The economy has slowed the release of my upcoming book criticizing the animal rights movement, but it is moving forward. It is now listed on Amazon. The title comes from PETA’s Ingrid Newkirk’s most famous quote: A Rat is a Pig is a Dog is a Boy: The Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement. The book cover is still being worked on, and I will link it here when it is available.
What do I hope to accomplish? This excerpt from the introduction explains:
It is not my purpose in this book to act as a defender of of animal industries. Rather, my goals are primarily to expose the anti-human ideology of animal rights/liberation, expose the movement’s many deceptions, and warn against the sometimes violent tactics of the animal rights/liberation movement. I will also defend the propriety of using animals as necessary and proper to promoting human welfare, prosperity, and happiness. Finally, I will mount an unequivocal defense of the belief that human beings uniquely stand at the pinnacle of moral worth–a concept sometimes called human exceptionalism.
I am very well aware that these positions—once nearly universally accepted—have, in recent years, become intensely controversial. Indeed, few issues generate such intense emotionalism or fervent support by its adherents as does “animal rights.” Thus, I want to make it very clear at the outset—as I will throughout the book—that I love animals and like most people, I wince when I see them in pain. Moreover, I believe strongly that as enlightened people, we have a profound moral and ethical obligation to treat animals humanely and with proper respect—a core obligation of human exceptionalism—and by all means, to never cause them to suffer for frivolous reasons. I also strongly support laws against cruelty to animals and support strengthening them when appropriate. Indeed, I believe that animal abuse is a terrible wrong, not only because it causes the victimized animal to suffer, but also because cruelty to animals diminishes our own humanity.
Now, consider why I felt it necessary to make such an unusual disclaimer: Over the past thirty years, the concept of “animal rights” has seeped deeply into the bone marrow of Western culture. (This is especially true among the young.) Part of this support is based on a very loose use of the term “animal rights” as about being nicer to animals. It isn’t—although sometimes animal rights groups engage in animal welfare-type activism. Rather, animal rights is actually a belief system, an ideology, and for some even a quasi-religion that both implicitly and explicitly seeks to create a moral equivalency between the value of human lives and those of animals.
I expect the book will generate a lot of controversy. That’s fine. But I think a lot of it–as in some of my previous books–will be about what I didn’t write rather than what I did. In any event, we are on our way. Stay tuned