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Argument: Animal rights enjoy significant support even among conservatives

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Supporting quotations

Michael Pollan. "An Animal's Place". New York Times Magazine. November 2, 2002 - "Once thought of as a left-wing concern, the movement now cuts across ideological lines. Perhaps the most eloquent recent plea on behalf of animals, a new book called 'Dominion,' was written by a former speechwriter for President Bush. And once outlandish ideas are finding their way into mainstream opinion. A recent Zogby poll found that 51 percent of Americans believe that primates are entitled to the same rights as human children."

"Exploring 'Dominion'. Matthew Scully on animals. A Q&A by Kathryn Jean Lopez". National Review Online. December 3, 2002 - "Lopez: What, in your experience, do the 'greens' make of you — a conservative, Republican-administration vet, sticking his neck out on animal rights?

Scully: Let me be the first on NRO to break the story that there are actually other Republicans concerned about cruelty to animals. Outgoing Senator Bob Smith was a true champion of compassion for animals, but others remain such as Senator Wayne Allard and Representative Chris Smith. The same is true in the U.K., where many Tories have favored the abolition of veal farming, battery cages, fur farming, fox hunting, and hare coursing among other cruel practices and vicious recreations. As for environmentalists, I think they generally approve of the book, and I am glad that I've come to know some of them, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr. He is a brave foe of factory farmers, for both environmental and animal-welfare reasons. I count myself his ally, as do the thousands of farmers still worthy of that name.

[...]Lopez: If there is one message you could get through to the traditional Left and the Right on these issues of animal rights what would it be? Would it be a different one for each?

Scully: Conservatives like to think of animal protection as a trendy leftist cause, which makes it easier to brush off. And I hope that more of us will open our hearts to animals. I also believe that in factory farming and other cruelties conservatives will find some familiar problems — moral relativism, self-centered materialism, license passing itself off as freedom, and the culture of death. Among liberals, I don't really detect a great deal more sympathy for animals than on the Right. The Nation and Mother Jones, for instance, are as unlikely to give the subject serious attention as, well, a certain conservative journal which shall go unnamed. For those on the Left who do identify with animal causes, however, my message is that no creature on earth is more innocent, or defenseless, or in need of compassion than a child waiting to be born."

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