The fight for wild animal rights has been a long hard uphill struggle. Back in the pioneer days when America was being settled, there was no consideration of anything like wild animal rights. Most people were obsessed with guns and killed all the wild animals they could, never caring that many animals were killed off into extinction.
The history of abuse of wild animals has always been bad. In fact, many religions, including Christianity, have demonstrated the abuse of animals, ranging from the sacrificial slaughter of goats to the sacrificial lamb. It is strange that so much killing of animals could be part of a religious ceremony. Most religions are concerned only with human relationships with no real connection to other animals and the environment. In the speculative deductions of many religious leaders, man has a “soul”, but other animals don’t have a soul, and this belittles their evaluation of all the other animals.
While on the subject of religion, it is well to remember that mankind created religion to explain the spiritual world. The proofs of religious beliefs remain to be proven. The followers of all religions are taking the word of other people about a spiritual realm that is largely unknown. In essence, there are many reasons to believe that there is a spiritual world, but it is obvious that religious fanatics have grossly misinterpreted this domain.
The main reason to bring up the subject of religion is because it has had such a detrimental influence on how the majority of people have abused wild animals. Many religions have presented man as something he obviously isn’t. After all of the religious descriptions of how man is a special spiritual entity, there is not a soul’s worth of difference between mankind and all the other members of the animal kingdom. Biologically, man and all the other animals share a common ancestry.
Religions have given many people a false sense of “superiority” where they believe they are the “chosen few” who are blessed with godly privileges that no other animals have. This belief has belittled the worth of wild animals in the minds of many people.
The bloody traditions of overkill have come from people who have been in the transitional stage of becoming civilized. Only through his intellect and creation of deadly weapons has man been able to bully his way to the top of the food chain; once in that position, he has failed to show the intelligence and wisdom to preserve wildlife and the natural environment.
Increasing numbers of people are beginning to see the light of truth in the fight for wild animal rights. These people are beginning to make attempts to throw off the yoke of suppressive thinking that has been boxed in by the mythical laws of religions and traditions. It is becoming obviously clear that when people discard all of the superstitions of old and look upon the world as it is, they are seeing just as much as any religious leaders of the past ever saw, and this is a scene of reality composed only of tangible objects. In the minds of the observers, there can be many patterns of perception and a lot of imaginative deduction, but none of this phenomenon is ever seen.
Simple down to earth methods are needed to protect endangered wild animals. In the fight for wild animal rights, the goal is to outlaw the killing of wild animals for sport and trophies and to furnish wild animals a place of their own where they will be left alone to live out their lives naturally.
The antiquated hunting laws must be changed to stop the unnecessary killing of wild animals. The way the system is now run, conservation departments are in the business of making money selling hunting licenses so that they can produce large numbers of certain kinds of wild animals for more hunters to kill.
There is an undeclared war going on between the protectors of wildlife and the destroyers of wildlife. On the side of the animals are all of those dedicated people who are working to save animals; on the other side are the sports hunters, the trophy hunters, the poachers, the disoriented people who believe animal body parts are magic, faulty conservation departments and all the other people who kill wild animals unnecessarily. As more people join the ranks of the protectors of wildlife, the bloody traditions of overkill can at last be eliminated. Wild animals and people can share this planet in mutual harmony if only people will give wild animals their own place and give them their rights.
--Marlin O. Wallace