NRA lobbyist Tony Makris is a killer. On a recent television show on NBC, he walks up to a peaceful elephant in Botswana, shoots the elephant in the face, then chases him down, shooting him again and again, to finish the kill. At the end of the scene, he proudly stands over the corpse (warning: graphic image).
After a torrent of criticism, and a bizarre rant where Makris compared his critics to Hitler (another example of a "dreaded comparison") NBC came to its senses and cancelled the horrific and violent show.
But lost in the uproar was a very important point, raised by Mr. Makris himself in response to his critics:
Do you realize that if you subscribe to that you are committing a very unique form of animal racism... If a deer deserved to live, deserves the right to pass on its genes, and to do what he was sent here to do... well so does an elephant, but so does a sparrow, and so does a quail, and so does a dove. So, if anything can be killed, if you're not a vegan, if meat has never touched your lips, well then criticize me and say I shouldn't shoot an elephant.
Makris implicitly recognizes, here, the concept of speciesism -- the wrongful notion that some species should be elevated over others -- and points out the absurdity of protecting elephants, on the one hand, while staying silent on the slaughter of deer, quail, or chicken. And Makris is 100% right. If we are to effectively confront violence against elephants, or any other species, we have to breach the wall of speciesism, and show the public that all animals are worthy of our consideration and protection.
But, contrary to Makris's rants, that is exactly what the animal rights movement is doing.