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Old 07-17-2002, 06:01 AM   #31
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Originally posted by Saracene


Actually, in America several equine species were wiped out completely by the natives some 13,000 years before the Spanish came and brought the horses with them. So much for the balance with the land.

Where did you read that ?
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Old 07-17-2002, 08:28 AM   #32
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I'm going to go a step further... and challenge AcrobatMan.

I firmly believe that people who own pets are also the ones most likely to donate to charity each week/month. These are the people who help out the most when tragedy strikes. These are the people who give the most when they can. Because people who own pets have learned to value ALL forms of life.

In contrast, those who do not, I believe, are often too self-centered. They focus more on themselves. They make inane comments like "why feed a dog when people are starving" as they are unable to grasp the true definition of generosity.

I realize that many people live in places where pets are not allowed. But those who love animals are usually more kind to humans. They are the ones that find ways to care for all, not just a select few.

People love pets because the love is unconditional. They love pets because of the joy they bring to a family. They offer a type of comfort that is often impossible from humans.

I do not believe in this notion that humans are "top." I believe we are only intelligent because our off-spring would immediately perish if we were not. In the animal world, newborns might be walking within hours of their births. Instinct takes over and they can feed themselves. In contrast, human babies are utterly helpless. If we did not have the intelligence to care for them, the human race would not exist. Instead of horns, claws, tails or giant teeth, we were given intelligence to survive. Therefore, I feel it is wrong to then assume we are the "top" creatures because of our evolutionary gifts. I feel that all species have a right to survive - a dog or cat as much as a human. The problems in this world, for the most part, are human caused. Therefore, to "sacrifice" an animal (in terms of starvation) to save yet another human seems barbaric.

As one person eloquently stated, a person loving/feeding a dog or cat will not take away food from a human. I feel both can be done. And those who own pets see this and have approached the problem in that fashion. Those who hate pets, cannot comprehend the notion of saving everyone, not just a select few.
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Old 07-17-2002, 12:32 PM   #33
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Very nice post, doctorwho.
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Old 07-17-2002, 04:38 PM   #34
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Originally posted by Saracene


Actually, in America several equine species were wiped out completely by the natives some 13,000 years before the Spanish came and brought the horses with them. So much for the balance with the land.

And I've read in the recent TIME article that more animals are killed during the harvesting of fields than there are animals killed for their meat.
I seriously find that last statement hard to believe.

Are we supposed to accept that the deliberate killing of animals by 24 hour meat harvesting/processing operations results in less animals killed than the number of animals killed incidentally in the harvesting of plant crops? We are talking about deliberate killing of food animals as opposed to the incidental killing of prized helper animals in the course of their work. How could this be remotely possible unless the calculations are based on estimates based on all of human history.

Then there is the little thing called mechanized farming which has largely replaced the use of beasts of burden on the farms of modern nations. These countries by the way produce MOST of the world's food.

You could probably add to that fact that we nowadays also have a much greater understanding of veterinary medicine as well as better understanding of how to minimize the environmental impact of farming.

Given recent trends in food plant farming, I just can't imagine how the constant slaughter of animals for meat results in less animal death. Switching from a diet heavy in meat in favor of food produced without the aid of animals can only decrease the number animal deaths over time.

But the number of animal deaths would not even be the most important result of switching. Raising enough meat to provide the meat needs of just our nation alone causes incredible strain on the environment and feeds only those who can afford to purchase it. Given the same amount of land, way more food can be produced by raising crops than can be produced by raising animals. Animals also produce green house gases while plants produce oxygen, something we are going to need as the rainforests disappear at a faster rate than we can preserve them. Crops are also much easier to export to the starving people of the world. I mean how many cuts of fresh beef do you see being handed out in refugee camps and how much do you see being thrown away in our nations grocery stores? (I can attest to the enormous waste of meat that occurs daily in grocery stores.

There are even more reasons than this but I won't go into all of them. Fact is, the evidence is overwhelming that mass crop production is far better than mass meat production. It is far more humane as well. Animals suffer horribly on factory farms where most of our meat, eggs and dairy are produced. They are confined in samll spaces and are also pumped full of hormones and antibiotics to prevent diseases caused by the conditions found on these farms. Those added ingredients in turn are passed on to us when we eat these animals.

I am not saying that eating animals for meat needs to entirely disappear. But I am saying that we need to drastically scale back our consumption of meat. That is the only way to acheive the maximum benefit for ourselves, our animals, and our environment all at the same time in the most effecient way possible.

I might add that we especially need to pay attention to the meats we eat that come from the ocean. The focus of vegetarians is most often on cuddly animals like cows and lambs etc. but the real crisis, the looming disaster we face is actually the over fishing of our oceans. In many parts of the ocean whole ecosystems are on the brink of collapse because of the HUGE demand for such luxury meats as shrimp, lobster, salmon, swordfish and for such staples as tuna.
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Old 07-17-2002, 09:35 PM   #35
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great post, docwho
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Old 07-18-2002, 11:10 AM   #36
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well said Dr. Who...
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Old 07-18-2002, 11:56 AM   #37
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I totally agree with Basstrap.
BTW, what town did you grow up in?

Besides, why should we spend our money on other countries? What we do with our money is our business. Thats why Bono doesnt make donations to Ethiopia every year.
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Old 07-18-2002, 01:51 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally posted by RavenStar
Besides, why should we spend our money on other countries? What we do with our money is our business. Thats why Bono doesnt make donations to Ethiopia every year.
I know I can't tell people how to spend their money (nor would I want to) but personally the reason I think *I* should spend money on other countries (via donations to charities which work in those countries) is that I think somoene being able to get medical treatment, or being able to find food or shelter for the night is more important than me buying a CD I might listen to once or twice and then decide I don't like. Not that you can do any of those things with the money it costs to buy a CD, but hopefully if other people feel the same way then we make a little difference together.

Like I said, I'm not telling anyone they're right/wrong to donate money/not donate money and you can debate whether it should be up to individuals to do what some people think should be work done by governments, but it's just my opinion

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Old 07-19-2002, 05:39 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rono


Where did you read that ?
In "The Science of Discworld: The Globe" by Terry Pratchett and science writers Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen. It's part fantasy, part scientific commentary on the evolution of the humans and human mind, science, culture, language, art and myths. It's full of interesting stuff.
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Old 07-19-2002, 05:52 AM   #40
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I seriously find that last statement hard to believe.

Are we supposed to accept that the deliberate killing of animals by 24 hour meat harvesting/processing operations results in less animals killed than the number of animals killed incidentally in the harvesting of plant crops? We are talking about deliberate killing of food animals as opposed to the incidental killing of prized helper animals in the course of their work. How could this be remotely possible unless the calculations are based on estimates based on all of human history.

Then there is the little thing called mechanized farming which has largely replaced the use of beasts of burden on the farms of modern nations. These countries by the way produce MOST of the world's food.
Actually, the article wasn't talking about the deaths of helper animals at all. It was about field animals such as rabbits, mice and pheasants, who are killed in huge numbers during crop production and harvesting. One study showed that simply mowing an alfalfa field caused a 50% reduction in the gray-tailed vole population, and mortality rates increase with each pass of the tractor to plow, plant and harvest.
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