The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) celebrated its 30th anniversary last weekend with a gala and awards ceremony in Hollywood. Over the years, the animal rights organization led by this vocal crusader has spread awareness for its cause with celebrity ads, which never fail to catch attention or draw controversy.
Guess it’s time to ask the question, who do we sacrifice?
Sacrifice and Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand, in her Virtue of Selfishness explains the term “sacrifice” as the exchanging of that which is valued highly, for that which is valued less, or not at all. Ms. Rand’s philosophical thought, Objectivism, is based on the principle that the highest good is the pursuit of one’s own rational self-interest and is contrasted with altruism, which revolves around the notion of self-sacrifice and selflessness. Her understanding of the sacrificial concept, a foundation of objectivism, concludes that sacrifice is always altruistic and, therefore, that one must never sacrifice. What Ms. Rand argues is that no rational person must allow her or himself to be victimized. That, according to Rand, is irrational. She gives many examples of personal sacrifice, including giving one’s life to save one’s spouse or other loved ones. These, she says, are rationally and egotistically motivated and are therefore not considered sacrifice.
Then ask , who speaks for those creatures among us that don’t habla ingles?