Mini-Manifesto: #9

Characteristics of the Bourgeoisie

“One thing you have to remember about WASPs: they love animals; they can’t stand people.”

– Gordon Gekko (the film “Wall Street”, 1987)

This piece is bound to offend some, but we don’t pull any punches here at the Prole Center. We’re talking about the bourgeois fixation on animal rights/welfare over and above human rights. In addition to animal welfare legislation, something called “animal rescues” in particular have become popular in the United States over the past few years. Apparently the dog pounds (or animal shelters if you prefer) are not sufficiently able to house, care for and find homes for stray animals any more. So, in come these private charities to fill in the gap. They help to find foster homes for animals in danger of being euthanized until a permanent home can be found for them. These animal rescue operations also seem to aid in busting up “puppy mills” where pure breed dogs and cats are bred for sale under miserable conditions. The owner does everything he or she can to lower overhead costs to make more profit; even if the animals are malnourished, overexposed to the elements, or otherwise made to suffer unnecessarily. In other words, the animals are exploited for profit – sound familiar?

It strikes us as no mere coincidence, by the way, that the vast majority of these animal rescues each specialize in a specific breed, e.g., a Labrador Retriever rescue, a Pomeranian rescue, etc. It seems nobody wants a mutt anymore. Mutts are practically free to obtain, so possessing them imparts no special status to the owner. Perhaps the puppy mills wouldn’t exist without the demand for purebreds. At any rate, animal cruelty should be abhorred and prohibited, but this fetish obsession with the welfare of animals while at the same time human beings are allowed to sleep on the curb like thrown-away trash and children go to bed hungry, we find to be obscene. Prioritizing animal welfare is an easy, safe stance to assume that massages the ego and allows the bourgeoisie (and those who mimic them) to convince themselves that they are morally superior to others less fixated on animal welfare. It is much harder and more honorable to build relationships with people instead and help them to organize to fight for the liberation of the working class.

We really don’t mean to offend anyone who has “rescued” an animal before. It’s cool. It’s a cute idea, really. But just try to put things in context. Don’t get all holier-than-thou about it and please don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back.

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