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Clarity on the Orangutan Situation

Pyperlie forces me to clarify my position on whether we should let the orangutan become extinct.

It all comes back to the Am I a Libertarian? discussion.

Let’s deconstruct:

  • We wreak havoc and create mayhem for nonhuman animals wherever we go, generally speaking.
  • We the people, through our representatives (hence, representative democracy) decide which projects we will support with our tax dollars.
  • We the people subsidize:
    • factory farming
    • "predator control" (such as the killing of wolves to protect sheep)
    • the trucking industry
    • the textile industry (in order to compete with China–and how’s that workin’ out?)
    • unnecessary and ineffective research involving animals
    • space exploration (costing billions)
    • war (again, billions)
    • conservation programs that bring animals back from the brink of extinction, like the Bald Eagle.

I suppose, then, the real issue is that we have a government that’s huge and affects many industries and programs that I don’t personally support.

So here’s the revision of my stance: Privatization, privatization, privatization. If People for the Renewal of the Orangutan (a hypothetical, private 501[c]3 organization) wants to protect and bring back the Orangutan, in Sumatra or elsewhere, that’s fabulous. But I can choose not to donate to the organization.

Likewise, if Tyson, Perdue, and their grain suppliers want to continue to factory farm animals and cause harm to the animals and the environment, let them try it without the millions of dollars in government subsidies they are given. Let them compete–on a level playing field–with family farms (they’d come back from the brink of extinction).

Back on Earth in 2006 . . .

Here’s what I, Mary Martin, Ph.D., or any other Animal Person, can do (and of course I do):

  • VOTE
  • Agitate for nothing less than a complete overhaul of our government and the way it works
  • Run for office (okay, that I won’t do. But I do have a friend who ran as an anarchist, with no corporate backing, and won. Check out the amazing Lake Worth City Commissioner, Cara Jennings.)
  • Write to your senators, congresspeople, mayors, governors, and Dubya himself, and let them know–diplomatically–how you feel.
  • VOTE
  • Don’t support government-subsidized industries for the second time by buying their products
  • Did I say vote?

If we do anything between now and 2008, let’s let candidates know that it’s unfair for the government to subsidize some companies and industries and not others. That is the opposite of the free market they talk about.

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