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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

Something that got me thinking the other night was listening to my housemate who eats meat talking about a nature program on BBC where an elephant was killed by lions.

She said she cried watching the elephant die and was really upset after seeing it. So I asked if she would be equally upset watching a cow die? She said she doesnt see cows in the same way but really likes elephants.

I find this really frustrating as it seems so many meat eaters are so detached from the animal by the time they cut into their steak they never consider the death of their food. This could be controversial but it got me thinking how many more women may consider dropping meat from their plates after watching the death of a cute little lamb or a happy pig. I say woman as I know from a male perspective on average men are more tolerent to blood and death on tv. I just find it so hypocritical that people can get upset by the death on one animal in nature when by eating commercially farmed meat they are supporting the torture and death of millions of farm animals around the world. I didnt know what to say to her as obviously we are friends and i didnt want to call her a hypocrit but how do people like this favour a few species and then detach their emotions so easily from farm animals?

Sorry I dont really know why i am posting this just something that really upset me,
 

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I remember sitting in the break room of a job I had, a women said she was an animal lover and then took a bite of a chicken sandwich or something. She was being serious. It's like, how can you be an animal lover and eat meat?

I understand where you're coming from. It's hypocritical, but if you say something than it's being rude. Somebody said something in another post about not getting mad a meat eaters since the person who posted used to eat meat. I think that's a good idea. I shouldn't get mad at someone for doing something I did for 18 years. Helping that person see what they are doing is hypocritical in a nice way might be a good step.
 

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I remember sitting in the break room of a job I had, a women said she was an animal lover and then took a bite of a chicken sandwich or something. She was being serious. It's like, how can you be an animal lover and eat meat?

I understand where you're coming from. It's hypocritical, but if you say something than it's being rude. Somebody said something in another post about not getting mad at meat eaters since the person who posted used to eat meat. I think that's a good idea. I shouldn't get mad at someone for doing something I did for 18 years. Helping that person see what they are doing is hypocritical in a nice way might be a good step.
 

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It's not neccessarily 'hypocritical'.

Hypocrisy suggests double standards. But 'loving animals' (eg cats, dogs) can be reconciled with eating meat (animals) by simply being an exploitative character. It's not hypocritical if you are exploiting animals on one hand for meat, etc, and on the other for companionship. Most people who claim to 'love animals' mean that there are a few animals that they are fond of because they are given some emotional, or aesthetic, pleasure from the animals: it's not about the animals, it's entirely self-regarding. To 'love animals' is sentimental trash: it's to get all the benfits of having a warm, endearing relationship with another creature but not to bother with the hard work of thinking through the larger morality of that relationship.

I recommend,

1) when someone talks about their being an 'animal lover' - simply ask them to specify the extent of this. Most people, when they talk about 'loving animals' have in mind cats and dogs, etc, and is therefore disingenous to speak generically. Respond simply "you mean, you like cats and dogs? Isn't the phrase animal love a little overstated given that, at best, you have an appreciation for one or two cuddly, 'frontstage' animals like cats and dogs?"

Further, do not talk about being an animal lover yourself. You respect animals - for what they are not for what they can do for you.

2) read up on the history of animal welfarism.

" but how do people like this favour a few species and then detach their emotions so easily from farm animals?"

3) Because, as a society, we are trained to. Ask your friend how many cows she has seen killed - the answer is probably none. That's not accidental. GIven the BILLIONS of animals killled each year, is it not strange that soceity never talks about it - that it's never really shown on TV, that slaughterhouses are located in quiet rural areas, without windows, without drawing attention? NOt really: it's policy.

People learn which animals it is acceptable to care for and they learn which ones to put out of their minds. There is nothing individualistic about this - as your freind might protest - rather it is a SOCIAL process. Most of us only come into contact with cows as 'steak, pigs as 'pork', etc. I recommend Plous's "Psychological mechanisms in the human use of animals" - an essay which you can order (free) online. Pass it to your friend.

it's at

social psychology org
 

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I try not to look at it in a terrible way, because it means they DO care. I try and use it as a segway into a conversation about what happens to the food they consume. "Yes, that is terrible! Sad things like that happen every day! Have you ever seen/heard about the daily life of a _____?" (pig, [dairy] cow, [egg laying] chicken)

It is hard not to be a little judgemental, but that attitude doesn't help anyone see the light, if you know what I mean.

The only way they know is if we tell them. And they won't really LISTEN if we try to shove it down their throats. JMO.

(And I found Earthlings to be much more tasteful and better to watch overall. It has all the profound images from Meet your Meat, but is done much better. You can watch it free on video.google. Just search for "Earthlings")
 

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They took down the free Earthlings thing on google because it's up for some sort of award and that's not allowed in the guidelines-having it available for free. You can, however, go to Youtube and search Earthlings and watch it with Spanish subtitles.
 

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How should I put this.

Some people view animals differently depending on a variety of factors.

I do not see this as being hypocritical.

Some of these reasons may be irrational to some of us, such as only loving cute cuddly animals or only loving animals traditionally kept as companions such as dogs and cats.

You should make your friend think: How do they view this elephants' life as more valuble then that of a cows' life?.

What do they think about people slaughtering elephants for food?.

As for the meat eating animal lovers, it has taken me a long time to understand this. As strange as this may seem to some of you, I've spoken with some people who eat meat and have what seems to me is a guinine concern for animals.

This doesn't mean of course that every person who eats meat is also an animal lover. It's complicated. Sometimes yes that means they only care about cats and dogs. Other times they care as much is possible about all animals.

To those of us who view meat eating as unneccessary for people, it is easy to dismiss such people as supporting unneccessary kiling and therefore unable to have any true concern for other animals.

You know how some of us feel about buying medication which caused animals to suffer but we still care?. That is how I think this type of person who eats meat thinks about animals raised for meat. They care but they view the meat eating as a neccesary evil.
 

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Most people would be pretty upset (or at least bothered) at watching a cow or pig die. It doesnt mean none of them want to eat meat, because they like meat. They just prefer not to see it so they can be detached and not feel guilty about eating it.

When I ate meat I knew about animal suffering but I didnt want to see it. Now that I dont eat meat I still dont want to see it. The animal suffering isnt even really the cause of my vegetarianism personally, as I have always known about animal suffering and dont really believe it will stop if I stop eating meat.

Anyway my point is you can like animals and still consider them food, plenty of people just think that way. Many people feel eating meat is neccessary, which may not be true, but in THEIR mind it is, so in THEIR mind they might eat meat but still feel sad seeing an animal killed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
THanks for all the advice guys, its good to be able to get feedback on some of my thoughts it means alot actually. Bekajoi I will definately check out the earthlings video thanks for the tip


I have shown meet your meat video to afew of my mates and it turned one of them vegetarian then vegan for many months but now unfortunateley he only eats organic meat. Thanks foryour advice lachry i will definateley try and get a copy of that essay. You have made a very interesting point, individuals cannot take the whole blame as the creators of our society have designed people to think like this. It is so true that much of the workings of the food industry are kept hidden from the mainstream media and public.

On a positive note though, Tv programs like The River Cottage Treatment are really good at attempting to show a slither of the true evils that exsist in the meat industry. You can see that tv shows that promote healthy eating and organic produce are having an effect in the UK as the shelves in most supermarkets now contain 'healthier looking' meat products and more free range animal products. Everyone should check this show out (Thursday nights) its good to watch meat eaters confronted with the realisation that they are eating food from a very disturbing origin!

Enjoy your wknds and enjoy your food , i am off for a lentil curry
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
A true curry master never admits their secrets that easily,


To be honest with you mate I never follow a recipe and just go with the flow when cooking, but my i love my food spicy
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by geofferd View Post

now unfortunateley he only eats organic meat.
Well thats something at least. I think if you are going to eat meat you should eat organic, it shows a demand for more organic stuff and then it gets easier to find in stores! I hate looking for organic stuff around here, its so hard to find.
 

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The sentiment is not confined to animals. When it comes right down to it, most people do not truly care about those who are not among their immediate friends or family. When was the last time you heard a co-worker discussing how upset she is by the plight of sweatshop workers in El Salvador or girls sold into brothels in India? Relatively few are willing to be educated and active on any issue which does not personally affect them.

It's the same thing with animals. I'm sure everyone can think of many people they know who pamper and coddle their dogs and cats. Yet I'm sure we can agree that very few of these pet lovers stay awake at night worrying about dogs and cats in testing labs, puppy mills, or the Chinese fur trade. They don't love all "dogs and cats" equally--they love the dogs and cats who live in their homes and have little thought about other members of the species (or members of other species).

Many people who frequent this board are confused by this because they make it a point to stay informed about world issues. But it's really not surprising that so many people have a hard time truly thinking beyond their circle of aquaintences--they do it with humans as well as animals.
 

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My boyf watched a cat kill a bird outside shortly after moving in with me, and found it upsetting. As he moved in, he was an omni by rights but ate barely any meat since it was easier to just eat my cooking, and he realised he hadn't eaten meat in ages, and didn't miss it. He is now a vegetarian and doesn't eat meat at all!
 

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I think it all comes down to speciesism. People love one type of animal, but hate another. I argued with my mom one night when she said she loves animals but eats them. I asked her how eating a cow is acceptable, but dogs and cats and horses are not. She simply said that she feels some animals are "meant" to be eaten...pretty weak statement.
 

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It seems that they are meant to be eaten more than others just because thats whats accepted in our society..but there is no real reason behind it besides culture. I think thats a stupid thing to say (no offense to your momma)
I mean if one was starving I dont think it would be any different to kill a dog for food than it would be to kill a pig or a cow.
 
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