Friday, February 11, 2011

Who Leads on Animal Rights?

A facebook friend recently ask a question that I find interesting on several levels. A portion of the question was something to the effect of, "Why aren't Christians leading the fight for Animal Rights?"

In order to side step the whole question of, "Who is a Christian?"  I would like to replace "Christian" with "People with a Judeo Christian Worldview". I have detailed in other blog posts my thoughts about what a Judeo Christian Worldview is so I will not repeat it here. I will simply say that to give animals "rights" in the sense that humans have "rights" from the Creator is to step outside of the Judeo Christian Worldview as I understand it.

I would rather focus on the interesting topic of "leadership".

Leadership of  a movement requires "followers". In order to have "followers" it is necessary to be trustworthy. If people do not trust someone they will not follow them very long. If a leader loses the trust of his/her followers the ability to lead disappears into thin air. So to lose "trust" is to lose "leadership".

Let's take these ideas and look at the "animal rights" movement. Traditionally, animals have been cared for by individuals called "farmers". "Farmers" were down to earth people that society "trusted" to take care of animals. Over time farmers have developed larger and larger organizations, as a response to market economics, that look and act much like corporations. Indeed, these organizations are quite frankly corporations, albeit they are many times owned solely by one farmer and his family.

Corporations have a reputation of being driven by money for the benefit of their investors. Traditionally, corporations have not enjoyed anything like the level of trust that "farmers" have had. It is just hard to get your mind around the idea that a corporation can be as caring and nurturing as a farmer. Again, quite frankly, corporations have done many things to earn this reputation. They try very hard to earn your trust and be trustworthy, but they just aren't as comfortable as someone with skin on.

Somewhere in this growth toward a corporate structure there is a "tipping point" in our willingness to extend trust to the farmer and concerns for the animals begin to boil up.When the "tipping point of trust" is discovered farmers lose their ability to lead issues related to animal care. Exactly where this tipping point is varies for each person based on a whole host of things I suppose. But it certainly seems to exist.

Now bring into the thought that there are people who long ago reached their tipping point and are motivated to move that point in their direction and you will begin to see the modern "animal rights" movement. You will see a group of people organized, surprisingly, as a corporation, dedicated to moving this tipping point of trust in their direction. To this end every opportunity is taken to show that farmers are not trustworthy. Every misstep is highlighted. Every emotion manipulated. No stone is left unturned in an effort to break the bond of trust between the farmer and the consumer in a desire to move the tipping point.

Farmers are starting to realise the need to pull back on the tipping point by giving consumers more reasons for trust. They are responding in multiple ways through social media, traditional media, increased transparency, inspections, and even legal rule making. All in an effort to pull the tipping point of trust in their direction.

Just some more to think about.

Thank you for your thought.

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