From: Terry Donaghe <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com> Date: 12 January 1999 21:25
Subject: Just for the Record (re: Animal Torture)
>I am not a proponent of animal torture. I would never knowingly
>torture an animal. I suppose re: this entire discussion that
>ownership of an animal may need to be looked at as a different sort of
>ownership than the ownership of a chair, but I'm not clear as to why.
>I'm from Mississippi and I remember my grandparents telling me how
>they used to kill hogs by dumping them live into scalding water. Then
>they ate 'em. Yum. Was that torture?
>I'm all for the wholesale butchering of cows and hogs and fish and
>other yummy animals. I don't think they should be unnecessarily
>harmed, but I have no problem with raising animals for the sole
>purpose of killing em and eating em. We've (humanity) been doing it
>for a long, long time.
>How many people say they're for ethical treatment of animals and only
>mean the cute ones? How many skittish vegitarians are more than
>willing to smack the shit out of a spider or a fly (or have their
>boyfriends do it for them)? How many of us give a damn when we step
>on an ant bed? Who'd feel bad if I shot a snake (or cut it in two
>with a machete)?
>I'm not sure that non-sentient beings have a right to their own
>"selves." Will have to have a discussion about the treatment of
>bacteria and amoebas?
All interesting points. Most people would agree that people definitely have rights, ameoba definitely don't have rights and the area in between is mostly fuzzy. The problem being that some people would allocate higher animals the same rights as people (and take protective action if you attacked them) and some people don't see higher animals as people at all. Which is why, in my original question I proposed a lsiding scale.
You mention, for instance , that your grandparents used to drop pigs in scalding water ( and imply you have no problem with this) and then you say that there should be no unnecessary suffering. Modern slaughtering techniques are painless and instantaneous and avoid nearly all suffering (although some places are better than other at this and transportation still leaves a fair bit to be desired).
I'm also in favour of the butchering of animals for food, as long as it's
done in the most human way possible. I'm also in favour of dropping the
technique altogether as soonb as we can vat grow the meat economically (I
estimate 10(ish) years). The problem being that this is a highly emotive
issue and peoples morals vary wildly.