Skip to main content

tv   Book TV  CSPAN  May 1, 2010 10:45am-12:00pm EDT

10:45 am
well known for supporting fantasizing that the idea that a baby is born that doesn't suit the edges of the family, it should be acceptable to kill that child based on the idea, not that the child is disabled, but that the child is not the person. and peter singer defines a person as being an individual that has certain cognitive capacity. i won't go to and all those details you. and he believes that some human beings are not persons and some animals are persons. and i was discussing that issue, and he also wrote a book called animal liberation which really started which becomes the animal rights movement although peterson and as utilitarian philosopher is really not an animal rights activist. he doesn't believe in human rights and he doesn't believe in animal rights. he is a utilitarian. and i was describing this into this class, and arguing that if
10:46 am
we accept the idea that there are some human beings who have less i than other human beings, there's no ability fundamentally to support international human rights. it would be such a setback after hundreds of years of striving to reach universal human rights and universal human equality to setback based on a different kind of discrimination that we have done in the past would be tragic. and a young woman came up to me, very earnest to you how the young art. i remember being that young and that artist that it's a long time ago, i know, i know. and she said you're telling me that a human being has greater value than a bunny. and i was a bit taken aback and i said, yes. and she said no know a bunny can feel pain. i thought, where did that come from? and that planted a seed which resulted in "a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy." i was on her show a few years
10:47 am
later and i write about this in the book and the talk show host gave me permission to do that. and i told the story i just mentioned. and the talk show host eyes got very big and she said oh, my gosh, yesterday my son came home to announce the family dog is equal to the rest of us. and so there is something being sold to young people today in particular, and the animal rights movement particularly targets young people. and i think there's some reason for that meal might want to get into later in the question and answer session. but that planted the idea of the book, because, as people who know me, pretty obsessed in the last five to 10 years with human exceptionalism, the idea that being human matter simply because we are human. the idea of universal human equality, the rights that are exclusively human in my view and the duties are also exclusive to humans.
10:48 am
and this particular issue of animal rights fell right into that sweet spot, if you will, of my advocacy. and i realized that as i was working at bioethics and as i was working against assisted suicide and so forth, that this is all part of a bigger picture. these are not street issues but they challenge very fundamentally what it means to be human, and, indeed, whether being human is any relevant anymore. because there are a lot of movements that think that being human isn't relevant in the wrong category. and one of those is the animal rights category. and so i got into this issue, and after several years, and that also is the issue that introduced me to the discovery institute and they brought me on and they supported the work. and as a consequence this book has come out. and again that could have happened without the discovery institute. let me describe just a little bit of what my purpose is and my
10:49 am
thinking in this field entrance of the importance of animals. it is not my purpose in this book to act as a defender of animal industry. not to expose the animal rights liberation movement, expose many deceptions, and warned against it sometimes violent tactics. i'll also defend the use of animals if necessary and appropriate to promote human welfare, prosperity and happiness. finally, i will not unequivocal defense to the belief that human genes, a concept sometimes called human exceptionalism. i'm very well aware that these positions once almost universally accepted have become controversial in recent years. few issues generate such intense emotional and some are support by their adherents as does animal rights. i want to make it very clear at the outset of their will throughout the book that i love animals, like most people and wince when i see them in thing.
10:50 am
more over believe strongly that we have a profound moral and ethical obligation to treat animals humanely and respectfully, a core obligation of human exceptionalism. and by all means never to cause them to suffer. i also strongly support laws against cruelty to animals and dangers strafing them when appropriate in fact i believe animal abuse is a terrible wrong, not on because it causes the victimized animal to suffer, but also because cruelty to animals diminishes our own humanity. consider what i felt it necessary to make such an unusual disclaimer. over the past 30 years the conflicts of animal rights to has seeped into the boner of western culture they're part of the reason is animal rights as you so loosely used the terms of animal rights as it is taken to mean no more than nicer to animals. this isn't too. although animal rights groups do sometimes engage in animal
10:51 am
welfare type activism, the term animal rights actually denotes a belief system. and ideology even a quasi-religion which both exquisitely and implicitly between the bite of human life and those of animals. in fact look at the title, "a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy." i didn't coin that tyler. i stole it. i stole it from ingrid newkirk who is the leader of the ethical treatment -- people for the ethical treatment of animals. event, which is probably the world's most famous animal rights group. and she has said this over many occasions, but i think this is the best term, the best example, which illustrates i think quite vividly the moral equivalency that true animal rights activist activist, no one who believes in animal welfare. a lot of people are animal welfare activists who want to be kinder to animals and more
10:52 am
humane to animals that they think they believe in animal rights. they don't. they believe in animal welfare. that term animal rights as i mentioned is used so loosely today it can mean anything from stopping michael vick from torturing dogs to perhaps preventing labs violent intimidation from engaging in necessary medical research. anyway, back in 1989 ingrid newkirk said this, and it's very clear what she means. animal liberation is cannot separate out the human animal so there is no rational basis for saying that human beings have special rights. iraq is a pig is a dog is a boy. they are all mammals. i was going to call my book four legs good, two legs bad, but then i realized nobody reads animal farm anymore. so i turned to ingrid and her many pithy comment and i thought that one was the best. and the subtitled is the human
10:53 am
cost of the animal rights movement. and, indeed, i think there would be a tremendous cost if we ever went down the animal rights wrote. because the true goal of animal rights, and again, the distinguishing from animal welfare, is the end of all of animal domestication. it isn't about being nice to the animals. it isn't about improving our humane care for animal. it is about doing away with all animal domestication. perhaps even for some dogs, our beloved dogs. a very famous, very notable animal rights leader, a law professor at rutgers, and he has come up with abolition obviously borrowing from the abolition of slavery. and realize that animal rights activists believe that what is done to an animal should be perceived in the same way as we would perceive the same thing being done to a human being.
10:54 am
therefore, since cattle ranching in false control what cattle do and where they go, it is an odious to slaver. this is what is literally believed by true animal rights believer, not an animal welfare believe which will get into, but in animal rights believer. gary is very candidate he cooperated in my book. he knew i was going to criticize him, but he agreed to be interviewed, and i trust and i tried very hard to present his position, not only accurately in terms of what he said but also accurately in context that that was very important to me, because i consider gary to be very radical, but he's a principled radical. i disagree with him completely but he is candid about what he believes in, and he has a lot to tell us. and he said to me, quote we have
10:55 am
them all obligation to care for domesticated nonhumans that we have brought into existence, but we should not produce more. the goal of animal rights is the end of all animal domestication, no matter how beneficial we use the animal is to humans. i asked him doesn't include dogs. our beloved pets? yes, it does. and gary takes in stray dogs that way. he takes in dogs that no one else will adopt. but he doesn't believe they belong on the planet earth. he said quote we consider them, many dollars, to be refugees in the world in which they do not really belong. so think about the consequence of animal rights, should it ever prevail. would you not only be able to have a stake, no leather shoes, no medical research using animals, no dogs, no seeing eye dogs, animal rights activist think grazing sheep is wrong
10:56 am
and, therefore, will go to a wrong. and if you go to peters website and take a look at what they say about wool and sheep shaving, shaving sheep is a terrible form of abuse. peta doesn't think we should have domestic honey. they have called -- of how domestic on it then, what they called the inseminating queen rape rack, so this is how extreme the thinking is an absolute is the thinking is. now, how is animal rights different from animal welfare? animal welfare is a very venerable and honorable tradition, well over 100 just to animal welfare does not deny human exceptionalism, but yes, human beings have the highest moral value. they do not deny that we have the right to make proper and humane use of animals for human benefit. emphasis on proper and humane. they are constantly pushing us
10:57 am
towards greater compassion, if you will, and greater standards, higher standard of animal husbandry. but at the end of the day, they think there's a difference between humans and animals. they acknowledge that humans benefit from animals, and they seek to inspire us to use animals better pass by in a better fashion and humane. animal rights activists loathe animal welfare. they loathe animal welfare because animal welfare believes in human exceptionalism. animal rights thinks that is discrimination against animals. animal rights does not believe that being more humane is the proper goal although sometimes they'll bring those kind of activism's efforts into the public square. primarily that's a good way to raise money, because they convince people we are just trying to help cause less suffering for the animals, and
10:58 am
money for this. you know, you've seen the pictures of animals that are looking very pathetic. and by the way, sometimes the animal rights people, when they do that abuse should be stopped. but that isn't their goal. the goal is no abuse of animals. peta says it very clear. animals are not ours to experiment on, to be entertained by, or to use in any fashion whatsoever. because as a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy, ingrid school, makes it clear that the quality of moral equivalency. how did this idea of animal rights which is, when you think about, i'm almost 61, and when i was growing up with the idea of animal rights would have thought to been completely nuts. how did that get going? how did it become such a powerful force that today, polls show about 40% of americans
10:59 am
believe we shouldn't use animals in medical research. even though that would impede medical research to the point that it really couldn't go forward. how did that happens? well, we're determined to our old friend, peter senior. back when peter singer published his animal liberation in the mid '70s, he said something that really caught fire. peterson is a utilitarian. he doesn't believe in absolute principles of right and wrong. he lives in utilitarian analogy. that is that which, not going to give a big philosophy seminar here, but that which maximizes minimizes the suffering. is a choice picking the right thing to do in a utilitarian view. now prior to peter seeing her, and in my book i get into utilitarian philosophy which has really permeated the bioethics. before piercing it was always about humans.
11:00 am
and joseph fletcher, who was a very big pioneer in bioethics and utilitarian, you talk about what matters is maximizing human benefit. peter singer took it a different step. . .
11:01 am
what matters is quality of life so that if a human b has a greater quality of life than an animal that animal can be used as a mentally to benefit the human but he also believe is that of one set of humans has that kind of higher quality of life than another set of humans the lower standard of humans is eugenics' really can be used as a mentally as well. so recently in a bbc documentary peter singer was approached by a scientist doing work with monte is trying to find a cure for parkinson's and the scientists one of to peter singer and use and i used a couple of hundred monkeys and michael is to help the parkinson's patients, think of the benefit that can come to a parkinson's patients and peter singer says when you put it that way that's appropriate and the reasons is the parkinson's patients have greater value than the monkeys, but he would say the same thing about the -- she
11:02 am
has said when asked by a psychiatrist today or psychology today, what about using chimpanzees in creating the hepatitis vaccines which have done so much benefit for human beings? peter singer said it is set up in the chimpanzee's there probably should have used diagnose and a persistent vegetative state, people like terry,, people who were profoundly disabled. why? because the disabled him and had a lower quality of life than the chimpanzee because the chimpanzee had greater mental faculties and so forth. that is peter singer. that is not animal rights. in animal rights took that idea of equal consideration and moved past it and made peter singer almost a conservative. and and i came up with the idea
11:03 am
of not being human that gives value, it is the ability to feel pain and not just the painful sensation but things that you fear, boredom, anxiety in this kind of thing. richard writer who i meant it -- mentioned before as written that pain is what gives people membership in a moral community and thus he said in the guardian newspaper if aliens from outer space if we ever manufacture machines who have pain that we must widen the circle to include a circle of moral community to include them. it's the only convincing basis for a to bidding for rights or and trade interest to others. getting back to my example of how the cattle on the ranch, a cal can feel pain and a human can feel pain, we're all part of the same moral committee and therefore what it's done to that cattle should be pursued in the same type as holding with that
11:04 am
human. let's be one, not animal welfare. unfortunately because the term animal rights is used so loosely most people who would reject that completely still think they believe in animal rights when they really believe in animal welfare. gary who i mentioned earlier goes even further than the idea of suffering and pain and says we are centurions. gives an individual the right not to be property. think about it, if violence on my paper and if i go to smack at the fi will try to take off, and that is that to some degree. of course, of president obama codified. but think about when a low common denominator that becomes. why such a low, and tina meyer? it's really not one whit to bob piven beings of the pedestal because he reaches such a low level that you can create a moral equivalency across the
11:05 am
broad swath of biological life on the planet mostly analyze but some as rob diluted two are even now beginning to move into plant rights and intrinsic and dignity which is now actually put into the constitution. we can get to that later if you like. want to have traded this idea that it is pain where the ability to sever then you have created a whole situation where human exceptionalism is completely out the door and that's very harmful to human beings it seems to me because it really strikes me that if we look at ourselves as just animals come at a free look and see this world we had accidently as road kill and say i didn't want to put everything of that squirrel as somehow equivalent to us than we have really
11:06 am
changed the very basis of our society and the foundation of how perceive ourselves and how we perceive ourselves eventually impacts how we treat each other and how we treat the natural world. as i will get to the end of my presentation i submit if we reject him and exceptionalism will not treat animals better, we will not treat the environment and more responsible manner. to the contrary we will treat it worse because we will have given up the identity which causes us to sacrifice our own interest to the benefit of the species and certainly to leave a better environment for posterity. him exceptionalism i submit is essential for all of the best things that humans during two life.
11:07 am
and the idea of destroying him and exceptionalism it is exceedingly dangerous and eventually, in fact, could lead to tyrrany. so once you accept the idea that being human is not what gives value, what gives value is the ability to feel pain and was to start believing that what is done to an animal to be pursued in the same way is the same thing was done to a human being he began to understand some of the comparisons that the animal rights movement makes in terms of the way they describe animal treatment and the human use of animals and a denigrating and wherry over the top extreme hyperbole from my perspective, from them they mean it literally. let me give an example from peta. there are the gift that keeps on giving.
11:08 am
[laughter] they few years ago ran with the call the holocaust on your plate campaign. holocaust underplayed promoted vegetarianism and am certainly not against vegetarianism as people want to refuse and natural normal human food for and ethical purpose and that is human exceptionalism. it is an active human exceptionalism. what other animal would turn its nose up to normal food for that animal based on an ethical concept in an ethical purpose? non. we are the only species that would do that. that is exceptional. yet the animal rights people say we are not and i think that is a logical, but we could get into that a little bit later. it was not aimed at people like me. i was raised in the '50s and '60s. the holocaust is very vivid in
11:09 am
memory and in teaching the dangers of eugenics, the dangers of the death camps and all of that was very powerful and my education. i think young people today perhaps have less of a memory of that. if and therefore a very odious comparison can sometimes be made among youth that would not fly certainly among people my age. and this vegetarian campaign was aimed at kids and young adults. it was brought to use concerts' ahead rock concerts around the world, college campuses and so forth and it's really odious because there would juxtaposed pictures from the show of the holocaust next to pictures of normal animal husbandry. making the explicit comparison. example, there is a very famous picture coming a photograph of
11:10 am
an inmate at auschwitz and the double stacked triple stacked bench wooden bunks. people packed in a. they ran a just oppose next to chickens in cages. the most odious of them were depictions of dead in a seated jewish inmates after the emancipation of the camp, juxtaposed next to a pile of dead pigs. now, realizing that these were jewish dead people and dead pigs makes that disturbing on more than one level. and listen to this text: this is from holocaust on your plate. like the jews murdered in concentration camps animals are terrorized with their house and usually were houses and rounded up for shipment to slaughter. rather so and handbag the moral equivalent of a lamp shades made from the skins of people killed in the death camps.
11:11 am
i have been to auschwitz. i have been to birkenau. i have stood in the gas chamber, i've seen the crematoriums, i walked that rail terminus in which jews were separated for immediate slaughter or for torture and forced labor camps. it strikes me that anybody who would conflate normal animal husbandry with the worst you will ever perpetrated against human beings has no business teaching morality to anyone. but understanding animal rights people who say these things, which i think it's nuts and i think i trust you think it is not, they believe it literally and they believe it the early. it's not a metaphor. when peta as mentioned talked-about racks for queen bee is they think it is real and true. because they believe that moral value comes from suffering and
11:12 am
the ability to feel pain, not that we know it queen bee feels pain, but this is something they've been completely. it's not hyperbole, it's not afford to them, it is liberal dogma, is almost a religion in some cases. and it explains why at ucla researchers have had bomb threats, white children have been threatened and children of researchers have received videos other kids playing at a school saying we know where you're kids go to school. i talk to one researcher who left the field, doing research on augie's because he hoped he believed he could restore sight to human beings who have lost their vision by implanting a chip in the brain looking up to a very tiny optical camera and putting it on glasses and if you
11:13 am
could stimulate the optical nerve that she might restore some measure of vision. he was using monkeys in experimentation to try to prove that because if he went to deepen cause seizures and if you didn't go deep enough it didn't work. so he was working on this and his family was threatened, he was so scared he left his research, and who knows what harm that might cause or what suffering might not be alleviated because of that. uc santa cruz a year ago or so, a house was firebombed. an incendiary device went off and children had to escape down the second story rope ladder because their house was filled with smoke. one of the attack researchers was signed but i'm just trying to find a cure for breast cancer with lab rats and i was using the lab work humanely and that sound was me say they care more
11:14 am
but the lab rats than the women with breast cancer. when you think without medical research is the equivalent of auschwitz which clearly they do with holocaust on your plate, he began to understand some of the actions this seems so rational. because from the belief system of a true and will rights believer and, of course, not all animal rights believers in cajun violence, most do not, but if you understand that mine said it is logical. if you think what happens to that lab rat the same thing as the odious experiments on the twins you can understand them acting out that occurs with the animal liberation and other terrorist groups. i want to tell you about the silver spring on the case which is called direct action and the
11:15 am
silver spring monkey case tells you and vividly illustrates the kind of harm that can, -- beckham come from attacking researchers. the researchers name was dr. edward taub. he had a national institutes of health approved steady because he had a theory. his theory was that unlike the thinking at that time he believed that the brain had greater plasticity, that is it had -- that is ingrid newkirk going by. [laughter] he believed in had the plasticity to actually change so that he theorized that even if stroke rectums lost the use of their lives because they became numb from the injury caused by the stroke, they might be able to be trained and have their brain change through training to use a lens even though they couldn't feel it. now, this was a new breakthrough
11:16 am
biological thinking in he was given nih grant and approval to do some experiments with monkeys to see whether or not that theory was true. alex pachinko appear one day and offered to be a student volunteer. alex, known to dr. todd, was the co-founder of peta. alex said to us to show you where he's coming from, the tunnel, we look upon the murder of animals as we now look on the murder of men. of course, animals can't be murdered, only humans can be murdered, and by the way only humans can commit murder because only have the moral ability to make those kind of intentional decisions and act morally and animals cannot murdering him and because an animal is amoral, they are not moral agents. so when that whale killed the trainer in florida, that was not
11:17 am
murder. that was a killer whale being a killer whale. if i had done the same thing to the woman, that could be murder because i am a moral agent and i can be held tomorrow account. as a huge distinction between human beings and animals. in any event, the doctor was aware that alex pacheco wasn't there to be a student volunteer but to destroy his life and ruin his work. one day the doctor -- and by the way peta still boasts about this direct action on its web site -- one day the doctor went away for a two week vacation. suddenly inexplicably we still don't understand quite what happened the custodians of the lab stop showing that. you can imagine how filthy and disgusting that lad became. now, alex pachinko, his job if there was a problem while the
11:18 am
doctor was a way was to alert administration, we have a problem in the lab let's fix it. he didn't say a word to the administration and instead he brought in animal rights activists, took a lot of of photographs and eventually he call the cops. the police came in and saw the terrible situation in the lab, confiscated all of the animals and when the doctor came home from vacation and to go back to work he was arrested. on 119 counts of cruelty to animals. the washington post ran front-page stories about this. the emotional merits drives everything these days. the doctor was actually called frankenstein. he received death threats. it took him eight years to clear his name. he was gone essentially cleared of all criminal culpability, he
11:19 am
has five different professional organizations conduct detailed investigations of his experiments out of which he came completely clean because he had done nothing wrong, and then he was able to get back to his work. he produced a tremendous breakthrough in the treatment of strokes, a therapy for strokes called constrain induced movement therapy. stroke patients can actually drink a cup of coffee, even though their lives are numb, they can open the door. this new treatment has now been deemed to non experimental so it's covered by medicare and health insurance. he is training therapists from around the world, they're coming to alabama university, i think birmingham, and he is training people to take this now technique that required the monkeys in order to be able to even begin to be developed, and tens of thousands of stroke
11:20 am
patients benefited already and will benefit in the coming years. it is now being used on children with cerebral palsy and tremendous benefit to him in kind. none of which would have occurred had the animal rights movement idea of a "a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy" prevailed and had alex proceeded -- succeeded apparently foiling this research, think of as he didn't. but peta still brass on its web site are listed did the last time i looked that they were the first ones to have an animal researcher rested for cruelty to animals. that's true as far as it goes, but as paul harvey used to say, you just now read the rest of the story. dr. talbott allow me to interview him and i think he put it quite well, this is what he said: we have two sides of the scales of this to ponder. on one side is the real and
11:21 am
potential hope that animal research offers the callous suffering human beings. on the other is the difficult knowledge that obtaining many of these benefits be that some animals will be harmed. he has it exactly right -- and all rights liberation's believe monkeys matters much a stroke victims and children with disabilities. people like this author believe that the suffering of animals is a serious matter and i should never be accounted for frivolous reasons but alleviating the suffering of human beings and promoting human driving matter most. that in a nutshell is another of the amorites debate. getting back to our pal peter singer and you'll see what i think is probably the most influential thinker of the last three decades, in 1993 peter singer with another philosopher, remember he is not truly animal rights, came up with the great
11:22 am
ape project. the great ape project is to create a community of vehicles and on -- equal among human beings, guerrillas camarena tanks coming chimpanzees and the idea here is that we are now by the way reducing status from him and exceptionalism to great apes. peter singer acknowledges the project and he chose the great ape precisely because they're the most like us. that isn't where he wanted to end, that's where he wanted to start and he calls this a way to break the species barrier. if you are a great ape under this idea, it's a parody almost of the declaration of independence, those great apes and of the product of the right to life, liberty and of freedom from torture which means not
11:23 am
being used in medical experiments. here's what peter ciro to with co-author: our request comes at a special woman in his repaired never before has there been dominion over other animal since it this is also the moment when within that very western solicitation that has so inexorably extended this to manion and rational at that, rational ethic emerge challenging and a significant membership and our own species. the clear human exceptionalism is what is at stake in these issues. and the consequences that benefit that derive from him and exceptionalism are very much at stake as well. this challenge to goes on equal consideration for the interest of all animals, humans and on humans. he then goes on to say membership -- members of the committed to have a closed meeting apes and humans in this
11:24 am
particular sense or not to be arbitrarily deprived of their liberty or if they should be improvement -- imprisoned without due to the process they have the right to me release. the detention of those who have not been convicted of any crime or not criminal libel should be allowed only work in the show for their own good or necessary to protect the public from a member of the community who could clearly be danger to others. such cases members of the committed to vehicles must have the right to appeal coming either directly or if they lacked relevant capacity to an advocate to judicial tribunal. that means animals have a voice -- lawyer. i read that, of course, no way they're capable of committing a crime because as an amoral being it is not distinguish right from wrong and cannot form the intent required to add criminally. let's talk about the idea of of lawyers for animals. switzerland just had a a vote on
11:25 am
march 7th for a constitutional amendment that would have given animals the constitutional right to a lawyer. it lost 70 -- 30, but the about this. 30 percent of the voters of switzerland voted to give animals and constitutional white -- right into a lawyer. there is one in switzerland in which if there is a charge of abuse and animal was appointed a lawyer and of the animal or a child in a human in this case and "the wall street journal" had an article the other day in which that animal rights lawyer, that animal lawyer represented a pipe was caught by the fishermen and the fisherman was charged with abuse because it took too long to really end. the case, the client had been eaten. [laughter]
11:26 am
but the lawyer, even though the case was lost against the pike was threatening an appeal. he might think that is switzerland. in the united states granting animal standing as it is called is a huge agenda item of the animal rights movement because as you can imagine it would impede the animal springing the lawsuits, they would have no idea what was going on, it would be animal rights activists bring in the lawsuits and they would destroy animal industries with malice of forethought. right now there are more than 100 and law schools in this country from a yale, harvard, rutgers, my friend, and others who are training lawyers to advocate for animals. teeone to unleash the power of the lawyer, believe me i am one, i know what we're capable of, on
11:27 am
animal using industries. and you might say they have this law schools wasting the kids time and money teaching them this. you have people in very high places who support animal standing. cass on steen, president -- president obama's regulations are, the men in charge of the white house over sing all the different regulations of the government, before he entered government supported the animal's standing. laurence tribe, a famous harvard law professor who has argued many cases in front of the u.s. supreme court represented al gore against george bush in front of the supreme court in 2000, has advocated animals standing. when you have people at that level of influence and power, you cannot say that this is something that can't happen
11:28 am
here. in fact, more dangerous words were ever uttered. in ninth circuit court of appeal in a case brought by the world dolphin and wales in their own name to stop the navy from conducting sonar tests refuse to permit the wilson dolphins to be litigant's, but said in the opinion -- think about this -- wilson dolphins sued the u.s. navy. the whales and dolphins had no idea this was going on. it was the environmentalists joined the navy in the name of the whales. it got to the ninth circuit court of appeal which said, no, we're not going to do this and let that be litigants, but in theory animals can be granted standing. the example was of congress decided to pass a law, but realize today in court anything
11:29 am
can happen and you just have to find that right judge to declare that animals have a right to sue. in europe the european court of human rights has taken the case out of austria. in austria animal rights activists brought a lawsuit to have a chimpanzee declared a person so that the chimpanzee could have a guardian named for it in the same way that the dependent child when have a guardian angel. the supreme court of austria said we're not going there, no way out. the court of human rights, european court of human rights accepted the case. or it is now pending. it doesn't mean they will say yes to the chimpanzee is a person, but often the court doesn't take a case because they plan on setting out.
11:30 am
and it certainly means that they take the issue very seriously. animal personhood, animal litigation, animal standing, it's something you're going to be hearing a lot about in the next decade. but what about the great ape project? that will never happen, will it? a un declaration for the great ape project. was legalized by its name. you may notice there are to a lot of tapes in standing. why would they do that? because there is a deep fervent desire to destroy him and exceptionalism with the distinction between the human world and what used to be called the beasts of the field. ..
11:31 am
>> why florida? florida is not exactly the pig farm state. there were two herds that had gestation rates, and yet more than $1 million poured into this campaign by animal rights activists. why florida? because they would be no resistance. there was no resistance because there aren't any pig farms in florida. and after it passed, the two
11:32 am
forms that use gestation crates slaughtered their herds. and the animal rights activists cheered, as i quote them in my book, because they said that less suffering for the pigs. p. -- peta was once involved in a lawsuit about elephant. one is matthew scully, the conservative writer who wrote speeches for george bush. he wrote the convention speech for sarah palin. very famous writer, writing as an anti-hunting person writing for sarah palin's interest. but he gets in his book, he gets very upset about the calling of golf at herds in the african wild animal park. if you didn't call the elephant herd in the wild animal park the elephants, i've been to one, i have seen those elements. they take out everything in
11:33 am
their path. you would eventually have the ecosystem of these parks destroy that she had to keep the herd within a particular level in order to maintain an ecological balance of the parks and also but make sure, if yet too many elephants you will end up elephant starvation. so the animal rights activist, you know, yellow about the calling. i think was the south africa to, we will ship these wild almonds to the united states instead of telling the. you think that would make the animal rights activists happy. no, they see. they sued to stop the importation of these elephants. and the judge said, but if i grant you your lawsuit, those elephants will be killed. and the lawyer for the animal rights activist said, that is better than having them imported. because to them killing the elephants was better than what
11:34 am
they deem as abuse by putting them even in the best designed wild animal park. and by the way, people for the ethical treatment of animals also killed animals. they have a quote shelter at their nor folk headquarters, and their children is far higher than most other animal shelters. matt baisley in their defense a lot of our animals are not adoptable, and that's true. but it also basically admitted that some a topical animals are euthanized. i'm not sure why that is. i have some theories but i will speculate. but the idea that animal rights is about loving animals isn't necessarily so. and it's not certain about being nicer to animals. as i said earlier, the primary target of the animal rights our children. and the reason, as i said at the top of the speech, i get into this was that conversation i had with a high school girl who said
11:35 am
a bunny have the same night as a human being because the bunny could feel painters like a human being. there's a lot of that going around in the schools. i don't think it's approved curricula from the school board but i think individual teachers do sometimes bring these kinds of ideas to classrooms. and that animal rights groups said curricula who asked for it, and, of course, there's no counterbalance. but to show you have nasty discontent, peta puts out two comic books. one is your mommy kills animals, and what is your daddy kills animals. and in those comic book over your mommy kills animals, it shows a woman looking like leave it to beaver's mom. she's wearing a dress and she has an apron and a string of pearls. and it shows her maniac, you know, stabbing this rabbit that looks like thumper on baby. and, of course, the rabbit is doing that. and listen to this.
11:36 am
on the inside. this is handed out two, six, seven, eight year old kids. tell your mommy that you know she paid me into kill and hurt animals that everyone knows that the sooner she stops wearing fur the sooner the animals will be safe. until then keep your doggie and kitty friends away from mommy. she is an animal killer, coast quote -- closed quote. in the part of daddy come and tell your daddy learned it's not fun to go, keep your doggies in case away from you. he is so hooked on killing defenseless animals, they could be next, closed quote. and imagine your kid came home crying, thinking you're going to kill their beloved pet. but these israel of animal rights is so strong and the emotional so fervent that they are willing to undermine the relationship between parents and children over these issues.
11:37 am
so i think i will stop you on that aspect of the book. the book will show that animal rights is not about being nice to the animals. it is not a benign movement. it is actually, in my view, a dark movement, and anti-human movement. [applause] >> the second part of the book deals with, i will quit in here. i'm a lawyer. short when it isn't what i do. the second part of the book i get into the uses of animals and have a benefit people. medical research, i put the most focus on. and i also talk about what's called the three ours. refinement, reduction and replacement. that is the idea of trying to reduce our use of animals in medical research would be a good thing. but i explained quite clearly what animals are still needed in research and their proper place
11:38 am
in research. animal rights activists take to the tax against animal research. one is, and this is gary's approach, while they're arguing benefits, it is unethical. i disagree with that. we can argue whether it's ethical or unethical. and intellectually dishonest approach is to say that animal research does not benefit humans. we've already seen in the speech where does. but they will say things like a drug is not 100% applicable to a human, and we've had drugs that have been tested on animals and gone out and used on humans and have to be withdrawn. therefore, animal testing is bad. that would be too if you are right from the lab rats to the doctors office. of course, that's not what happened. before it ever gets to the humans medical clinic, you have to go through three stages of human testing, takes several years, a lot of money. and i explain it in the the book. finally, i get in human
11:39 am
exceptionalism in the book. the last chapter is on that. the importance of being human. and i just want to read just a little bit of what i wrote in that regard, and then i will take questions. in the idea that human beings stand at the pinnacle of the moral hierarchy of life. after all, what other species in a known history of life has attained a wondrous capacity of human being? what other species has transcended the tooth and claw world of naked natural selection to be some degree we now control nature instead of being controlled by it. what other species build civilization, record history, create art, makes music, thinks abstractly, communicates in language, fabricates machinery, and proves life through science in engineering or explores the deeper truth philosophy and religion? what other species have true freedoms? we are exceptional. we are human beings.
11:40 am
we are different. than any other known species that has ever existed in the universe. a lot of times when i, when i was at gonzaga law school giving a speech on human exceptionalism, and the questions always were raise, it's eric and. you think you're better than a butterfly. frankly, i do. but beyond that it is the cause of art, the sporting of the planet because we think we can do whatever we want. that's not too. human exceptionalism as i mentioned earlier also puts upon us duties. and they are important and crucial duties. but then i turn it around and i say to the students at gonzaga and other places, well, if being human is not what gives us the obligation to treat animals humanely, tell me what does. do you hear the crickets chirping? because there is no other answer. life is even a forceful advocacy for the most extreme form of
11:41 am
human exceptionalism. that is to take our own interests, put it in a corner and not use it in order to benefit animals. that is a call to an extreme level of human duty. in other words, animal rights activists seek to destroy human exceptionalism by engaging in the very thing they do, or denigrate. and i close the book with this conclusion. i hope it is now very clear that the animal-rights movement is not simply about being nicer to animals. its adherents westerly not monolithic, share a dangerous ideology that sometimes amounts to a quasi-religion, central dogma of which is that domesticating any animal is evil. in this day are deeply wrong. human slavery was and is evil. keeping elephants and zebras and
11:42 am
proper design and maintain his is an animal parks is not. the rwanda and genocidal acts of you. humanely slaughtering millions of animals to provide a multitude with notion and tasty food and durable clothing is not. mangoes experimentation on identical twins at auschwitz was truly heinous. testing new drugs and surgical procedures on animals to save children's lives and promote humans and animals thriving is both morally magnificent and ethically justified. for the rest of us who love animals, recognize the nobility, and believe that as human beings we owe them respect and kindness, but also understand that our obligation to humanity matters even more. let us strive continually to improve our treatment of animals, as we also promote human prosperity and health. first and foremost, this means rejecting out of hand all more equivalencies between human beings and animals, as we
11:43 am
embrace with humility and gratitude the intrinsic importance of human importance. thank you very much. [applause] >> we have some questions here. >> what similarities and contrasts the do you have with the current endangered species act which seems to partake some similar impulses, hubris on the part of people who say, well, we humans can control and we can preserve species, even though mother nature has been wiping them out or out, yeah, pre-recorded history. >> environmentalism and animal rights are different. environmentalism looks at bigger systems, and animal-rights looks at individual animals. so there's a distinction there. i think it is a human obligation to prevent extinction,
11:44 am
particularly efforts are activities that could be the cause of them. i do think, however, that there is part, ever radical part and i think i'm afraid it's going into the mainstream, deep college he comes to my. it is also and the human exceptionalism. that is we are not just exceptional. we are the enemies of the story. so you hear people like paul watson of the sea shepherd conservation society calling human beings the aides on the planet earth. and so went environmentalism and conservation, which i think are proper movements, begin to mutate and metastasized into an anti-human movement, which i think much of -- environmental is becoming, even in the global warming side, you are now hearing call for reducing the human population two under a
11:45 am
billion. you're hearing calls for massive abortion and breast masking euthanasia and in this counting. we are the cause of all the suffering on the planet. so you're beginning to see a convergence. very interesting i think the difference between human beings and other species, you have a lot of fields appear in the seattle area. with a seal washed up on the beach and is injured, what happens? if you're not a human being, you either keep the seal or you ignore the seal. if you're a human being you rescue the seal. and we've seen the seal rescues. even though the seal is eating all our salmon. so i think there is a convergence between radical environmentalism. in fact, the earth liberation front which is a terrorist organization, works hand in hand with the animal liberation front, and as i recall there was
11:46 am
a near riot or a right here in seattle several years ago involving an artist who also work with those groups. so there is at that edge of the movement, i deep feeling that is tear down and not build up. and. >> is there a connection with the improvement for human personhood that i've been on about in certain states in the united states, and the pro-abortions who are fighting such an effort? would sing her and others who are pushing for animal personhood -- i've heard they're kind of critical of peterson's efforts because they think it might have a backlash and actually help the human peonhood movement. >> there is a movement, this is
11:47 am
getting into bioethics more than animal rights. there is a movement that has begun to try to have unborn human life, out in section. certainly peter singer does not think that fetuses or embryos are persons. because if he doesn't think babies are persons can he's not going to think fetuses and embryos are persons, and that is based on the inability of a fetus or an embryo or an infant to be self-aware over time. peterson it doesn't think that terri schiavo would be a person, i use her because she's a some other name, because that capacity once possessed has been lost their counsel under this idea of personal good as it is applied in bioethics, you have a two-tiered system of human life. some humans which are persons that have full rights, and other humans that are not persons that do not have full rights. and, therefore, as i write in my
11:48 am
book, culture of death, these non-persons suppose it can be used instrument in the same way we treat animals. animals. so you see a lot of advocacy in the professional journal to take summit in a persistent vegetative state, redefine them as dead, even though they are not, so that organs can be procured subject to consent, or even engaging medical experimentation up on them. i think the personhood i give that is being promoted by the pro-life movement is to try to bring attention and i've to onboard life, and it ctainly would be resisted by the utilitarian bioethics. >> has peterson made any comment on that the gentleman who was in a persistent vegetative state for 23 years and recovered and his experience tells us that he was self-aware during that long process because you're talking about ron's case. i haven't seen peter sagan make a comment about the.
11:49 am
ron holden was actually, appear to be locked in state in which he was fully awake and aware but unable to communicate. that is a state that does exist. about 40% of vegetative state diagnoses and air. and our people are thought to be completely unaware who are aware. i don't want to get off in bioethics, but there are many in bioethics is a that's even more reasons take away the food and water orgy euthanize them. because they are suffering. but that's a subject for a different speech. >> i agree fully with human exceptionalism. but my rational basis for that is mankind created an image of god. are the people who hold the human exceptionalism but reject the idea of mankind may be an image of god and get some other
11:50 am
rationale? >> yes. in fact, i spend maybe a page in the have in my book on religion. because religion would generally with christian view made in the likeness and image of god. buddhists don't take the view, but i don't think that they believe that animals have rights that they do believe we have duties towards animals and make it into karma. i think there's a wholly rational basis for human exceptionalism. our rationale these and our abstract thinking and so forth, but for me it really boils down to we are moral agents. whether that happens because neo-darwinistic accidental coming together of this remarkable species, do no purpose, or intelligent design in some in this room would suggest, or creation, there is no question that we are all beings. there is no human society on the
11:51 am
face of the earth that does not have a morality. i do think there in human beings, and less there is injured or psychopathic, that do not have morality. and the idea that's been the fact, it's not an idea. the fact that were moral agents, and, in fact, we are the only species that are moral agent. a lot, there's a lot desperate dyer in some in biology and darwinistic theory and so forth to try to say look at this monkey, that shows him all tourism. there's a lot of effort to try to show that animals have a certain similarities to begin with. notice they're always compared, they're always comparing to humans. but even if there is a rudimentary moral sense among some animals like chimps or something, none of this can be held to account. none of them, only humans have duties. and i quote some philosophers in the book. it seems to me that rights and
11:52 am
duties are different sides of the same coin. we have unique rights, what is god-given or natural rights, or because we have conceived the concept of rights. that we didn't have a right to demand on others that they respect. i think that is a real crucial difference. a lot of times animal-rights will say, reagan new darwin's are often very fond of saying human exceptionalism was wrong because we just evolves and beyond which species, membership is a fiction because we share so many genes, et cetera. and yet if you take a look about it and think about it, if animals have rights, we would have the duty to respect those rights. they would not have the duty to respect our rights. nor would have the duty to respect each other's right.
11:53 am
they can't be held to account on duties. so again, it's just a one way street. the unexceptional species with an exceptional obligation, not only to ourselves but to each other. we aren't the only moral agents in the known universe. and so rather than being perhaps the issue that gives right, it is true moral agency that we might say gives rights. because when you have rights, you have responsibility. now, eventually you can get animal-rights activist to accept this idea of species is him, to accept that, then it was a this is the philosopher -- aha, yes, we'll accept that but not every human being has moral agency. hands those individuals do not have rights. and they think that means all my gosh and we have to give them
11:54 am
animal-rights. know, these are species. these are in the intrinsic nature of our species but our species and intrinsically by nature a moral species. no other species is your if we have individuals like my own open a likely who died of alzheimer's who had lost all his capacity, it didn't change the nature of his membership in our species. these issues much be looked at as a species issues, not as individual issues. because otherwise we're back to the point, if our rights come from our individual capacities, a, they can be lost and there go our rights. and b., it's the end of universal human rights. so i think you can make a rational basis to human exceptionalism based on moral acceptance he. >> i saw the recent article, about how peta is euthanizing huge percentages of their dogs in the shelters. and what astonished me most about the article is trantwo's euthanizing their dogs ---like
11:55 am
nine out 10 times i've seen article about peta its positive and famous celebrity is giving money to them. so my question is, why does train to get so much good press, and do they deserve bad press? if so, how would you see that coming about? what would it take to get them more bad press? [laughter] >> they are brilliant propagandist. i don't think that people say there's a in thing nice about peta. i think they are the most adept propaganda and public advocacy today. because they are able to convince people that all they are interested in is being nicer to handle. they have a two-tiered system and advocacy. the beautiful naked models sank i would rather rare and nothing than for. people think that's peta.
11:56 am
they have got alicia silverstone -- they do nude a lot. they seem to be obsessed with nudity. that's for the teenage boy cried i think what they have a alicia silverstone getting sensuously out of the pool naked saying i am a vegetarian. you boys want that oppression doesn't say that, but, you know, what i'm saying. look what vegetarianism can get you. on the other hand, you do have people, for example, paul mccartney. when paul mccartney's wife, linda, died of cancer, he gave a lot of money to cancer research. applause. he also gave a lot of money to peta, which impedes his original donation. and the ironic thing is linda was an avid horsewoman which peta would think of as evil. so what have we learned? paul mccartney doesn't know what he's talking about and what he is doing.
11:57 am
because peta has so expertly convince people that they just want to end cruelty, that people will give them tons of money thinking they're helping the animals when they're really not a tremendous the potentially hurting. but it shows you the power of the motion, everything peta does is emotion, emotion, emotion. and the rand drives out reason and it dries out a rationale. >> one more question. >> maybe my question is sort of gets to that a bit. because i was struck by the example you brought up of the comic book that they produce. >> mommy kills animals. >> i was probably the only one certain built in the room who was there just this last weekend. and i am wondering is, you know, what impact might have if
11:58 am
instead of, obviously you're getting this kids parents the books, if there was a comic that those kids were being given that presented the resisting animal-rights, the motors. and they get to my lodge point i think -- >> before you get to the larger point, all the monies on the animal-rights fund them has over $200 million. peta has tens of millions of dollars budgeted each year. bob barker of the price is right just gave them $2.5 billion to build a building in california from which to do their thing. i've even had complaints, and i don't know the statistics, from normal animal welfare groups that there is being subverted by animal-rights types or the money is drying up. so a lot of money because of their power, other property andt
11:59 am
like peta. so a lot of money in hollywood and celebrity money and this can think is into that movement, weather resistant to get basically doesn't get that kind of assets. >> and i would entirely agree. i guess my larger question is, have we exceeded the cultural ground? that is, what we call the cultural influence of arts and entertainentertainment. you talk about law school. have we given up that ground to those folks? the animal-rights activists, by focusing instead on hollywood and new york, with all of the efforts going on in washington, d.c.? >> i think you raise an interesting issue. i think the cultural purveyors of the most powerful cultural communicators are on that side of the table. an example i give, this actually gets into more rad


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on