One question that is asked repeatedly is, "do non-human animals have rights?" Some believe that animals have inherent rights to be free of human interference in any manner whatsoever, meaning that animals should not be used in research, for human consumption or use, or kept as pets. On the other side of the fence, some believe that animals were meant for use by humans. I've heard it argued that God gave animals to humans for their use according to the Bible, so there is nothing wrong with using them for whatever we humans may think we need them for.
What I ask is this: Is the suffering of one of God's creatures for the betterment of another of God's creatures right? Are we humans so egotistical to think that we are somehow "better" or "above" other animals and therefore can treat and use other animals any way we choose, simply because we CAN? Are we somehow better because we have more cerebral cortex? Because we are on the top of the food chain? Ok, I agree that we are on the top of the food chain, and the reason is that we can think, reason, analyze, and be logical. However, because we are on the top of the food chain, and because we can think, reason, analyze, and be logical, don't we have a duty to our fellow animal brothers and sisters? Does that not make us responsible for their ultimate survival and care?
Humans are taking over the world, or perhaps it is fair to say that we have taken over the earth. We have made lakes where there were none, re-routed rivers that were in our way, we have chopped down forests and built roadways, we have industrialized and polluted the air and water that all of earth's creatures need for survival. We have pushed animals out of their homes so that we can have our own homes, and then we kill the animals because they live too close. Was it not their home first? What gives us the right to do these things?
Recently I had a petition up on my Facebook page to encourage others to get on the movement to help save wolves and keep them on the Endangered Species list in accordance with the Endangered Species Act. I received a comment on my post from an acquaintance that stated that she disagreed because she had a "wolf problem" in her area and wolves stalked her young granddaughter. She wanted the wolves removed. Who has more rights in this situation, the wolves that had lived there for decades, or the people who moved into the area and now fear them? And because of this fear, is it right to remove them from the protection of the Endangered Species Act so that they can all be removed from their homelands and/or killed?
Is the fear of a human, or humans, worth the loss of a species of God's creatures? How many other animals are now extinct because of man's fear of them? How many other of God's creatures, including humans, have been ritualistically killed for sport, from war, from human fear or hate? Why can't we humans learn to live and let live? I suppose I may never understand that way of thinking. Yes, I do care about the child who was stalked; I have great compassion for mankind in general, but I also have compassion for the displaced animals. Who has more rights? I believe we all have equal rights to survive, after all, we were all put here on this Earth to live with each other, and I think we, as caretakers, can find a better solution than to kill or remove the wolves in this situation.
It is my belief that all of God's creatures have rights and we humans have brains, logic, and the reasoning skills that it takes to make the earth "work" for the betterment of all of God's creatures, from the tiniest amoeba to the largest primate, from the core of the earth to the ends of our atmosphere. I do not and can not believe that we are here to use animals as we wish or think we need to, nor are they here to be sacrificed for human "betterment." It is my firm belief that humans have the ability to survive and progress in a "humane" way and in harmony with all living beings, and in some ways we are working towards that with legislation slowly moving in that direction worldwide, but I think that we can do better, quicker. My heart cries when I think about how us humans are slowly killing not only other animals and living things, but ourselves as well.
Please note that the opinions in my post are those of myself and not necessarily the view of the Crafting for Animals Artfire Guild as a whole. Thank you for reading, I look forward to your comments.
Owner, TS Beading