Taming Beasts

"Raising the moral status of dogs has created a breed of snarling, dangerous humans"
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In case you haven't noticed, animal-rights activists have become increasingly active. Consider the following: Last year the California Milk Advisory Board ran its "happy cows" ads featuring singing, wisecracking dairy cows contentedly munching grass in bucolic bliss. Viewers loved them, but in December, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sued, claiming the ads violate consumer protection laws by deceiving consumers about the way cows actually live. (Note to PETA: cows don't really sing, either.)

In Illinois last June, PETA was outraged when a casino invited customers to play ticktacktoe against chickens. PETA objected to "the Chicken Challenge" because the game "disrespected chickens."

In Phoenix, a teacher threatened to sic her classroom of six-year-olds on a seafood restaurant to force the owner to stop its "cruel" practice of putting live beta fish on display in fish bowls. The fish were ultimately put up for adoption.

It's hard not to laugh at stories like these, and that's usually what we do. Until recently, the animal-rights movement has been viewed as little more than a radical fringe group. But in truth its proponents have a serious agenda—one that challenges Christianity's most fundamental doctrines. And one, as I discovered in the last election, that is having a surprising impact on the public.

On Florida's ballot was a constitutional amendment to outlaw housing pregnant sows in stalls so small the pigs can't turn around. I was certain my fellow voters would not put such a thing in the state constitution. To my amazement, they did—54 to 46 percent.

As Michael Pollan writes in a brilliant New York Times Magazine article, the animal-rights movement is scoring remarkable triumphs in its effort to have animals ...

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Charles Colson
Charles Colson was the founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries, an outreach to convicts, victims of crime, and justice officers. Colson, who converted to Christianity before he was indicted on Watergate-related charges, became one of evangelicalism's most influential voices. His books included Born Again and How Now Shall We Live? A Christianity Today columnist since 1985, Colson died in 2012.
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