Those who are familiar with Animal Rights activists, who watch them and who listen to what they have to say come away with the impression that they are deeply committed to their point of view. Although they use many of the techniques of the scam artist, they themselves believe fervently in the ethical purity of their cause and know deep within themselves that they have selected the correct moral path.
In fact, it's hard to escape the conclusion that there isn't something of a religious fervor about them, and I've come to believe that AR people practice a kind of bizarre animal worship. The garden-variety AR activist would deny this - she would try to justify her "ethic" on the grounds of simple kindness, as if kindness were defined easily and with reference only to one standard: causing no pain or suffering to any non-human living creature for any purpose.
In this sacred place that we fight to protect, long before Earth First! warriors occupied the frontlines here, we came to pray. Here where the Earth spirits are strong, warriors of the Apache and Yaqui Nations came. This is where I choose to tell a story of underground resistance to defend the Earth, not the whole story, only what I remember and can now safely tell. It is one small part, maybe only a chapter in what must be a continuing resistance.
It is a long road that brought us where we are today; like the sun that rises, our resistance follows darkness. We have been here before, and we will be here again. I remember standing on the Dakota prairie, where the blood and bones of many Earth warriors lay, when She first spoke to me. The Awakening. My first realization that this struggle is much bigger than any of us. When I became physically aware of what it meant to put the Earth first. To not only eschew the anti-nature laws of the Invader, but to aggressively break them in defense of all we love. The Earth mother cared not who we were, only that we were willing to defend her.
Monkeywrenching is more than a tactic or strategy, it's the way of warriors. A way of life. The way of the wild and the free. A refusal to allow our spirits to be broken. It is our spiritual duty for that most ancient power in our world, the life giver, our one Mother Earth. . . . .
This is just a sample, and you really should read the whole thing to verify for yourself how deeply spiritual this is.
For Rodney Coronado, and I'd venture to say for all Animal Rights activists, Animal Rights is a religion: the "rights" they believe animals have are bestowed not by human agency or activities - as in human laws - but are "natural rights" bestowed by some spirit or another supernatural entity.
It is this peculiar article of faith - that "nature" bestows rights on animals - which underlies the belief system of Animal Rights activists.
This is pure faith, and it is perhaps the most significant element in the debate occurring between the true believers of Animal Rights and those of us who try to use logic and facts to persuade them that animal based research, hunting and the keeping of pets, for example, are perfectly ethical practices when weighed against the alternatives. Their belief in "natural rights" makes them impervious to arguments that contradict their assumptions, and in this, they mirror other religious fundamentalists, be they Christian, Jewish or Muslim.
In short, you cannot reason someone out of a position they did not reason themselves into, and that is especially true if that position is religious.
I'll have much more to say about this as occasion arises.