Thursday, February 28, 2013

Manila Zoo’s Lone Elephant Mali and the Rise of PETA’s Animal “Rights”

Photo by Danny Pata, PETA Philippines Singer actress Geneva Cruz and other female model-celebrities recently posed nude for a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) advertisement that called for the transfer of Manila Zoo’s lone resident elephant, Mali, to a sanctuary in Thailand. PETA believes the 38-year-old female elephant had been suffering from “profound loneliness” and must be in the company of other elephants in a sanctuary. Manila Zoo officials and veterinarians opposes the transfer stating that Mali is not fit to travel and argues that being alone in the zoo does not mean she is suffering. (Photo by Danny Pata, PETA Philippines)
This is not the first time that PETA came out with a provocative ad in the Philippines. They came out with “Respect the Chicks” ad a few years ago to end the slaughter of chickens. Even around the world, the animal rights group is active in staging attention-grabbing protest to stop the “disrespect” and the violation of rights of chickens, cows, laboratory mice, and even gold fishes. Whether you find their controversial campaigns ridiculous or not, one must realize the influence of animal right advocates around the world are growing and their agenda is alarming. In Germany, for example, in 2002, a law was passed declaring that animals have the same rights as humans. Similar laws were declared in other European countries and proposed the United States. Look closely, and one will realize that their agenda is driven by a principle that is more than the humane treatment of animals.

Animal rights group such as PETA and Animal Liberation Front believe that there is no fundamental difference between animals and human beings. PETA does not believe that human carries a special status in the world. They do not believe in the domestication of animals. There should be no animal research, animal farms and horse back-riding. PETA has even gone far to say that there shouldn’t be a honey industry because the insemination of queen bees puts them on “rape racks.” Worst, PETA president Ingrid Newkirk equates eating meat to Nazi concentration camps with a national campaign called ”Holocaust on Your Plate." Imagine comparing Jews to chickens.

The philosophy behind the animal rights agenda is an attack on human dignity. I am not saying that it is alright to hurt or mistreat animals. That is not we are called to do as faith-believing people. Instead, we have a moral duty to respect the animal world as God’s handiwork, treating animals with respect in mercy. We stand against cruelty to animals not in the name of equality and animal rights but in the name of Biblical stewardship. The appropriate way to help the profoundly lonely is not by protesting and PR campaigns but by being there as a friend and giving someone our time and service as they go through their depression. As for Mali, visiting the zoo, giving volunteer time, and donating money for the improvement of zoo facilities; or lobbying for more government and public support is the best way to protect Mali’s welfare and respect other Manila zoo animals. Do you think animals have rights? Should Mali stay in the Zoo? (Article originally published in Definitely Filipino) My kids are animal lovers too. Below are their pets, Mr. Charlie (turtle) and several unnamed Harvest ants from Uncle Milton's Toys.

 Photo 2013-01-30 08.18.43 AM

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