The Right to Slaughter

Many people, I would guess most people, roll their eyes when they hear the term “animal rights.” People see rights as something arbitrary that are bestowed upon us by the government. You vote for your rights. Animals can’t vote, so it’s stupid to say they have any rights. This is an incredibly superficial view of existence, yet pervasive. But the truth is that rights are not arbitrary; they are inherent. In any intelligent, healthy system, it is not the government’s role to bestow rights, but to see that they are protected.

What rights do animals have? For starters, they have the right to live out the laws of their being. That should be plainly obvious. And we human beings have an obligation, a duty, to not get in the way of that. We must create our civilization in such a way that it makes it possible for the animals to do what they do. I’m sure some oaf will be thinking, “Well, we have the right to live out the laws of our being, too. If the animals get in our way, that’s their problem.” But we are a different kind of animal. We have the capacity for huge amounts of free will. We also have the capacity to destroy all life on this planet. That’s not living out the laws of our being. That’s just being greedy and blind. We don’t know anything about the laws of our being. We can’t when all we care about is money.

The preceding diatribe is inspired by the fact that the Army Corp of Engineers has just been given permission by both the Fish and Wildlife Service and a federal judge to begin the slaughter of tens of thousands of cormorants in a nesting colony on East Sand Island in the mouth of the Columbia River. I’ve been to East Sand Island and have seen that colony. Thousands of pelicans and terns congregate there as well. The slaughter has been approved supposedly to help keep the salmon from going extinct. But that’s bullshit. What they’re really doing is trying to protect the fishing industry. They want to kill the birds so that humans can eat the fish instead of the birds. We don’t actually need the fish, but the cormorants do. And they have the right to them. That’s how nature works. And if the salmon are endangered, it’s not because of cormorants. It’s because of us, through our dams and overfishing. The Army Corp of Engineers, which thought up the plan, the Fish and Wildlife Service, which approved it, the federal judge who approved it, and Wildlife Services, who are to carry it out, are all killers in the pay of Mammon. I don’t believe for an instant that there is any environmental concern here whatsoever. And even if there is, it’s incredibly hubristic to think that we know what to do. We’re terrible when it comes to helping nature. All we know is how to exploit it. I, for one, can never give whole-hearted allegiance to a system that does these things.

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7 Responses to “The Right to Slaughter”

  1. Thoma Lile Says:

    Thank you.

  2. TZ Says:

    I have no words…. yet here I sit, typing, while my brain wants me to have a tantrum and my zen self is telling me all things are as they will be, we are all one, all good, all evil, all in turmoil, all in peace, all in peril. But I would still rather yell “Bullshit!” in the office of the greedy humans who signed off on this murderous deed.
    Today it is birds, sometimes it has been humans who get in the way – no matter, they will be culled, enslaved, re-educated or displaced “as needed”. The disgusting cycle continues. All life bows to the convenience of the human with the fattest wallet.

  3. Linda Fairchild Says:

    Powerful, brilliant post and very sad. Is there anything we can do to fight the slaughter??? Sounds like a Robert Redford issue.

  4. Aurelle Says:

    Thank you so much for shining a light on this atrocious proceeding! Just found this: So very sad that voices like Portland Audubon and Center for Biological Diversity have not been heeded. Grieving now for the thousands of beautiful parents and chicks whose lives will end in the barbarity that calls itself “lethal control.” And grieving for us too, who are living in a world where this senseless mass slaughter can go forward.

  5. Brad Biggs Says:

    I couldn’t agree more, Mark. Animals are the innocent victims of our intrusion into their habitats and we have the resonsibility of looking out for them.

  6. unhoppy Says:

    Thank you for this post. I agree with you. I wish that humans would just let animals be free to be. We do such horrible things to animals!

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