Animal Rights and Rescue – What’s in a Name?
Our name signifies two ideas: animal rights, and animal rescue. Our purpose is to increase respect for all animals, regardless of species, in the North Texas area and to become rescue ready to help them individually in case of a natural or human-caused disaster. Most of the animals suffering and dying do so because of human-caused actions. Our lust for their flesh, skin, fur, and bodily secretions makes these vulnerable animals prey to the whims of a dominant species – us! By far, more animals are harmed, tormented, and killed for food than in any other single way. The deforestation, predator kills (such as wolves), round ups of wild horses and burros, murder of orangutans due to habitat destruction; all of these practices are exacerbated by our lust for herd animal flesh. And millions of humans are dying due to the impractical and unsustainable manner in which the bulk of humanity tries to feed itself.
Rights, Utilitarianism, and Welfarism
Often, people will cite a large animal advocacy group such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or The Humane Society of the United States when they hear the term, “animal rights,” yet neither of these groups earns the title. While PETA does use the term, they reveal they are not rightists, but rather utilitarians. HSUS is a welfare organization that is not working to liberate animals, but to reduce their suffering. They often partner with animal agriculture to improve methods of treatment of animals, but do not object to their use by humans at all.
Animal Rights and Respecting Others
What do we mean by Animal Rights? We mean respecting the rights of individual animals to life and liberty . It means acknowledging that their lives mean as much to them as ours do to us. It means not using animals for our own purposes, but respecting them for their intrinsic value. It is a contract between human beings about how we view our relationship and responsibility to vulnerable others. Recent research continues to illluminate the complexity of animal intelligence, sentience, social relationships, empathy, and moral judgement. Whether or not they look like us or we are able to understand their way of communication and expression, other animals are part of the same world to which we humans belong. Respecting other animals only leads to a better, more harmonious life for all living things.
Who Shall We Rescue?
Someone asked, when our group was brand new, who we wanted to rescue? It is a good question, with a very big answer: we want to rescue ALL animals from the attitude of speciesism in which they are dominated and exploited. But our name refers to local disaster rescue as well as towards a commitment to educate our community to connect the dots — all exploitation is related. Our primary task is education in order to save animal lives and further respect and understanding between all species. We want to be rescue ready for hands-on help for often-forgotten animals as well as to have a community presence educating the public about the inherent worth of animals and the significance of veganism. If you have not already, please join us!