Monday, 10 November 2008

"A-hunting we shall go": why the hunting ban is wrong and the "animal rights" revolution is another false ideology

Ever eaten a roast?


Well, then, you're an accomplice to murder according to the loony "animal rights liberationist" revolutionaries.

This is the new stage of the Revolution, with a capital "R".

The exploitation of workers led to the error of Communism - and we know how disastrously that failed.

The exploitation of women led to the error of Feminism - and we are currently living that disastrous failure.

Animals are also part of God's creation and they and the environment should not be abused but such exploitation has led now to the error of Animal Liberationism which claims that animals have rights, just as humans do, and should be legally accorded them.

Under the extreme versions of this false ideology, a wanted animal, such as a cat or a dog, has more right to live than an unborn child, guns should be banned as they are used to kill animals and abortion should be allowed where a child is not wanted. Thus the ideology often gives more rights to animals than to humans.

It follows that the unwanted sick and elderly are also at risk under this ideology.

This is the duplicitous logic of the "animal rights" revolutionaries. There are even Catholic clerics who have fallen for this bizarre logic and who even retail the same nonsense in their sermons.

This is the philosophy that led to the ban on hunting.

What are guns for? They are used to hunt food and to eliminate verminous animals. They can, occasionally, be used in self-defence, where necessary. Self-defence is not - like abortion - murder or manslaughter.

If the pursuit of animals is also objected to then one must ask "on what ground?". If the answer is because they are God's creatures, then the next question is this "are all God's creatures, e.g. flies or poisonous spiders to be exempt thereby from being killed? Are cows and pigs also to be exempt from being used for food?".

If the answer is - ridiculously - "yes", then the next question is "why?".

The only answer can be because they have a "right to life" akin to that of humans, in which case there is an equality being made between humans and animals which is plainly wrong since humans have a rational soul and are made in the image and likeness of God, with free will, and animals have only an animal soul, and do not have free will or rational souls.

Since the Fall of Adam and Eve, man has had to hunt for his food. It is a natural activity. Moreover, a hunted animal has virtually no cholesterol in it so that it is actually healthier for you than farmed produce.


The technical banning of all forms of hunting has been effected in this country largely on the basis of so-called “animal rights”.

The more extreme animal rights movements are revolutionary in nature and seek to overthrow the legal and moral distinction between men and animals, claiming that all species should be accorded equal status in law and morality.

Professor Peter Singer of Princeton University in the USA is an advocate of extreme animal rights and believes that new-born children may have less right to life than wanted animals do, like a favourite cat or dog.

Professor Peter Singer thinks that a wanted animal has more right to live than an unwanted human child

The issue is thus not only one of the enjoyment, or otherwise, of hunting. There is a deeper philosophical and theological issue at stake here.

Is man different from the animals?

That is the question.

In truth, the answer is obvious.

What species, other than man, built the great Cathedrals, or painted the Sistine chapel, or wrote Dante’s Commedia Divina, or devised Justinian’s law code, or wrote the works of Plato and Aristotle or of St Thomas of Aquinas or came even close to producing anything like the great works of literature, art and architecture? Who but man devised modern science, medicine and mathematics?

What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? Or the son of man, that Thou visitest him? Thou hast made him but a little less than the angels, Thou hast crowned him with glory and honour; and Thou hast set him over the works of Thy hands: Thou hast put all things under his feet.

So sings the Psalmist (Ps.8:4-6).

Man is not merely an animal. He is made in the likeness and image of God with free will and the power to subdue nature and to create great things and to do great things.

Animals simply do not have anything like that power.

They do not have rational souls but only animal souls. They have been provided by God for man’s benefit. Of course, it is not good for man to be cruel toward them or to abuse the natural world but that does not confer upon the non-rational world the human and rational idea of rights, let alone human rights.

It does mean that we should oppose the extreme kinds of bizarre factory-farming practised by some big food multi-nationals which is plainly an abuse of God's creation and, moreover, is bad food for us and our children. But this does not confer legal rights upon animals. It is, rather, an enforceable obligation imposed upon men not to abuse creation - a very different thing.


Virtue and vegetarianism are not synonyms. Indeed, the great mass-murderer, Hitler, was himself a vegetarian, a teetotaller and a non-smoker, let us not forget.

Vegetarianism, teetotalling and non-smoking are all morally neutral. But let us not forget that evil men can adopt them, too. They do not, of themselves, confer virtue, though they may do so if undertaken as a sacrifice and a discipline, especially if done for good and devout religious motives.

But that is a very different thing from doing so out of a false belief in the equality of men and animals, or out of an excessive devotion to extending one’s life span, ignoring the next world, our true and eternal destination.

Wonderful creations of God though animals are, they are not to be equated with man, God’s special creation, made in His image and likeness.

Icon of St Irenaeus of Lyons

"The glory of God is living man” wrote St Irenaeus of Lyons.

Indeed he is, for he is the reflection and image of God, free to choose good and evil and destined, if he chooses good, to spend a glorious and bountiful eternity with the God who created nature for our benefit.

"The glory of God is living man" - St Irenaeus of Lyons
and here depicted by Leonardo da Vinci.



Ttony said...

Not necessarily a complete weirdo: all animals have the right to be treated with the dignity of creatures of God, and to be slaughtered in as quick and pain-free an env ironment as possible; and we have the obligation to thank God for them, especially as we eat them.

But probably 99% a weirdo.

Tribunus said...

What "rights" can a non-rational creature have, using that word in the sense that it is used in moral theology, law and morality?

Anonymous said...

I agree with ttony; all animals have the right to be treated with the dignity of creatures of God. Rodeo is very cruel and should be banned.

Tribunus said...

Well, Ttony (rightly) thinks that the animal rights lobby is 99% weirdo. I wonder if you really agree with him?

There is simply no teaching of the Church that confers rights upon animals and plenty that say the opposite. Animal rights is an entirely invented and modern concept that has no basis in Christian doctrine - or truth - whatsoever.

Thus, to pretend that animals have rights is to be in disagreement with God, the Creator of all creation, including animals.

If an animal had a "right" then it would have to have at least the potential ability to enforce that right - but they can never do so because they are not rational creatures.

The fact that one find one's cat or dog cuddly or "nice" does not confer rights on them.

Indeed, it is the argument of the animal liberationists that creatures have the right to life if they are "wanted" and thus that humans can be discarded if they are not wanted i.e. if they are no longer "cuddly" or "nice".

Silly sentimentalising plays straight into the hands of this extremely odious ideology, just as all those intensely silly people in the 1920s (women as well as men) fell for the odious nonsense that Hitler spewed forth. They exchanged logic and rationality for woolly sentiment and irrational emotional feeling.

Look what the result was: utter horror.

On the other hand, human beings do have obligations toward God's creation and are obliged not to abuse God's creation, including animals, such as is happening on a vast scale in all too many factory farms that produce genetically-modified animals for use in fast-food outlets.

That is a serious abuse of God's creation and should certainly be banned. It is bad for humans: morally, intellectually, spiritually and digestively.

But man's obligations towards creation do not create "rights" for animals and any attempt to argue for such "rights" is inevitably incoherent. Why stop at baby seals or horses or cats or dogs? If they have rights then why not poisonous spiders, rats or even bacteria?

There is no logical reason to stop at one's favourite pet, or animals that one finds "cute", like baby seals, save that they are "wanted" (because cute) and so we are back to having rights only when "wanted" and no rights when "unwanted" - the classic argument for abortion and euthanasia.

The only solution is that humans have rights and animals do not have them but that humans have obligations toward God's creation.

It is also, I suggest, a little too sweeping to suggest that all Rodeo is "very cruel".

Every time a horse is broken in it requires a type of "Rodeo" since someone has to ride the horse until it is tamed. It is, rather, a question of how it is done.

It can be done cruelly (which is usually an ineffective way of doing it) or it can be done sympathetically, which is usually a more effective way. But there will very often be bucking and resistance from the horse, even for the best and cleverest of horse-tamers.

No-one can rationally suggest that the age-old practice or "breaking-in" or taming a horse is "very cruel".

Moreover, animals attack and eat each other. They often do so very savagely. It's a fact of life. Indeed, that is another difference between men and animals - animals are naturally savage, men are not (although they can become so if they choose).

Animals have to be tamed or contained. That is their natural condition. It is not cruel or savage for men to tame animals nor, indeed, to hunt them and eat them. Indeed, God made the animals for our use - as pets, for work, for food and, indeed, also, for their simplicity.

A wild cat or dog is by no means "cuddly" or "nice". However, they do not choose to be wild, as some men do. That is because they cannot choose at all since they are not rational beings. Thus they cannot have "rights".

A man who chooses to be wild can have his rights curtailed but, since he remains a rational being (however wild or sinful), he never loses all his rights. But an animal is not rational and so cannot have rights at all, wild or tame.

No amount of silly sentimentality can overcome the facts of nature. Indeed, it can often lead to dangerous consequences as happens when silly sentimentalists think they can tame wild animals by lovey-dovey, sweet-talking to them, as if they were rational creatures. Some foolish people have even attempted to do so and have got themselves and others killed or maimed into the bargain.

One simply has to face the facts of life: silly sentimentality can be lethal - literally.


Anonymous said...

Excellent entry, wonderfully expressed. It's truths are, as they say, self-evident.
Couldn't agree more.
I have written similarly on my own blog- for your consideration:

(the specific correlating entry is "A Carriage Horse's Worst Enemy")

I am sooooo enjoying your blog - thank you!

Tribunus said...

Many thanks!

Tribunus said...

May I also be permitted to say, in deference to Sharon, that her natural instincts against cruelty are a good thing and better than erring in the other direction.

I thought I should just add that.!

Fred Preuss said...

Seriously, PETA makes the Jesuits look sane.

Tribunus said...

Well, I'm 100% with you there, buddy.

And you have to be a Catholic to really appreciate just how barking most of the Jesuits are these days!


Anonymous said...

It is also, I suggest, a little too sweeping to suggest that all Rodeo is "very cruel".

When I say about the rodeo being very cruel I was not talking about people riding the animals. Next time you watch a rodeo on TV or go to see one have a look at the leather belt which is placed over the animal's genitals. The belt is tightened as the animal leaves the stalls and the intensity of the pain causes the bucking and leaping. Rodeo isn't rodeo without man exerting mastery over the beast and if the beast doesn't buck and leap there is no contest.

Tribunus said...

I haven't been to a Rodeo for many years and that was in Australia where they didn't do such things. A wild horse doesn't need any encouragement to be wild.

The USA seems to be different in this respect - as in so many others. Maybe the bronco riders in the USA have difficulty riding real wild horses?

Domination of the animal world is proper to man. It would be a reversal of right order if animals dominated man.

However, I agree that inflicting unnecessary pain on an animal is not right.

But that does not confer rights upon animals.

It is, rather, an obligation on man which - as I said - is a different thing.

It is a nonsense to speak of animals having "rights". Sentimentalism does not confer rights. Moreover, the sillier sort of sentimentalism is often highly lethal to man.

But you haven't really addressed that issue.