Animal Rights

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by DR_EVIL_ACTUALLY, Oct 9, 2002.

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  1. DR_EVIL_ACTUALLY Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 9, 2002
    star 1
    Animal Rights
    I know, I know. You?re probably conjuring up images of some crazed women splashing blood red corn syrup all over Grandma?s brand new fur coat. Bad form. I make a pledge to you, here and now, that no blood, fake or otherwise, shall be splashed around in this thread. No sir.



    The word animal is derived from a word meaning life. I have always been taught through both religion and education that all life should be held sacred. Compassion over cruelty. Seemingly, since the dawn of man, animals have been used to fuel the desires of the human race. Whether the subject is food or fur, man has always depended on animals to live.

    Now, as the hands of time bring us into a new age, a new millennium, man has learned new ways of surviving. We can make clothing from plants and synthetic sources. We have learned to grow food and keep the ground rich in nutrients. We have developed science that can find cures in a test tube. Yet, with all this, we are still mired in cruelty. Though we can choose to live without causing harm to other sentient beings, we do not make this choice. Why?

    The World as we know it is slowly changing. Scientists are beginning to realize that there are better and more reliable methods of gleaning critical data. Dieticians and Nutritionists are discovering the benefits of plant-based diets and the perils of tissue-based diets. More importantly, people are beginning to speak out about the way our Animals are being treated. Recently, Germany adopted animals into its Constitution, pledging to respect and protect the dignity of animals as well as humans. It is my hope that other nations will soon follow.

    So, my question to you is, how do you feel about the issue of Animal Rights?

    How do you feel about the current state of affairs in regard to the treatment of animals?


    Entertainment. Vivisection. Agriculture. Clothing. Pet responsibility. Anything is fair game. Please remember to adhere to the terms set out in the TOS and respect the rules of the Senate. I realize that this topic can raise some heated emotions, therefore we should take extra care to be respectful of our fellow posters.
    />/>
  2. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    Why does an animal have a right to live as opposed to, say, a plant, a protozoan or a fungus? Are we saying that these other organisms have a "right to die"?
  3. DR_EVIL_ACTUALLY Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 9, 2002
    star 1
    Of course not. Do you find alot of abuses of these organisms going on around you? I am not sure what you are driving at. Are you speaking explicitly about a vegetarian diet?
  4. TeeBee Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2002
    star 3
    I'm going to say on the topic of pets that I disagree with the vet that published an article about pet ownership being the same as slavery. I don't make my cats do things for me or force them to entertain me or work for me. I love them and would never hurt them in any way. I took in strays that would likely be dead by now rather than well-fed bundles of fur sleeping on the couch whenever they want, demanding to be fed whenever they want, and making it clear they want attention from me...whenever they want. If anything, I'm a slave to THEM. They have me well-trained. ;)

    That said, there are a lot of people out there that are undeserving of having a pet because they don't think ahead about the sheer years it entails. Caring for an animal is not only a responsibility, it is a commitment. If you take in a dog or cat, expect to care for it for 15 years. You work your living situation around it and don't give it away or abandon it when it becomes inconvenient. Too many people do this and I think it's terrible. A living organism should not be treated with such throw-away disregard. Think before you get a pet to keep you company, as company is a two-way street. He'll grow to like yours to, and you owe it to him to be there.
  5. DR_EVIL_ACTUALLY Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 9, 2002
    star 1
    TeeBee,

    It is wonderful that you made the decision to adopt a stray. The Humane Society estimates that between 8 and 10 million dogs and cats are taken to shelters each year. I would assert that any vet who likens pet ownership to slavery is out of touch with reality.
  6. chibiangi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2002
    star 4
    I agree with you 100%. This "pets are slaves" nonsense is just...nonsense. My kitty is totally attached to me and been my sidekick for over 10 years now (or have I been hers?). She is treated better than many people! Pets get the benefit of being kept healthy and safe (assuming the owner is responsible) and the owner gets the emotional, and even health benefits of owning a pet.

    The only problem I have is when people buy exotics that are non-domesticated. Such animals can be taken from the wild and even if they are captively bred, they really aren't animals meant for pet ownership. There are people who get all excited when they get an endangered animal, etc. It's one thing when someone owns a reserve dedicated to saving animals from extinction. It's quite another when someone wants a pet no one else has.

    As for the rest of the animal rights movement, I think some good things have come from it, such as a better awareness of the treatment of animals, but overall I think organizations such as PETA are full of it. I think animal experimentation is an absolute necessity in the medical field and animals are needed in education (I speak as someone who has had the experience of using animals in an educational setting). I think the animals used should be treated with care and given anesthetics, pain killers, etc to ease painful procedures. They should also be given adequate room, be well fed, and be put at as much ease as possible.

    JM2C
  7. DR_EVIL_ACTUALLY Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 9, 2002
    star 1
    chibiangi,

    I agree with you regarding exotic animals. I never understood the need for an Anaconda or a Spider Monkey in the home.

    I don't however, agree with the scientific viewpoint that insists on using animals for experimentation. Recently, information was revealed that indicated that a very significant number of hospitalization were a direct result of adverse reactions to medications. I will try to drum up a link for you shortly.

    I will leave you with a quote from a very respected man in the medical field, Dr. Charles Mayo, founder of the Mayo Clinic.

    "I abhor vivisection. It should at least be curbed. Better, it should be abolished. I know of no acheivement through vivisection, no scientific discovery, that could not have been obtained without such barbarism and cruelty. The whole thing is evil."
  8. chibiangi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2002
    star 4
    So would prefer medications going directly to clinical trials and killing people instead of animals? Besides, not all animal experimentation is pharmecutical.
  9. DR_EVIL_ACTUALLY Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 9, 2002
    star 1
    I don't have a link, but here is the reference to the article I was speaking about:

    Journal American Medical Association 2000 Jul 26;28 4(4):483

    I was actually off on my previous contention. In that article they list adverse effects of prescription drugs as the number four killer of Americans.
  10. DR_EVIL_ACTUALLY Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 9, 2002
    star 1
    chibiangi,

    Oops, I missed you post.

    Whether or not I prefer medications to be taken straight to clinical trials, it seems that the use of animals is doing no good in determining the effects of said drugs on the human body. See my post above.
  11. son_of_the_tear Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 1999
    star 5
    My problem is not animal rights. I'm for humae treatment.

    but PETA gets on my nerves and are disrespectful.

    2 weeks ago in Philly, this curch was having their traditional picnic/cook out for the congregation and cvommunity who wished to attend. They were serving pork.

    So this PETA guy shows up dressed as Jesus and with a protest sign and bings to cause a ruckus because they are eating roast pork.

    PETA should reall go away. They go to extremes.

  12. DR_EVIL_ACTUALLY Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 9, 2002
    star 1
    son_of_the_tear,

    If you think that is extreme then you would really be angered by some of their actions! I have personally met with the founder of PETA and found her to be a generally pleasant person. I have seen video of her "freaking out" however and I could definitely see how she could be seen as "crazy".

    You have to understand that in order for PETA to achieve it's goals, it must generate attention. As far as the man who showed up at a church function, I can see where you would be annoyed, but he does have the right to do what he chooses. I tend to stay away from leaf-letting and public protesting and choose to follow the legislative approach as well as attempting to educate people who are willing to listen. I don't feel that forcing my opinion on anyone is a viable solution.
  13. JediTre11 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 25, 2001
    star 4
    When a lion kills a zebra it is for food, for life. Sometimes predators will teach their offspring to kill. I'm reminded of a scene on the Discovery channel when a group of Orcas "playfully tossed" a seal pup in the waves. If the seal could talk, or even some progressive Orcas, I'm sure they would say this is cruel.

    Humans have always eaten meat. We crossed the barrier from being prey to hunting prey a long time ago. Suggesting that I should not eat meat or to not do with animals what I want is like telling me to forget the pointed-meat-cutting teeth in my mouth.

    I'm for the humane treatment of animals, but there are some products that need to tested such as cancer drugs. We could test them on humans exclusivly but the last society to do that isn't looked upon as an advanced one, much less a humane one. And who is going to miss a rat or a bunny or even a monkey? Sympathy of this sort comes from watching to many talking cartoons.

    If lions could get by eating grass, would it be logical for them to do so?

    IMO: There will always be enough herbivores to feed the carnivores. ::In my best Hannibal voice:: The problem is finding a little Chianti.
  14. DR_EVIL_ACTUALLY Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 9, 2002
    star 1
    JediTre11,

    While you are busy checking your teeth, I would point you to your gut. I believe you will find that carnivores typically have short intestinal tracks to facilitate eating meat, while herbivores tend to have much longer tracks for the digestion of plant based nutients. In any case you, unlike the Lion or the Orca, are blessed with a great gift. Choice. You may choose to eat meat, but you don't have to. So why have you chosen such a destructive cuisine?

    "There will always be enough herbivores to feed the carnivores."

    While, at first glance this statement seems to ring true, when placed under scrutiny it becomes glaringly false. Humans "grow" livestock using increasingly dangerous methods. Eventually, resources that are required for the safe production of meat will be depleted. Antibiotics will cease to be effective. Lands used for grazing will no longer be able to be expanded.

    "If lions could get by eating grass, would it be logical for them to do so?"

    If I could hold a conversation with a Gorilla, I would have them answer you directly. You see, they also have the ability to eat meat, but almost never do. In fact, it has never been documented in some species.

    By the way, I love cartoons.
  15. StarFire Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2001
    star 4
    So why have you chosen such a destructive cuisine?

    Save a tree--eat a vegetarian.

    Or, in this case, save the grass--eat a cow.
  16. irishjedi49 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2002
    star 3
    One of my all-time favorite Onion headlines was "Heroic PETA commandos kill 27, save rabbit."

    :)

    Actually, I'm like many in here who believe in humane treatment of animals, but also in the necessity of using some animals for medical research, and I have no problems with eating meat. Cats and dogs are great pets, but I think it's all right they're considered their owners' property, especially as so many of them are loved so much by their owners anyway!

    I cannot abide any PETA or animal "liberation" groups, though, that cross the line from attention-getting through exercise of free speech, to terrorism and destruction of property, which has happened with some groups who send death threats to and attack researchers. Huntingdon Life Sciences was driven out of business in Britain by such tactics, and groups like the one that caused this have been funded by PETA.
  17. DR_EVIL_ACTUALLY Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 9, 2002
    star 1
    "Or, in this case, save the grass--eat a cow."

    As I am sure you are aware, or at least you should be if you are a meat eater, very few cows are fed grass anymore. Hence the need for vast quantities of Antibiotics. You see grass is, in fact, the bovine's natural feed, but using grass it takes as long as 5 years for a cow to reach "slaughter weight". Using corn and other unnatural diets, agribusiness owners can have a cow at weight within 14 months. One small problem that exists however, is that corn is deadly to a bovine. Enter the antibiotic, and you thought it was used to protect you didn't you?

    There was a great article produced for the New York Times entitled, "Power Steer". I apologize that I do not recall the author. It should be readily available online. I would encourage any meat eater who is ingnorant of how their food is produced to check it out. It is written by a non-vegetarian who continues to eat meat, so you can be assured that it is not biased.

    "Save a tree--eat a vegetarian."

    I have never eaten a tree have you? I hope you are kidding with both of these statements, if not you are grossly misinformed. Their is no greater cause of forest destruction than meat production. Wonder where the rainforests are disappearing to? I don't think South America's population is moving that quickly. Look it up.

    I realize that these are probably jokes. Don't worry, I can use them as wonderful vehicles to get my points across. :)
  18. DR_EVIL_ACTUALLY Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 9, 2002
    star 1
    irishjedi49,

    I do not support any of those groups. In fact, I tend to stay away from affiliating myself with any national entities. Not only have they used deplorable means to achieve their goals, but in many cases I find that they undermind their own cause with their antics.

    As far as the use of Animals in medical research, I believe I stated my position above and have yet to hear an argument to the contrary supporting that such experiments save lives in any fashion. It is worth repeating:

    The number four cause of death in the United States is adverse reaction to legally prescribed medications!

    It seems that all that cruel testing has yielded nothing but more death.
  19. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    DR_EVIL: My primary issues with "animal rights" are not related specifically to laboratory testing, but to the concept of "animal rights" as a whole.

    On the one hand you have the non-secular humanists... who believe that their behavior is justified by the western concept of "dominion"... that everything on this planet is here for man's enjoyment, or that man is "responsible" for "shepherding" or "taking care of" the planet... as if it hasn't done fine for the 4.6 billion years preceding man's arrival.

    On the other hand you have pseudoenvironmental humanists... whose primary concern is environmental preservation/reclamation... with an ulterior motive: Prevention of human extinction.

    In neither case is it considered that agriculture itself is the single, largest reason that we have found ourselves in the conundrum of compromising "animal rights" to a degree considered extreme when compared to the inter-species social habits of other organisms on the planet.

    I think that one has to go back to the beginning of agriculture to understand that "animal rights" would be a moot point if we did not consume and produce more than we needed to survive adequately. Intensive agriculture, as opposed to local horticulture (like that of the Native Americans 200+ years ago), has put the squeeze on many species... not just animal...

    Vegetarianism isn't going to stop deforestation.

    Recycling plants aren't going to shrink demand of raw materials or decrease airborne toxins.

    and so on...

    We need to decrease our consumption... our demand... of everything, if we are interested in respecting the balance of nature.

    That being said, no other organism wastes its time contemplating the relative morality of environmentalism... no other organism goes out of its way to first annihilate and then try to recoup the damages they caused. No other organism creates an imbalance for itself... but then, these other organisms aren't doing it out of altruism. Either it never occurred to them that they needed more than they had to function in this world, or they were incapable of developing the tools to do so.

    Animal rights is a silly concept. So is smoking. But these are problems we created. These are problems we can prevent from continuing to happen... but we will never be successful at doing so as long as we live in an agricultural society that is dependent upon continuously increasing economies of scale--the constant upward slope of overproduction and overconsumption.

    The more we produce, the more we grow the population, which creates more consumption, which requires more production, which creates more people... and so on.
  20. DR_EVIL_ACTUALLY Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 9, 2002
    star 1
    Darth_SnowDog,

    You make some very interesting points. The shift from a hunter/gatherer society to an agricultural one certainly has had profound effects on humans and animals alike. It makes me wonder how many of you have ever set foot inside a commercial chicken house or come within a mile of a slaughter house. Would you still order up your cheesburger at McDonalds if you were forced to watch the slaughter of a live animal behind the counter? Seems cowardly to me. At least the Native Americans paid homage and gave respect and thanks to the animals they consumed so that they would live.

    As far as Animal Rights being a silly concept, of course, I do not agree. Now, let me clarify my position. I do not believe that animals shoule enjoy "equal" rights along side those of humans. That would be absurd. In fact, equal rights as a broad concept is nonsensical at best. What is a need and desire of one is not neccessarily the same for another. I would never demand that I be given the "right to choose". I am a man, it wouldn't make any sense for a right to be applied to me that was explicitly designed for a pregnant woman. So, animal rights must also be clarified. In its most simplistic form animals should be give the right to exist as they were intended. To live naturally and fill there roles in the ecosystem. Above all they should be free from unneccessary torture and harm. Many great men, most certainly greater than me have held to this position. Einstein. Ghandi. DaVinci. Tolstoy. With that I say goodnight.

    :)
  21. ADMIRALSPUZZUM Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2002
    star 4
    Their is no greater cause of forest destruction than meat production.

    How so?
  22. chibiangi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2002
    star 4
    Whether or not I prefer medications to be taken straight to clinical trials, it seems that the use of animals is doing no good in determining the effects of said drugs on the human body. See my post above.

    One of the first things I learned in running experiements (in school) on animals is that animals have different reactions or perform differently in tests because they are unique individuals. While I do not have article on hand, I would venture a guess that deaths due to prescription drugs are likely to be adverse allergic reactions. We can never know exactly how a chemical is going to react in every individuals body. However, the established method of experimentation to drug trials at least gives us an idea of what will happen. Secondly, thousands of drugs never make it past animals, much less to people.

    Also, not all medical experimentation is done for medicines. There are other reasons to use animals for models. For example, much of what were know about cel biology comes from direct animal research. We can learn/have leanred about cel function, gene function, etc by using animal models. I would hate to tell all of those cel biologists they are out of a job because some people can't get over the idea that some mice and rats are going to die. And I shudder to think of what it would do to science.
  23. Jarik Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 21, 2000
    star 4
    "Though we can choose to live without causing harm to other sentient beings, we do not make this choice."

    Since when are cows, chickens, etc. sentient beings?
  24. ADMIRALSPUZZUM Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2002
    star 4
    Yes, I forgot about asking that.

    I saw a goat once that kept walking into a campfire a sneezing, walking away, then walking back. Pretty smart huh [face_plain]
  25. JediTre11 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 25, 2001
    star 4
    Eventually, resources that are required for the safe production of meat will be depleted.

    Techniques and technology change with time, and much faster than evolution. And the solution to depletion of resources is better discussed in the Overpopulation thread. Cows aren't the only thing that depletes the land. All crops do eventually. All crops take fertilizor (from cows!) and bug spray (dangerous). If we can't grow meat, then we eat the vegetarians.

    And one of the reasons you can't talk to a Gorilla is that they doesn't eat meat. Some scientists speculate it was eating meat that facilitated brain development in monkeys.

    If my intestines are to long for meat, but I can eat it, consider it an act of freewill.
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