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Now Is the Time to End the Oppression of Nonhuman Animals

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/04/14/now-time-end-oppression-nonhuman-animals

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Professor Nibert raises excellent arguments against the continued use of sentient beings for food. His arguments are all consequentialist and anthropocentric, however: they appeal to the disastrous consequences, for humans, of continuing to raise and slaughter non-human animals for food.

Anthropocentric consequentialist arguments can be effective in convincing some people to change their habits. Professor Nibert does well to put them into writing and publish them in a widely-read forum. We don’t need to understand the negative consequences that he spells out, however, in order to know that systematically torturing and killing any animal is wrong.

By focussing on anthropocentric consequentialist arguments alone, Professor Nibert misses a powerful argument against torturing, killing, and eating non-human animals: Causing unnecessary suffering is wrong. It is wrong in itself, not only because it and the practices that accompany it lead to negative consequences for humans.

If we accept the principle that causing unnecessary suffering is intrinsically wrong, it is obvious that raising, killing, and/or eating animals, under circumstances where doing so is not nutritionally necessary, is also intrinsically wrong.

For peoples in the far north or the far south, where agriculture alone cannot fulfill nutritional needs, it might not be wrong to kill wild animals and eat them, or to raise domestic animals, kill them, and eat them. The vast majority of human societies, however, are located in temperate zones where local or near-local agriculture can met all nutritional needs.

Humans living in or near temperate zones eat animals not out of nutritional necessity, but out of a gustatory preference conditioned by a consumeristic, hyper-capitalist culture. The slight benefit that humans gain by eating animal products – mere gustatory pleasure – is far outweighed by the sufferings and losses experienced by the animals who are thereby tortured and slaughtered.

The foregoing is a non-anthropocentric, non-consequentialist and non-relativistic argument against producing, selling, buying or using animal products. I welcome and will consider any and all constructive criticisms of this argument. Perhaps I have made erroneous assumptions or erroneous inferences. Please set me straight if I have.

I hope the loved ones of all Common Dreams readers, and the loved ones of all sentient beings everywhere, feel loved… and are safe.

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Truth be told, most “progressives” simply dismiss per our deeply-speciesist culture any concern for ENDING humanity’s sadistic exploitation of other animals as an issue deserving of being “thrown under the bus” or “put on the back burner” until all humans everywhere have every human right granted them.

Animal “welfare” reforms DO NOTHING to address the issue, which is the belief in universal human entitlement to use other animals. Our religions and laws prop up human exceptionalism with impunity and immunity.

When “livestock” animals are exploited for commerce, keeping and treating them “as humanely as possible” is a FARCE because they are “property,” and because economic concerns will ALWAYS undermine the extra expense of keeping and treating them “humanely.” There are more regulations regarding the “care” of eggs than the “welfare” of the hens who lay them.

“Unnecessary,” when referring to animal suffering, is an infinitely elastic term which will stretch to fit human needs. When we see that laws protect animals from unnecessary suffering, they seem superficially impressive, but it doesn’t take long and you don’t have to be a lawyer to figure out that, if the law prohibits causing “unnecessary” suffering, it creates a corollary, meaning it permits us to cause “necessary” suffering. What is necessary suffering? Well, we write the laws, we enforce the laws, we interpret them. It turns out it’s necessary for an animal to suffer whenever we say so. So our laws prohibit gratuitous suffering, the kind that’s caused sheerly by what we might call wicked intent. But as soon as there’s a human purpose, and really almost any purpose will do, that suffering is necessary and protected.

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I would love it if everyone become vegan - better environment all around and I’d have a lot more choice at restaurants (assuming they ever reopen).

But given that isn’t happening, I say we should all agree on demanding big time regulatory changes in the meat market. That means fewer pigs grown in NC and pork gets a bit more expensive. And that means demanding that China close down the wet markets (even Bill Maher agrees) and any other stupid things they are doing and if not - we need trade leverage (which means getting a lot less dependent on China for everything, but that is another story).

So basically I view meat like gasoline cars - I don’t like either one of them, but given we are living with both, we need functional regulation. This is one of the absolute worst things about Republicans and to anybody who hates Biden as I do, don’t think even for second about voting for a Republican - none of them have their head on straight thinking about regulation.

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It is quite simple, Go Vegan for Personal Health, for the Health of the Planet and to end the Barbaric, Cannibalistic practice of eating our Fellow Mammals.

Factory Farming of Livestock is an Abomination and extremely destructive to our Planet and a greater contributor to Climate Change than the Combustible Engine, a fact that Al Gore failed to mention in his Book, An Inconvenient Truth.

Pigs are just as intelligent as our Pet Dogs, yet we find no quilt in slaughtering them for their Ham and Bacon, when will we start Barbecuing our Dogs for their tasty Flesh?

Come on America wake up to the horrors of Meat Eating and the Disease that spreads from cramping Livestock tightly in one Pen and the cesspool of Manure making its way into our Water Supply.

The Coronavirus is just the beginning of the type of Plagues we can expect from the Bastardization of our Diets.

The Fast Food Industry is destroying our Health and the Planet, enough already with eating the Putrefied Corpse of Dead Animals, it is a disgusting, uncivilized and an unhealthy form of acquiring our Nutrition.

The Human Anatomy is basically designed to subsist on a Vegetarian Diet, similar to our Primate Cousins the Gorilla, Orangutan, the Chimp and the Gibbon.

Violation of Natures Intent has contributed to all types of Disease and Epidemics.

Personally at 80 years old and a Vegan for 40 years I have no fear of Epidemics because my Immune System is Healthy and Strong and impervious to nasty Germs that seem to Kill Meat eaters who are unhealthy and have destroyed their Immune System and their ability to fight off invasive bacteria.

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In a related staggering example of gratuitous animal cruelty, “95 out of every 100 drugs that successfully pass animal trials and go into human clinical testing fail during the human clinical trial phase.” This while nearly half the research budget goes to torture animals in labs by the millions.

ttps://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-experimentation/us-government-animal-testing-programs/food-drug-administration/

The experimental COVID-19 vaccine that already started human trials in Seattle was allowed to skip the usual 18 month delay that only enriches the animal lab torture business. Let’s make that a business that doesn’t come back.

PETA did a podcast discussion on it, which is episode 111 and episode 85 at:
ttps://www.peta.org/features/peta-podcast-listen-now/

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For anyone looking for meat substitutes, I personally love Tofurky vegan products, especially the Tofurky deli slices, the Chick’n chunks, and the Italian sausages. They are local to Oregon. Their website has recipes.

ttps://tofurky.com/

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We don’t need a plant-based food system. We need a common sense-based food system.

Eating animals is sickening, barbarous and cruel. However, we’re not going to convince folks of that ilk to cease and desist by using sympathetic logic. Perhaps when they internalize the link between lunch and death? OK, carnivores, ever thought about how your body reacts to alien flesh inside it? Your immune system recognizes an invader and attacks. Bon appetit.

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John Robbins was writing about this 25 years ago .
The denial then still seems to be prevalent today.
Conciousness is raising however people are realising that to continue with a meat and dairy diet is not health affirming for your body or our precious planet.
And why would you want to kill anything if you have no need to.

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SLAUGHTERHOUSE TALES – 1989 THE INDEPENDENT

I remember when my husband, Andrew Tyler, was a journalist and followed the whole disgusting pig industry and wrote a piece for the Independent in 1989. His piece ‘Slaughterhouse Tales’ caused questions to be raised in the House of Commons at the time and so so so many people shocked - but many were then quite happy once their ‘local’ butcher told them that none of the animal parts they were buying ever suffered like this!!!

These few paragraphs from Andrew’s piece will give you a ‘flavour’ of what the reality is regards the actual slaughter:

'He tells me that the tongs should be held on for a minimum of seven seconds to ensure a proper stun before the throat is cut. But, urged on by his mates further along the slaughterline, he is giving them 1 1/2 or less. (“If you were from the ministry, I’d do it longer.”)

When he has stunned three or four, he shackles each of them with a chain around a back leg. They are then mechanically lifted and carried to an adjoining stone room where his colleague, Dave, cuts deep into the neck and the still pumping heart gushes out blood. Hammond is supposed to stun and shackle one animal at a time since the delay involved in doing them in groups means they could go wide awake to the knife. The animals are probably conscious anyway, given the stun time he allows them. But the pair were to depart further still from the rule book.

Suddenly an electrocuted animal slips his shackle en route to the ‘sticking room’, drops five feet to the stone floor and crash lands on his head. Hammond continues jolting more creatures while the fallen’s back legs paddle furiously. Without re-stunning him, he hooks him up again and sends him through to the knife.

This crash-landing routine is to be repeated several more times in the next few minutes - caused by a combination of haste and incompetence, particularly on the part of Dave, who takes over the shackling while a third man replaces him on the knife.

One animal slams down twice. Dave curses her as she lies paddling, blood seeping from anus and mouth. Hammond, meanwhile, is ear-wrestling a would-be escapee that is leaping at a small opening in the metal gate. “You can have it another fucking way then, you idiot,” Dave cries, as he helps slap the animal down.’

‘Slipped’ is a good word. I doubt if there was ever was a nice dry floor; the bastards always ignore the regulations.

I remember when my husband, Andrew Tyler, was a journalist and followed the whole disgusting pig industry and wrote a piece for the Independent in 1989. His piece caused questions to be raised in the House of Commons at the time and so so so many people shocked - but many were then quite happy once their ‘local’ butcher told them that none of the animal parts they were buying ever suffered like this!!!

These few paragraphs from Andrew’s piece will give you a ‘flavour’ of what the reality is regards the actual slaughter:

'He tells me that the tongs should be held on for a minimum of seven seconds to ensure a proper stun before the throat is cut. But, urged on by his mates further along the slaughterline, he is giving them 1 1/2 or less. (“If you were from the ministry, I’d do it longer.”)

When he has stunned three or four, he shackles each of them with a chain around a back leg. They are then mechanically lifted and carried to an adjoining stone room where his colleague, Dave, cuts deep into the neck and the still pumping heart gushes out blood. Hammond is supposed to stun and shackle one animal at a time since the delay involved in doing them in groups means they could go wide awake to the knife. The animals are probably conscious anyway, given the stun time he allows them. But the pair were to depart further still from the rule book.

Suddenly an electrocuted animal slips his shackle en route to the ‘sticking room’, drops five feet to the stone floor and crash lands on his head. Hammond continues jolting more creatures while the fallen’s back legs paddle furiously. Without re-stunning him, he hooks him up again and sends him through to the knife.

This crash-landing routine is to be repeated several more times in the next few minutes - caused by a combination of haste and incompetence, particularly on the part of Dave, who takes over the shackling while a third man replaces him on the knife.

One animal slams down twice. Dave curses her as she lies paddling, blood seeping from anus and mouth. Hammond, meanwhile, is ear-wrestling a would-be escapee that is leaping at a small opening in the metal gate. “You can have it another fucking way then, you idiot,” Dave cries, as he helps slap the animal down.’

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