July 19, 2008

The First Amendment protects the right to depict animal cruelty.

The new case. And here's an old post where we talked ab0ut the subject at some length.

27 comments:

Christopher Hamilton said...

Interesting case, but I'd have to agree with the court on this one.

Meade said...

And RHHardin dodges yet another bullet.

PatCA said...

A student of mine wrote a paper on on what the framers really had in mind by free speech, pursuit of happiness, etc. His point was that they did not believe in unbridled license (like this disgusting video). Freedom was supposed to be tempered by a certain degree of morality, and he traced the philosophical underpinnings to his point quite well.

I hope he gets it published. We need to define the limits of freedom, or decide if there even are any. If this video is okay, why not human snuff films?

knoxwhirled said...

The law also was designed to stop so-called “crush videos.” According to a congressional report cited by the court, these were said to be “depictions of women inflicting torture (on animals) with their bare feet or while wearing high-heeled shoes. The cries and squeals of the animals, obviously in great pain, can also be heard in the videos.”

wtf. How am I going to scrub that imagery from my brain.

Trumpit said...

Of course this vile shit should be illegal. Thou shall not torture animals is a no-brainer. But I think this decision was a political one to protect the meat industry from lawsuits resulting from their abuse of farm animals. Also, the use of animials for experimentation purposes would come under even more scrutiny. Stepping on a cat's tail for sadistic pleasure and profit is mild compared to the horrors PETA is fighting against in the torture chambers of American universities and labs. What Frankenstein nightmares immoral scientists will concoct for a government grant is beyond human belief.

The Drill SGT said...

Chris,

I don't know the law here, but I'm interested in why you agree. In my understanding, "commercial speech" doesn't get complete 1st Amend protections. I would think that a case can be made for commercial speech (he sold the videos) of illegal acts (animal cruelty) would be illegal.

If not, selling "snuff" videos or videos of rapes would also be 1st amendment protected commercial activity?

vbspurs said...

If this video is okay, why not human snuff films?

Because animals lack a soul.

No, this isn't my opinion, nor do I use it solely to underpin my own arguments -- but it seems this is perhaps a key human argument in our thinking (even if its unintended).

I also hope your student gets his paper published into a book. I'd love to read it.

Cheers,
Victoria

rhhardin said...

The dog training method I use, The Koehler Method of Dog Training, was banned in Arizona in the 60s, just as a legal side point.

People can be very confused about what cruelty is.

Adam's Task by Vicki Hearne has the introduction to it that will hook you into getting a dog. Read the essays on Washoe, and on How To Say Fetch.

I've used Koehler to informally train up through open, utility and tracking levels.

PatCA said...

But Victoria, whether or not a creature has a soul is irrelevant. It still feels pain, and the human sadism required to enjoy that spectacle is morally wrong, no?

And what is a soul, anyway, for legal purposes?

Trumpit said...

"Because animals lack a soul."

AND a fetus has one. Actually, when I was growing up, I was informed that only blacks have rhythm. I never questioned that seemingly obvious fact, but perhaps I should have. Do ALL blacks have rhythm or just most. Should it be a requirement for a black candidate to high office to be soulful? If Barrack Obama lacks the rhythm/humor gene what else may he missing? What if he's lacking, god forbid, the soul gene. History is replete with so-called humans who had the "evil" gene in spades. I won't name names; you know who they were. But those evil bastards often referred to other humans that they despised as soulless subhumans deserving of annihilation.

Obviously, Leona Helmsly thought her dog had a soul or else why did she leave so many billions to benefit canines (and not felines). Some would argue that her bequeath was proof that she had no soul or a dubious one at best. I don't agree with that conclusion, but it's easier to eat your McDonald's hamburger if you deny the soul property to your lunch.

Methadras said...

Trumpit said...

What Frankenstein nightmares immoral scientists will concoct for a government grant is beyond human belief.


You mean the fact that you weren't aborted and to have to save us your moronic emotional pleas of idiocy. Yeah, we all lost on that note.

vbspurs said...

In answering, PatCa, I made it crystally clear that was not my position -- I personally believe my cute-as-button dog has a soul, and so did all my other dogs who I have no doubt, I will meet again when we all have passed on to the other side.

This contradicts my faith, but then so does chomping on the Holy Eucharist when you're in a hurry.

But Victoria, whether or not a creature has a soul is irrelevant. It still feels pain, and the human sadism required to enjoy that spectacle is morally wrong, no?

The celluloid remove is a powerful one, PatCa.

It transforms the spectator into just that, rather than as participant if you witnessed it yourself (and did nothing).

I'm guessing there are many arguments legal scholars are better able to articulate than mine.

And what is a soul, anyway, for legal purposes?

There is no soul, for legal purposes.

Ironically, for human purposes such as banning animal cruelty, one should have one.

Cheers,
Victoria

Methadras said...

I have no problem having certain imagery of animals being tortured or killed for pleasure or inducement of profit to become illegal. However, this is an all or none issue. If all images of animal cruelty, perceived, deliberate, accidental, or viewed in any form were made illegal, then things like nature programs wouldn't be shown on television because of their inherent depiction of predator/prey interaction, just to name a few. Hiding the abuse of animals because it makes one squeamish isn't cause for illegality. I don't like it, I abhor it as an animal lover, but I also recognize that this is one of those instances where showing things in plain sight will cause enough revulsion over time that these images hopefully become a thing of the past. Just not today.

Trumpit said...

You are an ugly moronic bigot, Madrasa. Stop your insulting, nasty comments on my posts or I'll have you aborted ex post facto. Simon can explain the Latin to your ugly, obnoxious ass. You have no soul, so go talk to Virginia about it. There's no fucking Santa Claus either. The fucking reference was in honor of the late great George Carlin. You're no fucking George Carlin, either. Have a thoroughly shitty day, you loser.

Trumpit said...

Madras,

A black boy is going to be elected president of the U.S. I hope you are preparing your immigration papers to depart this country. The problem is that you are persona non grata everywhere including cyberspace. More Latin for your diminished lexicon. A BLACK hole is where you belong. Get it, BLACK hole, ha ha.

PatCA said...

I know, Victoria, I just had never heard that argument before and was questioning it, not you. :)

Palladian said...

"Also, the use of animials for experimentation purposes would come under even more scrutiny. Stepping on a cat's tail for sadistic pleasure and profit is mild compared to the horrors PETA is fighting against in the torture chambers of American universities and labs."

But Trumpy, if they don't keep experimenting on animials, how are they ever going to discover a cure for whatever malignant brain disorder from which you seem to suffer?

Palladian said...

"A black boy is going to be elected president of the U.S"

A black boy? I'd be amused by your naive optimism if I wasn't disgusted by your racially-inappropriate language.

Cedarford said...

Stepping on a cat's tail for sadistic pleasure and profit is mild compared to the horrors PETA is fighting against in the torture chambers of American universities and labs. What Frankenstein nightmares immoral scientists will concoct for a government grant is beyond human belief.

Yeah, a high IQ and almost a decade of rigorous higher education with many peers of yours falling by the wayside - all because you wish to be an immoral person torturing puppies...

Lord, is this Trumpit stupid.

And what they concoct is stuff like heart-lung machines, most surgeries, half of pharmaceuticals, laproscopes and other diagnostic equipment, improvements in burn care and wound recovery...
And more work on diseases and conditions we haven't made much progress on yet - solid tumor carcinomas, CNS nerve damage, age-related deterioration.

As long as scientists keep to code on animal experimentation - minimize pain as much as possible, seek alternatives to animal testing when possible...and government does it's part by not legislating mass animal slaughter and suffering for experimentation be done to prove LD-50s and such from ingestion of makeup??

I'm fine with that. Killing tens of millions of lab rats, thousands of dogs and hundreds of monkeys to advance human health & welfare?
I'm fine with that, too, just as I am fine with us killing 3 billion chickens and turkeys a year.

paul a'barge said...

Perhaps you legaloids can help me here: I'd like to know the names of the judges who voted in the majority for this deicsion (US v Stevens). Here is the wiki page for this court of appeals, which includes the names of the judges and who appointed them.

I followed the link to the Findlaw site and read the decision. No where in the decision could I find where each concurring judge's name is mentioned.

Don't these monsters have to sign their name when they agree to outrages like this?

rhhardin said...

You can compute what fraction of a cat is leg, what fraction is tail, and so forth, by poking one at random with a pin and recording what you hit, over many trials.

Experimentation finds that cats are 100% teeth.

Trooper York said...

RH you always freak me out man.

Revenant said...

His point was that they did not believe in unbridled license

If they wanted free speech restricted to "moral" speech, they should have put that in the Constitution. They didn't, so even if they did intend to restrict speech in that manner that's just tough cookies for them.

If this video is okay, why not human snuff films?

Do you need the difference between the value of human and animal life explained to you?

Trumpit said...

Paleaidsvictim said,

But Trumpy, if they don't keep experimenting on animials, how are they ever going to discover a cure for whatever malignant brain disorder from which you seem to suffer?
.....................................
You're the same bunghole stinker who thinks it's okay to joke about Ted Kennedy's brain tumor. What if someone joked about your being infected with AIDS from your proclivity for rauchy unprotected anal sex and fisting? You'd get zero sympathy from your anti-gay malign bigot buddies that troll this blog. You are a infected, blotchy hypocrite of the worst order. Jerk or loser, take your pick!

lurker2209 said...

As much as I find the idea of sexually arousing cruelty to animals to be abhorrent, I fear that if the court had ruled the other way, it would make much of the data collected in the course of animal research illegal. Apparently cruel acts for the sake of research are very different from cruelty for the sake of cruelty, but they can look similar.

I once had a college debate tournament round where we were debating the use of primates in medical research. My opponents were assigned to argue against the use; my partner and I were supposed to argue in favor of it. They made a series of good arguments about how primates had demonstrated sophisticated emotional expressions, close social bonds and the use of language. But in the end I won that debate by pointing out repeatedly that the vast majority of primates are used in research on HIV and AIDS, for which there is no other animal model.

I'm still not sure how I feel about that. It's easy to defend a position vehemently as an academic exercise only to realize later that you still have reservations. There are experiments I read about, often in psychology, that make me question the value of the information learned when compared to the animal's suffering. I still believe it's necessary to use animals in scientific research, that saving the life of a child is worth taking the life of a rat. But I have a great deal more appreciation for the animal-rights groups who are willing to work with scientists to ensure that the animals are well cared for and suffer no more than absolutely necessary.

PatCA said...

"Do you need the difference between the value of human and animal life explained to you?"

Do you need the difference between killing an animal for food and killing an animal for sexual, sadistic pleasure explained to you?

Methadras said...

Trumpit said...

You are an ugly moronic bigot, Madrasa. Stop your insulting, nasty comments on my posts or I'll have you aborted ex post facto. Simon can explain the Latin to your ugly, obnoxious ass. You have no soul, so go talk to Virginia about it. There's no fucking Santa Claus either. The fucking reference was in honor of the late great George Carlin. You're no fucking George Carlin, either. Have a thoroughly shitty day, you loser.


Your shtick is old, tired, and listless. Sort of like your everyday existence. You throw out pedantic nonsense as if you actually even understand what you are saying in an egregious attempt trying to be righteously indignant without sounding too hate-filled. I realize that your screws and underwear might be on too tight and riding up a little higher than you like, but honestly you've glommed onto a way of life that from my perspective is not only destructive of personality, but destructive of mind. Your posts show it every time your fingers hit a keyboard. Sit back, relax a little, enjoy the flowers from time to time. You are trying to rush through life as if it could end for you at any moment, but not realizing that in all actuality no one, least of all me really gives a lubed dildo's worth of what you have to eject for us to read. Ta.