People wrongly think of the animal-rights movement as a more energetic form of animal-welfare advocacy. It is not. Rather, animal-rights activists intend to eventually outlaw all ownership of animals, a project they recognize as multi-generational.
Often, activists mask their actual intentions. But a proposed Oregon constitutional amendment, currently in the petition-signing stage, illustrates the extent of animal-rights radicalism.
The proposed amendment would essentially criminalize many of the practices required to raise and slaughter food animals. First, it would remove current exemptions in the law for “good animal husbandry” practices that protect ranchers and others from being charged with abuse for injuring an animal. From Initiative Petition 13 (the bracketed sections delete current law, my emphasis):
A person commits the crime of animal abuse in the second degree if, except as [otherwise authorized by law] necessary to defend him or herself against an apparent threat of immediate violence, the person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes physical injury to an animal. [(2) Any practice of good animal husbandry is not a violation of this section.]
The food industry routinely kills animals by mortally injuring them. Other practices such as castration of steers, also would constitute “injury.” By removing the “good animal husbandry” exemptions — and note, “good” practices do not permit abuse — necessary activities of raising animals for food would seem to be criminalized.
And here’s the real kicker. Breeding animals, other than through animal intercourse, would be considered a sexual offense, akin to bestiality:
Section 6. ORS 167.333 is amended to read:
(1) A person commits the crime of sexual assault of an animal if the person:
(a) Touches or contacts, or causes an object or another person to touch or contact, the mouth, anus or sex organs of an animal or animal carcass for the purpose of:
(A) [a]Arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of [a person] either party; or
(B) Breeding domestic, livestock, and equine animals as defined in ORS 167.310; or
(b) Causes an animal or animal carcass to touch or contact the mouth, anus or sex organs of a person for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of [a person] either party
This provision would make artificial insemination of a cow a sexual offense because it involves touching that cow’s sex organs with the sperm-containing syringe! It would also prohibit the acts necessary to obtain bull sperm for that purpose.
Why worry about such a radical proposal, Wesley? It’s just the fringe being fringy.
Because we can no longer afford that kind of complacency. In these days where feelings often count more than thought, merely stating you want to stop suffering can be the pretext for implementing profoundly unsound policies. Casting a bright light of public awareness on radical proposals while they are in the embryonic stage is the easiest and best means to keep them from becoming law.
Post Script: Don’t forget the other extreme state-constitutional-amendment-petition drive currently ongoing in Florida to grant “rights” to rivers and other waters. Environmentalism is growing as extreme as the animal-rights movement. Both increasingly pose misanthropic threats in the purposes and/or consequences of their respective proposed policies.