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Animal rightsVeg ism FAQ

Animal Rights Vegetarianism Veganism Arguments

This website is meant to provide a one stop resource for those seeking debate information related to the scientific, historical, philosophical and spiritual arguments associated with the animal rights movement and vegetarianism. It is intended for those seeking answers to the standard, tired attacks and questions one encounters, and also the more obscure, ludicrous attempts. If you want to win animal rights arguments, you will find your ammo here. However, we suggest visiting www.http://supremacymyth.wordpress.com for more up to date argument summaries.

MIRROR FAQ page SITE: http://www.animalsuffering.com/animalvegfaq/   (has more user friendly navigation). Thanks to R for hosting.

Tripod is cutting off everything before section 1, question/attack 11---so we are pasting the contents to that point twice to try to correct the problem.

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ALTERNATIVE FAQ NAVIGATION VERSION:  http://yourcybercourt.info/arveg/arvegFAQ.html

(Last Update:  Aug 2014)  

 

 

The popular approach to animal rights debate has attempted to model itself on arguments used in the fight for racial and gender equality. Discrimination based on race and gender were generally attacked by suggesting that the true criteria for moral worth was a capacity to reason or to worship a creator, not skin color or gender. In animal rights, an effort is made to "move the goal post" again--instead of reason or some human specific quality, a focus is placed on "sentience," or the ability to feel pain and a moral obligation to avoid causing unnecessary suffering to others, or the capacity to have an interest to live. To deny this truth is to be speciesist, the equivalent of being a racist or sexist. But there are weaknesses to this approach.

The word speciesism is problematic because while in theory a member of any race can be racist and members of either gender can be sexist, only humans can be speciesist. Only humans can claim they are better in value than other life and articulate it in a moral philosophy. Using the word speciesism creates an opportunity to deflect the focus to whether all species put their species first, instead of focusing on the real issue, the human philosophical belief in superiority as a matter of systemic moral policy. Thus it is better to call it supremacism-a belief that you (and your group) are superior in value to others.

Also, some methods of formulating an animal rights position maintain that nonhumans are different from humans in degree, not kind (a point made by Tom Regan in his case for animal rights). This type of argument is potentially counter-productive, because it supports a claim made by vivisectionists, that non humans are part of a hierarchy of life and one can extrapolate data from so-called simpler lifeforms to so-called complex ones-humans (anti-vivisection arguments are addressed below). A hierarchical structure to lifeforms can be used to reinforce a supremacist argument.

Furthermore, an effort to focus on sentience or some other characteristic as being more important as a criteria of value requires that one convert the opponent to accept this criteria (or in the case of Singer-adopt a Utilitarian moral philosophy). It was much easier to move the goal post in the case of  racism and sexism because skin color and gender were hard to defend as important criteria of value for moral worth, while "reason" suggests some lofty quality, the ability to create laws or compose symphonies etc. and while you can point out that the mentally handicapped or those in comas don't possess the same capacity and yet are afforded rights status, it leaves enough wiggle room for the opponent to deflect or stall the debate towards a stalemate, which is a defeat for the side trying to change the status quo.

 

There is a better way to present an animal rights position.

It is rooted in a variant of individualist ethical subjectivism, and uses the lack of an absolute, objective certainty in the claim of human supremacists and the reality of human discrimination against and predation upon other humans to force the observer into a choice, either extend rights to non humans, or accept that their belief allows humans to discriminate against anyone, including other humans, thus undermining their desire for an application of universal human rights.

The anti-supremacy argument for non human rights(summary)

     Humans who believe in a moral code of universal human rights but deny extending rights to nonhumans have two problems. The criteria(s) they use to justify this discrimination (faculty of reason, a soul, divine or evolutionary favor, moral reciprocity, survival of the fittest, individual selfishness, a bundle of characteristics or vaguely defined ones etc.) cannot be proven to be possessed by all humans or lacking in all nonhumans. i.e. some humans are more intelligent than others, some nonhumans are more rational than some humans, humans can and do willfully break laws and yet the most despised of criminals is supposedly more deserving of care and respect than the most innocent of beings.

Secondly, the importance of such criteria can be doubted-- shown not to be objective absolute truth, but subjective arbitrary criteria conveniently determined by those who stand to benefit from the discrimination they wish to justify. Nature(or invisible deities), through environmental phenomenon, weather, earthquakes, and the actions of other human beings, cannot be shown to care or favor humans over other lifeforms as an absolute objective fact. This subjectivity means that someone who may discriminate against other humans (which happens despite the laws and philosophy designed to curb such incidents) using criteria that is just as subjective (skin colour, gender, class, religion, survival of the fittest, individual selfishness, etc) cannot be effectively condemned by a human rights advocate who denies rights to nonhumans, since both are discriminating according to subjective criteria of value they deem to be important. Pragmatic appeals to self-interest and the Golden Rule are also dubious, since a dictator or criminal may exploit and kill and never need to care about the rights of others or face prosecution, and a man living on one side of the globe does not necessarily have a practical reason to care what happens to humans in another far away country.

The only way for a human rights advocate to consistently argue that one ought to have systemic universal human rights and an ethical code based upon this idea is to extend the concept of fairness and justice to nonhumans as much as possible. Because humans develop ethical codes to govern human behavior, and nonhumans do not appear to employ or require such codes in their social interactions, they benefit from the consistency requirement in human concepts of fairness and justice without needing to reciprocate. To expect them to adhere to human moral contracts in order to be eligible for moral regard is like expecting a blind man to be able to read and then punishing him for not doing so. That moral regard may not be possible or practical in all situations due to particular factors (such as scale or absentmindedness or the inability to be perfect), but since the same is true of inter-human relations, it does not invalidate the merits of the argument or provide a loophole for humans to justify systemic exploitation of nonhuman lifeforms (since one could then justify the same for humans).

Humans have a tendency to justify discrimination according to assumptions of absolute superiority based upon subjective criteria of value such as “reason,” that, in a macrocosmic sense, is as inconsequential to the universe as the ability to run fast or sing. Instead of “moving the goal post” by trying to find a common characteristic of value shared by all beings, it can be more effective to attack the human supremacist’s criteria of value and self worth.

Every argument put forth to defend exploitation assumes human superiority as a given, and conveniently ignores the reality of human predation upon other human beings. This approach applies equally to theists and secularists, and any human society that can articulate a belief in supremacy and uses it to systematically discriminate.

While it is not guaranteed to convert the ignorant, it has proven to be effective in reducing the confidence of the most ardent and articulate opposition and perhaps, ever so slightly, replace arrogance with humility.

*************

Extended version:

The Anti-Human Supremacy Animal Rights Argument

 

"Man is the only animal that blushes, or needs to."  Mark Twain, the Damned Human Race

 


       Those who believe in a moral code of universal human rights but deny extending rights to nonhumans have two simple and insurmountable problems.

     The criteria(s) they use to justify this discrimination (faculty of reason, a soul, divine or evolutionary favor, moral reciprocity, survival of the fittest, individual selfishness, a bundle of characteristics or vaguely defined ones etc.) cannot be proven to be possessed by all humans or lacking in all nonhumans.

I.e. some humans are more intelligent than some others, and some nonhumans are more intelligent than some humans. A soul cannot be proven as an absolute to exist or not exist in either humans or nonhumans.  Nature (or deities), through the laws of Physics and environmental phenomenon, cannot be shown to care or favor humans over other lifeforms. Erupting volcanoes do not disperse their lava flows in ways that spare humans. Man-eating sharks do not get paralysis if they attempt to bite a human swimmer. Earthquakes and hurricanes do not make special alterations to spare humans-and ironically, non humans are often aware of approaching disasters before humans are. They have their own unique abilities, but since humans lack them, you do not see "the ability to predict earthquakes and avoid destructive weather" highlighted as a valuable quality in determining the criteria for moral value.

     If humans are so rational, why do they start wars for ideology and non essential resources? Why do they pollute rivers? Do wild animals pollute their water supply? The stupidest acts committed on this planet are done by human beings. The cruelest acts are committed by humans. It may be true that some humans will self sacrifice to save another--but other humans will do the opposite, save themselves by putting someone else into harm's way. And non humans have been documented exhibiting altruistic behavior (both within species and beyond). In vicious experiments conducted on rats and Rhesus monkeys, the victim would spare themselves from a shock if they performed an act that would harm another of their kind, and yet they refused to do so. However, humans in similar situations such as the Milgram experiment, were willing to (simulated without them knowing it) shock another human simply because they were told to by an authority figure. The most violent domestic cat does not erect arenas or stadiums designed so that other cats can watch and take pleasure from the suffering of mice, knowing that they are causing suffering.  Humans are capable of mental torment, verbal abuse, and taking pleasure from knowing that they are causing suffering to someone else. This is uniquely human. It is true of a child tormenting flies in a jar, or a scientist with a PHD who gives a rat advanced notice before being shocked in a learned helplessness experiment. The same capacity for "reason" that allows one to do mathematics can be used to design a torture device or urge a suicidal person to jump from a building.

 

     Secondly, the importance of such criteria can be doubted-- shown not to be objective absolute truth, but subjective arbitrary criteria conveniently determined by those who stand to benefit from the discrimination they wish to justify. People crave certainty, especially in moral dictates.

Reason is just as subjective a criteria of worth as the ability to run or juggle. Nature or some other invisible silent divine authority does not differentiate. This subjectivity means that someone who may discriminate against other humans (which happens every day despite the laws and philosophy designed to curb such incidents) using criteria that is just as subjective (skin colour, gender, class, religion, survival of the fittest, individual selfishness, etc) cannot be effectively condemned by a human rights advocate who denies rights to nonhumans, since both are discriminating according to subjective criteria of value they deem to be important.

     An argument defense that claims a human needs to care about the rights of other humans in order to benefit oneself (the Golden Rule), ignores the reality that there are tribes, dictators, and classes who have done quite well without caring about the rights of all humans. Does a family man living in the Appalachian Mountains need to care about the rights of a villager in Lebanon? Why should he? In practical terms most people go about their lives with little contact with humans in the rest of the world, and could well be a dictator in their own house without ever facing justice for it.

If one truly believes life is cruel and “survival of the fittest,” there is no rule book in Nature that suggests humans must draw the line at species.

      The only way for a human rights advocate to consistently argue that one ought to have systemic universal human rights and an ethical code based upon this idea is to extend the concept of fairness and justice to nonhumans as much as possible. Because humans develop ethical codes to govern human behavior, and nonhumans do not appear to employ or require such codes in their social interactions, they benefit from the consistency requirement in human concepts of fairness and justice without needing to reciprocate. To expect them to adhere to human moral contracts in order to be eligible for moral regard is like expecting a blind man to be able to read and then punishing him for not doing so. It is not expected of children, the disabled or criminals-who knowingly break these contracts and yet the most despised of them are still treated better than the most innocent of beings.

That moral regard for all potential beneficiaries may not be possible or practical in all situations due to particular factors (such as scale or absentmindedness or the inability to be perfect), but since the same is true of human on human interactions, it does not invalidate the merits of the argument or provide a loophole for humans to justify systemic exploitation of nonhuman lifeforms (since one could then justify the same for humans). If it is deemed easier and more convenient to draw the line at species, then drawing it at race or class or family is even easier and more convenient.

     And this obligation to be fair and just extends to all human groups that make claims that they have moral value while wishing to discriminate against nonhumans. An Inuit hunter or Japanese dolphin fisherman is just as vulnerable to this charge of unfair and biased discrimination as his suburban counterpart. To suggest that some fully functional humans have the right to subsist as they did 1000 years ago and reject modern concepts of fairness and justice (while using non-traditional technology such as television, textiles and guns), is to advocate a two tier moral system.

     Furthermore, the burden of human flexibility in its capacity for discrimination and exploitation can be utilized in any counter argument. If one is asked the hypothetical to choose between saving the life of a drowning child or a rat/dog/pig, the cleverest rebuttal is to ask the question poser to choose between saving the life of their child, or a stranger’s child. If they answer that they would not choose, then they can be accused of not loving their child, if they say they choose their child, then does it mean the stranger’s should be used in experiments or factory farms? If they say we need to deal with human problems first then one can ask for further clarification of this hierarchy of importance--which is of greater immediate consequence, fighting racism or sexism? Championing the rights of homosexuals or the disabled? The homeless or the aboriginal?  If they say one will never eliminate meat eating or animal cruelty one can respond that as long as humans breed there will be child abuse, homicide and warfare.

 Human beings often claim they are top of the food chain, even though bacteria and grave worms might see things differently. They boast about their technological achievements which will eventually turn to dust as surely as the cherished brains of inventors who created them. The symphonies, which some supremacists herald as showing human superiority to the ‘lower” animals, will echo through the cosmos and have little meaning to a passing asteroid or comet. They like to say they are custodians of Nature, even though most of what they characterize as stewardship is really damage control, attempting to correct mistakes, such as oil spills and extinction, caused by human action. They designate insects as low and worthless, although it is these creatures that cultivate top soil and pollinate flowers, true acts of stewardship. Humane is defined as another word for compassion, and inhumane or inhuman or nonhuman, another word for wicked, and yet, when it comes to cruelty, sadism and taking pleasure from causing misery while knowing that one is causing it, humans are the role model supreme.

 

 

MOST EFFECTIVE ARGUMENT APPROACH AGAINST ANIMAL RESEARCH

The traditional argument focuses on alternative testing methods and the dangers of using nonhumans as safe research models for humans. If you are in the audience of a debate, who are you more likely to trust, an animal activist who says nonhumans are not good models for research, or the vivisectionist who represents and is supported by the medical establishment that provides drugs and treatments? The establishment has a propaganda advantage when it comes to scientific authority even when one can cite studies that show how useless nonhuman research can be. It can become a dispute left unresolved unless the audience is very knowledgeable about science. Also, such an approach leaves room to argue that vivisection for veterinary research can be justified. Although undercover videos and photos of cruel experiments can be effective persuasion for some observers, humans have a knack for finding ways to excuse all sorts of violence.

The following is the recommended debate approach for arguing vivisection:

Animal Research  :basic anti-animal research points (it is a separate page containing the arguments found below)

 

1)It is a perversion of altruism and compassion--you attempt to heal Peter by torturing and killing Paul. It is like trying to help a homeless man by kicking a family out of their house, beating them to death and moving the former in (except that finding a home for the homeless man is a sure thing--animal researchers have been trying to cure cancer for hundreds of years without success). The fact that the number one answer to criticism of animal research is a citation of alleged benefits proves that animal researchers lack a common sense understanding of morality and ethics--since we wouldn't allow murderers or thieves to cite the benefits they or their family attain from their actions to justify murder or theft.

2)It is a medical fraud--if you wouldn't think it is rational to find a cure for diseases in giraffes by experimenting on elephants why would you think it is rational to cure disease in humans by using mice, rats, dogs or chimps? Animal research is big business (from cage manufacturers to science grant applicants), and scientists have a vested interest in conjuring up new experiments to keep their paychecks, while telling the public that the research is important and a "breakthrough." (If you think animal researchers are strictly motivated by compassion, how many new drugs they develop can you get for free?) Pagan priests sacrificed animals and read their entrails to encourage the hope and health of society (a good harvest, easy childbirth). Those that opposed it endangered society by angering the gods. Today, animal researchers claim that if nonhuman animal research stopped, the world would descend into a hell of disease and misery (without explaining why society and culture endured even during the Medieval plague. By their logic, humans should have been extinct eons ago, plus it grossly exaggerates the power of medicine since humans continue to die from disease--including scientists). Animal researchers promote the view that life works according to a quasi-Darwinian "Great Chain of Being" hierarchy where animals follow a ladder of complexity--starting with worms and ending with humanity, and that you can take them apart and reassemble them as easily as a jigsaw puzzle. If animal research is necessary for producing safe drugs and treatments why then do we need clinical trials on humans? Why does Pfizer have to conduct medical trials in Africa? Why do drugs like Thalidomide get pulled after being shown to be safe in nonhuman animals? If one had a choice between a drug tested only on rats or chimps, and a drug tested only on humans, which would you deem safer for people? The answer determines one's belief in the importance on nonhuman animals in research.

3)Animal research treats nonhuman animals in ways that would be considered an atrocity if done to even the most despised criminal in history--and yet, nonhuman animals commit no crimes. Why do they deserve such treatment?

4)If finding a cure for disease is so important, why aren't scientists and patients advocating the use of criminals or volunteers in medical experiments? Humans are the best and safest model for research, and we send healthy people off to be maimed and killed in wars for natural resources, religion and political ideology, and yet the war against cancer is only considered of dire importance when it comes to the discussion of abolishing nonhuman animals in research.

5)Researchers say animal research is necessary--and yet they eat meat, and engage in other exploitation activities that are clearly not necessary. It shows that the necessity argument isn't even a real factor--they simply regard non humans as less in value.

6) Researchers and their proponents say animal rights activists can't protest animal research if they have benefited from research that has been linked to animal research experiments. But they ignore that research on humans against their consent has also been done and the research preserved for the greater good-why don't they make the same demands of human rights activists? Double standards.


7)Researchers say they need to use nonhuman animals for research because they are like us--and yet they say they deserve no rights because they are not like us. This highlights the real issue--the motivation for animal research beyond money is an arrogant belief that humans as a species are superior in value to all other life, based upon arbitrary, non-absolute and subjective criteria conveniently determined by those who stand to benefit from the discrimination and exploitation. The same reasoning was used by James Marion Sims, former president of the American Medical Association, to experiment on black slaves (a bronze statue of him stands in NY's Central Park) and by Nazi doctors to justify their experiments.

 
    Anti- Supremacy Ethical Argument for Nonhuman Rights (repeated from previous section--it is connected to every issue)

     Those who believe in a moral code of universal human rights but deny extending rights to nonhumans have two problems. The criteria(s) they use to justify this discrimination (faculty of reason, a soul, divine or evolutionary favor, moral reciprocity, survival of the fittest, individual selfishness, a bundle of characteristics or vaguely defined ones etc.) cannot be proven to be possessed by all humans or lacking in all nonhumans. i.e. some humans are more intelligent than others, some nonhumans are more rational than some humans, humans can and do willfully break laws and yet the most hated of criminals are regarded as more deserving of care and respect than the most innocent of beings.
 
Secondly, the importance of such criteria can be doubted-- shown not to be objective absolute truth, but subjective arbitrary criteria conveniently determined by those who stand to benefit from the discrimination they wish to justify. Nature(or invisible deities), through environmental phenomenon, weather, earthquakes, and the actions of other human beings, cannot be shown to care or favor humans over other lifeforms as an absolute objective fact. This subjectivity means that someone who may discriminate against other humans (which happens despite the laws and philosophy designed to curb such incidents) using criteria that is just as subjective (skin colour, gender, class, religion, survival of the fittest, individual selfishness, etc) cannot be effectively condemned by a human rights advocate who denies rights to nonhumans, since both are discriminating according to subjective criteria of value they deem to be important. Pragmatic appeals to self-interest and the Golden Rule are also dubious, since a dictator or criminal may exploit and kill and never need to care about the rights of others or face prosecution, and a man living on one side of the globe does not necessarily have a practical reason to care what happens to humans in another far away country.
 
The only way for a human rights advocate to consistently argue that one ought to have systemic universal human rights and an ethical code based upon this idea is to extend the concept of fairness and justice to nonhumans as much as possible. Because humans develop ethical codes to govern human behavior, and nonhumans do not appear to employ or require such codes in their social interactions, they benefit from the consistency requirement in human concepts of fairness and justice without needing to reciprocate. To expect them to adhere to human moral contracts in order to be eligible for moral regard is like expecting a blind man to be able to read and then punishing him for not doing so. That moral regard may not be possible or practical in all situations due to particular factors (such as scale or absentmindedness or the inability to be perfect), but since the same is true of human relations with other humans, it does not invalidate the merits of the argument or provide a loophole to justify systemic exploitation of nonhuman lifeforms (since one could then justify the same for humans).
 
Every argument put forth to defend exploitation assumes human superiority as a given, and conveniently ignores the reality of human predation upon other human beings. This approach applies equally to theists and secularists, and any human society that can articulate a belief in supremacy and uses it to systematically discriminate(against humans or nonhumans).

Further reading on how we are all using research done on unsuspecting humans.
Taken from: http://www.micahbooks.com/readingroom/Nazisandanimalresearch.html   "In 1987, the Supreme Court heard a case in which a U.S. soldier sued the government for having used him as a test case for LSD experiments, without his knowledge (Stanley vs. The United States). The court voted 5 to 4 against the victim. For a recent review of experiments conducted on human beings in the U.S., without their informed consent, see Clouds of Secrecy: The Army's Germ Warfare Tests over Populated Areas, by Leonard A. Cole, Subjected to Science, by Susan Lederer, Johns Hopkins Press (This books studies experimentation on human beings between the two world wars); and Stranger at The Bedside by David J. Rothman, which studies this problem in the period after the Second World War. There are many more books on this subject. Many of them can be found on the Internet, under "Human Experimentation," or at Amazon.com, under the same heading."

Pfizer experiments in Africa: July 1, 2002 issue of The Nation. Globalizing Clinical Research: Big Pharma Tries Out First World Drugs on Unsuspecting Third World Patients by Sonia Shaw.

 

The Animal Rights Q and A List  This section sums up many of the most basic questions that animal activists are asked about the AR philosophy. 

Human Supremacy  :At the heart of every exploitation argument is a belief in human supremacy and its double standards.

 

Meat Eating : a few simple arguments (pasted below), see further below for more detailed ones.

 

1) Meat eating for humans is unnecessary. Humans lack the natural born equipment to hunt anything beyond insects and slow rodents. They require tools and instruments to do it. Real predators do not use claws and fangs to grow gardens or routinely kill other members of their species (unlike humans). A vegan diet is easy and healthy. Meat eating is therefore unnecessary cruelty and killing. If one believes we should try to be kind and compassionate and just, and not cause suffering when we dont have to,  then meat eating cannot be justified as a diet for humans.

2) Meat eating is destructive. Health wise, meat needs to be irradiated to fight off diseases and bacteria. Urine and excrement spilled from the bowels of slaughtered animals gets sprayed onto the corpse.

3) Meat eating is destructive. Wildlife is killed for the sake of ranchers. Forests are cut down to grow soy to feet livestock. Rivers are polluted by ranching and factory farms. Livestock significantly contributes to greenhouse gases and global warming (according the UN).

4) Meat eating is wasteful. The water and grain/crops etc that go to feed livestock could be eaten directly by humans. Meat recalls, disease outbreaks that lead to killing of the animals--all waste.

5)Meat eating violates notions of human rights. If you believe humans should be fed--then we shouldnt be wasting resources on meat-based diets that deprive people of water and crops (or causes the prices or food to go up due to the extra demands on crops for livestock).  Meat is sold that is full of disease. E coli, BSE, etc. The companies cover it up. Children are forced to eat meat even if they are compassionate to animals. This and the health effects makes it a form of child abuse.

6) Meat eating is cruel.  Animals are raised,  separated from their family groups, forced pregnancy, forced abortion, forced starvation(to cause moulting of egg laying chickens to get extra eggs out of them) , forced to stand even when sick so they can be approved for slaughter. Frustrated slaughterhouse workers torture animals--gouge their eyes out for fun, shock them, beat them, kick them, castrate them without anesthetic (all documented on video). Even if everyone ate from small "organic" ranches, you still have castration, branding, dehorning, and animals are sent to the same slaughterhouses.

7)Fruit and vegetables are the colours of the rainbow--when it rots it can still be digested(raisins etc). Meat is the colour of excrement and when it rots it is even more lethal. If there was a deity, fruit and vegetables have been given a good PR image, meat has not.

8) Meat eating can lead to epidemics of new contagious diseases--i.e. Sars, bird flu and influenza (which spread from pigs to humans).

 

BASIC FAQ

 



Attack: humans are meant to hunt and kill like any other predator

*** humans are not true predators like tigers or lions. They are not born with the equipment to hunt. . If someone says tools are the equivalent of fangs and claws then there is a factual problem, the same tool-making ability that is used for hunting non human animals, can also be used for tilling the soil to plant seeds or to kill other human beings. By this type of thinking even homicide is natural. The reality of human predation remains. True predator animals do not usually kill other members of their species or plant gardens. Only humans have the flexibility to do so- and a problem controling their behavior.



Attack: Humans as stewards of nature

While a nice thing to aspire to, the fact is that most of what humans describe as stewardship is fixing mistakes created by other humans. A worm on the other hand, could be described as a steward-and ironically we call them lowly and worthless as with all insects(except those that provide something we use like honey).



Attack: "humans are superior because they are human"

"This belief is often taken for granted as if an axiom, and usually not expressed in precise terms, with good reason, as it leads to the Regress argument. An absolute is the final answer to a question. If you can question it, how can it be absolute? For every why there is a because and for every because another why. A belief in human supremacy is subject to many a why."

It takes for granted the idea that humans are superior without being able to prove it. Because it is subjective--it can be doubted, questioned, it cant be absolute. If its not absolute then nothing stops the racist or person who doesnt care about universal human rights from saying

"whites are superior because they are white."
"males are superior because they are male."
"christians are superior because they are christian."
etc.


Attack: "you will never get rid of meat eating-it has been around since ancient times."

One could answer-"and child abuse and homicide will always be around too-so we shouldnt try to curb it eh? Just let everyone do what they like-exploit whoever they want(oh and they cant say that one should care for other humans out of self-interest-because why should someone living in one country care about what someone is doing to their family in a house across the country? It cant be proven that one needs such a social contract to survive--some dictators die peacefully in their beds). In fact-one could say getting rid of meat eating is easier than getting rid of child abuse or homicide since humans have to be in contact with other species-while humans are always around humans if they are reproducing and live in a society.


Attack: "but with all the cruelty in the world-we need to deal with human problems first."

But if that is so-then which is more important, worrying about racism or sexism? Is violence against gays and lesbians more of a priority or helping blind people? If you see two children about to be hit by a car which one deserves priority in rescuing? What exactly is the formula, the hierarchy for determining moral worth and priority? Obviously there isnt one. So they are only saying these things because of the human supremacist double standard.


Attack: "But many religions say humans are superior. It says so in the Bible."

If one says that humans are superior as a species according to the will of a Supreme Deity, how do you prove it? If you cite a Divinely-inspired religious book written down by individuals who conveniently, are members of the very group that stands to benefit from the discrimination, then anyone else can emphasize race, or gender, or wealth instead of (or in addition to) species and claim that the same deity (or another one) decided that theirs is the ultimate measure of value for determining superiority. Especially since the Bible also sanctions various kinds of behavior deemed morally wrong today (human slavery etc). If someone says "my God says humans are special"-another can say "My God says my race is special" or
"my gender is special" or "my family is special,"...which goes on today
as we see from the news and politics.

Such disagreements cannot be objectively resolved - and they must be to avoid hypocrisy and moral corruption.


Attack: "If you were passing by a river in which a dog and a child were drowning, who would you try to save?"

In most desperate situations, people will save whomever they can save; they don't measure and qualify the recipients of care. It might be true that as a human, one would feel a more urgent need and bond with another human who is drowning, but in principle, that situation would be no different if the argument were redefined to focus on race, language or gender instead of species. If you are white and you see a white man and a non-white man drowning, who are you more likely to feel a bond towards? What if one spoke your language but the other didn't? What if one was a close relative, the other a stranger? If you chose to save the more familiar individual, does that mean you endorse a policy-based, industrial, "factory farm" exploitation of the human group that is not given priority? If the answer is no, then it should be equally true for non-human groups when they are not given priority either.

There is also a variation in this:


Attack: "If you were attacked by a lion/snake/dog/rat/boar/gorilla etc, would
you defend yourself? And if you did, wouldn't that prove you believe
humans are superior in value to other animals?"

Self-preservation is a different issue from species preservation, or the belief that humans as a species are superior in value to all other life. If a thief confronted a civil rights worker/poverty activist, and the worker/activist defended him or herself, would that mean that he or she does not believe in human rights? The answer should be no different for an animal activist.

Attack: "would you sacrifice a rat to save your child"--

"would you sacrifice the life of a stranger's child to save yours? If you say yes-then you dont believe in human rights. if you say no, then you love a stranger more than your own child."


Attack: 'a blade of grass and a cow are equal, therefore a cow eating grass is no less immoral than a human eating a cheeseburger'.

They are confusing (perhaps deliberately) two definitions of equality--Conflicting Conditions, a fallacy in definition.

A cow can be equal in value and unequal in attribute. There is no conflicting conditions. We say a blind man is equal in value but not equal in attribute. We dont say that because a blind man cant read road signs that a seeing man shouldnt be expected to either. Its just a way to get out of moral responsibility.

Humans need concepts of moral codes to govern their behavior because unlike a cow, humans dont seem capable of working off instincts to control themselves. A cow needs to eat to survive-humans do too-but humans can make dietary choices--a cow or lion cannot. To expect them to follow human codes of justice is an absurdity. The same is true in the argument that they have to be able to follow human codes in order to benefit from ethical laws-its contractualism--There are humans (children, mentally handicapped, criminals) who receive rights even though they cannot reciprocate (or refuse to in the case of criminals). One would not expect a blind man to be able to read road signs, so why would one expect a lion to be able to understand human concepts of morality? It is a double standard, and if anyone thinks they can get lions and spiders to follow human concepts of morality, best of luck in trying.


Attack: 'plants feel pain' (this is certain even though scientists debate whether insects feel pain because they have no pain receptors) so you're just being a hopeless idealist by not eating steak for breakfast.

This is basically saying since we cant be morally perfect we shouldnt even try (or as prad would say, if you cant do everything, you shouldn't try to do anything)

But by that logic it would mean we shouldnt care about anything-even human on human predation. There's the human supremacy blind spot-they always miss that consequence of their belief if put into practice. The issue is not moral perfection, but trying the best one can (and certainly factory farms, zoos, research labs and other massively organized and complicated structural entities for exploitation and discrimination are not as difficult to avoid as scratching your arm and killing a microbe or accidentally stepping on an insect). No ethical view can take into account the interests of everyone at all times. And one can certainly argue the line of moral regard is not drawn at animals--that it is wrong to exploit trees and other plants. Sentience is as much a subjective criteria as any other. If there are problems in implementing an ethical policy that includes non-animals, then it is true of all potential beneficiaries of moral conduct (i.e. you may live on land that was once occupied by others who were driven off or killed due to colonial aggression; or pay taxes to a government that uses the money to finance wars, or use drugs that were tested on unwilling human patients in Africa etc.). No one can be perfect, either in compassion or cruelty, but the failure to be morally perfect does not then mean one has to fall back to some line like species to focus one's discrimination. If you argue for that--then there is no reason why someone else cannot draw the line at race, or religion, or intelligence instead of, or, in addition to species (which many people do already). In fact, if one attempts to argue from convenience, then committing a homicide is much more practical than establishing a factory farm or stalking through a forest with a rifle in search of an elusive animal. No matter how one looks at it, the reality of human predation hangs on the neck of the anti-animal rights position like an albatross.


Attack: a selective moral relativism is a common fallback when the oppressors are confronted on trying to avoid moral responsibility---- that notions of right and wrong are socially constructed and ultimately arbitrary, so again they can avoid feeling bad for eating steak.

They say its socially constructed and ultimately arbitrary BUT they always have a blind spot/double standard when it comes to applying that belief--i.e. they tend to drop moral relativism as a defense when it comes to human on human relations. I.e. female circumcision, or anti-homosexuality cultures, honor killings or cannibalism. If one really believed in moral relativism, then someone should be able to construct their own morality--as in preying on other humans. They will sometimes say its a golden rule or in your own best interest to want to establish a social moral contract with other humans-but the fact is that there are humans who can do ok without honoring such a contract. Dictators, criminals etc. In fact they can say: "sure, I will honor your rights," and then turn around and stab you in the back.


Attack: quasi-spiritual platitudes: "everything is one, evolving perfectly as is (so factory farms are cool and I can eat fillet mignon sans guilt)" or "killing is a part of the natural order of Being" etc..

Also can be more secular based---life is cruel-life is about killing-that's the way it is. survival of the fittest...

----if "everything is one" or survival of the fittest, then war,
theft, homicide and rape are also permissible-part of survival of the fittest or the "oneness" of the universe, so we shouldnt try to
stop it. The human predation issue still can be applied to it.

 

  "Humans are meant to hunt like any other animal."

A naked unarmed humans would be lucky to take down and devour a lame rabbit with his bare hands.  The tool making ability that allows humans to hunt non human animals can also be used for plowing the earth for agriculture, and killing other human beings. . You never hear about lions gardening or killing other lions as a matter of routine or accidentally mistaking another lion for a gazelle (since hunters have been known to shoot each other or bystanders). Humans are not true hunters like born predators.

  


Attack: "What about First Nations people? They hunt and fish and kill animals too."

**The ethical problem is true for both the city dweller and the aboriginal. So-called subsistence hunters like the Inuit have access to electricity, firearms, and other industrial inventions at the same time they want to pick and choose their traditional lifestyle choices. If the Inuit are meant to live in the Arctic like a polar bear or seal, why are they not born with all they need to survive in the climate? Since humans do not need to live in these climates (biologically, their bodies are not equipped for it), they do not need to hunt or fish. If an Inuit is naturally meant to hunt in the Arctic, as is frequently claimed by defenders of exploitation industries that use First Nations communities for supplies or propaganda (i.e. whaling, sealing and trapping), then its factual validity can be tested by simply having one brave Inuit hunter jump naked into the Arctic sea and try to bite a seal to death with only his teeth and bare hands. The outcome would speak for itself on the issue of whether First Nations people or any humans should, by biological design and necessity, hunt and fish.

If one regards non colonial societies as human, then they should be subject to the same rights and obligations as any other humans, according to basic principles of fairness and justice. If a human group, whether in the Sahara, a coastal Japanese fishing community, the Arctic, or some isolated island can hold to a moral view that they deserve special regard at the same time they declare themselves to have a right to systematically kill for sustenance, then they can be criticized for adhering to an unfair moral system, according to their own understanding of right and wrong. The concept of being fair and compassionate to others is universal, and the most basic animal rights argument is merely a logical extension of that principle. If it is ethically wrong for human groups to engage in human slavery, cannibalism, oppression of women and children, then the same should be true for their interaction with other species, to be fair and consistent in ethical policy.

No human group in the 21st century needs to kill other animals for food--period.

If we can put a man on the Moon, and design a computer that can play chess, then we can provide daily sustenance for all humans without resorting to harpoon, hook, and gun. The issue of practicality or implementation is a separate affair. Loss of traditional independence is a trivia disagreement. It can be assumed that many would agree that life should trump lifestyle.

Also it should be noted that such cultures are often collaborators in exploitation. Case in point-Canada using the Inuit to campaign for the fur industry, seal hunt and keeping the polar bear off the endangered species list.

Attack: "killing is acceptable if you eat what you kill."

****--it is the same as saying it is acceptable to murder someone if you rob them at the same time.


Attack: "humans need to kill invasive species that threaten native ones"


**beyond the issue of who appointed humans to be custodians of nature, or the moral problem of punishing species that were introduced into another environment by humans, or the issue of whether there is such a thing as an invasive species, there is the double standard of humans claiming that ecological destruction in some cases deserves lethal means, and yet the many examples of humans causing environmental destruction (maliciously and not innocently as in the nonhuman scenarios--broadtail possum of Australia introduced into NZ by the fur industry or pigs dropped on islands off California by farmers) does not appear to be so important as to deserve a similar response.


Attack:"You may think you avoid all unnecessary suffering, but how many animals died in the fields to grow your plants for food?" AKA the Steven Davis/ruminant pasture grazing model study(from Time magazine July 8, 2002).

**

To suggest that killing animals directly either in hunting or cattle grazing is a better answer than indirectly killing animals in fields that cannot be seen is akin to this scenario:
Imagine you are driving along and you come to a forked road. One way is covered in darkness, the other
has some children playing in the center of it. By the meat eater logic, it is
better to drive through and deliberately kill the children instead of
taking the other route where you may end up killing more that you cant
see--OR getting out and walking to check if the route is clear (after
all, who says crop harvesting MUST be done by only one type of
tractor-- the most destructive? It assumes that the current methods by machinery is the only way in order to push its grazing solution).

It also ignores animals killed as pests--wolves, animals killed due to competition over grazing lands(buffalo) and the large numbers of cattle on pasture lands required to feed human populations(as well as the effects on water resources and rivers).




Attack: "More animals are killed for a vegetarian diet (in fields) than by hunters. Therefore, hunting is more compassionate than
vegetarianism."

**Ideally, animals that may be killed in fields etc to grow food for vegetarians are killed unintentionally. Hunters kill
intentionally. Thus vegetarianism is more compassionate, since it seeks
to eliminate unnecessary suffering and killing, not encourage it.

If everyone went and hunted for food, it would kill a lot
more animals than in fields that grow food for vegetarians

Growing your own vegetarian food in a garden would
be more compassionate than hunting.
It is impossible to gauge how many animals are killed in fields. The answer is not to advocate hunting, but to find the best way
to avoid killing animals to grow food.

By that logic, someone may decide that resorting to cannibalism or eating human corpses would be more compassionate than hunting. Why prey on other
species for your survival when you can prey on your own?

Attack: "Your values deem animals to be right-holders whereas others deem them to be resource, it is the former and not the
latter that has the ethical obligation to stop killing them."

Response: by that logic, if someone doesnt believe that other humans are
rights-holders, they dont have any obligation to stop those acts that
violate them. So a racist can go and lynch members of another race because he doesnt
value them as equals. A child abuser can do likewise. You havent proven
why all humans should regard all humans as rights-holders, and you need
to in order to defend human rights while you attack nonhuman rights.


Attack: : Wasnt Hitler a vegetarian?   



Response: (further answers below in main FAQ index)
 


The testimony of Hitler's personal cook in Hamburg during the late 1930s - Dione Lucas. In her "Gourmet Cooking School Cookbook," she records that his favorite dish - the one that he
customarily requested - was stuffed squab (pigeon). "I do not mean to spoil your appetite for stuffed squab, but you might be interested to know that it was a great favorite with Mr. Hitler, who dined in the hotel often." (http://www.ivu.org/history/europe20a/hitler.html)

"Otto D. Tolischus in 1937 in The New York Times pointed out that the Führer was a vegetarian who 'does not drink or smoke' but who also 'occasionally relishes a slice of ham' along with delicacies such as caviar and chocolates." (Ibid.) Robert Proctor calls Hitler a vegetarian "of sorts" (The Nazi War on Cancer, p. 134) and is content to state that Hitler was a vegetarian who "occasionally would allow himself a dish of meat," (p. 135) and quotes The New York Times as stating that in addition to ham and caviar Hitler also occasionally ate
squab." (http://www.micahbooks.com/readingroom/Hitlerveg.html) His cook, an enormously fat man named Willy Kannenberg, produced exquisite meals and acted as court jester. Although Hitler had no fondness for meat except in the form of sausages and never ate fish, he enjoyed caviar....(The Life and Death of Adolph Hitler (Praeger, 1973)(p. 346) (http://www.micahbooks.com/readingroom/Hitlerveg.html)

Hitler's reputation for being a vegetarian seems to consist solely of his not having eaten red meat. The effort to describe Hitler's eating habits as vegetarian requires changing the definition of "vegetarian" to exclude liver, ham, and sausages from the list of meats, and changing the definition of "animal" to exclude pigs. Hitler did exhibit a sympathy with a vegetarian diet, but paradoxically, vegetarians and the vegetarian movement in Nazi Germany were persecuted. Vegetarian societies were restrained, subject to raids, and "books that contained vegetarian recipes were confiscated by the Gestapo." Janet Barkas has a good account of this period in German history in her book, The Vegetable Passion. German vegetarian societies were forced to leave the International Vegetarian Union; they were prohibited from organizing and from publishing material, but individuals were not molested and "could exchange their credit notes for meat for dairy products. About 83,000 vegetarians participated in this program." (http://www.micahbooks.com/readingroom/Hitlerveg.html)

Hitler also ordered that the meat supply not be reduced, even though its production used up considerable resources during the war.

Heinrich Himmler was a trophy hunter.



Attack: : "Didnt the Nazis ban animal research?"



Response: a) from
http://www.micahbooks.com/readingroom/Nazisandanimalresearch.html 'On April 24, 1989, Drs. Daniel Johnson and Frederick Goodwin from the National Institutes of Health, argued on the McNeil-Lehrer television program that "The only people in modern society that have not used animals for research were the Nazis." They further contended that because the Nazis passed an anti-vivisection bill in 1933, they were led to experiment on human beings, and that there is therefore a relationship between animal rights and a loss of human rights. None of
this is true.The "anti-vivisection law," which the Nazis purported to pass, like Hitler's vegetarianism, is filled with contradictions. A study of the law the Nazis passed shows that this law had enough loopholes in it to assure the continuation of animal research; consequently, an enormous amount of animal experimentation continued to be carried out by Nazi doctors. The Lancet, the prestigious British medical journal, reviewed the Nazis law and warned anti-vivisectionists not to celebrate because the Nazis law was no different, in effect, from the British law that had been passed in 1875, which restricted some animal research, but hardly eliminated it. Furthermore, a law passed by the Weimar government in 1931 required that all experiments on human beings be first conducted on animals. Such a requirement exists in the United States as in many countries that practice animal
research. In other words, animal research is often a legal justification for experimentation on humans, as it functioned in Nazi Germany. The 1931 law in Germany was never abrogated. Nazis doctors dutifully submitted written statements when they requested "human material" for experiments which carried the legal notification that such experiments had been first conducted on animals. The first request for "test persons" was made by Dr. Sigmund Rascher to Himmler on May 15, 1941, "for two or three professional criminals" for "High-Altitude
Research." It states that human beings were needed "because these experiments cannot be conducted with monkeys, as has been
tried...."***Robert Proctor's book, The Nazi War on Cancer (Princeton University Press, 1999), records Nazi animal experimentation, which should leave no one in doubt about where Nazi doctors and scientists stood on this issue. These animal experiments were often embedded in the continuum of animal research that had been ongoing for decades. By the 1920s the Germans had developed strains of mice that were "more or less receptive to the uptake of cancer tissue transplants....SS chief Heinrich Himmler was apparently intrigued by the prospect of breeding a race of cancer-prone rats; in a 1939 meeting with Sigmund Rascher, the notorious Dachau hypothermia experimenter, the SS Reichsführer proposed breeding such a race of rodents.... (p. 63) "by the end of the 1920s, there was a sizable scientific literature on radiation carcinogensis, including a large body of work based on animal experiments." (p. 83) By
the mid 1930s the Nazis had formidable laboratory evidence of some the causes of cancer based on animal experiments: "Experiments were...performed that finally produced--for the first time anywhere--lung cancers in animals raised in the mines." By 1938, Nazi scientists could produce lung cancer in 25% of the mice raised in mine shafts. "This was the first conclusive animal experimental evidence that breathing air in the mines could cause lung cancer." (p.99). The Nazis conducted their "war on cancer" with animals as their weapon of choice. Indeed, in 1943, at the height of a world war, the Nazi government developed plans for a "'tumor farm' to raise animals for use in experiments." (p. 261). As Proctor states, animal experiments were vital to the ideological stance of Nazisim: "Animal experimental evidence was extrapolatedto humans, bolstered by the ideological push to see all aspects of human behavior--including purported racial differences--as rooted in "blood," race, or genes." (p. 63)***The Nazis often did important scientific research, much of which has found its way into our own research. They developed the most extensive anti smoking legislation of any western countries; they did important research on the effects of industrial pollution on the environment, much of which found its way into Rachel Carson's book, Silent Spring--which is not an indictment of Rachel Carson. When World War 11 first ended and news of the horrendous research on human beings was made public, Western scientists wanted to denounce Nazi science as "pseudo science" for fear of being tarnished by the public's loathing of Nazi science, but Nazi science finds its way into our science all the time, including findings gained from their experiments on human beings.



 

 

 

LEGEND:

Philosophical responses: general and specific(i.e. Utilitarian)

Religious responses: general and doctrine specific(i.e. Christian, Buddhist, etc.)

Scientific/Historical  responses: general and specific with references

Humorous responses: cute and caustic

 

 

Questions-attacks/Responses have been divided into these sub-categories for easier use. It is recommended, however, to check multiple sections to find a particular variety of argument. For example, many of the same arguments used for Hunting can also be used for Fishing or for the Wildlife Management sections after a little rewording. Most topical arguments rely on a variation of the "human supremacy myth" as a foundation to their beliefs. These arguments can be found under Human Supremacy, but various aspects of this approach can be found in other sections as well. Some of the more generic arguments can be located under Misc. Whaling/Native Hunting arguments can be found under Misc.

 

 

Sections

1)ANIMAL RIGHTS 

2)ANIMAL RESEARCH  

3)BULLFIGHTS

4)COMPANION ANIMALS

5)EQUALITY

6)FACTORY FARMS

7)FISHING

8)FUR

9)HUMAN SUPREMACY

10)HUNTING

11)MEAT EATING AND DAIRY CONSUMPTION

12)MISC.

13)PLANTS AND VEGETABLES

14)RELIGION

15)SPECIES UNITY

16)SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST

17)TRAPPING

18)WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT

19)ZOOS

 

*

HELPFUL TERMINOLOGY

LINKS

 

 

  1: ANIMAL RIGHTS

1)Question/attack: "If we give respect or rights to animals we will diminish our own rights and respect for humans." 

Response: a) Sumer, one of the earliest and most powerful of the ancient Mesopotamian city-states, managed its slaves the same way it managed its livestock. The Sumerians castrated the males and put them to work like domesticated animals, and they put the females in work and breeding camps. The Sumerian word for castrated slave boys--amar-kud--is the same word the Sumerians used for young castrated donkeys, horses, and oxen."
--from Chapter 1 Charles Patterson's Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust (http://www.powerfulbook.com/excerpts.html)


Response: b)"Although the purpose of the German killing centers was the extermination of human beings, they operated in the larger context of society's exploitation and slaughter of animals, which to some extent they mirrored. The Germans did not stop slaughtering animals when they took up slaughtering people. Auschwitz, which its commandant Rudolf Hoss called "the largest human slaughterhouse that history had ever known," had its own slaughterhouse and butcher's shop. The other death camps likewise kept their personnel well supplied with animal flesh. Sobibor had a cow shed, pigpen, and henhouse, which were next to the entrance to the tube that took Jews to the gas chambers, while Treblinka had a stable, pigpen, and henhouse located near the camp barracks of the Ukrainian auxiliaries.-from Charles Patterson's Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust Chapter 5 (http://www.powerfulbook.com/excerpts.html)
 

Response: c) So does that mean if whites give rights or respect to non whites (or vice versa) that it diminishes their own rights and respect? If men give rights or respect to women(or vice versa) that they diminish their own rights and respects? It would seem you want to preserve the rights of some to not respect the rights of others.

Response d) Edgar Kupfer-Koberwitz  About the author: Edgar Kupfer was imprisoned in Dachau concentration camp in 1940. His last 3 years in Dachau he obtained a clerical job in the concentration camp storeroom. This position allowed him to keep a secret diary on stolen scraps of papers and pieces of pencil. He would bury his writings and when Dachau was liberated on April 29, 1945 he collected them again. The "Dachau Diaries" were published in 1956. From his Dachau notes he wrote an essay on vegetarianism which was translated into "immigrant" English. A carbon copy of this 38 page essay is preserved with the original Dac hau Diaries in the Special Collection of the Library of the University of Chicago. The following are the excerpts from this essay that were reprinted in the
postscript of the book "Radical Vegetarianism" by Mark Mathew Braunstein (1981 Panjandrum Books, Los Angeles, CA). The book is subtitled "A Dialectic
of Diet and Ethic" and is recommended to all vegetarians especially those interested in natural hygiene.
"The following pages were written in the Concentration Camp Dachau, in the midst of all kinds of cruelties. They were furtively scrawled in a hospital barrack where I stayed during my illness, in a time when Death grasped day by day after us, when we lost twelve thousand within four and a half months.  ............Dear Friend: You asked me why I do not eat meat and you are wondering at the reasons of my behavior. Perhaps you think I took a vow -- some kind of penitence -- denying me all the glorious pleasures of eating meat. You remember juicy steaks, succulent fishes, wonderfully tasted sauces, deliciously smoked ham and thousand wonders prepared out of meat, charming thousands of human palates; certainly you will remember the delicacy of roasted chicken. Now, you see, I am refusing all these pleasures and you think that only penitence, or a solemn vow, a great sacrifice could deny me that manner of enjoying life, induce me to endure a great resignment.*****You look astonished, you ask the question: "But why and what for?" And you are wondering that you nearly guessed the very reason. But if I am, now, trying to explain you the very reason in one concise sentence, you will be astonished once more how far your guessing had been from my real motive. Listen to what I have to tell you: I refuse to eat animals because I cannot nourish myself by the sufferings and by the death of other creatures. I refuse to do so, because I suffered so painfully myself that I can feel the pains of others by recalling my own sufferings. I feel happy, nobody persecutes me; why should I persecute other beings or cause them to be persecuted? I feel happy, I am no prisoner, I am free; why should I cause other creatures to be made prisoners and thrown into jail? I feel happy, nobody harms me; why should I harm other creatures or have them harmed? I feel happy, nobody wounds me; nobody kills me; why should I wound or kill other creatures or cause them to be wounded or killed for my pleasure and convenience? Is it not only too natural that I do not inflict on other creatures the same thing which, I hope and fear, will never be inflicted on me? Would it not be most unfair to do such things for no other purpose than for enjoying a trifling physical pleasure at the expense of others' sufferings, others' deaths? These creatures are smaller and more helpless than I am, but can you imagine a reasonable man of noble feelings who would like to base on such a difference a claim or right to abuse the weakness and the smallness of others? Don't you think that it is just the bigger, the stronger, the superior's duty to protect the weaker creatures instead of persecuting them, instead of killing them? "Noblesse oblige." I want to act in a noble way.****I recall the horrible epoch of inquisition and I am sorry to state that the time of tribunals for heretics has not yet passed by, that day by day, men use to cook in boiling water other creatures which are helplessly given in the hands of their torturers. I am horrified by the idea that such men are civilized people, no rough barbarians, no natives. But in spite of all, they are only primitively civilized, primitively adapted to their cultural environment. The average European, flowing over with highbrow ideas and beautiful speeches, commits all kinds of cruelties, smilingly, not because he is compelled to do so, but because he wants to do so. Not because he lacks the faculty to reflect upon and to realize all the dreadful things they are performing. Oh no! Only because they do not want to see the facts. Otherwise they would be troubled and worried in their pleasures.****It is quite natural what people are telling you. How could they do otherwise? I hear them telling about experiences, about utilities, and I know that they consider certain acts related to slaughtering as unavoidable. Perhaps they succeeded to win you over. I guess that from your letter. Still, considering the necessities only, one might, perhaps, agree with such people. But is there really such a necessity? The thesis may be contested. Perhaps there exists still some kind of necessity for such persons who have not yet developed into full conscious personalities. I am not preaching to them. I am writing this letter to you, to an already awakened individual who rationally controls his impulses, who feels responsible -- internally and externally -- of his acts, who knows that our supreme court is sitting in our conscience. There is no appellate jurisdiction against it.  Is there any necessity by which a fully self-conscious man can be induced to slaughter? In the affirmative, each individual may have the courage to do it by his own hands. It is, evidently, a miserable kind of cowardice to pay other people to perform the blood-stained job, from which the normal man refrains in horror and dismay. Such servants are given some farthings for their bloody work, and one buys from them the desired parts of the killed animal -- if possible prepared in such a way that it does not any more recall the discomfortable circumstances, nor the animal, nor its being killed, nor the bloodshed. **I think that men will be killed and tortured as long as animals are killed and tortured. So long there will be wars too. Because killing must be trained and perfected on smaller objects, morally and technically.I see no reason to feel outraged by what others are doing, neither by the great nor by the smaller acts of violence and cruelty. But, I think, it is high time to feel outraged by all the small and great acts of violence and cruelty which we perform ourselves. And because it is much easier to win the smaller battles than the big ones, I think we should try to get over first our own trends towards smaller violence and cruelty, to avoid, or better, to overcome them once and for all. Then the day will come when it will be easy
for us to fight and to overcome even the great cruelties. But we are still sleeping, all of us, in habitudes and inherited attitudes. They are like a fat, juicy sauce which helps us to swallow our own cruelties without tasting their bitterness.I have not the intention to point out with my finger at this and that, at
definite persons and definite situations. I think it is much more my duty to stir up my own conscience in smaller matters, to try to understand other people better, to get better and less selfish. Why should it be impossible then to act accordingly with regard to more important issues? That is the point: I want to grow up into a better world where a higher law grants more happiness, in a new world where God's commandment reigns:
You Shall Love Each Other."
Edgar Kupfer-Koberwitz 

 

2)Question/Attack: "When discussing animal rights, it is always important that you have balance--and show the other side of the issue."

Response: a) If someone can talk about Negro slave emancipation without allowing a KKK member to give the "other side" of the issue, if someone can talk about hunting Nazi war criminals without showing the "other side" of the issue, and if a news reports on a "breakthrough" in cancer research doesn't need to allow an animal rights activist to speak out on the perversion of altruism inherent in all animal research, then we don't have to do that either.

Response: b) Since the preponderance of arguments on the subject of animal rights is favorable to the cause, a true balance is impossible. It is like trying to find a balanced argument on the pros and cons of jumping off buildings without parachutes. One side is definitely stronger than the other. 

Response: c) The other side of the issue is always discussed in animal issues! Since the arguments in favor of animal exploitation  are so weak why would an animal rights activist not want to expose the stupidity and erroneous nature of the other side?

 

3)Question/attack: "You support animal rights, therefore you must support blowing up buildings."   

response: a) it appears you are in need of taking a logic class.

response: b) you support human rights? therefore you must support the actions of John Brown, slavery abolitionist who killed pro-slavery people.

  response: c) Last I checked, it is the people who support wars against unarmed civilians who support blowing up buildings.

response: d) At least we don' t support beating and killing unarmed people. There are many many many cases of hunt supporters in the UK beating people with whips, running them over with cars and horses--whether they be AR activists,  people just standing on their property, or reporters  Hunt saboteur, Mike Hill, was killed on the 9th of February 1991 at a meet of the Cheshire Beagles. Towards the end of the day's hunting, with no kill under his belt, the huntsman boxed up his hounds in a small blue trailer being towed by an open-top pick-up truck. The kennel huntsman, ALLAN SUMMERSGILL, with another man, jumped into the pick-up and, on impulse, three sabs(hunt saboteurs) who were nearby, jumped onto the back of it to prevent them driving the pack to another location to continue hunting. Summersgill drove off at high speeds down winding country roads for 5 miles with the terrified sabs clinging onto the back. It is thought that Mike jumped from the pick-up as it slowed to take a bend. He failed to clear the truck properly, and was caught between the truck and the trailer, which crushed him. Mike died where he lay on the road. Despite the thud, and the screams of the other sabs, Summersgill continued driving for a further mile. The truck only came to a halt when one of the sabs smashed the rear window of the cab. The sab was hit with a whip as he tried to stop the truck. Once it had stopped one sab ran back to Mike's prone body while the other ran to a nearby house to call for an ambulance. Summersgill drove off. He later handed himself in at a police station. No charges were brought against him and in a travesty of justice, a verdict of 'Accidental Death' was brought at the inquest. Summersgill is still hunting hares. ***  1993: On the 3rd of April 1993, T(h)om Worby, a 15 year old saboteur attending his first foxhunt protest, was crushed under the wheels of the Cambridgeshire FH's hound van in an incident all too reminiscent of the killing of Mike Hill two years before.  After a successful day's sabbing, the hunt had boxed up and sabs were making their way back to the meet down a narrow lane. As the hound van came up behind them, revving its engine, sabs scrambled for the roadside; however Tom's jacket became snagged in the vehicles wing mirror and he was dragged some distance before he managed to gain a foothold on the van's running board. Although he banged on the window the van kept going, and when Tom finally lost his grip, he fell onto the road and under the truck's wheels. His head was crushed by the rear wheels of the vehicle and he died shortly afterwards. No action was taken against the driver of the hound van, 53-year-old huntsman ALAN BALL. *****38-year-old KENNETH MANSBRIDGE, a supporter of the Hursley Hambledon Foxhunt, convicted of Unlawful Wounding on a Green Party researcher, who needed hospital treatment for serious head wounds after being kicked and beaten by a group of hunt followers 1991. MANSBRIDGE admitted kicking the victim in the groin and punching him to the ground. (On the same day, another protester was beaten around the head with a spade, and left needing 10 stitches and a 6 and a half months pregnant woman was hit on the head with half a brick, needing 4 stitches). MANSBRIDGE was sentenced to 140 hours community service and ordered to pay costs of £150.   1998: Supporter of the Dunston Harriers, PATRICK EVERETT managed to get the hunt banned from one village after he viciously attacked a party of 1 man, 2 women and four children who had stopped to watch the hunt pass by. He was fined £800. ***** (HSA News Feature 5th August 1999) Hunt Violence    courtesy of http://www.huntsabs.org.uk/    *****"In June 1990, hunt supporter John Newberry-Street gained much valuable anti-saboteur publicity when a nail-bomb was found under his Land Rover. Further investigation revealed that he had planted the bomb himself and he later told police "I did it to discredit the animal rights saboteurs". He was jailed for nine months for his bomb hoax and asked for several other similar offences to be taken into account." ***** January 1994 Duke of Buccleuch's Foxhunt. An independent academic, commissioned by the Scottish Office to carry out research on saboteurs and  hunting, was knocked to the ground and kicked in the face by the huntsman as he tried to film a fox being killed. The hunt refused to apologise and later attempted to excuse their employee's actions by saying they thought the man was a saboteur.  ****"From now on, we're going to start hunting the saboteurs..."This is BFSS spokesman Nick Herbert's chilling announcement of the introduction of "stewards" to "deal with" saboteurs. ****Mr John Weavers, a member of the rural community hunts claim to represent, was quietly sitting at home one Saturday afternoon in 1990 when the Cury Foxhunt rampaged through his property. When he asked them to leave and complained at the damage caused he was headbutted by Geoffrey Thomas, master of the hunt, who then shunted one of Mr Weavers' cars into another. ******"one brave woman, a former hunt supporter of many years' standing, has decided to stand up and speak out against this culture of violence. Her name is Lynn Sawyer and she was at one time as committed to hunting as she is now repelled by it. She acted as a mole for the BFSS and found that saboteurs were not violent extremists motivated by class hatred, a tale she and every other hunt supporter had been force-fed for years. Instead, she found that saboteurs were on the whole deeply committed, sincere individuals who acted out of great and genuine concern for animals and that her own side were deliberately distorting the truth and provoking violence simply to suit their long-term political aims. Ironically, it was only the depth of her involvement in hunting that allowed her access to the inner echelons denied to most hunt supporters, where she encountered the brutality behind the respectable facade which was to make her question her support for bloodsports and ultimately turn her back on that world for ever. "For several reasons in 1990, I could no longer continue these activities and I then spent four years trying to ascertain what exactly my feelings were. I spent time with the Shire hunts (the Quorn, Cottesmore, and Belvoir Foxhounds) and revisited the Essex before deciding earlier this year that it was time to speak out in the hope of stemming the tide of grossly exaggerated anti-sab propaganda and the violence it has brought to the field.I went to great lengths to discuss the issue of hunt violence with the BFSS and other pro-hunting people [including John Hopkinson, Stephen Loveridge, Peter Smith and Nick Herbert of the BFSS and John Swift, director of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC)] before, and indeed for some time after, it became clear that I could not permeate their rather narrow-minded way of thinking or change or influence any of them without being patronised or being singled out as a trouble-maker."  http://www.huntsabs.org.uk/ 

Response: e) So much for anti-animal rights people caring about humans!  "During the winter of 1994 terrified young calves were flown from Coventry to end their lives in Dutch veal-crates. A few people started protesting at the airport gates. Jill Phipps was one. As a transporter came down the road to the gates she would run to it, banging on the door with her fists, shouting at the drivers to think about the suffering they caused.. The few police there would turn out and simply man-handle her and anyone else behaving similarly out of the way. Then came February 1st 1995. There were about 76 police there that day. There were about 32 demonstrators. That's over two police to every decent person there. There were enough of them to surround the transporter and walk it through!! Jill and a few others eluded the police, most of whom were in a van at the back, and reached the transporter. Any good driver would have stopped until it was safe to continue, but Stephen Yates just drove on, regardless and uncaring. Jill was crushed and died on the way to hospital. Our mother, Nancy, was with her. The driver has never been charged, not even with "driving without due care & attention". AT THE INQUEST THE POLICE STATED THAT THEIR ACTIONS HAD BEEN PLANNED BY A SPECIALIST TACTICIAN, AND THAT THE DAY HAD BEEN VERY SUCCESSFUL...." Zab Phipps (http://www.violenceinanimalrights.co.uk/Fatalities.html) 
 

Response: f) Although we know that hunters, not being the smartest of people, have been known to shoot each other in the woods, here is just a few recent examples of hunters shooting and killing non-hunters. : Wis. woman walking dogs shot by hunter Associated Press — Dec. 3, 2001 CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. — A woman walking her dogs was mistakenly shot and killed by a deer hunter. "He saw movement and mistook her for an animal and shot her," Tom Bokelman, a safety officer with the state Natural Resources Department. The 47-year-old woman was wearing a white cap and dark clothing when she was shot Saturday, Dec. 1. The hunter was using a muzzleloader, as part of a special muzzleloader deer season. Muzzleloaders are single-shot rifles in which the powder and shot are loaded through the end of the barrel instead of the breech. The district attorney will decide whether to file charges. (http://espn.go.com/outdoors/hunting/news/2001/1203/1289389.html)*****Hunter's bullet possibly kills Penn. woman Associated Press — Nov. 28, 2001 MILL RUN, Pa. — A 66-year-old woman was killed when a bullet apparently fired by a hunter went through a window, wall and a door in her home and struck her in the neck, authorities said. Meriel Renee Bowser was struck by the bullet in her bedroom Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 28, and died shortly afterward, according to police. "The odds of (a bullet) coming through the woods, not hitting a tree, going through all that material in the house and hitting a person is ... million-to-one odds," said Charles May of the Pennsylvania Game Commission. State police and Game Commission officials were investigating. A hunter was being questioned Tuesday and the hunter's rifle had been taken to determine whether the bullet that killed Bowser was fired from that gun. Authorities said the hunter, who was not identified, was at least 450 yards away from Bowser's home. State law requires hunters to be at least 150 yards from a residence. Mill Run is in Fayette County in southwestern Pennsylvania. (http://espn.go.com/outdoors/hunting/news/2001/1128/1286062.html)*****CONNECTICUT Man Walking His Dog Killed By Hunter A Coventry man was charged with illegal hunting and manslaughter in late October after he shot and killed a Massachusetts man walking in the woods. Coventry police responding to a report of gunshots found Ronald Eckert Jr., 33, of Hingham, Mass., wounded from gunfire. Eckert died at the scene despite resuscitation efforts. Brian McMahon, Jr., 23, was charged with manslaughter, illegal discharge of a firearm, hunting without a license, illegal deer hunting, hunting on a Sunday, trespassing and failure to wear an orange vest. He was held on $250,000 bond. Police say the two men did not know each other. Apparently McMahon mistook Eckert for a deer. (http://www.gunsandgear.com/America%20Outdoors/Archives/man_killed_by_hunter.html) ******* I guess one can say that being able to go out and kill a four legged animal is more important than protecting the lives of two legged ones:  Shooters yesterday criticised the four-year sentence for manslaughter handed down to a deer hunter who accidentally shot a man out walking his dog. The state executive officer of the Sporting Shooters' Association of Australia, David Barton, said the verdict was unfair and that Robert John Osip the court had made an example of him to send a message to other shooters and hunters. Osip, 21, pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of Gary Paterson, 20, at Warburton on February 19, 1999.... Osip and his friend, Brian Davey, were hunting for Sambar deer in the Warburton State Forest when the shooting occurred on McDonald Track, a forestry road. The two men were only 180 metres from the main road, Warburton-Woods Point Road. Osip had claimed to see the neck and shoulders of a deer when he fired his gun but initially told police he saw a shape he believed was a deer. Mr Paterson was walking his labrador-cross through a clearing in the bush. Osip fired one shot in the direction of the noise, hitting Mr Paterson in the shoulder and causing extensive damage to his lungs. The two men heard someone cry out and ran to find Mr Paterson. They took him to Warburton hospital, where he later died. Justice Coldrey said Osip had breached a shooting code warning shooters not to fire at movement, color, sound or shape or near residential property. He said Osip fell far short of the standard of care a reasonable person would have exercised. Justice Coldrey said he accepted Osip had seen a color in the foliage but "at no time" did he adequately identify his target as a deer......Lawyers for Osip said yesterday they would be appealing the sentence.  (http://www.theage.com.au/news/20000527/A20568-2000May26.html) ******Hunter's stray bullet hits man in pizzeria NAZARETH, Pa. (AP)  A man was shot in the neck while eating a slice of pizza when a bullet apparently fired by a deer hunter crashed through the window of a restaurant Saturday evening, police said. The bullet entered Sal's Pizza and Restaurant on Route 512 at about 5 p.m. Saturday, ricocheted off the window frame, and struck John Calvert, 52, of Saylorsburg, officials said. "When I heard the sound, I looked up and saw a man stand, grab his neck, take a step or two and collapse," said Carl Garrison, a delivery person at the restaurant, which is south of Wind Gap and nearly surrounded by fields and woods. ......Police searched the area and took a hunter into custody. Coopersmith said the hunter had a .30-caliber rifle and the slug will be examined to see if it matches the rifle. "He was probably in the woods that sit on the other side of those fields and the deer crossed the field and he took the shot," Coopersmith said. "Where he was, he was probably within his rights to be in the area, but you have to know what you are shooting at. You can't shoot toward roads and you can't shoot at buildings.".... Monday, December 3, 2001
(http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:oMCl5WUX5L8C:www.timesonline.com/news/capital/4650986.htm+man+shot+by+hunter&hl=en)****
Hunter's stray bullet kills Quebec man CHICOUTIMI, Que. (CP) -- A Quebec man is dead after being struck in the head by a stray bullet from the gun of a 13-year-old boy. Marcel Savard, 69, of Jonquiere, Que. was hit Wednesday afternoon by a bullet from a .22-calibre hunting rifle fired by a teenager, who was small game hunting with a teenage friend. The young hunters were not accompanied by an adult. Jonquiere municipal police said the shooter saw a figure in the distance and fired a single shot. The figure dropped immediately. The teenager ran toward the victim immediately and was shocked to find Savard hunched over. When the boy touched him Savard fell to the ground, revealing a stream of blood flowing from his head. Shocked and panicking, the young boy ran home to his mother and alerted her. "I think I killed someone," he told the police after his mother had summoned them. Laurent Bouchard, the interim Crown prosecutor, asked for an additional investigation Thursday to determine how a 13-year-old boy could get his hands on a loaded rifle. The law regarding firearms strictly forbids possession and use of guns for people under 18 years of age, except in some very specific situations. However, even in those exceptions, the law requires a minor to be accompanied by an adult who legally owns the firearm. Shooting an unidentified figure near an urban environment contravenes standard hunting safety rules. Charges could be laid against the teenager, and eventually against his parents depending on the results of the investigation. The boy's identity is protected under the Young Offenders Act. In November, a Quebec man was shot and wounded outside his home near Lytton by an eight-year-old boy. Police say the youngster sneaked out of his family's home with his dad's hunting rifle, crept through the woods and then shot the man, who was seriously wounded. The boy, who police said is experienced with guns, cannot be charged because he is under 12 although his father may face weapons storage charges.(www.canoe.ca/CNEWSLaw0012/29_hunter-cp.html)*****Nigerian hunter kills man he mistook for a warthog (April 04, 2000) An article on iol.co.za reports that a distraught hunter in Nigeria shot dead a farmer he mistook for a warthog. He has turned himself in to local authorities. The gunman was apparently on a hunting expedition at Igbo-Ata in Ekiti State in the south-western region of Nigeria when the incident took (place.wildnetafrica.co.za/wildlifenews/2000/03/192.html) ****Bear eats hunter in Russian province Reuters — Dec. 25, 2001 (espn.go.com/outdoors/general/news/2001/1225/1301050.html) MOSCOW — A hungry bear ate a hunter in Russia's Jewish autonomous region in the country's far east, Interfax reported on Monday, Dec. 24. The half-eaten remains of the local man, who had gone hunting the previous day, were discovered near the village of Landakoz, set in the region's bleak taiga. It was not clear if the bear had killed the hunter or whether the man had died of cold before the scavenging animal found him, Interfax quoted local officials as saying. Bears have been known to attack humans in the region before, but usually during the late summer or early autumn while searching for wild mushrooms and berries.******Trespassers allegedly assault landowner After asking a group of Rhode Island men to leave his land, the Maine landowner was assaulted. The attack enrages local sportsmen and complicates access issues as posted land becomes the norm By Glenn Adams Associated Press — Nov. 18, 2001 THORNDIKE, Maine — Along the edges of woods and fields in this rural Waldo County town, the bright orange and yellow signs are popping up everywhere: No hunting. It wasn't always that way."We've never posted our land. It's all posted now, all 300 acres of it," said William Johnson, whose family has owned property in the area for four generations. The new keep-off signs started showing up on trees and fenceposts across the rolling countryside after Johnson's brother, Richard, was assaulted after asking a group of hunters to leave his property in Jackson, a tiny town bordering Thorndike. Johnson, 58, was upset that the Rhode Island men had not asked permission to use his land and were in an area near homes with children, said his brother. "Over the years, we've never had trouble with hunters," William Johnson said. "We all hunt." Richard Johnson was still recovering from his injuries last week and declined to be interviewed, but his family confirmed the police account of the Nov. 7 incident. Johnson blew the horn of a pickup truck belonging to the hunters, then propped a stick against it so it sounded continuously. There was a confrontation and one of the hunters knocked off Johnson's hat. When Johnson bent over he was attacked. His face was pounded until it was black and blue, and his teeth were broken. He crawled into his house dazed and bleeding, and passed out. He was out of work until last Wednesday. A hunter from Foster, R.I., Vincent DeCarlo, is free on bail pending a Dec. 18 hearing in Belfast District Court on a charge of aggravated assault, police said. *********
http://mdn.mainichi.co.jp/news/20030729p2a00m0dm009000c.html wire reports, Japan, July 29, 2003KOCHI -- A Kochi Prefecture resident suffered head injuries here early Tuesday after a hunter mistook him for a monkey and shot him, police said. The resident, Hiroshi Tokorotani, 59, was hit with shotgun pellets in the left side of his head and his left check in the incident that occurred in the Kochi Prefecture district of Sukumo at about 8:25 a.m. Tuesday, police said. His injuries are not life-threatening. Police said they were questioning Takao Akitsuki, 64, the hunter who accidentally shot Tokorotani, on suspicion of professional negligence resulting in injury.****Man accidentally shot in hunting accident 11-05-03
By PAUL STONE H-P Associate Editor--A Flower Mound man was shot once in the abdomen Tuesday night in northern Anderson County after a member of his church group mistook him for a hog. This morning Anderson County Sheriff's investigator Chuck Franklin said Christopher McCrae, age unavailable, of Flower Mound was in "critical" condition at Trinity Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler. As of 4 a.m. today, Franklin said McCrae had undergone surgery for "internal injuries" which "didn't appear to be life threatening at this point." An Anderson County sheriff's report indicated the surgery was to repair intestinal damage and other internal injuries. A pack of wild boars, trying to escape from hunters, stormed two small towns in Bavaria, biting people, knocking down a cyclist and running amok in a boutique
. http://www.guardian.co.uk/germany/article/0,,1959498,00.html The 15 boars caused damage worth several thousand euros in Veitshöchheim and Margetshöchheim at the weekend. ...We had some angry calls from people asking, 'Was it necessary to shoot them?' But I believe we had no choice. The animals were ... in panic and they presented a great danger," Mr Schmitt said. Children climbed walls to get out of the boars' path, he added. Damaged cars will cost an estimated several thousand euros to repair while the boutique is left with a bill of €1,000 (£675). The hunt was apparently called off early.

Response g)
USDA Says It’s None of the Public’s Business Who Ate Recalled Meat http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/03/08/7554/#comment-225250 By Martha Rosenberg. "At least 10,000 food distributors sold recalled meat from the shuttered Hallmark slaughterhouse in Chino, CA including ConAgra, General Foods, Nestle and H.J. Heinz and it could still be on store shelves.But Richard Raymond, USDA undersecretary for food safety, told an incredulous House Appropriation’s agriculture panel this week the information is “proprietary” and would not be released. Naming names could drive customers away and just “confuse” people say trade groups like the American Meat Institute, Food Marketing Institute and Grocery Manufacturers Association.The Bush Administration also opposes publicizing retailers’ names in meat recalls.


Response h)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7721244.stm
An eight-year-old boy has appeared in court charged with the murders of his father and a lodger in the US state of Arizona last Wednesday.  Police say the child admitted shooting the two men with a .22-calibre rifle. ...Police have said the child methodically planned the killings of Vincent Romero, a 29-year-old construction worker, and lodger Timothy Romans, 39, at their home in the small community of St Johns, north-east of Phoenix. ..The priest conducting the service said Mr Romero had come from a family of hunters and had taught his son how to use a rifle to kill prairie dogs. Arizona prosecutors say there is no record of any complaints about the boy with child protection services and that the third-grader had no disciplinary record at school.


 

4)Question/attack: "If animals have rights, then they must be able to have the same rights as us, such as voting /If we give animals rights, we must give plants and all other organisms rights too"

Response: a) Sure--and if we can do that then fine. But if we are unable to give rights to all lifeforms--it doesnt mean we should just give up and not give rights to any. If we say that--then one could decide they only care about people within their own race/religion/gender/age group/economic status. Some people already do it anyway....

Response: b) Okay but you can be the one to go around to every plant, animal and bacteria on the planet and ensure they got their voter's guide. 

Response: c)Peter Singer, "All Animals Are Equal. . . .  Or Why Supporters of Liberation for Blacks and Women Should Support Animal Liberation Too" "There *are* important differences between humans and other animals, and these differences must give rise to *some* differences in the rights each have.  Recognizing this obvious fact, however, is no barrier to the case for extending the basic principle of equality to nonhuman animals. The differences that exist between men and women are equally undeniable, and the supporters of Women's Liberation are aware that these differences may give rise to different rights.     ***Many feminists hold that women have the right to an abortion on request.  It does not follow that since these same feminists are campaigning for equality between men and women they must support the right of men to have abortions too.  Since a man cannot have an abortion, it is meaningless to talk of his right to have one.  Since a dog can't vote, it is meaningless to talk of its right to vote.  There is no reason why either Women's Liberation or Animal Liberation should get involved in such nonsense.***      The extension of the basic principle of equality from one group to another does not imply that we must treat both groups in exactly the same way, or grant exactly the same rights to both groups.  What we should do will depend on the nature of the members of the two groups.  The basic principle of equality does not require equal or identical *treatment*; it requires equal *consideration.*  Equal consideration for different beings may lead to different treatment and different rights."  (It would be mean to send a dog to elementary school to sit quietly for 8 hours a day, for that matter.)
 

5)Question/attack: "Only humans can form moral contracts with other humans—since we cannot make social/moral contracts with other species, we should not care about how we treat them."

Response: a) Why does a moral contract have to be reciprocal? We make special arrangements for infants, and humans that are mentally challenged—without requiring that they “return the favor.” Why should other species be treated to a different standard?

Response b) We can and do have social and moral contracts with other species. We know that if an animal, its offspring, or its territory is threatened, or it is hungry, we can expect it to react accordingly. That is a social contract. By contrast, there are humans who make moral and social contracts with other humans—and then break them. And yet we do not turn them into laboratory fodder.

  Response c) If this argument is applied fairly and equally to a human rights scenario, then it would have significant consequences for humans that are either children, or are stricken with brain damage, mental illness, or some disease which prevents them from making a social/moral contract with others. By the logic of this argument— these humans could be exploited for medical research.  

 

 

6)Question/attack: "What about grizzly bears?  They eat other species, shouldn't we do something to stop that?"  

Response: a) that defies the whole meaning of animal rights. humans do not need to hold a paternalism over the actions of other animals.

Response: b) if there were over 6 billion grizzly bears who didn't need the fish to survive, then maybe they would need to decide what
to do about it, but that isn' t any of our business as humans. 


Response: c) oh yeah--and while you' re at it--better stop spiders from eating flies and flies from eating smaller bugs and bacteria from eating other 
bacteria..get back to me when you figure out how to police them--until  then we better stick to what we can do--policing ourselves.
 

Response: d) other species do things to survive...they may do things we don’t feel are consistent with our ethics--but we have ethics
to control our behavior--other species are able to function without the types of ethical systems we propose. They don't have the
option to not kill if they wish to survive. But they don't go around killing other species for oil, money, religion etc... when they
do--they can deal with their ethical conduct--until then--humans are the species we have to worry about. 

 

Response: e) this argument tries to say that if some group is exempt from the same moral conduct that is expected of humans--then they should be excluded from any rights to protection or respect. By this logic children, the mentally retarded and comatose people do not deserve rights to protection since they cannot reason and formulate ethical positions like adult humans can.
 

7)Question/attack: "Frogs don't care about morality when they eats flies, so if I am equal to them, shouldnt I be able to do the same and do as I want?"

Response: a) since you want to  be regarded as being able to do everything a frog can, or cannot do, then I guess you will be indifferent to human suffering--after all, a frog would be. So since a frog cant help a drowning human, you wouldnt either. After all, you want to have the same moral equality and responsibility as a frog. 
 

8)Question/attack: Animal activists  drive on roads that caused animals to lose their lives and live in homes that have caused animals to lose their lives." 

Response: a) No one is perfect. A lot of humans were killed through wars to build one's country--whether you live in Europe or North America or Asia.  No one tells a human rights activist he must rocket himself to a desert island in order to be against human exploitation--therefore the same is true for animal activists. 

Response: b) Thousands of people are killed by automobiles each year. If you are in favor of human rights--do you refrain from driving?

 

9)Question/attack: "You may think you avoid all unnecessary suffering, but how many animals died in the fields to grow your plants for food?"

Response: a) Don't know--but it is a lot less than the number that were killed in the fields to grow the food used to feed the cattle you eat. 

Response: b) That's an ad hominem attack. Instead of addressing the issue you are attacking me for any faults I may have. It is a separate issue but you cite it to divert attention from your own wrongdoing. 

Response: c) There are ways to provide food without causing as much harm to other life---eating meat is far more destructive. 

Response: d) So what are you saying? We should eat raw minerals? You start. Here's a rock--bite it.

Response: e) Oh I see--so since we cannot avoid all suffering we should just let people eat meat, hunt, fish, use animals in rodeos, research etc. But why stop there? Why not let people kill each other, enslave other humans, abuse children. They are doing it anyway and since suffering cannot be avoided completely why bother to try at all? RIGHT?

10)Question/Attack(FOLLOW UP):  From TIME magazine (week of July 8, 2002) An argument championed by Steven Davis, professor of animal science at Oregon State University, points "to the number of field animals inadvertently killed during crop production and harvest. One study showed that simply mowing an alfalfa field caused a 50% reduction in the gray-tailed vole population. Mortality rates increase with each pass of the tractor to plow, plant and harvest. Rabbits, mice and pheasants, he says, are the indiscriminate "collateral damage" of row crops and the grain industry...By contrast, grazing (not grain-fed) ruminants such as cattle produce food and require fewer entries into the fields with tractors and other equipment. Applying (and upending) Regan's least-harm theory, Davis proposes a ruminant-pasture model of food production, which would replace poultry and pork production with beef, lamb and dairy products. According to his calculations, such a model would result in the deaths of 300 million fewer animals annually (counting both field animals and cattle) than would a completely vegan model. "By Richard Corliss, Reported by Melissa August and Matthew Cooper/Washington, David Bjerklie and Lisa McLaughlin/New York, Wendy Cole/Chicago and Jeffrey Ressner/ Los Angeles
 

Response: a) From Time article: "When asked about Davis' arguments, (Tom) Regan, however, still sees a distinction: "The real question is whether to support production systems whose very reason for existence is to kill animals. Meat eaters do. Ethical vegetarians do not."

Response: b) The questionable moral reasoning of Steven Davis's argument can be described as thus:  Imagine you are driving along and you come to a forked road. One way is covered in darkness, the other has some children playing in the center of it. By Davis' logic, it is better to drive through and deliberately kill the children instead of taking the other route where you may end up killing more that you cant see--OR getting out and walking to check if the route is clear (after all, who says crop harvesting MUST be done by only one type of tractor-- the most destructive?).

Response: c) What about the effects of grazing on wildlife populations? The killing of natural predators to keep cattle and sheep from being killed? What about the pollution to rivers from grazing? How many aquatic organisms will be killed because of grazing? What about the trampling of insects by cattle and sheep? Has Davis calculated their deaths or do they not count? This argument to replace all crops with meat and dairy grazing leaves a lot of questions. 

Response: d) A completely vegan model would require one to ask: Who says crop harvesting must be done in the same way as it is currently? Davis is not making any effort to calculate alternative methods for harvesting or growing crops. What about greenhouses? What about switching to crops that cause less damage? What about harvesting machinery that is less intrusive? That is what a true vegan perspective would ask. As a meat eater who profits from the animal industry, Davis is not able to comprehend what a completely vegan model would be.

Response: e) Baby steps. Eliminate meat and dairy production, and then switch to lower yield, less harmful agricultural practices.

Response: f) But by Davis' argument, a lot of meat eating humans would be currently guilty of causing DOUBLE harm. They eat crops (since very few are true carnivores), and they eat meat that was raised on grain that killed animals in fields. Vegetarians only eat crops. Veganism still comes out as more desirable morally.

Response: g) Studies of all but invisible animal populations in fields can be skewed for anyone's agenda. Let's use basic hard facts: you raise animals for meat, you are directly killing animals. You raise plants for food, you may indirectly kill animals. Most sensible people would say that it is better to avoid direct killing, than engage in it out of fear of causing indirect killing. (See response b)

Response: h) (from http://courses.ats.rochester.edu/nobis/papers/leastharm.htm (submission to the Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, January 2003 Gaverick Matheny, Duke University)...."Davis does not succeed in showing this is preferable to vegetarianism. First, Davis makes a mathematical error in using total rather than per capita estimates of animals killed; second, he focuses on the number of animals killed in ruminant and crop production systems and ignores important considerations about the welfare of animals under both systems; and third, he does not consider the number of animals who are prevented from existing under the two systems. After correcting for these errors, Davis’s argument makes a strong case for, rather than against, adopting a vegetarian diet.".... First, Davis makes an error in calculating how many animals would be killed to feed a vegan-vegetarian population.  He explains: "There are 120 million ha of cropland harvested in the USA each year.  If all of that land was used to produce crops to support a vegan diet, and if 15 animals of the field are killed per ha per year, then 15 x 120 million = 1800 million or 1.8 billion animals would be killed annually to produce a vegan diet for the USA (p. 5).   Davis estimates that only 7.5 animals of the field per hectare die in ruminant-pasture. If we were to convert half of the 120 million hectares of U.S. cropland to ruminant-pasture and half to growing vegetables, Davis claims we could feed the U.S. population on a diet of ruminant meat and crops and kill only 1.35 billion animals annually in the process. Thus, Davis concludes his omnivorous proposal would save the lives of 450 million animals each year (p. 6-7). Davis mistakenly assumes the two systems—crops only and crops with ruminant-pasture—using the same total amount of land, would feed identical numbers of people (i.e., the U.S. population). In fact, crop and ruminant systems produce different amounts of food per hectare -- the two systems would feed different numbers of people. To properly compare the harm caused by the two systems, we ought to calculate how many animals are killed in feeding equal populations—or the number of animals killed per consumer. .....Davis suggests the number of wild animals killed per hectare in crop production (15) is twice that killed in ruminant-pasture (7.5). If this is true, then as long as crop production uses less than half as many hectares as ruminant-pasture to deliver the same amount of food, a vegetarian will kill fewer animals than an omnivore. In fact, crop production uses less than half as many hectares as grass-fed dairy and one-tenth as many hectares as grass-fed beef to deliver the same amount of protein. In one year, 1,000 kilograms of protein can be produced on as few as 1.0 hectares planted with soy and corn, 2.6 hectares used as pasture for grass-fed dairy cows, or 10 hectares used as pasture for grass-fed beef cattle (Vandehaar 1998; UNFAO 1996). As such, to obtain the 20 kilograms of protein per year recommended for adults, a vegan-vegetarian would kill 0.3 wild animals annually, a lacto-vegetarian would kill 0.39 wild animals, while a Davis-style omnivore would kill 1.5 wild animals. Thus, correcting Davis’s math, we see that a vegan-vegetarian population would kill the fewest number of wild animals, followed closely by a lacto-vegetarian population. However, suppose this were not the case and that, in fact, fewer animals would be killed under Davis’s omnivorism. Would it follow that Davis’s plan causes the least harm? Not necessarily. Early in the paper, Davis shifts from discussing the harm done to animals under different agricultural systems to the number of animals killed. This shift is not explained by Davis and is not justified by the most common moral views, all of which recognize harms other than death. "........."Although Davis does not show omnivorism is preferable to vegetarianism, he should be commended for emphasizing the importance of farmed animal welfare as a moral issue, now emerging as one of the most significant of the day. Predictably, his argument has been cited as a justification for traditional omnivorism (Corliss 2002), a misreading Davis did not intend and one that any faithful reading of his paper should prevent. The type of ruminant production Davis proposes is a world apart from the omnivorism prevalent in the United States."

 

 


 

 

Animal rightsVeg ism FAQ

Animal Rights Vegetarianism Veganism Arguments

This website is meant to provide a one stop resource for those seeking debate information related to the scientific, historical, philosophical and spiritual arguments associated with the animal rights movement and vegetarianism. It is intended for those seeking answers to the standard, tired attacks and questions one encounters, and also the more obscure, ludicrous attempts. If you want to win animal rights arguments, you will find your ammo here.

MIRROR FAQ page SITE: http://www.animalsuffering.com/animalvegfaq/   (has more user friendly navigation). Thanks to R for hosting.

 

http://www.towardsfreedom.com/AntiHumanSupremacyAnimalRightsArgument.html

ALTERNATIVE FAQ NAVIGATION VERSION:  http://yourcybercourt.info/arveg/arvegFAQ.html

(Last Update:  April 2010)  

 

 

The popular approach to animal rights debate has attempted to model itself on arguments used in the fight for racial and gender equality. Discrimination based on race and gender were generally attacked by suggesting that the true criteria for moral worth was a capacity to reason or to worship a creator, not skin color or gender. In animal rights, an effort is made to "move the goal post" again--instead of reason or some human specific quality, a focus is placed on "sentience," or the ability to feel pain and a moral obligation to avoid causing unnecessary suffering to others, or the capacity to have an interest to live. To deny this truth is to be speciesist, the equivalent of being a racist or sexist. But there are weaknesses to this approach.

The word speciesism is problematic because while in theory a member of any race can be racist and members of either gender can be sexist, only humans can be speciesist. Only humans can claim they are better in value than other life and articulate it in a moral philosophy. Using the word speciesism creates an opportunity to deflect the focus to whether all species put their species first, instead of focusing on the real issue, the human philosophical belief in superiority as a matter of systemic moral policy. Thus it is better to call it supremacism-a belief that you (and your group) are superior in value to others.

Also, some methods of formulating an animal rights position maintain that nonhumans are different from humans in degree, not kind (a point made by Tom Regan in his case for animal rights). This type of argument is potentially counter-productive, because it supports a claim made by vivisectionists, that non humans are part of a hierarchy of life and one can extrapolate data from so-called simpler lifeforms to so-called complex ones-humans (anti-vivisection arguments are addressed below). A hierarchical structure to lifeforms can be used to reinforce a supremacist argument.

Furthermore, an effort to focus on sentience or some other characteristic as being more important as a criteria of value requires that one convert the opponent to accept this criteria (or in the case of Singer-adopt a Utilitarian moral philosophy). It was much easier to move the goal post in the case of  racism and sexism because skin color and gender were hard to defend as important criteria of value for moral worth, while "reason" suggests some lofty quality, the ability to create laws or compose symphonies etc. and while you can point out that the mentally handicapped or those in comas don't possess the same capacity and yet are afforded rights status, it leaves enough wiggle room for the opponent to deflect or stall the debate towards a stalemate, which is a defeat for the side trying to change the status quo.

 

There is a better way to present an animal rights position.

It is rooted in a variant of individualist ethical subjectivism, and uses the lack of an absolute, objective certainty in the claim of human supremacists and the reality of human discrimination against and predation upon other humans to force the observer into a choice, either extend rights to non humans, or accept that their belief allows humans to discriminate against anyone, including other humans, thus undermining their desire for an application of universal human rights.

The anti-supremacy argument for non human rights(summary)

     Humans who believe in a moral code of universal human rights but deny extending rights to nonhumans have two problems. The criteria(s) they use to justify this discrimination (faculty of reason, a soul, divine or evolutionary favor, moral reciprocity, survival of the fittest, individual selfishness, a bundle of characteristics or vaguely defined ones etc.) cannot be proven to be possessed by all humans or lacking in all nonhumans. i.e. some humans are more intelligent than others, some nonhumans are more rational than some humans, humans can and do willfully break laws and yet the most despised of criminals is supposedly more deserving of care and respect than the most innocent of beings.

Secondly, the importance of such criteria can be doubted-- shown not to be objective absolute truth, but subjective arbitrary criteria conveniently determined by those who stand to benefit from the discrimination they wish to justify. Nature(or invisible deities), through environmental phenomenon, weather, earthquakes, and the actions of other human beings, cannot be shown to care or favor humans over other lifeforms as an absolute objective fact. This subjectivity means that someone who may discriminate against other humans (which happens despite the laws and philosophy designed to curb such incidents) using criteria that is just as subjective (skin colour, gender, class, religion, survival of the fittest, individual selfishness, etc) cannot be effectively condemned by a human rights advocate who denies rights to nonhumans, since both are discriminating according to subjective criteria of value they deem to be important. Pragmatic appeals to self-interest and the Golden Rule are also dubious, since a dictator or criminal may exploit and kill and never need to care about the rights of others or face prosecution, and a man living on one side of the globe does not necessarily have a practical reason to care what happens to humans in another far away country.

The only way for a human rights advocate to consistently argue that one ought to have systemic universal human rights and an ethical code based upon this idea is to extend the concept of fairness and justice to nonhumans as much as possible. Because humans develop ethical codes to govern human behavior, and nonhumans do not appear to employ or require such codes in their social interactions, they benefit from the consistency requirement in human concepts of fairness and justice without needing to reciprocate. To expect them to adhere to human moral contracts in order to be eligible for moral regard is like expecting a blind man to be able to read and then punishing him for not doing so. That moral regard may not be possible or practical in all situations due to particular factors (such as scale or absentmindedness or the inability to be perfect), but since the same is true of inter-human relations, it does not invalidate the merits of the argument or provide a loophole for humans to justify systemic exploitation of nonhuman lifeforms (since one could then justify the same for humans).

Humans have a tendency to justify discrimination according to assumptions of absolute superiority based upon subjective criteria of value such as “reason,” that, in a macrocosmic sense, is as inconsequential to the universe as the ability to run fast or sing. Instead of “moving the goal post” by trying to find a common characteristic of value shared by all beings, it can be more effective to attack the human supremacist’s criteria of value and self worth.

Every argument put forth to defend exploitation assumes human superiority as a given, and conveniently ignores the reality of human predation upon other human beings. This approach applies equally to theists and secularists, and any human society that can articulate a belief in supremacy and uses it to systematically discriminate.

While it is not guaranteed to convert the ignorant, it has proven to be effective in reducing the confidence of the most ardent and articulate opposition and perhaps, ever so slightly, replace arrogance with humility.

*************

Extended version:

The Anti-Human Supremacy Animal Rights Argument

 

"Man is the only animal that blushes, or needs to."  Mark Twain, the Damned Human Race

 


       Those who believe in a moral code of universal human rights but deny extending rights to nonhumans have two simple and insurmountable problems.

     The criteria(s) they use to justify this discrimination (faculty of reason, a soul, divine or evolutionary favor, moral reciprocity, survival of the fittest, individual selfishness, a bundle of characteristics or vaguely defined ones etc.) cannot be proven to be possessed by all humans or lacking in all nonhumans.

I.e. some humans are more intelligent than some others, and some nonhumans are more intelligent than some humans. A soul cannot be proven as an absolute to exist or not exist in either humans or nonhumans.  Nature (or deities), through the laws of Physics and environmental phenomenon, cannot be shown to care or favor humans over other lifeforms. Erupting volcanoes do not disperse their lava flows in ways that spare humans. Man-eating sharks do not get paralysis if they attempt to bite a human swimmer. Earthquakes and hurricanes do not make special alterations to spare humans-and ironically, non humans are often aware of approaching disasters before humans are. They have their own unique abilities, but since humans lack them, you do not see "the ability to predict earthquakes and avoid destructive weather" highlighted as a valuable quality in determining the criteria for moral value.

     If humans are so rational, why do they start wars for ideology and non essential resources? Why do they pollute rivers? Do wild animals pollute their water supply? The stupidest acts committed on this planet are done by human beings. The cruelest acts are committed by humans. It may be true that some humans will self sacrifice to save another--but other humans will do the opposite, save themselves by putting someone else into harm's way. And non humans have been documented exhibiting altruistic behavior (both within species and beyond). In vicious experiments conducted on rats and Rhesus monkeys, the victim would spare themselves from a shock if they performed an act that would harm another of their kind, and yet they refused to do so. However, humans in similar situations such as the Milgram experiment, were willing to (simulated without them knowing it) shock another human simply because they were told to by an authority figure. The most violent domestic cat does not erect arenas or stadiums designed so that other cats can watch and take pleasure from the suffering of mice, knowing that they are causing suffering.  Humans are capable of mental torment, verbal abuse, and taking pleasure from knowing that they are causing suffering to someone else. This is uniquely human. It is true of a child tormenting flies in a jar, or a scientist with a PHD who gives a rat advanced notice before being shocked in a learned helplessness experiment. The same capacity for "reason" that allows one to do mathematics can be used to design a torture device or urge a suicidal person to jump from a building.

 

     Secondly, the importance of such criteria can be doubted-- shown not to be objective absolute truth, but subjective arbitrary criteria conveniently determined by those who stand to benefit from the discrimination they wish to justify. People crave certainty, especially in moral dictates.

Reason is just as subjective a criteria of worth as the ability to run or juggle. Nature or some other invisible silent divine authority does not differentiate. This subjectivity means that someone who may discriminate against other humans (which happens every day despite the laws and philosophy designed to curb such incidents) using criteria that is just as subjective (skin colour, gender, class, religion, survival of the fittest, individual selfishness, etc) cannot be effectively condemned by a human rights advocate who denies rights to nonhumans, since both are discriminating according to subjective criteria of value they deem to be important.

     An argument defense that claims a human needs to care about the rights of other humans in order to benefit oneself (the Golden Rule), ignores the reality that there are tribes, dictators, and classes who have done quite well without caring about the rights of all humans. Does a family man living in the Appalachian Mountains need to care about the rights of a villager in Lebanon? Why should he? In practical terms most people go about their lives with little contact with humans in the rest of the world, and could well be a dictator in their own house without ever facing justice for it.

If one truly believes life is cruel and “survival of the fittest,” there is no rule book in Nature that suggests humans must draw the line at species.

      The only way for a human rights advocate to consistently argue that one ought to have systemic universal human rights and an ethical code based upon this idea is to extend the concept of fairness and justice to nonhumans as much as possible. Because humans develop ethical codes to govern human behavior, and nonhumans do not appear to employ or require such codes in their social interactions, they benefit from the consistency requirement in human concepts of fairness and justice without needing to reciprocate. To expect them to adhere to human moral contracts in order to be eligible for moral regard is like expecting a blind man to be able to read and then punishing him for not doing so. It is not expected of children, the disabled or criminals-who knowingly break these contracts and yet the most despised of them are still treated better than the most innocent of beings.

That moral regard for all potential beneficiaries may not be possible or practical in all situations due to particular factors (such as scale or absentmindedness or the inability to be perfect), but since the same is true of human on human interactions, it does not invalidate the merits of the argument or provide a loophole for humans to justify systemic exploitation of nonhuman lifeforms (since one could then justify the same for humans). If it is deemed easier and more convenient to draw the line at species, then drawing it at race or class or family is even easier and more convenient.

     And this obligation to be fair and just extends to all human groups that make claims that they have moral value while wishing to discriminate against nonhumans. An Inuit hunter or Japanese dolphin fisherman is just as vulnerable to this charge of unfair and biased discrimination as his suburban counterpart. To suggest that some fully functional humans have the right to subsist as they did 1000 years ago and reject modern concepts of fairness and justice (while using non-traditional technology such as television, textiles and guns), is to advocate a two tier moral system.

     Furthermore, the burden of human flexibility in its capacity for discrimination and exploitation can be utilized in any counter argument. If one is asked the hypothetical to choose between saving the life of a drowning child or a rat/dog/pig, the cleverest rebuttal is to ask the question poser to choose between saving the life of their child, or a stranger’s child. If they answer that they would not choose, then they can be accused of not loving their child, if they say they choose their child, then does it mean the stranger’s should be used in experiments or factory farms? If they say we need to deal with human problems first then one can ask for further clarification of this hierarchy of importance--which is of greater immediate consequence, fighting racism or sexism? Championing the rights of homosexuals or the disabled? The homeless or the aboriginal?  If they say one will never eliminate meat eating or animal cruelty one can respond that as long as humans breed there will be child abuse, homicide and warfare.

 Human beings often claim they are top of the food chain, even though bacteria and grave worms might see things differently. They boast about their technological achievements which will eventually turn to dust as surely as the cherished brains of inventors who created them. The symphonies, which some supremacists herald as showing human superiority to the ‘lower” animals, will echo through the cosmos and have little meaning to a passing asteroid or comet. They like to say they are custodians of Nature, even though most of what they characterize as stewardship is really damage control, attempting to correct mistakes, such as oil spills and extinction, caused by human action. They designate insects as low and worthless, although it is these creatures that cultivate top soil and pollinate flowers, true acts of stewardship. Humane is defined as another word for compassion, and inhumane or inhuman or nonhuman, another word for wicked, and yet, when it comes to cruelty, sadism and taking pleasure from causing misery while knowing that one is causing it, humans are the role model supreme.

 

 

MOST EFFECTIVE ARGUMENT APPROACH AGAINST ANIMAL RESEARCH

The traditional argument focuses on alternative testing methods and the dangers of using nonhumans as safe research models for humans. If you are in the audience of a debate, who are you more likely to trust, an animal activist who says nonhumans are not good models for research, or the vivisectionist who represents and is supported by the medical establishment that provides drugs and treatments? The establishment has a propaganda advantage when it comes to scientific authority even when one can cite studies that show how useless nonhuman research can be. It can become a dispute left unresolved unless the audience is very knowledgeable about science. Also, such an approach leaves room to argue that vivisection for veterinary research can be justified. Although undercover videos and photos of cruel experiments can be effective persuasion for some observers, humans have a knack for finding ways to excuse all sorts of violence.

The following is the recommended debate approach for arguing vivisection:

Animal Research  :basic anti-animal research points (it is a separate page containing the arguments found below)

 

1)It is a perversion of altruism and compassion--you attempt to heal Peter by torturing and killing Paul. It is like trying to help a homeless man by kicking a family out of their house, beating them to death and moving the former in (except that finding a home for the homeless man is a sure thing--animal researchers have been trying to cure cancer for hundreds of years without success). The fact that the number one answer to criticism of animal research is a citation of alleged benefits proves that animal researchers lack a common sense understanding of morality and ethics--since we wouldn't allow murderers or thieves to cite the benefits they or their family attain from their actions to justify murder or theft.

2)It is a medical fraud--if you wouldn't think it is rational to find a cure for diseases in giraffes by experimenting on elephants why would you think it is rational to cure disease in humans by using mice, rats, dogs or chimps? Animal research is big business (from cage manufacturers to science grant applicants), and scientists have a vested interest in conjuring up new experiments to keep their paychecks, while telling the public that the research is important and a "breakthrough." (If you think animal researchers are strictly motivated by compassion, how many new drugs they develop can you get for free?) Pagan priests sacrificed animals and read their entrails to encourage the hope and health of society (a good harvest, easy childbirth). Those that opposed it endangered society by angering the gods. Today, animal researchers claim that if nonhuman animal research stopped, the world would descend into a hell of disease and misery (without explaining why society and culture endured even during the Medieval plague. By their logic, humans should have been extinct eons ago, plus it grossly exaggerates the power of medicine since humans continue to die from disease--including scientists). Animal researchers promote the view that life works according to a quasi-Darwinian "Great Chain of Being" hierarchy where animals follow a ladder of complexity--starting with worms and ending with humanity, and that you can take them apart and reassemble them as easily as a jigsaw puzzle. If animal research is necessary for producing safe drugs and treatments why then do we need clinical trials on humans? Why does Pfizer have to conduct medical trials in Africa? Why do drugs like Thalidomide get pulled after being shown to be safe in nonhuman animals? If one had a choice between a drug tested only on rats or chimps, and a drug tested only on humans, which would you deem safer for people? The answer determines one's belief in the importance on nonhuman animals in research.

3)Animal research treats nonhuman animals in ways that would be considered an atrocity if done to even the most despised criminal in history--and yet, nonhuman animals commit no crimes. Why do they deserve such treatment?

4)If finding a cure for disease is so important, why aren't scientists and patients advocating the use of criminals or volunteers in medical experiments? Humans are the best and safest model for research, and we send healthy people off to be maimed and killed in wars for natural resources, religion and political ideology, and yet the war against cancer is only considered of dire importance when it comes to the discussion of abolishing nonhuman animals in research.

5)Researchers say animal research is necessary--and yet they eat meat, and engage in other animal exploitation activities that are clearly not necessary. It shows that the necessity argument isn't even a real factor--they simply regard non humans as less in value.

6) Researchers and their proponents say animal rights activists can't protest animal research if they have benefited from research that has been linked to animal research experiments. But they ignore that research on humans against their consent has also been done and the research preserved for the greater good-why don't they make the same demands of human rights activists? Double standards.


7)Researchers say they need to use nonhuman animals for research because they are like us--and yet they say they deserve no rights because they are not like us. This highlights the real issue--the motivation for animal research beyond money is an arrogant belief that humans as a species are superior in value to all other life, based upon arbitrary, non-absolute and subjective criteria conveniently determined by those who stand to benefit from the discrimination and exploitation. The same reasoning was used by James Marion Sims, former president of the American Medical Association, to experiment on black slaves (a bronze statue of him stands in NY's Central Park) and by Nazi doctors to justify their experiments.

 
    Anti- Supremacy Ethical Argument for Nonhuman Rights (repeated from previous section--it is connected to every issue)

     Those who believe in a moral code of universal human rights but deny extending rights to nonhumans have two problems. The criteria(s) they use to justify this discrimination (faculty of reason, a soul, divine or evolutionary favor, moral reciprocity, survival of the fittest, individual selfishness, a bundle of characteristics or vaguely defined ones etc.) cannot be proven to be possessed by all humans or lacking in all nonhumans. i.e. some humans are more intelligent than others, some nonhumans are more rational than some humans, humans can and do willfully break laws and yet the most hated of criminals are regarded as more deserving of care and respect than the most innocent of beings.
 
Secondly, the importance of such criteria can be doubted-- shown not to be objective absolute truth, but subjective arbitrary criteria conveniently determined by those who stand to benefit from the discrimination they wish to justify. Nature(or invisible deities), through environmental phenomenon, weather, earthquakes, and the actions of other human beings, cannot be shown to care or favor humans over other lifeforms as an absolute objective fact. This subjectivity means that someone who may discriminate against other humans (which happens despite the laws and philosophy designed to curb such incidents) using criteria that is just as subjective (skin colour, gender, class, religion, survival of the fittest, individual selfishness, etc) cannot be effectively condemned by a human rights advocate who denies rights to nonhumans, since both are discriminating according to subjective criteria of value they deem to be important. Pragmatic appeals to self-interest and the Golden Rule are also dubious, since a dictator or criminal may exploit and kill and never need to care about the rights of others or face prosecution, and a man living on one side of the globe does not necessarily have a practical reason to care what happens to humans in another far away country.
 
The only way for a human rights advocate to consistently argue that one ought to have systemic universal human rights and an ethical code based upon this idea is to extend the concept of fairness and justice to nonhumans as much as possible. Because humans develop ethical codes to govern human behavior, and nonhumans do not appear to employ or require such codes in their social interactions, they benefit from the consistency requirement in human concepts of fairness and justice without needing to reciprocate. To expect them to adhere to human moral contracts in order to be eligible for moral regard is like expecting a blind man to be able to read and then punishing him for not doing so. That moral regard may not be possible or practical in all situations due to particular factors (such as scale or absentmindedness or the inability to be perfect), but since the same is true of human relations with other humans, it does not invalidate the merits of the argument or provide a loophole to justify systemic exploitation of nonhuman lifeforms (since one could then justify the same for humans).
 
Every argument put forth to defend exploitation assumes human superiority as a given, and conveniently ignores the reality of human predation upon other human beings. This approach applies equally to theists and secularists, and any human society that can articulate a belief in supremacy and uses it to systematically discriminate(against humans or nonhumans).

Further reading on how we are all using research done on unsuspecting humans.
Taken from: http://www.micahbooks.com/readingroom/Nazisandanimalresearch.html   "In 1987, the Supreme Court heard a case in which a U.S. soldier sued the government for having used him as a test case for LSD experiments, without his knowledge (Stanley vs. The United States). The court voted 5 to 4 against the victim. For a recent review of experiments conducted on human beings in the U.S., without their informed consent, see Clouds of Secrecy: The Army's Germ Warfare Tests over Populated Areas, by Leonard A. Cole, Subjected to Science, by Susan Lederer, Johns Hopkins Press (This books studies experimentation on human beings between the two world wars); and Stranger at The Bedside by David J. Rothman, which studies this problem in the period after the Second World War. There are many more books on this subject. Many of them can be found on the Internet, under "Human Experimentation," or at Amazon.com, under the same heading."

Pfizer experiments in Africa: July 1, 2002 issue of The Nation. Globalizing Clinical Research: Big Pharma Tries Out First World Drugs on Unsuspecting Third World Patients by Sonia Shaw.

 

The Animal Rights Q and A List  This section sums up many of the most basic questions that animal activists are asked about the AR philosophy. 

Human Supremacy  :At the heart of every exploitation argument is a belief in human supremacy and its double standards.

 

Meat Eating : a few simple arguments (pasted below), see further below for more detailed ones.

 

1) Meat eating for humans is unnecessary. Humans lack the natural born equipment to hunt anything beyond insects and slow rodents. They require tools and instruments to do it. Real predators do not use claws and fangs to grow gardens or routinely kill other members of their species (unlike humans). A vegan diet is easy and healthy. Meat eating is therefore unnecessary cruelty and killing. If one believes we should try to be kind and compassionate and just, and not cause suffering when we dont have to,  then meat eating cannot be justified as a diet for humans.

2) Meat eating is destructive. Health wise, meat needs to be irradiated to fight off diseases and bacteria. Urine and excrement spilled from the bowels of slaughtered animals gets sprayed onto the corpse.

3) Meat eating is destructive. Wildlife is killed for the sake of ranchers. Forests are cut down to grow soy to feet livestock. Rivers are polluted by ranching and factory farms. Livestock significantly contributes to greenhouse gases and global warming (according the UN).

4) Meat eating is wasteful. The water and grain/crops etc that go to feed livestock could be eaten directly by humans. Meat recalls, disease outbreaks that lead to killing of the animals--all waste.

5)Meat eating violates notions of human rights. If you believe humans should be fed--then we shouldnt be wasting resources on meat-based diets that deprive people of water and crops (or causes the prices or food to go up due to the extra demands on crops for livestock).  Meat is sold that is full of disease. E coli, BSE, etc. The companies cover it up. Children are forced to eat meat even if they are compassionate to animals. This and the health effects makes it a form of child abuse.

6) Meat eating is cruel.  Animals are raised,  separated from their family groups, forced pregnancy, forced abortion, forced starvation(to cause moulting of egg laying chickens to get extra eggs out of them) , forced to stand even when sick so they can be approved for slaughter. Frustrated slaughterhouse workers torture animals--gouge their eyes out for fun, shock them, beat them, kick them, castrate them without anesthetic (all documented on video). Even if everyone ate from small "organic" ranches, you still have castration, branding, dehorning, and animals are sent to the same slaughterhouses.

7)Fruit and vegetables are the colours of the rainbow--when it rots it can still be digested(raisins etc). Meat is the colour of excrement and when it rots it is even more lethal. If there was a deity, fruit and vegetables have been given a good PR image, meat has not.

8) Meat eating can lead to epidemics of new contagious diseases--i.e. Sars, bird flu and influenza (which spread from pigs to humans).

 

BASIC FAQ

 



Attack: humans are meant to hunt and kill like any other predator

*** humans are not true predators like tigers or lions. They are not born with the equipment to hunt. . If someone says tools are the equivalent of fangs and claws then there is a factual problem, the same tool-making ability that is used for hunting non human animals, can also be used for tilling the soil to plant seeds or to kill other human beings. By this type of thinking even homicide is natural. The reality of human predation remains. True predator animals do not usually kill other members of their species or plant gardens. Only humans have the flexibility to do so- and a problem controling their behavior.



Attack: Humans as stewards of nature

While a nice thing to aspire to, the fact is that most of what humans describe as stewardship is fixing mistakes created by other humans. A worm on the other hand, could be described as a steward-and ironically we call them lowly and worthless as with all insects(except those that provide something we use like honey).



Attack: "humans are superior because they are human"

"This belief is often taken for granted as if an axiom, and usually not expressed in precise terms, with good reason, as it leads to the Regress argument. An absolute is the final answer to a question. If you can question it, how can it be absolute? For every why there is a because and for every because another why. A belief in human supremacy is subject to many a why."

It takes for granted the idea that humans are superior without being able to prove it. Because it is subjective--it can be doubted, questioned, it cant be absolute. If its not absolute then nothing stops the racist or person who doesnt care about universal human rights from saying

"whites are superior because they are white."
"males are superior because they are male."
"christians are superior because they are christian."
etc.


Attack: "you will never get rid of meat eating-it has been around since ancient times."

One could answer-"and child abuse and homicide will always be around too-so we shouldnt try to curb it eh? Just let everyone do what they like-exploit whoever they want(oh and they cant say that one should care for other humans out of self-interest-because why should someone living in one country care about what someone is doing to their family in a house across the country? It cant be proven that one needs such a social contract to survive--some dictators die peacefully in their beds). In fact-one could say getting rid of meat eating is easier than getting rid of child abuse or homicide since humans have to be in contact with other species-while humans are always around humans if they are reproducing and live in a society.


Attack: "but with all the cruelty in the world-we need to deal with human problems first."

But if that is so-then which is more important, worrying about racism or sexism? Is violence against gays and lesbians more of a priority or helping blind people? If you see two children about to be hit by a car which one deserves priority in rescuing? What exactly is the formula, the hierarchy for determining moral worth and priority? Obviously there isnt one. So they are only saying these things because of the human supremacist double standard.


Attack: "But many religions say humans are superior. It says so in the Bible."

If one says that humans are superior as a species according to the will of a Supreme Deity, how do you prove it? If you cite a Divinely-inspired religious book written down by individuals who conveniently, are members of the very group that stands to benefit from the discrimination, then anyone else can emphasize race, or gender, or wealth instead of (or in addition to) species and claim that the same deity (or another one) decided that theirs is the ultimate measure of value for determining superiority. Especially since the Bible also sanctions various kinds of behavior deemed morally wrong today (human slavery etc). If someone says "my God says humans are special"-another can say "My God says my race is special" or
"my gender is special" or "my family is special,"...which goes on today
as we see from the news and politics.

Such disagreements cannot be objectively resolved - and they must be to avoid hypocrisy and moral corruption.


Attack: "If you were passing by a river in which a dog and a child were drowning, who would you try to save?"

In most desperate situations, people will save whomever they can save; they don't measure and qualify the recipients of care. It might be true that as a human, one would feel a more urgent need and bond with another human who is drowning, but in principle, that situation would be no different if the argument were redefined to focus on race, language or gender instead of species. If you are white and you see a white man and a non-white man drowning, who are you more likely to feel a bond towards? What if one spoke your language but the other didn't? What if one was a close relative, the other a stranger? If you chose to save the more familiar individual, does that mean you endorse a policy-based, industrial, "factory farm" exploitation of the human group that is not given priority? If the answer is no, then it should be equally true for non-human groups when they are not given priority either.

There is also a variation in this:


Attack: "If you were attacked by a lion/snake/dog/rat/boar/gorilla etc, would
you defend yourself? And if you did, wouldn't that prove you believe
humans are superior in value to other animals?"

Self-preservation is a different issue from species preservation, or the belief that humans as a species are superior in value to all other life. If a thief confronted a civil rights worker/poverty activist, and the worker/activist defended him or herself, would that mean that he or she does not believe in human rights? The answer should be no different for an animal activist.

Attack: "would you sacrifice a rat to save your child"--

"would you sacrifice the life of a stranger's child to save yours? If you say yes-then you dont believe in human rights. if you say no, then you love a stranger more than your own child."


Attack: 'a blade of grass and a cow are equal, therefore a cow eating grass is no less immoral than a human eating a cheeseburger'.

They are confusing (perhaps deliberately) two definitions of equality--Conflicting Conditions, a fallacy in definition.

A cow can be equal in value and unequal in attribute. There is no conflicting conditions. We say a blind man is equal in value but not equal in attribute. We dont say that because a blind man cant read road signs that a seeing man shouldnt be expected to either. Its just a way to get out of moral responsibility.

Humans need concepts of moral codes to govern their behavior because unlike a cow, humans dont seem capable of working off instincts to control themselves. A cow needs to eat to survive-humans do too-but humans can make dietary choices--a cow or lion cannot. To expect them to follow human codes of justice is an absurdity. The same is true in the argument that they have to be able to follow human codes in order to benefit from ethical laws-its contractualism--There are humans (children, mentally handicapped, criminals) who receive rights even though they cannot reciprocate (or refuse to in the case of criminals). One would not expect a blind man to be able to read road signs, so why would one expect a lion to be able to understand human concepts of morality? It is a double standard, and if anyone thinks they can get lions and spiders to follow human concepts of morality, best of luck in trying.


Attack: 'plants feel pain' (this is certain even though scientists debate whether insects feel pain because they have no pain receptors) so you're just being a hopeless idealist by not eating steak for breakfast.

This is basically saying since we cant be morally perfect we shouldnt even try (or as prad would say, if you cant do everything, you shouldn't try to do anything)

But by that logic it would mean we shouldnt care about anything-even human on human predation. There's the human supremacy blind spot-they always miss that consequence of their belief if put into practice. The issue is not moral perfection, but trying the best one can (and certainly factory farms, zoos, research labs and other massively organized and complicated structural entities for exploitation and discrimination are not as difficult to avoid as scratching your arm and killing a microbe or accidentally stepping on an insect). No ethical view can take into account the interests of everyone at all times. And one can certainly argue the line of moral regard is not drawn at animals--that it is wrong to exploit trees and other plants. Sentience is as much a subjective criteria as any other. If there are problems in implementing an ethical policy that includes non-animals, then it is true of all potential beneficiaries of moral conduct (i.e. you may live on land that was once occupied by others who were driven off or killed due to colonial aggression; or pay taxes to a government that uses the money to finance wars, or use drugs that were tested on unwilling human patients in Africa etc.). No one can be perfect, either in compassion or cruelty, but the failure to be morally perfect does not then mean one has to fall back to some line like species to focus one's discrimination. If you argue for that--then there is no reason why someone else cannot draw the line at race, or religion, or intelligence instead of, or, in addition to species (which many people do already). In fact, if one attempts to argue from convenience, then committing a homicide is much more practical than establishing a factory farm or stalking through a forest with a rifle in search of an elusive animal. No matter how one looks at it, the reality of human predation hangs on the neck of the anti-animal rights position like an albatross.


Attack: a selective moral relativism is a common fallback when the oppressors are confronted on trying to avoid moral responsibility---- that notions of right and wrong are socially constructed and ultimately arbitrary, so again they can avoid feeling bad for eating steak.

They say its socially constructed and ultimately arbitrary BUT they always have a blind spot/double standard when it comes to applying that belief--i.e. they tend to drop moral relativism as a defense when it comes to human on human relations. I.e. female circumcision, or anti-homosexuality cultures, honor killings or cannibalism. If one really believed in moral relativism, then someone should be able to construct their own morality--as in preying on other humans. They will sometimes say its a golden rule or in your own best interest to want to establish a social moral contract with other humans-but the fact is that there are humans who can do ok without honoring such a contract. Dictators, criminals etc. In fact they can say: "sure, I will honor your rights," and then turn around and stab you in the back.


Attack: quasi-spiritual platitudes: "everything is one, evolving perfectly as is (so factory farms are cool and I can eat fillet mignon sans guilt)" or "killing is a part of the natural order of Being" etc..

Also can be more secular based---life is cruel-life is about killing-that's the way it is. survival of the fittest...

----if "everything is one" or survival of the fittest, then war,
theft, homicide and rape are also permissible-part of survival of the fittest or the "oneness" of the universe, so we shouldnt try to
stop it. The human predation issue still can be applied to it.

 

  "Humans are meant to hunt like any other animal."

A naked unarmed humans would be lucky to take down and devour a lame rabbit with his bare hands.  The tool making ability that allows humans to hunt non human animals can also be used for plowing the earth for agriculture, and killing other human beings. . You never hear about lions gardening or killing other lions as a matter of routine or accidentally mistaking another lion for a gazelle (since hunters have been known to shoot each other or bystanders). Humans are not true hunters like born predators.

  


Attack: "What about First Nations people? They hunt and fish and kill animals too."

**The ethical problem is true for both the city dweller and the aboriginal. So-called subsistence hunters like the Inuit have access to electricity, firearms, and other industrial inventions at the same time they want to pick and choose their traditional lifestyle choices. If the Inuit are meant to live in the Arctic like a polar bear or seal, why are they not born with all they need to survive in the climate? Since humans do not need to live in these climates (biologically, their bodies are not equipped for it), they do not need to hunt or fish. If an Inuit is naturally meant to hunt in the Arctic, as is frequently claimed by defenders of exploitation industries that use First Nations communities for supplies or propaganda (i.e. whaling, sealing and trapping), then its factual validity can be tested by simply having one brave Inuit hunter jump naked into the Arctic sea and try to bite a seal to death with only his teeth and bare hands. The outcome would speak for itself on the issue of whether First Nations people or any humans should, by biological design and necessity, hunt and fish.

If one regards non colonial societies as human, then they should be subject to the same rights and obligations as any other humans, according to basic principles of fairness and justice. If a human group, whether in the Sahara, a coastal Japanese fishing community, the Arctic, or some isolated island can hold to a moral view that they deserve special regard at the same time they declare themselves to have a right to systematically kill for sustenance, then they can be criticized for adhering to an unfair moral system, according to their own understanding of right and wrong. The concept of being fair and compassionate to others is universal, and the most basic animal rights argument is merely a logical extension of that principle. If it is ethically wrong for human groups to engage in human slavery, cannibalism, oppression of women and children, then the same should be true for their interaction with other species, to be fair and consistent in ethical policy.

No human group in the 21st century needs to kill other animals for food--period.

If we can put a man on the Moon, and design a computer that can play chess, then we can provide daily sustenance for all humans without resorting to harpoon, hook, and gun. The issue of practicality or implementation is a separate affair. Loss of traditional independence is a trivia disagreement. It can be assumed that many would agree that life should trump lifestyle.

Also it should be noted that such cultures are often collaborators in exploitation. Case in point-Canada using the Inuit to campaign for the fur industry, seal hunt and keeping the polar bear off the endangered species list.

Attack: "killing is acceptable if you eat what you kill."

****--it is the same as saying it is acceptable to murder someone if you rob them at the same time.


Attack: "humans need to kill invasive species that threaten native ones"


**beyond the issue of who appointed humans to be custodians of nature, or the moral problem of punishing species that were introduced into another environment by humans, or the issue of whether there is such a thing as an invasive species, there is the double standard of humans claiming that ecological destruction in some cases deserves lethal means, and yet the many examples of humans causing environmental destruction (maliciously and not innocently as in the nonhuman scenarios--broadtail possum of Australia introduced into NZ by the fur industry or pigs dropped on islands off California by farmers) does not appear to be so important as to deserve a similar response.


Attack:"You may think you avoid all unnecessary suffering, but how many animals died in the fields to grow your plants for food?" AKA the Steven Davis/ruminant pasture grazing model study(from Time magazine July 8, 2002).

**

To suggest that killing animals directly either in hunting or cattle grazing is a better answer than indirectly killing animals in fields that cannot be seen is akin to this scenario:
Imagine you are driving along and you come to a forked road. One way is covered in darkness, the other
has some children playing in the center of it. By the meat eater logic, it is
better to drive through and deliberately kill the children instead of
taking the other route where you may end up killing more that you cant
see--OR getting out and walking to check if the route is clear (after
all, who says crop harvesting MUST be done by only one type of
tractor-- the most destructive? It assumes that the current methods by machinery is the only way in order to push its grazing solution).

It also ignores animals killed as pests--wolves, animals killed due to competition over grazing lands(buffalo) and the large numbers of cattle on pasture lands required to feed human populations(as well as the effects on water resources and rivers).




Attack: "More animals are killed for a vegetarian diet (in fields) than by hunters. Therefore, hunting is more compassionate than
vegetarianism."

**Ideally, animals that may be killed in fields etc to grow food for vegetarians are killed unintentionally. Hunters kill
intentionally. Thus vegetarianism is more compassionate, since it seeks
to eliminate unnecessary suffering and killing, not encourage it.

If everyone went and hunted for food, it would kill a lot
more animals than in fields that grow food for vegetarians

Growing your own vegetarian food in a garden would
be more compassionate than hunting.
It is impossible to gauge how many animals are killed in fields. The answer is not to advocate hunting, but to find the best way
to avoid killing animals to grow food.

By that logic, someone may decide that resorting to cannibalism or eating human corpses would be more compassionate than hunting. Why prey on other
species for your survival when you can prey on your own?

Attack: "Your values deem animals to be right-holders whereas others deem them to be resource, it is the former and not the
latter that has the ethical obligation to stop killing them."

Response: by that logic, if someone doesnt believe that other humans are
rights-holders, they dont have any obligation to stop those acts that
violate them. So a racist can go and lynch members of another race because he doesnt
value them as equals. A child abuser can do likewise. You havent proven
why all humans should regard all humans as rights-holders, and you need
to in order to defend human rights while you attack nonhuman rights.


Attack: : Wasnt Hitler a vegetarian?   



Response: (further answers below in main FAQ index)
 


The testimony of Hitler's personal cook in Hamburg during the late 1930s - Dione Lucas. In her "Gourmet Cooking School Cookbook," she records that his favorite dish - the one that he
customarily requested - was stuffed squab (pigeon). "I do not mean to spoil your appetite for stuffed squab, but you might be interested to know that it was a great favorite with Mr. Hitler, who dined in the hotel often." (http://www.ivu.org/history/europe20a/hitler.html)

"Otto D. Tolischus in 1937 in The New York Times pointed out that the Führer was a vegetarian who 'does not drink or smoke' but who also 'occasionally relishes a slice of ham' along with delicacies such as caviar and chocolates." (Ibid.) Robert Proctor calls Hitler a vegetarian "of sorts" (The Nazi War on Cancer, p. 134) and is content to state that Hitler was a vegetarian who "occasionally would allow himself a dish of meat," (p. 135) and quotes The New York Times as stating that in addition to ham and caviar Hitler also occasionally ate
squab." (http://www.micahbooks.com/readingroom/Hitlerveg.html) His cook, an enormously fat man named Willy Kannenberg, produced exquisite meals and acted as court jester. Although Hitler had no fondness for meat except in the form of sausages and never ate fish, he enjoyed caviar....(The Life and Death of Adolph Hitler (Praeger, 1973)(p. 346) (http://www.micahbooks.com/readingroom/Hitlerveg.html)

Hitler's reputation for being a vegetarian seems to consist solely of his not having eaten red meat. The effort to describe Hitler's eating habits as vegetarian requires changing the definition of "vegetarian" to exclude liver, ham, and sausages from the list of meats, and changing the definition of "animal" to exclude pigs. Hitler did exhibit a sympathy with a vegetarian diet, but paradoxically, vegetarians and the vegetarian movement in Nazi Germany were persecuted. Vegetarian societies were restrained, subject to raids, and "books that contained vegetarian recipes were confiscated by the Gestapo." Janet Barkas has a good account of this period in German history in her book, The Vegetable Passion. German vegetarian societies were forced to leave the International Vegetarian Union; they were prohibited from organizing and from publishing material, but individuals were not molested and "could exchange their credit notes for meat for dairy products. About 83,000 vegetarians participated in this program." (http://www.micahbooks.com/readingroom/Hitlerveg.html)

Hitler also ordered that the meat supply not be reduced, even though its production used up considerable resources during the war.

Heinrich Himmler was a trophy hunter.



Attack: : "Didnt the Nazis ban animal research?"



Response: a) from
http://www.micahbooks.com/readingroom/Nazisandanimalresearch.html 'On April 24, 1989, Drs. Daniel Johnson and Frederick Goodwin from the National Institutes of Health, argued on the McNeil-Lehrer television program that "The only people in modern society that have not used animals for research were the Nazis." They further contended that because the Nazis passed an anti-vivisection bill in 1933, they were led to experiment on human beings, and that there is therefore a relationship between animal rights and a loss of human rights. None of
this is true.The "anti-vivisection law," which the Nazis purported to pass, like Hitler's vegetarianism, is filled with contradictions. A study of the law the Nazis passed shows that this law had enough loopholes in it to assure the continuation of animal research; consequently, an enormous amount of animal experimentation continued to be carried out by Nazi doctors. The Lancet, the prestigious British medical journal, reviewed the Nazis law and warned anti-vivisectionists not to celebrate because the Nazis law was no different, in effect, from the British law that had been passed in 1875, which restricted some animal research, but hardly eliminated it. Furthermore, a law passed by the Weimar government in 1931 required that all experiments on human beings be first conducted on animals. Such a requirement exists in the United States as in many countries that practice animal
research. In other words, animal research is often a legal justification for experimentation on humans, as it functioned in Nazi Germany. The 1931 law in Germany was never abrogated. Nazis doctors dutifully submitted written statements when they requested "human material" for experiments which carried the legal notification that such experiments had been first conducted on animals. The first request for "test persons" was made by Dr. Sigmund Rascher to Himmler on May 15, 1941, "for two or three professional criminals" for "High-Altitude
Research." It states that human beings were needed "because these experiments cannot be conducted with monkeys, as has been
tried...."***Robert Proctor's book, The Nazi War on Cancer (Princeton University Press, 1999), records Nazi animal experimentation, which should leave no one in doubt about where Nazi doctors and scientists stood on this issue. These animal experiments were often embedded in the continuum of animal research that had been ongoing for decades. By the 1920s the Germans had developed strains of mice that were "more or less receptive to the uptake of cancer tissue transplants....SS chief Heinrich Himmler was apparently intrigued by the prospect of breeding a race of cancer-prone rats; in a 1939 meeting with Sigmund Rascher, the notorious Dachau hypothermia experimenter, the SS Reichsführer proposed breeding such a race of rodents.... (p. 63) "by the end of the 1920s, there was a sizable scientific literature on radiation carcinogensis, including a large body of work based on animal experiments." (p. 83) By
the mid 1930s the Nazis had formidable laboratory evidence of some the causes of cancer based on animal experiments: "Experiments were...performed that finally produced--for the first time anywhere--lung cancers in animals raised in the mines." By 1938, Nazi scientists could produce lung cancer in 25% of the mice raised in mine shafts. "This was the first conclusive animal experimental evidence that breathing air in the mines could cause lung cancer." (p.99). The Nazis conducted their "war on cancer" with animals as their weapon of choice. Indeed, in 1943, at the height of a world war, the Nazi government developed plans for a "'tumor farm' to raise animals for use in experiments." (p. 261). As Proctor states, animal experiments were vital to the ideological stance of Nazisim: "Animal experimental evidence was extrapolatedto humans, bolstered by the ideological push to see all aspects of human behavior--including purported racial differences--as rooted in "blood," race, or genes." (p. 63)***The Nazis often did important scientific research, much of which has found its way into our own research. They developed the most extensive anti smoking legislation of any western countries; they did important research on the effects of industrial pollution on the environment, much of which found its way into Rachel Carson's book, Silent Spring--which is not an indictment of Rachel Carson. When World War 11 first ended and news of the horrendous research on human beings was made public, Western scientists wanted to denounce Nazi science as "pseudo science" for fear of being tarnished by the public's loathing of Nazi science, but Nazi science finds its way into our science all the time, including findings gained from their experiments on human beings.



 

 

 

LEGEND:

Philosophical responses: general and specific(i.e. Utilitarian)

Religious responses: general and doctrine specific(i.e. Christian, Buddhist, etc.)

Scientific/Historical  responses: general and specific with references

Humorous responses: cute and caustic

 

 

Questions-attacks/Responses have been divided into these sub-categories for easier use. It is recommended, however, to check multiple sections to find a particular variety of argument. For example, many of the same arguments used for Hunting can also be used for Fishing or for the Wildlife Management sections after a little rewording. Most topical arguments rely on a variation of the "human supremacy myth" as a foundation to their beliefs. These arguments can be found under Human Supremacy, but various aspects of this approach can be found in other sections as well. Some of the more generic arguments can be located under Misc. Whaling/Native Hunting arguments can be found under Misc.

 

 

Sections

1)ANIMAL RIGHTS 

2)ANIMAL RESEARCH  

3)BULLFIGHTS

4)COMPANION ANIMALS

5)EQUALITY

6)FACTORY FARMS

7)FISHING

8)FUR

9)HUMAN SUPREMACY

10)HUNTING

11)MEAT EATING AND DAIRY CONSUMPTION

12)MISC.

13)PLANTS AND VEGETABLES

14)RELIGION

15)SPECIES UNITY

16)SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST

17)TRAPPING

18)WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT

19)ZOOS

 

*

HELPFUL TERMINOLOGY

LINKS

 

 

  1: ANIMAL RIGHTS

1)Question/attack: "If we give respect or rights to animals we will diminish our own rights and respect for humans." 

Response: a) Sumer, one of the earliest and most powerful of the ancient Mesopotamian city-states, managed its slaves the same way it managed its livestock. The Sumerians castrated the males and put them to work like domesticated animals, and they put the females in work and breeding camps. The Sumerian word for castrated slave boys--amar-kud--is the same word the Sumerians used for young castrated donkeys, horses, and oxen."
--from Chapter 1 Charles Patterson's Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust (http://www.powerfulbook.com/excerpts.html)


Response: b)"Although the purpose of the German killing centers was the extermination of human beings, they operated in the larger context of society's exploitation and slaughter of animals, which to some extent they mirrored. The Germans did not stop slaughtering animals when they took up slaughtering people. Auschwitz, which its commandant Rudolf Hoss called "the largest human slaughterhouse that history had ever known," had its own slaughterhouse and butcher's shop. The other death camps likewise kept their personnel well supplied with animal flesh. Sobibor had a cow shed, pigpen, and henhouse, which were next to the entrance to the tube that took Jews to the gas chambers, while Treblinka had a stable, pigpen, and henhouse located near the camp barracks of the Ukrainian auxiliaries.-from Charles Patterson's Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust Chapter 5 (http://www.powerfulbook.com/excerpts.html)
 

Response: c) So does that mean if whites give rights or respect to non whites (or vice versa) that it diminishes their own rights and respect? If men give rights or respect to women(or vice versa) that they diminish their own rights and respects? It would seem you want to preserve the rights of some to not respect the rights of others.

Response d) Edgar Kupfer-Koberwitz  About the author: Edgar Kupfer was imprisoned in Dachau concentration camp in 1940. His last 3 years in Dachau he obtained a clerical job in the concentration camp storeroom. This position allowed him to keep a secret diary on stolen scraps of papers and pieces of pencil. He would bury his writings and when Dachau was liberated on April 29, 1945 he collected them again. The "Dachau Diaries" were published in 1956. From his Dachau notes he wrote an essay on vegetarianism which was translated into "immigrant" English. A carbon copy of this 38 page essay is preserved with the original Dac hau Diaries in the Special Collection of the Library of the University of Chicago. The following are the excerpts from this essay that were reprinted in the
postscript of the book "Radical Vegetarianism" by Mark Mathew Braunstein (1981 Panjandrum Books, Los Angeles, CA). The book is subtitled "A Dialectic
of Diet and Ethic" and is recommended to all vegetarians especially those interested in natural hygiene.
"The following pages were written in the Concentration Camp Dachau, in the midst of all kinds of cruelties. They were furtively scrawled in a hospital barrack where I stayed during my illness, in a time when Death grasped day by day after us, when we lost twelve thousand within four and a half months.  ............Dear Friend: You asked me why I do not eat meat and you are wondering at the reasons of my behavior. Perhaps you think I took a vow -- some kind of penitence -- denying me all the glorious pleasures of eating meat. You remember juicy steaks, succulent fishes, wonderfully tasted sauces, deliciously smoked ham and thousand wonders prepared out of meat, charming thousands of human palates; certainly you will remember the delicacy of roasted chicken. Now, you see, I am refusing all these pleasures and you think that only penitence, or a solemn vow, a great sacrifice could deny me that manner of enjoying life, induce me to endure a great resignment.*****You look astonished, you ask the question: "But why and what for?" And you are wondering that you nearly guessed the very reason. But if I am, now, trying to explain you the very reason in one concise sentence, you will be astonished once more how far your guessing had been from my real motive. Listen to what I have to tell you: I refuse to eat animals because I cannot nourish myself by the sufferings and by the death of other creatures. I refuse to do so, because I suffered so painfully myself that I can feel the pains of others by recalling my own sufferings. I feel happy, nobody persecutes me; why should I persecute other beings or cause them to be persecuted? I feel happy, I am no prisoner, I am free; why should I cause other creatures to be made prisoners and thrown into jail? I feel happy, nobody harms me; why should I harm other creatures or have them harmed? I feel happy, nobody wounds me; nobody kills me; why should I wound or kill other creatures or cause them to be wounded or killed for my pleasure and convenience? Is it not only too natural that I do not inflict on other creatures the same thing which, I hope and fear, will never be inflicted on me? Would it not be most unfair to do such things for no other purpose than for enjoying a trifling physical pleasure at the expense of others' sufferings, others' deaths? These creatures are smaller and more helpless than I am, but can you imagine a reasonable man of noble feelings who would like to base on such a difference a claim or right to abuse the weakness and the smallness of others? Don't you think that it is just the bigger, the stronger, the superior's duty to protect the weaker creatures instead of persecuting them, instead of killing them? "Noblesse oblige." I want to act in a noble way.****I recall the horrible epoch of inquisition and I am sorry to state that the time of tribunals for heretics has not yet passed by, that day by day, men use to cook in boiling water other creatures which are helplessly given in the hands of their torturers. I am horrified by the idea that such men are civilized people, no rough barbarians, no natives. But in spite of all, they are only primitively civilized, primitively adapted to their cultural environment. The average European, flowing over with highbrow ideas and beautiful speeches, commits all kinds of cruelties, smilingly, not because he is compelled to do so, but because he wants to do so. Not because he lacks the faculty to reflect upon and to realize all the dreadful things they are performing. Oh no! Only because they do not want to see the facts. Otherwise they would be troubled and worried in their pleasures.****It is quite natural what people are telling you. How could they do otherwise? I hear them telling about experiences, about utilities, and I know that they consider certain acts related to slaughtering as unavoidable. Perhaps they succeeded to win you over. I guess that from your letter. Still, considering the necessities only, one might, perhaps, agree with such people. But is there really such a necessity? The thesis may be contested. Perhaps there exists still some kind of necessity for such persons who have not yet developed into full conscious personalities. I am not preaching to them. I am writing this letter to you, to an already awakened individual who rationally controls his impulses, who feels responsible -- internally and externally -- of his acts, who knows that our supreme court is sitting in our conscience. There is no appellate jurisdiction against it.  Is there any necessity by which a fully self-conscious man can be induced to slaughter? In the affirmative, each individual may have the courage to do it by his own hands. It is, evidently, a miserable kind of cowardice to pay other people to perform the blood-stained job, from which the normal man refrains in horror and dismay. Such servants are given some farthings for their bloody work, and one buys from them the desired parts of the killed animal -- if possible prepared in such a way that it does not any more recall the discomfortable circumstances, nor the animal, nor its being killed, nor the bloodshed. **I think that men will be killed and tortured as long as animals are killed and tortured. So long there will be wars too. Because killing must be trained and perfected on smaller objects, morally and technically.I see no reason to feel outraged by what others are doing, neither by the great nor by the smaller acts of violence and cruelty. But, I think, it is high time to feel outraged by all the small and great acts of violence and cruelty which we perform ourselves. And because it is much easier to win the smaller battles than the big ones, I think we should try to get over first our own trends towards smaller violence and cruelty, to avoid, or better, to overcome them once and for all. Then the day will come when it will be easy
for us to fight and to overcome even the great cruelties. But we are still sleeping, all of us, in habitudes and inherited attitudes. They are like a fat, juicy sauce which helps us to swallow our own cruelties without tasting their bitterness.I have not the intention to point out with my finger at this and that, at
definite persons and definite situations. I think it is much more my duty to stir up my own conscience in smaller matters, to try to understand other people better, to get better and less selfish. Why should it be impossible then to act accordingly with regard to more important issues? That is the point: I want to grow up into a better world where a higher law grants more happiness, in a new world where God's commandment reigns:
You Shall Love Each Other."
Edgar Kupfer-Koberwitz 

 

2)Question/Attack: "When discussing animal rights, it is always important that you have balance--and show the other side of the issue."

Response: a) If someone can talk about Negro slave emancipation without allowing a KKK member to give the "other side" of the issue, if someone can talk about hunting Nazi war criminals without showing the "other side" of the issue, and if a news reports on a "breakthrough" in cancer research doesn't need to allow an animal rights activist to speak out on the perversion of altruism inherent in all animal research, then we don't have to do that either.

Response: b) Since the preponderance of arguments on the subject of animal rights is favorable to the cause, a true balance is impossible. It is like trying to find a balanced argument on the pros and cons of jumping off buildings without parachutes. One side is definitely stronger than the other. 

Response: c) The other side of the issue is always discussed in animal issues! Since the arguments in favor of animal exploitation  are so weak why would an animal rights activist not want to expose the stupidity and erroneous nature of the other side?

 

3)Question/attack: "You support animal rights, therefore you must support blowing up buildings."   

response: a) it appears you are in need of taking a logic class.

response: b) you support human rights? therefore you must support the actions of John Brown, slavery abolitionist who killed pro-slavery people.

  response: c) Last I checked, it is the people who support wars against unarmed civilians who support blowing up buildings.

response: d) At least we don' t support beating and killing unarmed people. There are many many many cases of hunt supporters in the UK beating people with whips, running them over with cars and horses--whether they be AR activists,  people just standing on their property, or reporters  Hunt saboteur, Mike Hill, was killed on the 9th of February 1991 at a meet of the Cheshire Beagles. Towards the end of the day's hunting, with no kill under his belt, the huntsman boxed up his hounds in a small blue trailer being towed by an open-top pick-up truck. The kennel huntsman, ALLAN SUMMERSGILL, with another man, jumped into the pick-up and, on impulse, three sabs(hunt saboteurs) who were nearby, jumped onto the back of it to prevent them driving the pack to another location to continue hunting. Summersgill drove off at high speeds down winding country roads for 5 miles with the terrified sabs clinging onto the back. It is thought that Mike jumped from the pick-up as it slowed to take a bend. He failed to clear the truck properly, and was caught between the truck and the trailer, which crushed him. Mike died where he lay on the road. Despite the thud, and the screams of the other sabs, Summersgill continued driving for a further mile. The truck only came to a halt when one of the sabs smashed the rear window of the cab. The sab was hit with a whip as he tried to stop the truck. Once it had stopped one sab ran back to Mike's prone body while the other ran to a nearby house to call for an ambulance. Summersgill drove off. He later handed himself in at a police station. No charges were brought against him and in a travesty of justice, a verdict of 'Accidental Death' was brought at the inquest. Summersgill is still hunting hares. ***  1993: On the 3rd of April 1993, T(h)om Worby, a 15 year old saboteur attending his first foxhunt protest, was crushed under the wheels of the Cambridgeshire FH's hound van in an incident all too reminiscent of the killing of Mike Hill two years before.  After a successful day's sabbing, the hunt had boxed up and sabs were making their way back to the meet down a narrow lane. As the hound van came up behind them, revving its engine, sabs scrambled for the roadside; however Tom's jacket became snagged in the vehicles wing mirror and he was dragged some distance before he managed to gain a foothold on the van's running board. Although he banged on the window the van kept going, and when Tom finally lost his grip, he fell onto the road and under the truck's wheels. His head was crushed by the rear wheels of the vehicle and he died shortly afterwards. No action was taken against the driver of the hound van, 53-year-old huntsman ALAN BALL. *****38-year-old KENNETH MANSBRIDGE, a supporter of the Hursley Hambledon Foxhunt, convicted of Unlawful Wounding on a Green Party researcher, who needed hospital treatment for serious head wounds after being kicked and beaten by a group of hunt followers 1991. MANSBRIDGE admitted kicking the victim in the groin and punching him to the ground. (On the same day, another protester was beaten around the head with a spade, and left needing 10 stitches and a 6 and a half months pregnant woman was hit on the head with half a brick, needing 4 stitches). MANSBRIDGE was sentenced to 140 hours community service and ordered to pay costs of £150.   1998: Supporter of the Dunston Harriers, PATRICK EVERETT managed to get the hunt banned from one village after he viciously attacked a party of 1 man, 2 women and four children who had stopped to watch the hunt pass by. He was fined £800. ***** (HSA News Feature 5th August 1999) Hunt Violence    courtesy of http://www.huntsabs.org.uk/    *****"In June 1990, hunt supporter John Newberry-Street gained much valuable anti-saboteur publicity when a nail-bomb was found under his Land Rover. Further investigation revealed that he had planted the bomb himself and he later told police "I did it to discredit the animal rights saboteurs". He was jailed for nine months for his bomb hoax and asked for several other similar offences to be taken into account." ***** January 1994 Duke of Buccleuch's Foxhunt. An independent academic, commissioned by the Scottish Office to carry out research on saboteurs and  hunting, was knocked to the ground and kicked in the face by the huntsman as he tried to film a fox being killed. The hunt refused to apologise and later attempted to excuse their employee's actions by saying they thought the man was a saboteur.  ****"From now on, we're going to start hunting the saboteurs..."This is BFSS spokesman Nick Herbert's chilling announcement of the introduction of "stewards" to "deal with" saboteurs. ****Mr John Weavers, a member of the rural community hunts claim to represent, was quietly sitting at home one Saturday afternoon in 1990 when the Cury Foxhunt rampaged through his property. When he asked them to leave and complained at the damage caused he was headbutted by Geoffrey Thomas, master of the hunt, who then shunted one of Mr Weavers' cars into another. ******"one brave woman, a former hunt supporter of many years' standing, has decided to stand up and speak out against this culture of violence. Her name is Lynn Sawyer and she was at one time as committed to hunting as she is now repelled by it. She acted as a mole for the BFSS and found that saboteurs were not violent extremists motivated by class hatred, a tale she and every other hunt supporter had been force-fed for years. Instead, she found that saboteurs were on the whole deeply committed, sincere individuals who acted out of great and genuine concern for animals and that her own side were deliberately distorting the truth and provoking violence simply to suit their long-term political aims. Ironically, it was only the depth of her involvement in hunting that allowed her access to the inner echelons denied to most hunt supporters, where she encountered the brutality behind the respectable facade which was to make her question her support for bloodsports and ultimately turn her back on that world for ever. "For several reasons in 1990, I could no longer continue these activities and I then spent four years trying to ascertain what exactly my feelings were. I spent time with the Shire hunts (the Quorn, Cottesmore, and Belvoir Foxhounds) and revisited the Essex before deciding earlier this year that it was time to speak out in the hope of stemming the tide of grossly exaggerated anti-sab propaganda and the violence it has brought to the field.I went to great lengths to discuss the issue of hunt violence with the BFSS and other pro-hunting people [including John Hopkinson, Stephen Loveridge, Peter Smith and Nick Herbert of the BFSS and John Swift, director of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC)] before, and indeed for some time after, it became clear that I could not permeate their rather narrow-minded way of thinking or change or influence any of them without being patronised or being singled out as a trouble-maker."  http://www.huntsabs.org.uk/ 

Response: e) So much for anti-animal rights people caring about humans!  "During the winter of 1994 terrified young calves were flown from Coventry to end their lives in Dutch veal-crates. A few people started protesting at the airport gates. Jill Phipps was one. As a transporter came down the road to the gates she would run to it, banging on the door with her fists, shouting at the drivers to think about the suffering they caused.. The few police there would turn out and simply man-handle her and anyone else behaving similarly out of the way. Then came February 1st 1995. There were about 76 police there that day. There were about 32 demonstrators. That's over two police to every decent person there. There were enough of them to surround the transporter and walk it through!! Jill and a few others eluded the police, most of whom were in a van at the back, and reached the transporter. Any good driver would have stopped until it was safe to continue, but Stephen Yates just drove on, regardless and uncaring. Jill was crushed and died on the way to hospital. Our mother, Nancy, was with her. The driver has never been charged, not even with "driving without due care & attention". AT THE INQUEST THE POLICE STATED THAT THEIR ACTIONS HAD BEEN PLANNED BY A SPECIALIST TACTICIAN, AND THAT THE DAY HAD BEEN VERY SUCCESSFUL...." Zab Phipps (http://www.violenceinanimalrights.co.uk/Fatalities.html) 
 

Response: f) Although we know that hunters, not being the smartest of people, have been known to shoot each other in the woods, here is just a few recent examples of hunters shooting and killing non-hunters. : Wis. woman walking dogs shot by hunter Associated Press — Dec. 3, 2001 CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. — A woman walking her dogs was mistakenly shot and killed by a deer hunter. "He saw movement and mistook her for an animal and shot her," Tom Bokelman, a safety officer with the state Natural Resources Department. The 47-year-old woman was wearing a white cap and dark clothing when she was shot Saturday, Dec. 1. The hunter was using a muzzleloader, as part of a special muzzleloader deer season. Muzzleloaders are single-shot rifles in which the powder and shot are loaded through the end of the barrel instead of the breech. The district attorney will decide whether to file charges. (http://espn.go.com/outdoors/hunting/news/2001/1203/1289389.html)*****Hunter's bullet possibly kills Penn. woman Associated Press — Nov. 28, 2001 MILL RUN, Pa. — A 66-year-old woman was killed when a bullet apparently fired by a hunter went through a window, wall and a door in her home and struck her in the neck, authorities said. Meriel Renee Bowser was struck by the bullet in her bedroom Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 28, and died shortly afterward, according to police. "The odds of (a bullet) coming through the woods, not hitting a tree, going through all that material in the house and hitting a person is ... million-to-one odds," said Charles May of the Pennsylvania Game Commission. State police and Game Commission officials were investigating. A hunter was being questioned Tuesday and the hunter's rifle had been taken to determine whether the bullet that killed Bowser was fired from that gun. Authorities said the hunter, who was not identified, was at least 450 yards away from Bowser's home. State law requires hunters to be at least 150 yards from a residence. Mill Run is in Fayette County in southwestern Pennsylvania. (http://espn.go.com/outdoors/hunting/news/2001/1128/1286062.html)*****CONNECTICUT Man Walking His Dog Killed By Hunter A Coventry man was charged with illegal hunting and manslaughter in late October after he shot and killed a Massachusetts man walking in the woods. Coventry police responding to a report of gunshots found Ronald Eckert Jr., 33, of Hingham, Mass., wounded from gunfire. Eckert died at the scene despite resuscitation efforts. Brian McMahon, Jr., 23, was charged with manslaughter, illegal discharge of a firearm, hunting without a license, illegal deer hunting, hunting on a Sunday, trespassing and failure to wear an orange vest. He was held on $250,000 bond. Police say the two men did not know each other. Apparently McMahon mistook Eckert for a deer. (http://www.gunsandgear.com/America%20Outdoors/Archives/man_killed_by_hunter.html) ******* I guess one can say that being able to go out and kill a four legged animal is more important than protecting the lives of two legged ones:  Shooters yesterday criticised the four-year sentence for manslaughter handed down to a deer hunter who accidentally shot a man out walking his dog. The state executive officer of the Sporting Shooters' Association of Australia, David Barton, said the verdict was unfair and that Robert John Osip the court had made an example of him to send a message to other shooters and hunters. Osip, 21, pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of Gary Paterson, 20, at Warburton on February 19, 1999.... Osip and his friend, Brian Davey, were hunting for Sambar deer in the Warburton State Forest when the shooting occurred on McDonald Track, a forestry road. The two men were only 180 metres from the main road, Warburton-Woods Point Road. Osip had claimed to see the neck and shoulders of a deer when he fired his gun but initially told police he saw a shape he believed was a deer. Mr Paterson was walking his labrador-cross through a clearing in the bush. Osip fired one shot in the direction of the noise, hitting Mr Paterson in the shoulder and causing extensive damage to his lungs. The two men heard someone cry out and ran to find Mr Paterson. They took him to Warburton hospital, where he later died. Justice Coldrey said Osip had breached a shooting code warning shooters not to fire at movement, color, sound or shape or near residential property. He said Osip fell far short of the standard of care a reasonable person would have exercised. Justice Coldrey said he accepted Osip had seen a color in the foliage but "at no time" did he adequately identify his target as a deer......Lawyers for Osip said yesterday they would be appealing the sentence.  (http://www.theage.com.au/news/20000527/A20568-2000May26.html) ******Hunter's stray bullet hits man in pizzeria NAZARETH, Pa. (AP)  A man was shot in the neck while eating a slice of pizza when a bullet apparently fired by a deer hunter crashed through the window of a restaurant Saturday evening, police said. The bullet entered Sal's Pizza and Restaurant on Route 512 at about 5 p.m. Saturday, ricocheted off the window frame, and struck John Calvert, 52, of Saylorsburg, officials said. "When I heard the sound, I looked up and saw a man stand, grab his neck, take a step or two and collapse," said Carl Garrison, a delivery person at the restaurant, which is south of Wind Gap and nearly surrounded by fields and woods. ......Police searched the area and took a hunter into custody. Coopersmith said the hunter had a .30-caliber rifle and the slug will be examined to see if it matches the rifle. "He was probably in the woods that sit on the other side of those fields and the deer crossed the field and he took the shot," Coopersmith said. "Where he was, he was probably within his rights to be in the area, but you have to know what you are shooting at. You can't shoot toward roads and you can't shoot at buildings.".... Monday, December 3, 2001
(http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:oMCl5WUX5L8C:www.timesonline.com/news/capital/4650986.htm+man+shot+by+hunter&hl=en)****
Hunter's stray bullet kills Quebec man CHICOUTIMI, Que. (CP) -- A Quebec man is dead after being struck in the head by a stray bullet from the gun of a 13-year-old boy. Marcel Savard, 69, of Jonquiere, Que. was hit Wednesday afternoon by a bullet from a .22-calibre hunting rifle fired by a teenager, who was small game hunting with a teenage friend. The young hunters were not accompanied by an adult. Jonquiere municipal police said the shooter saw a figure in the distance and fired a single shot. The figure dropped immediately. The teenager ran toward the victim immediately and was shocked to find Savard hunched over. When the boy touched him Savard fell to the ground, revealing a stream of blood flowing from his head. Shocked and panicking, the young boy ran home to his mother and alerted her. "I think I killed someone," he told the police after his mother had summoned them. Laurent Bouchard, the interim Crown prosecutor, asked for an additional investigation Thursday to determine how a 13-year-old boy could get his hands on a loaded rifle. The law regarding firearms strictly forbids possession and use of guns for people under 18 years of age, except in some very specific situations. However, even in those exceptions, the law requires a minor to be accompanied by an adult who legally owns the firearm. Shooting an unidentified figure near an urban environment contravenes standard hunting safety rules. Charges could be laid against the teenager, and eventually against his parents depending on the results of the investigation. The boy's identity is protected under the Young Offenders Act. In November, a Quebec man was shot and wounded outside his home near Lytton by an eight-year-old boy. Police say the youngster sneaked out of his family's home with his dad's hunting rifle, crept through the woods and then shot the man, who was seriously wounded. The boy, who police said is experienced with guns, cannot be charged because he is under 12 although his father may face weapons storage charges.(www.canoe.ca/CNEWSLaw0012/29_hunter-cp.html)*****Nigerian hunter kills man he mistook for a warthog (April 04, 2000) An article on iol.co.za reports that a distraught hunter in Nigeria shot dead a farmer he mistook for a warthog. He has turned himself in to local authorities. The gunman was apparently on a hunting expedition at Igbo-Ata in Ekiti State in the south-western region of Nigeria when the incident took (place.wildnetafrica.co.za/wildlifenews/2000/03/192.html) ****Bear eats hunter in Russian province Reuters — Dec. 25, 2001 (espn.go.com/outdoors/general/news/2001/1225/1301050.html) MOSCOW — A hungry bear ate a hunter in Russia's Jewish autonomous region in the country's far east, Interfax reported on Monday, Dec. 24. The half-eaten remains of the local man, who had gone hunting the previous day, were discovered near the village of Landakoz, set in the region's bleak taiga. It was not clear if the bear had killed the hunter or whether the man had died of cold before the scavenging animal found him, Interfax quoted local officials as saying. Bears have been known to attack humans in the region before, but usually during the late summer or early autumn while searching for wild mushrooms and berries.******Trespassers allegedly assault landowner After asking a group of Rhode Island men to leave his land, the Maine landowner was assaulted. The attack enrages local sportsmen and complicates access issues as posted land becomes the norm By Glenn Adams Associated Press — Nov. 18, 2001 THORNDIKE, Maine — Along the edges of woods and fields in this rural Waldo County town, the bright orange and yellow signs are popping up everywhere: No hunting. It wasn't always that way."We've never posted our land. It's all posted now, all 300 acres of it," said William Johnson, whose family has owned property in the area for four generations. The new keep-off signs started showing up on trees and fenceposts across the rolling countryside after Johnson's brother, Richard, was assaulted after asking a group of hunters to leave his property in Jackson, a tiny town bordering Thorndike. Johnson, 58, was upset that the Rhode Island men had not asked permission to use his land and were in an area near homes with children, said his brother. "Over the years, we've never had trouble with hunters," William Johnson said. "We all hunt." Richard Johnson was still recovering from his injuries last week and declined to be interviewed, but his family confirmed the police account of the Nov. 7 incident. Johnson blew the horn of a pickup truck belonging to the hunters, then propped a stick against it so it sounded continuously. There was a confrontation and one of the hunters knocked off Johnson's hat. When Johnson bent over he was attacked. His face was pounded until it was black and blue, and his teeth were broken. He crawled into his house dazed and bleeding, and passed out. He was out of work until last Wednesday. A hunter from Foster, R.I., Vincent DeCarlo, is free on bail pending a Dec. 18 hearing in Belfast District Court on a charge of aggravated assault, police said. *********
http://mdn.mainichi.co.jp/news/20030729p2a00m0dm009000c.html wire reports, Japan, July 29, 2003KOCHI -- A Kochi Prefecture resident suffered head injuries here early Tuesday after a hunter mistook him for a monkey and shot him, police said. The resident, Hiroshi Tokorotani, 59, was hit with shotgun pellets in the left side of his head and his left check in the incident that occurred in the Kochi Prefecture district of Sukumo at about 8:25 a.m. Tuesday, police said. His injuries are not life-threatening. Police said they were questioning Takao Akitsuki, 64, the hunter who accidentally shot Tokorotani, on suspicion of professional negligence resulting in injury.****Man accidentally shot in hunting accident 11-05-03
By PAUL STONE H-P Associate Editor--A Flower Mound man was shot once in the abdomen Tuesday night in northern Anderson County after a member of his church group mistook him for a hog. This morning Anderson County Sheriff's investigator Chuck Franklin said Christopher McCrae, age unavailable, of Flower Mound was in "critical" condition at Trinity Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler. As of 4 a.m. today, Franklin said McCrae had undergone surgery for "internal injuries" which "didn't appear to be life threatening at this point." An Anderson County sheriff's report indicated the surgery was to repair intestinal damage and other internal injuries. A pack of wild boars, trying to escape from hunters, stormed two small towns in Bavaria, biting people, knocking down a cyclist and running amok in a boutique
. http://www.guardian.co.uk/germany/article/0,,1959498,00.html The 15 boars caused damage worth several thousand euros in Veitshöchheim and Margetshöchheim at the weekend. ...We had some angry calls from people asking, 'Was it necessary to shoot them?' But I believe we had no choice. The animals were ... in panic and they presented a great danger," Mr Schmitt said. Children climbed walls to get out of the boars' path, he added. Damaged cars will cost an estimated several thousand euros to repair while the boutique is left with a bill of €1,000 (£675). The hunt was apparently called off early.

Response g)
USDA Says It’s None of the Public’s Business Who Ate Recalled Meat http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/03/08/7554/#comment-225250 By Martha Rosenberg. "At least 10,000 food distributors sold recalled meat from the shuttered Hallmark slaughterhouse in Chino, CA including ConAgra, General Foods, Nestle and H.J. Heinz and it could still be on store shelves.But Richard Raymond, USDA undersecretary for food safety, told an incredulous House Appropriation’s agriculture panel this week the information is “proprietary” and would not be released. Naming names could drive customers away and just “confuse” people say trade groups like the American Meat Institute, Food Marketing Institute and Grocery Manufacturers Association.The Bush Administration also opposes publicizing retailers’ names in meat recalls.


Response h)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7721244.stm
An eight-year-old boy has appeared in court charged with the murders of his father and a lodger in the US state of Arizona last Wednesday.  Police say the child admitted shooting the two men with a .22-calibre rifle. ...Police have said the child methodically planned the killings of Vincent Romero, a 29-year-old construction worker, and lodger Timothy Romans, 39, at their home in the small community of St Johns, north-east of Phoenix. ..The priest conducting the service said Mr Romero had come from a family of hunters and had taught his son how to use a rifle to kill prairie dogs. Arizona prosecutors say there is no record of any complaints about the boy with child protection services and that the third-grader had no disciplinary record at school.


 

4)Question/attack: "If animals have rights, then they must be able to have the same rights as us, such as voting /If we give animals rights, we must give plants and all other organisms rights too"

Response: a) Sure--and if we can do that then fine. But if we are unable to give rights to all lifeforms--it doesnt mean we should just give up and not give rights to any. If we say that--then one could decide they only care about people within their own race/religion/gender/age group/economic status. Some people already do it anyway....

Response: b) Okay but you can be the one to go around to every plant, animal and bacteria on the planet and ensure they got their voter's guide. 

Response: c)Peter Singer, "All Animals Are Equal. . . .  Or Why Supporters of Liberation for Blacks and Women Should Support Animal Liberation Too" "There *are* important differences between humans and other animals, and these differences must give rise to *some* differences in the rights each have.  Recognizing this obvious fact, however, is no barrier to the case for extending the basic principle of equality to nonhuman animals. The differences that exist between men and women are equally undeniable, and the supporters of Women's Liberation are aware that these differences may give rise to different rights.     ***Many feminists hold that women have the right to an abortion on request.  It does not follow that since these same feminists are campaigning for equality between men and women they must support the right of men to have abortions too.  Since a man cannot have an abortion, it is meaningless to talk of his right to have one.  Since a dog can't vote, it is meaningless to talk of its right to vote.  There is no reason why either Women's Liberation or Animal Liberation should get involved in such nonsense.***      The extension of the basic principle of equality from one group to another does not imply that we must treat both groups in exactly the same way, or grant exactly the same rights to both groups.  What we should do will depend on the nature of the members of the two groups.  The basic principle of equality does not require equal or identical *treatment*; it requires equal *consideration.*  Equal consideration for different beings may lead to different treatment and different rights."  (It would be mean to send a dog to elementary school to sit quietly for 8 hours a day, for that matter.)
 

5)Question/attack: "Only humans can form moral contracts with other humans—since we cannot make social/moral contracts with other species, we should not care about how we treat them."

Response: a) Why does a moral contract have to be reciprocal? We make special arrangements for infants, and humans that are mentally challenged—without requiring that they “return the favor.” Why should other species be treated to a different standard?

Response b) We can and do have social and moral contracts with other species. We know that if an animal, its offspring, or its territory is threatened, or it is hungry, we can expect it to react accordingly. That is a social contract. By contrast, there are humans who make moral and social contracts with other humans—and then break them. And yet we do not turn them into laboratory fodder.

  Response c) If this argument is applied fairly and equally to a human rights scenario, then it would have significant consequences for humans that are either children, or are stricken with brain damage, mental illness, or some disease which prevents them from making a social/moral contract with others. By the logic of this argument— these humans could be exploited for medical research.  

 

 

6)Question/attack: "What about grizzly bears?  They eat other species, shouldn't we do something to stop that?"  

Response: a) that defies the whole meaning of animal rights. humans do not need to hold a paternalism over the actions of other animals.

Response: b) if there were over 6 billion grizzly bears who didn't need the fish to survive, then maybe they would need to decide what
to do about it, but that isn' t any of our business as humans. 


Response: c) oh yeah--and while you' re at it--better stop spiders from eating flies and flies from eating smaller bugs and bacteria from eating other 
bacteria..get back to me when you figure out how to police them--until  then we better stick to what we can do--policing ourselves.
 

Response: d) other species do things to survive...they may do things we don’t feel are consistent with our ethics--but we have ethics
to control our behavior--other species are able to function without the types of ethical systems we propose. They don't have the
option to not kill if they wish to survive. But they don't go around killing other species for oil, money, religion etc... when they
do--they can deal with their ethical conduct--until then--humans are the species we have to worry about. 

 

Response: e) this argument tries to say that if some group is exempt from the same moral conduct that is expected of humans--then they should be excluded from any rights to protection or respect. By this logic children, the mentally retarded and comatose people do not deserve rights to protection since they cannot reason and formulate ethical positions like adult humans can.
 

7)Question/attack: "Frogs don't care about morality when they eats flies, so if I am equal to them, shouldnt I be able to do the same and do as I want?"

Response: a) since you want to  be regarded as being able to do everything a frog can, or cannot do, then I guess you will be indifferent to human suffering--after all, a frog would be. So since a frog cant help a drowning human, you wouldnt either. After all, you want to have the same moral equality and responsibility as a frog. 
 

8)Question/attack: Animal activists  drive on roads that caused animals to lose their lives and live in homes that have caused animals to lose their lives." 

Response: a) No one is perfect. A lot of humans were killed through wars to build one's country--whether you live in Europe or North America or Asia.  No one tells a human rights activist he must rocket himself to a desert island in order to be against human exploitation--therefore the same is true for animal activists. 

Response: b) Thousands of people are killed by automobiles each year. If you are in favor of human rights--do you refrain from driving?

 

9)Question/attack: "You may think you avoid all unnecessary suffering, but how many animals died in the fields to grow your plants for food?"

Response: a) Don't know--but it is a lot less than the number that were killed in the fields to grow the food used to feed the cattle you eat. 

Response: b) That's an ad hominem attack. Instead of addressing the issue you are attacking me for any faults I may have. It is a separate issue but you cite it to divert attention from your own wrongdoing. 

Response: c) There are ways to provide food without causing as much harm to other life---eating meat is far more destructive. 

Response: d) So what are you saying? We should eat raw minerals? You start. Here's a rock--bite it.

Response: e) Oh I see--so since we cannot avoid all suffering we should just let people eat meat, hunt, fish, use animals in rodeos, research etc. But why stop there? Why not let people kill each other, enslave other humans, abuse children. They are doing it anyway and since suffering cannot be avoided completely why bother to try at all? RIGHT?

10)Question/Attack(FOLLOW UP):  From TIME magazine (week of July 8, 2002) An argument championed by Steven Davis, professor of animal science at Oregon State University, points "to the number of field animals inadvertently killed during crop production and harvest. One study showed that simply mowing an alfalfa field caused a 50% reduction in the gray-tailed vole population. Mortality rates increase with each pass of the tractor to plow, plant and harvest. Rabbits, mice and pheasants, he says, are the indiscriminate "collateral damage" of row crops and the grain industry...By contrast, grazing (not grain-fed) ruminants such as cattle produce food and require fewer entries into the fields with tractors and other equipment. Applying (and upending) Regan's least-harm theory, Davis proposes a ruminant-pasture model of food production, which would replace poultry and pork production with beef, lamb and dairy products. According to his calculations, such a model would result in the deaths of 300 million fewer animals annually (counting both field animals and cattle) than would a completely vegan model. "By Richard Corliss, Reported by Melissa August and Matthew Cooper/Washington, David Bjerklie and Lisa McLaughlin/New York, Wendy Cole/Chicago and Jeffrey Ressner/ Los Angeles
 

Response: a) From Time article: "When asked about Davis' arguments, (Tom) Regan, however, still sees a distinction: "The real question is whether to support production systems whose very reason for existence is to kill animals. Meat eaters do. Ethical vegetarians do not."

Response: b) The questionable moral reasoning of Steven Davis's argument can be described as thus:  Imagine you are driving along and you come to a forked road. One way is covered in darkness, the other has some children playing in the center of it. By Davis' logic, it is better to drive through and deliberately kill the children instead of taking the other route where you may end up killing more that you cant see--OR getting out and walking to check if the route is clear (after all, who says crop harvesting MUST be done by only one type of tractor-- the most destructive?).

Response: c) What about the effects of grazing on wildlife populations? The killing of natural predators to keep cattle and sheep from being killed? What about the pollution to rivers from grazing? How many aquatic organisms will be killed because of grazing? What about the trampling of insects by cattle and sheep? Has Davis calculated their deaths or do they not count? This argument to replace all crops with meat and dairy grazing leaves a lot of questions. 

Response: d) A completely vegan model would require one to ask: Who says crop harvesting must be done in the same way as it is currently? Davis is not making any effort to calculate alternative methods for harvesting or growing crops. What about greenhouses? What about switching to crops that cause less damage? What about harvesting machinery that is less intrusive? That is what a true vegan perspective would ask. As a meat eater who profits from the animal industry, Davis is not able to comprehend what a completely vegan model would be.

Response: e) Baby steps. Eliminate meat and dairy production, and then switch to lower yield, less harmful agricultural practices.

Response: f) But by Davis' argument, a lot of meat eating humans would be currently guilty of causing DOUBLE harm. They eat crops (since very few are true carnivores), and they eat meat that was raised on grain that killed animals in fields. Vegetarians only eat crops. Veganism still comes out as more desirable morally.

Response: g) Studies of all but invisible animal populations in fields can be skewed for anyone's agenda. Let's use basic hard facts: you raise animals for meat, you are directly killing animals. You raise plants for food, you may indirectly kill animals. Most sensible people would say that it is better to avoid direct killing, than engage in it out of fear of causing indirect killing. (See response b)

Response: h) (from http://courses.ats.rochester.edu/nobis/papers/leastharm.htm (submission to the Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, January 2003 Gaverick Matheny, Duke University)...."Davis does not succeed in showing this is preferable to vegetarianism. First, Davis makes a mathematical error in using total rather than per capita estimates of animals killed; second, he focuses on the number of animals killed in ruminant and crop production systems and ignores important considerations about the welfare of animals under both systems; and third, he does not consider the number of animals who are prevented from existing under the two systems. After correcting for these errors, Davis’s argument makes a strong case for, rather than against, adopting a vegetarian diet.".... First, Davis makes an error in calculating how many animals would be killed to feed a vegan-vegetarian population.  He explains: "There are 120 million ha of cropland harvested in the USA each year.  If all of that land was used to produce crops to support a vegan diet, and if 15 animals of the field are killed per ha per year, then 15 x 120 million = 1800 million or 1.8 billion animals would be killed annually to produce a vegan diet for the USA (p. 5).   Davis estimates that only 7.5 animals of the field per hectare die in ruminant-pasture. If we were to convert half of the 120 million hectares of U.S. cropland to ruminant-pasture and half to growing vegetables, Davis claims we could feed the U.S. population on a diet of ruminant meat and crops and kill only 1.35 billion animals annually in the process. Thus, Davis concludes his omnivorous proposal would save the lives of 450 million animals each year (p. 6-7). Davis mistakenly assumes the two systems—crops only and crops with ruminant-pasture—using the same total amount of land, would feed identical numbers of people (i.e., the U.S. population). In fact, crop and ruminant systems produce different amounts of food per hectare -- the two systems would feed different numbers of people. To properly compare the harm caused by the two systems, we ought to calculate how many animals are killed in feeding equal populations—or the number of animals killed per consumer. .....Davis suggests the number of wild animals killed per hectare in crop production (15) is twice that killed in ruminant-pasture (7.5). If this is true, then as long as crop production uses less than half as many hectares as ruminant-pasture to deliver the same amount of food, a vegetarian will kill fewer animals than an omnivore. In fact, crop production uses less than half as many hectares as grass-fed dairy and one-tenth as many hectares as grass-fed beef to deliver the same amount of protein. In one year, 1,000 kilograms of protein can be produced on as few as 1.0 hectares planted with soy and corn, 2.6 hectares used as pasture for grass-fed dairy cows, or 10 hectares used as pasture for grass-fed beef cattle (Vandehaar 1998; UNFAO 1996). As such, to obtain the 20 kilograms of protein per year recommended for adults, a vegan-vegetarian would kill 0.3 wild animals annually, a lacto-vegetarian would kill 0.39 wild animals, while a Davis-style omnivore would kill 1.5 wild animals. Thus, correcting Davis’s math, we see that a vegan-vegetarian population would kill the fewest number of wild animals, followed closely by a lacto-vegetarian population. However, suppose this were not the case and that, in fact, fewer animals would be killed under Davis’s omnivorism. Would it follow that Davis’s plan causes the least harm? Not necessarily. Early in the paper, Davis shifts from discussing the harm done to animals under different agricultural systems to the number of animals killed. This shift is not explained by Davis and is not justified by the most common moral views, all of which recognize harms other than death. "........."Although Davis does not show omnivorism is preferable to vegetarianism, he should be commended for emphasizing the importance of farmed animal welfare as a moral issue, now emerging as one of the most significant of the day. Predictably, his argument has been cited as a justification for traditional omnivorism (Corliss 2002), a misreading Davis did not intend and one that any faithful reading of his paper should prevent. The type of ruminant production Davis proposes is a world apart from the omnivorism prevalent in the United States."

 

 


 

 

11)Question/attack: "More animals are killed for a vegetarian diet than by hunters. Therefore, hunting is more compassionate than vegetarianism."

Response: a) Ideally, animals that may be killed in fields etc to grow food for vegetarians are killed unintentionally. Hunters kill intentionally. Thus vegetarianism is more compassionate, since it seeks to eliminate unnecessary suffering and killing, not encourage it.

Response: b) And yet growing your own vegetarian food in a garden would be more compassionate than hunting.

Response: c) It is impossible to gauge how many animals are killed in fields. The answer is not to advocate hunting, but to find the best way to avoid killing animals to grow food. 

Response: d) By that logic, someone may decide that resorting to cannibalism would be more compassionate than hunting. Why prey on other species for your survival when you can prey on your own?

Response: e) if everyone went and hunted for food, it would kill alot more animals than in fields that grow food for vegetarians
 

 

 

12)Question/attack:  Your values deem animals to be right-holders whereas others deem them to be resource, it is the former and not the latter that has the ethical obligation to stop killing them.

Response: a)by that logic, if someone doesnt believe that others are rights-holders, they dont have any obligation to stop those acts that violate them. So a racist can go and lynch blacks because he doesnt value them as equals. A child abuser can do likewise. You havent proven why all humans should regard all humans as rights-holders, and you need to in order to defend human rights while you attack animal rights.

Response: b) You demand moral perfection from animal activists, and you say that humans have rights, and yet you pay taxes and live in a country that has exploited and killed humans in the past and to the present. So by your own logic you must divest yourself from all acts that contribute to the violation of human rights, even if it is impossible to be morally perfect. 

 

13)Question/attack: "What if you were attacked by a bear? Would you let the bear kill you? If you wouldn't-and you kill the bear--then you can't be for animal rights."

Response: a) If i enter known bear territory than it is up to me to know better. But assuming it was unavoidable, defending yourself is a matter of self interest. If you commit an act in self interest it does not mean you are against the rights of others. 

Response: b) If a civil/human rights activist is attacked by a thief--and he defends himself, does that mean he is against civil/human rights?

Response: c) I live in a civilization where I can go to the grocery store and buy soy dogs, veggie burgers, soy milk, rice, beans, bagels, vegan cream cheese, organic fruits and vegetables, etc.. There is no reason why I would ever be in a situation where a wild bear would attack me.

14)Question/attack: "other species are not bound by the same rules as humans("lions eat gazelles so why should we respect either the gazelles or the lions?") and are not capable of reciprocal morality("we are supposed to respect them but they don’t respect us")..

  Response: a) But some of the mentally retarded, mentally deranged, or children are not conscious of the meaning of rights and yet they are given them without conditions. We don’t expect reciprocal morality from them, so why from non human animals? Lions and other predators need to eat meat to survive. Humans don’t.  Furthermore, lions and other large predators base their aggression on survival interests. If they don’t feel threatened or aren't defending territory or aren't hungry--they don’t attack.  In that sense--there is an "ethical conduct" to how other species behave, and unlike some humans, they don't make promises they have no intention of keeping

15)Question/attack:   "if it is ok for the lion to hunt it should be ok for me to hunt. The lion hunts in his own way. So does the snake, spider, eagle, etc...also the HUMAN hunts in their own way. It is not impossible for humans to fly of spend long periods of time under water...IN THEIR OWN WAY."

Response: a) If it is okay for you to say that you should be able to hunt if a lion does, someone else can say, using your argument, that they should be able to deal with breeding and offspring just like a lion. Male lions and grizzlies have been known to kill the offspring of rival males. Humans should be able to also--by your logic. You cant attack someone else for using the same reasoning you employ. 

Response: b) Humans are not naturally equipped like a lion or wolf for hunting. They are born for it. If humans were born for it, all humans would be doing it. Yet they aren't. 

16)Question/attack: "I can't see the difference between me eating a deer (racism by your definition) and a lion eating a deer. You apply distinctly human standards to a trans-species hypothesis."

Response: a) A lion is biologically adapted to eat animals. No tools, no trickery. Claws, jaws, teeth, (needle-barbed) tongue. Humans dont have the equipment for it. You can say we have the brain to create tools etc..but that means we also have the brain to get food from other sources besides meat. And it is not applying distinctly human standards to other species YOUR argument does. You want lions to follow human definitions of morality, or to abandon any responsibility towards non humans if they cannot.  Lions dont have the system of ethical reasoning that humans use. Essentially you are wondering why a blind man cant read road signs, or why a man with no arms cant catch a football. 

Response: b) The main difference is that humans have systems of ethics that say one should try to be fair and as just as possible to others. Under that belief, humans have to justify discriminating against others (human or not). Other species do not, as far as we can tell, employ systems of ethics that change over time. 

Response: c) Lions need to eat meat. Humans do not. Since eating meat involves discrimination, violence, and killing, humans cannot justify it if they say it is wrong to kill unfairly or unjustly (especially if, at the same time,  they emphasize it is wrong to do the same to humans). In order to justify it, they first have to show how human supremacy and the standards of value used to defend it, are fundamentally different in principle from the arguments used to defend racial, gender, religious or any other human-centered discriminatory ethical policy. In other words, show how human supremacy is based upon absolute objective, universally-sanctioned standards of value. If they cannot, then it would be hypocritical for a human supremacist to criticize a racial/religious/gender/wealth supremacist for acting upon a belief that is no more or less subjective, biased, arbitrary and non-absolute than that of the human supremacist.

 

17)Question/attack: "Marx sees rights as the formal boundaries or markers of real social power. Since animals lack real social power, under the Marxian conception of rights they do not qualify [NB - children and moral incompetents 'counter examples' do not defeat this particular understanding, since marginal cases such as these need to be incorporated into the rights-bearing category in order to 'reinforce the borders' against attack by government or monarch]."


Response a) why should animals not qualify for rights under a  Marxian conception of rights because they lack "real social power?" Why does this matter? What makes the quality of possessing "real social power" a critieria of absolute objective value and the basis for discrimination? If it cannot be demonstrated that "real social power" is a criteria of absolute objective value then anyone could use a similar subjective criteria of value(from skin colour to intelligence to religion) to discriminate against other humans who they deem as arbitrarily unworthy of moral regard(and this happens all the time). 


Response: b  Why do marginal cases need to be incorporated into the rights-bearing category in order to 'reinforce the borders' against attack by government or monarch? Where is the necessity for reinforcement demonstrated? People have and do discriminate against children and incompentents while believing that they themselves have "rights," without apparent concern about attack by government or monarch so proof of necessity is missing. It is a subjective view, vulnerable to doubt, not based on absolute objective criteria, and therefore not a basis for justifiying the discrimination against non humans who, like children and mental incompetents lack real social power according to Marx but are discriminated against without a concrete justification for doing so. The real issue becomes one of saying that humans possess some quality that makes them superior in value as a group to all other life, without being able to demonstrate this quality as absolute, objective truth(which must be done in order to prevent other humans from using other subjective criteria to discriminate against other humans(which, as noted, happens all the time regardless of human rights laws or beliefs).

 

 

2: ANIMAL RESEARCH  

 

 1)Question/attack: "If we stopped testing on animals the products would be unsafe for humans." 

Response: a) Even with animal testing the products are not always safe for humans. In fact, there are drugs and treatments tested on animals that have proven unsafe for humans(i.e. Thalidomide). 

Response: b) Human testing is essential for human drugs etc. You can take the animal out of medical research but not the human--if you doubt that, then lets see you volunteer to test a drug that had only been tested on non human animals?

Response: c) Animals used in experiments become so stressed that their blood chemistry changes, invalidating the science. 

Response: d) Animal research can also lead to the transmission of diseases--even the creation of new ones. From the Lancet, 2004: "At the time of writing this review there have been two re-emergent cases of SARS, both from laboratory infections. One case in Singapore22 and the other in Taiwan.23 WHO must continue its efforts to promote scientific responsibility for both SARS and influenza viruses. Laboratory regulations globally are inconsistent. We now live in a global village, so universal guidelines need to be adopted. The situation with H2N2 influenza is a case in point. Although H2N2 influenza has not circulated in human beings since 1968 and everyone under the age of 36 years is susceptible, the H2N2 virus is widely distributed in laboratories and is still used in some laboratories. The re-emergence of H1N1 influenza, in 1977, that continues to circulate in human beings is another unresolved case. This H1N1 virus remained genetically conserved for 27 years.24 The most likely explanation is that the virus came from a frozen source and a laboratory seems the most probable culprit. Thus SARS CoV and many influenza viruses (eg, H2N2, H5N1, and H7N7 from human beings) must be restricted to Biosafety level 3+ laboratories."

2)Question/attack: "If your child was ill, would you sacrifice the life of a rat, or  cat, or dog, or chimp etc (in medical research) to save it?"  

Response: a) This hypothetical argument is intended as a catch 22. If the activist chooses the life of their child over that of a rat---then they are endorsing the principle behind vivisection whether they admit it or not. If it would be okay for an animal rights activist to use an animal to save their own child, then how could he or she object to the animal research industry? If they say no, then they are deemed as not loving their child and are a terrible parent. The first error with this is the unrealistic nature of the hypothetical situation. Can a cure for an illness be attained by killing one rat, without any human clinical trials? Of course not. Such a scenario is an oversimplification intended to force the validity of animal research and portray the vivisector as someone capable of making miraculous treatments if only he/she is allowed to exploit animals as they wish. It also perverts the nature of altruism and compassion by suggesting that one must prioritize the recipients of such altruism and compassion.

Response: b) If your child was sick, would you sacrifice the life of your neighbor's child in medical research to save it?  If you say no, does that mean you don't love your child as much as you may claim to, especially since you know that the chances for a treatment are greatly increased by using humans--and wouldn't you want only the best for your child? If you say yes, does that mean you are going to focus on getting humans used for research so you can offer your child the best possible treatment? The answers one gives to these questions can be made applicable to the scenario involving non humans.

Response: c) If it is wrong for me to exploit my neighbor's child in order to aid my own, then it would be wrong for me to do the same if my neighbor happened to have four legs instead of two. Exploiting others in violation of consistent ethical beliefs is wrong.

 

 3)Question/attack: "If we weren't using animals in research we wouldn't be able to find cures for diseases and cancers./Animal research is necessary if we hope to cure diseases and help sick children."

Response: a) Saying animal research is necessary in order to cure human diseases makes as much sense as saying that one needs to conduct research on humans in order to cure rat diseases (there would almost seem to be a Neo-Darwinian myth at work, that by testing on  so called "simpler" animals one can move up the "Evolutionary ladder" until you reach the complexity of human beings). You can remove the animal from medical research but you still need humans in research. If you wanted to cure leukemia in cats--working on dogs would not help much. 

Response: b) if that's the case why haven't we cured the common cold? Humans have been experimenting on animals non stop for at least 150 years and yet we are still plagued by diseases. new ones surface and old ones become drug resistant. So much for success through animal research.

Response: c) Animals used in experiments become so stressed that their blood chemistry changes, invalidating the science. 

Response: d) The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine maintains a list of non-profit medical research organizations that do not test on animals, yet do perform important and groundbreaking work - the list can be found at http://www.humaneseal.org/approved.html

Response: e) From http://news.independent.co.uk/world/science_medical/story.jsp?story=471139 December 8, 2003 "A senior executive with Britain's biggest drugs company has admitted that most prescription medicines do not work on most people who take them. Allen Roses, worldwide vice-president of genetics at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), said fewer than half of the patients prescribed some of the most expensive drugs actually derived any benefit from them. It is an open secret within the drugs industry that most of its products are ineffective in most patients but this is the first time that such a senior drugs boss has gone public." .....Dr Roses, an academic geneticist from Duke University in North Carolina, spoke at a recent scientific meeting in London where he cited figures on how well different classes of drugs work in real patients. Drugs for Alzheimer's disease work in fewer than one in three patients, whereas those for cancer are only effective in a quarter of patients. Drugs for migraines, for osteoporosis, and arthritis work in about half the patients, Dr Roses said. Most drugs work in fewer than one in two patients mainly because the recipients carry genes that interfere in some way with the medicine, he said. "The vast majority of drugs - more than 90 per cent - only work in 30 or 50 per cent of the people," Dr Roses said. "I wouldn't say that most drugs don't work. I would say that most drugs work in 30 to 50 per cent of people. Drugs out there on the market work, but they don't work in everybody." RESPONSE Rates: Therapeutic area: drug efficacy rate in per cent Alzheimer's: 30 ***Analgesics (Cox-2): 80 ****Asthma: 60 ***Cardiac Arrythmias: 60 ***Depression (SSRI): 62 ***Diabetes: 57 ***Hepatits C (HCV): 47 ***Incontinence: 40 ***Migraine (acute): 52 ***Migraine (prophylaxis)50 ***Oncology(cancer): 25 ***Rheumatoid arthritis50 ***Schizophrenia: 60 *******CONCLUSION: if drug effectiveness among humans is so erratic and unreliable it means that  the differences physically between humans and non humans would be far more extreme--and thus animal research is as unreliable as animal activists and responsible physicians have said for decades..

 

4)Question/attack: "If vivisection and dissection are banned, how about those who wanted to be a veterinarian? How or what can they refer to? I know you probably would say: "There are electronic programs which allows those students to watch what is inside the animal's body... like computers, videos..." But then those who did these are probably cruel, right? Why how come they know the illustration of the animal's body inside? They also did open up the animal's body, right?"

Response: a)It is basically impossible to avoid any and all exploitation of other humans and other species(or products derived from that exploitation--i.e. for humans we are talking about paying taxes to fund wars, living on land which may have been the scene of someone's murder in order to seize it, reckless medical experiments by companies that injured volunteer patients etc,), and those computer- video illustration programs are the perfect example. The argument can be made that since the research had already been done, we might as well use it(as was the case with the Nazi research). One could say that it would be immoral not to use it because then the animals would have suffered and died in vain. (there are however, some vegans who would disagree with this, and others would argue that using the research may encourage more experimentation).

Response: b) it is said that countries like India have had animal hospitals for decades if not centuries(under the religion of the Jains) and have not had to resort to vivisection to treat members of other species (source: the Vegetable Passion).

Response: c)You can not cause harm to one, in the hope of helping another, and call it true altruism or compassion. Would you help a homeless man by kicking someone else out of their house, and call that a compassionate solution? The line of Medical progress should stop at the point when it is proposed that other lives should be sacrificed --especially against their will--to foster that "progress." Human patients may volunteer for dangerous medical research, other species do not. In other words, two wrongs do not make a right.

Response: d) The issue of veterinary medicine is not relevant from a strict vegan philosophy which argues that humans should not have members of other species domesticated, and thus, we should not presume to be "stewards" of their well-being. Thus, veterinary research would not be an issue. 
 

 

5)Question/attack: "Would you accept a medical treatment that had been tested on animals if you got sick?"

Response: a) This attack is flawed because it implies that if an animal activist would use a medical treatment that had been tested on animals then the activist is guilty of hypocrisy: contradicting his/her argument, and must either refuse any future medical treatment, or abandon the animal rights cause. The activist is pressured to be a moral perfectionist before endorsing animal rights---and since perfection is not possible--then it alleged the animal rights agenda is a false one. This attack draws an unrealistic connection between the present act of vivisection, and the already existing products of that vivisection. In order for the animal activist to be guilty of hypocrisy, he or she would have to consciously participate in or endorse the present and future activities of vivisectors, not the medical treatments that resulted (in part) from policies that included animal experimentation (i.e. saying they are against vivisection, then paying a researcher to do it). The activist could counter-argue that since the research was already done, it might as well be utilized so the animals did not "die in vain." It also makes an unrealistic demand upon the activist--to remove him/herself from a world where all governments engage in some form of exploitation (or have connections to those that do) before beginning to make protests and arguments that seek change.

Response: b)This argument reveals how vivisectors attempt to make the recipient of their works feel guilty because he/she benefited from their research. It perverts the altruism of the medical profession by tainting the recipient with the tag of a conspirator!

Response: c) If this "moral perfection first" approach is applied fairly and equally to human-related issues-it has the following consequences for the animal research proponent: Any patient who benefits from a procedure that was based upon the human experiments of the Nazis, effectively endorses those atrocities committed, and cannot declare otherwise (In 1989 concentration camp survivors attempted to get Nazi research destroyed--but were rebuked by the medical establishment which argued the research could be employed for the greater good). An organ recipient, who receives a transplant from a victim of a car wreck, or shooting, cannot claim to be against such tragedies, since he/she benefited from such incidents. Furthermore, a Chinese student living in Bejing, could not protest for democratic reforms since he receives his food, shelter, and financial support through agencies of the government he is attacking. And someone in North America could not claim to be for Indian rights--unless they remove themselves from their present dwelling and let aboriginals move in. No one could protest, or seek to make reforms for any social cause unless they first removed themselves from all imperfections. Since it is impossible--all attempts to make the world a better place would have to be abandoned. In trying to portray the animal activist as a hypocrite, the animal research defender puts forth an ethical standard which they do not apply fairly and equally to themselves--thus revealing who the actual hypocrites are.

Response: d) It is well documented that corporations past and present have been known to profit from the exploitation of others--including humans. From USAToday, Feb 21, 2002: "There is considerable evidence that proud names in finance, banking, insurance, transportation, manufacturing, publishing and other industries are linked to slavery. Many of those same companies are today among the most aggressive at hiring and promoting African-Americans, marketing to black consumers and giving to black causes. So far, the reparations legal team has publicly identified five companies it says have slave ties: insurers Aetna, New York Life and AIG and financial giants J.P. Morgan Chase Manhattan Bank and FleetBoston Financial Group. Independently, USA TODAY has found documentation tying several others to slavery:* Investment banks Brown Bros. Harriman and Lehman Bros.* Railroads Norfolk Southern, CSX, Union Pacific and Canadian National.* Textile maker WestPoint Stevens. * Newspaper publishers Knight Ridder, Tribune, Media General, Advance Publications, E.W. Scripps and Gannett, parent and publisher of USA TODAY. ....Lloyd's of London, the giant insurance marketplace, could become a target because member brokerages are believed to have insured ships that brought slaves from Africa to the USA and cotton from the South to mills in New England and Britain. The original benefactors of many of the country's top universities -- Harvard, Yale, Brown, Princeton and the University of Virginia, among them -- were wealthy slave owners. Lawyers on the reparations team say universities also will be sued."

Response: e) A better question would be if you would accept a drug treatment that was tested on unsuspecting humans who may well have been tortured and killed for it  "By the end of July a US district court will decide whether drug giant Pfizer should stand trial in the United States for presiding over a coercive, botched 1996 experiment on Nigerian children with meningitis. In a class-action suit filed last August, thirty Nigerian families say the company violated the Nuremberg Code by forcing an unapproved, risky experiment on unwitting subjects who suffered brain damage, loss of hearing, paralysis and death as a result.......Globalizing clinical research solves the pharmaceutical paradox that while the average American brings home more than ten prescriptions a year, just one in 350 is willing to play guinea pig for new drug testing. An abundance of poor, undertreated and doctor-trusting patients in Eastern Europe, Latin America and Southeast Asia renders the quick, positive results corporate sponsors need to get new drugs approved fast. According to one review, a whopping 99 percent of controlled trials published in China bestowed positive results upon the treatment under investigation.....Even if Americans were willing to participate in trials, they take so many medications that they make poor lab rats anyway, clinical researchers say. To prove a new drug safe and effective, "you want patients with no other disease states and no other treatments. Then you can say relatively clearly that whatever happens to those patients is from the drug," says MDS Pharma's Simon Yaxley, whose company sells what industry PR folks call "patient recruitment solutions" in Eastern Europe, South Africa, Latin America and China. In developing countries, many people, because they are poor and don't have access to clinicians and hospitals, aren't taking any medicines for their illnesses...Conveniently, many of the FDA's ponderous regulations stop at the border. For example, the FDA's requirement that companies prove that their experimental drugs are safe on animals before starting tests on humans doesn't apply for tests conducted outside the United States. And experiments on Americans must undergo painstaking, lengthy reviews by government-regulated "institutional review boards" (IRBs). But "if you go to some countries and say you want the IRB to review this, they say, 'What is an IRB?'" comments Dennis DeRosia, chair of the Association of Clinical Research Professionals. The FDA simply requires that foreign trials conform to the World Medical Association's Declaration of Helsinki, a series of ethical recommendations that critics call rudimentary, nonbinding and ambiguous. Scientists routinely ignore Helsinki directives to publish negative results and make study designs public, and they liken Helsinki-required ethics committees in developing countries to rubber stamps. "No ethical questions are raised at all," one investigator admitted to the National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC).....What results is one set of acceptable risks for patients at home and quite another for patients abroad, a double standard that has left hundreds of preventable deaths in its wake. Most notoriously, in the mid- and late 1990s, the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control funded and defended studies in which Western scientists withheld treatment from HIV-infected pregnant women in developing countries, even though they knew antiretroviral drugs would reduce the rate of HIV infection in their infants by two-thirds. Hundreds of infants "needlessly contracted HIV infection" while Western doctors presided over their care, according to an incendiary New England Journal of Medicine paper by Public Citizen's Dr. Peter Lurie and Dr. Sidney Wolfe.."   Published in the July 1, 2002 issue of The Nation. Globalizing Clinical Research: Big Pharma Tries Out First World Drugs on Unsuspecting Third World Patients by Sonia Shaw. 
 

Response f) taken from: http://www.micahbooks.com/readingroom/Nazisandanimalresearch.html   "In 1987, the Supreme Court heard a case in which a U.S. soldier sued the government for having used him as a test case for LSD experiments, without his knowledge (Stanley vs. The United States). The court voted 5 to 4 against the victim. For a recent review of experiments conducted on human beings in the U.S., without their informed consent, see Clouds of Secrecy: The Army's Germ Warfare Tests over Populated Areas, by Leonard A. Cole, Subjected to Science, by Susan Lederer, Johns Hopkins Press (This books studies experimentation on human beings between the two world wars); and Stranger at The Bedside by David J. Rothman, which studies this problem in the period after the Second World War. There are many more books on this subject. Many of them can be found on the Internet, under "Human Experimentation," or at Amazon.com, under the same heading."

Response: g)(American Consumers Suffering as More New Drugs Debut in US, Analysis Shows  December 18, Knight Ridder/Tony Pugh, Seth Borenstein) WASHINGTON - Thousands of Americans are getting sick and many are dying each year from prescription drugs that were pushed onto the U.S. market ahead of the rest of the world. A Knight Ridder analysis shows that as the number of new drugs given first to Americans has increased, the reports of drug-induced ailments have soared. Yet, even as the deaths and damage have increased, the Food and Drug Administration has never instituted an aggressive system to track the safety of drugs once they're on the market. On Friday, the makers of the painkiller Celebrex and the attention disorder remedy Strattera warned consumers that health problems associated with the drugs had surfaced, requiring changes in their use. Both were introduced first in the United States, Celebrex in 1998, Strattera in 2002. Nearly 60 percent of all the genuinely new drugs sold in the world in 2003 - those with active ingredients never before marketed - were first dispensed in America. That's up from about 3 percent 20 years ago when most drugs were first introduced abroad, where the approval process in many countries is much more stringent than in the United States. "We're the guinea pigs in the sense of extensive population exposure," said Dr. Marcus Reidenberg, a professor of pharmacology, medicine and public health at Cornell University Medical School in New York City...... Knight Ridder found that in 1992, just before Congress directed the FDA to speed up drug approvals, there was an average of one adverse drug reaction for every 16,300 prescriptions filled. In 2003, adverse reactions hit one in 9,000. While the FDA has no official estimate on the number of people killed by these drugs, the agency says 106,000 people a year die from all types of drug reactions. One new drug, the painkiller Vioxx, which was pulled from the market this fall, may have caused 55,000 deaths, a top FDA scientist said recently. ...The issue of drug reaction and monitoring is a simple case of numbers. Before the FDA approves a drug as safe for sale, it's tested on a few thousand people. It's enough of a sample to find big and obvious side effects, the kind that hit maybe one out of every 100 users. But when drugs are sold commercially and used by millions of patients, rare side effects can show up, some with deadly consequences. A rare side effect that would hurt maybe one person in 10,000 wouldn't show up in the initial study, but it would in the mass marketplace. That's what happened with Vioxx.

Response h)Network of top scientists helped 'Angel of Death' Mengele  http://www.guardian.co.uk/secondworldwar/story/0,14058,1443039,00.html Krysia Diver: The "Angel of Death" Josef Mengele, who was long thought to have been the black sheep of Germany's scientists under the Nazi regime, was in fact supported by a network of elite researchers, new research has revealed. Mengele founded a kindergarten and played the violin to children in a concentration camp, but also injected the hearts of children with chloroform, infected them with typhus and destroyed women's fallopian tubes with acid....Although his deeds are well documented, assumptions that he was one of a few who pushed back the boundaries of science for his own pleasure have been shattered. Six years of research led by a political scientist, Dr Susanne Heim, has revealed that the Angel of Death was not alone. Archives have previously revealed that Mengele had assistants such as the Hungarian pathologist and prisoner of war Miklos Nyiszli, who said: "I would bathe the corpses of cripples and dwarves in calcium chloride and cook them in large pots so that their skeletons could be preserved in the Museum of the Third Reich." But records have been unearthed that Mengele's work was supported by elite researchers attached to the Kaiser-Wilhelm Institute, whose scientists have been awarded more than 20 Nobel prizes. Although their personal goal was not essentially to create a super-race for Adolf Hitler, they did not object to the scientific freedom that the dictator bestowed on them. Indeed, Mengele's supervisor for his PhD was the internationally acclaimed scientist Otmar von Verschuer, who was renowned for his research into twins. The Max-Planck Institute - formerly the Kaiser-Wilhelm Institute - decided in 1997 to fund research into its murky past. A spokesman for the institute said:... "We wanted to discover how and why the limits of science were crossed and why there was such a blur between animal and human trials. We appointed a group of independent historians to get to the bottom of a mystery that has lain dormant for a long time." "The distinction between politics and science was hazy and doctors had the freedom to do as they liked, so long as they could prove that their goal was to breed a super-race of strong soldiers for the advancement of warfare." She added: "We cannot deny that the work carried out at that time has helped the advancement of medicine. "Until recently, the brains of people killed by euthanasia during the war were used for scientific research." Dr Heim's research also revealed a possible connection between the Nazis and the deceased Adolf Butenandt, whose work on sexual hormones and protein belonged to the greatest scientific breakthroughs in the 20th century.

 

Response: i) Israeli doctors experimented on children  Chris McGreal, May 11, 2005 The Guardian A leading Israeli doctor and medical ethicist has called for the prosecution of doctors responsible for thousands of unauthorised and often illegal experiments on small children and geriatric and psychiatric patients in Israeli hospitals. An investigation by the government watchdog, the state comptroller, has revealed that researchers in 10 public hospitals administered drugs, carried out unauthorised genetic testing or undertook painful surgery on patients unable to give informed consent or without obtaining health ministry approval.At one hospital, staff pierced children's eardrums to apply an experimental medication yet to be approved in any country. At another, patients with senile dementia had their thumbprints applied to consent forms for experimental drugs...They should be stripped of their licences to practise and they should be prosecuted. If you don't show by example that the medical profession does not accept this kind of conduct the phenomenon will go on and on."It's not an isolated phenomenon. It spread through different institutions."The state comptroller, Eliezer Goldberg, found that patients were often not properly informed about the experiments they were agreeing to and, in some cases, not told at all....The comptroller said that in some cases the deaths of patients who were part of clinical trials were not immediately reported, which undermined attempts to establish whether the experiments were to blame. Dr Michel believes some doctors bowed to incentives from pharmaceutical firms to test experimental drugs.  http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,1481159,00.html

 

Response j) African Americans  used in medical experiments.  The Washington Post on Jan. 7, 2007 by Alondra Nelson.

"J. Marion Sims, a leading 19th- century physician and former president of the American Medical Association, developed many of his gynecological treatments through experiments on slave women who were not granted the comfort of anesthesia. Sims's legacy is Janus-faced; he was pitiless with non- consenting research subjects, yet he was among the first doctors of the modern era to emphasize women's health. Other researchers were guiltier of blind ambition than racist intent. Several African Americans, including such as Eunice Rivers, the nurse-steward of the Tuskegee study, served as liaisons between scientists and research subjects.

"The infringement of black Americans' rights to their own bodies in the name of medical science continued throughout the 20th century. In 1945, Ebb Cade, an African American trucker being treated for injuries received in an accident in Tennessee, was surreptitiously placed without his consent into a radiation experiment sponsored by the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission. Black Floridians were deliberately exposed to swarms of mosquitoes carrying yellow fever and other diseases in experiments conducted by the Army and the CIA in the early 1950s. Throughout the 1950s and '60s, black inmates at Philadelphia's Holmesburg Prison were used as research subjects by a University of Pennsylvania dermatologist testing pharmaceuticals and personal hygiene products; some of these subjects report pain and disfiguration even now. During the 1960s and '70s, black boys were subjected to sometimes paralyzing neurosurgery by a University of Mississippi researcher who believed brain pathology to be the root of the children's supposed hyperactive behavior. In the 1990s, African American youths in New York were injected with Fenfluramine -- half of the deadly, discontinued weight loss drug Fen-Phen -- by Columbia researchers investigating a hypothesis about the genetic origins of violence." From Counterpunch, There They Go Again, The Crazy Rev. Wright By ISHMAEL REED March 25, 2008.

Response k) If true, this shows that animal research which led to human organ transplants is also responsible for an industry of murder to provide organ donors.  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/apr/12/warcrimes.kosovo Former war crimes prosecutor alleges Kosovan army harvested organs from Serb prisoners Ian Traynor, Europe editor The Guardian, Saturday April 12 2008 Carla Del Ponte, the ex-chief prosecutor for war crimes in former Yugoslavia, has unleashed a storm of recrimination with allegations of a trade in human body parts in Kosovo and Albania after Nato bombed Serbia in 1999. Del Ponte claims, based on what she describes as credible reports and witnesses, that Kosovan Albanian guerrillas transported hundreds of Serbian prisoners into northern Albania where they were killed, and their organs "harvested" and trafficked out of Tirana airport....In the book, Del Ponte writes that her investigators visited a house in the remote mountainous region outside Burrel, Albania, which was allegedly being used as an impromptu clinic for the butchering of 300 young Serbs captured by the Kosovo Liberation Army and transported in lorries across the border from Kosovo to Albania. According to witnesses - including one who said he had driven some of the organs to Tirana airport, and a team of unnamed journalists who investigated the allegations - the victims had their kidneys removed before being killed later and having other organs taken. "Prisoners were aware of the fate that awaited them, and according to the source pleaded, terrified, to be killed immediately," Del Ponte writes. The "house-clinic" was visited by UN officials from Kosovo and tribunal investigators. "The team was shocked by what they saw," said Chuck Sudetic, a former tribunal official who is joint author of the book. "They found gauze and vials of medicines, including a muscle relaxer used during surgery." Witness accounts, indirectly provided to Del Ponte, indicated that some of the victims were buried near the house and at a nearby cemetery. Forensic tests in the house revealed traces of blood, but investigators were unable to establish whether it was human blood. .."There were credible accounts of abductions and an organ harvesting operation provided to reputable journalists who have had many years of experience in the region," said Sudetic. The journalists refused to identify their witnesses. Other sources claim the body parts were flown to Istanbul where they were transplanted into wealthy Arab patients. Del Ponte's account is the first time such allegations have come from such an authoritative source. But officials and analysts are surprised that she should choose to air them now, five years after her investigators went to the alleged scene of the crime. Del Ponte writes that it proved impossible at the time to pursue a full investigation of the claims. "I am surprised at the extraordinary serious allegations," said one senior tribunal official. "These allegations have formed no part of any investigation by the prosecution at the tribunal." ...While there is widespread scepticism about the veracity of the claims, Human Rights Watch said Del Ponte had supplied "sufficiently grave evidence" to warrant an investigation by the Kosovo and Albanian authorities.




6)Question/attack: "Animal research is justified because of the benefits (to human health, happiness, knowledge, progress, science, companion animals, wildlife, etc)."

Response: a) Its basic problem is that it is stating the INTENT of the Animal research, not a moral /ethical DEFENSE of it. “Why are you torturing animals to death?” Answer: “Because we hope to benefit from it.”   A casual observer would hope that they benefit from it, or why else would they be doing it? This argument is nothing more than an appeal to Selfishness.

Response: b) A thief steals because of the benefits to him or others. A rapist rapes because of the benefits. If the rapist defended his act by pointing out that others could benefit by taking items from the unconscious victim's house, would that justify the rape? If one accepts "benefits" as a justification for animal research, and applies it fairly and equally to human relationships, then it allows anyone to commit an act on the basis of the perceived benefits to the perpetrator or others--whether the victim is human or not. 

7)Question/attack: "vivisection is justified because humans can subdue and control other creatures for whatever purpose we wish."

 

Response: a) This argument would attempt to suggest that humans are following the "law of Nature." The act of vivisection is seen as being no different than a lion chasing down a gazelle. The question poser may even concede that if an alien race were to do the same thing to humans it would be justifiable. The first problem with this approach is that it suggests vivisection serves a natural purpose, similar to the act of killing for food. Yet the act of killing for food is a primordial instinctive need shared by all life, while only a small number of modern humans engage in the practice of vivisection. It also conveniently ignores the harsh reality of life and death. One could counter-argue that disease exists to control population—a thoroughly natural process--and that the vivisectionist is deliberately obstructing that process by attempting to prolong human life-spans. What about the impact on food and natural resources? A vivisector would probably answer that the solution lies in more research, colonizing space, etc. ad infinitum. Nevertheless, the claim that vivisection is a natural process in harmony with the realities of life can be strongly protested.

Response: b) Even if a concession is made for extraterrestrial exploitation, one does not need to go so far out to discover the unwelcome consequences of such a philosophical position. By "might means right" or "survival of the fittest," one could then justify killing or enslaving his/her next door neighbor for the benefits.. This philosophy ordains that if one can do it, then one is justified. A thief, murderer, rapist, --practitioners of any of these "professions" would find the vivisector's reasoning to be very useful. 

Response c) There is nothing in that defense that would keep one from applying "might makes right" to a situation where a stronger human preys on a weaker one. You would have to prove human supremacy to justify a distinction or exemption for humans. Since no supremacy exists, you cannot defend this argument. It would lead to social chaos if applied fairly.

8)Question/attack:  "Bioengineering may seem like mad scientist work, but its just another form of evolution."

Response: a) Bioengineering IS mad scientist work, or as I prefer to say "moron scientist" work, because they claim to be improving things, yet they always create new problems (Thalidomide, DDTs, Industrial pollution etc). There is a fundamental logic flaw in this sort of thinking. Humans cannot even create a society free from war—and yet they think they can improve Nature. An imperfect creature creating perfection? That's a pipe dream.

 

9)Question/Attack: "Mice, birds and rats get eaten by pythons--certainly that is just as bad as what goes on in a laboratory--or even worse."

Response: a) Pythons need to eat birds, mice and rats to survive. It an instinctual drive. For humans, experimenting on non human animals is certainly not an instinctual need.

Response: b) Humans do not need to torture rats, mice and birds in the vain hope of curing human diseases--they need to experiment on humans if they are SERIOUS about seeking cures.

Response: c) This argument tries to defend one form of cruelty by pointing to another unrelated one. Since humans get killed and mangled by cars, a mugger could argue, then why complain about a thief beating someone in the street? Not a logical argument. All Pythons need to eat, humans do not need to torture rats, mice and birds in laboratories.


10)Question/attack: "If you could save countless human lives by xenotransplantation (genetically engineering non-human animals to harvest their organs for humans), isn't that for the greater good? I mean, people eat those species every day anyway."

Response: a) Since eating meat is unnecessary--exploiting them for animal research and genetic engineering is compounding one injustice with another. It is like saying "well, since we are planning to kill this guy--there is nothing wrong with us torturing and robbing him first.

 

 

11) Question/Attack: "Didnt the Nazis ban animal research?"

Response: a) from  http://www.micahbooks.com/readingroom/Nazisandanimalresearch.html  'On April 24, 1989, Drs. Daniel Johnson and Frederick Goodwin from the National Institutes of Health, argued on the McNeil-Lehrer television program that "The only people in modern society that have not used animals for research were the Nazis." They further contended that because the Nazis passed an anti-vivisection bill in 1933, they were led to experiment on human beings, and that there is therefore a relationship between animal rights and a loss of human rights. None of this is true.The "anti-vivisection law," which the Nazis purported to pass, like Hitler's vegetarianism, is filled with contradictions.  A study of the law the Nazis passed shows that this law had enough loopholes in it to assure the continuation of animal research; consequently, an enormous amount of animal experimentation continued to be carried out by Nazi doctors. The Lancet, the prestigious British medical journal, reviewed the Nazis law and warned anti-vivisectionists not to celebrate because the Nazis law was no different, in effect, from the British law that had been passed in 1875, which restricted some animal research, but hardly eliminated it. Furthermore, a law passed by the Weimar government in 1931 required that all experiments on human beings be first conducted on animals. Such a requirement exists in the United States as in many countries that practice animal research. In other words, animal research is often a legal justification for experimentation on humans, as it functioned in Nazi Germany. The 1931 law in Germany was never abrogated. Nazis doctors dutifully submitted written statements when they requested "human material" for experiments which carried the legal notification that such experiments had been first conducted on animals. The first request for "test persons" was made by Dr. Sigmund Rascher to Himmler on May 15, 1941, "for two or three professional criminals" for "High-Altitude Research." It states that human beings were needed "because these experiments cannot be conducted with monkeys, as has been tried...."***Robert Proctor's book, The Nazi War on Cancer (Princeton University Press, 1999), records Nazi animal experimentation, which should leave no one in doubt about where Nazi doctors and scientists stood on this issue. These animal experiments were often embedded in the continuum of animal research that had been ongoing for decades. By the 1920s the Germans had developed strains of mice that were "more or less receptive to the uptake of cancer tissue transplants....SS chief Heinrich Himmler was apparently intrigued by the prospect of breeding a race of cancer-prone rats; in a 1939 meeting with Sigmund Rascher, the notorious Dachau hypothermia experimenter, the SS Reichsführer proposed breeding such a race of rodents.... (p. 63) "by the end of the 1920s, there was a sizable scientific literature on radiation carcinogensis, including a large body of work based on animal experiments." (p. 83) By the mid 1930s the Nazis had formidable laboratory evidence of some the causes of cancer based on animal experiments: "Experiments were...performed that finally produced--for the first time anywhere--lung cancers in animals raised in the mines." By 1938, Nazi scientists could produce lung cancer in 25% of the mice raised in mine shafts. "This was the first conclusive animal experimental evidence that breathing air in the mines could cause lung cancer." (p.99). The Nazis conducted their "war on cancer" with animals as their weapon of choice. Indeed, in 1943, at the height of a world war, the Nazi government developed plans for a "'tumor farm' to raise animals for use in experiments." (p. 261).  As Proctor states, animal experiments were vital to the ideological stance of Nazisim: "Animal experimental evidence was extrapolatedto humans, bolstered by the ideological push to see all aspects of human behavior--including purported racial differences--as rooted in "blood," race, or genes." (p. 63)***The Nazis often did important scientific research, much of which has found its way into our own research. They developed the most extensive anti smoking legislation of any western countries; they did important research on the effects of industrial pollution on the environment, much of which found its way into Rachel Carson's book, Silent Spring--which is not an indictment of Rachel Carson. When World War 11 first ended and news of the horrendous research on human beings was made public, Western scientists wanted to denounce Nazi science as "pseudo science" for fear of being tarnished by the public's loathing of Nazi science, but Nazi science finds its way into our science all the time, including findings gained from their experiments on human beings.

Response: b) Saying that we shouldn't be opposed to animal testing because the Nazis were opposed to animal testing is akin to saying, 'Nazis wore shoes. Therefore, none of us should wear shoes - or we'll be like the Nazis.'

 

12)Question/Attack: "Traditional Asian medicine isn't as cruel as western medicine--and who are you to condemn them for using animal parts in healing?"

Response: a) If it's ok for Asian traditional medicine to use animal parts, then it should be the same for humans who want to use other humans for traditional medicine. Such as practitioners of Muti. (http://news.independent.co.uk/world/africa/story.jsp?story=553679) 21 August 2004 By Basildon Peta, Southern Africa Correspondent "They first hit 10-year-old Sello Chokoe with a blunt instrument, causing a gash on his head. They then chopped off his penis, his hand and his ear. They were harvesting his body parts for "muti" - the murderous practice of traditional African medicine." ...The practice of muti provides a disconcerting counterpoint to the contemporary image of the new South Africa. Dr Gerard Lubschagne, who heads the investigative psychology unit of the South African police service, conservatively estimates lives lost to ritual murders at between 50 to 300 every year. "We don't have accurate figures because most murders here are recorded in our records as murders irrespective of motive," he says. "Most people might also not regard a murder as a muti matter but just dismiss it as the work of some crazy killers."...How the body parts are used varies with what customers want to achieve. They are eaten, drunk or smeared over the ambitious person. Various parts are used for different purposes. A man who had difficulty in producing children killed a father of several children and used his victim's genitals for muti. In another case, a butcher used a severed human hand to slap each of his products every morning before opening as a way of invoking the spirits to beckon customers...The screaming of a child while his body parts are being chopped off is also regarded as a sign calling customers to the perpetrator's business, Mr Mojolela said. It is also believed that magical powers are awakened by the screams. Eating or burying the body parts "capture" the desired results. Robert Thornton, an anthropology professor at the University of Witswatersrand in Johannesburg , who has done research in traditional healing, says children like Sello are targeted because it is believed that the power of the virgin is greater than that of a sexually active adult. ..The main motivating idea is what Professor Thorntorn describes as "symbolic logic", the idea that another person's penis will strengthen the perpetrator's, or that the perpetrator's far-sightedness will be improved by devouring the victim's eyes. Blood is thought to increase vitality...One of the few victims who lived to tell his story was Jeffery Mkhonto, who six years ago was mutilated by an organised gang set to harvest body parts. He had been lured to the house of a neighbour for food and ended up being castrated."

 

 

3: BULLFIGHTS

1)Question/attack: "Bullfights are good because they give the meat of the bull to the poor."

Response: a) Then why were matadors protesting that they couldnt SELL the meat after the Mad Cow/foot and mouth disease crisis?

Response: b) Citing a positive benefit of an act does not cancel out the negative. Bullfights are cruel. To say they are good because they give the meat to the poor would be like justifying a murder/robbery by saying the bandits gave some of the spoils to the needy. Al Capone opened the first soup kitchens in Chicago--using the proceeds of crime, does this mean that loan sharking and murder used to finance that charity were good?

Response: c) if bullfighters do it for the charity, then they should be growing veggies to give to the poor.

 

4: COMPANION ANIMALS

1)Question/Attack: "What about pets? Certainly there is nothing wrong with that."/"having animal companions teaches people to care for animals."

Response: a) How would you feel if you were born and taken away from your mother against your will (or how would you feel if you were the mother and your offspring was taken away from you by force--just to be given to some human who may treat your child horribly?) and had your genitals cut off? The pet industry is a form of slavery. Except under the best circumstances, a pet is a prisoner of human society. A human decides where it goes, what it does, what it eats, how it lives and how it dies. 

Response: b) When humans can take care of their own offspring properly, then maybe you could make some argument for it--but until then, and until humans can stop the pet euthanasia problem and animal abuse issue you haven't much of a leg to stand on.

Response: c) It is debatable whether having companion animals makes one treat animals with more compassion and respect or makes humans take them for granted. We know that people abuse cats and dogs, and dump them in parks or shelters when they get tired of them. If only one human did this--it would still be worse than if pets were not bred at all.

Response: d) One can argue that we should take care of unwanted animals that are dumped in shelters as opposed to euthanizing them. But whatever the case, we should not allow the commercial breeding of animals to be sold in stores. All should come from shelters.

2) Question/attack: "don't you think you would be  cruel to a dog if you didn't feed it

 meat? Surely that's what it would eat if you left it alone to fend for itself?"

Response: a) Yes, a dog would most probably eat meat if it chose it's own meals. Can't deny that. But it is the cruelty issue which I would focus on with your question. If the cruelty issue is truly of concern, then what about all the other animals that will be kept in poor conditions, and made to suffer to be canned and fed to the dog?   Perhaps, if it is cruel to not feed a dog meat (something i don't actually agree with), then while keeping animals,
some kind of cruelty may be unavoidable. Which is why I believe we need to reconsider our position with Companion Animals (see http://www.fruitnut.net/html/Articles/Pets.htm for article on companion animals)


3) Question/attack: "Does a vet have the right to neuter your dog?"

Response: a) no, since animals shouldnt be kept as pets. As a form of slavery, what right does a human have to dictate the biological health of other species? Especially when we dont force humans to have sterilization to keep human population numbers down.

Response: b) Although keeping members of other species as "companions" is ethically problematic, the issue is, by neutering the animal, it helps to prevent the enslavement and suffering of more animals.

response: c) A better question is: does a breeder have a right to breed dogs? The answer is no. Cut the problem at the source and the neutering issue is rendered moot.
 

4)Question/attack: "Saying that keeping a pet is a form of slavery, is  illogical. If you're  worried about suffering, how can you  argue that a dog or cat suffers less in the care of a loving owner than in the cruel wild? The truth is that wild cats and dogs suffer a great deal more than pets, unless by "suffering" you are choosing to exclude horrible realities of the wild like disease, starvation, and abandonment."

Response: a)You cant eliminate all suffering. But you can eliminate that caused by human action.

Response: b)This is like the argument used by pro slavery writer James Boswell: To abolish a status which in all ages GOD has sanctioned, and man has continued, would not only be robbery to an innumerable class of our fellow-subjects; but it would be extreme cruelty to the African Savages, a portion of whom it saves from massacre, or intolerable bondage in their own country, and introduces into a much happier state of life; especially now when their passage to the West Indies and their treatment there is humanely regulated. To abolish that trade would be to shut the gates of mercy on mankind.*" Boswell, J., Life of Johnson (N.Y.: Modern Library Edition, 1965) p. 365. http://www.al-islam.org/slavery/6.htm

Response: c)House negroes had it better than field negroes. Does that mean keeping them slaves was ok because some benefitted? How many cats and dogs die in shelters? Or are left on chains in backyards for their entire lives? Or starve because their "owner" became elderly and couldnt properly care for them? At least in the wild they have more chances and they dont have humans trying to dictate their lives.

Response: d) I am concerned about injustice and the suffering that derives from that.

5: EQUALITY

 

 1)Question/attack: "One cannot say that humans and non humans are equal and also say that humans and non humans are not bound by the same rules and code of moral conduct. If humans have to respect the rights of deer then so should lions."   

Response: a) This is assumed to be a fallacy in Definition: Conflicting Conditions--that they cannot be equal and unequal at the same time. This confuses two different definitions of "equality." The first definition is that non humans and humans are equal regardless of their differences(the "Martin Luther King jr." sense of the word: "All men are created equal." ). The second definition is not a value judgement, but an observation of the fact that everyone has different attributes. The animal rights proponent stresses equality in value while acknowledging inequality in attribute. There is no conflicting conditions. Other species are equal to humans in value, but they do not possess the attributes to think and behave the way humans do--just as the mentally retarded or children do not have the same attributes but are afforded equal moral protection and ethical regard.

 Response: b) We say a man with arms and a man without arms are equal in worth, but we don’t say because they have different abilities that the one with arms deserves more "rights" than the other.  By the logic of this attack, in order for all humans to be granted equal rights and respect, they would have to possess the same attributes (mentally, physically etc).  

 

6: FACTORY FARMS

1)Question/attack: " Factory farms are less cruel than how animals are treated in the wild."

Response: a) The point is not whether the factory farm is less cruel than the wild but whether one needs to have factory farms in the first place and clearly we dont since vegetarianism is a sound practical dietary lifestyle.

 Response: b) I dont think anyone sane would agree that spending your entire life in a dirty cell without sunlight or the companionship of others or freedom of movement is more desirable—if you think that then maybe you can ask to move into one.

Response: c)  A British author recently challenged people to spend a week in a typical factory farm egg laying facility. None could stand it for more 12 hours).

  Response d) This is similar to a defense of human slavery: "To abolish a status which in all ages GOD has sanctioned, and man has continued, would not only be robbery to an innumerable class of our fellow-subjects; but it would be extreme cruelty to the African Savages, a portion of whom it saves from massacre, or intolerable bondage in their own country, and introduces into a much happier state of life; especially now when their passage to the West Indies and their treatment there is humanely regulated. To abolish that trade would be to shut the gates of mercy on mankind.*" Boswell, J., Life of Johnson (N.Y.: Modern Library Edition, 1965) p. 365. http://www.al-islam.org/slavery/6.htm

 

 

7: FISHING

1)Question/attack: "Fish don't have nerves in their mouths or feelings in their lips." 

Response: a) The hook still causes damage to the fish's body. It can lead to infection (if the fish is being thrown back in the water).

Response: b) Slave traders said the same thing about  negro slaves--they don't feel pain like we do. You can't prove it as a 100 percent certainty  that they don't feel discomfort/pain and science may not have figured out how to measure it. Better to be safe than sorry.

Response: c) Yeah but they sure look uncomfortable when they are being dragged from the water. So are they trying to dance when they are flipping around on a hook?

Response: d) So if someone doesn't feel pain we should do what they want to them? Good because there are some comatose people at the hospital that would look mighty good preserved over my fireplace mantle.

Response e) Fish have nerve endings near the skin which are very similar to those of humans and other mammals. We all have receptor cells (called
nociceptors) near the skin, which are stimulated by events severe enough to cause damage to body tissues. The lips and mouth of fish are
particularly well supplied with nerve endings. 
--Fish produce the same pain-transmitting chemicals as humans. There are two main chemicals involved. When a nerve ending is damaged, a
substance called bradykinin is released. This causes the nerve cell to fire, sending an electrical impulse along the nerve. When bradykinin is
released near the skin, a second chemical, called substance P, is released near the spinal cord. 
--Both substances are known to be involved in transmitting pain. For example, if bradykinin is injected in humans, it causes intense pain, even if a
local anaesthetic is used. Both bradykinin and substance P are found in mammals, birds, frogs and fish. 
--Fish produce the same pain-blocking substances as humans. When in severe pain, humans and other vertebrates (animals with backbones)
produce pain-killing chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins block pain by stopping the release of substance P. 
(from an article titled "Fish Feel Pain" from the November to January issue of "Animals Today" magazine
(Australia)). http://members.iinet.net.au/~rabbit/fish.htm

Response f) "Fish constitute the greatest source of confused thinking and inconsistency on earth at the moment with respect to pain. You will get people very excited about dolphins because they are mammals, and about horses and dogs, if they are not treated properly. At the same time you will have fishing competitions on the River Murray at which thousands of people snare fish with hooks and allow them to asphyxiate on the banks, which is a fairly uncomfortable and miserable death". (The Advertiser, Professor Bill Runciman, professor of anaesthesia and intensive care at Adelaide University, Australia) http://members.iinet.net.au/~rabbit/fish.htm

Response g) "I undertook a ... search on pain felt by fish. I discovered that not only do fish feel the same pain as cats and dogs and humans but they are also highly intelligent. On the beach the other day I saw several fishermen with their dogs. I wanted to explain to them that the fish they were hooking felt the same anguish as would their dogs caught in the same way. Likewise when I went to New Foundland to talk to the fishermen who clubbed the baby Harp seals to death, I noticed that they too had companion dogs and cats and canaries. The most common form of cruelty in the world is fishing and why? Because most people have no idea how sensitive and intelligent fish are". (Richard Jones, Member of the New South Wales Legislative Council). http://members.iinet.net.au/~rabbit/fish.htm

Response: h)  British scientists say fish do feel pain  http://www.msnbc.com/news/907199.asp?cp1=1#BODY  LONDON, April 30 2003 — Anglers take note — British scientists say that after years of debate, they now have proof that fish feel pain. Animal activists are on the warpath after a study released on Wednesday showed how rainbow trout react to discomfort. They condemned fishing as cruel and demanded an end to the sport — but anglers themselves dismissed the study.THE RESEARCH FOUND that fish have receptors in their heads and that subjecting them to noxious substances causes “adverse behavioral and physiological changes.” “This fulfils the criteria for animal pain,” said Dr. Lynne Sneddon, who headed the research, published Wednesday by the Royal Society, Britain’s national academy of science. Bee venom or acetic acid was injected into the lips of some of the trout, while control groups of fish were injected with saline solution or merely handled. The trout injected with venom or acid began to show “rocking” motion — similar to that seen in stressed higher vertebrates — and those injected with acetic acid began rubbing their lips in the gravel of their tank.“These do not appear to be reflex responses,” Sneddon said. The affected fish also took three times longer to resume feeding activity, compared with those in the control groups. The team from the Roslin Institute and the University of Edinburgh found the fish had polymodal nociceptors — receptors that respond to tissue-damaging stimuli — on their heads. It is the first time these receptors have been found in fish. They have similar properties to those found in amphibians, birds and mammals including humans. Animal activists said the findings showed that fishing was cruel."

2)Question/attack: "But wasn't Christ a fisherman?"
 

Response: a) he was a carpenter by trade. He referred to himself as a fisher of men.


Response: b)Fish was a well known mythical symbol among early christians. The greek word for fish (Ichthys) was used as an acronym
whose initials in greek stood for "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior." Given how the early christians employed the term, there is therefore
good historical evidence for the argument thay all of the "fish stories" that managed to get into gospels were intended to be taken
symbolically rather than literally.

 

3) Question/attack: "Fishermen are caretakers of the sea."

Response: a) Tell that to the seals. Canadian fishermen destroyed the east coast fisheries in the early 90s due to their greed and stupidity then used the seals as a scape goat--claiming they were responsible. Now they slaughter them as a welfare handout to the idiot Newfoundland fisherfools claiming they need to keep their numbers down to save fish stocks--which begs the question--who has more right to eat from the sea--animals that live in it or animals that dont?

Response b)Like the fishermen of Galapagos? "The Galapagos have been officially protected for nearly 20 years and form part of the Galapagos World Heritage Site. But now the islands' 1,000 fishermen want to introduce long-lining - a technique involving lines many miles long holding hundreds of thousands of baited hooks, which catch and kill as many birds and animals as the fish that are targeted."...Conservationists fear that the species-rich marine ecosystem of the islands, governed by Ecuador, which is 600 miles to the east, will be cut to pieces. Sea lions, dolphins, turtles, sharks, penguins, albatrosses and many other seabirds, all of which are major tourist attractions, are all likely to fall victim to the hooks. "This will be a disaster for the environment," said Leonor Stjepic, the executive director of the London-based Galapagos Conservation Trust (GCT)last night." ..."Last year, an attempt to enforce a limit on sea-cucumber harvests - worth $3m (£1.6m) annually - angered Galapagos fishermen, who threatened park rangers with petrol bombs and in one incident took 30 scientists and a number of the islands' giant tortoises hostage. Xavier Bustamente, head of Ecuador's leading conservation movement, the Fundacion Natura, said: "If this situation doesn't change it will be catastrophic for the Galapagos." ..."What concerns and angers conservationists around the world is that the fishermen want to use the method throughout the Galapagos marine reserve, which has been in existence since 1986 and protects all the waters around the 13 islands in the group. "If they bring it in, it will be the death of the Galapagos," said Paul Watson, a co-founder of Greenpeace, and now head of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Mrs Stjepic of the GCT pointed out that a long-lining pilot project had been carried out in the Galapagos last year and that the level of bycatch involved - the other marine life caught inadvertently alongside the catch - was "very high". She said: "It involved sharks, albatrosses, turtles, sea lions and boobies [a species of seabird] and in some cases it was 80 per cent of the total catch. Long-lining basically means anything that uses the sea to live or to fish is at risk."  Wildlife faces wipeout in the cradle of evolution  http://news.independent.co.uk/world/environment/story.jsp?story=625035

 

Response c) Or the fishermen of Russia: http://www.guardian.co.uk/russia/article/0,,2108850,00.html The end of the wilderness: bears starve as poachers pillage Russia's wealth of salmon
Remote Kamchatka faces ecological meltdown as fish stocks are obliterated Luke Harding in Ust-Bolsheretsk, Kamchatka Friday June 22, 2007 Kamchatka is home to a quarter of the world's salmon. Every July and August millions of the fish struggle up its rivers and lakes to spawn. But, increasingly, most of them don't make it. "We catch so many fish that the different salmon species no longer return. Once we've exhausted one species we move on to the next," Alexander said, offering me a spoonful of orange salmon caviar and a cup of tea. ..Poaching in Kamchatka is on such a large scale that, like the sturgeon, the Pacific salmon is at risk of disappearing altogether. .."In 1992 we caught 35,000 tonnes of king crab. Last year it was 3,400 tonnes. We need to stop fishing crab now if the species is to survive," Mr Vorobyev said. A further threat to the salmon came from the discovery last week of oil on the peninsula's western shelf....Kamchatka has about 12,000 salmon-eating bears - the largest population in Eurasia. But they too are in trouble. In April and May American hunters using helicopters and snowmobiles shot 300 bears - a perfectly legal pursuit costing $10,000 (£5,000) per dead bear. Illegal hunting accounted for another 600. Local guides say the hunters eat the bear's grilled paws and tongue while discussing the Iraq war and drinking vodka. They leave the rest."Hungry bears are now encroaching on towns, rummaging in bins and scoffing the remains discarded by fish factories.

 

Response: d) Ecologists hit out at Ecuador for legalising shark fin sales Rory Carroll in Quito Monday August 6, 2007 The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,2142310,00.html Hundreds of sharks have been slaughtered daily off the coast of Ecuador since a ban on the sale of fins was lifted last week, prompting warnings of ecological disaster. Fishing boats have returned to shore laden with fins of dozens of species, including several that are threatened with extinction, which are vital to maintaining biodiversity, according to critics. The spectacle of fins piled up on piers has triggered a political row, pitting the government and fishermen against the rest of the country. Most of the fins are exported to Asia, where they end up in soup bowls...Shark fishing remains illegal but President Rafael Correa legalised the sale of fins of sharks caught accidentally, saying the revenue would help impoverished fishermen to feed their families. However, with no clear way to determine whether a shark was caught accidentally or intentionally, the fishermen appear to regard the move as a green light to kill as many as they want in Ecuador's Pacific waters.

 

Response: e) In China, Farming Fish in Toxic Waters-David Barboza ....But that growth is threatened by the two most glaring environmental weaknesses in China: acute water shortages and water supplies contaminated by sewage, industrial waste and agricultural runoff that includes pesticides. The fish farms, in turn, are discharging wastewater that further pollutes the water supply....More than half of the rivers in China are too polluted to serve as a source of drinking water. The biggest lakes in the country regularly succumb to harmful algal blooms. Seafood producers are part of the problem, environmental experts say. Enormous aquaculture farms concentrate fish waste, pesticides and veterinary drugs in their ponds and discharge the contaminated water into rivers, streams and coastal areas, often with no treatment....This is one of the solutions to the water crisis in China: to seek out virgin territory and essentially start the cycle all over again. And that worries scientists, who say aquaculture in China is not just a victim of water pollution but a culprit with a severe environmental legacy. Industrial fish farming has destroyed mangrove forests in Thailand, Vietnam and China, heavily polluted waterways and radically altered the ecological balance of coastal areas, mostly through the discharge of wastewater. Aquaculture waste contains fish feces, rotting fish feed and residues of pesticides and veterinary drugs as well as other pollutants that were already mixed into the poor quality water supplied to farmers.Besides algal blooms, some of the biggest lakes in China, like Lake Tai, are suffering from eutrophication nutrient bombs, brought on partly by aquaculture, that can kill fish by depleting the water’s oxygen. The government is forcing aquaculture out of these lakes, and also away from the Long River in Fuqing....A possible solution to the water woes is to move aquaculture well out to sea, specialists say, with new technology that allows for deepwater fish cages served by automatic feeding machines.The United States is already considering such a plan, partly as a way to make it less dependent on imports, which now fill 80 percent of its seafood needs. China is also considering adopting what is now being called “open ocean” aquaculture.Currently, China’s coastal fish farms face many of the same challenges as those on land. Waters there are heavily polluted by oil, lead, mercury, copper and other harsh substances. Veterinary drugs dropped in shoreline waters may easily spread to neighboring aquaculture farms and affect species outside the cages, and while coastal waters are less polluted than those on land, aquaculture farms, with their intensive production cycles, are prone to be polluters.http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/15/world/asia/15fish.html?em&ex=1198040400&en=c8d29e61c4deffe0&ei=5087%0A

8: FUR

See Misc. and Wildlife management. Other arguments under Hunting.

9: HUMAN SUPREMACY

1)Question/attack: "But they are just animals."

Response: a) So? And you are just a human. 

Response: b) At one time it was common to say: "just a woman," "just a child," "just a black," "just a pagan," "just a Christian," "just a slave," etc etc etc.

Response: c) Um--we are animals too-although considering the dismal record of human behavior I am sure most species would rather be a remote relative.

Response: d) what does that make you? Vegetable or mineral?
 

2)Question/attack: "Humans can exploit animals because we are superior to animals.  The reason we are superior is because we possess the capacity to reason." (variations: "When bears and ants can compose symphonies and fly airplanes, then I'll believe they have rights.\Humans have brains that can make computers and do math and build tall skyscrapers, therefore we have evolved beyond other species and are superior to them.")

Response: a)not all humans possess reason as defined here (children, mentally retarded etc). Furthermore--why would reason be an absolute criteria? It is transitory. Arbitrary. Using reason as a criteria would be like saying "an apple is superior to a banana because its red. Red makes it superior." WHY? What is so great about red?  It is just as relative and as arbitrary as talking about skin color. If you say reason is great because it allows us to build tall buildings--why is that of absolute importance? Reason is only important as a human value, just as skin color is only important as a racial value, or a certain interpretation of the Judeo-Christian Bible is only important to particular adherents of that religious group.

response: b) Human rights, like animal rights, are arbitrary, subjective, and non-absolute. They are both based on value that we as humans assign and administer. There is no demonstrable natural law which we base our ethics upon. The universe does not say: "Humans have special rights because they possess faculty x, y, z." A human does not have a universal right to life. If that were the case, it should be demonstrable in nature.  We could walk safely through the path of an erupting volcano without so much as a blister. We wouldn't need police or courts if our "rights" were some universal truth. When one looks at it reasonably, humans are just as mortal as other species. All the fruits of our labors and intellect are also mortal. How can one truly say we as a species are superior to other species as an absolute objective truth? We can't. Just like a racist can't say his race is superior to others as an objective absolute truth, or a sexist, or a religious extremist etc etc. Therefore, to be consistent and fair, If human rights are good, then so are animal rights and one should strive to be as compassionate as possible.

Response: c) Since human reason originates in the brain, and the brain decays, why then is reason, a transitory aspect of human existence, so important? 

response: d)Why would reason/building skyscrapers/airplanes/computers etc make humans superior in value as a species to other species that are incapable of doing such acts? What makes skyscrapers so great and important? Buildings fall down, planes crash, computers break. Since all are subjective and  transitory--where is the superiority? Humans only think they are superior to justify their exploitation.

response: e) Not all humans--most in fact, do not compose symphonies or build skyscrapers. Does that mean those people are inferior to the humans that do? BTW--when was the last time you built a skyscraper?

response: f)It is because I have the ability to reason that I am able to understand why compassion is better than cruelty, peace is better than violence, and kindness is better than meanness; and thus I choose to live accordingly.  

3)Question/attack: "Humans can exploit animals because we are superior to animals.  The reason we are superior is because we have a soul."

Response: a) how do you prove humans have a soul and others don't? And even if we did--why would that make us superior? Its arbitrary and subjective. And a human of one race could say the same thing about another human of a different race (or gender). "Members of my race have a soul but members of yours don't." There was a time when such beliefs were common place.

 4)Question/attack: "Humans can exploit animals because we are superior to animals.  The reason we are superior is because God tells us we are superior."  

Response: a) How do you prove that? And even if some deity in the sky said we were superior--why would it matter? Why would that being's judgement be absolute? Someone else can say "My god says my group is superior to this other group." How do you refute that with this "God says so" defense? How do you prove that your god is making the "true" commandment? How do you demonstrate this to others? The very same approach could be used to justify discriminating against OTHER HUMANS. To say humans are superior as a species to other lifeforms without being able to justify it as an absolute certainty--anyone can discriminate according to whatever religious belief they hold. 

Response: b)The greatest problem with spiritual humanism is the lack of certainty inherent in the belief. One can doubt the existence and nature of the deity, doubt the uniqueness and importance of the qualities cited as making one worthy of special treatment, and doubt human possession of them (and doubt the claim that other life forms do not possess them).

Response: c) claiming that humans are superior according to a spiritual form of humanism is neither concrete nor conclusive. One is free to believe anything--and by this ideology one could modify the human superiority argument to assert with equal weight that some humans are superior to other HUMANS according to the dictates of their particular deity. The dispute is endless.

Response: d)If you believe in God, then you must believe that your God is superior to humans. If your God tells you that superior beings can exploit lesser beings - then how do you think your God will treat a lesser being, such as you, in the afterlife?

5)Question/attack: "Humans can exploit animals because we are superior to animals.  The reason we are superior is because Nature tells us we are superior." (variations: "We are highest on the food chain and always have been." )

Response: a) Secular humanism can also be challenged by doubt. One can question the importance of free will, reason, or the evolutionary law being cited as fact. Why are these qualities important? If one acknowledges that death is the ultimate end of all life, humans included, then why the emphasis on something so transitory? One can question the notion that humans are rational--simply by reading out loud the harrowing stories on war and crime from the front page of any daily newspaper. One can argue that humans enslave, torture, kill, while no other species on earth can not even come close to exhibiting such a level of barbarism. Every criterion that humans cite as evidence of their superiority can be examined to not only negate the claim--but demonstrate the OPPOSITE with greater success. Altruism, tool making, parental nurturing...these qualities once thought to be exclusively human have been observed in wildlife.

 Response: b) One can argue that humans enslave, torture, kill, while no other species on earth can not even come close to exhibiting such a level of barbarism. Every criterion that humans cite as evidence of their superiority can be examined to not only negate the claim--but demonstrate the OPPOSITE with greater success. Altruism, tool making, parental nurturing...these qualities once thought to be exclusively human have been observed in wildlife.

 Response: c) Then there is the issue that humans are worth more according to some natural law. The ludicrousness of this belief can be easily exposed by simple observation. If a volcano erupts--does the lava flow destroy all in its path--but conveniently spare human life since it is a universal fact that they are special and not to be harmed? If a human is adrift in the ocean, and approached by a shark--do the jaws of the predatory fish lock up in paralyses when it attempts to bite the man? If the claim that "human life is superior to other life forms" was an absolute, universal fact and truth in nature--then how does one explain that humans appear to be subject to the same violence and mortality that applies to other life? One can't, because humans are not superior according to any criteria that are cited to prove it--all examples are arbitrary, subjective and non-absolute.

Response: d) Even the claim that humans should not enslave and kill other humans is easily challenged by observing the state of human relations over the last 10 000 years. Arguing that something is absolute and objective carries a very heavy burden of proof. Anthropocentrism is nothing more than human beings setting the standard and value system by which a life is to be viewed as special and worthy—a standard that conveniently places themselves at the top of the value system--all the while ignoring the fragile foundation that supports it. Racist and sexist doctrine does the same thing.

 6)Question/attack: "Even if I agreed that some things done to animals are cruel and wrong,  we have to put human problems first."

Response: a) Why? Can we not deal with all problems concurrently? If you are suggesting some victims of abuse are more important than others, do you also draw a distinction between say, victims of spousal abuse and victims of racial violence or child abuse? Which is a more pressing concern? Do the losers go on the backburner? 

Response: b) The suffering of members of others species due to deliberate and preventable human action is as important as the human equivalent forms of abuse or exploitation. One should strive to solve these problems when we can where we can without worrying that it follows some arbitrary step by step procedure.

Response: c) That's a cop out. You just don't want to face up to responsibility.

7)Question/attack:  "Humans are unique. We are a unique species."

Response: a) All species are unique in the world, but let us say that humans possess some quality that makes them "uniquely unique." You still haven't shown why that uniqueness makes them superior as a species to all other life, and deserve preferential treatment. A failure to prove human supremacy as an objective fact kills your argument, because as it stands you are simply talking as a Christian bigot or white supremacist would talk(i.e. "christians/whites are special—we deserve special treatment over non christians/whites."). What you need to do is show how the human supremacy belief is categorically different from any other form of discrimination. Which is practically impossible.

Response: b) Yes, humans are unique. They can be arrogant. They can take pleasure from the suffering of others to the point where they erect structures such as bull rings and coliseums to watch one subject torture and kill another. Not all the aspects of human uniqueness are positive.

8)Question/attack:  Make the case that discrimination is innately wrong. Or cease trying to forge the link between racism and "speciesism". Your entire argument there rests on discrimination being wrong in and of itself.
 

Response: a)you are trying to say that I say discrimination is wrong....and I  cant prove it is. You are right---the problem is, people who are against racism, sexism, religious extremism etc also think discrimination is wrong, so unless you think they should be free to do what they want to other humans--this defense isnt very sensible.

Response: b) nope--but it would be nice for your false attack if it were eh? Many people(those who oppose racism, sexism etc) would say that discrimination based upon unfair, biased, and subjective standards of value is wrong. The problem for you is--you want to say that racism is wrong, while speciesism is not--except that all the criteria you use to defend speciesism is also unfair, biased and subjective. That's what the entire argument rests upon: your belief that some discrimination is good, others are bad--without being able to prove this.
Sure--you can say that arguments that suggest discrimination is wrong is also subjective. The problem is--refuting that not only buries an anti-specieism argument, but it also buries anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-religious extremist etc etc arguments. Humans pay the price too. So feel free to say that you think everyone should be able to discriminate against everyone else--not all humans would like that--but racists would.


Response c)-it doesnt. It rests on what people like YOU believe. YOU believe that discrimination based on biased, subjective criteria is wrong. That includes race, gender, and species (though you would deny the last---but cant prove your case). For you to get out of the jam--you have to show how speciesism is somehow different than racism in a fundamental way--i.e. make it objective or absolute. You havent done that (because you cant). In the big scheme of things--of course one cant prove that discrimination is wrong...since all issues are subjective--they can be doubted...the problem for you is, either you prove that speciesism is somehow different in principle and design from all other forms of discrimination(which is impossible), or you would have to say that people should be free to discriminate against other humans (based on race, gender, religion as well as species). BUT YOU DONT say that--because you want to have your cake--and eat it too. But you cant.
So the only other choice is to say we should try to be as fair and as compassionate to others as possible, and lose this desire to discriminate according to biased, subjective criteria. This would help human relations with humans and non humans alike. Its also more consistent ethically than your view.
So, in terms of logical reasoning, either you say anyone can do whatever they want to anyone else(human or not) or you expand your circle of compassion and fairness to include non humans).

 
9) Question/Attack: "Only humans can show compassion for other species."

 

Response a) (http://www.familyworship.org.uk/kidszone/skippy.htm) A kangaroo named Lulu has been hailed a hero for saving an unconscious Australian farmer in Canberra by alerting the man's wife and leading her to where he lay trapped under a fallen tree branch. Hobby farmer Leonard Richards was checking for storm damage on his property at Tanjil South, 150 km (93 miles) east of Melbourne, on Sunday morning when he was hit by a falling branch. In a story reminiscent of the long-running Australian children's television series Skippy, in which a pet kangaroo rescued people in distress in the Australian bush, the kangaroo began barking until Richards' wife came to investigate. She found her husband lying unconscious under a tree about 200 metres (650 feet) from the house, guarded by the grey kangaroo. Lulu was hand-reared by the Richards family, who rescued her from her mother's pouch and fed her on bottles after her mother was killed by a car about four years ago."Dad was totally out of it and Lulu was sitting by him in the bush making this really unusual yapping noise until Mum got there," Richards' 19-year-old son Luke told Reuters. "It was so lucky. Dad could have been there for hours if it wasn't for her," he said. Richards was taken to hospital with suspected head injuries but allowed home on Sunday night. Animal welfare group the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) called for Lulu to be nominated for its annual national bravery award.

Response b)The Dog Who Rescues Cats: The True Story of Ginny  Philip Gonzalez had lost all interest in living after an industrial accident left him disabled. A friend suggested he adopt a dog.Reluctantly he went to the shelter, where Ginny, a badly abused one-year-old pup,quickly won him over. Philip realized immediately that Ginny was no ordinary dog--she had an amazing sixth sense that enabled her to find and rescue stray and ailing cats.There's Madame,who is completely deaf; Revlon, who has only one eye;Betty Boop,who has no hind feet;and Topsy, a paralyzed kitten whom Ginny found abandoned in an empty building. Ginny and Philip have now rescued and found homes for over 200 cats, and they have over 60 "outdoor cats" whom they visit and feed twice daily. Even more than extraordinary, Ginny's angelicmission has given Philip a sense of purpose and a new lease on life. You will never forget the true adventures of Ginny, the dog who rescues cats.

Pot-bellied pig saves owner's life by lying in front of a car
Saturday, October 10, 1998 ....Jo Ann Altsman attributes her Vietnamese Pot Belly Pig, Lu Lu with saving her life last month. (Annie O'Neill, Post-Gazette) OK, it was almost like that. Except that JO Ann Altsman of Beaver Falls didn't twist her ankle, but had a heart attack. And it wasn't in the wilderness but in the bedroom of her vacation trailer on Presque Isle. And the pet that ran -- er, waddled -- for help was a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig named LuLu. When you think about it, LuLu's real-life feat the morning of Aug. 4 was much more amazing than any of Lassie's fictional rescues because she can't bark. That didn't matter. Smart pig that she is, Lulu did the next best thing. She laid down in front of a car on the road outside the trailer and then led a disbelieving motorist to Altsman, whose ordeal lasted 45 minutes. Had 15 more minutes elapsed, doctors told her, she likely would have died. "Pigs are very, very smart," Altsman, 57, said yesterday. She is recuperating from heart surgery she underwent Sept. 15. "They're a lot smarter than dogs." ....Enter Lulu "She looked at my head. She made sounds like she was crying," said Altsman, who then imitated the sound -- quite indescribable -- of a crying Vietnamese potbellied pig. "You know, they cry big fat tears," she noted. But the porker pulled herself together, and headed outside through the doggy/piggy door and into the fenced-in yard. Never before had Lulu left the confines of the yard -- except for a leash walk -- but this was no ordinary day. She somehow pushed open the gate and walked into the road. There, Lulu gave new meaning to the phrase "hogging the road." Witnesses later told Altsman that Lulu waited until a car approached and then walked onto the road and laid down in front of it. Several times she returned to Altsman only to leave again and try to get help. One man stopped but later said he was so unsure of what the creature on the road was that he was afraid to get out. "She's not very attractive," Altsman allowed. But another motorist stopped for the prone pig and got out. Lulu knew just what to do. She led the man to the house and the rescue. "I heard a man hollering through the door, 'Lady, your pig's in distress,"' Altsman said. "I said, 'I'm in distress, too. Please call an ambulance." The man, whose name Altsman never learned, did just that and medics quickly arrived. But when the pig tried to get into the ambulance with Altsman, medics gently let Lulu know she had done enough for one day. Later, it was discovered that Lulu had cut her rather pronounced stomach on the obviously too-small doggy/piggy door. "My husband keeps enlarging it but she keeps enlarging, too," Altsman said of Lulu, who turned 1 on July 4. Lulu was purchased in Edinboro in August 1997 by Jack Altsman as a 40th-birthday present for the couple's daughter, Jackie, of Fombell, Beaver County. Jackie, however, went on a five-day whale-watching trip to New England and asked her parents to baby-sit Lulu. Jackie really didn't want the pig, Altsman said. "She came back on Aug. 18 and kept putting off (picking up Lulu), saying, 'Next weekend, next weekend.' You know how kids are." The Altsmans became attached to the porcine house pet, even as it exploded from 4 pounds to 150. And counting. And how did Altsman thank Lulu? "She got a jelly doughnut," said Altsman. She then made a sloshing type noise that Lulu apparently makes when she devours pastry. Edited.
By Michael A. Fuoco, Post-Gazette Staff Writer
http://www.post-gazette.com/regionstate/19981010pig2.asp

 

 

10: HUNTING

 

1)Question/attack: "If we weren't hunting deer they would overpopulate and start dying horrible deaths because of the lack of food"

Response: a) If there is lack of food the animal population will not grow as much. If there is less food there are going to be less animals. 

response: b) humans have overpopulated many areas of the earth which has resulted in lack of food and poor living conditions, yet
we do not hunt and execute them.

 

response: c) In recent years, deer populations have increased to numbers unsupportable by wildlife habitat alone. Many researchers believe that this increase results from continued human incursion into deer habitat, and the mismanagement of deer populations by forest and wildlife authorities who see hunting as the primary means of population control.  Wildlife and land management agencies purport to effectively limit deer populations to numbers sustainable by their natural habitat. In reality, the policies of such agencies exacerbate deer overpopulation, serving only to provide a population large enough to suit sport hunters. The overpopulation of deer stems not only from the specific mismanagement of deer populations, but from the mismanagement of our forestlands and natural areas. Currently, there are approximately eight does for every buck in the wild. Laws restrict the number of does that hunters may kill. Deer do not have monogamous mating relationships, and bucks will often mate with more than one
female. As a result, the ratio of does to bucks sets the stage for a population explosion. Allowing hunters to kill more does, however, does not resolve population problems. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the open hunting of does left fawns without mothers, and removed too many females from the breeding population. Sport hunting decimated deer populations in many states. As a result, states passed laws restricting the hunting of does. These policies have contributed to the overpopulation of deer.  (http://www.idausa.org/facts/deercontrol.html)

response: d) Hunting does remove some animals from the population, but it does not keep deer populations at a continually reduced level. Immediately after a hunt, the remaining animals flourish because less competition for food exists, allowing the remaining animals to live healthier lives, and resulting in a higher reproductive rate. Left alone by humans, the ratio of does to bucks would be approximately equal. In Defense of Animals believes that sport hunting is not only an ineffective wildlife management tool, but a cruel and unnecessary practice. Sport hunting should be banned, allowing deer populations to regulate themselves naturally. (http://www.idausa.org/facts/deercontrol.html)

response: e) This comes from the New Jersey  Dept. of Fish and Wildlife website (http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/  Note Commentary provided by BD.)  New Jersey offers sportsmen and women more than 500,000 acres of state-owned public open space providing a diversity of habitats from hardwood ridges and rolling hills to pine forests and salt marsh. (note:****If this is PUBLIC land, why are hunters allowed to kill on this land? I'm not a hunter and strongly disagree with hunting. If it's public land, 
may I hike on it? And, if so, is there a risk of me being shot by a hunter?) This total includes more than 276,000 acres in 118 Wildlife Management 
Areas, specifically managed to enhance wildlife populations and provide for wildlife-oriented recreation. (note 2****Ah, I see. So, you're not REALLY trying to control wildlife populations, you're trying to ENHANCE them. Does this not go against what hunters and the NJ Dept. of Fish and Wildlife profess? You're not trying to keep wildlife down to 'controllable' numbers, you're trying to increase numbers to ensure your revenue from hunters. Typical lies coming from anti-nature zealots. ) New Jersey offers more than a hundred days of deer hunting, including seasons for bow, shotgun and muzzleloading rifle. Multiple bag limits are the rule in most zones. The 2001-02 deer harvest was 68,669. In addition, some of the best waterfowl hunting on the East coast is found in the Garden State. Snow geese, brant, black duck, mallard, bufflehead and a variety of other waterfowl species provide extensive hunting opportunities, especially on the coastal marshes. The Rockport Pheasant Farm produces 55,000 pheasants annually for release on selected wildlife management areas. (note 3*****Huh? What! The Rockport Pheasant Farm PRODUCES? But why? If there is truly an 'overabundance' of animals (that need 'harvesting') why purposely BREED animals to be killed. I also heard that New York imports pheasants for hunting. Illogical, to say the least!) The wild turkey, reestablished in the late 1970s, continues to increase throughout the state with the population now estimated at 18,000 - 20,000 with an annual harvest of more than 2,000. 
(note 4: ****(note 4: Can someone explain to me why the wild turkey needed to be reestablished? My guess is that they were hunted to such low numbers that they had to be bred and imported from other areas. AGAIN, illogical! Please, the next time you spout "conservation," "manageable numbers" or "over population," read you own text, FIRST!)


Response: f) Oh yeah--humans really know how to manage wildlife. Case study:  "A well-meant but misguided decision by conservationists is driving a central Asian antelope to the brink of extinction, a report claims today. Poachers who were encouraged to hunt the saiga, an antelope of the steppes of Russia and Kazakhstan, to ease the pressure on rhino in Africa and Asia, have brought about a catastrophic 97 per cent fall in the animal's numbers in a decade, according to this week's New Scientist magazine." "The decline from more than a million to fewer than 30,000 is through to be the most sudden and severe population crash of a large mammal. The saiga has been hunted, says the report by Fred Pearce, a science writer, because in the early 1990s the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and other conservation groups actively promoted the saiga horn as an alternative to the horn of endangered rhinos, which is used as an ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine....."The plains used to be black with these antelopes, but now you can go out there and not see any at all," says Dr Abigail Entwistle, director of the Eurasia programme of the conservation charity Fauna and Flora International. "This is the most sudden change in fortune for a large mammal species recorded in recent times."...According to the report, WWF began a campaign in 1991 in Hong Kong to publicise saiga horn as an alternative to rhino horn, which when ground up is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine as a remedy. Rhinoceros populations in Africa and Asia have also been devastated by poachers hunting them for their horns."...According to Eleanor Milner-Gulland, of Imperial College London, the leading Western expert on the saiga, there is no known case in biology where the sex ratio has gone so wrong that fecundity has disappeared in this way. Dr Milner-Gulland says that between 1993 and 1998, saiga numbers across central Asia almost halved, to around 600,000. Then, with most of the males gone, the population crash began in earnest, with numbers halving each year since, until last year's census recorded just 30,000 individuals....Hunters are unlikely to drive the saiga to total extinction but without an unexpected reversal in its fortunes it will soon be confined to zoos and a few small reserves." Rare antelope driven to edge of extinction by well-meaning conservationists (Independent, 13 Feb, 2003) http://news.independent.co.uk/world/environment/story.jsp?story=377834


Response g) Yep--those hunters really do good. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/france/story/0,11882,1342683,00.html
Hunters kill last brown bear Amelia Gentleman in Paris  Thursday November 4, 2004 Hunters have shot dead the last female brown bear native to the Pyrenees, condemning the species to extinction and causing an "environmental catastrophe" for France, the government said. Animal protection groups were last night concerned for the survival of the bear's 10-month-old orphaned cub which escaped unharmed, but which was barely weaned. His mother, affectionately known by game wardens as Cannelle (Cinnamon), was killed on Monday when a group of boar-hunters shot her in what they claim was self-defence. The environment minister, Serge Lepeltier, was to visit the site of the killing last night to launch an investigation into how the six experienced hunters had been allowed to organise a wild boar shoot in the area where the bear was living.

Response h)
Bison Face Hunting at Wyoming Refuge  by Mathew Brown, AP writer. Sept 15, 2007.
Meanwhile, the artificial feeding will continue each winter, angering animal rights groups and environmentalists who say the government is baiting bison to unnecessary slaughter. Refuge managers agreed that feeding the very bison they want hunters to shoot was not ideal. They said the conservative politics of northwest Wyoming - home to Vice President Dick Cheney and a strong hunting culture that is a driving economic force - gave them little choice....Most states forbid or discourage feed grounds because they allow the easy transmission of wildlife and livestock diseases. Aside from the elk refuge, there are 22 state-run feed grounds in northwest Wyoming, a region of towering mountains and fertile valleys where punishing winters routinely kill off wildlife. Local hunters and federal wildlife officials say the first were started a century ago, by ranchers hoping to keep elk from eating the hay they had set aside for livestock during winter. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service established the National Elk Refuge in 1912. Feeding of the elk began the same year. As elk hunting gained popularity, bringing streams of wealthy outsiders to Jackson every fall, the feed grounds helped ensure an ample supply of the animals. The refuge's feed lines have since expanded into a $250,000 annual program that doles out up to 80 semitrailer loads of alfalfa pellets each winter, according to federal documents and former refuge manager Barry Reiswig. In recent years, a separate feed line was established for bison to keep them from out-muscling elk. Bison eat up to 20 pounds of alfalfa a day, versus about 8 pounds for elk. Reiswig, who retired from the Fish and Wildlife Service in June, said he never liked the feeding program but was forced to accept it as a political reality. `For us to march in and say, 'We're going to phase out this feeding program,' that was not an option,'' Reiswig said. ``Realistically, in a Western state, given this administration, that's just not the way this game is played.''


 

2)Question/attack: a) "A lot of people say let the deer's natural predators kill them, We are just that."

  Response a)  Put a toddler in a room with an apple and a hamster. If the toddler eats the hamster and plays with the apple, then humans are natural predators. (Repeat experiment with young cat for comparison).

Response: b) If we were the natural predators of deer we should be able to run down and catch and devour a deer with only our teeth and hands--just like a lion does. If we didn't use tools--we would be the prey! (SEE ALSO SECTION 12 MISC , Q/A 9, 10 for additional related arguments).

2A) Question/Attack: a) Who invented the litmus test for natural predation?  Humans "naturally" evolved and developed the ability to use tools for hunting just as the lion or bear "naturally" evolved and developed jaws and sharp teeth. In fact, they developed their own "tools" for hunting just as we invented our own "tools."

Response: a)humans claim they are natural predators and often compare themselves to wolves or lions. But obviously they are not like wolves or lions. They cannot physically do what a lion or would do, so the comparison is inaccurate. But because they want to assume that they are "naturally born" hunters, they ignore the differences. The fact is that a naked human cannot do what a naked wolf can do when it comes to predation. Humans say they are natural hunters, i.e. the Inuit claim they are natives of the North like polar bears, but obviously they cant survive from birth without considerable material support, unlike a polar bear, which i think would be  easier to argue is a true native of the North.

Response: b)  humans also "naturally" evolved  and developed the ability to use tools to kill each other. Who makes the litmus test that humans arent meant to kill each other as much as they are meant to hunt? It would be difficult, based on human history and today's news, to argue that humans are meant to hunt as natural predators, but not meant to kill each other using the same means.
 

Response: c) The same tool making ability that can be used for hunting, can be used for tilling the soil.  Just as some animals have the natural ability to dig for roots and forage. The tools humans develop/invent can also be said to serve that purpose.

 

 

 

 

 3)Question/attack: Animals are treated terribly in the meat industry so isn't hunting better than getting meat from the super market?

Response: a) Maybe, but since meat eating itself isn't justified, there is no excuse to be hunting either. 

Response: b) People who can go out and learn to use a rifle, get a hunting license, drive a car to get ammunition then drive to the forest to wait for an animal to come along, then shoot it, then take it home on the hood of the car(assuming it doesnt get away and die a slow painful death), then cut it up and skin it, then cook it---can very easily just drive or walk or bike to the grocery store and get vegetables and fruit or meat alternatives which are healthier for you. It saves time--and money--and it avoids the nastiness of the meat industry altogether.

Response: c) No its not better. It is like saying: "torturing someone before you kill him is worse than just killing him." Yeah--but its irrelevant, since the killing is unjustified to begin with.

 4)Question/attack: "Native peoples hunt and fish and trap, are you going to say it is wrong for them to do it?"  [For more First Nations animal use arguments see Misc. section]

response: a) yes, but we are not talking about native peoples, we are talking about people who can easily give up the eating of
animals --like you.


response: b) some people in desperate situations kill other people and steal from them to survive, are you saying that's right?

response: c) anthropological excavations of many sites all around the world have shown that native people actually survived primarily
(over 70%) on foraging, not hunting. and in any case, it is no longer necessary for their survival to hunt and fish. 

response: d) If they are human beings then they should live according to the same ethical principles as any other human. No one can justify causing unnecessary harm to others by citing tradition or racial background.
 

Response: e) Modern tribal peoples (at least in North America) use guns, electronics, industrial textiles and often sell their products to westerners. They would be hypocritical to say that they are living traditionally--when they are using modern technology. If they are willing to give up the tradition of carving spears--than they should be willing to give up the tradition of cruelty.

Response: f) Some native tribes like the Makah also kept human slaves. Others practiced human sacrifice and infanticide. Should they be allowed to re-adopt those  practices too? 

5)Question/attack: "Your philosophy may say that it is wrong for natives/aboriginals to hunt and fish, but they regard the animals as their brothers."

Response: a) If that is the case, then why do the Inuit, allegedly the natives of the arctic, need hides and tools to survive, while their "brothers" the wolf and polar bear, do not? Without their artificial support, humans would be the prey.

Response: b) While some aboriginal beliefs may regard other species as their kin, they still treat them in ways that run contradictory to the way they would treat other humans in their group. Citing some brotherhood is a sentimental appeal, not based on reason or ethical consistency.

Response: c) Oh that's sweet. "I love you brother--that's why I am going to drive this spear into your gut, skin you, then sell your innards for cash so I can get a better tv set."

6)Question/attack: "Hunting teachers people to respect Nature. Hunters respect animals."

Response: a) Tell that to Spanish greyhounds: The dogs left to die after they 'humiliated' their masters. Giles Tremlett in Madrid Animal rights campaigners claim Spanish hunters hang, drown and poison 50,000 greyhounds every year. Campaigners estimate that 50,000 greyhounds are killed by their owners in Spain each year after they grow too old, or turn out to be too slow to hunt with. ....Hanging is just one of the methods used. Dogs have been found thrown into wells, burnt alive and even injected with bleach. But Rey's intended fate was, even within the levels of cruelty routinely shown to Spanish hunting dogs, especially nasty. The noose around his neck had been set at a height so that his front paws could not touch the ground, meaning that he was intended to stand on his back legs until he was too tired to support himself. When his legs finally buckled, the noose should have done its work....'They call it the typewriting death, because the dog's back legs scrabble against the ground and make the clicking sound of a typewriter,' said Albert Sorde, of the SOS Galgos greyhound rescue group. 'It is a punishment they save for greyhounds that are deemed to have humiliated or embarrassed their owners. ...'Some are so scared of human beings that they can't really be expected to walk down a city street, or be adopted by people who don't have a garden or other dogs for them to be with,' he said. 'We often send those dogs to people in the United States.' ....Greyhounds in Spain are used for hunting hares and in a local version of coursing, in which two dogs are expected to chase a hare, with the one that gets closest to it winning. 'The dogs are meant to imitate the swerves of the hares,' said Sorde. 'Those who don't, and make their owners look bad, are termed "dirty greyhounds" and are most likely to be killed by the typewriter method.' ...Spain's reputation for cruelty to animals led the government to introduce a law banning mistreatment of pets last year. Fighting bulls and farm animals were excluded from the law but it is still unclear whether hunting greyhounds count....Popular outrage, however, continues to grow. 'Ordinary people are beginning to react,' says Sorde. 'We have heard cases of hunters out with greyhounds who are being confronted by people shouting "murderers".'That does not mean, however, that the killings have stopped. Every hunting season the hunters - some of whom breed dozens of dogs a year - choose which greyhounds they want to get rid of. That is the moment campaigners fear most. 'The worst thing is when we find several dogs hung together in clumps of pine trees,' said Sorde. http://www.guardian.co.uk/spain/article/0,2763,1676223,00.html

 

11: MEAT EATING AND DAIRY CONSUMPTION

 

1)Question/attack:  "Everyone eats meat, so why shouldn't I?"

response: a) if everyone jumped off a cliff would you?

response: b) don't give into peer pressure!

response: c) if everyone thinks like that then we will never make any ethical  progress on this world!

response: d) so you believe that you should hold yourself to the lowest common  ethical standard possible?

Response e) "Why is it so hard, seemingly impossible, for our "responsible" press to convey the kinds of concerns that Socrates raised
as portrayed in Plato's Republic" Socrates: Would this habit of eating animals not require that we slaughter animals that we knew as individuals, and in whose eyes we could gaze and see ourselves reflected, only a few hours before our meal? Glaucon: This habit would require that of us. 
Socrates: Wouldn't this [knowledge of our role in turning a being into a thing] hinder us in achieving happiness? Glaucon: It could so hinder us in our quest for happiness. Socrates: And, if we pursue this way of living, will we not have need to visit the doctor more often? Glaucon: We would have such need. Socrates: If we pursue our habit of eating animals, and if our neighbor follows a similar path, will we not have need to go
to war against our neighbor to secure greater pasturage, because ours will not be enough to sustain us, and our neighbor will have a similar need to wage war on us for the same reason? Glaucon: We would be so compelled. Socrates: Would not these facts prevent us from achieving happiness, and therefore the conditions necessary to the building of a just society, if we pursue a desire to eat animals? Glaucon: Yes, they would so prevent us. "Today, the resources that are required to sustain this wasteful way of living ("diet" is Greek for "way of living") include large amounts of energy (read "oil") for fertilizer, pesticides, antibiotics, refrigeration, water pumping, etc. So today we go to war to maintain our access to oil supplies, but the point Socrates made 2500 years ago is still relevant today. We do not hear about these concerns he raised so many years ago. Why not?" (Originally posted in the Usenet newsgroup rec.food.veg on Nov 18, 1994 by John Champagne (jchampag@lonestar.utsa.edu). Reposted at the International Vegetarian Union website http://www.ivu.org/history/greece_rome/socrates.html

 

Response: f) Heart disease and cancer are the leading killers of Americans - if you were to follow a vegan diet your chances of dying from heart disease or cancer is greatly reduced.

Response: g) Humans who eat meat risk being the incubator for new diseases that may jump species. SARS, BSE (or mad cow disease), and now Asian bird flu:  "Thai officials were battling yesterday to contain mounting public panic over the outbreak of avian influenza, which has left millions of chickens dead and killed at least eight people across Asia. Up to 13 deaths have been linked to the disease......However, far more worrying than the demise of the chicken industry is whether, under the right conditions, a mutant strain of airborne influenza is developing that jumps species and can be transmitted to, and between, humans. That could put the world at risk of a deadly epidemic that would dwarf the impact of Sars." http://news.independent.co.uk/world/science_medical/story.jsp?story=484485  Who needs germ warfare labs when you have meat eaters?

Response: h) From the Lancet 2004; 363: 234-36 "The establishment of permanent live-animal markets (wet markets) in many countries means that there is usually carry over of animals from one day to the next, and more expensive animals (eg, pheasants in poultry markets, civet cats in red-meat markets) can stay from days to weeks. Daily introduction of new animals provides optimum conditions for amplification and perpetration of disease agents such as influenza. The influenza virus has a segmented negatively stranded RNA genome with a propensity for reassortment and generation of novel agents. Add the daily human contacts (including children) with the live animals, and conditions are at an optimum for zoonotic transfer and the evolution of infectious disease agents."

Response: i) "Scientists have shown that the three major pandemics of human influenza in the 20th century - 1918, 1958 and 1968 - were all the result of avian virus changing its structure and becoming more infectious to people. The densely populated Far East is considered a source of new flu strains because domestic poultry and pigs are routinely reared and handled by ordinary people." New threat feared as pigs test positive for bird flu virus. By Steve Connor, Science Editor 07 February 2004 http://news.independent.co.uk/world/science_medical/story.jsp?story=488767

 

Response j: You can blame meat eating for AIDS--Hunt for origin of HIV pandemic ends at chimpanzee colony in Cameroon* http://www.guardian.co.uk/aids/story/0,,1783648,00.html *Ian Sample, science correspondent Friday May 26, 2006 Scientists searching for the origin of HIV, the global pandemic infecting more than 40 million people, believe they have finally tracked its original source to two colonies of chimpanzees in a corner of Cameroon. The finding represents the culmination of a 10-year hunt for the source of the pandemic and provides a crucial link between HIV, which causes Aids in humans, and the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), a strikingly similar virus that infects monkeys and chimpanzees. Researchers believe that south-east Cameroon is where the virus first jumped from chimpanzees to humans before HIV infection began spreading among people as far back as the 1930s. ...The research appears in the journal Science today. ...Researchers have various theories on how the virus jumped to humans; the most widely held view is that hunters became infected when they caught and butchered infected chimps. SIV appears to cause no outward signs of illness, so hunters would not have known if they were catching infected animals. "When people hunt chimpanzees they tend to butcher them on the spot and then there's a lot of blood flying around," said Prof Sharp. "If the hunter has any open wounds then, that's an opportunity to get infected. "Chimps and humans are extremely similar genetically, but here we have a virus that is seemingly harmless in chimps, jumps into humans and suddenly causes Aids."
 

2)Question/attack: "People from 3rd world countries have to eat meat to survive and what about the people in the Arctic?" 

Response: a) People in a Third world country do not need to eat meat to survive. The grain and water used to feed livestock could easily be used to feed many times the population according to a vegetarian diet. As for people in colder climates--if they can import guns, clothing, electronics, computers etc, then they can import vegetarian food. After all, people in colder climates, unlike real natives of the colder regions--polar bears, penguins, arctic wolves,  need artificial means to survive--without it--they would perish. So relying on vegetable and fruit imports is no big sacrifice if one wants to be compassionate and ethical.

3)Question/Attack: " Inuit in the Arctic need to eat meat to survive--just like bears and wolves."

Response: a) People in the Arctic choose to live there--they don't need to live there--thus they don't need to eat meat. A bear does not choose to live there--they have to live there--thus they do need to eat whatever they can to survive.

4)Question/Attack:  "Alright, if we're not supposed to eat animals, how come they're made of meat?"
 

Response: a) Humans are made of meat too--so that means it is ok to be a cannibal also. 
 

 5)Question/attack:  "If everyone stopped eating meat(and/or dairy products), then one would get all scrawny just eating a diet of vegetables."  

Response: a)do I LOOK like i am starving?

Response: b)name 4 sources of calcium OTHER than dairy products." (i love this one. most people can't answer.)

Response: c)any idea why the USA has one of the highest percentages of dairy consumption AND osteoporosis?!?

 Response: d) Okay great! I have a vegetarian bodybuilder I want to arrange a death match with you. I might as well get rich off your stupidity.  

Response: e)Carl Lewis, super-athlete and winner of 8 Olympic Gold Medals, promotes a vegan diet. Check out www.carllewis.com and click on "Carl's Diet"

6)Question/Attack: "You only go around once, do not sacrifice your entire life for something that does not matter."

Response: a) Oh yeah--and I guess fighting child abuse, women's rights, crime, and injustice doesn't matter either. Why not just become a serial killer with an attitude like that.

7)Question/attack: "If everyone stopped eating meat, then what would we do with all the animals? We would be overrun by them."

Response: a) Everyone wouldn't stop eating animals at once. As demand drops off, so will breeding and raising of animals intended for consumption. We are breeding them at this rate, this is not their natural rate of population growth. 

 Response b) According to Farm Sanctuary, pigs, turkeys and other large animals saved from slaughterhouses are usually euthanized after a few years. The reason? because these animals have been bred to grow large and fast--and there legs either break from the weight or they are unable to stand or walk. If meat eating is eliminated these domesticated animals will not be around after a few years anyway.

8)Question/attack: "If everyone stopped eating meat, then the species would go extinct without us breeding them for consumption."  

response: a)people are not going to stop eating animals all at once, it will most likely be a gradual reduction. There will also
probably be a few people who will still keep them as companion animals.


response: b) so? if they did go extinct it wouldn't hurt anything. They have been breed over the years to be something other than what
their indigenous species originally was and all they are doing right now is causing erosion and pollution to the environment. 


response: c)  if the only way to keep your family lineage intact was to put you in extremely poor living conditions, force breed you, eat
you, and then steal your children and put them through the same cycle, wouldn't you rather go extinct? 

 

response: d) They existed in the wild before they were domesticated for human consumption..
 

response: e)If we were all vegan, then organizations like Farm Sanctuary (www.farmsanctuary.org) could still operate farms where chickens, pigs, and cows could peacefully and naturally live out their lives in harmony with human animals.
 

  9)Question/attack: "All the food charts, school cafeterias; our whole culture makes it appear that meat and dairy are natural and nutritious foods for you, why would everyone be wrong?"

response: a) have you ever looked at who sponsors those food charts? (psst!  the meat and dairy industries)


response b) The foods in the charts depict only the most common foods. The  USDA likes to emphasize that their food guide pyramid is "well known". But on closer inspection, even mainstream organizations  like the USDA/FDA do not claim that meat and dairy are actually necessary for good health. Alternative food charts for vegetarians and  vegans exist. On the other hand, evidence abounds that the current overconsumption of meat and dairy is responsible at least in part for  common health problems, like heart disease, obesity, diabetes.

response c) Nutrition is not an easy science. The results of mass experimentation take a long time to become clear. Mass experimentation in the developed countries with overconsumption of meat, fat and dairy has led to an epidemic of heart disease, obesity and other diseases. The
official recommendations are beginning to change. But both from a medical perspective and from an ethical perspective the change is too slow. 

Response: d)"You know, we are THE ONLY species that actually drinks the milk of another species. You don't see giraffes nursing on goats, do you? That milk was made for the cow's baby, not you".

 

10)Question/attack: "Humans are predators, if we were to eat veggies our eyes wouldn’t be as such. We would be more like deer or turkeys with our eyes on the sides of our heads to watch for danger."  

Response: a) gorillas are vegetarians and they have 97.7% human DNA. Likewise, chimpanzees have 98.4% human DNA and are
primarily vegetarian. (Humans and chimpanzees are more closely genetically related than an African elephant is to an Asian elephant).
Chimpanzee and gorilla's eyes are not on the sides of their heads.

 
response: b) when we have fangs, prehensile tails, and claws we can continue this conversation.

response: c) so, I have the means to kill you, but I am not going to.

response: d) set a toddler down next to an apple and a hamster. if he/she eats the hamster and ignores the apple, then we can talk.


response: e) my fists have the ability to punch people but that doesn't mean I should go around doing that.

response: f) so what does that make me?

response: g)Comparitive anatomy of humans:  by Milton R. Mills, M.D. In conclusion, we see that human beings have the gastrointestinal tract
structure of a “committed” herbivore. Humankind does not show the mixed structural features one expects and finds in anatomical omnivores such as bears and raccoons. Thus, from comparing the gastrointestinal tract of humans to that of carnivores, herbivores and omnivores we must conclude
that humankind's GI tract is designed for a purely plant-food diet. Facial Muscles Carnivore: Reduced to allow wide mouth gape; Herbivore: Well-developed; Omnivore:  Reduced; Human: Well-developed Jaw Type Carnivore: Angle not expanded; Herbivore: Expanded angle; Omnivore: Angle not expanded; Human: Expanded angle  Jaw Joint Location Carnivore: On same plane as molar teeth; Herbivore: Above the plane of the molars; Omnivore: On same plane as molar teeth; Human: Above the plane of the molars; * Jaw Motion Carnivore: Shearing; minimal side-to-side motion; Herbivore: No shear; good side-to-side, front-to-back; Omnivore: Shearing; minimal side-to-side; Human: No shear; good side-to-side, front-to-back Major Jaw Muscles Carnivore: Temporalis;  Herbivore: Masseter and pterygoids;  Omnivore: Temporalis;  Human: Masseter and pterygoids Mouth Opening vs. Head Size Carnivore: Large; Herbivore: Small; Omnivore: Large; Human: Small; Teeth (Incisors) Carnivore: Short and pointed; Herbivore: Broad, flattened and spade shaped; Omnivore: Short and pointed;
Human: Broad, flattened and spade shaped; Teeth (Canines) Carnivore: Long, sharp and curved; Herbivore: Dull and short or long (for defense),
or none;
Omnivore: Long, sharp and curved; Human: Short and blunted; Teeth (Molars) Carnivore: Sharp, jagged and blade shaped; Herbivore: Flattened with cusps vs complex surface; Omnivore: Sharp blades and/or flattened; Human: Flattened with nodular cusps; Chewing Carnivore: None; swallows food whole; Herbivore: Extensive chewing necessary; Omnivore: Swallows food whole and/or simple crushing; Human: Extensive chewing necessary; Saliva Carnivore: No digestive enzymes; Herbivore: Carbohydrate digesting enzymes; Omnivore: No digestive enzymes; Human: Carbohydrate digesting enzymes; Stomach Type Carnivore: Simple; Herbivore: Simple or multiple chambers; Omnivore: Simple; Human: Simple; Stomach Acidity Carnivore: Less than or equal to pH 1 with food in stomach; Herbivore: pH 4 to 5 with food in stomach; Omnivore: Less than or equal to pH 1 with food in stomach; Human: pH 4 to 5 with food in stomach; Stomach Capacity Carnivore: 60% to 70% of total volume of
digestive tract; Herbivore: Less than 30% of total volume of digestive tract; Omnivore: 60% to 70% of total volume of digestive tract; Human: 21% to 27% of total volume of digestive tract;  Length of Small Intestine Carnivore: 3 to 6 times body length; Herbivore: 10 to more than 12 times body length; Omnivore: 4 to 6 times body length; Human: 10 to 11 times body length; Colon Carnivore: Simple, short and smooth; Herbivore: Long, complex; may be sacculated; Omnivore: Simple, short and smooth; Human: Long, sacculated; Liver Carnivore: Can detoxify vitamin A; Herbivore: Cannot detoxify vitamin A; Omnivore: Can detoxify vitamin A; Human: Cannot detoxify vitamin A; Kidney Carnivore: Extremely concentrated urine
Herbivore: Moderately concentrated urine; Omnivore: Extremely concentrated urine; Human: Moderately concentrated urine; Nails Carnivore: Sharp claws; Herbivore: Flattened nails or blunt hooves; Omnivore: Sharp claws; Human: Flattened nails; (http://www.earthsave.bc.ca/materials/articles/articles/health/comparative_p7.html)

Response: h) Humans are predators because they choose to be not because they have to be.

Response: i) From the Christian perspective God put our eyes just where he wants them and there they will stay..
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Thine eyes
did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were
fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:14-16 14 )

 

11)Question/attack:  "If everyone stopped eating meat, then the food would be bland."  

Response: a) There are good meat substitutes on the market...
 

response: b) the food is really anything but bland. most people find that after switching to a veg diet their food options seem to
expand because they are forced to try new things and their palate no longer revolves around the same foods in every meal. it's not
just raw tasteless vegetables. you can still use herbs and spices and many sauces and pastas and breads....etc. Plus there are many
great substitutes for all of your old favorites. 

12)Question/attack: "If everyone stopped eating meat, then you would suffer from calcium, iron, and protein deficiencies."

Response: a)Certain fruits and vegetables are loaded with calcium.. Certain greens contain much iron. Soy products, and legumes provide
ample protein plus fiber without the fat and cholesterole.....

response: any nutrients that you find in meat can easily be found in plant foods (and without all the fat and cholesterol). If you eat
a variety, there is no need to worry about vitamin or mineral deficiencies. It has actually been found that americans get 2-3 times the
protein amount that is healthy for them, and this extra protein overloads the body with acid. to buffer the acid the body takes calcium
out of your bones. Studies have also shown that vegetarians have stronger bones and lower cholesterol than meat eaters.

Response: c)Soldiers in the Roman Army subsisted on a diet made up of very plain foods. Soldiers were required to pay up to one third of their wages for their food. They ate mostly bread, perhaps porridge, cheese or beans with cheap wine to wash it down (Marks, Tingay 16). Marks, Anthony, Tingay, Graham. The Romans. London. Usborne Publishing Ltd., 1990. 


Response: d) "Dupont says that a soldier's diet was even more extremely limited. She reports that Legionaries ate only bread and drank only water plus a little vinegar when the weather was hot. It was considered that "bread was the only food "fit for a soldier, hard food for hard
men"(Dupont 125). Dupont, Florence. Daily Life in Ancient Rome. Cambridge, USA. Basil Blackwell Ltd., 1992. Taken from: Social Position and Food in the Roman Empire -or- You Eat What You Are Jean Preston Roman Civilization Dr. Christine Renaud 2 December 1997 "http://www.carthage.edu/outis/food.html"
 

Response: e) Roman soldiers carried their grain (high gluten wheat) and flour grindstones with them on the march. At night, after their 20 mile
daily march they would have pasta and baked bread. They preferred this even over meat. When they did eat meat they considered it
to be "barbarian food." (http://www.bible-history.com/rome/RomeEarly_Roman_Society_Facts.htm)
 

 

Although plant proteins form a large part of the human diet, most are deficient in 1 or more essential amino acids and are therefore regarded as incomplete proteins. (American Heart Association)

Plant protein sources, although good for certain essential amino acids, do not always offer all nine essential amino acids in a single given food. For example, legumes lack methionine, while grains lack lysine. (Tufts Human Nutrition Research Center)

Single plant protein foods usually are lower in protein quality than most animal proteins because they lack significant amounts of various essential amino acids. (Tufts University Medical School)

Other protein sources lack one or more amino acids that the body can't make from scratch or create by modifying another amino acid. Called incomplete proteins, these usually come from fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts. (Harvard School of Public Health)

Plant sources of protein (grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds) generally do not contain sufficient amounts of one or more of the essential amino acids. Thus protein synthesis can occur only to the extent that the limiting amino acids are available. (Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University)

RIgnorance Sickens and Kills People

Don’t think it matters little if our public policy makers and educators remain ignorant about our nutritional needs. Misinformation leads to disastrous outcomes.  People have serious health problems like heart disease, type-2 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and inflammatory arthritis that can be easily resolved by a diet based solely on plant foods. However, advice to make this dietary change may be withheld from you or a family member because of the erroneous fear that such a diet will result in a greater catastrophe, like a nutritional collapse from protein deficiency. 

Consider this scenario:  Your loving husband of 35 years has a massive heart attack.  He recovers and both of you pledge you will do anything—even eat cardboard—in order to avoid a repeat experience.  On your first follow-up visit you tell your doctor that your family is going to follow a low-fat, vegan diet (all plant foods) from here on out.  Your doctor says, “You can’t do that; you will become protein deficient—plant foods are missing essential amino acids—you must eat meat and other high quality animal foods.”  Even though you vigorously explain meat, dairy, and eggs are the reasons you almost lost your husband, your doctor insists that you would be foolish to embark on such a course and defends that position with the writings of the Nutrition Committee of the American Heart Association.

The Nutrition Committee of the American Heart Association Has It Wrong

In an October 2001 research paper published in the Heart Association’s journal, Circulation, the Healthcare Professionals from the Nutrition Committee of the Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism wrote, “Although plant proteins form a large part of the human diet, most are deficient in 1 or more essential amino acids and are therefore regarded as incomplete proteins.”1 My letter to the editor correcting this often quoted, but incorrect information, about the adequacy of amino acids found in plants was published in the June 2002 issue of Circulation.5 Another letter from me in the November 2002 issue of Circulation demanded a correction.6  But, the head of the nutrition committee, Barbara Howard, PhD, would not admit she was wrong and used research from the world’s leading expert on protein, Professor Joe Millward, to defend her position.6 

Joe Millward, PhD, Professor of Human Nutrition, University of Surrey (England), reviewed the published letters of disagreement between the American Heart Association (AHA) and myself, and wrote the following to me on July 10, 2003, “I thought I had made my position quite clear in my published papers. In an article I wrote for Encyclopedia of Nutrition (Millward DJ. 1998  Protein requirements. Encyclopedia of Nutrition. Academic Press pp  1661-1668) I said ‘Contrary to general opinion, the distinction between dietary protein sources in terms of the nutritional superiority of animal over plant proteins is much more difficult to demonstrate and less relevant in human nutrition.’  This is quite distinct from the AHA position which in my view is wrong.”7

I informed the American Heart Association about Dr. Millward’s position, but so far they have chosen to remain silent—and annually, 1.25 million people in the USA alone suffer with heart attacks—an often fatal condition entirely preventable by following a low-fat diet based solely on plant foods—all of which contain all of the essential amino acids in ideal amounts for humans.

Plants--the Original Sources of Protein and Amino Acids 

Proteins are made from chains of 20 different amino acids that connect together in varying sequences—similar to how all the words in a dictionary are made from the same 26 letters.   Plants (and microorganisms) can synthesize all of the individual amino acids that are used to build proteins, but animals cannot.  There are 8 amino acids that people cannot make and thus, these must be obtained from our diets—they are referred to as “essential.” 

After we eat our foods, stomach acids and intestinal enzymes digest the proteins into individual amino acids. These components are then absorbed through the intestinal walls into the bloodstream.  After entering the body’s cells, these amino acids are reassembled into proteins. Proteins function as structural materials which build the scaffoldings that maintain cell shapes, enzymes which catalyze biochemical reactions, and hormones which signal messages between cells—to name only a few of their vital roles. 

Since plants are made up of structurally sound cells with enzymes and hormones, they are by nature rich sources of proteins.  In fact, so rich are plants that they can meet the protein needs of the earth’s largest animals: elephants, hippopotamuses, giraffes, and cows.  You would be correct to deduce that the protein needs of relatively small humans can easily be met by plants.

People Require Very Little Protein

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that men and women obtain 5% of their calories as protein.  This would mean 38 grams of protein for a man burning 3000 calories a day and 29 grams for a woman using 2300 calories a day.  This quantity of protein is impossible to avoid when daily calorie needs are met by unrefined starches and vegetables. For example, rice alone would provide 71 grams of highly useable protein and white potatoes would provide 64 grams of protein.8 

Our greatest time of growth—thus, the time of our greatest need for protein—is during our first 2 years of life—we double in size. At this vigorous developmental stage our ideal food is human milk, which is 5% protein.  Compare this need to food choices that should be made as adults—when we are not growing. Rice is 8% protein, corn 11%, oatmeal 15%, and beans 27%.8  Thus protein deficiency is impossible when calorie needs are met by eating unprocessed starches and vegetables.

The healthy active lives of hundreds of millions of people laboring in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America on diets with less than half the amount of protein eaten by Americans and Europeans prove that the popular understanding of our protein needs is seriously flawed.

WHO Recommendations:
(With a wide safety margin)

 

 

Men:

5%

Women:

5%

Pregnant:

6%

 

 

Percent of Calories of Proteins16
(Selected Foods)

Food

% Protein

 

 

Grains & Flours:

 

Cornmeal

9

Brown Rice

9

Oatmeal

15

White Rice

7

Whole Wheat Flour

16

White Flour

11

 

 

Starchy Vegetables

 

Black Beans

27

Cassava

10

Corn

11

Kidney Beans

27

Peas

28

Potato

8

Sweet Potato

7

 

 

Green Vegetables

Asparagus

42

Broccoli

42

Carrots

10

Lettuce

40

Onions

32

Mushrooms

12

Spinach

51

 

 

Animal Foods

Beef

53

Chicken

46

Pork

29

Salmon

43

Whole Milk

21

Skim Milk

39

Human Milk

5

Cheddar Cheese

25

Cottage Cheese

68

Egg

32

 

 

Faulty Observations Lead to High Protein Recommendations

People commonly believe: the more protein consumed the better.  This faulty thinking dates back to the late 1800s, and was established without any real scientific research.  An assumption was made that people who could afford to do so would instinctively select a diet containing the right amount of protein. After observing the diets of laborers, soldiers, and workers in Western Europe and the USA, recommendations of 100 and 189 grams of protein a day were established.9  People’s innate ability to select a proper diet is disproved by the present day popularity of burger joints, donut shops, and pizza parlors.

Further confusion about our protein needs came from studies of the nutritional needs of animals.  For example, Mendel and Osborne in 1913 reported rats grew better on animal, than on vegetable, sources of protein. A direct consequence of their studies resulted in meat, eggs, and dairy foods being classified as superior, or "Class A" protein sources and vegetable proteins designated as inferior, or "Class B" proteins.9  Seems no one considered that rats are not people.  One obvious difference in their nutritional needs is rat milk is 11 times more concentrated in protein than is human breast milk.  The extra protein supports this animal’s rapid growth to adult size in 5 months; while humans take 17 years to fully mature.

The recent popularity of high protein diets has further popularized the fallacy that “more protein is good for you.”  True, high protein diets, like Atkins, will make you sick enough to lose your appetite and temporarily lose weight, but this fact should not be extrapolated to mean high protein is healthy—in fact, the opposite is true.

The Truth Has Been Known for More than a Century

In 1903, the head of Yale’s department of biochemistry, Professor Russell Henry Chittenden, reported profound health benefits gained by cutting popular recommendations for protein held at his time by half to two-thirds (from 150 grams to 50 grams daily).  His research included detailed dietary histories and laboratory studies of his subjects.9

In the 1940s, William Rose performed experiments on people which found daily minimum protein needs to be about 20 grams a day.  Further research on men found single plant foods consumed in an amount sufficient to meet daily needs easily met these human requirements for all 8 essential amino acids.9  (A more detailed discussion of the history of protein recommendations is found in my December 2003 newsletter article:  A Brief History of Protein: Passion, Social Bigotry, and Enlightenment.)

The results of Dr. Rose's studies are summarized in the following chart, under "minimum requirements".  From the chart, it is clear that vegetable foods contain more than enough of all the amino acids essential for humans.10

(grams per day)
Amino Acids
Rose’s Minimum Requirement Rose’s Recommend Requirement Corn Brown
rice
Oatmeal
flakes
Wheat
flour
White
beans
Potatoes Sweet
potatoes
Tryptophan .25 .50 .66 .71 1.4 1.4 1.8 .8 .8
Phenylalaline .28 .56 6.13 3.1 5.8 5.9 10.9 3.6 2.5
Leucine 1.10 2.20 12.0 5.5 8.1 8.0 17.0 4.1 2.6
Isoleucine .7 1.4 4.1 3.0 5.6 5.2 11.3 3.6 2.2
Lysine .8 1.6 4.1 2.5 4.0 3.2 14.7 4.4 2.1
Vailine .8 1.6 6.8 4.5 6.4 5.5 12.1 4.4 3.4
Methionine .11 .22 2.1 1.1 1.6 1.8 2.0 1.0 .8
Threonine .5 1.0 4.5 2.5 3.6 3.5 8.5 3.4 2.1
Total Protein 20 37 (WHO) 109 64 108 120 198 82 45
                   
(grams per day)
Amino Acids
Taro Asparagus Broccoli Tomatoes Pumpkin Beef Club Steak Egg Milk  
Tryptophan 1.0 3.9 3.8 1.4 1.5 3.1 3.8 2.3  
Phenylalaline 3.0 10.2 12.2 4.3 3.0 11.2 13.9 7.7  
Leucine 5.2 14.6 16.5 6.1 6.0 22.4 21. 15.9  
Isoleucine 3.0 11.9 12.8 4.4 4.3 14.3 15.7 10.3  
Lysine 3.4 15.5 14.8 6.3 5.5 23.9 15.3 12.5  
Vailine 3.5 16.0 17.3 4.2 4.3 15.1 17.7 11.7  
Methionine .6 5.0 5.1 1.1 1.0 6.8 7.4 3.9  
Threonine 2.7 9.9 12.5 4.9 2.7 12.1 12. 7.4  
Total Protein 58 330 338 150 115 276 238 160  

You Don’t Need Beans or to “Combine” Your Foods

Many investigators have measured the capacity of plant foods to satisfy protein needs. Their findings show that children and adults thrive on diets based on single or combined starches, and grow healthy and strong.10 Furthermore, no improvement has been found from mixing plant foods or supplementing them with amino acid mixtures to make the combined amino acid pattern look more like that of flesh, milk, or eggs. In fact, supplementing a food with an amino acid in order to conform to a contrived reference standard can create amino acid imbalances. For example, young children fed diets based on wheat or corn and supplemented with the amino acids tryptophan and methionine in order to conform to the standard requirements set by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) developed negative responses in terms of nitrogen balance (the body's utilization of protein).10

People who are worried about getting sufficient protein will sometimes ask me if they can still follow the McDougall Diet if they do not like beans.  From the chart above, you will notice that any single starch or vegetable will provide in excess of our needs for total protein and essential amino acids—thus there is no reason to rely on beans or make any efforts to food combine different plant foods to improve on Nature’s own marvelous creations.

Potatoes Alone Suffice

Many populations, for example people in rural Poland and Russia at the turn of the 19th century, have lived in very good health doing extremely hard work with the white potato serving as their primary source of nutrition. One landmark experiment carried out in 1925 on two healthy adults, a man 25 years old and a woman 28 years old had them live on a diet primarily of white potatoes for 6 months. (A few additional items of little nutritional value except for empty calories—pure fats, a few fruits, coffee, and tea—were added to their diet.)11  The report stated, “They did not tire of the uniform potato diet and there was no craving for change.”  Even though they were both physically active (especially the man) they were described as, “…in good health on a diet in which the nitrogen (protein) was practically solely derived from the potato.”

The potato is such a great source of nutrition that it can supply all of the essential protein and amino acids for young children in times of food shortage.  Eleven Peruvian children, ages 8 months to 35 months, recovering from malnutrition, were fed diets where all of the protein and 75% of the calories came from potatoes.  (Soybean-cottonseed oils and pure simple sugars, neither of which contains protein, vitamins, or minerals, provided some of the extra calories.)12  Researchers found that this simple potato diet provided all the protein and essential amino acids to meet the needs of growing and small children.

Excess Protein Causes Diseases of Over-nutrition

Unlike fat, protein cannot be stored.  When it is consumed in excess of our needs, protein is broken down mostly by the liver, and partly by the kidneys and muscles. Consumption in excess of our needs overworks the liver and kidneys, and can cause accumulation of toxic protein byproducts.

Proteins are made of amino acids, and are, therefore, acidic by nature.  Animal proteins are abundant in sulfur-containing amino acids which break down into very powerful sulfuric acid. These kinds of amino acids are abundant in hard cheese, red meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs, and their acids must be neutralized by buffers found in the bones. The bones dissolve to release the buffering materials; eventually resulting in a condition of weakened bones, known as osteoporosis.  Released bone materials often settle and coalesce in the kidney system, causing kidney stones.  Fruits and vegetables are largely alkaline, preserving bone health and preventing kidney stones.13 (A more detailed discussion of the health consequences from excess protein is found in my January 2004 newsletter article: Protein Overload.)

Diseases of over-nutrition are directly connected to planet health, too.  Recommendations to eat animal foods for protein have resulted in an environmental catastrophe.  Livestock produces 18% of the greenhouse gases; these food-animals occupy 26 percent of the ice-free surface of the Earth and 33 percent of the total arable land is used to produce their food. One telling tragedy is they account for the deforestation of 70 percent of Amazon rainforests, which act as the “lungs of the Earth.”14 (A more detailed discussion of the environmental damage from livestock is found in my December 2006 newsletter article:  An Inconvenient Truth: We Are Eating Our Planet To Death.)

Protein Deficiency Is Really Food Deficiency

How many cases of the so-called “protein deficiency state,” kwashiorkor, have you seen? I have never seen a case, even though I have known thousands of people on a plant-food based diet.  How about those starving children in Africa?  The picture one often sees of stick-thin children with swollen bellies in famine areas of Asia or Africa is actually one of starvation and is more accurately described as “calorie deficiency.”10  When these children come under medical supervision, they are nourished back to health with their local diets of corn, wheat, rice, and/or beans.  Children recovering from starvation grow up to l8 times faster than usual and require a higher protein content to provide for their catch-up in development—and plant foods easily provide this extra amount of protein.10 Even very-low protein starchy root crops, such as cassava root, are sufficient enough in nutrients, including protein, to keep people healthy.15

Starving People Die of Fat, Not Protein, Deficiency

In 1981, 10 Irish prisoners from the Republican Army (IRA) went on a hunger strike. Nine out of 10 of these men died between 57 and 73 days (mean of 61.6 days) of starvation after losing about 40% of their body weights (the remaining striker died of complications of a gunshot wound).16,17  This experience gave doctors a chance to observe first hand the metabolic changes that occur during starvation. Protein stores were generally protected during starvation, with most of the energy to stay alive being derived from the men’s fat stores. It was estimated that the hunger strikers had lost up to 94% of their body-fat levels, but only 19% of their body-protein levels at the time of death.16 They died when they ran out of fat.  Since fat is more critical than protein, people should be asking, “Where do you get your fat (on any diet)? 

Since Nature designed her plant foods complete, with abundant amounts of fat, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, “Where you get a specific nutrient?” is almost never a relevant question, as long as there is enough to eat.  So, why have scientists, dietitians, medical doctors, diet-book authors, and the lay public become fixated on a non-existent problem?  Protein is synonymous with eating meat, poultry, fish, dairy, and eggs—the foods traditionally consumed by the wealthier people in a society—thus, protein-eating means higher social status.  High-protein foods are also high-profit foods. Therefore, propagating the protein myth is motivated by egos and money—and the usual consequences of pain and suffering follow closely behind these two human frailties.

References:

1)
St Jeor S, Howard B, Prewitt E. Dietary protein and weight reduction: a statement for healthcare professionals from the Nutrition Committee of the Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism of the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2001; 104: 1869–1874.

2) Tufts University:  http://www.thedoctorwillseeyounow.com/articles/nutrition/protein_2/
http://www.quackwatch.org/03HealthPromotion/vegetarian.html

3) Harvard School of Public Health: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/protein.html

4) Northwestern University:  http://www.feinberg.northwestern.edu/nutrition/factsheets/protein.html

5) McDougall J. Plant foods have a complete amino acid composition.  Circulation. 2002 Jun 25;105(25):e197; author reply e197.

6) McDougall J.  Misinformation on plant proteins. Circulation. 2002 Nov 12;106(20):e148; author reply e148.

7) Personal Communication with John McDougall, MD on July 10, 2003.

8) J Pennington.  Bowes & Church’s Food Values of Portions Commonly Used.  17th Ed. Lippincott. Philadelphia- New York. 1998.

9)  The December 2003 McDougall Newsletter: A Brief History of Protein: Passion, Social Bigotry, and Enlightenment.

10) McDougall J.  The McDougall Plan. New Win Publ. 1983; pages 95-109.

11) Kon S.  XXXV. The value of whole potato in human nutrition.  Biochemical J.  1928; 22:258-260

12) Lopez de Romana G.  Fasting and postprandial plasma free amino acids of infants and children consuming exclusively potato protein. J Nutr. 1981 Oct;111(10):1766-71. 

13) The January 2004 McDougall Newsletter: Protein Overload.

14)  The December 2006 McDougall Newsletter: An Inconvenient Truth: We Are Eating Our Planet To Death.

15) Millward DJ.  The nutritional value of plant-based diets in relation to human amino acid and protein requirements.  Proc Nutr Soc. 1999 May;58(2):249-60.

16)  Leiter LA, Marliss EB. Survival during fasting may depend on fat as well as protein stores. JAMA 1982;248:2306

17) Zimmerman MD, Appadurai K, Scott JG, Jellett LB, Garlick FH.  Survival. Ann Intern Med. 1997 Sep 1;127(5):405-9.


 

13)Question/attack:  "What about B-12? The only reliable sources are animal products. Without it you could suffer from pernicious anemia and other neurological problems." (also "you couldnt have been a vegan 80 years ago because you need modern technology to create fortified foods.")

Response: a) From: What Every Vegan Should Know About Vitamin B12 by Dr. Stephen Walsh
 The only reliable vegan sources of B12 are foods fortified with B12 (including some plant milks, some soy products and some breakfast cereals) and B12 supplements. Vitamin B12, whether in supplements, fortified foods, or animal products, comes from micro-organisms. Most vegans consume enough B12 to avoid anaemia and nervous system damage, but many do not get enough to minimise potential risk of heart disease or pregnancy complications. To get the full benefit of a vegan diet, vegans should do one of the following:
1. Eat fortified foods two or three times a day to get at least three micrograms (mcg or g) of B12 a day or
2. Take one B12 supplement daily providing at least 10 micrograms or
3. Take a weekly B12 supplement providing at least 2000 micrograms.

Response: b) From: What Every Vegan Should Know About Vitamin B12 by Dr. Stephen Walsh  "To be truly healthful, a diet must be best not just for individuals in isolation but must allow all six billion people to thrive and achieve a sustainable coexistence with the many other species that form the "living earth". From this standpoint the natural adaptation for most (possibly all) humans in the modern world is a vegan diet. There is nothing natural about the abomination of modern factory farming and its attempt to reduce living, feeling beings to machines. In choosing to use fortified foods or B12 supplements, vegans are taking their B12 from the same source as every other animal on the planet - micro-organisms - without causing suffering to any sentient being or causing environmental damage."

Response: c) From: What Every Vegan Should Know About Vitamin B12 by Dr. Stephen Walsh:  Vegans using adequate amounts of fortified foods or B12 supplements are much less likely to suffer from B12 deficiency than the typical meat eater. The Institute of Medicine, in setting the US recommended intakes for B12 makes this very clear. "Because 10 to 30 percent of older people may be unable to absorb naturally occurring vitamin B12, it is advisable for those older than 50 years to meet their RDA mainly by consuming foods fortified with vitamin B12 or a vitamin B12-containing supplement." Vegans should take this advice about 50 years younger, to the benefit of both themselves and the animals. B12 need never be a problem for well-informed vegans.
Further information:
Dietary Reference Intakes for Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline, National Academy Press, 1998 ISBN 0-309-06554-2 (http://books.nap.edu/books/0309065542/html/306.html#pagetop)
Vitamin B12: Are you getting it?, by Jack Norris, http://www.veganoutreach.org/health/b12.html
(http://www.vegfamily.com/articles/b12.htm)
 

Response: d) excerpt from Dr. Klaper’s article ‘Nutrition for Optimum Health’: "Let me be very clear about this, cows do not make vitamin B-12. They never have, they never will. Pigs don't make vitamin B-12, chickens don't make vitamin B-12, no animal makes vitamin B-12. They never have, they never will. Vitamin B-12 is synthesized by single-celled microbes (bacteria) that live in the soils of the earth. And long ago when the earth and soils were healthy, before we put all sorts of chemicals on them, the surface of the earth was covered with vitamin B-12. There used to be lots of vitamin B-12 in our lives. Even if you were a pure vegetarian 300 years ago, you could open up the back door of your cottage and outside would be a beautiful organic garden. Every carrot you pulled out of the ground would have little particles of vitamin B-12 sticking to it. When it came time to get your water, you'd take a bucket of water out of the stream, and there too you would find vitamin B-12. There would be B-12 under your finger nails from working in the garden. There would be plenty of B-12 in your life, and since you needed so little of it, concerns about deficiency would not be an issue. We've become very isolated from the earth and we've lost our natural sources of B-12. Cows have B-12 in their muscles because they're eating grass all day and their pulling up clumps of dirt that have B-12 producing organisms clinging to the root of the grass. They eat the B-12 producing organisms who produce the B-12, which gets absorbed into their bloodstream, goes out into the muscles, and is deposited into their muscles and livers. But that is bacterial B-12 in the cow's muscle. The cow did not make it, nor did the pig or chicken. Those same organisms are now cultured in big vats, producing their B-12 that is eventually separated out. It is then added to breakfast cereals, soy milks soy burgers, nutritional yeast, and vitamin tablets. It's easy to get vitamin B-12 without consuming animal products and I suggest if you really want to lighten up your diet, find a non-animal source of B-12. We are evolving as a species. What our caveman ancestors ate is of little import to us now. The question is what is the best diet for modern human beings? Medical literature is clearly showing that the less animal fat and animal protein you put in your system, the healthier you are going to be."

Response: e) Strict vegetarians(in the Jain religion)  have lived for many hundreds of years in India. If B 12 deficiency was such a problem, jainism would have not have continued to this day.

Response: f) We don't live 80 years ago--we live now. If you want to turn back the clock you can easily get your daily sources of B 12. Just dont wash your hands and avoid taking baths. Since you want to live naturally you will also want to avoid using running water, electricity, industrial clothing, etc. 

Response: g) I would rather risk the low chance of getting B 12 deficiency through a vegan diet as opposed to the much greater risk of heart disease  from a meat diet.

 

14)Question/attack: "We have been killing and eating meat for centuries, why should we stop now?"   

Response: a) If you use tradition as your moral standard it allows that human slavery, the oppression of women, ethnocentricity and religious based discrimination would be tolerated. You would need to show why humans are deserving of an exemption from this ethical standard. Why a racist or a religious bigot could not discriminate on the basis of race or religion while others could discriminate on the basis of species.

Response: b) According to spiritual and secular mythology/belief, at one point in human history we were essentially vegetarian. The world's oldest known monotheistic religion: Zoroasterism, was a vegetarian religion.  Theories of biological evolution suggest that human ancestors were plant eaters before adopting an omnivorous diet. Also, our teeth and intestines are consistent with what is known to be a herbivore physiology.  

Response: c) There are many religions that do not adhere to such a principle and in fact propose a contrary perspective:.Jainism, Buddhism, etc. Compassion for all life is a matter of doctrine. One can ask—did God create surplus compassion—or was it the Devil? Can one be too compassionate?  

Response: d) " There were always a few individuals who protested against the Atlantic slave-trade right from the beginning; but governments and traders paid no attention to them during the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It was not until the late eighteenth century that serious attempts were made to put a stop to this trade. James Boswell, trying to refute the arguments of abolitionists, writes in his Life of Johnson that, "The wild and dangerous attempt which has for some time been persisted in order to obtain an act of our legislature, to abolish so very important and necessary branch of commercial interest, must have been crus(h)ed at once, had not the insignificance of the zealots who vainly took the lead in it, made the vast body of Planters, Merchants, and others, whose immense properties are involved in that trade, reasonably enough suppose that there could be no danger. The encouragement which the attempt has received excites my wonder and indignation; and though some men of superior abilities have supported it, whether from a love of temporary popularity, when prosperous; or a love of general mischief, when desperate, my opinion is unshaken. To abolish a status which in all ages GOD has sanctioned, and man has continued, would not only be robbery to an innumerable class of our fellow-subjects; but it would be extreme cruelty to the African Savages, a portion of whom it saves from massacre, or intolerable bondage in their own country, and introduces into a much happier state of life; especially now when their passage to the West Indies and their treatment there is humanely regulated. To abolish that trade would be to shut the gates of mercy on mankind." Boswell, J., Life of Johnson (N.Y.: Modern Library Edition, 1965) p. 365. http://www.al-islam.org/slavery/6.htm

 

15)Question/attack: "Other animals kill other species for food."  

Response: a) They need to eat meat to survive--humans do not. 

Response: b) Some species have been known to kill members of their own species-if you are saying it is okay to kill other species because a lion does it, then a child murderer could say we have a right to kill our children because lions do it too.

16)Question/attack: "Much of the grain we feed to the animals is not edible by humans."

Response: a) It would take much less energy to make that grain "human quality," than it would to feed it all to cattle and then get just a little bit of beef with all of the environmental impacts that entails. 

Response: b) What about water? Think of the water shortages today. There are people in India who have to travel for miles to get daily water, while livestock in the US gets all the water they need--just to support an unnecessary diet of meat and dairy.

17)Question/attack: "Meat tastes good and is good for you."  

Response: a) It's not good for you - cholesterol, saturated fat, and no fiber. 

Response b) The drug addict likes their drugs. They might even know the drugs are bad for them(or like meat eaters, argue that its perfectly healthy in moderation). But the excuse for not giving them up is they like them. Any rational person however will recognize the dysfunctional nature of this argument. The sane person gives up destructive behaviors.

Response: c) Vegetables and fruit taste good and are good for you.

Response: d) Just because something tastes good or you say its good for you doesnt mean its ethically defensible.

18)Question/attack: "If everyone stopped eating meat, then people would lose lots of jobs."  

Response: a) A lot of people would lose jobs if people stopped smoking. All those tobacco farmers and cigarette company workers would be out of jobs. Gosh, I should start smoking to help the economy! "What if world peace were achieved tomorrow? All those poor soldiers and arms manufacturers and surgeons would be out of work. Gosh, we can't have that!"

  19) Question/attack: "What if you just ate a small amount of meat and you got it from an organic farm that you knew treated the animals relevantly well."  

response: a) well, that's better than nothing, but it's not the best option.

response: b) are you doing that?

response: c) what if slave traders only kept a few slaves and treated them  relevantly well? 
 

20)Question/attack: "What if we genetically engineered animals to have no brains and no feelings, or grew meat in jars?  then would it be ethical?"  

response: a) well, to get to that point there has to be many animal sacrifices that do have brains and feelings. plus, it would still be bad for your health and the environment (in the production of such a thing). also, there are many fake meats that work just as well and don't involve risky animal experiments. 

response: b) what if you genetically engineered humans to have no brains and no feelings so we could use them in scientific experiments? would that be ethical?

21)Question/attack:  "Eating cats and dogs is no different than eating other animals such as cattle or pigs for food."

Response: a) What other species actively eats carnivores? It is not a healthy practice, especially considering that carnivores don't usually have long lifespans.

Response: b) Basically when you say it is no different from eating any other animals you are right, but since eating farm animals is wrong too, how does that make eating cats and dogs right? How do two wrongs make a right?
 

Response c) Let's say someone criticized Russia for its treatment of people in Chechnya. And let's say that Russia replied, "our treatment of people in Chechnya is no worse than Israel's treatment of the Palestinians." 
Maybe so, but how does that DEFEND what Russia is doing in Chechnya? In order to defend the practice of eating cats and dogs, you have to use an argument that defends the practice in and of itself, not one that deflects the issue to some other exploitation. Eating domesticated cats and dogs for food is unnecessary and not consistent with a principle of trying to be as ethical and as fair as possible--period. There are healthier and less cruel alternatives. 

 22) Question/attack:  "Domesticated animal species made a type of bargain with humans, by conceding to be domesticated. In exchange for our protection, medical care, guaranteed supply of feed, shelter, and security of reproduction, they concede to die as humane a death as possible, for our use as meat." Background: This argument is put forward in the book, Meat, by a UK organic chef and smallholder, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. By its criteria, the industrial production of cheap and under-appreciated meat is a betrayal of the historic bargain struck between humans and domesticated food animals, and is therefore indefensible. But the careful, small-scale, humane raising of livestock and poultry is entirely justified, and perhaps even necessitated, where a domesticated species has become dependent on us for its survival. /‘Why shouldn’t we claim the moral authority to kill animals for food on the basis that we are offering them a better deal in life than they would get without our help’.

Response: a) This would assume that a domesticated animal understands contracts and death in a human-like fashion, and then agreed to forfeit its own long term survival for short term accommodations. This  cannot be proven, but it can be proven that a normal functioning human would not usually  agree to be enslaved and killed--and on that basis, we assume that the animal is unable to protest its own enslavement but would if it could.
 

Response: b) by this logic someone could exploit a mentally retarded child and claim that they made a contract allowing themselves to be exploited.

 Response c) Who determines that animals made this historical bargain? The humans who are conveniently benefiting from the exploitation --so its hardly based on any sort of reliable measure of justice. Someone else could claim that animals actually made a bargain to be cared for until natural death but that humans broke the agreement by killing them. Or that animals did not want to be domesticated but humans took advantage of their trust to enslave them(in the same way two roosters will fight to death--humans exploiting the natures of the animals).


Response d) human to animal: "I will give you food, water and shelter and once you get really comfortable I will kill and eat you. Deal?" Animal: "You betcha!"  This sounds like just the sort of thing a chef would come up with.

Response e) and Nazi Concentration camp victims agreed to be gassed in exchange for nice striped pajamas! I believe it.

Response: f) since humans do not honour the bargain even by the criteria of those who endorse domesticated animal exploitation and death--would this not negate the arrangement? or can they sue?

Response g) since domesticated animals can be prevented from breeding, the issue of survival through selective slaughter becomes irrelevant.

Response h)  humans do not need to eat meat for survival, water and crops are wasted for meat farm operations, and  animals are enslaved and killed--thus it is not justified, whether small farm or large. (and in order to feed all humans with meat and dairy, it would require large farms). Abuse under this system would be unavoidable.

Response i) big farms started off as small farms--so the  exploitation is systemic--the enslavement and slaughter of animals for  dietary choice, not dietary necessity.

Response: j)  Professor Andrew Linzey argues , 'Because we don’t have the right to colonize and kill millions of other sentient individuals as food resources, when one can live a healthy and happy life on a vegetarian diet’ The Ecologist, October 2004

Response k) Humans treat non human species terribly. Whether in labs or slaughterhouses, or rodeos. http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/03/08/7554/ "Senators and consumer and animal welfare groups are calling for a complete downer ban. Downers are usually dairy cows barely able to stand due to calcium depletion from being milked intensively and are worth as little as $84 per head. But Schafer and the American Meat Institute think such a ban is “unfair to owners. Many downers are just fine when they arrive at the slaughterhouse, they say, but somehow get “injured” after inspection. They want to keep USDA rules that currently allow slaughterhouse officials to call a veterinarian back if a cow falls down after passing inspection so it can still be slaughtered."

23) QUESTION/ATTACK: "Since electricity is not necessary for you to live, and its production causes animal deaths, are you also willing to give it up like meat?"

Response: a) "people who support animal rights are against the USE of the animals as an END to satisfy the needs of human animals, which is the case of the animals which are killed for their meat. When you use electricity, our purpose is not to kill the animals who are ACCIDENTALY electrocuted (I don't forget that a human being can also be electrocuted). Unfortunately, even when we walk, construct roads and cities, drive cars and grow vegetables for our vegan diet, many animals are going to die in the process. The solution to not cause ANY HARM AT ALL would be to commit suicide (although even in this case some animals were still going to die if you have some worms living in your body as parasites). But of course we should try to minimise the animal deaths even in the cases where they die as a byproduct of human action" CG

Response: b) electricity also causes human deaths. Someone who is for human rights should be willing to give it up for the good of humanity.

24) QUESTION/ATTACK: "Veganism is dangerous during pregnancy and endangers the lives of children."

Response: a)New York Times response to an editorial on veganism by public editor Clark Hoyt (taken from DawnWatch newsletter)"...a May 21 op-ed by Nina Planck, an author who writes about food and nutrition. Sensationally headlined 'Death by Veganism,' Planck's piece... said in no uncertain terms that vegans -- vegetarians who shun even eggs and dairy products -- were endangering the health and even the lives of their children. A former vegan herself, Planck said she had concluded 'a vegan pregnancy was irresponsible. You cannot create and nourish a robust baby merely on foods from plants.'  "Her Exhibit A was a trial in Atlanta in which a vegan couple were convicted of murder, involuntary manslaughter and cruelty in the death of their 6-week-old son, who was fed mainly soy milk and apple juice and weighed only 3.5 pounds. The column set off a torrent of reader e-mail that is still coming in -- much of it from vegans who send photos of their healthy children or complain bitterly of being harassed by friends and relatives using Planck's column as proof that their diet is dangerous.  "There is another side. Rachelle Leesen, a clinical nutritionist at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, told me that Planck's article 'was extremely inflammatory and full of misinformation.' She and her colleague Brenda Waber pointed me to a 2003 paper by the American Dietetic Association, the nation's largest organization for food and nutrition professionals. After reviewing the current science, the A.D.A., together with the Dietitians of Canada, declared, 'Well-planned vegan and other types of vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood and adolescence.' "Planck said she was aware of the A.D.A.'s position but regarded it as 'pandering' to a politically active vegan community. "I won't rehash the scientific dispute in a case in which Planck has her experts and the A.D.A. paper cited more than 250 studies, but I think The Times owes its readers the other side, published on the op-ed page, not just in five letters to the editor that briefly took issue with her.  "I even question Planck's Exhibit A, poor little Crown Shakur, who was so shriveled at his death that doctors could see the bones in his body. His death, she wrote, 'may be largely due to ignorance. But it should prompt frank discussion about nutrition.' "Maybe, if by nutrition you mean a discussion about whether you feed a baby anything at all. "The prosecutor argued -- and the jury believed -- that Crown's parents intentionally starved him to death. News coverage at the time said that the medical examiner, doctors at the hospital to which Crown's body was taken and an expert nutritionist testified that the baby was not given enough food to survive, regardless of what the food was. "Charles Boring, the Fulton County prosecutor who handled the case, told me it was 'absolutely not' about veganism. Planck and Shipley said they were aware of the prosecutor's contention. Shipley said, 'We were also aware, though, that the convicted couple continues to insist that they were trying to raise their infant on a vegan diet.' "But the jury didn't believe them, and leaving that out put Planck's whole column on a shaky foundation. "Op-ed pages are for debate, but if you get only one side, that's not debate. And that's not healthy." I have shared all Hoyt's comments on Planck's piece, but you can find the full column, including the Hamas piece discussion, on line at  http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/24/opinion/24pubed.html

 

Question/Attack 25) "The Michael Pollan /Slow Food/Humane Meat viewpoint says that we could return to eating meat traditionally-using grazing land, instead of a factory farm system. This would be better for the animals."

Response A) But even better for the animals would be not to eat them at all.

Response: b) You would still have all the traditional problems associated with meat eating. The wasting of water and crops that could go to feed humans, the effects that the livestock would have on methane levels, the destruction of habitat to grow soy for livestock, as well as the destruction of rivers and the killing of wildlife to defend ranching industries(the fate of wolves and buffalos being an example).

Response c)Washington Plans Mass Slaughter of America's Mustangs Pressure from cattle-ranching industry could lead to more than 30,000 horses being 'culled' Growing pressure on the horses' traditional habitat has left officials contemplating a program of mass slaughter to reduce the number of mustangs held captive in government-run pens. More than 33,000 of the animals, almost as many as the number still in the wild, have been rounded up and taken off increasingly barren public land in recent years, to reduce pressure on grazing required by the cattle-ranching industry.
But the increasing cost of keeping them fed and watered has left the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) contemplating a program of what it calls "euthanasia" - sending healthy horses to slaughterhouses where they are likely to be turned into steak for export to France. The proposal sparked outrage from conservationists when it was outlined in a recent Government Accountability Office report, with welfare groups accusing the BLM of holding an unnecessarily high number of mustangs in captivity in order to appease the politically powerful ranching lobby. Campaigners say slaughter would mark an ignominious end for a creature that arrived in North America with the Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century, and which once existed in such numbers that maps of Texas from the 1700s marked many areas as simply: "vast herds of wild horses". Deanne Stillman, author of a new book, Mustang: The Saga of the Wild Horse in the American West, said: "Horses blazed our trails, they fought our wars, they are the greatest icons of freedom. The word 'euthanasia' suggests that the BLM will be putting these horses out of their misery. But they are not in misery in the first place. It's the most cynical thing I've ever heard." http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/washington-plans-mass-slaughter-of-americas-mustangs-1041659.html
 

Response: d) People who advocate return to tradition are bad at math. You cant go back to 1900--the human population is far greater, and we have less agricultural land. The only logical answer is to reduce meat eating, not simply go from factory farming back to the type of farms that prompted people like George Bernard Shaw and Pythagoros to become vegetarian in the first place. Frances Moore Lappe advocated vegetarianism in the late 60s because of its affects on the human food supply. There is no argument that holds up for going back to tradition. It is merely a cop out for lazy/selfish liberals.

 

 12: MISC.

1)Question/Attack: "Native hunters/whalers regard the animals they hunt as their

 brothers."

Response: a)"Ah yes, "I love you brother. That is why I am going to harpoon and club you to death."

Response: b)The Makah whalers say the whales they slaughter are their "brothers"--yet the Makah word for Grey whale translates as "devilfish" (since their "brothers" often defended themselves when attacked--apparently that makes them evil). Quite the endearment to call your sibling. UPDATE: The Makah word-phrase, kakowan yaka peshakthat,  more accurately translated as "big backs are bad" or "fierce big backs."  So instead of a Judeo-Christian link--the Makah still regarded the whales as bad for defending themselves.

Response: c) Five Plead Not Guilty in Whale Shooting Saturday October 13, 2007 4:31 AM TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - Five American Indian tribesmen pleaded not guilty Friday to misdemeanor charges in the killing of a protected gray whale during an unsanctioned hunt last month. The five members of the Makah tribe made their initial appearances in U.S. District Court a week after a federal grand jury indicted them on charges of conspiracy, unlawful taking of a marine mammal and unauthorized whaling, each punishable by a maximum year in jail and $100,000 fine....They then shot it at least 16 times with at least one of the three high-powered rifles they had obtained from the tribe, the indictment said. The men did not have the tribe's permission for the hunt, nor did they have a federal permit to kill the whale, which eventually sank in the strait.http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,,-6993260,00.html


2)Question/attack:  "It's necessary to make a qualitative distinction between whaling practices:  those whose survival is

 completely dependent upon it, and those for whom it is merely a career."

Response: a) While I would agree that commercial whaling is more ethically problematic than Inuit whaling, the real issue is whether whaling itself is justified. Assuming that a community's survival is "completely" dependent upon whaling, the real question becomes: does it need to be?

Response: b) . If the "civilized" nations of the world, including the Inuit representatives, can travel by 21st century technology to meet in Japan for an IWC meeting  then alternatives to whaling for survival do exist. The apologists for whaling would have us believe that we can put a man on the Moon, and design a computer that can play chess, but when it comes to providing daily sustenance for all humans, only a harpoon can accomplish the task—or in other words, that we must approach a 21st century problem with 1st century solutions.

Response: c) while I would agree that a man who mugs people and shoots them dead is not as nasty as another man who mugs people then douses them with gasoline and lets them burn to death, this qualitative distinction on my part does not mean I endorse the actions of either man. The distinction becomes trivial in light of the greater issue: whether either man needs to engage in such behavior, and whether I should be assisting either of them in committing such acts. People do not need to kill whales to survive. Other food sources can be (and should be) provided by the patron governments of the lands in which these First nations societies live. And if they cannot, international agencies should.

3)Question/attack: "to ask First nations hunters to give up their hunting and fishing and rely on international food aid would be to rob them of their independence."

Response: a) No man is an island, and one cannot go back in time to 1000 CE. If they are able to stomach the concept of using non Inuit technology for some aspects of their lives (guns and ammunition for hunting, air travel to whaling summits etc), then why can they not stomach it for other possibilities? A fair and ethical treatment of others should trump lifestyle choices and tradition—if one wants to have a more consistent ethical philosophy. 

Response: b) none of us are truly independent from our societies, or national governments. While I believe that people should have choices in how they live their lives, the choices become a matter of ethics where the lives of others are involved. A man who wants independence cannot have his cake and eat it too. If he wants others to respect his right to independence, he has to be fair and just in the implementation of that independence.

 

 

4)Question/Attack: "Since the end of the seal hunt Inuit trappers and hunters have succumbed to bad health from eating junk food, alcohol abuse, poverty, even suicide. Helping animals hurt First Nations people."

Response: a) Negro slave traders also suffered when the slave trade was stopped. Does that mean that it was wrong to abolish the slave trade? If it is okay to put slave traders out of work to liberate others, then it is okay to do the same for seals or other species.

Response: b) Alcohol and junk food is bad for everyone. The answer is not reinstating the seal fur trade, but dealing with those problems among the Inuit community. I suppose the government would much rather return to killing seals and making profits from fur, than adopting wholesome and compassionate methods for solving these problems. 

Response: c) It is unfortunate that they have had bad times--but it wasn't as bad as a seal being orphaned or getting shot or his/her head bashed in.

Response: d) If Inuit people cannot live normal happy lives without going out and killing an animal then they really have problems. I suppose one would like to believe the myth that it is some natural instinct for northern human societies to hunt, trap and fish. Yet polar bears and wolves and other species are born to survive by these methods-humans on the other hand, choose to live in harsh climates. They don't have to. Seals, wolves, bears---they are meant to live in the Arctic--but humans are not physically equipped for it. Perhaps what the depressed Inuit hunter needs is a change of scenery--and coming to realize that there is more to life than killing when one does not need to.

Response: e) There was a time when seal hunters in the North did not have markets to sell their "wares." Somehow they managed to live okay without an international fur trade. Is it the loss of a tradition that is the culprit for their woes or is it rather, the loss of money?

5)Question/attack:  "Native trappers and hunters etc are living on the planet the way we are supposed to."

Response:  a) Hey! Can you lend me your copy of "HOW TO LIVE" by Supreme Deity? I want to check the section on what to do with arrogant humans.

Response: b) Ignoring your apparent claim of access to the divine scheme for human existence, some tribal societies had been known to sacrifice humans and keep them as slaves(such as the Makah whaling tribe). Tribal peoples are humans too--meaning they are just as capable of being cruel, greedy or deceitful as any other ethnic division of the human species. By your argument how do we know that butchering each other and other species is not the way we are supposed to live--so why bother having police to curb our violent tendencies? If it is wrong for Makah whalers to enslave and exploit other humans, than its wrong for Northern trappers to enslave and exploit other animals.

6)Question/Attack: "there are more (enter animal species) in the wild than before the white man arrived."

Response: a) Unless you have access to a time machine, that statement is a little hard to verify with Stats Canada in the year 1600. 

7)Question/attack: "Animals that we trap and hunt die from disease and starvation in the wild."

Response: a) Wow! Imagine that, things get sick and die!  And here i thought Nature worked like a Disney cartoon! 

Response: b) humans also die from the same causes--do you suggest we hunt and trap those poor unfortunates and turn them into coats (with fur designers and hunters getting the profits)?

Response: c) "James Boswell, trying to refute the arguments of abolitionists, writes in his Life of Johnson that, "...To abolish a status which in all ages GOD has sanctioned, and man has continued, would not only be robbery to an innumerable class of our fellow-subjects; but it would be extreme cruelty to the African Savages, a portion of whom it saves from massacre, or intolerable bondage in their own country, and introduces into a much happier state of life; especially now when their passage to the West Indies and their treatment there is humanely regulated. To abolish that trade would be to shut the gates of mercy on mankind." Boswell, J., Life of Johnson (N.Y.: Modern Library Edition, 1965) p. 365. http://www.al-islam.org/slavery/6.htm

8)Question/attack: a) "a Northern trapper sees himself as the "caretaker of the land."

Response: a) How utterly arrogant. Nature does not need managing, humans do. Other species were taking care of themselves long before humans arrived on the scene and they will get along just as well when humans go the way of the Dodo bird (exterminated I might add, by "caretaker" humans). 

Response: b) And white slave traders saw themselves as caretakers for the non-white non-christian races--so should we then forgive anyone for practicing human slavery?

 

9)Question/attack: "Northern tribal societies like the Inuit are as well adapted to their "indigenous" environment, as the polar bears or seals or whales that share it."

Response: a) A naked polar bear, Arctic wolf, seal, or whale is born with all the equipment he or she needs to survive. But a human, even of Inuit extraction, would perish in mere minutes if left naked on the ice flows of his or her so-called native habitat. If an Inuit is naturally meant to hunt whales, as is frequently claimed by defenders of exploitation industries that use First Nations communities for supplies or propaganda (i.e. whaling, sealing and trapping), then its factual validity can be tested by simply having one courageous Inuit hunter jump naked into the Arctic sea and try to bite a whale to death with only his teeth and bare hands. The result is easily predicted.  Because the Inuit need tools to survive, and those tools are now chiefly provided by outside communities (i.e. the government of Canada, Smith & Wesson), then it would be hypocritical to suggest that the best long term, ethical solution to First Nations subsistence needs cannot be based on more compassionate aid from those very same communities, whether it be food aid or subsidized relocation to climates more suited to human beings.

Response: b)When they are born with fur and blubber and claws instead of having to take it from other Arctic natives, then i will believe that are indigenous to the climate. 

10)Question/attack:  "They cant move anywhere else! The Arctic is their home!"

Response: a) But not in the same way it is for seals, whales, bears or wolves.

Response: b) Why is it that of all the native inhabitants of the Arctic, only the Inuit are not born with all the physical tools they need to survive? Until they are born with a thick hide of blubber and fur from their backs, I will say that a sub-zero temperature is not their natural environment.

 

11)Question/attack: "the trappers use all the scraps of the animal, nothing is wasted."

Response: a)  Hitler also used all the scraps of his victims--is that a defense for what he did? 

Response: b)"There are sufficient accounts of routine abuse of animals by Inuit and Newfoundlanders to put grave doubts into anyoneʹs mind about the claims of
respect for wildlife put forth by the sealing communities and their spokesmen. Beluga whales are slaughtered only to have the skin or muktuk removed, a
delicacy—or simply for sport. The rest of the animal is left to rot. Narwhals are killed only for their long tusk, which is sold in urban markets, and again for a
little muktuk. Caribou are shot only to have the tongue and a haunch removed: the rest left for carrion. Small birds are killed simply for fun, for no use at all. The
right to hunt polar bears is sold to wealthy American sportsmen. All of this is done with allterrain vehicles, snowmobiles, spotter aircraft, motor boats and
powerful rifles. None of this is any different from what happens anywhere else in the world when man kills animals."
  From Stephen Best www.stephenbest.ca/God_Culture_Women.pdf

12)Question/attack: "To criticize First Nations people(or Japanese Whalers or

Bali turtle hunters) for hunting and fishing and trapping and whaling is just

 cultural imperialism(aka identity imperialism, racism etc.). You are trying to

 impose your beliefs on others."[note: this is a form of  the Moral relativism

 argument--which states that one cannot judge the actions of one culture (or

 person) by the ethical standards of another).

Response: a) If one applied this moral relativistic belief consistently and fairly it would mean one could not condemn someone else for discrimination against other humans based upon their own cultural and ethical beliefs. People who practice bride burning or honor killings or child labor could say it is "cultural imperialism" for outsiders to criticize their actions. 

Response: b) Activities from spousal abuse to ritual murder to cannibalism have also been defended by bogus claims of racism or "Imperialism," and this hasn't nullified the ethical arguments against these practices; 

Response: c) Other species can also be said to suffer under unjust, discriminatory treatment, and every human ethnic group, including First nation ones, are capable of being the oppressors. 

Response: d) We are talking about life, not a lifestyle. When the issue involves the very real harm caused to others, ethical beliefs do apply, and it is certainly within reason to make judgments based upon those beliefs. Since no human society on Earth lives in a vacuum, and all have at least some connection to other cultures, and they all expect at least some moral consideration from each other, the charge of discrimination may be leveled against any one of them. The only way an Inuit hunter or Japanese whaler (or Michigan deer hunter for that matter) could use moral relativism as a defense, is if he holds no ethical belief (such as his own right to life) that he expects should be honored by anyone else (whether Inuit or not). That possibility is very very  remote. 

Response: e) Actually the true cultural imperialism is when the Inuit or the Japanese or anyone else tries to impose their culture on whales or other animals by killing them when they do not need to.

  Response: f) Ethical systems are like language systems. There are many different languages, but they all have common elements that can be used to allow interpretation and communication between them (alphabets, rules of usage etc). Systems of moral belief also have underlying common elements (social contracts, belief in the value of one's life, respect for family, friendship  etc.). It is these basic concepts to all moral belief systems that are being used to cite unjust discriminatory behavior and conduct. Therefore, when one criticizes a culture for causing unnecessary harm to others (killing whales for food), it is not a matter of "judging one culture by the standards of another," but using the basic moral "vocabulary" common in all cultures to make a judgment that the culture is not being consistent in its ethical philosophy if  it says the value of Inuit/Japanese/Bali/German etc)  life as a group is superior to that of non-Inuit/Japanese/etc life, without proving the superiority as an objective truth. .

Response: g)"It is well known that one of the most widely used arguments for the continuation of the Canadian seal hunt has been that of “culture.” The Newfoundlanders have been sealing since the 1700’s. The Inuit, or at least their forbearers, were certainly sealing over a thousand years ago. The “cultural” value that the Newfoundlanders and the Inuit place on hunting seals (and other wildlife) is apparently very high, and that fact is recognized not only by the sealers
themselves but also by anthropologists, journalists, scientists and the Canadian government. Of course, the cultural value given to sealing and hunting is highly
selective. There are few Newfoundland sealers who would enjoy being left on the ice to die by a latter day Captain Keane or who would wish to have unheated
ships to hunt from or who wouldnʹt want warm homes with television sets to return to and, I suppose, there are few Inuit who would choose to go back to the
bad ol’ preEuropean days of starvation, children dying, infanticide, dog teams, igloos and no rifles. This is all perfectly understandable. Most people cherish the
technological advances that make life easier, more enjoyable, healthier and safer. Inuit and the Newfoundlanders have amply demonstrated and embraced the
same appreciation for civilization." From Stephen Best 
www.stephenbest.ca/God_Culture_Women.pdf
 

Response: h) "Europeans are usually and rightly blamed for the problems of the Inuit and in fact all native peoples. The descendants of those Europeans are now being blamed for the destruction of Inuit culture again because a segment of the southern urban society (certainly not all, unfortunately) feels that the taking of
wildlife for fashion purposes and sport deserves to be questioned.  It is true that the arrival of Europeans in North America had a profound and
permanent effect on Inuit. At the same time, however, the Inuit readily accepted and employed European goods and weapons. It is true that Europeans
introduced disease; it is also true that other Europeans introduced the cures. Until Europeans arrived famine was a constant threat to the survival of the Inuit.
Infant mortality was at epidemic levels. The old and the infirm were abandoned. The penalty for theft was death. Blood feuds were the method by which family
and community disputes were settled. Life was short, often unpleasant and terrifying, and painful. It is true that the European culture, through ill deed and
good, almost destroyed the Inuit as a society and as a people. At the same time, however, it was the people of the European culture who recognized the effect
they were having and moved to ameliorate it. Today, if it were not for southern Canadians supporting the aspirations of Inuit, they would have great difficulty
maintaining any distinctive culture at all."
www.stephenbest.ca/God_Culture_Women.pdf

Response: I) "The truth is that neither Inuit nor Newfoundlander has a selfsustaining society. Or at least, they are incapable of maintaining a selfsustaining society at the modem technological standard theyʹve come to rely upon without the support of southern urban Canadians. The result of all this is that Inuit and
Newfoundlanders, like it or not, are as much a part of the southern Canadian urban culture as I am. We are of the same culture. In their recent direct fund
raising program, the Inuit Tapirisat state that: My people are the Inuit, the Eskimos of Canada. Long before the first European explorers, the Arctic was our home. We understood its beauty, the complex forces that bring life to the land, its plants and animals. The arctic is part of our heritage. Now we want to share it with you.  That is why my colleagues and I at the Inuit Tapirisat of Canada (the national organization of Canadaʹs Eskimos) have created the Arctic Society. The Arctic Society is devoted to teaching about the wonder and mystery of the North, and helping to preserve its unique environment, its heritage and culture.  Your membership dollars will help support programs sponsored by the Inuit Tapirisat of Canada, to make a better life for the people of the North. They will pay for programs to protect the environment and the wildlife of the north ...  The direct mail piece was sent to “urban liberals” to raise funds but I wonder if the “urban liberals” who responded to the direct mail appeal were aware that their funds would be used by an organization that actively works to promote the killing and marketing of wildlife? Not surprisingly, this important cultural aspect of “Canadaʹs Eskimos” was avoided in the mailing piece."
www.stephenbest.ca/God_Culture_Women.pdf

Response: J) "Now it may very well be that Inuit, with their hunting tradition, believe to the core of their  souls that they are doing something different. But in fact all that is different is that they think it is different and, as I said before, everybody thinks what they do is different and special. But the results are the same: millions of animals die. It wouldnʹt matter if we were talking about fox hunters in Britain, poachers in Kenya and Peru, iguana hunters in Nicaragua, Japanese whalers, kangaroo hunters in Australia, or ad executives on private game preserves in Germany. They all say the same things about their particular killing. Remember, we all have a hunting tradition if one chooses to go back far enough.  So if Inuit are different, tell me how. George Wenzel argues that the way they use “artifacts” is different: artifacts such as videocassette recorders, TVʹs, rifles, airplanes, Adidas running shoes, Coca Cola, Michael Jackson, Mary Tyler Moore and telephones. The list of artifacts includes everything that can be found in any Hudsonʹs Bay store or on satellite television. " www.stephenbest.ca/God_Culture_Women.pdf
 

Response K) Why isnt the fur industry criticized for undermining fur trappers by opening fur farms? The most devastating impact upon native trappers came from the industry they were selling fur to.

Response L) Inuit claim tradition and yet use modern technology and sell to non Inuit for money.  "I'm very worried by the damage they can do to native people like Inuit seal hunters; in just a few years they've killed a market," says Thomas Coon, the leader of the Cree Trappers Association (CTA).The Cree are native to Canada, a "First Nation" people. They have lived off the land in northern Quebec for centuries, travelling on traditional sledges and camping out in tents. They still do, although these days they use snowmobiles to get about. For them, beaver and bear meat are delicacies. Muskrat and squirrel are everyday foods. Sealskin fashion to boost Canada's fur trade By Pauline Mason Tuesday, 11 May, 2004 BBC News

 

13)Question/Attack: "Do you eat bread? Nutritional yeast is alive. You are killing bacteria."




Response: a) Thanks! I will switch to flatbreads tomorrow, but regardless,  it doesn't excuse you from supporting meat eating, the fur industry, animal research etc etc. How does that justify you supporting the meat industry, animal research, hunting etc? By your logic, any act of killing, necessary or not(right down to the microscopic level), negates any effort to to curb it. Therefore, since we cannot avoid killing microbes just by the act of living, we shouldn't worry about muggings, murders, wars etc. If you say yes we can worry about them, then we can also worry about meat eating, hunting, and any other practice it is possible to stop.

Response: b) Just because I am trying to live more ethically does not mean that I am perfect. One cannot avoid all killing in life. That is not to say that animal rights and veg*anism are pointless. If I accidentally kill a bug by stepping on it, that does not mean that I should give up the whole compassionate living thing altogether. Everyone should just do as much as they can manage to aspire towards a moral life. Eating meat, buying products tested on animals, etc, these are things that can be easily avoided and are direct links to mass cruelty.
 

Response: c) I think I killed about a million microbes just from gasping at the stupidity of your argument. Man, I am worse than Hitler.

Response: d) Yeast isn't a sentient lifeform--unless you worry about bacteria. So I take it you don't bath because you don't want to kill millions of them? 

14)Question/attack: "If we don't consider ourselves better than animals we will treat each other terribly."

Response: a) So does that mean that if whites consider themselves superior to blacks then they would naturally treat whites better?

Response: b) Tell that to Stalin and Hitler.

Response: c) ATTACHMENT: ANIMAL VICTIMS / HUMAN VICTIMS:
 REPORTS FROM POLICE CASE FILES Russell Weston Jr., tortured and killed 12 cats: burned and cut off their tails, paws, ears; poured toxic chemicals in their eyes to blind them; forced them to ingest poison, hung them from trees (the noose loose enough to create a slow and painful death.) Later killed
 2 officers at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. *****Jeffery Dahmer staked cats to trees and decapitated dogs. Later he dissected boys, and kept their body parts in the refrigerator. Murdered 17 men.**** Kip Kinkle shot 25 classmates and killed several in Springfield, Oregon. He killed his father and mother. Said he blew up a cow once. Set a live cat on fire and dragged the innocent creature through the main street of town. Classmates rated him as "Most Likely to Start World War 3."*** As a boy, Albert De Salvo, the "Boston Strangler," placed a dog and  cat in a crate with a partition between them. After starving the animals for days, he removed the partition to watch them kill each other. He raped and killed 13 women by strangulation. He often posed bodies in a shocking manner after their murders. ****Richard Allen Davis set numerous cats on fire. He killed all of Polly Klaus' animals before abducting and murdering Polly Klaus, aged 12, from her bedroom.****11-year-old Andrew Golden and 13-year-old Mitchell Johnson tortured and killed dogs. On March 24, 1998, in Jonesboro, Arkansas, Golden and Johnson shot and killed 4 students and 1 teacher during a fire drill at their school. ******After 16-year-old Luke Woodham mortally stabbed his mother, killed 2 classmates and shot 7 others, he confessed to bludgeoning his dog Sparkle with baseball bats and pouring liquid fuel down her throat and to set fire to her neck. "I made my first kill today," he wrote in his court-subpoenaed journal. "It was a loved one...I¹ll never forget the howl she made. It sounded almost human." In June 1998, Woodham was found guilty of 3 murders and 7 counts of aggravated assault. He was sentenced to 3 life sentences and an additional 20 years for each assault. *****Theodore Robert Bundy, executed in 1989 for at least 50 murders, was forced to witness a grandfather who tortured animals. Bundy later heaped graves with animal bones.******At 4-years-old, Michael Cartier dislocated the legs of rabbits and hurled a kitten through a closed window. He later shot Kristin Lardner 3 times in the head, before shooting himself. *****Henry Lee Lucas killed numerous animals and had sex with their corpses. He killed his mother, common law wife, and an unknown number of people.
*****Edward Kemperer cut up 2 cats. He later killed his grandparents, mother and 7 other women.*****Richard Speck threw a bird into a ventilator fan. Killed 8 women. *****Randy Roth taped a cat to a car's engine and used an industrial sander on a frog. Killed 2 of his wives and attempted to kill a
 third. *****David Richard Davis shot and killed 2 healthy ponies, threw a wine bottle at a pair of kittens and hunted with illegal methods. Murdered
 his wife, Shannon Mohr Davis, for insurance money.**** Peter Kurten, the Dusseldorf Monster, tortured dogs, and practiced bestiality while killing animals. Murdered or attempted to murder  over 50 men, women and children.**** Richard Trenton Chase, "The Vampire Killer of Sacramento," bit the heads off birds, drained animals for their blood, killed animals for their organs, and later killed 6 people in random attacks. One police officer present at the scene of the first murder, confessed to having nightmares about the crime for months afterwards.*******"The Kobe Killer, an as yet unnamed 15-year-old boy in Japan,
 beheaded a cat and strangled several pigeons. Decapitated 11-year-old Jun Hase, and battered to death a 10-year-old girl with a hammer, and assaulted 3 other children in separate attacks.*****Richard William Leonard's grandmother forced him to kill and mutilate cats and kittens when he was a child. He later killed Stephen Dempsey with a bow and arrow. He also killed Ezzedine Bahmad by slashing his throat.****Tom Dillion murdered people's pets. He shot and killed Jamie Paxton, aged 21; Claude Hawkins, aged 49; Donald Welling, aged 35; Kevin Loring, aged 30; and Gary Bradely, aged 44.*** David Berkowitz, "Son of Sam," poisoned his mother's parakeet out of jealousy. He later shot 13 young men and women. 6 people died and at least 2 suffered permanent disabilities.****Arthur Shawcross repeatedly threw a kitten into a lake until the kitten drowned from exhaustion. Killed a young girl. After serving 15-
 1/2 years in prison, he killed 11 more women.**** Jason Massey's killing resume began with cats and dogs; at 20 he decapitated and disemboweled a 13-year-old girl and fatally shot a 14- year old boy. He claims to have killed 37 cats, 29 dogs and 6 cows.****Patrick Sherrill stole neighborhood pets, tethered them with baling wire and encouraged his dog to mutilate them. He killed 14 co-workers and himself in 1986.****Keith Hunter Jesperson, "Happy Face Killer," bashed gopher heads and beat, strangled and shot stray cats and dogs. He is known to have strangled 8 women. He said: "You're actually squeezing the life out of these animals...Choking a human being or a cat--it's the same feeling...I'm the very end result of what happens when somebody kills an animal at an early age."****Carroll Edward Cole, executed in 1985 for an alleged 35 murders and reputed to be one of the most prolific serial killers in U.S. history, confessed that his first act of violence was to strangle a puppy under the porch of his house.***Michael Perry decapitated a neighbor's dog. Later killed his parents, infant nephew and 2 neighbors.***Robert Alton Harris murdered two 16-year-old boys, doused a neighbor with lighter fluid and tossed matches at him. His initial run-in with police was for killing neighborhood cats.****At 9-years-old, Eric Smith strangled a neighbor's cat. At 13, he bludgeoned 4-year-old Derrick Robie to death. Smith lured the little boy into the woods, choked him, sodomized him with a stick, then beat him to death with a rock.

 

15)Question/attack: "Wasn't Hitler a vegetarian?"

Response: a) And Al Capone started the first soup kitchens in Chicago. I guess anyone who supports helping the homeless is a gangster?

Response: b) the testimony  of Hitler's personal cook in Hamburg during the late 1930s - Dione Lucas. In her "Gourmet Cooking School
Cookbook," she records that his favorite dish - the one that he customarily requested - was stuffed squab (pigeon). "I do not mean to spoil your appetite for stuffed squab, but you might be interested to know that it was a great favorite with Mr. Hitler, who dined in the hotel often." (http://www.ivu.org/history/europe20a/hitler.html)

Response: c) So was Gandhi--does that make him a war monger and  mass murderer?

Response: d) They say Osama Bin Laden liked hunting. So did Timothy McVeigh. So by your logic, every hunter is a terrorist!

Response: e) "Otto D. Tolischus in 1937 in The New York Times pointed out that the Führer was a vegetarian who 'does not drink or smoke' but who also 'occasionally relishes a slice of ham' along with delicacies such as caviar and chocolates." (Ibid.) Robert Proctor calls Hitler a vegetarian "of sorts" (The Nazi War on Cancer, p. 134) and is content to state that Hitler was a vegetarian who "occasionally would allow himself a dish of meat," (p. 135) and quotes The New York Times as stating that in addition to ham and caviar Hitler also occasionally ate squab." (http://www.micahbooks.com/readingroom/Hitlerveg.html)

Response: f)His cook, an enormously fat man named Willy Kannenberg, produced exquisite meals and acted as court jester. Although Hitler had no fondness for meat except in the form of sausages and never ate fish, he enjoyed caviar....(The Life and Death of Adolph Hitler (Praeger, 1973)(p. 346) (http://www.micahbooks.com/readingroom/Hitlerveg.html)

Response: g) Hitler's reputation for being a vegetarian seems to consist solely of his not having eaten red meat. The effort to describe Hitler's eating habits as vegetarian requires changing the definition of "vegetarian" to exclude liver, ham, and sausages from the list of meats, and changing the definition of "animal" to exclude pigs. Hitler did exhibit a sympathy with a vegetarian diet, but paradoxically, vegetarians and the vegetarian movement in Nazi Germany were persecuted. Vegetarian societies were restrained, subject to raids, and "books that contained vegetarian recipes were confiscated by the Gestapo." Janet Barkas has a good account of this period in German history in her book, The Vegetable Passion. German vegetarian societies were forced to leave the International Vegetarian Union; they were prohibited from organizing and from publishing material, but individuals were not molested and "could exchange their credit notes for meat for dairy products. About 83,000 vegetarians participated in this program." (http://www.micahbooks.com/readingroom/Hitlerveg.html)

Response: h) Hitler and Animals Like many of his fellow human beings, Adolf Hitler used animal epithets to vilify other people. He often called his
opponents "swine" and "dirty dogs." The Bolsheviks were "animals," and the Russians a "bestial people" and Slavic "rabbit-family" whom Stalin had molded into a totalitarian state. After Hitler conquered Russia, he wanted "the ridiculous hundred million Slavs" to live in "pig-pens." He called British diplomats "little worms," and, as for the "half-Judaized, half-Negrified" people of America, they "have the brains of a hen." Hitler had contempt for his own people, referring to them as "the great stupid mutton-herd of our sheep-like people," and when the defeats mounted late in the war, he blamed them for not having risen to the challenge. Hitler called his own sisters "stupid geese." Whatever deficiencies members of the Germanic Volk might
possess, however, Hitler believed the Aryan/Nordic race was infinitely superior to the surrounding sea of sub-human "monstrosities between man and ape," as he made clear in a speech in Munich in 1927:


"We see before us the Aryan race which is manifestly the bearer of all culture, the true representative of all humanity....Our entire industrial science is without exception the work of Nordics. All great composers from Beethoven to Richard Wagner are Aryans....Man owes everything that is of any importance to the principle of struggle and to one race which has carried itself forward successfully. Take away the Nordic Germans and nothing remains but the dance of apes." Charles Patterson (http://www.powerfulbook.com/excerpts.html)

Response i) Hitler was fond of dogs, especially German shepherds (he considered boxers "degenerate"), whom he liked to control and dominate. At the front during World War I, he befriended a white terrier, Fuchsl (Foxl), who had strayed across enemy lines. Later, when his unit had to move on and Fuchsl could not be found, Hitler became distraught. "I liked him so much," he recalled. "He only obeyed me." Hitler often carried a dog-
whip and sometimes used it to beat his dog the same way he had seen his father beat his own dog. In the Fuhrer headquarters during World War II, Hitler's German shepherd, Blondi, offered him the closest thing he had to friendship. "But with his dogs, as with every human being he came into contact with," writes his biographer Ian Kershaw, "any relationship was based upon subordination to his mastery." http://www.powerfulbook.com/excerpts.html

Response: j) The reputed fondness of Hitler and other top Nazis for animals, especially their dogs, has been put into perspective by Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno. For certain authoritarian personalities, they write, their "love of animals" is part of the way they intimidate others. When
industrial magnates and Fascist leaders want to have pets around them, Horkheimer and Adorno maintain, their choice falls on intimidating animals such as Great Danes and lion cubs, which are intended to add to their power through the terror they inspire. "The murderous Fascist colossus stands so blindly before nature that he sees animals only as a means of humiliating men," they write. "The Fascist's passionate interest in animals, nature, and children is rooted in the lust to persecute." While with their hand they might negligently stroke a child's head, or an animal's back, that same hand
could just as easily destroy them. "The petting demonstrates that all are equal in the presence of power, that none is a being in its own right. A creature is merely material for the master's bloody purposes." (http://www.powerfulbook.com/excerpts.html)

Response: k)http://www.micahbooks.com/readingroom/Nazisandanimalresearch.html  "It is alleged that the Nazis revered or admired animals. Hitler's nickname, "Wolf" is adduced as evidence for this. The Nazi interest in animals was part of their adaptation of social Darwinism to racial policies: they were fond of powerful animals, not animals they perceived as weak. Hitler's nickname, "Wolf" is a good example. He didn't call himself "rabbit," or "deer." As Kenneth Clarke points out in The History of Animals in Art human behavior towards animals is extremely paradoxical. Human beings can be fond of animals and cruel towards them. Admiration for animals often accompanies cruelty towards them. A hunter loves his hunting dog. Lion hunters admire the lion. Some Medieval barons had bears inscribed on their escutcheons, yet hunted them and tortured them, sometimes blinding them for entertainment and bear fights."

Response L) Slate.com article Why one vegetarian activist is obsessed with Hitler's diet. 
Rynn Berry wants to set the record straight about Adolf Hitler. "There's absolutely no evidence he was a vegetarian. It simply isn't true." Berry, a 54-year-old raw-foodist and "vegetarian historian" who is the author of Food for the Gods: Vegetarianism and the World's Religions, is on a mission to dispel the commonly held view that the 20th century's most notorious mass murderer was also an adamant herbivore...Berry's new book, Hitler: Neither Vegetarian nor Animal Lover, is an attempt to clear the table on what we know about Hitler's diet. ..In his book, Berry cites written accounts—mostly articles and history texts—that show the instigator of World War II on occasion indulged in carnivorous delights. A 1937 New York Times profile called "At Home with the Furher," for example, describes Hitler as a vegetarian, though notes that he "occasionally relishes a slice of ham." (Hitler apparently celebrated Germany's 1938 annexation of Czechoslovakia with a slice of ham, a Prague specialty.) And in her 1964 book, The Gourmet Cooking School Cookbook, Dione Lucas, who worked at a Hamburg hotel that Hitler frequented, writes, "I do not mean to spoil your appetite for stuffed squab, but you might be interested to know that it was a great favorite with Hitler. ... Let us not hold that against a fine recipe though."

 

Response M) And Joseph Stalin was a meat eater who hunted and fished. He killed 30 million.

Response N) Animal concerns are not the exclusive domain of vegetarians. It is certainly possible for a meat eater to get upset about animal cruelty. There are people who are against racism but are homophobic. People are complicated.

 

Response: O:  In the Nazi propaganda film the Eternal Jew jews are compared to rats. Strange for a supposed animal lover.

 

Response: P  Heinrich Himmler was a hunter.

 

Response: Q  Starting wars that invariably kill animals of all kinds is a strange way of fighting for a compassionate world dont you think?

Question/Attack 15 a) But didnt the Eternal Jew also depict cruel conditions in Kosher slaughterhouses and compare them to German ones? Obviously Hitler had this added because of his concern about animals?

 

Response a) But in the film  it didnt call for German slaughterhouses to be closed. Just Kosher ones.

Response: b) Just because someone eats meat doesnt mean they may not be squeamish or concerned about animal suffering. One could say the slaughterhouse footage was included so that a general audience would get mad about traditional Jewish slaughter practices.

 

16)Question/Attack: "Other animals are sadistic too. They will torture a mouse and know they are torturing it."

Response a) Not according to Mark Twain: "Of all the creatures that were made, man is the most detestable. Of the entire brood he is the only one--the solitary one--that possesses malice. That is the basest of all instincts, passions, vices--the most hateful. He is the only creature that has pain for sport, knowing it to be pain. Also--in all the list he is the only creature that has a nasty mind.- Mark Twain's Autobiography; and: "Of all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel. He is the only one that inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it. It is a trait that is not known to the higher animals."  (The Lowest Animal)


Response: b) You say a cat knows that a mouse feels pain, that a cat knows what a mouse is feeling, and then deliberately tortures the mouse--just as we know for fact, humans--such as researchers, are capable of doing(the fact that researchers will name lab animals "goner" or three animals with broken spines "snap, crackle and pop" demonstrates this.. When you see cats or weasals do the same, or gather to watch other cats torture mice as a spectator sport--just as humans do in bullrings and rodeos, and in the Roman Coliseum--then you will convince me. Until then--keep fantasizing.

Response: c) You are trying to project all the negative qualities of humans onto non humans..but you miss something. Only humans are capable of slander. Only a human can accuse an innocent of doing that which it does itself.

Response: d) Humans are also capable of torturing others via language. Insults, lies etc. Can other species do that?

Response: e) There is zero evidence that other species, unlike humans, are aware that they are causing members of other species to suffer. Do cats or weasals set up arenas or stadiums in the wild or back alleys where they sit around as other cats and weasals torture mice? Do they roll on their backs in apparent glee as they watch a mouse screaming--as humans have been known to find pleasure and amusement from watching others--human or not--suffer? For a cat to be aware that a mouse suffers, and then to derive pleasure from its suffering, would be to project very human characteristics onto the cat. And remember that there is one advantage that humans have over non humans in their capacity for cruelty. Only humans are capable of mental torment. Using language to tease and torture others. 

 

17)Question/attack:  "Do you eat meat?/What are your shoes made of?"

Response: a) The issue of meat eating and/or animal by-products is a valid and important issue in animal rights, but it does not have anything to do with the moral and ethical problems of animal research. The fact  that an animal activist making a pro-animal rights/compassion argument may be inconsistent in those ways does not in any way detract or invalidate the argument on animal research. It is a separate issue. 

Response: b) If South Africa was being criticized by the United States for their treatment of blacks, and the South African government responded by pointing out the United States' poor treatment of tribal communities within their own country, would this mean that the treatment of blacks by South Africa was morally defensible? Of course not. It would just mean that there are other issues that need to be addressed APART FROM the treatment of blacks by South Africa.

 


18)Question/attack: Well you are entitled to your opinion but I am entitled to mine and I say---FILL IN BLANK

Response: a) Everyone is entitled to an opinion (although some are more able  to express one publicly than others) but if the opinion involves causing harm to others--there is usually a generally accepted restriction on ACTING upon such opinions. I.e. "I think Christians like me are superior to non-christians, therefore we should be able to enslave non believers."  If it is wrong for white supremacists, christian supremacists, anti-gays, male chauvinists, etc to act upon their opinion, thus it should be the same for ALL forms of unfair discrimination--including willful discrimination against animals.

19)Question/attack: "Mind your own business."

Response: a) I'll mind my own business when you let other species mind their own business.

Response: b) If "mind your own business" wasn't an acceptable defense from a negro slave trader or a Nazi camp guard it isn't an acceptable defense from you either.

20)Question/attack: "Who says you have a right to tell us what to do?"

Response: a) Who says you have a right to tell other species what to do?

Response: b) Because, if we have a right to tell a wife beater, child abuser, Nazi or negro slave trader what to do then we have a right to tell you what to do also.

21)Question/Attack:  "You are never going to stop (insert animal-environmental cause)/convince people that (insert action) is wrong."

Response: a) We are never going to eradicate homicide, child abuse, spousal abuse, theft, etc. so I guess by your logic we shouldn't even try.

22)Question/attack: "Why are you Vegan?"

  Response: a) Everyone is! Just some people add animal products to their diet.

Response: b) Everything is! Just some foods have animal products added

Response: c) I was training my dog not to beg and got used to the diet

Response: d) Because god told me.

Response: e) Because I ate part of my best friend once and that kind of put me off.

Response: f) Why AREN'T you????

Response: g) because I find it terrible to have thoughts of eating muscles cut from my friends' dead bodies, and disgusting to stuff one's face with decaying animal remains. 

Response: h) Because you aren't.

Response: i) Socrates, Pythagoros, Leonardo Da Vinci, H.G. Wells, Dr. Spock, Mister Spock, Einstein...either they were ones or endorsed the concept--since genius and vegetarianism seem to go together so well,  I thought somebody better keep the tradition alive!

Response: j) I don't feel like its in my nature to kill animals for food because I know that I couldn't kill an animal and eat it. It doesn't seem fair
to pay a corporation to take care of if for me.

23) Question/Attack: "How can you compare the Holocaust to the treatment

 of animals in farms and labs? It is an insult to the memory of those who died

 in the camps to use the word in reference to animals."

 

Response: a) The word "holocaust" originates in reference to the sacrifice of a male animal in Biblical times, thus, if it is fitting for humans to change  its meaning to highlight a mass slaughter committed against humans, then certainly it is fair and just to use the word in reference to the slaughter of the subjects in its original meaning.

Response: b) Groups and individuals who discuss the Nazi Holocaust often refer to "cattle cars" and comparing Auschwitz victims to "lab animals," therefore they themselves are acknowledging that non human animals are treated in horrible and atrocious ways--the proof is that they use them as examples of how not to be treated!

Response: c) If anything it is an insult to the billions of non human animals that have been slaughtered--since their victims far outnumber that of any human tragedy. And unlike humans, the victims of animal holocausts are incapable of ever being the victimizers. Not true of Jews, Armenians, Cambodians, etc.

Response: d)  Who says humans have a monopoly on suffering and injustice?

Response: e) To think it is an insult is to demonstrate the same sort of arrogant supremacy mindset that the Nazis showed--valuing the suffering of some over others.

24) Question/Attack: "It is hypocritical for North Americans with arable land

 to raise food to criticize a small country like Japan where it has to rely on the

 oceans for food."

 

Response a) Japan does not need to rely on the oceans for food--and certainly not by resorting to fishing/whaling. It is not possible to feed  the entire population of Japan through whale meat--as it stands it is expensive and a luxury item.

Response: b) In order to justify whaling--the Japanese must be able to defend whaling on its own merits--not by using an ad hominem attack that attempts to find imperfections in the anti-whaling critic. If one wants to discuss the negatives of cattle ranching and meat eating  in general--whaling would still be condemned. So this is not a defense of whaling.

Response :c) Japan raises cattle as well--and imports beef from the US. Thus--the Japanese whalers are hypocritical--condemning North Americans for doing something that they themselves do--except, the Japanese also hunt whales--they look doubly bad.

 

25) Question/Attack: "Eating whale meat is no different than eating cattle."

Response a) In some sense this is true--just as homicide is in some sense no different from deer hunting--but how does that justify whaling? There are many good reasons to be against cattle ranching--and these same reasons can be used against whaling--so where is the defense of whaling by citing this as a defense?

Response: b) except whales are about 10 times the size of a steer and there is no natural predator for them beyond the microorganism scale. Humans must use spears and exploding guns--no other species is as cruel and crude in its killing methods. If japanese whalers were meant to eat whales--they should be able to kill them with their bare hands  and teeth like any true predator.

26) Question/Attack: "Minke whales are the cockroaches of the sea. If they

are not controlled they will eat fish stocks." Attributed to Japan ministry of

 Agriculture official Masayuki Komatsu.

Response a) Minke whales live in the ocean. As ocean dwellers they feed off the oceans. Humans are land dwellers. Who has more logical and moral case to be eating in their natural habitat? It is humans that are depleting fish--and it is humans that are the true pests. I wont call them cockroaches because that would insult a species that is far more successful and restrained in its behavior than humans.

27)Question/attack: "(quoting question Q and A page) You say that nature is

neither cruel nor merciful that it just is. since humans are part of nature, it

 cannot be said that they are merciful or cruel. they are the way they are.

 whether or not we protect animals or hurt them, we are acting perfectly within

 our nature."


Response a) since humans have concepts of mercy and cruelty, they certainly can make judgments about their behavior using these standards of conduct(and do so all the time). This is how we form civil relations, laws etc. Where the problem arises is when a claim is made that suggests that nature itself can be proven to be one or the other as some absolute certainty. That's tricky territory.


Response b)-if you took this from the Q and A section page: "Nature cannot be proven to be cruel or compassionate--it just is. Anything else is a projection of human beliefs and sentiments onto a non-human subject. There is no way to make an absolute verification of such beliefs.********this is what follows it:
"But--for the sake of argument--let us say that Nature is inherently cruel. Then why should humans care any more about human rights than they do about non human rights? There are dictators around the world that have lived very comfortable lives while they tortured and killed other humans. According to the argument of the human supremacist, they are just living according to Nature. Humans have raped, murdered, enslaved and stolen from each other for thousands of years. It is still true today. These acts would seem to be permissible according to Nature--why then should we try to stop them? If you try to argue "well, because stopping them has mutual benefit for all humans," the fact is that some humans--those with power--have done quite well without worrying about "all humans." So "mutual benefit" is not proven. The true harshness of Nature implied by this argument also applies to human situations. To deny this is to be either emotional (as animal activists are often accused of being), or hypocritical."  So in other words, yes, you can say humans are neither cruel nor merciful--whether they are dealing with non humans or humans. It makes no difference to the argument. Since human supremacy has not been proven, it allows one to use this reasoning to let humans exploit non humans or humans as they see fit. This is unacceptable to the human supremacist-but his or her reasoning cannot close the loophole their own belief creates.

 28)QUESTION/ATTACK:  "How can you compare black slavery to animals? To

show pictures of blacks being lynched alongside pictures of animals demeans

 the suffering of human beings and shows the racism of animal rights

 activists who are predominantly white and middle class."

Response a)People who are offended by comparisons between humans and nonhumans--especially when such comparisons are being used for social activism likely suffer from a form of human supremacist thinking. Just as a white supremacist would be offended to see themselves compared to the suffering of those they feel superior to, people of colour who believe that they speak for all people of  colour and therefore have the right to decide what to censor demonstrates a particularly nasty degree of hubris.

Response: b) Historically, the arguments for negro slavery relied on the belief that human beings of African extraction were sub-human--thus such comparisons are valid.

Response c) It is perverse that people who claim that photo comparisons between human and nonhuman suffering/exploitation is an outrage show more offense at that then they do about the current legal forms of slavery exploitation being perpetrated against nonhuman animals.

Response: d) How do efforts to end cruelty and injustice based on discrimination qualify as being racist? This is a perversion of common sense. Animal activists can be any race or religion--many in North American groups are women who do know something about discrimination and social inequality. Should they then devote their time to gender issues and avoid discussions of race, class, etc? Many gay activists are white, middle class males--since they do not know the type of discrimination that women and people of colour experience, does that mean that gay rights issues are somehow trivial--or motivated by class superiority? Such a question seems to be motivated by a desire to trivialize issues of animal rights due to the belief that humans are somehow superior in value to all other life--ironically, the same mindset employed by racists and other forms of supremacist thinking.

Response: e) Human rights activists frequently talk about humans being treated "like animals" in order to highlight injustices done to humans--to suggest that it is wrong to use the same logic and standard to highlight injustices done to nonhumans is unfair, a blatant demonstration of human supremacist thinking, and hypocritical.

Response: f) Humans are also animals. When animal activists are fighting for animal rights they are fighting for justice for members of their own community--thus distinctions of race and class are irrelevant.

 

29)QUESTION/ATTACK : "Whale meat is safe and nutritious."

 

Response: a) Mercury scare hits schools' dolphin dinners (http://www.guardian.co.uk/japan/story/0,,2163055,00.html) Justin McCurry in Tokyo Thursday September 6, 2007
The Guardian.
Schoolchildren in Japan's whaling capital have been served dolphin meat containing dangerous levels of mercury, councillors from the region have revealed, prompting warnings of a potential public health disaster as the country attempts to boost consumption of the meat. In a rare departure from the official line that cetacean meat - that of aquatic mammals - is safe and nutritious, two assembly members from Taiji in the southern Wakayama prefecture broke ranks. They said that tests on samples of short-finned pilot whales - a type of large dolphin, despite its name - had found mercury levels 10 to 16 times higher than those advised by the health ministry.
"In kindergartens, elementary schools and middle schools, children are served the meat two or three times a month," said Hisato Ryono, who described the meat as "toxic waste".
Mercury consumption can lead to damage to the nervous system and internal organs, and is known to damage the foetus if consumed in unsafe quantities during pregnancy.
One of the Taiji samples, bought from two local supermarkets, contained almost 16 times more mercury than the ministry's accepted level of 0.4 parts per million, the councillors said. The same sample also contained 12 times more methyl mercury than is deemed acceptable. Meat from the dolphins is currently only served in Taiji, about 280 miles west of Tokyo, but town authorities plan to go ahead with construction of a dolphin processing plant costing 330m yen (£1.4m) that will ship meat across the country. Mr Ryono and his colleague, Junichiro Yamashita, went public after Taiji authorities ignored their requests to have the meat inspected before it was served in school dinners. They say the media is ignoring the issue due to fears of the impact on the fishing industry. "It is a problem because local residents, including the parents of schoolchildren, remain unaware [of the dangers]," Mr Yamashita said.
They warned that other dolphin and whale meat was unlikely to be safe. "I believe that pollution in the sea around Japan is the cause of this," Mr Ryono added.

 

 

 

13: PLANTS AND VEGETABLES

 

1)Question/attack: "Do you eat plants? Fruit? You are killing anyway./Plants feel pain."

Response: a) This attack implies that the animal activist should not even try to stop exploitation and killing, since it cannot be avoided in all situations. It fails to consider that if killing cannot be avoided, and one should not try to stop it, the spectator is under no obligation to limit their lack of concern to non human living beings. One can say: "well since I can't stop killing why should I care about ANY killing? I might as well look the other way if my neighbor gets killed." Why should a line be drawn at the human level and not a racial, gender, age, religion or some other line of value? People do it anyway.

Response: b) This is an argument fallacy. It is an example of argumentum ad hominem. A changing the subject tactic. Instead of attacking the argument, the opponent attacks the person making the argument. People who use this approach often get hypocrisy confused with consistency. 

Response: c) Plants don't have a central nervous system, so no, they don't feel pain. And a plant doesn't bleed, scream, and struggle to get away when you pick it.

Response: d)if your lawn starts bleeding and screaming when you mow it, give me a call.

Response: e) take a class in biology. when you learn about the central nervous system, we can continue this conversation.

Response: f) The best thing I found for the plants feel pain thing is that meat eaters kill way more plants than us anyway to feed to all the animals they are gonna kill. So if plants do feel pain then vegans are still the kindest lot!!

 

14: RELIGION

  1) Question/attack: "God meant us to eat meat."   

Response: a) Not according to the Seven Days Adventists who are vegetarian.

Response: b) In Genesis it clearly states that the first best food for humans is vegetables and fruits.

Response: c) Some people would say God also meant whites to rules blacks, that its okay to beat children and hang homosexuals. You can use God to justify any argument.

Response: d) If God meant us to eat meat why do animals run away from us when we want to eat em?

Response: e) Oh that's what the devil wants you to think. Bwhahaahahahaha.

Response: f) "Well, if god put animals on the earth for us to eat and gave them feelings and emotions so they would suffer then god is an asshole."

Response: g) It's easier to argue that Satan meant us to eat meat, since its consumption is based on violence and destruction.  Perhaps Satan altered the Bible to promote injustice and violence. How can you prove he didnt? The corrupt Roman Empire adopted the Christian religion and edited the gospels. I could point to all the modern violence and injustice committed in the name of God and the Bible--so much for mercy and compassion among its adherents. Strange that fruits and vegetables are so bright and colourful and resistant to disease while meat is the colour of excrement and full of bacteria. Odd that raising cattle for meat is incredibly destructive, wasteful of water, and time consuming while growing vegetables and fruits are much easier. After all, wasn't Satan's downfall the sin of pride? And aren't you demonstrating pride when you say you are better than the rest of creation?

2)Question/attack: "My god tells me that animals are here for our use. The Bible and all religions say so."

Response: a) The Bible also contains incest, stoning adultresses to death, raping a young girl to death, and the slaughter of children. Are you saying that all of this other Biblical violence is also endorsed? The Bible has also been used to support slavery, neo-Nazism, and the Inquisition, aka the witches' Holocaust. Do you really want to include yourself in that illustrious company?

 Response: b) In Genesis (I think it's Genesis), God specifically says that S/He has given us plants, and to us they shall be as meat. Sounds pretty clear-cut to me.

  Response: c) The word meat in the bible is often confused with animal flesh. It's a translational error from the greek word for nutrition. So when Jesus goes to market for "meat" it should read nutrition.

Response: d) the bible also contains favorable arguments for slavery and incest. whew! that's great because i was planning on marrying my brother and then selling him to a sweat shop.  

Response: e) I guess you never heard of Buddhism or Jainism.

Response: f) My god tells me that animals aren't here for our use. 

Response: g) And there are adherents of religions who say their god tells them that their race, gender and religion allows them to exploit others who don't (or do) follow their religion(or have their race or gender). Let's see you get your god to speak up and prove them wrong.

Response: h) Because anyone can claim anything by invoking the authority of a deity(or deities) such an argument is invalid. 

Response: i)Old Testament attitudes that no longer are applicable: 1 Corinthians 11:3-15
3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. 5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. 6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. 7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. 10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. 12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. 13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? 14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? 15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. **********And: 1 Corinthians 14:34 34 "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law."  ********And: 1 Timothy 2:9-15   9 "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; 10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. 11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection . 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. 15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety."  *******And about mixing races: Numbers 25:6-9 6 "And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 7 And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it , he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; 8 And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. 9 And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand." ****And on mercy: 1 Samuel 15:1-23 Samuel also said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the LORD. 2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. 3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. 4 And Saul gathered the people together, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah. 5 And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and laid wait in the valley. 6 And Saul said unto the Kenites, Go, depart, get you down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them: for ye shewed kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites. 7 And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt. 8 And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. 9 But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly. 10 Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying, 11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night. 12 And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal. 13 And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD. 14 And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? 15 And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed. 16 Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on. 17 And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel? 18 And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. 19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD? 20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal. 22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king." ******And then there's Biblical attitudes towards mercy and equality:  Deuteronomy 7:1-11 "When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; 2 And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: 3 Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. 4 For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. 5 But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire. 6 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. 7 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: 8 But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; 10 And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face. 11 Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them."

 

Response: j)The same Bible that seems to condone the eating of animals flesh allows men to have hundreds of concubines to use whenever and yet will stone a woman caught in 1 act of adultry. The same Bible that you use to teach the eating of flesh also teaches that others be used and kept as slaves. The same Bible teaches that woman can't even pray without having long hair or their heads covered. It teaches that woman are to be in submission to men. That we are not even allowed to speak in the church. That they are to be keepers at home. How many Christian woman have left their homes for careers and the rearing of their children to others? To use the Bible to teach that the eating of meat is okay for the day in which we live is just as stupid as the above mentioned and is nothing more than modern subjectivism.

Response: k) New Testament attitudes towards human slavery: Ephesians 6:5-8 5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; 6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; 7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: 8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.*Colossians 3:22 22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:" ******Also: Philemon 1-25 10 I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds: 11 Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me: (Paul is saying that Onesimus, a runaway slave converted to Christianity, was not a good servant in the past. His conversion to Christ will change that. Thus, human slavery is condoned.)12 Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels: 13 Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel: 14 But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly. 15 For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever; 16 Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord? (*****Paul is saying the servant is not to be received just as a servant but now as a brother in Christ also...) *******And about poverty-- Matthew 26:6-11 6 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, 7 There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. 8 But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? 9 For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. 10 When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. 11 For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. (So basically the creator(or son of the creator) is saying you might as well anoint me with this--because you will never get rid of poverty. So I guess we shouldn't try?)  ********* ADDITIONAL references:  "Ambiguous Biblical Terms used to Describe Slavery "In an apparent attempt to disguise the practice of slavery, some translations in the Bible translate the word slave (doulos in Greek) as servant. Casual readers of the Bible would assume that the passages refer to a hired servant (diakonos in Greek) - i.e. a butler or a maid. The King James Version of the Bible (KJV) frequently referred to slaves by various ambiguous terms, such as: bondmen, servants, maids, handmaid, manservant, maidservant, etc. For example, consider Exodus 21:2 which is part of the Laws of Moses: 21st Century King James Version "If thou buy a Hebrew servant..."King James Version "If thou buy a Hebrew servant..."*Living Bible: "If you buy a Hebrew slave..."*Modern Language "When you buy a Hebrew slave...**New International Version: "If you buy a Hebrew servant..."*New Living Translation: "If you buy a Hebrew slave..."*Revised Standard Version "When you buy a Hebrew slave..." ****** Genesis 9:25-27: "Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers. He also said, 'Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem! May Canaan be the slave of Shem. May God extend the territory of Japheth; may Japeth live in the tents of Shem and may Canaan be his slave.'  This text was frequently used by Christians to justify negro slavery. *"The Ten Commandments: Rabbi M.J. Raphall (circa 1861) commented that the 10th commandment places slaves "under the same protection as any other species of lawful property...That the Ten Commandments are the word of G-d, and as such, of the very highest authority, is acknowledged by Christians as well as by Jews...How dare you, in the face of the sanction and protection afforded to slave property in the Ten Commandments--how dare you denounce slaveholding as a sin? When you remember that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Job--the men with whom the Almighty conversed, with whose names he emphatically connects his own most holy name, and to whom He vouchsafed to give the character of 'perfect, upright, fearing G-d and eschewing evil' (Job 1:8)--that all these men were slaveholders, does it not strike you that you are guilty of something very little short of blasphemy?"*Exodus 20:17"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's."*Deuteronomy 5:21"Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbor's wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbor's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbor's.***Beating and Killing Slaves: Although an owner could beat a male or female slave, she/he would have to avoid serious injury to eyes or teeth. The owner would have to avoid beating the slave to death. But it was acceptable to beat a slave so that he/she was mortally injured and died a day or so later: Exodus 21:20-21 "And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished. Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money [property]."*"Emancipation of Slaves: Slaves in ancient Israel were automatically emancipated after 6 years of slavery, but only if they were Jewish." "...Foreign slaves were out of luck."(see Exodus 21:1-4, Deuteronomy 15:12-18, *Leviticus 25:44-46: "Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly." (NIV)*"Neither Jesus nor St. Paul, nor any other Biblical figure is recorded as saying anything in opposition to the institution of slavery. Slavery was very much a part of life in Palestine and in the rest of the Roman Empire during New Testament times.Quoting Rabbi M.J. Raphall, circa 1861, "Receiving slavery as one of the conditions of society, the New Testament nowhere interferes with or contradicts the slave code of Moses; it even preserves a letter [to Philemon] written by one of the most eminent Christian teachers [St. Paul] to a slave owner on sending back to him his runaway slave." 3 * Rabbi M.J. Raphall, "The Bible View of Slavery," delivered in New York City, 1861. Available at: http://www.access.digex.net/~bdboyle/bible.slavery.txt  *"Priests still owned slaves: Mark 14:66: "And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest:" *"One of the favorite passages of slave-owning Christians was St. Paul's infamous instruction that slaves to obey their owners in the same way that they obey Christ: Ephesians 6:5-9: "Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him." (from *1 Timothy 6:1-3 "Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;" ***Others who believe the Bible supported human slavery: "[Slavery] was established by decree of Almighty God...it is sanctioned in the Bible, in both Testaments, from Genesis to Revelation...it has existed in all ages, has been found among the people of the highest civilization, and in nations of the highest proficiency in the arts." Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America 1,(* Dunbar Rowland quoting Jefferson Davis, in "Jefferson Davis," Volume 1, Page 286 * Jefferson Davis, "Inaugural Address as Provisional President of the Confederacy," Montgomery, AL, 1861-FEB-18, Confederate States of America, Congressional Journal, 1:64-66. Available at: http://funnelweb.utcc.utk.edu/~hoemann/jdinaug.html) *****"There is not one verse in the Bible inhibiting slavery, but many regulating it. It is not then, we conclude, immoral." Rev. Alexander Campbell ***"The right of holding slaves is clearly established in the Holy Scriptures, both by precept and example." Rev. R. Furman, D.D., Baptist, of South Carolina *** "The hope of civilization itself hangs on the defeat of Negro suffrage." A statement by a prominent 19th-century southern Presbyterian pastor, cited by Rev. Jack Rogers, moderator of the Presbyterian Church (USA). **** "The doom of Ham has been branded on the form and features of his African descendants. The hand of fate has united his color and destiny. Man cannot separate what God hath joined." United States Senator James Henry Hammond. 5(*William Lee Miller, "Arguing About Slavery: The Great Battle in the United States Congress." Alfred A. Knopf, (1996), Page 139.)(text references from http://www.religioustolerance.org/sla_bibl.htm)**********And unless you think Human slavery is justified: "It is hard to believe but it seems that the Roman Catholics think it quite in keeping with the teachings of their church to obtain slaves even in this era of 1970s. In August 1970 the world was shocked to hear that the Roman Catholics had purchased, at the price ranging from 250 pounds to 300 pounds each, about 1500 Indian girls to shut them into convents because European girls do not like to live as nuns.[29] There was so much outcry in the world press that the Vatican had to establish a commission to enquire into this affair. But even before the commission started its enquire, a Vatican spokesman had to admit that there was an "element of truth" in the reports, though he dutifully condemned the Sunday Times for its sensation-mongering.Sunday Times (London) as quoted in East African Standard (Nairobi), August 25, 1970.(http://www.al-islam.org/slavery/9.htm#r27)


 

15: SPECIES UNITY

1)Question/attack: "Instead of worrying about animals--worry about homeless people or war orphans."

 Response: a) Must one be so narrow minded that he can worry about one at the exclusion of the other?

Response: b) Okay since you believe that compassion follows a hierarchy, tell me this. Which is more important, women's rights or worker's rights? Child abuse or sexual abuse? What about racial injustice vs. poverty? Religious discrimination vs. age discrimination? When you have the list in order--get back to me.
 

Response: c) Who says compassion is in a finite amount? I can be compassionate towards both humans and nonhumans without it running out. I guess you are more limited in your compassion.

2)Question/attack: "If you saw a burning barn/sealed car/boat filled with humans and (insert non human animal), who would you save?"  

Response: a) The intention here is to force the animal activist to admit that there is a situation where he/she would choose the life of a human over a non human, thus validating the animal research position. The trouble here is that even if the activist chooses to save the life of a human over a non human, it does not then mean that the activist is endorsing factory farming or the vivisection industry or making any policy decision.

Response: b) Rephrasing the scenario, what if the burning barn is filled with humans...half are white and half are black. If you are white—who do you save?" The animal research proponent does not intend that the burning barn scenario be considered in this way--but it must be for consistency. The original scenario attempts to prompt the activist into deciding between "us (humans) or them (non humans)." If the research proponent objects to the notion that one may choose between "us or them" based on ethnic or gender, or some other criteria, then he/she must first show how discrimination based on species is justified, before such an argument could even begin to be considered valid for the animal research issue. NOTE: An animal research proponent might counter that it is in the best practical  interest of human beings to have respect and care for each other(Golden rule) but this would not be a necessity or a moral obligation. If someone could benefit from exploiting other humans(as we find in the real world all the time) then this argument would be invalidated.  Why shouldn’t someone exploit others if they can benefit from it? This is what the animal research proponent must address .  

 

3)Question/attack: "Ethics are irrelevant.  Speciesism is not the same as racism. We have a biological drive like all species to stick together and protect our own/Question/attack: "Humans have a natural biological drive to preserve their species over others. Humans are naturally meant to stick together." (note: also known as the Tenacious moral instinct argument).

Response: a) Humans have enslaved and discriminated against each other based on race, religion, gender, age,  intelligence,  and appearance for 1000s of years. The ideal of universal human rights is itself a new concept.  Despite our laws we still have discrimination and exploitation of humans for a myriad of reasons. One doesn’t lock their doors at night to keep out pit bulls.

  Response: b)Attempting to assert that other species are also speciesists is flawed, since lions and grizzlies have been known to kill the offspring of a rival male,  chimpanzee groups  will war against other chimpanzee groups, etc and some members of one species have been known to adopt members of another species, both domestically and in the wild. Humans have been found living in wolf dens, piglets adopted by dogs, etc. There are cases of humans risking their lives to save non humans and vice versa. Wouldn't this be impossible is tenacious moral instinct(a biological drive) were so?

Response: c) Citing some unsubstantiated "law" of the Natural world cannot defend the argument that humans are meant to "stick together".

 Response: d) The very fact that the concept of animal rights is accepted by some shows that there is no overriding biological drive in humans to "stick together"  or avoid compassion for members of other species.  

Response: e) If you truly believe in species unity, and think it is applicable to humans,  go walk through a notorious crime alley with $5000 in your hand and see how that "unity" holds up brother.

Response: f) The species unity myth is also used to make a jump from desperate emotional choice to ethical policy. If a human chooses to save a life of a human over a non human in some life and death situation( a river, a barn fire, a locked car/boat with no food etc), the argument is made that it is therefore logical to exploit non humans in factory farms, in laboratories etc.  But if one were to apply this to a human vs human scenario--(white vs black, Christian vs non Christian, family member vs stranger) and you choose that which you regard as most  familiar or valuable--then the same consequences are applicable. Will you then exploit the loser en masse? Of course not. So why would you do it to non humans?

Response: g) http://news.independent.co.uk/world/africa/story.jsp?story=598800 Owen the baby hippo is adopted by 100-year-old giant tortoise.  A baby hippo rescued from flooding in Kenya has found comfort in the friendship of a 100-year-old tortoise. They took him to a wildlife sanctuary in Mombasa where he soon found a male tortoise with the same dark grey colouring as adult hippos. The tortoise initially hissed at Owen, warning him to stay away, but according to park officials the pair have since become inseparable. The Aldabran tortoise, called Mzee, or "Old Man" in Swahili, now eats and sleeps next to Owen. Rangers say they could not have placed Owen with another herd of hippos as he would have been killed by an adult male. The park's tourism manager, Pauline Kimoto, told reporters: "Since Owen arrived on 27 December, the tortoise behaves like a mother to him. The hippo follows the tortoise around and licks his face." Kenyan rangers are getting used to seeing different species bonding with each other. In 2002, a lioness at Samburu National Park adopted a series of baby oryx, which are normally seen as food by lions. The lioness protected the oryx and roared with grief when one was eaten by a lion. --Update:  As of December 2005, a year after their initial meeting, Owen and Mzee are still together. Conservation workers are planning sometime in 2006 to introduce Owen to Cleo, a 13-year-old female hippo who has gone without the companionship of her own species for over ten years. http://www.snopes.com/photos/animals/hippo.asp

Response: h) Also the case of Little Tyke. http://www.vegetarismus.ch/vegepet/tyke.htm Georges and Margaret Westbeau's lioness cub refused to eat meat--even when a drop of blood was in it. "When she was four years old, the Westbeaus advertised a thousand dollar reward for anyone who could devise a method tricking Little Tyke into eating meat. Numerous plans met with failure since Little Tyke refused to have anything to do with flesh."  Little Tyke had many close animal friends. Her favorites were Pinky (a kitten), Imp (another kitten), Becky (a lamb) and Baby (a fawn). Her favorite and closest friend, however, was Becky, who preferred Little Tyke's company to any of the other animals.

Response: i)  http://www.vegetarismus.ch/vegepet/tyke.htm Little Tyke wasn't alone. A photograph taken at Allahabad, India in 1936 shows another awesome lioness. In Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda wrote: ...Our group left the peaceful hermitage to greet a near-by swami, Krishnananda, a handsome monk with rosy cheeks and impressive shoulders. Reclining near him was a tame lioness. Succumbing to the monk's spiritual charm - not, I am sure, to his powerful physique! - the jungle animal refuses all meat in favor of rice and milk. The swami has taught the tawny-haired beast to utter "Aum" in a deep, attractive growl - a cat devotee! These vegetarian lionesses are lion lights. By example, these luminaries invite us as well to discover a less violent world, turning away from slaughterhouses that fed our dogs and cats prior to this age of enlightenment.

 

Response j) http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=2575168&CMP=OTC-RSSFeeds0312 ELKHART LAKE, Wis. Oct 16, 2006 (AP)— After a disabled woman's cat started a house fire, her specially trained dog came to the rescue, then died trying to help the cat still in the house. Jamie Hanson said the 13-year-old dog named Jesse brought the phone so she could call 911 and also brought her artificial leg. Article commentary on exploitation of service dogs:  Jesse, a working dog  by Jason Hribal http://www.counterpunch.org/hribal11112006.html


Response k)
While on an expedition in Northern Africa, the prolific 18th century animal-collector, Carl Hagenbeck, described how baboons would "battle" hunters in order to save their trapped brethren. "One little baboon, who had been injured by a blow from a cudgel," he remembered, "was picked up and safely carried off by a great male in the very midst of the enemy." "In another instance, a female who already had one infant on her back, picked up and went off with another whose mother had been shot." Jason Hribal Emily the Cow and Tyke the Elephant. Resistance is Never Futile. http://counterpunch.org/hribal04172007.html
 

Response: L) More recently in 2003, there was the case of a herd of antelopes being held in a boma in Empangeni, Zululand. Conservationists watched as eleven elephants encircled the enclosure. In time, the matriarch, named Nana, came up to the main entrance, opened each of the latches, and swung open the gate. After the antelopes fled, the elephants marched into the night. As one of the ecologists wondered, "elephants are naturally inquisitive ­ but this behavior is certainly most unusual and cannot be explained in scientific terms." But to return to the fate of the Tamworth two, they would be detained but, due to overwhelming public demand, their lives would be spent in a sanctuary. Jason Hribal Emily the Cow and Tyke the Elephant. Resistance is Never Futile. http://counterpunch.org/hribal04172007.html
 

16: SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST

 

   

 

1)Question/attack: "Nature is cruel--cats will play with their food--so we should be cruel too. It's survival of the fittest. Compassion is not natural, and other species are motivated by self interest. "  

Response: a) "survival of the fittest" would allow one to exploit and enslave other humans . You acknowledge that one animal will prey on another, but you ignore that they can also prey on members of their own species--in which case, by using this moral standard and policy, humans preying on other humans would be justified too.

Response: b)a domestic cat is fed, and has no predators. A wild cat has to be on guard for competitors. Not catching prey means not eating. The time for playing with their food would be greatly diminished. More importantly, there is no evidence that a cat is aware of the mouse's suffering and takes pleasure from that fact-like humans have been known to do. There are hunters who enjoy killing animals.

  Response: c) Speciesists who use this attack contradict themselves—for while they say that species have a natural tendency to stick together,  they will also allege that it’s a "dog eat dog" world, compassion is not natural, and other species are motivated by self interest! In fact, other species have been known to exhibit altruism. Bats will lend food to other bats, ducks have been known to feign injury to lure a predator away from the flock. There are instances of domestic animals "adopting" the offspring of other species, and dogs rescuing humans.  Feral children found living with wolves in the wild etc. And conversely, there are instances where humans have risked their own lives to help a member of another species.

Response: d) The very fact that the concept of animal rights is accepted by some shows that there is no overriding biological drive in humans to "stick together"  or avoid compassion for members of other species.

Response: e) There was an experiment conducted where monkeys were starved unless they pressed a button that would release food--AND torture a monkey wired to shock devices. It was found that the monkeys preferred to endure starvation rather than inflict pain on another--the exact opposite response anticipated by the scientists. Yet a similar experiment involving humans where neither subjects were truly being tortured(unlike the monkeys) found that most of the humans were willing to see another human suffer--just to avoid displeasing the individual giving them the orders.




 

 

17: TRAPPING

1)Question/attack: "Leghold traps are painless and humane."

Response: a) if you think they are then try slamming your car door on your fingers, and stay there for a week.

 

18: WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT (see also hunting and fishing sections)

 

1)Question/attack: "If I wasn't hunting prairie dogs and groundhogs they would ruin my crops and my cattle would step in their holes and break their legs."   

response: a) That is nonsense. Larry Rittenhouse of Colorado State University says “it would be almost impossible for a cow to break its leg in a
prairie dog hole.” He says “I study these animals behavior and they are extremely adept at placing their feet. In my 50 years around cattle and horses, I don’t know of a single incident where a horse or cow has been injured in a prairie dog hole.” Cattle seem to actually preferentially graze on prairie dog towns. It has been found that there’s a significant increase in protein content in the plants growing on prairie dog towns and they are highly
nutritious for the cattle. 


response: b) many ranchers say that the only way to make farming profitable is to work with the elements of the ecosystem, instead of against them. It’s just not economically feasible to spend precious labor and money killing wildlife. If you start killing one animal, where does it end? We don’t know what species you can eliminate and still keep the system healthy. Contrary to folklore, prairie dogs do not breed like crazy. They don’t mate until their second year and only about half of those born each year survive. As you know, prairie dogs are herbivores and eat mostly native grasses. Most ranchers have heard the “fact” that prairie dogs diminish grassland productivity by a whopping 50-75%, but no one is sure how the biologist who made this claim came up with the numbers. Since then, studies have been done that show if you get rid of prairie dogs, the amount of forage that you gain is a puny 4-7%. It does impact the rancher in dollars and cents, but the cost of poisoning prairie dogs outweigh the gains made by eliminating the animals. If you still insist on trying to “control” the prairie dog and groundhog populations, you could at least do it in more ethically sound and natural ways such as giving predators a boost by building poles for raptors and digging trenches where foxes can hide. 

response: c) Biologists call prairie dogs a keystone species. Lose the keystone and the whole ecosystem goes crumbling down with it. Species that
rely solely on prairie dogs include the endangered black-footed ferret, the mountain plover (a bird), the burrowing owl, and the ferruginous hawk
which preys on them. If you change the natural disturbance regime that the “varmints” provide, you alter the ecosystem and you may start losing
species (of animals and plants) because of it which in turn effects other things (like your crops). As for groundhogs, they actually improve the soil
quality by digging their burrows. The burrows allow more air and water to get underground, which in turn helps breakdown the soil to form more
valuable topsoil.


response: d) I have little sympathy for the livestock loss or damage because it wouldn't happen if no one was eating the livestock. As for crops that go for human consumption (which the majority don’t), if everyone consumed on a veg diet, even a significant (which isn’t the case) loss of crops would be acceptable economically because you are talking about so much less of a burden on our farm system. Any shortcomings could be made up by more farmers raising more produce for human consumption. And in any case, If everyone has to deal with a problem, then the costs are passed on to the consumer. In the end, the market bears the real cost of doing business, and if everyone operated on the same ethical level and accepted crop losses via “varmints” as a natural issue to deal with, we could live in much better cooperation with our surrounding ecosystems and the natural world.

 

2)Question/attack: "If I wasn't killing the bear and wolves and cougars they would kill my sheep and I would lose business or they would eat my children."

response: a) You should not have sheep in the first place. If you must, keep them in a fenced area..


response: b) so instead of killing them, if you are so worried, why don't you work on helping protect their natural habitat so that they won't need to invade your property and kill your livestock. and after all, you are really the one invading their territory. 

response: c) by killing the bear, wolves, and cougars you are tampering with a very fragile thing --the ecosystem-- which could
very likely result in some other problem like an overpopulation of rodents or something.

response: d)-only in a few isolated incidences in other countries have wolves become fearless and attacked; only become fearless as result of people
feeding them-India: parents were motivated to let wolves eat kids by extremely high compensation from government… up to a year’s salary.
 

response: e) -Chain reaction: in one instance, when the wolves had been killed, coyotes increased. When they were gone, foxes skyrocketed. Not only does the method of removal prove ineffective, but according to the farmer, wolves should be better as they are much less likely to feed off of
 the farmer’s livestock. -Farmers are compensated by govt for all losses (even though losses are extremely minimal)-WOLVES ARE ONLY RESPONSIBLE FOR .1% OF ALL LOSSES OF CATTLE, AND .3% OF SHEEP!

Response: f) It is your own fault that your sheep get killed. The same would be true if you had chickens. They are domesticated--in the wild, predators would not have an easy time picking them off. A farm is easy pickings for a wild animal.

3)Question/attack: "What about animals that are introduced by humans into an unnatural setting, like the broad-tail possum in New Zealand, which are overrunning the native species. Surely we have no choice but to kill them."

response: a) the possum are victims of human greed and stupidity(introduced into new Zealand  by fur farmers)--humans just have to live with the consequences--and try not to cause more ecological disasters in the future.

response: b) who appointed humans to be Nature's exterminators? 

response: c) so by your logic, if a group of humans are overpopulating an area--and driving out native species, it should be okay for some people to go in and massacre a large number--or rather, thin the populations, for the benefit of the native species.

response: d) well if you are so concerned about native species being wiped out by alien species, what are you doing to stop farmers from cutting down forests or companies polluting rivers? Are you prepared to use violence against them? Or do we make an exception for the number one polluter and natural destroyer on the planet?

4)Question/Attack: "Humans need to manage Nature and other species."

Response: a) Total arrogance. Nature and other species do fine when humans aren't around to mess things up for them. 

Response: b) Oh you mean in the same way we "managed" forests, rivers, and the atmosphere by polluting them? If you call that "managing," I'd hate to see what wanton destruction would look like.

Response: c) here are some examples of how well humans have managed Nature  http://news.independent.co.uk/world/environment/story.jsp?story=585082 World's 100 most destructive species named (note--the number one, human, is not mentioned funny enough)1 Nile perch: introduced to Lake Victoria, Africa, in 1954 to counteract the drastic drop in native fish stocks caused by over-fishing. Instead, it has contributed to the extinction of more than 200 endemic fish species through predation and competition for food. 3 Caulerpa: introduced to the Mediterranean around 1984, it is thought, as waste from the Monaco aquarium. Hardier than most tropical seaweeds, it has adapted well to cold waters and smothers habitats. 5 Small Indian mongoose: this voracious and opportunistic predator is native to areas as widespread as Iran and the Malay Peninsula. It was introduced to Mauritius, Fiji, the West Indies and Hawaii to control rats but has caused the local extinction of endemic birds, reptiles and amphibians. 6 Feral pig: introduced to many parts of the world, it damages crops, stock and property and transmits many diseases such as leptospirosis and foot and mouth. Diet includes juvenile land tortoises, sea turtles and sea birds.7 Dutch elm disease: deadly fungus, spread by the elm bark beetle, which can kill an elm in three weeks by clogging its water-conducting vessels. Spread in the UK in 1968 from imported Canadian timber to deadly effect, killing more than a third of southern England's 23 million elms. 8 Grey squirrel: the American grey has devastated Britain's native population of red squirrels, which are barely half the size. First appeared in the English countryside between 1876 and 1929, possibly after having been accidentally released from London Zoo. 9 Japanese knotweed: introduced from Asia to Europe in the mid-19th century as an ornamental and fodder plant. Grows rapidly, prevents native seeds from germinating and thrives on being uprooted - can even regrow after being rooted out and washed downstream. 10 Giant African snail: introduced to the islands of the Pacific and Indian oceans as a food source for humans but has a voracious appetite and has been recorded as attacking more than 500 different kinds of plants. Has spread to parts of South America. Tropical in origin, but copes comfortably with snow at other latitudes.

 

19: ZOOS


1) Question/attack: "Why shouldn't we go the circus/zoo? Are not the animals treated better there than if they were living in the wild?"

a) well, first of all, who are we to be the all mighty ones to decide what to do with these animals lives? that would be like: aren't
children from 3rd world countries treated better when doing child labor, making purses for mere pennies, than when they are home
with their families living in destruction? or weren't black slaves better off as slaves than free because they had a means of making a
living? .....and really, although there are hunters and destruction of their natural habitats, I would think freedom and all the enrichment
that the environment can provide would be a better life than being chained and forced to perform in stressful situations, constantly
moved from place to place, and often being abused. 

b) By this logic we should take natives out of the dwindling jungles of South America and Borneo and put them in zoos so their lifestyle can be preserved. Surely they would be better off than if they had to struggle in the forests.

c)Well, we humans are also staying in the house, but are we still 100% safe?

d)From Jason Hribal article When Animals Resist Their Explotation (http://counterpunch.org/hribal12142006.html) : "In 1876, for example, Babe the elephant was born in India. He began his working life as a performer in an American circus. But, after stomping a trainer to death, he was sold to a zoo in Toledo, Ohio. There, three years later, he killed another trainer with his tusks. So resistant did this elephant become, his final obituary read: "Animal which became a Killer and Outlaw, executed following a Paralytic Stroke." In fact, according to a 1991 report of the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums, 18 trainers were killed by elephants over a 20-year period in North America-thereby achieving the unique distinction of having the highest per capita morality rate of any employment profession...."Then there was Stuffie, the first chimp ever produced from artificial insemination. Shot to death in 1987 while attempting to escape, she was infamous at the Toledo Zoo for holding milk in her mouth for hours on end: waiting patiently until her trainers came close enough so that she could spit it out in their faces. For Babe, it brought further beatings and the sawing off of her tusks. It brought armed-guards, more chains, and a new stronger pen. For Little Joe, his escapes brought about a new cell with triple-layered glass walls, a woven-steel cap, and 24-hour video surveillance. For Jabari, it meant being shot to death by the police. Many parks have now created specialized response teams: armored and armed. In fact, for both Babe and Little Joe, their acts of resistance initiated serious discussions among zoo officials concerning the use of the death penalty."..."Another attention-grabbing act of resistance is escape. In 1922, an unidentified ape attempted to flee from the Toledo Zoo. Apparently, the ape was once an adroit bicycle-rider in a vaudeville show but was later sold to the zoo. During the escape itself, the ape was confronted by the head keeper and his armed men. After beating and stabbing the ape with clubs and pitchforks, the keeper decided to shoot the animal in the head, as this was the ape's third breakout. Escapes were so common in the early days of the zoo that the Toledo Blade printed a series of cartoon editorials: each depicting various animals running through the streets and causing havoc in the local Walbridge neighborhood. Contrary to what some readers might be thinking, time and progress have not slowed such actions. In 2003, Little Joe, a gorilla at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, escaped his exhibition twice in a two-month period. Noting the 12-ft-wide, 12-ft-deep moat and electrified wires, officials had no idea how he accomplished it. At the Dallas Zoo a year later, Jabari-the gorilla-broke out of a containment that was, according to the zoo director, "among the best in the country." As he said afterwards, "this blows our minds." ..."By 1826, the London Exeter Exchange Menagerie had enough of Chunee the elephant. He had broken his last enclosure, ignored his last command, killed his last keeper. Depicted by a famous engraining, Chunee was executed via firing squad. Parallel was the fate of Topsy, the Coney Island elephant. Fed up with his continued "temper," including killing a visitor who fed him a lit cigarette, he was sold to the Thomas Edison Laboratory in 1903. Recorded by motion-pictures, Topsy was electrocuted to death." ...There is, in fact, a sizable amount of contemporary research done by zoos seeking to discover why animals become anti-social or act lethargic when confronted by visitors. The ultimate purpose of these "behavioral enrichment" studies is to lessen resistance and increase production. Animals need to perform. They need to play the part of the beast. They need to act voraciously. They need to run rapidly, fly swiftly, and swim excitedly. They need to roar and screech loudly. The methods used to obtain such reactions range from the construction of "naturalistic" exhibitions, to the utilization of toys and hidden treats, to experimentation with pharmaceutical drugs. None of these techniques, however, guarantees success. During the 1980s, for example, Busch Gardens designed and installed an expensive, long, narrow structure for their cheetahs. It was supposed that these creatures would readily use this structure to exhibit and highlight their speedy running abilities, consequently attracting vast audiences and their money. The cheetahs, though, refused to use it.


Response e)http://www.guardian.co.uk/germany/article/0,,2237483,00.html  A zoo in southern Germany, which wanted to avoid a sequel to "Knut mania", has been criticised for refusing to intervene to save two polar bear cubs which now appear to have been eaten by their mother. ...Politicians and animal rights activists accused the zoo of neglect. "You cannot just dump them in an artificial environment then treat them as if they're living in the wild," said Berthold Merkel, president of Bavaria's Animal Protection Association. A year ago an activist sparked an outcry by suggesting the rejected Knut should have been left to die. But others said it was nonsense for a zoo to treat captive creatures as if they were living free.

 

Response f)From Jason Hribal article at  http://counterpunch.org/hribal02222008.html The Story of Janet Elephants and the Circus   There is, in fact, a lengthy history of this kind of resistance among circus elephants. ...It was in May of 1993 when Axel Gautier, the world famous trainer for Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, was stomped to death. Descended from six generations of Swedish performers, this 35-year veteran developed such elaborate tricks as getting elephants to walk sideways on their hind legs. He was on sabbatical from the Greatest Show on Earth and decided to tour the company's private breeding operations in Williston, Florida. Significantly, this facility--just like its zoological counterparts--was opened in response to stricter laws and regulations that were being passed to regulate the exportation of elephants from foreign countries. Circuses and zoos no longer had easy access to their labor pool. They needed a new, more reliable source. Thus, breeding programs and "conservation centers" sprung up around the country. As for Gautier and his visit to the Ringling operation, he went alone into a corral that contained a group of elephants. He must have known or trained at least a few of them. In any case, the elephants knocked him down and stepped on him repeatedly. Gautier died of internal injuries. The circus implied that this was an unfortunate accident, but they kept mum on the specific details. ....In 1994, two handlers at the Jordon Circus were beaten up by an elephant named Sue. She had two kids on her back when she decided to grab one trainer with her trunk and throw him up into the air. As soon as he landed with a thump, Sue strolled over top of him--breaking his arm, shattering several ribs, and causing internal organ damage. The elephant next turned her attention to the other employee. ...It was only two years afterward when Sue violently confronted a different trainer--this time in central Wyoming. When questioned by a local newspaper, a circus spokesman denied that this was an attack. The elephant, while giving a ride to six children, became "spooked" at the sight of a horse and, consequently, backed into her handler. Spectators, nonetheless, provided a different story. They described how the elephant charged directly towards the trainer and bashed into the woman. Sue then began kicking the handler over and over again. When the woman tried to escape, the elephant just pulled her back for more. ....In February of 1995, after a Tarzan Zerbini show, a trainer was trampled while attempting to load a female elephant into a trailer. Circus officials assured the media that this was a freak mishap, as the handler simply slipped under the elephant. Yet, according to a later lawsuit, this was no mishap. The now former employee detailed how the animal purposely knocked him to the ground and stomped on him not once but twice. The elephant, he testified, was trying to kill him. Ten years later, there would be a second incidence involving a Tarzan Zerbini handler and the insides of a trailer. Again, the circus pleaded innocence: the man fell, and the elephant was only "stepping on him out of curiosity, not out of aggressiveness." In the end, though, no lawsuit was filed; for the man died from the wounds.

In April of 1999, yet another handler for Tarzan Zerbini went down.This time, an elephant broke free from her leg shackles and ran after a particular person. Spinning the man onto his back, she proceeded to deliver swift blows to the trainer's face, chest, and pelvis. Why did this happen? The circus would say nothing. However, an ambulance crew member noted that the injured man reeked of booze. Another employee later admitted that the circus pachyderm performers were "originally trained by drunks and were badly beaten in the past." "Now," he warned, "the elephants don't like the smell of alcohol on people." A lesson to remember. In January of 2000, an associate of the Ramos Circus was crushed to death at the outfit's home-base in Florida. Kenya, an 11 year-old African elephant, had managed to snap her leg chain and wander free. Indeed, while some people may know rivers, elephants know chains: as they are often tethered in irons for 15, 16, or even more hours per day. At any rate, this elephant was now free, and she targeted a member of the Ramos family. First, Kenya sent the woman crashing into the dirt and then trampled over top of her. The elephant watched as this former acrobat struggled to her feet, only to push her over again and continue with the lethal strikes. Kenya, shortly thereafter, joined this same woman in the afterlife--as the elephant also died. County authorities suspected foul-play. Someone had poisoned her. ...Finally, in 2006, a pair of trainers at a fair in Marlborough, Massachusetts was smashed up against a wall by a 37 year-old Asian elephant named Minnie. Both individuals were critically injured. A spokesman explained that the elephant, while being loaded with a group of children, shifted her position and accidentally bumped into the handlers. Visitors, on the other hand, gave a different report. They said that a trainer hit Minnie near the eye with a bull-hook. As one onlooker added, "people think the animal got crazy, but it was provoked." The elephant was just trying "to defend itself." Several years previous, at the New York State Fair, there was a similar incidence with Minnie...This was especially the situation with Mickey in September of 1994. This 15-year old elephant was working for the King Royal Circus. During a performance in Lebanon, Oregon, he refused to do a trick. The trainer shouted and promptly gouged the elephant in the neck with the bull-hook, drawing blood to the horror of the audience. A few people called the cops. After the show, the handler was arrested and hauled off to the city jail. Responding to the incidence, the King Royal manager fumed that "these animals can become killers." "What I'd like to do with these protesters," she continued, "is take our nicest elephant and put it in their back yards for about an hour. Then they'd see just how much destruction one of these guys can really inflict." ...As to the escalating situation on the Florida midway, the police--at the request of the owner of the Great American Circus--stepped in and drew their weapons. A crowd of spectators had already encircled the scene. "All the people were yelling," one bystander recalled. "They were saying you shouldn't shoot that animal." The audience had chosen a side in this struggle, and it was not with the circus. Alas, the police paid no mind and began their barrage: firing a total of 47 bullets into the elephant. Janet lay prostrate on the ground but still alive. Fifteen minutes later, an officer arrived with larger bullet casings and finished her off. Janet's body was taken to the local garbage dump and unceremoniously discarded. Not all stories end well.

Response g) http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/mar/28/wildlife.conservation  Berlin zoo accused of profiting from slaughter
Berlin zoo is under pressure to explain the fate of hundreds of its animals which allegedly have disappeared without trace amid accusations that they have been slaughtered and in some cases turned into potency-boosting drugs. Claudia Hämmerling, a Green party politician, backed by several animal rights organisations, alleges that the zoo's director, Bernhard Blaszkiewitz, sold the animals to traders.
She claims to hold evidence on four Asian black bears and a hippopotamus, which were taken from Berlin, officially to go to a new home. They were transported to the Belgian town of Wortel, which has no zoo, but which does have an abattoir. According to Hämmerling these animals were slaughtered at the abattoir. She said the systematic "overproduction of animals" at zoos, designed to attract more visitors, was to blame. Hämmerling said she also knew of several tigers and leopards from Berlin that ended up in a tiger breeding farm in China that promoted itself as a purveyor of traditional potency-boosting medicines made from the bodies of big cats. She alleges the animals' remains were pulverised and turned into drugs....
A spokeswoman for Hämmerling said yesterday the MP was prepared to press charges. State prosecutors will soon announce whether the case goes to.
The zoo has been unable to shake off the charge that it has been encouraging animal births so as to boost visitors keen on "cute offspring". The phenomenon has been labelled "Knut-mania", after the cub became one of the the biggest money-spinning animals in history, thanks largely to marketing offshoots, which benefited the zoo.  It is believed standard practice for zoos to kill "surplus" animals. Nuremberg zoo's deputy director, Helmut Mägdefrau, was reported as saying: "If we cannot find good homes for the animals, we kill them and use them as feed." Recently an antelope in Nuremberg was fed to caged lions in front of visitors, causing outrage.
...

 

Response h) Look how well this zoo looks after its prisoners:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7649876.stm Boy fed zoo reptiles to crocodile A seven-year-old boy has been filmed going on the rampage at a popular zoo in Australia, killing rare reptiles and feeding live ones to a crocodile. Footage from the security cameras at Alice Springs Reptile Centre caught the child smiling as he killed a total of 13 animals. During his 30-minute spree, he was seen hurling the animals over the security fence into the crocodile enclosure.Zoo officials described the boy's actions as "unbelievable". They are considering suing the parents as the boy is too young to be prosecuted.

 

Response: i) Elephants 'die earlier in zoos' A new study comparing wild, captive and working elephants has found that living in zoos can significantly shorten the animals' lives.
Writing in the journal Science, researchers say obesity is a major cause of death in adult zoo elephants. They also cite stress as the key factor in the death of young captive animals when they are moved from zoo to zoo. They say ideally zoos should not take on new elephants if they cannot provide suitable environments..... For African elephants, the average lifespan in captivity was only 19 years compared with 56 years in the wild. Rates of mortality amongst zoo-born Asian elephants were two to three times higher than for those born in the logging camps...Early death was also more likely to occur in captive animals born in the wild or transferred between zoos. Dr Clubb says this is probably caused by the stress of being taken away from their herd, mothers or family group...
"If the zoo does not have space, its simple - don't take elephants."
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7777413.stm



 

 **************

HELPFUL TERMINOLOGY

Anthropocentrism: This is routinely defined as:  1.Regarding human beings as the central element of the universe. 2.Interpreting reality exclusively in terms of human values and experience.  It is worthwhile to compare this definition with Ethnocentrism, which is usually defined as: 1.Belief in the superiority of one's own ethnic group. 2.Overriding concern with race. Anthropocentrism can then also be redefined as: Belief in the superiority of one’s own species. (sometimes referred to as Speciesism, Human Chauvinism, Spiritual humanism, Secular humanism)  

Human Supremacy myth: the conviction that human beings as a species or group, are superior in value to all other life, based upon arbitrary or subjective criteria conveniently determined by those who stand to benefit from the discrimination. 

Anthropocentric myopia: This may be defined as the condition demonstrated when the ethical and practical arguments used in an attempt to ethically justify the harm caused to non humans, fail to address and counter the effects these very same arguments would have if applied fairly and equally to situations involving humans.  (W's note: it is my experience that countering and criticizing any anti-animal rights argument along this line guarantees that your opponent will be unable to respond effectively. Example: "Native/First Nations people have been trapping, whaling,  and hunting for centuries--who is to say that Europeans have the right to criticize what they do?"  To effectively  negate this attack, simply point out that Native people had also practiced human sacrifice, infanticide, and human slavery for centuries before European colonialism---if they decided to resume these practices would it be correct to criticize them for doing so? If yes, then the issue becomes one of showing why human beings deserve special consideration and exemption, while non human beings do not. If the answer is no (a very unlikely scenario), then the issue becomes one of why non native/first nations peoples would still be restricted from engaging in infanticide, human sacrifice or human slavery themselves. Is one group of humans superior to another group? If not--then a harmonization of one's ethical conduct towards others would be a necessity to avoid social chaos(i.e. people deciding to discriminate according to race, religion, gender--as some already do). Essentially, Anthropocentric Myopia points out that no one lives in a vacuum. Any attempt to excuse human beings from the equation results in a blatant flaw in one's ethical philosophy and system.  It is also very beneficial for an animal activist to learn how not to take the concept of human rights (as well as the Human Supremacy myth) for granted. The notion of universal, inalienable human rights is a recent phenomena, dating back approximately 200 years. Prior to that there were certain preconditions to moral value (whether you were male, believed in the particular deity, what language you spoke, how much money you had etc.). Even today there are constant reminders of how arbitrary and fragile the concept of human rights is--when one observes how frequently these alleged rights are violated or ignored--even by countries that claim to believe in them. I do not mention this to disown the concept of human rights; on the contrary, the fact that human rights are just as fragile as non human rights should serve as an incentive to be fair to all victims of discrimination. To be consistent, you cannot have one without the other, and any effort to justify discrimination against one group--leaves the door open for someone else to discriminate along their own arbitrary, subjective measure of designating moral value and worth.) For more on debunking arguments involving First nations subsistence lifestyles see the Misc. section. 

Six factors that fuel opposition to animal rights/ecological concerns:

 1) fear: of the unknown, or Nature, of death. Some people feel that by believing they are superior in value to others, it makes them feel more secure about themselves. Others witness the violence in Nature, and do not want to be regarded as a part of that reality. 
2) ignorance: either they haven't thought about these issues--or they refuse to, in order to avoid confronting unpleasantness, or a shake up to their accepted world view.
3) laziness: Some people are not insensitive to the causes, but just don't find the time or motivation to change.
4) greed: they make money or gain some comfort from a form of exploitation (or the by-products of it)  so they don't want to change that. 
5)sadism: they get pleasure from causing suffering. 

6)arrogance: some people enjoy feeling superior to others, and treating them that way. 

 

NOTABLE PHILOSOPHERS  IN THE ANIMAL RIGHTS ARGUMENT (special thanks to "Lamb" for researching and the use of select quotes).

L Petrinovich, Lewis (ANTI)  Petrinovich argues that humans possess a bundle of unique characteristics, setting them apart biologically and morally from other species. "Although Petrinovich's biologically based speciesist position is a recent contribution to animal ethics, the idea of grounding ethics in biology is not new.  Herbert Spencer applied Darwin's theory of evolution to philosophical problems in the mid 1800s [1], though in a way quite at odds with Darwin's egalitarian perspective on animals.  Closer to our time, Edward O. Wilson linked evolutionary principles with social behavior in his controversial book Sociobiology: The New Synthesis.[2] Petrinovich, a bioethicist and research scientist, contributes to the current discussion about speciesism in two important ways.  In the first place, Petrinovich, like his predecessors, gives biological evolution a central role in his ethical position.  Taking the biological natures of individuals into account is essential, I think, in our ethical theorizing.  Because an animal does not behave as we do when in pain, for example, does not justify a lack of moral concern for her pain.  As Bernard Rollin points out: "(I)t is a selective evolutionary survival advantage for a cow to eat regardless of how it feels...(A) cow that didn't graze with the rest of the herd would be flagged as vulnerable to predators." [3] Secondly, Petrinovich's argument, I think, is an attempt to provide a biological justification of the age-old and commonly held assumption that for all our similarities to animals, we are still morally distinct from them simply because we are biologically human." 1.Spencer, Herbert. The Data of Ethics. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell and Company, 1879. 2. Wilson, Edward O. Sociobiology: The New Synthesis. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1975. 3. Rollin, Bernard E. The Unheeded Cry. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990, p 135. Petrinovich's Argument In Brief In Darwinian Dominion, Petrinovich argues that human beings possess a complex bundle of unique characteristics that set them apart both biologically and morally from other species.  He presents three major justifications for speciesism.  His first justification is an appeal to the emotional bonds between members of the human species that have evolved to increase the likelihood of survival and reproductive success of each neonate.  According to Petrinovich, emotional bonding between the neonate and the human community is the biological base upon which a moral distinction can be made between the neonate and animals of other species.  He says that: "(t)his base concerns the identity of the neonate as a member of our biological species, and this membership places it in a special category entitling it to treatment as a member of the social community." His second justification is an appeal to cognitive capacities that he claims are probably unique to humans and necessary for moral agency.  The criteria for moral agency, according to Petrinovich, involve the ability to understand rules, duties, obligations, and causality, as well as having a ToM (theory of mind). His third justification is an appeal to the pervasiveness of speciesism, even among philosophers like Singer and Regan, who attempt to oppose it.  He points out the inconsistencies and 'backdoor speciesism' in the positions of Singer and Regan when they draw moral comparisons between animals and humans.  "(S)peciesism becomes a basic aspect of biological reality on which the human social condition is founded." Petrinovich concludes.' Rebuttals Section 1, Q/A 5 ; Section 9, Q/A 2, 5, 6, 8; Section 15, Q/A 1-3;

M Leahy (ANTI): Leahy thinks that the young and mentally disabled have an honorary status because they're human. He says: "Attempts to convince us that the eating of meat and fish is an evil invasion of the inalienable rights of animals and that it should cease forthwith are a sham."(Leahy,M "AGAINST LIBERATION" London: Routledge, 1991, p 220). He is a contractualist (like Peter Carruthers, Peter Harrison, and Lewis Petrinovich). The social contract between humans, according to these philosophers, separates them from animals. Rebuttal section 1, Q/A 5; Section 15; 

Peter Carruthers (ANTI): says to have concern for farm and lab animals distracts from humans who alone have moral standing. Carruthers says: "Those who are committed to any aspect of the animal rights movement are thoroughly misguided. " Said giving regard to animals is moral decadence. (Carruthers, Peter "the animals issue" Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992.) (Dombrowski's response to Carruthers' incorrectly taking moral sentiment to be a pie of a fixed amount-such that giving to animals leaves less for humans) Both Carruthers and Harrison are neo-Cartesians. They try to resurrect the idea that animals cannot feel pain, so we should be free to experiment on them. Rene Descartes claimed that when non human animals screamed during an experiment, it was merely the obstruction of organic gears and levers. (Harrison, Peter "Theodicy and Animal Pain" in PHILOSOPHY64, 1989.) Rebuttal section 9; section 15;

McCloskey ,HJ (ANTI) thinks that, given the benefits to humans, it's irresponsible to abandon animal experimentation. ( McCloskey,HJ 'The Moral Case for Experimentation in Animals' in MONIST 70, 1987, and 'Moral Rights and Animals' in INQUIRY 22, 1979.) Rebuttal: Section 2. Q/A 6.
 

Cohen, Carl (ANTI) Like McCloskey, uses the benefits excuse, (Carl Cohen and Tom Regan, "The Animal Rights Debate" New York: Rowman and Littlefield Pub, Inc, 2001.) Rebuttal: Section 2. Q/A 6.
 

Ryder, Richard D. Coined the term "speciesism" in 1970.  Animal Revolution. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1989.

Singer, Peter. "Like Ryder, points out the parallels between racism, sexism, and speciesism.  Where individuals have similar interests, Singer argues, moral consistency requires that equal consideration be given to the interests of each individual.  Race and sex, for example, play no role in determining whether an individual has the intellectual or moral capacity to vote.  It would be a form of racism or sexism, therefore, to decide on the basis of an individual's race or sex whether or not to consider her interest in voting. On the other hand, because infants and the mentally disabled do not have the intellectual or moral capacity of normal adult humans, it makes no sense to insist that equal consideration be given to their interest in voting.  Infants and the mentally disabled, however, like normal adults, are sentient, and as such, have the capacity to feel pleasure and satisfaction.  Accordingly, moral consistency urges us to consider equally the interest of all sentient humans in avoiding pain and experiencing pleasure.  Animals, no less than human infants and the mentally disabled, Singer continues, are sentient, and as such, should be accorded comparable moral consideration.  To do otherwise, Singer argues, would be to show a bias for human beings and against animals; that is, to be a speciesist." Animal Liberation. Wellingborough: Thorsons   Publishers Limited, 1975.  Practical Ethics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979.   In Defense of Animals. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1985.

 

Regan, Tom. "Regan's approach to animal ethics, while in one sense a challenge to that taken by Singer, is in another important sense, an affirmation of Singer's position.  Singer's animal ethics was developed within a utilitarian framework.  Singer widened the application of the utilitarian principle to include animals among those whose pleasures and pains are given impartial consideration.  Equality and impartiality are central features of Regan's rights theory, as well.  "The idea of impartiality is at the heart of...the formal principle of justice", the guiding principle of Regan's theory.  According to the formal principle of justice, similar cases should be treated similarly, different cases, differently.  Though the principle does not specify which factors are relevant in determining similarities and differences, it requires that an account be given of how we distinguish similar and dissimilar cases.  If it is claimed, for example, that suffering is wrong in the case of humans but not in that of animals, it must be shown how a biological difference makes the two cases morally dissimilar. Regan, like Singer, insists that the interests of animals and humans should be given equal consideration where they have similar interests.

Though Regan acknowledges that Singer's utilitarian account complies with the formal principle of justice, he favors a different interpretation of the principle.  According to Regan, all individuals with inherent value possess it equally.  That is, no individual, no matter how gifted intellectually, socially, or morally, has a higher degree of inherent value than any other.  "Inherent value is thus a categorical concept.  One either has it, or one does not."  Accordingly, formal justice requires that respect be shown equally to all individuals with inherent value.  Moral conflicts cannot be resolved, therefore, by determining relative inherent value, nor, indeed, by a utilitarian calculation in which an aggregate of satisfactions has more value that the satisfactions of a single individual.  Regan opposes Singer's utilitarian approach to animal ethics, therefore, because justice demands that respect be shown for the equal inherent value of individuals.  The amassed sum of inherent value of individuals in a group is no greater than that possessed by a single individual, according to Regan." The Case for Animal Rights. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983. 'Animal Rights, Human Wrongs.' in Environmental Philosophy. eds. Michael Zimmerman et al. Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc. 1993.

 

 

Francione, Gary. Rutgers University. Very critical of animal rights advocates and vegans. Suggested reading: http://supremacymyth.wordpress.com/2014/07/09/fifth-column-veganism-nathan-winograd-gary-francione-and-the-philosophy-of-distract-divide-and-demoralize-2/ .  Introduction to Animal Rights: Your Child or The Dog? Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2000.

 

Angus Taylor: author of 'Magpies, Monkeys, and Morals' Taylor's is nice, quick and gives both sides fairly...He's a philosopher but clearly is on the animal rights side.

Daniel Dombrowski:  "Babies and Beasts" Chicago: University of Illinois, 1997.

Best, Stephen.  'God, Culture, and Women.' in Skinned. ed. Anne Doncaster. North Falmouth: International Wildlife Coalition, 1988. http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:CTk-0eEU1aUJ:www.stephenbest.ca/God_Culture_Women.pdf+quote+by+whalers++on+sealers++&hl=en or www.stephenbest.ca/God_Culture_Women.pdf
 

New Section:

Fools of Note:  Edward Ormston, Canadian judge in the Kensington case, who after reviewing a video tape of a cat being tortured to death by laughing teenagers, claimed the defendants didnt intend to torture the cat.


 

 

   

Have Questions/attacks/responses? Then.......



 

askweebler@hotmail.com

 

LINKS  (very much out of date)

 

Animal-rights.com  The other FAQ page. Although a bit scholarly in language, it is well worth checking out.

International Vegetarian Union

Vegnews
 

http://vivisection-absurd.org.uk

http://www.zmag.org/animal_rights_watch.htm

http://www.animal-law.org/  Gary Francione's page. Well worth visiting!
 

Animalsagenda.org  Home of the magazine.

Animalconcerns.netforchange.com  Animal Concerns is the online community for people concerned about the welfare and rights of animals. Get the latest news headlines, links, articles, join discussions, vegan products and more!
 

animalove.com  Animal rescue--especially for rats and other wee ones.

animalsasia.org Hong Kong-based charity dedicated to ending cruelty and restoring respect for all animals in Asia.

animalconcerns.org

United Poultry Concerns   Activist group that campaigns against cruelty to chickens and other domestic fowl.

American Anti-Vivisection Society The American Anti-Vivisection Society is dedicated to ending experimentation on animals in research, testing and education. AAVS also opposes and works to end other forms of cruelty to animals. Get campaign updates, action alerts, cruelty free shopping guide and more!
 

National Anti-Vivisection Society The National Anti-Vivisection Society is dedicated to abolishing the exploitation of animals used in research, education and product testing.
 

Animal Legal Defense Fund: The Animal Legal Defense Fund uses the U.S. legal system to fight animal abuse. Their vision is that the lives and interests of animals - in research labs, on farms, in the wild and in our own communities - would one day be recognized and protected by law. Put the law into action for animals!

protectseals.org Rebecca Aldworth's Journal for the Canadian Seal Hunt

harpseals.org

Stephen Best website  stephenbest.ca
 

PeopleforEndingAnimalCrueltyandExploitation  New AR message group.

SATYA Very interesting.
 

Fruitarianism Very interesting page on Fruitarian philosophy, health information etc.

Earthsave Canada  

Forgottenfelines.ca

Fruitnut.net  your one stop source for info on fruit and nuts 
 

Gentlebarn.org Hold a chicken, cuddle a cow! Located in Los Angeles, Gentle Barn is a sanctuary with over 80 rescued animals.

Pokesociety.com Power of Knowledge and Education of Animal Cruelty is a non-profit organization committed to educating the public about
the animal cruelty that is prevalent in Canada and working to protect animals.   We also foster homeless and abandoned cats. (Based in BC Canada.)

http://www.sugarrocket.com/vegan a personal veg info resource
 

Infurmation.com   European anti-fur organization. Great content.

Vegetarian Baby and Child Magazine

Ahimsaworks 

http://www.animalsuffering.com  International Animal Rights Community
 

 

Veganstreet good site!

Vegsource Claims to be the largest veg site online. Lots of info on recipes, groups, events--and many  message boards (though slow to download and definitely not as busy as it once was). Has developed a bad reputation for censorship, board rudeness, and a primary interest in generating money through the ads swamping every single page. Useful link on arguments (from John Robbins Diet for a New America) :   http://www.vegsource.com/how_to_win.htm

 

Vegetarian Resource Group  (Dec. 13 2002:  This organization has been cited in a McDonalds court settlement supporting the channeling of money to anti-vegetarian and pro-animal research groups. I am keeping it listed for its website content but I would recommend caution when considering donations or what you read on their site given this revelation concerning the ethics of this group. I have not read any further information on this.



North American Vegetarian Society  (Dec. 13 2002:  This organization has been cited in a McDonalds court settlement supporting the channeling of money to anti-vegetarian and pro-animal research groups. I am keeping it listed for its website content but I would recommend caution when considering donations or what you read on their site given this revelation concerning the ethics of this group. I have not read any further information on this.

Veganoutreach.org

Northwest Animal Rights Network

People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Farm Sanctuary: Farm Sanctuary is an organization which operates farm animal sanctuaries and wages campaigns to stop the exploitation of animals raised for food. Read about their No Downers, No Veal, and Farm Animal Defense campaigns, adopt a farm animal and more!
 

Farmusa.org  Farm Animal Reform Movement is dedicated to making this world a better place for farm animals. Learn about their many programs such as The Great American Meatout, CHOICE, Global Hunger Alliance and more!
 

 

Animalrights.net  This is a parody site designed to make those who oppose animal compassion and ethics look hilariously foolish. I think you will agree the author has done a fantastic job of imitating the irrational, hostile personality of an anti-nature extremist and really captured the essence of hunters, animal researchers and the unenlightened. Includes many examples of bad arguments, and a discussion board where other animal activists pretend to be hunters and researchers. 

Aesop: Welcome to Aesop: The Leather Alternative, and our Virtual Catalog of non-leather shoes, belts and accessories featuring Online Ordering. 

Zand.com Zand Herbal Formulas

Animaladvocacy.net includes info on which so-called wildlife groups support hunting.

Hfa.org  The Humane Farming Association is the nation's largest and most effective organization dedicated to the protection of farm animals. Learn more about their National Veal Boycott, the practices of factory farming, and the rescued animals that now live at the Suwanna Ranch...the world's largest facility ever created for abused farm animals.
 

Pcrm.org  The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is an organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in reasearch...without the use of animals. They also advocate the health benefits of a vegetarian diet.

URL: http://www.utyx.com/alternative-medicine/
Title: Alternative-medicine Resources
Description: alternative-medicine related news, books and web resources

 

Nopetcloning.org  A website to educate the public about the dangers of cat and dog cloning and to
oppose pet cloning. American Anti-Vivisection Society.

 

Pawsweb.org The Performing Animal Welfare Society is a sanctuary where abandoned or abused performing animals and victims of the exotic animal trade can live in peace and contentment for the rest of their natural lives. P.A.W.S. is dedicated to strengthening laws and educating the public on the animals' behalf.
 

http://www.peta.net 


http://www.egroups.com/messages/veganway 

The Field of Dreams Hunting Club  Brilliant!

http://www.mercyforanimals.org
http://www.worldanimalnet.org * 6000 links
http://www.nofishing.net 

http://www.circuses.com
 

Animalrightscanada.com 

chickenout.ca

humanefood.ca

Freeanimals.org -Canadian site with special section devoted to Kensington cat torture case.

Taosanctuaries.org The Association of Sanctuaries provides a list of accredited animal sanctuaries of all kinds. Read the TOAS Horizons Newsletter and help support the sanctuary of your choice!

http://www.ivu.org/recipes 

http://www.vegweb.com/food
http://www.vrg.org/recipes 

http://www.vegsource.com/recipe
http://www.eatveg.com


Spiritual -
Jewish http://www.jewishveg.com 

http://www.nimn.org
Buddhist: http://www.plumvillage.org
Hindu http://www.hindu.org 

http://www.eaisai.com/baba 

http://www.sathyasai.org
Islamic: http://www.islamveg.com 

http://www.egroups.com/messages/drbashiruddin
Christian: http://www.all-creatures.org 

http://www.christianveg.com
http://www.hacres.com

 http://www.jesusveg.com 

http://compassionatespirit.com
http://www.eco-cuisine.com 

http://groups.msn.com/catholicveg
http://groups.msn.com/christianveg
http://www.ldsveg.org 

http://www.egroups.com/messages/salvarmy
 

  Jainism overview: http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jainism

http://www.jainworld.com/

 http://www.cs.colostate.edu/~malaiya/jainhlinks.html

 

FamousVeggie.com List of famous vegetarians/vegans with quotes, links, recipes and a list of vegetarian restaurants.

Vegan.org

www.uncaged.co.uk Provides reports on what animal experimentation is being conducted and by whom. 
 

Vegancats.com Cruelty-free, natural products for cats and dogs..including vegetarian (vegan) foods and treats, as well as supplements, remedies, flea products,and ... other stuff for the vegan cat!

Veganessentials.com

Veggievisitors.com

Vegetus.org Vegan and vegetarian humor and information. Includes bios and interviews on entertainers, athletes, and intellectuals.

Vegan Voice magazine

Vernon Coleman This site by the provocative, iconoclastic UK columnist, author and campaigner features interesting challenges to hunters and animal researchers where they can collect large sums of money if they can justify their stances.

 

veganrepresent.com

http://www.veggieboards.com/

http://www.animalsuffering.com/forum

MSN message boards

http://groups.msn.com/AnimalRights/1.msnw (pretty much defunct)

http://groups.msn.com/PeopleforEndingAnimalCrueltyandExploitation/messageboard.msnw

http://groups.msn.com/AnimalsHaveRightsToo/home.msnw
 

http://groups.msn.com/ar9

http://groups.msn.com/ANIMALRIGHTS2/  (new!!)

Yahoo message boards:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CorrectTreatment/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CorrectTreatment-news/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HLSsucks/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/A-Animal_NoKill_City/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AnimalAdvocacy/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/animalenemies/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/animalguardians2/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/animallovers2/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/animalrightsactivistresources/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/animalrightsdebateclub/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/animals/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AnimalsInNeed/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AntiPoachers/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BanFur/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bracefacealiciasilverstone

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/discussanimalrights

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/friendsofdeer/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/furisnotalive/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Goat_Friends/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ida-alerts/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/in-defense-of-animals/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lovinganimals/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nomoreanimalcruelty/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/petasavetheanimals/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/protectourpets/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Save_Wolves/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/therealpeta/

MHARC http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MHARC/