animal rights - quick answer needed! - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 05-07-2002, 04:00 PM
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i know this is the wrong forum, but i need a quick answer, not justwhen someone happens to make it over to the animal rights board.



when i think of animal rights, i generally apply them to animals with a central nervous system. i care about animal rights, an d think that it is a more humane choice to cut out meat. but, when land is farmed, many rodents and the like are killed as well. what is the difference?
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#2 Old 05-07-2002, 04:29 PM
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Speaking for myself, there is no especial difference, but I want to cause less suffering as a priority over less deaths. So I see a free field mouse being squashed by a combine as a lesser evil than a cow being led to a slaughterhouse. It's not that I think one cow is more important than 50 creatures or whatever the figure for death from veg. farming is. But rather that I think the concept of using animals is wrong. I think a vegan diet causes less suffering. The fruit I eat and the veggies I eat do not cause a huge amount of death. Some certainly. I expect hand harvested fruit, wheat and beans would cause less death. I'd prefer that as an option to eating animals.
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#3 Old 05-07-2002, 06:34 PM
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being crushed during harvesting is unintentional, as opposed to taking a blade to the neck of an animal standing in front of you. big difference.

you could also ask what's the difference between someone stepping on a bug on the sidewalk unintentionally, or someone ripping the wings off it, letting it suffer, and then squashing it on purpose. that was always something i could never understand, so many kids think it's a fun way to spend their time. then we wonder why they grow up with violent tendencies. go figure. but that's off topic now isn't it, sorry

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#4 Old 05-07-2002, 08:18 PM
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I agree. A society that intentionally uses animals as objects has a different mind set, a mind set that will most likely never look for a way to prevent those field mice, deer, etc. from being combined on a large scale.



I think this may be part of Matt Ball of Vegan Outreach's general idea, that as long as people are eating animals and think that is OK, how can we expect them to stop experimenting, using for entertainment, etc. When you give up using animals for food, it is an act you commit everyday. It fundamentally changes the mind set. I went veg just bc of facotry farming. But I ended up seeing things so differently after a while, that even without factory farming, I would still not eat animals.
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#5 Old 05-08-2002, 06:24 AM
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There's no difference. There's actually a long discussion on this (most of which is off topic--big surprise) down in the polite debate forum which you might find interesting.



If you want to reduce the suffering and death of animals, go veg*n. Yes, animals are killed in modern farming practices and likely to some much smaller degree using older methods, but far far far fewer will be harmed or killed if you eat only veggies because much less farmland needs to be plowed and planted to raise veggies than animals. Simple as that.
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#6 Old 05-08-2002, 08:01 AM
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"a free field mouse being crushed during harvesting is unintentional"



Not if the person doing the harvesting knows that there is a high likelyhood that field mice will be crushed during the harvesting process, and goes on harvesting without doing her best to prevent field mice from being crushed, and doing whatever she knows is necesssary, to prevent it. Then it is indeed intentional. And I believe people operating equipment that crushes field mice, generally know that their equipment is doing this.



I tend to agree with veganinohio's statement: "but far far far fewer will be harmed or killed if you eat only veggies because much less farmland needs to be plowed and planted to raise veggies than animals. Simple as that."



I also agree with Teri that the concept of using animals is wrong -- well, wrong for me. I don't want to use them.



Here is the main thing, in my mind, about not eating animal-origin food: in order to eat agriculturally produced animal food, you must hold animals in captivity, do so by getting them to trust you, and then betray their trust and kill them. This is harmful to them. Cruel. In present day plant agriculture, a great deal of harm comes to animals as a result, and is intentional, on the part of the farmers. While I believe it is less harm, overall, than is produced by animal agriculture -- because in animal agriculture the animals are generally fed the products of plant agriculture, so there is more total agriculture involved -- even if more harm to animals was caused by plant agriculture, than by animal agriculture -- I am looking to the future. It is seem reasonable to assume that it is possible to change plant agriculture so that less animals will be harmed. Animal agriculture is harming animals. It isn't a situation where you harm animals in the process of doing something else. It is a situation where you set out to harm animals, and while you can avoid doing more harm than a certain miniumum amount necessary, there is no way to get below that miniumum amount -- which is quite a substantial amount. With plant agriculuture, it is theoretically possible, if we work at it, to be able to do it without causing any harm to animals at all.



I am not so concerned about doing my practical best to minimize harm to animals now -- as I am about getting on track to a future where my children, my grandchildren, and great grandchildren, will be able to live in a world with less violence, if they choose to continue carrying the same flag that I am carrying.
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#7 Old 05-08-2002, 08:14 AM
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By the way, it is because I agree with Teri that the concept of using animals is wrong, well, at least, wrong for me, that I don't believe in owning pets. Even if the pets are well treated, not harmed -- people own pets because of the "joy" that pets bring them. They are using pets to get joy.



People commonly don't give the animals an opportunity to choose whether they want to be used or not. Rather, they separate young animals from their mothers, at an age that is earlier than the animals would be separated in nature, and bring up the animals in a human-created environment, thus transforming them into a very different sort of animal than that they would have been had they been brought up by their natural parents. They are transformed into animals that are suitable for living with humans, as "pets."



The closest example we have for this, with humans, is the taking or buying of certain female children from their parents, and raising them to be concubines -- companion people. Such girl children go to "concubine school" where they are trained in doing what they have to do to be concubines. This goes way beyond simply having sex with their masters. Contrary to popular belief, men that own concubines don't view their concubines only as objects to have sex with. They view them as whole people, whose purpose is to serve them with general companionship, with sex beng only one part of the array of companionship services that they perform.



This is identical to the idea of "companion animals." The only difference is that people normally don't add sex to the list of things that their animal concubines do for them. If people were sexually attracted to dogs and cats, they probably would add sex to the list of things they do with their dogs and cats. As things are, people "cuddle" and "snuggle" with their companion animals, pets. If an animal isn't suitably cuddly or snuggly -- too bad for it -- people will find another animal.



This pretext that people use, for keeping whole cultivars of animals in captivity, that they are saving the animals from death or lives of misery, is just that, a pretext. People who keep companion animals don't keep non-cuddly animals as "companion animals" any more than than men who keep concubines keep unattractive women as concubines.



The purpose of keeping concubines is to have concubines, and is not to give homeless women food and shelter; likewize, the real purpose of keeping companion animals is not to give homeless animals food and shelter, it is to have the companionship services of the animals, just exactly the same way that men who keep concubines keep them to have the companionship services of concubines.



Ever hear a man try to explain a concubine to his wife, by explaining that she was a woman who came upon hard times, through no fault of her own, and that he was simply giving her food and shelter due to charitable motivations? This explanation usually doesn't sit very well with his wife. The wife is usually suspicious. And likewize, when people tell me that they are keeping some cuddly dog or cat because otherwise it would have to live under unpleasant conditions, or would be killed -- I have the same problem with this explanation as the wife of the man with the concubine. Especially after I hear the keeper's litany of cute, adorable, things, that the animal, or concubine, just recently did.



Companion animals are of course kept for different reasons than animals that are kept for labor or special skills -- for example "draft animals" that are kept to haul loads; dogs that can detect scents that people and mechanical devices cannot detect.



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#8 Old 05-08-2002, 10:12 AM
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By the way, it is no coincidence that Penthouse magazine describes its featured photographic models as "Penthouse Pets."
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#9 Old 05-08-2002, 12:04 PM
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I understand the arguments against pets. I feel that the more harmful part of it is that there are these domesticated animals who have evolved to become dependent on humans in the first place. That is where the worng is to me.



For example. My parents have always had lots of cats. One in particular started coming to my dad on his lunch break and asking for food. This was at a city bus garage and the cat was all greasy and messed up looking. So my dad takes him home. The cat is now very fat. The cat also can leave the house (almost) at will and does not have to come back. The fact that the cat comes back is an effect that he was born into a world where cats rely on human kindness. That is the wrong.



As far as the selfishness of the humans, using them for love, etc., I think the same can be said for having children. And I have no harsh judgments against either.



I also want to add that I don't agree that people only use caring for animals as a pretext to keep them in captivity. My own family and other relatives have taken in animals that were sick, dying, desperate, etc. when the family already had more animals than they knew what to do with, and kept those animals until they could find another home for them. My aunt bottle fed a whole litter of kittens, this was hard work, and emotionally distressing. She did not keep any as companions, nor did they cuddle her or sleep in her bed at anytime. It was also very expensive.
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#10 Old 05-08-2002, 12:54 PM
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I've just taken in four hens, and they are definitely not going to be cuddled.
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#11 Old 05-08-2002, 02:51 PM
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I didn't mean to sound like I am being harshly judgemental of people who have pets, Thalia. I was just doing my best to explain why, in general, I think pet-ism is a bad idea. I don't go around with pots of paint, and write "animal exploiter" on the cars and houses of pet owners. And unlike some so-called animal rights activists, who break into the places of various other kinds of animal husbanders, and "free" their animals, I don't think that it is a good idea to break into people's houses when they aren't home, and "free" their pets. I think my judgement of pet owners is less harsh than the judgement, by ara's, of fur farmers. Disagreeing with something that someone does, and expressing it with colorful analogies, or provocative, or evocative, analogies -- I don't think is the same as being harshly judgemental.
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#12 Old 05-08-2002, 03:04 PM
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Thalia writes:

=====================

My aunt bottle fed a whole litter of kittens, this was hard work, and emotionally distressing. She did not keep any as companions, nor did they cuddle her or sleep in her bed at anytime. It was also very expensive.

======================



What on earth did your aunt do with the kittens? Did she personally see that they were all rendered incapable of reproducing? Did she try to introduce them into a area out of extreme conflict with people, where they could learn how to be cats, from wild cats? Or did she give them to people? Did they, perhaps, cuddle them? Did she euthanize them? What did she feed the little carnivorous beasts, after they were big enough to be weaned? Why wasn't their mother nursing them?



It is true that not everyone in the pet trades, is someone who has a personal interest in petting pets. Not everyone in the concubine trades, is someone who has a personal use for concubines. Not everyone in the pornography trades, is someone who has a personal use for pornography. Some people, for whatever reason, like to help others in their quest for pornography, even though they are not interested in pornography themselves. Just telling me that your aunt bottle fed kittens, for awhile, doesn't really show that your auntes behvior was directed at the well being of the cats, and only at the well being of the cats. Not that I'm saying your aunt was an awful person, if it wasn't.
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#13 Old 05-08-2002, 03:10 PM
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Thalia writes

======================

As far as the selfishness of the humans, using them for love, etc., I think the same can be said for having children. And I have no harsh judgments against either.

==========================



I try not to be harshly judgmental of people who have children, but I also think it is a good idea not to have children, until all the presently existing children are adequately taken care of. Given the fact that their are millions of children living in horrifying squalid conditions -- this amounts to my thinking that no-one should have any children, any time soon.
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#14 Old 05-08-2002, 05:55 PM
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Yes my aunt did give the kittens to people who would pet them. But I highly doubt she would've given them to anyone who wouldn't have fixed them. She gets very angry about that. The cats were abondoned by their mother, a somewhat feral cat that lived at the dairy farm across the street.



I think that at least in our culture now, responsible pet companionship has some benefits. If my family had never had pets, I doubt I would have developed as much empathy for animals, bc living in the city, I would have much less exposure to them. It was realizing that I would never want to eat my cat that helped me make the connection to the sterile plastic wrapped meat in the freezer. But I also totally understand people who don't keep pets on principle, and have no problem with it.
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#15 Old 05-08-2002, 06:12 PM
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I think pets are wonderful! Yes, it does give the pet owner joy, but is that really so bad? I believe that the pets also forge a bond with their human parent. I don't believe in breeding pets, though. It's just wrong, and it's all about money. There are so many unwanted pets in shelters, that to go spend money on a purebred seems very horribly wrong to me. Another reason why I think pet ownership is a good thing is because of all of the unwanted animals in shelters, They need homes, as they can't be turned loose. I think it's better to give them a home with a human than to have to kill them. It makes me so sad.



I just don't think pet ownership is a bad thing. Unless, of course, the pet owner is a horrible parent to his pet. I'm talking about the owners who truly love their pets.
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#16 Old 05-08-2002, 08:47 PM
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I agree with HDTX- 'purebredism' makes no sense. When people ask what my dog is, I don't usually say, "He's half black lab and half collie", I say "He's a special blend." So what if his physical characteristics don't perfectly match hundreds of other dogs'?



I got my dog long before I EVER considered veg*nism. To turn him out now would be a worse injustice then keeping him, if indeed pet 'parenting' is unethical. Two of my sisters have a cat apiece, one of which was a stray kitten when she got it. We tried to find another home for it, but for lack of another home, she kept it. Yes, all of the pets in my house are 'fixed', with the sole exception of the dwarf hamster. She's not likely to come into contact with any other dwarf hamsters, so we don't see a reason to find a vet willing to perform that tedious surgery. She stays in my sister's room and plays in her cage. I would find that kind of life boring and unfruitful, but on the other hand I am not a dwarf hamster. Perhaps it is a fulfiling life for the hamsters.



Soilman, what do you suggest be done with all of the domesticated animals in shelters and stores? If they are not to be taken care of by humans and used for personal enjoyment, then how are they to survive? It's nice to talk about what should have happened with cats and dogs, but we have a real issue here: thousands, probably millions of animals have to go somewhere. They're not fit to fend for themselves. How do we right the wrong, if indeed there was a wrong committed?



I personally don't see anything wrong with using an animal for personal enjoyment as long as the animal is well-treated and cared-for. I hang around with many of my friends for personal enjoyment. They make me feel good about myself. If they needed a place to stay, I would offer my house to them (after checking with my parents, of course). There are other benefits of pet ownership/parenting, such as teaching children how to tend something other than themselves, stress-reduction, and shoes and newspapers available at the command, etc. I'm just kidding about the last one; my dog has never 'fetched'. He came close to flunking obedience school because he always wanted to prance around me excitedly. He's a great 'doorbell' and can be heard anywhere in the house, and the doorbell itself cannot.





That's my two (or five) cents. Even if we all don't agree, I find this discussion stimulating. I've not thought too much about some of these topics and it's good to get the brain processes going

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#17 Old 05-08-2002, 10:52 PM
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skylark writes

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It's nice to talk about what should have happened with cats and dogs, but we have a real issue here: thousands, probably millions of animals have to go somewhere.

============



My suggestion that we stop breeding them, and keeping them in captivity, isn't the same as a suggesstion that we immediately release all those in captivity this instant! The ones in captivity now don't necessarily have to go anywhere. The will die of natural causes eventually. If we give them condoms, they will use them and won't produce new generation of like-animals.



Ok, birth control pills, then.
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#18 Old 05-09-2002, 12:32 PM
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Are animal rights (laws) implimented to save animals, or to convict people? I guess it's a bit of both, even thoguh I find it hard to imagine that the general purpose is souly for the protection of animals. People seem to have to weigh the other side, dealing with human integrity, in order to get laws. Saying that a cat feels pain isn't enough to make declawing (for lack of a better example) unlawful- we have to prove that the harmer is a danger to humainity. That's kind of sad isn't it?



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#19 Old 02-07-2003, 02:06 AM
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I just found a link to this on another board...



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#20 Old 02-07-2003, 10:53 AM
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Is that the same cranium-with-few-nerve-endings-possessing person who was responsible for the People Eating Tasty Animals site? I know I've seen that guy's site before, but I don't remember if it was as the psuedo-PETA or something else.

Q: How many poets does it take to change a light bulb? A: 1001...one to change the bulb, 1000 to say it's already been done.
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#21 Old 02-07-2003, 12:37 PM
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All the comments above are good points. But lately, I've been looking around for quantitative data about how many animals are in cultivated fields. I started with internet-accessible documents, and now I'm going into off-line journals such as "Prairie Naturalist", "Journal of Mammalogy", and "Southwestern Naturalist".



It's heavy reading, even though I do have a science degree.



The other thing I'm doing is looking into raising my own grain small-scale; if I used light equipment, perhaps I would be less likely to injure animals. I got "Small-Scale Grain Raising", by Gene Logsdon, out of the library. The technique is a bit different from raising most vegetables and fruits, but it doesn't seem as mysterious as I thought any more.



I live in upstate New York, which apparently isn't very good for the hard varieties of wheat- and these are the ones used to make bread. I'll either have to eat wheat "berries" cooked like rice, or settle for a lower yield per acre if I still want to produce my own bread flour.



P.S.: I couldn't find that thread about incidental small-animal deaths in the field in the Compost Heap board...

Peasant (1963-1972) and Fluffy (1970s?-1982- I think of you as 'Ambrose' now)- Your spirits outshone some humans I have known. Be happy forever.
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#22 Old 02-07-2003, 05:03 PM
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Tom check google.com, There are several arguements about Diderots "collateral deaths" essay on usenet.
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#23 Old 03-03-2003, 06:34 AM
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Just a couple of side notes.



First, the link listed a couple of posts before this one, after following it through a bit the writer appeals to the work of an exterminator, who also happens to oppose the animal rights movement. Big surprise huh, I just thought that was funny considering its not like he has a vested interest in denying animals some form of consideration (sarcasm included). Good job on the link though.



Second, I believe there is an important distinction to be made between intentional and unintentional killing. So much so that human law clearly respects the difference when evaluating the circumstances leading up to the death of a human. If I accidentally hit a person in my car my legal punishment is less severe that if I had accelerated upon finding this person in my path.



I think this was eluded to earlier, but to raise animals for food means that we also must raise the crops to feed them. These crops must be harvested all the same so the suffering remains. The difference is that the animals we feed these crops are eventually killed as well. Because animals consume far more plant material than would humans we could grow fewer plants if the world was strictly veggie, thus killing fewer animals in the harvesting procedures. If minimizing unnecessary death is our goal then vegism is still our best tool.
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#24 Old 03-14-2003, 07:01 PM
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I grow grain small scale here, it started by accident when seed grew, but the birds love it so I encourage it. Never tried making flour from it though.
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