The League of Humane Voters of NYC just got hit with a 6 figure fine for failing to register as a lobbying organization or file spending reports while pushing for a ban on carriage horses in NYC. I know nothing of the backstory here and am a firm believer that lobbyists should be registered and monitored. So, if LOHV ran afoul of this regulation, then it received a deserved comeuppance. However, word on the street is that the smack-down is also some payback from City Council Speaker Quinn, with whom the organization has locked horns in the past. Perhaps more details will soon emerge.
Be all that as it may, this article about the fine over the carriage horses labels LOHV an “animal rights organization.” That lede propelled me to visit LOHV’s website, where I read this mission statement:
The Mission of the League of Humane Voters® (LOHV) is to create, unite, and strengthen local political action committees, which work to enact animal-friendly legislation and elect candidates for public office who will use their votes and influence for animal protection.
This does not seem like the agenda of an animal rights group (compared to this, for example).
There are a several possibilities here:
a) I don’t know what animal rights means.
b) The media doesn’t know what animal rights means
c) even though it doesn’t really understand what animal rights means, the media classifies all animal advocacy as animal rights both for convenience and to push animal issues out of the mainstream.
d) all of the above
I believe the correct answer is “d.” Some may be surprised that I lump “a” in with the correct answers but that will soon (I hope) be the subject of a different post. In short, I believe the concept of animal rights is very much a work in progress. Furthermore, I am not at all sure that defining a set of entitlements within a system that is inherently hostile to “animality” is the most productive goal for those of us seeking an end to animal exploitation.
And with that little teaser for a post not yet written: stay tuned.
Filed under: animal advocacy, animal law, animal welfare Tagged: | animal advocacy, animal ethics, animal law, animal rights, animal welfare, animality, carriage horses, League of Humane Voters, League of Humane Voters of NYC, LOHV