Fourth Of July All-American KILLOUT
An Animal Rights Article from


Ruth Eisenbud
July 2011

[Ed. Note: Apart from the animal abuse involved in Fourth of July "killouts," companion animals and wildlife suffer immensely from the traditional firework shows. Read Firework Show.]

The doctrine responsible for this lack of compassion, called dominion. It allows man to slaughter and exploit highly evolved beings, capable of feeling a full range of emotions and pain for human advantage, so that on a day which commemorates human freedom:

The only rights millions of animals have on the fourth of July, is to be roasted, barbecued, grilled or shishkabobbed.

The Fourth of July celebrates the establishment of a nation which respects the inherent right of its citizens to their lives and liberty so that they may pursue goals leading to their own well-being.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." Declaration of Independence

The benefits of a democratically elected government give every individual a chance to improve and better their lot in life... The fourth of July celebrates the founding of the USA, based on the values described above. It grants man, and man alone, the right to pursue happiness and safety, for the USA is a predominantly Christian nation. Within the tenets of this tradition human life is held in higher esteem than that of other fully sentient beings:

God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: 'Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you shall rest on every animal of the earth, and on every bird of the air, on everything that creeps on the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; into your hand they are delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and just as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.'

The doctrine responsible for this lack of compassion, called dominion. It allows man to slaughter and exploit highly evolved beings, capable of feeling a full range of emotions and pain for human advantage, so that on a day which commemorates human freedom:

The only rights millions of animals have on the fourth of July, is to be roasted, barbecued, grilled or shishkabobbed:

Gracing peacefully one day...


ar-killout-03  ar-killout-04

Grilled for the Fourth of July...

rights granted to animals under dominion...

In the USA animals have the right to be abused, exploited and slain when justified as legitimate for human benefit. They do not have rights which honor or respect the value of their lives. Humans were granted the right indulge in the exploitation of animals with a clear conscience during biblical times with the mandate of dominion, which is little more than license to slay and abuse them.

Animal legislation based on biblical doctrine denies animals their inalienable right to their lives as follows:

  • They exist as human property.
  • They may be exploited and slain for human benefit, with the contradictory provision that their abuse, exploitation and sacrifice be compassionate.
  • When there is no discernable use of animals for human advantage, despite any service rendered to man, they may be destroyed.

Animals need legal rights which ban their harm and slaughter. They need the right to remain free from biblically sanctioned human inflicted violence, exploitation and slaughter. Evidence has shown that the miniscule improvements of conditions prescribed by genesis, for exploited animals and those destined for slaughter, leads to an increase in the number of victims. Animal rights based on dominion is nothing more than a desperate effort to disguise violence as compassion, in order to preserve the status quo of acceptable animal abuse

dominionized bill of rights...

The Animal Legal Defense Fund proposed a dominionized animal bill of rights. Sections of the bill listed below, are interspersed with the implications in color:

"I, the undersigned American citizen, believe that animals, like all sentient beings, are entitled to basic legal rights in our society. Deprived of legal protection, animals are defenseless against exploitation and abuse by humans. As no such rights now exist, I urge you to pass legislation in support of the following basic rights for animals":

1) The Right of animals to be free from exploitation, cruelty, neglect, and abuse.

In instances where animal exploitation is deemed necessary for human benefit, cruelty based on the religious ethic of dominion is both appropriate and righteous and supersedes their right to be free from harm:

Proverbs 12:10: "The righteous person regards the life of his or her animal." In Judaism, one who is unnecessarily cruel to animals cannot be regarded as a righteous individual." Prof Richard Schwartz

The corollary: He who is of necessity cruel to animals can be regarded as a righteous individual.

2) The Right of laboratory animals not to be used in cruel or unnecessary experiments.

Regulated cruelty is appropriate for experiments deemed necessary.

3) The Right of farm animals to an environment that satisfies their basic physical and psychological needs.

The basic physical and psychological needs of an animal are violated by the extreme violence of slaughter.

4) The Right of companion animals to a healthy diet, protective shelter, and adequate medical care.

When they become homeless, they may be destroyed, as their existence is valued only in relation to humans who own them.

5) The Right of wildlife to a natural habitat, ecologically sufficient to a normal existence and self-sustaining species population.

Though hunting them for sport is a human right granted with the proper government license. Species population is defined by human need.

6) The Right of animals to have their interests represented in court and safeguarded by the law of the land.

The law of the land is based on dominion. It serves the needs of humans who benefit from animal misery.

Animals need more than basic human rights. As fully sentient beings they are entitled to the same compassion granted to humans.

a duty of compassion:

Extending inalienable rights of freedom only to humans has not led to less violence for animals, as it falls short of complete compassion. A more highly evolved view of those entitled to full rights would include both humans and animals.

The Indian constitution has a clause which imposes a duty of compassion towards animals on its citizens. No such clause can be found in the United States Constitution. Furthermore the Indian constitution grants to humans not only freedom of speech, life and liberty, but also freedom of conscience: the right to abstain from cruelty without repercussions as follows:

“…the real gems of the Indian animal lawyer’s tool kit lie in the Constitution and the power of the Court to issue a direction or order or writ where a legal wrong has been committed by violation of a constitutional or legal right. India’s Constitution has provisions upholding not just the duty of compassion but protecting the freedoms of conscience, speech, and life and liberty”
- Amy Mansfield, New Zealand Lawyer

The right to conscience and a duty of compassion have resulted in animal protection laws which reflect the inherent value of animal lives.

The inclusion of animals in the Indian Constitution is a result of the religious concept of ahimsa of the Jain religion. In this tradition the lives of fully sentient animals and humans are due equal respect and compassion. It is understood that harming animals causes untold suffering to the animals as it leads to the degradation of the human spirit:

All things breathing, all things existing, all living beings whatever, would not be slain or treated with violence, or insulted, or tortured or driven away. This is the pure unchanging eternal law, which the wise ones who know the world have proclaimed...He who understands the nature of sin against animals is called a Sage.... He who harms animals has not understood or renounced deeds of sin...Jain Acharanga Sutra

Declaration of Independence for Animals

The Declaration of Independence grants citizens the right and duty to to reject cruel despotism: "when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government" Declaration of Independence

The absolute despotism of man's dominion over the animals is so rife with every manner of abuse and every abnegation of any right to their own lives, that dominion must be relinquished and rejected -'thrown off'. As animals do not have the power to do this for themselves, those who care for their well-being must declare their liberation from religions which sanctify man's tyranny over animalkind.

Remaining within the constraints of dominion based traditions contradicts every genuine effort of compassion...Friends of animals must declare their independence from such traditions and BOYCOTT those who would preach the gospel of violence to animals known as dominion.

Anything less will result in more of the same.

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