“Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” —G.K. Chesterton
Recently, the media reported that Twitter has forbade its users from “deadnaming” those who suffer from sexual dysphoria. (That’s when you refer to “Caitlyn” Jenner as “Bruce” Jenner… you know… the name he was born with. I can assure you “Caitlyn” didn’t win the 1976 Olympic Gold Medal in the Decathlon event.)
And over Christmas, there were stories of snowflakes who believe the beloved children’s classic Christmas film, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, is “problematic.”
But this story tops them all: It was reported recently that New York City’s “Happy” the Elephant isn’t a happy elephant at all. She’s petitioning the court to be declared a human being.
Yes, folks. “Happy” is transspecies. She’s a human being trapped in the fat-shamed body of a 10,000 lb. pachyderm.
Of course, I’m being facetious. “Happy” is a dumb beast who is unaware that she is an elephant and wouldn’t recognize the word even if its mahout spelled it out for it. Elephants recognize neither our rights nor theirs and if they don’t recognize their rights, it puts the kibosh on the argument from the Left that animals have rights at all. If elephants wish to take a stand on human rights, I’d be the first man in the streets waving the “Make Elephant Love―Not Elephant War!” banner but, until that day rears its ugly head, I’m content with merely loving animals and not being in love with animals. There’s a difference. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (2415-2418) says:
The seventh commandment enjoins respect for the integrity of creation. Animals, like plants and inanimate beings, are by nature destined for the common good of past, present, and future humanity. Use of the mineral, vegetable, and animal resources of the universe cannot be divorced from respect for moral imperatives. Man’s dominion over inanimate and other living beings granted by the Creator is not absolute; it is limited by concern for the quality of life of his neighbor, including generations to come; it requires a religious respect for the integrity of creation.
Animals are God’s creatures. He surrounds them with His providential care. By their mere existence they bless Him and give Him glory. Thus men owe them kindness.
God entrusted animals to the stewardship of those whom He created in His own image. Hence it is legitimate to use animals for food and clothing. They may be domesticated to help man in His work and leisure. Medical and scientific experimentation on animals is a morally acceptable practice, if it remains within reasonable limits and contributes to caring for or saving human lives.
It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly.
In other words, animals don’t have rights. However, as the ruling species in this universe, we are pressed by God with noblesse oblige. To be truly and thoroughly human and graced with the dignity God bestows upon us, we must never abuse other creatures for the sake of abuse. In other words, killing a buffalo to eat is perfectly fine. Killing it to test the sights on your rifle is horrifyingly abusive.
But the idea of “animal rights” is merely anthropomorphizing
Naming a creature, either “Happy” the Elephant or “Harambe” the Gorilla, in no way gives creatures rights any more than it bestows upon them the ability to self-reflect — and self-reflection is one of the most important differences between humans and lower animals. Lower animals can’t step outside of themselves and consider things from a different perspective―otherwise, they wouldn’t be killing each other food. They can’t contemplate their own existence or mortality or develop a morality let alone live a virtuous life. Further, they can’t dialogue with their internal selves as they don’t have an internal self. They can’t understand their lives has a purpose other than eating, defecating, procreation and running away from that predator who has it in its sites.
Humans employ technology to improve their lives and the world around them. Just because a beaver makes a dam or a bird makes a nest doesn’t mean they do so purposefully. It’s just instinct. If instincts guided humans the way they do beavers and birds, then all human beings would be great architects. Instead, we use reason and logic to adapt to our planet’s ecosystems. To be clear, reason, logic and math weren’t invented by humans ― we discovered them. As such is the case, what or Who programmed them into us? Nature is rarely so insightful.
One shouldn’t confuse one’s anthropomorphized “feelings” projected onto animals. Feelings aren’t facts, no matter how strongly held those feelings are. In other words, nothing becomes true just because one wills it.
If animals have rights why do animal rightists ignore the slaughter of innocent herbivores at the teeth of vicious carnivores in the wild? (Go team!) The unintelligible excuse, “They have to kill!” isn’t cutting it with me. Or should I say, “That dog won’t hunt.” (Go team!)
This animal rights nonsense will all blow over soon enough only to be replaced by yet another form of insanity. Either way, I take solace in St. Thomas Aquinas when he reminds us:
The Church has ever proved indestructible. Her persecutors have failed to destroy her. In fact, it was during times of persecution that the Church grew more and more; while the persecutors themselves, and those whom the Church would destroy, are the very ones who came to nothing.