The notion that "what works" to cure disease, build sewer systems, raise animals, etc., is "empirical science" has typified the West for hundreds of years. Likewise, the notion that "what is good for humans is the primary duty of medicine" resulted from the Christian doctrine that caused humanity to "reproduce and master the environment" over which God gave us dominion: we manage our animals and plants.
Two philosophies challenge these traditions:
- The mental health movement holds that human belief trumps "biological reality." Thus, those who "feel they are" the opposite sex ARE the opposite sex. Consequently, you cannot "see" who is which sex, you must ask first because his choice determines his gender.
- New to the game is the January 21, 2023, editorial in The Lancet, declaring that humans are no more valuable than animals. That this extreme notion of equality would be given a prominent place in a 200-year-old medical journal is concerning:
“Modern attitudes to human health take a purely anthropocentric view—that the human being is the centre of medical attention and concern. [We must be as]…concerned about the welfare of non-human animals and the environment as we are about humans…. The consequences of this thinking entail a subtle but quite revolutionary shift of perspective: all life is equal, and of equal concern.… [It recommends] people move away from an animal-based diet to a plant-based one, which not only benefits human health, but also animal health and wellbeing.” [If we act on this insight, then]…demanding that wet markets be closed to halt an emerging zoonosis might be technically correct, but if it does not account for those who make their livelihoods from such markets….”!!!
Worried about balancing everything, everywhere, all the time – insanity! Concern about closing wild animal markets to stop an epidemic because some rely on them for income!
This editorial hardly signals an imminent transformation of medicine, but it isn’t irrelevant either. The Lancet is one of the West’s oldest journals, rightly claiming, “Every week [we publish] the best science from the best scientists worldwide, providing an unparalleled global reach and impact on health. Since Thomas Wakley founded [us] in 1823, we have strived to make science widely available so that medicine can serve and transform society, and positively impact the lives of people. We are proud to have published papers that have made a crucial contribution to science and human health.” Notice, until this year, “human health.”
What if we were equally concerned about animal health? What if just pet owners chimed into every decision that affected both humans and the various pets? Of the ~130 million US households, about 70% have at least one pet. The U.S. has over a billion dogs and cats, perhaps 6 million horses – indeed pet numbers are increasing as childbirths decline. Household investments in pets, both psychologically and financially, are substantial. Many owners consider pets part of the family and love them so much that they forego operations themselves so a pet can get theirs. Not to mention pets cost the average household ~$1,000 per year/pet (lots less for small fish, lots more for horses). So "love of animals" is a very significant value – for some, transcending human welfare. Society could be twisted in knots trying to weigh outcomes, much less act, if even pets=humans were adopted as a societal norm. Woke faith claims "humans are ruining nature and deserve destruction" – the adoption of "all animals are equal" would further confuse decision-making and tax our survival (if trees communicate with each other, and so it seems from numerous studies, why not "all life is equal)?"
We can hope "animal equality" doesn’t go mainstream. But not so long ago, Woke seemed too ridiculous to become so powerful, but "all animals are equal" is knocking on the door.© Paul Cameron
The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.