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The Ethics of Eating Meat: A Fowl Dilemma

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1 hour ago, john MCG said:

Yeah, I agree on factory farming. I think you guys are misinterpreting my point. I disagree with a small part of one of IFR’s posts, not his argument in general. In fact, I don’t even disagree I just think there is no way of telling that factory farming methods are worse than being preyed upon.

Idk, at least when you are being preyed upon, you have a chance of scaping. 

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While the points about factory framing are fair enough, nobody should get the impression that life in the wild is idyllic for most animals. Injury, starvation and disease are ever present threats for most of them as well as predation. It is generally not a question of when an animal will die horribly, but how.

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19 minutes ago, A wilding said:

While the points about factory framing are fair enough, nobody should get the impression that life in the wild is idyllic for most animals. Injury, starvation and disease are ever present threats for most of them as well as predation. It is generally not a question of when an animal will die horribly, but how.

For sure,  but i dont think anyone on this thread is under that impression. 

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Posted (edited)
On 6/15/2021 at 9:38 AM, larrytheimp said:

I don't really have much of an opinion on animal testing for medical research (cosmetic products are different IMO) but the bolded is just plain wrong.  Necessary for what?  

Humans survived for tens of thousands of years without this.  

I don't think we are in disagreement here; we're using different definitions for the same word.

Medical research is not necessary for the survival of the species, certainly. Homo sapiens have been around for over a million years without the aid of medical research. Which is what you suggest, and I agree with this.

Survival of individuals can often depend on medical research though (eg. cancer research, research on insulin, degenerative neurological disorders, etc.). Usually this research requires living test subjects. That's what I was suggesting.

On 6/15/2021 at 1:14 PM, john MCG said:

Yeah, I agree on factory farming. I think you guys are misinterpreting my point. I disagree with a small part of one of IFR’s posts, not his argument in general. In fact, I don’t even disagree I just think there is no way of telling that factory farming methods are worse than being preyed upon.

I'm happy to respond to this!

Pigs can with the proper nutrition and care live on average to be 15-20 years old. In the wild they tend to live on average 4-5 years, mostly due to predators. The most significant predation wild pigs face is from humans.

Most hunters will aim for a clean death. A good shot to the heart and pigs will die near instantly, or within a few minutes. Hunters aim for a good kill because they don't want to destroy the meat with shot, and they don't want the prey to escape. Still, a shot (or arrow) can hit far from target and merely wound the pig, in which case tracking it can mean that its death is drawn out for hours, or it's merely crippled. I don't know the stats for the portion of hunters who effectively kill within minutes or end up taking hours. Most of these kills would entail some trauma, though I suppose there are also cases of very effective kills where the pig dies before its brain has a chance to register events. With enough blood loss or pain, shock takes over. We do not know how much shock dulls the trauma of the experience in pigs and other animals. We know it can be pretty effective for humans.

The predators of pigs are alligators, bobcats, coyotes, and mountains lions, etc. These animals aim to kill the pig quickly - not out of concern for the pig, of course, but to reduce the energy expenditure. Alligators will quickly drown the pig, and this usually is over in a few minutes. Animals that use their teeth will try to snap the pig's neck. It's not common for the pig to actually be alive while it's consumed. But it does happen, of course. One can expect that if the pig is not killed before consumption, shock will ameliorate some of the trauma. But there's not much data regarding this that I'm aware of.

If there is not enough to eat, then a pig will starve to death, often over several days.

So yes, death through predation has every indication that it often is traumatic. Death from lack of predation also can entail a traumatic death.

However, it's also worth considering death due to factory farming. Since the 1950s pigs have been selectively bred to larger size. Unfortunately, accompanying this has, weirdly enough, been a genetic predisposition to stress (incidentally this same problem affects chicken and turkey). Pigs will become very stressed in triggering circumstances, even to the point where they undergo heart failure. The magnitude of this is extensive. A New York Times article in 2003 noted the the pork industry lost 90 millions dollars a year from this issue alone. Pigs would get so stressed out that they would have a heart attack. This is very uncommon for pigs in nature, even in the act predation.

Unstimulating environments are noted to increase the stress of pigs. As does the prodding of electric rods that are used on them. It hasn't been mentioned here, but filming within factory farms is often illegal. When people have successfully filmed within farms, serious abuse against animals has commonly been observed (beatings, torture beyond even what has legally been deemed acceptable to the job - electric rods rammed into the vagina and anus, etc). This will also trigger stress levels.

Another stressor is when the pigs are herded for slaughter. Pigs are not stupid. They will smell the blood of other pigs, and hear the screams and detect that something is wrong. They will exhibit signs of stress. A lot pigs will experience cardiac arrest in this circumstance.

With all this in consideration, I don't know if one can say that nature provides a crueler death than factory farming. They both are pretty bad. The major difference is, as others have pointed out, that factory farming involves the infliction of trauma for the duration of a pig's life. Life in its natural habitat can involve trauma, but it allows for many events that are not traumatic (free roaming, socialization, the lack of hormone-induced disablities, less prevalence of disease, etc.).

Edit: It's a minor point, but it's an assumption in your post that I found amusing. I'm not a guy. Please don't think I'm bothered by it, I just found it interesting that this was the gender interpreted from my post.

Edited by IFR

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Posted (edited)

Reminds me of a WUMO comic strip. Two dorky stick thin couple decide to go vegan when the laws are changed to allow only hunting your own meat. Steak in this case. Stud bull with :devil: horns weighing few tons enough to deter most. 

And... 

If only slaughterhouses had glass walls... 

Phillip Wollen 

EDIT 

AHIMSA, Curious. Gandhian values. Non violence 

Edited by TheLastWolf

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11 hours ago, IFR said:

Edit: It's a minor point, but it's an assumption in your post that I found amusing. I'm not a guy. Please don't think I'm bothered by it, I just found it interesting that this was the gender interpreted from my post.

My bad. Not to further generalise, but your conciliatory tone should have given me a clue.

On the subject at hand, I suppose the next theoretical question is whether a life under humane farming conditions is preferable for livestock type animals, even if it ends in butchery. I’m guessing lifespan for a pig on a farm is shorter than 4-5 years but if it’s a happy life it might be preferable.

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3 hours ago, john MCG said:

I suppose the next theoretical question is whether a life under humane farming conditions is preferable for livestock type animals, even if it ends in butchery. I’m guessing lifespan for a pig on a farm is shorter than 4-5 years but if it’s a happy life it might be preferable.

 

There isn't really a choice. Most farm animals are really ill-fitted to live in the wild. Even those that can are generally considered invasive species, which damage the native wildlife and flora, disease spreaders and pests. We've decimated most all of their natural predators, so population would have to be controlled by trapping and hunting. In most countries, releasing them would be straight up illegal.

Making farms more humane is a far better option.

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1 hour ago, Mentat said:

 

There isn't really a choice. Most farm animals are really ill-fitted to live in the wild. Even those that can are generally considered invasive species, which damage the native wildlife and flora, disease spreaders and pests. We've decimated most all of their natural predators, so population would have to be controlled by trapping and hunting. In most countries, releasing them would be straight up illegal.

Making farms more humane is a far better option.

Right,  Cow and pigs are not native to North America, indeed the modern cow isn't really native to anywhere being fairly significantly different from the Aurochs. As such in North America the only moral option in the event we stop eating meat is the slaughter of all these animals. Releasing them is not and cannot be considered an option. Feral pigs are already having a devastating impact I don't want to imagine what would happen if even more were released.

I do have to wonder how you handle this issue if you're a vegetarian/vegan for moral reasons, IE you think that farming is inherently cruel. I can't see them also being okay with the wholesale slaughter of million of animals, including animals like mink farmed for fur that are still basically the same as their wild brethren but can't be released cause the sheer numbers would fuck up local ecosystems.

Like the only group I know of that has tackled this issue has been PETA but they also want to kill all pets, and most people vegan or not seem to understand they're assholes.

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Cows especially have been bred into milk producing machines that probably could not survive in the wild.

Another example is red deer in the Scottish Highlands. With their predators long gone and with shooting for sport way down since Victorian times, their numbers have ballooned and they have seriously damaged the ecosystem. The current solution is mostly periodic mass culling (though the idea of reintroducing wolves comes up from time to time).

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On 6/17/2021 at 8:01 PM, TrueMetis said:

Right,  Cow and pigs are not native to North America, indeed the modern cow isn't really native to anywhere being fairly significantly different from the Aurochs. As such in North America the only moral option in the event we stop eating meat is the slaughter of all these animals. Releasing them is not and cannot be considered an option. Feral pigs are already having a devastating impact I don't want to imagine what would happen if even more were released.

I do have to wonder how you handle this issue if you're a vegetarian/vegan for moral reasons, IE you think that farming is inherently cruel. I can't see them also being okay with the wholesale slaughter of million of animals, including animals like mink farmed for fur that are still basically the same as their wild brethren but can't be released cause the sheer numbers would fuck up local ecosystems.

Like the only group I know of that has tackled this issue has been PETA but they also want to kill all pets, and most people vegan or not seem to understand they're assholes.

I think the most common stance is to let those farm animals live long and healthy lives in captivity until they die a natural death, but stop breeding them. Not possible in all cases of course but that would be the preferred option.

Personally I can’t see why it would be a big deal to slaughter all those animals, since they would have been slaughtered anyway just a few days, weeks or months later depending on species. 

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On 6/17/2021 at 7:46 AM, TheLastWolf said:

Reminds me of a WUMO comic strip. Two dorky stick thin couple decide to go vegan when the laws are changed to allow only hunting your own meat. Steak in this case. Stud bull with :devil: horns weighing few tons enough to deter most. 

And... 

If only slaughterhouses had glass walls... 

Phillip Wollen 

EDIT 

AHIMSA, Curious. Gandhian values. Non violence 

Who is this guy BTW? Just happened to see it and spontaneously shared 

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12 hours ago, Erik of Hazelfield said:

I think the most common stance is to let those farm animals live long and healthy lives in captivity until they die a natural death, but stop breeding them.

Where? On whose dime? The expense of keeping all these animals in good, happy conditions for the rest of their lifespan for little to no profit would be ludicrous. I believe very few people would support it.

 

12 hours ago, Erik of Hazelfield said:

Personally I can’t see why it would be a big deal to slaughter all those animals, since they would have been slaughtered anyway just a few days, weeks or months later depending on species. 

There are plenty of farm animals that aren't destined for slaughter and are either used for their by-products (milk, eggs, wool, etc.) or are used to breed and feed the animals which are slaughtered (which are mostly the young ones). As a meat-eater myself, I don't think it's a big deal that animals are slaughtered either (though I believe farming can and should be done in a way that's both more sustainable and more respectful towards animal well-being, and also appreciate the deliciousness of their carcasses).

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On 6/9/2021 at 1:11 PM, IFR said:

The hypocrisy of our attitude was highly troubling to me.

I wish more people possessed the self awareness to be able to make this sort of statement. 

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The cattle are in REVOLT!

A herd of cows tried to escape their fate at a meat packing facility, wreaking havoc on a southern California neighborhood before most were rounded up and returned to the facility, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) said in a statement.
https://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2021/06/25/cows-run-loose-in-california-affil-pkg-vpx.kcal-kcbs

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Since this topic has died, i just wanna say im in awe of how well ifr handled it, really one sided debate :D

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43 minutes ago, DireWolfSpirit said:

herd of cows tried to escape their fate

Who gets to decide whose... I wonder :idea:

Nobody 

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