After Rebecca Francis posted a picture of herself lying next to a bull giraffe she had killed, comedian Ricky Gervais responded with an inflammatory tweet that elicited a huge amount of condemnation for Francis from animal rights activists.
Gervais wrote: “What must’ve happened to you in your life to make you want to kill a beautiful animal & then lie next to it smiling?”
His tweet was perhaps one of the kinder responses to Francis’s picture. Many animal activists actually tweeted death threats. Or at least death wishes. Here’s a sampling:
Hope 1 day someone shoots Rebecca Francis and sits down next to her smiling for a photo while she’s dying, so she knows how the giraffe felt
Rebecca Francis how can you be so cruel enough to kill a beautiful animal then lie next to smiling .. you should be hunted down
Right. That makes sense. Since Rebecca Francis killed a giraffe, she should be killed. Since she apparently has less of a right to life than a giraffe.
Rebecca Francis responded to the online assault by explaining that the giraffe was old, well beyond its years of procreation, and the local village asked her to kill it so they could use its meat and bones. The response to that was, “Yes, but did you have to enjoy killing it?” Apparently, animal rights activists would have been okay with Rebecca Francis killing the giraffe if she had derived less enjoyment from hunting.
There’s so much hypocrisy and inconsistency here, it’s hard to know where to start? According to an interview with Bon Appetit, Ricky Gervais himself eats meat, with some caveats:
And then it gets emotional—I don’t want to eat a little friend or a pet. [Laughs] If I do eat meat, it’s got to be ethical. I want to know that it lived a great life before it was killed humanely. Then it needs to be disguised—I have to think it’s tofu. If I see a bit of blood or a vein—just, no. If I’m at all worried about the ethics of the meat, I’ll go vegetarian.
His reasoning is not reasoning it all. It’s anthropomorphizing animals and allowing emotional concerns to overrule reasonable faculties. Which pretty much sums up animal rights activism for me. Notice how Gervais mentioned that Francis killed a “beautiful” animal. So, if the animal had not been beautiful, it would be more permissible to kill it? And even enjoy killing it maybe?
This is what many detractors to traditional animal rights activism call “survival of the cutest.” It’s far easier to raise money to save baby pandas than it is to convince people to save the proboscis monkey. In fact, the “Ugly Animal Preservation Society” exists to raise money for just such species.
I heard of someone who set up a “Save the Tapeworm” booth at a college. He had jars of dirty water available for anyone who wanted to host a tapeworm to “save” the species. He would say things like, “An increase in water purity and better hygiene worldwide is threatening the life cycle of tapeworms and driving them into extinction. Help them survive by drinking a jar of dirty parasite-filled water.” No one drank the water. And he proved his point: no one cares about the death and extinction of non-humanizable animals. Basically, if it wouldn’t make a good talking cartoon protagonist in a Disney movie, no one cares.
Animal activists can’t have it both ways. They say humans are animals. Either humans are merely another species of animal and we should be able to do whatever animals do. Or we should be holding animals to the same standards activists have for humans. So either start forcing lions, tigers, and bears (Oh my!) to become vegetarians. Or allow human omnivores the same leeway you give other animals. A cheetah looks positively ecstatic when it takes down a gazelle. If it could post its satisfied grin to Twitter, it probably would.
What this and many other cases make clear is that animal rights activists are not operating by logic. They are operating entirely on emotions. They don’t actually care about animals as such. They care about what the reality of death makes them feel. Certain animals more easily allow human emotions to be projected onto them. When these animals die or suffer, it reminds us of our own mortality. And no one likes that feeling, so we avoid scrutinizing the cost of life. But we need to stop acting like babies. Just because your eyes are covered, that doesn’t mean harsh realities stop existing.
Many animal activists, including Ricky Gervais, are also pro-abortion. As long as they don’t have to see an aborted baby, abortion is a therapeutic procedure. As long as they don’t have to see an animal slaughtered for food and its meat doesn’t taste or look like flesh, they eat it without thinking. In the words of Ricky Gervais: “If I see a bit of blood or a vein—just, no.”
Rebeccca Francis is living life in reality. By coming face-to-face with the cost of her own life and consumption, she has access to understanding the value of life. Animal rights activists cannot make that same claim. So they value some lives over others. Mean, ugly, less “humanized” creatures do not receive their support. They apparently think they are the only kind of human animals who deserve to live.