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Friday, October 12, 2007

Breaking the Law-When is it OK?

An animal "rights" supporter has just left this comment on this post;

Just been reading about how the suffragete movement resorted to some very serious and highly impressive acts of civil disobedience and arson in their campaign for equal treatment of women. The civil rights movement also heavily relied on civil disobedience to get their message across.

You imply that social change can be brought about without relying on civil disobedience, history shows that civil disobedience has been one of the most powerful tools in bringing about social change.

You also seem to have a really weird belief that the legal system somehow stands above everything else. Taking this belief to its logical conclusion would you strictly adhere to the NAZI laws? Would you break the law if you thought it would save lives? And if so why not animals?

There is no scientific evidence for the speciestic outlook you seem to adhere to, instead such positions rely on outdated religous beliefs or bigoted notions of superiority and progress.

I look forward to a detailed answer to these points.


Firstly, it is true that civil disobedience has brought about social change-but not always for the better.

You cite the suffragette movement and imply that criminal behaviour, including arson was a legitimate tool in achieving equal rights for women.

New Zealand women achieved the right to vote in 1893, without recourse to violence. I would argue that some of the extreme tactics used by US and British suffragettes, retarded rather than advanced their cause.

That said, it is clearly OK to break the law when life or liberty of human beings is threatened and WHEN THERE IS NO OTHER PRACTICAL RECOURSE.

If the NZ government started jailing opponents or executing dissidents, I think armed resistance would become morally valid, though I doubt it would be practical in this country.

Certainly we are miles away from that point and see little likelihood of such circumstances occurring in the forseeable future.

Therefore, all resistance to the admittedly increasingly repressive Labour government should remain peaceful.

Unless the government was unjustly jailing or killing people, I would unhesitatingly "dob in" any people, including those on my side of the political divide, I discovered planning violent acts against the state."

The legal system, massively flawed though it is, is our strongest protection against arbitrary government power. If you treat that system with contempt, you have no moral high ground to stand on if it starts treating you and your rights in the same way.

Your point implying that animals have equal rights to humans is bizarre.

Animals have limited conciousness and no sense of morality.

Animals deserve respect and should not be subject to unnecessary cruelty, but they are in no sense equal to humans.

If your house was on fire, who would you save first, your dog or your daughter, your son or your snail, your wife or your woodlouse?

If you're not sure, I would suggest that you are not fully human.

In the most EXTREME CIRCUMSTANCES it is OK to violate the law to preserve human life or liberty.

Similarly, I would trespass to give comfort to a horse with a broken leg. I would, IF I HAD NO OTHER OPTION, assault someone to stop them beating a dog.

I would not sneak into a closed building by night, to steal chickens, because I did not agree with the farmer's practices.

Breaking the law is not to be taken lightly.

Preserving human life and liberty may justify it on some RARE OCCASIONS.

Preserving animal life may also justify it on some extremely rare occasions.

Committing burglary to "liberate" chickens, is simply irresponsible criminality.

If William Wilberforce could end the British slave trade legally, then smart people like the animal rights movement can free chickens legally.

That is if they weren't merely criminals looking to justify their criminality, by pretended "pure" motives.

93 Comments:

Blogger MikeE said...

You forgot the most important part. Those little bastards are just so damn tastey.

If they had these so called rights, it would be an offense for me to eat them.

10:53 AM  
Anonymous Male suffragete said...

Nice post but... um, woman have been voting since 1893 not 1993.

12:31 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Thanks MS-corrected.

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can see where the divide is between us now Trevor.

Those of us who are opposed to factory farming see it is the equivalent of that person that you are willing to assualt to stop them from beating their dog. Granted, no one is physically beating the chicken, but the psychological harm they are suffering is real, and the stress from such constant confinement must be very damaging to their health.

So that is where we are seperated, Trev, you think that it is ok to assault someone who is beating their dog, but you just don't beleive that what is happening to that chicken is bad enough to warrant intervention. We do, and frankly, I cannot see your side of the argument at all.

5:56 PM  
Anonymous Reid of America said...

"There is no scientific evidence for the speciestic outlook you seem to adhere to, instead such positions rely on outdated religous beliefs or bigoted notions of superiority and progress."

This is a great example of post-rational thought. Specism is hard wired into all species. Any living organism that isn't specist is defective.

Specism is one the most primal instincts in all living organisms. It is evidence of not being rational (post-rational) for the writer to claim that specism has no scientific basis.

5:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the above post because it has clarified the issue well.
It appears you have a lower threshold than me because even someone beating their dog would only get a mouthful of abuse. Hopefully this would provoke a re-assessment by the thug as to their humanity.

3:02 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Sheep and chickens are not sentient beings - Trevor Loudon, 30 March 2007

Animals have limited conciousness - Trevor Loudon, 12 October 2007

Now that's what I call progress!

3:45 PM  
Blogger Comrade MOT said...

I can certainly see both sides. I think it would be better to try to change the law rather than break it. However, I certainly can see the parrallel with assulting the person beating their dog. At least with rescuing chickens, you dont actualy have to physicaly harm a person to do it only their property.

The issue of animal rights in general will never be solved. Sure "Animals have limited conciousness and no sense of morality." But there are certainly some people like that. We dont kill them.

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where is consistency from these animal rights activists. Would they sabotage labour inspectors on easter sunday who violate peoples right to sell. Maybe vandalise the buildings of those compulsary student unions, or are human rights secondary to animals?

9:38 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Comrade MOT-the point I'm making is that IN AN EMERGENCY it may be moral to violate someone's rights to achieve a greater good-especially if they are committing criminal acts themselves.

This does make the premedidated burglary of someone's chicken coop, in ORDER TO MAKE A POLITICAL POINT acceptable.

Human property rights must trump animal rights in this circumstance.

I believe battery farming will go the way of bear-baitingv in the long term.

It will happen because of changing public opinion, not because of the criminal activities of self righteous little thugs.

9:47 PM  
Blogger Comrade MOT said...

You may be right trevor, but It all just depends on what is considered an emergency or extreme circumstances. Some people are always going to see some things as being more extreme than others see them as.

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Similarly, I would trespass to give comfort to a horse with a broken leg. I would, IF I HAD NO OTHER OPTION, assault someone to stop them beating a dog."

By your own logic trespassing on battery farms is justified, having been involved in the legal rehoming of bought ex battery hens I am intimately familiar with the severe pain many of the animals are undergoing, broken legs are very common and animals are often pecked to death by the cell mates. Those that break into sheds often produce footage of animals left to die which are in urgent need of attention and which fully recover once rescued from the hell hole they come from.

It is no step to go from trepassing to give attention to animals to taking animals which you are unable to give attention to there and then because of a risk of arrest.

Factory farming is a form of gross animal cruelty, would you seize a dog if it was injured tied up and the owner, SPCA and all other animal protection organisations would not take action to free it? I would take that dog in a hearbeat and would not have the slightest burden on my conscionce as a result.

You may come back with the argument that we can rely on animal welfare laws when animals are being left in their cages to injured to diee but all the evidence is against you. I am sure that battery farming will one day be illegal but until that day comes I will support anyone that breaks the law to free animals which are in pain.

9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The double standards are a problem. The animal welfare act says that animals must be allowed to disply normal patterns of behaviour, but makes an exception for chickens and pigs on factory farms. It's the same as saying all people should have the right to vote, except for women, or jews, or whatever.

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Private property rights and the rule of law is what seperate this country from say Somalia.

Either they apply to all of society or they apply to none.

EXOCET

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Therefore Trev shouldn't be prepared to assualt some poor guy who just happens to be beating his dog - WHICH HE OWNS. Trev would be invading on his private property rights, which Exocet thinks we should bow down and pray to.

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