Friday, July 27, 2007

Lunactivism Kills Bambi

As usual, Eric at Classical Values provokes thought with his post on deer in the headlights and the lunactivists who keep them there. Commenting, I noted

It is difficult to engage in rational discussion with people for whom humans and non-humans have equal (or comparable and in within an order of magnitude) value.

If you ask people which would be a greater crime, killing 10 deer or killing one human, most would answer that killing one human is worse. The "stop the killing" lunactivist in your post would have to ponder it, and probably come up with the wrong answer.

I really don't know how to stop them, or even how to engage them. They derive tremendous emotional and even spiritual value from standing against the status quo, shaking their little fists against what they see as the teeming hordes of Evil, those of us who draw a value distinction between human and non-human.

To me, the value of animal life and human life is not comparable. (Yes, I know humans are animals, too; unless I specify, you can be assured that I always use "animal" to mean non-human animal, or those aspects of biology which distinguish humans and non-humans from spinach or quartz. ) What I mean is that other things being equal, I would accept the immediate extinction of deer (or any non-human species) if it meant saving one human life, even for a moment.

Of course, things are not equal, and the extinction of even one species of deer would have a cost in human life, and an impact on ecosystems that would in turn have unknown, and largely negative, effects on humans. So, the pathologically absurd situation I posed above would at some point involve a dilemma in which human life could be balanced against human life.

But back in the real world, burgeoning deer populations spill over into areas occupied by people and their vehicles. Deer, lacking the evolutionary foresight to be constructed from sturdier materials, meet their inevitable end more quickly than either their Creator or we their predators would have liked. In the process they do a great amount of damage to property, and indeed, cost human lives.

So the overabundance of deer, as well as their total absence, would be a net negative for humans. Deer are good, when their numbers are great enough to be stable but not so great as to cause problems for themselves (by the lack of food and space) or us (by trying to use ours).

But the animal rights crowd will have nothing of that, because they don't see the distinction between humans and animals. Despite efforts to deny it, the notion that non-humans have their own innate rights, rather than drawing their protection from our need to regulate our behavior, leads inexorably to devaluing humans. So instead of stopping at criticizing those who engage in the cruelty of dog-fighting or other ways to have fun hurting animals, they engender overpopulation, disease, and harm to the creatures they ostensibly wish to help.

Like all attempts to deny reality, attempting to keep people from using animals for food is doomed to failure.

Stay tuned here for more on lunactivists, their antics, and their intractable nature.

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