Animal "Rights" vs "Welfare" – from the Guidelines for Developing a Plan to Manage Anti-hunting Demonstrations
In the United States and Canada an ever-increasing number of people support extremist conservation organizations, anti-field sports organizations and anti-hunting groups. These groups, depending on their degree of extremism, would like to make it illegal to enter off road, on foot or horseback, many of our national parks, drastically change or stop horse sports as we know them today and outlaw all kinds of hunting. They label pets as slaves and they would have us eating no meat or dairy. While we respect their right to have opinions, it is unacceptable that they will not tolerate others' opinions.
The animal "rights" extremists hide behind well-conceived campaigns depicting cute, cuddly animals as victims. These zealots often make false charges of animal abuse, doctor photographs and films and infiltrate legitimate animal "welfare" organizations to further their cause. Animal "rights" and animal "welfare" are two different terms and have VERY different meanings. It is the confusion between these two terms by the general public, fueled by the media, which makes the situation so difficult for most people to understand. We all are rightfully concerned about animal welfare, but to believe that animals have the same rights as human beings is not realistic.
The basic problem centers on the fact that animal rights activists endorse the concept that animals and humans are of equal importance. Animal welfare, however, is a broader and more nuanced idea. The MFHA explains animal welfare as follows:
"Animal welfare concerns the prevention of suffering and cruelty to animals, whereas the animal rights philosophy advocates “an end to all human use of animals” as sources of food, fiber, companionship, entertainment, sport, clothing, and scientific research. Animal welfare advocates are obligated, as animal caretakers, to provide the best possible care of animals throughout their lives.”
As urbanization continues to grow, fewer people are exposed to realities of nature and wild verses domestic animals. Considerably fewer people living country lifestyles, enhanced by the large numbers of farms and ranches that no longer exist, have created a society that is overwhelmingly a city-minded urban culture. Coupled with the massive animal rights movement, fueled by a fantasy mind set with cartoons and films based on emotion and politics rather than scientific studies and sound animal husbandry, it is no wonder the public fails to understand the issues.
Animal Rights (AR) organizations hide behind emotionally defined titles like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). We all should support the ethical treatment of animals, yet PETA is considered one of the most radical AR organizations in America. Their strategic mission is to shock and awe the public with outlandish, often ridiculous claims using movie stars, nudity, and horror to get the attention of the media and thereby of the public. PETA’s goal is to get the public thinking about issues they may not have thought of before. Twenty years ago, who would have thought that fishing could be considered cruel, owning a pet a form of slavery, or eating meat or fish barbaric?
The real wolf in sheep’s clothing, however, is the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). HSUS is the world’s largest, most influential, and richest AR organization. They are very active in litigation against animal welfare laws, introducing AR legislation, targeting schools and children for humane education (their definition of “humane education” is not based on science or proven animal husbandry) and promoting vegan life styles with the same agendas as PETA’s, but more hidden from the public. Their former employees are laced throughout our state and federal governments. Their vegan agenda is to end all human/animal interaction, resulting in their ultimate goal of a petless/meatless society.
The goal of the MFHA subscribing membership program is for all member hunts to be represented by 100% of their membership as supporters. Nothing less will answer the challenges we face. As a subscribing member, you will be taking a pro-active step in defense of your lifestyle by becoming part of an Association on the front line of the battle to preserve hunting with hounds and country life for future generations. Stay current on the latest legislative information by clicking on the legislative links on the right.