Animal Rights

Weekend Open Thread/Libertarian Purity Test

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Comments theread is open to any topic.

But to get you started: What's a card-carrying libertoid to think of the Michael Vick situation, and of animal cruelty laws in general? Do animals have rights? Are they property? Both? Is the government obliged to prevent someone from feeding puppies to a wood chipper?

Tibor Machan takes the Cruella de Vil hard line here. Cato's Justin Logan responds here. Archive of reason animal rights goodies here. My take on what should happen with Vick here. Skip Oliva responds at the Mises blog here. And here's a tepid defense of dog fighting by To the People's Baylen Linnekin.

NEXT: FP's Funny Fatwas

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  1. Radley Balko, the states’ rights argument is great and all, but where do you come down as far as the argument goes for your home state?

    Me, I don’t have a clue, but I’m off to YouTube to watch some videos. Unlike Clinton Portis, I don’t know where to go see a dog fight, live-style.

  2. I’m amazed that while people are on TV calling this everything up to abd including murder and how it’s a crime to even watch it,pictures of dog fighting run on the screen constantly.

  3. Uh, don’t animals fight each other in the wild? I think a lot of the revulsion at this comes from the “Lion King” view of nature that presumes the animal kingdom is a peaceful, benevolent, non-violent society, as long as humans don’t come along and screw it up.

    Throwing puppies into a wood chipper is a totally different question; that’s just wanton cruelty. I’d have to think about that one…

  4. Michael Pack,

    Do they always preface it with the standard disclaimer, “The following report contains imagery that may not be appropriate for younger and more sensitive viewers”?

    When I was a kid, my ears always pricked up at that. Like the guy in Family Guy says about the Viewer Discretion Advised tag, “That’s how you know it’s good.”

  5. I’m inclined to think that some higher functioning animals do have a claim to some rights, and that the general ambivalence I see among my fellow libertarians in regards to those rights has something to do with the Second Amendment, a gut reaction against restrictions on medical research and our carnivorous appetites.

    …It’s hard to think of something as having rights when you’re accustomed to thinking of it as food.

    That being said, if a dog has a right to anything, it seems to me that it has a right not to be repeatedly slammed on the ground until dead.

    The Constitution tries to protect us from the idiot masses, but if public figures try hard enough, they can make it past those protections. One easy way around is by messin’ with the things advertisers use to tug at our heart strings. Think of it as a general rule.

    Jim Croce sang, “You don’t tug on Superman’s cape. You don’t spit into the wind. You’d don’t pull the mask off the ol’ Lone Ranger…”

    I say you don’t tick off any hot chicks, for goodness’ sake, you don’t do anything that might hurt a child, you don’t disparage the flag or the public’s sense of patriotism and you don’t mess around with puppies!

  6. crimethink,no they don’t,I think they like the shock value.As a kid I grew up hunting and fishing.I also have butchered my share of pigs,chickens,and beef.While I believe animals are property,I have no problems with local setting humane laws and regulations.I do have a problem with the feds.It also bothers me that many ‘experts’ on Fox and CNN are from PETA.A group that considers hunting,fishing and the beef industry murder.

  7. For Vick specifically, as I understand it he was involved in a multi-state dog fighting and gambling ring, which is pretty clearly a case where the feds can (and, I would argue, should) step in. Others may disagree as to if they should.

  8. crimethink,

    Dog fighting and cock fighting and other “sports” are as far away from what happens in nature as having the dogs play basketball against one another would be.

  9. First, it’s disgusting, brutal, reprehensible, cruel and despicable to engage in that “sport.” I think Americans are rightly sickened at Vick and the other vile scum who participate in it.
    And I think it should be illegal.
    Libertarian legal philosophy is built on the premise that in criminal matters, there must be a victim. There can be no “victimless crimes.”
    Certainly, you can make the case that to train these dogs to kill, to deliberately arrange for a torturous bloodletting, you have created an unwilling victim of your actions. This is not like hunting, where in a state of nature you are seeking out your prey with tools that your species has invented.
    My approach would be to define the crime and its victims specifically; i.e., “No torturing of animals higher than [fill in the blank] on the food chain.” If that reeks of moral grayness, so be it.

  10. you don’t mess around with puppies!

    Sheez…you can say that again. I could tell you some stories that would crop your ears.

  11. Ken,Rights include thought and reasoning.Not only of your rights but to understand the rights of others.I do not think animals have right but do think we have a responciblity to treat them humanely and pass laws to that effect

  12. Animals are property.

    No further explanation/laws needed.

  13. “Do animals have rights?”

    I was going to ask where you think rights come from, but I think there’s a case to be made whether you think they come from a social contract or you think they were endowed by God. …whether you think they’re merely a utilitarian assumption or whether you think you earned or inherited them. Blah, blah, blah.

    Under every theory of the origin of rights that I can think of, there’s a case to be made for animal rights. …some of those arguments may be more persuasive than others.

  14. Dogfighting is only okay if you eat them.

    Tasty!

    Seriously though, sorry but I don’t get it. I love a nice Spanish bullfight, and while I’ve never been to a dogfight, never seen a dogfight, and have absolutely no inclination to do so, I don’t really care enough for it to be illegal. This just sounds like another case of trying to criminalize any “dirty” recreation. Recreation doesn’t need a moral defense.

  15. On another topic, should it be illegal to feed someone who is too fat to go to the store themselves to get food?

  16. Ken Schultz,

    A big part of the problem with giving animals rights, though, is that it has the potential to undermine the idea that inalienable rights belong to humans by their very nature. When we try to decide what degree of rights a dog has vs. a mouse vs. a dolphin vs. a lobster, etc., we’re tacitly accepting the idea that rights come from a societal decision.

    I mean, what justification can you give for allowing people to essentially torture mice by setting glue traps, or allowing people to drown rats, but not allow the same treatment to dogs?

  17. Animals are property.

    No further explanation/laws needed.

    Wow, that’s beautiful, thoughtful, nuanced thinking.

  18. If we ever ban meat, I’m seriously moving to Brazil.

  19. Michael Pack,

    I think I would agree with your approach, but I’m having a hard time reconciling it with my libertarian principles. Once you start legislating responsibility towards animals, there’s no barrier to legislating responsibility towards other people’s children, the poor, people in other countries, those without health care, the elderly, etc. And then you wind up with the welfare-warfare state we have today.

  20. My big problem is the idea that in order for there to be a crime, you necessarily have to grant animals all these “rights.”
    Can’t “wanton cruelty” be a crime in and of itself? Can’t we judge people for such behavior? I think we can — and should.

  21. What about infants? Certainly they have a right to life, but for all intents, they are no more moral agents than dogs.
    Can you burn your infant with a cigarette? And if not, why not?

  22. Jamie Kelly,

    Again, the problem is that after you ban wanton cruelty, how do you justify saying “no” to the person who wants to ban drugs, pornography, homosexual behavior, etc, without claiming that animals have rights?

  23. Ken,Rights include thought and reasoning.

    I’ve known some people who were incapable of reasoning.

    I’ve known people who were comatose.

    I’m not saying animals should have a right to vote or that they should have freedom of the press–but maybe some of them should have something like a right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment.

    I’m starting to think of rights in evolutionary terms. …like something of an adaptation.

    I’ve recently read accounts of something like morality in Chimpanzees. …morality as adaptation, see?

  24. “Animals are property.

    No further explanation/laws needed.”
    I’m afraid I’m going to need more than that bald assertion. Are they property like furniture? Because they strike me as much more like humans than furniture. For example, when I kick my furniture it does not writhe in pain, scream and bruise. Animals, and humans, do react in this way. It strikes me that animals are easily some middle ground, and our laws rightly reflect this. You can get away with doing things to animals that you could not with humans, like experimenting on them to find cures for humans or killing them to feed humans. But you cannot do whatever you want to them like you could to your furniture. Because they are an obviously different kind of “property.”
    “Rights include thought and reasoning.” I may be Mr. Nice Guy, but this strikes me as plain stupid. Do newborns have a right not to be slammed to the ground till they die? Because newborns do not have thought and reasoning. How about people in comas, can I stick them with needles for fun? Or severely retarded people, like with a mental age of 18 months or so, can I hose them down and electrocute them for sh&ts and giggles?
    Dogs have been shown to have a language recognition capacity of up to 200 words (of course they cannot speak, they have no vocal chords).
    http://www.genomenewsnetwork.org/articles/2004/06/10/smartdog.php
    I’ve also read that while any comparison of dog to human intelligence is fraught with incredible problems, that it is not unreasonable to assume that the average adult dog has an intelligence comparable to a toddler. Toddlers cannot reason or think about rights in any way that would allow them to join any social contract I have ever heard of, but who thinks we can slam them around and fry them up for fun? Note noone is saying animals should have anything comparable to the rights humans have (for that matter toddlers or the severely retarded have limited rights too don’t they, they cannot vote, contract, decide where they want to live, etc.), just that at a bare minimum they have a right not to be tortured.

  25. My big problem with bullfighting is that the bull doesn’t really stand a chance. On the few occasions that the bull gets the better of the bullfighter or takes a leap into the audience and starts goring spectators, I get a little thrill out of it.

    But even then the bull still gets put down. I’d like to see a bullfight where the bull gets to win.

  26. Why does mk hate humanity?

    😉

  27. OK “libertarians” , what is now legal that you wish use State power to ban and what is now prohibited that you want to legalize? I am referring to things which otherwise pass the force, fraud coercion test.

    Legal:

    Hunting, fishing, trapping,animal racing,circuses cosmetic surgery, autoracing, motorcycles, guns, BDSM sex, pornography, alchohol, tobacco, state-sanctioned gambling.

    Currently illegal:

    Marijuana, prostitution, unlicensed machine guns, “hard drugs”, cockfighting, dogfighting,
    non-state-sanctioned gambling.

    Feel free to add any thing I left out.

    Bonus question:Is the age of majority too high, too low, or just right?
    Consider such things as consent to sex,ability to enter into contracts, drinking age, military enlistment or anything else you can think of.

  28. Not all humans have the same “inalienable” rights. Many humans do not have the right to vote.
    Since we all understand that different capacities lead to different sets of rights for humans, we shouldn’t have a problem with animals.
    The point about how nasty animals are to each other doesn’t indicate anything about how we should treat them. Humans are naturally very nasty to each other, but we don’t think its okay.
    I’m sure some smart guy said can’t derive an ought from an is.
    I’m curious why libertarians normally have such strong feelings on animal rights, what’s libertarianism got to do with it? It’s obviously not conclusive, but libertarians who have such a hard time getting their heads around animal rights should reread Anarchy, State and Utopia.

  29. mk,

    That’s sort of how I talk to my friends who hunt frequently. If they were out there barehanded, or with just a knife, then I would respect those antlers on the wall. Until then, it’s just killing for the sake of killing, with occasional mild homoeroticism thrown in.

  30. Obviously, not all animals are property. Obviously, also, many animals are property in the legal sense of the term. And what other sense, really, is there?

    Now, you can ask whether they should be regarded as such or whether there should be limitations on property rights in some animals and why. Similarly, you can argue whether the notion of animals posessing moral rights makes sense (I think it doesn’t, ymmv), though it doesn’t follow that because we may limit property rights in animals it is because they have any sort of moral (let alone legal) rights.

  31. “Again, the problem is that after you ban wanton cruelty, how do you justify saying “no” to the person who wants to ban drugs, pornography, homosexual behavior, etc, without claiming that animals have rights?”
    Hey, this philosophical trick works the other way doesn’t it? If you justify restricting people from burning coma patients with cigars or kicking terminally ill infants (notice how any ‘potentiality’ issue is solved with that neat move), how can you not extend that to obviously feeling thinking (at some level) beings?
    But more to the point, I should think libertarians are reluctant to restrict people unless the harm is rather obvious and direct to others. This is why it’s a no-brainer that we can restrict me from bopping you on the head for fun. Well, with animal cruelty the harm is rather obvious and direct to something that obviously feels the harm and quite likely is aware of it at some thinking level. With porn, consenting alternative sexuality, and the like the harm suggested is very indirect and not usually obvious to most folks.

  32. Crimethink,I don’t have an answer.I believe animals are property.People in states and cities have the rights to set their own rules in many cases.I see your point and tend to agree.I do have a problem when the feds include themselves in matters that should be discussed on a local level.

  33. “Mr. Nice Guy”

    Infants and retarded persons have rights because they are Human.

    Do you wish to ban animal testing,horse racing,trapping, hunting, fishing, meat eating, milk and honey and sik production?

    Would it be OK to ban some of these things if a majority agree?

  34. Do animals have rights?

    Just the cute, furry ones.

  35. crimethink wrote:

    A big part of the problem with giving animals rights, though, is that it has the potential to undermine the idea that inalienable rights belong to humans by their very nature. When we try to decide what degree of rights a dog has vs. a mouse vs. a dolphin vs. a lobster, etc., we’re tacitly accepting the idea that rights come from a societal decision.

    Why think the rights come from our decision? Why not instead think that the rights are already there, independent of our decision, and we’re trying to figure out what they are?

    I mean, I see nothing odd about the idea that the kinds of rights a creature naturally has (i.e., independently of any social convention) is something that depends on the creature’s capacities and other morally significant features. Humans have such-and-such capacities and features and so we have such-and-such rights. With lobsters, it’s different, and with dogs, it’s different still.

    (And any animal rights would have to be inalienable, because — unlike humans — animals don’t have the capacity to voluntarily surrender or waive their rights)

  36. Again, the problem is that after you ban wanton cruelty, how do you justify saying “no” to the person who wants to ban drugs, pornography, homosexual behavior, etc, without claiming that animals have rights?

    Gee, I dunno, because none of those things amounts to “wanton cruelty”?

  37. “Well, with animal cruelty the harm is rather obvious and direct to something that obviously feels the harm and quite likely is aware of it at some thinking level.”
    I should have added “and either does not give or is incapable of giving any effective consent” at the end, since of course consensual boxing, freaky sex, prostitution, etc., should be allowed. This also fixes SIV’s list, only the following would be problemattic: “Hunting, fishing, trapping,animal racing,circuses.” And since everyone here has agreed that animals don’t have the full set of rights humans have, just a right to some level of humane treatment, it can be argued that circuses and animal racing (and I might add animal slaughter for things like food and/or hide) can easily be done in humane ways. As rights for animals would exist on a scale relative to their ability to feel and think, most fish would get a low threshold of rights that may allow most fishing. Hunting is problematic though, which is a tough one for me as I grew up hunting. One thing that can be said for it is that it is rarely as intentionally wantonly cruel as what Vick et al. allegedly did.

  38. Enough of this,I think I’ll go boil a live lobster.

  39. “Infants and retarded persons have rights because they are Human.”
    That’s serious begging the question. We are discussing whether animals should, like humans, have some rights. It’s no answer at all to say “humans deserve rights because they are human.” You have to demonstrate why humans deserve rights, and then show that animals do not share any of the characteristics that qualify humans for those rights.


  40. Just the cute, furry ones.

    Cetaceans lack fur yet they are accorded greater status,even “rights” than nearly any other non-endangered animals. I believe their was/is a movement to recognise their “rights” by the U.N.

    No doubt opposed by the cruelest, most sadistic, EVIL societies on Earth, Norway and Japan.

  41. Infants and retarded persons have rights because they are Human.

    Capital-H human, eh? That ignores the central question — why, if they are not capable moral agents, do they have more rights than a dog?

    Do you wish to ban animal testing,horse racing,trapping, hunting, fishing, meat eating, milk and honey and sik production?

    No, no, no, no, no, no and no.
    Animal testing is necessary for human safety and advances in medicine. What does that have to do with sawing a dog’s legs off?
    Horseracing — hardly cruel. Those horses are well-fed, pampered.
    Trapping: No. The animal hides are for human consumption.
    Same with the rest of your list.
    And again, what does this have to do with torturing a dog for your own amusement?

  42. Having rights to something, no matter what the origin of those rights, involves attendant responsibilities. Claiming property rights means being able to respect the property of others etc. Animals clearly cannot meet that requirement. Don’t kid yourselves, if a cow ever got the chance, she’d eat you and everyone you care about.

    This is why that babies = animals argument breaks down. Babies will one day develop into people capable of comprehending rights. “Sit” and “Play dead” is about as comprehending as dogs get.

    Killing animals for food or in self-defense is fine, as long as its done somewhat humanely.

    I don’t support the wanton killing of animals for the sheer cruel fun of it. But then again, I don’t support the business model of Whole Foods, the content of most Starbucks beverages, or any action performed by Adam Sandler, but neither do I advocate banning them.

  43. Hugh Akston,

    Some animals are territorial. …and a lot of people only respect other people’s rights out of a threat of violence. That seems to break down pretty quick.

  44. Michael Pack,

    Too bad crawfish season is over you could cruelly boil hundreds of live ones and devour their well spiced corpses.Clams sound good, I could murder six dozen and consume them with gusto, taking satisfaction in their lack of “rights”.Although gulf oysters are available I prefer to eat their still beating sentience in the cooler months.

  45. Maybe someone can help me out here…as I see it, all “rights” are societal. Without society the concept doesn’t even exist. If you’re alone on a desert island your only “right” is to try to stay alive until you die.
    If all rights are determined by society, then society can say that dogs have more rights than lobsters but fewer rights than humans and that’s just the way it is. Deal with it.

  46. Libertarian hardline: I’m lighting dogs on fire and juggling them, charging willing spectators $5 a head. Show includes free hit of meth.

    See, this is where libertarians fuck themselves with a rake.

  47. Nope.

    They have the same rights as my shoes, couch, car, etc. (i.e. none)

    Let me be clear, I own a beautiful intelligent loving mollocan cockatoo but he is still NOT a person and NOT entitled to any rights. I would absolutely abhor and shun anyone who engages in needless cruelty to animals but I just do not think it’s the proper place for government force.

  48. “Having rights to something, no matter what the origin of those rights, involves attendant responsibilities.” Again, plain stupid. Babies and severly retarded people are incapable of responsibility, but we restrict folks from torturing them.
    “This is why that babies = animals argument breaks down. Babies will one day develop into people capable of comprehending rights.”
    A lot of them will not, like terminally ill babies. Is it OK to kick them around? What elderly folks suffering from incurable dementia? They will not “develop into people capable of comprehending rights.” Can I burn them with mu cigar to see them dance?
    I realize that since most people in modern society inevitably are involved in supporting various forms of animal cruelty that there is a strong need for people to turn to such arguments (I do, I love meat for example, and humanely killed meat is very hard to find). But they are really, really bad arguments.

  49. Ken Schultz,

    Territoriality is an instinct, not an understanding.

    People are capable of respecting property rights without the threat of violence, yes?

    Animals aren’t.

  50. if they are not capable moral agents, do they have more rights than a dog?

    Immature and defective humans have rights because humans do. Dogs do not as they are not human.

    Where does this “dog torture” thing come from?
    I thought the issue at hand was the prohibition of traditional, breed-specific canine sports?

  51. If the animals were brought across state lines for a business purpose, or bets or advertising crossed state lines, I guess there could be a federal case.

    Virginia just probably wanted to get the really good field techs from the federal agencies to do forensics on the property.

  52. It usually doesn’t take long in any discussion of animal cruelty to get someone who, like SIV or Pack, who says “ha ha, I love me some hamburger” or something equally juvenile. It’s like, “I realize my arguments are weak, but ha ha, I can violate your morals with impunity.” Of course, no one here has pointed out that clams or lobsters have the rights they joyfully exclaim to violate. Why don’t you merry pranksters get brave and say “ho ho, I’m off to fuck a dog” or something. That’ll show us animal rights nuts!

  53. “Immature and defective humans have rights because humans do. Dogs do not as they are not human.”
    SIV, please stop wasting yours and everyone’s time and read what it means to be begging the question.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begging_the_question
    You make as much sense as me saying “Dogs have rights because they have four legs and are furry.”
    Once more, and slowly, you need to do more than assert that “Humans get rights because they are humans, animals do not because they are not.” Such a mere assertion of an obvious tautological (you need a link for that one too?) fact gets you absolutely no where. Why do humans have rights? E-l-a-b-o-r-a-t-e.

  54. SIV,oysters are my favoite,I prefer them slightly wet roasted,eaiser to shuck.There’s a place in Nags Head I used to rent.It had a boat dock and I spend time drinking beer with my lab[his favorite was Sam Adams] and catch blue crabs with sting and chicken wings then boil them for dinner.

  55. Well I could drive over the state line and watch some dog races, hell even bet on them.Fully state-sanctioned of course.

    How are the slow and underperforming dogs treated as compared to how Vick and his buddies allegedly
    cut fighters from the team?

  56. I have difficulty thinking of a (non-ad hoc) rationale for giving anyone rights that couldn’t be applied, to some extent, to animals as well. The ones which I’m most sympathetic to are those that argue that granting rights leads to greater efficiency and productivity, but part of this outcome comes from the fact that granting rights also expands the sphere of what we consider efficient transactions to the new rights-bearers. I can see how a lot of animal rights would have negligible negative consequences, ie. don’t sadistically slaughter animals, but a lot of cases would have negative consequences, such as those that would forbid animal testing for medicinal purposes. Efficiency would probably dictate that animals be given the “right” to not be sadistically abused, but not protections against exploitative actions which have a productive goal.

  57. The differences between the nervous systems and consciousness of shellfish and mammals are so obvious that to even raise the argument is to proclaim that aren’t making the slightest effort to be serious.

  58. Speaking of weak arguments are you still clinging
    to that idea that infants and defective humans are not human as they lack moral agencey?

    If “society” is justified in assigning relative degrees of rights to different species I suppose you think it is OK for them to do the same with race, sex and class?

    Dogs as citizens and women as property?

  59. Who are you addressing, SIV?

  60. obligatory rah reference: jerry was a man.

    btw, what is the most highly encephalized invertebrate? squid?

    should we be allowed to raise anencephalized humans in tanks for yummy, yummy luaus?

  61. Mr nice guy,I believe,and the constitution backs me up,animals have no rights.Unlike you I have killed my dinner before and am not a hipocrate when it comes to food.I’ve found when people resort to vulgar speech they know they lost the argument.I will not respond in kind.

  62. The differences between the nervous systems and consciousness of shellfish and mammals are so obvious that to even raise the argument is to proclaim that aren’t making the slightest effort to be serious.

    So where do you draw the line?

    Animal Rights proponents believe that honey and silk production are immoral as the bees and caterpillars are unnaturally enslaved for the
    unnecessary substitution of sugar and nylon or some such nonsense.

  63. how ’bout that Ron Paul?

  64. The basis of anti cruelty laws is the fact that sociopaths and other unsavory individuals warm up on animals before moving on to humans.

    Also fighting dog trainers steal other peoples pets to act as training fodder for their fighting dogs.

    Valid reasons aside from the obvious ethical issues for the illegality of dog fighting and the financial and transport issues that surround it.

  65. Well that’s what I’m saying, Hugh.

    Our legal rights may well be a function of law and they may be a reflection of a moral right…

    …but who’s to say that morality isn’t an evolutionary adaptation? As I said, I’ve seen studies suggesting that chimpanzees have a kind of morality. And why wouldn’t we expect to see that?

    Are you a creationist? If humanity is the product of evolution, then shouldn’t we expect to see the evidence of our adaptations elsewhere in the natural world? …In species with common ancestors, at least?

    My understanding is that some tribal societies don’t think of personal property in the way we do. …but I suspect Cro-Magnon man probably did respect his neighbor’s rights, whatever those were. And I have little doubt but that their ancestors did at least as well as a pride of lions in deciding who gets to eat a kill. …or at least as well as a pack of dogs for that matter.

    The study I saw about chimpanzees suggested that morality, in it’s origins, is instinctive in its essence.

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/20171

    …which makes me want to ask the question, not whether animals have rights, but why it is that we’re the only animals with rights?

    This immense separation between ourselves and the rest of the animal kingdom–it seems like a relic of creationism or, like I said, maybe it’s just the way we deal with eating other animals as food.

  66. SIV,

    Some small fraction of those who believe that animals have rights believe that eating honey is the moral equivalent of human chattel slavery. I can find some silly, radical libertarians, too, if you’d like.

    The precise location of the line will probabl

  67. whoa!

    …will probably always be up for debate.

    That the line is way the hell on this side of dogfighting isn’t a very tough call.

  68. Jamie Kelly said,

    Libertarian hardline: I’m lighting dogs on fire and juggling them, charging willing spectators $5 a head. Show includes free hit of meth.

    See, this is where libertarians fuck themselves with a rake.

    Which neatly sums up the problem.

    There is a certain species of libertarian who thinks the most important (and entertaining) thing to do is to poke their finger in the eye of the sheeple by arguing for outrageous and offensive positions.

    They find this to be more important then actually using a little tact and respect to persuade people that libertarians have a good, useful philosophy.

  69. Mr. Condescending Asshole,

    By your “logic” unconcious humans are not human
    or have no rights or whatever because they lack moral agency at the time? Go read your Singer Bible and pray to Gaia or Science and take your vegan communion. You might re-read my posts and see why you are actually arguing with yourself.

  70. What should the punishment be?Sould it be a felony and what class.How much time.I have seen those on tv that equate it with manslaughter and murder.

  71. I have no problem with dog fighting being legal. I, also, have no problem considering you to be a piece of shit of you engage in dog fighting.

    Furthermore, why limit it to dogs and roosters? Why not get hungry lions, tigers, bears, (oh, my), snakes, boars, etc. and have them tear each other to pieces? Oh, that’s right, because your punk ass can’t contain them properly and they’d end up feasting on you (which would not be a crime) or someone else (which would).

    Ultimately, dogs are property. In fact, in Asia, they are food. Nevertheless, most people associate them as pets and, as such, a member of the family. I’ll be damned if anyone is going to harm my dogs.

    Personally, I only enjoy watching insects die. I’ve murdered several hundred flies and thousands of ants over my lifetime. I continue to show no remorse.

  72. So if, while I’m driving down a dark country road, a deer leaps in front of me and I smash into it, am I guilty of deerslaughter? Was the deer jaywalking? (I can already see the personal injury lawyers courting deer on late-night TV.)

    Conversely, if I did the same thing to a guy, can I take his carcass home and make tons of jerky out of him? Because that sounds cool.

    No, wait. “Man jerky” sounds like it involves tissues. I take it back.

    Also, I want to sue birds who take dump on my car. (They were also trespassing.)

  73. “Speaking of weak arguments are you still clinging
    to that idea that infants and defective humans are not human as they lack moral agencey?”
    Did I say they are not human? Please show and tell.
    SIV, are you constitutionally incapable of going beyond “humans are humans” as an argument? You’ve had several invitations to step outside of that circular argument before you get yourself dizzy, yet you seem incapable of even trying. I’m beginning to think that to ask you to do such is the wanton cruelty of a dumb animal…
    Michael-The Constitution doesn’t give animal rights? No kidding! I guess there are no rights outside of the Constitution, huh? Well, I have a shocker for you then. All 50 states make what Vick did a crime. That’s the law too, and it is not unconstitutional (and has never been found to be). So the right of animals to be free from cruelty is indeed a “right” recognized by our legal system (unlike what we traditionally think of as a right this was of course legislatively enacted, but hey, so was the Constitution). I’m glad you don’t like juvenile vulgar comments, like your silly proud assertion of your plans to go boil a lobster…Why not go fuck a goat while you are at? It’s just property, like a sex toy.

  74. There’s not this bright line between no rights and rights.

    Humans have more rights than animals, who have some rights. Animals have more rights than insects, microbes, and plants.

    The right not to be euthanized doesn’t go down too far. The right not to be killed and eaten doesn’t either. The right not to be tortured goes down farther.

  75. Some small fraction

    Set: Animal Rightists.

    Subset: Vegans

    Exactly how small a fraction is that?
    Seeing as animal rights proponents largely reject animal testing, animal exhibitions, and animal foods I wouldn’t think that fraction is so small.

  76. Don’t kid yourselves, if a cow ever got the chance, she’d eat you and everyone you care about.

    Cows are carnivores?

  77. “By your “logic” unconcious humans are not human”
    Whoa, SIV, someone with your rather tenous grasp of the principles of logic should hesitate before invoking the science of thinking!
    Did I say unconscious humans, or infants, or other incapacitated humans were not humans? Pray show and tell. They most certainly are humans. As you have eloquently and rather insanely argued, humans are humans…
    But the grown ups in the room realize that we have to go beyond such a tautological statement and say WHY humans deserve rights. Someone intelligently suggested that it is because they can reason and think. Someone suggested because they can honor responsibilities. And of course, that can’t be the answer, because the humans I listed cannot think, reason or honor responsibilities any more than a dog or elephant could. So we await your suggestion as to why humans deserve moral rights.
    Is it because they are human ;)?

  78. SIV: Let me help you, poor brute…
    Set: People who feel animals have the right to be free from cruelty
    Subset: People who believe in a panoply of animal rights.

    The former is actually a majority in all 50 states. The latter a small minority. No one is talking about honey bees brother. We are talking about animal cruelty and dog fighting a la Vick et al (please use scrolling feature found on right hand side to review and maybe read initial H&R post).

  79. If you had read all my posts you would have found I believe locals have the right to set certain standards where they live,I have no problem with local animal cruelty laws .Where we might differ is I believe them to be property and the punishment should reflect that.It should not be equal to a crime against a person.I also think it is none of the feds buisness.

  80. Set: People who feel animals have the right to be free from cruelty
    Subset: People who believe in a panoply of animal rights.

    The former is actually a majority in all 50 states.

    Not necessarily and probably not really. The majority of people believe animals should not be treated cruelly, but that doesn’t mean they believe such animals have rights one way or the other. Indeed, it may be only out of a sense of moral sentiment and our ability to identify at some level with such animals that we deem inflicting pain on them a bad thing. That is, we may really feel that way because of its effect on us, not on them.

  81. It looks like some people are unfamiliar with dogfighting.

    This link may provide some useful information for people about it.

    Dog fighting information

    I admit that there isn’t some clear cut line here and that some could argue that this is possibly a slipper slope, but it seems clear that wantonly killing an animal for enjoyment and profit and doing so in a grisly manner (dog fighting) is different that killing an animal for profit an to feed others and doing so in as pain free a manner as possible (killing a cow for food).

  82. The most consistent and empirically useful basis for morality that I’ve come upon is Rawls’ interpretation of social contracts, which isn’t much more than an elaboration of the golden rule. We illegalize dogfighting because we, to some extent, identify with the dogs and consequently aim to structure the rules in such a way that if it were to have been the case that we were born a dog, that we wouldn’t have been subject to unnecessary cruelty. The basis for this mode of thinking is probably innate and evolutionary in origin.

    The ‘X has rights because it is an X’ argument is really exactly the sort of argument I wouldn’t want to be hearing from an intellectually and technologically advanced species casually pondering my fate.

  83. Asshole,

    Pray, show and tell where I said that
    “only humans with moral agencey have rights”.
    That is the argument you “borrowed” and feel so clever in parrotting.

  84. M. Pack-I can see an argument for local laws over federal ones. I always can. And I never said the law should treat humans and animals equally, in fact I said (quoting from above post at 12:39): “Note noone is saying animals should have anything comparable to the rights humans have (for that matter toddlers or the severely retarded have limited rights too don’t they, they cannot vote, contract, decide where they want to live, etc.), just that at a bare minimum they have a right not to be tortured.”
    SIV-are you incapacitated? If so I still think you are human and have moral worth and rights. But you need to get coherent. Since I am Mr. Nice Guy, I’ll help you make that difficult first step:
    You’ve said (repeatedly) that humans have rights. Now, please tell us why (and as your friend and benefactor, don’t say because they are human).

  85. If I made two robots that looked and behaved identical to dogs then had them fight…

    If I made two robots that looked and behaved identical to a 10 year old boy and girl then had them simulate a sexual act….

  86. You’ve said (repeatedly) that humans have rights. Now, please tell us why (and as your friend and benefactor, don’t say because they are human).

    Man is a wild animal living in the wild.

    Men who behave like dogs in which rights are gained through violence or threat of violiance tend to get the shit kicked out of them by Men who recognize innate rights.

  87. Sorry guys, but this one jumps the shark. I’m a libertarian and thought what Vick did was terrible. I am not going to twist my judgment to make it fit my ideology.

    Animal cruelty laws are fine by me and what Vick and others do on this matter is simply awful.

  88. SIV-We’re waiting. Can I pull a page from your genocide thread and claim
    VICTORY

  89. Mr nice guy,The problem I’m having is no one has said what a suitable punishment is.It seems like the extreme side is dominating the debate .Robert Bryd said on the Senate floor he’d like to see thesse people dead.I think this debate is being run on emotion.The same thing that gave us dui roadblocks,the patriot act.megans law,the war on drugs and tabacco,trans fat laws,ect..

  90. Dogs will be dogs. Why make them fight when vicarious pleasure awaits the viewers of the first TV network to dispatch a pack of dachshunds to Basra, which , the main stream media inform us;
    –http://adamant.typepad.com/seitz/2007/07/another-quality.html

    is plagued by bloodthirsty badgers in need of having a bite taken out of them.

  91. “I mean, what justification can you give for allowing people to essentially torture mice by setting glue traps, or allowing people to drown rats, but not allow the same treatment to dogs?”

    The application’s a messy business. …and I’m not looking to amend the Constitution here. I’m not even looking for a new law. The question does such and such have rights should always be divided into a) does such and such have a moral right? and b) should such and such have a legal right?

    There are moral rights and legal rights, and getting reality to conform to the law is always a problem. I know this thread is about a legal case, and I don’t have a problem with the government bringing charges here, but I’ve been talking mostly about ethical rights here.

    …I honestly don’t know how to write the law to split those hairs, but if there’s a local law on the books that prohibits repeatedly slamming a dog on the ground ’til dead, then I don’t have a problem with the theory or ethics behind that.

  92. Crimethink,

    Cuz they’re asking fer it 😉

    click here for a treat

  93. John: I don’t see why you need to twist your judgment and I think we should reject the premise that laws against animal cruelty are somehow non-libertarian. I find the reductio ad absurdum that such a libertarian would find it (legally) ok to torture an infant (provided that we can guarantee they die before they reach a sufficient level of sentience) to be quite convincing, and it is an argument that no one here seems to even be trying to refute.

  94. You people are making my point.Everyone on here say’s it’s a bad thing but no one will say what the punishment should be,that’s where the rubber hits the road.I ‘d say it should be misdameaner for each incident with the penalties that implies.

  95. SIV-We’re waiting. Can I pull a page from your genocide thread and claim
    VICTORY

    Well I “won” that one as it was a question of fact.This argument is one of opinion.

    For the sake of argument I will accept YOUR contention that Rights are derived/endowed/property of…whatever…Moral Agency that most humans have and animals do not.Although immature, defective and unconcious
    humans lack moral agencey they are never the less human. All human cultures recognise a human/animal dichotomy… it is our nature.
    By your reasoning perhaps we err by recognising rights of all those on the human side of the dichotomy while assigning none to the other.
    I don’t think so.

  96. You people are making my point.Everyone on here say’s it’s a bad thing but no one will say what the punishment should be,that’s where the rubber hits the road.I ‘d say it should be misdameaner for each incident with the penalties that implies.

    I say let him go free…still not even sure what he did was a “bad” thing.

  97. mreh, mreh you don’t have any rights, unless me or georgy give ’em to you, mre, mreh

  98. “Animal Rights proponents believe that honey and silk production are immoral as the bees and caterpillars are unnaturally enslaved for the
    unnecessary substitution of sugar and nylon or some such nonsense.”

    Name names. Singer, Regan, Newkirk, Scully? Who among the most prominent proponents of animal rights believes this?

  99. I have defended the practice of cockfighting
    and maintained that it is “un-libertarian” to support state prohibition of the sport.
    I reject the notion that it involves a degree of “cruelty” beyond that of other human/animal interaction.

    Dog fighting is a much harder case as most human/dog relationships are emotionally quite different than other cultural uses of animals.
    I personally find dogfighting to be morally repugnant. Regardless, I do not think we have the right to use State power to prohibit it.
    Those of you who do should realise the same cruelty argument can be applied to any cultural use of animals,as PETA and the HSUS attempt to do. As they say hard cases make fr bad law.

  100. Animals don’t have rights because they cannot make moral judgements.

  101. Rather then talking about rats, bees and invertebrate mollusks how about we talking about a Shepard putting down an 8 year old sheep dog cuz it has gotten to slow…or culling a litter of pups…or just shooting a dog that sucks at being a sheep dog.

    It seems the methods used to put down vic dogs are methods of inexperience rather then ones of intended cruelty. If repeated slamming of a dog to the ground to kill was was the most efficient method I am sure a sheep herder would have little ethical or moral problem with it…

  102. So did they kill Harry Potter?

  103. SIV,that hard to argue with.Look at dui law,inmy state in 1980 the limit was .12,then.10,now.08, and there is a movement for.05.They keep moving the bar.What’s legal today isn’t tomorrow.There are other examples.Thats just easy to show.

  104. Name names. Singer, Regan, Newkirk, Scully? Who among the most prominent proponents of animal rights believes this?

    I don’t spend my time reading these people,although I probably should considering the threat they pose. I do know that vegans, who are motivated by an animal rights philosophy, do not consume honey or wear woolen clothing( I think it is safe to infer their position on silk if they are smart enough to carry it through)*

    *Anecdotal aside: I personally know a well educated successful PETA card carrying animal rightist who upon getting a much higher paying job went out and bought herself a fully optioned Volvo. Complete with full leather upholstery.When her friends pointed this out she paid big $$$ to have the interior removed and replaced with cloth. I was gentlemanly enough not to laugh in front of her face but I always wondered if they got it all out.

  105. Animal rights Wackos,

    Do vegans have a problem with eating foods pollinated by human enslaved chattel euro-bees?

    Are any vegan foods labelled as strictly wild pollinated by free native-bees?

    I smell profit!!!

  106. Most of the arguments here come from empathy to pet dogs…we all had our childhood pets and we loved and empathized with them…but fundamentally those “pets” were breed and trained to behave like pets…Being a pet is a job that these animals do…no different then being a sheep dog or a hunting dog, a seeing eye dog, guard dog, tracker, police drug dog, or a fighting dog…the methods used to create these animals are no different from one another. Essentially you kept the dogs with the traits you liked and killed the ones that didn’t.

    I think the disillusionment comes from a false sense that this happened in the far past and now we have happy healthy loving pets who are afforded rights…of course the reality is far different then this illusion where literally 1000’s of imperfect pets are put down all the time…just so you can have a dog named spot that does a good job of being your pet.

    Then in a disillusioned state you stand up high on your pedestal and pontificate about your ethical superiority to Vick and his cruelty to animals.

  107. If we’re going to assume that humans have rights because we have the ability to reason, then I think there should also be some limited protection for animals. Dogs don’t reason the way we do, but they can be trained and they avoid things which have lead to pain in the past. Surely there is a primitive function going on that makes dogs more able to reason than inanimate objects.

    Am I alone here in thinking that dogfighting is wrong, but cockfighting isn’t as repugnant? I guess it’s all about line-drawing, and I agree with Balko’s emphasis on local jurisdictions drawing these lines.

  108. I’ve known several Amish through the years,I’d like to put these PETA people on one of there farms.They could see what life used to be like.Animals are tools to them,nothing more.Let them do the work they do and keep their strenght on a vegan diet.

  109. “For the sake of argument I will accept YOUR contention that Rights are derived/endowed/property of…whatever…Moral Agency that most humans have and animals do not.Although immature, defective and unconcious”
    SIV-this is incherent. Now, I ask again, what is it about humans that gives them rights in general and the right not to be tortured specifically? I know my answer. We’re still waiting for yours.

  110. SIV-if the cat has your tongue, by your assertions (can’t say argument as you have not got there yet) you could always hit it, electrocute it, make it fight a cock, or f*ck it. Maybe it’ll let go then.

  111. So now that Bush’s colonoscopy is over I’m sure the one thing we all want to know is where they able to get his head out.

  112. Well Mr. nice guy.I don’t no about SIV but I agree with this countries founders.We are endowed by our creator with certain unaliable rights.

  113. Well Mr. nice guy.I don’t no about SIV but I agree with this countries founders.We are endowed by our creator with certain unaliable rights.

    Wow.
    Strunk and White. Webster’s.
    On sale.

  114. I would also like to explore the notion that somehow the life a pet dog is somehow cruel free yet the life of a pit fighter is somehow a cruel one.

    Many of you have dogs i ams sure…call your dog over and observe its behavior…its head will be low it will be waging its tail maybe even roll over on its back…you will perceive this behavior as loving and playful and welcoming…but is that really what is going on in the dogs head? One should note in the wild beta wolves exhibit the exact same behavior when approaching a snarling alpha of the pack…it is a behavior denoting submission to hierarchical power….a behavior triggered by a hormonal neurological response that in humans could be described as anxiaty fear and repressed anger. We (as in humans) have breed in this response to be unlike the response of wild animal…namely to feel these negative emotions and to exhibit these behaviors over and over and over and over again without ever attempting to assert dominance.

    Now look at pit fighter….animals feed raw meat, and allowed to claim unfettered dominance in an arena not unlike the one found the natural world.

  115. SIV,

    Well I “won” that one as it was a question of fact.This argument is one of opinion.

    My reading of the thread in question (genocide) involved your opinion about what counted as genocide, iirc. An opinion that seemed to be based on very little knowledge of the facts in the matter.

    Mr. Nice Guy,

    Rights, as a concept, involve an arbitrary tautology, imho. An entity has rights because they claim them, or someone claims rights on their behalf. Any attempt to get more rigorous leads to nonsense.

    The law is essentially a long discourse on which entities have rights under what conditions. The discourse doesn’t lend itself to summary very well.

  116. M. Pack I was about to say I agree that many bad laws come from emotional debate, and that yes this one is becoming emotional. However, I was going to say that since animal cruelty laws are pretty light even a ratcheting upwards won’t be draconian. But I see you think this is misdemeanor territory. Like an illegal u-turn? I disagree. Even if animals have no rights this kind of savagery in a human is such a dangerous thing it must be detered by stiffer penalties than that.
    And, OK, let’s for now say that we get our rights from God. How can we know what those rights are (we don’t have limitless rights) and whether animals got any? From the Bible? Our Founders thought we could answer that question through the use of reason. If that is the case we must then ask ourselves what about ourselves grants us these inalienable rights? And then of course the next question is, do animals have any of those same things in a degree that would allow them to share in those rights (or not).
    See how that works SIV? What are the characteristics humans have that grant us rights (or make us morally worthy or whatever or however you want to say it)? It occurs to me that your thinking here is so muddled that you missed the following facts:
    1. Noone here has stated that animals have the same rights as humans or that all animals even have the same rights (so you can get off your caterpillar box).
    2. Some of us have mentioned infants or other incapacitated people because we AGREE that they have rights, but we point out that some animals match them in the capacity to think, reason, feel, act responsibly, etc.. Therefore if these incapacitated people have the right not to be tortured, then why not animals? Notice that NO ONE HAS SAID IT IS OK TO MISTREAT THESE INCAPACITATED. No one. Quite the opposite, those of us who have argued for the rights of animals to be free from cruelty have pointed out that incapacitated people and infants have the same rights (and how).
    So far your contribution to the debate has been to interject “humans have rights because they are humans” as if you have Turrets Syndrome and to mumble about caterpillars…

  117. Jamie kelly,sorry if I believe in the founding documents.I didn’t know they were so out of favor.

  118. Could it be possible that while animals don’t have rights, humans still have a responsibility to treat them humanely?

  119. Neu Mejican-Welcome! In the few months I’ve been reading H&R I’ve rarely seen a thread that was not improved by your comments. I tend to agree with you that people toss the word “rights” around haphazardly and that the term itself is pretty suspicious. I think it at least means a moral or legal claim. That many animals have a legal claim to be treated humanely is just a fact in all 50 states. I argue that a moral claim underlies this positive law. Hope that makes sense.
    “Sorry guys, but this one jumps the shark. I’m a libertarian and thought what Vick did was terrible. I am not going to twist my judgment to make it fit my ideology.”
    I think John’s comments win the thread imo. Or maybe this by J. Kelly:
    “See, this is where libertarians fuck themselves with a rake.” Any political philosophy which would allow something that is this outrageous to so many people looks terrible. Luckily, as I’ve explained above, I don’t think libertarianism allows this savagery any more than it must allow child abuse and slavery.

  120. A question:

    What’s the difference between a dog fight and a boxing match?

    Is it the “sport” itself that’s cruel, or the training up of dogs and disposal of ones that lose?

  121. Mr nice guy,at least I will say what I think the punishment sould be.Besides,domestic violence is a misdmeaner and I think beating your wife is worse than hurting a animal.This would carry a max. of up to 1 year in jail and a 1000.00 fine.Thats what it means in my state.Vick has 66 counts,do the math.Of course he has to be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.I’m not talking about a traffic citation.

  122. Natural rights arguments just go in circles, never get you anywhere. Skip that step and just argue “shoulds”.

  123. That many animals have a legal claim to be treated humanely is just a fact in all 50 states. I argue that a moral claim underlies this positive law.

    Are you implying with this that there is an objective moral standard that can be used as a source for this claim? If so, what is the source of that moral standard?

  124. I’ll expand. There are no rights that exist outside of their conception. Rights are established (brought into existence) by thinkers based on what we think should be. So let’s discuss what we think should be and not pretend its “shouldness” pre-exists our thinking so, i.e. in “nature”.

  125. Mediageek,

    What’s the difference between a dog fight and a boxing match?

    1. Choice for the participants.
    2. The whole “fight to the death” thing.
    3. Boxers follow specific rule that are nominally meant to reduce injury and suffering.

  126. Robert,

    That is a wise position to take on the issue of rights. It gets in the way for many libertarians who believe you must start with first principles and derive everything else from there. Property rights, btw, seem to have less direct support from first principles than animals rights.

  127. Let’s be truthful.In this country,acording to our laws only people have rights.A dog cannot file in civil court,own property or many other things.Personally I believe all human rights come from property rights.The first being to own one’s self.A animal can be owned but never own anything.

  128. My reading of the thread in question (genocide) involved your opinion about what counted as genocide, iirc. An opinion that seemed to be based on very little knowledge of the facts in the matter.

    I suggest you enter an adult literacy program.
    I never made any assertion as what was genocide,merely what was not-our relations to indigenous Americans.The burden of proof was on those who stated that it was genocide. Not only did they fail but eventually admitted as much albeit in a condescending and hostile manner.
    That was anoither thread.Time to explain why the prohibition of animal fighting is consistent with libertarian philosophy punk.

  129. As far as I can tell, the only thing that makes dog fighting really “offensive” is that lots of people keep dogs as pets and have developed an affection for them. This affection gives rise to an emotional response when dogs are mistreated.

  130. Michael Pack,

    Since most property rights claims involve the mixing of an individual’s labor with the materials that make the item (or the land)… then wouldn’t beavers, bees, termites, birds and other animals that mix labor with materials to produce artifacts be said to “own” those artifacts?

  131. just so you can have a dog named spot that does a good job of being your pet.

    Or a dog named Maniac that can repeatedly win against the pitbulls bankrolled by a star NFL quarterback.

  132. Am I alone here in thinking that dogfighting is wrong, but cockfighting isn’t as repugnant?

    No, that is more or less my moral position
    although I do not see anything wrong with cockfighting. I do not think either should be legally prohibited.

  133. neu mejican,If that’s true then the deer taht eat my garden and the birds that nest in my trees own my yard.I’ll try that with my next property tax bill.

  134. SIV,

    I never made any assertion as what was genocide, merely what was not-[i.e.]our relations to indigenous Americans.The burden of proof was on those who stated that it was genocide.

    How is this not a statement about your opinion about what counts as genocide?

    In your opinion our relations to indigenous Americans does not count as genocide. The truth in this matter is not one of fact, but of opinion.

    Back to rights and puppy dogs…

  135. M. Pack,

    Actually, only the birds — since they have created an artifact. The deer ate a product of your labor and wouldn’t have any more claim to your garden than I would.

  136. Dogs are sentient, intelligent and capable of enjoying life. My Libertarian “gut” instinct tells me that they ought not be forced into a situation where it’s kill or be killed. On the other hand, a Vietnamese man was arrested here in S. Cal. for killing a dog for food, and in that case my gut instinct sided with his right to do so.

    In the early days of California, they used to put grizzley bears in the ring with huge bulls. According to one eyewitness account, the bull would partially disembowel the grizzley, while being partially ripped to shreds himself. No clear winner.

  137. Could it be possible that while animals don’t have rights, humans still have a responsibility to treat them humanely?

    I generally agree with that. I believe it is Thomas Aquinas’ view on the matter.

    We’re not talking putting cats in microwaves or trampling mice in stilleto heels here. Pitbulls are a distinct breed of dog that was created for the sport of dog fighting.

    That brings to mind a distinction between cock fighting and dog fighting. Chickens were originally domesticated for sport. Our broilers and layers are the descendants of gamefowl.

    Dogs were domesticated for different purposes and the breeding and exhibition of specific sport fighting dogs occurred much later in the history of our relationship to them.

  138. SIV–
    Thank you for revealing yourself to be an ignoramus. Maybe it would be advisable explore what those people have to say before shooting off on these topics.

    I’m glad that there is a fair bit of sympathy for laws against cruelty to animals on this thread. And dog fighting certainly is one instantiation of cruelty. But without question, the most cruel treatment of animals–in terms of both intensity and scale–occurs on America’s factory farms. So I propose that everyone who recoils from dog fighting should also be appalled by the way animals on factory farms are treated.

    Pigs, for example, are at least as smart as dogs. But on the factory farm, they spend their whole life in cramped, unhealthy, brutal conditions. In Matthew Scully’s words:

    “For the piglets, it’s a regimen of teeth cutting, tail docking (performed with pliers, to heighten the pain of tail chewing and so deter this natural response to mass confinement), and other mutilations. After five or six months trapped in one of the grim warehouses that now pass for barns, they’re trucked off, 355,000 pigs every day in the life of America, for processing at a furious pace of thousands per hour by migrants who use earplugs to muffle the screams. All of these creatures, and billions more across the earth, go to their deaths knowing nothing of life, and nothing of man, except the foul, tortured existence of the factory farm, having never even been outdoors.”

    http://www.matthewscully.com/fear_factories.htm

    So here is my question: If the pleasure some people may derive from watching dogs fight is outweighed by the suffering it causes the dogs, then why isn’t the pleasure some people get from pork chops outweighed by the even more serious suffering endured by animals at least as intelligent as dogs?

  139. SIV, you continue to spout your opinion while declining to provide any reason whatsoever for it. I ask you again, “What are the characteristics humans have that grant us rights (or make us morally worthy or whatever or however you want to say it)? ” Are some of these words confusing to you? Or, as I suspect, you have nothing but the most confident yet uninformed opinion on this subject? This is your “pet” issue, is it not, surely you can muster SOMETHING, some justification as to why cruelty to humans is prohibitable but not cruelty to animals(remember, “because humans are humans” is not even something as it is a pointless tautology).
    “Are you implying with this that there is an objective moral standard that can be used as a source for this claim? If so, what is the source of that moral standard?” Of course not. I simply mean that in the sense of animals having a LEGAL right to humane treatment, that is just a fact in all 50 states. However, I think animals (and of course people, even incapacitated ones) also have a moral right to humane treatment. I sum up that standard in my 12:56 post:
    “Well, with animal cruelty the harm is rather obvious and direct to something that obviously feels the harm and quite likely is aware of it at some thinking level.”
    I should have added “and either does not give or is incapable of giving any effective consent” That is, it is morally wrong to cause obvious, direct, nonconsensual harm to something that obviously feels the harm and quite likely is aware of the harm at some thinking level. Note how this covers infants and incapacitated folks (at some level they feel the pain and may be at some level aware of it) as well as animals.
    In general rights accrue to beings to the extent that they can feel and can think. Of course, beings that can feel and think at a higher order have much more extensive rights (we don’t let animals or infants vote or decide where to work and live, but they surely get the bare minimum of a right to humane treatment).
    “Let’s be truthful.In this country,acording to our laws only people have rights.A dog cannot file in civil court,own property or many other things.” No good M. Pack. Infants and severly retarded people cannot file in civil court, own property or many other things (like vote or contract). Sure, someone can in their name, but a prosecutor can bring a charge against someone for animal abuse too. In fact, that very occurence is what got all this going!

  140. SIV,

    If I recall correctly, you then asserted that genocide was committed against Australian aborigines, Canadian Native Americans, and in California. You then failed to provide proof of these allegations, so I believe the rules state that you forfeit your victory.

  141. “We’re not talking putting cats in microwaves or trampling mice in stilleto heels here.” What a remarkable statement SIV. Is this because, to quote the comment you agree with above, we have a responsibility to treat them humanely? Where does this responsibility come from? Is this one of the questions you cannot seem to answer, or one of the ones you can? Here’s another: can we prohibit trampeling mice in stiletto heels for fun? If so, why? And how would any principle that would allow us to prohibit that not allow us to prohibit dousing a dog with water and electrocuting him to death (as the indictment against Vick alleges)? Or do you have any freaking idea what you talk about when you pontificate?

  142. Fighting cocks were used in China to hunt pheasant.The bird was staked out in a field on a string and started to strut.The cock pheasant,being agressive and willing to fight any bird in it’s realm would attack.The pheasants were no match for the larger stronger fighting cock.After 4-5 kills the owner of the fightig cock would collect his game and go home.Falconry is a similar sport.

  143. One thing that needs to be clarified is that there are different kinds of rights being discussed here. The rights that derive from natural law and are inherent in every human being are the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (or some similar formulation).

    The right to vote, to be free from unreasonable searches, and to have a speedy trial are not inherent rights of all human beings, but are based on the social contract. Thus, the fact that our society denies these rights to certain humans does not imply that those humans also lose their inherent rights above, but rather that the good of the society, and perhaps the good of those individuals themselves, is served by not allowing them these non-inherent rights. eg, just because we don’t allow mentally ill people to purchase firearms doesn’t also legitimize killing them on sight.

  144. Of course, if dogs have the same rights as humans, doesn’t that mean that a dog that tries to kill another dog in a dogfight is automatically subject to the death penalty for attempted murder?

  145. I wondered how long it would take for an anti meat guy like ashish George to show up,george without big farm,both grain and meat we could not feed ourselves..Mr nice guy,your wrong a retarded person or infant can own property.they can inheirate property and recieve income from stocks and bonds and disablity from the goverment.

  146. Unintended consequences of bad laws banning “bloodsports” here is an example from wiki….

    Bulls bought to market were set upon by dogs as a way of tenderising the meat and providing entertainment for the spectators; and dog fights with bears, bulls and other animals were often organised as entertainment for both royalty and commoners.

    These bloodsports were officially eliminated in 1835 as Britain began introduce animal welfare laws. Since dogfights were cheaper to organise and far easier to conceal from the law than bull or bear baits, bloodsport proponents turned to pitting their dogs one against another instead.

    So dogfightind actually arose from the BANNING of bull and bear baiting.

  147. If you ban dog fights, only the outlaws will fight dogs.

  148. Animals don’t have rights.

    Humans, however, have responsibilities over them.

    That includes the responsibility not to be cruel for the sake of being cruel. Theres a reason serial killers start out by torturing animals.

  149. SIV,

    If I recall correctly, you then asserted that genocide was committed against Australian aborigines, Canadian Native Americans, and in California. You then failed to provide proof of these allegations, so I believe the rules state that you forfeit your victory.

    You guys are really sore losers aren’t you?

    Feel free to dredge up the thread but iirc I said that Australia and Canada treated their indigenous population WORSE than the United States- not that it actually constituted genocide. California was given as an example of the closest thing to genocide in our relations with indigenous Americans, noting that it failed to meet the definition largely because it lacked an organized government leadership.

    As long as we’re raising old arguments did you find any facts to back up your assertion that we intentionally infected multiple tribes with smallpox? No, I didn’t think so.

    VICTORY!

  150. Even assuming serial killers tend to abuse animals first (a claim I’ve never seen more than anecdotal evidence for), it doesn’t follow that abusing animals should therefore be illegal. Rapists probably start their sexual lives masturbating, so does that mean we should ban masturbation to prevent rape?

  151. SIV,

    Still, whether or not you mentioned the G-word, you haven’t backed up any of those assertions with fact, so I don’t see how you have the moral high ground in demanding evidence from me.

  152. crimethink wrote: “A big part of the problem with giving animals rights, though, is that it has the potential to undermine the idea that inalienable rights belong to humans by their very nature.”

    As a non-natural rights libertarian, I see this as a benefit, not a problem. 🙂

    SIV wrote: “All human cultures recognise a human/animal dichotomy… it is our nature.”

    Apparently, our nature is to recognize differences AND similarities. That’s why we have so many animal welfare laws on the books.

    continuing…”By your reasoning perhaps we err by recognising rights of all those on the human side of the dichotomy while assigning none to the other. I don’t think so.”

    I think the question was why don’t you think so.

    Others wrote:
    “An entity has rights because they claim them”
    “We are endowed by our creator with certain unaliable rights.”

    I see no good evidence for either of these claims. I’ll stick to legal rights, which are not so mysterious and often have actual effects. I don’t think animals have natural rights and I don’t think humans do either. (“Shoulds” are no better.) We’re on our own, folks.

    “Animals don’t have rights. Humans, however, have responsibilities over them.”

    I don’t care what you call it. As long as it’s illegal to torture animals…and people. And sentient robots.

  153. A funny song found on MetaFilter about Libertarians:

    I am the very model of a modern Libertarian:
    I teem with glowing notions for proposals millenarian,
    I’ve nothing but contempt for ideologies collectivist
    (My own ideas of social good tend more toward the Objectivist).
    You see, I’ve just discovered, by my intellectual bravery,
    That civic obligations are all tantamount to slavery;
    And thus that ancient pastime, viz., complaining of taxation,
    Assumes the glorious aspect of a war for liberation!

    Chorus:
    You really must admit it’s a delightful revelation:
    To bitch about your taxes is to fight for liberation!

    I bolster up my claims with lucubrations rather risible
    About the Founding Fathers and the market’s hand invisible;
    In fact, my slight acquaintance with the fountainhead Pierian
    Makes me the very model of a modern Libertarian!

    Chorus:
    His very slight acquaintance with the fountainhead Pierian
    Makes him the very model of a modern Libertarian!

    All “public wealth” is robbery, we never will accede to it;
    You have no rights in anything if you can’t show your deed to it.
    (But don’t fear repossession by our Amerind minority:
    Those treaties aren’t valid—Uncle Sam had no authority!)
    We realize whales and wolves and moose find wilderness quite vital,
    And we’ll give back their habitats—if they can prove their title.
    But people like unspoiled lands (we too will say “hooray” for them),
    So we have faith that someone else will freely choose to pay for them.

    Chorus:
    Yes, when the parks are auctioned it will be a lucky day for them—
    We’re confident that someone else will freely choose to pay for them!

    We’ll guard the health of nature by self-interest most astute:
    Since pollution is destructive, no one ever will pollute.
    Thus factories will safeguard our communities riparian—
    I am the very model of a modern Libertarian!

    Chorus:
    Yes, factories will safeguard our communities riparian,
    He is the very model of a modern Libertarian!

    In short, when I can tell why individual consumers
    Know best who should approve their drugs and who should treat their tumors;
    Why civilized existence in its intricate confusion
    Will be simple and straightforward, absent government intrusion;
    Why markets cannot err within the system I’ve described,
    Why poor folk won’t be bullied and why rich folk won’t be bribed,
    And why all vast inequities of power and position
    Will vanish when I wave my wand and utter “COMPETITION!”—

    Chorus:
    He’s so much more exciting than a common politician,
    Inequities will vanish when he hollers “Competition!”

    —And why my lofty rhetoric and arguments meticulous
    Inspire shouts of laughter and the hearty cry, “Ridiculous!”,
    And why my social theories all seem so pre-Sumerian—
    I’ll be the very model of a modern Libertarian!

    Chorus:
    His novel social theories all seem so pre-Sumerian—
    He is the very model of a modern Libertarian!

  154. “Of course, if dogs have the same rights as humans, ”
    Yeah crime think, nobody has said that here. Talk to ghosts much?

    SIV-You got some nerve claiming victory when you have argued like an incapacitated person on this thread. Your “answer” as to why humans in general and those lacking capacity in general have rights has been a constant stupid assertion of an irrelevant tautology. You then conured up strawment that never made an appearance on this thread (Gaia worshipers, vegans, and those who fight for the rights of bees). Of course these obvious and sorry displays of ignorance have not stopped you from spouting your self-admittedly unsupportable opinions on a variety of issues.
    Until you can muster up the balls and/or brains to come up with an answer as to why humans have the right to humane treatment, what characterstics give them that right that animals are lacking in to a degree that negates a claim to the same right for them, then I claim VICTORY over your sorry, unintelligent, purposely provocative yet incoherent and cowardly ass. A VICTORY so profound that your firstborn must now undoubtedly serve me for his entire life and I get the right of first night to any woman who would take pity on a brute devoid of reason such as yourself and wed you. May your trollish self continue to babble incoherently in a vain attempt to provoke a rise in folks of good faith and sound reason, as I hereby declare you OWNED and DEFEATED. VICTORY IS MINE.
    Now go bite a cock or two, as you have argued for so foolishly yet relentlessly.

  155. Balko,

    I’m okay with state (or better yet, local) laws against animal cruelty.

    Well I suppose that is an improvement over Federal Laws but it is still wrong. Much of the problem lies with the definition of animal cruelty. California banned trapping(ballot initiative) ruining the livelihood and/or hobby of a minority of its residents.The unintended consequence was that the damn animals still needed to be controlled so a system in which people paid for trapping licenses was replaced with one in which taxpayers funded wildlife agents in trapping the very same animals.I suppose there was some moral victory here in that the little furry guys went to landfills rather than becoming decadent fur clothing sating the vanity of the evil rich.

    We aren’t talking cats in microwaves and erotic gerbil stomping videos but traditional cultural uses of animals by humans.Animal Rights Wackos and an urbanized (dare I say feminized?) population should have no say in such matters.

    As I am no “pure libertarian” when it comes to public lands and resources I don’t have a problem with limited management of game and non-game wildlife across public and private lands as it has been traditionally handled in our country.

  156. My thinking is that the wrong question is being asked.
    I think the question should be: Do human have the right to torture or otherwise cause pain and suffering to an animal no matter what level of intelligence the animal may posses.
    I don’t think humans have that right.

    Animals raised to be food are generally treated ‘humanely’ (i.e., as if they had some ability to feel pain just as humans can feel pain). When they are slaughtered, it is usually done with a minimal amount of pain being inflicted.
    But an animal raised for a blood sport may experience pain numerous times. I don’t think humans have the right to inflict such pain.

    “Are we not men?”

  157. Mr. Nice Guy,

    Hey you must have been one of those LOSERS on the native american genocide comment sub-threadjack.

    You seem obsessed with either defining immature and defective humans as animals or animals as human. Hey I’ll keep it simple Humans have rights-animals don’t. Why should I wade into the Gordian swamp of philisophical argument for whether, why or how we have those rights?

    Tp paraphrase the Virginia hunter on inalienable rights: Jefferson (and Locke) said it……I believe it…. that settles it!

  158. Virgil,

    Gamefowl have far longer , healthier,and richly fulfilling lives than broiler/fryers.

    Plus they die in glorious combat rather than being wrung and gutted by some IllegalMexican on an assembly line.

    Unlike the terriers they aren’t trained or forced to fight- they do it because it is their nature.

    I don’t see any torture or cruelty comparable to, much less exceeding that of their meat and egg producing cousins.

  159. Virgi R hunting is a blood sport.Should that be banned?

  160. I dunno, I always felt that there’s no reason for wanton cruelty to animals. But they will be eaten. Mmm, steaks tonight. So, FWIW.

  161. I claim VICTORY! over Mr. Nice Guy on this thread too. That last post was round-the-bend and off the meds.

    I only change pseudonym for occasional snarky comments.What’s your regular handle nice guy?

  162. No, there’s not that much torture in hunting. The animal is usually killed quickly and without too much pain. Certain types of trapping are cruel, but even then it’s not repeated, and the animal’s death serves some purpose (fur, food).
    My thought is that inflicting pain for no other reason than to see which animal is victorious, is sick. I don’t think that’s a human right.

    I think the question of animal rights is irrelevant; or perhaps meaningless. Ask the animal. If an animal can understand the concept of ‘rights’ and can defend those rights, it can possess rights. Or if the animal’s direct blood relative (brother, father, mother…) can understand and defend those rights, it has ‘rights’.

  163. “Hey I’ll keep it simple Humans have rights-animals don’t.”

    Assertion…[check]
    Argument…[ ]

  164. I think the problem is the only time most come in contact with animais is the famliy pet.Suer we eat meat but some would vomit over the gutting and sking of the same carcus their steaks com from.I always try to make kills quick yet have track wounded deer for hours.My dogs have spent 30-040 miniutes tracking a wounded bird.One time my lab Hiedi[yes I know, my kids named her] whent after a duck thay fell far out.She chased it from one bank of the Ohio river to the other.I had to take the boat to get her back.When I caught up she was sitting on the bank with a very perplexed duck in her mouth.What a dog!

  165. “I think the problem is the only time most come in contact with animais is the famliy pet.”

    Fortunately, we can supplement that direct experience by reading about the experiences (and scientific data) of others. Examples: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex_%28parrot%29
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washoe_%28chimpanzee%29

  166. I wonder how Washoe would have held up in a knife fight with Furious George?

  167. “Animals raised to be food are generally treated ‘humanely’ (i.e., as if they had some ability to feel pain just as humans can feel pain). When they are slaughtered, it is usually done with a minimal amount of pain being inflicted.”

    This might have been true two hundred, one hundred, or even fifty ago, but now it is demonstrably false. Look at my previous post and the link I included in it.

    Unless you are quite conscientious in your buying habits, the meat you purchase came from an animal that knew nothing but misery.

  168. Kevin Parker,until you’ve had blood on your hands you can’t understand.You have a respect for the creature that gave it’s life for your dinner.I’ve went out hunting at times and never fired a shot,I just watched the world around.To me there’s nothing like watching a marsh come alive in a duck blind witha good cigar and dog.Life and death is a natural part of the world.

  169. SIV,

    As long as we’re raising old arguments did you find any facts to back up your assertion that we intentionally infected multiple tribes with smallpox? No, I didn’t think so.

    VICTORY!

    Go back to the genocide thread.
    There are several links to the documentation.

    Like I said…your opinion, based on little knowledge.

  170. Look for the letters of Lord Jeffrey Amherst.

  171. Does fish blood count? And it’s not like they’re volunteering. Anyway, putting legal limits on animal suffering *at the hands of humans* is just that, not some infantile wish to banish life and death. A strong case could be made that rape, murder and assault are “natural” human behavior. I like the laws against them.

  172. Coming in here late as usual.
    Wish this issue could be settled once and for all, but as abortion will never be, so will this never be.
    Here is the answer: Whatever is “property” may be fed Fancy Feast in a crystal cup or tossed into the shredder. I don’t give a rip. Sure I’d be wary of someone who would toss a sentient being into a shredder, but that is beside the point, isn’t it?

    Take a break and read the article on Ron Paul in tomorrow’s New York Times Magazine.

  173. Also read the Journal of William Trent, commander of the local militia of the townspeople of Pittsburgh during Pontiac’s seige of the fort

    The entry for May 24, 1763…

    … we gave them two Blankets and an Handkerchief out of the Small Pox Hospital. I hope it will have the desired effect.

  174. Neu Mejican,

    These are British military officers- hardly the United States. Aside from that, both your examples are of Military officers engaged in combat with hostile Indians.Assuming they actually had an understanding of disease process and that it had any effect in spreading the pestilence from the besieged to those laying siege, it would be an example of biological warfare and not genocide.Of course I was well aware of the scant documentation supporting the smallpox slur or “black legend”.It is amusing to have people try to tell you what you don’t know in a condescending manner when they are actually the ones ignorant and uninformed.
    I only declared VICTORY after the posters begrudgingly and with qualification acknowleged I was correct and there were no facts to support the assertion of genocide.

  175. nue mejican ,yes and during a siege of constatinople the persians catapulted dead bodies of plague victims over the wall.In man’s march to civilazation there have been many horrors.I think you’ll find every country has been invaded at one time or another.The people of great brittian are mostly of viking and frank origin.It’s the way of things that as populations grow people move into less populated area,at times with violent results.The natives of america were the last to feel this wave.What happened to them is no different than what the monguls did to the middle east and eastern europe or the saxson did to the pics.

  176. “Here is the answer: Whatever is ‘property’ may be fed Fancy Feast in a crystal cup or tossed into the shredder.”

    Try this with your pooch on your porch in front of the cops and see where you end up.

    “Sure I’d be wary of someone who would toss a sentient being into a shredder, but that is beside the point, isn’t it?”

    Not really, if the point is using laws to decrease suffering directly caused by humans. There’s no reason pets, etc. can’t occupy a legal category between human and property. In fact, they already do to some degree. We wouldn’t have this thread if Vick was accused of beating his Time-Warner DVR against the ground. (In fact, I’d sympathize.)

  177. We have this thread because the media find something sensational and pound it in the ground.I perdict it will end when the next blonde white girl vanishes.

  178. SIV,

    1. You have an opinion that indigenous populations in the US did not suffer acts of genocide. You feel it is others burden to prove you wrong even though it is your opinion which goes against the generally accepted account. check.

    2. You call the small pox claims black legend even though you also claim to know about the documentation. Check.

    3. Pennsylvania doesn’t count as the US in 1763. Check.

    4. In your opinion attempts to wipe out Native Americans during warfare don’t count as genocide. Check.

    5. For you VICTORY is declared when others don’t meet expectations you have for them that they aren’t interested in meeting because your points are trivial or muddle-headed. Check.

  179. the media find something sensational and pound it in the ground

    an appropriate metaphor… 😀

  180. SIV,

    And I can’t pass up

    6. Commander of the local militia = British military officer. Check.

  181. The natives of america were the last to feel this wave.

    Oh, they won’t be the last. Not by a long shot.

  182. Why does this guy keep harping on native americans while ignoring the rest of world history?Every race of people have been subject to wholesale slaughter at some point.Look at Africa today.

  183. Why does this guy keep harping on native americans while ignoring the rest of world history?Every race of people have been subject to wholesale slaughter at some point.Look at Africa today.

    What’s your beef. SIV made an assertion which others disagreed with. It was about Native Americans.

    Yes, other groups have suffered similarly. Your point?

  184. OK one more before I go out for a while…..

    Neu Mejican… are you Dan T….no he trolls better.

    Someone else asserted the genocide, I disputed it and asked for a cite- nobody had one you included.I’m not attempting to prove a negative.

    Attempting to infect enemy soldiers(if that was even the case) during a battle is hardly genocide.

    Pennsylvania was a British Colony in 1763- not the United States for a few more years( put down the Howard Zinn and read a real history book)

    Major Trent was a British Military officer during the French and Indian War just like George Washington. He was still a British Officer during Pontiac’s Rebellion.

    Pontiac’s Rebellion was a war launched in 1763 by North American Indians who were dissatisfied with British rule in the Great Lakes region after the British victory in the French and Indian War/Seven Years’ War (1754-1763). Warriors from numerous tribes joined the uprising in an effort to drive British soldiers and settlers out of the region. The war is named after the Ottawa leader Pontiac, the most prominent of many native leaders in the conflict.

  185. Why doesn’t everyone just chill out it is Saturday night. Go out, have a few beers or some whiskey.
    Take in a nice sporting event say a dog fight or something.I hear they are getting to be real popular.

  186. “There’s no reason pets, etc. can’t occupy a legal category between human and property.”

    Ruthful,
    I’m flattered by your response, but you don’t know me.
    I’m a peaceful anarchist who doesn’t cotton to legal categories.
    You seem to take comfort in some sort of legal framework. To me, that would be nothing but itching powder in the knickers.

  187. I stopped reading after about 100 comments, so apologies if I’m hours behind.

    The revulsion I believe most Americans feel toward dogfighting stems from our cultural attitude of dogs as pets and companions. Many people are close to their dogs. To me, dogfighting is to be enjoyed only by voyeuristic sickos who get off on the pain and suffering of animals.

    Michael Pack, you have argued (paraphrasing) that animals do not have rights because animals are property. Is it inconceivable that animals may be property and also have rights, albeit limited rights? The right, for example, to be free of deliberately inflicted pain and suffering, especially for the amusement of others.

    I believe I can see the drawbacks to this argument. If animals have rights, slaughtering cattle for food suddenly becomes a cruel and inhumane act, does it not? Or are we to grant some animals rights and withhold rights from other, more edible animals? As a meat eater, and not one that kills my own dinner, I don’t know how to answer this question.

    But I don’t have a problem trusting my sense of revulsion regarding dogfighting. Dogfighting is an absolutely barbaric enterprise and the people who engage in it are monsters. I say honestly that I do not have a problem with government prosecuting perpetrators of such sadism.

  188. It seems to me like your obsessed with with proving the native ameicans suffered something uniquely tragic.It was brutal conquest not genocide.It was how the game used to be played.Many peoples have been slaughtered to the point they don’t have the numbers to resist.Genocide is an effort to wipe out every single one takes a plan.Interbreeding must be banned by law.That didn’t happen.

  189. On the one hand, someone whose arrogance exceeds his knowledge writes:

    “I’ve known several Amish through the years,I’d like to put these PETA people on one of there farms.They could see what life used to be like.Animals are tools to them,nothing more.Let them do the work they do and keep their strenght on a vegan diet.”

    On the other hand, an academic body whose job it is to know of such things writes:

    “It is the position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada that appropriately planned vegetarian diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.”

    http://www.adajournal.org/article/PIIS0002822303002943/fulltext

    I report, you decide.

  190. I don’t belive animals can have rights . I do think people can have a responciblity to treat them humanely just as you have the responsibility to drive safely.People have rights,but a lawful society comes with the trust that people will behave in a responciblity and there are penalties for breaking that trust.

  191. In concern of animal welfare, I think we simply can’t say exactly how animals perceive their lives and selves. Since we can’t say, we should err on the side of minimizing the suffering of animals that we hold in captivity.

    It’s one thing for animals to live a life of ease before being suddenly (and with little pain if done properly) killed to be made into food, but it’s another thing entirely to raise them for the purpose of blood sport.

  192. But to get you started: What’s a card-carrying libertoid to think of the Michael Vick situation, and of animal cruelty laws in general? Do animals have rights? Are they property? Both? Is the government obliged to prevent someone from feeding puppies to a wood chipper?

    Well, first off, I don’t accept the libertarian proposition that property rights are unlimited. Even societies that gave significant weight to property rights recognized there were limitations. An example would be the Bill of Rights, which, while generally protective of property rights, recognizes those rights may be voided by due process of law.

    There are restrictions on the way one may use their property. I don’t believe animals have “rights” per se, but that doesn’t necessarily preclude restrictions on how animals, as property, may be used. I’m not familiar with the Michael Vick case, but, in general, I have no problem with laws prohibiting unnecessary cruelty to animals.


  193. “It is the position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada that appropriately planned vegetarian diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.”

    Canadian School Lunch Room Ladies…….
    Now there is an unimpeachable source to counter
    100,000+ years of human omnivorism.

  194. ashish george,I’m not buying.A diet of vegatables,fruits and some meat,fish and fowl is better all around.Just because you can live on all veggies does not mean you must.The main reason for population growth is a steady source of protein.A vegen diet is dangerous to the health of children.It builds bone and muscle mass.

  195. Just checking on my property…
    “Hey I’ll keep it simple Humans have rights-animals don’t.” Poor drooling fool, cimply incapable of providing an argument I guess… “Why should I wade into the Gordian swamp of philisophical argument for whether, why or how we have those rights?” Because it’s called making an argument, you know, reason?

    “Tp paraphrase the Virginia hunter on inalienable rights: Jefferson (and Locke) said it……I believe it…. that settles it!” It surely settles you are a moron who cannot back up anything he says.
    Why can’t you provide one coherent answer to why humans have these rights but animals don’t? With all the multiple chances you’ve gotten? Cock got your tongue?
    I own you beeyotch. I want those shoes spit shined pronto.

  196. At 12:51 SIV dropped this nugget of wisdom:
    “Infants and retarded persons have rights because they are Human.”
    I responded “That’s serious begging the question. We are discussing whether animals should, like humans, have some rights. It’s no answer at all to say “humans deserve rights because they are human.” You have to demonstrate why humans deserve rights, and then show that animals do not share any of the characteristics that qualify humans for those rights.”
    What followed was some of the more hilarious “responses” to that question I have ever seen on H&R.
    1:16: “Immature and defective humans have rights because humans do. Dogs do not as they are not human.” Obviously he did not look up begging the question…
    1:28: “Speaking of weak arguments are you still clinging to that idea that infants and defective humans are not human as they lack moral agencey?” Of course I never said infants were not human…Straight outta the phantom zone…
    1:53: “By your “logic” unconcious humans are not human” Huh?
    2:27: “Pray, show and tell where I said that
    “only humans with moral agencey have rights”.
    That is the argument you “borrowed” and feel so clever in parrotting.” Incoherent rambling…
    3:05:”Although immature, defective and unconcious humans lack moral agencey they are never the less human. All human cultures recognise a human/animal dichotomy… it is our nature. By your reasoning perhaps we err by recognising rights of all those on the human side of the dichotomy while assigning none to the other. I don’t think so.” Translation-Humans are human (yeah, we got that nugget of wisdom, still failing to read up on begging the ?). A lot of people think the same. I think so, but still have no reason to.
    6:05 “Hey I’ll keep it simple Humans have rights-animals don’t. Why should I wade into the Gordian swamp of philisophical argument for whether, why or how we have those rights?” You’ve sure kept it simple consistently SIV. But I don’t think it was by choice.
    Humans are humans, thats why. A lot of people think the same way. And by the way, humans are humans. That’s the sum and substance of your capablities on this subject? Of course, if you ever can muster something better you’re free to. You’ve had all day and night. But I doubt you’re gonna get more complex than “cause humans are humans and dogs are not!”
    Jesus, we should be asking if a brain dead fart like you has rights…

  197. I’m not sure where on the continuum I fall but on 4th of July when my boy burned an earthworm in a citronella candle I got all sorts of in his face.

    What the hell are you doing? Got dammit that hurts. Just like sticking your finger in the flame. It hurts like hell. Knock that shit off right now.

    Guess that makes me a bleeding heart.

  198. I find dog fighting and the cruelty which goes with it repugnant. If Vick’s participation in such activities is true, I would join with others in shunning and shaming him. I would encourage the NFL to ban him from their own sport.

    I don’t see putting him in jail as an answer. The human particpants (owners, trainers and spectators)were all willing particpants, and should be shunned similarly.

    If, on the other hand, he tried to perform these actions in front of my granddaughters, I might find it necessary to beat the dog shit out of him if there was no law to lock him up. In this case I would see my granchildren as victims. Perhaps this is why we have laws against dog fighting – to protect the assheads who engage in it.

  199. Yeah, like dem dogs has rights! I wuz jus tryin to be in da game, ya know whatimsayin? Das da gangsta shit right der boy! Yeeeeeaaahh!
    Muthafuckers come persecutin me wit dat stupid cruelty bullshit. I gotz three words fo Rogah Goodell: cap in yo ass, nigga!

  200. Michael Pack, your argument goes something like this:

    “Animals can’t have rights because animals are property because animals can’t have rights because animals are property because animals can’t have rights because animals are property because animals can’t have rights because animals are property…,” and “Because I said so.”

    You’re not convincing me.

  201. I find dog fighting and the cruelty which goes with it repugnant

    Hell, I find boxing repugnant. Diff being that boxing involves a choice made by a human whereas organized dog fighting isn’t about dogs making choices.

    Good point about community involvement. There is lots you can do. When I was about 17 some guy was kicking the crap out of his dog for some reason. On the sidewalk in front of my parents house. I made him stop. Probably get arrested for making him stop these days.

  202. “I’m a peaceful anarchist who doesn’t cotton to legal categories. You seem to take comfort in some sort of legal framework. To me, that would be nothing but itching powder in the knickers.”

    You must be scratching up a storm. I’m for whatever maximizes peace and freedom*. I doubt it’s abolishing police and courts. But, I could be wrong.

    * I think this implies low tolerance for suffering inflicted by humans on humans–or on non-humans, in proportion to their capacity to suffer. (And–this ought to but apparently isn’t obvious–suffering is not synonymous with death.)

  203. SIV

    Someone else asserted the genocide, I disputed it and asked for a cite- nobody had one you included.I’m not attempting to prove a negative.

    That wasn’t what I claimed you did. I only claimed that the dispute was one of opinion rather than fact. As for my role on the previous thread… I was not really involved in the dispute over genocide/not.

    Attempting to infect enemy soldiers(if that was even the case) during a battle is hardly genocide.

    What was in dispute was whether anyone had provided documentation of the small pox blankets event, not whether it was genocide or not. Pay attention.

    Pennsylvania was a British Colony in 1763- not the United States for a few more years( put down the Howard Zinn and read a real history book)

    Duh? And your point? When we discuss the United States most people include the period prior to the declaration of independence…particularly when discussing relations with Native Americans

    Major Trent was a British Military officer during the French and Indian War just like George Washington. He was still a British Officer during Pontiac’s Rebellion.

    Okay.

  204. That last one related to Major Trent should read…

    “Okay. Please provide your documentation.”

  205. We’re talking about how to treat animals, but some people are questioning morality as a whole. Other people are raising worries about rights as a whole. But who gives a shit? To discuss a moral issue, we need to accept morality as a background assumption. And what exactly is wrong with rights? It’s not like rights are weirder than any other part of morality.

    The view that animals have rights might sound a little weird, but it’s basically common sense. Here’s a series of statements, culminating in full-blown animal rights.

    1. It’s seriously wrong to torture animals: this is common sense — if you reject this, you’re either a sociopath or you hold an extremely idiosyncratic (and implausible) moral view.
    2. The reason for why it’s seriously wrong to torture animals is mainly a matter of the animal’s suffering: again, this is common sense.
    3. In principle, it’s legitimate and proper for governments to protect animals from being tortured: just about everyone would accept this — if some sick fuck set up a webcam where he tortured stray cats, very few of us would have any principled objections to the government stopping him.
    4. Animals have the right not to be tortured: if this statement says something more than the previous statement, it’s unclear what that something is.

    For those who reject all animal rights (including the right not to be tortured), I ask: do you at least accept statement 3? And if so, then what is the difference between statements 3 and 4? What does it take to have a right, over and above the moral legitimacy of enforcing a protection?

  206. Virgil R. wrote: Animals raised to be food are generally treated ‘humanely’ (i.e., as if they had some ability to feel pain just as humans can feel pain). When they are slaughtered, it is usually done with a minimal amount of pain being inflicted.

    This is very very false. Factory farming is some gruesome and depressing shit.

  207. Also, about libertarian purity and property: The libertarian view that we can acquire property rights in resources (by labor-mixing or homesteading or whatever) requires that these resources be unowned by default. Otherwise they’re (arguably) held in common by default, and then private property is theft, and all that shit.

    But the more general requirement is that these resources don’t come with rights and obligations already attached. With land that’s plausible enough. But with animals it’s not very plausible — we seem to be obligated not to torture animals.

    So there’s no need to compromise basic libertarian principles concerning property. You just have to recognize that animals aren’t like other natural resources.

  208. If you want to step beyond the usual crap flinging animal rights arguments devolve into a good first step would be to check out Bernie Rollins book linked to below.

    The book concisely describes why treating animals ethically is important and builds a rational ethical framework for guiding animal treatment.

    Animal Rights & Human Morality

    “Professor Rollin is a serious man with an important message. He asks us not only to recognize that those who use animals have obligations for their care and respect, but also to translate this recognition into new habits. What he asks is reasonable and timely.” – Journal of the American Medical Association

    It’s been more than two decades since the first edition of this landmark book garnered public accolades for its sensitive yet honest and forthright approach to the many disquieting questions surrounding the emotional debate over animal rights. Is moral concern something owed by human beings only to human beings?

  209. All of those who are arguing that dog fights should not be illegal because dogs have no rights it would be well worth your time to check out the arguments at this site.

    Good idea to learn about what you are supporting. It will help improve your arguments.

    Libertarianism and Child Pornography

  210. Dave2, if you’re referring to me at all, I agree I’m being a moral skeptic and a (natural) rights skeptic. It’s interesting, though, how well that goes with defending legal rights for animals in this case. Claims that humans and only humans possess natural rights are being used as ammunition against animal welfare laws. I think it’s nonsense to say “only humans have rights,” but I’m not going to pretend that’s because I think animals have them too. I think the burden of proof is on the person who claims there is an invisible quality that has no direct effects on anything physical. In summary: I give a shit, I support some level of animal welfare laws (a.k.a. rights), and it’s not because I think there is a higher law to which we need to make political law conform.

  211. This is very very false. Factory farming is some gruesome and depressing shit.

    I don’t have a lot of first hand, but I do have a relative whose job it is to put down the cows. FWIW, she does it quickly and humanely. Ain’t no cows suffering while waiting to become a Carls Jr Burger. Least not on her watch.

  212. I oppose factory farming because the end result is bad for humans. I oppose dogfighting for the same reason.

    Encouraging dogs to bite one another and cheering when they draw blood is even less conducive to the continuation of civilization than the consumption of the hormone ridden flesh of genetically modified beef cattle is.

  213. if children are property, they are property that is held in trust until the children are old enough to be moral agents themselves. You are no more entitled to harm them than the executor of a will has the right to burn down a house pending execution of that will.

  214. hey matt is hip-hop music “conducive to the continuation of civilization”? I don’t think it is positively conducive but I dn’t want to ban the stuff …

  215. I try to stay away from catch alls like factory farming.I reality farming is a huge industry produceing vast sums of foodstuffs.At the turn of the century 20% of the population’s main source of income was farming.Now it’s 2% and the amount of land used in production has dropped greatly.This is needed to produe enough to feed this country and large parts of the world.It is an industry like cars and such.The days of free roaming piggs,chickens turkeys ect, is past.Those methods can not feed our population.

  216. Im new here, is this SIV guy always a first order asshat, or is he just having a bad day?

  217. If two dogs are fighting in the street, do humans have a duty to break it up? What if the humans place bets on which dog wins?

  218. Kevin Parker wrote: I think the burden of proof is on the person who claims there is an invisible quality that has no direct effects on anything physical.

    I think we’re in agreement then. This worry about non-physical qualities applies to all morality, not just the ‘rights’ part of morality. Thus this worry (and others like it) can’t really hurt the moral case for animal rights.

  219. Clinton Portis quote via
    http://www.tothepeople.com/

    “I don’t know if he was fighting dogs or not,” Portis said. “But it’s his property; it’s his dogs. If that’s what he wants to do, do it.”

    Portis said dog fighting is a “prevalent” part of life.

    Portis, a native of Laurel, Mississippi, added: “I know a lot of back roads that got a dog fight if you want to go see it. But they’re not bothering those people because those people are not big names. I’m sure there’s some police got some dogs that are fighting them, some judges got dogs and everything else.”

  220. Question for those who support laws against animal fighting but are not generally animal rights proponents.

    What about hunting dogs?
    Not retrievers and pointers but bear dogs and hog dogs. In hunting these animals,particularly bears there is often a “fight” when the prey is cornered/caught. The hunter is usually well behind the dogs often in thick vegetation and over steep slopes or swamps (depending on where you are of course. It is not unusual for the bear to kill an attacking dog.

    Would you ban this (legal) bloodsport?

    As in dog fighting this isn’t your household pet but a specifically bred and trained working dog.

  221. I believe it is near impossible to legally eat a horse in the US yet we export horse meat to Europe.Would it be OK to produce dog meat or dogs intended to be eaten for trade with Asia?

    If not,and you find dog eating abhorent, should we use trade or other sanctions to discourage dog eating (or animal fighting) in foreign countries?

  222. I still don’t understand why you must give something rights to show compassion.By the way,the last packing plants to ship horse meat in the states were shutdown by congress.They thought it inhumane to eat horses.The main importers wree France and Belgium.

  223. SIV,

    Yeah, hunting dogs taking down prey is totally the same as dogs beings bred and forced to fight for the amusement of human beings. Totally.

    What is the point of your Mississippi anecdote? That there are lots of sick fucks in Mississippi? Congratulations.

    Michael Pack,

    You are either being obtuse or you are a troll. If animal property is given limited “rights” it’s to protect property- property which, incidentally, can feel pain and fear- from being abused by owners who may not be as magnanimous as yourself. This is a just and proper use of law and government. You have the debating acumen of a third-grader, by the way- your points have either been examples of premises indistinguishable from conclusions or “because I said so” churlishness.


  224. What is the point of your Mississippi anecdote? That there are lots of sick fucks in Mississippi? Congratulations.

    Hell, I could’ve told you that!

  225. No,I truly believe only people have rights.Rights are something that apply to a group as a whole.When it comes to animals we seem to pick and choose.You can’t eat a dog,cat or horse but can a pig or cow.I do not condone dog fighting and think it should be illegal as a matter of fact I’m the only on here who has stated what I thought the punishment should be[I compared it to domestic abuse].I do not like blanket laws for cruelty.Many on this site think hunting ,trapping and large scale farming are cruel.I would like sepcifics in the law.Not an all encompasing buzz word .Remember these law tell people how to treat their property and dogs and cats are just that.

  226. I’m an animal lover and have a lot of concern for animal welfare. I think it is largely semantic whether the issue is framed in terms of human obligation to treat animals humanely versus the right of animals to be treated humanely. However, given that the language of animal rights more or less belongs to the extremists such as PETA and HSUS, my preference is to stick to the language of animal welfare.

    I find HSUS particularly egregious because in their marketing it’s all about the cute puppies and kitties — while keeping their extremism largely under wraps. Also, by calling itself the Humane Society of The United States, they lead people to believe they are associated with local humane societies that actually run animal shelters. But HSUS runs no animal shelters. They mostly seem to get involved in high profile issues such as the fate of animals after Katrina, which got them a lot of national coverage in the service of their fundraising. They produce a ton of trinkets too — HSUS mugs, calendars, necklaces and other jewelry — which they will send to a person who donated a single time for years following that single donation. Mailing labels are just not enough for them. I’d love to know how much of their budget is spent on marketing.

    Anyhow, with the HSUS, the likelihood that an individual donor understands the group’s radical agenda is far less than the likelihood that a PETA donor would. And the incident with PETA employees euthanizing animals adoptable animals within one hour of having them in their “care” showed that many PETA donors don’t understand the true nature of the organization. Of course, people should really research an organization before supporting it or endorsing it, but organizations have a positive obligation to be truthful with the public as well.

    With the dogfighting issue, I think there is something to the argument that keeping it illegal drives it underground and helps create conditions that are especially appalling for the animals involved. That certainly sums up my position on prostitution and drug trafficking/dealing.

    However, there is still the issue of consent, which animals cannot give. I think it is one thing to use animals without their consent in medical research and food production. Using them for blood sports is very different.

    The way I see it, by asserting our ability to exploit nature to a level of which no other species is capable, we are assuming responsibility for natural resources. I am not a religious person or an extreme environmentalist, but a do see a positive responsibility there.

    With regard to drugs and prostitution, I think society just needs to deal with the fact that we have a right to take drugs into our bodies if that is what we want to do. And people have a right to buy sex from willing sellers. I don’t think society should have a right to prevent those behaviors because they involve choices that individuals make about their own physical selves. I just don’t see an exact parallel with dogfighting or other forms of inhumane exploitation of animals.

    In this case in particular, these guys have engaged in animal torture. Electrocuting a dog, or body slamming it to death – those are acts of sadism. They could have simply shot those animals and gotten it over with, but I guess that wasn’t the macho way to go.

    And because this was done for the sake of illegal interstate commercial transactions, I have no trouble with federal intervention. Nor do I have trouble with some jail time. No throwing the book at the or anything. A year or so would do nicely.

    And of course, heaps of social opprobrium that will hound Vick for the rest of his life.

  227. Domestic abuse is a felony under federal law — if borders are crossed, etc.

  228. I’m aware of that culture determines what animals are acceptable to eat and what animals are pets, what animals are acceptable to be used in sports, and so forth. I don’t see how a specific and limited law prohibiting willful malice toward some animals and not others is contradictory; as human beings we’re forced to make a choice to define willful malice and decide to which animals such a law would apply. There is no need for a law against cruelty to be a “blanket law,” as you say, that would all of a sudden prohibit using animals as hunting partners or slaughtering cattle for food.

    I agree with you that “animal rights” is a buzzword that means different things to different people. For the PETA crowd it probably means that animals should have right to vote and hold office (I keed, I keed).

    Mr. Pack, look, “because I said so” is not a valid argument. You have stated again and again that animals are property. Fine. Let’s say I agree with you: animals are property. That notion is not incompatible with government
    prosecuting people who are guilty of committing malicious cruelty against animals, keeping in mind that the definition of cruelty and the animals to which such a law would apply are entirely up to us humans.

  229. I have a problem with the commrce clause they way it is used.It’s brought us the drug war and other abuses.I think more local the goverment the better the results.

  230. I have not said because I said so.I have given examples.How can you quibble over dogs, cats, pigs,chickens and cows being property?We buy them and sell them as if there a house or car.It’s a basis of law in order to sell something for profit you must own it.You don’t have to agree.They are treated as propety in law every day at stockyards in this country.

  231. Regarding the Clinton Portis quote, just for the record, anybody who takes anything he says in an interview seriously hasn’t seen him dressed up as Sheriff Gonna Getcha or Southeast Jerome.

  232. “definition of cruelty and the animals to which such a law would apply are entirely up to us humans”

    Up to rich white humans
    why do we only hear about Blacks dog fighting?
    why are they making it a felony and a federal crime? Not enough Black men in prison.

  233. But here’s a way of bringing out some problems for some people in this thread. Here are three statements that lots of libertarians (and liberals in general) find plausible:

    * People have the right to do whatever they want, so long as they don’t violate anyone else’s rights.
    * Torturing animals doesn’t violate anyone’s rights.
    * People’s rights should be protected.

    But if you put them together, they entail this seemingly absurd conclusion:

    * The right to torture animals should be protected.

    So you have to either reject one of the plausible three statements or else accept the seemingly absurd conclusion.

    The difficulty seems obvious in retrospect, but I guess I’d never put two and two together on this issue.

  234. “because I said so”

    Well for a libertarian who does not believe animals have “rights” the above is the only justification for banning animal fighting.

  235. Dave2,

    The problem in your formulation is in number 2.

    The issue that seems to be under discussion is whether number two is true or false. If you grant animals rights, then number 2 is false.

  236. SIV,

    I would be interested in reading your definition of “rights.”

    You have not made that clear in this thread.

  237. I still can’t believe I’m the only one who’s stated what I think the punishment should be.Well,other than the nothing and wood chipper crowd.Them I dismiss out of hand.

  238. “But it’s his property; it’s his dogs. If that’s what he wants to do, do it.”

    Clinton Portis made a clear concise statement.

  239. Mr. Nice Guy said………
    (when not engaged in extended incoherent rants like “Ken”)

    Neu Mejican-Welcome! In the few months I’ve been reading H&R I’ve rarely seen a thread that was not improved by your comments.

    Who sez nobody knows who you are on the internet!

  240. Michael, I think most of us are more interested in the more basic question of whether punishing people for animal cruelty is properly within the scope of government, and are less interested in the details of the punishment. That said, my moral intuition suggests something like maximum one year in prison or $10k fine.

  241. SIV,

    That was an odd post.

  242. happytron.I threw that out there for those who disputed animals were property[dispite common law and daily trading] and those who use the term cruelty for every thing from dog fighting to farming.The laws affects real people.I’d like to know where they stand.It’s one thing to talk in broad strokes,another to live by them.

  243. Michael,

    I still can’t believe I’m the only one who’s stated what I think the punishment should be.Well,other than the nothing and wood chipper crowd.Them I dismiss out of hand.

    Why do you dismiss those who say “nothing” should be the penalty as it shouldn’t be a crime?

    I’m not equating animal cruelty with animal fighting.

    Immigrants have been charged with “animal cruelty” for slaughtering lambs and goats in the backyard for traditional feasts and holidays.

    I would have no problem with a local ordinance
    declaring animal neglect to be an abandonment of property rights.(I’ll advocate for it in Libertopia!)

  244. SIV,

    OOOOOh.
    I see what you are implying.

    Sorry.
    You whiffed on that one.

    Your legal name is Single Issue Voter, of course.

  245. SIV,

    So, any chance you will elaborate on how you define “rights.”

  246. An interesting conjecture.

    SIV maintains several anonymous personalities at H&R, so s/he believes that others do likewise?

    SIV likes the “gotcha” game, but isn’t very good at it?

  247. Well for a libertarian who does not believe animals have “rights” the above is the only justification for banning animal fighting.

    SIV, that is nonsense. We can say that animals have no rights and prohibit torturing them under law; we can define animal cruelty as narrowly as we must to address the issue(s) at hand; and animals can remain property.

    However, I do not understand this mental block that makes the statements “animals are property” and “animals cannot have rights” the same to you. You seem to want to define “animal rights” in the broadest possible way, one that would give the gubmint infinite leeway in determining what constitutes violations of those rights. If it helps you use a different buzzword, but you cannot seriously look me in the face and tell me that you think the practice of dogfighting is a necessary and imperiled civil liberty of people in this society, or that animals as property means exactly that animals may treated in any manner whatsoever without consequence.

  248. With the animal extremist crowd, animal rights means the right to live absolutely free of human intervention. They think that domestically bred animals are some sort of abomination against nature. This explains why PETA is so in favor of euthanizing domestic cats and dogs. Ingrid Newkirk is on record with her belief that they should be spayed, neutered, and euthanized out of existence.

    Of course, Ingrid Newkirk is a complete freak and misanthropist who also speaks of the deep misery her existence causes her. No doubt her justification for why she keeps going at all is her “work.” She has said that after her death she would like her skin to be used for making lampshades.

    This info is all over the net and easy to find.

    I don’t have a problem picking and choosing which animals should be protected at differing levels. But torturing any animals should be illegal. I really think that how a society treats its animals says something about how it values life – any life.

    I also think there is something about the fact that we are so affluent that confers a positive obligation to treat animals well. We do not live with the kind of human suffering that exists in the third world, therefore we are more able to expend resources treating animals well.

  249. Is single issue voter really just a cockpuppet?

    ;^)

  250. If SIV really thinks Neu Mejican could be Dan T., it really goes to show how little SIV comprehends. I guess this is because SIV really hears no one but himself. Neu Mejican is much smarter and more educated than Dan T. has ever demonstrated himself to be.

  251. SIV,Because I think dog fighting goes beyond the pale of human behavior and I want specifics from the vegan types lurking about.I truly believe there must be some limits.I won’t debate that point because I think it’s wrong,I also will not call you names or curse at you.You have your thoughts and I mine.If you think there should be limits[as do I]where is the line you will draw?I made mine and will stand by it.It seems many on here talk in broad strokes and have no idea what should be done.It just makes them feel bad.You stated your thoughts and I respect that[though I think your wrong] there are many meat eating hipocrites that buy steaks at a store while not gettig their hands bloody and sittig in judgement of others.

  252. Explain to me how I am a hypocrite and how I have judged you.

  253. If SIV really thinks Neu Mejican could be Dan T., it really goes to show how little SIV comprehends. I guess this is because SIV really hears no one but himself. Neu Mejican is much smarter and more educated than Dan T. has ever demonstrated himself to be.

    No I specifically said that the sockpuppet doesn’t troll anywhere near as well as Dan T.

    Dan T is sharp and can formulate a needling contrarian argument on the fly.

    Unlike “joe” I don’t think it ever helps the discussion to actually respond to Dan T however.

    Mr. Nice Guy resembles “Ken” (with no last name)

    Although Neu Mejican appears more reasonable and rational on the surface the praise for his
    intelligence and analysis from “Mr.Nice Guy”
    is prima facie evidence for them being the same commenter.As does the attempt to draw me into some meaningless argument over the definition of the terms “genocide” and “rights”.

  254. Wow! SIV you really stomped those progressive dickheads into the dirt like they were Pitbulls with no Game at the Bad Newz Kennels!

    My little sister goes to HotBabe StateU and says all the cool girls are always refreshing Hit&Run blog comments to see what you wrote.

    They all think you are even DREAMIER than Guy Montag!

  255. SIV,

    Me, not Mr. Nice Guy.
    Can’t speak to the possibility of Ken – Mr. Nice Guy connections.

    is prima facie evidence for them being the same commenter

    Check.
    Don’t compliment others around SIV…he will think you are being tricksy and trying to get his precious.

    Singularly Idiotic Voice

  256. It can’t believe how many on here have to resort to vulgar language and insults and hide behind a fake name,some more than one.I post my name ,I have my thoughts and beliefs and don’t care who knows.I wonder if this is how Congress really runs?

  257. meaningless argument over the definition of the terms “genocide” and “rights”.

    Never tried to get you into an argument regarding genocide…just disputed your claim to a VICTORY based on “fact.”

    Not sure how a working definition of “rights” would be meaningless in a discussion of whether animals have them. You claim they don’t have rights, so I wondered what you thought it was they didn’t have.

  258. Dan T. knows how to construct a smarmy one dimensional high school contrarian argument on the fly.

  259. SIV=troll, does anyone second me in that?

  260. Virginia Gentleman

    SIV does not = a troll as far as I understand the term.

    He is a member, nominally, of the in-group around here = libertarians. To be a troll he would need to be from outside the group.

    The definition, however, is slippery.
    joe would not claim status in the group, but has been posting here as long as most of the in-group long-timers, for instance.

    Are you suggesting that he is a non-libertarian trying to give libertarians a bad name?

    Again, I don’t think that would be fair.
    He has a single issue, cockfighting, that he feels is a litmus test of sorts for whether a politician should be supported by libertarians. He seems sincere on that issue (although maybe he is just a shill for big cock, who knows /8^).

  261. SIV, from up thread…

    SIV-We’re waiting. Can I pull a page from your genocide thread and claim
    VICTORY

    Well I “won” that one as it was a question of fact.This argument is one of opinion.

    You seem to think that because I was pedantic and pointed out that the previous thread was a question of opinion rather than fact in this exchange with Mr. Nice Guy, that I must be Mr. Nice Guy’s sockpuppet…

    Check.

    Then you get in a dispute with Crimethink over claims of smallpox being used against native American, also from the previous thread. You claim the previous thread has no evidence to support the claim…I redirect you to evidence of it from that thread.

    But even though I am now supporting Crimethink, I am somehow still Mr. Nice Guy-Ken’s sockpuppet.

    check.

    Appropriate song lyrics (Built to Spill)

    “How can you trust someone when you know they can’t trust you?”

  262. Dan T. knows how to construct a smarmy one dimensional high school contrarian argument on the fly.

    Well thanks to the Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations as Chimpler would say that puts him into the cream of the elite in these here parts.
    Still not worth responding to however.

    I may “troll” as a verb but I am not a “troll” as a noun and I am most certainly a libertarian. After a bit o’ lurking I began posting out of outrage and disgust with the whole concept of “liberaltarian” as I totally reject any fusion of individiualism with collectivism.

    Neu Mejican, assume I generally agree with Locke and Jefferson on “rights”. I’ll let you know otherwise.

  263. Does SIV have dreams of Mr. Nice Guy lurking around every corner?

  264. Neu, SIV seems to take all the bad stereotypes people hold about libertarians. That is, they are rude cranks who have some weird personal habit (in this case cockfighting). If they did not have this strange, perverse personal habit, they would be right wing Republicans.

  265. SIV,

    Locke,

    Check.

    God didn’t give animals rights.

    Check.

  266. Hey HE gave us Dominion over ’em!

    Read your Bible!

  267. SIV,

    Of course, if you are an atheist it is important to find a source for the “humans are special” basis for rights.

    So do you agree with Aquinas then as well?

  268. Neu, SIV seems to take all the bad stereotypes people hold about libertarians. That is, they are rude cranks who have some weird personal habit (in this case cockfighting). If they did not have this strange, perverse personal habit, they would be right wing Republicans.

    Usually it is POT-SMOKING .

    Right Wing Republicans should be libertarians
    and lo and behold some of ’em are!

    There are no liberal Democrat libertarians.

  269. There are no liberal Democrat libertarians.

    So says the authority on who is anti-authoritarian.

    SIV decides for everyone else what the best label is for their political affiliation. Like a true libertarian (except he knows best).

  270. Hey SIV, Jon Tester and Bill Richardson say “hi”.

    I’d take either of them as my Senator over Orin Hatch any day of the week.

  271. There are no liberal Democrat libertarians.

    Name one

    I think everybody ’round here can name at least ONE Republican libertarian.

  272. I’d take either of them as my Senator over Orin Hatch any day of the week.

    Shooting fish in a barrel there.
    Hatch is a POS when it comes to issues of Liberty.

  273. http://www.terrymichael.net/

    Self named libertarian democrat.

    But, of course, he doesn’t have approval from the Minister of True Libertarianism, aka SIV

  274. I may “troll” as a verb but I am not a “troll” as a noun and I am most certainly a libertarian. After a bit o’ lurking I began posting out of outrage and disgust with the whole concept of “liberaltarian” as I totally reject any fusion of individiualism with collectivism.

    That sort of facile black-and-white thinking hinders your ability to have pithy arguments with grown-ups.

  275. OK, SIV, I voted for Jim Webb of George Allen last time because Senator Porkchop Macaca was for the PATRIOT Act, secret prisons, endless war, and monarchial executive power. Tell me how any of those are libertarian positions.

    On guns and affirmative action, two other issues of mine, they were the same. That is, pro-gun, against affirmative action.

    Explain to me oh Commnisar why George Allen was the real libertarian choice.

  276. Virginia Gentleman,

    I am going to guess the explanation takes some form of…

    God didn’t make libertarian democrats…

    ;^)

  277. I think what’s interesting to me is how libertarians like myself are so proud that we’re different from the left-right dichotomy and some people are so ready and eager to re-pigeonhole the electorate by naming “right-libertarians” and “left-libertarians”. Those labels, however, are just indicative of your political priorities, but ultimately, there is no civil liberty sans economic liberty (what good does it do you to protest if you can’t buy the materials or transportation to make it necessary?) or vice versa (what good does all that money do for you if you can’t spend it on what you like? Or sell what you like?) Libertarians are libertarians, period. I think they should abandon this “pick among evils” and either abstain from voting, vote for candidates a lot closer to their beliefs or do something more productive, like talk to friends, family and edify strangers on the blessings of liberty. I can count on two hands how many people went from “label X” to libertarianism in the three years I won’t keep my yap shut about freedom.

    DISCLAIMER: I’m not obnoxious or proselytizing about it…I just don’t back down when it comes to political arguments.

  278. either abstain from voting, vote for candidates a lot closer to their beliefs

    When both candidates are truly horrid (as they often are), I’ve been known to write in “Thomas Jefferson” on the ballot more times than I can count.

  279. I write in friends, family, or myself all the time. At least they have a better chance of winning than T.J.

  280. Explain to me oh Commnisar why George Allen was the real libertarian choice

    Where did I say he was?

    I didn’t say all Republicans were libertarian.
    I look forward to Senator Webb rolling around as a loose cannon on the deck of the USS Democrat Party.

  281. Highnumber: you are hereby punished with having to listen to “Cut the Crap” three times in a row with no bathroom break!

    YOU WRITE IN ZOD!

    Hi Randian:

    your “pick among evils” objection is well-taken in this quarter! But first of all – be safe, successful, and come home soon, a hero!

    Now, the interesting part is where each libertarian draws his or her borders until the choice is “picking between evils”.

    MediaG, for example, would be hard-and-fast on 2nd amendment. Akira would be steadfast on the separation of religion from politics. Stevo would be in his bunk, for example.

    It’s watching where the coalitions get built – we vote our conscience, and probably a coalition would get built based on issues.

    enter logrolling or whatever else freakin terms get introduced for the quid pro quo reach around noam chomsky panties (damn! what a giveaway) deals that get cut…

    Then we’d have a second order choice of evils. Would our candidate X ally with Y or Z? The following list of Y I like/dislike, ditto for Z. How do go about it that way?

    For the record, I’ve also written in Highnumber. But it was for the WKQX lunchtime traffic babe competition.

    (or was it?)

  282. Since I think that religions are products of humankind’s attempts to understand our own place in the world, and religious myths are narratives that reflect those understandings, it seems to me that when the folks who wrote those biblical stories said that God gave man dominion over all the animals, they were merely acknowledging reality. Sheep, cows, cats, dogs, oxen — they were all domesticated by that point.

    Whatever it says in the Bible about humans and animals (and beyond the “dominion” thing I really have no idea what it says) is an attempt to do exactly what we’re attempting to do here on this thread.

  283. “MediaG, for example, would be hard-and-fast on 2nd amendment. Akira would be steadfast on the separation of religion from politics. Stevo would be in his bunk, for example.”

    …and Crimethink would be uncompromising on the right of fetuses to videotape cops.

  284. Neu Mejican wrote: The problem in your formulation is in number 2. The issue that seems to be under discussion is whether number two is true or false. If you grant animals rights, then number 2 is false.

    Yeah, I know, and (as you can see above) I’m willing to accept the fact that animals have rights. Let me try to state what struck me about the point I was making.

    If you’re a libertarian (or Mill-style liberal) and you think it’s okay for the government to get involved in cases of extreme cruelty to animals, then you have to accept animal rights. You can’t rest content with mere concern for animal welfare or for cruelty to animals. You have to go all the way to animal rights. After all, according to libertarians (or Mill-style liberals), it’s not okay for the government to get involved unless rights are at stake.

  285. Quite a few commenters do not indicate they hold that animals have rights but that the dogfighting prohibition is OK because they don’t like it.

    They “fail” the purity test.

    Think of all the things that are or could be banned because a majority can be persuaded to “not like it”

  286. For those who hold that animals have “some” rights but still think horse racing, burgers and leather upholstery are OK: How do you “know” that bloodsports violate the animal’s “rights”?

    Or foie gras for that matter. I see a slippery slope and a quite steep one at that.

  287. SIV:

    I don’t know if anyone here was trying to pass the purity test. Even Balko’s use of the expression seemed a bit tongue-in-cheek to me.

    Is cock-fighting really the issue that motivates you above all others?

  288. No but it is an excellent “test issue”.

    I can understand why people are in favor of dog fighting bans.

    I can’t understand for the life of me why anyone who is at all “libertarian” wants cock fighting outlawed unless they are an animal rights wacko.

    This is pretty basic stuff here-not foreign policy or privatizing the national parks.
    Hell its not even drug legalization.
    Yet even may “libertarians” are all for the ban.

  289. Cock fighting bans are about controlling people not the welfare of chickens. No one much cared about the welfare of chickens when they originally passed and almost no one cares about the welfare of chickens now.Cockfighting is perfectly legal in much of the world- including “civilized first world ” countries.

  290. I would put this in the category of repugnant behavior that does not rise to the level of peril to the neighbors that would justify state intervention.

    There are many means of controlling behavior that we find disgusting that don’t require legislation. Boycotting, shaming, and denouncing the participants in dog fighting is a good start.

    -jcr

  291. Oh, and let me also add that the conflict here isn’t between the rights of people and animals, it’s between the rights of the people who want to practice a barbaric spectacle, and those of their neighbors whose enjoyment of their property is likely to be disturbed by the noise of dogs tearing each other to pieces.

    If my neighbor were conducting dog fights, I would be very likely to sue him under a nuisance theory.

    -jcr

  292. Even if the dog pit was there first John?
    Like any urbanized, civilized, feminised professional citizen (I’m sorry you are probably a working family) suing the shooting range race track or small airfield that preceded his gated community McMansion.

  293. Whoops!

    Sorry John your comment above that one was quite reasonable and a good libertarian solution to offences against the shared morality of a community. Had I read it first I would have used different language in my response.Still, if the dog pit or kennel was there first…….

    Ah, debating public policy in Libertopia….

  294. John,

    My apologies for my response to your second comment again. Your comment above that is the best answer to the issue on this thread.

  295. maybe he is just a shill for big cock

    Zing………# 2

    So, you’ve been dropped from the Xmas card list over at the Chalupa residence AND now the SIV residence as well?

  296. either abstain from voting, vote for candidates a lot closer to their beliefs

    Or vote Dem, as a big chunk of the Reason staff and a significant number of H&R regulars plan to do or actually did do.

    [places both hands over his ears and runs from the room screaming at a decibel level that awakens the children and frightens the dogs]

  297. Or vote Dem, as a big chunk of the Reason staff and a significant number of H&R regulars plan to do or actually did do.

    Didn’t the REASON staff used to be the kind of libertarians that didn’t vote on principal (economic anyways)?

    I only vote out of civic guilt over circular filing my jury summons.

  298. Aw, VM, I really gotta go!
    Can I listen to any Rush song once and be done with it? That’s far more punishment than I deserve.

  299. TWC,

    Yeah, I never get invited to any of the H&R parties.

    (;_;)

  300. me

    I don’t know if anyone here was trying to pass the purity test.

    But, me, SIV administers the test whether you are interested in it or not. He is the worst kind of authoritarian…a zealot. Luckily, he holds not power…oh but if he did he would punish you collectivists…his liberty would be swift and mighty, smiting and…

    ;^)

    Just a note…when I post a response to “me” I feel like I am talking to myself.

  301. Sorry Neu. I can understand it being a little weird for you.

    I never said I was a collectivist. I’m sure not in the socialist or Marxist camp.

    I’m most likely to describe myself as “libertarian leaning.” Therefore, no interest from my part in purity.

    I won’t deny, I am much less likely to get worked up over cockfighting than dogfighting.

  302. Chickens are stupid and I have an inalienable and vitally important right to watch them fight to the death. Any other thinking is for collectivist cowards.

  303. If not obvious to you the above comment is not me.

    So I am an authoritarian and a zealot for opposing the authority of the State to use force to stop a culturally diverse ancient sport that is hated by moralistic zealots.

  304. SIV,

    No, you are an authoritarian zealot for claiming that only those who meet your purity test get to claim use of the term libertarian. This attitude is harmless as long as you stay away from the reins of power.

    Keep up.

    /;^)

  305. SIV,

    Btw, I notice that you have risen to “poster worthy of mock posts” on H&R.

    I will tell you up front (since you will assume it is the Mr. Nice Guy -Ken -Neu Mejican -sockpuppet -in -your -head that is posting with your name) that I am not involved in anyway. I don’t see a point in such behavior.

  306. me,

    I would never claim you were a collectivist… SIV might if you failed his purity test.

  307. Dogfighting is an ancient and culturally diverse sport that must be allowed in any free society. Anyone who would use government to stop consenting adults from pitting dogs against one another in combat is a moralistic zealot.

  308. SIV –

    how about incorporating different ways of preparing and eating the loser?

    This way we’re battling third world hunger, so we get piety points.

    Or we could match gastronomy with origin of the canine.

    Then we could get limousine liberal points for honoring cultural diversity.

    Or, better yet, we could form a circle around moralistic zealots, point at them and all go “NEENER NEENER” at them!

    Or do the naughty “Pius Pie” trick.

  309. My turn at the purity test. Your pets are my pests. While they may be property of yours, they are mere nusiances to me. Your right to this property ended when it crapped on my lawn, or when it barked all night violating my quiet enjoyment of my property. I will treat your nusiance as necessary, much as I treat flies, mice, etc.

    Now does the dog have rights? Perhaps from his owner. The dog promises not to pee on the rug so long as the owner promises to come home after work and walk him. There is a implied arrangement. YOur dog has no arrangement with anyone else in society. I have no such arrangement with your dog.

    I can’t believe people get upset about how animals that rip each other limb from limb in their ordinary course, die at our hands. The squirrel fears death, and cares not whether it is from a gray fox or an Audi Fox.

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