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This is a very important message to Canadians. It could also be to Americans, but since I am Canadian, I will focus on my home front. It is about human rights, history, and tradition, economy, jobs, and the future. Especially, it is about the loss of meaning, cultural values and family heritage.


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Animal Rights Movement. A Threat to Culture?


Copyright Lark Ritchie 1995, 1996.

If you are a member of a second or third generation Canadian family, your traditions and deep family values are very quickly being threatened by a strange group of people born of an emerging and different culture, dead set in the task of enforcing their views on you, and your children.

They are organized, very intelligent, highly enterprising, and gaining strength daily. They argue that their message is correct and right, and they swing the undecided to their way of thinking using and exploiting the media, and increasing their power of influence even as you read this note. And their leaders are paid to think and be successful in their mission.

They are the animal rights activists, and they directly and indirectly affect me, you, and every Canadian citizen for the rest of time unless we understand their goals and their strategies. If successful, they will cost us and Canada a loss of foreign money, business, and jobs, recreation, and way of life. And they want to legislate their views. They want to make them law.

The animal rights people have a point of view. In their minds, they are right and correct. They oppose hunting, in all its forms and variations, and they have high principles. They oppose death, and willful and deliberate acts that lead to death.

Under analysis, their views become questionable. They oppose use of animals for testing of medications and cosmetics, the raising and confining and use of animals in less than natural conditions, and the consumption of animals by mankind.

Somewhere, they have a distinction that has not been made clear to me, for they seem to draw a line between life forms like mammals, birds reptiles, and insects, microbes and viruses; in short, if they were to be consistent, we should not harm one single germ.

Holding their views to the ends of the continuum of life implies that we as responsible human beings, should recognize value in life itself, and not consciously control, deter, or restrict its development, growth, and proliferation. To do so implies that we should not kill microbes using antibiotics, antiseptics, autoclaving, bleach, or soap. We should not purchase personal and food products derived from animals, or animal by-products.

These are high ideals, and I respect the fact that high ideals are necessary to change public opinion the economy, and culture. For without disciples and zealots, we would not have the personal, social, political, religious, and cultural values we follow today. In every cultural history we find those willing to expose and sacrifice their personal status, and social standing for the causes they believe.

But I believe that the value system of any activist seeking to change societal and economic values must be examined in depth so that the general population can make an informed choice prior to making decisions that affect both the individual and his brethren at the local, national, and global scale.

The animal rights activist would have animals removed from the economy. No cattle raisers, no turkey farmers, abattoirs, butchers, meat counters, no leather products, and no meat for human consumption. They have a plan, and it is, politically, a good one. It is strategic, careful, slow, and effective.

It is to me, horrifyingly threatening beyond their immediate objectives, because the methods they use have been used before. Methods that gradually shape social and cultural value systems. These methods have an objective to attain a critical mass of public opinion, move that to legislation, at which point larger and more threatening changes become possible.

This happened in Germany in the 1930's with small, but increasingly restricting controls introduced because they were argued as scientific, logical, and rational. It ended with the death camps and horrors that became exposed near the end and after the Second World War.

It previously happened in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries when people accepted and encouraged the introduction of European disease to the Native Americans, and the slaughters of the American Natives from east to west over the North American continent. It did not start with the intense aggression and horror that was recognized in retrospect. It began with a difference of values, and a subtle but strong will to change values and economy of another society and culture. It started with traders, missionaries and settlers determined to bring their way to the forefront.

These same end result social, cultural, and economic tragedies face us today. As responsible citizens, we must become aware of the potentials and eventual conclusions to the path trod by the animal rights groups.

Animal rights groups are determined to change social value systems, industries, business, economies, cultural and family traditions and values; right down to parent-child relationships. They want to abolish hunting, animal husbandry, butcher shops, animal by-product industries; overall, the economy. Their objectives will reduce foreign trade, tourism, gasoline sales, food industries, restaurant, grocery, and retail sales at the local, provincial and national levels.

They would restrict your family traditions and restrict your father or mother the opportunity to pass on deep family traditions associated with responsible farming, hunting and fishing. For me as a status native indian, it denies the traditions and heritage I hold close to my heart. For you, my history may be meaningless, but it means your fishing and hunting, the opening day of Walleye season, and Moose hunting. For them it is barbaric.

For me as a parent, they ask me to disown a reality that is embedded in thousands of years of native American culture and cosmology. For me, they ask that I not give and share these experiences to my son and daughter. They ask me, and others like me, to die.

For you, understand what they ask, and stand on one side or the other, for I want to know my family's future. I welcome your comments.



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1995, 1996 Lark Ritchie. Contact me at this address..


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