Wednesday, March 09, 2005

A Burro's Right To Due Process

Free Pacho! This cry for freedom rang out in Bogota recently as animal rights activists fought for the release of Pacho the burro who was being held by Colombian police after having been involved in an accident with a drunk motorcyclist. It is a story about the wrong burro being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Like Dr. Richard Kimble in "The Fugitive," Pacho was unjustly charged with responsibility for the accident and arrested. Instead of the drunk motorcyclist. Even Pacho's owner was allowed to go free. But, the owner felt sympathy for his incarcerated burro friend, saying "He is very sad when he sees me and begins to bray, like he is telling me he is innocent and asking me to get him out of this place which is not his home."

Pacho became the Mumia of the animal world. Pacho's representative complained that Pacho had been denied proper representation and has been confined in poor living quarters. Animal rights activist Alvaro Mechan argued, "They are violating a burro's right to due process."

Eventually a public outcry led to Pacho's release. No Nelson Mandela-like post-confinement fame for Pacho. Humble burro that he is, he "returned to his daily labors, transporting old junk through the streets of Arauca."

This is not the first time burro/mule/donkey rights have been at the center of a major national or international controversy. A couple of years ago, the maniacs at PETA wrote a letter to Yasser Arafat pleading with him not to use donkeys to carry out ...donkey suicide attacks (does a donkey have free will?)... against Israelis. Thankfully, only one Israeli was injured in the January 2003 donkey attack that drove PETA to address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. PETA's letter is so stupid, sickening and insipid, I print it in its entirety without further comment:

"Your Excellency:

I am writing from an organization dedicated to fighting animal abuse around the world. We have received many calls and letters from people shocked at the bombing in Jerusalem on January 26 in which a donkey, laden with explosives, was intentionally blown up.

All nations behave abominably in many ways when they are fighting their enemies, and animals are always caught in the crossfire. The U.S. Army abandoned thousands of loyal service dogs in Vietnam. Al-Qaeda and the British government have both used animals in hideously cruel biological weaponry tests. We watched on television as stray cats in your own compound fled as best they could from the Israeli bulldozers.

Animals claim no nation. They are in perpetual involuntary servitude to all humankind, and although they pose no threat and own no weapons, human beings always win in the undeclared war against them. For animals, there is no Geneva Convention and no peace treaty—just our mercy.

If you have the opportunity, will you please add to your burdens my request that you appeal to all those who listen to you to leave the animals out of this conflict?

We send you sincere wishes of peace.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid Newkirk

President, PETA"


Blogger Magazine Man said...

"Does a donkey have free will?"

You bet your ass!

This was just a really good read. Made my night.

10:14 PM  

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