I blush to admit that my knowledge of religion — other than the bizarre form of animal worship practiced by Animal Rights activists — is woefully inadequate. At the same time, one of several spearheads of animal rights argument seeks to convince believers of many faiths that Animal Rights is endorsed, if not mandated, by the world's great religions.
Despite my shallow understanding of any traditional religion, I tend to dismiss such claims out of hand on the grounds that it's highly unlikely that Animal Rights activists might have stumbled across a truer meaning of scripture than the most learned scholars who lived during the past couple of thousand years have been able to: each of the religions evolved from different cultures, values and assumptions, yet all, the AR zealots would have us believe, now have been found to point towards AR, though none had previously. Such a thing would indeed be a miracle . . .
So here's a press release from the Center of Consumer Freedom on a study they've just completed on religion and Animal Rights. You can download a pdf file of it here if you're of a mind (I did, and I'm looking forward to perusing it).
WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Americans are accustomed to the outrageous tactics of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), but the group's in-your-face advocacy is increasingly calculated to offend, provoke, and otherwise show contempt for America's religious faithful. In a new report released today, the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom documents how this animal rights group hijacks religious rituals and institutions in an attempt to impose its stated philosophy of "total animal liberation."
The eye-opening new report -- "Holy Cows: How PETA twists religion to push animal 'rights'" -- chronicles PETA's controversial assaults on the sacred scriptures and traditions of Roman Catholics, Protestant Christians, Jews, Mormons, and Muslims. The report also includes an inventory of scripture contradicting PETA's assertion that only vegetarians can claim to be observant Christians, Jews, Mormons, and Muslims.
"The world's great religions are under attack by disrespectful PETA activists who twist scripture and history to suit their goals," said David Martosko, director of research at the Center for Consumer Freedom. "The animal rights movement has never shied away from offending people, but PETA should leave churches, synagogues, and mosques out of its vegan Holy War."
They should, but they won't. The problem is that traditional religion undermines the premise of their own AR religion: AR people believe that the life of a human and that of an animal are of equal worth. That point of view is irreconcilable with the view of the worlds great religions, all of which accord humans privilege of place.
AR advocates have no alternative but to ignore religion, or try to reconcile the irreconcilable (traditional religion with AR religion), and if they'll use distortion, misrepresentation and outright lies in their campaigns against science (as but one of many examples I could select), why would they not use the same techniques to shoehorn AR into being endorsed by traditional religions?
I view this aspect of their propaganda to be nothing less than religious warfare: their AR religion against the worlds great ones.
To spread the gospel of vegetarianism, PETA's full-time "faith-based campaigners" work under the direction of a campaign coordinator who has publicly advocated "blowing stuff up and smashing windows" as "a great way to bring about animal liberation."
PETA has recently begun holding protests at houses of worship, even suing one church that tried to protect its congregation from Sunday-morning harassment. PETA's billboards and other advertisements taunt Christians with the message that livestock "died for your sins," misrepresent the teachings of the Mormon faith, and even make the false claim that Jesus was a vegetarian. PETA even paraded a statue of a cow dressed as the Pope in front of Catholic churches.
Yes — what stunning contempt from a group that claims to be compassionate.
PETA claims, contrary to a wealth of rabbinical teaching, that ritual kosher slaughter is inherently cruel. It directs Jews to abstain from eating lamb during the Passover seder. PETA's infamous "Holocaust on Your Plate" campaign crassly compared the victims of Nazi genocide with farm animals. And it buys Internet advertisements falsely warning Muslims that meat labeled "Halal" is typically unfit to eat.
"Holy Cows: How PETA twists religion to push animal 'rights'" can be downloaded at http://www.ConsumerFreedom.com. Bound, printed copies are available to religious leaders and credentialed journalists.
Well! I've long believed that the best way to defeat AR loopiness is to attack them by revealing the inadequacies of their own anti-speciesist "philosophy", the problems of carrying the anti-specieisism logic through to its logical conclusion and the way in which they (AR people) distort the record, be it scientific, animal husbandry, pet keeping and care, hunting or "other."
In short, the best way to debunk AR is make them play some defense . . . make them defend their own philosophy, values, statements and acts.
It looks like the CCF has done us all a service — the Animal Rights people are going to have to play a little defense over here on the religious front. (I can't wait to see if the CCF included PeTA's distortion of the Dalai Lama's position!)
Kudos to CCF for the brilliant idea, thanks to them for the effort, and thanks to Joe W. for pointing me towards CCF's Press Release.