I’ve thrown around the terms “animal rights” and “animal rights activists” a lot in my former posts, and I think the terms need some discussion.
This blog intends to inform those who haven’t had much animal exposure (particularly with farming animals) about animal husbandry and the role of working animals in modern society. I believe this topic deserves attention, considering the industry I work in is under fire by animal rights activists who aren’t willing to openly discuss with those who are in the industry because of their expertise. It’s important to have discussions about animal husbandry in a time when many base their dietary and lifestyle choices on animal rights.
Animal rights activism is important and necessary to assist animals that suffer and need proper care. Animals that are bred for particular roles, who work in industries that are heavily regulated to ensure good quality of life, should not be the focus of animal rights activists. In the industry, we refer to activists that wish to ban working animals as RARAs, or radical animal rights activists. Their efforts are misguided and their arguments are based on unwarranted claims. They tend to be verbally harassive and aggressive in their tactics. They are unwilling to hear perspectives of those in the industry, many of whom are veterinarians, farriers, trainers, or lifelong horse enthusiasts that are passionate about animal wellbeing.
A healthy amount of criticism and questioning of industries like horse-drawn carriages is good, in my opinion. It ensures that regulations are enforced and followed in an industry that is constantly in the public eye. When activism becomes misinformed, aggressive, and threatens to end mutually beneficial work, it’s no longer activism in the animals’ best interest.