Possum Drops, Animal “Rights”, and PETA
On New Year’s Eve People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (aka PETA) protested a possum drop that was going to be conducted in the town of Brasstown, North Carolina which was to take place at midnight to ring in the New Year. PETA was so incensed at the idea of such an event that utilized a live animal that the group got a judge to order the state’s Wildlife Commission to not issue a permit for the event unless a fake possum was used.
Like the news report about this event points out, many of the people of Brasstown can’t afford nor would they want to go to New York City to see the New Year crystal ball drop in Times Square so they came up with their own manner of celebrating. When I first heard about this story it reminded me of an event that takes place regularly in Arizona that in 2010 drew the ire of animal rights activists. A statute was proposed in the Arizona legislature at that time to ban a Mexican custom that dates back to the 17th century called horse-tripping.
Horse tripping is performed during Mexican charreadas (i.e. rodeos) in which cowboys score points by lassoing the legs of a galloping horse, bull, or steer in order to bring it down. Naturally proponents of the ban claimed that the animals involved in the sport were being treated cruelly and, consequently, decided to attempt to ban the practice altogether. The proposed law or any any attempt to inhibit the usage of animals for events like possum drops or horse-tripping has nothing to do with protecting the lives and health of animals as much as it has to do with the evil intent of the bill’s legislative sponsor, Kyrsten Sinema, its proponents, and so-called animal rights groups.
Efforts to ban or restrict activities using animals for entertainment (be it horse-tripping or possum dropping) is also rooted in the hatred of human beings. In the case of Arizona’s proposal to ban horse-tripping the hatred is directed at Mexican culture since chareadas are a Mexican custom that dates back for hundreds of years and, ultimately, doesn’t harm anyone. Not only were politicians on the Right trying to run Mexicans out of the state by harping on the illegal immigration bandwagon, politicians on the Left (most notably Kyrsten Sinema) attempted to make war on their culture by incrementally banning sporting events starting with activities like horse-tripping.
Like Dr. Edwin Locke of the Ayn Rand Institute correctly points out, animals do not survive by rational thought but rather by reflexes and sensory perception association (i.e. predation). They do not have the capacity to learn any other way. Individual rights depend on a person’s capacity of rational thought. Animals are devoid of any such capabilities, therefore, they are not deserving of special legal status. There are appropriate legal protections for domesticated animals so that animal owners have redress against those who would steal or damage animals they use for activities such as food production, medical testing, or domesticated ownership.
It’s also no surprise that soon after the Connecticut shootings that PETA’s President Ingrid Newkirk just announced the group’s support not only of gun control but also outlawing hunting since doing so would make it harder for people to consume animals in order to live. I will never forget what Newkirk said when asked about the Foot and Mouth disease epidemic that broke out in Great Britain in 2001. Ingrid Newkirk was quoted by Reuters as saying:
If that hideousness came here [to the U.S.], it wouldn’t be any more hideous for the animals—they are all bound for a ghastly death anyway. But it would wake up consumers…. I openly hope that it comes here. It will bring economic harm only for those who profit from giving people heart attacks and giving animals a concentration camp-like existence. It would be good for animals, good for human health, and good for the environment.
Animal rights groups (so-called) are not about the humane treatment of animals but the animalistic treatment of humans. Not only due to PETA, the Animal Liberation Front, and other animal rights group’s opposition to sport or entertainment activities involving animals but even using creatures for medical testing. Hinder using animals for testing of treatments for diseases and cures for them will be few and far between resulting in more human deaths.
Animal rights extremists clearly do not have mankind’s well-being in mind but, rather, seek its destruction to the point where people disappear from existence itself. Their actions on things like possum drops, horse-tripping, and many other instances when animals are used clearly demonstrate their wanting to pervert individual rights from a means of human self-preservation and instead use them as a means of human extermination.