Fighting Animal Rights With an Attitude
By Karen Strange, President
MFAO

The Board of Directors of the Missouri Federation of Animal Owners has traveled throughout the State of Missouri as well as neighboring states speaking to various groups concerning political issues relating to animals. One of the most commonly asked questions is "What is the difference between animal rights and animal welfare?"

First we answer questions with questions. "Did you shower before you came to the meeting? Did you use soap? Shampoo? Do you know those items are made from animal by-products? "Do you have tires on your car? Sheetrock on your walls? Film in your cameras? Those things are made using by-products."
If the animal rights movement is successful we will not have any of these things for they are all derived from animals. The animals that these products come from have been raised for food, but the by-products from the food production give us many of the articles and supplies to which we have become accustomed.
"Is your dog or cat up to date on vaccinations? Does anyone in your family have heart problems? Diabetes? Cancer? Aids? Do you realize that preventions, treatments and cures have been derived from using animals in research?

Animal Rights
Animal Welfare

Animal rights activists profess to care about animals when in reality their major concern is raising money while manipulating the public into their agenda, often times unknowingly. Many of the leaders of such groups are masters in marketing techniques, realizing that by playing on the sympathies of the public (who isn't going to react to a pitiful looking puppy or kitten?) they will in turn reap the benefits of donations and endorsements.

It is not caring about animals that stimulates these people. It is the reward of breaking new ground, creating new philosophies and pushing these ideas through lawmaking and council bodies to prove that they can do it, and to promote their agenda, again through carefully planned manipulation.

The new trend through uncharted waters is "guardianship" of animals. Thus comes along the theory of "animal rights." Guardians could be sued on behalf of their animals because the animal did not "want" to be bred; did not "want" to obey, perform, participate in research or be used as a food source. The list of possibilities goes on and on. Does it benefit the animals? No. Does it benefit animal rights groups, especially those who have lawyers on board. Yes. Does it benefit you as an animal owner? Not in the least!

Animal welfare, on the other hand, benefits animals and owners alike. Those who have pets can provide them with food, water, medical attention and the many comforts of life awarded to most animals in today's lifestyles.

Animal welfare means the rancher or farmer who's livelihood depends on his animals can educate himself on raising the healthiest animal possible in an environment that is beneficial to him and his product.

Welfare means educating those who need to improve their standards of care; working to promote responsible animal ownership, whether it be pets, livestock, exotics or wildlife along with maintaining responsible standards using common sense.

Animal welfare groups and individuals should be willing to help improve conditions for animals. They should be willing to work with Agriculture Departments, wildlife officials and animal owners to form a good working relationship.

 

To give animals "equal rights" and the right of "guardianship" rather than "ownership" from their keepers robs humans of their moral responsibilities to provide care and to nurture those animals at an appropriate level. Groups who work to put animal owners and enthusiasts out of business are not working to improve conditions for the animals or for humans.
To have personal agendas because one does not like what someone else does for a living is not an acceptable attitude for someone who is truly an animal welfare person or group.
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