“Animal rights.” properly understood, is an ideology that believes human and animal lives are equal because all have the capacity to feel pain or suffer. Animal welfare, on the other hand, understands that humans have greater value, but that we also have the duty to treat animals humanely. Alas, animal rights is often conflated with animal welfare, giving cover to the misanthropes.
This story illustrates the point: Some fish were killed in an auto accident — and PETA wants a memorial for their deaths erected. From the Orange County Register story:
An Irvine resident is requesting that the city install a sign to memorialize the hundreds of fish killed in a traffic crash in early October as they were being taken to Irvine Ranch Market. In the letter, Dina Kourda, on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, asks the city’s street maintenance superintendent to place the sign at the site of the crash on Walnut and Yale avenues.
The sign would read, “In memory of hundreds of fish who suffered and died at this spot,” to remind tractor-trailer drivers of their responsibility to the animals who are “hauled to their deaths every day,” according to the letter provided by PETA.
The PETAites then go on to explain why fish are people too.
One is tempted to laugh, but they actually mean it. And their target audience are your kids.