The VIEW from here

Sometimes the fight for ‘animal rights’ can be absurd


Gary Gould — Managing Editor

Gary Gould — Managing Editor

Some stories have been in the media recently which just make me wonder if some animal rights activists are living on a different planet than the rest of us.

I’m all for protecting wildlife and pets and there are many good people and organizations who make a difference every day in the lives of animals. I applaud those people and respect what they do.

But there are also animal rights activists who I consider to be playing with something less than a full deck and their statements, in my opinion, border on the absurd.

One recent incident was the case of the man in Zanesville, Ohio who owned a farm populated by approximately 50 exotic animals — Bengal tigers, lions, bears and other ferocious animals — who released all of his “pets” before killing himself.

Fearing the animals would terrorize the town, harming people, officers began shooting them. They killed most of the escaped exotics, taking their carcasses and piling them up at the farm they escaped from for mass burial.

It was a very sad and unfortunate situation and the actions of the police department there was supported by the Humane Society, the Columbus Zoo and other “reasonable” animal advocacy groups.

But there were those who still criticized the Zanesville police for “slaughtering” the wild animals. These mostly came from misguided individuals and, of course, celebrities in Hollywood who think real life is just a big movie anyway.

“So upset about what happened in Ohio!!! I think they could have tried harder to save the animals. It wasn’t their fault,” said Carrie Ann Inaba, a judge for “Dancing with the Stars”, in a message she Tweeted to fans after the incident.

The police are not trained in the capture of large, vicious animals. They did not have the necessary tranquilizer guns to render these beasts unconscious. They did what they had to do to protect themselves and the residents of the surrounding area.

I love animals and I think lions, tigers and bears are wonderful, majestic creatures, but not when they are devouring police officers, random citizens or one of my kids.

The situation was sad and worse is

Ohio law which allows people like this man to own such animals, but don’t fault the police for doing their jobs in this case — they were protecting live human beings, not animals.

Last week, the animal rights group PETA filed a lawsuit against SeaWorld, asking a federal court to declare that five orca whales at SeaWorld are slaves — a supposed violation of the 13th Amendment.

Basically, in PETA’s words, the treatment of these whales is akin to enslaving human beings. That’s an insult to generations of African-Americans, and other cultures, who endured true slavery throughout human history and to those people who still today are still in the bonds of servitude.

While Shamu at SeaWorld might not have a choice when trainers climb up on his back and make him dive through hoops, it is like comparing apples to oranges with real human slavery. PETA needs to get real about its causes and how it is going to accomplish its goals. Quit wasting our time, the legal system’s time and making fools of yourselves and find an intelligent way to make a difference.


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