The folks over at The Center for Consumer Freedom could be considered the sworn enemies of activist groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
In a post on their site entitled “Adventures in Food Choice”, CCF defends a veterinarian’s choice to eat meat and in turn condemns the PETA/vegan crowd that criticizes “hypocritical” meat-eaters like her. The main point of the commentary is that animal rights activists don’t understand why their philosophy isn’t very widely accepted, which may be why some more… devoted adherents turn to violence.
In essence, I agree with the writer, groan-inducing closing wordplay aside. However, I want to take a bit of a deductive journey and I’d like you to come along with me.
The goal for most animal rights organizations is for humans to treat animals with dignity, and for many advocates, that means for humans to refrain from using animals for purposes that can include animal exhibitions (circuses, zoos, etc.), scientific experimentation and pet ownership.
What groups like PETA are arguably best-known and, in many ways, infamous for, though, are their campaigns and arguments against eating meat.
PETA in particular maintains websites and holds demonstrations that focus on how restaurants like McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken treat animals. However, if they want people not to eat meat at all, railing on the cruelty of the means of killing is disingenuous. In other words, PETA doesn’t want us to shun Ronald and the Colonel because they are cruel to animals in comparison to farms that “humanely” raise animals for slaughter, PETA wants us to not eat at those places because they serve meat. This is easily proven by their well-known and, in quite a big way, infamous “Save the Whales” campaign.
For the sake of argument, let’s take carnivorous and omnivorous humans out of the equation. In fact, if you’d like, we can pretend humans don’t exist at all. Bears would still eat fish, lions would still hunt gazelles and snakes would still make meals out of small rodents. If animal lives are equal to human lives no matter the size, then (actual) whales are worse than humans as they eat millions of plankton per day, and if it wasn’t for whaling, their population would be much greater. Of course, those additional whales would likely be prey for animals such as the orca (which, if you look at its hunting prowess, is an animal even Ted Nugent could love).
In short, even in a world without humans, animals would still be killed and eaten by other animals.
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