Activists + >
George Carlin on Animal Rights
At the start, let me say I'm not an animal rights activist.
I'm not comfortable with absolutes. And I know that every time something eats,
something else dies. I recognize the Earth is little more than a revolving
buffet with weather. So, the idea of eating animals is fine with me, but is it
really necessary to make things out of the parts we don't eat? We're the only
species that does this. You never see a mongoose with snakeskin shoes. Or a lion
walkin' around in a wilderbeest hat. And how often do you run into plankton that
have phytoplankton luggage?
And I think people have a lot of nerve locking up a tiger and charging four
dollars to let a few thousand worthless humans shuffle past him every day. What
a shitty thing To do. Humans must easily be the meanest species on Earth.
Probably the only reason there are any Tigers left is because they don't taste
I respect animals. I have more sympathy for an injured or dead animal than I do
for an injured or dead human being, because human beings participate and
cooperate in their own undoing. Animals are completely innocent. There are no
innocent human beings.
Here is an anecdote from the writer Patricia Highsmith: "Not so long ago I said
to a friend of mine: 'if I saw a kitten and a little human baby sitting on the
curb starving I would feed the kitten first if nobody was looking.' My friend
said: 'I would feed the kitten first if somebody was looking.'" I would too
Some people seem shocked and say, "You care more about animals than you do
humans!" Fuckin'-A well told!
I do not torture animals, and I do not support the torture of animals, such as
that which goes on at rodeos: cowardly men in big hats abusing simple beasts in
a fruitless search for manhood. In fact, I regularly pray for serious,
life-threatening rodeo injuries. I wish for a cowboy to walk crooked, and with
great pain, for the rest of his life. I cheer when a bull at Pamplona sinks one
of his horns deep into the lower intestines of some drunken European macho
swine. And my cheers grow louder when a victim is a young American macho-jock
tourist asshole. Especially if the bull is able to swing that second horn around
and catch the guy right in the nuts .
But although I don't go out of my way to bother living things, I am not without
personal standards. A mosquito on my arm, an ant or a cockroach in my kitchen, a
moth approaching my lapel; these animals will die. Other insects in my home,
however, the ones who merely wish to rest awhile, will be left alone.
Or, if noisy and rowdy, lifted gently and returned to the great outdoors. I am
also perfectly willing to share the room with a fly, as long as it's patrolling
that portion of the room that I don't occupy. But if he starts that smart-ass
fly shit, buzzing my head and repeatedly landing on my arm, he is engaging in
high-risk behavior. That's when I roll-up the sports section and become Bwana,
the great white fly hunter!
Sometimes there is an older fly in the room, one who flies slowly and can't
travel too far in one hop-or it might be a female, heavy with eggs. In this
case, even if the fly is bothering me, I don't kill it; Instead, I adopt it a
short-termed pet. I might even give it a name. Probably something based on
Generally, I like flies, but they'd be far more welcome if they would make a
choice---and stick to it--between my bean burrito and that nice, hot, steaming
dog turd out in the front lawn.
Also, in keeping with my insect death policy based on the intentions of the
insects, any bacterium or virus entering my body that does not wish me well will
be slain. Normally, my immune system would accomplish this without notifying me,
but if the old T-cells aren't up to the task. I am prepared to ingest huge
amounts of antibiotics, even if they are bad for me.
And yet, in spite of all these examples of creature mayhem, I will not strike a
dog, I will not chase and taunt a bull around a ring, and I will not squeeze an
animal's testicles just to give the yokels a better show.
I'm also uneasy about the sheer number of scientific experiments performed on
animals. First of all, animals are not always good models for medical
experimentation: Penicillin kills guinea pigs; an owl is not bothered by
cyanide; monkeys can survive strychnine, etc., etc.
Couldn't these scientific tests just as easily be performed on humans? Condemned
prisoners, old people, the feeble, the terminally ill? I'm sure there are plenty
of ignorant, desperate Americans who would be willing to volunteer in exchange
for some small electrical appliance.
What makes me happy in the midst of all this is that ultimately animals get
even. The major killers of humanity throughout recent history----smallpox,
influenza, tuberculosis, malaria, bubonic plague, measels, cholera, and
AIDS---are all infectious diseases of animals. I pray that mad cow disease will
come to this country and completely wipe out the hamburger criminals.
Eating meat is one thing, but this whole beef-rancher-manure-cattle-hamburger
side show is a different skillet of shit altogether.
Each year, Americans eat 38 billion hamburgers. It takes 2,500 gallons of water
to produce one pound of red meat. Cattle consume one half of all the fresh water
consumed on Earth.
The sixty million people who will starve this year could be adequately fed if
Americans reduced their meat intake to just 10 percent. But if I were one of
those sixty million people, I wouldn't be reachin' for the salt and pepper too
quickly. It ain't gonna happen.
Ranchers raise pathetic, worthless cattle and sheep, animals who cannot live off
the land without human supervision, and the same ranchers kill wolves,
magnificent, individualistic animals fully capable of caring for themselves
without assistance. Individualism gives way to sheep behavior. Sound familiar?
I root for a wolf to someday grab a rancher's kid. Yes I do. And you know
something? The wolf would probably take the kid home and raise him, in the
manner of Romulus and Remus; and probably do a better job than the rancher.
Remember, wolves mate for life, and they care for their sick and infirm; they
don't run off, or kill them, or abandon them. Give me a wolf over some fuckin'
jerkoff rancher any day of the week.
One last item to demonstrate the depth of human perversity: Some zoos now sell
surplus animals to private hunting ranches where rich white men hunt them down
and kill for amusement. No wonder they call it the Descent of man.