VeggieBoards banner

what's "avoidable suffering" ?

1671 Views 10 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  TreeManEarthSteward
It is an absolute offence to cause or permit an animal avoidable excitement, pain or suffering.
the problem I have is the practie itself is avoidable in that it is provably unecessary. if you approached the govt and said, I want to do ... to an animal for the purpose of X Y Z, entertainment, a hat, a meat, but the process of obtaining that required extreme suffering on the part of the animal, the govt may well respond: that is not an acceptable way to treat animals and falls under x y z guidelines which prohibit cruelty to animals.

so im trying to rack my head around this legal concept of avoidable suffering. theres a fundamental issue which isnt being addressed when the govt makes this kind of statement, as i say that the practice itself is avoidable. arent they breaching their own guidelines therefore? it would hold some credence if humans were obligate carnivores, but we arent. and this isnt even a debate about whether we SHOULD eat meat or not ethically. Its the point , and this is my premise in 1 sentence:

the govt prohibits avoidable suffering, yet by legitimising the practice of killing nonhuman animals for food, they automatically facilitate avoidable suffering.
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
I think Francione would say that what "avoidable"/"unnecessary" suffering really amounts to, is the kind of suffering that is not needed for getting the maximal economic benefit from the exploitation. And sadly, he may be right.

Which raises the further question of whether we should believe in an ethical view -- animal welfare -- that centrally depends on the opposition to that problematic notion of "unnecessary suffering". An animal rights position is much easier to define.
Words like "avoidable suffering" are a copout. Some of the corporations with terrible records for animal treatment use it as a way to make it appear they're doing something active for animal welfare--when actually they've made no changes or improvements.

Any and all suffering can be excused this way, as it was "unavoidable" to the process.
Any and all suffering can be excused this way, as it was "unavoidable" to the process.
yea thats the point, im wondering if they can be legally challenged because its provable that the food products are not required for human health, and in many aspects contraty to human health, the wellbeing of the environment, and so on, and of course (most importantly imo) the wellbeing of the animals.

this whole a.welfare/a.rights thing gets mixed up. because when the govt says you must refrain from causing animals suffering, its saying essentially, 'because they have the ability to suffer, you must not cause them to suffer, they have the right to not suffer'.

if someone took the government to court and said, we can prove scientifically that x / y / z practices are unecessary, therefore the sufferings and practices that are necessary to carry them out, are avoidable, how would the government defend itself? even more so than meat produce, there can be NO defense at all for use of animals in circuses, dog racing, horse racing, etc.
See less See more
Michael2: Thank you - you raise a very interesting point. I became a vegan about 2 months ago and have been trying to educate myself wherever possible so that I may pass on my knowledge to friends and family etc.

Sometimes the act of eliminating animal products from my life doesn't seem "enough". I know of course it does help but I'm always thinking "come on everyone, get active, there must be something MORE we can do". I know change does not happen overnight and seeds must be sown which is why I feel so encouraged when there are people like you trying to rack your brains in finding a solution/finding the back door/finding a loophole into which more seeds can be sown.

Where is the quote from the top of your thread from? Is it from a specific piece of animal welfare legislation from the government? Obviously more research should be done
but I agree it is very contradictory and a good starting point.

Going off on a slight tangent: Don't know what country you're in but in the UK there's a programme on BBC1 called Judge John Deed with Martin Shaw and Jenny Seagrove (they are both vegans and I read somewhere that all or most of the production team are too). If ever you watch it, you'll notice there are a lot of animal rights themes woven into the story lines and he always makes a point that he's a vegetarian when ordering food. Anyway I can just imagine that the point you raise could be a good story line for the programme. It would be a good battle of legal interpretation and would spread awareness of the absolute horrors of factory farming. Of course there are equal horrors in the fur and chinese medicine trade (just google moonbears/moon bears).

I know the RSPCA is an independant charity that is not funded by the government but who in the government is responsbile for animal welfare? I just do not understand how they cannot intervene. I think it will be several years and unfortunately it may not even happen in my lifetime that this abuse will stop or even slow down BUT the at the very very least, surely something can be done to lessen the suffering. Surely that would be a more achievable starting point. I know there are hundreds of known organisations all making a stand but each of us with our own little voices have a responsibility to speak out. Yet I find myself asking what is the most effective message.. shouting "meat is murder" whilst in the meat section at the supermarket just makes people look at you like you're a tree hugging loony and they switch off. We need a smarter approach, an intelligent thought provoking way of getting people to WAKE UP!!!!!

My copy of Gail Eisnitz's book Slaughterhouse has just arrived in the post all the way from the USA. Hopefully that will educate me some more although I am dreading even opening up the book as I know the words and images will haunt me forever
. You know people have such the wrong idea about Vegans. We are not the tree hugging hippies, NO WAY, we are strong warriors who have brave hearts and strong spirits. We dare to look and acknowlege the horrors of this world. Unlike the rest of the world, we do not turn a blind eye!!!!

I know I've gone off several times and commented on some other issues not related to your original question. Thanks for getting this far. I'm off to lie down and plan my world domination
See less See more
thanks for support fraggle. thats interesting about john deed, i like that programme. the quote was from DEFRA the branch of our government (im in UK also) that deals with among other stuff agriculture and animal welfare.

i just had a quick look at the USDA and found this, which i think is plain ridiculous.

Animal means any live or dead dog, cat, nonhuman primate, guinea

pig, hamster, rabbit, or any other warmblooded animal, which is being

used, or is intended for use for research, teaching, testing,

experimentation, or exhibition purposes, or as a pet. This term excludes

birds, rats of the genus Rattus, and mice of the genus Mus, bred for use

in research; horses not used for research purposes; and other farm

animals, such as, but not limited to, livestock or poultry used or

intended for use as food or fiber, or livestock or poultry used or

intended for use for improving animal nutrition, breeding, management,

or production efficiency, or for improving the quality of food or fiber.

With respect to a dog, the term means all dogs, including those used for

hunting, security, or breeding purposes.
for the purpose of USDA regulations, farm animals are not classified as 'animals'

what? how can they possibly get away with that? thats completely insane, its an outright lie, has no one picked up on that and challenged them?

ive only recently thought about this but im going to ask around and maybe ask various orgs about the issue, im sure its been considered by other people and orgs before.

and of course by saying farm animals arent animals , which is just absurd, they can do anything to them, so any law that promotes the welfare of animals, farm animals are exempt from. im disgusted by this. having looked into DEFRA they are no better


See less See more
these f***ing suits who sit there writing these stupid meaningless laws which allow animals to be killed and exploited, the only purpose of them is to give the false pretense that they actually give a sh..

they should all spend some 1on1 time with the bear in my avatar
I am furious and outraged by that! It is insanity defined. I can feel my next crusade coming on. Good luck, let me know how you get on and I'll do likewise!
heres another one

(b) Each live animal shall be fed at least once in each 24 hour

period, except as directed by hibernation, veterinary treatment, normal

fasts, or other professionally accepted practices. Those live animals

which, by common accepted practice, require feeding more frequently

shall be so fed.
as far as i know, its mostly carnivores like crocodiles, or big cats that are suited to eating once in a 24 hr period. and if there's 'professionally accepted practices' , even that is not required. these laws are just pathetic. if its like this in the UK and US, imagine other countries...

Sec. 3.128 Space requirements.

Enclosures shall be constructed and maintained so as to provide

sufficient space to allow each animal to make normal postural and social

adjustments with adequate freedom of movement. Inadequate space may be

indicated by evidence of malnutrition, poor condition, debility, stress,

or abnormal behavior patterns.
yet sow gestation crates are banned in only 2 US states, and battery cages for egg laying hens are legal. god knows what else
See less See more
Originally Posted by michael2 View Post

these f***ing suits who sit there writing these stupid meaningless laws which allow animals to be killed and exploited, the only purpose of them is to give the false pretense that they actually give a sh..

they should all spend some 1on1 time with the bear in my avatar
here here

<< add my tiger to join in the mauling of the ******* law-suits !
See less See more
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.