Animal Lovers

Ya know, vegans love to use arguments of animal adulation like “If you love animals the don’t eat them” or “Why love one but eat the other?”. They post images interpreted through anthropomorphic lenses as exemplified in my very first post on Pythagorean Crank: Ravenous Monkey Escapes Circus and Eats Puppy. Narrations accompanying such pictures often talk up the natural goodness of animals along with a dose of misanthropic lamentations. Even people who use and kill animals will fall into this trap exalting the value of animals while munching on a burger. Living with cognitive dissonance is a part of the human condition and we’re pretty good at it. The thing is though, this is a shitty argument either way you look at it.

I for one must come out of the closet and admit: I fucking hate animals.

Ok, maybe that was too harsh but if I hear one more vegan gushing about their “fur babies” or witness another human-pooch lick-a-tongue kiss I’m gonna puke my vegan lunch. C’mon though, animals don’t give a shit like The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger. They crap wherever they want and piss and puke and they don’t clean that up or pay any rent. Oh, and that’s just the domestic ones we live with! Ever try to get a kangaroo to flush the toilet? Fuhget about it!

When it comes to nonhumans, we don’t need to make loving them a qualification for their consideration. It doesn’t matter how valuable they are to humans. They don’t need our patronizing crumbs of compassion based upon a misinterpreted action, picture or physical cuteness. It’s enough that we all find ourselves stranded upon this watery rock in space and we should learn to just get along. Justice doesn’t require a special love for animals and when the animal love orgy starts, I always find myself particularly left out.

If we are to continue to look at internet videos and pictures as examples of animal greatness then we mustn’t ignore the less favorable ones. I’m not talking just about when you see a lion take down a gazelle or an orca chowin down a bowlful of penguins. I’m talking about those unusual examples like when we see a “monkey saving a puppy”. For instance:

**ALERT: shocking non-vegan video ahead**

Why oh goddamn why would a cute ass bambi deer EAT A DAMN BIRD?!

Oh see, that deer is such an asshole! We should hand out guns to people to go and hunt every last one of them! Skin them alive I say, right?!

**TRIGGER WARNING: video of sexual violence**

Oh, and what have we here? A chimp doing… WHAT?! to a frog?!

Holy WTFF! Chimps are all bastards and we should lock em all up in testing facilities and pour bleach in their eyes. Goddamn!

Humans are so civilized and morally upstanding compared to these dispicable brutes.

Of course, that’s not true now though, right? Stereotyping works both ways and neither makes a good argument for or against a species as a whole.

Ok, so for real, I admit that I have had some meaningful relationships with nonhuman animals and loved them to bits. I do think every creature on this Earth is amazing and regardless of what they mean to me they should be recognized as having interests. Pandering to our own selfish preferences doesn’t seem very “animal loving” to me. If that’s your deal though, wouldn’t it better serve the animal’s interest by not making your preference an exclusionary requirement for fair treatment?

Perhaps somebody likes animals and perhaps they can’t stand them. In either case there is a good case for fairness. Shouldn’t that be the focus?

16 comments to Animal Lovers

  • How dare you say that about animals! Ha, just kidding. I’m basically right there with you. I’ve never really been an “animal lover” kind of guy. Sure, I loved dogs in general and my pet dogs specifically, but what 10 year old doesn’t?

    I do have to say, though, the monkey/puppy pic is just too cute. The puppy just kinda looks like “hey, man, chill out, I know how to run.”

    Okay so there’s a building on fire (from a pipeline explosion) and there’s a cute puppy and an ugly monkey inside and you can only save one. Does the monkey save you? Tough question.

  • 🙂

    Plus dogs are so domesticated that they’re practically part of the human family. It’s like those “animal rights” people who think animal issues end with dogs and cats. It hardly even begins there!

    I thought I had a funny answer to your question but then I re-read it and got confused. 🙁

  • Sorry if I confused you. I was actually making a reference to a post (linked below) I made that references babies, puppies etc. I thought maybe you were familiar with the scenario as it (and variations of it) is one that I’ve been hearing for a number of years. It was my attempt at humor.

    Thanks for the comments and subscription. I like you blog (and I follow it through Reader).

    Take care.

    SV

    http://speciesistvegan.wordpress.com/2011/09/09/a-baby-a-puppy-a-burning-building/

  • Oh no, I’m familiar with that hypothetical situation. I just got tripped up on “you can only save one” and “monkey save you?”.

  • Okay. I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t totally confusing you and making you think that I’m incapable of writing a coherent question.

    I just liked the idea of sort of flipping it around a bit by having the monkey be capable of saving you, since he can already save a cute puppy (and since the original baby/puppy question is kinda boring to me by now). I wonder if the monkey would have saved an ugly puppy.

    I see this question as being pretty similar to the “okay, so you’re stuck on a desert island” question. Non-vegans are basically just trying to figure out how far you’re willing to go in your convictions. I hope to start and maintain an ongoing list of similar questions on my blog at some point.

  • Lorien

    “When it comes to nonhumans, we don’t need to make loving them a qualification for their consideration. It doesn’t matter how valuable they are to humans. They don’t need our patronizing crumbs of compassion based upon a misinterpreted action, picture or physical cuteness.” Amen.
    At the risk of treading on thin ice, I equate the vegan animal love fest mindset to the mindset that blames testosterone for all the world’s ills, meanwhile praising all things estrogen (yes I’m a woman, so I can get away with this particular dis). In other words, both mindsets are skewed and extremely unhelpful to the causes they purport to promote. Both beg questions: what happens when an animal doesn’t fit in with your disney idea? (such as the mountain goat who gored the hiker and stood over his body while he bled to death?) or a woman doesn’t act like a nurturing earth mother? (insert your own examples…)

    Anyway, I remember a while back seeing a quote on an animal welfare site that made me lose my (vegan) lunch, something to the effect of “I believe in animal rights, and high among them is the right to the gentle stroke of a human hand”. WTF??? Gad don’t get me started. I actually wrote a blog post on my dislike of that particular sentiment, but I’m nowhere near as rational as you so it came out ranty (http://l0rhc123.wordpress.com/2010/11/), as does most of my blog stuff. Oh well.

    Anyway, I just happened on your blog, along with Rational Vegan’s. Great stuff! I’ll be reading along.

    • Hey Lorien,

      Thanks for the comment. It’s nice to find another person who gets it. You’re totally right. If we were to value animals based upon our own anthropocentric ideals then they would quickly find themselves in jeopardy when they fail to meet those expectations.

      That quote is ridiculous too. It reminds me of the “animal rights” activists who draw the line between pets and every other animal. What a selfish act! Thanks for the blog link. Skimming over a few, we have similar ideas (and crankiness). 🙂 I’ll dig in deeper later, looking forward to it!

      Cheers!

  • In simple terms, I look at it like having manners. I am just waking up so forgive me. We’re the odd ones out on this planet. We cook and shit in bowls filled with water (or ditches depending on where yer at) Nearly the entire remainder of Animal Kingdom eat with little to no food prep and they piss and crap everywhere.

    We must however respect that they have their place. Far be it from us to impose our worldview on them. No one can say, “I got here first.” Evolution is tricky to decode.

    The only time we should be in conflict with animals is during a dispute over a food/land resource or in an act of self-defense. We must also use discretion in determining how much encroachment is necessary.

    Manners and Respect.

    Love is reserved for relationships. You can have an emotional bond with an animal no doubt. Case and point are pets and rescue animals you care for directly.

    Animals Rights are about an attempt to recognize the place in the world for beings who can not speak. We can declare ourselves. “I only eat plants!”

    Have you heard an animal other than a human declare itself?

  • This is great: “Justice doesn’t require a special love for animals.” Although I count myself among the “animal lovers” of the world, I’m also a licensed wildlife rehabilitator and see the precariousness in basing any notion of justice or humanity on the idea of love. In fact, one of the interactions I have most often as a wildlife advocate is with hunters. They always figure they have the trump card in a discussion when they bring up the idea that animals are not “cute,” that a deer eats a bird or a bird, like a heron, skewers a vole in the field. Their contention that nature is cruel, therefore humans have every right to be cruel — while employing a serious logical fallacy — also succeeds in stumping some who don’t understand the circuitousness of this reasoning. Arguments about moral agency are stronger, if one wants to argue those points.

    • Thanks Ingrid. I admire people who love and care for animals but I wish advocates weren’t so quick to co-opt issues of justice for ploys of personal feelings.

      Hey, you have a beautiful blog! I have a soft spot for corvids. 🙂

  • teehee

    I think humans and animals should just leave the other’s sphere alone. Humans are so busy (post-1975 Peter Singer stuff) projecting their ills and causes and emotions onto animals, I have to wonder, do the animals know they’re being championed for? Just because humans and animals have SIMILAR behaviours, does not make them THE SAME. I myself am pretty apathetic to animals..I don’t approve of any sort of cruelty, but what doesn’t kill them by human hands, nature will take over. I say leave it alone and concentrate on your own kind….hell, animals do just that.

    • teehee

      Damn, posted too soon. On the “similar behaviour” subject: I could sit as still as a statue of stone, does that make me the same as it? OR I could jump like a flea, does that make me a flea? Or is there more to this than comparing things simply because they eat, sleep, poop, etc?

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  • […] sometimes feel like I have some mental condition because I don’t feel an emotional connection to animals that many activist exhibit. I have a strong sense of justice though and that is enough for me. So […]

  • […] ethics of care framed in a way that suddenly made sense even beyond maybe its intended meaning. I gloated about how justice was a more important concept than “loving animals” but I neglected to […]

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