This page is presently in construction.
This is the comprehensive ARVEG FAQ produced by KG which covers just about every imaginable attack against animal rights and vegan stances. It provides factual, effective and occasionally amusing responses provided. (Some additions and modifications have been made from the earlier version and the original due to broken 20+ yr links as well as new material.)
In the TOC, "->" indicates there is more to the question than could be fitted and can be viewed by clicking on the link.
Editor commentaries/updates are indicated as [Editor: ].
1 Animal Rights
1.1 If we give respect or rights to animals we will diminish our own rights and respect for humans.
- Sumer, one of the earliest and most powerful of the ancient Mesopotamian city-states, managed its slaves the same way it managed its livestock. The Sumerians castrated the males and put them to work like domesticated animals, and they put the females in work and breeding camps. The Sumerian word for castrated slave boys-amar-kud-is the same word the Sumerians used for young castrated donkeys, horses, and oxen. (From Chapter 1 Charles Patterson's Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust.)
- Although the purpose of the German killing centers was the extermination of human beings, they operated in the larger context of society's exploitation and slaughter of animals, which to some extent they mirrored. The Germans did not stop slaughtering animals when they took up slaughtering people. Auschwitz, which its commandant Rudolf Hoss called "the largest human slaughterhouse that history had ever known," had its own slaughterhouse and butcher's shop. The other death camps likewise kept their personnel well supplied with animal flesh. Sobibor had a cow shed, pigpen, and henhouse, which were next to the entrance to the tube that took Jews to the gas chambers, while Treblinka had a stable, pigpen, and henhouse located near the camp barracks of the Ukrainian auxiliaries.-from Charles Patterson's Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust Chapter 5
- So does that mean if whites give rights or respect to non whites (or vice versa) that it diminishes their own rights and respect? If men give rights or respect to women(or vice versa) that they diminish their own rights and respects? It would seem you want to preserve the rights of some to not respect the rights of others.
- Edgar Kupfer-Koberwitz. About the author: Edgar Kupfer was imprisoned in Dachau concentration camp in 1940. His last 3 years in Dachau he obtained a clerical job in the concentration camp storeroom. This position allowed him to keep a secret diary on stolen scraps of papers and pieces of pencil. He would bury his writings and when Dachau was liberated on April 29, 1945 he collected them again. The Dachau Diaries were published in 1956. From his Dachau notes he wrote an essay on vegetarianism which was translated into "immigrant" English. A carbon copy of this 38 page essay is preserved with the original Dachau Diaries in the Special Collection of the Library of the University of Chicago. The following are the excerpts from this essay that were reprinted in the postscript of the book "Radical Vegetarianism" by Mark Mathew Braunstein (1981 Panjandrum Books, Los Angeles, CA). The book is subtitled "A Dialectic of Diet and Ethic" and is recommended to all vegetarians especially those interested in natural hygiene. "The following pages were written in the Concentration Camp Dachau, in the midst of all kinds of cruelties. They were furtively scrawled in a hospital barrack where I stayed during my illness, in a time when Death grasped day by day after us, when we lost twelve thousand within four and a half months. … Dear Friend: You asked me why I do not eat meat and you are wondering at the reasons of my behavior. Perhaps you think I took a vow - some kind of penitence - denying me all the glorious pleasures of eating meat. You remember juicy steaks, succulent fishes, wonderfully tasted sauces, deliciously smoked ham and thousand wonders prepared out of meat, charming thousands of human palates; certainly you will remember the delicacy of roasted chicken. Now, you see, I am refusing all these pleasures and you think that only penitence, or a solemn vow, a great sacrifice could deny me that manner of enjoying life, induce me to endure a great resignment. You look astonished, you ask the question: "But why and what for?" And you are wondering that you nearly guessed the very reason. But if I am, now, trying to explain you the very reason in one concise sentence, you will be astonished once more how far your guessing had been from my real motive. Listen to what I have to tell you: I refuse to eat animals because I cannot nourish myself by the sufferings and by the death of other creatures. I refuse to do so, because I suffered so painfully myself that I can feel the pains of others by recalling my own sufferings. I feel happy, nobody persecutes me; why should I persecute other beings or cause them to be persecuted? I feel happy, I am no prisoner, I am free; why should I cause other creatures to be made prisoners and thrown into jail? I feel happy, nobody harms me; why should I harm other creatures or have them harmed? I feel happy, nobody wounds me; nobody kills me; why should I wound or kill other creatures or cause them to be wounded or killed for my pleasure and convenience? Is it not only too natural that I do not inflict on other creatures the same thing which, I hope and fear, will never be inflicted on me? Would it not be most unfair to do such things for no other purpose than for enjoying a trifling physical pleasure at the expense of others' sufferings, others' deaths? These creatures are smaller and more helpless than I am, but can you imagine a reasonable man of noble feelings who would like to base on such a difference a claim or right to abuse the weakness and the smallness of others? Don't you think that it is just the bigger, the stronger, the superior's duty to protect the weaker creatures instead of persecuting them, instead of killing them? "Noblesse oblige." I want to act in a noble way. I recall the horrible epoch of inquisition and I am sorry to state that the time of tribunals for heretics has not yet passed by, that day by day, men use to cook in boiling water other creatures which are helplessly given in the hands of their torturers. I am horrified by the idea that such men are civilized people, no rough barbarians, no natives. But in spite of all, they are only primitively civilized, primitively adapted to their cultural environment. The average European, flowing over with highbrow ideas and beautiful speeches, commits all kinds of cruelties, smilingly, not because he is compelled to do so, but because he wants to do so. Not because he lacks the faculty to reflect upon and to realize all the dreadful things they are performing. Oh no! Only because they do not want to see the facts. Otherwise they would be troubled and worried in their pleasures. It is quite natural what people are telling you. How could they do otherwise? I hear them telling about experiences, about utilities, and I know that they consider certain acts related to slaughtering as unavoidable. Perhaps they succeeded to win you over. I guess that from your letter. Still, considering the necessities only, one might, perhaps, agree with such people. But is there really such a necessity? The thesis may be contested. Perhaps there exists still some kind of necessity for such persons who have not yet developed into full conscious personalities. I am not preaching to them. I am writing this letter to you, to an already awakened individual who rationally controls his impulses, who feels responsible - internally and externally - of his acts, who knows that our supreme court is sitting in our conscience. There is no appellate jurisdiction against it. Is there any necessity by which a fully self-conscious man can be induced to slaughter? In the affirmative, each individual may have the courage to do it by his own hands. It is, evidently, a miserable kind of cowardice to pay other people to perform the blood-stained job, from which the normal man refrains in horror and dismay. Such servants are given some farthings for their bloody work, and one buys from them the desired parts of the killed animal - if possible prepared in such a way that it does not any more recall the discomfortable circumstances, nor the animal, nor its being killed, nor the bloodshed. **I think that men will be killed and tortured as long as animals are killed and tortured. So long there will be wars too. Because killing must be trained and perfected on smaller objects, morally and technically.I see no reason to feel outraged by what others are doing, neither by the great nor by the smaller acts of violence and cruelty. But, I think, it is high time to feel outraged by all the small and great acts of violence and cruelty which we perform ourselves. And because it is much easier to win the smaller battles than the big ones, I think we should try to get over first our own trends towards smaller violence and cruelty, to avoid, or better, to overcome them once and for all. Then the day will come when it will be easy for us to fight and to overcome even the great cruelties. But we are still sleeping, all of us, in habitudes and inherited attitudes. They are like a fat, juicy sauce which helps us to swallow our own cruelties without tasting their bitterness.I have not the intention to point out with my finger at this and that, at definite persons and definite situations. I think it is much more my duty to stir up my own conscience in smaller matters, to try to understand other people better, to get better and less selfish. Why should it be impossible then to act accordingly with regard to more important issues? That is the point: I want to grow up into a better world where a higher law grants more happiness, in a new world where God's commandment reigns: You Shall Love Each Other." Edgar Kupfer-Koberwitz
1.2 When discussing animal rights, it is always important that you have balance and show the other side of the issue.
- If someone can talk about Negro slave emancipation without allowing a KKK member to give the "other side" of the issue, if someone can talk about hunting Nazi war criminals without showing the "other side" of the issue, and if a news reports on a "breakthrough" in cancer research doesn't need to allow an animal rights activist to speak out on the perversion of altruism inherent in all animal research, then we don't have to do that either.
- Since the preponderance of arguments on the subject of animal rights is favorable to the cause, a true balance is impossible. It is like trying to find a balanced argument on the pros and cons of jumping off buildings without parachutes. One side is definitely stronger than the other.
- The other side of the issue is always discussed in animal issues! Since the arguments in favor of animal exploitation are so weak why would an animal rights activist not want to expose the stupidity and erroneous nature of the other side?
1.3 You support animal rights, therefore you must support blowing up buildings.
- It appears you are in need of taking a logic class.
- You support human rights? therefore you must support the actions of John Brown, slavery abolitionist who killed pro-slavery people.
- Last I checked, it is the people who support wars against unarmed civilians who support blowing up buildings.
- At least we don' t support beating and killing unarmed people. There are many many many cases of hunt supporters in the UK beating people with whips, running them over with cars and horses-whether they be AR activists, people just standing on their property, or reporters Hunt saboteur, Mike Hill, was killed on the 9th of February 1991 at a meet of the Cheshire Beagles. Towards the end of the day's hunting, with no kill under his belt, the huntsman boxed up his hounds in a small blue trailer being towed by an open-top pick-up truck. The kennel huntsman, ALLAN SUMMERSGILL, with another man, jumped into the pick-up and, on impulse, three sabs(hunt saboteurs) who were nearby, jumped onto the back of it to prevent them driving the pack to another location to continue hunting. Summersgill drove off at high speeds down winding country roads for 5 miles with the terrified sabs clinging onto the back. It is thought that Mike jumped from the pick-up as it slowed to take a bend. He failed to clear the truck properly, and was caught between the truck and the trailer, which crushed him. Mike died where he lay on the road. Despite the thud, and the screams of the other sabs, Summersgill continued driving for a further mile. The truck only came to a halt when one of the sabs smashed the rear window of the cab. The sab was hit with a whip as he tried to stop the truck. Once it had stopped one sab ran back to Mike's prone body while the other ran to a nearby house to call for an ambulance. Summersgill drove off. He later handed himself in at a police station. No charges were brought against him and in a travesty of justice, a verdict of 'Accidental Death' was brought at the inquest. Summersgill is still hunting hares. 1993: On the 3rd of April 1993, T(h)om Worby, a 15 year old saboteur attending his first foxhunt protest, was crushed under the wheels of the Cambridgeshire FH's hound van in an incident all too reminiscent of the killing of Mike Hill two years before. After a successful day's sabbing, the hunt had boxed up and sabs were making their way back to the meet down a narrow lane. As the hound van came up behind them, revving its engine, sabs scrambled for the roadside; however Tom's jacket became snagged in the vehicles wing mirror and he was dragged some distance before he managed to gain a foothold on the van's running board. Although he banged on the window the van kept going, and when Tom finally lost his grip, he fell onto the road and under the truck's wheels. His head was crushed by the rear wheels of the vehicle and he died shortly afterwards. No action was taken against the driver of the hound van, 53-year-old huntsman ALAN BALL. 38-year-old KENNETH MANSBRIDGE, a supporter of the Hursley Hambledon Foxhunt, convicted of Unlawful Wounding on a Green Party researcher, who needed hospital treatment for serious head wounds after being kicked and beaten by a group of hunt followers 1991. MANSBRIDGE admitted kicking the victim in the groin and punching him to the ground. (On the same day, another protester was beaten around the head with a spade, and left needing 10 stitches and a 6 and a half months pregnant woman was hit on the head with half a brick, needing 4 stitches). MANSBRIDGE was sentenced to 140 hours community service and ordered to pay costs of £150. 1998: Supporter of the Dunston Harriers, PATRICK EVERETT managed to get the hunt banned from one village after he viciously attacked a party of 1 man, 2 women and four children who had stopped to watch the hunt pass by. He was fined £800. (HSA News Feature 5th August 1999) Hunt Violence courtesy of Hunt Saboteurs Association "In June 1990, hunt supporter John Newberry-Street gained much valuable anti-saboteur publicity when a nail-bomb was found under his Land Rover. Further investigation revealed that he had planted the bomb himself and he later told police "I did it to discredit the animal rights saboteurs". He was jailed for nine months for his bomb hoax and asked for several other similar offences to be taken into account." January 1994 Duke of Buccleuch's Foxhunt. An independent academic, commissioned by the Scottish Office to carry out research on saboteurs and hunting, was knocked to the ground and kicked in the face by the huntsman as he tried to film a fox being killed. The hunt refused to apologise and later attempted to excuse their employee's actions by saying they thought the man was a saboteur. "From now on, we're going to start hunting the saboteurs…"This is BFSS spokesman Nick Herbert's chilling announcement of the introduction of "stewards" to "deal with" saboteurs. Mr John Weavers, a member of the rural community hunts claim to represent, was quietly sitting at home one Saturday afternoon in 1990 when the Cury Foxhunt rampaged through his property. When he asked them to leave and complained at the damage caused he was headbutted by Geoffrey Thomas, master of the hunt, who then shunted one of Mr Weavers' cars into another. "one brave woman, a former hunt supporter of many years' standing, has decided to stand up and speak out against this culture of violence. Her name is Lynn Sawyer and she was at one time as committed to hunting as she is now repelled by it. She acted as a mole for the BFSS and found that saboteurs were not violent extremists motivated by class hatred, a tale she and every other hunt supporter had been force-fed for years. Instead, she found that saboteurs were on the whole deeply committed, sincere individuals who acted out of great and genuine concern for animals and that her own side were deliberately distorting the truth and provoking violence simply to suit their long-term political aims. Ironically, it was only the depth of her involvement in hunting that allowed her access to the inner echelons denied to most hunt supporters, where she encountered the brutality behind the respectable facade which was to make her question her support for bloodsports and ultimately turn her back on that world for ever. "For several reasons in 1990, I could no longer continue these activities and I then spent four years trying to ascertain what exactly my feelings were. I spent time with the Shire hunts (the Quorn, Cottesmore, and Belvoir Foxhounds) and revisited the Essex before deciding earlier this year that it was time to speak out in the hope of stemming the tide of grossly exaggerated anti-sab propaganda and the violence it has brought to the field.I went to great lengths to discuss the issue of hunt violence with the BFSS and other pro-hunting people [including John Hopkinson, Stephen Loveridge, Peter Smith and Nick Herbert of the BFSS and John Swift, director of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC)] before, and indeed for some time after, it became clear that I could not permeate their rather narrow-minded way of thinking or change or influence any of them without being patronised or being singled out as a trouble-maker." Hunt Saboteurs Association.
- So much for anti-animal rights people caring about humans! "During the winter of 1994 terrified young calves were flown from Coventry to end their lives in Dutch veal-crates. A few people started protesting at the airport gates. Jill Phipps was one. As a transporter came down the road to the gates she would run to it, banging on the door with her fists, shouting at the drivers to think about the suffering they caused.. The few police there would turn out and simply man-handle her and anyone else behaving similarly out of the way. Then came February 1st 1995. There were about 76 police there that day. There were about 32 demonstrators. That's over two police to every decent person there. There were enough of them to surround the transporter and walk it through!! Jill and a few others eluded the police, most of whom were in a van at the back, and reached the transporter. Any good driver would have stopped until it was safe to continue, but Stephen Yates just drove on, regardless and uncaring. Jill was crushed and died on the way to hospital. Our mother, Nancy, was with her. The driver has never been charged, not even with "driving without due care & attention". AT THE INQUEST THE POLICE STATED THAT THEIR ACTIONS HAD BEEN PLANNED BY A SPECIALIST TACTICIAN, AND THAT THE DAY HAD BEEN VERY SUCCESSFUL …" Zab Phipps (see Jill Phipps: A life fighting for animal rights)
- Although we know that hunters, not being the smartest of people, have been known to shoot each other in the woods, here is just a few recent examples of hunters shooting and killing non-hunters. [Editor: Many of the links provided are no longer available after 20 yrs, however, there are plenty of accounts online about hunters shooting humans.]
Wis. 18.104.22.168.1 woman walking dogs shot by hunter Associated Press — Dec. 3, 2001 CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. — A woman walking her dogs was mistakenly shot and killed by a deer hunter. "He saw movement and mistook her for an animal and shot her," Tom Bokelman, a safety officer with the state Natural Resources Department. The 47-year-old woman was wearing a white cap and dark clothing when she was shot Saturday, Dec. 1. The hunter was using a muzzleloader, as part of a special muzzleloader deer season. Muzzleloaders are single-shot rifles in which the powder and shot are loaded through the end of the barrel instead of the breech. The district attorney will decide whether to file charges. (link NA at espn.go.com)
Hunter's 22.214.171.124.1.0…1 bullet possibly kills Penn. woman Associated Press — Nov. 28, 2001 MILL RUN, Pa. — A 66-year-old woman was killed when a bullet apparently fired by a hunter went through a window, wall and a door in her home and struck her in the neck, authorities said. Meriel Renee Bowser was struck by the bullet in her bedroom Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 28, and died shortly afterward, according to police. "The odds of (a bullet) coming through the woods, not hitting a tree, going through all that material in the house and hitting a person is … million-to-one odds," said Charles May of the Pennsylvania Game Commission. State police and Game Commission officials were investigating. A hunter was being questioned Tuesday and the hunter's rifle had been taken to determine whether the bullet that killed Bowser was fired from that gun. Authorities said the hunter, who was not identified, was at least 450 yards away from Bowser's home. State law requires hunters to be at least 150 yards from a residence. Mill Run is in Fayette County in southwestern Pennsylvania. (link NA at espn.go.com)
CONNECTICUT 126.96.36.199.1.0…1.0..1 Man Walking His Dog Killed By Hunter A Coventry man was charged with illegal hunting and manslaughter in late October after he shot and killed a Massachusetts man walking in the woods. Coventry police responding to a report of gunshots found Ronald Eckert Jr., 33, of Hingham, Mass., wounded from gunfire. Eckert died at the scene despite resuscitation efforts. Brian McMahon, Jr., 23, was charged with manslaughter, illegal discharge of a firearm, hunting without a license, illegal deer hunting, hunting on a Sunday, trespassing and failure to wear an orange vest. He was held on $250,000 bond. Police say the two men did not know each other. Apparently McMahon mistook Eckert for a deer. (link NA at www.gunsandgear.com aka espn.go.com)
I guess one can say that being able to go out and kill a four legged animal is more important than protecting the lives of two legged ones: Shooters yesterday criticised the four-year sentence for manslaughter handed down to a deer hunter who accidentally shot a man out walking his dog. The state executive officer of the Sporting Shooters' Association of Australia, David Barton, said the verdict was unfair and that Robert John Osip the court had made an example of him to send a message to other shooters and hunters. Osip, 21, pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of Gary Paterson, 20, at Warburton on February 19, 1999. Osip and his friend, Brian Davey, were hunting for Sambar deer in the Warburton State Forest when the shooting occurred on McDonald Track, a forestry road. The two men were only 180 metres from the main road, Warburton-Woods Point Road. Osip had claimed to see the neck and shoulders of a deer when he fired his gun but initially told police he saw a shape he believed was a deer. Mr Paterson was walking his labrador-cross through a clearing in the bush. Osip fired one shot in the direction of the noise, hitting Mr Paterson in the shoulder and causing extensive damage to his lungs. The two men heard someone cry out and ran to find Mr Paterson. They took him to Warburton hospital, where he later died. Justice Coldrey said Osip had breached a shooting code warning shooters not to fire at movement, color, sound or shape or near residential property. He said Osip fell far short of the standard of care a reasonable person would have exercised. Justice Coldrey said he accepted Osip had seen a color in the foliage but "at no time" did he adequately identify his target as a deer……Lawyers for Osip said yesterday they would be appealing the sentence. (link NA at www.theage.com.au)
Hunter's stray bullet hits man in pizzeria NAZARETH, Pa. (AP) A man was shot in the neck while eating a slice of pizza when a bullet apparently fired by a deer hunter crashed through the window of a restaurant Saturday evening, police said. The bullet entered Sal's Pizza and Restaurant on Route 512 at about 5 p.m. Saturday, ricocheted off the window frame, and struck John Calvert, 52, of Saylorsburg, officials said. "When I heard the sound, I looked up and saw a man stand, grab his neck, take a step or two and collapse," said Carl Garrison, a delivery person at the restaurant, which is south of Wind Gap and nearly surrounded by fields and woods. ……Police searched the area and took a hunter into custody. Coopersmith said the hunter had a .30-caliber rifle and the slug will be examined to see if it matches the rifle. "He was probably in the woods that sit on the other side of those fields and the deer crossed the field and he took the shot," Coopersmith said. "Where he was, he was probably within his rights to be in the area, but you have to know what you are shooting at. You can't shoot toward roads and you can't shoot at buildings.". Monday, December 3, 2001 (link NA at timesonline.com)
Hunter's 188.8.131.52.1.0…2 stray bullet kills Quebec man CHICOUTIMI, Que. (CP) - A Quebec man is dead after being struck in the head by a stray bullet from the gun of a 13-year-old boy. Marcel Savard, 69, of Jonquiere, Que. was hit Wednesday afternoon by a bullet from a .22-calibre hunting rifle fired by a teenager, who was small game hunting with a teenage friend. The young hunters were not accompanied by an adult. Jonquiere municipal police said the shooter saw a figure in the distance and fired a single shot. The figure dropped immediately. The teenager ran toward the victim immediately and was shocked to find Savard hunched over. When the boy touched him Savard fell to the ground, revealing a stream of blood flowing from his head. Shocked and panicking, the young boy ran home to his mother and alerted her. "I think I killed someone," he told the police after his mother had summoned them. Laurent Bouchard, the interim Crown prosecutor, asked for an additional investigation Thursday to determine how a 13-year-old boy could get his hands on a loaded rifle. The law regarding firearms strictly forbids possession and use of guns for people under 18 years of age, except in some very specific situations. However, even in those exceptions, the law requires a minor to be accompanied by an adult who legally owns the firearm. Shooting an unidentified figure near an urban environment contravenes standard hunting safety rules. Charges could be laid against the teenager, and eventually against his parents depending on the results of the investigation. The boy's identity is protected under the Young Offenders Act. In November, a Quebec man was shot and wounded outside his home near Lytton by an eight-year-old boy. Police say the youngster sneaked out of his family's home with his dad's hunting rifle, crept through the woods and then shot the man, who was seriously wounded. The boy, who police said is experienced with guns, cannot be charged because he is under 12 although his father may face weapons storage charges.(www.canoe.ca NA)
Nigerian 184.108.40.206.1.0…3 hunter kills man he mistook for a warthog (April 04, 2000) An article on iol.co.za reports that a distraught hunter in Nigeria shot dead a farmer he mistook for a warthog. He has turned himself in to local authorities. The gunman was apparently on a hunting expedition at Igbo-Ata in Ekiti State in the south-western region of Nigeria when the incident took place. (link NA at wildnetafrica.co.za)
Bear 220.127.116.11.2 eats hunter in Russian province Reuters — Dec. 25, 2001 MOSCOW — A hungry bear ate a hunter in Russia's Jewish autonomous region in the country's far east, Interfax reported on Monday, Dec. 24. The half-eaten remains of the local man, who had gone hunting the previous day, were discovered near the village of Landakoz, set in the region's bleak taiga. It was not clear if the bear had killed the hunter or whether the man had died of cold before the scavenging animal found him, Interfax quoted local officials as saying. Bears have been known to attack humans in the region before, but usually during the late summer or early autumn while searching for wild mushrooms and berries. (link NA at espn.go.com)
Trespassers 18.104.22.168.2.0…3.0..2 allegedly assault landowner After asking a group of Rhode Island men to leave his land, the Maine landowner was assaulted. The attack enrages local sportsmen and complicates access issues as posted land becomes the norm By Glenn Adams Associated Press — Nov. 18, 2001 THORNDIKE, Maine — Along the edges of woods and fields in this rural Waldo County town, the bright orange and yellow signs are popping up everywhere: No hunting. It wasn't always that way."We've never posted our land. It's all posted now, all 300 acres of it," said William Johnson, whose family has owned property in the area for four generations. The new keep-off signs started showing up on trees and fenceposts across the rolling countryside after Johnson's brother, Richard, was assaulted after asking a group of hunters to leave his property in Jackson, a tiny town bordering Thorndike. Johnson, 58, was upset that the Rhode Island men had not asked permission to use his land and were in an area near homes with children, said his brother. "Over the years, we've never had trouble with hunters," William Johnson said. "We all hunt." Richard Johnson was still recovering from his injuries last week and declined to be interviewed, but his family confirmed the police account of the Nov. 7 incident. Johnson blew the horn of a pickup truck belonging to the hunters, then propped a stick against it so it sounded continuously. There was a confrontation and one of the hunters knocked off Johnson's hat. When Johnson bent over he was attacked. His face was pounded until it was black and blue, and his teeth were broken. He crawled into his house dazed and bleeding, and passed out. He was out of work until last Wednesday. A hunter from Foster, R.I., Vincent DeCarlo, is free on bail pending a Dec. 18 hearing in Belfast District Court on a charge of aggravated assault, police said.
1.4 If animals have rights, then they must be able to have the same rights as us, such as voting ->
Furthermore, if we give animals rights, we must give plants and all other organisms rights too.
- Sure - and if we can do that then fine. But if we are unable to give rights to all lifeforms - it doesnt mean we should just give up and not give rights to any. If we say that - then one could decide they only care about people within their own race/religion/gender/age group/economic status. Some people already do it anyway …
- Okay but you can be the one to go around to every plant, animal and bacteria on the planet and ensure they got their voter's guide.
1.5 Only humans can form moral contracts with other humans. Since we cannot make ->
social/moral contracts with other species, we should not care about how we treat them.
- Why does a moral contract have to be reciprocal? We make special arrangements for infants, and humans that are mentally challenged - without requiring that they “return the favor”. Why should other species be treated to a different standard?
- We can and do have social and moral contracts with other species. We know that if an animal, its offspring, or its territory is threatened, or it is hungry, we can expect it to react accordingly. That is a social contract. By contrast, there are humans who make moral and social contracts with other humans — and then break them. And yet we do not turn them into laboratory fodder.
- If this argument is applied fairly and equally to a human rights scenario, then it would have significant consequences for humans that are either children, or are stricken with brain damage, mental illness, or some disease which prevents them from making a social/moral contract with others. By the logic of this argument — these humans could be exploited for medical research.
1.6 What about grizzly bears? They eat other species, shouldn't we do something to stop that?
- That defies the whole meaning of animal rights. humans do not need to hold a paternalism over the actions of other animals.
- If there were over 6 billion grizzly bears who didn't need the fish to survive, then maybe they would need to decide what to do about it, but that isn' t any of our business as humans.
- Oh yeah - and while you're at it - better stop spiders from eating flies and flies from eating smaller bugs and bacteria from eating other bacteria … get back to me when you figure out how to police them - until then we better stick to what we can do - policing ourselves.
- Other species do things to survive … they may do things we don’t feel are consistent with our ethics - but we have ethics to control our behavior - other species are able to function without the types of ethical systems we propose. They don't have the option to not kill if they wish to survive. But they don't go around killing other species for oil, money, religion etc. when they do-they can deal with their ethical conduct - until then - humans are the species we have to worry about.
- This argument tries to say that if some group is exempt from the same moral conduct that is expected of humans - then they should be excluded from any rights to protection or respect. By this logic children, the mentally retarded and comatose people do not deserve rights to protection since they cannot reason and formulate ethical positions like adult humans can.
1.7 Frogs don't care about morality when they eats flies ->
so if I am equal to them, shouldnt I be able to do the same and do as I want?
- Since you want to be regarded as being able to do everything a frog can, or cannot do, then I guess you will be indifferent to human suffering, after all, a frog would be. So since a frog can't help a drowning human, you wouldn't either. After all, you want to have the same moral equality and responsibility as a frog.
1.8 Animal activists drive on roads causing animals to lose their lives ->
and live in homes that have caused animals to lose their lives.
- No one is perfect. A lot of humans were killed through wars to build one's country - whether you live in Europe or North America or Asia. No one tells a human rights activist he must rocket himself to a desert island in order to be against human exploitation - therefore the same is true for animal activists.
- Thousands of people are killed by automobiles each year. If you are in favor of human rights - do you refrain from driving?
1.9 You may think you avoid all unnecessary suffering, but how many animals died in the fields to grow your plants for food?
- Don't know - but it is a lot less than the number that were killed in the fields to grow the food used to feed the cattle you eat.
- That's an ad hominem attack. Instead of addressing the issue you are attacking me for any faults I may have. It is a separate issue but you cite it to divert attention from your own wrongdoing.
- There are ways to provide food without causing as much harm to other life—eating meat is far more destructive.
- So what are you saying? We should eat raw minerals? You start. Here's a rock - bite it.
- Oh I see - so since we cannot avoid all suffering we should just let people eat meat, hunt, fish, use animals in rodeos, research etc. But why stop there? Why not let people kill each other, enslave other humans, abuse children. They are doing it anyway and since suffering cannot be avoided completely why bother to try at all? RIGHT?
1.10 The Steven Davis ruminant-pasture model claiming to kill fewer lifeforms than vegan.
From TIME magazine (week of July 8, 2002): An argument championed by Steven Davis, professor of animal science at Oregon State University, points "to the number of field animals inadvertently killed during crop production and harvest. One study showed that simply mowing an alfalfa field caused a 50% reduction in the gray-tailed vole population. Mortality rates increase with each pass of the tractor to plow, plant and harvest. Rabbits, mice and pheasants, he says, are the indiscriminate "collateral damage" of row crops and the grain industry…By contrast, grazing (not grain-fed) ruminants such as cattle produce food and require fewer entries into the fields with tractors and other equipment. Applying (and upending) Regan's least-harm theory, Davis proposes a ruminant-pasture model of food production, which would replace poultry and pork production with beef, lamb and dairy products. According to his calculations, such a model would result in the deaths of 300 million fewer animals annually (counting both field animals and cattle) than would a completely vegan model. "By Richard Corliss, Reported by Melissa August and Matthew Cooper/Washington, David Bjerklie and Lisa McLaughlin/New York, Wendy Cole/Chicago and Jeffrey Ressner/ Los Angeles. [Editor: see item h) below, which demonstrates the incorrectness of the Davis argument.]
- From Time article: "When asked about Davis' arguments, (Tom) Regan, however, still sees a distinction: "The real question is whether to support production systems whose very reason for existence is to kill animals. Meat eaters do. Ethical vegetarians do not."
- The questionable moral reasoning of Steven Davis's argument can be described as thus: Imagine you are driving along and you come to a forked road. One way is covered in darkness, the other has some children playing in the center of it. By Davis' logic, it is better to drive through and deliberately kill the children instead of taking the other route where you may end up killing more that you can't see - OR getting out and walking to check if the route is clear (after all, who says crop harvesting MUST be done by only one type of tractor - the most destructive?).
- What about the effects of grazing on wildlife populations? The killing of natural predators to keep cattle and sheep from being killed? What about the pollution to rivers from grazing? How many aquatic organisms will be killed because of grazing? What about the trampling of insects by cattle and sheep? Has Davis calculated their deaths or do they not count? This argument to replace all crops with meat and dairy grazing leaves a lot of questions.
- A completely vegan model would require one to ask: Who says crop harvesting must be done in the same way as it is currently? Davis is not making any effort to calculate alternative methods for harvesting or growing crops. What about greenhouses? What about switching to crops that cause less damage? What about harvesting machinery that is less intrusive? That is what a true vegan perspective would ask. As a meat eater who profits from the animal industry, Davis is not able to comprehend what a completely vegan model would be.
- Baby steps. Eliminate meat and dairy production, and then switch to lower yield, less harmful agricultural practices.
- But by Davis' argument, a lot of meat eating humans would be currently guilty of causing DOUBLE harm. They eat crops (since very few are true carnivores), and they eat meat that was raised on grain that killed animals in fields. Vegetarians only eat crops. Veganism still comes out as more desirable morally.
- Studies of all but invisible animal populations in fields can be skewed for anyone's agenda. Let's use basic hard facts: you raise animals for meat, you are directly killing animals. You raise plants for food, you may indirectly kill animals. Most sensible people would say that it is better to avoid direct killing, than engage in it out of fear of causing indirect killing. (See response b)
- LEAST HARM: A DEFENSE OF VEGETARIANISM FROM STEVEN DAVIS’S OMNIVOROUS PROPOSAL (submission to the Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, January 2003 Gaverick Matheny, Duke University) … "Davis does not succeed in showing this is preferable to vegetarianism. First, Davis makes a mathematical error in using total rather than per capita estimates of animals killed; second, he focuses on the number of animals killed in ruminant and crop production systems and ignores important considerations about the welfare of animals under both systems; and third, he does not consider the number of animals who are prevented from existing under the two systems. After correcting for these errors, Davis’s argument makes a strong case for, rather than against, adopting a vegetarian diet."…. First, Davis makes an error in calculating how many animals would be killed to feed a vegan-vegetarian population. He explains: "There are 120 million ha of cropland harvested in the USA each year. If all of that land was used to produce crops to support a vegan diet, and if 15 animals of the field are killed per ha per year, then 15 x 120 million = 1800 million or 1.8 billion animals would be killed annually to produce a vegan diet for the USA (p. 5). Davis estimates that only 7.5 animals of the field per hectare die in ruminant-pasture. If we were to convert half of the 120 million hectares of U.S. cropland to ruminant-pasture and half to growing vegetables, Davis claims we could feed the U.S. population on a diet of ruminant meat and crops and kill only 1.35 billion animals annually in the process. Thus, Davis concludes his omnivorous proposal would save the lives of 450 million animals each year (p. 6-7). Davis mistakenly assumes the two systems—crops only and crops with ruminant-pasture—using the same total amount of land, would feed identical numbers of people (i.e., the U.S. population). In fact, crop and ruminant systems produce different amounts of food per hectare - the two systems would feed different numbers of people. To properly compare the harm caused by the two systems, we ought to calculate how many animals are killed in feeding equal populations—or the number of animals killed per consumer. …..Davis suggests the number of wild animals killed per hectare in crop production (15) is twice that killed in ruminant-pasture (7.5). If this is true, then as long as crop production uses less than half as many hectares as ruminant-pasture to deliver the same amount of food, a vegetarian will kill fewer animals than an omnivore. In fact, crop production uses less than half as many hectares as grass-fed dairy and one-tenth as many hectares as grass-fed beef to deliver the same amount of protein. In one year, 1,000 kilograms of protein can be produced on as few as 1.0 hectares planted with soy and corn, 2.6 hectares used as pasture for grass-fed dairy cows, or 10 hectares used as pasture for grass-fed beef cattle (Vandehaar 1998; UNFAO 1996). As such, to obtain the 20 kilograms of protein per year recommended for adults, a vegan-vegetarian would kill 0.3 wild animals annually, a lacto-vegetarian would kill 0.39 wild animals, while a Davis-style omnivore would kill 1.5 wild animals. Thus, correcting Davis’s math, we see that a vegan-vegetarian population would kill the fewest number of wild animals, followed closely by a lacto-vegetarian population. However, suppose this were not the case and that, in fact, fewer animals would be killed under Davis’s omnivorism. Would it follow that Davis’s plan causes the least harm? Not necessarily. Early in the paper, Davis shifts from discussing the harm done to animals under different agricultural systems to the number of animals killed. This shift is not explained by Davis and is not justified by the most common moral views, all of which recognize harms other than death." … "Although Davis does not show omnivorism is preferable to vegetarianism, he should be commended for emphasizing the importance of farmed animal welfare as a moral issue, now emerging as one of the most significant of the day. Predictably, his argument has been cited as a justification for traditional omnivorism (Corliss 2002), a misreading Davis did not intend and one that any faithful reading of his paper should prevent. The type of ruminant production Davis proposes is a world apart from the omnivorism prevalent in the United States.
1.11 More animals are killed for a vegetarian diet than by hunters, therefore, hunting is more compassionate than vegetarianism.
- Ideally, animals that may be killed in fields etc to grow food for vegetarians are killed unintentionally. Hunters kill intentionally. Thus vegetarianism is more compassionate, since it seeks to eliminate unnecessary suffering and killing, not encourage it.
- And yet growing your own vegetarian food in a garden would be more compassionate than hunting.
- It is impossible to gauge how many animals are killed in fields. The answer is not to advocate hunting, but to find the best way to avoid killing animals to grow food.
- By that logic, someone may decide that resorting to cannibalism would be more compassionate than hunting. Why prey on other species for your survival when you can prey on your own?
- If everyone went and hunted for food, it would kill alot more animals than in fields that grow food for vegetarians.
1.12 Your values deem animals to be right-holders whereas others deem them to be resource ->
It is the former and not the latter that has the ethical obligation to stop killing them.
- By that logic, if someone doesnt believe that others are rights-holders, they don't have any obligation to stop those acts that violate them. So a racist can go and lynch blacks because he doesn't value them as equals. A child abuser can do likewise. You haven't proven why all humans should regard all humans as rights-holders and you need to in order to defend human rights while you attack animal rights.
- You demand moral perfection from animal activists, and you say that humans have rights, and yet you pay taxes and live in a country that has exploited and killed humans in the past and to the present. So by your own logic you must divest yourself from all acts that contribute to the violation of human rights, even if it is impossible to be morally perfect.
1.13 What if you were attacked by a bear? Would you let the bear kill you?
If you wouldn't - and you kill the bear–then you can't be for animal rights.
- If i enter known bear territory than it is up to me to know better. But assuming it was unavoidable, defending yourself is a matter of self interest. If you commit an act in self interest it does not mean you are against the rights of others.
- If a civil/human rights activist is attacked by a thief – and he defends himself, does that mean he is against civil/human rights?
- I live in a civilization where I can go to the grocery store and buy soy dogs, veggie burgers, soy milk, rice, beans, bagels, vegan cream cheese, organic fruits and vegetables, etc.. There is no reason why I would ever be in a situation where a wild bear would attack me.
1.14 Other species are not bound by the same rules as humans. ->
Lions eat gazelles (so why should we respect either the gazelles or the lions?) Nor are other species capable of reciprocal morality (we are supposed to respect them but they don’t respect us)
- But some of the mentally retarded, mentally deranged, or children are not conscious of the meaning of rights and yet they are given them without conditions. We don’t expect reciprocal morality from them, so why from nonhuman animals? Lions and other predators need to eat meat to survive. Humans don’t. Furthermore, lions and other large predators base their aggression on survival interests. If they don’t feel threatened or aren't defending territory or aren't hungry – they don’t attack. In that sense, there is an "ethical conduct" to how other species behave, and unlike some humans, they don't make promises they have no intention of keeping.
1.15 If it is ok for the lion to hunt it should be ok for me to hunt. ->
The lion hunts in his own way. So does the snake, spider, eagle, etc … also the HUMAN hunts in their own way. It is not impossible for humans to fly of spend long periods of time under water … IN THEIR OWN WAY.
- If it is okay for you to say that you should be able to hunt if a lion does, someone else can say, using your argument, that they should be able to deal with breeding and offspring just like a lion. Male lions and grizzlies have been known to kill the offspring of rival males. Humans should be able to also – by your logic. You can't attack someone else for using the same reasoning you employ.
- Humans are not naturally equipped like a lion or wolf for hunting. They are born for it. If humans were born for it, all humans would be doing it. Yet they aren't.
- Did you suddenly become a lion?
- The sillygism (from physics forum discussion "Should we eat meat?")
It is moral for an animal to eat meat. \ Humans are animals. \ Therefore, It is moral for humans to eat meat
Reply 22.214.171.124.2.1 by physicsisphirst:
your 3 pt item is either incorrect or tautology. here's why:
1: It is moral for an animal to eat meat. \ 2: Humans are animals. \ 3: It is moral for humans to eat meat.
let us consider exactly what "an animal" is. it is either a) human or b) non-human.
so if it is the latter your syllogism reads:
1: It is moral for a non-human animal to eat meat. \ 2: Humans are animals. \ 3: It is moral for humans to eat meat.
now you can probably see that 3. doesn't follow from 1. and 2. (hence incorrectness).
and if it is the former your sillygism becomes tautology and looks like this:
1: It is moral for a human animal to eat meat. \ 2: Humans are animals. \ 3: It is moral for humans to eat meat.
which is like saying if you are redundant, then you are redundant.
Reply 126.96.36.199.2.2 from cogito:
cogito 12-17-2004, 09:10 PM
Oneeye's amendment: \ — \ Given my clarification, I restate:
1: It is moral for any member of Animalia to kill and/or eat other members of Animalia. \ 2: Humans are members of Animalia. \ 3: It is moral for humans to kill and/or eat other members of Animalia.
How do you reply to this? \ —
This thread is so long, I'm not sure anybody has pointed out extremely obvious and equally absurd consequence of this argument, so apologies if this is redundant. This argument implies that it is permissible for humans to kill and eat other humans if they desire to. So, Oneeye, how do you reply to that?
[Editor: An observation that comes in 2022 (more that 15 yrs later) is how could oneeye make such a ridiculous absurdity? It didn't occur to us at the time, but we think he did because the idea that meat comes from actual animals may not have quite sunk in. In other words, meat is something you eat rather than something that is taken from a living being. Carol Adams refers to this victim as the Absent Referent.]
1.16 I can't see the difference between me eating a deer (racism by your definition) and a lion eating a deer. You apply distinctly human standards to a trans-species hypothesis.
- A lion is biologically adapted to eat animals. No tools, no trickery. Claws, jaws, teeth, (needle-barbed) tongue. Humans dont have the equipment for it. You can say we have the brain to create tools etc..but that means we also have the brain to get food from other sources besides meat. And it is not applying distinctly human standards to other species YOUR argument does. You want lions to follow human definitions of morality, or to abandon any responsibility towards nonhumans if they cannot. Lions dont have the system of ethical reasoning that humans use. Essentially you are wondering why a blind man cant read road signs, or why a man with no arms cant catch a football.
- The main difference is that humans have systems of ethics that say one should try to be fair and as just as possible to others. Under that belief, humans have to justify discriminating against others (human or not). Other species do not, as far as we can tell, employ systems of ethics that change over time.
- Lions need to eat meat. Humans do not. Since eating meat involves discrimination, violence, and killing, humans cannot justify it if they say it is wrong to kill unfairly or unjustly (especially if, at the same time, they emphasize it is wrong to do the same to humans). In order to justify it, they first have to show how human supremacy and the standards of value used to defend it, are fundamentally different in principle from the arguments used to defend racial, gender, religious or any other human-centered discriminatory ethical policy. In other words, show how human supremacy is based upon absolute objective, universally-sanctioned standards of value. If they cannot, then it would be hypocritical for a human supremacist to criticize a racial/religious/gender/wealth supremacist for acting upon a belief that is no more or less subjective, biased, arbitrary and non-absolute than that of the human supremacist.
1.17 If we stopped testing on animals the products would be unsafe for humans.
- Even with animal testing the products are not always safe for humans. In fact, there are drugs and treatments tested on animals that have proven unsafe for humans(i.e. Thalidomide).
- Human testing is essential for human drugs etc. You can take the animal out of medical research but not the human–if you doubt that, then lets see you volunteer to test a drug that had only been tested on nonhuman animals?
- Animals used in experiments become so stressed that their blood chemistry changes, invalidating the science.
- Animal research can also lead to the transmission of diseases–even the creation of new ones. From the Lancet, 2004: "At the time of writing this review there have been two re-emergent cases of SARS, both from laboratory infections. One case in Singapore22 and the other in Taiwan.23 WHO must continue its efforts to promote scientific responsibility for both SARS and influenza viruses. Laboratory regulations globally are inconsistent. We now live in a global village, so universal guidelines need to be adopted. The situation with H2N2 influenza is a case in point. Although H2N2 influenza has not circulated in human beings since 1968 and everyone under the age of 36 years is susceptible, the H2N2 virus is widely distributed in laboratories and is still used in some laboratories. The re-emergence of H1N1 influenza, in 1977, that continues to circulate in human beings is another unresolved case. This H1N1 virus remained genetically conserved for 27 years.24 The most likely explanation is that the virus came from a frozen source and a laboratory seems the most probable culprit. Thus SARS CoV and many influenza viruses (eg, H2N2, H5N1, and H7N7 from human beings) must be restricted to Biosafety level 3+ laboratories."
- New technologies are making the animal model and animal testing obsolete (not that either were safe or effective at any time.) Look at some of the advancements at Progressive Non-animal Research Society and Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society: Articles and Reports.
1.18 If your child was ill, would you sacrifice the life of a rat, or cat, or dog, or chimp etc (in medical research) to save it?
- This hypothetical argument is intended as a catch 22 [Editor: it is the logical fallacy of false dilemma]. If the activist chooses the life of their child over that of a rat—then they are endorsing the principle behind vivisection whether they admit it or not. If it would be okay for an animal rights activist to use an animal to save their own child, then how could he or she object to the animal research industry? If they say no, then they are deemed as not loving their child and are a terrible parent. The first error with this is the unrealistic nature of the hypothetical situation. Can a cure for an illness be attained by killing one rat, without any human clinical trials? Of course not. Such a scenario is an oversimplification intended to force the validity of animal research and portray the vivisector as someone capable of making miraculous treatments if only he/she is allowed to exploit animals as they wish. It also perverts the nature of altruism and compassion by suggesting that one must prioritize the recipients of such altruism and compassion.
- If your child was sick, would you sacrifice the life of your neighbor's child in medical research to save it? If you say no, does that mean you don't love your child as much as you may claim to, especially since you know that the chances for a treatment are greatly increased by using humans–and wouldn't you want only the best for your child? If you say yes, does that mean you are going to focus on getting humans used for research so you can offer your child the best possible treatment? The answers one gives to these questions can be made applicable to the scenario involving nonhumans.
- If it is wrong for me to exploit my neighbor's child in order to aid my own, then it would be wrong for me to do the same if my neighbor happened to have four legs instead of two. Exploiting others in violation of consistent ethical beliefs is wrong.
1.19 If we weren't using animals in research we wouldn't be able to find cures for diseases and cancers./Animal research is necessary if we hope to cure diseases and help sick children.
- Saying animal research is necessary in order to cure human diseases makes as much sense as saying that one needs to conduct research on humans in order to cure rat diseases (there would almost seem to be a Neo-Darwinian myth at work, that by testing on so called "simpler" animals one can move up the "Evolutionary ladder" until you reach the complexity of human beings). You can remove the animal from medical research but you still need humans in research. If you wanted to cure leukemia in cats–working on dogs would not help much.
- If that's the case why haven't we cured the common cold? Humans have been experimenting on animals non stop for at least 150 years and yet we are still plagued by diseases. new ones surface and old ones become drug resistant. So much for success through animal research.
- Animals used in experiments become so stressed that their blood chemistry changes, invalidating the science.
- The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine maintains a list of non-profit medical research organizations that do not test on animals, yet do perform important and groundbreaking work - the list can be found at http://www.humaneseal.org/approved.html
- From news.independent.co.uk (link no longer available) December 8, 2003 "A senior executive with Britain's biggest drugs company has admitted that most prescription medicines do not work on most people who take them. Allen Roses, worldwide vice-president of genetics at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), said fewer than half of the patients prescribed some of the most expensive drugs actually derived any benefit from them. It is an open secret within the drugs industry that most of its products are ineffective in most patients but this is the first time that such a senior drugs boss has gone public." …..Dr Roses, an academic geneticist from Duke University in North Carolina, spoke at a recent scientific meeting in London where he cited figures on how well different classes of drugs work in real patients. Drugs for Alzheimer's disease work in fewer than one in three patients, whereas those for cancer are only effective in a quarter of patients. Drugs for migraines, for osteoporosis, and arthritis work in about half the patients, Dr Roses said. Most drugs work in fewer than one in two patients mainly because the recipients carry genes that interfere in some way with the medicine, he said. "The vast majority of drugs - more than 90 per cent - only work in 30 or 50 per cent of the people," Dr Roses said. "I wouldn't say that most drugs don't work. I would say that most drugs work in 30 to 50 per cent of people. Drugs out there on the market work, but they don't work in everybody." RESPONSE Rates: Therapeutic area: drug efficacy rate in per cent Alzheimer's: 30 Analgesics (Cox-2): 80 Asthma: 60 Cardiac Arrythmias: 60 Depression (SSRI): 62 Diabetes: 57 Hepatits C (HCV): 47 Incontinence: 40 Migraine (acute): 52 Migraine (prophylaxis)50 Oncology(cancer): 25 Rheumatoid arthritis50 Schizophrenia: 60 CONCLUSION: if drug effectiveness among humans is so erratic and unreliable it means that the differences physically between humans and nonhumans would be far more extreme–and thus animal research is as unreliable as animal activists and responsible physicians have said for decades. [Editor: For update information on modern drug development methods go to Progressive Non-animal Research Society and Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society: Articles and Reports.]
1.20 If vivisection and dissection are banned, how about those who wanted to be a veterinarian? How or what can they refer to?
I know you probably would say: "There are electronic programs which allows those students to watch what is inside the animal's body … like computers, videos …" But then those who did these are probably cruel, right? Why how come they know the illustration of the animal's body inside? They also did open up the animal's body, right?
- It is basically impossible to avoid any and all exploitation of other humans and other species(or products derived from that exploitation–i.e. for humans we are talking about paying taxes to fund wars, living on land which may have been the scene of someone's murder in order to seize it, reckless medical experiments by companies that injured volunteer patients etc,), and those computer- video illustration programs are the perfect example. The argument can be made that since the research had already been done, we might as well use it(as was the case with the Nazi research). One could say that it would be immoral not to use it because then the animals would have suffered and died in vain. (there are however, some vegans who would disagree with this, and others would argue that using the research may encourage more experimentation).
- it is said that countries like India have had animal hospitals for decades if not centuries(under the religion of the Jains) and have not had to resort to vivisection to treat members of other species (source: the Vegetable Passion).
- You can not cause harm to one, in the hope of helping another, and call it true altruism or compassion. Would you help a homeless man by kicking someone else out of their house, and call that a compassionate solution? The line of Medical progress should stop at the point when it is proposed that other lives should be sacrificed –especially against their will–to foster that "progress." Human patients may volunteer for dangerous medical research, other species do not. In other words, two wrongs do not make a right.
- The issue of veterinary medicine is not relevant from a strict vegan philosophy which argues that humans should not have members of other species domesticated, and thus, we should not presume to be "stewards" of their well-being. Thus, veterinary research would not be an issue.
1.21 Would you accept a medical treatment that had been tested on animals if you got sick?
- This attack is flawed because it implies that if an animal activist would use a medical treatment that had been tested on animals then the activist is guilty of hypocrisy: contradicting his/her argument, and must either refuse any future medical treatment, or abandon the animal rights cause. The activist is pressured to be a moral perfectionist before endorsing animal rights—and since perfection is not possible–then it alleged the animal rights agenda is a false one. This attack draws an unrealistic connection between the present act of vivisection, and the already existing products of that vivisection. In order for the animal activist to be guilty of hypocrisy, he or she would have to consciously participate in or endorse the present and future activities of vivisectors, not the medical treatments that resulted (in part) from policies that included animal experimentation (i.e. saying they are against vivisection, then paying a researcher to do it). The activist could counter-argue that since the research was already done, it might as well be utilized so the animals did not "die in vain." It also makes an unrealistic demand upon the activist–to remove him/herself from a world where all governments engage in some form of exploitation (or have connections to those that do) before beginning to make protests and arguments that seek change.
b)This argument reveals how vivisectors attempt to make the recipient of their works feel guilty because he/she benefited from their research. It perverts the altruism of the medical profession by tainting the recipient with the tag of a conspirator!
- If this "moral perfection first" approach is applied fairly and equally to human-related issues, it has the following consequences for the animal research proponent: Any patient who benefits from a procedure that was based upon the human experiments of the Nazis, effectively endorses those atrocities committed, and cannot declare otherwise. (In 1989 concentration camp survivors attempted to get Nazi research destroyed, but were rebuked by the medical establishment which argued the research could be employed for the greater good). An organ recipient, who receives a transplant from a victim of a car wreck, or shooting, cannot claim to be against such tragedies, since he/she benefited from such incidents. Furthermore, a Chinese student living in Bejing, could not protest for democratic reforms since he receives his food, shelter, and financial support through agencies of the government he is attacking. And someone in North America could not claim to be for Indian rights, unless they remove themselves from their present dwelling and let aboriginals move in. No one could protest, or seek to make reforms for any social cause unless they first removed themselves from all imperfections. Since it is impossible, all attempts to make the world a better place would have to be abandoned. In trying to portray the animal activist as a hypocrite, the animal research defender puts forth an ethical standard which they do not apply fairly and equally to themselves, thus revealing who the actual hypocrites are.
- It is well documented that corporations past and present have been known to profit from the exploitation of others–including humans. From USAToday, Feb 21, 2002: "There is considerable evidence that proud names in finance, banking, insurance, transportation, manufacturing, publishing and other industries are linked to slavery. Many of those same companies are today among the most aggressive at hiring and promoting African-Americans, marketing to black consumers and giving to black causes. So far, the reparations legal team has publicly identified five companies it says have slave ties: insurers Aetna, New York Life and AIG and financial giants J.P. Morgan Chase Manhattan Bank and FleetBoston Financial Group. Independently, USA TODAY has found documentation tying several others to slavery:
- Investment banks Brown Bros. Harriman and Lehman Bros.
- Railroads Norfolk Southern, CSX, Union Pacific and Canadian National.
- Textile maker WestPoint Stevens.
- Newspaper publishers Knight Ridder, Tribune, Media General, Advance Publications, E.W. Scripps and Gannett, parent and publisher of USA TODAY.
- Lloyd's of London, the giant insurance marketplace, could become a target because member brokerages are believed to have insured ships that brought slaves from Africa to the USA and cotton from the South to mills in New England and Britain.
The original benefactors of many of the country's top universities – Harvard, Yale, Brown, Princeton and the University of Virginia, among them – were wealthy slave owners. Lawyers on the reparations team say universities also will be sued.
- A better question would be if you would accept a drug treatment that was tested on unsuspecting humans who may well have been tortured and killed for it "By the end of July a US district court will decide whether drug giant Pfizer should stand trial in the United States for presiding over a coercive, botched 1996 experiment on Nigerian children with meningitis. In a class-action suit filed last August, thirty Nigerian families say the company violated the Nuremberg Code by forcing an unapproved, risky experiment on unwitting subjects who suffered brain damage, loss of hearing, paralysis and death as a result. Globalizing clinical research solves the pharmaceutical paradox that while the average American brings home more than ten prescriptions a year, just one in 350 is willing to play guinea pig for new drug testing. An abundance of poor, undertreated and doctor-trusting patients in Eastern Europe, Latin America and Southeast Asia renders the quick, positive results corporate sponsors need to get new drugs approved fast. According to one review, a whopping 99 percent of controlled trials published in China bestowed positive results upon the treatment under investigation…..Even if Americans were willing to participate in trials, they take so many medications that they make poor lab rats anyway, clinical researchers say. To prove a new drug safe and effective, "you want patients with no other disease states and no other treatments. Then you can say relatively clearly that whatever happens to those patients is from the drug," says MDS Pharma's Simon Yaxley, whose company sells what industry PR folks call "patient recruitment solutions" in Eastern Europe, South Africa, Latin America and China. In developing countries, many people, because they are poor and don't have access to clinicians and hospitals, aren't taking any medicines for their illnesses. Conveniently, many of the FDA's ponderous regulations stop at the border. For example, the FDA's requirement that companies prove that their experimental drugs are safe on animals before starting tests on humans doesn't apply for tests conducted outside the United States. And experiments on Americans must undergo painstaking, lengthy reviews by government-regulated "institutional review boards" (IRBs). But "if you go to some countries and say you want the IRB to review this, they say, 'What is an IRB?'" comments Dennis DeRosia, chair of the Association of Clinical Research Professionals. The FDA simply requires that foreign trials conform to the World Medical Association's Declaration of Helsinki, a series of ethical recommendations that critics call rudimentary, nonbinding and ambiguous. Scientists routinely ignore Helsinki directives to publish negative results and make study designs public, and they liken Helsinki-required ethics committees in developing countries to rubber stamps. "No ethical questions are raised at all," one investigator admitted to the National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC)…..What results is one set of acceptable risks for patients at home and quite another for patients abroad, a double standard that has left hundreds of preventable deaths in its wake. Most notoriously, in the mid- and late 1990s, the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control funded and defended studies in which Western scientists withheld treatment from HIV-infected pregnant women in developing countries, even though they knew antiretroviral drugs would reduce the rate of HIV infection in their infants by two-thirds. Hundreds of infants "needlessly contracted HIV infection" while Western doctors presided over their care, according to an incendiary New England Journal of Medicine paper by Public Citizen's Dr. Peter Lurie and Dr. Sidney Wolfe." Published in the July 1, 2002 issue of The Nation. Globalizing Clinical Research: Big Pharma Tries Out First World Drugs on Unsuspecting Third World Patients by Sonia Shaw.
- Taken from (MicahBooks: Nazis and animal research link NA): "In 1987, the Supreme Court heard a case in which a U.S. soldier sued the government for having used him as a test case for LSD experiments, without his knowledge (Stanley vs. The United States). The court voted 5 to 4 against the victim. For a recent review of experiments conducted on human beings in the U.S., without their informed consent, see Clouds of Secrecy: The Army's Germ Warfare Tests over Populated Areas, by Leonard A. Cole, Subjected to Science, by Susan Lederer, Johns Hopkins Press (This books studies experimentation on human beings between the two world wars); and Stranger at The Bedside by David J. Rothman, which studies this problem in the period after the Second World War. There are many more books on this subject. Many of them can be found on the Internet, under "Human Experimentation," or at Amazon.com, under the same heading."
1.22 Animal research is justified because of the benefits (to human health, happiness, knowledge, progress, science, companion animals, wildlife, etc).
- Its basic problem is that it is stating the INTENT of the Animal research, not a moral/ethical DEFENSE of it. “Why are you torturing animals to death?” Answer: “Because we hope to benefit from it.” A casual observer would hope that they benefit from it, or why else would they be doing it? This argument is nothing more than an appeal to Selfishness.
- A thief steals because of the benefits to him or others. A rapist rapes because of the benefits. If the rapist defended his act by pointing out that others could benefit by taking items from the unconscious victim's house, would that justify the rape? If one accepts "benefits" as a justification for animal research, and applies it fairly and equally to human relationships, then it allows anyone to commit an act on the basis of the perceived benefits to the perpetrator or others–whether the victim is human or not.
1.23 Vivisection is justified because humans can subdue and control other creatures for whatever purpose we wish.
- This argument would attempt to suggest that humans are following the "law of Nature." The act of vivisection is seen as being no different than a lion chasing down a gazelle. The question poser may even concede that if an alien race were to do the same thing to humans it would be justifiable. The first problem with this approach is that it suggests vivisection serves a natural purpose, similar to the act of killing for food. Yet the act of killing for food is a primordial instinctive need shared by all life, while only a small number of modern humans engage in the practice of vivisection. It also conveniently ignores the harsh reality of life and death. One could counter-argue that disease exists to control population—a thoroughly natural process–and that the vivisectionist is deliberately obstructing that process by attempting to prolong human life-spans. What about the impact on food and natural resources? A vivisector would probably answer that the solution lies in more research, colonizing space, etc. ad infinitum. Nevertheless, the claim that vivisection is a natural process in harmony with the realities of life can be strongly protested.
- Even if a concession is made for extraterrestrial exploitation, one does not need to go so far out to discover the unwelcome consequences of such a philosophical position. By "might means right" or "survival of the fittest," one could then justify killing or enslaving his/her next door neighbor for the benefits.. This philosophy ordains that if one can do it, then one is justified. A thief, murderer, rapist, practitioners of any of these "professions" would find the vivisector's reasoning to be very useful.
- There is nothing in that defense that would keep one from applying "might makes right" to a situation where a stronger human preys on a weaker one. You would have to prove human supremacy to justify a distinction or exemption for humans. Since no supremacy exists, you cannot defend this argument. It would lead to social chaos if applied fairly.
1.24 Bioengineering may seem like mad scientist work, but its just another form of evolution.
- Bioengineering IS mad scientist work, or as I prefer to say "moron scientist" work, because they claim to be improving things, yet they always create new problems (Thalidomide, DDTs, Industrial pollution etc). There is a fundamental logic flaw in this sort of thinking. Humans cannot even create a society free from war - and yet they think they can improve Nature. An imperfect creature creating perfection? That's a pipe dream.
1.25 Mice, birds and rats get eaten by pythons – certainly that is just as bad as what goes on in a laboratory – or even worse.
- Pythons need to eat birds, mice and rats to survive. It an instinctual drive. For humans, experimenting on nonhuman animals is certainly not an instinctual need.
- Humans do not need to torture rats, mice and birds in the vain hope of curing human diseases. They need to experiment on humans if they are SERIOUS about seeking cures.
- This argument tries to defend one form of cruelty by pointing to another unrelated one. Since humans get killed and mangled by cars, a mugger could argue, then why complain about a thief beating someone in the street? Not a logical argument (in fact, it is a logical fallacy of the form tu quoque). All Pythons need to eat, humans do not need to torture rats, mice and birds in laboratories.
1.26 If you could save countless human lives by xenotransplantation (genetically engineering non-human animals to harvest their organs for humans), isn't that for the greater good? I mean, people eat those species every day anyway.
- Since eating meat is unnecessary, exploiting animals for research and genetic engineering is compounding one injustice with another. It is like saying "Well, since we are planning to kill this guy, there is nothing wrong with us torturing and robbing him first".
1.27 Didn't the Nazis ban animal research?
- from Nazis and animal research (link NA): 'On April 24, 1989, Drs. Daniel Johnson and Frederick Goodwin from the National Institutes of Health, argued on the McNeil-Lehrer television program that "The only people in modern society that have not used animals for research were the Nazis." They further contended that because the Nazis passed an anti-vivisection bill in 1933, they were led to experiment on human beings, and that there is therefore a relationship between animal rights and a loss of human rights. None of this is true. The "anti-vivisection law," which the Nazis purported to pass, like Hitler's vegetarianism, is filled with contradictions. A study of the law the Nazis passed shows that this law had enough loopholes in it to assure the continuation of animal research; consequently, an enormous amount of animal experimentation continued to be carried out by Nazi doctors. The Lancet, the prestigious British medical journal, reviewed the Nazis law and warned anti-vivisectionists not to celebrate because the Nazis law was no different, in effect, from the British law that had been passed in 1875, which restricted some animal research, but hardly eliminated it. Furthermore, a law passed by the Weimar government in 1931 required that all experiments on human beings be first conducted on animals. Such a requirement exists in the United States as in many countries that practice animal research. In other words, animal research is often a legal justification for experimentation on humans, as it functioned in Nazi Germany. The 1931 law in Germany was never abrogated. Nazis doctors dutifully submitted written statements when they requested "human material" for experiments which carried the legal notification that such experiments had been first conducted on animals. The first request for "test persons" was made by Dr. Sigmund Rascher to Himmler on May 15, 1941, "for two or three professional criminals" for "High-Altitude Research." It states that human beings were needed "because these experiments cannot be conducted with monkeys, as has been tried…."Robert Proctor's book, The Nazi War on Cancer (Princeton University Press, 1999), records Nazi animal experimentation, which should leave no one in doubt about where Nazi doctors and scientists stood on this issue. These animal experiments were often embedded in the continuum of animal research that had been ongoing for decades. By the 1920s the Germans had developed strains of mice that were "more or less receptive to the uptake of cancer tissue transplants. SS chief Heinrich Himmler was apparently intrigued by the prospect of breeding a race of cancer-prone rats; in a 1939 meeting with Sigmund Rascher, the notorious Dachau hypothermia experimenter, the SS Reichsführer proposed breeding such a race of rodents. (p. 63) "by the end of the 1920s, there was a sizable scientific literature on radiation carcinogensis, including a large body of work based on animal experiments." (p. 83) By the mid 1930s the Nazis had formidable laboratory evidence of some the causes of cancer based on animal experiments: "Experiments were…performed that finally produced–for the first time anywhere–lung cancers in animals raised in the mines." By 1938, Nazi scientists could produce lung cancer in 25% of the mice raised in mine shafts. "This was the first conclusive animal experimental evidence that breathing air in the mines could cause lung cancer." (p.99). The Nazis conducted their "war on cancer" with animals as their weapon of choice. Indeed, in 1943, at the height of a world war, the Nazi government developed plans for a "'tumor farm' to raise animals for use in experiments." (p. 261). As Proctor states, animal experiments were vital to the ideological stance of Nazisim: "Animal experimental evidence was extrapolatedto humans, bolstered by the ideological push to see all aspects of human behavior–including purported racial differences–as rooted in "blood," race, or genes." (p. 63)The Nazis often did important scientific research, much of which has found its way into our own research. They developed the most extensive anti smoking legislation of any western countries; they did important research on the effects of industrial pollution on the environment, much of which found its way into Rachel Carson's book, Silent Spring–which is not an indictment of Rachel Carson. When World War 11 first ended and news of the horrendous research on human beings was made public, Western scientists wanted to denounce Nazi science as "pseudo science" for fear of being tarnished by the public's loathing of Nazi science, but Nazi science finds its way into our science all the time, including findings gained from their experiments on human beings.
- Saying that we shouldn't be opposed to animal testing because the Nazis were opposed to animal testing is akin to saying, 'Nazis wore shoes. Therefore, none of us should wear shoes - or we'll be like the Nazis.'
1.28 Traditional Asian medicine isn't as cruel as western medicine–and who are you to condemn them for using animal parts in healing?
- If it's ok for Asian traditional medicine to use animal parts, then it should be the same for humans who want to use other humans for traditional medicine. Such as practitioners of Muti. From On The Trail Of The Muti Killers 21 August 2004 By Basildon Peta, Southern Africa Correspondent "They first hit 10-year-old Sello Chokoe with a blunt instrument, causing a gash on his head. They then chopped off his penis, his hand and his ear. They were harvesting his body parts for "muti" - the murderous practice of traditional African medicine." … The practice of muti provides a disconcerting counterpoint to the contemporary image of the new South Africa. Dr Gerard Lubschagne, who heads the investigative psychology unit of the South African police service, conservatively estimates lives lost to ritual murders at between 50 to 300 every year. "We don't have accurate figures because most murders here are recorded in our records as murders irrespective of motive," he says. "Most people might also not regard a murder as a muti matter but just dismiss it as the work of some crazy killers." … How the body parts are used varies with what customers want to achieve. They are eaten, drunk or smeared over the ambitious person. Various parts are used for different purposes. A man who had difficulty in producing children killed a father of several children and used his victim's genitals for muti. In another case, a butcher used a severed human hand to slap each of his products every morning before opening as a way of invoking the spirits to beckon customers…The screaming of a child while his body parts are being chopped off is also regarded as a sign calling customers to the perpetrator's business, Mr Mojolela said. It is also believed that magical powers are awakened by the screams. Eating or burying the body parts "capture" the desired results. Robert Thornton, an anthropology professor at the University of Witswatersrand in Johannesburg , who has done research in traditional healing, says children like Sello are targeted because it is believed that the power of the virgin is greater than that of a sexually active adult. ..The main motivating idea is what Professor Thorntorn describes as "symbolic logic", the idea that another person's penis will strengthen the perpetrator's, or that the perpetrator's far-sightedness will be improved by devouring the victim's eyes. Blood is thought to increase vitality…One of the few victims who lived to tell his story was Jeffery Mkhonto, who six years ago was mutilated by an organised gang set to harvest body parts. He had been lured to the house of a neighbour for food and ended up being castrated."
1.29 Bullfights are good because they give the meat of the bull to the poor.
- Then why were matadors protesting that they couldnt SELL the meat after the Mad Cow/foot and mouth disease crisis?
- Citing a positive benefit of an act does not cancel out the negative. Bullfights are cruel. To say they are good because they give the meat to the poor would be like justifying a murder/robbery by saying the bandits gave some of the spoils to the needy. Al Capone opened the first soup kitchens in Chicago–using the proceeds of crime, does this mean that loan sharking and murder used to finance that charity were good?
- if bullfighters do it for the charity, then they should be growing veggies to give to the poor.
2 Companion Animals
2.1 What about pets? Certainly there is nothing wrong with that. ->
Having animal companions teaches people to care for animals.
- How would you feel if you were born and taken away from your mother against your will (or how would you feel if you were the mother and your offspring was taken away from you by force – just to be given to some human who may treat your child horribly?) and had your genitals cut off? The pet industry is a form of slavery. Except under the best circumstances, a pet is a prisoner of human society. A human decides where it goes, what it does, what it eats, how it lives and how it dies.
- When humans can take care of their own offspring properly, then maybe you could make some argument for it–but until then, and until humans can stop the pet euthanasia problem and animal abuse issue you haven't much of a leg to stand on.
- It is debatable whether having companion animals makes one treat animals with more compassion and respect or makes humans take them for granted. We know that people abuse cats and dogs, and dump them in parks or shelters when they get tired of them. If only one human did this–it would still be worse than if pets were not bred at all.
- One can argue that we should take care of unwanted animals that are dumped in shelters as opposed to euthanizing them. But whatever the case, we should not allow the commercial breeding of animals to be sold in stores. All should come from shelters.
2.2 Don't you think you would be cruel to a dog if you didn't feed it meat? ->
Surely that's what it would eat if you left it alone to fend for itself?
- Yes, a dog would most probably eat meat if it chose it's own meals. Can't deny that. But it is the cruelty issue which I would focus on with your question. If the cruelty issue is truly of concern, then what about all the other animals that will be kept in poor conditions, and made to suffer to be canned and fed to the dog? Perhaps, if it is cruel to not feed a dog meat (something i don't actually agree with), then while keeping animals, some kind of cruelty may be unavoidable. Which is why I believe we need to reconsider our position with Companion Animals. [Editor: vegan dogs and cats have been around since the 1980s. Here are 2 companies that offer vegan pet foods (as well as research): Vecado, Compassion Circle. Vegan dogs and cats live healthy and long lives - the matter really is not even debatable.]
2.3 Does a vet have the right to neuter your dog?
- No, since animals shouldnt be kept as pets. As a form of slavery, what right does a human have to dictate the biological health of other species? Especially when we dont force humans to have sterilization to keep human population numbers down.
- Although keeping members of other species as "companions" is ethically problematic, the issue is, by neutering the animal, it helps to prevent the enslavement and suffering of more animals.
- A better question is: does a breeder have a right to breed dogs? The answer is no. Cut the problem at the source and the neutering issue is rendered moot.
3.1 One cannot say that humans and nonhumans are equal and also say that humans and nonhumans are not bound by the same rules ->
and code of moral conduct. If humans have to respect the rights of deer then so should lions.
- This is assumed to be a fallacy in Definition: Conflicting Conditions (see also Inflation of Conflict) – that they cannot be equal and unequal at the same time. This confuses two different definitions of "equality." The first definition is that nonhumans and humans are equal regardless of their differences (the "Martin Luther King jr." sense of the word: "All men are created equal."). The second definition is not a value judgement, but an observation of the fact that everyone has different attributes. The animal rights proponent stresses equality in value while acknowledging inequality in attribute. There is no conflicting conditions. Other species are equal to humans in value, but they do not possess the attributes to think and behave the way humans do–just as the mentally retarded or children do not have the same attributes but are afforded equal moral protection and ethical regard.
- We say a man with arms and a man without arms are equal in worth, but we don’t say because they have different abilities that the one with arms deserves more "rights" than the other. By the logic of this attack, in order for all humans to be granted equal rights and respect, they would have to possess the same attributes (mentally, physically etc).
4 Factory Farms
4.1 Factory farms are less cruel than how animals are treated in the wild.
- The point is not whether the factory farm is less cruel than the wild but whether one needs to have factory farms in the first place and clearly we don't since vegetarianism is a sound practical dietary lifestyle.
- I dont think anyone sane would agree that spending your entire life in a dirty cell without sunlight or the companionship of others or freedom of movement is more desirable—if you think that then maybe you can ask to move into one.
- A British author recently challenged people to spend a week in a typical factory farm egg laying facility. None could stand it for more 12 hours.
5.1 Fish don't have nerves in their mouths or feelings in their lips.
- The hook still causes damage to the fish's body. It can lead to infection (if the fish is being thrown back in the water).
- Slave traders said the same thing about negro slaves–they don't feel pain like we do. You can't prove it as a 100 percent certainty that they don't feel discomfort/pain and science may not have figured out how to measure it. Better to be safe than sorry.
- Yeah but they sure look uncomfortable when they are being dragged from the water. So are they trying to dance when they are flipping around on a hook?
- So if someone doesn't feel pain we should do what they want to them? Good because there are some comatose people at the hospital that would look mighty good preserved over my fireplace mantle.
- Fish have nerve endings near the skin which are very similar to those of humans and other mammals. We all have receptor cells (called nociceptors) near the skin, which are stimulated by events severe enough to cause damage to body tissues. The lips and mouth of fish are particularly well supplied with nerve endings. –Fish produce the same pain-transmitting chemicals as humans. There are two main chemicals involved. When a nerve ending is damaged, a substance called bradykinin is released. This causes the nerve cell to fire, sending an electrical impulse along the nerve. When bradykinin is released near the skin, a second chemical, called substance P, is released near the spinal cord. –Both substances are known to be involved in transmitting pain. For example, if bradykinin is injected in humans, it causes intense pain, even if a local anaesthetic is used. Both bradykinin and substance P are found in mammals, birds, frogs and fish. –Fish produce the same pain-blocking substances as humans. When in severe pain, humans and other vertebrates (animals with backbones) produce pain-killing chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins block pain by stopping the release of substance P. (from an article titled "Fish Feel Pain" from the November to January issue of "Animals Today" magazine (Australia)).
- "Fish constitute the greatest source of confused thinking and inconsistency on earth at the moment with respect to pain. You will get people very excited about dolphins because they are mammals, and about horses and dogs, if they are not treated properly. At the same time you will have fishing competitions on the River Murray at which thousands of people snare fish with hooks and allow them to asphyxiate on the banks, which is a fairly uncomfortable and miserable death". (The Advertiser, Professor Bill Runciman, professor of anaesthesia and intensive care at Adelaide University, Australia Fish Feel Pain.)
- "I undertook a … search on pain felt by fish. I discovered that not only do fish feel the same pain as cats and dogs and humans but they are also highly intelligent. On the beach the other day I saw several fishermen with their dogs. I wanted to explain to them that the fish they were hooking felt the same anguish as would their dogs caught in the same way. Likewise when I went to New Foundland to talk to the fishermen who clubbed the baby Harp seals to death, I noticed that they too had companion dogs and cats and canaries. The most common form of cruelty in the world is fishing and why? Because most people have no idea how sensitive and intelligent fish are". (Richard Jones, Member of the New South Wales Legislative Council Fish Feel Pain.)
- British scientists say fish do feel pain LONDON, April 30 2003 — Anglers take note — British scientists say that after years of debate, they now have proof that fish feel pain. Animal activists are on the warpath after a study released on Wednesday showed how rainbow trout react to discomfort. They condemned fishing as cruel and demanded an end to the sport — but anglers themselves dismissed the study.THE RESEARCH FOUND that fish have receptors in their heads and that subjecting them to noxious substances causes “adverse behavioral and physiological changes.” “This fulfils the criteria for animal pain,” said Dr. Lynne Sneddon, who headed the research, published Wednesday by the Royal Society, Britain’s national academy of science. Bee venom or acetic acid was injected into the lips of some of the trout, while control groups of fish were injected with saline solution or merely handled. The trout injected with venom or acid began to show “rocking” motion — similar to that seen in stressed higher vertebrates — and those injected with acetic acid began rubbing their lips in the gravel of their tank.“These do not appear to be reflex responses,” Sneddon said. The affected fish also took three times longer to resume feeding activity, compared with those in the control groups. The team from the Roslin Institute and the University of Edinburgh found the fish had polymodal nociceptors — receptors that respond to tissue-damaging stimuli — on their heads. It is the first time these receptors have been found in fish. They have similar properties to those found in amphibians, birds and mammals including humans. Animal activists said the findings showed that fishing was cruel."
- This is an excellent video exploring the science - Can fish feel pain?? Here's what SCIENCE tells us:
5.2 But wasn't Christ a fisherman?
- He was a carpenter by trade. He referred to himself as a fisher of men.
- Fish was a well known mythical symbol among early christians. The greek word for fish (Ichthys) was used as an acronym whose initials in greek stood for "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior." Given how the early christians employed the term, there is therefore good historical evidence for the argument that all of the "fish stories" that managed to get into gospels were intended to be taken symbolically rather than literally.
6 Human Supremacy
6.1 But they are just animals.
- So? And you are just a human.
- At one time it was common to say: "just a woman," "just a child," "just a black," "just a pagan," "just a Christian," "just a slave," etc etc etc.
- Um – we are animals too - although considering the dismal record of human behavior I am sure most species would rather be a remote relative.
- What does that make you? Vegetable or mineral?
6.2 Humans can exploit animals because we are superior to animals. The reason we are superior is because we possess the capacity to reason.
Variations: When bears and ants can compose symphonies and fly airplanes, then I'll believe they have rights. Humans have brains that can make computers and do math and build tall skyscrapers, therefore we have evolved beyond other species and are superior to them.
- Not all humans possess reason as defined here (children, mentally retarded etc). Furthermore, why would reason be an absolute criteria? It is transitory. Arbitrary. Using reason as a criteria would be like saying "an apple is superior to a banana because its red. Red makes it superior". WHY? What is so great about red? It is just as relative and as arbitrary as talking about skin color. If you say reason is great because it allows us to build tall buildings–why is that of absolute importance? Reason is only important as a human value, just as skin color is only important as a racial value, or a certain interpretation of the Judeo-Christian Bible is only important to particular adherents of that religious group.
- Human rights, like animal rights, are arbitrary, subjective, and non-absolute. They are both based on value that we as humans assign and administer. There is no demonstrable natural law which we base our ethics upon. The universe does not say: "Humans have special rights because they possess faculty x, y, z." A human does not have a universal right to life. If that were the case, it should be demonstrable in nature. We could walk safely through the path of an erupting volcano without so much as a blister. We wouldn't need police or courts if our "rights" were some universal truth. When one looks at it reasonably, humans are just as mortal as other species. All the fruits of our labors and intellect are also mortal. How can one truly say we as a species are superior to other species as an absolute objective truth? We can't. Just like a racist can't say his race is superior to others as an objective absolute truth, or a sexist, or a religious extremist etc etc. Therefore, to be consistent and fair, If human rights are good, then so are animal rights and one should strive to be as compassionate as possible.
- Since human reason originates in the brain, and the brain decays, why then is reason, a transitory aspect of human existence, so important?
- Why would reason/building skyscrapers/airplanes/computers etc make humans superior in value as a species to other species that are incapable of doing such acts? What makes skyscrapers so great and important? Buildings fall down, planes crash, computers break. Since all are subjective and transitory, where is the superiority? Humans only think they are superior to justify their exploitation.
- Not all humans–most in fact, do not compose symphonies or build skyscrapers. Does that mean those people are inferior to the humans that do? BTW–when was the last time you built a skyscraper?
- It is because I have the ability to reason that I am able to understand why compassion is better than cruelty, peace is better than violence, and kindness is better than meanness; and thus I choose to live accordingly.
6.3 Humans can exploit animals because we are superior to animals. The reason we are superior is because we have a soul.
- How do you prove humans have a soul and others don't? And even if we did, why would that make us superior? Its arbitrary and subjective. And a human of one race could say the same thing about another human of a different race (or gender). "Members of my race have a soul but members of yours don't." There was a time when such beliefs were common place.
6.4 Humans can exploit animals because we are superior to animals. The reason we are superior is because God tells us we are superior.
- How do you prove that? And even if some deity in the sky said we were superior–why would it matter? Why would that being's judgement be absolute? Someone else can say "My god says my group is superior to this other group." How do you refute that with this "God says so" defense? How do you prove that your god is making the "true" commandment? How do you demonstrate this to others? The very same approach could be used to justify discriminating against OTHER HUMANS. To say humans are superior as a species to other lifeforms without being able to justify it as an absolute certainty–anyone can discriminate according to whatever religious belief they hold.
- The greatest problem with spiritual humanism is the lack of certainty inherent in the belief. One can doubt the existence and nature of the deity, doubt the uniqueness and importance of the qualities cited as making one worthy of special treatment, and doubt human possession of them (and doubt the claim that other life forms do not possess them).
- Claiming that humans are superior according to a spiritual form of humanism is neither concrete nor conclusive. One is free to believe anything–and by this ideology one could modify the human superiority argument to assert with equal weight that some humans are superior to other HUMANS according to the dictates of their particular deity. The dispute is endless.
- If you believe in God, then you must believe that your God is superior to humans. If your God tells you that superior beings can exploit lesser beings - then how do you think your God will treat a lesser being, such as you, in the afterlife?
6.5 Humans can exploit animals because we are superior to animals. The reason we are superior is because Nature tells us we are superior.
Variations: We are highest on the food chain and always have been.
- Secular humanism can also be challenged by doubt. One can question the importance of free will, reason, or the evolutionary law being cited as fact. Why are these qualities important? If one acknowledges that death is the ultimate end of all life, humans included, then why the emphasis on something so transitory? One can question the notion that humans are rational–simply by reading out loud the harrowing stories on war and crime from the front page of any daily newspaper. One can argue that humans enslave, torture, kill, while no other species on earth can not even come close to exhibiting such a level of barbarism. Every criterion that humans cite as evidence of their superiority can be examined to not only negate the claim–but demonstrate the OPPOSITE with greater success. Altruism, tool making, parental nurturing…these qualities once thought to be exclusively human have been observed in wildlife.
- One can argue that humans enslave, torture, kill, while no other species on earth can not even come close to exhibiting such a level of barbarism. Every criterion that humans cite as evidence of their superiority can be examined to not only negate the claim–but demonstrate the OPPOSITE with greater success. Altruism, tool making, parental nurturing…these qualities once thought to be exclusively human have been observed in wildlife.
- Then there is the issue that humans are worth more according to some natural law. The ludicrousness of this belief can be easily exposed by simple observation. If a volcano erupts–does the lava flow destroy all in its path–but conveniently spare human life since it is a universal fact that they are special and not to be harmed? If a human is adrift in the ocean, and approached by a shark–do the jaws of the predatory fish lock up in paralyses when it attempts to bite the man? If the claim that "human life is superior to other life forms" was an absolute, universal fact and truth in nature–then how does one explain that humans appear to be subject to the same violence and mortality that applies to other life? One can't, because humans are not superior according to any criteria that are cited to prove it–all examples are arbitrary, subjective and non-absolute.
- Even the claim that humans should not enslave and kill other humans is easily challenged by observing the state of human relations over the last 10 000 years. Arguing that something is absolute and objective carries a very heavy burden of proof. Anthropocentrism is nothing more than human beings setting the standard and value system by which a life is to be viewed as special and worthy—a standard that conveniently places themselves at the top of the value system–all the while ignoring the fragile foundation that supports it. Racist and sexist doctrine does the same thing.
6.6 Even if I agreed that some things done to animals are cruel and wrong, we have to put human problems first.
- Why? Can we not deal with all problems concurrently? If you are suggesting some victims of abuse are more important than others, do you also draw a distinction between say, victims of spousal abuse and victims of racial violence or child abuse? Which is a more pressing concern? Do the losers go on the backburner?
- The suffering of members of others species due to deliberate and preventable human action is as important as the human equivalent forms of abuse or exploitation. One should strive to solve these problems when we can where we can without worrying that it follows some arbitrary step by step procedure.
- That's a cop out. You just don't want to face up to responsibility.
6.7 Humans are unique. We are a unique species.
- All species are unique in the world, but let us say that humans possess some quality that makes them "uniquely unique." You still haven't shown why that uniqueness makes them superior as a species to all other life, and deserve preferential treatment. A failure to prove human supremacy as an objective fact kills your argument, because as it stands you are simply talking as a Christian bigot or white supremacist would talk(i.e. "christians/whites are special—we deserve special treatment over non christians/whites."). What you need to do is show how the human supremacy belief is categorically different from any other form of discrimination. Which is practically impossible.
- Yes, humans are unique. They can be arrogant. They can take pleasure from the suffering of others to the point where they erect structures such as bull rings and coliseums to watch one subject torture and kill another. Not all the aspects of human uniqueness are positive.
6.8 Make the case that discrimination is innately wrong. Or cease trying to forge the link between racism and "speciesism". Your entire argument there rests on discrimination being wrong in and of itself.
- You are trying to say that I say discrimination is wrong….and I cant prove it is. You are right—the problem is, people who are against racism, sexism, religious extremism etc also think discrimination is wrong, so unless you think they should be free to do what they want to other humans–this defense isnt very sensible.
- Nope, but it would be nice for your false attack if it were eh? Many people(those who oppose racism, sexism etc) would say that discrimination based upon unfair, biased, and subjective standards of value is wrong. The problem for you is–you want to say that racism is wrong, while speciesism is not–except that all the criteria you use to defend speciesism is also unfair, biased and subjective. That's what the entire argument rests upon: your belief that some discrimination is good, others are bad–without being able to prove this. Sure–you can say that arguments that suggest discrimination is wrong is also subjective. The problem is–refuting that not only buries an anti-specieism argument, but it also buries anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-religious extremist etc etc arguments. Humans pay the price too. So feel free to say that you think everyone should be able to discriminate against everyone else–not all humans would like that–but racists would
- It doesnt. It rests on what people like YOU believe. YOU believe that discrimination based on biased, subjective criteria is wrong. That includes race, gender, and species (though you would deny the last—but cant prove your case). For you to get out of the jam–you have to show how speciesism is somehow different than racism in a fundamental way–i.e. make it objective or absolute. You havent done that (because you cant). In the big scheme of things–of course one cant prove that discrimination is wrong…since all issues are subjective–they can be doubted…the problem for you is, either you prove that speciesism is somehow different in principle and design from all other forms of discrimination(which is impossible), or you would have to say that people should be free to discriminate against other humans (based on race, gender, religion as well as species). BUT YOU DONT say that–because you want to have your cake–and eat it too. But you cant.
So the only other choice is to say we should try to be as fair and as compassionate to others as possible, and lose this desire to discriminate according to biased, subjective criteria. This would help human relations with humans and nonhumans alike. Its also more consistent ethically than your view. So, in terms of logical reasoning, either you say anyone can do whatever they want to anyone else (human or not) or you expand your circle of compassion and fairness to include nonhumans).
6.9 Only humans can show compassion for other species.
- A kangaroo named Lulu has been hailed a hero for saving an unconscious Australian farmer in Canberra by alerting the man's wife and leading her to where he lay trapped under a fallen tree branch. Hobby farmer Leonard Richards was checking for storm damage on his property at Tanjil South, 150 km (93 miles) east of Melbourne, on Sunday morning when he was hit by a falling branch. In a story reminiscent of the long-running Australian children's television series Skippy, in which a pet kangaroo rescued people in distress in the Australian bush, the kangaroo began barking until Richards' wife came to investigate. She found her husband lying unconscious under a tree about 200 metres (650 feet) from the house, guarded by the grey kangaroo. Lulu was hand-reared by the Richards family, who rescued her from her mother's pouch and fed her on bottles after her mother was killed by a car about four years ago."Dad was totally out of it and Lulu was sitting by him in the bush making this really unusual yapping noise until Mum got there," Richards' 19-year-old son Luke told Reuters. "It was so lucky. Dad could have been there for hours if it wasn't for her," he said. Richards was taken to hospital with suspected head injuries but allowed home on Sunday night. Animal welfare group the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) called for Lulu to be nominated for its annual national bravery award. (metro UK)
- The Dog Who Rescues Cats: The True Story of Ginny Philip Gonzalez had lost all interest in living after an industrial accident left him disabled. A friend suggested he adopt a dog.Reluctantly he went to the shelter, where Ginny, a badly abused one-year-old pup,quickly won him over. Philip realized immediately that Ginny was no ordinary dog–she had an amazing sixth sense that enabled her to find and rescue stray and ailing cats.There's Madame,who is completely deaf; Revlon, who has only one eye; Betty Boop,who has no hind feet;and Topsy, a paralyzed kitten whom Ginny found abandoned in an empty building. Ginny and Philip have now rescued and found homes for over 200 cats, and they have over 60 "outdoor cats" whom they visit and feed twice daily. Even more than extraordinary, Ginny's angelicmission has given Philip a sense of purpose and a new lease on life. You will never forget the true adventures of Ginny, the dog who rescues cats. (Goodreads)
Pot-bellied pig saves owner's life by lying in front of a car Saturday, October 10, 1998 … Jo Ann Altsman attributes her Vietnamese Pot Belly Pig, Lu Lu with saving her life last month. (Annie O'Neill, Post-Gazette) OK, it was almost like that. Except that JO Ann Altsman of Beaver Falls didn't twist her ankle, but had a heart attack. And it wasn't in the wilderness but in the bedroom of her vacation trailer on Presque Isle. And the pet that ran – er, waddled – for help was a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig named LuLu. When you think about it, LuLu's real-life feat the morning of Aug. 4 was much more amazing than any of Lassie's fictional rescues because she can't bark. That didn't matter. Smart pig that she is, Lulu did the next best thing. She laid down in front of a car on the road outside the trailer and then led a disbelieving motorist to Altsman, whose ordeal lasted 45 minutes. Had 15 more minutes elapsed, doctors told her, she likely would have died. "Pigs are very, very smart," Altsman, 57, said yesterday. She is recuperating from heart surgery she underwent Sept. 15. "They're a lot smarter than dogs." ….Enter Lulu "She looked at my head. She made sounds like she was crying," said Altsman, who then imitated the sound – quite indescribable – of a crying Vietnamese potbellied pig. "You know, they cry big fat tears," she noted. But the porker pulled herself together, and headed outside through the doggy/piggy door and into the fenced-in yard. Never before had Lulu left the confines of the yard – except for a leash walk – but this was no ordinary day. She somehow pushed open the gate and walked into the road. There, Lulu gave new meaning to the phrase "hogging the road." Witnesses later told Altsman that Lulu waited until a car approached and then walked onto the road and laid down in front of it. Several times she returned to Altsman only to leave again and try to get help. One man stopped but later said he was so unsure of what the creature on the road was that he was afraid to get out. "She's not very attractive," Altsman allowed. But another motorist stopped for the prone pig and got out. Lulu knew just what to do. She led the man to the house and the rescue. "I heard a man hollering through the door, 'Lady, your pig's in distress,"' Altsman said. "I said, 'I'm in distress, too. Please call an ambulance." The man, whose name Altsman never learned, did just that and medics quickly arrived. But when the pig tried to get into the ambulance with Altsman, medics gently let Lulu know she had done enough for one day. Later, it was discovered that Lulu had cut her rather pronounced stomach on the obviously too-small doggy/piggy door. "My husband keeps enlarging it but she keeps enlarging, too," Altsman said of Lulu, who turned 1 on July 4. Lulu was purchased in Edinboro in August 1997 by Jack Altsman as a 40th-birthday present for the couple's daughter, Jackie, of Fombell, Beaver County. Jackie, however, went on a five-day whale-watching trip to New England and asked her parents to baby-sit Lulu. Jackie really didn't want the pig, Altsman said. "She came back on Aug. 18 and kept putting off (picking up Lulu), saying, 'Next weekend, next weekend.' You know how kids are." The Altsmans became attached to the porcine house pet, even as it exploded from 4 pounds to 150. And counting. And how did Altsman thank Lulu? "She got a jelly doughnut," said Altsman. She then made a sloshing type noise that Lulu apparently makes when she devours pastry. Edited. By Michael A. Fuoco, Post-Gazette Staff Writer (Post-Gazette or Unsolved Wiki).
7.1 If we weren't hunting deer they would overpopulate and start dying horrible deaths because of the lack of food.
- If there is lack of food the animal population will not grow as much. If there is less food there are going to be less animals.
- Humans have overpopulated many areas of the earth which has resulted in lack of food and poor living conditions, yet we do not hunt and execute them.
- In recent years, deer populations have increased to numbers unsupportable by wildlife habitat alone. Many researchers believe that this increase results from continued human incursion into deer habitat, and the mismanagement of deer populations by forest and wildlife authorities who see hunting as the primary means of population control. Wildlife and land management agencies purport to effectively limit deer populations to numbers sustainable by their natural habitat. In reality, the policies of such agencies exacerbate deer overpopulation, serving only to provide a population large enough to suit sport hunters. The overpopulation of deer stems not only from the specific mismanagement of deer populations, but from them, mismanagement of our forestlands and natural areas. Currently, there are approximately eight does for every buck in the wild. Laws restrict the number of does that hunters may kill. Deer do not have monogamous mating relationships, and bucks will often mate with more than one female. As a result, the ratio of does to bucks sets the stage for a population explosion. Allowing hunters to kill more does, however, does not resolve population problems. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the open hunting of does left fawns without mothers, and removed too many females from the breeding population. Sport hunting decimated deer populations in many states. As a result, states passed laws restricting the hunting of does. These policies have contributed to the overpopulation of deer.
- Hunting does remove some animals from the population, but it does not keep deer populations at a continually reduced level. Immediately after a hunt, the remaining animals flourish because less competition for food exists, allowing the remaining animals to live healthier lives, and resulting in a higher reproductive rate. Left alone by humans, the ratio of does to bucks would be approximately equal. In Defense of Animals believes that sport hunting is not only an ineffective wildlife management tool, but a cruel and unnecessary practice. Sport hunting should be banned, allowing deer populations to regulate themselves naturally.
- This comes from the New Jersey Dept. of Fish and Wildlife website Note Commentary provided by BD. New Jersey offers sportsmen and women more than 500,000 acres of state-owned public open space providing a diversity of habitats from hardwood ridges and rolling hills to pine forests and salt marsh. (note: If this is PUBLIC land, why are hunters allowed to kill on this land? I'm not a hunter and strongly disagree with hunting. If it's public land, may I hike on it? And, if so, is there a risk of me being shot by a hunter?) This total includes more than 276,000 acres in 118 Wildlife Management Areas, specifically managed to enhance wildlife populations and provide for wildlife-oriented recreation. (note 2 Ah, I see. So, you're not REALLY trying to control wildlife populations, you're trying to ENHANCE them. Does this not go against what hunters and the NJ Dept. of Fish and Wildlife profess? You're not trying to keep wildlife down to 'controllable' numbers, you're trying to increase numbers to ensure your revenue from hunters. Typical lies coming from anti-nature zealots. ) New Jersey offers more than a hundred days of deer hunting, including seasons for bow, shotgun and muzzleloading rifle. Multiple bag limits are the rule in most zones. The 2001-02 deer harvest was 68,669. In addition, some of the best waterfowl hunting on the East coast is found in the Garden State. Snow geese, brant, black duck, mallard, bufflehead and a variety of other waterfowl species provide extensive hunting opportunities, especially on the coastal marshes. The Rockport Pheasant Farm produces 55,000 pheasants annually for release on selected wildlife management areas. (note 3 Huh? What! The Rockport Pheasant Farm PRODUCES? But why? If there is truly an 'overabundance' of animals (that need 'harvesting') why purposely BREED animals to be killed. I also heard that New York imports pheasants for hunting. Illogical, to say the least!) The wild turkey, reestablished in the late 1970s, continues to increase throughout the state with the population now estimated at 18,000 - 20,000 with an annual harvest of more than 2,000. (note 4: (note 4: Can someone explain to me why the wild turkey needed to be reestablished? My guess is that they were hunted to such low numbers that they had to be bred and imported from other areas. AGAIN, illogical! Please, the next time you spout "conservation," "manageable numbers" or "over population," read you own text, FIRST!
- Oh yeah – humans really know how to manage wildlife. Case study: "A well-meant but misguided decision by conservationists is driving a central Asian antelope to the brink of extinction, a report claims today. Poachers who were encouraged to hunt the saiga, an antelope of the steppes of Russia and Kazakhstan, to ease the pressure on rhino in Africa and Asia, have brought about a catastrophic 97 per cent fall in the animal's numbers in a decade, according to this week's New Scientist magazine." "The decline from more than a million to fewer than 30,000 is through to be the most sudden and severe population crash of a large mammal. The saiga has been hunted, says the report by Fred Pearce, a science writer, because in the early 1990s the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and other conservation groups actively promoted the saiga horn as an alternative to the horn of endangered rhinos, which is used as an ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine….."The plains used to be black with these antelopes, but now you can go out there and not see any at all," says Dr Abigail Entwistle, director of the Eurasia programme of the conservation charity Fauna and Flora International. "This is the most sudden change in fortune for a large mammal species recorded in recent times."…According to the report, WWF began a campaign in 1991 in Hong Kong to publicise saiga horn as an alternative to rhino horn, which when ground up is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine as a remedy. Rhinoceros populations in Africa and Asia have also been devastated by poachers hunting them for their horns."…According to Eleanor Milner-Gulland, of Imperial College London, the leading Western expert on the saiga, there is no known case in biology where the sex ratio has gone so wrong that fecundity has disappeared in this way. Dr Milner-Gulland says that between 1993 and 1998, saiga numbers across central Asia almost halved, to around 600,000. Then, with most of the males gone, the population crash began in earnest, with numbers halving each year since, until last year's census recorded just 30,000 individuals…Hunters are unlikely to drive the saiga to total extinction but without an unexpected reversal in its fortunes it will soon be confined to zoos and a few small reserves." Rare antelope driven to edge of extinction by well-meaning conservationists (Independent, 13 Feb, 2003). Also see Mao Zedong's inane Anti-sparrow Drive.
- Yep–those hunters really do good. Hunters kill last brown bear Amelia Gentleman in Paris Thursday November 4, 2004 Hunters have shot dead the last female brown bear native to the Pyrenees, condemning the species to extinction and causing an "environmental catastrophe" for France, the government said. Animal protection groups were last night concerned for the survival of the bear's 10-month-old orphaned cub which escaped unharmed, but which was barely weaned. His mother, affectionately known by game wardens as Cannelle (Cinnamon), was killed on Monday when a group of boar-hunters shot her in what they claim was self-defence. The environment minister, Serge Lepeltier, was to visit the site of the killing last night to launch an investigation into how the six experienced hunters had been allowed to organise a wild boar shoot in the area where the bear was living.
7.2 A lot of people say let the deer's natural predators kill them, We are just that.
- Put a toddler in a room with an apple and a hamster. If the toddler eats the hamster and plays with the apple, then humans are natural predators. (Repeat experiment with young cat for comparison).
- If we were the natural predators of deer we should be able to run down and catch and devour a deer with only our teeth and hands–just like a lion does. If we didn't use tools – we would be the prey!
7.3 Animals are treated terribly in the meat industry so isn't hunting better than getting meat from the super market?
- Maybe, but since meat eating itself isn't justified, there is no excuse to be hunting either.
- People who can go out and learn to use a rifle, get a hunting license, drive a car to get ammunition then drive to the forest to wait for an animal to come along, then shoot it, then take it home on the hood of the car(assuming it doesnt get away and die a slow painful death), then cut it up and skin it, then cook it—can very easily just drive or walk or bike to the grocery store and get vegetables and fruit or meat alternatives which are healthier for you. It saves time and money and it avoids the nastiness of the meat industry altogether.
- No its not better. It is like saying: "torturing someone before you kill him is worse than just killing him." Yeah–but its irrelevant, since the killing is unjustified to begin with.
7.4 Native peoples hunt and fish and trap, are you going to say it is wrong for them to do it? ->
[Editor: For more First Nations animal use arguments see Various section]
- Yes, but we are not talking about native peoples, we are talking about people who can easily give up the eating of animals – like you.
- Some people in desperate situations kill other people and steal from them to survive, are you saying that's right?
- Anthropological excavations of many sites all around the world have shown that native people actually survived primarily (over 70%) on foraging, not hunting. and in any case, it is no longer necessary for their survival to hunt and fish.
- If they are human beings then they should live according to the same ethical principles as any other human. No one can justify causing unnecessary harm to others by citing tradition or racial background.
- Modern tribal peoples (at least in North America) use guns, electronics, industrial textiles and often sell their products to westerners. They would be hypocritical to say that they are living traditionally–when they are using modern technology. If they are willing to give up the tradition of carving spears–than they should be willing to give up the tradition of cruelty.
- Some native tribes like the Makah also kept human slaves. Others practiced human sacrifice and infanticide. Should they be allowed to re-adopt those practices too?
7.5 Your philosophy may say that it is wrong for natives/aboriginals to hunt and fish, but they regard the animals as their brothers.
- If that is the case, then why do the Inuit, allegedly the natives of the arctic, need hides and tools to survive, while their "brothers" the wolf and polar bear, do not? Without their artificial support, humans would be the prey.
- While some aboriginal beliefs may regard other species as their kin, they still treat them in ways that run contradictory to the way they would treat other humans in their group. Citing some brotherhood is a sentimental appeal, not based on reason or ethical consistency.
- Oh that's sweet. "I love you brother – that's why I am going to drive this spear into your gut, skin you, then sell your innards for cash so I can get a better tv set."
8 Meat Eating And Dairy Consumption
8.1 Everyone eats meat, so why shouldn't I?
- If everyone jumped off a cliff would you?
- Don't give into peer pressure!
- If everyone thinks like that then we will never make any ethical progress on this world!
- So you believe that you should hold yourself to the lowest common ethical standard possible?
- Remember Socrates: Don't Eat Animals. "Why is it so hard, seemingly impossible, for our 'responsible' press to convey the kinds of concerns that Socrates raised as portrayed in Plato's Republic … [Editor: see link for Socrates-Glaucon discussion.] Today, the resources that are required to sustain this wasteful way of living ('diet' is Greek for 'way of living') include large amounts of energy (read 'oil') for fertilizer, pesticides, antibiotics, refrigeration, water pumping, etc. So today we go to war to maintain our access to oil supplies, but the point Socrates made 2500 years ago is still relevant today. We do not hear about these concerns he raised so many years ago. Why not?" (Originally posted in the Usenet newsgroup rec.food.veg on Nov 18, 1994 by John Champagne (email@example.com). Reposted at the International Vegetarian Union website.
- Heart disease and cancer are the leading killers of Americans - if you were to follow a vegan diet your chances of dying from heart disease or cancer is greatly reduced.
- Humans who eat meat risk being the incubator for new diseases that may jump species. SARS, BSE (or mad cow disease), and now Asian bird flu: "Thai officials were battling yesterday to contain mounting public panic over the outbreak of avian influenza, which has left millions of chickens dead and killed at least eight people across Asia. Up to 13 deaths have been linked to the disease … However, far more worrying than the demise of the chicken industry is whether, under the right conditions, a mutant strain of airborne influenza is developing that jumps species and can be transmitted to, and between, humans. That could put the world at risk of a deadly epidemic that would dwarf the impact of Sars." Flu panic grows as death toll rises. Who needs germ warfare labs when you have meat eaters?
- From the Lancet 2004; 363: 234-36 "The establishment of permanent live-animal markets (wet markets) in many countries means that there is usually carry over of animals from one day to the next, and more expensive animals (eg, pheasants in poultry markets, civet cats in red-meat markets) can stay from days to weeks. Daily introduction of new animals provides optimum conditions for amplification and perpetration of disease agents such as influenza. The influenza virus has a segmented negatively stranded RNA genome with a propensity for reassortment and generation of novel agents. Add the daily human contacts (including children) with the live animals, and conditions are at an optimum for zoonotic transfer and the evolution of infectious disease agents."
- "Scientists have shown that the three major pandemics of human influenza in the 20th century - 1918, 1958 and 1968 - were all the result of avian virus changing its structure and becoming more infectious to people. The densely populated Far East is considered a source of new flu strains because domestic poultry and pigs are routinely reared and handled by ordinary people." New threat feared as pigs test positive for bird flu virus. By Steve Connor, Science Editor 07 February 2004 (news.independent link NA, but see these Public Health and Challenges to Food Self Sufficiency and Reliance and Pigs test positive for bird flu.)
8.2 People from 3rd world countries have to eat meat to survive and what about the people in the Arctic?
- People in a Third world country do not need to eat meat to survive. The grain and water used to feed livestock could easily be used to feed many times the population according to a vegetarian diet. As for people in colder climates–if they can import guns, clothing, electronics, computers etc, then they can import vegetarian food. After all, people in colder climates, unlike real natives of the colder regions–polar bears, penguins, arctic wolves, need artificial means to survive–without it–they would perish. So relying on vegetable and fruit imports is no big sacrifice if one wants to be compassionate and ethical.
8.3 Inuit in the Arctic need to eat meat to survive–just like bears and wolves.
- People in the Arctic choose to live there–they don't need to live there–thus they don't need to eat meat. A bear does not choose to live there–they have to live there–thus they do need to eat whatever they can to survive.
8.4 Alright, if we're not supposed to eat animals, how come they're made of meat?
- Humans are made of meat too–so that means it is ok to be a cannibal also.
8.5 If everyone stopped eating meat(and/or dairy products), then one would get all scrawny just eating a diet of vegetables.
- Do I LOOK like I am starving?
- Name 4 sources of calcium OTHER than dairy products." (i love this one. most people can't answer.)
- Any idea why the USA has one of the highest percentages of dairy consumption AND osteoporosis?!?
- Okay great! I have a vegetarian bodybuilder I want to arrange a death match with you. I might as well get rich off your stupidity.
- Carl Lewis, the 9-time Olympic gold medalist shares how a vegan diet helped him achieve the best results of his career.
- Novak Djokovic, the GOAT of tennis on his plant-based journey.
- A documentary by James Cameron. Following James Wilks on his quest for the truth about the dangerous myth - that meat is necessary for protein, strength and health. See The Game Changers.
8.6 You only go around once, do not sacrifice your entire life for something that does not matter.
- Oh yeah – and I guess fighting child abuse, women's rights, crime, and injustice doesn't matter either. Why not just become a serial killer with an attitude like that?
8.7 If everyone stopped eating meat, then what would we do with all the animals? We would be overrun by them.
- Everyone wouldn't stop eating animals at once. As demand drops off, so will breeding and raising of animals intended for consumption. We are breeding them at this rate, this is not their natural rate of population growth.
8.8 If everyone stopped eating meat, then the species would go extinct without us breeding them for consumption.
- People are not going to stop eating animals all at once, it will most likely be a gradual reduction. There will also probably be a few people who will still keep them as companion animals.
- So? if they did go extinct it wouldn't hurt anything. They have been breed over the years to be something other than what their indigenous species originally was and all they are doing right now is causing erosion and pollution to the environment.
- If the only way to keep your family lineage intact was to put you in extremely poor living conditions, force breed you, eat you, and then steal your children and put them through the same cycle, wouldn't you rather go extinct?
- They existed in the wild before they were domesticated for human consumption..
- If we were all vegan, then organizations like Farm Sanctuary could still operate farms where chickens, pigs, and cows could peacefully and naturally live out their lives in harmony with human animals.
8.9 All the food charts, school cafeterias; our whole culture makes it appear that meat and dairy are natural and nutritious foods for you, why would everyone be wrong?
- Have you ever looked at who sponsors those food charts? (psst! the meat and dairy industries)
- The foods in the charts depict only the most common foods. The USDA likes to emphasize that their food guide pyramid is "well known". But on closer inspection, even mainstream organizations like the USDA/FDA do not claim that meat and dairy are actually necessary for good health. Alternative food charts for vegetarians and vegans exist. On the other hand, evidence abounds that the current overconsumption of meat and dairy is responsible at least in part for common health problems, like heart disease, obesity, diabetes.
- Nutrition is not an easy science. The results of mass experimentation take a long time to become clear. Mass experimentation in the developed countries with overconsumption of meat, fat and dairy has led to an epidemic of heart disease, obesity and other diseases. The official recommendations are beginning to change. But both from a medical perspective and from an ethical perspective the change is too slow.
- You know, we are THE ONLY species that actually drinks the milk of another species. You don't see giraffes nursing on goats, do you? That milk was made for the cow's baby, not you.
- See nutritionfacts.org for peer-reviewed facts on nutrition.
8.10 Humans are predators, if we were to eat veggies our eyes wouldn’t be as such. We would be more like deer or turkeys with our eyes on the sides of our heads to watch for danger.
- Gorillas are vegetarians and they have 97.7% human DNA. Likewise, chimpanzees have 98.4% human DNA and are primarily vegetarian. (Humans and chimpanzees are more closely genetically related than an African elephant is to an Asian elephant). Chimpanzee and gorilla's eyes are not on the sides of their heads.
- When we have fangs, prehensile tails, and claws we can continue this conversation.
- So, I have the means to kill you, but I am not going to.
- Set a toddler down next to an apple and a hamster. if he/she eats the hamster and ignores the apple, then we can talk.
- My fists have the ability to punch people but that doesn't mean I should go around doing that.
- So what does that make me?
- Comparative anatomy of humans by Milton R. Mills, M.D. excerpts: In conclusion, we see that human beings have the gastrointestinal tract structure of a “committed” herbivore. Humankind does not show the mixed structural features one expects and finds in anatomical omnivores such as bears and raccoons. Thus, from comparing the gastrointestinal tract of humans to that of carnivores, herbivores and omnivores we must conclude that humankind's GI tract is designed for a purely plant-food diet. See summary chart.
- Humans are predators because they choose to be not because they have to be.
- From the Christian perspective God put our eyes just where he wants them and there they will stay … 14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:14-16)
8.11 If everyone stopped eating meat, then the food would be bland.
- There are good meat substitutes on the market.
- The food is really anything but bland. most people find that after switching to a veg diet their food options seem to expand because they are forced to try new things and their palate no longer revolves around the same foods in every meal. it's not just raw tasteless vegetables. you can still use herbs and spices and many sauces and pastas and breads etc. Plus there are many great substitutes for all of your old favorites.
- Check out the items in RAW: The Uncook Book and also see this intro. There are many other books and sites containing recipes (eg Vegsource, McDougall) burying the nonsense that veg food is bland.
8.12 If everyone stopped eating meat, then you would suffer from calcium, iron, and protein deficiencies.
- Certain fruits and vegetables are loaded with calcium.. Certain greens contain much iron. Soy products, and legumes provide ample protein plus fiber without the fat and cholesterole…..
- Any nutrients that you find in meat can easily be found in plant foods (and without all the fat and cholesterol). If you eat a variety, there is no need to worry about vitamin or mineral deficiencies. It has actually been found that americans get 2-3 times the protein amount that is healthy for them, and this extra protein overloads the body with acid. to buffer the acid the body takes calcium out of your bones. Studies have also shown that vegetarians have stronger bones and lower cholesterol than meat eaters.
- Soldiers in the Roman Army subsisted on a diet made up of very plain foods. Soldiers were required to pay up to one third of their wages for their food. They ate mostly bread, perhaps porridge, cheese or beans with cheap wine to wash it down (Marks, Tingay 16). Marks, Anthony, Tingay, Graham. The Romans. London. Usborne Publishing Ltd., 1990.
- "Dupont says that a soldier's diet was even more extremely limited. She reports that Legionaries ate only bread and drank only water plus a little vinegar when the weather was hot. It was considered that "bread was the only food "fit for a soldier, hard food for hard men"(Dupont 125). Dupont, Florence. Daily Life in Ancient Rome. Cambridge, USA. Basil Blackwell Ltd., 1992. Taken from: Social Position and Food in the Roman Empire -or- You Eat What You Are Jean Preston Roman Civilization Dr. Christine Renaud 2 December 1997
- Roman soldiers carried their grain (high gluten wheat) and flour grindstones with them on the march. At night, after their 20 mile daily march they would have pasta and baked bread. They preferred this even over meat. When they did eat meat they considered it to be "barbarian food." (See Food in Roman army, Becoming a Soldier.)
8.13 What about B-12?
The only reliable sources are animal products. Without it you could suffer from pernicious anemia and other neurological problems." (also "you couldnt have been a vegan 80 years ago because you need modern technology to create fortified foods.")
- From: What Every Vegan Should Know About Vitamin B12 by Dr. Stephen Walsh. The only reliable vegan sources of B12 are foods fortified with B12 (including some plant milks, some soy products and some breakfast cereals) and B12 supplements. Vitamin B12, whether in supplements, fortified foods, or animal products, comes from micro-organisms. Most vegans consume enough B12 to avoid anaemia and nervous system damage, but many do not get enough to minimise potential risk of heart disease or pregnancy complications. To get the full benefit of a vegan diet, vegans should do one of the following: Eat fortified foods two or three times a day to get at least three micrograms (mcg or g) of B12 a day or Take one B12 supplement daily providing at least 10 micrograms or Take a weekly B12 supplement providing at least 2000 micrograms.
- From: What Every Vegan Should Know About Vitamin B12 by Dr. Stephen Walsh "To be truly healthful, a diet must be best not just for individuals in isolation but must allow all six billion people to thrive and achieve a sustainable coexistence with the many other species that form the "living earth". From this standpoint the natural adaptation for most (possibly all) humans in the modern world is a vegan diet. There is nothing natural about the abomination of modern factory farming and its attempt to reduce living, feeling beings to machines. In choosing to use fortified foods or B12 supplements, vegans are taking their B12 from the same source as every other animal on the planet - micro-organisms - without causing suffering to any sentient being or causing environmental damage."
- From: What Every Vegan Should Know About Vitamin B12 by Dr. Stephen Walsh: Vegans using adequate amounts of fortified foods or B12 supplements are much less likely to suffer from B12 deficiency than the typical meat eater. The Institute of Medicine, in setting the US recommended intakes for B12 makes this very clear. "Because 10 to 30 percent of older people may be unable to absorb naturally occurring vitamin B12, it is advisable for those older than 50 years to meet their RDA mainly by consuming foods fortified with vitamin B12 or a vitamin B12-containing supplement." Vegans should take this advice about 50 years younger, to the benefit of both themselves and the animals. B12 need never be a problem for well-informed vegans. Further information: Dietary Reference Intakes for Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline, National Academy Press, 1998 ISBN 0-309-06554-2.
- Excerpt from Dr. Klaper’s article ‘Nutrition for Optimum Health’ (which seems to be NA): "Let me be very clear about this, cows do not make vitamin B-12. They never have, they never will. Pigs don't make vitamin B-12, chickens don't make vitamin B-12, no animal makes vitamin B-12. They never have, they never will. Vitamin B-12 is synthesized by single-celled microbes (bacteria) that live in the soils of the earth. And long ago when the earth and soils were healthy, before we put all sorts of chemicals on them, the surface of the earth was covered with vitamin B-12. There used to be lots of vitamin B-12 in our lives. Even if you were a pure vegetarian 300 years ago, you could open up the back door of your cottage and outside would be a beautiful organic garden. Every carrot you pulled out of the ground would have little particles of vitamin B-12 sticking to it. When it came time to get your water, you'd take a bucket of water out of the stream, and there too you would find vitamin B-12. There would be B-12 under your finger nails from working in the garden. There would be plenty of B-12 in your life, and since you needed so little of it, concerns about deficiency would not be an issue. We've become very isolated from the earth and we've lost our natural sources of B-12. Cows have B-12 in their muscles because they're eating grass all day and their pulling up clumps of dirt that have B-12 producing organisms clinging to the root of the grass. They eat the B-12 producing organisms who produce the B-12, which gets absorbed into their bloodstream, goes out into the muscles, and is deposited into their muscles and livers. But that is bacterial B-12 in the cow's muscle. The cow did not make it, nor did the pig or chicken. Those same organisms are now cultured in big vats, producing their B-12 that is eventually separated out. It is then added to breakfast cereals, soy milks soy burgers, nutritional yeast, and vitamin tablets. It's easy to get vitamin B-12 without consuming animal products and I suggest if you really want to lighten up your diet, find a non-animal source of B-12. We are evolving as a species. What our caveman ancestors ate is of little import to us now. The question is what is the best diet for modern human beings? Medical literature is clearly showing that the less animal fat and animal protein you put in your system, the healthier you are going to be.
- Strict vegetarians (in the Jain religion) have lived for many hundreds of years in India. If B12 deficiency was such a problem, Jainism would have not have continued to this day. Also see: Buddhist Vegetarianism Dakini Translations, Ancient Vegans (Appolonius, Porphyry, Orphics), and Vegans In Ancient Times.
- We don't live 80 years ago – we live now. If you want to turn back the clock you can easily get your daily sources of B12. Just don't wash your hands and avoid taking baths. Since you want to live naturally you will also want to avoid using running water, electricity, industrial clothing, etc.
- I would rather risk the low chance of getting B12 deficiency through a vegan diet as opposed to the much greater risk of heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis etc from a meat diet.
8.14 We have been killing and eating meat for centuries, why should we stop now?
- If you use tradition as your moral standard it allows that human slavery, the oppression of women, ethnocentricity and religious based discrimination would be tolerated. You would need to show why humans are deserving of an exemption from this ethical standard. Why a racist or a religious bigot could not discriminate on the basis of race or religion while others could discriminate on the basis of species.
- According to spiritual and secular mythology/belief, at one point in human history we were essentially vegetarian. The world's oldest known monotheistic religion: Zoroasterism, was a vegetarian religion. Theories of biological evolution suggest that human ancestors were plant eaters before adopting an omnivorous diet. Also, our teeth and intestines are consistent with what is known to be a herbivore physiology.
- There are many religions that do not adhere to such a principle and in fact propose a contrary perspective:.Jainism, Buddhism, etc. Compassion for all life is a matter of doctrine. One can ask—did God create surplus compassion—or was it the Devil? Can one be too compassionate?
- There were always a few individuals who protested against the Atlantic slave-trade right from the beginning; but governments and traders paid no attention to them during the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It was not until the late eighteenth century that serious attempts were made to put a stop to this trade. James Boswell, trying to refute the arguments of abolitionists, writes in his Life of Johnson that, "The wild and dangerous attempt which has for some time been persisted in order to obtain an act of our legislature, to abolish so very important and necessary branch of commercial interest, must have been crus(h)ed at once, had not the insignificance of the zealots who vainly took the lead in it, made the vast body of Planters, Merchants, and others, whose immense properties are involved in that trade, reasonably enough suppose that there could be no danger. The encouragement which the attempt has received excites my wonder and indignation; and though some men of superior abilities have supported it, whether from a love of temporary popularity, when prosperous; or a love of general mischief, when desperate, my opinion is unshaken. To abolish a status which in all ages GOD has sanctioned, and man has continued, would not only be robbery to an innumerable class of our fellow-subjects; but it would be extreme cruelty to the African Savages, a portion of whom it saves from massacre, or intolerable bondage in their own country, and introduces into a much happier state of life; especially now when their passage to the West Indies and their treatment there is humanely regulated. To abolish that trade would be to shut the gates of mercy on mankind. Boswell, J., Life of Johnson (N.Y.: Modern Library Edition, 1965) p. 365. (See Christians Organise Slave-Trade.)
8.15 Other animals kill other species for food.
- They need to eat meat to survive – humans do not.
- Some species have been known to kill members of their own species - if you are saying it is okay to kill other species because a lion does it, then a child murderer could say we have a right to kill our children because lions do it too. Some species resort to cannabilism including homo sapiens: look at these historical occurences: Parents Eating their Children, During 1958 Chinese famine, people ate people; parents their kids, Holodomor, Top 10 Historic Famines that Caused Cannibalism.
8.16 Much of the grain we feed to the animals is not edible by humans.
- It would take much less energy to make that grain "human quality," than it would to feed it all to cattle and then get just a little bit of beef with all of the environmental impacts that entails.
- What about water? Think of the water shortages today. There are people in India who have to travel for miles to get daily water, while livestock in the US gets all the water they need–just to support an unnecessary diet of meat and dairy.
8.17 Meat tastes good and is good for you.
- It's not good for you - cholesterol, saturated fat, and no fiber.
- The drug addict likes their drugs. They might even know the drugs are bad for them. But the excuse for not giving them up is they like them. Any rational person however will recognize the disfunctionality of this argument. The sane person gives up destructive behaviors.
8.18 If everyone stopped eating meat, then people would lose lots of jobs.
- A lot of people would lose jobs if people stopped smoking. All those tobacco farmers and cigarette company workers would be out of jobs. Gosh, I should start smoking to help the economy! "What if world peace were achieved tomorrow? All those poor soldiers and arms manufacturers and surgeons would be out of work. Gosh, we can't have that!"
8.19 What if you just ate a small amount of meat and you got it from an organic farm that you knew treated the animals relatively well.
- Well, that's better than nothing, but it's not the best option.
- Are you doing that?
- What if slave traders only kept a few slaves and treated them relatively well?
8.20 What if we genetically engineered animals to have no brains and no feelings, or grew meat in jars? Then would it be ethical?
- Well, to get to that point there has to be many animal sacrifices that do have brains and feelings. Plus, it would still be bad for your health and the environment (in the production of such a thing). Also, there are many fake meats that work just as well and don't involve risky animal experiments. [Editor: The corpse industries will be eliminated to a huge extent by 2030 by fake meats, cultured meat and precision fermentation. This article from ReThinkX provides some details on where we are headed.]
- What if you genetically engineered humans to have no brains and no feelings so we could use them in scientific experiments? would that be ethical?
8.21 Eating cats and dogs is no different than eating other animals such as cattle or pigs for food.
- What other species actively eats carnivores? It is not a healthy practice, especially considering that carnivores don't usually have long lifespans.
- Basically when you say it is no different from eating any other animals you are right, but since eating farm animals is wrong too, how does that make eating cats and dogs right? How do two wrongs make a right?
- Let's say someone criticized Russia for its treatment of people in Chechnya. And let's say that Russia replied, "Our treatment of people in Chechnya is no worse than Israel's treatment of the Palestinians." Maybe so, but how does that DEFEND what Russia is doing in Chechnya? In order to defend the practice of eating cats and dogs, you have to use an argument that defends the practice in and of itself, not one that deflects the issue to some other exploitation [Editor: Tu quoque fallacy]. Eating domesticated cats and dogs for food is unnecessary and not consistent with a principle of trying to be as ethical and as fair as possible–period. There are healthier and less cruel alternatives.
9.1 Do you eat plants? Fruit? You are killing anyway. Plants feel pain.
- This attack implies that the animal activist should not even try to stop exploitation and killing, since it cannot be avoided in all situations. It fails to consider that if killing cannot be avoided, and one should not try to stop it, the spectator is under no obligation to limit their lack of concern to nonhuman living beings. One can say: "well since I can't stop killing why should I care about ANY killing? I might as well look the other way if my neighbor gets killed." Why should a line be drawn at the human level and not a racial, gender, age, religion or some other line of value? People do it anyway.
- This is an argument fallacy (specifically Tu quoque). It is an example of argumentum ad hominem. A changing the subject tactic. Instead of attacking the argument, the opponent attacks the person making the argument. People who use this approach often get hypocrisy confused with consistency.
- Plants don't have a central nervous system, so no, they don't feel pain. And a plant doesn't bleed, scream, and struggle to get away when you pick it.
- If your lawn starts bleeding and screaming when you mow it, give me a call.
- Take a class in biology. when you learn about the central nervous system, we can continue this conversation.
- The best thing I found for the plants feel pain thing is that meat eaters kill way more plants than us anyway to feed to all the animals they are gonna kill. So if plants do feel pain then vegans are still the kindest lot!!
10.1 God meant us to eat meat.
- Not according to the Seven Days Adventists who are vegetarian.
- In Genesis it clearly states that the first best food for humans is vegetables and fruits.
- Some people would say God also meant whites to rules blacks (eg see Slavery Advocate, and pdf thesis If God Is For Us Who Can Be Against Us?), that its okay to beat children and hang homosexuals. You can use God to justify any argument.
- If God meant us to eat meat why do animals run away from us when we want to eat em?
- Oh that's what the devil wants you to think. Bwhahaahahahaha.
- Well, if god put animals on the earth for us to eat and gave them feelings and emotions so they would suffer then god is an asshole.
- It's easier to argue that Satan meant us to eat meat, since its consumption is based on violence and destruction. Perhaps Satan altered the Bible to promote injustice and violence. How can you prove he didnt? The corrupt Roman Empire adopted the Christian religion and edited the gospels. I could point to all the modern violence and injustice committed in the name of God and the Bible–so much for mercy and compassion among its adherents. Strange that fruits and vegetables are so bright and colourful and resistant to disease while meat is the colour of excrement and full of bacteria. Odd that raising cattle for meat is incredibly destructive, wasteful of water, and time consuming while growing vegetables and fruits are much easier. After all, wasn't Satan's downfall the sin of pride? And aren't you demonstrating pride when you say you are better than the rest of creation?
10.2 My god tells me that animals are here for our use. The Bible and all religions say so.
- The Bible also contains incest, stoning adultresses to death, raping a young girl to death, and the slaughter of children. Are you saying that all of this other Biblical violence is also endorsed? The Bible has also been used to support slavery, neo-Nazism, and the Inquisition, aka the witches' Holocaust. Do you really want to include yourself in that illustrious company?
- In Genesis 1:29, God specifically says that S/He has given us plants, and to us they shall be as meat. Sounds pretty clearcut to me.
- The word meat in the bible is often confused with animal flesh. It's a translational error from the greek word for nutrition. So when Jesus goes to market for "meat" it should read nutrition. [Editor: Certain languages have a seperate word for meat eg fleisch (German)]
- The bible also contains favorable arguments for incest and slavery. Whew! That's great because I was planning on marrying my brother and then selling him to a sweat shop.
- I guess you never heard of Buddhism or Jainism.
- My god tells me that animals aren't here for our use.
- And there are adherents of religions who say their god tells them that their race, gender and religion allows them to exploit others who don't (or do) follow their religion(or have their race or gender). Let's see you get your god to speak up and prove them wrong.
- Because anyone can claim anything by invoking the authority of a deity (or deities) such an argument is invalid. [Editor: See Joan Baez perform Dylan's With God on Our Side.]
- Old Testament attitudes that no longer are applicable:
- On women:
- 1 Corinthians 11:3-15
- 3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
- 4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.
- 5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
- 6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.
- 7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
- 8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.
- 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
- 10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.
- 11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.
- 12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.
- 13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?
- 14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
- 15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
- And: 1 Corinthians 14:34
- 34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.
- And: 1 Timothy 2:9-15
- 9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
- 10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
- 11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection .
- 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
- 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
- 15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
- And about mixing races:
- Numbers 25:6-9
- 6 And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
- 7 And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand.
- 8 And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.
- 9 And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand.
- And on mercy:
- 1 Samuel 15:1-23
- 1 Samuel also said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the LORD.
- 2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.
- 3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
- 4 And Saul gathered the people together, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah.
- 5 And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and laid wait in the valley.
- 6 And Saul said unto the Kenites, Go, depart, get you down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them: for ye shewed kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.
- 7 And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt.
- 8 And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.
- 9 But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.
- 10 Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying,
- 11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night.
- 12 And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal.
- 13 And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD.
- 14 And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?
- 15 And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.
- 16 Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on.
- 17 And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel?
- 18 And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.
- 19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD?
- 20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
- 21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.
- 22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
- 23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king."
- And then there's Biblical attitudes towards mercy and equality:
- Deuteronomy 7:1-11
- 1 When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;
- 2 And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:
- 3 Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.
- 4 For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.
- 5 But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.
- 6 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.
- 7 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:
- 8 But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
- 9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;
- 10 And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face.
- 11 Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them."
- The same Bible that seems to condone the eating of animals flesh allows men to have hundreds of concubines to use whenever and yet will stone a woman caught in act of adultry. The same Bible that you use to teach the eating of flesh also teaches that others be used and kept as slaves. The same Bible teaches that woman can't even pray without having long hair or their heads covered. It teaches that woman are to be in submission to men. That we are not even allowed to speak in the church. That they are to be keepers at home. How many Christian woman have left their homes for careers and the rearing of their children to others? To use the Bible to teach that the eating of meat is okay for the day in which we live is just as stupid as the above mentioned and is nothing more than modern subjectivism.
- New Testament attitudes towards
- human slavery:
- Ephesians 6:5-8
- 5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;
- 6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
- 7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
- 8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.
- Colossians 3:22
- 22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God.
- Philemon 1:10-16
- 10 I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds:
- 11 Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me: (Paul is saying that Onesimus, a runaway slave converted to Christianity, was not a good servant in the past. His conversion to Christ will change that. Thus, human slavery is condoned.)
- 12 Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels:
- 13 Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel:
- 14 But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly.
- 15 For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever;
- 16 Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord? Paul is saying the servant is not to be received just as a servant but now as a brother in Christ).
- Matthew 26:6-11
- 6 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,
- 7 There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat.
- 8 But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?
- 9 For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.
- 10 When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me.
- 11 For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. (So basically the creator or son of the creator is saying you might as well anoint me with this – because you will never get rid of poverty. So I guess we shouldn't try?)
- Ambiguous Biblical Terms used to Describe Slavery "In an apparent attempt to disguise the practice of slavery, some translations in the Bible translate the word slave (doulos in Greek) as servant. Casual readers of the Bible would assume that the passages refer to a hired servant (diakonos in Greek) - i.e. a butler or a maid. The King James Version of the Bible (KJV) frequently referred to slaves by various ambiguous terms, such as: bondmen, servants, maids, handmaid, manservant, maidservant, etc. For example, consider Exodus 21:2 which is part of the Laws of Moses: 21st Century King James Version "If thou buy a Hebrew servant…"King James Version "If thou buy a Hebrew servant …" Living Bible: "If you buy a Hebrew slave…"Modern Language "When you buy a Hebrew slave…**New International Version: "If you buy a Hebrew servant…" New Living Translation: "If you buy a Hebrew slave…" Revised Standard Version "When you buy a Hebrew slave…" Genesis 9:25-27: "Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers. He also said, 'Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem! May Canaan be the slave of Shem. May God extend the territory of Japheth; may Japeth live in the tents of Shem and may Canaan be his slave.' This text was frequently used by Christians to justify negro slavery. "The Ten Commandments: Rabbi M.J. Raphall (circa 1861) commented that the 10th commandment places slaves "under the same protection as any other species of lawful property…That the Ten Commandments are the word of G-d, and as such, of the very highest authority, is acknowledged by Christians as well as by Jews…How dare you, in the face of the sanction and protection afforded to slave property in the Ten Commandments–how dare you denounce slaveholding as a sin? When you remember that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Job–the men with whom the Almighty conversed, with whose names he emphatically connects his own most holy name, and to whom He vouchsafed to give the character of 'perfect, upright, fearing G-d and eschewing evil' (Job 1:8)–that all these men were slaveholders, does it not strike you that you are guilty of something very little short of blasphemy?"Exodus 20:17 "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's." Deuteronomy 5:21 "Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbor's wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbor's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbor's.Beating and Killing Slaves: Although an owner could beat a male or female slave, she/he would have to avoid serious injury to eyes or teeth. The owner would have to avoid beating the slave to death. But it was acceptable to beat a slave so that he/she was mortally injured and died a day or so later: Exodus 21:20-21 "And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished. Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money [property]." Emancipation of Slaves: Slaves in ancient Israel were automatically emancipated after 6 years of slavery, but only if they were Jewish." "…Foreign slaves were out of luck." (see Exodus 21:1-4, Deuteronomy 15:12-18, Leviticus 25:44-46: "Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly." (NIV)"Neither Jesus nor St. Paul, nor any other Biblical figure is recorded as saying anything in opposition to the institution of slavery. Slavery was very much a part of life in Palestine and in the rest of the Roman Empire during New Testament times.Quoting Rabbi M.J. Raphall, circa 1861, "Receiving slavery as one of the conditions of society, the New Testament nowhere interferes with or contradicts the slave code of Moses; it even preserves a letter [to Philemon] written by one of the most eminent Christian teachers [St. Paul] to a slave owner on sending back to him his runaway slave." 3 * Rabbi M.J. Raphall, "The Bible View of Slavery," delivered in New York City, 1861. "Priests still owned slaves: Mark 14:66: "And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest:" "One of the favorite passages of slave-owning Christians was St. Paul's infamous instruction that slaves to obey their owners in the same way that they obey Christ: Ephesians 6:5-9: "Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him." (from * 1 Timothy 6:1-3 "Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;" Others who believe the Bible supported human slavery: "[Slavery] was established by decree of Almighty God…it is sanctioned in the Bible, in both Testaments, from Genesis to Revelation…it has existed in all ages, has been found among the people of the highest civilization, and in nations of the highest proficiency in the arts." Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America 1,(* Dunbar Rowland quoting Jefferson Davis, in "Jefferson Davis," Volume 1, Page 286 * Jefferson Davis, "Inaugural Address as Provisional President of the Confederacy," Montgomery, AL, 1861-FEB-18, Confederate States of America, Congressional Journal, 1:64-66.) "There is not one verse in the Bible inhibiting slavery, but many regulating it. It is not then, we conclude, immoral." Rev. Alexander Campbell "The right of holding slaves is clearly established in the Holy Scriptures, both by precept and example." Rev. R. Furman, D.D., Baptist, of South Carolina "The hope of civilization itself hangs on the defeat of Negro suffrage." A statement by a prominent 19th-century southern Presbyterian pastor, cited by Rev. Jack Rogers, moderator of the Presbyterian Church (USA). "The doom of Ham has been branded on the form and features of his African descendants. The hand of fate has united his color and destiny. Man cannot separate what God hath joined." United States Senator James Henry Hammond. 5(*William Lee Miller, "Arguing About Slavery: The Great Battle in the United States Congress." Alfred A. Knopf, (1996), Page 139.)(text references from Slavery in the Bible) And unless you think Human slavery is justified: "It is hard to believe but it seems that the Roman Catholics think it quite in keeping with the teachings of their church to obtain slaves even in this era of 1970s. In August 1970 the world was shocked to hear that the Roman Catholics had purchased, at the price ranging from 250 pounds to 300 pounds each, about 1500 Indian girls to shut them into convents because European girls do not like to live as nuns. There was so much outcry in the world press that the Vatican had to establish a commission to enquire into this affair. But even before the commission started its enquire, a Vatican spokesman had to admit that there was an "element of truth" in the reports, though he dutifully condemned the Sunday Times for its sensation-mongering.Sunday Times (London) as quoted in East African Standard (Nairobi), August 25, 1970. (Churches Participate in Slave-Trade)
11 Species Unity
11.1 Instead of worrying about animals–worry about homeless people or war orphans.
- Must one be so narrow minded that he can worry about one at the exclusion of the other?
- Okay since you believe that compassion follows a hierarchy, tell me this. Which is more important, women's rights or worker's rights? Child abuse or sexual abuse? What about racial injustice vs. poverty? Religious discrimination vs. age discrimination? When you have the list in order–get back to me.
- Who says compassion is in a finite amount? I can be compassionate towards both humans and nonhumans without it running out. I guess you are more limited in your compassion.
11.2 If you saw a burning barn/sealed car/boat filled with humans and (insert nonhuman animal), who would you save?"
- The intention here is to force the animal activist to admit that there is a situation where he/she would choose the life of a human over a nonhuman, thus validating the animal research position. The trouble here is that even if the activist chooses to save the life of a human over a nonhuman, it does not then mean that the activist is endorsing factory farming or the vivisection industry or making any policy decision. [Editor: Also, this sort of attempt is a logical fallacy known as False Dichotomy.]
- Rephrasing the scenario, what if the burning barn is filled with humans … half are white and half are black. If you are white—who do you save?" The animal research proponent does not intend that the burning barn scenario be considered in this way–but it must be for consistency. The original scenario attempts to prompt the activist into deciding between "us (humans) or them (nonhumans)." If the research proponent objects to the notion that one may choose between "us or them" based on ethnic or gender, or some other criteria, then he/she must first show how discrimination based on species is justified, before such an argument could even begin to be considered valid for the animal research issue. NOTE: An animal research proponent might counter that it is in the best practical interest of human beings to have respect and care for each other (Golden rule) but this would not be a necessity or a moral obligation. If someone could benefit from exploiting other humans(as we find in the real world all the time) then this argument would be invalidated. Why shouldn’t someone exploit others if they can benefit from it? This is what the animal research proponent must address .
11.3 Ethics are irrelevant.
Speciesism is not the same as racism. We have a biological drive like all species to stick together and protect our own. Humans have a natural biological drive to preserve their species over others. Humans are naturally meant to stick together. (Note: also known as the Tenacious moral instinct argument).
- Humans have enslaved and discriminated against each other based on race, religion, gender, age, intelligence, and appearance for 1000s of years. The ideal of universal human rights is itself a new concept. Despite our laws we still have discrimination and exploitation of humans for a myriad of reasons. One doesn’t lock their doors at night to keep out pit bulls.
- Attempting to assert that other species are also speciesists is flawed, since lions and grizzlies have been known to kill the offspring of a rival male, chimpanzee groups will war against other chimpanzee groups, etc and some members of one species have been known to adopt members of another species, both domestically and in the wild. Humans have been found living in wolf dens, piglets adopted by dogs, etc. There are cases of humans risking their lives to save nonhumans and vice versa. Wouldn't this be impossible is tenacious moral instinct(a biological drive) were so?
- Citing some unsubstantiated "law" of the Natural world cannot defend the argument that humans are meant to "stick together".
- The very fact that the concept of animal rights is accepted by some shows that there is no overriding biological drive in humans to "stick together" or avoid compassion for members of other species.
- If you truly believe in species unity, and think it is applicable to humans, go walk through a notorious crime alley with $5000 in your hand and see how that "unity" holds up brother.
- The species unity myth is also used to make a jump from desperate emotional choice to ethical policy. If a human chooses to save a life of a human over a nonhuman in some life and death situation( a river, a barn fire, a locked car/boat with no food etc), the argument is made that it is therefore logical to exploit nonhumans in factory farms, in laboratories etc. But if one were to apply this to a human vs human scenario–(white vs black, Christian vs non Christian, family member vs stranger) and you choose that which you regard as most familiar or valuable–then the same consequences are applicable. Will you then exploit the loser en masse? Of course not. So why would you do it to nonhumans?
12 Survival of the Fittest
12.1 Nature is cruel.
Cats will play with their food–so we should be cruel too. It's survival of the fittest. Compassion is not natural, and other species are motivated by self interest.
- "Survival of the fittest" would allow one to exploit and enslave other humans . You acknowledge that one animal will prey on another, but you ignore that they can also prey on members of their own species–in which case, by using this moral standard and policy, humans preying on other humans would be justified too.
- A domestic cat is fed, and has no predators. A wild cat has to be on guard for competitors. Not catching prey means not eating. The time for playing with their food would be greatly diminished. More importantly, there is no evidence that a cat is aware of the mouse's suffering and takes pleasure from that fact-like humans have been known to do. There are hunters who enjoy killing animals.
- Speciesists who use this attack contradict themselves, for while they say that species have a natural tendency to stick together, they will also allege that it’s a "dog eat dog" world, compassion is not natural, and other species are motivated by self interest! In fact, other species have been known to exhibit altruism. Bats will lend food to other bats, ducks have been known to feign injury to lure a predator away from the flock. There are instances of domestic animals "adopting" the offspring of other species, and dogs rescuing humans. Feral children found living with wolves in the wild etc. And conversely, there are instances where humans have risked their own lives to help a member of another species.
- The very fact that the concept of animal rights is accepted by some shows that there is no overriding biological drive in humans to "stick together" or avoid compassion for members of other species.
- There was an experiment conducted where monkeys were starved unless they pressed a button that would release food–AND torture a monkey wired to shock devices. It was found that the monkeys preferred to endure starvation rather than inflict pain on another–the exact opposite response anticipated by the scientists. Yet a similar experiment involving humans where neither subjects were truly being tortured(unlike the monkeys) found that most of the humans were willing to see another human suffer, just to avoid displeasing the individual giving them the orders.
13.1 Leghold traps are painless and humane.
Response: a) if you think they are then try slamming your car door on your fingers, and stay there for a week.
14 Whale slaughter
14.1 It is hypocritical for North Americans …
with arable land to raise food to criticize a small country like Japan where it has to rely on the oceans for food.
- Japan does not need to rely on the oceans for food–and certainly not by resorting to fishing/whaling. It is not possible to feed the entire population of Japan through whale meat–as it stands it is expensive and a luxury item.
- In order to justify whaling–the Japanese must be able to defend whaling on its own merits–not by using an ad hominem attack that attempts to find imperfections in the anti-whaling critic. If one wants to discuss the negatives of cattle ranching and meat eating in general–whaling would still be condemned. So this is not a defense of whaling.
- Japan raises cattle as well–and imports beef from the US. Thus–the Japanese whalers are hypocritical condemning North Americans for doing something that they themselves do–except, the Japanese also hunt whales–they look doubly bad.
14.2 Eating whale meat is no different than eating cattle.
- In some sense this is true, just as homicide is in some sense no different from deer hunting, but how does that justify whaling? There are many good reasons to be against cattle ranching–and these same reasons can be used against whaling, so where is the defense of whaling by citing this as a defense?
- Except whales are about 10 times the size of a steer and there is no natural predator for them beyond the microorganism scale. Humans must use spears and exploding guns, no other species is as cruel and crude in its killing methods. If Japanese whalers were meant to eat whales, they should be able to kill them with their bare hands and teeth like any true predator.
14.3 Minke whales are the cockroaches of the sea.
If they are not controlled they will eat fish stocks." Attributed to Japan ministry of Agriculture official Masayuki Komatsu.
- Minke whales live in the ocean. As ocean dwellers they feed off the oceans. Humans are land dwellers. Who has more logical and moral case to be eating in their natural habitat? It is humans that are depleting fish and it is humans that are the true pests. I won't call them cockroaches because that would insult a species that is far more successful and restrained in its behavior than humans.
14.4 You say that nature is neither cruel nor merciful that it just is.
Since humans are part of nature, it cannot be said that they are merciful or cruel. They are the way they are. whether or not we protect animals or hurt them, we are acting perfectly within our nature.
- Since humans have concepts of mercy and cruelty, they certainly can make judgments about their behavior using these standards of conduct(and do so all the time). This is how we form civil relations, laws etc. Where the problem arises is when a claim is made that suggests that nature itself can be proven to be one or the other as some absolute certainty. That's tricky territory.
- If you took this from the Q and A section page: "Nature cannot be proven to be cruel or compassionate, it just is. Anything else is a projection of human beliefs and sentiments onto a non-human subject. There is no way to make an absolute verification of such beliefs. This is what follows it: "But, for the sake of argument, let us say that Nature is inherently cruel. Then why should humans care any more about human rights than they do about nonhuman rights? There are dictators around the world that have lived very comfortable lives while they tortured and killed other humans. According to the argument of the human supremacist, they are just living according to Nature. Humans have raped, murdered, enslaved and stolen from each other for thousands of years. It is still true today. These acts would seem to be permissible according to Nature–why then should we try to stop them? If you try to argue "well, because stopping them has mutual benefit for all humans," the fact is that some humans–those with power–have done quite well without worrying about "all humans." So "mutual benefit" is not proven. The true harshness of Nature implied by this argument also applies to human situations. To deny this is to be either emotional (as animal activists are often accused of being), or hypocritical." So in other words, yes, you can say humans are neither cruel nor merciful–whether they are dealing with nonhumans or humans. It makes no difference to the argument. Since human supremacy has not been proven, it allows one to use this reasoning to let humans exploit nonhumans or humans as they see fit. This is unacceptable to the human supremacist, but his or her reasoning cannot close the loophole their own belief creates.
15 Wildlife Management
15.1 If I wasn't hunting prairie dogs and groundhogs they would ruin my crops and my cattle would step in their holes and break their legs.
- That is nonsense. Larry Rittenhouse of Colorado State University says “it would be almost impossible for a cow to break its leg in a prairie dog hole.” He says “I study these animals behavior and they are extremely adept at placing their feet. In my 50 years around cattle and horses, I don’t know of a single incident where a horse or cow has been injured in a prairie dog hole.” Cattle seem to actually preferentially graze on prairie dog towns. It has been found that there’s a significant increase in protein content in the plants growing on prairie dog towns and they are highly nutritious for the cattle.
- many ranchers say that the only way to make farming profitable is to work with the elements of the ecosystem, instead of against them. It’s just not economically feasible to spend precious labor and money killing wildlife. If you start killing one animal, where does it end? We don’t know what species you can eliminate and still keep the system healthy. Contrary to folklore, prairie dogs do not breed like crazy. They don’t mate until their second year and only about half of those born each year survive. As you know, prairie dogs are herbivores and eat mostly native grasses. Most ranchers have heard the “fact” that prairie dogs diminish grassland productivity by a whopping 50-75%, but no one is sure how the biologist who made this claim came up with the numbers. Since then, studies have been done that show if you get rid of prairie dogs, the amount of forage that you gain is a puny 4-7%. It does impact the rancher in dollars and cents, but the cost of poisoning prairie dogs outweigh the gains made by eliminating the animals. If you still insist on trying to “control” the prairie dog and groundhog populations, you could at least do it in more ethically sound and natural ways such as giving predators a boost by building poles for raptors and digging trenches where foxes can hide.
- Biologists call prairie dogs a keystone species. Lose the keystone and the whole ecosystem goes crumbling down with it. Species that rely solely on prairie dogs include the endangered black-footed ferret, the mountain plover (a bird), the burrowing owl, and the ferruginous hawk which preys on them. If you change the natural disturbance regime that the “varmints” provide, you alter the ecosystem and you may start losing species (of animals and plants) because of it which in turn effects other things (like your crops). As for groundhogs, they actually improve the soil quality by digging their burrows. The burrows allow more air and water to get underground, which in turn helps breakdown the soil to form more valuable topsoil.
- I have little sympathy for the livestock loss or damage because it wouldn't happen if no one was eating the livestock. As for crops that go for human consumption (which the majority don’t), if everyone consumed on a veg diet, even a significant (which isn’t the case) loss of crops would be acceptable economically because you are talking about so much less of a burden on our farm system. Any shortcomings could be made up by more farmers raising more produce for human consumption. And in any case, If everyone has to deal with a problem, then the costs are passed on to the consumer. In the end, the market bears the real cost of doing business, and if everyone operated on the same ethical level and accepted crop losses via “varmints” as a natural issue to deal with, we could live in much better cooperation with our surrounding ecosystems and the natural world.
14.2 "If I wasn't killing the bear and wolves and cougars they would kill my sheep and I would lose business or they would eat my children."
- You should not have sheep in the first place. If you must, keep them in a fenced area..
- so instead of killing them, if you are so worried, why don't you work on helping protect their natural habitat so that they won't need to invade your property and kill your livestock. and after all, you are really the one invading their territory.
- by killing the bear, wolves, and cougars you are tampering with a very fragile thing –the ecosystem– which could very likely result in some other problem like an overpopulation of rodents or something.
d)-only in a few isolated incidences in other countries have wolves become fearless and attacked; only become fearless as result of people feeding them-India: parents were motivated to let wolves eat kids by extremely high compensation from government … up to a year’s salary.
- -Chain reaction: in one instance, when the wolves had been killed, coyotes increased. When they were gone, foxes skyrocketed. Not only does the method of removal prove ineffective, but according to the farmer, wolves should be better as they are much less likely to feed off of the farmer’s livestock. -Farmers are compensated by govt for all losses (even though losses are extremely minimal)-WOLVES ARE ONLY RESPONSIBLE FOR .1% OF ALL LOSSES OF CATTLE, AND .3% OF SHEEP!
- It is your own fault that your sheep get killed. The same would be true if you had chickens. They are domesticated–in the wild, predators would not have an easy time picking them off. A farm is easy pickings for a wild animal.
15.2 What about animals that are introduced by humans …
into an unnatural setting, like the broad-tail possum in New Zealand, which are overrunning the native species. Surely we have no choice but to kill them.
- The possum are victims of human greed and stupidity(introduced into new Zealand by fur farmers)–humans just have to live with the consequences–and try not to cause more ecological disasters in the future.
- Who appointed humans to be Nature's exterminators?
- So by your logic, if a group of humans are overpopulating an area and driving out native species, it should be okay for some people to go in and massacre a large number or rather, thin the populations, for the benefit of the native species.
- Well if you are so concerned about native species being wiped out by alien species, what are you doing to stop farmers from cutting down forests or companies polluting rivers? Are you prepared to use violence against them? Or do we make an exception for the number one polluter and natural destroyer on the planet?
15.3 Humans need to manage Nature and other species.
- Total arrogance. Nature and other species do fine when humans aren't around to mess things up for them.
- Oh you mean in the same way we "managed" forests, rivers, and the atmosphere by polluting them? If you call that "managing," I'd hate to see what wanton destruction would look like.
- Even small efforts can blow up such as the Grenfell reindeer effort: In 1907, Grenfell imported a group of 300 reindeer from Norway to provide food and serve as draft animals in Newfoundland. Unbeknownst to him, some of the animals carried a parasitic roundworm, Elaphostrongylus rangiferi, that then spread to native caribou herds. The reindeer herd eventually disappeared; however, the parasite took hold and causes cerebrospinal elaphostrongylosis (CSE) in caribou, a disease well known in reindeer in Scandinavia.
- Here are some examples of how well humans have managed Nature: World's 100 most destructive species named (note–the number one, human, is not mentioned funny enough):
1 Nile perch: introduced to Lake Victoria, Africa, in 1954 to counteract the drastic drop in native fish stocks caused by over-fishing. Instead, it has contributed to the extinction of more than 200 endemic fish species through predation and competition for food.
3 Caulerpa: introduced to the Mediterranean around 1984, it is thought, as waste from the Monaco aquarium. Hardier than most tropical seaweeds, it has adapted well to cold waters and smothers habitats.
5 Small Indian mongoose: this voracious and opportunistic predator is native to areas as widespread as Iran and the Malay Peninsula. It was introduced to Mauritius, Fiji, the West Indies and Hawaii to control rats but has caused the local extinction of endemic birds, reptiles and amphibians.
6 Feral pig: introduced to many parts of the world, it damages crops, stock and property and transmits many diseases such as leptospirosis and foot and mouth. Diet includes juvenile land tortoises, sea turtles and sea birds.
7 Dutch elm disease: deadly fungus, spread by the elm bark beetle, which can kill an elm in three weeks by clogging its water-conducting vessels. Spread in the UK in 1968 from imported Canadian timber to deadly effect, killing more than a third of southern England's 23 million elms.
8 Grey squirrel: the American grey has devastated Britain's native population of red squirrels, which are barely half the size. First appeared in the English countryside between 1876 and 1929, possibly after having been accidentally released from London Zoo.
9 Japanese knotweed: introduced from Asia to Europe in the mid-19th century as an ornamental and fodder plant. Grows rapidly, prevents native seeds from germinating and thrives on being uprooted can even regrow after being rooted out and washed downstream.
10 Giant African snail: introduced to the islands of the Pacific and Indian oceans as a food source for humans but has a voracious appetite and has been recorded as attacking more than 500 different kinds of plants. Has spread to parts of South America. Tropical in origin, but copes comfortably with snow at other latitudes.
16.1 Why shouldn't we go the circus/zoo? …
Are not the animals treated better there than if they were living in the wild?
- Well, first of all, who are we to be the all mighty ones to decide what to do with these animals lives? that would be like: aren't children from 3rd world countries treated better when doing child labor, making purses for mere pennies, than when they are home with their families living in destruction? or weren't black slaves better off as slaves than free because they had a means of making a living? … and really, although there are hunters and destruction of their natural habitats, I would think freedom and all the enrichment that the environment can provide would be a better life than being chained and forced to perform in stressful situations, constantly moved from place to place, and often being abused.
- By this logic we should take natives out of the dwindling jungles of South America and Borneo and put them in zoos so their lifestyle can be preserved. Surely they would be better off than if they had to struggle in the forests.
- Well, we humans are also staying in the house, but are we still 100% safe?
17.1 Native hunters/whalers regard the animals they hunt as their brothers.
- Ah yes, I love you brother. That is why I am going to harpoon and club you to death.
- The Makah whalers say the whales they slaughter are their "brothers" – yet the Makah word for Grey whale translates as "devilfish" (since their "brothers" often defended themselves when attacked – apparently that makes them evil). Quite the endearment to call your sibling.
17.2 It's necessary to make a qualitative distinction between whaling practices: those whose survival is completely dependent upon it, and those for whom it is merely a career.
- While I would agree that commercial whaling is more ethically problematic than Inuit whaling, the real issue is whether whaling itself is justified. Assuming that a community's survival is "completely" dependent upon whaling, the real question becomes: does it need to be?
- If the "civilized" nations of the world, including the Inuit representatives, can travel by 21st century technology to meet in Japan for an IWC meeting then alternatives to whaling for survival do exist. The apologists for whaling would have us believe that we can put a man on the Moon, and design a computer that can play chess, but when it comes to providing daily sustenance for all humans, only a harpoon can accomplish the task—or in other words, that we must approach a 21st century problem with 1st century solutions.
- while I would agree that a man who mugs people and shoots them dead is not as nasty as another man who mugs people then douses them with gasoline and lets them burn to death, this qualitative distinction on my part does not mean I endorse the actions of either man. The distinction becomes trivial in light of the greater issue: whether either man needs to engage in such behavior, and whether I should be assisting either of them in committing such acts. People do not need to kill whales to survive. Other food sources can be (and should be) provided by the patron governments of the lands in which these First nations societies live. And if they cannot, international agencies should.
17.3 To ask First nations hunters to give up their hunting and fishing and rely on international food aid would be to rob them of their independence.
- No man is an island, and one cannot go back in time to 1000 CE. If they are able to stomach the concept of using non Inuit technology for some aspects of their lives (guns and ammunition for hunting, air travel to whaling summits etc), then why can they not stomach it for other possibilities? A fair and ethical treatment of others should trump lifestyle choices and tradition—if one wants to have a more consistent ethical philosophy.
- None of us are truly independent from our societies, or national governments. While I believe that people should have choices in how they live their lives, the choices become a matter of ethics where the lives of others are involved. A man who wants independence cannot have his cake and eat it too. If he wants others to respect his right to independence, he has to be fair and just in the implementation of that independence.
17.4 Since the end of the seal hunt Inuit trappers and hunters have succumbed to bad health from eating junk food, alcohol abuse, poverty, even suicide. Helping animals hurt First Nations people.
- Negro slave traders also suffered when the slave trade was stopped. Does that mean that it was wrong to abolish the slave trade? If it is okay to put slave traders out of work to liberate others, then it is okay to do the same for seals or other species.
- Alcohol and junk food is bad for everyone. The answer is not reinstating the seal fur trade, but dealing with those problems among the Inuit community. I suppose the government would much rather return to killing seals and making profits from fur, than adopting wholesome and compassionate methods for solving these problems.
- It is unfortunate that they have had bad times–but it wasn't as bad as a seal being orphaned or getting shot or his/her head bashed in.
- If Inuit people cannot live normal happy lives without going out and killing an animal then they really have problems. I suppose one would like to believe the myth that it is some natural instinct for northern human societies to hunt, trap and fish. Yet polar bears and wolves and other species are born to survive by these methods-humans on the other hand, choose to live in harsh climates. They don't have to. Seals, wolves, bears—they are meant to live in the Arctic–but humans are not physically equipped for it. Perhaps what the depressed Inuit hunter needs is a change of scenery–and coming to realize that there is more to life than killing when one does not need to.
- There was a time when seal hunters in the North did not have markets to sell their "wares." Somehow they managed to live okay without an international fur trade. Is it the loss of a tradition that is the culprit for their woes or is it rather, the loss of money?
17.5 Native trappers and hunters etc are living on the planet the way we are supposed to.
- Hey! Can you lend me your copy of "HOW TO LIVE" by Supreme Deity? I want to check the section on what to do with arrogant humans.
- Ignoring your apparent claim of access to the divine scheme for human existence, some tribal societies had been known to sacrifice humans and keep them as slaves(such as the Makah whaling tribe). Tribal peoples are humans too–meaning they are just as capable of being cruel, greedy or deceitful as any other ethnic division of the human species. By your argument how do we know that butchering each other and other species is not the way we are supposed to live–so why bother having police to curb our violent tendencies? If it is wrong for Makah whalers to enslave and exploit other humans, than its wrong for Northern trappers to enslave and exploit other animals.
- Much of this idea has to do with the Appeal to Nature Fallacy. For some reason, some people think that living according to nature (whatever that might mean) is a good thing. An examination of that notion, isn't conclusive (see Nature = Good?).
17.6 there are more (enter animal species) in the wild than before the white man arrived.
- Unless you have access to a time machine, that statement is a little hard to verify with Stats Canada in the year 1600.
17.7 Animals that we trap and hunt die from disease and starvation in the wild.
- Wow! Imagine that, things get sick and die! And here I thought Nature worked like a Disney cartoon!
- Humans also die from the same causes–do you suggest we hunt and trap those poor unfortunates and turn them into coats (with fur designers and hunters getting the profits)?
- James Boswell, trying to refute the arguments of abolitionists, writes in his Life of Johnson that, "To abolish a status which in all ages GOD has sanctioned, and man has continued, would not only be robbery to an innumerable class of our fellow-subjects; but it would be extreme cruelty to the African Savages, a portion of whom it saves from massacre, or intolerable bondage in their own country, and introduces into a much happier state of life; especially now when their passage to the West Indies and their treatment there is humanely regulated. To abolish that trade would be to shut the gates of mercy on mankind." Boswell, J., Life of Johnson (N.Y.: Modern Library Edition, 1965) p. 365. (See Christians Organise Slave-Trade.)
17.8 A Northern trapper sees himself as the "caretaker of the land"
- How utterly arrogant. Nature does not need managing, humans do. Other species were taking care of themselves long before humans arrived on the scene and they will get along just as well when humans go the way of the Dodo bird (exterminated I might add, by "caretaker" humans).
- And white slave traders saw themselves as caretakers for the non-white non-christian races–so should we then forgive anyone for practicing human slavery?
17.9 Northern tribal societies like the Inuit are as well adapted to their "indigenous" environment, as the polar bears or seals or whales that share it.
- A naked polar bear, Arctic wolf, seal, or whale is born with all the equipment he or she needs to survive. But a human, even of Inuit extraction, would perish in mere minutes if left naked on the ice flows of his or her so-called native habitat. If an Inuit is naturally meant to hunt whales, as is frequently claimed by defenders of exploitation industries that use First Nations communities for supplies or propaganda (i.e. whaling, sealing and trapping), then its factual validity can be tested by simply having one courageous Inuit hunter jump naked into the Arctic sea and try to bite a whale to death with only his teeth and bare hands. The result is easily predicted. Because the Inuit need tools to survive, and those tools are now chiefly provided by outside communities (i.e. the government of Canada, Smith & Wesson), then it would be hypocritical to suggest that the best long term, ethical solution to First Nations subsistence needs cannot be based on more compassionate aid from those very same communities, whether it be food aid or subsidized relocation to climates more suited to human beings.
- When they are born with fur and blubber and claws instead of having to take it from other Arctic natives, then I will believe that are indigenous to the climate.
17.10 They cant move anywhere else! The Arctic is their home!
- But not in the same way it is for seals, whales, bears or wolves.
- Why is it that of all the native inhabitants of the Arctic, only the Inuit are not born with all the physical tools they need to survive? Until they are born with a thick hide of blubber and fur from their backs, I will say that a sub-zero temperature is not their natural environment.
17.11 The trappers use all the scraps of the animal, nothing is wasted.
- Hitler also used all the scraps of his victims – is that a defense for what he did?
17.12 To criticize First Nations people(or Japanese Whalers or Bali turtle hunters) for hunting and fishing and trapping and whaling is just cultural imperialism (aka identity imperialism, racism etc.).
You are trying to impose your beliefs on others." [Editor: this is a form of the Moral relativism argument – which states that one cannot judge the actions of one culture (or person) by the ethical standards of another.]
- If one applied this moral relativistic belief consistently and fairly it would mean one could not condemn someone else for discrimination against other humans based upon their own cultural and ethical beliefs. People who practice bride burning or honor killings or child labor could say it is "cultural imperialism" for outsiders to criticize their actions.
- Activities from spousal abuse to ritual murder to cannibalism have also been defended by bogus claims of racism or "Imperialism," and this hasn't nullified the ethical arguments against these practices;
- Other species can also be said to suffer under unjust, discriminatory treatment, and every human ethnic group, including First nation ones, are capable of being the oppressors.
- We are talking about life, not a lifestyle. When the issue involves the very real harm caused to others, ethical beliefs do apply, and it is certainly within reason to make judgments based upon those beliefs. Since no human society on Earth lives in a vacuum, and all have at least some connection to other cultures, and they all expect at least some moral consideration from each other, the charge of discrimination may be leveled against any one of them. The only way an Inuit hunter or Japanese whaler (or Michigan deer hunter for that matter) could use moral relativism as a defense, is if he holds no ethical belief (such as his own right to life) that he expects should be honored by anyone else (whether Inuit or not). That possibility is very very remote.
- Actually the true cultural imperialism is when the Inuit or the Japanese or anyone else tries to impose their culture on whales or other animals by killing them when they do not need to.
- Ethical systems are like language systems. There are many different languages, but they all have common elements that can be used to allow interpretation and communication between them (alphabets, rules of usage etc). Systems of moral belief also have underlying common elements (social contracts, belief in the value of one's life, respect for family, friendship etc.). It is these basic concepts to all moral belief systems that are being used to cite unjust discriminatory behavior and conduct. Therefore, when one criticizes a culture for causing unnecessary harm to others (killing whales for food), it is not a matter of "judging one culture by the standards of another," but using the basic moral "vocabulary" common in all cultures to make a judgment that the culture is not being consistent in its ethical philosophy if it says the value of Inuit/Japanese/Bali/German etc) life as a group is superior to that of non-Inuit/Japanese/etc life, without proving the superiority as an objective truth.
17.13 Do you eat bread? Nutritional yeast is alive. You are killing bacteria.
- Thanks! I will switch to flatbreads tomorrow, but regardless, it doesn't excuse you from supporting meat eating, the fur industry, animal research etc etc. How does that justify you supporting the meat industry, animal research, hunting etc? By your logic, any act of killing, necessary or not(right down to the microscopic level), negates any effort to to curb it. Therefore, since we cannot avoid killing microbes just by the act of living, we shouldn't worry about muggings, murders, wars etc. If you say yes we can worry about them, then we can also worry about meat eating, hunting, and any other practice it is possible to stop.
- Just because I am trying to live more ethically does not mean that I am perfect. One cannot avoid all killing in life. That is not to say that animal rights and veg*anism are pointless. If I accidentally kill a bug by stepping on it, that does not mean that I should give up the whole compassionate living thing altogether. Everyone should just do as much as they can manage to aspire towards a moral life. Eating meat, buying products tested on animals, etc, these are things that can be easily avoided and are direct links to mass cruelty.
- I think I killed about a million microbes just from gasping at the stupidity of your argument. Man, I am worse than Hitler.
- Yeast isn't a sentient lifeform, unless you worry about bacteria. So I take it you don't bath because you don't want to kill millions of them?
17.14 If we don't consider ourselves better than animals we will treat each other terribly.
- So does that mean that if whites consider themselves superior to blacks then they would naturally treat whites better?
- Tell that to Stalin and Hitler.
- ANIMAL VICTIMS / HUMAN VICTIMS: REPORTS FROM POLICE CASE FILES Russell Weston Jr., tortured and killed 12 cats: burned and cut off their tails, paws, ears; poured toxic chemicals in their eyes to blind them; forced them to ingest poison, hung them from trees (the noose loose enough to create a slow and painful death.) Later killed 2 officers at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Jeffery Dahmer staked cats to trees and decapitated dogs. Later he dissected boys, and kept their body parts in the refrigerator. Murdered 17 men. Kip Kinkle shot 25 classmates and killed several in Springfield, Oregon. He killed his father and mother. Said he blew up a cow once. Set a live cat on fire and dragged the innocent creature through the main street of town. Classmates rated him as "Most Likely to Start World War 3." As a boy, Albert De Salvo, the "Boston Strangler," placed a dog and cat in a crate with a partition between them. After starving the animals for days, he removed the partition to watch them kill each other. He raped and killed 13 women by strangulation. He often posed bodies in a shocking manner after their murders. Richard Allen Davis set numerous cats on fire. He killed all of Polly Klaus' animals before abducting and murdering Polly Klaus, aged 12, from her bedroom. 11-year-old Andrew Golden and 13-year-old Mitchell Johnson tortured and killed dogs. On March 24, 1998, in Jonesboro, Arkansas, Golden and Johnson shot and killed 4 students and 1 teacher during a fire drill at their school. After 16-year-old Luke Woodham mortally stabbed his mother, killed 2 classmates and shot 7 others, he confessed to bludgeoning his dog Sparkle with baseball bats and pouring liquid fuel down her throat and to set fire to her neck. "I made my first kill today," he wrote in his court-subpoenaed journal. "It was a loved one … I'll never forget the howl she made. It sounded almost human." In June 1998, Woodham was found guilty of 3 murders and 7 counts of aggravated assault. He was sentenced to 3 life sentences and an additional 20 years for each assault. heodore Robert Bundy, executed in 1989 for at least 50 murders, was forced to witness a grandfather who tortured animals. Bundy later heaped graves with animal bones. At 4-years-old, ichael Cartier dislocated the legs of rabbits and hurled a kitten through a closed window. He later shot Kristin Lardner 3 times in the head, before shooting himself. Henry Lee Lucas killed numerous animals and had sex with their corpses. He killed his mother, common law wife, and an unknown number of people. Edward Kemperer cut up 2 cats. He later killed his grandparents, mother and 7 other women. Richard Speck threw a bird into a ventilator fan. Killed 8 women. Randy Roth taped a cat to a car's engine and used an industrial sander on a frog. Killed 2 of his wives and attempted to kill a third. David Richard Davis shot and killed 2 healthy ponies, threw a wine bottle at a pair of kittens and hunted with illegal methods. Murdered his wife, Shannon Mohr Davis, for insurance money. Peter Kurten, the Dusseldorf Monster, tortured dogs, and practiced bestiality while killing animals. Murdered or attempted to murder over 50 men, women and children. Richard Trenton Chase, "The Vampire Killer of Sacramento," bit the heads off birds, drained animals for their blood, killed animals for their organs, and later killed 6 people in random attacks. One police officer present at the scene of the first murder, confessed to having nightmares about the crime for months afterwards. The Kobe Killer, an as yet unnamed 15-year-old boy in Japan, beheaded a cat and strangled several pigeons, decapitated 11-year-old Jun Hase, and battered to death a 10-year-old girl with a hammer, and assaulted 3 other children in separate attacks. Richard William Leonard's grandmother forced him to kill and mutilate cats and kittens when he was a child. He later killed Stephen Dempsey with a bow and arrow. He also killed Ezzedine Bahmad by slashing his throat. Tom Dillion murdered people's pets. He shot and killed Jamie Paxton, aged 21; Claude Hawkins, aged 49; Donald Welling, aged 35; Kevin Loring, aged 30; and Gary Bradely, aged 44. David Berkowitz, "Son of Sam," poisoned his mother's parakeet out of jealousy. He later shot 13 young men and women. 6 people died and at least 2 suffered permanent disabilities. Arthur Shawcross repeatedly threw a kitten into a lake until the kitten drowned from exhaustion. Killed a young girl. After serving 15-1/2 years in prison, he killed 11 more women. Jason Massey's killing resume began with cats and dogs; at 20 he decapitated and disemboweled a 13-year-old girl and fatally shot a 14-year old boy. He claims to have killed 37 cats, 29 dogs and 6 cows. Patrick Sherrill stole neighborhood pets, tethered them with baling wire and encouraged his dog to mutilate them. He killed 14 co-workers and himself in 1986. Keith Hunter Jesperson, "Happy Face Killer," bashed gopher heads and beat, strangled and shot stray cats and dogs. He is known to have strangled 8 women. He said: "You're actually squeezing the life out of these animals … Choking a human being or a cat – it's the same feeling … I'm the very end result of what happens when somebody kills an animal at an early age." Carroll Edward Cole, executed in 1985 for an alleged 35 murders and reputed to be one of the most prolific serial killers in U.S. history, confessed that his first act of violence was to strangle a puppy under the porch of his house. Michael Perry decapitated a neighbor's dog. Later killed his parents, infant nephew and 2 neighbors. Robert Alton Harris murdered two 16-year-old boys, doused a neighbor with lighter fluid and tossed matches at him. His initial run-in with police was for killing neighborhood cats. At 9-years-old, Eric Smith strangled a neighbor's cat. At 13, he bludgeoned 4-year-old Derrick Robie to death. Smith lured the little boy into the woods, choked him, sodomized him with a stick, then beat him to death with a rock
17.15 Wasn't Hitler a vegetarian?
- And Al Capone started the first soup kitchens in Chicago. I guess anyone who supports helping the homeless is a gangster?
- The testimony of Hitler's personal cook in Hamburg during the late 1930s - Dione Lucas. In her "Gourmet Cooking School Cookbook," she records that his favorite dish - the one that he customarily requested - was stuffed squab (pigeon). "I do not mean to spoil your appetite for stuffed squab, but you might be interested to know that it was a great favorite with Mr. Hitler, who dined in the hotel often." (Also see: ivu-hitler, Hitler was not a vegetarian.)
- So was Gandhi – does that make him a war monger and mass murderer?
- They say Osama Bin Laden liked hunting. So did Timothy McVeigh. So by your logic, every hunter is a terrorist!
- "Otto D. Tolischus in 1937 in The New York Times pointed out that the Führer was a vegetarian who 'does not drink or smoke' but who also 'occasionally relishes a slice of ham' along with delicacies such as caviar and chocolates." (Ibid.) Robert Proctor calls Hitler a vegetarian "of sorts" (The Nazi War on Cancer, p. 134) and is content to state that Hitler was a vegetarian who "occasionally would allow himself a dish of meat," (p. 135) and quotes The New York Times as stating that in addition to ham and caviar Hitler also occasionally ate squab."
f)His cook, an enormously fat man named Willy Kannenberg, produced exquisite meals and acted as court jester. Although Hitler had no fondness for meat except in the form of sausages and never ate fish, he enjoyed caviar. (The Life and Death of Adolph Hitler Praeger, 1973 p. 346)
- Hitler's reputation for being a vegetarian seems to consist solely of his not having eaten red meat. The effort to describe Hitler's eating habits as vegetarian requires changing the definition of "vegetarian" to exclude liver, ham, and sausages from the list of meats, and changing the definition of "animal" to exclude pigs. Hitler did exhibit a sympathy with a vegetarian diet, but paradoxically, vegetarians and the vegetarian movement in Nazi Germany were persecuted. Vegetarian societies were restrained, subject to raids, and "books that contained vegetarian recipes were confiscated by the Gestapo." Janet Barkas has a good account of this period in German history in her book, The Vegetable Passion. German vegetarian societies were forced to leave the International Vegetarian Union; they were prohibited from organizing and from publishing material, but individuals were not molested and "could exchange their credit notes for meat for dairy products. About 83,000 vegetarians participated in this program." (See All-Creatures.)
- Hitler and Animals. Like many of his fellow human beings, Adolf Hitler used animal epithets to vilify other people. He often called his opponents "swine" and "dirty dogs." The Bolsheviks were "animals," and the Russians a "bestial people" and Slavic "rabbit-family" whom Stalin had molded into a totalitarian state. After Hitler conquered Russia, he wanted "the ridiculous hundred million Slavs" to live in "pig-pens." He called British diplomats "little worms," and, as for the "half-Judaized, half-Negrified" people of America, they "have the brains of a hen." Hitler had contempt for his own people, referring to them as "the great stupid mutton-herd of our sheep-like people," and when the defeats mounted late in the war, he blamed them for not having risen to the challenge. Hitler called his own sisters "stupid geese." Whatever deficiencies members of the Germanic Volk might possess, however, Hitler believed the Aryan/Nordic race was infinitely superior to the surrounding sea of sub-human "monstrosities between man and ape," as he made clear in a speech in Munich in 1927: "We see before us the Aryan race which is manifestly the bearer of all culture, the true representative of all humanity….Our entire industrial science is without exception the work of Nordics. All great composers from Beethoven to Richard Wagner are Aryans….Man owes everything that is of any importance to the principle of struggle and to one race which has carried itself forward successfully. Take away the Nordic Germans and nothing remains but the dance of apes." Charles Patterson.
- Hitler was fond of dogs, especially German shepherds (he considered boxers "degenerate"), whom he liked to control and dominate. At the front during World War I, he befriended a white terrier, Fuchsl (Foxl), who had strayed across enemy lines. Later, when his unit had to move on and Fuchsl could not be found, Hitler became distraught. "I liked him so much," he recalled. "He only obeyed me." Hitler often carried a dogwhip and sometimes used it to beat his dog the same way he had seen his father beat his own dog. In the Fuhrer headquarters during World War II, Hitler's German shepherd, Blondi, offered him the closest thing he had to friendship. "But with his dogs, as with every human being he came into contact with," writes his biographer Ian Kershaw, "any relationship was based upon subordination to his mastery."
- The reputed fondness of Hitler and other top Nazis for animals, especially their dogs, has been put into perspective by Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno. For certain authoritarian personalities, they write, their "love of animals" is part of the way they intimidate others. When industrial magnates and Fascist leaders want to have pets around them, Horkheimer and Adorno maintain, their choice falls on intimidating animals such as Great Danes and lion cubs, which are intended to add to their power through the terror they inspire. "The murderous Fascist colossus stands so blindly before nature that he sees animals only as a means of humiliating men," they write. "The Fascist's passionate interest in animals, nature, and children is rooted in the lust to persecute." While with their hand they might negligently stroke a child's head, or an animal's back, that same hand could just as easily destroy them. "The petting demonstrates that all are equal in the presence of power, that none is a being in its own right. A creature is merely material for the master's bloody purposes."
- It is alleged that the Nazis revered or admired animals. Hitler's nickname, "Wolf" is adduced as evidence for this. The Nazi interest in animals was part of their adaptation of social Darwinism to racial policies: they were fond of powerful animals, not animals they perceived as weak. Hitler's nickname, "Wolf" is a good example. He didn't call himself "rabbit," or "deer." As Kenneth Clarke points out in The History of Animals in Art human behavior towards animals is extremely paradoxical. Human beings can be fond of animals and cruel towards them. Admiration for animals often accompanies cruelty towards them. A hunter loves his hunting dog. Lion hunters admire the lion. Some Medieval barons had bears inscribed on their escutcheons, yet hunted them and tortured them, sometimes blinding them for entertainment and bear fights.
- This is a silly effort to discredit vegetarianism by association. In fact, it is a logical fallacy known as Guilt by Association.
17.16 Other animals are sadistic too.
They will torture a mouse and know they are torturing it.
Response a) Not according to Mark Twain: "Of all the creatures that were made, man is the most detestable. Of the entire brood he is the only one–the solitary one–that possesses malice. That is the basest of all instincts, passions, vices–the most hateful. He is the only creature that has pain for sport, knowing it to be pain. Also–in all the list he is the only creature that has a nasty mind.- Mark Twain's Autobiography; and: "Of all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel. He is the only one that inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it. It is a trait that is not known to the higher animals." (The Lowest Animal)
- You say a cat knows that a mouse feels pain, that a cat knows what a mouse is feeling, and then deliberately tortures the mouse, just as we know for fact, humans such as researchers, are capable of doing (the fact that researchers will name lab animals "goner" or three animals with broken spines "snap, crackle and pop" demonstrates this). When you see cats or weasals do the same, or gather to watch other cats torture mice as a spectator sport, just as humans do in bullrings and rodeos, and in the Roman Coliseum, then you will convince me. Until then, keep fantasizing.
- You are trying to project all the negative qualities of humans onto nonhumans, but you miss something. Only humans are capable of slander. Only a human can accuse an innocent of doing that which it does itself.
- Humans are also capable of torturing others via language. Insults, lies etc. Can other species do that?
- There is zero evidence that other species, unlike humans, are aware that they are causing members of other species to suffer. Do cats or weasals set up arenas or stadiums in the wild or back alleys where they sit around as other cats and weasals torture mice? Do they roll on their backs in apparent glee as they watch a mouse screaming–as humans have been known to find pleasure and amusement from watching others–human or not–suffer? For a cat to be aware that a mouse suffers, and then to derive pleasure from its suffering, would be to project very human characteristics onto the cat. And remember that there is one advantage that humans have over nonhumans in their capacity for cruelty. Only humans are capable of mental torment. Using language to tease and torture others.
17.17 Do you eat meat?/What are your shoes made of?
- The issue of meat eating and/or animal by-products is a valid and important issue in animal rights, but it does not have anything to do with the moral and ethical problems of animal research. The fact that an animal activist making a pro-animal rights/compassion argument may be inconsistent in those ways does not in any way detract or invalidate the argument on animal research. It is a separate issue.
- If South Africa was being criticized by the United States for their treatment of blacks, and the South African government responded by pointing out the United States' poor treatment of tribal communities within their own country, would this mean that the treatment of blacks by South Africa was morally defensible? Of course not. It would just mean that there are other issues that need to be addressed APART FROM the treatment of blacks by South Africa.
17.18 Well you are entitled to your opinion but I am entitled to mine.
and I say … FILL IN BLANK
- Everyone is entitled to an opinion (although some are more able to express one publicly than others) but if the opinion involves causing harm to others, there is usually a generally accepted restriction on ACTING upon such opinions. I.e. "I think Christians like me are superior to non-christians, therefore we should be able to enslave non believers." If it is wrong for white supremacists, christian supremacists, anti-gays, male chauvinists, etc to act upon their opinion, thus it should be the same for ALL forms of unfair discrimination–including willful discrimination against animals.
- Daniel Patrick Moynihan: "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts."
17.19 Mind your own business.
- I'll mind my own business when you let other species mind their own business.
- If "mind your own business" wasn't an acceptable defense from a negro slave trader or a Nazi camp guard it isn't an acceptable defense from you either.
- This is actually a self-annihilating imperative, since the issuer is not minding his/her own business by telling you to mind yours.
17.20 Who says you have a right to tell us what to do?
- Who says you have a right to tell other species what to do?
- Because, if we have a right to tell a wife beater, child abuser, Nazi or negro slave trader what to do then we have a right to tell you what to do also.
- Again a self-annihilating effort, since we could question whether the issuer has a right to tell us what to do.
17.21 You are never going to stop …
Insert animal-environmental cause or convince people that some action is wrong.
- We may never eradicate homicide, child abuse, spousal abuse, theft, etc. so I guess by your logic we shouldn't even try.
17.22 Why are you Vegan?
- Everyone is! Just some people add animal products to their diet.
- Everything is! Just some foods have animal products added.
- I was training my dog not to beg and got used to the diet.
- Because god told me.
- Because I ate part of my best friend once and that kind of put me off.
- Why AREN'T you????
- because I find it terrible to have thoughts of eating muscles cut from my friends' dead bodies, and disgusting to stuff one's face with decaying animal remains.
- Because you aren't.
- Socrates, Pythagoros, Leonardo Da Vinci, H.G. Wells, Dr. Spock, Mister Spock, Einstein … either they were ones or endorsed the concept, since genius and vegetarianism seem to go together so well, I thought somebody better keep the tradition alive!
- I don't feel like its in my nature to kill animals for food because I know that I couldn't kill an animal and eat it. It doesn't seem fair to pay a corporation to take care of if for me.
17.23 How can you compare the Holocaust to the treatment of animals in farms and labs?
It is an insult to the memory of those who died in the camps to use the word in reference to animals.
- The word "holocaust" originates in reference to the sacrifice of a male animal in Biblical times, thus, if it is fitting for humans to change its meaning to highlight a mass slaughter committed against humans, then certainly it is fair and just to use the word in reference to the slaughter of the subjects in its original meaning.
- Groups and individuals who discuss the Nazi Holocaust often refer to "cattle cars" and comparing Auschwitz victims to "lab animals," therefore they themselves are acknowledging that nonhuman animals are treated in horrible and atrocious ways–the proof is that they use them as examples of how not to be treated!
- If anything, it is an insult to the billions of nonhuman animals that have been slaughtered, since their victims far outnumber that of any human tragedy. And unlike humans, the victims of animal holocausts are incapable of ever being the victimizers. Not true of Jews, Armenians, Cambodians, etc.
- Who says humans have a monopoly on suffering and injustice?
- To think it is an insult is to demonstrate the same sort of arrogant supremacy mindset that the Nazis showed, valuing the suffering of some over others.