I was reading a column by Dr. Joe Schwarcz recently and his resumé of the position of Woodrow Monte, an “Internet vocal”, made me reflect on the worldwide campaign by such groups as PETA to eliminate “medical” experimentation on animals.

The sentence which caught my attention was this: “He (Woodrow Monte) posits that humans are uniquely affected by methanol and that (therefore) animal experiments are irrelevant.”

That postulate led me to reflect on PETA’S stance against animal experimentation for the benefit of us – Homo sapien sapiens, (yes there are 2 sapiens in the name).

Full Disclosure: While I am a member of PETA [I have a card which says so], I do not partake of all their battle positions in support of animals to the, it seems, exclusion of us mere mortals. For example, I will never (not a word I like using as “nevers” often change with age and experience) not eat meat. Why? For several reasons, the primary ones being that I do not believe man would have made it out of the cave, not to mention walking upright, if man had not escalated from plant eater to meat eater.

Secondly, posit what would happen if 8 billion people simultaneously ceased eating meat/fowl, fish etc., aside from the obvious economic consequences.

If one believes in Darwinism, which I do, and our planet was now overrun by all the other species who no longer took up residence on our plates, what would happen to the precarious balance between the species? I think the natural predators of those no longer eaten would not be able to keep up with nature’s balancing act and that changes in our eco-system would have a dynamic, and not in a good way, effect on the entire eco-system. Cataclysmic might to be more accurate.

That said, I am certainly against any abuse caused to all animals during their lifetimes. Chickens should be able to walk around and not be over cooped-up. No birds should have their beaks cut, ducks/geese should not be force-fed to enhance their livers, cows should not be beaten or made to stand in their own feces…and the list goes on and on.

Which brings me full circle to why we must stop painful and abusive animal experimentation. I know you are now thinking that my 2 positions are contradictory but they are not.

I have yet to hear any animal group purport that while we humans shouldn’t eat animals, neither should animals eat animals. But that is the way of the world. Animals hunt the less able in Darwinistic fashion as preordained in nature, as should we. However, unlike Homo sapien sapiens, animals do not kill for pleasure or enact cruelty on their meals prior to ingesting.

They eat to survive and/or reproduce. We have that same right. Meat eating in fact led us to having larger brains which led to the evolution of human intelligence, the development of language, cooperation and socialization.

We do not however have the right or need to experiment, or mistreat, hang on our walls or put on our floors any other species. Should we treat those we eat humanely prior to doing so? Absolutely. Should we inflict what is tantamount to torture on animals in order to create medications for ourselves? Absolutely not.

Of course following through on the Darwinist theory of “Survival of the Fittest” leads to the conclusion that by invasive measures Homo sapien sapiens are interfering with this rule of nature. Survival was, I believe, never meant to mean at all costs. But that is precisely what we, Homo sapien sapiens, have done and continue to do. Which is why the planet is in the condition it finds itself today, on the road to a long and painful self-inflicted death.

Me Hammerschmid is a practicing Family Law Attorney since 1982 and Senior Partner at Hammerschmid & Associates, 1 Westmount Square, Suite 1290; and a founding and current member (past Secretary for 28 years) of the Family Law Association of Quebec. She can be reached at 514-846-1013 or [email protected]. Inquiries treated confidentially.
A frequent guest inn CBC TV/Radio, CTV and CJAD on Family Law; Me Hammerschmid is a monthly guest with Dr. Laurie Betito on CJAD’s Passion, on the last Thursday of each month.