I consider myself an animal rights activist. Though I do not carry signs and march alongside PETA, I support animal rights both financially and in my writing. Frankly, today I think animal rights are probably a much worthier cause than human rights, since animals are more pure of spirit and, as I am given to understand, inhabited the earth long before humans. I do not wish to write tonight of Trump, the disastrous health care bill, Tillerson, Sessions, or any of the other ugly aspects of our daily life. Instead, I wish to write about … pigs.
The headline that piqued my curiosity read …
Woman who helps thirsty pigs evades jail
Of course, I first thought the pigs were jail-bound, but upon closer reading (with a magnifying glass), I determined the woman who was helping the poor, thirsty pigs, was for some reason, jail-bound.
The story, as told by BBC, goes like this:
An Ontario judge dismissed mischief charges against Anita Krajnc, ending a legal battle that captured the global attention of animal rights activists.
Judge David Harris said he was not convinced that Ms Krajnc obstructed the use of property when she gave water to pigs headed to slaughter.
Ms Krajnc said it confirms “compassion is not a crime”.
Mischief to property is a criminal offence in Canada related to the wilful destruction or damage of property.
Justice Harris wrote in his decision that he is satisfied that Ms Krajnc “did not obstruct, interrupt or interfere with the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of any property” when in July 2015, she gave water to a few animals being carried in a tractor trailer filled with 190 pigs going to a slaughterhouse outside Toronto.
Ms Krajnc, who co-founded an organisation called Toronto Pig Save in 2011, regularly gathered with other activists on a traffic island at an intersection near a large slaughterhouse to pet the animals and give them water.
But this time, the truck driver confronted Ms Krajnc and police were called. A video of the tense encounter was posted online by the activists.
During her trial, supporters crammed into the courtroom, many sitting on the floor. Members of the media sat in the prisoner’s box.
Despite her win on Thursday, Ms Krajnc told the BBC she has “mixed feelings” about the decision.
“We were hoping for recognition in the legal system that pigs and other animals are simply not property – that they are sentient beings, that they have basic rights,” she said.
So, doesn’t that raise a number of questions in your mind? It doesn’t, you say? Awwww … c’mon … play along here and don’t force me back into the world of … well, you know … just yet. Filosofa is trying to de-stress here, and the least you can do is play along …
So, (for those of you still reading) the first question is: Should animals have the same rights as humans? Well, in a case in New York in 2015, two chimps, Leo and Hercules, went to court. Their lawyers wanted them removed from an animal testing facility to an animal sanctuary. The judge, one Barbara Jaffe, suggested the chimps had the right of habeas corpus – the ancient legal principle under which the state has an obligation to produce missing individuals before a court.
But later, the judge changed the wording and suggested that the court does not consider the animals to be legal persons. Awwwwww …. This story was supposed to DE-stress me … 😥
The year before, there was the story of another chimp named Tommy, in which case a judge said a chimp was not entitled to the same rights as people.
And this led to the term “speciesism”, defined as: “the idea that being human is a good enough reason for human animals to have greater moral rights than non-human animals. …a prejudice or bias in favour of the interests of members of one’s own species and against those of members of other species.”
Now, folks … look around you at the world today. Do ‘human animals’ ACT like they have ‘greater moral’ rights? Do they even act like they have morals? If humans are to be considered “superior”, then does it not follow that they have a moral obligation to care for those who fall beneath them in the … um … food chain?
If you made it this far, thank you for putting up with this rambling-of-the-mind post, but the mind was rather like a rubber band wound too tight and needed to be let off the leash for just a bit. I shall return in a bit with more of my usual fare. Meanwhile, if you see a thirsty pig today … give him a bit of water.