Animal Rights Czar?

Fans of the Fox News Channel’s “Glenn Beck Program” saw our Director of Research leading off yesterday’s show, discussing what might happen if animal rights activist Cass Sunstein is confirmed as America’s new “regulatory czar.” We’ve been telling reporters for months that Sunstein’s animal-liberation philosophy raises a red flag about his candidacy. Many thanks to Glenn Beck and his staff for bringing this issue to a wider audience.
Sunstein’s nomination to head the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs is back on hold this week, thanks to concerns from Texas Senator John Cornyn (R). Cornyn’s concerns, and ours, go beyond the question of whether governments should be in the business of banning hunting, meat eating, or lab-rat-assisted medical research. Here’s an even greater threat, as we explained it to Beck’s viewers:

Some animals — according to [Princeton philosopher Peter] Singer — are worth more than some humans. A smart border collie, he says, is worth more, inherently, than a retarded child. He doesn’t care whether that child is yours or mine or anybody else’s.
So now Cass Sunstein has embraced the whole enchilada. He believes — and this is straight out of the PETA playbook, this is out of the Humane Society of the United States, some of the real radical animal rights group out there — he believes that animals should have the same rights as humans. In fact, greater rights than some people, including, as you mentioned, the right to file lawsuits.

Will the Humane Society of the United States start looking for plaintiffs in the barnyard? Could a farm animal sue you for eating its young?
Don’t laugh. Gaze into the future, and the mere threat of seeing animals as lawsuit plaintiffs could nudge us all toward veganism as a society-wide default. At least that seems to be Sunstein’s hope. He co-authored a book with that title—“Nudge—about how an appropriately paternalistic government should help us all be better people by subtly limiting our choices.
Here’s what we told the Fox audience about that plan:

It’s a way of saying we’re not going to completely change your life from the top down, but we’re going to “nudge” it around the edges. We are going to assume that you’re too stupid to make your own choices. We’re going to assume that you don’t know — you’re not smart enough to know how to visit a buffet without packing an overnight bag.
You can’t be trusted to eat what you want. You can’t be trusted to drink what you want. You certainly can’t be trusted to save money the way you want to save it, or buy the car you want. So we have to change the choice parameters to guide you toward the “enlightened” choice.

What other choices do you make every day that might not be in agreement with today’s new activist-driven “enlightenment”? If they involve food or drink, it might be time to stock the pantry.

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