Michael Lorrey (
Wed, 05 Aug 1998 13:07:09 -0400

Wesley R. Schwein wrote:

> Whether or not female members outnumber males is immaterial & not the
> source of my hasty response. In fact I have no doubt that there are more
> women involved in animal rights, as that jives with my own experiences.
> What I began to object to is the causation you're assigning:
> "The point is that the 'Cute' factor is what sells animal rightism and
> vegetarianism (which is why many more women than men are one or the
> other)," that is, women are spinelessly vulnerable to cuteness, turning off
> any critical thinking capacity at the sight of a fuzzy nose in a cage &
> that there's no other explanation for their activism.

While one might automatically think that I made an unfounded leap to assume that women are more likely to 'spinelessly vulnerable' to cuteness, I think that the assumption that one has to be 'spinelessly vulnerable' to cuteness to allow cuteness to become a factor influencing one's empathic response to others is sexist in and of itself. The use of the term 'spinelessly vulnerable' automatically implies that it is inferior because it does not seem masculine. Just as you are accusing me of making an unfounded leap to a conclusion, you are making an equally false jump to the conclusion that one has to be 'spinelessly vulnerable' to appreciate cuteness.

I make no sexist judgement about an individual's empathic response outside of the claims of feminists that women are in fact more empathic, I just beleive that since a) there is absolutely no proof or evidence of sentience amongst any animals besides humans (except perhaps dolphins and some of the great apes) b) humans are the top predators in all land ecosystems and have been for thousands of years (and have been tops in all water ecosystems for at least the last thousand) c) it has been proven that lack of wild herd management policies which include hunting and harvesting at calculated levels causes in the long run far greater pain and suffering for more animals than is experienced under a hunting policy, that an individuals empathic response to a cute and fuzzy bunny is not a rational basis for an individuals vegetarian or animal rights beleifs, that if an individual wants to reduce pain and suffering amongst animals then they should support hunting policies.

A human being's evolved empathic response is meant for use in interpersonal relations between other human beings, however some stunted individuals who are not able to full fill their affection craving or co-dependencies with other humans tend to use animals as surrogates. This is not a behavior which has a positive evolutionary advantage for the individual.

Additionally, the attitude of animal rightists that domesticated farm animals are not 'natural' is scientifically baseless, since such animals have been evolved by their symbiosis with humans over several thousand years into the animals they are today, just as much as ants have domesticated other insects which they use to produce food for the ant larvae in the nest. Animal rightists exhibit the major failing that most true environmentalists accuse mainstream humans of: separating humanity from 'nature'. The human species is as much a part of nature as any other species, and everything it does is as much a part of natural evolution as any other species. Why is it that dams built by beavers are 'natural', while dams built by man are 'artificial'? Why are termite hills and bee hives 'natural' arcologies, while apartment buildings and cities are 'artificial'? Why are ant's domesticated insects 'natural' while cows are not? Such paradoxes expose the lie of animal rightists.

> Do you deny this implication, or do you have another explanation? I have
> little more to say on this; I'm only surprised the rest of the list let you
> get this one by.

People tend to lose their irrational knee-jerk PC responses once they've subscribed to the list long enough.

Mike Lorrey