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Kangaroo Courts? Litigation and Animal Rights

Tait Trussell

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Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." Genesis 1:26-28 (NIV)

Man is set in dominion over animals. The Bible tells us so; nature and experience confirm this truth. But along with man's place of authority, God also placed a corresponding responsibility, a task of stewardship. As such, animals are an integral part of our lives. By federal law, we even have designated 1,250 animals as endangered because of their scarcity and importance in our environment.

However, some people's take on how exactly humans ought to manifest this stewardship can border on the absurd. Game show host Bob Barker, a long-time advocate (and rightly so) for the responsible ownership of pet cats and dogs, last week endowed a $1 million fund at the Duke Law School to study "animal rights law." This gift is the most recent in a string of such endowments by the popular host of "The Price Is Right." In a society already beset by lawsuits, Barker's encouragement of litigation ultimately threatens to undermine the sensibility of his sound advice at the end of every episode, "Have your pet spayed or neutered."

Read the entire article on the Acton Institute website (new window will open).

Posted: 12/16/04



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