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A R G V M E N T U M E P I S T O L Æ [Latin for, "Letter of Argument"]

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  • Rev. Uncle Bananahead
    Here are some excellent responses to the common defenses of non-human animal exploitation. En Guarde!!: Attack: If we give respect or rights to animals we
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 4, 2002
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      Here are some excellent responses to the common
      defenses of non-human animal exploitation.

      En Guarde!!:

      Attack: "If we give respect or rights to animals we
      will diminish our own rights and respect for humans."

      Response: a) Sumer, one of the earliest and most
      powerful of the ancient Mesopotamian city-states,
      managed its slaves the same way it managed its
      livestock. The Sumerians castrated the males and put
      them to work like domesticated animals, and they put
      the females in work and breeding camps. The Sumerian
      word for castrated slave boys--amar-kud--is the same
      word the Sumerians used for young castrated donkeys,
      horses, and oxen."
      --from Chapter 1 Charles Patterson's Eternal
      Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust

      Response: b)"Although the purpose of the German
      killing centers was the extermination of human beings,
      they operated in the larger context of society's
      exploitation and slaughter of animals, which to some
      extent they mirrored. The Germans did not stop
      slaughtering animals when they took up slaughtering
      people. Auschwitz, which its commandant Rudolf Hoss
      called "the largest human slaughterhouse that history
      had ever known," had its own slaughterhouse and
      butcher's shop. The other death camps likewise kept
      their personnel well supplied with animal flesh.
      Sobibor had a cow shed, pigpen, and henhouse, which
      were next to the entrance to the tube that took Jews
      to the gas chambers, while Treblinka had a stable,
      pigpen, and henhouse located near the camp barracks of
      the Ukrainian auxiliaries.-from Charles Patterson's
      Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the
      Holocaust Chapter 5

      Attack: "You support animal rights, therefore you must
      support blowing up buildings."

      response: a) it appears you are in need of taking a
      logic class.

      response: b) you support human rights? therefore you
      must support the actions of John Brown, slavery
      abolitionist who killed pro-slavery people.

      response: c) Last I checked, it is the people who
      support wars against unarmed civilians who support
      blowing up buildings.

      Attack: "If animals have rights, then they must be
      able to have the same rights as us, such as voting /If
      we give animals rights, we must give plants and all
      other organisms rights too"

      Response: a) Sure--and if we can do that then fine.
      But if we are unable to give rights to all
      lifeforms--it doesnt mean we should just give up and
      not give rights to any. If we say that--then one could
      decide they only care about people within their own
      race/religion/gender/age group/economic status. Some
      people already do it anyway....

      Attack: "Only humans can form moral contracts with
      other humans-since we cannot make social/moral
      ontracts with other species, we should not care about
      how we treat them."

      Response: a) Why does a moral contract have to be
      reciprocal? We make special arrangements for infants,
      and humans that are mentally challenged-without
      requiring that they "return the favor." Why should
      other species be treated to a different standard?

      Response b) We can and do have social and moral
      contracts with other species. We know that if an
      animal, its offspring, or its territory is threatened,
      or it is hungry, we can expect it to react
      accordingly. That is a social contract. By contrast,
      there are humans who make moral and social contracts
      with other humans-and then break them. And yet we do
      not turn them into laboratory fodder.

      Response c) If this argument is applied fairly and
      equally to a human rights scenario, then it would have
      significant consequences for humans that are either
      children, or are stricken with brain damage, mental
      illness, or some disease which prevents them from
      making a social/moral contract with others. By the
      logic of this argument- these humans could be
      exploited for medical research.

      Attack: "What about grizzly bears? They eat other
      species, shouldn't we do something to stop that?"

      Response: a) that defies the whole meaning of animal
      rights. humans do not need to hold a paternalism over
      the actions of other animals.

      Response: b) if there were over 6 billion grizzly
      bears who didn't need the fish to survive, then maybe
      they would need to decide what to do about it, but
      that isn' t any of our business as humans.

      Response: c) oh yeah--and while you' re at it--better
      stop spiders from eating flies and flies from eating
      smaller bugs and bacteria from eating other
      bacteria..get back to me when you figure out how to
      police them--until then we better stick to what we can
      do--policing ourselves.

      Response: d) other species do things to survive...they
      may do things we don't feel are consistent with our
      ethics--but we have ethics to control our
      behavior--other species are able to function without
      the types of ethical systems we propose. They don't
      have the
      option to not kill if they wish to survive. But they
      don't go around killing other species for oil, money,
      religion etc... when they do--they can deal with their
      ethical conduct--until then--humans are the species we
      have to worry about.

      Response: e) this argument tries to say that if some
      group is exempt from the same moral conduct that is
      expected of humans--then they should be excluded from
      any rights to protection or respect. By this logic
      children, the mentally retarded and comatose people do
      not deserve rights to protection since they cannot
      reason and formulate ethical positions like adult
      humans can.

      Attack: Animal activists drive on roads that caused
      animals to lose their lives and live in homes that
      have caused animals to lose their lives."

      Response: a) No one is perfect. Alot of humans were
      killed through wars to build one's country--whether
      you live in Europe or North America or Asia. No one
      tells a human rights activist he must rocket himself
      to a desert island in order to be against human
      exploitation--therefore the same is true for animal

      Response: b) Thousands of people are killed by
      automobiles each year. If you are in favor of human
      rights--do you refrain from driving?

      Attack: "You may think you avoid all unnecessary
      suffering, but how many animals died in the fields to
      grow your plants for food?"

      Response: a) Don't know--but it is a lot less than the
      number that were killed in the fields to grow the food
      used to feed the cattle you eat.

      Response: b) That's an ad hominem attack. Instead of
      addressing the issue you are attacking me for any
      faults I may have. It is a separate issue but you cite
      it to divert attention from your own wrongdoing.

      Response: c) There are ways to provide food without
      causing as much harm to other life---eating meat is
      far more destructive.

      Response: d) So what are you saying? We should eat raw
      minerals? You start. Here's a rock--bite it.

      Response: e) Oh I see--so since we cannot avoid all
      suffering we should just let people eat meat, hunt,
      fish, use animals in rodeos, research etc. But why
      stop there? Why not let people kill each other,
      enslave other humans, abuse children. They are doing
      it anyway and since suffering cannot be avoided
      completely why bother to try at all? RIGHT?

      Attack: "What if you were attacked by a bear? Would
      you let the bear kill you? If you wouldn't-and you
      kill the bear--then you can't be for animal rights."

      Response: a) If i enter known bear territory than it
      is up to me to know better. But assuming it was
      unavoidable, defending yourself is a matter of self
      interest. If you commit an act in self interest it
      does not mean you are against the rights of others.

      Response: b) If a civil/human rights activist is
      attacked by a thief--and he defends himself, does that
      mean he is against civil/human rights?

      Attack: "other species are not bound by the same rules
      as humans("lions eat gazelles so why should we respect
      either the gazelles or the lions?") and are not
      capable of reciprocal morality("we are supposed to
      respect them but they don't respect us")..

      Response: a) But some of the mentally retarded,
      mentally deranged, or children are not conscious of
      the meaning of rights and yet they are given them
      without conditions. We don't expect reciprocal
      morality from them, so why from non human animals?
      Lions and other predators need to eat meat to survive.
      Humans don't. Furthermore, lions and other large
      predators base their aggression on survival interests.
      If they don't feel threatened or aren't defending
      territory or aren't hungry--they don't attack. In that
      sense--there is an "ethical conduct" to how other
      species behave, and unlike some humans, they don't
      make promises they have no intention of keeping


      Attack: "If we stopped testing on animals the products
      would be unsafe for humans."

      Response: a) Even with animal testing the products are
      not always safe for humans. In fact, there are drugs
      and treatments tested on animals that have proven
      unsafe for humans(i.e. Thalidomide).

      Response: b) Human testing is essential for human
      drugs etc. You can take the animal out of medical
      research but not the human--if you doubt that, then
      lets see you volunteer to test a drug that had only
      been tested on non human animals?

      Response: c) Animals used in experiments become so
      stressed that their blood chemistry changes,
      invalidating the science.

      Attack: "If your child was ill, would you sacrifice
      the life of a rat in medical research to save it?"

      Response: a) This hypothetical argument implies that
      since the activist would most likely choose the life
      of their child over that of a rat---then they are
      endorsing the principle behind vivisection whether
      they admit it or not. If they say no, then they do not
      love their child and are a terrible parent. The first
      error with this is the unrealistic nature of the
      hypothetical situation. Can a cure for an illness be
      attained by killing one rat, without any human
      clinical trials? Of course not. Such a scenario is an
      oversimplification intended to force the validity of
      animal research and portray the vivisector as someone
      capable of making miraculous treatments if only he/she
      is allowed to exploit animals as they wish. It also
      perverts the nature of altruism and compassion by
      suggesting that one must prioritize the recipients of
      such altruism and compassion.

      Response: b) If your child was sick, would you
      sacrifice the life of your neighbor's child in medical
      research to save it?" If you say no, then you
      obviously don't love your child as much as you may
      claim to, especially since you know that the chances
      for a treatment are greatly increased by using
      humans--and wouldn't you want only the best for your

      Attack: "If we weren't using animals in research we
      wouldn't be able to find cures for diseases and
      cancers./Animal research is necessary if we hope to
      cure diseases and help sick children."

      Response: a) Saying animal research is necessary in
      order to cure human diseases makes as much sense as
      saying that one needs to conduct research on humans in
      order to cure rat diseases (there would almost seem to
      be a Neo-Darwinian myth at work, that by testing on so
      called "simpler" animals one can move up the
      "Evolutionary ladder" until you reach the complexity
      of human beings). You can remove the animal from
      medical research but you still need humans in
      research. If you wanted to cure leukemia in
      cats--working on dogs would not help much.

      Response: b) if that's the case why havent we cured
      the common cold? Humans have been experimenting on
      animals non stop for at least 150 years and yet we are
      still plagued by diseases. new ones surface and old
      ones become drug resistant. So much for success
      through animal research.

      Response: c) Animals used in experiments become so
      stressed that their blood chemistry changes,
      invalidating the science.

      Attack: "Would you accept a medical treatment that had
      been tested on animals if you got sick?"

      Response: a) This attack is flawed because it implies
      that if an animal activist would use a medical
      treatment that had been tested on animals then the
      activist is guilty of hypocrisy: contradicting his/her
      argument, and must either refuse any future medical
      treatment, or abandon the animal rights cause. The
      activist is pressured to be a moral perfectionist
      before endorsing animal rights---and since perfection
      is not possible--then it alleged the animal rights
      agenda is a false one. This attack draws an
      unrealistic connection between the present act of
      vivisection, and the already existing products of that
      vivisection. In order for the animal activist to be
      guilty of hypocrisy, he or she would have to
      consciously participate in or endorse the present and
      future activities of vivisectors, not the medical
      treatments that resulted (in part) from policies that
      included animal experimentation (i.e. saying they are
      against vivisection, then paying a researcher to do
      it). The activist could counter-argue that since the
      research was already done, it might as well be
      utilized so the animals did not "die in vain." It also
      makes an unrealistic demand upon the activist--to
      remove him/herself from a world where all governments
      engage in some form of exploitation (or have
      connections to those that do) before beginning to make
      protests and arguments that seek change.

      Response: b)This argument reveals how vivisectors
      attempt to make the recipient of their works feel
      guilty because he/she benefited from their research.
      It perverts the altruism of the medical profession by
      tainting the recipient with the tag of a conspirator!

      Response: c) If this "moral perfection first" approach
      is applied fairly and equally to human-related
      issues-it has the following consequences for the
      animal research proponent: Any patient who benefits
      from a procedure that was based upon the human
      experiments of the Nazis, effectively endorses those
      atrocities committed, and cannot declare otherwise (In
      1989 concentration camp survivors attempted to get
      Nazi research destroyed--but were rebuked by the
      medical establishment which argued the research could
      be employed for the greater good). An organ recipient,
      who receives a transplant from a victim of a car
      wreck, or shooting, cannot claim to be against such
      tragedies, since he/she benefited from such incidents.
      Furthermore, a Chinese student living in Bejing, could
      not protest for democratic reforms since he receives
      his food, shelter, and financial support through
      agencies of the government he is attacking. And
      someone in North America could not claim to be for
      Indian rights--unless they remove themselves from
      their present dwelling and let aboriginals move in. No
      one could protest, or seek to make reforms for any
      social cause unless they first removed themselves from
      all imperfections. Since it is impossible--all
      attempts to make the world a better place would have
      to be abandoned. In trying to portray the animal
      activist as a hypocrite, the animal research defender
      puts forth an ethical standard which they do not apply
      fairly and equally to themselves--thus revealing who
      the actual hypocrites are.

      Attack: "Animal research is justified because of the
      benefits (to human health, happiness, knowledge,
      progress, science, companion animals, wildlife, etc)."

      Response: a) Its basic problem is that it is stating
      the INTENT of the Animal research, not a moral
      /ethical DEFENSE of it. "Why are you torturing animals
      to death?" Answer: "Because we hope to benefit from
      it." A casual observer would hope that they benefit
      from it, or why else would they be doing it? This
      argument is nothing more than an appeal to

      Response: b) A thief steals because of the benefits to
      him or others. A rapist rapes because of the benefits.
      If the rapist defended his act by pointing out that
      others could benefit by taking items from the
      unconscious victim's house, would that justify the
      rape? If one accepts "benefits" as a justification for
      animal research, and applies it fairly and equally to
      human relationships, then it allows anyone to commit
      an act on the basis of the perceived benefits to the
      perpetrator or others--whether the victim is human or

      Attack: "vivisection is justified because humans can
      subdue and control other creatures for whatever
      purpose we wish."

      Response: a) This approach would attempt to suggest
      that humans are following the "law of Nature." The act
      of vivisection is seen as being no different than a
      lion chasing down a gazelle. The proponent may even
      concede that if an alien race were to do the same
      thing to humans it would be justifiable. The first
      problem with this approach is that it suggests
      vivisection serves a natural purpose, similar to the
      act of killing for food. Yet the act of killing for
      food is a primordial instinctive need shared by all
      life, while only a small number of modern humans
      engage in the practice of vivisection. It also
      conveniently ignores the harsh reality of life and
      death. One could counter-argue that disease exists to
      control population-a thoroughly natural process--and
      that the vivisectionist is deliberately obstructing
      that process by attempting to prolong human
      life-spans. What about the impact on food and natural
      resources? A vivisector would probably answer that the
      solution lies in more research, colonizing space, etc.
      Nevertheless, the claim that vivisection is a natural
      process in harmony with the realities of life can be
      strongly protested.

      Response: b) Despite the concession made for
      extraterrestrial exploitation, one does not need to go
      so far out to discover the consequences of such a
      philosophical position. By "survival of the fittest,"
      one could then justify killing or enslaving his/her
      next door neighbor. The philosophy ordains that if
      they can do it, then they are justified. A thief,
      murderer, rapist, --practitioners of any of these
      professions would find the vivisector's reasoning to
      be very useful.

      Attack: "If you could save countless human lives by
      xenotransplantation (genetically engineering non-human
      animals to harvest their organs for humans), isn't
      that for the greater good? I mean, people eat those
      species every day anyway."

      Response: a) Since eating meat is
      unnecessary--exploiting them for animal research and
      genetic engineering is compounding one injustice with
      another. It is like saying "well, since we are
      planning to kill this guy--there is nothing wrong with
      us torturing and robbing him first.


      Attack: "Bullfights are good because they give the
      meat of the bull to the poor."
      Response: a) Then why were matadors protesting that
      they couldnt SELL the meat after the Mad Cow/foot and
      mouth disease crisis?

      Response: b) Citing a positive benefit of an act does
      not cancel out the negative. Bullfights are cruel. To
      say they are good because they give the meat to the
      poor would be like justifying a murder/robbery by
      saying the bandits gave some of the spoils to the
      needy. Al Capone opened the first soup kitchens in
      Chicago--using the proceeds of crime, does this mean
      that loan sharking and murder used to finance that
      charity were good?

      Response: c) if bullfighters do it for the charity,
      then they should be growing veggies to give to the


      Attack: "One cannot say that humans and non humans are
      equal and also say that humans and non humans are not
      bound by the same rules and code of moral conduct. If
      humans have to respect the rights of deer then so
      should lions."

      Response: a) This is assumed to be a fallacy in
      Definition: Conflicting Conditions--that they cannot
      be equal and unequal at the same time. This confuses
      two different definitions of "equality." The first
      definition is that non humans and humans are equal
      regardless of their differences(the "Martin Luther
      King jr." sense of the word: "All men are created
      equal." ). The second definition is not a value
      judgement, but an observation of the fact that
      everyone has different attributes. The animal rights
      proponent stresses equality in value while
      acknowledging inequality in attribute. There is no
      conflicting conditions. Other species are equal to
      humans in value, but they do not possess the
      attributes to think and behave the way humans do--just
      as the mentally retarded or children do not have the
      same attributes but are afforded equal moral
      protection and ethical regard.

      Response: b) We say a man with arms and a man without
      arms are equal in worth, but we don't say because they
      have different abilities that the one with arms
      deserves more "rights" than the other. By the logic of
      this attack, in order for all humans to be granted
      equal rights and respect, they would have to possess
      the same attributes (mentally, physically etc).


      Attack: "Fish don't have nerves in their mouths or
      feelings in their lips."

      Response: a) The hook still causes damage to the
      fish's body. It can lead to infection (if the fish is
      being thrown back in the water).

      Response: b) Slave traders said the same thing about
      negro slaves--they don't feel pain like we do. You
      can't prove it as a 100 percent certainty that they
      don't feel discomfort/pain and science may not have
      figured out how to measure it. Better to be safe than

      Response: c) Yeah but they sure look uncomfortable
      when they are being dragged from the water. So are
      they trying to dance when they are flipping around on
      a hook?

      Response: d) So if someone doesn't feel pain we should
      do what they want to them? Good because there are some
      comatose people at the hospital that would look mighty
      good preserved over my fireplace mantle.

      Response e) Fish have nerve endings near the skin
      which are very similar to those of humans and other
      mammals. We all have receptor cells (called
      nociceptors) near the skin, which are stimulated by
      events severe enough to cause damage to body tissues.
      The lips and mouth of fish are particularly well
      supplied with nerve endings.
      --Fish produce the same pain-transmitting chemicals as
      humans. There are two main chemicals involved. When a
      nerve ending is damaged, a substance called bradykinin
      is released. This causes the nerve cell to fire,
      sending an electrical impulse along the nerve. When
      bradykinin is released near the skin, a second
      chemical, called substance P, is released near the
      spinal cord.
      --Both substances are known to be involved in
      transmitting pain. For example, if bradykinin is
      injected in humans, it causes intense pain, even if a
      local anaesthetic is used. Both bradykinin and
      substance P are found in mammals, birds, frogs and
      --Fish produce the same pain-blocking substances as
      humans. When in severe pain, humans and other
      vertebrates (animals with backbones)
      produce pain-killing chemicals called endorphins.
      These endorphins block pain by stopping the release of
      substance P.
      (from an article titled "Fish Feel Pain" from the
      November to January issue of "Animals Today" magazine

      Response f) "Fish constitute the greatest source of
      confused thinking and inconsistency on earth at the
      moment with respect to pain. You will get people very
      excited about dolphins because they are mammals, and
      about horses and dogs, if they are not treated
      properly. At the same time you will have fishing
      competitions on the River Murray at which thousands of
      people snare fish with hooks and allow them to
      asphyxiate on the banks, which is a fairly
      uncomfortable and miserable death". (The Advertiser,
      Professor Bill Runciman, professor of anaesthesia and
      intensive care at Adelaide University, Australia)
      Response g) "I undertook a ... search on pain felt by
      fish. I discovered that not only do fish feel the same
      pain as cats and dogs and humans but they are also
      highly intelligent. On the beach the other day I saw
      several fishermen with their dogs. I wanted to explain
      to them that the fish they were hooking felt the same
      anguish as would their dogs caught in the same way.
      Likewise when I went to New Foundland to talk to the
      fishermen who clubbed the baby Harp seals to death, I
      noticed that they too had companion dogs and cats and
      canaries. The most common form of cruelty in the world
      is fishing and why? Because most people have no idea
      how sensitive and intelligent fish are". (Richard
      Jones, Member of the New South Wales Legislative
      Council). http://members.iinet.net.au/~rabbit/fish.htm

      Attack: "But wasn't Christ a fisherman?"

      Response: a) he was a carpenter by trade. He referred
      to himself as a fisher of men.

      Response: b)Fish was a well known mythical symbol
      among early christians. The greek word for fish
      (Ichthys) was used as an acronym whose initials in
      greek stood for "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior."
      Given how the early christians employed the term,
      there is therefore good historical evidence for the
      argument thay all of the "fish stories" that managed
      to get into gospels were intended to be taken
      symbolically rather than literally.


      Attack: "Humans can exploit animals because we are
      superior to animals. The reason we are superior is
      because we possess the capacity to reason."
      (variations: "When bears and ants can compose
      symphonies and fly airplanes, then I'll believe they
      have rights.\Humans have brains that can make
      computers and do math and build tall skyscrapers,
      therefore we have evolved beyond other species and are
      superior to them.")

      Response: a)not all humans possess reason as defined
      here(children, mentally retarded etc).
      Furthermore--why would reason be an absolute criteria?
      It is transitory. Arbitrary. Using reason as a
      criteria would be like saying "an apple is superior to
      a banana because its red. Red makes it superior." WHY?
      What is so great about red? It is just as relative and
      as arbitrary as talking about skin color. If you say
      reason is great because it allows us to build tall
      buildings--why is that of absolute importance? Reason
      is only important as a human value, just as skin color
      is only important as a racial value, or a certain
      interpretation of the Judeo-Christian Bible is only
      important to particular adherents of that religious

      response: b) Human rights, like animal rights, are
      arbitrary, subjective, and non-absolute. They are both
      based on value that we as humans assign and
      administer. There is no demonstrable natural law which
      we base our ethics upon. The universe does not say:
      "Humans have special rights because they possess
      faculty x, y, z." A human does not have a universal
      right to life. If that were the case, it should be
      demonstrable in nature. We could walk safely through
      the path of an erupting volcano without so much as a
      blister. We wouldn't need police or courts if our
      "rights" were some universal truth. When one looks at
      it reasonably, humans are just as mortal as other
      species. All the fruits of our labors and intellect
      are also mortal. How can one truly say we as a species
      are superior to other species as an absolute objective
      truth? We can't. Just like a racist can't say his race
      is superior to others as an objective absolute truth,
      or a sexist, or a religious extremist etc etc.
      Therefore, to be consistent and fair, If human rights
      are good, then so are animal rights and one should
      strive to be as compassionate as possible.

      response: c) Not all humans--most in fact, do not
      compose symphonies or build skyscrapers. Does that
      mean those people are inferior to the humans that do?
      BTW--when was the last time you built a skyscraper?

      response: d)Why would reason/building
      skyscrapers/airplanes/computers etc make humans
      superior in value as a species to other species that
      are incapable of doing such acts? What makes
      skyscrapers so great and important? Buildings fall
      down, planes crash, computers break. Since all are
      subjective and transitory--where is the superiority?
      Humans only think they are superior to justify their

      Attack: "Humans can exploit animals because we are
      superior to animals. The reason we are superior is
      because we have a soul."

      Response: a) how do you prove humans have a soul and
      others don't? And even if we did--why would that make
      us superior? Its arbitrary and subjective. And a human
      of one race could say the same thing about another
      human of a different race. "Members of my race have a
      soul but members of yours don't."

      Attack: "Humans can exploit animals because we are
      superior to animals. The reason we are superior is
      because God tells us we are superior."

      Response: a) How do you prove that? And even if some
      deity in the sky said we were superior--why would it
      matter? Why would that being's judgement be absolute?
      Someone else can say "My god says my group is superior
      to this other group." How do you refute that with this
      "God says so" defense? How do you prove that your god
      is making the "true" commandment? How do you
      demonstrate this to others? The very same approach
      could be used to justify discriminating against OTHER
      HUMANS. To say humans are superior as a species to
      other lifeforms without being able to justify it as an
      absolute certainty--anyone can discriminate according
      to whatever religious belief they hold.

      Response: b)The greatest problem with spiritual
      humanism is the lack of certainty inherent in the
      belief. One can doubt the existence and nature of the
      deity, doubt the uniqueness and importance of the
      qualities cited as making one worthy of special
      treatment, and doubt human possession of them (and
      doubt the claim that other life forms do not possess

      Response: b) claiming that humans are superior
      according to a spiritual form of humanism is neither
      concrete nor conclusive. One is free to believe
      anything--and by this ideology one could modify the
      human superiority argument to assert with equal weight
      that some humans are superior to other HUMANS
      according to the dictates of their particular deity.
      The dispute is endless.

      Attack: "Humans can exploit animals because we are
      superior to animals. The reason we are superior is
      because Nature tells us we are superior." (variations:
      "We are highest on the food chain and always have
      been." )

      Response: a) Secular humanism can also be challenged
      by doubt. One can question the importance of free
      will, reason, or the evolutionary law being cited as
      fact. Why are these qualities important? If one
      acknowledges that death is the ultimate end of all
      life, humans included, then why the emphasis on
      something so transitory? One can question the notion
      that humans are rational--simply by reading out loud
      the harrowing stories on war and crime from the front
      page of any daily newspaper. One can argue that humans
      enslave, torture, kill, while no other species on
      earth can not even come close to exhibiting such a
      level of barbarism. Every criterion that humans cite
      as evidence of their superiority can be examined to
      not only negate the claim--but demonstrate the
      OPPOSITE with greater success. Altruism, tool making,
      parental nurturing...these qualities once thought to
      be exclusively human have been observed in wildlife.

      Response: b) One can argue that humans enslave,
      torture, kill, while no other species on earth can not
      even come close to exhibiting such a level of
      barbarism. Every criterion that humans cite as
      evidence of their superiority can be examined to not
      only negate the claim--but demonstrate the OPPOSITE
      with greater success. Altruism, tool making, parental
      nurturing...these qualities once thought to be
      exclusively human have been observed in wildlife.

      Response: c) Then there is the issue that humans are
      worth more according to some natural law. The
      ludicrousness of this belief can be easily exposed by
      simple observation. If a volcano erupts--does the lava
      flow destroy all in its path--but conveniently spare
      human life since it is a universal fact that they are
      special and not to be harmed? If a human is adrift in
      the ocean, and approached by a shark--do the jaws of
      the predatory fish lock up in paralyses when it
      attempts to bite the man? If the claim that "human
      life is superior to other life forms" was an absolute,
      universal fact and truth in nature--then how does one
      explain that humans appear to be subject to the same
      violence and mortality that applies to other life? One
      can't, because humans are not superior according to
      any criteria that are cited to prove it--all examples
      are arbitrary, subjective and non-absolute.

      Response: d) Even the claim that humans should not
      enslave and kill other humans is easily challenged by
      observing the state of human relations over the last
      10 000 years. Arguing that something is absolute and
      objective carries a very heavy burden of proof.
      Anthropocentrism is nothing more than human beings
      setting the standard and value system by which a life
      is to be viewed as special and worthy-a standard that
      conveniently places themselves at the top of the value
      system--all the while ignoring the fragile foundation
      that supports it. Racist and sexist doctrine does the
      same thing.


      Attack: "If we weren't hunting deer they would
      overpopulate and start dying horrible deaths because
      of the lack of food"

      Response: a) If there is lack of food the animal
      population will not grow as much. If there is less
      food there are going to be less animals.

      response: b) humans have overpopulated many areas of
      the earth which has resulted in lack of food and poor
      living conditions, yet we do not hunt and execute

      response: c) In recent years, deer populations have
      increased to numbers unsupportable by wildlife habitat
      alone. Many researchers believe that this increase
      results from continued human incursion into deer
      habitat, and the mismanagement of deer populations by
      forest and wildlife authorities who see hunting as the
      primary means of population control. Wildlife and land
      management agencies purport to effectively limit deer
      populations to numbers sustainable by their natural
      habitat. In reality, the policies of such agencies
      exacerbate deer overpopulation, serving only to
      provide a population large enough to suit sport
      hunters. The overpopulation of deer stems not only
      from the specific mismanagement of deer populations,
      but from the mismanagement of our forestlands and
      natural areas. Currently, there are approximately
      eight does for every buck in the wild. Laws restrict
      the number of does that hunters may kill. Deer do not
      have monogamous mating relationships, and bucks will
      often mate with more than one female. As a result, the
      ratio of does to bucks sets the stage for a population
      explosion. Allowing hunters to kill more does,
      however, does not resolve population problems. In the
      nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the open
      hunting of does left fawns without mothers, and
      removed too many females from the breeding population.
      Sport hunting decimated deer populations in many
      states. As a result, states passed laws restricting
      the hunting of does. These policies have contributed
      to the overpopulation of deer.

      response: d) Hunting does remove some animals from the
      population, but it does not keep deer populations at a
      continually reduced level. Immediately after a hunt,
      the remaining animals flourish because less
      competition for food exists, allowing the remaining
      animals to live healthier lives, and resulting in a
      higher reproductive rate. Left alone by humans, the
      ratio of does to bucks would be approximately equal.
      In Defense of Animals believes that sport hunting is
      not only an ineffective wildlife management tool, but
      a cruel and unnecessary practice. Sport hunting should
      be banned, allowing deer populations to regulate
      themselves naturally.

      Attack: a) "A lot of people say let the deer's natural
      predators kill them, We are just that."

      Response a) Put a hungry toddler in a room with an
      apple and a hamster. If the toddler eats the hamster
      and plays with the apple, then humans are natural
      predators. (Repeat experiment with young cat for

      Response: b) If we were the natural predators of deer
      we should be able to run down and catch and devour a
      deer with only our teeth and hands--just like a lion
      does. If we didn't use tools--we would be the prey!

      Attack: "Native peoples hunt and fish and trap, are
      you going to say it is wrong for them to do it?"

      response: a) yes, but we are not talking about native
      peoples, we are talking about people who can easily
      give up the eating of animals --like you.

      response: b) some people in desperate situations kill
      other people and steal from them to survive, are you
      saying that's right?

      response: c) anthropological excavations of many sites
      all around the world have shown that native people
      actually survived primarily (over 70%) on foraging,
      not hunting. and in any case, it is no longer
      necessary for their survival to hunt and fish.

      response: d) If they are human beings then they should
      live according to the same ethical principles as any
      other human. No one can justify causing unnecessary
      harm to others by citing tradition or racial

      Response: e) Modern tribal peoples(at least in North
      America) use guns, electronics, industrial textiles
      and often sell their products to westerners. They
      would be hypocritical to say that they are living
      traditionally--when they are using modern technology.
      If they are willing to give up the tradition of
      carving spears--than they should be willing to give up
      the tradition of cruelty.

      Response: f) Some native tribes like the Makah also
      kept human slaves. Others practiced human sacrifice.
      Should they be allowed to re-adopt those practices
      too? (note: especially useful in countering tribal
      whale hunt arguments).


      Attack: "Everyone eats meat, so why shouldn't I?"

      response: a) if everyone jumped off a cliff would you?

      response: b) don't give into peer pressure!

      response: c) if everyone thinks like that then we will
      never make any ethical progress on this world!

      response: d) so you believe that you should hold
      yourself to the lowest common ethical standard

      Attack: "People from 3rd world countries have to eat
      meat to survive and what about the people in

      Response: a) People in Third world country do not need
      to eat meat to survive. The grain and water used to
      feed livestock could easily be used to feed many times
      the population according to a vegetarian diet. As for
      people in colder climates--if they can import guns,
      clothing, electronics, computers etc, then they can
      import vegetarian food. After all, people in colder
      climates, unlike real natives of the colder
      regions--polar bears, penguins, arctic wolves, need
      artificial means to survive--without it--they would
      perish. So relying on vegetable and fruit imports is
      no big sacrifice if one wants to be compassionate and

      Attack: "If everyone stopped eating meat(and/or dairy
      products), then one would get all scrawny just eating
      a diet of vegetables."

      Response: a)do I LOOK like i am starving?

      Response: b)name 4 sources of calcium OTHER than dairy
      products." (i love this one. most people can't

      Response: c)any idea why the USA has one of the
      highest percentages of dairy consumption AND

      Response: d) Okay great! I have a vegetarian
      bodybuilder I want to arrange a death match with you.
      I might as well get rich off your stupidity.

      Attack: "If everyone stopped eating meat, then what
      would we do with all the animals? We would be overrun
      by them."

      Response: a) Everyone wouldn't stop eating animals at
      once. As demand drops off, so will breeding and
      raising of animals intended for consumption. We are
      breeding them at this rate, this is not their natural
      rate of population growth.

      Attack: "If everyone stopped eating meat, then the
      species would go extinct without us breeding them for

      response: a)people are not going to stop eating
      animals all at once, it will most likely be a gradual
      reduction. There will also probably be a few people
      who will still keep them as companion animals.

      response: b) so? if they did go extinct it wouldn't
      hurt anything. They have been breed over the years to
      be something other than what their indigenous species
      originally was and all they are doing right now is
      causing erosion and pollution to the environment.

      response: c) if the only way to keep your family
      lineage intact was to put you in extremely poor living
      conditions, force breed you, eat you, and then steal
      your children and put them through the same cycle,
      wouldn't you rather go extinct?

      response: d) They existed in the wild before they were
      domesticated for human consumption..

      Attack: "All the food charts, school cafeterias; our
      whole culture makes it appear that meat and dairy are
      natural and nutritious foods for you, why would
      everyone be wrong?"

      response: a) have you ever looked at who sponsors
      those food charts? (psst! the meat and dairy

      Attack: "Humans are predators, if we were to eat
      veggies our eyes wouldn't be as such. We would be more
      like deer or turkeys with our eyes on the sides of our
      heads to watch for danger."

      Response: a) gorillas are vegetarians and they have
      97.7% human DNA. Likewise, chimpanzees have 98.4%
      human DNA and are primarily vegetarian. (Humans and
      chimpanzees are more closely genetically related than
      an African elephant is to an Asian elephant).
      Chimpanzee and gorilla's eyes are not on the sides of
      their heads.

      response: b) when we have fangs, prehensile tails, and
      claws we can continue this conversation.

      response: c) so, I have the means to kill you, but I
      am not going to.

      response: d) set a hungry toddler down next to an
      apple and a hamster. if he/she eats the hamster and
      ignores the apple, then we can talk.

      response: e) my fists have the ability to punch people
      but that doesn't mean I should go around doing that.

      response: f) so what does that make me?

      response: g)Comparitive anatomy of humans: by Milton
      R. Mills, M.D. In conclusion, we see that human beings
      have the gastrointestinal tract structure of a
      "committed" herbivore. Humankind does not show the
      mixed structural features one expects and finds in
      anatomical omnivores such as bears and raccoons. Thus,
      from comparing the gastrointestinal tract of humans to
      that of carnivores, herbivores and omnivores we must
      conclude that humankind's GI tract is designed for a
      purely plant-food diet. Facial Muscles Carnivore:
      Reduced to allow wide mouth gape; Herbivore:
      Well-developed; Omnivore: Reduced; Human:
      Well-developed Jaw Type Carnivore: Angle not expanded;
      Herbivore: Expanded angle; Omnivore: Angle not
      expanded; Human: Expanded angle Jaw Joint Location
      Carnivore: On same plane as molar teeth; Herbivore:
      Above the plane of the molars; Omnivore: On same plane
      as molar teeth; Human: Above the plane of the molars;
      * Jaw Motion Carnivore: Shearing; minimal side-to-side
      motion; Herbivore: No shear; good side-to-side,
      front-to-back; Omnivore: Shearing; minimal
      side-to-side; Human: No shear; good side-to-side,
      front-to-back Major Jaw Muscles Carnivore: Temporalis;
      Herbivore: Masseter and pterygoids; Omnivore:
      Temporalis; Human: Masseter and pterygoids Mouth
      Opening vs. Head Size Carnivore: Large; Herbivore:
      Small; Omnivore: Large; Human: Small; Teeth (Incisors)
      Carnivore: Short and pointed; Herbivore: Broad,
      flattened and spade shaped; Omnivore: Short and
      Human: Broad, flattened and spade shaped; Teeth
      (Canines) Carnivore: Long, sharp and curved;
      Herbivore: Dull and short or long (for defense),
      or none; Omnivore: Long, sharp and curved; Human:
      Short and blunted; Teeth (Molars) Carnivore: Sharp,
      jagged and blade shaped; Herbivore: Flattened with
      cusps vs complex surface; Omnivore: Sharp blades
      and/or flattened; Human: Flattened with nodular cusps;
      Chewing Carnivore: None; swallows food whole;
      Herbivore: Extensive chewing necessary; Omnivore:
      Swallows food whole and/or simple crushing; Human:
      Extensive chewing necessary; Saliva Carnivore: No
      digestive enzymes; Herbivore: Carbohydrate digesting
      enzymes; Omnivore: No digestive enzymes; Human:
      Carbohydrate digesting enzymes; Stomach Type
      Carnivore: Simple; Herbivore: Simple or multiple
      chambers; Omnivore: Simple; Human: Simple; Stomach
      Acidity Carnivore: Less than or equal to pH 1 with
      food in stomach; Herbivore: pH 4 to 5 with food in
      stomach; Omnivore: Less than or equal to pH 1 with
      food in stomach; Human: pH 4 to 5 with food in
      stomach; Stomach Capacity Carnivore: 60% to 70% of
      total volume of digestive tract; Herbivore: Less than
      30% of total volume of digestive tract; Omnivore: 60%
      to 70% of total volume of digestive tract; Human: 21%
      to 27% of total volume of digestive tract; Length of
      Small Intestine Carnivore: 3 to 6 times body length;
      Herbivore: 10 to more than 12 times body length;
      Omnivore: 4 to 6 times body length; Human: 10 to 11
      times body length; Colon Carnivore: Simple, short and
      smooth; Herbivore: Long, complex; may be sacculated;
      Omnivore: Simple, short and smooth; Human: Long,
      sacculated; Liver Carnivore: Can detoxify vitamin A;
      Herbivore: Cannot detoxify vitamin A; Omnivore: Can
      detoxify vitamin A; Human: Cannot detoxify vitamin A;
      Kidney Carnivore: Extremely concentrated urine
      Herbivore: Moderately concentrated urine; Omnivore:
      Extremely concentrated urine; Human: Moderately
      concentrated urine; Nails Carnivore: Sharp claws;
      Herbivore: Flattened nails or blunt hooves; Omnivore:
      Sharp claws; Human: Flattened nails;

      Response: h) Humans are predators because they choose
      to be not because they have to be.

      Response: i) From the Christian perspective God put
      our eyes just where he wants them and there they will
      I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully
      made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul
      knoweth right well. 15 My substance was not hid from
      thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought
      in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Thine eyes
      did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy
      book all my members were written, which in continuance
      were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
      (Psalm 139:14-16 14 )

      Attack: "If everyone stopped eating meat, then the
      food would be bland."

      Response: a) There are good meat substitutes on the

      response: b) the food is really anything but balnd.
      most people find that after switching to a veg diet
      their food options seem to expand because they are
      forced to try new things and their palate no longer
      revolves around the same foods in every meal. it's not
      just raw tasteless vegetables. you can still use herbs
      and spices and many sauces and pastas and
      breads....etc. Plus there are many great substitutes
      for all of your old favorites.

      Attack: "If everyone stopped eating meat, then you
      would suffer from calcium, iron, and protein

      Response: a)Certain fruits and vegetables are loaded
      with calcium.. Certain greens contain much iron. Soy
      products, and legumes provide
      ample protein plus fiber without the fat and
      response: any nutrients that you find in meat can
      easily be found in plant foods (and without all the
      fat and cholesterol). If you eat
      a variety, there is no need to worry about vitamin or
      mineral deficiencies. It has actually been found that
      americans get 2-3 times the
      protein amount that is healthy for them, and this
      extra protein overloads the body with acid. to buffer
      the acid the body takes calcium
      out of your bones. Studies have also shown that
      vegetarians have stronger bones and lower cholesterol
      than meat eaters.

      Response: c)Soldiers in the Roman Army subsisted on a
      diet made up of very plain foods. Soldiers were
      required to pay up to one third of their wages for
      their food. They ate mostly bread, perhaps porridge,
      cheese or beans with cheap wine to wash it down
      (Marks, Tingay 16). Marks, Anthony, Tingay, Graham.
      The Romans. London. Usborne Publishing Ltd., 1990.

      Response: d) "Dupont says that a soldier's diet was
      even more extremely limited. She reports that
      Legionaries ate only bread and drank only water plus a
      little vinegar when the weather was hot. It was
      considered that "bread was the only food "fit for a
      soldier, hard food for hard
      men"(Dupont 125). Dupont, Florence. Daily Life in
      Ancient Rome. Cambridge, USA. Basil Blackwell Ltd.,
      1992. Taken from: Social Position and Food in the
      Roman Empire -or- You Eat What You Are Jean Preston
      Roman Civilization Dr. Christine Renaud 2 December
      1997 "http://www.carthage.edu/outis/food.html"

      Response: e) Roman soldiers carried their grain (high
      gluten wheat) and flour grindstones with them on the
      march. At night, after their 20 mile
      daily march they would have pasta and baked bread.
      They preferred this even over meat. When they did eat
      meat they considered it
      to be "barbarian food."

      Attack: "We have been killing and eating meat for
      centuries, why should we stop now?"

      Response: a) If you use tradition as your moral
      standard it allows that human slavery, the oppression
      of women, ethnocentricity and religious based
      discrimination would be tolerated. You would need to
      show why humans are deserving of an exemption from
      this ethical standard. Why a racist or a religious
      bigot could not discriminate on the basis of race or
      religion while others could discriminate on the basis
      of species.

      Response: b) According to spiritual and secular
      mythology/belief, at one point in human history we
      were essentially vegetarian. The world's oldest known
      monotheistic religion: Zoroasterism, was a vegetarian
      religion. Theories of biological evolution suggest
      that human ancestors were plant eaters before adopting
      an omnivorous diet. Also, our teeth and intestines are
      consistent with what is known to be a herbivore

      Response: c) There are many religions that do not
      adhere to such a principle and in fact propose a
      contrary perspective:.Jainism, Buddhism, etc.
      Compassion for all life is a matter of doctrine. One
      can ask-did God create surplus compassion-or was it
      the Devil? Can one be too compassionate?

      Attack: "Other animals kill other species for food."

      Response: a) They need to eat meat to survive--humans
      do not.

      Response: b) Some species have been known to kill
      members of their own species-if you are saying it is
      okay to kill other species because a lion does it,
      then a child murderer could say we have a right to
      kill our children because lions do it too.
      Attack: "Meat tastes good and is good for you."

      Response: a) It's not good for you - cholesterol,
      saturated fat, and no fiber.

      Attack: "If everyone stopped eating meat, then people
      would lose lots of jobs."

      Response: a) A lot of people would lose jobs if people
      stopped smoking. All those tobacco farmers and
      cigarette company workers would be out of jobs. Gosh,
      I should start smoking to help the economy! "What if
      world peace were achieved tomorrow? All those poor
      soldiers and arms manufacturers and surgeons would be
      out of work. Gosh, we can't have that!"

      Attack: "What if you just ate a small amount of meat
      and you got it from an organic farm that you knew
      treated the animals relevantly well."

      response: a) well, that's better than nothing, but
      it's not the best option.

      response: b) are you doing that?

      response: c) what if slave traders only kept a few
      slaves and treated them relevantly well?

      Attack: "What if we genetically engineered animals to
      have no brains and no feelings, or grew meat in jars?
      then would it be ethical?"

      response: a) well, to get to that point there has to
      be many animal sacrifices that do have brains and
      feelings. plus, it would still be bad for your health
      and the environment (in the production of such a
      thing). also, there are many fake meats that work just
      as well and don't involve risky animal experiments.

      response: b) what if you genetically engineered humans
      to have no brains and no feelings so we could use them
      in scientific experiments? would that be ethical?

      Attack: "If we don't consider ourselves better than
      animals we will treat each other terribly."

      Response: a) So does that mean that if whites consider
      themselves superior to blacks then they would
      naturally treat whites better?

      Response: b) Tell that to Stalin and Hitler.

      Attack: "Wasn't Hitler a vegetarian?"

      Response: a) And Al Capone started the first soup
      kitchens in Chicago. I guess anyone who supports
      helping the homeless is a gangster?

      Response: b) the testimony of Hitler's personal cook
      in Hamburg during the late 1930s - Dione Lucas. In her
      "Gourmet Cooking School
      Cookbook," she records that his favorite dish - the
      one that he customarily requested - was stuffed squab
      (pigeon). "I do not mean to spoil your appetite for
      stuffed squab, but you might be interested to know
      that it was a great favorite with Mr. Hitler, who
      dined in the hotel often."

      Response: c) So was Gandhi--does that make him a war
      monger and mass murderer?

      Response: d) They say Osama Bin Laden liked hunting.
      So by your logic, every hunter is a terrorist!

      Response: e) "Otto D. Tolischus in 1937 in The New
      York Times pointed out that the Führer was a
      vegetarian who 'does not drink or smoke' but who also
      'occasionally relishes a slice of ham' along with
      delicacies such as caviar and chocolates." (Ibid.)
      Robert Proctor calls Hitler a vegetarian "of sorts"
      (The Nazi War on Cancer, p. 134) and is content to
      state that Hitler was a vegetarian who "occasionally
      would allow himself a dish of meat," (p. 135) and
      quotes The New York Times as stating that in addition
      to ham and caviar Hitler also occasionally ate squab."

      Response: f)His cook, an enormously fat man named
      Willy Kannenberg, produced exquisite meals and acted
      as court jester. Although Hitler had no fondness for
      meat except in the form of sausages and never ate
      fish, he enjoyed caviar....(The Life and Death of
      Adolph Hitler (Praeger, 1973)(p. 346)

      Response: g) Hitler's reputation for being a
      vegetarian seems to consist solely of his not having
      eaten red meat. The effort to describe Hitler's eating
      habits as vegetarian requires changing the definition
      of "vegetarian" to exclude liver, ham, and sausages
      from the list of meats, and changing the definition of
      "animal" to exclude pigs. Hitler did exhibit a
      sympathy with a vegetarian diet, but paradoxically,
      vegetarians and the vegetarian movement in Nazi
      Germany were persecuted. Vegetarian societies were
      restrained, subject to raids, and "books that
      contained vegetarian recipes were confiscated by the
      Gestapo." Janet Barkas has a good account of this
      period in German history in her book, The Vegetable
      Passion. German vegetarian societies were forced to
      leave the International Vegetarian Union; they were
      prohibited from organizing and from publishing
      material, but individuals were not molested and "could
      exchange their credit notes for meat for dairy
      products. About 83,000 vegetarians participated in
      this program."

      Response: h) Hitler and Animals Like many of his
      fellow human beings, Adolf Hitler used animal epithets
      to vilify other people. He often called his
      opponents "swine" and "dirty dogs." The Bolsheviks
      were "animals," and the Russians a "bestial people"
      and Slavic "rabbit-family" whom Stalin had molded into
      a totalitarian state. After Hitler conquered Russia,
      he wanted "the ridiculous hundred million Slavs" to
      live in "pig-pens." He called British diplomats
      "little worms," and, as for the "half-Judaized,
      half-Negrified" people of America, they "have the
      brains of a hen." Hitler had contempt for his own
      people, referring to them as "the great stupid
      mutton-herd of our sheep-like people," and when the
      defeats mounted late in the war, he blamed them for
      not having risen to the challenge. Hitler called his
      own sisters "stupid geese." Whatever deficiencies
      members of the Germanic Volk might
      possess, however, Hitler believed the Aryan/Nordic
      race was infinitely superior to the surrounding sea of
      sub-human "monstrosities between man and ape," as he
      made clear in a speech in Munich in 1927:

      "We see before us the Aryan race which is manifestly
      the bearer of all culture, the true representative of
      all humanity....Our entire industrial science is
      without exception the work of Nordics. All great
      composers from Beethoven to Richard Wagner are
      Aryans....Man owes everything that is of any
      importance to the principle of struggle and to one
      race which has carried itself forward successfully.
      Take away the Nordic Germans and nothing remains but
      the dance of apes." Charles Patterson

      Response i) Hitler was fond of dogs, especially German
      shepherds (he considered boxers "degenerate"), whom he
      liked to control and dominate. At the front during
      World War I, he befriended a white terrier, Fuchsl
      (Foxl), who had strayed across enemy lines. Later,
      when his unit had to move on and Fuchsl could not be
      found, Hitler became distraught. "I liked him so
      much," he recalled. "He only obeyed me." Hitler often
      carried a dog-
      whip and sometimes used it to beat his dog the same
      way he had seen his father beat his own dog. In the
      Fuhrer headquarters during World War II, Hitler's
      German shepherd, Blondi, offered him the closest thing
      he had to friendship. "But with his dogs, as with
      every human being he came into contact with," writes
      his biographer Ian Kershaw, "any relationship was
      based upon subordination to his mastery."

      Response: j) The reputed fondness of Hitler and other
      top Nazis for animals, especially their dogs, has been
      put into perspective by Max Horkheimer and Theodor
      Adorno. For certain authoritarian personalities, they
      write, their "love of animals" is part of the way they
      intimidate others. When industrial magnates and
      Fascist leaders want to have pets around them,
      Horkheimer and Adorno maintain, their choice falls on
      intimidating animals such as Great Danes and lion
      cubs, which are intended to add to their power through
      the terror they inspire. "The murderous Fascist
      colossus stands so blindly before nature that he sees
      animals only as a means of humiliating men," they
      write. "The Fascist's passionate interest in animals,
      nature, and children is rooted in the lust to
      persecute." While with their hand they might
      negligently stroke a child's head, or an animal's
      back, that same hand could just as easily destroy
      them. "The petting demonstrates that all are equal in
      the presence of power, that none is a being in its own
      right. A creature is merely material for the master's
      bloody purposes."

      Attack: "Do you eat meat?/What are your shoes made

      Response: a) The issue of meat eating and/or animal
      by-products is a valid and important issue in animal
      rights, but it does not have anything to do with the
      moral and ethical problems of animal research. The
      fact that an animal activist making a pro-animal
      rights/compassion argument may be inconsistent in
      those ways does not in any way detract or invalidate
      the argument on animal research. It is a separate

      Response: b) If South Africa was being criticized by
      the United States for their treatment of blacks, and
      the South African government responded by pointing out
      the United States' poor treatment of tribal
      communities within their own country, would this mean
      that the treatment of blacks by South Africa was
      morally defensible? Of course not. It would just mean
      that there are other issues that need to be addressed
      APART FROM the treatment of blacks by South Africa.

      Attack: Well you are entitled to your opinion but I am
      entitled to mine and I say---FILL IN BLANK

      Response: a) Everyone is entitled to an opinion
      (although some are more able to express one publicly
      than others) but if the opinion involves causing harm
      to others--there is usually a generally accepted
      restriction on ACTING upon such opinions. I.e. "I
      think Christians like me are superior to
      non-christians, therefore we should be able to enslave
      non believers." If it is wrong for white supremacists,
      christian supremacists, anti-gays, male chauvinists,
      etc to act upon their opinion, thus it should be the
      same for ALL forms of unfair discrimination--including
      willful discrimination against animals.

      Attack: "Why are you Vegan?"

      Response: a) Everyone is! Just some people add animal
      products to their diet.

      Response: b) Everything is! Just some foods have
      animal products added

      Response: c) I was training my dog not to beg and got
      used to the diet

      Response: d) Because god told me.

      Response: e) Because I ate part of my best friend once
      and that kind of put me off.

      Response: f) Why AREN'T you????
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