Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My first little book.

I write.

If I'm not writing here, I'm writing somewhere else. I've been writing pretty much nonstop for over a decade: fiction, nonfiction, opinion, brochures, fliers, fund-raising letters, web copy, all related to the animal question. I've compiled and analyzed lots of data and have seen it published here and there, though usually without my name attached to it.

Some time ago, a number of years ago actually, I came to the conclusion that so far as the animal question is concerned, persuasive argument is unlikely to be succsessful, by itself.

Six or eight years ago I wrote a little novela. I've shared it with others only sparingly; it is a terrible and violent little story.

Now that the University of Wisconsin has succeeded in blocking the establishment of a nonviolent, idea-driven antivivisection educational exhibit next door the Harlow Lab and the Primate Center, it seems like a good time to brainstorm other ways to call the public's attention to the details of our very cruel treatment of animals.

In any brainstormed list, there will be some ideas that are better than others, and some that aren't as good as others. In brainstorming, remember, essentially anything goes. So, what about violence? Not the ersatz violence that is so frequently reported -- a hose through the window, broken windows, late night calls -- but real violence, murder, let's say.

When, if ever, is murder justified?

Would you kill Hitler if you could go back in time?

How about the Boston Strangler?

How about this scenario: You come home and some really big man is raping your spouse or your child. A revolver is on the table. You pick it up and order the man to stop. He tells you to fuck off. You shoot him in the leg. He laughs and starts thrusting harder.

How about this: If we made HIV testing mandatory and we killed everyone who was HIV positive, we could eliminate HIV in short order. Think of the lives we could save.

It seems like murder might be an appropriate tool in some situations but not in others.

Trauma surgeon Jerry Vlasik has suggested, and I think he's right, that if just a few vivisectors were murdered that millions of animals might be spared much suffering. Many vivisectors would simply quit. I don't see how this isn't likely to be true; the hypothesis hasn't been tested though. It might be the same with furriers, ranchers, and others.

Extending this line of thought, if one were to start killing vivisectors in order to terrorize other vivisectors into stopping their diabolical investigations, should the murders be secret? sanitary? neat? Maybe not. It makes a certain sort of dark sense that one very sensational murder could have a greater impact than many hidden murders. There is an equation of sorts suggested by this. If it's true that a series of murders might slow the attack on animals in the labs, wouldn't lives be saved if the smallest number of murders possible were employed? What might be done to make one murder more noteworthy or a more efficient tool than another?

Murder. It's a strong word.

I'm self-publishing my little book. It explores this scenario in entertaining light fiction.

The perfect gift idea!


Luella said...

Dude. Violence is NOT acceptable. If you kill vivisectors, you will just be put in prison and make animal rights look evil. Killing does NOT change the status quo. If it were successful even in the short-term, which I find unlikely, it still wouldn't change anyone's mind about animal rights. There is no use in playing with this question. It's not entertainment, but indulgence. Just as there are better solutions than vivisection, there are better solutions to other forms of violence.

Anonymous said...

Luella said, "Violence is NOT acceptable." But I don't believe s/he means it. If someone really believed that, they'd have to remain non-violent as someone raped and killed a loved one. Maybe a few people are so committed to non-violence, no matter the circumstance, but not protecting or defending loved ones, even with violent means, seems morally deficient. Maybe Luella just means that no evil heaped on animals is an adequate justification for violence, but if I would defend a loved one or a neighbor's child with violent means, if necessary, then not doing the same for animals places them in a significantly lower moral category. Following that line of thinking, maybe it is ok to hurt them if humans might benefit in some way. That's the status quo.