Developing the Case for Animal Cruelty Laws


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As an Objectivist, thoroughly committed to rationality, I, like many, have struggled with formulating an objective justification for laws preventing cruelty to animals. I have failed to find many compelling arguments within the existing discussion, and have questions I do not see posed and would love to ask the Objectivist community.

A free society entails being free to make all the choices for the furtherance of our own lives, without having our rights violated or violating the rights of others, as we all know. While this is clearly just and logically defensible in just about every scenario for humans, bringing animals into the picture is the one topic that brings a lot of ambiguity to some of us who like animals and despise those who would wantonly harm them. The pervasive arguments set up the perceived dichotomy that I have much difficulty accepting or refuting. Namely, that animals must either be regarded as inanimate objects in a political sense, or possess “rights”. I would like to explore third options to this, and would ask for you to seek out inconsistencies or contradictions in my proposals. I find it very easy when tackling this subject to inadvertently make arguments that could be taken as justification for slippery slope policies leading to the wholesale regulation of livestock industries or that merely semantically try to distinguish animal “rights” from animal “protections” without a non-arbitrary and substantive difference in the morality of their application.

If I witness a man torturing a dog in his front yard, my response would certainly be to violently attack the man and rescue the dog. Many could argue that by my own Objectivist standards (that animals are outside the concept of rights and are indeed property) that I am violating that man’s right to not be harmed, and am unjustly stealing his property. Is my response really just rash emotionalism? Is the value I perceive in the dog as a living being and potential loving companion to some human inconsequential, since it is indeed not my dog nor meaningful in the context of my life? Am I irrational for risking myself physically to prevent an act that is comparable to acts that are committed countless times a day in nature by animals against animals, simply because the perpetrator is a fellow man? Am I the criminal in such a case? I ask with complete intellectual openness, but find it a hard pill to swallow.

The other option is to find that such a gross display of depravity is justification for the initiation of force against the man, at which point we must identify the basis for the justification, and many would at this point insist the animal does have rights. However that is absurd; animals cannot have a right to their own lives, as they cannot form concepts and merely react perceptually to their immediate needs, they kill and maim each other and are in every sense amoral. Human’s values always come before that of animals, and thus any use of them for work, experimentation or companionship, and even the eradication of unwanted populations is justifiable, thus the notion of having a “right” to that life is absurd. I doubt I need to preach any further to the choir on this subject.

Many in the animal rights crowd will try to assert the notion that the capacity for pain is the root of rights, and while this is illogical, is the capacity for pain not a basis for anything? We place life as the highest value, and derive our rights from our rationally constructed moral codes, while animals simply cling to life via their hereditary tools and instincts. Mammals clearly reside in a place above purely reactionary creatures and below rational ones. Their capacity for pain and happiness does not entitle them to rights, but it does heavily influence the way we treat and interact with them. Those who like to torture them, those who value pain qua pain, enjoy doing so exactly because it is similar to the human experience; it is very much anti-life and immoral as it has no real value, despite being a moral being acting upon an amoral one. So I must ask, is it not proper for there to be “a moral principle defining and sanctioning man’s freedom of action in a” human-animal context? This is what I seek. While I support virtually no law which does not retaliate against the violation of a person’s rights, as they almost certainly entail violating someone else’s, this I feel a separate case. Since saying we should be free to act so long as it does not violate the rights of others is my utmost principle, I find it hard to accept the one deplorable hole that leaves, namely accepting animal torture as an unenumerated right.

Vaguely similar to how Rand’s morality in an emergency situation is true without incurring a double standard of morality, I feel living property can be treated differently than inanimate property through law without incurring a double standard of property rights. I would only support two basic laws regarding this issue, one, criminalizing the torture or abuse of a mammal for the sake of torture or abuse itself (this would include fighting rings and neglect with the intent to let die) and two, requiring any mammal being processed for any reason to be first quickly killed. (I exclude birds because I am unsure of their brain capacity to feel pain and emotion, so until I see conclusive evidence I am not as opposed to cock fighting.) I would hate to think that my support of these laws contradicts my Objectivism. This would still leave open a lot of potential mistreatment, such as unsanitary and cramped confinement, but this is up to people to marginalize and reduce the incentive for people to farm them this way. Many fur traders have privately adopted humane treatment policies exactly because it is a marketable principle and eases the worry of potential on-the-fence fur buyers.

Another related issue is the “The Argument from Marginal Cases.” I have seen this link posted in another Objectivist Living thread that digressed a bit onto the subject:

http://www.strike-the-root.com/4/graham/graham1.html

Now this author is clearly off on a few points. It starts off with the preposterous impression that you can be both libertarian and anarchist. But aside from those flaws, I would like to question you as to whether or not the “Normative Species” argument successfully addresses the marginal cases argument, and if not, is the marginal case argument even valid, or is there another refutation? This author’s refutation of the normative species argument is a complete straw man, as the argument proposed is to hold a debilitated individual’s rights equal to a normal individual, never would I interpret it to hold an exceptional individual down to the normal individual. Despite being one of those impossible (at least for a few more million years) hypothetical arguments, the rational monkey would be afforded all rights because it is rational, and accepting the normative species argument would not hold that the rational monkey must be treated regressively as a normal monkey. That said, I still do not find the normative species a very strong argument; it is very collective in nature, affording to some simply on the basis of being part of a group, so I feel there is a better way to justify the protection of rights of the severely mentally handicapped, without relying on the normative species argument or accepting that animals also must have rights. It seems to me that in the incidents the marginal cases argument tries to draw from, that not all rationality is truly lost. It may be hampered to the point of needing assisted living, but a basic conceptual faculty is still there, and thus so are their rights. In the cases of the completely brain dead or comatose, that person is essentially already dead, and as unsettling as it may sound, any infraction against them is going to be handled more like a property violation case by the caregiver rather than a direct infringement of rights. Does this invalidate the marginal case theory? If a third party becomes aware of the serial rape of a permanently comatose person, and reports it as they should, is the justification for this on grounds of the comatose person’s rights presumably being violated if they were to not be comatose? Or is it more like the justification I am seeking for animal cruelty laws?

I am asking this to learn. If there are other good threads on the subject, I am sorry for overlooking them (believe me, I tried, the internet is overloaded with overbearing, anti-human activists with Marxist ideologies attempting to disparage and denounce any form of animal ownership. Poor people try to ask a simple question because their dog got knocked up, and the board fills up with condemnations and treating the poster as some kind of “backyard breeder” monster. It is astonishing, but for another post.) Rand was apparently a cat lover who could not fit the justification within her philosophy, and I have read that reportedly Nathaniel Branden had avoided questions related to the topic because he had “struggled” with it and eventually shelved it. I cannot let their inability to do so sway me from trying to develop it on my own (even though those are some amazing minds I am trying to outdo), just for my own philosophical completeness. Thank you all for reading this and for any serious replies.

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I can understand the thought and effort you've made about this. However, there are pretty adequate animal cruelty laws on the books. Let the animal cruelists mount their philosophical defenses if they can or they go in the can, man.

--Brant

still waiting for their brilliance

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Fighting for your freedom means fighting for and against certain laws and their rational enforcement. Let the folks who claim laws against their freedom to be cruel to animals fight for their freedom in this respect. Let's hear and consider their arguments. Now, I want freedom to make wealth and love whom I love. Let me fight for these freedoms. Let me justify these freedoms. Let me acquire philosophical allies!

Let me kick my dog because he's my dog--or deprive him of food and care. Come! Ally yourself with me! Fight for this freedom with me! Mount the mighty arguments! Forward! Freedom and glory!

--Brant

Edited by Brant Gaede
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Haha, I understand this is a fringe issue and not a rampant problem. I was just getting annoyed reading people vehemently condemn others for accidentally letting their dogs get impregnated and overthought the whole animal rights nonsense back to this fundamental.

I probably should have stuck to that for the thread. "The Anti-concept of 'Backyard Breeders'".

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Haha, I understand this is a fringe issue and not a rampant problem. I was just getting annoyed reading people vehemently condemn others for accidentally letting their dogs get impregnated and overthought the whole animal rights nonsense back to this fundamental.

I probably should have stuck to that for the thread. "The Anti-concept of 'Backyard Breeders'".

At no point did I attempt to divert this subject into superciliousness, nor did I think you'd default into it. I did not think you were an intellectual parvenu. How other forms of life are treated by us is a serious matter. Consider, the elephant! Get real or, please, get lost.

--Brant

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If I witness a man torturing a dog in his front yard, my response would certainly be to violently attack the man and rescue the dog. Many could argue that by my own Objectivist standards (that animals are outside the concept of rights and are indeed property) that I am violating that man’s right to not be harmed, and am unjustly stealing his property. Is my response really just rash emotionalism? Is the value I perceive in the dog as a living being and potential loving companion to some human inconsequential, since it is indeed not my dog nor meaningful in the context of my life? Am I irrational for risking myself physically to prevent an act that is comparable to acts that are committed countless times a day in nature by animals against animals, simply because the perpetrator is a fellow man? Am I the criminal in such a case? I ask with complete intellectual openness, but find it a hard pill to swallow.

Hi JJ, welcome to OL!

If you consider the issue from the perspective of the (objectively observable, in comparison to former times) ethical evolvement of mankind toward more empathy and caring, it is no surprise that this empathy is being extended more and more to animals as well. Peter Singer called this the "expanding circle".

And since ethical evolvements finally find their way into the law, it is a towering achievement that in the laws of several modern countries, animals are no longer treated merely as private property, but have rights that protect them from being treated cruelly.

Am I irrational for risking myself physically to prevent an act that is comparable to acts that are committed countless times a day in nature by animals against animals, simply because the perpetrator is a fellow man?

I don't think one can't compare acts of human cruelty toward animals with the biological survival program of animals that involves killing other life. The animal has no choice. Whereas the human cruelty you described in your post is a conscious act by someone who would have the alternative to act otherwise.

Edited by Xray
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it is a towering achievement that in the laws of several modern countries, animals are no longer treated merely as private inanimate property, but have rights that protect them from being treated cruelly.

Actually, it's more like a sign of our regression back to barbarism.

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If I witness a man torturing a dog in his front yard, my response would certainly be to violently attack the man and rescue the dog. Many could argue that by my own Objectivist standards (that animals are outside the concept of rights and are indeed property) that I am violating that man’s right to not be harmed, and am unjustly stealing his property. Is my response really just rash emotionalism? Is the value I perceive in the dog as a living being and potential loving companion to some human inconsequential, since it is indeed not my dog nor meaningful in the context of my life? Am I irrational for risking myself physically to prevent an act that is comparable to acts that are committed countless times a day in nature by animals against animals, simply because the perpetrator is a fellow man? Am I the criminal in such a case? I ask with complete intellectual openness, but find it a hard pill to swallow.

Hi JJ, welcome to OL!

If you consider the issue from the perspective of the (objectively observable, in comparison to former times) ethical evolvement of mankind toward more empathy and caring, it is no surprise that this empathy is being extended more and more to animals as well. Peter Singer called this the "expanding circle".

And since ethical evolvements finally find their way into the law, it is a towering achievement that in the laws of several modern countries, animals are no longer treated merely as private inanimate property, but have rights that protect them from being treated cruelly.

I have never quite worked out the anger and protectiveness I feel for any mistreated/abused animal I see, but it has something to do with the incomprehension and confusion that is obvious in their eyes and in part the sight of sub-human behaviour (pleasure/righteousness) of the bully. When animal meets animal, yes they can be savage - but a person's savagery is differently motivated, and the animal understands that, inchoately.

No, JJ, I don't believe you are irrational in risking yourself - given your value system, it would be irrational not to do so, I think. Not 'logical' as such, but rational. (Welcome, btw!)

Angela, this illustrates another thing about empathy: if you got it, no explanations needed; if not, no explanations suffice.

B)

Tony

Edited by whYNOT
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If I witness a man torturing a dog in his front yard, my response would certainly be to violently attack the man and rescue the dog.

Been there and done that. I couldn't rescue the dog because it ran off. Years ago, this was. I had just come off a gig at Cleveland State University, and was walking out to find my car (it was in the dead of a horrible winter, there was almost no one on Euclid Avenue, which is basically a frozen wind tunnel when it gets like that). Some asshole standing there in the middle of this kicking the shit out of his already-starved dog. I saw red (anytime I see violent attacks on the weak--kids, wives, smaller people, animals) I lose control, which is almost impossible for me. First I warned him to stop ("Hey, cut that out--no reason for that."), which only fueled his fire and he set in again. I put down my guitar in the slush and started in on him. I broke his nose, his jaw, his ribs, and a couple of other things, I think. It was not a controlled situation, and also fighting in subzero is nasty business. I left him unconscious in a pool of his own blood in the middle of Euclid Ave., the dog bolted off (tried to find him but could not), and left. I'm not saying whether that was right or wrong, I'm just saying that's what you will get if I see it.

Then, of course, there is this kind of shit:

Edison Fries an Elephant

1903: Thomas Edison stages his highly publicized electrocution of an elephant in order to demonstrate the dangers of alternating current, which, if it posed any immediate danger at all, was to Edison's own direct current.

Edison had established direct current at the standard for electricity distribution and was living large off the patent royalties, royalties he was in no mood to lose when George Westinghouse and Nicola Tesla showed up with alternating current.

Edison's aggressive campaign to discredit the new current took the macabre form of a series of animal electrocutions using AC (a killing process he referred to snidely as getting "Westinghoused"). Stray dogs and cats were the most easily obtained, but he also zapped a few cattle and horses.

Edison got his big chance, though, when the Luna Park Zoo at Coney Island decided that Topsy, a cranky female elephant who had squashed three handlers in three years (including one idiot who tried feeding her a lighted cigarette), had to go.

Park officials originally considered hanging Topsy but the SPCA objected on humanitarian grounds, so someone suggesting having the pachyderm "ride the lightning," a practice that had been used in the American penal system since 1890 to dispatch the condemned. Edison was happy to oblige.

This portion of Edison's film Electrocuting an Elephant is taken from a German television show.

When the day came, Topsy was restrained using a ship's hawser fastened on one end to a donkey engine and on the other to a post. Wooden sandals with copper electrodes were attached to her feet and a copper wire run to Edison's electric light plant, where his technicians awaited the go-ahead.

In order to make sure that Topsy emerged from this spectacle more than just singed and angry, she was fed cyanide-laced carrots moments before a 6,600-volt AC charge slammed through her body. Officials needn't have worried. Topsy was killed instantly and Edison, in his mind anyway, had proved his point.

A crowd put at 1,500 witnessed Topsy's execution, which was filmed by Edison and released later that year asElectrocuting an Elephant.

In the end, though, all Edison had to show for his efforts was a string of dead animals, including the unfortunate Topsy, and a current that quickly fell out of favor as AC demonstrated its superiority in less lethal ways to become the standard.

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Thanks for the welcomes everyone.

At no point did I attempt to divert this subject into superciliousness, nor did I think you'd default into it. I did not think you were an intellectual parvenu. How other forms of life are treated by us is a serious matter. Consider, the elephant! Get real or, please, get lost.

--Brant

Not at all. I see how you took that, I phrased it poorly. I simply meant, "Haha, how funny the thought of animal cruelists actually coming to defend themselves! (If there actually are some on OL, I'm surprised.) I originally intended to post concerning 'Backyard Breeders', but followed a long train of thought back to this."

Never did I intend to sound like I was meekly backing away and brushing the issue aside.

I don't think one can't compare acts of human cruelty toward animals with the biological survival program of animals that involves killing other life. The animal has no choice. Whereas the human cruelty you described in your post is a conscious act by someone who would have the alternative to act otherwise.

Yes, and I have been thinking about this. I would probably have to say it is less the plight of the animal, and more the perverse intentions and acts of the human that fuels the hate. Which gets back to the seeming methodological contradiction regarding my views on all other laws. But again, as people who do this are taking out anger on something because it is small and weak and has emotion and pain, it's as though they are using it as a replacement for small child/person, and no other property has this distinction. I find it hard to accept that this is within their right.

I did learn recently that hyenas are one of few animals that begin eating their prey alive. It is disturbing to watch, and no doubt being the victim of a hyena is an excruciating death (they like that soft meat, like rectums, first, yum!). So yes, the fact it is a human is the biggest part.

I broke his nose, his jaw, his ribs, and a couple of other things, I think. It was not a controlled situation, and also fighting in subzero is nasty business. I left him unconscious in a pool of his own blood in the middle of Euclid Ave., the dog bolted off (tried to find him but could not), and left. I'm not saying whether that was right or wrong, I'm just saying that's what you will get if I see it.

Good! :P

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"I would probably have to say it is less the plight of the animal, and more the perverse intentions and acts of the human that fuels the hate"

Now, we're getting somewhere. :)

rde

Edited by Rich Engle
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I have to question whether peoples concern here is truly about concern for the abused animal, as opposed hatred of whoever is doing the abusing. Do you feel the same concern when a cheetah tears an antelope apart piece by piece while it's alive and terrified? Do you want to rescue the antelope for its fate? Or do you view it with no disgust, no hate, no real concern for the antelope at all? What about animals, such as cats, that will torment another animal to death simply for the playfulness of it?

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Yes, and I have been thinking about this. I would probably have to say it is less the plight of the animal, and more the perverse intentions and acts of the human that fuels the hate. Which gets back to the seeming methodological contradiction regarding my views on all other laws. But again, as people who do this are taking out anger on something because it is small and weak and has emotion and pain, it's as though they are using it as a replacement for small child/person, and no other property has this distinction. I find it hard to accept that this is within their right.

As Rich replied, we're getting somewhere - but I'm not convinced in the right direction.

I tend the other way: for me, it's more the plight of the animal, less the motivation/punishment of the psycho-bully. (Whom I'm all for jumping all over.)

We head down that road, seeking and condemning the perpetrators out of hand, it could become a slippery slope of sanctimony.

The objective is to reduce, hopefully eliminate, human-caused pain and suffering for domestic animals and livestock, right?

A civilized country does have laws in place against animal cruelty. And actions by individuals are as important: Privately-funded organisations and volunteer groups do rescue animals in distress. For the abuser, ostracization by society, naming and shaming, picket his property, punch him on the nose - whatever.

No ways, though, in a rational society, can 'Animal Rights' be implemented; it is a meaningless and self-contradictory concept.

The concept makes a mockery of individual rights - so it is not surprising to see it gain traction in nations that uphold 'Human Rights'.

Tony

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To Original Poster Juice Jones:

Give up. You will not be able to justify laws against unnecessary cruelty to animals on a rational or logical basis. Most humans are genetically wired for empathy. It is just the way we are built. People like me (I am an Aspergarian) can appreciate it even more than normal folks for whom it is built in. Normal humans can project in such a way as to "feel" the pain of other, even dumb brutes. So forget logic, except as a post hoc justification for what is already part of your being. You are genetically programmed to be a "soft touch". If you work at it really, really hard you can over ride this and become cruel and inhumane, but it takes work.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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No ways, though, in a rational society, can 'Animal Rights' be implemented; it is a meaningless and self-contradictory concept.

The concept makes a mockery of individual rights - so it is not surprising to see it gain traction in nations that uphold 'Human Rights'.

Tony

Great points Tony.

I ran a search, suggested by Reidy, on another thread and came up with this:

There was widespread support for
animal welfare in Nazi Germany
[1]
and the Nazis took several measures to ensure protection of animals.
[2]
Many
Nazi leaders
, including
Adolf Hitler
and
Hermann Göring
, were supporters of animal protection. Several Nazis were
environmentalists
, and species protection and
animal welfare
were significant issues in the
Nazi regime
.
[3]
Heinrich Himmler
made an effort to ban the hunting of animals.
[4]
Göring was an animal lover and
conservationist
.
[5]
The current animal welfare laws in
Germany
are modified versions of the laws introduced by the Nazis.
[6]

Wiki cite here

I find this so incredibly contradictory. We care for animals, but gypsies, Jews, homosexuals, etc. we can torture and exterminate. Amazing.

I think one of the problems with what Slade raised here is the term "rights," which is a human term and does not translate, or so I would argue, to animals. For example, property "rights" apply to humans also.

Adam

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If I witness a man torturing a dog in his front yard, my response would certainly be to violently attack the man and rescue the dog.

Been there and done that. I couldn't rescue the dog because it ran off. Years ago, this was. I had just come off a gig at Cleveland State University, and was walking out to find my car (it was in the dead of a horrible winter, there was almost no one on Euclid Avenue, which is basically a frozen wind tunnel when it gets like that). Some asshole standing there in the middle of this kicking the shit out of his already-starved dog. I saw red (anytime I see violent attacks on the weak--kids, wives, smaller people, animals) I lose control, which is almost impossible for me. First I warned him to stop ("Hey, cut that out--no reason for that."), which only fueled his fire and he set in again. I put down my guitar in the slush and started in on him. I broke his nose, his jaw, his ribs, and a couple of other things, I think. It was not a controlled situation, and also fighting in subzero is nasty business. I left him unconscious in a pool of his own blood in the middle of Euclid Ave., the dog bolted off (tried to find him but could not), and left. I'm not saying whether that was right or wrong, I'm just saying that's what you will get if I see it.

Assuming the principle of self-defense could be somehow applicable here, you went much too far in what seems to have been a bout of temporary insanity. Not that I care a whit about the SOB you beat up. And there is no grace in ending your statement with a threat. I do not care to be anywhere near someone who has given himself a moral blank check to badly beat up people he thinks are doing bad things. Judge, jury and executioner and all three nuts. If someone had come upon you doing to that guy what he had been doing to his dog and had the means to stop you, he would have been justified.

--Brant

Edited by Brant Gaede
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If you work at it really, really hard you can over ride this and become cruel and inhumane, but it takes work.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Classic. It's the second "really" that does it for me.

Nice, Bob.

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No ways, though, in a rational society, can 'Animal Rights' be implemented; it is a meaningless and self-contradictory concept.

The concept makes a mockery of individual rights - so it is not surprising to see it gain traction in nations that uphold 'Human Rights'.

But of course 'Animal Rights' can (and alredy have!) been implemented! They include things like e. g. an animal's right to be protected from human cruelty.

The concept Animal Rights is neither meaningless nor self-contradictory. On the contrary, it is extremely rational, even from an Objectivist standpoint:

If the moral is the rational, and cruelty toward animals is regarded as immoral, then a law against such immorality is rational.

Edited by Xray
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No ways, though, in a rational society, can 'Animal Rights' be implemented; it is a meaningless and self-contradictory concept.

The concept makes a mockery of individual rights - so it is not surprising to see it gain traction in nations that uphold 'Human Rights'.

But of course 'Animal Rights' can (and alredy have!) been implemented! They include things like e. g. an animal's right to be protected from human cruelty.

The concept Animal Rights is neither meaningless nor self-contradictory. On the contrary, it is extremely rational, even from an Objectivist standpoint:

If the moral is the rational, and cruelty toward animals is regarded as immoral, then a law against such immorality is rational.

We are discussing rights in the context of the Objectivist natural rights' philosophy, not some laws passed by some governments. This makes your argument basically a non sequitur. Also, what is moral doesn't necessarily make for a moral law. In this case we can posit it does but we are dealing with what should and shouldn't be a law re this philosophy. And as I've stated, there are anti-animal cruelty laws on the books. Let those charged with those crimes go to court or the legislature with their own moral and philosophical arguments. I won't be there to hear them. I won't break a lance for them.

--Brant

Edited by Brant Gaede
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No ways, though, in a rational society, can 'Animal Rights' be implemented; it is a meaningless and self-contradictory concept.

The concept makes a mockery of individual rights - so it is not surprising to see it gain traction in nations that uphold 'Human Rights'.

But of course 'Animal Rights' can (and alredy have!) been implemented! They include things like e. g. an animal's right to be protected from human cruelty.

The concept Animal Rights is neither meaningless nor self-contradictory. On the contrary, it is extremely rational, even from an Objectivist standpoint:

If the moral is the rational, and cruelty toward animals is regarded as immoral, then a law against such immorality is rational.

Name which nations. Do they perhaps practise "human rights"?

Check your premises. "Cruelty toward animals is regarded as immoral"- by whom? Based upon which metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics?

Animals can be either private property, or wards of the State, or sovereign beings.

Pick one.

Which is rational?

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The concept Animal Rights is neither meaningless nor self-contradictory. On the contrary, it is extremely rational, even from an Objectivist standpoint:

If the moral is the rational, and cruelty toward animals is regarded as immoral, then a law against such immorality is rational.

We are discussing rights in the context of the Objectivist natural rights philosophy, not some laws passed by some governments. This makes your argument a non sequitur.

Ayn Rand was no anarchist.

Edited by Xray
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The concept Animal Rights is neither meaningless nor self-contradictory. On the contrary, it is extremely rational, even from an Objectivist standpoint:

If the moral is the rational, and cruelty toward animals is regarded as immoral, then a law against such immorality is rational.

We are discussing rights in the context of the Objectivist natural rights philosophy, not some laws passed by some governments. This makes your argument a non sequitur.

Ayn Rand was no anarchist.

So I did not say.

--Brant

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But of course 'Animal Rights' can (and alredy have!) been implemented! They include things like e. g. an animal's right to be protected from human cruelty.

The concept Animal Rights is neither meaningless nor self-contradictory. On the contrary, it is extremely rational, even from an Objectivist standpoint:

If the moral is the rational, and cruelty toward animals is regarded as immoral, then a law against such immorality is rational.

Name which nations. Do they perhaps practise "human rights"?

Check your premises. "Cruelty toward animals is regarded as immoral"- by whom?

Can you think of anyone living in a civilized country who would defend cruelty toward animals as moral?

Animals can be either private property, or wards of the State, or sovereign beings.

Pick one.

Which is rational?

Since no one would make the mistake to think that "animal rights" include things like e. g. an animal's right to vote, we can disregard your last point.

Re: "rational": a living being that is private property and has rights is no challenge on rationality. Instead it is challenge on a specific connotation with the idea of private property: that the owners can do as they please with what they own.

Edited by Xray
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