Last month Michigan television station WZZM posted a 11 year old Gavin Dingman standing over an albino deer he shot while out crossbow hunting with his father. The photo went viral soon in which soon after it got around, Gavin Dingman started receiving death threats due to some negative publicity surrounding his success.
Gavin’s dad also posted them on Facebook but then later took them down or marked them private due to the threats his son received. According to The Huffington Post, some comments were polite disagreement but there were those who made comments that Gavin should be shot with an arrow while others condemned the parents for allowing their son to murder a defenseless animal.
Not all of the publicity has been bad and, fortunately, Michigan hunters have rushed to Gavin’s defense in light of this controversy. The dilemma that Gavin faced resulting from his accomplishment isn’t just a condemnation of what he achieved but is also indicative of what happens when people subscribe to the idea that animal “rights” groups, like PETA, further. When someone subscribes to the notion that animals deserve the same rights as humans, they can then come to such irrational conclusions such as wishing or threatening death on other people.
Animal rights groups subscribe to the idea furthered by French philosopher Renee Descartes: I feel pain, therefore I have rights. However, Dr. Edwin Locke of the Ayn Rand Institute correctly points out, individual rights are not based on one’s capacity to feel pain but on one’s capacity to think. To condemn mankind’s use of animals for entertainment, hunting or consumption is actually a condemnation of a human being’s right to life since animals do not have a sense of morality or the capacity of deliberation and choice like humans do.
Once someone drinks the Kool Aid of Deep Ecology environmentalist philosophy (which is the basis of groups like PETA), the end result is not only death threats against 11 year old boys but also the whim-worshipping, eco-terrorism as demonstrated by groups like the Animal and Earth Liberation Fronts.