The Universal Declaration of Animal Rights

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The Universal Declaration of Animal Rights

 

Preamble

 

The recognition of the rights of all living creatures is fundamental to human beings. As members of the family of life we acknowledge our relationship, that we all share the same origin, the same DNA and interact in a wondrous web of life on this planet. As conscious organisms with the intelligence to see the consequences of our actions we have a duty to protect that delicate web of life that has taken billions of years to evolve. We recognize that it may be unique to this universe and each creature has contributed to its extraordinary complexity. The loss of any creature is cause for grief. We are of the same family. Our intelligence alone has conferred guardianship over all creatures.

 

Disregard and contempt for animal rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind. We seek the advent of a world in which all wild animals should live a life free of fear from humans and be free to pursue their lives in the habitats to which they have evolved. Those animals that man has domesticated as pets, working animals or for food or products should be respected, treated humanely and not be subjected to ill-treatment, cruelty or abuse.

 

Whether it be in zoos, farms, homes or the wild all animals should be protected and respected.

 

Animal rights should be protected by the rule of law.

 

These rights should be universal.

 

The people who support this Charter reaffirm their faith in fundamental animal rights, in the dignity and worth of all creatures and in the social progress that will lead to better standards of life for humans as well as animals.

 

We support the promotion of universal respect for and observance of animal rights and the fundamental freedoms of wild creatures, big or small, even to the tiniest insect.

 

We believe that a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge.

All who support this pledge proclaim THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF ANIMAL RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction. 

 

Article 1.
 

All animals are born free and with inherent dignity and rights. They are all worthy of respect and have a role in the web of life.

 

Article 2.
 

All creatures entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as species, order or family, size, beauty or use to humans

 

Article 3.
 

Every creature has the right to life and security.

 

Article 4.
 

No animal shall be abused, worked cruelly or treated without respect.

 

Article 5.
 

No creature shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

 

Article 6.
 

Every creature, no matter if it be the tiniest insect or protozoan, should have the protection of the law.

 

Article 7.
 

All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8.
 

Every creature, via a human counsel, has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted them by the constitution or by law.

 

Article 9.
 

No creature should be subject to death without due consideration.

 

Article 10.
 

Every creature has the right to their habitats being respected so that they are able to go about their lives in the natural manner to which they are accustomed in the full richness of their unique environment, with regard to fauna, flora and physical attributes.

 

Article 11.
 

All creatures have the right to live within the family groups and settings to which they find most conducive to their well-being.

 

Article 12.
 

When human activity intrudes into the habitats of animals then due attention should be paid to the rights of the creatures living in those habitats. Due care must be taken to preserve those habitats so that the animals that live within them may prosper.

 

Article 13.
 

Every creature has the right for their case to be represented in court.

 

Article 14.
 

Humans should restrict their operations within 50% of the planet and the other 50% be given over to protected wilderness with the full gamut of habitats so that the complex spectrum of life on this planet retains the ability to live freely without human threat.

 

Article 15.
 

Humans have the responsibility not to pollute or damage the natural world so their impact is not severe on the other organisms we share the planet with. Both fauna and flora have the right to live free of human interference.

 

 

Article 16.
 

Every creature has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of both themselves and of their family, including food, shelter, water and a place to breed.

 

Article 17.
 

Every creature has the right freely to participate in the richness of life within the community they are part of.

Article 18.
 

For creatures considered pests due regard must be taken to their role in the wider community of ecology before any action is taken against them. It is recognized that all creatures have a function in the web of life and any damage done to one will have repercussions throughout that web.

 

Article 19.

 

It is incumbent on mankind to preserve the complexity of life that adorns this planet and protect its uniqueness, to reduce the suffering of creatures and enrich the lives of humans through the beauty of nature.

 

 

Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

 

 

Comments

opher goodwin Added Nov 23, 2017 - 6:49pm
It's about time that we recognised that animals have feeling and experience pain just like human beings. It's time we treated them with respect. After all - we are animals too.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 23, 2017 - 8:26pm
Balderdash. 
Phil Greenough Added Nov 23, 2017 - 10:22pm
We do not share the same DNA as animals.  Our DNA is unique to our species. 
 
Unless we’re willing to give up our residences and infrastructure, animals do not have the right to the habitat they evolved.  That habitat is now for the exclusive use of humans.  We can try provide animals habitat, but that requires human sacrifice aka money.
 
Generally speaking, I think you need to appreciate the difference between animal rights and animal welfare.  Because of our desire for zoos, science, food, etc. I don’t think animals have rights, nor should they have rights.  However, we should show animals welfare and treat them as humanly as possible, no matter how they serve us. 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 23, 2017 - 10:56pm
However, we should show animals welfare and treat them as humanly as possible, no matter how they serve us. 
 
Exactly right. 
 
Bill H. Added Nov 23, 2017 - 11:18pm
Totally agree, Opher!
For a person to not have any compassion or concern for the Earth's creatures to me shows the most extreme of narrow-mindedness.
Every creature has a right to exist, and as stewards, we should make sure that they have space to exist as they are all part of the big machine. If we have reached the point where we only care about ourselves, then it is probably a good time for that big rock out in space that has our name on it to pay us a visit.
opher goodwin Added Nov 24, 2017 - 4:12am
Jeffry - thought you'd say that.
opher goodwin Added Nov 24, 2017 - 4:22am
Phil - we share our DNA with all animal and plant life. 96% of our genes are the same as a chimps or a gorilla. 60% of our DNA is the same as a fruit fly or a banana.
We have all evolved from the same organism and have a lot of our genes exactly the same.
Why would you think otherwise?
I am not suggesting that we give up our houses, cities and farms. I am suggesting that we preserve habitats in other areas and give half of the planet to nature.
Money is NOT the most important thing. There are many more important things.
I'm glad that you agree with me that all animals should be treated humanely.
opher goodwin Added Nov 24, 2017 - 4:23am
Jeffry - I am also glad to hear you agree that animals should be treated humanely. It's a start.
opher goodwin Added Nov 24, 2017 - 4:25am
Bill H - I was heartened to read your words concerning our compassion and stewardship. I am most concerned at the cavalier manner with which we are treating nature and the cruel practices we often ascribe to animals in our care.
If we give ourselves rights then they should have them too.
Leroy Added Nov 24, 2017 - 8:07am
Lawyer Ant: Your Honor, I allege that the Defendant, Human A, murdered Mr. Mosquito "without due consideration".  Human A slapped Mr. Mosquito to death for simply doing what comes naturally, feeding.  The only just penalty for taking the life of another is death, Your Honor.
 
Judge Rat: It was not premeditated Murder, Lawyer Ant.  The death penalty does not apply in this case.  The maximum penalty is life in prison.  Let the trial begin.  How do you plead, Human?
 
Human A: Innocent, Your Honor.  Mr. Mosquito was trying to steal my blood.  I plead self-defense, Your Honor.
 
Judge Rat:  Did you kill him inside your home?
 
Human A: Yes, Your Honor.
 
Lawyer Ant:  I object, Your Honor!  Human A dragged Mr. Mosquito into the house after ruthlessly murdering him.
 
Judge Rat: Human A is entitled to a trial by his peers.  Let's him a fair trial and then hang him.
 
 
opher goodwin Added Nov 24, 2017 - 8:18am
Leroy - Lol - Love it.
Simply Jews Added Nov 24, 2017 - 9:16am
Opher,
 
I wholly support the declaration. Being a sworn carnivore, I nevertheless promise to respect the animals and support their rights as long as they don't try to bite, sting or otherwise harm my well being. 
 
I also commit to always having a place for some of the representatives of animal community on my plate, next to potatoes and other plants (which I respect too).
 
And, being a cat lover, all feline' rights will be protected by me especially and with vengeance. Lions, tigers, cheetahs, leopards, cougars and other members of feline family included. So there.
 
(All of the above excludes cockroaches).
opher goodwin Added Nov 24, 2017 - 10:04am
Simply Jews - Thanks for that. I'm an omnivore. I like meat. I also don't like being bitten, stung or eaten.  I have that same place for meat on my plate - just so long as it was treated and killed right. Just wait until you read my charter for plant rights!
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Nov 24, 2017 - 10:25am
Animal rights. As long as we don't have human rights, what's animal rights for ? And - after all, we're animals too. Tztztz :-)
 
BTW: Good comments LOL
JJ Montagnier Added Nov 24, 2017 - 10:50am
I agree with Bill H's comment. We are however in the predicament that humans are omnivorous, so we (most of us) consume animals. We can however be as humane as possible in how we treat them up to the point where they become food. Unfortunately what is out of sight is out of mind and we rely on government regulations and checks and balances (inspections, quality control, etc) to make sure conditions are fair and good on farms and at abattoirs. At least most people treat their pets well and have respect for animals in the wild. I think the real problem lies with mass consumption that drives overcrowded conditions and poor treatment of animals in the entire animal supply chain - and the mass consumption is driven by our own over-population of the planet which drives up the demand for food production and transport globally.
Lynn Johnson Added Nov 24, 2017 - 10:54am
Can’t comment… have a deer to in the cooler that I need to process into steaks and sausage.  Will hunt every day over this Thanksgiving holiday and many more days over the next couple of months.  As of this week my deer rifle always rides shotgun (that means in the passenger seat for easy access).
 
The pig traps are baited and ready to trigger… so hopefully we’ll have some fresh pork soon.  The smoker is ready to be fired up. 
 
And finally, the leaves are off the trees, so it’s time to start hunting squirrels with dogs. 
 
This Thanksgiving, I’m grateful I know my place in nature and in the grand scheme of things.  My wish (call it a prayer) for the world is that others may acquire this simple revelation.
 
God bless you all and Happy Thanksgiving… especially my foreign and liberal friends.  You know who your are.  :)
opher goodwin Added Nov 24, 2017 - 11:02am
Stone - if we can produce human rights and implement them then I think we can produce animal rights. If it reduces cruelty and suffering I don't think it can be a bad thing.
opher goodwin Added Nov 24, 2017 - 11:03am
JJ - I agree with what you've said. It is all about respect and treating creatures fairly, appreciating they have as much right to live as us and not putting them through suffering through cruel practices.
opher goodwin Added Nov 24, 2017 - 11:06am
Lynn - hunting is a basic human drive. As long, as with our ancestors, the game is treated with respect and not made to suffer.
Knowing one's place in the big food web should engender respect for the rest of life.
Fortunately not everybody goes off killing everything in sight or we'd rapidly be living on bare rock.
Bill H. Added Nov 24, 2017 - 11:23am
I am also a sport fisherman and practice barbless hook catch and release, along with hookless fly strike fishing for trout in the local mountains. I will also keep an occasional fish or two for the barbecue or frypan. I am very active with a local conservation group that tends to upset many (or most) of the other local fisherman who are not only against our recent efforts to close sections of the fishery to allow species to propagate, but to tighten both limits on amounts and minimum fish sizes, along with moratoriums on certain dwindling species.
Even A Broken Clock Added Nov 24, 2017 - 11:24am
Opher - I agree that we must better understand the web of life that has developed on this earth and better protect it. Since we are in the Anthropocene period (the period where humanity is affecting the biome and the geology of the earth), we must take responsibility for our stewardship of life.
 
Unfortunately, we seem to be going in the opposite direction in the US with our PROFIT UBER ALLES mentality of our President. As you said in another post, it will be a long four years. I hope the planet can survive.
Leroy Added Nov 24, 2017 - 11:33am
8
Simply Jews Added Nov 24, 2017 - 12:47pm
Opher, by the way: if this post was a response to the Indy article, Indy have already retracted it. Because it was pure BS. Of course.
Dave Volek Added Nov 24, 2017 - 1:20pm
If everyone of us eats a little less meat, this will be good for the animals--and the environment.
 
But I'm kind of with Stone. We need to do a little better with human rights.
Tamara Wilhite Added Nov 24, 2017 - 2:16pm
Illogical. Are you going to penalize fish for eating other fish? Will you stop the tigers from eating livestock?
opher goodwin Added Nov 24, 2017 - 2:24pm
Bill - keep up the good work!! I'm right with you. Good on you.
opher goodwin Added Nov 24, 2017 - 2:26pm
EABC - there's more to life than money and I despise cruelty and those that are cruel. I'm right with you. We have stewardship of the great web of life. Let us hope we are up to the job.
opher goodwin Added Nov 24, 2017 - 2:26pm
Leroy - what have you ate?
opher goodwin Added Nov 24, 2017 - 2:27pm
Simply Jews - no it's not a response. I didn't read that one.
opher goodwin Added Nov 24, 2017 - 2:28pm
Dave - eating a bit less meat would be good for our health too.
I don't think human rights is incompatible with animal rights. They can go hand in hand. There's just too many people.
opher goodwin Added Nov 24, 2017 - 2:29pm
Tamara - no - all I want is for people not to cause suffering to animals and to respect the environment and protect their habitats. Nothing illogical about that.
I did not devise these rights for fish to read.
opher goodwin Added Nov 24, 2017 - 2:30pm
Tamara - I'll have a word with the tigers (those few that are left!).
Bill H. Added Nov 24, 2017 - 4:00pm
Part of society is still in the "Me Now" mode, and cares nothing about the betterment and sustaining of all life on Earth and caring for the environment or showing any compassion to even other human beings, let alone Earth's creatures. It seems to be a gene that has not yet been totally bred out of our species, and is the cause of many of our problems as human beings.
Leroy Added Nov 24, 2017 - 4:35pm
"It seems to be a gene that has not yet been totally bred out of our species, and is the cause of many of our problems as human beings."
 
Unfortunately, we are still human....Sigh.
opher goodwin Added Nov 24, 2017 - 5:36pm
Bill - it's not there in everyone. Not all of us are cruel heartless bastards - just some.
opher goodwin Added Nov 24, 2017 - 5:37pm
Leroy - as I said to Bill there are lots of people who care. They outnumber the cruel uncaring ones.
Lynn Johnson Added Nov 24, 2017 - 8:44pm
I would fall into the pro human responsibility camp but anti animal rights.
 
1) From a philosophical perspective, I see rights as something uniquely human.  One cannot elevate an animal to the value of a human so the inclination is to devalue the life of the human to that of an animal.  (We've already gone too far in this regard.)
 
2) The slippery slope theorem.  First, most animal rights pushers have a much more progressive agenda than they let on.  Best to make them fight for every inch.
 
From firsthand experience on a "factory farm", I can tell you the regulations resulting from animal rights is solely intended to cause grief and financial strain for the farmer... and little/nothing to do with the welfare of the animal.
 
The goal is simply to put as much grief (regulations) and financial strain on you until you just throw up your hands and quit.  The ultimate goal (for most) is to do away with all consumption of meat.
 
P.S.  No deer this evening... wish me luck in the morning. :)
Bill H. Added Nov 24, 2017 - 9:37pm
Well Lynn - At least your are not consuming vast amounts of hormones, steroids, and antibiotics that come with factory meat, which has been found to be the major contributor to cancers. I eat lots of fish and avoid factory meat just for this reason.
John Minehan Added Nov 24, 2017 - 9:53pm
May be a better legal foundation is the concept of "Trust."
 
Maybe instead of considering animals to have "rights," we should consider humans to have responsibilities to pets, farm animals, livestock and animals in the natural environment.
 
We hold animals in "Trust" and have a trustee's equitable responsibility not to waste or misuse them.
 
Certainly, as to pets, as living creatures, they are a different class of "property" than an inanimate object, like a book or a chair, although current US law does not see them that way.  
Lynn Johnson Added Nov 24, 2017 - 10:45pm
Bill >> At least you are not consuming vast amounts of hormones, steroids, and antibiotics that come with factory meat, 
 
Well, I can't claim to eat 100% natural meat... I definitely eat some ”factory meat" from time to time.  Hunting season is only October through February after all.  That deep-fried turkey was dam good at grandma's house.
 
And... in the interest of full disclosure.  My (extended) family grew just over 1 million chickens a year (back in the 80s and 90s).  It put me through college.  We've cut back considerably since then (probably down to a few hundred thousand today).  
 
We also have a couple hundred head of farting, ozone depleting cattle.  Haven't raised pigs in a long, long time.
 
Man, it's good to get that off my chest!  I feel like a James Bond villain right now.  I'll save my involvement with fracking for my next evil monologue. :)
Lynn Johnson Added Nov 24, 2017 - 11:08pm
>> Maybe instead of considering animals to have "rights," we should consider humans to have responsibilities...
 
Absolutely... if you don't start trying to codify those responsibilities.  (As the articles above do)  Do that and the animal rights guys go nuts and your right back to the same end result.
 
Here is a real-life example.  I live in the middle of nowhere and for some reason, the middle of nowhere is exactly where people drop off "pets" they no longer want (a lot of pit bulls for some reason).
 
What should I be required to do as a "responsible" human?  Call somebody?  Who?  The nearest somebody (who cares) is probably one to two hundred miles away.  (And they don't care that much).
 
Should I try to find a home for the pet?  What does that pay to support my family?  I already have a job that I really need to go to.
 
Should I adopt the pet myself?  I'd have dozens of dogs and cats.  I can't afford that.
 
I could watch the animal slowly starve to death over a weeks’ time.  Sometimes (in the case of the pit bulls) they come to my house and steal my dog’s food often trying to kill them in the process.
 
Please point me to the article above that explains what I am to do if in this situation.  What will be the penalty if I choose to support my family over the welfare of the abandoned pets?  Can you even imagine the bureaucratic nightmare the above would create?
 
High-minded secular bullshit... meet reality...
Bill H. Added Nov 25, 2017 - 1:23am
Lynn
For sure,spaying of pets and banning of dog and cat breeding would be a good start all over the country.
Here's hoping your water source remains free of Methanol, Benzene, and Toluene!
The Burghal Hidage Added Nov 25, 2017 - 4:07am
So let me get this straight. For us there are no rights, but those which society gives us.  So we are giving rights to animals? Nice sentiment, I guess. I wonder if they'll appreciate it?
opher goodwin Added Nov 25, 2017 - 4:26am
Lynn - I like meat. I wouldn't give it up. I've worked in an animal house and had to kill lots of animals. I don't like killing things but would be prepared to kill in order to eat. What I do not like is cruelty and suffering or the destruction of wildlife habitats and trashing of nature. I love animals and believe they should all be respected and treated humanely.
I don't agree with you about regulations. Many animals were treated abominably. That has to stop.
Animals feel things the same as people.
I also do not agree with you about humans. We are animals. Right now there are 7.6 billion of us and we are making a right mess of the planet and trashing it. We are driving countless species to extinction. It is madness - thoughtless, callous stupidity.
opher goodwin Added Nov 25, 2017 - 4:27am
Bill - the mass production of meat and crops is a worry. Who knows what chemicals we are taking in.
opher goodwin Added Nov 25, 2017 - 4:31am
Lynn - I think you miss the point entirely. Shoot the dogs. What I despise is cruelty, suffering and thoughtless destruction of habitat or wildlife.
Animals should be treated with respect.
opher goodwin Added Nov 25, 2017 - 4:32am
TBH - the ones that are no longer being tortured, mistreated or wiped out might.
opher goodwin Added Nov 25, 2017 - 4:33am
Lyn - with rights come responsibilities. Stewardship of the planet is the responsibility of humans.
opher goodwin Added Nov 25, 2017 - 4:35am
John - I like the idea of responsibilities.
I also think that looking at creatures as feeling beings, not objects, would create a greater respect for living things.
I despise cruelty and suffering and I despise the trashing of nature.
John Minehan Added Nov 25, 2017 - 7:14am
"I could watch the animal slowly starve to death over a weeks’ time.  Sometimes (in the case of the pit bulls) they come to my house and steal my dog’s food often trying to kill them in the process."
 
You don't own the animal; you don't hold it is trust.
 
But the animals are suffering and their presence effects you, your family and your family's dog.  In NYS, if you hit a deer, you are legally obligated to call the police who come to put it down (the meat donated to charity).
 
Under your circumstances, perhaps you should shoot the suffering (and potentially dangerous) feral dogs or contact the county sheriff or state police.
Bill H. Added Nov 25, 2017 - 11:11am
 
If anyone has ever shot a rabbit as I did once when I was a young child being taught to hunt by my Grandfather, they most likely heard the scream of pain that is common when they are shot.
It was the last time that I ever raised a gun to kill a creature.
Lynn Johnson Added Nov 25, 2017 - 12:05pm
BH >> Here's hoping your water source remains free of Methanol, Benzene, and Toluene!
 
I think I'll be just fine... since all that $%&^* is hyped and blown way out of proportion by those with an agenda.  As is the hype about factory farms and a host of other ills the left would fix with massive regulations and bureaucracies.
 
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
 
OG >> I also do not agree with you about humans. We are animals.
 
Exactly.  The worth of a human and that of an animal are the same.  Because from a secular perspective; we are.
 
I own (yes own) four dogs.  I would even say that I love them (and vice versa).  But I know that they are dogs.  Given the choice to save the life of a human being (ANY human being) over my dogs? I choose the human being every time.   Why?  Because I understand the infinite value of human life over that of an animal.
 
Fewer and fewer people every year would make that morally correct choice.  Why?  Part of it is because of the secular blurring of the lines between man and animal.
 
OG >> the mass production of meat and crops is a worry. Who knows what chemicals we are taking in.
 
Then don't eat it (as Bill suggests).  Don't condemn the rest of the world to high food prices and possibly starvation for your hang-ups.
 
OG >> I think you miss the point entirely. Shoot the dogs.
 
I do.
 
But I think you are missing the point.  If the articles above were codified into law... it would be illegal for me to do so.
 
OG >> the ones that are no longer being tortured, mistreated or wiped out might (appreciate it).
 
No, they won't (which was TBHs point).  They will never know; because they do not have the capacity to know.
 
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
 
JM >> You don't own the animal; you don't hold it is trust.
 
Don't know what the latter half of this statement means.  But I do own my dogs... literally... legally... they are my property.
 
Do I recognize additional responsibilities towards them as living creatures?  Sure.  But I have no misconceptions about our relationship or their value
 
JM >> Under your circumstances, perhaps you should shoot the suffering (and potentially dangerous) feral dogs...
 
Not only should I... I do.  It is the humane thing to do.
 
And if you ever saw a dog/cat suffering at the edge of starvation; you would raise the gun every time... if you had any compassion left in you.
Neil Lock Added Nov 25, 2017 - 1:37pm
Opher: Sorry it’s taken me a while to answer this. It’s a long, deep answer.
 
First, let’s reflect that each animal species has its own nature. Some are predators. Some are prey. Most are betwixt and between. Humans are special – as you say, “our intelligence alone has conferred guardianship over all creatures.” And I think that the question you raise here is akin to quis custodet custodes – who guards the guardians?
 
My first point is that, if there is to be a universal declaration of animal rights, it must apply to all animal species. No? So, if every creature has the right to life and security, that should impose strict limits on – for example – when cats may kill mice. Or smallpox viruses may invade humans. Or when and where cuckoos may lay their eggs. Yes?
 
My second point has already been made for me by the commenters here. That until we have human rights, animal rights are irrelevant for us. My own view is that to treat animals unjustly is inelegant; but to treat a human unjustly is a very serious wrong.
 
As to your article 14, you seem to want to require those humans who live in 50 per cent of the globe – and so, I presume, roughly 50 percent of the population – to give up their homes. Where do you get the right to do such a thing? And why are you not first in the queue to give up your own home for the cause?
 
More generally, if “we” (whatever that means) are to grant these privileges to animals, should we not in return have the right to tax them for the privilege as we see fit? In wool, milk, meat, transport and whatever else?
 
And when in the comments you say, “there’s just too many people,” please make it clear which individuals or groups of human beings you want to eliminate.
 
As to meat eating: Opher, you’re a biologist. Why don’t you get together with your organic chemist friends, and synthesize a meat substitute that tastes as good as or better than the original?
 
As to destruction of wildlife habitats: The political class and their cronies have been destroying our habitat – the free market – for decades, with their taxes and their bad laws. And when you say “We are driving countless species to extinction,” I laugh. Go on, name 100 species humans have extinguished in the past century, and provide proof.
 
To sum up: Evolution evolves. Stasis is death. The whole idea of “sustainable development” is idiotic. Humans, like flowers, grow as is natural to us, using the natural resources we need in the process. And it is our nature to create wealth, and to make the world when we leave it a better place for our species than it was when we came in.
opher goodwin Added Nov 25, 2017 - 2:25pm
John - I agree.
opher goodwin Added Nov 25, 2017 - 2:28pm
Bill - as a Zoologist I have worked with thousands of animals and killed thousands. There is no doubt in my mind that they all, from the mice and rats, to the dogs and cats, feel terror and pain. Latest research indicates that fish have advanced sense of pain. Who knows what consciousness these animals possess?
I think it is incumbent on us to treat them with respect and reduce their fear and suffering.
opher goodwin Added Nov 25, 2017 - 2:36pm
Lyn -
Fewer and fewer people every year would make that morally correct choice.  Why?  Part of it is because of the secular blurring of the lines between man and animal.
I'd say more and more people are coming to realise that we humans are of no more value than animals. All life is of importance. I'd go into a burning house to save my dog or my child.
 
But I think you are missing the point.  If the articles above were codified into law... it would be illegal for me to do so.
 
No that is not true. If the articles above were codified into law it would mean that you would need to justify your actions. They are intended to prevent needless suffering and protect and respect nature not to prevent animals being farmed, hunters hunting, or vermin/strays being shot. As long as the acts were justified.
 
No, they won't (which was TBHs point).  They will never know; because they do not have the capacity to know.
 
They might not know. But they won't be suffering and we will know. Just the same as people living in a fair society don't know how lucky they are not to be tortured.
Ian Thorpe Added Nov 25, 2017 - 4:11pm
There is no point in sheep passing resolutions in favour of vegetarianism so long as the wolf remains of a different opinion.
Can't remember who said it, but until someone can tell me how we protect both the sheep's right to life and the wolf's right to be a wolf I will remain on the opinions that while animals should receive humane treatment they cannot have rights.
Lynn Johnson Added Nov 25, 2017 - 4:47pm
>> I'd say more and more people are coming to realise that we humans are of no more value than animals.
 
Exactly... and those people are wrong (with all due respect).  But what we really have here is a key difference between those of faith (seeing man created in the image of God) and those of this world (seeing it as one big random event).
 
>> All life is of importance. I'd go into a burning house to save my dog or my child.
 
Sure... but choose.  You can only save one.  Which is it?  Go one step further, your dog or a stranger?  And finally, one more step.  Your dog or someone you hate?
 
I'm telling you the answer EVERY time is the human.  Any other answer (any hesitation) is immoral.
 
>> If the articles above were codified into law it would mean that you would need to justify your actions.
 
Again... exactly.  One would be afraid to act (even out of compassion) out of fear of what the law.  The right thing is no longer your only concern, but rather what a bunch of bureaucrats will think is the right thing.
 
Intent?  Reminds me of the road to hell.
 
>> As long as the acts were justified.
 
And... who decides that?  What are the penalties if my intent is judged unsatisfactory by those designated to judge?  Best not to ever find out.  Best to make sure there never is such a person or tribunal.
 
John Minehan Added Nov 25, 2017 - 4:54pm
>> I'd say more and more people are coming to realise that we humans are of no more value than animals.
 
Well, if it came to point where, to let the human race survive, everything else will become extinct, I'm not sure we have more value. 
 
The only answer there is NOT to let things get to that point . . . .  
John Minehan Added Nov 25, 2017 - 4:59pm
"Sure... but choose.  You can only save one.  Which is it?  Go one step further, your dog or a stranger?  And finally, one more step.  Your dog or someone you hate?
 
I'm telling you the answer EVERY time is the human.  Any other answer (any hesitation) is immoral."
 
The problem with this is that it is a crude construct; things are usually not that binary ("either/or"). 
 
The further problem with this is that it is never a "rational decision" in practice.  It is a purely emotional one . . . which probably means the dog wins more than you might expect.
The Burghal Hidage Added Nov 25, 2017 - 5:10pm
Opher -  Hope you are on with us this evening. I have need to stray from topic, if I may?
Dr. Rupert Green Added Nov 25, 2017 - 5:57pm
@ Phil. "I don’t think animals have rights, nor should they have rights.  "
A couple centuries ago, that was what was said of Blacks. Did White folks get it wrong.
Lynn Johnson Added Nov 25, 2017 - 7:08pm
>> The problem with this is that it is a crude construct; things are usually not that binary ("either/or").
 
The hypothetical question is not meant to test one's understanding of probability, but rather to ascertain moral clarity.
 
If someone asked you if you would catch a baby dropped from a balcony would you answer "Well, the problem with this is that it is a crude construct; things are usually not that binary ("either/or")."
 
Why not? Both scenarios would be about equally improbable.
 
And imagine the reaction that answer would get in polite society (and rightly so).
 
The problem with THIS question is that many would answer the animal, but something deep down is telling them this is wrong... so they dodge, weave and run off on statistical tangents.
 
>> The further problem with this is that it is never a "rational decision" in practice. It is a purely emotional one . . . which probably means the dog wins more than you might expect.
 
There are studies using this very scenario. When it's your dog/pet vs. a relative... the relative fares well. When it's a stranger... the stranger is often in trouble.
 
Link: Dennis Prager
Link: Huffington Post
 
My point is that morally, it SHOULD be a rational objective decision; even one that requires very little thought.
 
opher goodwin Added Nov 25, 2017 - 7:17pm
Neil - some very thoughtful points and ones worthy of debate.
Firstly the rights I propose cannot be applied to wild animals. Predators preying on their normal prey are natural, as are cuckoos etc. They are not subject to these rights. These are based on the way humans consciously treat animals. I do not even object to responsible hunting.
We do have human rights as laid out in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights which is the starting point for my Animal Rights. That document is IMO the best document humans have produced and should be fully implemented.
Treating animals cruelly or thoughtlessly destroying their habitats or hunting to extinction is not inelegant; it is disgusting.
We do tax animals. I see nothing wrong in keeping pets or farming animals for meat or products as long as they are treated with respect and humanely.
The 50% rule does not require any relocation of people. It requires an enforcement of the protection of natural habitats and the non-encroachment of humans into these areas. The protection of rainforests, marine environments and other important habitats. That can be achieved without moving people.
There are far too many people. The human overpopulation is creating the massive destruction of nature that is taking place. I have personally witnessed it all over the globe. It is horrendous. The levels of pollution and environmental destruction is massive. The population needs halving. I do not, of course, propose wiping out groups of people but do have well thought through policies that would, over time, stabilise population growth and then lead to a steady reduction.
I am all in favour of meat being produced without killing animals. Many millions have been put into producing this in the laboratory. Unfortunately none have yet been successful. The taste and texture of cloned meat is not yet good. Perhaps soon we will have perfected it.
Do you not read about the extinction of species?? Do you not see the huge endangered list? Have you not been aware of the drastic reduction in populations? Here's some reading -
75% reduction in flying insects in 27 years -
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0185809
Wildlife population halved in last 40 years -
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-29418983
Deforestation is the permanent destruction of forests in order to make the land available for other uses. An estimated 18 million acres (7.3 million hectares) of forest, which is roughly the size of the country of Panama, are lost each year, according to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).4 Mar 2015
Here's some of the larger animals we've hunted to extinction - 322 of them.
https://www.seeker.com/humans-caused-322-animal-extinctions-in-past-500-years-1768850883.html
Evolution works very well over long periods of time. It requires millions of years. The devastation caused by humans is far too rapid for nature to respond.
Anthropologists report that the first signs of human migration into a new region is the total extermination of all the megafauna. from mammoths to giant sloths, giant beavers, giant deer, giant rodents and giant kangaroos. The list is long.
Far from leaving the world a better place for our species we are trashing it.
My bill of rights for animals requires us doing a better job all round.
opher goodwin Added Nov 25, 2017 - 7:18pm
Ian - I believe that we can confer rights on them to protect them against the cruelty we deal out to them.
opher goodwin Added Nov 25, 2017 - 7:22pm
Lynn - for a Biologist, a scientist and an antitheist the argument concerning mystical beings, for which there is no evidence, carries no weight with me at all. I look at the DNA evidence. We are animals like the rest.
I'd certainly choose my family first. Then it would be a hard decision. I'd probably go for the dog.
I would look to change thoughtless cruelty by law and change behaviour - just like we've seen with many other cruel instances such as slavery.
The courts decide. The law of the land decides.
opher goodwin Added Nov 25, 2017 - 7:23pm
John - I would agree. Cruelty and suffering should not be happening now. Pollution and environmental destruction should not be happening. We should never have let it come to this.
opher goodwin Added Nov 25, 2017 - 7:24pm
TBH - sorry - just arrived and off to bed - tomorrow.
opher goodwin Added Nov 25, 2017 - 7:26pm
Dr Green - very good point. As that was horrendously wrong so is the ill-treatment of animals. Without rights they are unprotected. I do not believe anybody disputes the rights of all races of humans now. Animals require similar respect.
opher goodwin Added Nov 25, 2017 - 7:27pm
Lynn - the moral clarity is that no animal should needlessly be made to suffer or have its habitat destroyed. They require thought and respect.
Lynn Johnson Added Nov 25, 2017 - 9:25pm
>> argument concerning mystical beings, for which there is no evidence, carries no weight with me at all.
 
Yes, yes... you’re an atheist... the most atheisty of atheist.
 
Surely, we've conversed enough that I know that by now.  And knowing that, surely, I wouldn't waste my breath (or typing) putting forth such an argument as a means of persuasion.  So... logically that was not the point.
 
The point was that our outlooks (atheist vs Christian) predispose us towards the value we assign animal and human life.  These predispositions also affect the choice of saving whom/what in the hypothetical moral question.
 
I'll even concede the point that if you are right (in that there is no God) then your choice is as good/correct as any.
 
>> I'd certainly choose my family first. Then it would be a hard decision. I'd probably go for the dog.
 
Exactly... all things being literally equal, why not the dog?  If I were in your shoes (theological disposition) I'd probably do the same (as the studies show).
 
>> I would look to change thoughtless cruelty by law and change behavior… The courts decide. The law of the land decides.
 
And I would look to stop you (from making animal rights the law of the land) ... seeing the secondary affects as onerous.
Neil Lock Added Nov 26, 2017 - 3:06am
Opher: Well, my view on the UN declaration of human rights, as I’ve said before, isn’t the same as yours. I mentioned social security and “free” education, at least, as things that can’t be implemented without violating other rights. But there's even worse buried in that Declaration - like the statement that rights and freedoms "may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations." That's a big red flag right there.
 
…and back to animals. In your article you say: “We seek the advent of a world in which all wild animals should live a life free of fear from humans and be free to pursue their lives in the habitats to which they have evolved.” But now you say, “the rights I propose cannot be applied to wild animals.” ???? I think that what you’re actually wanting to do is to give animals rights against humans. In effect, you’re moving humans from the top of the animal kingdom (“guardians”) down to the bottom. I, for one, don’t agree with that.
 
As to “the population needs halving,” that is your opinion. Do you really think it is right to try to control or even stop the reproduction of other human beings? That same UN declaration, which you think so highly of, says (article 16(1)): “Men and women of full age… have the right to marry and to found a family.” Doesn’t that rule out any form of population control? In any case, as I commented back on your GM foods thread: “In virtually all Western countries, birth rates are now below replacement levels. Over the whole world, the fertility rate is about 15% above replacement rate, but that seems to be coming down.”
 
As to extinction of species, I skim-read the reference you gave about animal extinctions. (That’s a very strange website; it won’t let you stay long enough on one page to read the article in detail, but keeps cycling on to yet another green scare.) This seems to be about articles in a “special issue” of the journal “Science.” For which read, a political rant sponsored by a journal that ought to know better. And I suggest that when it says “Numbers of the latter group have nearly halved as our population doubled in size over the past 35 years” it is probably referring to the same source as the BBC article saying wildlife population has halved in 40 years. Neither of these statements pass my smell test. Where are the objective, measured numbers that prove such statements beyond reasonable doubt?
 
As to the examples, I don’t see a list of the 322 claimed extinctions; so I can’t even start to make an objective judgement on the evidence. The only example I could see that seems to be recent is the Tasmanian tiger, and I don’t see any evidence there that humans were responsible.
 
As to forests, tropical deforestation halved between 1980-95 and 1996-2010, and loss of temperate forests is now very small. See here: https://ourworldindata.org/forests/, the figure at I.3 is the one you need.
 
Lastly, in your reply to Lynn you say: “the moral clarity is that no animal should needlessly be made to suffer or have its habitat destroyed. They require thought and respect.” But that goes for humans, too. The green agenda has already damaged our freedoms, our economy and our civilization. We need to put a stop to that.  As I said in my comment above, “Humans, like flowers, grow as is natural to us, using the natural resources we need in the process.” If we are to give the poor people in Africa and other places a decent chance to join human civilization, we’re going to have to keep on expanding the world economy for quite some time yet.
opher goodwin Added Nov 26, 2017 - 4:15am
Lynn - but in opposing animal rights you are consigning many millions of animals to undue suffering aren't you? As a hunter you must surely respect animals and despise the cruelty meted out to them in so many different ways?
opher goodwin Added Nov 26, 2017 - 4:48am
Neil - I see no real problem with the UN's declaration. And I do believe that it has made a real difference. It frames an ideal that we should move towards.
We are now in the Anthropocene where humans are impacting on the planet to such an extent that they are affecting climate, polluting habitats globally and causing mass extinctions on a scale not seen since major comet hits or volcanic events. And those natural events were disasters for life on this planet. It is humans that have the intelligence and means to affect the flora and fauna on a universal basis so it is to them that the rights of animals must be directed.
I see nothing wrong with that.
We need to start to view all animal life as sentient beings with feelings and needs and to treat them with respect. We also need to appreciate the balance of life within the food webs of ecosystems
Unless we afford animals rights we violate their right to life. We have abused animals with impunity and treated them abominably. The world used to teem with creatures but we have reduced their numbers drastically. Many farming methods are incredibly cruel and need altering. Many people treat animals with great cruelty causing agony and suffering. We need to afford these creatures rights and form a better relationship with them.
Neil I know the world has too many people. Over recent years my trips to Asia, Africa, South America, India, China and Indonesia have shown a world full of squalor and misery with rubbish, pollution and immense environmental damage. It is heartbreaking. The planet is being systematically trashed to feed and accommodate these masses. I am not proposing radical reductions. We merely need to bring in a series of measures and the population will control itself:
a. Educate girls
b. Provide sickness benefit
c. Provide pensions
d. Provide contraception
e. Give incentives for families of two children
f. Move away from this constant capitalist mantra of growth
That is probably is all that is necessary. In the days of automation we no longer have a need for large armies of workers. They are redundant and destructive.
Well Neil - 'A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest' is true for all of us. I go by the evidence of my own eyes as much as anything. I have seen the huge decline in wildlife in Britain and I have seen the destruction all around the world. It is undeniable.
In search of koalas, echidnas, wombats and platypus in Australia I can't begin to tell you the number of times we were told that there used to be lots but they're gone now.
Vietnam was silent. I asked my guide why the jungle was so quiet and he replied that the people eat everything that moves. No birds, no insects.
In Tasmania we stood on denuded hillsides overlooking bare rock and stumps as far as the eye could see - logging.
In Peru the refuse trucks from Lima unloaded directly on the beaches - mile after mile. The sea was a mass of garbage.
In Cape Town South Africa the raw sewage from the township was piped directly into the sea. A great brown slick hugged the coast.
In Brazil we flew over the denuded landscape previously thriving rainforest teeming with animals.
In Kenya the elephants, once plentiful, no longer roam in herds. The waterholes are no longer spectacles of abundance.
Sailing along the coast of South America, once bountiful with life, where records from the first sailing ships record how many tons of fresh meat was taken on board, the seas, skies and shore were almost empty of life. What had been abundant was now rare. We biologists had to search for the remaining vestiges.
It is a tragic catastrophe of our making.
Lynn Johnson Added Nov 26, 2017 - 10:16am
>> but in opposing animal rights you are consigning many millions of animals to undue suffering aren't you?
 
No.  Your premise assumes your solution (bestowing rights upon animals) is the only one that addresses the problem.  I'm against that solution because I believe that it will cause other problems and be carried too far (from personal experience).
 
Also, I believe it is based on a falsehood (animals have rights) from my theological perspective.
 
>> As a hunter you must surely respect animals and despise the cruelty meted out to them in so many different ways?
 
I believe there are specific problems out there that can be addressed specifically.
opher goodwin Added Nov 26, 2017 - 11:00am
Lynn - so how would you address the global ecological catastrophe and the domestic abuse of animals?
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Nov 26, 2017 - 11:33am
I'm not into torturing animals. But try to explain animal rights to the average African or South American who lacks food to eat. He won't have too much mercy with the cat, dog or rat he's forced to eat.
 
I'm sorry but I do weigh humans higher than animals, and if that's un-PC I couldn't care less ;)
 
 
opher goodwin Added Nov 26, 2017 - 12:36pm
Stone - I know. I've seen it first hand. But they are stripping the bush bare. There are parts of Africa where the birthrate is out of control. It is madness.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Nov 26, 2017 - 4:43pm
Education....and jobs in order to get the idea erased: the more kids i have the bigger the chance one or two get a job to feed the family....
Lynn Johnson Added Nov 26, 2017 - 4:58pm
>> so how would you address the global ecological catastrophe and the domestic abuse of animals?
 
I wouldn't. I would address one local issue at a time preferably helping the locals decide what should be done.  Without their buy-in you're not going to have much success anyway.
 
opher goodwin Added Nov 26, 2017 - 6:23pm
Stone - education - particularly for women - and jobs with security so there is no need for a large family. Right on.
opher goodwin Added Nov 26, 2017 - 6:24pm
Lynn - and the multinationals? The loggers? The strip mining? the overfishing? The overhunting? The inherent cruelty?
Lynn Johnson Added Nov 26, 2017 - 7:09pm
>> and the multinationals? The loggers? The strip mining? the overfishing? The overhunting? The inherent cruelty?
 
Sovereign nations deciding what is best for their people and their nation. When several nations need to get together to agree on a specific issue, do that.
 
For nations who decide not to adopt your "Universal Declaration" are you going to force them at the end of a gun or other threats? And I'm the bully around here?
opher goodwin Added Nov 27, 2017 - 4:48am
Lynn - why do you think that having a declaration of Animal Rights is threatening people or bullying?
The trouble with many of the third world nations is that their governments are corrupt and the big multinationals simply buy them off. All they care about is the bottom line and nobody is considering the ecosystem or creatures living in it.
If we are going to stop this relentless destruction of nature and extinctions of species we have to do something. Then there are all the issues relating to the ill-treatment of animals in zoos, farms and homes. We need to respect animals more.
Neil Lock Added Nov 27, 2017 - 5:52am
Opher: As to humans “causing mass extinctions,” I say again: “name 100 species humans have extinguished in the past century, and provide proof.” You didn’t provide proof of even a single one last time. If you can’t do that, why should I believe there’s any problem at all – let alone a “tragic catastrophe” as you call it?
 
Your proposed “series of measures” to reduce human population without committing genocide requires resources. Or, otherwise said, money. And lots of it. Where will you get those resources from? By taxing people? How do you think those who, like me, don’t see overpopulation as a problem requiring draconian action, would feel about having our savings and our earnings taken away for the sake of what we see as a non-problem? As you say, animals have feelings and needs. Humans no less. And those needs include being treated with concern for our views and with justice. In any case, who are you to claim a right to institute such “measures?”
 
On your specific examples: Yes, logging leaves a denuded forest – for a period. But if a forest is properly managed, a few decades later it will have grown back – and eventually, it will be ready to be logged again. The two examples you gave about garbage happen, presumably, because the locals can’t afford Western standard refuse treatment facilities. The solution there is to grow their economies, so they can afford to do these things more cleanly. And if you saw a dearth of life on the western coast of South America, you were probably there during a La Niňa. Not only does La Niňa bring colder water to the surface – less welcoming conditions for fish, and so for birds too – but it is also known to cause drought along the Peruvian and Chilean coasts. Nothing to do with humans at all.
Lynn Johnson Added Nov 27, 2017 - 9:07am
>> why do you think that having a declaration of Animal Rights is threatening people or bullying?
 
It doesn't... IF you respect the sovereign rights of each nation to accept or decline your declaration.  Your passion for the subject seems to indicate you might favor forcing some into adoption/compliance through the U.N. or some other nefarious means.
 
On a side note: THIS type of enforcement of unpopular mandates pushed by globalist elites is exactly why Brexit happened, and probably why Trump got elected.
 
>> The trouble with many of the third world nations is that their governments are corrupt and the big multinationals simply buy them off.
 
OK... so what do you do about it.  Go over their heads and force your agenda on them some other way?  How does that make you any better than the multinationals or some other "benevolent" oligarch?
 
>> All they care about is the bottom line and nobody is considering the ecosystem or creatures living in it.
 
As Neil Lock eluded to... the best solution here is to help them reform their government and economies to break those chains.  But be aware that once chains are broken they may not be as grateful or beholden to you as you had hoped.
 
Of course, you're also caught in a catch 22 (especially in South America) since you would push socialism which historically leads to more corrupt dictatorships.
 
>> If we are going to stop this relentless destruction of nature and extinctions of species we have to do something. Then there are all the issues relating to the ill-treatment of animals in zoos, farms and homes. We need to respect animals more.
 
I don't deny that some problems exist, though we would probably disagree on the scope/details of said problems.
 
Your approach seems to be bottom down... have the powers at the top (the elites) adopt your declaration of rights and then tell the serfs how it's going to be (probably creating a massive bureaucratic enforcement agency).
 
You'll find me almost ALWAYS against that approach.
opher goodwin Added Nov 27, 2017 - 9:14am
Neil - most of the animals that are being made extinct are invertebrates as you may know. Do you really believe that scientists are making this up and there is no crisis?
Just to illustrate the degree of biodiversity loss we're facing, let’s take you through one scientific analysis...

The rapid loss of species we are seeing today is estimated by experts to be between 1,000 and 10,000 times higher than the natural extinction rate.*
These experts calculate that between 0.01 and 0.1% of all species will become extinct each year.
If the low estimate of the number of species out there is true - i.e. that there are around 2 million different species on our planet** -  then that means between 200 and 2,000 extinctions occur every year.
But if the upper estimate of species numbers is true - that there are 100 million different species co-existing with us on our planet - then between 10,000 and 100,000 species are becoming extinct each year.

Unlike the mass extinction events of geological history, the current extinction challenge is one for which a single species - ours - appears to be almost wholly responsible.



This is often referred to as the 6th extinction crisis, after the 5 known extinction waves in geological history.

So without arguing about who’s right or wrong.

Or what the exact numbers are.

There can be little debate that there is, in fact, a very serious biodiversity crisis.
WWF
I think you are focussed too much on the big stuff - like Tasmanian Wolf and Dodo. We are losing tens of thousands of species that we have not even known about.
But more importantly it is the crashing of populations that is even more terrible than the extinctions.
 
Of course it will cost money to put into place means for dealing with what is the most enormous problem we are facing. But it is costing us big money dealing with the fall-out from overpopulation - the mass migrations, epidemics, mass starvation, climate change, war, infrastructure, transport. It will prove much cheaper to tackle the problem than deal with the consequences.
 
It is true that we can regrow the trees but unfortunately a. it is too late for the complicated ecology of the jungles. That has been destroyed and takes much longer to establish. The animals have been decimated. b. the diversity of flora has gone too and takes a long time to reestablish. c. the soil erosion creates infertile land in many areas. Great if all you are interested in is making money by logging. Absolutely lousy if you happen to be the wildlife that lives there.
 
No the dearth of animals was not due to El Nino it was because they have been killed in large numbers and their habitats destroyed.
 
It isn't merely a question of growing economies to deal with pollution; it is more a question of huge inequality of wealth, corruption and a lack of care for the environment.
Neil Lock Added Nov 27, 2017 - 1:56pm
Opher:
 
So without arguing about who’s right or wrong. Or what the exact numbers are...


But that’s my point! Why should I believe what you say, when you refuse to – or cannot – give any further details? Just as you – rightly – refuse to believe a theist who tells you that Jesus was born to a virgin woman. In that case, you as a biologist would explain why parthenogenesis is impossible in humans. And if the theist said in return something like “It doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not,” how would you respond? Just as I do on this issue.
 
I’m still waiting for you to name 100 species humans have extinguished in the last century. OK, I’ll lower the bar. Name 10 such species – or even one. And give the date and place of last reported sighting, and proof beyond reasonable doubt that humans were responsible for the extinction.
 
Most of the animals that are being made extinct are invertebrates. That comes from the seeker.com article you pointed me to. But that article includes several photos of species humans have supposedly “extinguished.” And please correct me if I’m wrong, but are any of the featured species invertebrates? Isn’t that a misrepresentation, or at the least dishonest?
 
We are losing tens of thousands of species that we have not even known about. Oh dear. “M’lud, the defendant was so callous that he was never even aware of the tens of thousands of women he raped.” Enough said.
 
As to the “crashing of populations” of wildlife, I’m more sympathetic. But don’t greens support policies that kill wildlife, like bird-slashing wind turbines?
opher goodwin Added Nov 28, 2017 - 5:32am
Heavens Neil - I don't really have time for this. I should be writing my book. Off the top of my head, (with a little jog) these are some of the major animals we've done away with:
Black rhino
Passenger pigeon
Tasmanian wolf
Dodo
Ibex
Tasmanian tiger
Mammoth
Mastodon
Giant sloth
Giant beaver
Bali tiger
California grizzly bear
UK beaver
Cuban woodpecker
Yangste River Dolphin
Zanzibar Leopard
Newfoundland wolf
Guam flying fox
Golden toad
Paradise parrot
Syrian wild ass
Laughing owl
Barbary lion
Bubal hartebeest
Caucasian Wisent
Crescent wallaby
Galapagos mouse
Heath hen
Desert rat kangaroo
Monk seal
Various rails
Caribbean hutia
Caspian tiger
Piopio
Stefano lizard
Arabian ostrich
Tecopa pupfish
Bushwren
Javan tiger
Japanes sealion
Burrowing boa
Colombian grebe
Formosa leopard
Small birds - species of  warblers, thrushes, sparrows
But, as I said before, the main problems are not these high profile losses, it is the hundreds of thousands of insect species (most of which have not even been identified) and the severe drops in populations.
This is all brought about by hunting, habitat destruction and deforestation. It is a crisis.
 
Neil - I don't think that is dishonest at all.
And yes I am in favour of wind turbines. They are hardly bird slashing devices. As with all things it is a case of weighing up the good with the bad. I do not think the seabird attrition is very high from these devices.
 
 
 
Neil Lock Added Nov 29, 2017 - 4:53am
Opher: Thanks for the list. I'll take a look at these when I have time.
 
But I still don't follow your logic on the inspect species. If we can't identify them, how can we know how many of them there are (or might have been?)
opher goodwin Added Nov 29, 2017 - 3:33pm
Neil - most of these species live in equatorial rainforests that have not yet been thoroughly investigated. There are millions of species and we are extremely remiss about investigating them. Such a lot of pristine rainforest has been cleared (70% in Vietnam since 1974) and so many species lost before we've even got around to identifying them. There are still tribes of humans being discovered in the Amazon. A recent expedition found hundreds of new species on one single tree. The trouble is that there is no money in it so it is not given enough attention. Hence we do not know how many species there actually are. Scientists have methods for estimating numbers of species and population sizes.
Dr. Rupert Green Added Nov 29, 2017 - 11:23pm
"Stone - I know. I've seen it first hand. But they are stripping the bush bare. There are parts of Africa where the birthrate is out of control. It is madness."
 
These noble humans once ate each other. So, man will eat man when there are more men than lower animals to eat.
opher goodwin Added Nov 30, 2017 - 9:25am
DRG - I think you are right. There does not seem to be any common sense.