This website is meant to provide a one stop resource for those seeking information related to the scientific, historical, philosophical and spiritual arguments associated with the animal rights movement. 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. Webmaster can attest, "never lost a debate using this website content." Additions (friendly or hostile) to the list are welcome. Please submit them to: [email protected]. Sorry if some emails went unanswered--the junkmail filter is mean.
MIRROR SITE: http://www.animalsuffering.com/animalvegfaq/ (has more user friendly navigation). Thanks to R for hosting.
(Last Update: September 12 2005) Section 11, Q 7, Response b) Added a response showing why factory farm animals would not pose a population problem if meat eating industries were abolished. NEW QUESTION/RESPONSE on Peta's slavery ad campaign and the amusing suggestion that animal activists are motivated by white middle class elitist thinking. Section 12, question/attack 28, responses a-d.
The Animal Rights Q and A List This section sums up the most basic questions that animal activists are asked about the AR philosophy.
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.
11)MEAT EATING AND DAIRY CONSUMPTION
13)PLANTS AND VEGETABLES
16)SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST
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."
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.
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.
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: 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.
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 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.
******* 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.
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 doesn't 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.
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: 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, shouldn't 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 wouldn't 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 doesn't believe that others are rights-holders, they don't have any obligation to stop those acts that violate them. So a racist can go and lynch blacks because he doesn't value them as equals. A child abuser can do likewise. You haven't 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.
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 don't 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 don't 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]."
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).
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 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: 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.
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: "Didn't 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."
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 couldn't SELL the meat after the Mad Cow/foot and mouth disease crisis?
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) no, since animals shouldn't 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 don't 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.
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 judgment, 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 don'tsince vegetarianism is a sound practical dietary lifestyle.
Response: b) I don't 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).
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.
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 scapegoat--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 don't?
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."
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 isn't 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.
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 angelic mission 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
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
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.
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!
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 doesn't 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
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."
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 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"
Glaucon: This habit would require that of us.
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
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) That might be the same logic Jeffrey Dahmer used to justify eating humans. And perhaps it's also the logic behind the comment "Bite me!"
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: 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.
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: g) Comparative anatomy of humans: by Milton R. Mills, M.D. In conclusion, we see that human beings have the gastrointestinal tract
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: marvelous 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 cholesterol.....
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: 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."
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
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: 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 don't 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. But the excuse for not giving them up is they like them. Any rational person however will recognize the disfunctionality of this argument. The sane person gives up destructive behaviors.
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.
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.
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."
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: b) by this logic someone could exploit a mentally retarded child and claim that they made a contract allowing themselves to be exploited.
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
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.
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./P>
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 anyone's 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 all‐terrain 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 wwww.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 wouldn't 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’ pre‐European 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 self‐sustaining society. Or at least, they are incapable of maintaining a self‐sustaining society at the modem technological standard they've 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 com‐plex 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 Canada's 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 "Canada's 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 wouldn't 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 video‐cassette recorders, TV's, 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 Hudson's Bay store or on satellite television. " www.stephenbest.ca/God_Culture_Women.pdf
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: c) I think I killed about a million microbes just from gasping at the stupidity of your argument. Man, I am worse than Hitler.
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.
ATTACHMENT: ANIMAL VICTIMS / HUMAN VICTIMS:
*** 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.
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
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."
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 weasels 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 weasels set up arenas or stadiums in the wild or back alleys where they sit around as other cats and weasels 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
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
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."
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.
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!!
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 didn't? 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
*******And about mixing races: Numbers 25:6-9
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: d)-only in a few isolated incidences in other countries have wolves become fearless and attacked; only become fearless as result of people
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.
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./P>
c) Well, we humans are also staying in the house, but are we still 100% safe?
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.
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 , 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. 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."  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;
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. /P>
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 good debater. 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://www.stephenbest.ca/God_Culture_Women.pdf
Have Questions/attacks/responses? Then....... [email protected]
Animal-rights.com The other FAQ page. Although a bit scholarly in language, it is well worth checking out.
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.
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
PeopleforEndingAnimalCrueltyandExploitation New AR message group.
SATYA Very interesting.
Fruitarianism Very interesting page on Fruitarian philosophy, health information etc.
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.
"http://www.pokesociety.com"okesociety.com Power of Knowledge and Education of Animal Cruelty is a non-profit organization committed to educating the public about
tthe 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.
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/A> (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.
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/A> 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 research...without the use of animals. They also advocate the health benefits of a vegetarian diet.
Nopetcloning.org A website to educate the public about the dangers of cat and dog cloning and to
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.
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!
Jainism overview: http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jainism
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!
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.
MSN message boards
http://groups.msn.com/AnimalRights/ 1.msnw (pretty much defunct)
Yahoo message boards: