Opinion August 1, 2020
Animals that cannot help but survive by killing other animals have the same right to life as animals that survive on plant food alone.
People who would rather not see the wolf return to the low countries often point out that wolves kill other animals and thus cause terrible animal suffering. They call animal rights activists hypocritical because activists stand up for animals that are abused by people, but not for animals that are abused by other animals. This is a lazy fallacy that distracts them from what really matters to them: economic damage caused by the wolf.
Farmers do not lose sleep over animal suffering
« Farmers love animals » is the adage that ranchers use to condone their misdeeds. Out of « love, » they take calves away from their mothers shortly after birth, cut pigs’ throats, lock up hundreds of thousands of chickens in dark stables, abandon injured animals and commit many more atrocities.
If farmers seem to be interested in animal suffering caused by animals other than humans, then of course it has everything to do with their own economic interests. Sheep farmers must suddenly protect their animals from the wolf at their own expense or run the risk of seeing their “property” disappear into a wolf stomach.
According to Animal Rights, animals cannot be owned to begin with. They have the right to life and freedom and so should not be bred by humans to exploit them. If livestock did not exist, neither humans nor other animals could cause them harm.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where animals are owned. In this context, animal owners have a duty to care for and protect their animals. Farmers who do nothing to protect their animals from predators are negligent and therefore responsible for any animal suffering caused by wolves or other predators. Anyone who does not close their doors is not entitled to compensation in the event of a break-in. Who does not protect his animals against wolves, just as little.
Can animals cause animal suffering?
Animals can also harm other animals. Predators kill other animals, and they don’t do it in a pretty or painless way. Animals are literally torn apart and may or may not be eaten alive. The difference between animal suffering caused by animals and animal suffering caused by humans, however, is that animals cannot be held morally responsible for their actions. Animals eat animals because they have no other choice. They have to kill animals to survive. Our distant ancestors sometimes had no choice but to kill animals. However, the modern person who gets a steak from the supermarket has that choice. Anyone who eats meat consciously chooses to put his or her pleasure above the life of an animal.
Wolves are part of it
As an animal rights organization, we are pleased with the return of predators to our country. Not only the wolf, but in the future also the golden jackal and the lynx. Exterminating certain animal species, such as the wolf, to protect other animals is not ethically justified. Animals that cannot help but survive by killing other animals have the same right to life as animals that survive on plant food alone. Every animal has the right to a life of freedom in nature adapted to his or her needs. In the case of predators, eating other animals is part of that. So welcome wolf, glad to be back!