Michael Orsi writes about the crazy expansion of animal rights in The American Spectator. Orsi notes that historically, man* had “a unique status in the order of creation,” on top of the status food chain, so to speak. That is changing, with common-sense concern about the environment that houses humanity and our responsibility to be good stewards of the Earth’s bounty and to treat animals decently being confused with conferring these things with rights:
Sensitivity toward lower forms of life, however, was never meant to accord it equal status with people. But, a subtle and gradual manipulation of language has led to a leveling of our perception of man and beast.
Our mindset about animals, especially pets, is changing. Orsi describes how we talk about “adopting” pets, parenting them, and proposing tax breaks to families who incur “pet care” expenses. He correctly says that “This incremental equalization of man and dog has up to the present been unreflective on the part of most people.” But this trend is not benign:
To think of a dog as equivalent to a human being lends itself to assume the reverse — thinking of human beings as dogs.
The implicit point is that we are not so much elevating animals as lowering mankind.
“Upholding human exceptionalism” was our cover story of the October edition and I recommend reading it as a good overview of the issues raised by denying human exceptionalism.
* By man we are being inclusive to include all of humanity.