Why are you interested in issues surrounding animal welfare?

What first sparked your interest?

Do you see a difference between animal welfare and absolute animal rights, as some people do?

What have you done to be more humane?

(Note: Title of post was changed on 8/15 to make my English more better.)

Tags: animal rights, animal welfare, animals, compassion, empathy, humane

Views: 289

Replies to This Discussion

I just think that our goal as a society is to reduce suffering and increase happiness and see no reason why non-human animals shouln't be part of the equation.
I became more "aware" of this issues during a conversation with my dad. I was defining 'good actions' as the ones that provide the most happines to the most amount of people and he ask me why only people and not other animals too. So I immediately changed my definition to include sentinent animals.

What are "absolute animal rights"?
What are "absolute animal rights"?

Perhaps I didn't pose the question very well. Animal rights avocates who are abolitionists usually believe in what I call the absolute rights of animals not to be killed or eaten or used in any way, shape, or form. If you're stranded on a deserted island and you've not eaten in a week and and all you have is a knife and your pet bunny rabbit, abolitionists believe that it is wrong to kill the rabbit to survive.
I have to wonder about that... I'd normally consider myself to be in that group, but in that particular situation, I mean, we'd understand cannibalism, wouldn't we? If someone kills someone else because it's a matter of survival, well, that's understandable. If someone kills someone else because it's convenient, that's different.
I am concerned about animal welfare issues, but I also recognize the indisputable fact that life feeds on life. Man did not create that system; he is simply a part of it. I fully support anyone who want's to live an abolitionist lifestyle. I think it is a compassionate choice. But I am not so naive as to belive that it will ever be the choice of the majority.
Who says it has to be a choice? >:) I'm kidding, of course.
That POV strikes me as a bad ideas about morality and behaviour. Individuals want to live, that's what we are 'programmed' to do, so a morality that states that you shouldn't do everything in your power to survive is useless in my opinion. Also that view could give non-human animals actually more rights than to human animals; is completely legal (and moral) to kill a human being in some circumstances.

I think, as I said, that behaviours that reduce suffering are preferable to ones that increase it; but I don't think that you are automatically an immoral freak if you , g.e., go hunting. I just think that's something that we shouldn't encourage and, as a society, try to stop. I understand that some people need to use animals as resources to live (hell, we all do in some way) and I wish they could do it otherwise, but that can only be achieved by changing their socio-economic and cultural situation, not from legislation.
I agree fully with you in that we are immerse in a system in which you have to kill in order to live and we can make some tweaks to make the whole experience most humane as possible.
I think, as I said, that behaviours that reduce suffering are preferable to ones that increase it; but I don't think that you are automatically an immoral freak if you , g.e., go hunting.

This strikes me as a little contradictory. There are nearly infinite things you could do for fun besides killing animals, so isn't it obviously more moral to pick the one that's less cruel?

And maybe I'm just a hardass, but as far as I'm concerned, once you've found the better option, the thinking is done. It's not about feeling ready, or being willing or unwilling, or whatever. Those are lame excuses. If there are two options, and someone themselves admits that one is better, why on earth would someone NOT do it? There just isn't any moral justification for it. It's never about right or wrong, it's about better or worse, and once you find the better, the rest is action.
I agree in some sense. What I wanted to say is that I don't consider that someone that engages in a behaviour that increases suffering is necessarily an immoral bastard or evil. People that go hunting do it because it provides them pleasure and they probably don't think much about the animal they are killing. I don't necessarily think of them as evil, more like dumb or uniformed.
Besides, I don't think demonizing other people is not the best strategy to go about changing things.
I'm no hunter, but I'm from big hunting country, and understand where hunting can actually be the more humane measure. In the Upper Midwest, the top-level predators were ran out or killed up by the early 20th century -- cougars, wolves, most bear, etc. That threw off the the whole balance of things. In the Upper Mississippi Valley, we had an explosion of turkey and especially deer. The deer overpopulated, got into farmland they never should have been in, ate stuff they never should have ate, and developed the same brain disease as mad cow disease. So now we have deer stumbling all over the place slowly rotting from the brain out.

Because of that, Minnesota and Wisconsin have called for extra hunting seasons just to thin the herds -- as well as re-introduce wolves, cougar, etc. But the re-introduction is a slow process.

I know there are strict rules on what can and can't be killed; my dad hunts, and has this recurring dream that he accidentally kills a female turkey, and all the other woodland creatures -- including the female turkey -- all get up and start yelling at him. It's also not the most economically booming area; there are many people who will get a deer, and use that for food for quite a while.

That's not to say there aren't unscrupulous hunters who poach for the sake of killing, and it's not uncommon to hear of one hunter shooting a poacher up there. But when the alternative is to allow the populations to grow to such a point that crops are ruined, rivers and lakes suffer (deer swim), fields are overgrazed and smaller animals lose territory, not to mention the car accidents, I can understand the necessity for hunting in certain situations.

As an example of small animal territory being overgrazed and overdeveloped, we have coyotes in Virginia this year for the first time in over 200 years. I've seen them a couple times, heard them more (my beagles track their scents). They're probably moving in because they've lost territory, but they go after small game and garbage, and the small game has lost territory and has moved in all around my house. (The rat snake on my stairs was fun; it let me get some photos of it eating some rodent.) I know the biggest culprit here is human development, but short of barring development, I guess I'd prefer to see selective hunting to maintain sustainable populations rather than the issues they've dealt with back up north.

The "mad cow" disease in deer and elk IS the same exaclty.  Guess how they got it?  HUNTERS!~  They set up bait feeders to entice deer so , like fish in a barrel, they can be shot later.  The feeders were filled with cattle feed.  Cattle feed had ground up sheep and cow brain tissue in it. The deer eat it. I know of two packs of hunters who ate these deer and all got mad cow disease.  Homeless shelters won't accept it anymore!  

I don't know what "absolute animal rights" are either.  To me, it seems the "animal welfare" movement aims to put lighter chains on the slaves.  I am for veganism, and the abolition of this master/slave relationship between humans and the OTHER animals.   We ARE animals, or did God make you in his image, to just USE all your fellow beasts?  The eastern concept of "Ahimsa", to do no harm, combined with "The Golden Rule" extended to include ALL earthlings are my ethical guides.  It isn't only that we should not hurt other animals, in my opinion, we have no justification for using other animals at all.  They are not our possessions, we are not their masters.

Some years ago I went on a farm tour and there was a sow with babies. I noticed that on this particular sow each of her breasts had areolas that looked nearly the same as that of a woman. It got me thinking. Anyway, I have done my best to avoid eating pigs ever since. I am not a vegeterian (yet) mainly because we are surrounded by social activities involving meat. I know this is a poor excuse especially because I really like vegeterian food. One of these days I hope to buckle down and finally go completely vegeterian. My general life philosophy is to treat others the way you would like others to treat you. Anyway, we should also treat animals as we would like animals to treat us!! Hope this makes sense...


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