Animal Rights Zone

Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism

Learn about the true meaning of animal rights, including what is and is not rights advocacy and examples of rights advocacy compared to other advocacy: http://www.rpaforall.org/rights.html

From the introduction:
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"Animal rights" is almost always used incorrectly by the news industry and most animal organizations and advocates. This hampers animal-rights advocacy by creating confusion about its goal, divergence from rights-promoting strategies, and delusion about what constitutes progress toward animal rights. People have helped animals in countless ways for thousands of years without promoting rights for them. Promoting rights means describing the rights other animals need to lead fulfilling lives, why meaningful protection is impossible without rights, and why human beings as well as other animals will benefit when all have the rights they need.
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Kerry, we have given several explanations and examples as to the how. Needless to say, they must remain sketchy at this point. But we can do something about this. We could set up a big anti-speciesist research program (similar in scale to the Moon landing project) in order to find out what we could do about wild animal suffering and what the risks and benefits would be. Would you support such a research program? And predation would be just one aspect, of course, since there are billions of animals that are dying due to starvation, disease or injury too. Looking at the matter from and anti-speciesist point of view, isn't it obvious that we should try to help them (all of them!) and alleviate their horrible suffering?

Adriano.  No you haven't.  You have given an outline of 'tweaking' and so on but you do not go into the issues about how you intend to ensure that the ecosystem is not damaged by your proposed changes throwing it out of balance.  If you change a lion, you will have to change every one of it's usual prey to stop them breeding n larger number, and the changes will g on down the list ad infinitum.  Once you change one it has a domino effect.

Would I support research. No for several reasons.  Firstly it would be based on an hypothesis that in my view is an ultimate violation of animal rights, as you well know.

Secondly, it would have to be funded and as soon as you go there you have economic interests.  So it will be unlikely to be objective.  I can see that an organisation like Monsanto would get right in there, this being their interest and they get huge support from global governments.  You would be handing over the blood bank to Dracula as it were.

Thirdly, none of you have said what you would do about carnivores that can't be changed to non-carnivorous. Probably because you recognise this will mean extirmination.

Fourth, and probably the one you have all avoided, is what you intend to do about the greatest predator on the planet, humans. To change animals and not humans will place them in greater danger from us. More docile animals to be put in cages and squashed into factory farms.

In any case, if this is what you think would be a better world, why do you think this didn't happen through evolution?  Humans have been on the earth for something like the last 3 minutes on the evolutionary time clock.  If this is the lesser of two evils, why then didn't this develop naturally?  Despite what you have said about nature, evolution is a very efficient mechanism.

If also as you say hat animals are inferior to us because of their lower (supposedly) cognitive ability and awareness, why aren't all humans vegan?  You have argued that animals would be different if they understood suffering. Humans understand yet the majority continue to eat meat.

No your proposal is a form of speciesism and I find humans to be basically an untrustworthy bunch.

I would anticipate your response here and say also that a species is made up of individuals. When you extirminate a species you are killing all the individuals who make up that species. I do not consider that humans have any right to do that.  Yes killing is a terrible thing. They do so to survive, we don't. 

Adriano Mannino said:

Kerry, we have given several explanations and examples as to the how. Needless to say, they must remain sketchy at this point. But we can do something about this. We could set up a big anti-speciesist research program (similar in scale to the Moon landing project) in order to find out what we could do about wild animal suffering and what the risks and benefits would be. Would you support such a research program? And predation would be just one aspect, of course, since there are billions of animals that are dying due to starvation, disease or injury too. Looking at the matter from and anti-speciesist point of view, isn't it obvious that we should try to help them (all of them!) and alleviate their horrible suffering?

What about methods like this one http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immunocontraception#In_animals to control "prey" populations?

Why didn't this happen naturally? Because evolution simply doesn't care about evils. It cares about genes, not individuals and their well-being.

No, you can easily let a species go extinct (this happens all the time in nature, by the way, nature has exterminated 99% of all the species that it has ever produced) without killing a single individual: contraception.

Then I assume you will start with humans.

Kerry, why don't you try and think about these things a little more carefully? Please.

No, that would be the worst thing to do, because only humans have the potential to abolish all the horrible suffering that goes on on this planet. So if we're gone, then wild animals are doomed. There's only one plausible way to go in practice: We first have to convince our fellow humans that they themselves should go vegan and that they should absolish factory farming and all use of animals. (We must do this in a peaceful and convincing way, using violence would only make matters worse here.) And after or during the veganization of culture, we can start talking seriously about veganizing nature also and alleviating the suffering of wild animals in general (which is, as I said, not only due to predation, but also due to starvation, disease, injury or accident). Our suffciently anti-speciesist and vegan societies should then set up big research programs in order to find out what we can do to help wild animals and what the risks and benefits would be.

With all this messianic faith in technology, I'm surprised you haven't proposed modifying the earth's climate through engineering to make sure everyone at all times is comfortable and not too hot or cold. This so-called "compassionate biology" idea is terrible in theory and unworkable in practice. Give it up and let's get on with the real work of abolishing humans' exploitation of other animals, with all the needless suffering and death it causes. Humans are not the saviors of all life, our species needs to control itself rather than trying to further extend our grip of domination over all life and the planet.

If you were right then the whole human race would be vegan now.

Adriano Mannino said:

Kerry, why don't you try and think about these things a little more carefully? Please.

No, that would be the worst thing to do, because only humans have the potential to abolish all the horrible suffering that goes on on this planet. So if we're gone, then wild animals are doomed. There's only one plausible way to go in practice: We first have to convince our fellow humans that they themselves should go vegan and that they should absolish factory farming and all use of animals. (We must do this in a peaceful and convincing way, using violence would only make matters worse here.) And after or during the veganization of culture, we can start talking seriously about veganizing nature also and alleviating the suffering of wild animals in general (which is, as I said, not only due to predation, but also due to starvation, disease, injury or accident). Our suffciently anti-speciesist and vegan societies should then set up big research programs in order to find out what we can do to help wild animals and what the risks and benefits would be.

How did you reach that conclusion?

Kerry Baker said:

If you were right then the whole human race would be vegan now.

Adriano Mannino said:

Kerry, why don't you try and think about these things a little more carefully? Please.

No, that would be the worst thing to do, because only humans have the potential to abolish all the horrible suffering that goes on on this planet. So if we're gone, then wild animals are doomed. There's only one plausible way to go in practice: We first have to convince our fellow humans that they themselves should go vegan and that they should absolish factory farming and all use of animals. (We must do this in a peaceful and convincing way, using violence would only make matters worse here.) And after or during the veganization of culture, we can start talking seriously about veganizing nature also and alleviating the suffering of wild animals in general (which is, as I said, not only due to predation, but also due to starvation, disease, injury or accident). Our suffciently anti-speciesist and vegan societies should then set up big research programs in order to find out what we can do to help wild animals and what the risks and benefits would be.

Because;

1. You claim that the only way to get rid of cruelty is to ensure a vegan world

2. To do this requires intervention in carnivorous species

3. Humans are the only species capable of doing this

4. That to not treat carnivores to stop them from eating herbivores is speciesist

5. That only humans are capable of the cognitive reasoning that understands the impact on other animals that is involved in killing and eating

ERGO, if this was true then humans would be vegan.

In fact, to not start with humans is putting even more animals at risk because humans are a cruelly opportunistic species that tortures animals routinely for many reasons, not just for consumption unlike other species.

To not start with humans and genetically manipulate other species is to put even more animals in danger, due to the preference for humans to prey upon naturally docile animals for food.

Adriano.  Animal rights and stopping cruelty is the last thing you are interested in. 


Kerry Baker said:

If you were right then the whole human race would be vegan now.

Adriano Mannino said:

Kerry, why don't you try and think about these things a little more carefully? Please.

No, that would be the worst thing to do, because only humans have the potential to abolish all the horrible suffering that goes on on this planet. So if we're gone, then wild animals are doomed. There's only one plausible way to go in practice: We first have to convince our fellow humans that they themselves should go vegan and that they should absolish factory farming and all use of animals. (We must do this in a peaceful and convincing way, using violence would only make matters worse here.) And after or during the veganization of culture, we can start talking seriously about veganizing nature also and alleviating the suffering of wild animals in general (which is, as I said, not only due to predation, but also due to starvation, disease, injury or accident). Our suffciently anti-speciesist and vegan societies should then set up big research programs in order to find out what we can do to help wild animals and what the risks and benefits would be.

Kerry, the example you give of carnivores such as polar bears in the polar region illustrates precisely the dilemma we face as animal advocates. Other things being equal, polar bears will probably go extinct in the wild by the middle of this century thanks to global warming. Should we support concerted interventions to try and save this predatory species in its natural habitat? To do so will directly harm seals, who face a grisly death at the hands of the Arctic's apex predator. Thus so-called conservation biology and compassionate biology alike are interventionist: the issue at stake is the kind of intervention our ethical principles allow or dictate i.e. an ideology of trying to preserve traditional species in "natural" conditions or a compassionate ethic of protecting individual sentient beings from harm.

In view of the lively nature of the discussion here, perhaps it's worth stressing what I think we agree on, namely that the greatest source of severe _and_ readily avoidable suffering in the world today is man-made, namely factory farming and the death factories. Our immediate priority should be ending this unmitigated evil.

David, as a matter of fact I sincerely hope that the polar bears survive. I would remind you that seals eat fish, and are themselves predatory.  Most polar animals are. That's why governments are taking action to stop global warming.

I have to express surprise that you say we are in agreement about the human created suffering. In fact, Adriano stated that the numbers of animals killed in the wild vastly outnumbered the factory farmed animals.

Now here's the thing. Rather than pursuing a logical line of reasoning, the discussion put forward by yourselves has been contradictory and designed to obfuscate.There is a term for people who enter online chat forums to be disruptive, they are called sock puppets and that's what's been gong on here.

Reading some of the papers referenced also caused concern about misrepresentations and inaccuracies. Two examples supporting the idea of human intervention I do know something about, the example of the kangaroo population in the Canberra region, and the example of the return of wolves to Yellowstone discussed by Horta in a separate thread in AR Zone.

On the kangaroos, the paper suggested that the killing of these kangaroos was necessary as they had grown to 'plague' proportions and were starving. The truth was more that human population growth, encouraged by a government that makes a large percentage of its revenue through stamp duties on property sales, had seriously encroached into the kangaroos habitat and they had been left with inadequate space.  Attempts to get the head of the Defence to allow them to be relocated was denied, and they were subsequently slaughtered.

The situation with the wolves was suggested by Horta to result in horrendous slaughter of elk and an environment of fear.  What Horta conveniently neglected to mention is that the original removal of the wolves resulted in a dramatic increase in elk numbers, which then resulted in them eating the vegetation that beavers use to build their dams and water courses. The absence of beaver activity had a negative effect on water levels, and Yellowstone for a long time had water shortage. When the wolves returned, the ecosystem returned and water levels increased.

Yes there is brutality in nature, but it is about survival. Humans are on the other hand are inclined to cause far worse suffering which could easily be avoided. If you want change, stop the suffering humans inflict on other animal species.  Only then can you truthfully call yourself an animal advocate.  At the moment all you are  advocating is animal execution.

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