Chairman Bao is a Shih Tzu. We travel a lot. I drive. He watches. We've logged at least 10,000 miles and he's never once said, Sweetheart, don't you think you should stop and ask someone?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Bao, Bandit and Gadget -- and I -- are all waiting for one of the presidential candidates to say something about animal rights.

My (human) friends tend to sneer. Human beings are more important than animals, they insist. Why,they demand, aren't you worrying about big issues, like abused children? Or battered wives?

Why? First of all, because human beings are animals. There's nothing all that special about us -- except for the gifted few of us who have evolved to an intellectual level at which they can operate the new Microsoft Vista system.

Secondly, animal rights are important. People who abuse animals also abuse human beings. The correlations are quite incredible. The man who kicks his cat beats up his wife and kids. Murderers, thieves and other perpetrators of violent crime are statistically highly likely to have also mistreated -- or even killed -- an animal. Margaret Mead wrote that the worst thing that could happen to a child was to torture or kill an animal and get away with it.

At the moment, animals are merely considered possessions, and only "worth" what it costs to replace them. In the eyes of the law, your air conditioner -- or even your suitcase -- is probably worth more than your dog. This is why people like Michael Vick get away with it. The dogs he tortured and killed were "only" dogs.
That's what the Animal Rights movement is all about. If animals had rights, the Michael Vicks of this world would be locked away for decades instead of months and the world would be a safer place for all of us animals.

So tell me, Hillary, Barack and John. What's your position on Animal Rights?


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