T.A.), which boasts a membership of over 350,000 people, an annual budget of over eight million dollars, and 65 full-time staff.
Most people "love" animals...
From infancy, the animal rights movement seemed to realize that in order to gain popularity and public acceptance for their off-beat philosophies, they would need to associate themselves with the well-established and respectable animal welfare groups. In so doing, they spread the deception that animal "rights" are the same as animal welfare. The two are actually quite distinct and separate. Historically, animal welfare advocacy groups originated in England during the 19th century and appeared later in North America. Their goals were admirable and, more importantly, Biblically-based. These included encouraging the humane treatment of farm animals, monitoring the treatment of performing (i.e., circus or racetrack) animals, eliminating unnecessary laboratory testing, and neutering or spaying shelter animals.
God's intent has always been for man to show kindness to animals...
"...animal rights activists ... takeover...
In what proved to be an excellent strategy, animal rights activists set out to takeover the old established animal welfare groups. First to fall, was the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection. Over 200 animal rights activists arrived by bus at one of the annual general meetings and voted in their own slate of "rights" activists. They not only acquired a respectable organization to hide behind, but a group with lots of cash in its coffers. Corporate takeover methods have since been used by "rights" activists to acquire effective control over other welfare groups such as The Humane Society and The New England Anti-Vivisection League.
There are, however, some voices of truth and sanity speaking into this issue. Putting People First (PPF) is a non-profit, grassroots organization founded by Kathleen Marquardt in 1990 and is dedicated to opposing anti-human animal "rights," and environmental extremism. Although a very young organization, PPF has compiled an impressive list of victories in the political, legislative, and media arenas. PPF is an ardent supporter of animal welfare and conservation; they oppose animal abuse and environmental destruction. However, according to Marquardt, "People just don't understand how dangerous, how radical the animal extremists are. They're not reformers. They're abolitionists, revolutionaries... they say humans have no right to exploit animals. Animal extremists lie. They're out to brainwash the American public, and they're succeeding. They use terrorist tactics. They make death threats against their opponents, such as scientists who conduct medical research on animals. I've received lots of death threats from them myself."
Even a cursory look through the literature published by animal rights groups validates what Marquardt says. Consider the following sample of statements made by the founders of two of the largest and most high profile animal rights groups:
"A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy." (Ingrid Newkirk, co-founder of P.E.T.A.)
These statements reveal the foundations of the animal rights movement. It is the belief that animals have the same feelings, motivations, and inalienable rights as humans do. Animals are in every way of equal "worth" to humans, and the death of a rat or slug is just as tragic and significant as the death of a child.
In other words, man is superior to the animals.
The animal rights movement is at war with the Creator and His order in creation; it seeks to overturn the dominion mandate and reduce man to the level of an animal. It will not succeed, for our Lord rules in the midst of His enemies.