A buddy of mine named John has been trying to do a study on animal rights organizations. He wants to ask you a few questions but fears that you will try to cause him (or his family) physical harm if any of the questions should offend you. Since he thinks that my recent article (?How to collect guns and irritate PETA?) has already put me on your organization?s hit list, he asked me to submit the questions on his behalf.
Please respond to the following questions via e-mail (to avoid using paper that may have been taken from the carcasses of innocent trees murdered for the advance of human interests):
1) When we hear the word "animal" rights activist, can we assume you are not plant rights activists? Does that mean that you give one life form preferential treatment over another? I just noticed that you have a ?veggie dogs? ad on your website.
2) Do you believe in evolution as described by Darwin? If yes, do you find it at all hypocritical to prefer one life form over another (e. g., mice over alfalfa sprouts), considering that Darwin's theory states that we evolved from a common life form? Doesn?t that mean we are all related and deserving of equal treatment?
3) Do you believe what modern genetics has to say about our relationship to plants and other non-mammalian organisms? For example, it is believed that we have only a few genes that are different, while 98% are identical. Would this in any way conflict with the view that animals (read: not fungi) deserve special treatment over plants?
4) Has your group ever organized a protest against the lions? treatment of antelopes?
5) What animals are considered worthy to protect? Is it only those that pass what your critics have dubbed the ?cuteness test?? I?ve noticed, for example, that Greenpeace says little about sharks, which are much more endangered and vital to the ocean ecosystem than whales. Does the shark?s ferociousness play a role in this decision? Does a ?cuteness test? exist or are there other parameters?
6) Regarding a vegetarian diet, do you believe that humans are naturally vegetarians even though many human biological traits point toward a varied diet? For example, our teeth structure, enzyme make-up, enlarged brain (which is not really needed for grazing), and muscle ratio.
7) What would you say to an individual who fights against animal abuse in laboratories, yet wishes to eat meat, as long the animal is treated humanely and killed without pain?
8) I noticed that fish fall under your protective mandate, but how about mollusks, such as clams and mussels?