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stormypagan
15-10--2005, 03:05 PM
Just thought I would share this so nabbed it off my website, I think it says it all about the relationship with non-human animals :0)

A letter to those who are supposed to care!!

"There is one thing almost all of you have forgotten, what happened to the freedom of other animals.

You are against imprisoning people but how many animals do you keep in captivity in zoos, in meadows, behind barbed wire only for your pleasure.

You are against exploitation but how many cows and goats are milked dry daily, how many bees are robbed of their honey, and chickens robbed of their eggs only for your pleasure.

You are against war, against police violence but how many chickens, cows, fishes, pigs, sheep and horses are slaughtered daily for their meat, their skin, their fur, only for your pleasure.

You are against the power of one person over another but how many pets have you made dependant upon you only for your pleasure.

You are againsy Facism, Sexism, Racism, Militarism, Imperilism BUT have you forgotton something? the fact that you think you are superior to other animals!!"


Author Unknown

stormypagan
15-10--2005, 03:09 PM
This leads me to a discussion I have already had on here today about specism.

Ahhh another 'ism' I hear you cry but to me it is just as real, so I thought I would paste the definitions here too for all those who might be interested....

spe·cies·ism noun

the belief that the human race is superior to other species, and that exploitation of animals for the advantage of humans is justified
Encarta® World English Dictionary © 1999 Microsoft Corporation.

the assumption of human superiority leading to the exploitation of animals.
Dictionary © 2005 Apple Computers

1 : prejudice or discrimination based on species; especially : discrimination against animals
2 : the assumption of human superiority on which speciesism is based
Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Discrimination against or exploitation of certain animal species by human beings, based on an assumption of mankind's superiority.
Oxford English Dictionary

The discrimination against, and exploitation of, animals by humans in the belief that humans are superior to all other species of animals and can therefore justify putting them to their own use.
AllWords.com

Human intolerance or discrimination on the basis of species, especially as manifested by cruelty to or exploitation of animals.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

discrimination in favor of one species, usually the human species, over another, esp. in the exploitation or mistreatment of animals by humans.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

the assumption of human superiority over other creatures, leading to the exploitation of animals.
Compact Oxford English Dictionary

PeacePiper
15-10--2005, 04:32 PM
So very very true, but doesn't speciesism extend to plants and trees to? Is it possible to live without exploiting something?

stormypagan
15-10--2005, 04:44 PM
Some might say that PP and good point but I assume this is based on sentient beings that have a nervous system, and feel pain.

Dready Warrior
15-10--2005, 05:03 PM
i have been thinking a lot about this in the last couple of days after reading your post on the soya milk thread about what cows are put through for us to get some milk.

yes i am definatly guilty of specism. i certainly dont think animals are there to be exploited or abused for human means but they are and because i use milk and other animal products i am contributing :(

i really don't know if i could become vegan, being veggi is pretty new to me and as i put on another post i have struggled on a couple of occasions. as i become more aware though and feel angrier at these things happening maybe it will feel natural to move towards a vegan lifestyle. i am hoping visiting britol vegan fair in a couple of weeks will teach me more.

in the world we live in today though the fact is thousands of animals are domesticated and although i can see the point made about pets in the poem as an animal lover i would rather rescue an animal from a shelter or from a irresponsible breeder that not.

my dad has some chickens, they lay every day and are unfertalised so would never hatch into chicks. while these chickens are alive is it not best that we eat the eggs rather than waste them? i've thought of having chickens myself but am now really thinking twice.

also in the wild animals do sometimes use each other by a mutual kind of understanding. this can surely happen with humans and other animals?

Atomik
15-10--2005, 05:30 PM
I still think speciesism is a nonsense concept. I mean if you accept it as a notion, then we're all inherently guilty of it. It's unavoidable. Do you wear a face mask when you walk to avoid inhaling insects? No? Because it's too inconvenient? Then you've just displayed speciesism.

Do you accept the risks inherent in farming that small animals will be killed during harvesting and ploughing? Would you so willingly sacrifice human lives in order to eat? That's speciesist.

It's not that I generally disagree with many of the issues raised by the term (such as the notion that we aren't entitled to exploit non-human animals), but I think it's meaningless because we're all unavoidably speciesist, so using the term to apply to any particular activity is hypocritical.

PeacePiper
15-10--2005, 05:35 PM
I think I'm going to become corporately vegan - not buy animal products. I've always planned on keeping chickens (taking surplus eggs surely isn't exploiting?) and getting a couple of goats (we have a few goats already, they have no kids but still have some milk-they seem to drink from each other-they exploiting each other?). If I'm keeping the animals myself I know they're going to be OK



also in the wild animals do sometimes use each other by a mutual kind of understanding.


Symbiosis, something like 80% of plants have a fungus helping them with nutrient extraction from the soil. Birds that clean insects and waste off animals to, some also induce bleeding to drink from sometimes. Alot of other things work together to but not quite like human farms...


I'd appreciate your opinion Stormy seeing as you've thought about this a hell've alot longer than me (vege for 3 years)

stormypagan
15-10--2005, 05:47 PM
I see your point Dok but it is still worth the word it is I believe. But I suppose it is also how strong you feel about exploitation of non human animals. I expect folk said the same about the term racists, sexist and homophobic once, and they weren't worth the paper they were written on but now look!!

We have to start some where and if it makes us see something that we do, that we wouldn't of thought of really otherwise, then good. No you cant be 100% anything, we are always going to exploit something in this world sadly!! unless you live like a hermit, no clothes, under the stars and eat food for free (but even then you would have an impact on the earth somewhere). I believe, it is a term that needs to be looked at and made concious of.
Sam good on you for at least thinking about veganism :) ... you have to do what you think is right at the end of the day!! it may take you a while to get there but if you do cool and if you don't it isn't worth beating yourself up about :0) Anyway, I am here if you need any pointers!!

Oh and by the way, me thinks chickens are probably not a good idea at the mo anyway, as with this chicken flu thing the chances are that they would have to be slaughtered anyway if this thing spreads, like the animals through foot and mouth :(

I would love the world to be vegan but I don't think that will happen in my lifetime. I have had my days as a vegan police woman, now I just want to educate folk to make their own decisions :D. And maybe to do this terms such as specism need to be used to raise the point. Labelling can have some uses!!

Atomik
15-10--2005, 05:53 PM
I see your point Dok but it is still worth the word it is I believe. But I suppose it is also how strong you feel about exploitation of non human animals. I expect folk said the same about the term racists, sexist and homophobic once, and they weren't worth the paper they were written on but now look!I think the problem I have with the word is that it makes the animal rights cause sound extremist. It's so obvious to most people that we inherently make value judgements that prioritise one species over another, the suggestion that we could exist any other way sounds crazy. And in fairness, I think it is. If someone asks you to choose between a baby and a budgie, you're always gonna choose the baby. We will always place a higher value on human life than animal life. I think that's a different thing from the belief that this gives us a right to exploit other species for our own benefit, which is the essence that I think you're trying to capture with the word. This is why I think it's a poor choice of word - it doesn't really describe the core issue that I feel you're trying to address.

stormypagan
15-10--2005, 05:56 PM
I think I'm going to become corporately vegan - not buy animal products. I've always planned on keeping chickens (taking surplus eggs surely isn't exploiting?) and getting a couple of goats (we have a few goats already, they have no kids but still have some milk-they seem to drink from each other-they exploiting each other?). If I'm keeping the animals myself I know they're going to be OK

Well, thats defo a start PP :) . I think at the end of the day it is ok to drink milk from your own species (though I don't think I could get enough human milk for all the family hehehe) as that is what is designed for.

Keeping your own animals is a far better solution but personnally if I had rescue chickens, and they were layers, I wouldn't eat their eggs, I don't need to. I wouldn't have the chickens for that anyway, I would have them form being rescued, so that they can live the rest of their lives out in peace. When we are self suffficient having animals unless you use them to benefit you, isn't viable. so chance of having them will be small.

stormypagan
15-10--2005, 06:03 PM
If someone asks you to choose between a baby and a budgie, you're always gonna choose the baby. We will always place a higher value on human life than animal life.

Don't be to sure about that Dok, my relationship with animals bares probably more respect than people sometimes. I see humans and non-human animals as equals, although I know at present time that isn't the case, and whatever anyone says thats what I have always felt. This argument is always thrown at vegans... I have to say I would do my utmost to help both if they were in trouble. But that would be down to what was happening at the time, I haven't been in the situation of animal verses human rescue wise and hope I never have to.

I do think the word captures the core of what I am on about. For my degree I did my dissertation on the related exploitations of animals and women, and wow there are so many. Specism was a term I looked into then for my study. To me they are both worthy of recognition. I came out with a first on the dissertation but a 2.1 overall. So we will beg to differ huh!!! each to their own train of thought!!

Atomik
15-10--2005, 06:14 PM
I agree with much of what you're saying. I've read a lot in the past as well about the relationship between violence towards animals and women, especially in connection with vivisection. I simply disagree with the idea that we'll ever view animals and humans as equal. Nor do I think that this is inherently bad. I mean we always make choices. If I had to save a stranger or my lover, I'd save my lover. There's nothing wrong with that. Likewise, if I had so save a butterfly or a human, I'd save a human. It's speciesist, but I don't see anything wrong with that.

Now I don't interpret this as superiority - but as a human, I value human life more than animal life. In the same way that I value my lover more than a stranger but that doesn't mean that I believe she's superior to them. Also, I don't believe I have the right to abuse, exploit or disregard animals. Far from it. And I think that's the core issue we need to address. It's not whether we value humans more than animals, but whether we believe we have a right to exploit them. Nature is all tooth and claw, and death and decay are part of the natural cycle. We can never escape that. But we can learn to tread lightly on the earth and not add to the suffering needlessly.

Dready Warrior
15-10--2005, 06:17 PM
If someone asks you to choose between a baby and a budgie, you're always gonna choose the baby.
yes but that is because that is our species and we want to protect it. ask a budgie the same question and it will choose the budgie because it is natural to protect your own species. that is not necessaraly the same as seeing other animals as inferior in my opinion.

Dready Warrior
15-10--2005, 06:20 PM
Sam good on you for at least thinking about veganism :) ... you have to do what you think is right at the end of the day!! it may take you a while to get there but if you do cool and if you don't it isn't worth beating yourself up about :0) Anyway, I am here if you need any pointers!!

Oh and by the way, me thinks chickens are probably not a good idea at the mo anyway

it will certainly take me a long time to reach a vegan lifestyle if ever! but thanks i may pick your brains sometime for more info as and when.

no definatly no chickens yet, if i do it will be when i move to the countryside in a few years.

Atomik
15-10--2005, 06:24 PM
yes but that is because that is our species and we want to protect it. ask a budgie the same question and it will choose the budgie because it is natural to protect your own species. that is not necessaraly the same as seeing other animals as inferior in my opinion.Well I agree. But if I said I'd save a white man over a black man, would you say I was racist? If I say I'd save a baby over a budgie, am I speciest?

stormypagan
15-10--2005, 06:29 PM
Well I agree. But if I said I'd save a white man over a black man, would you say I was racist? If I say I'd save a baby over a budgie, am I speciest?

Maybe it is the intent more Dok, if you saved the white guy over the black guy coz you thought the black guy wasn't worth it coz of the colour of his skin, then you are being racist but if you intended to get both just the white guy was nearer to start with then no you aren't racist. So this comes down to intent or way of thinking blah blah !!!

Atomik
15-10--2005, 06:31 PM
Maybe it is the intent more Dok, if you saved the white guy over the black guy coz you thought the black guy wasn't worth it coz of the colour of his skin, then you are being racist but if you intended to get both just the white guy was nearer to start with then no you aren't racist. So this comes down to intent or way of thinking blah blah !!!So if I save the white guy because he's white, I'm racist. So if I save a baby instead of a butterfly, then I'm speciesist. But then that would make us all speciesist, wouldn't it?

Dready Warrior
15-10--2005, 06:36 PM
Well I agree. But if I said I'd save a white man over a black man, would you say I was racist? If I say I'd save a baby over a budgie, am I speciest?

hum strange argument... whatever the colour of a humans skin we are all the same species. budgies and babies are not.

i think we do pretty much agree though dok. yes i would save my son over a stranger. i see specism as exploiting and abusing other creatures rather than the natural insticnt of protecting your own.

and yes maybe the word specism is silly in a way but it has opened up a brilliant discussion on here and got people thinking which is a positive thing!

Atomik
15-10--2005, 06:42 PM
i think we do pretty much agree though dok. yes i would save my son over a stranger. i see specism as exploiting and abusing other creatures rather than the natural insticnt of protecting your own.This is why I have a problem with the word though. While it's fine if it's used in the context that you describe, the trouble is that it makes it sound as though we believe there's no difference between human and non-human animals, and that all should be accorded eqaul rights. Which kinda makes us sound a bit loopy to those who don't understand where we're coming from. So it seems to me that the word just confuses the issue and drives people away rather than clarifying our position and increasing support for our ideas.

showmet
15-10--2005, 07:02 PM
There's nothing wrong with that. Likewise, if I had so save a butterfly or a human, I'd save a human. It's speciesist, but I don't see anything wrong with that.

I agree absolutely that all species, all forms of life are totally equal; a human could never have more inherent right to exist than a slime mould. But in pragmatic terms the Dok is absolutely right - I would choose a human over a butterfly or a budgie. If I had to make a split second decision while driving to swerve and hit either a person or a fox, I would hit the fox - who wouldn't? Yet the person has no more right to exist than the fox.

I rationalise this as a hierarchy of sentience and self-awareness. Clearly insects don't suffer in the same way higher mammals do. Among higher mammals it becomes more difficult, because foxes clearly can suffer in a way that is recognisable to us. But humans are self-aware in a way not all mammals are. Precisely how self-aware other mammals are nobody really knows, but it's reasonable to assume that foxes are less self-aware and therefore suffer less, or at least are less aware of their suffering, than humans. Whereas dolphins and other primates exhibit a self-awareness very similar to our own. It's a biological fact that some animals have less refined central nervous systems and brain function than others.

I'm sure that sounds callous and harsh, not to say speciesist, but I don't see any other way of rationalising the decisions we sometimes have to make. As long as we try to minimise the suffering we cause to other animals that's all we can really do.

stormypagan
15-10--2005, 07:28 PM
So if I save the white guy because he's white, I'm racist. So if I save a baby instead of a butterfly, then I'm speciesist. But then that would make us all speciesist, wouldn't it?


errrr what's up Dok you are losing me now!!! you obviously didn't read what I wrote!!

Atomik
15-10--2005, 07:33 PM
errrr what's up Dok you are losing me now!!! you obviously didn't read what I wrote!!Errrrmmmm..... just coz I've apparently missed a point you made, it doesn't mean I didn't read whagt you wrote! Sorry, didn't realise we were having an argument :frust:

stormypagan
15-10--2005, 07:36 PM
This is why I have a problem with the word though. While it's fine if it's used in the context that you describe, the trouble is that it makes it sound as though we believe there's no difference between human and non-human animals, and that all should be accorded eqaul rights. Which kinda makes us sound a bit loopy to those who don't understand where we're coming from. So it seems to me that the word just confuses the issue and drives people away rather than clarifying our position and increasing support for our ideas.

Look Dok the word is just a word to describe the mentality of many people being that animals are here just for human animals to use, exploit and abuse for human need. It is a word that might make people see how they are towards non-human animals, a realisation of their attitude that animals are only here for human need, which in my eyes is wrong - animal rights or animal wrongs!!

If people think we are loopy that is because they have been socialised to think that animals are below humans, as I was as a child. But I have realised they are not, hence my veganism, they are all part of the eco system we cannot survive without each other but it doesn't mean we have to expolit animals. We don't need to eat them as you know yourself, and we can live comfortably without using any of their products as vegans have been proving for years.

And Sam it sure has opened up a good debate :D

stormypagan
15-10--2005, 07:38 PM
Errrrmmmm..... just coz I've apparently missed a point you made, it doesn't mean I didn't read whagt you wrote! Sorry, didn't realise we were having an argument :frust:

Well I am not having an argument I am discussing with you .. we are mature adults huh?? I don't fall out with folk about such stuff, I learn't that don't work years ago, I am just very passionate thats all hehehe :D

Atomik
15-10--2005, 07:44 PM
Look Dok the word is just a word to describe the mentality of many people being that animals are here just for human animals to use, exploit and abuse for human need. It is a word that might make people see how they are towards non-human animals, a realisation of their attitude that animals are only here for human need, which in my eyes is wrong - animal rights or animal wrongs!!I agree with the intent of this statement. Animals are not here for humans to use, exploit and abuse for our own need. And if that was clearly what was meant by speciesism, then I'd have no problem with the word. But in all fairness, you posted a clear definition of the word that goes somewhat beyond that:


1 : prejudice or discrimination based on species; especially : discrimination against animals This is what I'm taking issue with. I feel we, as humans, will inevitably discriminate against non-human animals when it's 'us or them'. That's not the same thing as use, abuse and exploitation.

Atomik
15-10--2005, 07:45 PM
Well I am not having an argument I am discussing with you .. we are mature adults huh?? I don't fall out with folk about such stuff, I learn't that don't work years ago, I am just very passionate thats all hehehe :DThat's cool. But it's not very nice to accuse me of not reading what you've written just coz I appear to have missed your point. I read every word of it :grin:

stormypagan
15-10--2005, 07:46 PM
If I had to make a split second decision while driving to swerve and hit either a person or a fox, I would hit the fox - who wouldn't? Yet the person has no more right to exist than the fox.

Or would you do that because other humans would think you were out of order for killing a human. Let alone the legal consequences. If the fox had the same status would you do it then????

PeacePiper
15-10--2005, 07:47 PM
Blimey! This is getting complex


Guys, is discussing the word getting anywhere? We know what it means and how it can be interpreted now


I'm just gonna stick with my own ethics for now, organic dairy and free range eggs till I can be responsible for the animals myself...

stormypagan
15-10--2005, 07:48 PM
That's cool. But it's not very nice to accuse me of not reading what you've written just coz I appear to have missed your point. I read every word of it :grin:

Soz Dok no malice intended :) just get a bit over passionate sometimes, and you know the 'puter scene .. you can get so misunderstood .. if we were talking in person you would see that :0)

Atomik
15-10--2005, 07:50 PM
Soz Dok no malice intended :) just get a bit over passionate sometimes, and you know the 'puter scene .. you can get so misunderstood .. if we were talking in person you would see that :0)Yeah, I know. That's why I responded nicely before jumping to conclusions and beating you with a stick :whack:

I think half the arguments on message boards are caused by misunderstandings due to the difficulties of expressing what you mean with the written word.

stormypagan
15-10--2005, 08:10 PM
Sooooooo true :grin:

showmet
15-10--2005, 08:23 PM
Or would you do that because other humans would think you were out of order for killing a human. Let alone the legal consequences. If the fox had the same status would you do it then????

No, if I had to make that decision I would choose the route which would cause least suffering according to all that I understand about animal biology.

Dapablo
16-10--2005, 12:04 AM
As far as I am aware a child starts life with the belief that it is the only important thing in the universe, it soon learns that it is superior in its abilities to interact with the world than other lifroms. This belief continues into the adult world, most people feel superior to most other humans, why not then other lifeforms ?

Atomik
16-10--2005, 10:41 AM
As far as I am aware a child starts life with the belief that it is the only important thing in the universe, it soon learns that it is superior in its abilities to interact with the world than other lifroms. This belief continues into the adult world, most people feel superior to most other humans, why not then other lifeforms ?Really? That's news to me. I don't feel superior to anyone or anything. Just different.

Dapablo
17-10--2005, 01:43 PM
Really? That's news to me. I don't feel superior to anyone or anything. Just different.

I can see no wrongness in superiority, surely ego demands, it enables self worth.

It does not mean you have to behave in a superior fashion to those around you though, most apply consideration at the same time.

Atomik
17-10--2005, 01:48 PM
I can see no wrongness in superiority, surely ego demands, it enables self worth.

It does not mean you have to behave in a superior fashion to those around you though, most apply consideration at the same time.I don't think it's about right or wrong. It's simply not a meanigful concept to me. How do you define superiority?

Dapablo
17-10--2005, 02:00 PM
I don't think it's about right or wrong. It's simply not a meanigful concept to me. How do you define superiority?

To be better or greater than what surrounds you, to have more worth.

This is reality for babies, consideration for other lifeforms has to be learned, it is not always a natural step considering our hunting nature.

Atomik
17-10--2005, 02:04 PM
To be better or greater than what surrounds you, to have more worth.

This is reality for babies, consideration for other lifeforms has to be learned, it is not always a natural step considering our hunting nature.I wouldn't say a baby has less worth than an adult though, would you? Is an adult superior to a child or just different?

Sunny
17-10--2005, 02:20 PM
Sorry if i miss some points made, i'm a bit tired :drunk: . I am a firm animal lover and a fanatic follower of a huge amount of animal rights movements and stuff. However, I do think that some of the things people say about animals is a little bit thoughtless. I'm not targetting anybody on here a all, it's just my rambles! :zipped: Just, for example, stuff like what was said in that letter to all those who care.

"You are against imprisoning people but how many animals do you keep in captivity in zoos, in meadows, behind barbed wire only for your pleasure."

I disagree with that point because animals are not always kept in zoos and meadows and such only for pleasure. Barbed wire is also, in most good animal collections, really frowned upon. A lot of animals kept in these places would not be able to survive in the wild. Humans have stripped so many animals of even their own ability to cope in the wild, so in return we are indebted to care and look after them as best we can.
SCENARIO:
Imagine a breeding and conservation programme aiming to help the lemurs of madagascar. If they were not kept in cages, in the zoos, they would escape into woodlands and forests they are not native to and would probably wither all die out, or take another species food and cause them to die out. Or if there was no forest for them to run to, they'd take to the street and probably not find food of the right nutritional value anyway. Even if they did, they would suffer from the fumes of the city, and they would get run over, attacked by dogs, etc etc etc. We have decided to take responsibility for these animals, and that is taken very seriously in most cases.
Unfortunately, it is often only by attracting the public to these animals that we can get money to help them in any way at all. So yes, they are used for entertainment, but in doing so the public is educated as well. Nearly all the people who decide to go on conservation holidays and such, have learnt about them by going to zoos and seeing and learning about these animals they so want to help.

"You are against exploitation but how many cows and goats are milked dry daily, how many bees are robbed of their honey, and chickens robbed of their eggs only for your pleasure."

A agree far more with this point. But i still think that it can be taken too far. There seems nothing wrong with me than retaining a good relationship between yourself and the animals you live with and around, by feeding and looking after them, and in return they in a sense are feeding and helping you. To be fair, many modern breeds of cows, goats, and chickens have been intensively bred in such a way that they are no longer adapted to look after themselves. Heavier breeds of chickens can no longer even fly properly to safety! If done properly, the relationship between human and nature can be a wonderful and mutual thing.
It is ensured that the bees whose honey is borrowed are able to survive very well. I know that there are selfish motives towards this, but i'm guessing that in any bee's point of view, they certainly won't mind having a better survival rate in warmer and safer conditions!

"You are against war, against police violence but how many chickens, cows, fishes, pigs, sheep and horses are slaughtered daily for their meat, their skin, their fur, only for your pleasure."

A agree with this point. The sheer numbers of animals put under these disgusting conditions is seriously unnecessary. Look at the waste of these lives. It also seems stupid that people wonder in horror at new diseases and stuff that are coming up, when they are incubating these diseases in the perfect conditions of filthy intensive farming.
Fur farming is just inexcusable too. It is a completely separate industry to the meat industry, which is a waste in itself because the furs of animals used in the meat industry is simply disposed of with no use put to it. That ends up meaning that animals are purely farmed for their fur and no other reason. Killing huge numbers of animals in the interest of fashion is just ridiculous.

"You are against the power of one person over another but how many pets have you made dependant upon you only for your pleasure."

I'm repeating myself now, but a lot of pets ARE dependant on human care. It is a sad, very sad, fact. We have created these new breeds of dogs and cats and rabbits and alll sorts that are just not able to cope in the wild. Therefore we have to ensure that we provide them with warmth and with food in a little bowl. I'm not saying i agree with the pet industry, i really don't agree with it very much at all. But i do thing that it is worth a thought that these animals do need looking after somehow.

"You are againsy Facism, Sexism, Racism, Militarism, Imperilism BUT have you forgotton something? the fact that you think you are superior to other animals!!"

Hehe, i don't actually think that at all. I personally believe myself equal to other animals. I can just see that other species will have very different needs to my own. While i eat at a table (occasionally :whistle: ), fuzzypegs (the cat i live with) just wouldn't appreciate it. She'd find it a right nuisance having to sit at a table and hurt her arthritis in her hips just to get to her cat biscuits. I feed her in her cat bowl on the floor. That is not me acting in superiority, that's just me allowing for her needs and not my own. We're just different. She's got a collar on - that's not me being superior to her, that's me mainly being protective over my friend and trying to ensure that she's not taken as a stray and whisked away from the territory she loves to sit and watch the local birds in.

Blegh, that was a real rant - sorry about that! I hope i made sense and didn't digress from the point too much.

Love,
Sunny
xxx

Dapablo
17-10--2005, 03:14 PM
I wouldn't say a baby has less worth than an adult though, would you? Is an adult superior to a child or just different?

Of course a baby has less worth, it is useless, but it does have plenty of potential. All higher lifeforms have a natural instinct to protect their offspring but that is never a value judgement. By the same measure an adult is superior.

We are the only animals on this planet having a discussion about how we treat other lifeforms. We are able to choose, this simple fact means as a species we are superior, not just different. Just the same as the fact that I am superior to the meathead down the pub, the measure has got to be the ability of mind.

Atomik
17-10--2005, 03:16 PM
Of course a baby has less worth, it is useless, but it does have plenty of potential. All higher lifeforms have a natural instinct to protect their offspring but that is never a value judgement. By the same measure an adult is superior.

We are the only animals on this planet having a discussion about how we treat other lifeforms. We are able to choose, this simple fact means as a species we are superior, not just different. Just the same as the fact that I am superior to the meathead down the pub, the measure has got to be the ability of mind.Well this is where we differ. I don't see any of these things as forms of superiority - just differences.

Dapablo
17-10--2005, 04:02 PM
Not looking for a win or lose, but, try this line of thought.

If we were not superior to other mammals, as a predator we would have the same rights as all other animals, i.e. to kill and use any other lifeform for our own personal betterment. As a superior animal I can make a value judgement beyond my own personal need, and no longer take up my right to kill and use.

I think to state that we are no more than apes, as a defence for animal rights will not work for most people as a rational argument, I think it has to come from the humanitarian viewpoint.

Atomik
17-10--2005, 04:25 PM
Not looking for a win or lose, but, try this line of thought.

If we were not superior to other mammals, as a predator we would have the same rights as all other animals, i.e. to kill and use any other lifeform for our own personal betterment. As a superior animal I can make a value judgement beyond my own personal need, and no longer take up my right to kill and use.

I think to state that we are no more than apes, as a defence for animal rights will not work for most people as a rational argument, I think it has to come from the humanitarian viewpoint.But if we destroy the planet that nurtures us, which species is then superior?

Dapablo
17-10--2005, 04:49 PM
What if we don't, and we even then manage to leave this little ball for the expanse the universe ?

I try to take care, and encourage others to do likewsise.

Atomik
17-10--2005, 05:44 PM
What if we don't, and we even then manage to leave this little ball for the expanse the universe ?

I try to take care, and encourage others to do likewsise.It still leads to the question how do you define superior? It's an entirely subjective label. You have to work from a particular value-set which might not be accepted by others. Hence my belief that it's a flawed concept.

Dapablo
17-10--2005, 06:14 PM
Hmmmm.

The ability to perceive beauty and desire to capture it, in the forms of words, pictures, sculpture, music, drama etc. are not subjective matters they exist.The Human animal is able, no others are. Is all that really insignificant/worthless.
That is superior to anything else, the ability to live more than just our reality.

The counter as I would understand would be to catalogue the negatives of Human behaviour, wars etc., but that is just the reality of the animal behaviour, as a Human Being you and I counter such actions as when we are able.

We are able to communicate, exchange ideas from mind to mind, is this not also worthy. Do you not dance ?

I consider the above worthy of the title superior, surely not to, invalidates humanity.

Atomik
17-10--2005, 06:20 PM
The ability to perceive beauty and desire to capture it, in the forms of words, pictures, sculpture, music, drama etc. are not subjective matters they exist.They may exist, but whether or not that existence is evidence of 'superiority' is entirely subjective. For all we know, we live in a cold, heartless universe in which anything that detracts from the business of survival is of no value. The pursuit or art would therefore make us inferior. Not a point of view that I subscribe to, but an example of how the issue of superiority is subjective.


We are able to communicate, exchange ideas from mind to mind, is this not also worthy. Do you not dance ?Worthy... I'd like to think so. Superior? I doubt it. I'm certainly not fit to judge.


I consider the above worthy of the title superior, surely not to, invalidates humanity.Not really. Why do we feel the need to be superior? Why can't we be happy with being different?

Dready Warrior
17-10--2005, 07:02 PM
Why do we feel the need to be superior? Why can't we be happy with being different?

so true

Dapablo
17-10--2005, 08:29 PM
It is not a question of need, it is a statement of fact, 2+2=4.
I have argued a case for the superiority of the Human Being, now I am interested in a counter argument.

The reverse statement is what I am spending my time trying to quantify.

Where does the need to deny the responsibilty of superiority come from? It almost feels like a dereliction of the duty of care.

Atomik
17-10--2005, 08:43 PM
It is not a question of need, it is a statement of fact, 2+2=4.
I have argued a case for the superiority of the Human Being, now I am interested in a counter argument.What's a statement of fact? And like you say..... you've argued a case, not proven one. Which you can't, because your position is subjective.


The reverse statement is what I am spending my time trying to quantify.Sorry, you lost me.


Where does the need to deny the responsibilty of superiority come from? It almost feels like a dereliction of the duty of care.I don't attach responsibility to any notion of superiority. That's your baggage, not mine.

stormypagan
18-10--2005, 12:22 PM
Sorry if i miss some points made, i'm a bit tired :drunk: . I am a firm animal lover and a fanatic follower of a huge amount of animal rights movements and stuff. However, I do think that some of the things people say about animals is a little bit thoughtless. I'm not targetting anybody on here a all, it's just my rambles! :zipped: Just, for example, stuff like what was said in that letter to all those who care.

"You are against imprisoning people but how many animals do you keep in captivity in zoos, in meadows, behind barbed wire only for your pleasure."

I disagree with that point because animals are not always kept in zoos and meadows and such only for pleasure. Barbed wire is also, in most good animal collections, really frowned upon. A lot of animals kept in these places would not be able to survive in the wild. Humans have stripped so many animals of even their own ability to cope in the wild, so in return we are indebted to care and look after them as best we can.
SCENARIO:
Imagine a breeding and conservation programme aiming to help the lemurs of madagascar. If they were not kept in cages, in the zoos, they would escape into woodlands and forests they are not native to and would probably wither all die out, or take another species food and cause them to die out. Or if there was no forest for them to run to, they'd take to the street and probably not find food of the right nutritional value anyway. Even if they did, they would suffer from the fumes of the city, and they would get run over, attacked by dogs, etc etc etc. We have decided to take responsibility for these animals, and that is taken very seriously in most cases.
Unfortunately, it is often only by attracting the public to these animals that we can get money to help them in any way at all. So yes, they are used for entertainment, but in doing so the public is educated as well. Nearly all the people who decide to go on conservation holidays and such, have learnt about them by going to zoos and seeing and learning about these animals they so want to help.

"You are against exploitation but how many cows and goats are milked dry daily, how many bees are robbed of their honey, and chickens robbed of their eggs only for your pleasure."

A agree far more with this point. But i still think that it can be taken too far. There seems nothing wrong with me than retaining a good relationship between yourself and the animals you live with and around, by feeding and looking after them, and in return they in a sense are feeding and helping you. To be fair, many modern breeds of cows, goats, and chickens have been intensively bred in such a way that they are no longer adapted to look after themselves. Heavier breeds of chickens can no longer even fly properly to safety! If done properly, the relationship between human and nature can be a wonderful and mutual thing.
It is ensured that the bees whose honey is borrowed are able to survive very well. I know that there are selfish motives towards this, but i'm guessing that in any bee's point of view, they certainly won't mind having a better survival rate in warmer and safer conditions!

"You are against war, against police violence but how many chickens, cows, fishes, pigs, sheep and horses are slaughtered daily for their meat, their skin, their fur, only for your pleasure."

A agree with this point. The sheer numbers of animals put under these disgusting conditions is seriously unnecessary. Look at the waste of these lives. It also seems stupid that people wonder in horror at new diseases and stuff that are coming up, when they are incubating these diseases in the perfect conditions of filthy intensive farming.
Fur farming is just inexcusable too. It is a completely separate industry to the meat industry, which is a waste in itself because the furs of animals used in the meat industry is simply disposed of with no use put to it. That ends up meaning that animals are purely farmed for their fur and no other reason. Killing huge numbers of animals in the interest of fashion is just ridiculous.

"You are against the power of one person over another but how many pets have you made dependant upon you only for your pleasure."

I'm repeating myself now, but a lot of pets ARE dependant on human care. It is a sad, very sad, fact. We have created these new breeds of dogs and cats and rabbits and alll sorts that are just not able to cope in the wild. Therefore we have to ensure that we provide them with warmth and with food in a little bowl. I'm not saying i agree with the pet industry, i really don't agree with it very much at all. But i do thing that it is worth a thought that these animals do need looking after somehow.

"You are againsy Facism, Sexism, Racism, Militarism, Imperilism BUT have you forgotton something? the fact that you think you are superior to other animals!!"

Hehe, i don't actually think that at all. I personally believe myself equal to other animals. I can just see that other species will have very different needs to my own. While i eat at a table (occasionally :whistle: ), fuzzypegs (the cat i live with) just wouldn't appreciate it. She'd find it a right nuisance having to sit at a table and hurt her arthritis in her hips just to get to her cat biscuits. I feed her in her cat bowl on the floor. That is not me acting in superiority, that's just me allowing for her needs and not my own. We're just different. She's got a collar on - that's not me being superior to her, that's me mainly being protective over my friend and trying to ensure that she's not taken as a stray and whisked away from the territory she loves to sit and watch the local birds in.

Blegh, that was a real rant - sorry about that! I hope i made sense and didn't digress from the point too much.

Love,
Sunny
xxx

Sunny, with all due respect, this is a poem to make people think about the life of some animals and our relationships wth them. It may seem exstreme in what it says but it also is aimed to trying to make you think and realise the inbalance. I have no doubt that there are many wonderful folk doing great things for the animal kingdom, I know a few that run animal sancturies etc..

Yes, I do have an estreme belief that all domesticated animals should be left to die out so that the majority of exploitation is reduced. That's because even after 17 years of being vegan/animal rights I still see so much abuse towards non-human animals. I am sick and tired of hearing about animals being badly treated coz of crap people.

Again we are faced with the slaughter of yet more innocent animals being birds this time due to the threat of this chicken flu. And last night I caught a few mins of a programme where the RSPCA couldn't prosecute someone who had starved a dog to death because the dog was to badly decomposed, still lying in the kitchen where it had died and the so-called owners (not a word I like) had moved out, leaving the dog there to die.

I would dearly love to stop that sort of abuse. I love having animals in my life but I would rather not, if it means that animals stop being exploited, abused or murdered for human benefit. Yes, wild animals are still abused eg hunting etc.. but I would rather see an animal in the wild free from factory farms and neglect, where nature takes care of them than someone who will abuse them because they have power over them in the domestic sphere. At least in the wild they would have more of a fighting chance of survival (though I know humans encrouchment onto wild habitats is a problem)

Anyway, this thread is for people to have a view, as has been shown already. I respect yours and I am sure you respect mine but as I have said before we will have to beg to differ on some of the issues raise :)

Love and liberation
Xxxx Stormy xxxX

PeacePiper
18-10--2005, 08:04 PM
It is not a question of need, it is a statement of fact, 2+2=4.
I have argued a case for the superiority of the Human Being, now I am interested in a counter argument.

Your definition of superior just doesn't stick. What is superior? What makes us better than a rock? We can be better at things than other people/things, it doesn't mean we're superior. Would you say a lion could hunt because it was superior or simpler bigger and with sharp teeth?

You use human abilities as a measure for superiority. Does that mean we are inferior to spiders because they can make intricate webs with hardly any trouble? If someone is faster than someone else it means they're better at being fast, it doesn't make them superior, just because we have mental depth doesn't make us superior over anything - we're all made of dust

Claerie
18-10--2005, 08:13 PM
I love having animals in my life but I would rather not, if it means that animals stop being exploited, abused or murdered for human benefit.

Thankyou for that point, it's how I feel too :)

Sunny
19-10--2005, 01:14 PM
Sunny, with all due respect, this is a poem to make people think about the life of some animals and our relationships wth them. It may seem exstreme in what it says but it also is aimed to trying to make you think and realise the inbalance.

I really respect your views Stormy :). I also really admire your view that you would rather not have animals in your life to stop the exploitation. I thought my own views were extreme, but that seems moreso. I might sound silly in saying this, but i actually haven't heard that point of opinion before, so it's made me think. :drunk: .

I can't bear the idea that they are considering a mass slaughter of birds. People are so selfish towards their own needs. The other thing is that they never seem to learn. I wish that more was done towards keeping animals in better conditions after the foot and mouth incident. Saying that, there are an increasing number of organic and free range farms now i suppose.

That bit that i quoted (I'd put it down here, but i don't know how to cut and paste on these new forums)... I realise it is a poem to make people think. But I do find that poems just like that give animal rights a bad name. Such an extreme view immediately provokes an angry response in a lot of people towards animal rights activists. I know a lot of people who would read that letter and either laugh and laugh at it, or just scrunch it up and throw it in the bin. All the emotive writing and stuff just makes the people it most needs to be addressed to a lot of the time(the people who don't actually care about animals as of yet) walk briskly in the other direction.
All the points it brings up are fair points. I just reacted to it as it did because I do think that sometimes people just want the facts - that way they can form their own opinion and not be faced with a whole lot of guilt instead.
I know i took it literally, just trying my hand at debates and discussions partly, i'm not very good at it yet i think :o

Love,
Sunny
xxx

Whirler
22-10--2005, 10:14 AM
I realise it is a poem to make people think. But I do find that poems just like that give animal rights a bad name. Such an extreme view immediately provokes an angry response in a lot of people towards animal rights activists. I know a lot of people who would read that letter and either laugh and laugh at it, or just scrunch it up and throw it in the bin. All the emotive writing and stuff just makes the people it most needs to be addressed to a lot of the time(the people who don't actually care about animals as of yet) walk briskly in the other direction.
I absolutely agree with you Sunny. It's the sort of thing that is fine for those who already have compassion and understand the message but for those that really need to be taught it's too confrontational. I first went veggie at 14 and was very emotive about it, I couldn't understand why other people didn't feel like I did or even understand the issues, but when you behave in that emotive way it doesn't bring out a good response, infact, people will probably fight you more than they would if you had a discussion, simply by way of a reaction. The older I got the more I realised that stricking out verbally in emotive anger was not gonna win anyone to my cause. You can only lead by example. Now talking about it calmly and without any judgement peaks peoples' interest. They're not being told that they're wrong, nor do they feel that they're being challenged and it allows room for exploration.

When harsh examples and emotive language is used, people get defensive. The real issues pale into insignificance because human feeling dominates the situation. Extremes in any walk of life aren't the way forward in my humble opinion.