How Animal Rights Activists Distort the Facts
One of the key strategies used by animal rights activists is to distort the role of data in an argument. Not that they are alone in this error, as it is a common technique in our politicized speech.
For example, in a recent article that included some comments from me, I stated that homeowners must be concerned about bats inside their house because of the risk of rabies. The risk is not from the presence in the attic but in the risk of their entering the living space. My comment was not meant to cause panic or “fear mongering” as one of my critics argued, but simply to emphasize the rabies exposure protocols of the state of Nebraska (Consult the NebGuide on Bats which delves into this more deeply). I agree that a longer piece would have made this important distinction more apparent, but the fact is I was correct in my comments.
Unfortunately, my critic rather than clarifying my comments simply states that rabies amongst bats is very low. My critic is absolutely correct. But my point wasn’t to discuss the statistical likelihood of being exposed to a rabid bat but to the fact that a bat in your home raises the possibility of being exposed to rabies.
Bat Rabies in Nebraska
My comments are not without evidence. Visit http://www.hhs.state.ne.us/srd/rabies.htm and you will see the data on the number of positive rabies cases in Nebraska. The year isn’t even over and we have already had 9 cases of rabid bats. These aren’t speculative positives, but actual ones. Now I don’t know how many bats were tested in the state. But the number doesn’t matter to the persons who had to have a bat sent in for testing. Rabies is the like the lottery. It is hard to win, but if you do and don’t get treatment you die.
Regrettably, animal rights protest industry activists (not all of them but many in the rank and file) simply want to protect animals at all costs even if doing so puts lives at risk. I think that is disrespectful to the facts and to the dignity of humans.
About the Author
Stephen M. Vantassel is a certified wildlife control operator who helps individuals, businesses, and agencies resolve wildlife damage issues through training, writing, expert witness, and research. His latest book is the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook, 3rd edition. He can be contacted at wildlifecontrolconsultant at gmail dot com.
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