"A Change of Heart About Animals" Letter to the Editor

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2010 Little Creek Rd
Auburn, CA 95602

February 13, 2012

Los Angeles Times Op-Ed
303 W. 1st St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Dear Editor:

I share Rifkin’s concern with how we treat animals; however, the article, “A Change of Heart about Animals” does not provide enough concrete evidence to make the claim that animals are all of a sudden more like us than we imagined. Just because a crow can make a hook or an orangutan can groom itself in front of a mirror animals does not mean that animals are more like us than we imagined. Clearly, in order to persuade us that we need to treat animals better because they are so alike us, more evidence needs to be given. Rifkin has proven nothing new and merely demonstrates the hypocrisy of his animal rights beliefs.

First, Rifkin doesn’t prove anything new about animal and human similarity. His statement, “They are more like us than we imagined, scientists are finding” is backed up with individual and single experiments that don’t prove anything. For example, just because “Elephants will often stand next to their dead kin for days, occasionally touching their bodies with their trunks” does not mean that they are closer related to a human. Any pet owner, including myself, knows that animals can experience emotion- that’s not new information.

Secondly, Rifkin’s arguments against animal experimentation are supported by scientific studies conducted through the very same animal experimentation. From the laboratory crows to the gorilla learner, to the imprisoned orangutan, Rifkin seems to support animal abuse only when he benefits from it. I understand the concern for treating animals humanely but as shown through Rifken’s use of evidence, sometimes experimentation outweighs comfort purely in the scientific strides it creates for humans and animals.

Rifkin is an animal right activist hiding behind the scientific evidence that was created by what he’s campaigning against. His opinions are...
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