Animal Rights Meat eaters responsible for animal cruelty in factory farming

Indian Summer

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Gary Francione doesn't hold back in a letter to The Star Ledger newspaper, also published on nj.com (4 Aug 2013). He first talks about our moral intuitions regarding the cruel acts of Kisha Curtis (who threw her pitbull down a trash chute in a Newark high-rise) and Michael Vick (dog fighting) and Mitt Romney (dog on car roof) and Jose Aparicio (bull fighter who got impaled by a bull).

So how are we any different from Kisha Curtis or Michael Vick or Mitt Romney or Jose Aparicio? The answer: We aren’t.

And it’s no answer to say that Curtis and the others engaged directly in the cruel action, whereas most of us just buy our animal foods in neat packages at the supermarket. As any first-year criminal law student can tell you, there is no difference between the person who does the act and the person who pays for someone else to do it.

Are we the animal-lovers we think we are?, apparently originally titled "We’re all Kisha Curtis" (nj.com, published 4 Aug 2013)
 

Blobbenstein

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But if it had been a cow or chicken that was chucked down a chute, would many omnies really care?
 

Blobbenstein

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I think a lot of omnies would want a quick painless death for the animals they eat. They wouldn't want the animals they eat to be made to fight each other......but it is like the care people have for animals is sort of asleep...as long as they don't know about it, they don't really care.....they can swallow their generic lumps of meat, and believe whatever they want to believe about it.
 
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Clueless Git

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Francione has got this wrong.

'Cling Wrap' animal abusers are moraly inferior to direct animal abusers.

Direct abusers having higher virtousity in the departments of honesty and balls.
 

Forster

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Francione has got this wrong.

'Cling Wrap' animal abusers are moraly inferior to direct animal abusers.

Direct abusers having higher virtousity in the departments of honesty and balls.

I kinda sorta agree with this.

Were the people who supported the holocaust even though they didn't directly kill people any less morally responsible than those who did? Are our politicians who send soldiers to war any less responsible for the deaths incurred than the soldiers carrying the orders out? IMO I don't think so.
 

Blobbenstein

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I worked on a shrink wrapper machine a few time, shrink wrapping boxes of those small milk pots you get in cafes......that is hot work!
 

Indian Summer

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'Cling Wrap' animal abusers are moraly inferior to direct animal abusers.

Direct abusers having higher virtousity in the departments of honesty and balls.
I disagree. Direct abusers are more morally corrupt because they have no scruples about the abuse. Regular meat eaters still have an inner voice that tells them it's wrong, it's just that they pretend not to hear it, and that the animals live happy lives in lovely green meadows etc. Direct abusers in many cases also make a profit from their abuse.
 

Forster

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I disagree. Direct abusers are more morally corrupt because they have no scruples about the abuse. Regular meat eaters still have an inner voice that tells them it's wrong, it's just that they pretend not to hear it, and that the animals live happy lives in lovely green meadows etc. Direct abusers in many cases also make a profit from their abuse.

No, IMO most regular meat eaters do not give a crap, none of this inner voice stuff, they don't care. Meat eaters "profit" as in they acquire what they want, the transaction is equal. Even those who might care and have nagging doubts are IMO equally morally corrupt. We don't know what each inner meat eater is really thinking we can only judge by their actions.
 
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Blobbenstein

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I think maybe a lot of omnies think of farm animals being on the level of insects.
 

cornsail

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So were slavers in the US south morally equivalent to all those who bought cotton from Southern plantations? And (assuming one believes "sweatshops" are immoral) are people who buy things made in sweatshops morally equivalent to people who run the sweatshops?

I realize there is less of a disconnect with animals than the above examples because products of animal exploitation are often the bodies of the animals themselves. But there is still some level of disconnect.

I dunno if there is a right answer to these questions, but I personally judge people who run factory farms more harshly than I judge consumers. I obviously believe paying for animal products is bad too or I wouldn't be vegan. I just know before I was vegan I didn't think about it that much. I had never met a vegan. After the point where I was like "okay I need to really think about this" I made the change. I also learned a lot of things I didn't know about how animals are treated. I don't think I was quite as bad as someone directly abusing animals before I was vegan, but perhaps my view is self serving. It's just that I can empathize with a consumer who maybe hasn't given the issue the proper thought and research much more than I can with someone who runs a factory farm and is actively involved in planning and deciding the things that are done to the animals.
 

cornsail

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I think maybe a lot of omnies think of farm animals being on the level of insects.

A lot of omnies were mad that Mitt Romney strapped his dog pen to the top of his car with the dog inside it. For a another example, look at the comments to this article - http://www.slate.com/articles/life/..._you_re_having_a_baby_do_not_get_a_puppy.html
4000+ comments, most of them angry, upset or disturbed. And I could be wrong, but I'd be surprised if most of the people raging at this woman are vegan or even vegetarian.
 

mary1

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Personally, once I was confronted with graphic evidence of animal abuse in our food supply (IE watched Earthlings), I felt I was just as responsible for animal suffering as the businesses that abused animals on factory farms. That's what got me to stop buying meat/dairy from the grocery store in the first place.
 

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A lot of omnies were mad that Mitt Romney strapped his dog pen to the top of his car with the dog inside it. For a another example, look at the comments to this article - http://www.slate.com/articles/life/..._you_re_having_a_baby_do_not_get_a_puppy.html
4000+ comments, most of them angry, upset or disturbed. And I could be wrong, but I'd be surprised if most of the people raging at this woman are vegan or even vegetarian.


Well yea, dogs are like honorary humans; farm animals are just walking-meat sub-beings.
 

Mischief

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I disagree. Direct abusers are more morally corrupt because they have no scruples about the abuse. Regular meat eaters still have an inner voice that tells them it's wrong, it's just that they pretend not to hear it, and that the animals live happy lives in lovely green meadows etc. Direct abusers in many cases also make a profit from their abuse.
So were slavers in the US south morally equivalent to all those who bought cotton from Southern plantations? And (assuming one believes "sweatshops" are immoral) are people who buy things made in sweatshops morally equivalent to people who run the sweatshops?

I realize there is less of a disconnect with animals than the above examples because products of animal exploitation are often the bodies of the animals themselves. But there is still some level of disconnect.

I dunno if there is a right answer to these questions, but I personally judge people who run factory farms more harshly than I judge consumers. I obviously believe paying for animal products is bad too or I wouldn't be vegan. I just know before I was vegan I didn't think about it that much. I had never met a vegan. After the point where I was like "okay I need to really think about this" I made the change. I also learned a lot of things I didn't know about how animals are treated. I don't think I was quite as bad as someone directly abusing animals before I was vegan, but perhaps my view is self serving. It's just that I can empathize with a consumer who maybe hasn't given the issue the proper thought and research much more than I can with someone who runs a factory farm and is actively involved in planning and deciding the things that are done to the animals.


I pretty much agree with these two posts.

Human beings are able to compartmentalize to an astonishing degree.

Turning a blind eye to the abuse that goes on is not the same as seeing it, participating in it, and profiting from it on a daily basis. Much less is it the same as actively enjoying inflicting pain and terror, as many abusers do.

Face it, almost everyone compartmentalizes to some extent. If you've ever bought anything produced in an overseas sweatshop, you've turned a blind eye to what goes on there. Heck, none of us here is giving a whole lot of thought to the abuses inflicted on the people who mine some of the metals used in our electronics.
 
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Forster

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I pretty much agree with these two posts.

Human beings are able to compartmentalize to an astonishing degree.

Turning a blind eye to the abuse that goes on is not the same as seeing it, participating in it, and profiting from it on a daily basis. Much less is it the same as actively enjoying inflicting pain and terror, as many abusers do.

Face it, almost everyone compartmentalizes to some extent. If you've ever bought anything produced in an overseas sweatshop, you've turned a blind eye to what goes on there. Heck, none of us here is giving a whole lot of thought to the abuses inflicted on the people who mine some of the metals used in our electronics.

Compartmentalizing doesn't relieve someone from the moral responsibility for the evil they cause.
 

Mischief

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Compartmentalizing doesn't relieve someone from the moral responsibility for the evil they cause.

Of course not. We are each ultimately responsible for what we choose to use/consume and how it was obtained.

I would ask you this:

Do you, as a user of computers and mobile telephones, believe yourself to be *as bad as* the people who kidnap people from villages to use them as slave labor in the mines that produce some of the metals used in those electronic devices?
 

Blobbenstein

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what about how the people mining feel?

I wonder what they think of the people who buy mobile phone in the rich countries.
 

Mischief

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what about how the people mining feel?

I wonder what they think of the people who buy mobile phone in the rich countries.

That's a good question.

And yet we all have our computers and our mobile phones, don't we? It's a lot easier to say that two evils are equal when one is not a participant in that particular evil, and an entirely different matter when one is a participant.