it’s 25 minutes long………..and well worth your time
Steve Best at AR2014
Dr. Steven Best gave this talk in the opening plenary panel at the US National Animal Rights Conference, on July 10, 2014. Dr. Best spoke on the meaning of animal rights, and he contrasted it to animal welfare, contextualized both in the setting of modern capitalism, and underscored the subversive and revolutionary nature of animal rights.
This five and half minute interview filled with humor is really a very good one
As many of you know, this site has a policy against approving comments from hunters and trappers or their apologists. Nothing personal; if this was a blog against child molesting, I wouldn’t approve comments from pedophiles either. Contrary to popular notion, there are a few moral absolutes in this universe, and the absolute truth is, killing other beings for sport is dead wrong—simple as that.
But some hunters are pretty slick when it comes to arguing their case, even going so far as to bring up issues we all agree on, such as overpopulation of humans or the deleterious effects monoculture crops have on wildlife and their habitat. Here’s a comment that nearly gained approval, had it not been for the implication at the end that plant eaters were responsible for more wildlife loss than hunters…
Submitted by William on 2014/07/05 at 5:57 pm
The WWF promotes and supports sustainable use of wildlife and natural resources. “Sports” hunting conducted under the auspices of a competent management authority is in fact a sustainable practice. This is in especially true when alternative uses for land include, mining, clearing and monoculture. There are many issues on our relationship with animals that will devide us. Eating and killing animals for our pleasure is one of the more pertinent ones (and yes, human beings can live a healthy life on a vegan diet it follows logically that meat is a purely sensory demand on our plates) . It is unreasonable to expect that the WWF prescribe personal ethics, be that meat eating, sports hunting , fishing or driving your 4*4 around . As an organization they have to work with a wide variety of stakeholders and inspite of personal beliefs and ethics they always have a sustainable future for wildlife as a goal. Just a quick personal note. The farm where i hunted as a youngster was recently converted to a maize farm. There are no more kudu, impala , lynx, jackal , owl, pangolin, owls, on the property
Of course, most monoculture crops are grown for the sole purpose of feeding farmed animals—a truth that many meat-eaters willfully overlook. And I don’t know of too many vegans who aren’t also advocates for curtailing or gradually reducing the burgeoning human population. There are a number of safe birth control methods, for those willing to use them.
And yes, it’s not just the sheer number of humans; the problem also has to do with the self-serving, unsustainable attitudes of some, as the following Onion article points out:
As we move into the 21st century, it is our responsibility to think of the future of the earth—not for ourselves, but for those who will inherit what my husband and I leave behind when we’re gone. If we do not join together and do what’s best for this, our only planet, there may not be an environment left in which my five children, and their 25 children’s 125 children, can grow up and raise large upper-middle-class families of their own.
Nothing less than the preservation of my descendents’ lifestyle itself is at stake.
Imagine a world devoid of pristine wilderness for my progeny to explore on the weekends in the sport-utility-vehicles of the future, leaving my youngest son, Dylan, with nowhere to blow off steam on off-road adventures. Imagine a world in which my beautiful middle son, Connor, is denied his twice-daily half-hour hot showers because of water shortages. Picture what it would be like for my oldest boy Asher, preparing to start his first semester at Stanford, to have to go without basic amenities such as cable television, satellite radio, central air, or massage chairs, all because of the shortsighted squandering by his parents’ generation of our non-renewable energy sources today.
Though it seems like a far-off nightmare, this terrible vision is all too possible. Would you want to live in a world where my five children had to endure such horrible deprivations? I know I wouldn’t.
If we don’t take action now, my daughters Kimmy and Jenna may not be able to blow-dry their hair for 45 minutes to an hour each morning, nor may my future sons-in-law cut their grass atop enormous, diesel-powered riding mowers. In fact, they may not even have lawns—at least not the lush, verdant kind that requires constant watering and pesticide treatment. It’s conceivable that one day my five children’s spacious yards may be entirely composed of synthetic Astroturf, or—God forbid—those tacky wood chips my sister in Arizona uses.
In a cruel irony, those wood chippings will get more expensive as the world’s timber supply continues to shrink.
Encroaching urban sprawl has already begun to spoil the view from the porch of our beautiful new summer home on Lake Wakenaka. Sadly, the view from the bay windows of our first summer home, the one we built at our Woodland Acres property six years earlier, has already been ruined by such unchecked development. Must my children grow up in a world where only one of their parents’ summer homes is surrounded by the beauty of nature? It’s unthinkable, I know, but we must face facts.
This is to say nothing of the deleterious impact the destruction of our global ecosystems will have on the wildlife my family enjoys hunting. Biodiversity is crucial to another 100 years of deer-, quail-, duck-, bear-, moose-, bobcat-, and bison-shooting summer recreation for my descendents.
We must take steps immediately to devise safe, alternative energy sources that my future offspring can safely consume. If we don’t develop new fuels now, there will be none left for those who issue from my loins to burn and continue to burn for all time. I don’t want my 625-odd great-grandchildren to have to wait 20 or 30 precious seconds for their toilets to flush. I don’t want their 3,125 children to live in a hellish society where they cannot own their own snowmobiles. And I shudder to think that my 15,625 great-great-great-grandchildren may not be able to have TVs in every room that they can leave on all day and all night. Is it our right to deny my progeny of their gargantuan RVs and motorboats, as well? Of course not.
We cannot, in good conscience, lay such a burden on tomorrow’s generations of Melfords. My children are the future. And at the end of the day, isn’t it family—my family—that truly matters?
Completely by accident, I happened upon on another site and found an angry comment to my recent post entitled, “Kendall Jones, Just another Pretty Psychopath.” The female commenter claimed to be upset by the use of the word “males” as though it were an insult to people of the male persuasion. A great book by Richard Wrangham and Dale Peterson, Demonic Males: Apes and the Roots of Human Violence (which I included on my recommended reading list at the back of my book), would not have a title if it were taboo to use the M-word.
But it turns out the reason for her comment was that she was offended as a “feminist hunter.” My grandmother’s two older sisters were suffragettes who marched on Washington D.C. and got themselves arrested for the cause of furthering women’s rights. If it hadn’t been for them and women like them, this commenter still might not have the right to vote. But one thing they didn’t do was hunt.
Although it’s a sure-fire way to get attention, it makes no sense to objectify and exploit one group of oppressed (non-human animals) while championing one’s own cause (feminism). It flies in the face of those who actually do fight for the rights of others. I imagine most animal rights activists, like Carol J. Adams, author of The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory, would agree—the term “feminist hunter” is just another oxymoron.
By Michael Beckel 21 hours ago
The Protect the Harvest Political Action Committee told the elections regulator that it “intends to raise funds in unlimited amounts” to call for the election or defeat of federal candidates.
Which politicos will be targeted, however, is still unclear.
Neither the super PAC’s treasurer, Brian Klippenstein, nor its attorney, Mark Roth, responded to requests for comment from the Center for Public Integrity.
Super PACs are legally allowed to solicit unlimited contributions to produce political advertisements — so long as their spending is not coordinated with any candidates’ campaigns.
Klippenstein currently serves as the executive director of Protect the Harvest, a 501(c)(4) “social welfare” nonprofit established in 2011 to educate the public about “the benefits of farming, ranching and hunting” and to advocate “for the right to conduct such activities.”
The nonprofit may engage in politics, although federal law mandates that influencing elections may not be its primary purpose.
On its website, Protect the Harvest warns that “the animal rights movement in America, led by the Humane Society of the United States, has evolved into a wealthy and successful attack group determined to end the consumption of meat, threaten consumer access to affordable food, eliminate hunting, outlaw rodeos and circuses and even ban animal ownership (including pets) altogether.”
That’s “baloney,” said Joe Maxwell, the Humane Society of the United States’ vice president of outreach and engagement. He said his organization is “leading efforts to ensure that we have good stewards of the land and the animals on our farms.”
Protect the Harvest, Maxwell asserted, is “nothing but a front group” that is “in bed with industrialized agriculture.”