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The "war" of animal rights

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Nìmwey
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The "war" of animal rights

Postby Nìmwey » Fri Apr 11, 2014 7:59 pm

This is something I'm getting increasingly concerned about. More and more, I see anti-captivity opinions - for all animals! (but especially all undomesticated or not-so-traditionally-kept animals) piling up on the internet.

The main incentive for me to start this thread is that because a while ago, I saw an article where a jaguar had been born through C-section, because the mother had killed previous cubs. (One might wonder, "Why breed her then?", but I guess with an endangered species, every life counts.)

Now what really shocked me, was that in the rather empty comment section, there was not one, but two(!) people who said "That mother must have killed her cubs because she knew it was better for them than to be in captivity". I was stunned.
And this. :wall:

Then there is the "Blackfish-movement", and while I get that some here might be in favor of zoos and exotic animal ownership overall, but still don't like the keeping of cetaceans, and I get that, as long as it is an informed decision. What I don't like is all these people (and I was one of them!) who just watch one 80-minute film, don't bother to check any sources, don't bother to check the history or credentials of the people in the film, don't bother fact-checking anything - at least to me, it didn't even occur to me that Blackfish might be incorrect or lying about anything, until someone challenged me. And then they roam across the internet, with their war cry "BLACKFISH!!! WATCH BLACKFISH!!!" Because that's all they need to know, and it's all they want to know.

Now just imagine what would happen if a similar documentary came about other animals? Yes, there is Elephant in the Living Room, and the Tiger Next Door (both awfully biased films about two people who shouldn't keep animals at all), but they didn't (thankfully) get much attention.

Now, Blackfish has even made a lawmaker - someone who is supposed to be unbiased and know an issue from all sides, and has the power to change what everyone can and can't do - try to ban the shows and breeding of orcas in California and force them to be put in sea pens, something which would only be detrimental to their well-being. It is a direct cut-and-paste from the propaganda film he saw, and clearly not an informed decision.

Now what if something similar happens with zoos overall? Or other animals, kept privately?
Some law-maker getting it into his head that all exotic animals are tigers and chimps living horrible lives in people's basements, and bans them outright.
Also, there is the trickle-down effect, where you start with the easiest thing to ban, where you will get lot of support - like banning orcas. Then ban elephants in captivity. Then ban polar bears, or cheetahs, or eagles, or what have you.
And then it keeps on going and going until there's only the domestic cats and dogs (under 10-20 kilos, of course) left.

I'm really scared by the amount of people who seriously believe that all animals, at least all undomesticated animals, have this magical, insatiable need for *FREEDOM* and that they can never be happy under human care, and have it as their life's mission to "free all the imprisoned animals!"
People who hate zoos, hate aquariums, hate anything other than dogs and cats as pets (or even that - and of course, the cat needs to be free-ranging because cats, apparently, also have this magical need for freedom). I see them all the time nowadays.

What, if anything, can be done about this? Because as I'm sure you know, those against something speak far more loudly than those in favor of something. If you like something, you don't riot to the streets going "Keep this legal!" just for the sake of it, or make a film pointing out how awesome something is. But if you're against something, that's probably what you'll do to protest things. And people think there are no people in favor of that thing, or at least that they're in a minority, because they're not as loud.
My main interest is in parrots, dogs, toothed whales and snakes.
Future animals I want to have when we have land are camels, wolfdogs/wolves, coyotes or jackals, striped hyena or aardwolf. Also poultry, rabbits water buffalo and/or yak for livestock.
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Re: The "war" of animal rights

Postby BlueBaby1023 » Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:34 pm

I think this is an interesting subject. While there is a real need to be afraid of having the right of owning animals taken away, I don't really see this as a looming problem. There have always been people on either side of the animal spectrum (Dominionists to ARs, with Utilitarians and Welfarists in the center left and center right respectfully). I do think that the problem is shifting, though, because more and more people are identifying towards the AW side of the center spectrum instead of the Utilitarian side.

The problem with why Blackfish got big and why others haven't as much is because of the perception of how they were kept prior to the documentary. Anyone feels small in comparison to an orca, and to see those tanks they are in doesn't seem to be enough when you talk about these animals migrating tens of thousands of miles every year.

It is easy to say that these companies are experts on these animals, and that they inherently know best, but I think everyone should question institutions if there is ever doubt. Questions tend to be good as long as they are met with intelligent and collaborative responses that are truthful.

Now, here is the real problem: most of these animals are truly data deficient when it comes to studies of them in the wild. They are hard to follow, and very few people want to spend years in a miserable Northern sea to follow these animals to start with. We just don't know enough about them to say what is or isn't healthy for them in captivity.

While Seaworld and other places that keep these animals in captivity are doing the best that they know how, I wouldn't say that because they know the most (currently) that they know the best way to keep them. For example, the San Francisco Zoo no longer keeps elephants because although it was once believed that their habitat was adequate for the enrichment of elephants, it was realized that the habitats were too small and did not include adequate enrichment. (Along with financial and other reasons, of course.)

In addition, there is some controversy among whale biologists as to whether there are multiple subspecies of orcas and whether or not some of those may be endangered. Some more information of that here... http://www.livescience.com/9893-killer-whale-species-proposed.html

I honestly don't think that any of us will live to see a day where owning any animals other than cats or dogs will be outlawed everywhere in the world; laws take decades to change and some countries are already rather lax despite being considered Western and "advanced" whereas other countries that are not considered Western and are considered "primitive" have more strict laws.

Though, that doesn't mean that we shouldn't promote responsible exotic ownership when appropriate, like with education and information on species other than cats and dog. And it certainly doesn't mean that if something is proposed to ban all exotic ownership that we shouldn't fight it.
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Re: The "war" of animal rights

Postby TamanduaGirl » Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:27 am

Something I've been very vocal about though not as much lately. No one believes or cares long as it's not their species or breed. I remember way back in the day making people aware and trying to help with breed ban that were starting to happen in Europe. I was told to shut up and that it would never happen here and then well it's not a breed they cared for etc. Similar thing to exotics. Even amongst owners of exotics well that species is dangerous mine wont be banned.

A sad look at how the public thinks here http://blog.petflow.com/this-may-change ... -did-mine/
Popped up on FB today. Comments service monkey=great pet monkeys=bad. Have you ever heard of logic before people? What difference does it make to the monkey if it's a trained servant living in a home vs just a loved pet living in a home? It's living the same life just one has less demands on it.

I don't know about all countries but it's really not that far fetched in this one. That one bill that would have banned pretty much all exotics federally got pretty far but it did fail only due to tons of push back because common things like hamsters etc would/could have been included the way it was written.

Taking it all at once like that will likely never happen but a piece at a time and more and more over time, yeah that has been happening for decades already. It doesn't help that currently kids get bombarded with the AR slant that exotics are bad their whole lives.
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Re: The "war" of animal rights

Postby BlueBaby1023 » Sat Apr 12, 2014 3:28 am

TamanduaGirl wrote:I don't know about all countries but it's really not that far fetched in this one. That one bill that would have banned pretty much all exotics federally got pretty far but it did fail only due to tons of push back because common things like hamsters etc would/could have been included the way it was written.


I'm assuming that you're talking about HR 996, which you posted in the Laws section. If you actually look at the government tracker, it says that HR 996 only ever had 9% chance getting to the floor of the Senate, and most bills average 11% making it even less likely than average. (Just so you know, that's about the same likelihood of getting pregnant on a BC pill, oh the joys of general education classes filling you with random facts. Either way, not very likely.) And even then, if it does get to the floor, good luck getting the Senate and the House to agree on anything.... :roll:

I'm not saying it can't happen in small incremental steps. I just think that those steps are so few and far between that it is unlikely that in our lifetimes that there will be any sort of blanket ban on exotics. I just don't see that as realistic. Even the blanket ban on "pit-bull" type dogs is in the beginning stages of reversal in the UK. They recently rewrote part of it to say that no dog is inherently dangerous and that police can don't have to seize and hold dogs just because of the way they look. In addition, they instituted mandatory microchipping of all dogs and having those microchips registered to the owner, as to identify abandoned dogs and trace back their owners. More here.... http://www.ava.com.au/13021

And like I said, I definitely think that the public needs to be more educated as to why people choose to have exotics and why they can make as good of pets as domestic animals can, depending on what you as an individual see as good characteristics in a pet.
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1 Rex Rabbit
2 Ferrets
1 Lutino Cockatiel
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Re: The "war" of animal rights

Postby Nìmwey » Sat Apr 12, 2014 4:50 am

There were another couple of things I thought of adding - there's a lot of anger directed to zoos lately, with things like Copenhagen zoo killing that giraffe and those lions. While I don't think culling one animal now and then (and its body is put to good use) is "evil", I'm a bit hesitant about what to think about the whole practice. (And the point is that it's of course not just Copenhagen zoo that does that.)

A couple of years ago, two zoos here in Sweden got under heavy media scrutiny in the same one week, one was Ölands Zoo for having some starved lions (plus cubs that starved to death), and the other was Parken Zoo for many things, like a Bongo that starved to death, euthanizing a pack of African wild dogs while saying "they were moved", killing healthy cougars because a jaguar was moving in, etcetera.
The thing is we need to separate the irresponsible people from the responsible ones, same with zoos as with private individuals.
But people just see this and say "I hate zoos". (Although there may be more of that in the US than here - I don't know what the average enclosures are like in the US, though I realize many times, zoos all over the world, keep their animals in too small enclosures, either to save space and money or so the animals will always be seen by the public, I don't know.)

The other thing I thought of was animal rights vs. animal welfare.
I would say animal welfare sees something broken, and wants to repair and improve it. While animal rights want to see it thrown away completely. But then most of the public don't know enough about extremist groups like PeTA (which we have here as well) and HSUS, and just think "They help animals = I like them". (It's no fault of them, though, it's the organizations that want exactly that, to trick people.)

And no, I don't think all animals will ever be banned in the whole world, but in many places, like North America, Australia and most of Europe. That could be possible, if this trend keeps going in (loose assumption with no ground to stand on :lol:), say, 50-100 years.
My main interest is in parrots, dogs, toothed whales and snakes.
Future animals I want to have when we have land are camels, wolfdogs/wolves, coyotes or jackals, striped hyena or aardwolf. Also poultry, rabbits water buffalo and/or yak for livestock.
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Re: The "war" of animal rights

Postby TamanduaGirl » Sat Apr 12, 2014 3:08 pm

No the original that was based on, HR 669 The only reason that HR 996 had such a low chance was because the other was defeated first and it was the same bill all over again.

It had 42 cosponsors and had a good chance originally. It was killed in committee there was lots of testimony from both sides including commercial fisheries but it was a very serious situation and no small thing at all and had a very good chance at passing. They even had an Israeli official testify in favor of it saying they had a similar and effective law. The committee sessions were broadcast online.

EdIT: While it's true on the definition of AR vs AW a lot of AR groups will call themselves AW because of that. There's lots of blurring there on that line.
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Re: The "war" of animal rights

Postby BlueBaby1023 » Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:48 pm

TamanduaGirl wrote:No the original that was based on, HR 669 The only reason that HR 996 had such a low chance was because the other was defeated first and it was the same bill all over again.

It had 42 cosponsors and had a good chance originally. It was killed in committee there was lots of testimony from both sides including commercial fisheries but it was a very serious situation and no small thing at all and had a very good chance at passing. They even had an Israeli official testify in favor of it saying they had a similar and effective law. The committee sessions were broadcast online.

EdIT: While it's true on the definition of AR vs AW a lot of AR groups will call themselves AW because of that. There's lots of blurring there on that line.


Actually, even HR 669 never had a good chance. That bill only had a 6% chance as compared to the average of 11% for getting to the floor. They projected the chance of it being enacted when it was introduced at 1% (average of 3%). In addition, it only had 20 cosponsors, not 42.
(Info from: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr669)

It also sounded like that USDA exhibitors would still be allowed in the states that currently allow it.

I think that bills like that should be fought, but at the same time, I don't think that living in fear of the AR spectrum is a good way to do it. I think that what really needs to be done is broader education, to show the public that just because the AR people say that owning animals (of any kind when it comes down to it, not just exotics) is a bad thing that they are wrong.

I just wish that someone who was in the limelight actually supported education and the welfare of the animals without having a secret agenda with PETA or something. :wall:
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Re: The "war" of animal rights

Postby TamanduaGirl » Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:38 am

That's the wrong one.

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/111/hr669

There's no percentage there but it had a ton of publicity compared to most bills. The committee was very for it it just died because of the large back lash from pet owners.

It is unlikely as this case actually demonstrated but that was because it included all the common exotics as possible targets as well. But at the same time it shows it's not as far fetched as people think. And after watching awhile I see the incrementalism going faster than people would expect as well, especially state by state.

Yeah educations does more than just scaring owners, lol. We need people supporting ownership even nonowners. The problem really is apathy though as well as no real exposure for those that do try to give a good spotlight to owners.
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Re: The "war" of animal rights

Postby Nicophorus » Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:54 am

TamanduaGirl wrote:Something I've been very vocal about though not as much lately. No one believes or cares long as it's not their species or breed. I remember way back in the day making people aware and trying to help with breed ban that were starting to happen in Europe. I was told to shut up and that it would never happen here and then well it's not a breed they cared for etc. Similar thing to exotics. Even amongst owners of exotics well that species is dangerous mine wont be banned.


I agree with all of this.

I've been visiting every zoo and "animal attraction" within driving distance of me and its so true that none of us are standing together. The zoos treat all exotic owners like they are not good enough to possess them (or are jealous they have them??) and the small animal attractions are totally independent fighting their small little battles against their state agencies alone.

The truth is by nature people are apathetic and lazy for the most part. Does there exist an advocacy group for exotic ownership on the national level? If not that's really what we need, something that people from all exotic walks of life can join as a member that would then keep us informed and lobby on behalf of our rights. I think the reptile people do have something like this, but I'm not aware of one for other exotics.

There is a HUGE issue with even exotic owners being dismissive of other exotic owners. What some owners don't realize is that once the low hanging fruit is plucked (with their help), they are next.
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Re: The "war" of animal rights

Postby TamanduaGirl » Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:31 pm

There's Rexano but they are small and not really doing enough.

http://www.pijac.org/ was instrumental in fighting hr 996 as they had a representative there testifying at committee. It would be nice to see them fight more for exotics but I think that's mostly due to the fact they don't have that many exotic owning members as more standard pets but they do still stand up for exotics. You can see on their action page http://cqrcengage.com/pijac/;jsessionid ... .undefined
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Re: The "war" of animal rights

Postby BlueBaby1023 » Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:32 pm

Whoops, I should have read the title. I apparently clicked on the right link first to read the summary, but when I came back I guess I pulled up the wrong bill. Sorry about that, TG.

Yea, I think apathy plays a big role, but I also think that relates back to the problem of lack of exposure. I think more people would care if they understood what some animals are like as pets, because I think a lot more people would be interested in owning certain exotics that fit their lifestyle if they had the knowledge of them and their needs.

Another point, if there is no network of exotic owners, why not create one?
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2 American Guinea Pigs
1 Holland Lop Rabbit
1 Rex Rabbit
2 Ferrets
1 Lutino Cockatiel
5 Mixed Breed Cats
1 PitxLab
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Re: The "war" of animal rights

Postby Ash » Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:45 pm

The thing that I can see starting to get out of control is suddenly throwing tons of animal species onto the Lacey Act. They've already started with large constrictors--and those could ONLY be invasive in a part of Florida and no where else. It wasn't a federal issue, just a state issue, but the feds stepped in and added them to the act.

If they can do that with snakes, they can start doing it with any animal that could potentially thrive anywhere in the US. Supposedly fennec foxes could be invasive in the south-west part of the US, so by the same logic they could get thrown on the Lacey Act too (though I know that that is definitely not too likely at this point in time, seeing as there are no cases of invasive fennecs). I think that the Lacey Act is going to start being the "easy" way for legislators to ban species.

Bans pick on the easy targets first. So anything that is perceived as a public/wildlife threat goes.
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