You might have to seek consent the next time you want to dip your skinny-dipping toe in the waters of the great Lake Erie. The lunatic denizens of Toledo, Ohio, have just voted to give the fluid that washes over the Mistake-on-the-Lake “the right to exist, flourish and naturally evolve.”
Natives of Michigan, the greatest state, will understand this bizarre happenstance, as they have always viewed their benighted residents to the south with some suspicion. Their qualms have once again been confirmed.
There are so many things off kilter with the eerie vote, starting with the vote, that it’s only natural to sputter and gasp. So calm yourself and carry on reading.
The central insanity of a democracy is that it can vote on anything. And what it votes on is constituted as good and true and eternal. At least until the next vote which says that the previous vote on an eternal matter was wrong. Letting people believe they have the right to give rights to lakes is the first sin. It is a big one.
The second sin is to suppose objects have “rights.” This mania for rights is another consequence of our democracy, as has been well documented. It’s not only objects, but even people now have “rights” to metaphysical impossibilities, such as two men “marrying.” Well, you marry voting and “rights” and the resulting issue is worse than that produced by third-generation inbreeding.
Since rights imply duties—you cannot have one isolated from the other—if Erie has rights, it must have certain duties. The next time some poor slob drowns in her waters (after securing the aforementioned consent), we can charge her with murder. Perhaps we could make ice of her waters and sell them to Chinese billionaries for use in outrageously priced cocktails as punishment.
The Toledoites are angry runoff from nearby farms is causing nastiness to grow in the lake where it shouldn’t. The solution, in saner times, would be to stop the runoff, or make those who did it responsible for the damage. But, no. Instead we have to take a pantheistic view and say the lake is alive and should be allowed to “naturally evolve.” Ten mere seconds spent pondering that requirement is sufficient to convince of its idiocy. These are the third sin.
Inanimate objects are new to the rights game. Not so much animals. Since folks have begun to lose the ability to distinguish man from animal, they think animals are us, or we are they, and so the argument has become less “Should animals have rights” to more “Why are people blocking animal rights?”
This is so not just for those who prefer fantasy to Reality, but it’s becoming a thing even on the right.
“Most normal, civilized people living today,” writes Anatoly Karlin in Unz, “would agree that reducing animal suffering is a worthy goal.”
Some us normal, civilized people alive today are not most. Because it is an absurd blanket goal to desire to reduce animal suffering.
Consider that the vast, vast, vast majority of causes of animal suffering is other animals. Did people not pay attention to Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom? Every damn thing is doing its level best to eat every other damn thing in the most savage, bloodiest, most ruthless, most pitiless way.
This includes Yours Truly and his dinner. As I’ve said before, I have killed, gutted, and eaten many animals, and will continue to do so, all in an effort to stave off becoming worm food myself for as long as possible. I do not feel bad about this. I feel good. I feel best when my victims are grilled and coated in freshly ground pepper. The creatures that eat me after I collapse one day alone in the darkest wood of Up North won’t apologize, and neither will I for stalking them now.
As “technological solutions”, as Karlin euphemistically calls fake meat, “are likely still decades away… most of us will still have to grapple with the consequences of destroying living, conscious entities for our own sustenance.”
Again, the crow is feeling nothing but glee as it pecks out the eye of the mouse. The only grappling is with the crow’s claws on the mouse’s throat. Or with me and my steak knife.
Note: There are a number of philosophical arguments put forth by Karlin for why humans should consider them both exceptional and simultaneously below animals, all of which fail on that impossibility, which we might explore next week.