Like I said, the world is run by idiots.
A Whale of a Tale
An Open Letter to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
by L.Neil Smith
Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
In a series of novels I’m writing, called “The Ngu Family Saga”, there is a character, a special favorite of mine, Julie Segovia Ngu, who writes children’s books. Julie’s books are anti-authoritarian, and circulate all over the 22nd century Solar System, except in places, like East America, where authoritarianism is still practiced. In such places, her books are banned, which, of course, makes them even more popular.
In Julie’s books, a little girl and the cousin she babysits for, respectively twelve and eight years old, are born, and live in an enlightened, libertarian civilization on a terraformed asteroid. But somehow they get lost—sideways in time—in places where people do not own their own lives, and where initiated force is the order of the day.
The force is usually initiated by government of one kind or another. In the first ethically retarded culture Conchita and Desmondo find themselves in, government is divided in two parts, Wimpersnits and Oogies. The former fit neo-something-or-other Ben Wattenberg’s definition of a liberal: an individual who is “terrified by every known phenomenon”—and passes laws motivated by that irrational terror.
Think Muppet Labs. Imagine Dr. Bunsen Honeydew’s pusillanimous assistant, Beaker, elected to Congress. Wimpersnits may sound and often look like Beaker, You don’t have to be an elected politician, though. Jesse Jackson, Sarah Brady, Morris Dees and the Center for Science in the Public Interest are all Wimpersnits First Class, with Oak Leaf Clusters. Wimpersnits outnumber real human beings 100-1 in Hollywood.
Oogies are uniformed thugs franchised to enforce, without question or hesitation, the Wimpersnits’ many evil, stupid, or insane mandates. Their task is to beat up and kill anybody the Wimpersnits are afraid of—or who is not afraid of them—which, ultimately, means almost everybody.
The reason I bring this up is an Associated Press story I saw at MyWay.com, courtesy of the Drudge Report. Prepare yourself for a peek into the surreal nest of snakes that passes for the minds of American Wimpersnits, Animal Rights Division. It seems People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), who have amply demonstrated that they know nothing about ethics, people, or animals, are trying to remove a float from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade because it features a gigantic, delightful, inflatable representation of Shamu the Killer Whale,
“Orca”, they say, because they don’t want you to know that the stomach contents of this cute, loveable tuxedo kitty of the sea usually include the remains of dolphins, seals, sea lions, otters, and other cute, loveable critters. Killer whales have been known to belly flop themselves onto ice floes for a meal of tasty sled-dogs. I don’t mind this at all; on the contrary, like Valentine Michael Smith, I enjoy and admire predators. I’m one myself. That’s why I live with cats.
But balloon-Shamu must be banned. PETA’s reason? Seaworld and other places like it “exploit” and mistreat the creatures in their care. In the 60s, I learned to scuba dive at such a place, hobnobbed with real live porpoises, and don’t believe a word of it for a minute. I’ve heard it said that the situation of possibly sapient sea mammals held in such places amounts to kidnapping and slavery (provided that they are indeed sapient) and I’m not entirely unsympathetic with that idea.
But I wonder how we would know that they are possibly sapient if we had not collected them and set them to tasks requiring great intelligence. It’s the same dilemma I considered in Forge of the Elders.,
We need all the intelligence we can find, because the world is run by idiots. A recent and appropriate example came to mind when it was reported a few days ago that some massive amount—tons or carloads, I wasn’t paying attention to the numbers—of confiscated “illegal” elephant artifacts, tusks and things carved out of tusk ivory, were destroyed by federal wildlife thugs employing powerful rock-crushing machinery.
The idea made me sick to my stomach. I happen to like elephants a lot, and, following the late Colonel Jeff Cooper, I don’t know if I could shoot one; they’re too much like people. But I wouldn’t stop anyone else from hunting them and I wonder what the elephant huggers believe they have accomplished with this barbaric act of theft and vandalism.
They may not give an elephant’s ass that the Constitution does not allow the government to steal objects and artifacts from people, and destroy them, on the basis of aesthetic sensibilities, or to enforce prohibitions passed by the economic and ethical retards of the United Nations.
They may disagree with me (this is what made me sick) that it is bad enough that the elephants had to die, but now they have died for nothing.
I know that they won’t want to hear that if the elephants were properly managed the way mule deer are in Colorado, they would not be endangered, and there would be plenty of elephant meat and ivory for each of us, not to mention the non-thuggish jobs that would make possible.
And if I asserted that we ought to import a seed-herd of elephants and let them run wild and be hunted right here in the American West (I believe they’d prosper especially well on Texas’ Llano Estacado—it would be good practice for hunting genetically resurrected mammoths), the poor Yoonies would soil their baby-blue underthings and faint dead away.
Like I said, the world is run by idiots.
I wrote and proposed a plank in 1977, for the Libertarian Party national platform, calling for a moratorium on further captures, and intense scientific studies into the possibility that “certain simian and cetacean species” possess intelligence—and therefore rights—equivalent to those of human beings. The imaginatively challenged on the platform committee feared it would embarrass the party, and it generally went down like a Macy’s Thanksgiving balloon—filled with lead.
Another splendid leading-edge opportunity, skillfully avoided.
But speaking once again of that parade, dear PETA, why should I take your demand seriously, that animals be treated ethically, when you obviously hate, loathe, and despise your fellow human beings? I suspect, from long, unpleasant but revealing experience with organisms of your ilk, that it’s because you all hate, loathe, and despise yourselves,
That’s the secret that lies festering at the necrotic core of your so-called &lquo;movement”, a dark, roiling, corrosive hatred of yourself, of your family, of your “friends”, of your country, of your species—and a sick, twisted yearning to make everybody else as unhappy as you are.
You’d be unwilling to treat people ethically, even if you knew how, Exactly like every “progressive” (a word you adopted because you soiled “liberal” so badly it can no longer be used), it isn’t enough to submit your beliefs to the marketplace of ideas. You have to try to silence those who disagree with you. All of our lives, libertarians and conservatives have had to tolerate your claptrap in the media you control. You, however, are constitutionally unable, blood and bone, to tolerate the feeling that others might be free to publicly contradict you.
So you have made an enemy of a balloon. How pathetic. That balloon is an exercise of the First Amendment. Belief in animal rights, just like the vast majority of “progressive” hobby-horses, is symptomatic of a deep psychopathology. Mental illness does not trump the Bill of Rights.
Get used to it, PETA. I’m not telling you to shut up. I’d never do that. Far too much do I enjoy shredding your threadbare, irrational arguments in various media I get paid to write for. I am telling you to leave the marvelous Shamu balloon, the great Macy’s Parade, and Thanksgiving Day itself—no matter how piteously the turkeys gobble—the hell alone, or I will recruit an army of other highly talented writers and researchers and make a special project of deconstructing you.
I don’t think you’d like that.
Meanwhile, chew on this …
“ANIMALS ARE PROPERTY” by L.Neil Smith
The Libertarian Enterprise, March,1996
And have a happy Thanksgiving!
Publisher and Senior Columnist L. Neil Smith is the author of over thirty books, mostly science fiction novels, L. Neil Smith has been a libertarian activist since 1962. His many books and those of other pro-gun libertarians may be found (and ordered) at L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE “Free Radical Book Store” The preceding essays were originally prepared for and appeared in L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE. Use them to fight the continuing war against tyranny.
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