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At what point.....

Posted by nancy_in_mich (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 30, 09 at 2:32

At what point does a living being take on properties that makes it precious and in need of preservation?

Does a dust mite deserve protection?
An amoeba?
A flea?
A carrot?
A centipede?
A roach?
An ant?
An earthworm?
An aphid?
A black mold spore?
A snake?
A skunk?
A roof rat?

Where is that line for you?
Do you destroy (or buy pre-destroyed) animals to eat?
To wear for leather?
What reasons for ending an animal's life are valid and pure?
What makes a carrot so different from a cat?

What would you do if you learned that carrots feel pain and wheat suffers when it is crushed?

Is this not the ultimate animal debate? Back up your answers with a philosophical groundwork, if you have one.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: At what point.....

Do you realize that of all the living things on this earth, only humans feel the desire to rationalize their actions.

Everything on this earth is here for my use or abuse. Some things I don't use. I try not to abuse much, since that is usually hurtful to me in the long run.

I take good care of my pets, but I come first. My human family comes first as well.

Now---for your terribly biased questions----

Where is that line for you?
Where ever I decide for the instant at which I make a decision. Much like any other animal.

Do you destroy (or buy pre-destroyed) animals to eat? Destroying an animal means eating it is nigh on impossible. I butcher(or buy butchered and preprocessed animals for food).

To wear for leather?
Yes, because buying leather is a renewable resource. Leather is very often a by product of use of animals for food. If the leather was not used, it might go to waste. I also buy processed plants to wear. Those are also renewable, but those plants are grown simply to be clothing, not food. Shame that more plants cannot have dual purposes.
What reasons for ending an animal's life are valid and pure?
Valid and pure to whom or what? A lion kills an antelope to live. I kill a cow to live. Only the methodology of the kill and eating differ.
I have killed pets. When their quality of life has decreased to the level at which I myself would wish to die.
Have you ever seen an animal starve to death? An animal with a disease that slowly kills it? Terrible way to die.


What makes a carrot so different from a cat?
I have never seen a black carrot.
Lessee----brain, heart, liver, nerve system, lungs, ability to move and communicate----more?

What would you do if you learned that carrots feel pain and wheat suffers when it is crushed?
Say, Gee when I eat my Wheaties.

Now, you are not the first person to worry about things like you have asked here. I don't have any idea of who you are, but I do know one thing. There are many more important things in this world about which to worry and to try to change than whether plants have feelings and is it is pure to kill animals.

Besides----if we stop killing animals because they are soverign beings, and we stop killing carrots because they feel pain-------what exactly do we eat?


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RE: At what point.....

Hi Handymac,
I like your answer to "Where is that line for you?":
"Where ever I decide for the instant at which I make a decision. Much like any other animal." It is honest, and well thought-out. It puts into words some of the feelings I had while debating the mouse torture question in the sticky-trap thread. Sometimes, getting the vermin out of the food stores is the greater good.

The cat vs. carrot question comes from my thought that at some point in the future, I expect that we will learn that all life has some level of sentience. We may not understand it, but it will be there. In the distant future, we may become pure energy and no longer need to consume other life in order to live.

For now, though, we need to eat, and I do continue to eat meat. My DH does not, less because of some notion of the right or wrongness of killing animals, but because of his belief that it is healthier for him. Another big factor is the concept that if all humans consumed plant life, instead of growing plants as food for meat animals, there would be no need for people to go hungry. I believe that political problems keep a lot of people hungry, whether we eat meat or not.

Since we have thought so much about these choices, I find it interesting to learn how others handle them - or if they even consider them.


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RE: At what point.....

I destroy both plants and animals to eat.

Sometimes I destroy them myself, sometimes I buy them pre-destroyed.

All living things deserve respect, both plants and animals, particularly the ones that I use for nourishment for my body. I thank mother earth for providing all that she does, so that I may live here and enjoy her paradise. Plants and animals sacrifice their lives so that I may live. Its quite an amazing circle, isn't it.

I do think one has more respect for the sacrifice of the plants and animals when you harvest and prepare them yourself. However, I realize that is not always possible.


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RE: At what point.....

I have a niece who would not eat the meat from one of the cows her dad raised because she named the cow.

She does not hesitate to eat any other cows meat.

I used to help butcher animals---and plant/harvest crops. Grew up in a farming community for several years. I used to hunt, until I no longer wished to process my kills and eat the meat. I have no need to kill a trophy animal just to prove I can shoot or use the head on my wall. nI even throw back the fish I catch---like to catch 'em, hate to eat 'em.

I've raised horses, cats, dogs, fish, and rats. Had a pet blacksnake once.

If a lot of people knew how their food is processed, a lot of people would not eat what they do.


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RE: At what point.....

Yes, I agree with both of you. The debate on the sticky traps got me thinking of this. If people only knew...
Discussing the relative pain for differing methods of mouse extermination just got to me one day.


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RE: At what point.....

An interesting thread, though perhaps it belongs on the debate forum instead of the pet forum.

I find I tend to agree with Handyvac on a lot of issues.. maybe its just an age thing.

Where is that line for you?
I've never eaten dog or cat, and tend to think I wouldn't like it. But I'm likely biased by Animal Planet videos.

Do you destroy (or buy pre-destroyed) animals to eat? I do buy butchered animals to eat. And frankly, I tend to love them. Especially pork (gahh I love pork), though I am given to understanding that pigs are as smart as or smarter than dogs (which I hope I'd never eat).

To wear for leather?
You aren't getting my Jimmy Choos. Sorry, but that's where I draw a line. People can throw paint on a fur, but don't mess with my shoes.

What reasons for ending an animal's life are valid and pure?
I don't know that I can make that distinction. But until an animal's life IS ended, I think it should be a "decent" one.

I'm a licensed euthanasia technician, and quality of life does come into play.

What makes a carrot so different from a cat?
Carrots don't squirm and scratch when you chop them up.

What would you do if you learned that carrots feel pain and wheat suffers when it is crushed?
What would you do if you learned that paper screams if you write on it but you can't hear it? What would you do if you learned that water screams in pain when you use it for electricity?

I don't think anyone can answer those questions.


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RE: At what point..... duh

duh.. i just realised i WAS on the debates forum... lol


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RE: At what point.....

I agree, I have always wondered why so many people have a giant hissy fit if their neighbor cannot afford to take his or her pet to the vet, yet everynight they eat meat of animals kept in such tight spaces they get sores on their sides and fed such a horrendous diet that they are often eating flash heated garbage from the dump literally or each others brains, eyes, etc. How can you care so much about your pet if you dont care about how other species of animals are treated in the world. I know we want to give out pets a greater degree of care but the difference between the comfort of a house pet and a factory farm animal is outrageous.


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RE: At what point.....

I do believe that we should abandon all ideas of animals as food and entertainment. Food is self explanatory as they have to die in order to become so. Entertainment is trickier- I abhor zoos, exotic pets, rodeos, captive animals in pet shops- anything that removes an animal from its natural habitat. We need to get out of their way and stay out of their way.
Don't worry so much about interfering in their breeding programs and instead concentrate on curtailing our own- there are far too many people on this planet.

I also believe that the only animals that should be kept as companion animals are those that would remain with us given the option to leave, and that likely only includes dogs and maybe 20% of cats.

"The animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren; they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth."
-Henry Beston, naturalist and author (1888-1968)


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RE: At what point.....

Very interesting answers!
Cearbhaill, Your idea about companion animals is a very good point. The animals that I most pity as pets are the birds, the big parrots, especially. The more I learn about them, the more I wonder if they are sentient beings. We keep them in tiny cages and clip their wings or only let them fly indoors, it is a wonder they are not all mad...

Is anybody planning to watch the Temple Grandin story on HBO? I have read one of her books and have heard her talk on the radio and she is a fascinating person who is autistic and who designs humane slaughter houses. She sees things from the animal's point of view, she believes. Her designs have revolutionized the loading, unloading, and final minutes of beef cattle's lives.

Here is a link that might be useful: HBO


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RE: At what point.....

Hi,

Im new to this forum.hope you dont mind me jumping in. I am a vegetarian. It got to the point that I truly couldnt eat meat knowing that an animal had to give its life in order for me to satisfy my hunger. I would drive by a pasture and think about what the future held for the cattle and it literally made me sick. My preference would be that no one ate flesh but I have no problem with non-vegetarians; Im the only one in my clan who is. When I have family to dinner, I will cook flesh and when I go to their houses they always make sure there are plenty of vegetable choices for me. We respect each others beliefs and dont try to change each other.

I also cook chicken, beef and pork for my dogs. I hate cooking it, but I know that even though they get protein thru their dry food they get tired of the same thing day after day.OK, so they are a little spoiled too; they deserve it.

"What reasons for ending an animal's life are valid and pure?"

I personally feel that when the animal is in pain, suffering and there is no chance of them recovering then it is the humane thing to do. Unfortunately over the past 20 years and numerous dogs, only one died from natural causes; a tumor which we didnt even know existed burst. It was the hardest thing I have ever done to have my babies put to sleep, but I couldnt stand to see them suffer and had to do what was right for them.

Even tho I feel everyone has a right to make their own choices regarding whether or not to eat flesh, I do feel that all animals should be treated humanely; from the chickens who furnish the eggs to the cattle butchered for food. As for circuses and zoos I dont like them. I hate cages whether in the previous mentioned institutions or a familys pet canary. Wildlife sanctuaries and refuges that have animals which have been injured and unable to make it in the wild are the exception. For those I am very thankful.


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