Brigitte Bardot, animal rights and Bucharest dog cull


Brigitte Bardot makes again headlines in her fight to put animals above people. Her fascist past notwithstanding, this is a good opportunity to take a look at the animal rights movement.

Brigitte Bardot A common thread in the animal rights movement seems to be fanaticism. Brigitte Bardot is not alone in declaring that she loves animals more than she loves people. This misanthropy is what forms the basis of that famous creed of vegetarianism:

I’m not a vegetarian because I love animals, but rather because I hate plants!

Personally, I tend to view life as equally valuable. I do not believe that the life of a carrot is worth more or less than the life of a puppy. I think, however, that a puppy is far more important to us as it is far more able to “speak a language” we understand. We relate better to a puppies pain and / or suffering than to that of a carrot, and even though science was able to show that plants experience pain just like animals do – but may not express it as poignantly, most people place a proportionally much lower value on the life or pain of plants. In this epoch of mass extinction, we should try to value life and diversity above all else. We have modified our ecosystem to such an extent that we can no longer expect Mother Nature to take care of it for us. We have to step up to our role in the food chain and start manage it. This involved geo-engineering, eco-engineering and, in those ecosystems where we have eliminated the top predators, manage livestock through hunting or even culls.

Where I do discriminate – and I believe most normal people do as well – is in terms of human life, which I consider more important than the life of either a carrot or a puppy. This is also a point where I differ from Ms Bardot. Where the life of humans is endangered by the existence of wildlife (or, in the case of stray dogs, abandoned pets / domesticated animals), animals have to go. It is best of course to find a compromise that would allow them to live, but when that is not feasible, culling is an option that needs to be pursued.

Stray or Pariah dogs

Here’s what the Telegraph article states:

In an open letter to Romanian MPs, Bardot, a passionate advocate of animal rights, condemned plans to introduce a law that would allow street dogs to be killed if they remain unclaimed after seven days.

"Romania will not be able to evolve if it continues to take cruel decisions against sensitive creatures, which are under the protection of European law," the actress wrote. "Stray animals, neglected and threatened on the streets, mirror the fear of a country which fails to approach the future based on the principle of voluntary responsibility." She begged MPs, currently debating the law, to reject the legislation and to avoid the "illusory traps of drastic and expedite measures." This is not the first time the Bardot has leapt to the defence of Romanian dogs. In 2001 she donated £98,000 to a sterilisation scheme for Bucharest's strays.

The film star's latest intervention added to heated debate in Romania about what to do with the dogs that roam the streets of the nation's capital.

City authorities claim that up to 100,000 strays live in Bucharest, and that over 2,000 people have already been bitten this year. Last year, hospitals treated 11,000 bite victims, with medical bills for treatment coming to £341,000. With Romania facing severe austerity measures owing to the financial crisis, Bucharest's leaders claim that the city can no longer afford to maintain the upkeep for captured strays and hospitals bills for those bitten, and also argue that culling is a more humane than allowing the dogs to live wretched lives on the streets. But animal rights groups have described the cull plans as barbaric, calling instead for increased sterilisation.

The problem of Bucharest's strays dates back to the days of communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. To make way for the grandiose building schemes the leader favoured thousands of houses were razed to the ground, and with people re-housed in small flats pet dogs were often abandoned.

How bad is the problem in Romania?

A 2000 estimate places the number of strays in Bucharest at 200000. Here’s how a “bicycle diary” on Romania starts:

First impressions of Romania were not favourable. The highway into the border city of Drobeta Turnu-Severin was lined with empty factories, the probable legacies of some centralised five-year plan from the Communist era.

Among the equally tatty shops and apartment blocks, a woman dog-walker was hurling stones at a gang of strays that were menacing her pet. In case they turned their attention to me I bent down to the side of the road and picked up some ammunition.

It all reminded me a little of Bradford, but without any of the foppish glamour often associated with my Yorkshire birthplace.

Why do they exist and where do they come from? Again, wikipedia to the res-Q:

According to the Indian NGO Welfare for Stray Dogs (WSD): "Most free-roaming dogs belong to an ancient canine race known as the pariah dog, which has existed all over Asia and Africa ever since human beings started living in settlements. They are, and have always been, scavengers–that is, they live on garbage created by humans. In India the breed has existed for perhaps 14,000 years or more. In addition to scavenging, they are widely kept as pets by rural and urban slum households

Much of the urban stray population consists of mongrels or mix-breeds–descended from pure-breed dogs who have been allowed by their owners to interbreed with pariahs

The size of stray dog populations always corresponds to the size and character of the human population of the area. Urban India has two features which create and sustain stray dog populations:

  1. Large amounts of exposed garbage, which provide an abundant source of food
  2. A huge population of slum and street-dwellers, who often keep the dogs as free-roaming pets

Do they cause any problems, Wikipedia?

According to W.S.D: "Haphazard urban planning and human overpopulation have led to a correspondingly huge population of stray dogs in most Indian cities. They cause the following problems:

  • Rabies– a fatal disease which can be transmitted to humans. Although all warm-blooded animals can get and transmit rabies, dogs are the most common carrier. India has the highest number of human rabies deaths in the world (estimated at 35,000 per annum)
  • Dog bites- Most occur when dogs are trying to mate and fighting among themselves–pedestrians and other humans in the vicinity often get bitten accidentally. Females with pups to protect may also be aggressive and bite people who approach their litter
  • Barking and howling–an accompaniment to dog fights which invariably take place over mating."
  • Urine- Smells of urine to mark territory

But aren’t they smart? VERY. In Moscow, they take the subway:

Brigitte Bardot, or sexy fascism

Roger Vadim’s movie “And Got Created Woman” consecrated Brigitte as Marilyn Monroe’s counterbalance on the “sex symbol” stage. She embodied a happy, care-free sexuality that is far more appealing in my eyes than Marilyn’s. She had her own suicide attempt with sleeping pills but unlike Marilyn, had no government “help”, so she survived. Her hedonistic and somehow chaotic lifestyle hasn’t changed much in retirement according to wikipedia:

After her retirement from the entertainment industry in 1973, Bardot established herself as an animal rights activist. During the 1990s she became outspoken due to her criticism of immigration, race-mixing, some aspects of homosexuality and Islam in France, and has been fined five times for "inciting racial hatred".

There was a widely popular claim that Bardot did more for the French international trade balance than the entire French car industry.

She had a multitude of relationships and affairs. John Gilmore told Paris Match:

'I felt a beautiful warmth with Bardot but found it difficult to discuss things in any depth whatsoever.'

Here’s a summary of her animal rights activism, from the same Wikipedia:

In support of animal protection, she condemned seal hunting in Canada during a visit to that country with Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. She sought to discuss the issue with Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, though her request for a meeting was denied.

She once had a neighbor's donkey castrated while looking after it, on the grounds of its "sexual harassment" of her own donkey and mare, for which she was taken to court by the donkey's owner in 1989. In 1999 Bardot wrote a letter to Chinese President Jiang Zemin, published in French magazine VSD, in which she accused the Chinese of "torturing bears and killing the world's last tigers and rhinos to make aphrodisiacs".

She has donated more than $140,000 over two years for a mass sterilization and adoption program for Bucharest's stray dogs, estimated to number 300,000. She is planning to house many of these stray animals in a new animal rescue facility that she is having built on her property.

More samples of her thinking: country, France, my homeland, my land is again invaded by an overpopulation of foreigners, especially Muslims.

Over the last twenty years, we have given in to a subterranean, dangerous, and uncontrolled infiltration, which not only resists adjusting to our laws and customs but which will, as the years pass, attempt to impose its own.

Apart from my husband — who maybe will cross over one day as well — I am entirely surrounded by homos. For years, they have been my support, my friends, my adopted children, my confidants.

She also wrote in her book:

..she made comparisons of her close gay friends to today's homosexuals who, "jiggle their bottoms, put their little fingers in the air and with their little castrato voices moan about what those ghastly heteros put them through". She says French politicians are, "weather vanes who turn left or right as the fancy takes them... Not even French prostitutes are what they used to be". She says modern art has become "shit—literally as well as figuratively." In her recently book, 'Un cri dans le silence', Bardot also wrote that some contemporary homosexuals behaved like "fairground freaks".

Do you think that Gilmore was sexist or honest?

Sources / More info: amazon-bardot, telegraph-bardot, telegraph-bicycle, wiki-bardot, wiki-stray, wiki-stray-moscow, wiki-pariah, wiki-dieu, yt-bardot

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