Animal “Rights” Extremes

Dub McClish

People who visit cruel and senseless suffering on lower animal forms are sick and sadistic. Accordingly, there is a place for a voice against such. As is often the case, however, that which is good in principal becomes bad when carried to an extreme. The Environmental Protection Agency’s policies that exalt the welfare of creatures at the expense of human suffering demonstrate this claim. Another example of animal “rights” extremism is People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). This organization is filled with dedicated Humanists who believe humankind are mere soul-less animals. These are the misguided folk who picket (and sometimes employ violence) against fur coat manufacturers and wearers and medical experimentation on animals. PETA folk asked England’s oldest pub to change its name from “Ye Olde Fighting Cocks” to “Ye Olde Clever Cocks” in deference to “intelligent, sensitive chickens” (

Consider some observations concerning such extremes:

  1. They elevate lower forms of life to the same level as (if not above) that of human beings. (Of course, one must conclude that they are at least equals if he assumes that blind evolution explains the existence of all life forms.) If a researcher started experimenting on human beings instead of white mice or guinea pigs, he would be carried off in a straight jacket, but his practice would be consistent with the premise of the “animal rights” activists.

  2. Where do the activists stop? If we let them take experiments on animals away from us, what do they suggest in their place? (Will they offer themselves in place of rats, and if not, why not?) If they get so exercised over a fur coat, will they tolerate a plain leather coat? If they deny us a leather coat, what about our belts, shoes, wallets, and purses? Where do they stop?

  3. This issue has some abortion implications. Amazingly, the same activists who work themselves into a frenzy over preserving a Tennessee snail darter, an unhatched eaglet, or a whale will often be found screaming for a woman’s “right” to murder her own offspring in her womb. By what warped, twisted, perverted, insane “logic” such can happen sane folk can hardly comprehend. But such occurs every day in our confused times.

  4. What does God’s Word say about animal “rights” and man’s place in the hierarchy of physical beings? First, the very order of creation demonstrates that man is the crowning achievement of God’s creation (Gen. 1:26). Second, God gave man dominion over all other life forms (Gen. 1:27; 9:2-3). Third, God was the first to make clothing for humans out of animal skins (so it must not be too terribly bad for us to do so) (Gen. 3:21). Fourth, inspired men clearly distinguish between men and “brute beasts” (2 Pet. 2:12; Jude 10). Fifth, Paul labeled the forbidding of animal flesh for food as a “doctrine of demons” and said “every creature” was good for food (1 Tim. 4:1–4; cf. Gen. 9:3). Sixth, Jesus said that one man is worth more than many sparrows (Mat. 10:31) or a sheep (Mat. 12:12).

We should not inflict unnecessary, purposeless cruelty upon the lower life forms. However, God created us as masters of them and made them to serve our needs. Let us not be driven from this sensible position by radicals and extremists.

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Author: Editor

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