In judging the objectivity of any specific claim made by spokesmen for the animal rights movement (such as that animal research will not lead to a cure for AIDS), one must always keep in mind the fundamental premise which the movement is fighting to have legally institutionalized, which is that animals possess the same rights (and value) as humans. Accordingly, animal rightists believe that no more value should be placed on the life of a man dying from AIDS than on the life of a laboratory rat being experimented on to find a cure for AIDS; according to them, both entities are morally interchangeable. The national director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Ingrid Newkirk, expressed this idea when she said, “I don’t believe human beings have the ‘right to life.’ That’s a supremacist perversion. A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.” Not surprisingly, she has also said that “Even if animal tests produced a cure [for AIDS], ‘we’d be against it.'” As such statements suggest, the animal rights movement represents the egalitarianism of the Left taken to its horrible, yet logical, conclusion.
In contrast to such vicious ideas, the original American concept of rights derives from human nature and the social requirements of human survival: because man is the rational animal, and because each man’s life is an end in itself, each man has the right to think and to act on his conclusions, and therefore the right be left free from the initiation of physical force by other men. That the animal rightists would advocate the passage of government laws (backed by force) against medical researchers struggling to save human lives shows their true attitudes towards reason, rights, and mankind. In fact, animal rightists are not moved by