|04-22-2007, 11:22 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2007
Animal cruelty is in nature too
Hey everyone. I was wondering what peoples' opinions are in regards to eating animals, and 'animal cruelty' in the wild as well as on the farm.
While watching some nature shows on TV recently, it came to my attention that even though domesticated animals undergo all sorts of unnecessary cruelty to get from the farm to our dinner plates, pain and suffering happens all the time in nature. The brutality of the predator-prey relationship is pretty downright gruesome a lot of the time.
I don't know about you guys but this really unsettles me. To see a baby duck get devoured by a school of piranhus, the water turning red and feathers flying about like a pillow just exploded is something I find truly disgusting and it's kind of depressing that there is nothing I can do about it.
Yeah its a fact of life but as a vegetarian/almost vegan it frustrates me that despite whatever individual efforts I make this is the reality of the natural world.
So what is your stance on this topic? And for you vegetarians and vegans out there, how do you view your diet within the context of the natural eat-or-be-eaten world?
|04-23-2007, 01:57 AM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2007
This is my first post, though I have been reading this forum since it started.
While nature is often cruel, the only way for meat-eating animals to get their food is to kill another animal, and usually in a brutal manner. However, animals only kill one animal at a time, and it's because they are hungry. At least the killed animal gets to "have a life" before it is killed.
There is an enormous difference between what happens in nature, and what happens in farms where animals are kept in an unimaginably cruel environment, e.g. pigs which are highly intelligent animals (smarter than dogs), spend their whole miserable lives in pens in which they can't even turn around, feel nothing but concrete under their feet, and bite on the steel bars enclosing them out of frustration and boredom. Then, when the farmer deems they are ready, they are dragged out of their hell-holes and for the first time in their lives, see daylight before they are slaughtered.
In the old days all animals were "free-range" so the only time they may have felt pain or suffering was when they were killed, but over the last few decades as money has become more important than the welfare of animals,
the suffering is immeasurable.
While I am on my soapbox, give a thought to the animals used for vivisection, and the unnecessary practice of having animals living their whole lives with shampoo or mascara in their eyes, when surely enough of these products have already been tested in the past.
We can't do anything about the natural order of the food chain, but we humans could do a whole lot better in our treatment of animals while they are alive.
|04-24-2007, 04:41 PM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2006
With choice comes responsibility - that sums it up perfectly Keith :-) When it comes to eating meat we have a choice. We can choose to eat battery hens and pigs that live their whole life pumped full of drugs in some god forsaken prison cell, we can choose to eat free range animals that live a freer life before having their throats slashed at the slaughterhouse or we can remove cruelty and violence from our diet altogether. Other animals don't have that choice. For some animals it's either eat another animal or be eaten yourself. Some animals (like cats) have digestive systems that are wholly unsuited to processing plant foods. Although it can be heartbreaking from our human perspective to see a cute fluffy duckling be torn to shreds by a pack of piranhas, we should remember that it is only heartbreaking to us because we're looking at it from a human perspective :-) I'm not an ecologist, but I imagine the predator/prey relationships have evolved in an intricate life-supporting way, and I don't think stopping other animals that are carnivores from eating because we omnivorous humans don't like the idea of animals killing other animals would be of any benefit. I suppose you can take comfort in the fact that the duck-doom was all over quickly. Some carnivores are very efficient killers - I saw a documentary once where they showed some wolves stalking a sheep. The "killer" of the pack ran beside it for a few seconds, nipped it on the throat and it died instantly.
So while I see where you're coming from, as far as animal cruelty goes I think the best we can do as humans is to treat animals humanely ourselves and encourage everyone else to do the same :-)
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