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Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

Animal Rights Vs. Conservation

The following article originally appeared on PETA Prime.

To make sure that our donations will do the most good for the most animals is a constant challenge for animal lovers. One key word that should always send up a red flag to all of us who care about animals is “conservation.”

Conservation is defined in the dictionary as the “preservation, protection, or restoration of the natural environment, natural ecosystems, vegetation and wildlife.” When I hear that word, I know for sure that there is some sort of hunting, fishing, trapping, etc., involved and that there’ll be no mention of animal rights (defined as, “rights believed to belong to animals to live free from use in medical research, hunting, and other services to humans”).

Recently, I received a catalog that sells all kinds of companion animal supplies. On the last page, they offered to send a donation to the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) with the purchase of any of four different stuffed animal toys. A red flag for me! If these people truly cared about animal companions, why would they want to contribute to an organization that advocates hunting and fishing?

I called the store to ask if they promoted hunting and fishing. As I suspected, the woman who answered denied that they did. While on the line, she looked up the NWF Web site and saw that all state hunting (conservation) organizations are affiliates of NWF. She was obviously shocked and said that no one had brought this to her attention. If you suspect that an organization is not truly in it for the animals, you should always look at their Web sites, which are wonderful sources of information, but beware that they need careful scrutiny.

There are lots of organizations and parties out there that are working for the environment. Because we animal lovers tend to care about nature as well, we might make false assumptions about some of those organizations and parties. The thing we should keep in mind is that many of them have very different perspectives on what it means to help conserve the environment. I think it is important to examine all organizations that we plan to interact with so that we do not end up doing more harm than good, despite our best intentions.

An example of an organization that seems to be in line with my own concerns about the environment and animals is Sea Shepherd. One valuable resource that I use to check on environmental organizations is PETA’s Mean Greenies Web site, which grades environmental groups on their stance against animal testing.

How about you? Do you have any resources to share to check up on organizations?

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  • Draketeeth says:

    “I received a catalog that sells all kinds of companion animal supplies.”
    This is vague. I did not see how ‘companion animal supplies’ suddenly tied in with hunting and fishing. When I see that phrase I think of harnesses, safety vests, toys, and collars for dogs. Specifically for working dogs who help the disabled. Not hunting and fishing dogs.

    Who decided on the term ‘companion animal’ anyway? It’s also vague. I had to look that one up. Call cats and dogs, cats and dogs (since the term seems to apply specifically to them. I have a pet lizard and he is my companion, has been for many years now. Somehow I think if I called him my ‘companion animal’ I would get funny looks, and I bet your magazine doesn’t have lizard supplies).

    Please, talk in plain terms. If you were reading a magazine that sold dog and cat supplies, say so. No need to mince the subject and blur the details.

    On another note, Wolfgirl95, I found the 2nd part of your paragraph to be very intelligent and open minded. I agree, stopping hunting is not the “cure all” solution. Education is top of the list. Preserving the environment and wildlife for generations to come requires communication between biologists and land management organizations with hunters.

    To the author of this article (and anyone interested), I recommend a novel called “Ant Hill” by Edward O. Wilson. In this book the character discovered that the best way to preserve the land he loved is to work with the organization that would otherwise destroy it. It is an excellent story.

  • Nadine says:

    Omg i cryed when i seen all them things they do to them poor inosent animals i just want to slaughter them (not litrally) and see how they feel if i could save every single animal on the universe i would!

  • Patricia Lahn says:

    Animal rights are very importent in the hole world!!

  • Wolfgirl95 says:

    I’ve always loved animals and the environment, I went vegan when I was 14 and lead my family and many friends to become vegan too. I ended up going to a college in Maine for Wildlife Conservation. The description was everything I wanted to do. After attending this college I now have a entirely different perspective on hunting. There are many students that hunt and many that do not. I believe looking to end all hunting is not the answer. There are hunters out there that are cruel and ignorant to conservation but there are many more that are not. Educating hunters is a key in helping animal rights. Communication between biologists and hunters is very important. I agree conservation be investigated but I think peace between hunters, animals lovers, biologists, game and predator species NEEDS to to achieved.

  • Michal says:

    I am very surprised and will pay attention to this from now on. Thanks!

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