Originally Posted by valanhb
This conversation has totally ceased to be productive, IMO. The people posting simply won't listen to the other side's argument. Condemnation of one's beliefs or lack of a particular belief won't suddently indocrinate them.
(The following statements are directed at the general "you" as the collective arguments I've heard every time this conversation/argument takes place.)
Yeah, I do take offense when I'm told that my extended family's livelihood should just be "phased out" or ended because of your particular beliefs. It doesn't matter how humanely they treat their livestock, because they all abuse the livestock just by having them and using them as a food source (whether beef or dairy). Have you actually BEEN to a farm? Do you KNOW the people whose lives would be affected, and know how they view their livelihood, i.e. their livestock?
You say they suffer during slaughter. A bolt through the brain brings instant death. They do not feel anything, although the neurological system may still twitch throughout the body after the actual death. It may not be pretty to watch, but it isn't painful unless someone really messes up. And guess what? When a hunter does his/her job correctly, Bambi doesn't suffer either (and the nutritional arguments generally don't hold water when it comes to venison, which is VERY lean). One shot, one kill, instant death. That's what EVERY good hunter aspires to. It does have to do with respecting the animal, contrary to what PETA has to say about hunters.
It is absolutely amazing to me how it's deemed OK to force the belief that eating meat is horrible on everyone, but when Christians do it around their core beliefs of, say, abortion well that's just heinous. A life is a life, right? A cat is a cow is a person...
I actually have many relatives who are farmers, on both sides. Almost everyone in my paternal grandmother's entire family is involved with farming in some way. My great-grandparents started a dairy farm when they came to the US in the early 1900's and now some of their great-grandchildren are taking over the farms. My childhood best friend's dad artificially inseminates dairy cows for a living, and many of my childhood friends lived on farms. I've been around farms and farming to some extent for my entire life. And for much of my life, I seriously believed that the family farms I knew were what all farms looked like, and that all animals lived like the animals I saw. On that point, I was simply misinformed.
I don't have a real moral problem with family farms, but the fact is that family farms are already
being driven out of existence by factory farms.
We're spending a lot of time talking about beef cattle, but it is well accepted that overall, the life of a beef cow isn't all that bad. Honestly, I'd tell anyone that if they absolutely don't want to give up all meat, then eating beef is what causes the least suffering. But when it comes to chickens and turkeys and pigs - their lives are horrific from beginning to end. Factory farmed birds and pigs never see the light of day, never have anything but concrete under their feet, never even get enough space to turn around in. And pigs are more intelligent even than cats or dogs!
In slaughterhouses, screwups happen with some regularity. It's a natural consequence when it is a business and the almighty dollar is king. Moving the assembly line along is what matters and a fair number of animals are not killed as quickly or painlessly as "the system" would ideally have them die. Fundamentally, a slaughterhouse is a business and it's run by cash. Maximizing profits matters far more than ensuring that every animal has a painless death.
But furthermore, slaughterhouse workers have some of the worst and most dangerous working conditions of any workers in this country. 29% suffer a substantial on-the-job injury each year, to say nothing of the repetitive motion injuries and the illnesses from exposure to noxious fumes and the like. For more information, you can visit here: http://www.askfarmerbrown.org/labor.htm
On hunting, I certainly believe that killing for recreation is disturbing to say the least. But I have way, way less of an issue with hunting than I do with picking up a package of chicken breasts at your local supermarket - and while the point about a wild animal getting to live his natural life until he dies is certainly very valid, it's actually not what I consider to be the most important aspect. I became a vegetarian when I realized that since I could never, ever look an animal in the eye and then kill him and eat him, it was not fair to have someone else do it for me. If you can look an animal in the eye and kill him because you like the way his flesh tastes (and even though you have a supermarket full of other options), I can't and don't intend to do a thing about that. I wouldn't agree with you, I'd be offended by the whole idea, and frankly I'd probably be a bit worried about what you might do to me or my animals if you felt like it, but I'd respect your consistency and honesty. But if you'd make different choices if you had to do the killing yourself, then you probably have some serious thinking to do. I know I did. I used to eat meat, pretty much every day. My family is a bunch of huge meat eaters. But for me, it came down to being honest with myself.
And in response to your last point, for the record I am 100% pro-life.