Property Rights Equals The Right to Life

If you live in the state of Wisconsin, own a cow and board it at a dairy farm, you may think that you can drink the unpasturized milk that your cow produces. Not so fast.  A judge has ruled otherwise. 

The judge wrote: "Plaintiffs argue that they have a fundamental right to possess, use and enjoy their property and therefore have a fundamental right to own a cow, or a heard (sic) of cows, and to use their cow(s) in a manner that does not cause harm to third parties.  They argue that they have a fundamental right to privacy to consume the food of their choice for themselves and their families and therefore have a fundamental right to consume unpasteurized milk from their cows."

The plaintiffs are correct.  They do have a right to their property and to dispose of it any way they wish as long as they do not cause harm to anyone else.  But the judge says they do not have that right and by saying that he is telling them that they have no right to their own life. 

As Ayn Rand said, "The right to life is the source of all rights--and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible. Since man has to sustain his life by his own effort, the man who has no right to the product of his effort has no means to sustain his life."

But, but, but...the plaintiffs might consume milk that could make them sick. If we can control what someone else does with his own property when it concerns no one else but him, and when no one else is hurt, then where does it end?  Who decides if vitamins are okay to take?  Who decides what restaurants are okay?  Who decides what you should be eating? Who decides what clothes you should wear? Who decides if you should see a chiropractor?  Who decides if your children should go to Montessori school? Who decides what car you should have?  Who decides if you should go to church?  Do you see where this leads?  Do you own your own life or not?

The issue here is not whether or not pasteurized milk is safe. The issue here is property rights. If the government can tell us what we can consume, they own us.  It is as simple as that.


About the author: Charlotte Cushman is a Montessori educator at Minnesota Renaissance School, Anoka, Minnesota. She has been involved in the study of Ayn Rand's philosophy since 1970.