Congratulations to us, we’ve finally made it. We are witnessing the logical outworking of evolutionary thinking in society. We’ve been saying in our schools for years now that humans are really the most developed animals. The converse of that, promoted by our friends in the animal rights fringe, is that animals are almost human, and deserve to be treated like us. This ideology took a new step forward on October 20, when the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the case Cetacean Community vs. Bush. 1
Now, I will proceed very slowly and carefully to explain to you the facts of this case because, knowing that you are a rational, normal thinking being, you might find it hard to comprehend the rather irrational circumstances of the situation. You see, the Cetacean Community is an organization of all the whales, porpoises, and dolphins in the world. Now, if you find it hard to believe that all the world’s whales, porpoises, and dolphins suddenly decided to organize together for their own protection, you would be right. The Cetacean Community is the name given to our aquatic friends by their self-appointed lawyer Lanny Sinkin. As the Mighty and Glorious (self-appointed) Savior of these helpless creatures, Sinkin filed in court to sue President Bush and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld “over the United States Navy's use of sonar equipment that harms marine mammals” 2. So, in light of what I have just said, we may rephrase this case as The Whales, Porpoises, and Dolphins of the World vs. Bush. Now you’ve got something out of the twilight zone.
The Ninth Circuit took the case over the question of whether these aquatic denizens had the right to sue the government. Thankfully, the court ruled that the creatures did not have the right, under various U.S. environmental statutes, to sue, but only because the government had not given them the right! Consider this quote from the ruling:
“It is obvious that an animal cannot function as a plaintiff in the same manner as a juridically competent human being. [Okay, we’re following you here…] But we see no reason why Article III prevents Congress from authorizing a suit in the name of an animal, any more than it prevents suits brought in the name of artificial persons such as corporations, partnerships or trusts, and even ships, or of juridically incompetent persons such as infants, juveniles, and mental incompetents.” (14790, emphasis mine)
Not to be crass, but I think the judges must have been snorting some mind-altering substance while they were writing this opinion. They find no problem with the government granting animals the right to sue it, or maybe even us.
The stupidity of this idea is easily demonstrated by the very fact that some animal-rights activist lawyer had to appoint himself as the representative of these animals. Animals cannot speak for themselves. “But that’s the very reason we have to stand up and fight for them!” some animal-rights wacko will say. Point not taken. Animals cannot speak for themselves because they cannot think for themselves (or about anything else for that matter). If animals cannot think, they cannot understand philosophical concepts like justice and rights. 3 That, of course, is because they were never meant to. In the beginning, God made man, not dolphins, in His image. That is why we legally protect, as the court said, “juridically incompetent persons such as infants, juveniles, and mental incompetents”, and not dolphins. He placed animals under man’s authority and control, not to abuse, but to steward. Man always takes precedence over animals. We are given the right to kill them for our own legitimate uses, and if the safety and life of human beings may, in some cases, result in harm to animals, then so be it. I don’t think we’re going to worry about the condition of wildlife in the area if we’re bombing someone that is trying to kill us.
All this goes to show the humanistic and evolutionary underpinnings of the thinking of these judges. To them, granting legal rights to animals is simply an extension of justice (which today is also based on evolutionary thinking). This shows us once again the importance of ideas (and the ridiculousness of wrong ones). All ideas, particularly bad ones, have attendant consequences. It will be interesting to see the next legal step this decision leads to. Better be nice to your dog, because before you know it he might just be serving you with papers.
1. You can read the decision for yourself here (Adobe required).
3. This is not intended to provide an inadvertent argument for killing unborn babies or euthanizing mentally retarted people. Yes, neither of these groups can speak for themselves nor understand concepts like justice and rights. The crucial distinction is that they are human beings, made in the image of God, and thus, in their helpless state, are worthy of our protection.