By J. Neil Schulman
Critique by Punkerslut
The principle of Animal Rights has nothing to do with abstract religious or philosophical principles; the principle of Animal Rights as I see it is that all conscious beings (nearly mutually exclusive to the animalia kingdom) deserve considerations of their interests. This sentiment of equality invokes no supernatural or divine theory at all. However, it is considerably notable that Schulman is speaking from a highly prejudiced point of view. The whites plantation owners and slavers of the 1800's claimed that white humans were divinely different from black humans, thus granting them the right to enslave black humans. Consider the following verses of their holy book...
It was on religious reasons that white humans enslaved black humans. If the excuse for slaughtering animals is based purely on a religious reason, it can no doubt be explained as a religion of cruelty and a religion of hate. The fact that the gods of people tell them that they may be cruel or vicious in no doubt excuses cruel or vicious behavior. Thus, the inclination of Schulman that this has anything to do with religion is only a confession that any religion defending the right to be cruel and vicious is definitively a cruel and vicious religion.
What our nature or purpose is holds no regard with ethical considerations. It is the nature of a gun to kill. It is the nature of a combat knife to stab someone. It is the nature of a torturing device to torture someone. In no regard does that justify the usage of any of these devices, simply because "it is their nature." And what other animals do also justifies no unethical actions of our own. Animals may kill each other in foreign lands, but this matters not, as Galapagos lizards are known to rape, salamnders are known to cannibalism, and primates are known to steal. The fact that these animals commit such actions does not justify our commiting of similar actions.
Baseless assertion, unfounded claim, random bable... there are many names that are fully capable of describing what Schulman has just stated. The fact that I as an individual are superior to an infant does not mean I can decide the ethics that governs our relationship. Otherwise, according to Schulman's shotty ethical theory, I may consume the infant after torturing it with a long, drawn out vivisection, all fully justified by Schulman's impractical theory. But I choose, instead, not to be a vagrant devoid of both intellect and compassion, but to be a humanitarian fully capable of reasoning and tenderness.
Not only does Schulman obviously miss what self-consciousness can be defined as, but then he arbitrarily places things which do not mark self-consciousness. Being conscious does not give someone the ability to produce technological artifacts, nor does it allow for communication. Abstract reasoning? I've yet to see a single scientific document that marks self-consciousness as abstract reasoning. Inductive and deductive reasoning processes? Reading this essay is making me doubt that humans are capable of that capability. I'm sorry, but plainly J. Neil Schulman is wrong. This is not a question of debate or of reasoning (but possibly of Schulman's intellectual capabilities), but this is simply a question of fact of science. To quote Charles Darwin...
The law of Survival of the Fittest is a scientific observation concerning the evolution and change in the diversity of wildlife. It is, by no means or proof, an ethical construct. It is used by White Supremacists to justify their disagreement with other races just as much as Schulman uses it to prove his disagreement with other species.
At this point, Schulman states that humans are better than animals, in both intellect and brawn. The unstructured and flowing ignorance and drivel of this man makes me highly question the statement regarding brains. The fact that an animal is not as fit or as smart as humans is by no means a reason why they do not deserve any rights. Otherwise handicapped individuals deserve to be just that: food on your plate. Children, infants, and the mentally retarded are then just individuals to be hunted by Ted Nugent. But I'm sure we can go beyond that. Arthur Jenson, professor of educational psychology at the University of California, Berkelyey, and H. J. Eysenck, professor of psychology at the University of London, made claims with evidence about the variation of intelligence in races. His report showed that Caucasians were more intelligent than Africans yet Asians were more intelligent than Caucasians. If we are to follow the speciesist ethic of Schulman, and its logic, we will eventually come to the conclusion of Racism: that Africans deserve to be slaves of Caucasians and Caucasians deserve to be slaves of Asians. Or, if we are to follow Rationalist and Humanitarian ethics, we will find that whether or not someone is inferior, they deserve compassionate treatment.
And were there any Abolitionist organizations that were composed strictly of slaves? None, because slaves couldn't free themselves.
In this brief passage, Schulman admits that animals are capable of feeling pain, yet previously states that they are not conscious. How quiant of a dichotomy.
This is just plainly garbage and not worth refutation. To state that Animal Rights Activists are against Human Rights is just stupidity. Yes, I may be against humans having the right to kill any defenseless creature on this planet or to torture an animal to death. I may be opposed to individual humans having this right, but I seriously doubt that any educated person would call me a Human Rights Violation Activist.
"Those people among us who would give lower animals human rights do not do it because they love other animals. They do it because they hate humankind. They hate the fact that their own superior nature as intellectual beings gives them superior challenges which they shrink from by attempting to deny the superiority of their human nature."
Useless, barbaric, and obviously biased opinion. I'm sure Lev Nik Tolstoi - the Russian Anarchist, Vegetarian, author, and an individual who fed the poor in times of famine - was not a Vegetarian because he hated mankind. I am not a Vegetarian for the sake that I hate humankind. I am a Vegetarian for the sake of non-human animals. This is something that at least civilized humans who even eat meat can understand. However, Schulman is much more than a stone's throw away from being civilized. If I hated humans, I would not transform this hatred into Vegetarianism. Rather, I would probably become a mass terrorist so I can actually target the object of my hate. However, since I love animals and do not hate humans, I channel my sentiments into Vegetarianism. It's not something very difficult to understand, but considering how Schulman is not much more intelligent than a neanderthal, not to mention how his so-called facts have no evidence at all to back a single one of them up (and not to mention how his facts are completely contradictory to modern, scientific, accepted knowledge).
If private property means having African, non-human, or Caucasian slaves, as Schulman's logic would lead us to believe, then I am absolutely against it.
"The Human Defamation League." How primitively barbaric. I have yet to see Vegetarians making campaigns against humanity. I have yet to see a single Vegetarian doing this. And, as is consistent with Schulman's writings, no evidence is brought forth to this claim. Instead, he simply uses poor logic, unsupported facts, and prejudiced opinion.