Tag Archives: animal welfare

Animal “Rights” or Animal Welfare? A Libertarian Perspective

This discussion is solely about the use, or rather misuse, of the term “Animal Rights”. It’s a term thrown around quite frequently from my fellow vegetarian, and anti-vivisectionist, anti-hunting, animal welfare fanatics. This discussion is about a point of accuracy, but it also allows one to point out the inaccuracy of the term “Animal Rights”, for animals don’t have “Rights” according to Libertarian doctrine. To have Rights, they would have to have Human Consciousness, and the Inalienable Rights Thomas Jefferson spoke of in the Declaration of Independence can only pertain to the Human Being (or possibly, he being the closest in the animal kingdom to human consciousness, the Gorilla). You must have the intellect of a Human to apprehend the Inalienable Rights that are an implicit part of Human Consciousness. Only we humans know, instinctively, in the Justice and necessity of the Inalienable Rights, which are the Right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, the Right to Contract freely with any other human on any terms mutually agreeable, the Right to the Fruits of your Labor, the Right to Associate, or Disassociate, with or from others, and because the Right to the Pursuit of Happiness necessitates and implies the Right to Private Property, since you need to own all kinds of implements to survive as a human being, from the car to the roof to the fridge to your clothes and toothbrush —- all these must one be able to own individually, not as part of a collective, or not at all, as in the communist societies where the State owns everything in your house, and the house itself. And Private Property includes the Right to exclude all others from your property, since if someone invades or takes your property, and retains possession, then obviously you don’t actually own that property. Private Property implies an individual’s complete dominion over that property.

So in speaking of Rights, we can only speak in terms of Human Inalienable Natural Rights, which can only appertain to  Human Consciousness.

Therefore, the term “Animal Rights” is a Libertarian inaccuracy and falsehood. I believe my fellow anti-animal torture advocates should  instead always use the term “Animal Welfare”.

If anyone has a Right, it is we, who have a Right to live in a society that does not tolerate highly sensitive animals, with a consciousness and innocence comparable to a small child, being slaughtered  and terrorized daily, in the numbers of the hundreds of thousands and million, in the United States alone.

For it is One, the vegan or vegetarian Libertarian, who has the Right to live in a society that does not permit animals to be treated in such abominable ways, just as one has a right to live in a society that does not tolerate cannibalism, rapine, and child murder. Common Law courts based on Natural Law know instinctively that these are Crimes and have traditional codes of punishment that purport roughly to fit the severity of the Crime. And we know this because of our inborn Human intelligence. In a Libertarian Society, there might be no government but there would still be Law, and Common Law courts would administer justice accordingly, as they did in England before the Norman invasion, and as they did in the American Indian tribes, and as is done in the various religious courts of the major organized religions.

Therefore, I urge all those campaigning for “animal rights” to desist in the use of that term and to begin using the term “animal welfare” instead, or an equivalent that they prefer. And I urge them to point out to the Public that it is we, the Human Beings, who have the Right to live in a society that does not tolerate animal slaughter, animal torture, and other abuses like zoos and circuses.

Animal welfare is an issue that cuts across all party lines. Whether you are a Libertarian, Democrat, Republican, or non-Affiliated, you can usually see eye to eye on many Animal Welfare issues with your fellow animal welfarers, and any politician who includes the sort of radical planks for animal welfare such as outlawing hunting and trapping, and slaughterhouses, as I did in my 2014 campaign for Governor of Oregon, will gain a certain constituency because he is the only one speaking out on this issue. Ask for it all, don’t compromise and merely ask for more humane methods of mass butchery. Be radical in your demands. But insist they be passed by a democratic vote of the people, not merely by the legislature, or unilaterally ordained by the Governor.

Professor Murray Rothbard, the founder of the Libertarian Party in the U.S., and who loved his ham sandwich on wonder bread, when the topic of Animal Rights was brought up, used to quip a bit contemptuously (and followed by his famous infectious giggle), “Animals will have their Rights when they petition the government for them.” (Rothbard’s economic-historical lectures were full of little jokes and humor, a lot of which he laughed at himself.)

But since the Animals can’t petition the government themselves, it’s up to us Human Beings to do it for them. And the only two petitions the government really cares about are the Vote and the economic Boycott, both Libertarian non-violent tools of change.

—- Paul Grad, Vegan Libertarian, Libertarian Party of Oregon Nominee for Governor 2014

Paul Grad for Oregon Governor: Not Accepting Donations

As the Libertarian candidate for the Oregon Governorship, I shall refuse to accept donations, although I could not morally interfere with any voluntary groups that might form, which might help propel my candidacy, or any non-financial aid in campaigning anyone might want to contribute. There are several reasons for this refusal.

Firstly, I feel the requirements imposed by the State of Oregon in its election rules are violations of the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition against involuntary servitude. To run for office in America is a property Right, and there should be no restrictions on what you spend, or having to keep records of what you spend, or your donations, or who donates, etc. These are all unConstitutional in my view, but highly convenient for the two Bipartisan Fascist parties to keep out any competition to their monstrous rule. I shall refuse to subject myself to involuntary servitude in order to realize my inalienable Right to run for elected office.

Also, by not accepting money, I keep my candidacy pure, and keep my ability to say what I want on any subject open.

Additionally, I am not joining either the national Libertarian Party, nor the Oregon State organization, the Libertarian Party of Oregon, since a) I don’t agree with every single iota of their platform, just 99% of it, and b) I have a few proposals that many Libertarians might argue are antithetical to Libertarianism, though I don’t feel they are, so by joining the party it would seem hypocritical to run as a member of that party whose political platform some, or even one, of your proposals contradicted. And c) by not formally becoming a member of a political party, other than a registrant in that party, I increase my credibility with the public, because I am not welded 100% to an ideology. My animal welfare, and environmental proposals might well outrage many Libertarians, but they will bring into a political panoply two sectors that might greatly increase the appeal of Libertarianism. Yet these same outraged Libertarians might heartily endorse my radical free-market, pro-Capitalist views, far more radical than most major Libertarian politicos. My environmental proposals I consider defences of Free-Market Capitalism, because without an environment that can sustain human life, there will be no Capitalism, and invariably environmental pollutions are property Rights assaults on other property owner’s Rights. And more and more, we are seeing nations having to expend small fortunes in dealing with the problems that environmental neglect has engendered. Money wasted on correcting environmental pollutions that should not have occurred in the first place, could have been used for constructive and useful improvements in the life of Individuals (i.e. their taxes would be spent by themselves on their own good, instead of being sucked up by government to correct a fire, flood, or invasive species that should never have occurred).

My animal welfare and cruelty prevention measures I admit are put forth as purely moral proposals, that may be outside the realm of Libertarian theory. Just as a strict Rothbardian Libertarianism handles children’s Rights in a completely different way that adult’s Rights, and Rothbard devotes whole chapters to the differences in treating children and adults under Libertarian ethics, so too I feel that animal welfare calls for differences in treatment. To implement my very radical animal welfare proposals, legal theory would probably have to change so that animals are no longer merely “the property” of their owners, although we agree with Rothbard that animals don’t have “Rights” in the same sense that human beings do. The “Animal Rights” movement, like the “Community Rights” movement, are working to justify concepts that we feel are unsound, since all Rights can only pertain to Individual Human Beings. We strongly agree with their goals, but feel the timbers at the base of their tenets are rotten.

I run as a Libertarian, because that is what 90% of my platform is concerned with, and I think it is a pretty radical brand of Libertarianism at that, compared to what is usually touted by politicians who call themselves Libertarians, or Libertarian Republicans.

If you elect me, or even if you vote for me, you will have made a statement that a candidate can win high office in America without money, without formally affiliating with a “movement” and an ideology carved in stone, and beholden to no one except those who keep the Classical Liberal ideas of Jefferson alive, and to all the 18th and 19th century Libertarians who wanted to see an end to the tyranny of one man over another, and the great sorrow in society.

The American Revolution was the beginning of the Libertarian Revolution towards a non-violent, free-market society where almost everyone is prosperous and none lack the necessities, without any coercion existing at all. This candidacy is an attempt at a revivification and continuation of that Revolution, which began when Jefferson sat down and began to write out the Declaration of Independence.

Vote as if the American Revolution depended on it.

 My complete platform can be found at:https://paulgrad4governor.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/paul-grad-libertarian-for-oregon-governor-my-platform/

Paul Grad, paulgrad4governor.wordpress.com