I got this in my email today.
The proposition that South Korea could begin so called ‘scientific’ whaling is an international outrage, ACT Leader John Banks said today.
“Like Japan, it remains ludicrous that they believe you need to kill whales to save them,” Mr Banks said.
“This thinking is as lamentable as it is obscene.
“It should be condemned and stopped before it even begins,” Mr Banks said.
Animals have rights. Yes, even feral conservatives like John Banks.
This PR may seem like one out of left field to some, but John Banks has a long history of campaigning for animal rights and supporting animal welfare legislation. It may seem that he and (former) Green MP Sue Kedgley make strange bedfellows, but a SAFE media release in (pre-election) October last year had this to say.
Greens Lead the Way against Colony Cages
If the nation’s three million caged hens could vote, the Greens and Act’s John Banks would be ruling the roost come this year’s election, says leading animal advocacy organisation SAFE.
Outgoing animal welfare spokesperson and Green MP Sue Kedgley, announced yesterday that her party will pledge against cruel colony cage systems and Act Party candidate, John Banks, also says he will pledge his personal support to help caged hens.
I say (and I am afraid this is going to be very unpopular), good on them both. Many libertarians are conflicted about animal welfare legislation. They think such legislation is unprincipled, while at the same time they abhor animal cruelty. I find their arguments, that the way to prevent animal cruelty is through social rather than legal sanctions, feeble at best and unconscionable at worst.
My defence of my seemingly unlibertarian views on the matter of animal welfare legislation is this. Animal welfare legislation is not a moral issue. It is a metaphysical issue.
(Almost) all libertarians I know subscribe to the view(s) that
human beings are individually possessed of certain inalienable rights, which are the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of … happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among people, deriving their just powers – and only such powers – from the consent of the governed; that all laws legislated by governments must be for the purpose of securing these rights; that no laws legislated by government may violate these rights …
If you believe, as I do, that non-human animals also possess some (limited) rights, then it is within the proper scope of government to secure those rights. Animal welfare legislation is not necessarily unlibertarian. Whether it is or not depends on whether or not non-human animals possess rights. And that is a metaphysical question, not a moral one.