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Do you regularly use the word "slavery" to describe farm animals?

  • Yes, I think its exactly the same thing as slavery.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I think its exploitation, but the word slavery goes too far.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No, I don't think its exploitative or like slavery at all.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other - I'll explain below.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just a poll here, I want to get an idea of how many people would routinely use the world slavery to describe farm animals.
 

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Farm animals, like horses and such?<br><br><br><br>
Just like in people, slavery is if the person is working hard but not being treated nicely or being fed/paid/etc. for it.<br><br>
I ride my pony and I don't think it's slavery. She eats all the hay and drinks all the water she wants, and she's generally happy.<br><br>
It's slavery if the animal is working for nothing/being abused, when it is trying its best. That's my opinion, anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I meant animals raised for dairy/eggs/meat, but I suppose horses fall under a similar category, thanks for bringing them up for debate as well.<br><br><br><br>
I'm talking about the word SLAVERY. To me it has a very special place for its usage. People around here seem to use it freely to decribe farm animals, and to me that devalues the word and minimizes what enslaved people have gone through. I think the word SLAVE should be reserved for people; certainly animals are exploited and treated cruelly, but somehow its use for animals strikes me as offensive. I'm curious if I'm alone around here in that.
 

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I think the word fits the situation, but I don't use it because I'm well aware that it really turns off many people to vegetarians and to our arguments. If you use the word slave to argue your point to an omni, you end up talking about the word instead of the situation.
 

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I voted Other:<br><br><br><br>
I wouldn't routinely use the word because a) it will probably not have an intended positive effect on most people, and b) other words can emphasize the cruelty and exploitation with equal force.<br><br><br><br>
But I have no ethical objection to using it as a comparison either.<br><br><br><br>
I think dairy cows and egg-laying hens are closer to slaves than animals killed simply for meat, because they have to do something for humans, other than grow.
 

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"Other"<br><br><br><br>
The animals at my "farm" can in most cases leave if they want to, which is not true with some farms where the animals are either always kept inside cages or are rounded up if they escape. I think it is probably more general that farm animals are in a slave-like position, in which they can't leave if they want to.<br><br><br><br>
I think the word "slavery" is problematical when used for domestic animals. Throughout most of their development as companions and (helpers) for man, domestic animals were not confined in the ways they are now. In many parts of the world they are still at large, and stay with the people because that is what they are used to. Examples - most poultry and herd animals in many parts of the world. Reindeer with the Lapps/Sami. Chickens down the road.
 

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I would like some examples of people routinely using the word to describe farm animals, btw. Mind you that the ethical comparison in the relationship thread doesn't count as an example.
 

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I don't routinely use the word slavery when speaking of farmed animals for exactly the reasons stated by Sevenseas. In fact, I'm not sure whether I've ever used it.<br><br><br><br>
However, I do think strong comparisons can be made, and that what animals on commercial farms endure *is* at its essence certainly a form of enslavement- their physical and social selves entirely subject to the agenda and whim of another (including confinement, isolation, disregard, manipulation, and violence) solely for the sake of benefitting that other financially.<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>veggielove</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
People around here seem to use it freely to decribe farm animals, and to me that devalues the word and minimizes what enslaved people have gone through. I think the word SLAVE should be reserved for people; certainly animals are exploited and treated cruelly, but somehow its use for animals strikes me as offensive. I'm curious if I'm alone around here in that.</div>
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I know many people hearing the word would have a gut reaction of taking offense. However, I don't think applying the term is patently offensive. First, I think it's factually accurate, as I said above. But secondly, I don't think applying it to a situation that involves nonhumans devalues the word, because I think that any conscious innocent victim of the horrendous circumstance of slavery equally deserves not to be placed in that position;whether the victim is human or not doesn't matter. To say otherwise infers a value judgement that one species' or one "victim's"(i.e. human beings') suffering has more weight than another's (i.e. nonhuman beings) - and necessarily implies that humans are in some way more worthy of consideration or of more value than nonhumans. That's speciesism, which I reject (not all in the veg*n community do).<br><br><br><br>
I feel like it minimizes what enslaved people have gone through to see victims currently in similar circumstances and not to take the parallels seriously.<br><br><br><br>
I feel it's offensive not to use the lessons we've learned from their all the terrible things individuals have suffered throughout our collective history<br><br>
to prevent said things from happening again and again in perpetuity. No matter who the new victims might happen to be (whether they are of another ethnic, cultural or socio-economic group of humans, or belong to one of the squillons of species groups other than our own single one).
 

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I voted "other". Only because I do not regularly use the word to describe farm animals to other people. I do think it's appropriate though.<br><br><br><br>
I agree lilac wine and can't add much to it with regards to my beliefs on this matter.<br><br><br><br>
I would like to ask, what word, not phrase or idea, would someone use to discuss the state of subjugation of non-human animals, if "slave" is only appropriate to humans?
 

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I also voted other and for the same reasons as most other respondents. It is totally accurate but to use it for pursausive purposes would probably be counter productive. I think farm animals used for food are in a situation worse than slavery.
 

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Other: Those are very bad and leading poll options.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
FTR, I don't use "slavery" as a word to describe the way animals are raised, although it's certainly exploitative. And I definetely don't use it as an analogy because it's an offensive analogy to use.
 

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I don't use the word slavery to described the way animals are treated by people but I often use slavery as an analogy:<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=64645&page=11" target="_blank">http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...=64645&page=11</a><br><br><br><br>
(post #110)
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>kpickell</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I definetely don't use it as an analogy because it's an offensive analogy to use.</div>
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What about it is offensive, in your opinion?
 

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Here's how I see the analogy:<br><br><br><br><span style="color:#800080;">1. In the worst kind of slavery people can be beaten and killed on a whim. The living conditions are very poor and the people suffer greatly.<br><br><br><br>
2. Some people recognize that these slave people, while not being equal to the enslavers, do deserve some protection against brutality. Laws are enacted to protect the slaves. They call for the "humane" treatment of slaves. This way the enslavers keep their slaves but the slaves are not forced to endure the extreme suffering.<br><br><br><br>
3. Some people go the next step and recognize that to enslave people is needless and that those people deserve freedom from their enslavement. The fact that all people have the same basic needs must be recognized. The activists call for the release of all slaves. Causing this particular form of intentional needless suffering must end.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
1. Factory farms are the worst way for people to get their meat. The living conditions are very poor and the animals suffer greatly.<br><br><br><br>
2. Some people recognize that these animals, while not being equal to people, do deserve some protection against brutality. Laws are enacted to protect the animals (AW). They call for "humane" farms or for hunting. This way people get their meat and the animals are not forced to suffer the extremes of factory farming.<br><br><br><br>
3. Some people go the next step and recognize that to eat meat is needless and that those animals deserve freedom from the needles suffering of being slaughtered and/or shot. The fact that all animals can and do suffer must be recognized. The activists call for an end to all meat eating. Causing this particular form of intentional needless suffering must end.<br><br><br><br><br><br>
My analogy (slavery/meat) in essence is this: humans cause intentional needless suffering to both slaves and animals. That specific kind of intentional needless suffering can be extreme, mild or non-existant. In both cases, when humans cease to be the cause of that specific needless suffering, the freed slaves and the animals that are no longer being targeted will continue to suffer (in other ways). It can still be recognized that ceasing to be the cause of that intentional needless suffering is a "good" thing.</span><br><br><br><br>
I wrote that up in a post on this page:<br><br><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=57622&page=10" target="_blank">http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...=57622&page=10</a><br><br><br><br>
I tend not to use the analogy of the holocaust. I am trying to find where Isaac Bashevis Singer uses it since he was directly affected by the holocaust and, if I'm not mistaken, he does compare it to the suffering inflicted on animals.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">In his thoughts, Herman spoke a eulogy for the mouse<br><br>
who had shared a portion of her life with him and who,<br><br>
because of him, had left this earth. "What do they<br><br>
know--all these scholars, all these philosophers, all<br><br>
the leaders of the world--about such as you? They have<br><br>
convinced themselves that man, the worst transgressor<br><br>
of all the species, is the crown of creation. All other<br><br>
creatures were created merely to provide him with food,<br><br>
pelts, to be tormented, exterminated. In relation to<br><br>
them, all people are Nazis; for the animals it is an<br><br>
eternal Treblinka.<br><br><br><br>
--Isaac Bashevis Singer, "The Letter Writer"</div>
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<br><br><br><a href="http://www.powerfulbook.com/epigraph.html" target="_blank">http://www.powerfulbook.com/epigraph.html</a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">The Compassionate Vision of Isaac Bashevis Singer<br><br><br><br>
One of the most powerful pro-animal voices of the twentieth century was the Yiddish writer Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904-91), winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1978.1 Although Singer survived the <b>Holocaust</b> by following his older brother Joshua to the United States in 1935, his mother, younger brother, and many members of his extended family who remained in Poland were killed. Although Singer's later stories and novels set in America are mostly about <b>Holocaust</b> survivors and refugees from Europe, he did not write about the <b>Holocaust</b> directly. Nonetheless, it was the ever present lens through which he viewed the world, especially when it came to the exploitation and slaughter of animals, which upset him greatly.<br><br><br><br>
The Eleventh Commandment<br><br><br><br>
Singer was born in the small Polish village of Leoncin where his father was a Hasidic rabbi. Although he only lived there until the age of three, Singer remembered that their house had very little furniture, but many books. He also remembered the animals. "Every week there was a market, and many peasants would come to the town bringing livestock. Once I saw a peasant beating a pig. Maybe it had been squealing. I ran in to my mother to tell her the pig was crying and the man was beating it with a stick. I remember this very vividly. Even then I was thinking like a vegetarian."2<br><br><br><br>
After the family moved to Warsaw where his father served as a rabbi in a poor Jewish neighborhood, Singer took to catching flies and removing their wings. He would then place the wingless fly in a match box with a drop of water and a grain of sugar for nourishment. He did this until he finally realized he was committing "terrible crimes against those creatures just because I was bigger than they, stronger, and defter." This realization bothered him so much that for a long time he thought about little else. After he prayed for forgiveness and took "a holy oath never again to catch flies," his thinking about the suffering of flies "expanded to include all people, all animals, all lands, all times."3</div>
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<br><br><br><a href="http://www.powerfulbook.com/singer.html" target="_blank">http://www.powerfulbook.com/singer.html</a><br><br><br><br>
And there's much more on this page. I'm going back there now to read it all.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>veggielove</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I meant animals raised for dairy/eggs/meat, but I suppose horses fall under a similar category, thanks for bringing them up for debate as well.<br><br><br><br>
I'm talking about the word SLAVERY. To me it has a very special place for its usage. People around here seem to use it freely to decribe farm animals, and to me that devalues the word and minimizes what enslaved people have gone through. I think the word SLAVE should be reserved for people; certainly animals are exploited and treated cruelly, but somehow its use for animals strikes me as offensive. I'm curious if I'm alone around here in that.</div>
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I aree with that conclusion.<br><br>
I have used it jokingly with veg*an friends or various family members, though.
 

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No, I don't use the word when speaking/writing about farms, circuses, etc. The reason being is that mainstream consumers are the ones directly engaging in the cruel exploitation of animals, and they will be the ones with the power to stop it.<br><br><br><br>
If we ever want this cruel treatment of animals to stop, we have to realize that we need to appeal to the mainstream. And the fact is, John and Jane Public are usually offended and put off when words like 'slavery', 'holocaust', and 'rape' are used in conjunction with animals.<br><br><br><br>
This is because most people believe that animals are less important than humans. (Whether this is right or wrong is beside the point, AR advocates need to recognize this fact and work within its parameters.) When people see words like <i>slavery, holocaust</i>, and <i>rape</i> applied to animals, they either see it as belittling the human victims of these offenses or they see it as lowering the victims to the status of animals. Both of these cause a great deal of negative emotions/reactions.<br><br><br><br>
Therefore, AR advocates can not hope to convince mainstream consumers to stop hurting animals if they are constantly turning people away from their message with bad tactics and terms.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>peace</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
No, I don't use the word when speaking/writing about farms, circuses, etc. The reason being is that mainstream consumers are the ones directly engaging in the cruel exploitation of animals, and they will be the ones with the power to stop it.<br><br><br><br>
If we ever want this cruel treatment of animals to stop, we have to realize that we need to appeal to the mainstream. And the fact is, John and Jane Public are usually offended and put off when words like 'slavery', 'holocaust', and 'rape' are used in conjunction with animals.<br><br><br><br>
This is because most people believe that animals are less important than humans. (Whether this is right or wrong is beside the point, AR advocates need to recognize this fact and work within its parameters.) When people see words like <i>slavery, holocaust</i>, and <i>rape</i> applied to animals, they either see it as belittling the human victims of these offenses or they see it as lowering the victims to the status of animals. Both of these cause a great deal of negative emotions/reactions.<br><br><br><br>
Therefore, AR advocates can not hope to convince mainstream consumers to stop hurting animals if they are constantly turning people away from their message with bad tactics and terms.</div>
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You make a good point here Peace. I wouldn't use such analogies to people I don't know or with people I know who would be offended. We have to be very careful about how to approach the subject of AR with omnis and even with fellow veg*ns. I tend to use the slavery analogy here on VB more than with omnis I know. In fact I don't think I've ever used the analogy with an omni. I usually compare dogs and cats with pigs and chickens when trying to show omnis what they are doing.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>peace</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Therefore, AR advocates can not hope to convince mainstream consumers to stop hurting animals if they are constantly turning people away from their message with bad tactics and terms.</div>
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With this logic, though, we have to avoid any kind of AR message. We can't talk about animals not being property, or exploitation being categorically a wrong thing, if we want to reduce the harms most people cause to animals and do this in the most convincing way possible.<br><br><br><br>
When it comes to the word 'rape', it's worth mentioning, both to omnis and to people in this thread, that the term is used <i>by the industry itself</i>: they talk about the "rape rack" (as some people have pointed out). So it comes down to what it is that we want to convince people of, exactly. If we are interested in moderate improvements (because they are the most viable thing to focus on at the moment), we should probably tailor our message to be the most conservative possible. On the other hand, if we see the fundamental problem in the ethical view of animals and want to change that, we shouldn't avoid using a term that the industry itself recognizes.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>lilac wine</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
What about it is offensive, in your opinion?</div>
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I've tried explaining it in the past, but it seems ar vegans just don't understand. Suffice it to say, some people find it offensive to be compared to animals.<br><br><br><br>
It's the same reason why so many people are offended when PETA uses the holocaust analogy. You are telling these people who have suffered a great deal that they are animals. Furthermore you're exploiting their suffering to advance your own personal agendas. If you can't see why these analogies are offensive, you'll just have to take my word for it that many people do find them offensive.
 
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