VeggieBoards - Reply to Topic
Thread: Leather Shoes...Moral or Monster? Reply to Thread
Title:
Message:
Trackback:
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:
 

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the VeggieBoards forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in


  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-23-2016 08:45 AM
ruffian As I was recently mulling this very subject, I figured I'd join the forum and share my experience.

I had for the longest time coveted a nice pair of oxfords like those my younger brother so expertly donned. I bemoaned to him my inability to find nice faux leather shoes. He flipped up the tongue on one of his and said "These aren't leather - says 100% man-made material." I'm an idiot! Of course in this age of producing products at minimal cost, antiquated emphasis on specific materials is considered passe.

Department stores are loaded with handsome synthetic 'leather' shoes, I had just always assumed everything was real leather and walked on by. Vegan-specific outfitters online are generally ungodly expensive and severely lacking in style - at least as it pertains to shoes for guys. Of course, sweat shops present another ethical quandary.
01-22-2016 05:17 PM
Vegan Dave Pixie,

All you can do, is all you can do.

I have a pair of leather shoes I bought before going vegan. They are in pretty good shape, and I am waiting for them to wear out. I use them for my uniform at work, and they fit the bill. When they wear out, I will explore a vegan option. Until then....

I see no problem with you getting the shoes you need.

Life is too short. Worry about the real big issues. The sun will come up tomorrow.

You'll be fine.
01-22-2016 05:02 PM
silva First off, this discussion really deserves it's own thread!
I really dislike the whole 'friends not food' campaign. The idea of children cuddling stuffed animal bears and lions seems as far fetched as the barnyard play sets where the same chickens pigs and cows get feed and watered and never leave.
Animals are different from each species. Some are complete dicks. I got this in my inbox today-
http://www.care2.com/causes/the-kang...dead-mate.html
That's really sick, but how many people looked at that photo and had tears in their eyes with the thought of the caring dad mourning his families loss?
Joan is right, people who've grown up on family farms see animals every day, and have very different opinions on what seems okay. The ones I know are fiercely opposed to factory farm conditions but have no problems with pastured cows, and chickens roaming outside.
I grew up visiting my cousins dairy farm and I have to admit the cows didn't seem to care much, but I remember the calves were right with them. Don't know what went on beyond that, but it never felt right that they weren't just left alone. I saw it as being bullied, against their will, when they had lives of their own.
Just as it's totally wrong to think that humans are so much smarter by comparing all other species to our intellectual standards when we're obviously pretty stupid when compared to their standards, it's unequal to compare our emotional lives.
The only thing that should matter is that they do have their own lives and we should have no authority to keep them captive, in this modern world. It's like wool- yes, you can have a symbiotic give and take with sheep where you only shear it enough to make a nice waterproof sweater that will last for years and years. But that's not the world we live in now. We've made a disposable world where we don't care about throwing things away when we're tired of caring for them. So we should not create products that use sentient life.
There are so many practical reasons for not using animals that the whole 'compassion' thing doesn't even need to come up
01-22-2016 03:26 PM
Tom
Quote:
Originally Posted by no whey jose View Post
I'm embarrassed to admit that I was one of those who believed that cows simply make milk, that it's what cows DO. I never drew the obvious connection between milk and babies.
If you thought that, I'm sure lots of other folks have thought that also, because you definitely don't strike me as someone who doesn't think things through. And actually.... now I'M wondering when I first became really aware that cows produce milk only when they have a calf to nourish.

And yeah... my hat's off to both you and Joan for a really in-depth yet civil discussion. Between the views expressed by the two of you, all of us here probably have a better understanding of how different people might see the treatment of dairy cows.
01-22-2016 01:50 PM
Joan Kennedy
Quote:
Originally Posted by no whey jose View Post
Aw, thank you... and Joan!
Not at all. Thank YOU!
01-22-2016 01:38 PM
no whey jose Aw, thank you... and Joan!
01-22-2016 01:19 PM
Spudulika Really interesting, thoughtful discussion and without the ad hominems so common to differing opinions on the internet. Thanks No Whey and Joan.
01-22-2016 12:09 PM
no whey jose I understand what you're saying. Our opinions of where insemination stands on the hierarchy of exploitative practices differs, that's all. For me, the hijacking of a female's reproductive system for profit is an egregious offense.
01-22-2016 07:53 AM
Joan Kennedy
Quote:
Originally Posted by no whey jose View Post
Insemination isn't a punch to the eye or a helpful veterinary procedure. It's one species exerting complete control over another's reproductive capabilities, not for the benefit of the cow but for the profit of the human. It's an extreme abuse of power involving the cow's sex organs.

AgaIn: if it were to be done to a human, even a human incapable of understanding-- even a human who remains unconscious throughout, a human in a coma-- would you consider it sexual abuse? If there were a place where human women were artificially inseminated, made to carry babies to term, and then pumped so that their milk could be sold, would that be sexually exploitative even if the women were incapacitated? If so, then why is it not when the victims are non-human animals known to be sentient and intelligent beings?
How to put this. I understand that insemination qualifies as animal exploitation, and that to be a lifestyle vegan is to oppose all animal exploitation. Once more I need to stress that I’m focusing on why I don’t think rape/insemination is a good analogy for vegan PR. Every post of mine you're responding to sounds like you’re trying to talk me out of drinking milk, and that’s not an issue. There are arguments, and then there are the arguments most likely to resonate with the public.

In the hierarchy of all the exploitations that people do to animals, I don’t regard insemination as being so egregious as to bump it up to the top of the list and equate it to rape. I've alluded to "the yawn" and I saw it onsite, not in a video. At a dairy in Ohio my boyfriend's cousin was running at the time. I would put insemination toward the bottom of the list because the procedure itself doesn’t seem to me to cause animal suffering, and because so many of the others do. My problem with inseminating cows is the entire multi-step process of which it is a part, not the insemination itself. The right-after-colostrum separation of cow from calf, and the calves who languish in veal pens: Those are two examples that seem to me a lot riper for attention and focus.

Abolitionist vegans are all about “even when there’s no suffering it’s still exploitation” and I get that logically. They wouldn't eat an egg if it came right from Daisy Duck herself, and I get that too. I just think that rape analogy rings cold to a public that’s very much okay with inseminating their own dogs and horses, and pretty much okay with food production processes that clearly do cause suffering. If someone’s not ready to be outraged at some of the (IMO) subtler forms of animal exploitation, I believe rape/insemination will hit them like an extremely strained metaphor, the way it hit me. Again I must observe that our understanding of the facts has led us to entirely different conclusions. Honest minds can differ.
01-22-2016 01:03 AM
no whey jose
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom View Post
I might have focussed overly much on your mentioning cows giving birth every year, because I've often seen this said or written in a way that seemed to imply that this is something unusual for cows. I thought (perhaps mistakenly) that people knew a cow would normally start giving milk only when she had a calf to nurse. Maybe it's necessary to point all this out to at least some people, and it needs to be said/written.

But for myself... I formerly was unaware that milk could be produced economically only if:
1) much of it, if not all of it, wasn't given to the calves;
2) most of the animals not producing milk were butchered; and
3) cows were bred to produce an unnaturally large amount of milk- more than her calf would need... and this increases her risk of developing certain illnesses.

Looking back, I just never thought about what happened to dairy breed cattle. I didn't think about what their calves were supposed to drink if we were taking the milk... maybe I thought there was enough for both us and them. I never thought what happened to male calves (who obviously couldn't give milk) or to their mothers once they became too old to lactate. I just never thought past the "fact" that you could milk a cow without harming her. These were the things I needed to become aware of.
I'm embarrassed to admit that I was one of those who believed that cows simply make milk, that it's what cows DO. I never drew the obvious connection between milk and babies.
01-21-2016 04:29 PM
Tom
Quote:
Originally Posted by no whey jose View Post
To clarify, I mention the fact that cows are repeatedly impregnated not to highlight any inherent problem with the rate of one calf per year but to counter the notion that cows produce milk spontaneously without first giving birth, or that cows who have only given birth once are encouraged to continue lactating through extended breastfeeding or pumping, or whatever other mistaken notions a person might have about milk production. Whatever might be hypothetically possible regarding lactation, in the dairy industry cows are generally impregnated at a rate of one calf per year.

.......

I understand the desire to speak only truths, but I don't feel it's at all inaccurate to say that dairy cows don't produce milk spontaneously (because they don't, even if it might be technically possible for them to do so) or to say that it's abusive for a dairy cow to be repeatedly impregnated for her milk (because it obviously is.) Out of curiosity, how would you prefer to express those sentiments? Is there a way that's less ambiguous? The meaning seemed clear to me, but obviously there's been some confusion and I'm always interested in finding better ways to phrase these things.
I might have focussed overly much on your mentioning cows giving birth every year, because I've often seen this said or written in a way that seemed to imply that this is something unusual for cows. I thought (perhaps mistakenly) that people knew a cow would normally start giving milk only when she had a calf to nurse. Maybe it's necessary to point all this out to at least some people, and it needs to be said/written.

But for myself... I formerly was unaware that milk could be produced economically only if:
1) much of it, if not all of it, wasn't given to the calves;
2) most of the animals not producing milk were butchered; and
3) cows were bred to produce an unnaturally large amount of milk- more than her calf would need... and this increases her risk of developing certain illnesses.

Looking back, I just never thought about what happened to dairy breed cattle. I didn't think about what their calves were supposed to drink if we were taking the milk... maybe I thought there was enough for both us and them. I never thought what happened to male calves (who obviously couldn't give milk) or to their mothers once they became too old to lactate. I just never thought past the "fact" that you could milk a cow without harming her. These were the things I needed to become aware of.
01-21-2016 02:33 PM
no whey jose
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan Kennedy View Post
A sexual assault isn't just an act of physical domination. A punch to the eye, while perhaps involved in the offense, doesn't qualify by itself as a sexual assault. A sexual assault is a sexual act, motivated by an urge to dominate sexually. There is no inherent hostility or violent urge suggested by the procedure of insemination. You can impute such a desire to people who go in for that line of work, but even if that is ever true, it's quite an assumption that it's always true. All large-animal veterinarians inseminate, among other procedures that can involve being in up to one's elbows. And since anyone can impute any motivation to any act, with or without a valid basis in fact, it doesn't get us anywhere. I'm not claiming you're misinformed. Our mastery of the facts has led us to different conclusions. It happens sometimes.
Insemination isn't a punch to the eye or a helpful veterinary procedure. It's one species exerting complete control over another's reproductive capabilities, not for the benefit of the cow but for the profit of the human. It's an extreme abuse of power involving the cow's sex organs.

AgaIn: if it were to be done to a human, even a human incapable of understanding-- even a human who remains unconscious throughout, a human in a coma-- would you consider it sexual abuse? If there were a place where human women were artificially inseminated, made to carry babies to term, and then pumped so that their milk could be sold, would that be sexually exploitative even if the women were incapacitated? If so, then why is it not when the victims are non-human animals known to be sentient and intelligent beings?
01-21-2016 01:25 PM
Joan Kennedy
Quote:
Originally Posted by no whey jose View Post
A sexual assault isn't just an act of physical domination. A punch to the eye, while perhaps involved in the offense, doesn't qualify by itself as a sexual assault. A sexual assault is a sexual act, motivated by an urge to dominate sexually. There is no inherent hostility or violent urge suggested by the procedure of insemination. You can impute such a desire to people who go in for that line of work, but even if that is ever true, it's quite an assumption that it's always true. All large-animal veterinarians inseminate, among other procedures that can involve being in up to one's elbows. And since anyone can impute any motivation to any act, with or without a valid basis in fact, it doesn't get us anywhere. I'm not claiming you're misinformed. Our mastery of the facts has led us to different conclusions. It happens sometimes.
01-21-2016 12:47 PM
no whey jose
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan Kennedy View Post
My view of sexual assault does require a perpetrator who is committing a sexual act for sexual gratification, whether or not the perpetrator actually ejaculates. That would exclude very, very few sexual assaults. And it would include a man sexually penetrating a cow, whether or not the cow minded or even noticed.
I'll point you here: http://www.responseva.org/#!sexual-a...hs-facts/c1df3
01-21-2016 10:26 AM
Joan Kennedy My view of sexual assault does require a perpetrator who is committing a sexual act for sexual gratification, whether or not the perpetrator actually ejaculates. That would exclude very, very few sexual assaults. And it would include a man sexually penetrating a cow, whether or not the cow minded or even noticed.
01-21-2016 10:22 AM
no whey jose The argument isn't at all off the mark, and I think you're displaying a very narrow view of what sexual assault looks like. Again, I'll list the scenarios involving human victims where your criteria isn't met: the molestation of young children (who are not self-conscious and have no social inhibitions about sex) or severely mentally disabled or unconscious victims (who may not even be aware that an assault is taking place). Perpetrators of sexual assault do NOT always experience sexual release, and in fact rape and sexual assault are less about sex and more about domination and the exercise of power. You keep bringing up the video of a cow yawning. I don't know if this is a real video or one you've invented, but I can guarantee that human victims of sexual assault can appear perfectly docile or blank during the attack. Victims can even sleep through it, or experience orgasm. The reactions and experiences of human sexual assault victims is varied, yet the assault is always an assault. Referring to the insemination of cows as a "veterinary procedure" is euphemistic in light of the fact that it is done at the expense of the cow's wellbeing, with the sole intention of exploiting her reproductive system for the profit of the one inseminating her. Is female genital mutilation simply a "medical procedure"? Furthermore, would the standard practices on a dairy farm be considered sexual assault if done to ANY human female, however docile, however unaware?

What, exactly, differentiates a non-human victim from a human one, aside from species? We've established that cows are sentient, that they are capable of experiencing pain and fear. I think we can agree that a victim is no less a victim for not understanding the implications of sexual assault (as with children) and that sexual assault does not necessarily need to be violent or cause physical injury (as it often doesn't). What, then, is so special about humans-- ALL humans, even babies and humans in a coma-- which makes us susceptible to sexual assault while non-human animals are not? I can't see any reasonable answer beyond pure speciesism.

My stance on this is based on reason, not simply emotion. To exclude the insemination of dairy cows from the range of possible abusive and exploitative sexual acts on the basis of the cows' lack of sexual inhibitions or psychological complexity is to exclude certain human victims, as well.
01-21-2016 09:51 AM
Joan Kennedy
Quote:
Originally Posted by no whey jose View Post
When you say that it makes people uncomfortable to speak of sexual assault happening to a cow, what you're really saying is that we want to believe that only we are entitled to bodily autonomy, dignity, and privacy, that only a human can be violated. I don't hold that opinion.
I never wrote anything about it making people uncomfortable to speak of sexual assault happening to a cow. Uncomfortable isn't the issue. The issue is that the argument (not you personally, but the argument itself, which I've long been familiar with) comes across as unhinged and overwrought and way off the mark. People understand the concept of bestiality, and people understand the issue of bestiality committed upon sheep, goats and cows. This is what people understand sexual assault on animals to mean, not a veterinary procedure that involves physical restraint and an arm up a cow's rectum.

I don't reject the argument because of having a higher regard for humans than for animals, although partly because of differences in the way our two species react to sexual intrusion. As I wrote, the capacity for self-consciousness makes it an entirely different experience. It's hard to imagine a human being yawning or chewing gum through a sexual assault. Obviously, a cow is capable of experiencing pain, fear, loss, physical injury and other forms of suffering. But as I've laid out, for the idea of rape to make sense to me (and I think for nearly everyone) requires not only a victim experiencing fear, pain and/or injury, but it needs, at the very least, a perpetrator abusng an animal for sexual gratification. To my mind neither requirement is anywhere close to being met here, and that's why the analogy doesn't work for me.
01-21-2016 08:33 AM
no whey jose
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan Kennedy View Post
First of all, yes. All cows are slaughtered young.

The point of that “good Shepherd/good steward" schpiel isn’t to say these are wonderful people (to my mind genuinely pious does not necessarily equate to authentically good), but that they lack the evil intent of a rapist. And of course these dairymen are motivated by profit. That goes without saying. We’re all trying to make money, but we also want to feel good about what we do. You’re mistaken if you think dairy operators can’t honestly believe they’re contributing in a positive way to the needs of this world. I can disagree profoundly with them about the value of that contribution, but I can also take a farmer’s word about what keeps him in that line of work. Dairy operators believe their product is wholesome. They eat cheese, and they feed milk to their own children. Anyway, the point of bringing up the schpiel goes right to intent. The rapist has no such positive schpiel. There are valid reasons why a rapist’s intent is nearly always seen as evil and antisocial, whereas the inseminator’s intent is nearly always seen as positive and pro-social. Please keep in mind that I brought this up because you pointed to intent as being more significant than effect in your inseminator/rape analogy.
I never said that intent is more important than effect, only that it is important. If it weren't, then molestation of very young or unconscious victims would be acceptable, which clearly isn't the case.

In dairy farming, the intent may not be as malicious as a desire to harm the animal but it is not as benign as the simple act of bringing "wholesome" food to the world. There is a conscious and purposeful abuse of power. Farmers treat their animals as objects to be manipulated or, at best, as dumb and empty creatures. The only reason why this is considered acceptable is because we live in a world where animals NEED to be viewed as objects in order for society to function as it does.

You might as well say that cat-calling a woman on the street is an innocent gesture because many men who do it probably think they're paying their targets a genuine compliment. We live in a society where it's considered normal for a man to have enough power over a woman to be able to approach her on the street with his opinion of her body, and she is expected to smile and thank him. There are a great many people who would defend this behaviour, but that doesn't make it any less an exploitative and abusive act.

In other words, it only seems less abusive for a human to forcibly inseminate a cow for profit than to sexually abuse a human woman because we're human. We're (understandably) biased in favour of humans and we've been raised to believe that we are entitled to use other species for our own purposes, and even that there is a kind and "humane" way to do this, but there isn't. When you say that it makes people uncomfortable to speak of sexual assault happening to a cow, what you're really saying is that we want to believe that only we are entitled to bodily autonomy, dignity, and privacy, that only a human can be violated. I don't hold that opinion. I understand that many people do, but I'm not inclined to soften my language to appease those people. Maybe that's to my own disadvantage, I don't know. I never said I wasn't stubborn.
01-21-2016 06:26 AM
Joan Kennedy
Quote:
Originally Posted by no whey jose View Post
I got the 50% figure directly from the website of the Veal Farmers' Association of Ontario, not from AR literature. Maybe it varies according to country. Either way, I don't see the difference between slaughtering an animal for meat immediately or a couple of years later. I don't understand why that would change anything. All cows are slaughtered young.

Whatever a farmer might say about his motivation for raising dairy cows, we all know-- as does he-- that his real motivation is profit. Milk is a business and it's quite literally cutthroat. I don't buy for a minute that picturesque scene of a humble, pious farmer tending to his animals with quiet respect. It's a lie that we tell ourselves to distract us from the reality that the vast, vast, vast majority of milk available for consumption comes from large, industrial dairy farms and that even the small family farms which remain exist for one purpose only: to make money.
First of all, yes. All cows are slaughtered young.

The point of that “good Shepherd/good steward" schpiel isn’t to say these are wonderful people (to my mind genuinely pious does not necessarily equate to authentically good), but that they lack the evil intent of a rapist. And of course these dairymen are motivated by profit. That goes without saying. We’re all trying to make money, but we also want to feel good about what we do. You’re mistaken if you think dairy operators can’t honestly believe they’re contributing in a positive way to the needs of this world. I can disagree profoundly with them about the value of that contribution, but I can also take a farmer’s word about what keeps him in that line of work. Dairy operators believe their product is wholesome. They eat cheese, and they feed milk to their own children. Anyway, the point of bringing up the schpiel goes right to intent. The rapist has no such positive schpiel. There are valid reasons why a rapist’s intent is nearly always seen as evil and antisocial, whereas the inseminator’s intent is nearly always seen as positive and pro-social. Please keep in mind that I brought this up because you pointed to intent as being more significant than effect in your inseminator/rape analogy.
01-21-2016 03:14 AM
no whey jose I got the 50% figure directly from the website of the Veal Farmers' Association of Ontario, not from AR literature. Maybe it varies according to country. Either way, I don't see the difference between slaughtering an animal for meat immediately or a couple of years later. I don't understand why that would change anything. All cows are slaughtered young.

Whatever a farmer might say about his motivation for raising dairy cows, we all know-- as does he-- that his real motivation is profit. Milk is a business and it's quite literally cutthroat. I don't buy for a minute that picturesque scene of a humble, pious farmer tending to his animals with quiet respect. It's a lie that we tell ourselves to distract us from the reality that the vast, vast, vast majority of milk available for consumption comes from large, industrial dairy farms and that even the small family farms which remain exist for one purpose only: to make money.
01-20-2016 02:12 PM
Joan Kennedy Here's why to me the intent of the actor matters less than the effect of the action on the subject. Talk to any "good Christian dairyman," or beef rancher, or any religiously observant person who raises living beings for slaughter, and they say this: "Our relationship to animals is analogous to God's relationship to us. God has dominion over us, the way I have dominion over my cattle. God brings us into life, takes good care of us, and takes us out of life again. That's how I treat my animals; they're not people, they don't have souls, and they're not pets, but they deserve to be treated humanely, fed regularly, protected from predators and from the elements because that's what good stewards do." You might gag at the stench on a dairy farm (I trashed the clothes I'd worn last time I toured one), be horrified at some of what you see and hear, and you could point to many jaw-droopingly unpleasant practices, plus the fact that they raise animals to kill. However, that inseminator is not getting off sexually as would a rapist, but is working to bring new beings into life. A rapist acts with evil intent, against his upbringing and against his own conscience if he has one. Not so with the dairy farmers. Those guys are acting in good faith, bringing what they believe is a needed food commodity to the world.

I can try to re-find and post some papers on raising veal, and about keeping a small family dairy. Not because I endorse what they're doing, but because they are a reliable source of information about veal trends and insemination processes. People are a lot more candid when they're not busy defending themselves and what they do for a living.

The landscape is changing about numbers. You wrote of the "fact that half of those calves are killed for veal." Not so much these days, as I alluded to several posts ago. A dairy will keep only a few of the female calves as replacements for the ones that will be culled that year, so most of the female calves are destined for beef or veal like their brothers are. But anymore it's more for beef and less for veal. Fifteen to twenty percent of beef cattle were born to dairy cows and auctioned off (or sold directly to customers) as one-day-old calves. Then bottle-fed, then pastured, then the feedlot, then the slaughterhouse. Just like the calves born to beef cows, except for the bottle-feeding part. Veal producers today say they have a lot of competition from ranchers for those day-old dairy calves. Which changes our narrative as we explain why we object to the dairy industry, if we want to keep up with shifts in how that industry operates. That "fifteen to twenty percent" number is significant, because there are only about twenty percent as many cattle born at dairies as there are born on beef ranches. Which would indicate most of those day-old calves are going to ranches, not veal pens. What isn't changing of course is that pretty much every cow or steer born into the food system leaves this world by way of the slaughterhouse. But it does look like our narrative should adapt to incorporate recent trends.
01-20-2016 01:37 PM
no whey jose I don't have any feminist friends who AREN'T vegan or at least considering veganism, so it's hard to say. In the last few days, since posting the status I wrote in response to the #MilkTruth campaign, three people have contacted me for advice on cutting down on their milk consumption. I didn't use the word "rape" in that post, but I did stress the fact that dairy cows are forced to give birth to one calf a year and that half of those calves are killed for veal. I don't know what moves other people to drop dairy. I do know that, personally, the sexual exploitation of dairy was a big reason why I couldn't keep drinking it. I suppose that we all have our own motivations.

ETA: Having given it some thought, I think that a good analogy to use would be a child who is too young to harbour inhibitions or to feel shame, who has an underdeveloped brain and an inability to understand what's happening to her. I can't think of any circumstance where it would be even remotely acceptable for someone to manipulate her genitals in any way aside from necessary cleaning or medical procedures, even if she herself couldn't tell the difference. It doesn't seem to matter, ethically, that the victim understands what is happening. What matters is the intent, the purposeful abuse of power. Does that make sense?
01-20-2016 01:22 PM
Joan Kennedy
Quote:
Originally Posted by no whey jose View Post
I don't know precisely what it's like to be a dairy cow. I can never know, but when it comes to determining whether or not it's an act of sexual assault to forcibly impregnate a female who can't consent, I think it's reasonable to err on the side of caution.
I did not come over to Vegan Support to argue otherwise, but to point to where I think tactical problems lie in using the insemination/rape analogy with the public. Have you had some success in turning feminist friends away from dairy with this rape line of rhetoric? I don't need proof or evidence; I'll just take your word for it. I admire cows, I just don't identify with them. They seem to take a lot of things in stride that I couldn't, which is why I don't imagine myself in their place. Never mind insemination: The whole being-a-cow thing lost me all the way back with having to stand around in the wind and the weather.
01-20-2016 12:23 PM
no whey jose That's interesting, because my viewpoint is almost exactly opposite yours. It's inconceivable to me that a feminist could not be outraged by the dairy industry. To me, an attempt to elevate human suffering over that of another betrays a true lack of proportion, a belief that OUR pain is somehow more pure or more deserving of attention simply because it's ours. I don't know precisely what it's like to be a dairy cow. I can never know, but when it comes to determining whether or not it's an act of sexual assault to forcibly impregnate a female who can't consent, I think it's reasonable to err on the side of caution.
01-20-2016 09:17 AM
Joan Kennedy
Quote:
Originally Posted by no whey jose View Post
While I understand your perspective, I disagree. The factors you mention are all valid experiences not to be dismissed, but their absence doesn't render rape anything less than rape. A sleeping victim, a very young victim, a victim with severe mental disabilities, or a non-human victim is as much a victim as any other. I don't find it at all disrespectful to human victims of sexual assault to extend our compassion to dairy cows. As a woman and a survivor of sexual assault, I am deeply offended by the casual way we can dismiss the experience of ANY female who's being sexually exploited. I think that it's easy and convenient to assume that cows don't suffer during artificial insemination, but that doesn't make it accurate-- and even if it were accurate, the exploitation of another woman's reproductive system in this way should be enough, at least, to dissuade anyone with an interest in feminism from ever drinking milk. I think we do women a great disservice if we suggest that someone isn't a "true" victim unless she meets certain mental, emotional, or social criteria.
We won't be agreeing on this, but you make some good points. One other line of stress factors I didn't mention is physical injury, fear of injury and fear of imminent death. A non-sapient animal undoubtedly realizes when "resistance is futile," but that's not the same as "shut up or I'll kill you." Especially if the animal is in heat. Absent the stress factors I've enumerated, a victim of coerced mating or molestation certainly would be less of a victim in that she would be far less traumatized, though her rapist would rightly be held culpable. Again, in the fight for public support, all the industry needs to fight this line of attack is video footage of a placid cow calmly undergoing the rather rapid process of insemination. Plus some voice-over about the relative physical safety of insemination in contrast to being transported to and mounted by an excited bull. The insemination/rape analogy wouldn't have convinced me when I was an omnivore, it wasn't what convinced me to step off milk, it would have made it take longer. Because it would have made me think vegan animal advocates lack all sense of proportion. I know better than that, but I've done a lot of work in communications and every aspect of this tactic feels utterly futile to me. It feels more like an example of why Gary Francine hasn't had much luck recruiting feminists.
01-20-2016 08:42 AM
no whey jose
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan Kennedy View Post
I specifically wrote "non-human mammals," not wishing to generalize to birds. Also, and how the heck were you supposed to keep track, I actually edited the "it's not gonna happen" out of my post. I get there are exceptions. I understand, for example, that tom cats have been observed to kill a kitten by mounting it, but that this is an aberration (the mother cats normally get pretty fearsome when their litters are messed with). It's true that with animals, as with humans, sexual domination can be more about the domination than about the sex. But when a dog mounts another dog outside of mating with a female in heat, is it actually penetrating and inseminating? I thought they were just sparring and establishing dominance. Man, so many scenes I should've broken up instead of letting them play out!

I don't know whether a cow experiences that grope as traumatic or merely annoying, or neither. A good example of why I believe it would be good to measure indications of stress right before and right after.

I don't know whether it's consensual or not, but when a wild goose's clutch of eggs is analyzed, her gander mate is the biological father of only about 40 percent of them. It's gotta be true, I heard it on NPR. :-)



An arm up a cow's rectum is a routine part of large-animal veterinary care. It's apparently not the trauma it sounds like. What bothers me about laying human concepts like rape on nonhuman animals is that it trivializes the experience of human rape while lacking most of the factors that make rape such a grave transgression. Understood that not every girl or woman faces all the social baggage that can attach to sexual assault. Not to belittle the social and emotional lives of non-sapient animals, but they aren't self conscious about anything, and specifically not about nakedness. They don't experience shame, or loss of virginity as cultural currency. They don’t fear the possibility of pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases, stigmatization, or being blamed for attracting unwanted attention, or losing their ability to respond sexually to males. I'm not writing here to defend any practice attached to breeding food animals. But I don’t think this issue is likely to resonate with the public as a source of animal suffering. Veterinary video footage of cows yawning their way through the procedure would just make us look overwrought.
While I understand your perspective, I disagree. The factors you mention are all valid experiences not to be dismissed, but their absence doesn't render rape anything less than rape. A sleeping victim, a very young victim, a victim with severe mental disabilities, or a non-human victim is as much a victim as any other. I don't find it at all disrespectful to human victims of sexual assault to extend our compassion to dairy cows. As a woman and a survivor of sexual assault, I am deeply offended by the casual way we can dismiss the experience of ANY female who's being sexually exploited. I think that it's easy and convenient to assume that cows don't suffer during artificial insemination, but that doesn't make it accurate-- and even if it were accurate, the exploitation of another woman's reproductive system in this way should be enough, at least, to dissuade anyone with an interest in feminism from ever drinking milk. I think we do women a great disservice if we suggest that someone isn't a "true" victim unless she meets certain mental, emotional, or social criteria.
01-19-2016 12:51 PM
Joan Kennedy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beautiful Joe View Post
While I agree with some of your post, I have to take issue with this. Not all species are alike in their sexual behaviors. For instance, most species of ducks mate for life, but drakes do "rape" females who are not their mates. This has been prevalent duck behavior for so long that the female duck anatomy has actually evolved so that a female duck will almost never be "impregnated" through coerced sex, but her eggs will be inseminated through consensual sex with her mate. See this article for a brief description of this phenomenon: http://www.science20.com/news_articl...ewed_human_sex

With respect to chickens, roosters do attempt to mount hens against their will, on a regular basis. Because their sexual relations are not penetrative (completely different reproductive organs than ducks), there are no internal injuries to the females.

And, as I said above, anyone who has lived a long time with dogs and/or cats and has been observant of their behavior will have seen firsthand that just because a dog or cat has been neutered at a young age will not necessarily mean that an individual will not attempt to forcibly mount another individual, also spayed/neutered. Sexual urges are strong, and, depending on the individual, survive early neutering.
I specifically wrote "non-human mammals," not wishing to generalize to birds. Also, and how the heck were you supposed to keep track, I actually edited the "it's not gonna happen" out of my post. I get there are exceptions. I understand, for example, that tom cats have been observed to kill a kitten by mounting it, but that this is an aberration (the mother cats normally get pretty fearsome when their litters are messed with). It's true that with animals, as with humans, sexual domination can be more about the domination than about the sex. But when a dog mounts another dog outside of mating with a female in heat, is it actually penetrating and inseminating? I thought they were just sparring and establishing dominance. Man, so many scenes I should've broken up instead of letting them play out!

I don't know whether a cow experiences that grope as traumatic or merely annoying, or neither. A good example of why I believe it would be good to measure indications of stress right before and right after.

I don't know whether it's consensual or not, but when a wild goose's clutch of eggs is analyzed, her gander mate is the biological father of only about 40 percent of them. It's gotta be true, I heard it on NPR. :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by no whey jose View Post
Regarding insemination, my understanding of the standard practice is that the cow is restrained while a human arm is shoved elbow-deep into the cow's anus to manipulate the cervix while another with a syringe of semen is inserted into the vagina. I cannot imagine that experience being anything but traumatic, and I don't think that's anthropomorphizing! Artificial insemination is nothing like mating, and even the experience of mating among animals can be violent and nonconsentual.
An arm up a cow's rectum is a routine part of large-animal veterinary care. It's apparently not the trauma it sounds like. What bothers me about laying human concepts like rape on nonhuman animals is that it trivializes the experience of human rape while lacking most of the factors that make rape such a grave transgression. Understood that not every girl or woman faces all the social baggage that can attach to sexual assault. Not to belittle the social and emotional lives of non-sapient animals, but they aren't self conscious about anything, and specifically not about nakedness. They don't experience shame, or loss of virginity as cultural currency. They don’t fear the possibility of pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases, stigmatization, or being blamed for attracting unwanted attention, or losing their ability to respond sexually to males. I'm not writing here to defend any practice attached to breeding food animals. But I don’t think this issue is likely to resonate with the public as a source of animal suffering. Veterinary video footage of cows yawning their way through the procedure would just make us look overwrought.
01-19-2016 12:46 PM
no whey jose
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beautiful Joe View Post
While I agree with some of your post, I have to take issue with this. Not all species are alike in their sexual behaviors. For instance, most species of ducks mate for life, but drakes do "rape" females who are not their mates. This has been prevalent duck behavior for so long that the female duck anatomy has actually evolved so that a female duck will almost never be "impregnated" through coerced sex, but her eggs will be inseminated through consensual sex with her mate. See this article for a brief description of this phenomenon: http://www.science20.com/news_articl...ewed_human_sex

With respect to chickens, roosters do attempt to mount hens against their will, on a regular basis. Because their sexual relations are not penetrative (completely different reproductive organs than ducks), there are no internal injuries to the females.

And, as I said above, anyone who has lived a long time with dogs and/or cats and has been observant of their behavior will have seen firsthand that just because a dog or cat has been neutered at a young age will not necessarily mean that an individual will not attempt to forcibly mount another individual, also spayed/neutered. Sexual urges are strong, and, depending on the individual, survive early neutering.
There was a Radiolab episode about this! Fascinating.

Joan - not sure about the studies. I'm only pulling this from memory. Maybe someone reading this will recognize them and be able to help out?

Regarding insemination, my understanding of the standard practice is that the cow is restrained while a human arm is shoved elbow-deep into the cow's anus to manipulate the cervix while another with a syringe of semen is inserted into the vagina. I cannot imagine that experience being anything but traumatic, and I don't think that's anthropomorphizing! Artificial insemination is nothing like mating, and even the experience of mating among animals can be violent and nonconsentual.
01-19-2016 12:36 PM
Beautiful Joe
Quote:
Originally Posted by silva View Post
^Those sound like the studies ---I can't think of her name but she's known for making changes how cafos operate, and known for being autisic-

But anyway, it still comes down to unnecessary exploitation for human greed
Temple Grandin. Not a fan.
01-19-2016 12:34 PM
Beautiful Joe
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan Kennedy View Post
But with nonhuman mammals, if the female isn't in season she isn't receptive, and it's just not gonna happen.
While I agree with some of your post, I have to take issue with this. Not all species are alike in their sexual behaviors. For instance, most species of ducks mate for life, but drakes do "rape" females who are not their mates. This has been prevalent duck behavior for so long that the female duck anatomy has actually evolved so that a female duck will almost never be "impregnated" through coerced sex, but her eggs will be inseminated through consensual sex with her mate. See this article for a brief description of this phenomenon: http://www.science20.com/news_articl...ewed_human_sex

With respect to chickens, roosters do attempt to mount hens against their will, on a regular basis. Because their sexual relations are not penetrative (completely different reproductive organs than ducks), there are no internal injuries to the females.

And, as I said above, anyone who has lived a long time with dogs and/or cats and has been observant of their behavior will have seen firsthand that just because a dog or cat has been neutered at a young age will not necessarily mean that an individual will not attempt to forcibly mount another individual, also spayed/neutered. Sexual urges are strong, and, depending on the individual, survive early neutering.
This thread has more than 30 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off