Thanks to the animal rights people, I’ve developed a guilty conscience. After reading their literature, I realize that I’m unfair to animals. I’ve been unfair to them, I’m embarrassed to say, for as long as I can remember.
It’s not that I dislike animals. It’s just that I treat them unequally. I discriminate, and that’s wrong.
But I can’t help it if I have a discriminating palate.
Although I’ve tried elk, buffalo, and pheasant, I prefer lamb, suckling pig and chicken. It’s not that I have anything against the more exotic animals. It’s just that, to me, they aren’t as tasty as the more familiar ones. I hope the animal rights people understand that.
I hesitate to admit it, but I don’t wear fur. Again, it’s not that I have something against mink, foxes, and baby seals. I think they’re cute, in fact. It’s just that leather suits me better. What’s more, I don’t mind it when others wear fur. I hope the animal rights people understand that, too.
While I’m at it, I may as well confess that I discriminate against dog shows. I’m sorry but they bore me. I prefer to go to the circus and watch the trainers put lions, tigers, elephants, and bears through their paces. Oh, I know that dogs are more talented and do more complicated tricks and routines, but there’s something about seeing wild animals acting tame that attracts me. It’s just more entertaining.
Happily, I’m not the least bit prejudiced when it comes to animal experimentation. As far as I’m concerned, researchers can try out new surgeries and drugs on whatever animals they think are most suitable. Wild or tame, they’re all the same to me. That ought to count for something with the animal rights people.
I should also get points for my policy on pets. Unlike some of my friends, who keep dogs, or cats, or gerbils, or budgie birds, I don’t discriminate. I keep none. Again, it doesn’t mean that I have anything against companion animals. It just means that I’m not a petophile.
So, you see, my commitment to animal welfare is solid. Not only do animals feed, clothe, and entertain me, they participate in medical and pharmaceutical experiments that could save my life. What’s not to like about that?
Still, because of my guilty conscience, I sometimes dream about animals. My latest dream concerned a future meeting of the United Nations, where Canada was judged the most democratic country in the world because it was the first to admit animals to full citizenship. Certificates of commendation were awarded for every breed of animal imaginable. The animals didn’t actually attend to receive them. They deferred to their human champions, the rights activists, compliant politicians and bureaucrats, sympathetic judges, and media cheerleaders, who had combined to outlaw species discrimination and constitutionally recognize the equality of animals and people.
A reporter from a country with a poor animal rights record – it considered animals inferior to humans – got an exclusive interview with the leader of the Canadian delegation. “How in the world did you bring this off?” he asked, enviously.
“Biological relativism,” the delegate replied. “Once we got consensus on that, everything else followed, slowly but surely.”
“How clever,” the reporter said, admiringly. “Against a theory like that, species discrimination doesn’t stand a chance, nor does any form of inequality.”
“Exactly,” the delegate agreed. “Once this became generally recognized, we had no difficulty approving affirmative action to overcome exclusion and alienation.”
“I understand this includes reparations to compensate for loss of freedom and culture.”
“We had to do something tangible for all those domestic animals that spent their lives in servitude.”
“I understand. But I thought Canada had abolished this servitude years ago and that the affected animals are long dead.”
“True, but their descendants are still with us and carry scars from the ill treatment of their forebears.”
“You, of course, had your detractors,” the reporter said. “One critic, in particular, must have been difficult to endure. His research showed that compared to animals in the wild, many in captivity were better fed, had better health, experienced less violence and lived longer.”
“Yes, but those are only facts. That critic lacked an egalitarian vision and his conclusions were hurtful and hate filled.”
“Is it true that he ran afoul of the Federal Animal Rights Commission and was hounded out of his university professorship?”
“There’s no place for insensitivity like that in the new Canada. I believe in academic freedom, but this was license. If it had been allowed to stand, some malcontent might have tried to justify the consumption of meat which, happily, we abolished decades ago.”
“Do you believe that in our time animals will sit in Parliament?”
“Absolutely, and when it happens you won’t notice any difference.”