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Animal Rights


stopman
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The mighty human doesn't give rights to animals because he is so much more intelligent and powerful than animals. Doesn't it follow that the mighty God doesn't care much about humans because he is so much more intelligent and powerful than we humans? Well no... most of us think that God loves us and cares about each and every one of our hardships and about all of our suffering, in spite of the fact that he is so much more powerful than we are. But I think that if this is true, then God must care just as much about the suffering of animals. I can't believe he likes any creature here on earth any more than any of the other creatures. I think he put us here to help each other rise above misery and suffering, and I think giving rights to animals is one of the most important tasks we have been put on this earth to accomplish.

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cruelty to animals is of course unacceptable. But i am not against eating animals, because of how i see the world works: every animal does what is necessary to survive, for many creatures that means eating other creatures. it is an unpleasant fact of nature but it is a fact. We find ourselves, luckily, at the top of the food chain. For many of us we are also lucky enough to be removed from that process - buying our meat in little packets and being spared the violence.

 

But i do feel that our detachment from this process has given us a very casual attitude towards killing for food. I think it's interesting that some of the earliest depictions of religion (on cave paintings) are of ceremonies regarding the killing of animals. Early man seemed to be aware of the seriousness of taking life, although it was necessary for survival. Maybe we need to put some contemplation back into the fact that we eat animals - maybe some kind of 'grace' before we eat? :) maybe some of the revelry needs to be taken out of eating meat. Certainly, the amount of meat we eat is an issue that needs to be addressed.

 

Anyway, sorry if i've gone off the point, but theses are just some things i've been thinking about lately!

Jonny

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What about the right to be free of needless suffering? Factory farms crowd chickens into cages so tightly they have to sear off their beaks with a hotwire to prevent them from pecking each other to death. I wouldn't mind eating chicken, but I won't eat a chicken that has been treated like this. There is so much needless suffering we inflict on animals, and I don't think God looks favorably on us when we do this.

 

The point is that animals have feelings just like we do. They suffer just like we do. Shouldn't we do everything in our power to alleviate any of their suffering that we have the ability to alleviate?

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There's two issues for me in your question, Stopman.

 

Firstly, it's hard for me to imagine a God who loves animals just as much as humans, yet is happy for us to kill these animals for food. Surely by killing the animal you are causing some harm? The animal would have family too, wouldn't it? As you pointed out they have feelings so I don't think they would feel too happy about having to die just because you choose to eat them. If we imagine raising humans for food we are disgusted but not when we consider doing the same to other animals. So as for a God that loves them just as much as us, I can't see how that works.

 

However, I detest cruelty to animals because I have some empathy. Cruelty is unnecessary and is a choice. Strangely enough I'm still prepared to let an animal be slaughtered for my desires, but I would like such slaughter to be as harmless as possible (I think this is hypocritical but I still do it because I like meat!).

 

So I'm not sure it's a rights issue but I would like to see needless suffering taken out of the equation simply because I want to treat th animals reasonably well.

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God made animals to be eaten for food, so he doesn't care about them? Didn't God let humans be born with physical handicaps and disease? Does this mean he doesn't love humans? For whatever reason, God made a world where ALL of us suffer. I think we have been put here on this earth to overcome this suffering as best we can, and the only way to do that is to help each other since we cannot rise above suffering through our own single-handed efforts. We need to help each other, and yes, that means eliminating needless suffering of animals. I too eat meat, but I want the animals I eat to have a good life and to be killed in the most humane way possible.

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For me it's more a case of there not being that kind of a God - one that made anaimals for food and one that creates handicapped humans. For me, a loving God creating something and loving it immensely, but is happy to see us execute it and eat it, just doesn't make sense. To me, that picture of God totally overlooks the harm and terror caused to the animal by making it our food choice.

 

To say God cares about animals, but at the same time is pleased to see them farmed (albeit eithically), executed and eaten, just doesn't add up to me. But rather than saying God does want us to kill and eat the animals he created so lovingly, I tend to think that God doesn't exist in that fashion. I don't know if you've ever killed an animal Stopman but in myopinion, unless they are totally blindsided, they know what's coming and the others standing around watching know that they're next. That doesn't seem loving or harmless to me. Animals have feelings and families too.

 

I agree that we should end needless suffering to animals, and if I could be a vegetarian I would probably argue to end all slaughter of animals for food too. But I dont believe this because I think there is a God that wants or requires that, but because I have empathy for other sentient beings (but I acknowledge my empathy still lacks a lot if I am prepared to kill and eat these sentient beings).

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