Liberal MP pushes welfarist bill that will hurt animals in the long run
When will liberals learn that welfarism and laws only hurt animals in the long run?
VICE shares the story of Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, a Toronto vegan who introduced the Modernizing Animals Protection Act to the House of Commons in February. He considers Bill C-246 to be what Canada needs to bring animal welfare laws into the 21st Century, despite the failures of animal welfarism.
The bill looks to ban the sale of cat and dog fur in Canada, to put an end to shark finning, and to attempt to strengthen criminal laws related to animal sexual abuse and gross negligence in regards to animal cruelty. Fines of up to $10,000 and 18 months of prison time are his tools for combating offences like baiting hooks with minnows, or storing catch in a livewell. That means people will be penalized for the death or treatment of some animals, and freely encouraged to continue killing and mistreating others.
VICE spoke to Canadian Angler Hall of Fame member and Real Fishing Radio Show host Gord Pyzer about the bill. He gives the opinion most people would, and says if the bill was only about fur and fins, it would be hard to find anyone against it. But that’s what welfarism campaigns rely on, everyone agreeing a single-issue is wrong.
Laws like the one’s proposed in C-246 further the idea that some animal exploitation done one way, or done to one species, is more objectionable than others. That’s how, in this case, a fisherman can be against fur, but can continue to exploit and kill fish. These laws and campaigns ultimately make people feel comfortable with using most animals while they boycott others.
Erskine-Smith says that the last thing he wants to do is pick a fight with anglers and hunters and that he’s open to amending the bill. “If we kill this bill before we can fix some of the language that people are uncomfortable with, we’re not going to stop these practices that should be stopped,” he told VICE. “I very much want to address the concerns of the animal use community, but I also want to make sure—and I think this is my worry here—that if people have concerns about unintended consequences, let’s not lose sight of what we’re after here. We want to stop cruel practices related to animals.” The “animal use community” isn’t concerned about animals.
A grassroots vegan movement doesn’t need animal welfare driven laws. It relies on education and people making the choices to change their own lives to stop all animal exploitation. Vegans aren’t going to buy dog and cat fur, they’re not going to eat shark fin soup, and they’re not going to sexually abuse or neglect animals. Educating people remains more important implementing laws.