On Twitter, Who Needs a Check Mark When You Can Have a Rat?
“My dad is a rat,” my daughter says as I explain what a rat is, “My dad also is president. We’re both rat presidents.”
I love my two-legged babies (and one of them is a cat), but I’m a little confused about the term rat. Why is it a bad word? What did my daughter actually say? I thought it was an insult, but maybe she is just saying “My dad is a loser.” I am not a loser, and I have never been. I am, however, very poor, and I am certainly not as poor as my dad is. I am not sure I even have a dad. I am, however, not a rat. Now I am going to go to Target and not buy a rat book.
There are many kinds of people. There are some of us who see things as they are and think these are the best of all possible things. There are some of us who see things as they are and don’t think any of these are the best. This is me.
I have a friend who has taken a very high-level (in the sense of abstract) stand for both sides of the animal rights versus animal welfare argument: he is a vegan. He thinks animals should not have “rights” in the way that human beings do. He is a vegetarian. He thinks eating meat, whether it is hamburgers on the hoof, or the occasional veal cutlet, is cruel, and ought to be avoided. He thinks eating meat is the essence of barbarism, but the only thing that is required is to do it in such a way as to diminish the suffering of other sentient beings. It is wrong, he says, because all creatures need to eat each and every day – so let no one say that they must. It is, he thinks, a form of selfishness.
I have a few reasons for being different than my friend. One is that there are many, many different kinds of sentient beings. I don’t take issue with the idea that all animals are deserving of compassion, but I do take issue with the idea that these same animals ought to have rights in the same sense that I have rights – the right to free and