Nutty Professor Discovers Animal Right to Privacy


Even as they eat away at what little remains of our right to do business and to earn a living, our liberal rulers continue to expand the rights they grant to animals. Dr. Brett Mills of the same University of East Anglia that brought us the ClimateGate scandal has published a study that takes the next illogical step toward utter lunacy by calling for a “right to privacy” to be granted to animals filmed for wildlife documentaries.

At the heart of the documentary project is the necessity for animals to be seen. Dr Mills suggests that this necessity itself raises a series of ethical concerns, but these seem to be sidelined in the moral debates surrounding wildlife documentaries. The use of sophisticated aerial technology to film animals, for example, is justified because it does not disturb them, yet the question of whether it is appropriate to film animals in this way is not raised. Underpinning such action is an assumption that animals have no right to privacy, and that the camera crew have no need to determine whether those animals consent to being filmed.

Say you’re up in a helicopter, using a telephoto lens to film a dung beetle rolling a turd around. Even though the bug has no idea you’re up there, you are violating its rights, unless you’ve struck a deal with its agent.

Animals that haven’t hired representation present a problem, which Dr. Mills deftly solves:

“We can never really know if animals are giving consent, but they often do engage in forms of behaviour which suggest they’d rather not encounter humans, and we might want to think about equating this with a desire for privacy.”

About the only time the behavior of undomesticated animals doesn’t suggest that they would rather not encounter humans is when oppressed polar bears hunt us down and kill us for food. So presumably, that would be okay to show on TV.

Needless to say, anyone who believes an animal’s modesty is violated by people watching it on television is either bashing their head against a padded wall at the Laughing Academy, or soaking up government grants at an overfunded university.

On a tip from Steve. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

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