A half-rack of ribs please

Matthew White

The idea that animals are equal to humans is the crown jewel of the loony left, a group of people turned off to the value of human life.

Groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the Animal Rights Militia and the Animal Liberation Front have consistently taken extreme positions that suggest your average house cat should be the same as a man or woman in the eyes of the law.

PETA President Ingrid Newkirk, who addressed the International Nonviolence Conference held in Bethleham last January, said “We call all attacks on civilians, whether against Palestinians in Jenin or Israelis in Tel Aviv, what they are: War crimes. If we want an end to violence, it means that we must first reject the slaughterhouse, the animal circus, and animal skins and remember that kindness to animals has been a cornerstone of every great religion in the history of the world.”

Now, leaving aside her claims about religion, Newkirk is suggesting that the necessary and proper use of animals for food is the same type of violence as military strikes. Newkirk needs to wake up and smell the beef — there’s a difference between an air raid against human civilians and the slaughtering of beef cows, who have a long and proud tradition of producing fine steaks.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, a group that fights defamation of Jewish people, PETA sponsored an exhibit called “Holocaust on Your Plate,” which compared the treatment of farm animals to the victims of the Nazi concentration camps.

Rabbi Avi Shafran described the exhibit with the following: “Naked, emaciated men were juxtaposed with a gaggle of chickens; pigs behind bars, with starving children behind barbed wire; mounds of human corpses with mounds of cow carcasses. In one panel, above the legend ‘Baby Butchers,’ mothers and children in striped prison garb were shown staring through the barbed wire of a concentration camp; alongside them, a similar shot of caged piglets.”

Despite what PETA would have you believe, humans are fundamentally different than animals. Humans have a conscience and the ability to take responsibility for their actions, while animals possess neither of these things. If you set a bear free and it eats a small child, it doesn’t feel guilty about it afterward, and later on, it doesn’t feel the necessity to turn itself in for murder. Furthermore, the horrible massacres that occurred in Hitler’s concentration camps in no way compare to the peaceful, often quick and painless method for slaughtering animals.

While cruelty to animals is a shameful and horrible thing, the groups that equate animal rights to human rights are completely out of control.

Humans and animals are different, and it’s only fuzzy thinking that suggests otherwise. Take some time and reflect upon it over a nice, juicy piece of steak.

Matthew White is a senior magazine journalism major and point/counterpoint columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].