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Animal Rights & Slaughter

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by ethics, Nov 12, 2002.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Michael Pollan offers a compelling essay in the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/10/magazine/10ANIMAL.html">New York Times Magazine</a> in which he tries to make sense of the animal rights movement, and more broadly, how humans ought to treat animals.

    While Pollan doesn't believe humans have a moral duty to become vegetarian, he acknowledges, as I do, that the existence of the industrial hellholes of the factory farms explains the impulse towards vegetarianism.

    New issue? Nah! Consider the recent Survivor Thailand episode (which I do not watch but was offered a clip of this psychological lesson) which offered a vivid look at the killing of Lucky the Chicken.

    The interesting part of this pop culture moment was the varied human reactions to the slaughter: some refused to witness it, while others forced themselves to see where their chicken dinner was coming from. And this is precisely where Pollan attempts to resolve the issue: while there's nothing intrinsically wrong with eating animals, people should be encouraged to look or even participate in the process in which living animals are transformed into meat.

    While this may seem morbid, it's a powerful way of enabling one to gain respect for these animals' sacrifice for the sake of one's gastronomic pleasure.

    I don't think I've ever met a person who wasn't disturbed at the sight of the horrible conditions these animals are subject to, and sometimes a person or two is driven to vegetarianism for a few months until the images fade, but most of us see it, go "ewwww, gross," and then head to Outback Steakhouse for dinner.

    Let me state that I am NOT a vegetarian, but I do get my chicken from free roaming range farms, the same with turkey. I don't eat beef at all unless someone can recommend a more natural, or organic place, even if it's on the net in which I can order from (Omaha Steaks?).
  2. tke711

    tke711 Oink Oink Staff Member

    One of my customers is a large cattle slaughter house, and I have been to the "kill floor" many times. I've seen the entire process from delivery of the cattle to final packaging.

    While I'm sure some parts of the process would be extremely hard for some people to witness, overall, I found it to not be as bad as I had been led to believe.

    Seeing as that we are coming up on lunch time for some areas of the country, I won't go into detail about various parts of the process. However, even after seeing it all, I still happily enjoy a good steak at least once a week. :)
  3. jamming

    jamming Banned

    Hey I come from a farm country and my Grandfather was a Farm Boy. I've helped slaughter a pig and my great grandma spun two chickens by their necks in front of me when I was a youngster. Those Chickens were not mistreated they had no idea what was coming. Most Cattle are slaughtered with a pnuematic killgun that kills them by stunning the brain such that it cannot process the pain receptors. The pain nerves fire but when the response arrives in the brain to be processed in to awareness the brain is unable to process what the nerves sent them due to shock or no function left there.

    Factory Farms can be good or bad, just like people who raise their children either good or bad. We have laws to shutdown those that treat their animals badily or mistreat their own children. We just have to vigilant in enforcing those laws and if those laws don't work, we must insist that the legislatures change them.

    As to your request about beef, my family knows a Doctor who raises his own beef as a hobby and we would get a quarter or half a beef from him during slaughtering time. In NYC, I don't think there is a lot of Cattle Raising going on, but you could do your own web search for private slaughterhouses or something. I'll look into it for you Ethics.
  4. jfcjrus

    jfcjrus Veteran Member

    Yup, I've lived with this for a few decades.
    I'm a deer hunter.
    Personally, at my age, I could give a shit if I ever killed another deer.
    When I was young, I had to prove myself. Then, I had to get the biggest. All normal development, I suppose, but of no interest to me anymore. I simply enjoy being in the hills on a crisp morning.
    But, over the years, I've introduced many suburban folks to the culinary delight of venison tenderloin dinners. (a note: I can't explain why, but the women won't leave the table until it's all gone)
    If I don't kill and butcher a deer or two this fall, we won't have these special dinners.
    Not that it really matters to me, anymore, but, I'd be considered a failure.

    As long as they don't have to do it.
    Shoot Bambi, are you shitting me? 'I' could never do that!
    But, boy, is he tasty.
    (and no added chemicals)

    Sometimes I wonder if folks think hamburger is grown in the plastic wrap you buy at the market. Also, if they knew what baloney was, they'd never eat it again.

    Out of sight, out of mind, I guess.
    Strange creatures, us.
  5. jamming

    jamming Banned

  6. Sunriser13

    Sunriser13 Knee Deep in Paradise

    I admit freely to being one of that group.

    I draw the line for myself at fishing, and even then, when a fish is not a "keeper", I feel quite sad if my removing a hook causes the death of those that are not "keepers". It is not unknown for me to be rather vocal toward the so-called "fishermen" who will cut the tail off of a ray before throwing it back. Things like that are uncalled for.

    However, I will cook and eat with abandon the delicious venison, duck, rabbit, etc. once it is brought in. I cannot clean these catches myself; I can't look at them with the idea that they're just food. I guess the "Bambi" complex is too strong for that. I know where my chicken, pork, and beef come from, and still purchase them from the grocery store. But I cannot eat veal anymore since finding out where that came from, as much as I love it.

    Bologna, hot dogs, liverwurst, or the bratwursts and other such processed meats - I simply avoid reading the ingredient label. I know what's in there, but I choose not to remind myself. I'll use a ham hock or some salt pork in a hurry, but don't bring a chitterling or c-loaf into my house (or anywhere near my house, for that matter)!!! :haha:

    Ah, the contradictory nature of the beast known as man...
  7. mikeky

    mikeky Member

    I shed no tear for those lovely cows and pigs,
    whose caretaking filled many of my younger day,
    I'm not heartbroken or sad for that steak,
    nor look at it in a loving remembrance way.

    I just chew heartedly in revenge,
    as I satisfy that meat-eating itch,
    and think, "run from me, will you,
    you stupid son of a ...!"
  8. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    I have a friend who is an avid hunter - he's part Cherokee (you'd never know it, though - he's tall as hell, white white white skin, peircing blue eyes, and the blondest hair on a man I've ever seen), and hunting has been part of his and his families lives since he was born.

    Last time I saw him, it was a little before my surgery, and he had just come back from a hunting trip - he invited us to a venison feast. He killed about 3 deer (I believe the meal we were eating was the buck - he was so proud of that particular kill). I felt so bad, like my just BEING THERE was cosmically wrong. My friend saw how upset I was, and he said it was OK if I didn't eat any of the meat - that in fact, he figured my 'bambi-loving ass' wouldn't eat, and he had prepared me something else.

    Now, I admit, I'm an animal lover and I also eat meat. I'm against hunting, and personally feel that hunting should be something that is done on equal terms - humans have guns and sonar and radar and camaflouge and all sorts of doodads to help them hunt. I feel that if you're going to hunt the animal, you shouldn't be a wimp about it, and hunt without the use of guns and bullets and doodads, etc. Hunt with your bare hands and give the animal a fair chance - don't hide up in a tree and snipe the animal.

    Now, with that said - I tried not to get into it with him about my feelings on hunting, especially since his dad was present, a man I have the utmost respect for, as he's a Vietnam veteran, injured during the war, and has recently taken a family of 5 children and ADOPTED them all - the guy's like in his late 50's. He's an avid hunter as well, so I wasn't about to disrespect this man nor my friend. But my friend got into it with me anyway, justifying his hunting by saying he was doing the animals a FAVOR by 'thinning out the herd' because otherwise, the deer would overpopulate and there wouldn't be enough food for all of them, causing many more to die than what could possibly be hunted.

    I thought about that statement for a while, and on the surface it sorta makes sense. I guess you could say it is doing the animals a favor by excercising population control.

    Would it be fair to say, then, that we should go to overpopulated areas of the world, such as Japan or China or South Africa, and do some thinning of herd over there? If the solution to over-population of animals is hunting, could we not say the same holds true for humans - we are, after all, just another species of animal. So why not?
  9. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Some great answers.

    For the record, let me state that the mom and pop farms were never in my gunsight for the gripe. It's the assembly line, packed in cows and calves brought up in dingy factories without having the ability to be walked outside. They are forced fed and all that other crap that I do not want to get in to.

    Am I a PETA sympathizer, if PETA really wanted to be taken seriously they actually have a case, it's too bad their approach is as boneheaded as the people they are against.

    Jim, thanks for the link, will order some in 3 weeks for the (hopeful) celebration of a closing on a mortgage. Will let you know how it is. :)
  10. jamming

    jamming Banned

    Waygu Beef or Caviar?
  11. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    I live in a Russian district, so plenty of Caviar which I have to be in a mood for. I'd have to go for beef.
  12. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    A case for hunting deer...

    Bambi and her kind have <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/12/science/life/12DEER.html">gone wild</a>.

    Their lust for sex has led to a population explosion, and the rampaging deer have flooded into human territory. Not only have they upset the local ecology by munching away the greenery, they have become a prime cause of death on the roads with their suicidal dance of death with unlucky drivers.

    There's also a <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/12/science/life/12COUG.html">story</a> that it's the deer that are drawing cougars and mountain lions.
  13. jfcjrus

    jfcjrus Veteran Member

    Re: A case for hunting deer...

    Now, wait a minute.
    I just got done telling you that my friends expect me to be sucessful next week, in supplying the required ingredient for my (their) venison dinners this winter. That's not as easy as you might think.


    'Misu' wants me to forgo any technological advantage, and 'wrastle' them to the ground.

    Now, you post that they "upset the local ecology" and have become a "prime cause of death on the roads". Should I now expect every 'civic minded' yahoo to be invading the woods to save us from this threat?

    I've been doing this for decades, and I'm reasonably good at it.
    But, youse guys are adding quite a challange to this quest!

    In jest.
  14. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    LOL! Lotsa luck, man. :)

    Take pictures also, I want to see the prize (just not too up close). :)
  15. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    I am a complete wimp about killing animals, so I could never be a hunter. I would rather hide up in a tree with binoculars and gave at nature's beauty than put a bullet between its eyes.

    However, I see nothing wrong with hunting in general AS LONG AS THE MEAT IS USED FOR FOOD. I have no tolerance for people who kill just for sport though. I have even less tolerance for trappers who should, in my opinion, be eaten by bears.

    Why were you upset that venison was served for you? Would you have rather had a cheeseburger? Those deer had better, more natural lives than anything you'd eat at a restaurant. Or are you a vegetarian? If so, then my point is irrelevant.

    I do feel that the "thinning out the herd" argument is complete bullshit. Man has been thinning out the herds more and more, at least in the USA. Where are all the mountain lions that used to roam Pennsylvania? Where are all the buffalo that used to roam the midwest? Okay, we still have lots of deer, but I bet there are fewer now than before we started to use this land.

    I have to wonder if the whole "overpopulation" nonsense wasn't manufactured by insurance companies? If any species has become overpopulated, it is we humans. Where will our population boom end? There MUST be an end to it, at least here on Earth. At what point would even the Queen Biatch herself, Hillary Clinton, say that limiting children for couples is okay? For those who do not remember, she blasted China for their one child limit. But even the USA would have to make a decision like that if our population got out of control. We will have to "thin out the herd," right?
  16. mikeky

    mikeky Member

    Well, overpopulation can be a problem. A quote from the article ethics cited above:

    Why do we need more mountain lions now than in the 1700's?
  17. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    31,000 is a lot??? There aren't even that many people in my hometown!

    How could there be more of these cats now? What has changed in their environment that would cause their numbers to increase to more than before we settled here? I would have to ask the same to people who claim deer are getting overpopulated. Aren't humans pretty much the only other species who preys on deer? How could they be overpopulated if there are only more and more people out in the woods shooting them? Were they overpopulated before humans were around? How do we even define "overpopulated?" Does it mean, "more of them than we'd like?" That's what it sounds like to me.
  18. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Ah, questions of ecology.

    Rred, humans are not very efficient hunters, especially when they are chained with laws and the lack of need to hunt for consumption.

    No, the best hunter for deer was the wolf. Wolves were wiped out from the US region and while you will still find them here and there, it is no where in comparison to the numbers that used to roam this country even 300 years ago.

    Humans, by default, became the next controller of deer.
  19. mikeky

    mikeky Member

    Consider that a mountain lions' territory can be between 20 to 100 square miles, and then that 31,000 can cover a lot of area that intersects with humans.

    As for how could there be more now? Enact laws to protect them, supply an abundant food source (deer, cattle, etc., which themselves take advantage of maintained range and crop lands, etc.), and you have a larger population. My questions is why is it better to have this many compared to fewer when these could be shot on site?
  20. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    <i>My questions is why is it better to have this many compared to fewer when these could be shot on site?</i>

    Interesting point... They used to be shot on site, they used to be considered pests. And to an extent, I understand that.

    But the animal lover in me demands that all creatures receive the same respect that we humans believe we deserve.

    I really believe that animal protection laws are in place to ensure that species of animals do not get hunted out of existance. Once it's gone, it's gone forever, and we haven't perfected the science of cloning to bring these species back. It's important to not disturb the delicate balance of nature, because we don't know what can happen.

    The removal or addition of just 1 new species can put the entire habitat in chaos - perfect example is ethics' with the wolves - wolves are great pack hunters, and they were what kept the deer population down. But we humans feared wolves and killed them off to the point that wolves are an endangered species now - and the deer population has exploded. So now in order to control the deer population, we 'need' to hunt them - if we don't, there's going to be a lot more accidents involving deer, there's going to be more diseases spread around the species, etc. The wolves controlled all that. But no more wolves, no more control.

    Mountain lion's are predators - remove them, and for all we know, their removal could initiate a sudden explosion of rats - and the bubonic plague won't be too far away if that happens.

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