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Di ba may karapatan rin ang manok, sardinas? UST’s Eros Atalia questions ‘selective’ indignation by animal rights activists

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Do only certain animals have rights?

This was the question raised by acclaimed Filipino writer Eros Atalia amid the outrage expressed by animal rights activists over the killing of a dog in the Metro Manila Film Festival entry “Oro.”

Atalia, a professor of Filipino language, journalism and film production and theory at the University of Santo Tomas, noted that animal rights activists only appear to be indignant when certain creatures experience cruelty.

“Bakit piling hayop lang ang may ‘animal rights’? Bakit yung alagang hayop lang yata ng mga mayayaman o feeling mayaman? Yung mga alaga nila na hindi pwedeng pahirapan, saktan, alipinin lalong lalo na kainin? Bakit hindi applicable ang animal rights sa iba pang hayop gaya ng isda, manok, baboy, baka at iba pa?” he asked in a Facebook post.

Atalia then wondered what differentiates the rights of a dog with that of a danggit (rabbitfish) swimming in a cramped plastic and sold on the sidewalk.

Among the other forms of animal violence which he said activists appear to turn a blind eye to are:
Chopping up of tunas for placement in cans
Cows whose meat are grounded to be turned into burgers
“Forceful” milking of cows, goats
Sale of one-day old chicks, which he said were aborted
Sale of quail eggs, which he said should be considered victims of infanticide
Live seafood in restaurants’ aquariums, which he compared to being in death row
Making of sardines, which he said should be considered “violent” since their heads weren’t included in tin cans
Use of animals in livelihood

In jest, Atalia said even Santa Claus should be hauled off to court for “abusing” Rudolph and other reindeers.