Animal rights

Mark D. Fulwiler (
Fri, 15 Jan 1999 02:48:39 -0800

I have a friend who is trying to convince me that torturing cats should be legal because once we start granting animals rights, the next thing you know we will have forced vegetarianism and roach motels will be outlawed. I fail to see this slippery slope, but he is convinced of it.

This fellow is a devotee of Miss Ayn Rand, and he tells me it took him months to understand her theory of rights. Well, it takes months to read
"Atlas Shrugged," so it isn't surprising that it takes that long to
figure out some of her philosophy. I'm not sure why he thinks I am going to understand it after a short e-mail. I suspect it took him so long to understand because like all natural rights theories it is
"nonsense on stilts," to quote Bentham, and nonsense takes a lot more
explaining than things that make sense. Rand believed in objective reality but her "rights" floating around in space waiting to be discovered, or where ever the hell they come from, are as silly as the God she did not believe in. Maybe you can find them next to Plato's
"forms" in the land of OZ, who knows. And can somebody give me a good
explanation for that weird rape scene in "The Fountainhead." Please.

At any rate, I pointed out to him that I don't give a damn about what Miss Rand thinks about the "rights" of sadistic cat torturers, but if he had a good extralegal solution to the problem of cruelty to animals , I would entertain the idea. He doesn't think people should torture cats, only that it should be legally allowed.

I have two cats, so I am a bit biased in favor of the critters.

Mark Fulwiler