UPC Letter in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
The following letter by UPC President Karen Davis appeared in the July 1, 2004 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association , p. 30
Regarding "The Animal Rights Struggle," by Kate O'Rourke, May 15, 2004, pp. 1567-1568
Wes Jamison, PhD, suggests that animal rights advocacy is steeped in anthropomorphism, and that animal advocates have a teddy bear view of animals. In reality, animal users may be more justly accused of anthropomorphism, if by this word is meant the imposition of human traits and impulses on other animal species. What, for example, is taking elephants from their natural habitat and sticking them in circuses if not anthropomorphism?
I cite this as an example of the anthropomorphism on which animal exploiters depend. It consists of insisting that animals they want to use are happy or not suffering in being exploited, despite a congeries of evidence to the contrary. Nor is this conclusion a mere animal rights fantasy, as there is plenty of scientific evidence to support the claims and concerns of animal advocates.
The problem is that the needs and desires of animals and the wishes and desires of animal users seldom coincide, so a procrustean solution is sought whereby the animal/argument is, so to speak, either cut down to size or stretched to fit the agenda. In literature, Procrustes, who forced his victims to fit in his bed, is a symbol of tyranny and enforced order. Is he also a fit symbol of science?
Karen Davis, PhD
United Poultry Concerns Inc
United Poultry Concerns, Inc.
PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405-0150