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Bill Stefaniak stands up for the animals.

By johnboy - 14 June 2005 11

Bill Stefaniak has put out a peculiar media release implying that a human rights agenda requires an equivalent animal rights agenda.

I know it’s something that the wrong sort of Tory struggles with Bill, but people are not animals.

Realistically decent enforcement of existing penalties would do more for animal welfare than what Bill is proposing.

But I suspect this a base form of politics trying to equate Bill with warm fuzzies.

The thing is, if I want warm fuzzies for my vote then the Greens, ALP, Dems, and in this case Free Range Canberra will all get my vote ahead of the Liberals.

From the Liberals I want clear logic and a devotion to personal freedom. If they haven’t got that they’ve got nothing for me.

What’s Your opinion?


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11 Responses to
Bill Stefaniak stands up for the animals.
johnboy 9:33 pm 19 Jun 05

Well having reached the common ground that humans are actually different (i’m happy to settle for a simple “‘cos I’m one too”) I don’t see that it automatically follows that any given set of behaviours by people are good or bad.

That distinction between good and bad is an important one but I don’t see it being derived solely from a distinction between human and non-human animals.

Which is why I’m apalled at seeing human rights linked to animal rights but a politician.

Off the top of my head both cats and orca appear to take a great deal of pleasure from killing.

I, on the other hand, take very little from it.

Eating the dead animals on the other hand I take a great deal of pleasure from. But most animals seem to enjoy eating.

mos 2:21 pm 19 Jun 05

Johnboy, the quality we humans have which leads to concepts like animal lib is our code of ethics. It’s a result of our intelligence – an ability to empathise and to weigh up the wrongs and rights of our actions. You’re right in seeing that ability as a measure of our difference from nonhumans.

But then you abandon those ethics and use the behaviour of some nonhumans as a guide as to how you should behave (“I promise to stop [eating meat] the day animals stop doing it to each other.”) Why?

As we don’t need to eat meat and the production of that meat causes awful suffering to the nonhuman animals, we kill them for pleasure only. Killing for pleasure is a rare trait amongst animals.

Ralph 10:56 am 19 Jun 05

I’ve obviously spent too much time on the CT Your Say site

Hmmmm. I think there’s something in that for all of us.

johnboy 6:43 pm 18 Jun 05

Well I think most of the community’s concern maxes out somewhere between animal cruelty and animal welfare.

Certainly eating meat is still extremely popular and I promise to stop doing it the day animals stop doing it to each other.

A good empirical measure of humanity’s otherness from the rest of the animal kingdom would be the existence of ideas like “animal liberation”.

That and the ability to light a fire and cook the tasty beasties.

I reckon orca would if they could.

If Bill’s serious in his beliefs (I’m pretty sure he’s just trying to score some cheap points and has given it minimal thought) then I wish you well with your dance with the devil.

mos 5:41 pm 18 Jun 05

Johnboy – first, my apologies if ‘son’ sounded dismissive. No offence meant – I’ve obviously spent too much time on the CT Your Say site and picked up bad habits.

Second, I had no intention of hiding my identity. I was registered with the full detail on the old RiotACT but have only re-registered today. Can’t even find where to update by profile yet. I don’t regard myself as a member of a political party. Free Range Canberra is more than the political party and hopefully the party will not be needed any more – we hope to get the legislation changed before the next election.

I think you’re confusing animal welfare with animal rights. I am not a member of ‘Animal Rights’ but am a member of ‘Animal Liberation’. None of us argues that nonhumans should have the same rights as humans – but we do argue that humans don’t have the right to disregard nonhumans’ interests for their own trivial interests.

I’m not too concerned about how Bill Stefaniak plays his politics but I do think his bill is worth supporting. I agree that the higher end of existing penalties could be used a lot more often – increasing the range of penalties available will give courts more incentive and opportunity to hand out more severe penalties.

But my original argument was with your denial of our close kinship with other animals. And I stick by my last where I described your response as nonsense.

So – can you tell me why it is ok to cause suffering to nonhumans just for our tastebuds or entertainment?

johnboy 3:19 pm 18 Jun 05

Mos, firstly calling me “son” is a pretty poor way to convince me of the merits of your argument.

But on the substance of the matter I don’t see how animal welfare and the human rights can be linked without significantly degrading human rights.

Freedom of expression, freedom of worship, equality before the law, all things it would be very hard to apply to animals without effectively disenfranchising and degrading those who allready hold them.

I’m all for more robust animal protection. I voted for your Free Range Canberra party at the last election (And we do normally ask people speaking as members of political parties to state their positions).

But to link it to the human rights debate in the hope of gaining some temporary advantage is, in my view, a disgusting thing to do.

Because it significantly risks degrading those rights.

Similarly I oppose the Chief Minister’s Human Rights agenda because while he enumerates rights he does nothing to protect them (for example treatment of children in detention at Quamby where it has been officially noted that their rights have been neglected and yet they remain in that situation)

mos 3:06 pm 18 Jun 05

‘any other matter’ doesn’t have the capacity for suffering that sentient animals have. Get serious son – that’s nonsense.

johnboy 1:00 pm 18 Jun 05

And you could similarly argue that all animals are no different from any other matter. And thus deserving no better treatment.

I don’t like where that line of thinking ends either.

mos 12:56 pm 18 Jun 05

Hang on, Johnboy – you reckon people are not animals!??!. What are we then? There’s only mineral and vegetable left.

Of course we’re animals. Take, for instance, a pig. Have a look at its physiology compared to ours. Look at our skeletons, our internal organs (they use pig heart valves to replace human ones) our skin, our senses.. etc.. etc..

Now tell me why it’s ok to treat them in ways that we would never treat human animals. We lock them up for life and castrate them and cut off their tails and the tops of their teeth – all without anaesthetic – then slaughter them for unnecessary food.

Sure we’re more intelligent – but we don’t treat the mentally disabled humans without regard to their suffering even though their intelligence may be well below that of a pig.

Form one human animal to another, mate – we treat nonhuman animals appallingly!

Vic Bitterman 11:00 pm 15 Jun 05

Gee. Just the thing we taxpayers want and demand.

Yet another waste of our taxes going towards yet another wanky ‘bill of rights’ for the latest thing to prey upon their pathetic social ‘consciences’.

When all along, all we really want is our tax money to go to the schools, police resources, hospitals etc etc.

Yet the pollies think we expect them to come up with whacky ‘bills of rights’ like this.

Bulldog summed it up – slow news day alright.

bulldog 8:43 am 15 Jun 05

Gee…. Slow issue day.

This is what happens when politicians feel the need to justify their large salaries.

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