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How to Do Animal Rights

How to Do Animal Rights

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Published by AnnabelleMalo

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Published by: AnnabelleMalo on Sep 14, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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How to Do Animal Rights -And Win the War on Animals
What's This Free Online Book About?
 You do not have to scream emotional abuse at people in the street or commit arsonto work for animal rights.
How to Do Animal Rights
shows you how to work for animalrights legally. Written concisely in plain English this book briefs you about doinganimal rights as an activity - it is not about arguing for or against animal rights - andinforms you about animal rights ethics so that you can defend your actions rationally. This book should appeal to novices and would-be activists, from school teenager togranny, anarchist to city banker, as well as to experienced animal rightscampaigners. Topics covered include the major problems that humanity is causing animal life, themoral philosophy underlying animal rights, the major methods of campaigning,practical activities for promoting animal rights, how to deal with possible clashes withthe police, biographical sketches of well-known animal rights activists from all walksof life, and statistics on human usage of animals.Read this book to:
Recognise how humanity is devastating animals globally (Chapter 1).
Know what animal rights means and how it differs from other views (Chapter2).
Understand activist methods that will further your activism (Chapter 3).
Discover practical animal rights activities to do (Chapter 4).
Be aware of potential conflict with the law and how to handle it (Chapter 5).
Find inspiration from a selection of historical and modern animal rightsactivists (Chapter 6).
Gasp at the numbers of animals humans kill(Chapter 7)
Add to your armoury topics that the well-rounded animal activist should know(Chapter 8). You can work for animal rights low-key or high-key, by yourself or with like-mindedpeople. But above all - do it!
Chapter 1
Introduction to Doing Animal Rights
1. The Broad Setting
More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads todespair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we havethe wisdom to choose correctly." Woody Allen
The Big Problem
Humans have been killing animals for millennia and now scientists acknowledge thatwe are living in a mass extinction of life caused by humanity (2). Added to this is ananimal holocaust in which increasing numbers of people endlessly demand animalsto eat, wear, kill for sport, experiment on, and more. In almost anyone's definitionthis is a man made disaster - a war on animals - undeclared and devastatingly carriedout. This war on animals shouts for action. Animals need allies and making activeallies for animals is what this online book is about.
Being Active
 To be active for animal rights all you need to be is an ordinary person. You do nothave to be an 'animal rights terrorist' (see Chapter 5), the stereotype bogeyman of the news media. The media's animal rights archetype is a rare creature because forevery bogey animal rights terrorist there is a multitude of concerned people from allwalks of life doing their bit for animals. You, too, whether city financier, unemployedanarchist or domestic granny, can make your contribution and be a real ally of animals.
The Best Animal Rights Attitude
As an animal rights activist your attitudes and values will inevitably clash with thoseof other people. This is where you have to determine what your beliefs are based on.Confused beliefs, inaccurate views and misconceptions fill our minds. Thedistinguished French writer Francois-Marie Arouet (1694 - 1778), popularly known asVoltaire, is credited with saying, "If we believe absurdities, we shall commitatrocities." (3) One of the most disturbing visions in the history of human progress isthe spectre of the early vivisectors nailing live animals onto dissection boards to cutthem open at leisure and see how they worked...before the era of anaesthetics. Thevivisectors conveniently believed that animals do not feel pain even though animalsbehave as though they do.So what is our best attitude for being active for animals? Surely it is always toquestion what we know, try to understand what we do not know and keep a healthyscepticism about what people tell us. Having the right attitude demands that weconstantly question our beliefs, especially when we think we are right, and never becomplacent (for more see Chapter 2). This is especially important when we considerthe moral place of animals.
The Expanding Circle
Expanding the circle is an evocative metaphor that captures the progress of humanity as a moral species. It is a phrase coined by the Irish historian andphilosopher William Lecky (1838 - 1903) and means that humanity is enfolding morebeings in its group as worthy of respect and moral consideration. Lecky writes:"At one time the benevolent affections embrace merely the family, soon the circleexpanding includes first a class, then nation, then a coalition of nations, then allhumanity and finally, its influence is felt in the dealings of man with the animalworld..." (4)Lecky's statue stands neglected outside the University of Dublin as his reputationgathers dust. Yet the moral circle is expanding. Only a few generations ago slaveswere excluded from the core of human society and women were marginalised.Slavery and domestic servitude were accepted as social norms.So how close are we to accepting animals within the expanding circle? It is apt thatthe distinguished animal liberation philosopher Peter Singer (see Chapter 6) invokedLecky's metaphor as the title of his book
The Expanding Circle
. (5) Singer reasonsthat indeed the human moral circle is beginning to embrace animals, confirmed bythe existence of the numerous and growing number of people fighting for animal lib.Nevertheless, even with Singer's optimism and energy we still have a long way to journey toward the day when humanity finally accepts animals within its moral circle.
The Great Leap
A good reason for allying ourselves with animals and including them in our moralcircle is for their sake. Looking beyond that, another good reason is humanity isabout to make a great leap into the future. Blasting off into space, decipheringgenomes and implanting synthetic parts in our bodies are some of the signs of thisimpending leap. They signal that we are saying good-bye to our organic roots basedon natural selection and are entering a new phase of evolution based on science andtechnology. We are shaping a transformation of humanity into a super-being that willbe unrecognisable to present generations (assuming humanity and science survivethe next hundred years). However, we must not allow our future-being to ravageevery creature it meets for its own ends, in the present style of humanity. We mustinstil in it an enlightened and compassionate morality to be a powerful force for goodin the universe. To this end we must labour to expand our circle of moralconsideration to encompass all creatures, whatever and wherever they are.2. Mass Extinction
"Homo sapiens is in the throes of causing a major biological crisis, a mass extinction,the sixth such event, to have occurred in the past half billion years. And we, Homosapiens, may also be among the living dead." Richard Leakey & Roger Lewin (1)
The Sixth Extinction

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