ANIMAL EXTREMISM VS. ANIMAL WELFARE - THERE IS A DIFFERENCE
There is a big difference between animal extremism and animal welfare - the terms need to be clarified.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has taken a formal position defining the difference between the two labels, Animal Extremism vs Animal Welfare. In their detailed Policy on animal welfare and animal extremism, they state that they cannot endorse the views of animal extremist groups. Here’s a quote from their policy:
“Animal rights is a philosophical view and personal value characterized by statements by various animal rights groups. Animal welfare and animal rights are not synonymous terms. The AVMA wholeheartedly endorses and adopts promotion of animal welfare as official policy; however, the AVMA cannot endorse the philosophical views and personal values of animal rights advocates when they are incompatible with the responsible use of animals for human purposes, such as food, fiber, and research conducted for the benefit of both humans and animals.”
Let’s take a closer look at the fundamental differences between animal welfare and the animal extremism philosophy:
Animal Welfare –
Animal welfare includes all animals, whether used for food, companionship, or sport. It is based on a principle of animal ownership and reflects a commonsense approach that animals should be treated well, and animal cruelty is wrong. Animal welfare standards and guidelines for animal use and management are based on sound veterinary and animal husbandry experience, research, and practices. The AVMA views animal welfare as a, “…human responsibility that encompasses all aspects of animal well-being, including proper housing, management, nutrition, disease prevention and treatment, responsible care, humane handling, and, when necessary, humane euthanasia”. There should be no unnecessary suffering, including animals that provide for human needs.
Animal Extremism -
Animal extremists believe in an ideology that there is no distinction between animals and humans. They view animal ownership of any kind as exploitation and slavery. The true goal of Animal Extremist groups is to work for legislation and regulations only until all animals are no longer owned or utilized by human beings.
The NCRAOA (North Carolina Responsible Animal Owners Alliance), described what animal extremist groups are all about and their activities:
“Animal extremist groups exploit our love of animals to work for various types of restrictive legislation (limit laws, breed specific legislation, mandatory spay/neuter) as well as laws that are steps toward changing the legal status of animals as property”, and “The animal rights movement is about control, not animal welfare. Supporting legislation based on emotion and philosophical interpretation provides a platform in our legal system for incremental increases toward animal status changes.”
Lately, we have been accused of being against the proper care and husbandry of animals. This has happened because over the years we have been working hard to shed light on Animal Extremist groups. We have exposed their activities and their agenda. They are afraid the public will finally realize they are staging a dramatic impact on the rights and way of life of all Americans.
Since they are feeling threatened and are afraid of exposure, they have fought back against us. These groups have called us the "bad guy", and much worse. While doing this, they have conveniently blurred the definition of Animal Extremism, which both confuses and misleads the public. We have been accused of being "anti-animal" and "against animals". We have even been accused of "hating horses" and benefiting from killing them. These accusations are not even close to the truth. They are outright fabrications. Folks who are affiliated with and work with Protect The Harvest have pets, and a number have horses and livestock. We care about animals; we care about their health and well-being. We practice and support Animal Welfare.
While these outright falsehoods that have been launched against us create more work and some challenges for us, it also shows that we are making progress. In short, we support Animal Welfare, but we are against Animal Extremism. Taking a stand against Animal Extremism in no way means we do not care about animals or their welfare. We do care, or we would not be investing time, money and a whole lot of effort in educating the public about protecting our rights, animal ownership, agriculture and our heritage.