Thursday, December 13, 2007

This Is Why I Tend to be Skeptical of Animal Rights Groups

A recent posting on the website gives me real cause for concern. This organization, Animal Place, gives shelter to animals that have been rescued from factory farms and advocates better treatment of animals, all of which I support. However, what I saw demonstrates a serious case of misplaced priorities.

The posting in question asks people not to donate to charities such as Heifer International and Oxfam because they offer to give farm animals to poor Africans and Asians for them to eat. Although, towards the end of their post, they quibble about whether the donations are actually used to provide animals, (something the organizations themselves point out in their mailings, as Animal Place itself admits). However, it is easy to tell from reading the post that their real concern is the animal getting killed. Dead goats, a tragedy. Starving black people...boring.

Am I the only person who sees this as mildly racist? Even if the money doesn't go directly to providing animals, it still helps these organizations fulfill their mission. To me, that seems more important than some animals' suffering.

The vegan types will quibble that if we didn't use a lot of grain to fatten livestock, we would be able to feed everyone. Never mind that fact that this would not solve the problem of food distribution and economic inequality, it also ignores the issue of what the people of these countries want to eat. Time and again, when countries such as China and the Pacific islands become more prosperous, they tend to switch to a meat based diet. These people have a right to eat what they want to without critiques from the vegans.

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