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#2062168 - 07/15/10 08:30 PM Can ARA go to far?? Already have!!
Mira Trapper Offline

Registered: 09/17/07
Posts: 2633
Loc: Cape Breton Island Nova Scotia

Case Study: Can AR go to far? (Time Magazine)‏

Sent: July 14, 2010 2:10:42 PM

Time Magazine
Case Study: Can Animal Rights Go Too Far?
By Adam Cohen
Wednesday, Jul. 14, 2010

Starting in 2015, every egg sold in California will have to comply
with strict hen-rights rules. Cages will have to be large enough for
the birds to stand up, lie down and spread their wings without
touching each other or the sides of the cage. California voters
adopted these rules for in-state egg producers two years ago. Last
week, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a law that extended the
rules to out-of-state producers who want to sell their eggs in

The move was just the latest example of how animal rights are on the
march in the U.S. and much of the rest of the world. Even as human
rights seems to have taken a few hits of late with the U.S.
government endorsing harsh interrogation techniques, also known as
torture, and the Supreme Court whittling away at race-discrimination
laws, defendants' rights and the Voting Rights Act animal rights has
moved further into the mainstream. (See the top 10 outrageous PETA

This enthusiasm for animal rights is also fueling a national movement
to rein in the chaining of dogs, a practice animal-rights advocates
regard as cruel and dangerous for the dog. Thirteen states now have
laws that limit the chaining or tethering of dogs outside, such as to
a metal pole or a tree. Several more states are considering such laws,
which impose restrictions like requiring that chains be of a minimum
length. Animal-rights activists have also been targeting foie gras in
recent years because it is made by force-feeding ducks and geese in a
way that many consider to be cruel. California has banned
force-feeding to create foie gras, and Hawaii is currently considering
banning the sale of the delicacy.

Animal-law courses are now taught at many of the nation's leading law
schools. Harvard Law School recently hosted a "Future of Animal Law"
conference sponsored by the Animal Legal Defense Fund. A prime
financial backer of the rise of animal law is Bob Barker, the longtime
host of the game show The Price Is Right and a prominent animal-rights
advocate. He has given $1 million gifts to the University of Virginia
Law School, Columbia Law School and Duke Law School among others
to endow animal-law programs. (Barker is also funding a $1 million
campaign to stop live-pigeon shoots in Pennsylvania.) (See the top 10
animal stories of 2009.)

It was not long ago that animal rights was all but an oxymoron. With
few exceptions, you could do what you wanted to an animal and it
seemed bizarre to argue otherwise. Then, in the 1970s,
animal-liberation activists followed in the footsteps of the
civil-rights movement, the women's liberation movement and the
gay-rights movement, and argued that "species-ism" was wrong and had
to be defeated.

If Barker is one of the financial leaders of the animal-rights
movement, its intellectual leader is Peter Singer, a Princeton
professor of bioethics, whose 1975 book Animal Liberation is often
credited with giving birth to the modern movement. Singer and others
have laid out the philosophical groundwork for regarding animals as
deserving of greater respect and legal protection. (Singer, however,
is not an absolutist: on a FAQ on his Princeton website, he allows
that if a fire was threatening a human and a mouse and he could only
save one, he would save the human.) Animal-rights supporters have even
dug deep and discovered a little-known history of anticruelty laws,
dating back to a 1635 Irish statute prohibiting pulling wool off of
sheep (rather than shearing it) and pulling horses by their tails.
(See where animal rights fits in among 2008's top 10 ballot measures.)

Important as these intellectual underpinnings are, what is driving the
animal-rights movement today is simple: a surprisingly strong level of
popular support. When California's egg referendum was on the ballot in
2008, it won in a landslide, taking more than 63% of the vote.

Europe is still far ahead of the U.S. in recognizing animal rights.
Spain's parliament caused a stir two years ago when it passed a
resolution calling for legal rights to be extended to nonhuman
primates a law that Singer declared to be of "world historical
significance." The resolution urged that chimpanzees, gorillas and
other primates have the right not to be used in medical experiments or

Yet even Europe has its limits. Switzerland has a 160-page
animal-rights law with some of the world's stiffest rules for the
treatment of nonhumans, including the minimum amount of space that
Mongolian gerbils must be given (1,500 sq cm) and a ban on keeping
social animals, like goldfish, alone. In March, however, Swiss voters
soundly defeated a referendum that would have created a state-funded
system of lawyers to represent animals in court. Animals in Zurich
remain in luck, however, since that canton has its own law giving
animals legal representation.

In the U.S., the animal-rights movement remains on the upswing, and it
is not only on the East and West Coasts. This month, Governor Ted
Strickland of Ohio a major farm state brokered a deal between the
Farm Bureau and the Humane Society. In exchange for the farm group's
commitment to work toward a list of tough new animal-rights laws
including phasing out a particularly harsh kind of crate for pregnant
sows and banning the strangulation of pigs and cows the Humane
Society is holding back on its plans to put an anticruelty referendum
on the ballot this November.

If animal rights can make it in Ohio, it can probably make it anywhere
and that is a good thing. Like any worthy cause, animal rights can
be taken too far, and sometimes it is. (In a world full of woe, it is
hard to get too worked up about the solitary goldfish.) But requiring
animals, including animals that produce or become food, to be treated
decently while they are alive ennobles not only the animals but us as

Cohen, a lawyer, is a former TIME writer and a former member of the
New York Times editorial board

Mac Leod Motto

#2062197 - 07/15/10 08:56 PM Re: Can ARA go to far?? Already have!! [Re: Mira Trapper]
humptulips Online   content

Registered: 02/12/07
Posts: 708
Loc: Washington State
The guy should learn the difference between animal rights and animal welfare.

#2062284 - 07/15/10 09:50 PM Re: Can ARA go to far?? Already have!! [Re: humptulips]

I vote we give ALL animals equal rights!!!

Just as soon as they ask for equal rights.(except birds....they're allready able to do fly-overs and drop stuff on us)



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