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Ask the Patriarch 64
You don't seem to support animal rights

from Zoe Hand

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This is one of those pages I'm glad to come across. It's nice to see people using logic now and then, isn't it? I thought I'd offer some advice.

One thing I noticed that differs between yours and mine is that I always make a big attempt to make it relevant to the audience... Not that this isn't present in most of yours, and I haven't read all of it (just skim read a bit).

One of the sections I noticed was animal rights. You didn't seem to be able to find a good reason to support it. I do (and I'm not vegetarian). Take into account these facts:

- The overwhelming majority, if not all, of the violent serial killers start off with killing animals (e.g. torturing dogs, shooting farm animals, decapitating neighbourhood pets)

- The majority of homes (presumeably with pets) where child abuse has occured also reported animal abuse

- The majority of homes (again; presumeably those with pets) where spouse abuse has occured also reported animal abuse

Conclusion: Animal abuse can be a sign of human abuse.

More or less the way I normally say it: Those who go out of their way to torture or abuse animals are more likely to be inclined to attack people. The presence of Animal Rights will make the public more ready to report animal abuse to the authorities, and this means that problems can be stopped, sometimes before the real problems even start.

I hope this is of some help to you. And if you wanted to go against animal testing for drugs, that one's easy too (they don't work, thousands of people have died from animal-tested products, and methods both more affective and cheaper are available).

Your page is almost the opposite to the following link, but I'll warn you not to go to it because, personally, the Fundamentalist Christian crap irritates me:

Jack Chick's Dark Dungeons

It includes how D&D players are Satanists, the Druidic roots of rock music (don't ask me how they got that one) and other such gems from the minds of total nutcases (in my opinion). If you feel like pointing out all their argument flaws, feel free (I'm holding myself back from it because of how long it would take to teach them the proper use of "ad hominem").

If you do go there, try this link to calm down:

Irregular Times: News Unfit for Print

Largely anti-Bush, it's a site of left wing views mingled pleasantly with (often subtle) humour.

If you don't feel like following my links because you think I'm just advertising, sorry for wasting your time. And please feel free to reply (I'd be grateful to know this wasn't just deleted).

The Patriarch replies:


Thank you for writing, and suggesting the two links. You will find I already discussed Jack Chick in Meditation 206[1], and the new comic strip link you have pointed out shows all the distortions of fact which Chick uses.

You are quite right that I have not taken on "animal rights." The only time anything relating to this issue has come up is when someone wrote to me demanding that I stop killing the buffalo. (Ask the Patriarch 57[2]) And I still don't know what motivated him to send this suggestion to me.

But in my personal view, the concept of "animal rights" is a red herring which detracts from the issue of animal abuse.

Instead of arguing about whether animals have rights or not, and about the extent of those rights, we should be concerned with our responsibility towards animals, our duty of care. We need to focus on our moral need to treat animals ethically, to treat them humanely.

The end result of considering ethical treatment of animals to be a human responsibility rather than an animal rights issue is probably the same. However, I consider it to be a much more logical approach to the issue, along with being more acceptable to more people.

Best wishes


  1. Meditation 206 - Ignorance, Lies, and Jack T Chick - Deconstructing Chick's Comics, 31 March 2004
  2. Q&A 57 - Stop Killing the Buffalo!, August 2004