these four legs have rights, those four legs don't

@jb78000 (15178)
March 30, 2010 7:00am CST
why do many have such double standards with regards to animals? people who would be furious at the maltreatment of a dog are perfectly happy to contribute to horrific cruelty to equally social and sensitive animals such as pigs. btw i should point out that although i am a vegetarian i don't oppose eating meat, but i think if you choose to do this the animals you eat should be treated humanely and with respect.
3 people like this
18 responses
• United States
21 Apr 10
Hi there jb! Good to see a fellow veggie on here, although I've gone a little farther and am vegan. I think people honestly don't think about it. They get used to eating meat and don't want to think about the living being they're eating. Some people want to throw intelligence into the mix, saying that farm animals aren't very intelligent, so it's okay to eat them. Well, this is straight-out flawed. I had chickens while I was growing up...cute little things got birthday parties, love and attention...my chickens were the luckiest on the planet. They were also the smartest animals I've ever come across. I taught them tricks, how to play tag, among other things, faster than I could teach my younger cousin anything or one of our dogs. We all know pigs are smarter than little kids, and I'm here to say that chickens are very intelligent as well. I haven't had too much experience with cows and turkies, however. Some people bring up the Bible argument and how God gave us animals to eat. As a Christian, I find this appalling. We have dominion over animals...much like the Queen of England has dominion over her people. If she started eating her civilians...well goodness, that argument would finally make sense but people wouldn't be too happy! I believe that as humans, we have a duty to take care of our planet and our animals...no matter whether they are human adults or kids (as we are mammals as well), dogs, rats, or pigs. Biologically, it simply doesn't make sense to eat meat...but if you're going to do it, I agree: be humane.
@jb78000 (15178)
25 Apr 10
hi lovinglife. yes, i've thought about veganism but here the practical took over. still an option i'd consider in the future though. i had chickens when i was a child too, and no they were not nearly as stupid as people think. it isn't much of an argument anyway - ability to feel pain is not dependent on IQ. biologically i think i might disagree with you though. we are omnivores, which basically means we can choose what to eat. eating meat and other things can be perfectly healthy, as can not eating meat. we are not carnivores and we are not herbivores either - just look at your teeth if you aren't convinced.
• United States
25 Apr 10
See, I've gone through every biological thing in the book and, including teeth, there is nothing there to convince me we are omnivores, either. Our fang teeth simply aren't carnivorous teeth. Compare those "fang" teeth with carnivore teeth. Carnivorous fangs are meant to rip meat to shreds, which ours simply don't have the capability to do. Plus, since teeth help get food ready for the digestive system, it simply doesn't make sense that our teeth are the only "omnivore" teeth that don't finish the job, as most diseases caused by meat eating have to do with the meat not being fully digested. Watch an ape while it eats. When it eats a fruit that has a peel, THAT is the reason it uses those teeth. And that makes sense. A peel is tough and fiberous, and our so-called "fang" teeth are able to break through peels just fine. I'd like to see somebody try to break through the skin of a deer with those.
@jb78000 (15178)
25 Apr 10
i have had this argument with both vegetarians and committed carnivores. in your mouth you have small canines for tearing (therefore you are not a complete carnivore or they'd be much bigger but most herbivores have none), teeth for biting and teeth for grinding. if i didn't know what you were i would say omnivore because the teeth are general purpose but not specialised for any particular food. i don't think there is a strong biological argument for vegetarianism. i also don't think there needs to be. we have the choice of what to eat and are intelligent enough to be able to make one.
@rosegardens (3044)
• United States
31 Mar 10
Agreed. I have a friend that had a farm, and they treated their animals well even though they were going to be slaughtered. They were allowed a pet and also told the others would be killed. They still regarded the animals with care, hand fed them when they had the chance, brushed them, petted them and cared for them up until the fall when they were sent off to the slaughter house. I watched a documentary on chickens once, and I was sickened. The animals were in cages that were filled to the brim with no room to move around. They were stacked on top of other cages. I try to buy Amish chicken when I can, or check the labels to see if they are free range animals. I do not want to contribute to cruelty. Besides, the free range animals that are treated with some form of respect taste better. That is a plus for the farmers who grow animals the right way. I just cannot imagine having any living thing and not caring for it, no matter if it will be food or not. These large corporations that own a bulk of the animals to feed us do not care for the animals at all, they are only looking at the bottom line. What a shame.
@jb78000 (15178)
18 Apr 10
they see the animals as things. in fact they probably see people as things too
• United States
18 Apr 10
Amish are good people, but even they have their faults. They sometimes have puppy mills, with cages piled several high and wide. The dogs are not given exercise, but remain in the crates until sold. When they reach unsaleable age, I dont' know what happens to them. In pet shops, they are often sent to be euthanized if they are 'too old', say six months, to be sold.
@laglen (19783)
• United States
30 Mar 10
I have to agree. I am a meat eater. I feel that that is what they are here for. However, even if they are for food, they should be treated humanely. Now I dont think that your pig needs covers and a waterbed, but treating them humanely for their time here on earth is just smart. Stressed animals do NOT taste so good!
@jb78000 (15178)
30 Mar 10
i think one of the reasons for the bad treatment of farm animals is that people prefer not to think of them as animals but rather as things. i feel if you plan to eat something you should be honest about it, treat the animal properly and not try to pretend that your bacon grew on a tree.
@laglen (19783)
• United States
30 Mar 10
lol so true, but wouldnt that be nice? a bacon tree. I would certainly buy a couple.. mmm bacon
@jb78000 (15178)
1 Apr 10
i am sure whatever some pretend bacon is made from DOES grow on trees but i doubt the result tastes much like bacon. on the 'fascinating' subject of meat substitutes why do veggie hotdogs taste the same as meat ones? is it because 'meat' ones actually do not contain any meat?
@jdyrj777 (6558)
• United States
31 Mar 10
Ive seen a video that shows how animals that are bread and born for the purpose of slaughter and consumtion are not treated humanely from birth to slaughter. I used to work in slaughter houses they are not pretty. Its impossible for an animal of that nature to be treated humanmely.
@jb78000 (15178)
18 Apr 10
i think it is possible, i do not think the cruelty is necessary
@jdyrj777 (6558)
• United States
19 Apr 10
Killing it is cruel. Its not possible to kill it without being cruel.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
30 Mar 10
I agree with you on this matter and it makes no common sense at all to treat some animals with love and respect, yet keep others in tiny pens just to fatten them up and eat. I am sure that it makes emotional sense to the people that do these things as they feel that their dogs, cats, etc are giving them companionship, but they chickens, cows and pigs are just a food source. I do not eat meat anymore due to it not being really healthy to do so and the fact that I just could not support these cruel industries any longer. It truly is horrific what they do and it is a crime that governments let them do it! Not only are they causing harm to the animals, but these farming practices are ruining the earth as they are destroying the topsoil. Hard hoofed animals chomping up the ground and ploughing the soil to grow crops to feed them just makes no sense long term and we are headed for a big collapse if these industries do not stop. Permaculture principals hold the key in my opinion to re-growing the soil and nutritional value of our crops. The crops should be our food, not meat. Sorry for going off on a bit of a side rant!
@jb78000 (15178)
6 Apr 10
hi bill, i agree, there is a huge environmental cost associated with a lot of meat production as well as the animal welfare issues. and don't get me started on fish.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
6 Apr 10
I know what you mean. I will not get you started as it is hard to stop once we get going about areas that we are passionate about. I often waffle on about environmental issues probably longer than the original question asker wanted me too.
@Wizzywig (7860)
30 Mar 10
Yes, it seems wrong to me to consider some animals as "friends" and pamper them to excess, yet treat others as "dinner" and factory-farm them. If its wrong to neglect a dog & not take it for walks, why isnt it wrong to keep chickens in such a small space that they cant even stretch their wings & force feed them?? (Obviously it IS wrong but you know what i mean)
@Wizzywig (7860)
2 Apr 10
Quite so. I haven't noticed any humans being ill-treated to feed our 4-legged friends... (of course, chickens aren't 4-legged but, again, you know what I mean)
@catdla1 (6005)
• United States
30 Mar 10
I agree with you. If animals are expected to give their lives for ours, the least we should be able to do would be to show respect to them, and make their short lives as happy as possible. If you believe in any higher power, it's inconceivable to think that there was an intention for us to become abusers, whether the life in question has two legs, four legs, or none (as in fish).
@jb78000 (15178)
2 Apr 10
exactly, we are not meant to be abusers whatever you believe. if you believe in god then a compassionate god i imagine would wish for people to be compassionate too, if you don't you surely believe that behaving kindly is the better part of human nature.
@catdla1 (6005)
• United States
2 Apr 10
Even for those who aren't convinced about the existence of a higher power, or God...what exactly is the point of harming creatures that cannot defend themselves? What does it say about the person they are inside?
@LadyDD (519)
• Romania
4 Apr 10
I agree. Animals must be treated as all beings deserve, with respect and care. Cruelty to animals must be punished. As for eating meet, I'm not a vegetarian, but neither eat too much animal meet. Especially I could not eat the meat of the hens I'm breeding, for example. I'm too attached to them to be able to do that. I use only their eggs. Different behavior towards animals is explained by the different utility each of them has to humans, but it is not excusable.
@jb78000 (15178)
18 Apr 10
well we are not very logical in our thinking
• United States
2 Apr 10
agreed
@jb78000 (15178)
18 Apr 10
good
• United States
31 Mar 10
You either have free-range animals or in the case of veal, you have calves who never get exercise because it will toughen the meat. I thoroughly enjoy a good steak, but would want it from free-range animals. I no longer eat veal. Chickens are either free-range or housed in chicken coops. Again, I prefer the free-range version as they have had a life before giving it for our eating pleasure.
@jb78000 (15178)
18 Apr 10
they are not really coops, more egg factories. and grotesque. free range eggs are one of the few things i pay a little extra for when grocery shopping.
@dawnald (84157)
• Shingle Springs, California
31 Mar 10
People have different attitudes about different animals, true. And as for how the food industry treats meat animals in many cases - shameful.
@jb78000 (15178)
18 Apr 10
indeed
@ronaldinu (12454)
• Malta
31 Mar 10
I condemn animal cruelty to whatever species, whether its a dog, pig, horse, chicken, cow or whatever animal it is. I am not a vegeterian and I am a meat lover. I am not eating meat as I used to because of health reasons. I have to do without red meat. However I do believe that slaughtered animals should be treated with dignity up till its last moment.
@jb78000 (15178)
18 Apr 10
my views too
@p1kef1sh (45647)
30 Mar 10
I actively seek out humanely reared meat and abhor poor welfare standards in animal husbandry. I'd sooner not eat meat (and I am a serious carnivore) than contribute to the continued greed of meat producers who treat animals as products to be abused. If an animal is to die to feed me, the least that I can do is try to ensure that it lived as good a life as possible before it was slaughtered.
@jb78000 (15178)
18 Apr 10
well i thought you ate algae but if you eat meat that is the way to do it.
• Australia
30 Mar 10
It is a never-ending question. We can choose to buy only free range chickens and eggs, which is at least a stand against some animal cruelty, but how do we know the slaughterhouse conditions and practices of meat producers? I have seen horrific video evidence of pig abuse in slaughterhouses and wonder how much more goes on that we don't know about. I would think that most animal breeders (cattle, sheep, pigs etc) would care for their stock, because the better the animals are treated, the more dollars they will bring, but what happens during transportation and in the slaughterhouse in something else. We have pretty strict rules here in Australia, with inspections etc but I'm sure they are broken many times over. I agree with what Lamb said. Man's inhumanity to man is the biggest problem, and when you have mankind treating mankind inhumanely, what can you expect of their treatment of animals?
@jb78000 (15178)
6 Apr 10
some breeders care for their animals well, partly because as you said this gets them more money, others however seem to go for quantity over quality and treat their animals appallingly. slaughterhouses are a big problem because i think people often have to distance themselves completely from the animals to work there and callousness if not cruelty develops
@MrNiceGuy (4148)
• United States
30 Mar 10
I've always wondered why people strive so hard to protect certain types of animals and then dont care. Its like puppies and cats are somehow special just because theyre cute. I don't have any idea where the dilineation occurred but...
@jb78000 (15178)
4 Apr 10
the cuter an animal is the more sympathy it gets. applies all over the place - people get a lot more upset about lab rabbits than lab rats. i doubt there would be much outrage at the clubbing of baby rattlesnakes etc.
@vandana7 (57811)
• India
30 Mar 10
jb - even I am vegetarian. :) So lambs, and pigs, are loved as much as dogs. :) We know that cats can feel, and so also dogs. It follows that pigs that grow in our farms feel for us! Logically there is no reason they dont! Just that they may not be able to express it to us. :( I know for certain that cows feel. And ironically, all those animals love us. We have enough predators to be scared of. When we didnt know how to grow food, it was a different issue. But after evolving, why must we continue the stoneman's practices. This is what I always ask myself. :) But ... logically - there simply isn't enough aerable land to grow food on. So alternate form of food must exist. I dont mind others eating, as long as I am not asked to eat. :)
@jb78000 (15178)
4 Apr 10
to be honest it takes an awful lot more land to raise animals for meat than it takes to grow plants for us to eat. the animals have to be fed, and we have to grow the plants for them. they don't convert it into meat very efficiently.
@setsuna26 (2410)
• Philippines
30 Mar 10
I do respect your beliefs when it comes to giving respect to animals even to those kinds that are used in commercial purposes. Treating them humanely is a good term to say when it comes to killing such as pigs cows ducks chicken. But we also have to take into consideration those people who are doing such, its not an easy job and its not something that they want to do, but its necessary some animals are created by God to serve men. And to help man in his daily life too yes killing them is cruel to some extent but thats life, its a process of life called food chain ;) all we can ask for these people is to be at least humane with what they do and be thankful for the sacrifice of these animals for us to have something to eat all day long ;)
@jb78000 (15178)
31 Mar 10
i think we are the same page on some things setsuna. quoting myself: "i don't oppose eating meat, but i think if you choose to do this the animals you eat should be treated humanely and with respect."
@Sandra1952 (6052)
• Spain
30 Mar 10
Hello, Judith. I'm fully in agreement with you there, but I think I know why there is this double standard when it comes to animals. Some people think that the only reason that pigs, sheep and cows exist is to feed us. They owe their lives to us, so we can treat them as we wish. Of course, this is twisted thinking, but it's one explanation. Horses and dogs are useful to us - they are our companions, they can guard our property and transport us where we want to go. And of course, we can beome rich if our horse comes in first. Therefore, some people have a level of respect for some animals which is absent when it comes to others. I don't condone it, but I an see why it happens.
@jb78000 (15178)
31 Mar 10
hiya sandra maybe a few think like that but actually i think it is often because people don't like to think about it at all, or at least when they do not consider them 'real' animals. our cultural relationship with dogs and horses is as you said completely different and people still have them in their lives, but farm animals are at a distance to most now.