Kearns and Sons RS Aesthetics

Animal rights or animal welfare?


This is in response to a letter titled “Shameful outcome on dog fighting bill”, written by Kathleen Stachowski. Ms. Stachowski is the founder of an animal rights organization called Other Nations, located in Lolo.
Although I had no direct involvement with HB279, I would like to offer an explanation to the Lone Rock Girl Scout Troop as to why our Ag Committee might vote down HB279, which was focused on making spectators at a dog fighting event a misdemeanor. I would explain that the proposed law was unnecessary and redundant as dog fighting is illegal in Montana. Our legislators have the very serious job of preventing unnecessary laws and protecting us and our property rights from special interest, extremist groups, such as the Animal Rights Movement.
As someone who has been on the receiving end of continuous slander and defamation of character from Ms. Stachowski and the local and national Animal Rights Movement, I would take great pleasure in sharing all that I’ve learned over the last four years about the ARM since starting Willing Servants, Inc., which is an organization focused on preserving horse welfare while at the same time preserving owners’ rights. I would explain that the focus of animal welfare, where I and anyone in agriculture or professional animal-related businesses align, and that of the animal rights movement are two completely different ideologies, with two completely different agendas. It’s extremely important that Americans recognize the differences, as animal welfare is about appropriately caring for animals, and animal rights is about eliminating animal ownership altogether.
I would gently enlighten the impressionable young ladies that they, like so many others, are being used as pawns in a game of high stakes politics and being duped by the ARM. They would like the world to think that they are all about protecting the voiceless animals, when in reality the ARM is about creating a meatless, petless society. The ARM has been very successful in manipulating our emotions and evoking our protective instincts to advance their agenda over the last 40 years. They have added over 1000 laws to their win column, going as far as to eliminate fox hunting in England and earning pigs Constitutional rights in Florida. Yes, that’s correct, CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS FOR PIGS. The horse industry is currently under attack, from rodeo, to the carriage industry, to private property rights which includes humane harvesting. And then I would use quotes from the leaders of the ARM to prove it to them:
“There are fundamental and profound differences between the philosophy between animal welfare and animal rights… Thus welfare reforms, by their very nature, can only serve to retard the pace at which animal rights goals are achieved.” Gary Francione and Tom Regan
“My goal is the abolition of all animal agriculture.” Quote by JP Goodwin, employed at the Humane Society of the US. Quoted on AR-views in 1996
“The cat, like the dog, must disappear… We should cut the domestic cat free from our dominance by neutering, neutering, and more neutering, until our pathetic version of the cat ceases to exist.” John Bryant, Fettered Kingdoms: An Examination of A Changing Ethic (Washington, DC: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA), 1982, p. 15.
“In a perfect world, we would not keep animals for our benefit, including pets.” Tom Regan, emeritus professor of philosophy at North Carolina State University and author of “Empty Cages”, speaking at University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, March 3, 2004
“We should take good care of the domestic animals we have brought into existence until they die. We should stop bringing more domestic animals into existence.” Gary Francione, Interview on Columbia University Press blog, June 18, 2008.
“Everything depends on whether and to what extent the animal in question is capable of suffering. If rats are able to suffer, then their interests are relevant to the question of how, and perhaps even whether, they can be expelled from houses.” Cass Sunstein (President Obama’s former Regulations Czar), Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions (Oxford University Press, USA, 2004), p. 12
If you love animals and believe strongly in the human/animal bond and the roles that animals have traditionally played in our lives and founding of our great country; if you eat meat, eggs, cheese, drink milk; if you pray for a cure for cancer in our lifetime; if you use or wear leather goods; if you are a hunter or a sportsman; if you are concerned about the wolf issue we now face; if you have an appreciation for selective breeding in animals, service dogs or working dogs, then I strongly encourage you to learn what the ARM is really about. You can start by google-ing and reading “The Secret World Inside the Animal Rights Agenda.” I suspect you’ll be shocked at what you learn.

And remember, if you eat, you’re involved with agriculture. From those of us who “get it,” thank you, Ag Committee.
Theresa Manzella, Willing Servants, Inc.


14 Responses to Animal rights or animal welfare?
  1. Brice Dudley
    April 5, 2013 | 3:28 pm

    Interesting letter, Theresa. Thank you for writing it and thanks to everyone who contributed on either side of the issue. I probably should re-read the letter before commenting but I feel the need to toss my hat into the arena.

    If one truly wanted to make an impact on the market for horse meat, simply do not purchase horse meat. That alone would take away from the market that has been touted as non-essential. There obviously is a market for it, otherwise there would not be production of said product.

    Consumption of cheval is not something that I am interested in, but I would not stand in the way of anyone else consuming it.

    In closing, simply because you are either for or against something, does not make you right on the subject. Something like boxing isn’t for everyone and those of us who do not box simply do not get involved.

    Everyone should be allowed to voice their concerns, but nobody should infringe upon another persons rights. Consumption of cheval is all together another subject compared to dog fighting.

  2. Bea Elliott
    March 23, 2013 | 11:19 pm

    Without shame I am a vegan and I am so for animal concerns. There is no doubt that the moral compass regarding our fellow creatures is ever so slowly being shifted to a more fair and more thoughtful positioning. Centuries overdue in my estimation.

    I do have to chuckle though… The article states that pigs have “Constitutional rights in Florida. Yes, that’s correct, CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS FOR PIGS.” That’s amusing! I live in Florida and every store I can think of includes rows and rows of hams, chops and little sausages. I think what the author meant to say was that in 2002 Florida added to it’s constitution the restrictions of keeping pregnant sows in crates. That’s a far leap from “CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS”. Perhaps it will also make the author happy if she knows that pigs are being killed here all the time – “domesticated” pigs and wild hogs. So we’re a long way off from any kind of porcine “rights” here in the Sunshine State.

    As to the overall concern and worry over the lack of meat on your plates, or that you won’t be able to “own” pets – None of this of course will happen in our lifetime. But I do hope that as we evolve and refine what it takes to be a contented species, that somewhere along the way we take into account those who have been burdened so long by our (often frivolous)desires. The world will not suffer if it extends kindness to those who need it – And from my AR/vegan perspective eventually the animals will be owed their tiny portion of our compassion and our ability to “civilize” ourselves. For me, that time can’t get here soon enough.

  3. Marc Cooke
    March 23, 2013 | 12:26 am

    Manzella is Delusional!

    • Carla McDonald
      March 24, 2013 | 5:31 am

      Theresa Manzella is not the delusional one. Not by a long shot.

  4. Cowhorse
    March 22, 2013 | 11:30 pm

    This letter illustrates a bigger problem in the United States. It is more about a certain group of people attempting to dictate to others what food they can or cannot have available, in this instance horse meat also known as cheval. It is also a part of a growing concern about animal rights groups (HSUS, PeTA, ALF, etc) that are working towards limiting, controlling, and eventually eliminating animal ownership.

    Recently we’ve seen an example of animal rights gone wild in Florida where pigs have been given “Constitutional Rights.” Yes, you read that correctly. This is known as “anthropomorphizing” or giving human qualities to animals.

    What is so often misleading is that animal rights supporters will label themselves as “advocates.” They do this without truly expressing what their belief system is. No doubt we all want the same welfare standards where animals are treated well by being fed, watered, and offered shelter. That they are given appropriate upkeep for the specie. That description is actually “animal welfare.” Animal “rights” groups work to undermine animal ownership by determining they should be treated equally as humans, by restricting how many animals certain people may own and not allowing ownership by others, by controlling so heavily the industry that it ultimately eliminates private ownership whether it be livestock, exotics, or companion animals.

    In this instance we’re seeing the animal rights movement laying claim that somehow horses are special in ways no other animal is. Regardless of if you love your horse and enjoy them to the exclusion of other animals (which is your right), other people can and do love their cattle, or sheep, or pigs just as much. Which is also their right. It is of grave concern that should these special interest groups achieve the goal of setting horses on a pedastal and limiting owner management, which specie is next? They’re already going after piggery operations, poultry productions, and pet owners.

    Regardless of whether you as an individual would eat cheval, the bigger question is this: “Do YOU want to see the right to consume a food choice eliminated?” Or, should you believe this isn’t an issue for you personally, simply substitute your food of choice in there, now will that question make a difference?

    Take a stand for animal welfare and soundly renounce animal rights. Your rights depend on it!

    • Ursula
      March 23, 2013 | 10:59 pm

      Calling horsemeat “cheval” reeks of merde, je pense!

  5. LazyWRanch
    March 21, 2013 | 5:37 am

    There is a group in existence that is a grassroots faux organization established by a Lobbying firm that was hired to defame Animal Organizations. This “watch organization” has started a mantra that all animal groups want to eliminate animal ownership. Some individuals have repeated it so much it has actually taken on a life of its own. I personally have many friends that are livestock producers, breeders and Animal activists. I can tell you unequivocally that not one of those animal activists want to do away with owning or processing animals. When this first came about, animal orgs laughed it off as ridiculous, because they thought nobody would believe something so absurd. Well I guess this author believes it or wants you to believe it for some reason.

    First, domestic animals need management and to be cared for. Nobody knows that as well as the HSUS or any other animal organization. That is what they Lobby for, is the care of animals and laws to care for animals. So to say that they want to eliminate animal ownership makes no sense what-so-ever. If nobody owns them, you really think that animal organizations want them running around like wildlife? That is a pretty silly notion.

    Second, who in their right mind would think that anyone would want to or could stop a multi-billion dollar industry such as food/meat production? It feeds our country for gosh sakes. Of course they have no objective to do that. Anyone who says this is trying to muddy the waters and manipulate what people think. I have been to many animal activist dinners where we all were eating beef, chicken or some animal product. Yes, there are vegans and vegetarians, but that is a personal choice. It is NOT the objective of any Org that I know of (can’t say for PETA cuz I don’t know any of them), but all the rest absolutely not.

    Now for the author of this article/letter, I can tell you that I have seen her name on articles that have actually defended horrible animal abuse. She will stop at nothing to defend property rights even if it means disregarding what happened to the animal. Starting up or taking donations for a legal defense of an abuser was a bit shocking. It has nothing to do with the harmed animal, the mental sickness of the owner or the actual laws broken. It is about allowing anyone to do what they want with an animal, abuse or not and calling it property rights. It is about the pushing that agenda and nothing else.

    Well, I guess if she want anyone to be able to do anything to an animal, not have any laws or oversight … then what are you hiding? If you are doing things right, there should be no problem with animal abuse laws or allowing others to see what you are doing. I’m just sayin

  6. Debbie
    March 19, 2013 | 10:21 pm

    Well written Theresa!

  7. Jo-Claire Corcoran
    March 15, 2013 | 5:39 pm

    The above is from a person who supports the slaughter of horses for food consumption, even though we do not raise horses in this country for food. She is opposed to this law, that even though dog fighting is illegal, as long as there are those willing to attend and gamble on those fights, then they will continue. Enacting a law which then makes it illegal to attend, helps remove the “demand” for that illegal and cruel business. Business is about supply and demand.

    I would warn anyone who is opposed to dog fighting, horse slaughter etc… not donate to a rescue which supports these heinous activities.

    I am an animal advocate, I eat meat, but I do not want to see animals cruelly used and or our meat supply endangered the likes of which have been happening in Europe now.

    Fear mongering is what is happening, now where does anyone want Ag business to disappear, we love our pets and companion animals and would never want that to go away because they bring so much joy to our lives. HSUS mission is not to do away with animal ag, but to ensure it is done as humanely as possible.

    • Cowhorse
      March 19, 2013 | 10:57 pm

      Ms. Corcoran, the United States does have a market for horse meat. In two forms actually. First consider that many citizens of this country come from other countries where horse meat is culturally accepted and enjoyed. Simply moving to this country does not eliminate those people’s enjoyment of meat choice. Secondly, zoos and carnivore sanctuaries are always looking for a good meat source for their animals.

      You personally may only eat beef, however, a good share of people enjoy multiple meat sources including pork, mutton, wild game, and yes, cheval.

      • LazyWRanch
        March 21, 2013 | 5:45 am

        People want to eat horse just as much as people want to eat dog ….. Yes, there is always someone, under some rock that (that probably got here illegally) , but seriously now. We have lots of other choices out there. I personally want to eat something that has not been given a rabies vaccine or some other gosh awful banned substance.

        • Cowhorse
          March 22, 2013 | 11:15 pm

          For LazyWRanch: you are stating anyone who eats cheval is from “under some rock.” First and formost, people can still choose what they want to eat and if that includes cheval, so be it. You really don’t have any valid reasoning behind claiming they shouldn’t be eating cheval. You go on to say what you “personally” want to eat. You’re assuming that your choice is what everyone else should follow.

          Now let’s deal in facts (not a personl bias). It has been indicated that horses are all given rabies vaccine (LazyWRanch) and that horses are all given bute (Jo Claire Corcoran). Neither is true. The vast majority of horses have been given neither bute for any reason, nor are rabies vaccinated. There is no law requiring livestock to be rabies vaccinated, unlike some city ordanances or subdivision requirements that may require anywhere from an annual to three year vaccination protocol on companion animals (dogs, cats, ferrets).

          In neither comment here were facts posted regarding nutritional value of cheval. It is very high in iron and Omega-3’s and low in fat, so it is a very nutritious option for many.

          Some will claim that horses are not for consumption, be it human or otherwise. It would seem wise to logically consider all other livestock species are available for human consumption. It is also a red flag of misdirect when people will claim what others can or should eat. Since in America we are still given the choice of what we can eat, a person can choose to be vegan, vegetarian, or meat eater. If one consumes meat of any kind, we still have the freedom to select wild game or livestock. And that does include cheval.

          Reason would make anyone look at the broad scope here and say, “Why is a select group of people expecting to be allowed the right to dictate our food choices?” Yes, America, ask that question. Are YOU ready to be dictated to?

          • Syroko42
            March 23, 2013 | 6:44 am

            Actually according to Skye Mcneil, who penned the current law allowing horse slaughter in Oklahoma and benefiting her family’s livestock auction business at the same time has stated that there is no domestic market for horse meat. Surely a person who has written a bill promoting horse slaughter would have researched the market applications.
            Additionally I find it interesting that there are a number of comments discussing the agenda of PETA. They actually support domestic slaughter. I wonder if that makes slaughter supporters now PETA supporters?

          • Syroko42
            March 23, 2013 | 7:00 am

            “Why is a select group of people expecting to be allowed the right to dictate our food choices?”
            Approximately 1 percent of US horses are sent to slaughter. That means that about 99 percent do not. Further the vast majority of this country does not support horse slaughter as high as 80 percent. Should the minority of horse owners that rely on slaughter be allowed to affect the majority of the population? During the sequester, why should we be paying inspectors to inspect meat that we do not consume? Is it appropriate for the minority of horse owners to jeopardize the food safety of the rest of the country by stretching inspectors thinner to benefit a foreign interest? The sec of agriculture has stated that meat inspectors will be furloughed under the sequester. This is an irresponsible use of federal money. Especially during this time any federal money should be spent on domestic interests that benefit the most Americans possible, not yet another minute special interest and foreign consumers.

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