We Hold These Truths to Be Self-Evident?

by Tom DeWeese

Not long ago, I joked that someday an American family might find, to their horror, that the family next door was forced to sell their house to a herd of buffalo under the fair housing statutes of the Civil Rights law. And the home-owners association would be helpless to stop the new residents from practicing their native religion of stampeding through the neighborhood – for fear of a discrimination suit. I WAS JOKING! But in today’s age of “anti-reason” be careful what you joke about. It may just be someone else’s political agenda.

Since the beginning, we called them nuts. Some said that was too harsh. Well, you be the judge. Animal Rights?


This Fall, Harvard University will offer a course in “animal law.” The course will be taught by Steven Wise of the Massachusetts Center for the Expansion of Fundamental Rights. Wise has argued that “fundamental rights” should be extended to Chimpanzees. Of course, in scholarly circles the debate is raging – why only give the rights to Chimps? Why not to infectious germs too? After all they have a right to choose a habitat in your body.

As Maggie Gallagher writes in The Washington Times, “Animals make the best clients. You get to decide what rights they want.” Where there is a lawyer, there is a class-action lawsuit waiting to be filed. But who would pay, you ask? Silly question. The human taxpayers of course. It’s only fair. We’ve made animals carry our burdens for centuries without compensating them. Now it’s pay-back time – or, if you will, “animal reparations!”


Now do you think that last line was another joke? No sir. I’ve learned my lesson. There are no jokes or absurd ideas when it comes to Animal Rights.

Animal Rights activists are busy combing through historic legal records, exploring whether laws against slavery can be used to gain “equity under the law” for animals. Says Joyce Tischler, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), “During the period when black people were slaves, some slave owners chose to give their slaves their freedom through various common-law methods…we are exploring those sorts of common-law methods by which human beings who were in a status of property…were granted full rights.”


In San Francisco, California, an animal rights group has begun a campaign to demand that the city phase out the legal concept of pet ownership, replacing the term “owner” with the more egalitarian “guardian.” Elliot Katz, a licensed veterinarian and president of the group, In Defense of Animals, contends, “Society first moved away from women and wives as property, then it moved away from African Americans as property. Now a large segment of people are beginning to move away from the concept of animals as property.”

Meanwhile, People for the ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA), has launched a major campaign against McDonalds over animal issues. The group is launching a billboard, bumper sticker, print ad and T-shirt campaign that features such images as a slaughtered cow’s head and the slogan, “Do you want fries with that? McDonald’s. Cruelty to go.” Another shows the company’s clown mascot Ronald McDonald holding a bloodied butcher knife and reads, “Son of Ron – America’s No. 1 Serial Killer.”

The campaign is perfectly in line with PeTA Founder Ingrid Newkirk’s famous analogy of Nazi Holocaust death camps to chicken farms. She says only seven million people died in those camps – but billions of broiler chickens die each year.


The fatal flaw in Karl Marx’s Idea of a perfect society was the fact that we are people and not ants. We have ideas, wants, dreams, goals and desires. And we have an individualistic streak that no set of group rights can satisfy.

The fatal flaw in the idea of animal rights is that animals aren’t people. “Rights” are a human concept. We recognize certain moral concepts or rules in order for society to function. Animals don’t. If they want something they take it. Their order of society is the concept of survival of the fittest. There is no mercy for the weak. No compassion for the dumb. No recognition of boundaries. A “right” is the will to be responsible to ourselves – a moral concept.

Animals-Rights advocates have confused the line between animal rights and animal welfare. It is welfare of the animals that the average citizen thinks he is supporting when discussing the fate and future of animals. “Welfare” according to Webster’s dictionary, is “the state of being healthy and free from want.” Isn’t that what you want for the poor suffering dog that finds its way to your porch looking for food?

So, where do such ideas come from? How do they grow into such strong political movements? The animal-rights movement, which considers man to be little more than a cancer on the earth, is preying on the compassion of the child who wants to help the kitty or the senior citizen who treats the family dog as one of the children.

No one wants to see animals suffer. So too, no one wants them to buy the house next door.


They use our emotions and compassion to sucker good-hearted Americans into their radical political agenda. The truth is, animal-rights advocates represent one of the most absurd, violent, destructive elements in our society. Animal Rights advocates oppose animal welfare. Americans who love animals and seek to help them must understand that the goals of Animal Rights advocates will do away with wildlife management, veterinary medicine or captive breeding as well as medical testing, which is vastly responsible for today’s modern medical miracles. They not only oppose pet ownership, but private ownership of anything. If they can get us to give up our pets, then we can be persuaded to give up owning anything.


“The theory of animal rights simply is not consistent with the theory of animal welfare…Animal rights means dramatic social changes for humans and non-humans alike; if our bourgeois values prevent us from accepting those changes, then we have no right to call ourselves advocates of animal rights.” Gary Francione, former general council, People for the ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA).

“Not only are the philosophies of animal rights and animal welfare separated by irreconcilable differences…the enactment of animal welfare measures actually impedes the achievement of animal rights.” Gary Francione and Tom Regan. “The Case for Animal Rights”, In Defense of Animals, 1985

“We were not especially interested in animals. Neither of us had ever been inordinately fond of dogs, cats, or horses in the way that many people are. We didn’t love animals.” Peter Singer, known as the “father of animals rights.”

“I don’t believe that people have the right to life. That’s a supremacist perversion. A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.” Ingrid Newkirk, co-founder and national director of PeTA


“Man is the most dangerous, destructive, selfish, and unethical animal on earth.” -Michael Fox, vice president, Human Society of the United States

“Mankind is the biggest blight on the face of the earth.” Ingrid Newkirk, PeTA

“Six million people died in concentration camps, but six billion broiler chickens will die this year in slaughterhouses.” Ingrid Newkirk, PeTA


“If the death of one rat cured all diseases, it wouldn’t make any difference to me.” Chris Rose, director Last Chance for Animals

“An (animal) experiment cannot be justified unless the experiment is so important that the use of a brain-damaged human would be justifiable.” Peter Singer

“Even if animal tests produced a cure (for AIDS), we’d be against it.” Ingrid Newkirk

“If it (abolition of animal research) means there are some things we cannot learn, then so be it. We have no basic right not to be harmed by those natural diseases we are heir to.” Tom Regan, “America’s New Extremists: What You Need to Know About the Animal Rights Movement.”


“Pet Ownership is an absolutely abysmal situation brought about by human manipulation.” Ingrid Newkirk, PeTA

“(Pets) are slaves, even if well-kept slaves.” PeTA’s Statement on Companion Animals

For more information on Animal Rights radicalism, read: Animal Scam, The Beastly Abuse of Human Rights, By Kathleen Marquardt. Available from The DeWeese Report for $24.00. This best-selling book is now being used as a text book in several universities and colleges. Call 703-925-0881 to order your copy.

Tom DeWeese
[email protected]

Tom DeWeese is President of the American Policy Center and National Grassroots Coordinator for CFACT (Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow) working to help local activists organize into Freedom Pods (www.CFACT.org). He is also the author of three books, including Now Tell Me I Was Wrong, ERASE, and Sustainable: the WAR on Free Enterprise, Private Property, and Individuals.