"Man" and "his" used throughout to signify mankind
aka the human animal.]
COLLECTION OF THOUGHTS AND IDEALS
I believe in compassion.
|Being compassionate, being kind, to
me, is one of the highest goals we can pursue. It is my guide for
living a good life. And my circle of compassion does not stop with
people I like (nor with just people), it extends to all living creatures
and even the earth. Showing as much compassion and doing as little
harm as possible to others, to animals and to the planet.
- I believe in respect for all living things.
|I have read of native American and
African tribes who thank even the plants and grains for their sacrifice
of life in providing nourishment to man. They do not necessarily believe
these living things possess feelings and/or thoughts, but the are
simply grateful for them and acknowledging that even if it is “just
a plant,” it is dying--ceasing to exist--so that they can sustain
their own life. Zen buddhist teachings suggest that all living things
plant or animal may be sentient and deserve our respect.
believe in all the benefits of a veg'an diet--health, humane, and
I am a vegetarian. I strive to in all ways to avoid being responsible
for or causing pain, suffering or death to another living being
when I can sustain myself without inflicting such on them. I abstain
from all forms of meat and flesh (including beef, poultry, pork,
venison, rabbit, fish, crustaceans, etc.) as well as the by-products
of meat production such as gelatin-based products or cheeses made
I aspire to veganism because I worry about the harm and torment
that my drinking milk and eating eggs brings to the animals which
produce both products. I have not achieved that but work to at
least diminish my use by choosing alternating cow's milk such as
rice or soy milk and tofu in shakes and pasta dishes and by buying
only eggs from free-range/cage-free (non-factory farmed) chickens.
I still have a long way to go, but I try my best and that's all
anyone can really do.
I do not feel justified in eating anything (or anyone) that I could
not or would not be willing to harvest (kill) for myself, thus I
do not eat any animals. I do not believe in the taking of a life
or intentional/purposeful infliction of suffering unless it is not
a life-and-death situation for me. In other words, I don’t deny
that we all carry an instinct or inherent desire for self-preservation.
I acknowledge that no matter what my intellect and ethics tell me
is right or how strong my convictions may be, in a life and death
circumstance/struggle, I would probably defend myself even to the
death of another. Eating meat, however, is not a necessity for the
preservation of my life—neither in the immediate nor the long-term,
therefore, I do not feel justified in taking an animals life to
sustain my own.
As Albert Schweitzer
of such heart-breaking experiences that often shamed me there slowly
arose in me the unshakable conviction that we had the right to bring
pain and death to another being only in case of inescapable necessity,
and that all of us must feel the horror that lies in thoughtless
torturing and killing."
Animal World of Albert Schweitzer -- from his journals/writings
-- pgs 46-47 (Kindheit pp 25-26)]
FOR DOMESTICATION -
I believe that animals, which we have domesticated over the centuries,
are now are responsibility.
There will likely always be a symbiotic relationship between man
and beast—necessary for living in harmony and dictated by man’s
responsibility for the domestication (and endangering) of animals
both that share our homes and our land. This is a responsibility
I take serious, but also take with great joy. I love sharing my
home and the necessities of life with fellow creatures (especially
feline and canine) and sharing mutual affection with them.
I accept that due to man's many mistakes and overpopulation over
the years, some animals only survive in zoos or wildlife conservation
parks and that is our duty, our moral obligation, to care for those
creatures we have endangered through hunting, trapping and the expansion
of our borders (population) into their habitats. I support these
places so long as the animal's welfare, health and happiness are
the foremost priority.
MANAGEMENT & STEWARTSHIP -
I believe that we are responsible for so-called "overpopulation"
problems involving deer and other wild animals.
|It is man’s intervention—intentional
and unintentional—that has caused some areas of forest or woods to
seem overpopulated by certain specious. Man takes away their land
and hunts their predators so that the natural order becomes unnatural.
Then commercial and residential buildings are placed in and near their
habitats, roads and highways cut through them and their water sources
become polluted so that more animals must occupy smaller parcels of
land (with fewer natural population controllers in place) and so they
seem overpopulated. Then, government calls upon sharp-shooting hunters
to “cull” the herds/flocks to curb population since other methods
of population "control" are more costly.
> FUR, LEATHER, SUEDE, WOOL (et. al.) - I
believe animal skins look better on the animals, and we have no right
to harvest them for our use.
I believe that it is unnecessary to use animals—killing them and
wearing their skins—for clothing as there are a multitude of viable
alternatives available. In many, if not all, cases, the synthetic
option is a superior product. With the popularity of the Internet
and expansion of shipping companies (with worldwide territories),
there remains no excuse for not buying these alternative products.
Shopping today for those alternative products is no longer limited
to your corner store, the nearest mall or big box discount retailers
in your neighborhood. And after all, speaking with our dollars is
the best way of making our voice heard.
I am also opposed to commercially produced wool products because,
while sheep are not (necessarily) killed in the harvest of wool
(it is sheared off them), in the commercial farming settings these
sheep are often mistreated and abused to increase production and
profits while decreasing care and costs.
& TRAPPING - I believe that hunting and trapping is "passé."
|Hunting and trapping may have once
been a necessity of life, but with stores galore providing for food
and clothing needs, hunting and trapping is not necessary. It is like
having your cake and shooting it too -- meat and fashionable skins
are factory farmed for consumers which means that hunters and trappers
often participate in those activites for "sport" or "fun."
Also, with innovations and inventions over the centuries, odds are
deeply in the hunter's favor. Another problem with hunting is that
seldom takes only what he needs--man hunts excessively and often to
extinction unbalancing the natural cycle.
I believe that science and scientists should make every effort to
find alternatives to using animals in research and that they should
discontinue using animals for invasive experimentation as much
While I dream of utopia, I am still a realist at heart...I know
that it is highly unlike in the modern world to convince science
and its community that discoveries and solutions can be made and
found without animal research, therefore, I personally wish that
animals lives not be used, but I am willing to seek a compromise
-- to diminish animal use as much as possible. I have read
legimate science publications which state that the animal models
frequently used in research (for cures of human diseases) are not
appropriate or adequate in representing humans.
I absolutely do not believe in the use of animals for testing cosmetics
or household cleaners. They are, after years and years of such experiments,
uncessary. Therefore, I avoid products tested on animals (and those
by made/sold by companies that continue to test products
on animals). I realize that a great many of the products we have
now were once tested on animals. By not using products from companies
which still test on animals, I am again "voting with my dollars"
and avoid supporting them in their continuing conduct. Also, if/when
I write them about their continued use of animals in experimentation
and testing when there are viable alternatives available, I am sending
them an even more direct message that at least one consumer is not
going to support them.
ABUSE & CRUELTY
- I believe that we, as a society, should acknowledge animal abuse
— active and passive, deliberate and unintentional — and make every
effort to put a stop to it.
There are types and degrees of animal abuse and cruelty. Some forms
are deliberate, direct and/or intentional while others are indirect,
unintentional or resulting from ignorance or neglect.
Deliberate/direct abuse or cruelty is almost always easier to spot
(and rail against). It may involve companion or wild animals beaten,
shot, stabbed, strangled, or set on fire out of anger, aggression,
boredom and/or psychoses, or domestic animals factory farmed in
substandard conditions, mistreated and killed or abused for man’s
profit (and pleasure) to meet the needs of his wardrobe or appetite.
Indirect or passive abuse are often more complicent in nature such
as supporting industries which perpetrate or result in the abuse
against animals such as buying, using, wearing and/or eating animal
& PUNISHMENT - I
believe that those who abuse or neglect animals should be held criminally
responsible, and that prosecution and sentencing of same should fit
the crimes. I also believe that those who commit crimes in the name
of animals and compassion should be willing to take the consequences
of that action.
I believe that in prosecuting and sentencing those commiting crimes
against animals, the judicial and incarceration systems should offer:
- Punishment and/or correction including jail time and community
service not just probation
- Rehabilitation including psychology evaluation and (when applicable)
- Restitution and/or apologies to the victims family (when applicable)
Unfortunately the system often fails due in large part to weak
laws and slap-on-the-wrist sentencing of animal abusers.
MY HOMEWORK, or RESEARCH BEFORE REACTING
- I believe in research and thorough knowledge of a subject before
I spout off about it.
|I make every effort to verify sources
of information, addresses and contacts when I can before I write a
letter about an animal issue. Often, I mention my sources (of information)
in the letters I write, and on my website so that if called into question,
I am able to cite my source. Additionally, I make a point of locating
objective sources (outside the animal rights community) such as news
stations or papers so that the validity of facts and claims are not
called too much into question.
RESOURCES, THE ENVIRONMENT & POLLUTION - I believe we are
all connected to the earth and bound to doing whatever we can to protect
and perserve the earth.
|I do not believe in the needless waste
of valuable natural resources or preventable pollution.
FOR THE ETHICAL TREATMENT OF ANIMALS (PETA) - I
believe that most of the time PETA’s (collective) heart is in the
right place even if some of their campaigns, actions or comment are
|I think that often their methods are
extreme and come across asinine and that they often hinder the AR
movement and other organizations just as much as they help get publicity
for their own campaigns. I believe they do use some junk or non-confirmed
science and skewed historical data for their own means and many of
their leaders and PR people believe that the end justifies the means—even
if in the end animals haven’t been saved. I think an obvious indicator
of some recent errors in PR judgment (and a subsequently tarnished
image of the organization) is the resignation of former co-president
and founder, Alex Pancheo who indicated in an interview with Animal’s
Agenda that he wanted to be more hands-on in helping animals—more
directly saving lives versus campaigning.
LIBERATION FRONT (ALF)
- I believe that the original ALF "creed" and purpose was
Current behaviors by individuals acting as and claiming to espouse
ALF philosophy are doing more harm than good--to animals and to
the legitamacy of the animal rights (animal advocacy) movement.
(I also believe I will be unpopular with many animal rights activists
for this stance.)
The ORIGINAL ALF CREED as published in the book Free the Animals: The
Amazing True Story of the Animal Liberation Front written by
PETA Founder and President Ingrid Newkirk as communicated by "K",
British ALF Trainer to "Valeria" and Other ALF Trainees:
"The ALF creed prohibits any violence to life of any kind.
Locks, decapitators, electrode implanters, cages, traps are fair
game. But neither man nor mouse do we hurt. If you fancy that
kind of thing, call yourself something else, but don't come around
The problem with any non-organized and covert organization is that
anyone can act in their name whether or not they are actually following
the principal tenents of the (non-)group. At its foundation and
origin, the ALF was about respect and compassion. It was about saving
lives and causing no harm. No one, not human or non-human animals,
was to be harmed by their actions. They sought only to rescue animals.
They destroyed only those instruments of vivisection which contributed
to suffering and pain and copied research files to document
abuse of animals (and funds) they did not destroy them. The non-organization
came or evolved in the U.S. simultaneously with PETA, and in the
beginning used PETA to disseminate information and documentation
about cases involving animal abuse and neglect.
PETA founder, Alex Pancheo as a college student with high ideals
worked as a lab assistant in Springfield where monkeys were the
subject of experimentation. During his time at the lab he discovered
and documented abuse and neglect of the subject animals and thus
abuse of the funding provided by the NIH. Atrocities against these
creatures was brought to light and so-called scientists were prosecuted
by the state. When it looked like the abused creatures would be
returned to abusers, individuals dedicated to the original ALF model
of rescue came together to steal the chimps and placed them in veterinary
care and rehabilitative habitats. These animals were not released
to the wild, no one was harmed, no research/results destroyed. As
a result of this case, PETA was formed to fight for the rights of
animals as sentient beings.
That said, I believe that the ALF or those claiming to be ALF have
foresaken that original mission of rescue only. They are destructive,
dangerous and even in a way abusive. They (and their evironmental
equivalent, the Earth Liberation Front/ELF) tarnish the image of
those who would seek to stop of the suffering of animals and set
back the cause with their unlawful measures.
VS RELEASE - I
believe in rescuing animals from danger.
Rescue being “removing from danger” -- saving sentient beings (like
the severely neglected dog in the neighborhood who will die without
intervention) from torture and certain death. I believe that all
law-abiding options should be tried and exhausted before any other
actions are considered. I believe that those abusing/neglecting
animals should be given the opportunity to make the situation right
before further actions are taken. After that, if an individual is
willing to break the law to save and rescue an animal, I believe
he should be equally willing to face the consequences of that actions
as payment or restitution for the salvation he has offered that
I do not believe in the irresponsible release of animals to the
wild—be it one, ten, or thousands—which are ill-prepared to survive
and will likely negatively impact that environment further upsetting
the balance of nature. It is not beneficial to anyone, least of
all the animals. It is a merely a transference of their death sentence
from the hands of man to the elements of nature, both of which may
be slow and painful.
I do not believe throwing bricks through windows, dowsing people
with paint or ketchup, blowing up or shooting at buildings, setting
fires or violently screaming into someone’s face. That is not rescue,
that is not educational, and that is most definitely NOT productive.
My arguments are always and will always be raised, presented and
communicated in an environment promoting education, enlightenment
and mutual respect. As an advocate of animals and animal rights,
I feel that campaigns which do not promote (and demonstrate) compassion
to humans as well as animals, educate or maintain open lines of
communication are not beneficial. Campaigns which utilize humiliation
of any sentient being, promote junk science, or skew history are
far smart and enlightening. I have never believed in showy, “in-your-face”
methods of communicating my beliefs and have long believed that
letting my actions speak as loudly as my words is as important,
if not more so, to convincing others that message is valid.
is a draft version written straight from my heart on subjects close
to my heart.
Please forgive typos or grammatical errors as I continue to update
and revise it.