Defending the Freedom to Own Pets


The Future of Dogs in an Animal Rights America

by Walt Hutchens


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Winning Through Resistance

Why a Defensive War Against Animal Rights Can Succeed

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Timbreblue Whippets

It is often said that the fight against animal rights needs to go on the offensive, that we are always defending our rights but are not "pro-active."

Strictly speaking there's no difference between offense and defense. These are convenient labels for the ends of a spectrum of operations, all conducted with the intent of making the enemy's goal too costly. When operations are conducted mainly on enemy territory and our line is more often advanced than pulled back, we call it offense; otherwise, defense.

Was there ever a war won strictly on the defensive? Yes...Vietnam. The VC never controlled any substantial amount of territory in the south, but they were able to bleed us almost anywhere they chose, almost any time they chose. Their 'Tet Offensive' was a defeat in military terms but it helped convince us that we couldn't never have security within the territory we we claimed to control. Eventually, we gave up.

And why did we give up? Because the public support for the war gradually dropped to near-zero.

That's what our victory over the animal rights movement will look like, when it comes. Because the movement's goals are evil and the consequences for both humans and animals are bad, America WILL figure them out and stop supporting them: The question is, how long will that take? What will be the cost of getting there?

I wouldn't say that trying constitutional amendments or laws to protect our rights is completely useless, but the campaigns to accomplish these things would be more valuable than the goals themselves.

California's AB 1634 was a defensive battle, but it led to a dramatic expansion of our 'territory.' We have many more people on our side, many more who are mobilized, many more lawmakers who see the light or are at least suspicious, and a few more citizens who would never, ever, give money to HSUS and the rest.

This link shows another gain in our campaign:

This is the 'Nuke Hanoi' wing of the AR movement weighing in. HSUS -- the leading and most successful part of the movement isn't vigorous or violent enough to suit these people. Movements that don't win quickly will always develop such factions. And just as happened with the Vietnam war, this weakens their public support.

(That link is a good one to pass to friends who might think that the AR movement isn't so bad ...)

There isn't going to be any August 6th/August 9th, 1945 sudden recognition by the ARs that (quoting Emperor Hirohito on the 14th) "the war situation has developed not necessarily to [our] advantage" followed by surrender. Instead, we will see a levelling off and then a decline of public support for HSUS. Declining support will force them to spend more on fundraising, meaning less money to advance the cause itself. Ten years later, they'll be well on the way to where the KKK and Communist Party of the U.S.A. are now: "Are they still around?"

WW II was won primarily by offensive tactics. In the Pacific we cut the Japanese empire in half, isolating the home islands from the oil and rubber they needed to keep fighting: Although there would have been several hundreds of thousands more casualties on each side without the atom bomb, we'd have won anyway. It is worthwhile to consider what might be the equivalents in our situation but it's unlikely that any will be found.

Our route to final victory is most likely to lie through winning a series of (mainly) defensive battles, each of which (like the victory over AB 1634) educates hundreds or thousands of people, including key lawmakers and media folks. Even the battles we lose, however, can contribute to the final goal if they bring many new people to an understanding of the AR movement.

Even our talks with friends can be part of winning. A friend of a friend had been giving $500 or more a month to HSUS and/or PETA. When friend one educated her, she stopped. You could call that a successful ambush that took out one AR combatant, since $60,000/year would pay for one worker. It's not headline news, but it was a definite step toward victory.

This is not to say that we should never try to pass our own laws. We should, however, be certain that we have a worthwhile goal -- that is, if we get what we want, animals and people will actually be better off. And we shouldn't make the effort unless we have a reasonable prospect of success. Introducing a bill that will be strongly opposed by the AR movement, will not strongly energize our own people, and having that bill sponsored by a weak member of an AR-controlled committee in the legislature will be pretty much an exercise in discouraging a few of our own people.

Note particularly the need to energize our own people. AB 1634 got us energized. But take a bill from our side -- maybe a CA stat e bill that would require localities to issue kennel licenses for up to eight dogs without intact or breeding permits or inspections at a fee not to exceed $75/year, subject only to the usual welfare and nuisance ordinances. Such a state law would make a dramatic difference to dog fanciers, would help cut animal control costs and intakes ... but would it energize people on our side enough to have a chance of passing?

Would it energize the AR folks? Think about it ...

My sense is that we're still at the point where we need to do mainly defense. Let the ARs pick most of the battlefields -- but make them bleed, where ever they choose.

There's no reason to think that defense is not a route to victory.

The only real question is whether we can turn the corner in the next five years, meaning that twenty years out the kids will ask "Animal rights movement? What was that?" or whether it will take us until 2026, and in 2028 they'll ask us "What were you thinking, that you let this happen?"

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