Are some animals more valuable than human infants?

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Are some animals more valuable than human infants? It seems like such a ridiculous question to most of us. But in many intellectual circles it’s not only considered a good question, but the answer to the question for them is “yes.” Shocking…but true.

Jeremy Bentham was one such intellectual from the 1800’s best known for his utilitarian approach to the social order and animal rights.  And many animal rights and social reformers of today turn to him in trying to solve some of today’s challenges.  Cass Sunstein is one such intellectual.  He also happens to be the head of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs for the Obama Administration.  And he is very much involved currently in shaping regulatory laws for our country.

Here he is quoting Bentham in support of animal rights:

Now I’m not suggesting that Cass Sunstein actually thinks babies should be given less rights or treated as less valuable than horses.  But it appears that way.  Yes, here he is just quoting somebody that he respects while not necessarily agreeing with the point being made.  My interest is not in Cass Sunstein particularly, even though we should be concerned when somebody in the White House expresses sentiments like this (and so many other radical ideas) with a straight face and without caveat.  It should shock us that these ideas are not only seriously considered in intellectual circles, but that they also seem to be very common.  It can be confusing because they often speak out of both sides of their mouth.

On the one hand they would probably say “absolutely, humans should have more rights than animals.”  On the other hand they raise the point that “certainly it is only tyranny that would subvert the rights of animals who are rationally more valuable than an infant of a month.”  And we wonder how on earth it is that thousands of the unborn are tyrannically executed in our country alone every single day.

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