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Old 12-28-2008, 09:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvmycat View Post
Nutty conspiracy flick that does get some things right about Christianity and the Federal Reserve. As for 9/11 - we will never know, but some "no planes" or "bombs in the buildings" theories are clearly disprovable. The circumstantial evidence against the government is pretty strong, and due to its monopoly of the security / defense industry it's guilty no matter what happened that day, but that's far beyond the scope of this thread.

I disagree with a great deal of the things you're saying, but they're not my problem. Government force is.


Quote:
Originally Posted by subsound View Post
If being of superior intelligence really exist (I believe they do) I can't think of why they would send craft millions of light years to spy on monkeys that think Paris Hilton is primo entertainment.
Well, technically they might not be interested in what we think, but in what else is on our planet. This reminds me of one of my favorite Russian cartoons,
The Island (YouTube link) - highly recommended. But let's please keep this thread on topic.
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Old 12-28-2008, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
9,616 posts, read 10,877,312 times
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Wink Wow! Good stuff here!

First off, Mr. (I assume male?) Libman, I wandered, innocently, onto this thread from my usual haunts expounding on the values of gun rights in America, and from lambasting fundy Christians who would have us believe in co-habitating vegan T-Rexs sitting quietly on the fore-deck of The Ark. So, folks have an idea of who I am ("I mean, just look at his nom-d-plume, fur chrissakes, Murtha!"), and are, mostly, waaayyy off.

I've tried here to understand your OP, which I'm led to believe migrated from elsewhere. Hopefully I'm on point, but if not, do let me know, and I'll sulk way into the back of the cave!

Second, the way you think and subsequently put into prose is, to me, highly impressive. I'm not trying to make you go all squirmy; you just hit the proverbial nail on it's ever-so-deserving head. And you have, mostly, succeeded in keeping your thread on track, which, over on the Christian-Atheist war zone, ain't so easy! Perhaps your success can, for the purposes of this thread, be likened to relentlessly wacking the donkey on its' stubborn head, often, with a heavy, sharp stick?

Third, I am a multi-graduate biologist (& engineer,oddly) and long-time enjoyer of animals' unique "approachs and solutions" to life on a planet on which they will always be second-bested by, and subservient to, us humans. We of course, and blatantly at that, are missing the Altruism Gene, it having been displaced by the Arrogant Greed Gene.

As I studied polar, grizz and black bears, as well as deer and coyotes, I came to realize many aspects about them all that is perhaps best summarized in my favorite quote, as follows:

"We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate for having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein do we err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with the extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth." ~ "The Outermost House" _-- from Henry Beston, Author (1888-1968)

(Apologies to others who may have this one posted on their walls or whom I've subjected to this quote of late on C-D.) For me, Henry succinctly and passionately defined the gross arrogance we humans project in our assumptions about and treatment of animals.

Animal rights? Technically, as you have shown, they have no such rights. It is up to us to hold some level of respect for them in order to co-mingle and ensure their possible long-term survival. If we hold to the typical & tired religious dogma that "we shall have domain over the beasts blah blah blah"... is to ensure the continuing denegration and cruel treatment of our DNA-linked ancestral bretheren. Frankly, to the horror of many of our Christian friends, I remain proud to be a direct ancestor of a few primates, a weasel or two, and even a tortoise! To know your roots is to be beholden to them all, wouldn't you say?

Individual situations involving, for example, medical research issues and cosmetics testing are just detailed subsets of the larger issue of how we see animals relative to our existance. To many (most?), our future and cultural advancement and evolution is paramount. To me, no. Not if it relegates defenseless animals to some particualr hell. Perhaps if we were willing to "sacrifice" an equal number of human lives for each rabbit (or, say, one human = 20 rabbits?) we'd place more value on the research design, the conclusions and the care taken in such experiments, which are of course most valuable. I understand that. And I know it's just a personal choice to finance and complete them. I mean, Paris needs hypo-allergenic eye makeup, right?

So, lastly, it's simply up to us to do the right thing. Because we realize our position of power over them. Ethically, we must respect and honor them not because of a government edict, but because we're capable of realizing their value and relationship to us, and because we're so frickin' good at manipulating our physical world for our own betterment (houses with insulation, central air, gas stoves; medical science, engineering etc.), and we can, honest, people!, spare the time and dollars to help them get along with us. To do otherwise is to abdicate one's self-image as "all knowing, great and good". Or, in the vernacular, to be "arrogant pig-headed morons".

Well, there's my two-bits worth. Keep it up, my good man! Love your discussion of others' points!

Last edited by rifleman; 12-28-2008 at 12:46 PM.. Reason: typos
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Old 12-28-2008, 03:45 PM
 
706 posts, read 1,294,396 times
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Rifleman, thank you for sharing your opinion on my thread. If I understood your post correctly, you agree with me that animals should not have government-protected rights (i.e. no legal punishment for Michael Vick, for example), but you call on people to express compassion toward animals voluntarily. I respect that.

(To answer your question, yes, I'm male.)
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Old 12-28-2008, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Earth
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Mr. Libman, I laugh at your reference to "free-market ostracism" in the context of judicial process. The invisible hand of the market as it applies to justice is called vigilantism. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_hand) I'd love to ask you to explain how a non-profit group to rescue and rehabilitate abused bears is "government force." I don't want to divert the debate, but I want to point out your logical fallacies, as you have for others with "Circular argument: animals are not property because animals are not property". The 'appeal to probability' is another fallacy - the argument that because something can happen it will happen, or the point that develping microchip technology will lead to government use and the denial of freedom.

But I'm tying to stay on point. You say "your prohibition on violence against animals doesn't just harm the animal-torturing fiend, it harms everyone by creating a criminal black market". Who, exactly, is harmed by this prohibition? What black market?! You mean underground dog-fights like Vick's? Neglected and abused animals from puppy mills and animal hoarders? You say we should not interfere with these people's "right" and I say we should. I agree that government should not attempt to legislate morality. (I assume you have or will vote for the rights of homosexuals to marry, right?)

The reason we should interfere with animal abusers are because some of us view the animals (pets, anyway) as defenseless and innocent creatures that have been genetically engineered to depend on humans. As such, we have a moral responsibility to protect their livelihood and only kill them to alleviate irreparable pain.

"But we should only help the pets we own" you might argue, "and leave people to do as they please with animals". The problem is, people like Vick don't kill all the animals they abuse, they abandon many. Animal hoarders die and leave behind scores of neglected animals, or they move away and leave a dog chained to a tree with the no human to care for it. Puppy mills practically deliver psychologically damaged dogs directly to our homes (or at least our neighbors' homes).

My point is - those who abuse and neglect animals tend to have little regard for them, I doubt you'll argue that. Having such little regard for animals inherently leads to abandonment when the torturer gets bored and needs a new animal. Most often, if the animal is lucky enough, they end up getting rescued and becoming a burden to those who care about these creatures by way of adoption. So for those of us who prefer not to kill an animal whose man-made genetic composition requires human care and affection we are left with dogs who fear humans and will cower, hide, and urinate as you approach them or worse, they bite people indiscriminately and therefore must be put to death. Cat's can generally fend for themselves, but they have to be captured, fixed or neutered, then released so we don't end up with a thousand pitifull kittens roaming the neighborhood, tearing into trash, and carrying disease. Again, a burden to those who don't enjoy killing kittens.

So, in a criminal context, animal abuse should be illegal because it harms society. If you want to talk about markets and economics, that's another debate.

Last edited by Eastern Roamer; 12-28-2008 at 06:50 PM..
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Old 12-28-2008, 08:56 PM
 
706 posts, read 1,294,396 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastern Roamer View Post
Mr. Libman, I laugh at your reference to "free-market ostracism" in the context of judicial process.
Then this forum will be lots of fun, because I talk about voluntary human action quite a bit. Bring your friends - laughter is good.

Your statement of "in the context of judicial process" is less clear, however. How and why should it apply to animals? Is everything a "judicial process" then, like a court hearing to decide whether you buy red slippers or blue? Don't fuzzy slippers have rights? Where and based on what do you draw the line?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastern Roamer View Post
The invisible hand of the market as it applies to justice is called vigilantism.
Not necessarily. If you don't like a person and not invite him to a birthday party - is that vigilantism? How about not doing business with a company because you disagree with their policies? Etc.

The term also doesn't apply to arbitration and enforcement of contracts, like "if you enter this store, you agree not to steal", "if you enter this movie theater, you agree not to shout 'fire'", "if you buy this property to agree to follow the neighborhood charter", etc. Along those lines, you can ensure some degree of animal welfare through pet ownership contracts ("by buying / adopting this dog you agree to...", "by bringing a dog to this neighborhood you agree to...", etc) - all without government force, which is the only thing I'm opposed to. Without a government to initiate violence for them, people who care about animal welfare will find all sorts of creative ways to benefit animals, and good for them.

The term "vigilantism" doesn't really begin until you have an actual crime: that is a violation of a person's life, liberty, or property. This is where libertarians tend to disagree, with most (minarchists) believing that this one of the few things we still need government for. The anarchist point of view is: in those situations, how is it a bad thing? There are free-market natural incentives for making sure the punishment is focused on compensating the victim, not blind revenge. And since most people aren't specialists, there'd be a great intensive to use private security firms. Etc. Many books have been written on many details of this issue, but that's really beyond the scope of this thread.

What has taken place with Michael Vick is worse than vigilantism - institutionalized and irrational vigilantism, which the free market would naturally discourage.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastern Roamer View Post
I'd love to ask you to explain how a non-profit group to rescue and rehabilitate abused bears is "government force."
Nothing in of itself, but if you're referring to MoonBears.org then they do use "government force". Notice that petition they have on that site addressed to the president of South Korea? (One of the few politicians I have good things to say about, BTW.) They want to outlaw animal trade.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastern Roamer View Post
I don't want to divert the debate, but I want to point out your logical fallacies, as you have for others with "Circular argument: animals are not property because animals are not property".
Please do point out any logical fallacies I make, and I'll try to go over them.

What I've said was that animals should be legally treated as property, as opposed to human beings which should be sovereign economic entities that can own property (but not other sovereign economic entities), and I've given my reasons on how they differ from humans on the issue of natural rights.

The natural rights argument is not an absolute: an angry mob can overpower all reason, but if you make that your standard then philosophy becomes a meaningless web of dead-end paths. The purpose of moral philosophy (meta-ethics) is to define the most functional moral system, and the one you propose has very substantial cracks going through it.

A an ethical system that is based on subjective pity is inherently unstable: one day it is acceptable to subsidize animal torture (i.e. Roman Colosseum) and another day it is believed that the government should require a "pet license" that requires as much enforcement as a driving license. Public opinion is easily swayed. In such a society, how can you be sure that tomorrow some demagogue won't direct the mob's subjective pity to force the shirt off your back, as has happened many times thought-out history. If a puppy has rights because it is cute, why can't someone have a right to take away your house or your business because they can tell a sadder story to a jury? It would be in the best interest of all rational people to flee such a society and take as much of their capital as they can with them - and then you have economic and social collapse.

The concept of "animal rights" is utterly incompatible with a free, rational, and economically competitive society!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastern Roamer View Post
The 'appeal to probability' is another fallacy - the argument that because something can happen it will happen [...]
You have it backwards. CleanCutHippie suggested (and I expanded upon) a pro-"animal rights" argument that hypothetical extraterrestrials that might appreciate it, and a part of that argument is the appeal to probability that just because it could possibly happen then it's a valid concern. Silly as it is, it was the closest thing to a rational argument for "animal rights" mentioned so far.

My response in challenging it also mentioned probability, but ultimately it is based on burden of proof: there are infinite possibilities for what types of extraterrestrials may exist and how they would act, just like once can claim that a ghost materialized under your bed since the last time you checked and that can't be entirely disproven.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastern Roamer View Post
[...] or the point that develping microchip technology will lead to government use and the denial of freedom.
Please re-read what I've said on this issue: technology is neutral, it's the government that's the problem (whether it is competent enough to make full use the latest technology or not). Someone else was making the Luddite argument that you should avoid technology because it can be used for evil, not I.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastern Roamer View Post
But I'm tying to stay on point. You say "your prohibition on violence against animals doesn't just harm the animal-torturing fiend, it harms everyone by creating a criminal black market". Who, exactly, is harmed by this prohibition?
Me. I'm harmed by this and every other government prohibitionism. Everyone else too, but I'll use myself as an example. I don't own any animals, though I do eat animals and benefit from animal-related industries in a number of ways: clothing, medicine, hygiene products, etc.

As I've already pointed out, the impact of animals on scientific research is most important, and is likely to increase drastically as genetic engineering advances. As a person who wants to live, and would accept an organ transplanted from a genetically-modified animal to prolong or even improve his life, I see any attempts to restrict this possibility a threat to my own life and well-being!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastern Roamer View Post
What black market?! You mean underground dog-fights like Vick's?
Yes, all things that the government outlaws continue to be available, from drugs to animal fighting. What changes is the price, and the profit to be made from those activities, which encourages "entrepreneurs" to promote this activity, often in ways that wouldn't happen if it was legal. High school students say it's easier to buy drugs than alcohol, because the latter is mostly sold by people who care about their reputation with the general public.

The same applies to everything the government outlaws: if cookies were outlawed then people would get shot trying to buy cookies, many more would be poisoned from bad cookies, millions of people would be taken out of the productive economy and thrown at jail over cookies, etc. The economic impact of this would hurt me (and everyone) quite a bit: higher crime, higher taxes, higher prices, etc, etc, etc - all leading to lower economic growth and lower quality of life for human beings.

Even the most mild "animal rights" regulations would cause inefficiency in a large number of industries: prices go up while quality and innovation decline. Even for the very small things those effects accumulate over time. The difference between 4.00% average yearly growth in the world economy over the next 100 years and 3.99% growth is 30 trillion dollars just for the last year, almost half the total world economy today! And we're probably talking a much bigger growth impact than 1/100th of 1 percentage point! The animals that would benefit from those regulations (if any - regulations can backfire) do not produce exponential growth, they're actually a drain on the world economy in of themselves, and wouldn't be able to survive in those numbers by themselves, it's human beings that give them economic value.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastern Roamer View Post
Neglected and abused animals from puppy mills and animal hoarders? You say we should not interfere with these people's "right" and I say we should.
Then, by definition, you are a thug. In a free society, whatever violence you would initiate against someone like Michael Vick would not be differentiated from someone violating someone's right to life / liberty / property for less subjectively-moral reasons.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastern Roamer View Post
I agree that government should not attempt to legislate morality. (I assume you have or will vote for the rights of homosexuals to marry, right?)
I don't vote, but that's a separate issue. All of my jurisprudence is based on an application of the principle of (human) self-ownership. I don't call it a "right to marry" but rather a "right to contract", including family contracts - but that too is a separate issue.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastern Roamer View Post
The reason we should interfere with animal abusers are because some of us view the animals (pets, anyway) as defenseless and innocent creatures that have been genetically engineered to depend on humans.
This is another appeal to pity, and I've already explained why this is irrational and destructive. Need does not create obligation, if it did human beings would become servants of all other living things and thus would end the human civilization.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastern Roamer View Post
As such, we have a moral responsibility to protect their livelihood and only kill them to alleviate irreparable pain.
Didn't you just say you don't want to legislate morality?

What we're having is a moral disagreement over rights, a legal concept, not values. C'mon, I like puppies and kittens too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastern Roamer View Post
[...] The problem is, people like Vick don't kill all the animals they abuse, they abandon many. Animal hoarders die and leave behind scores of neglected animals, or they move away and leave a dog chained to a tree with the no human to care for it.
This is an argument of (immovable) property rights, not animal rights. Ultimately you do have the right to do whatever you want with an animal that's on your property, including shooting it or calling a professional to have it removed. You can then sue the party responsible for your property's clean-up costs, just as you would with pollution.

Or you could call a charity to take care of them, paying for it if necessary. Heck, if Michael Vick was exposed in a free market environment, he'd find it in his PR interest to donate millions to animal charities to clear his name, which would probably be a net benefit to animal welfare in that area.

Other things that could make animal "cleanup costs" easier are technological and organizational innovations. Private security and insurance companies would respond to the need to keep wild dog populations in control, and they would have a financial incentive to do so. Ever-more-cheap security cameras, RFID censors, AI systems, etc can track the movement of anything, including dogs where they shouldn't be any "untagged" dogs. New non-lethal weapons would make it easier to subdue an animal quickly and humanely. Dogs don't just fall from the sky, they come from somewhere, and their genetic identity is easy to test. If a dog ends up on your property, even if it has no identification on it, the identity of the owner can be tracked down based on genetic data, and the last owner is ultimately responsible for his property (dog) harming yours (your neighborhood).

(Repetitive arguments and more appeals to pity skipped.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastern Roamer View Post
So, in a criminal context, animal abuse should be illegal because it harms society. If you want to talk about markets and economics, that's another debate.
As I've demonstrated, what harms the economy harms the society, far, far more than the subjective harm of animal abuse.

Last edited by Alex Libman; 12-28-2008 at 10:03 PM..
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Old 12-28-2008, 09:47 PM
 
Location: Back in New York
1,104 posts, read 3,283,735 times
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Even with laws in place its hard to prove animal abuse and often ppl that do it get off with a slap on the wrist. Children are still abused despite more ppl aware of what goes on. Hopefully we as an entire species learn to treat other animals as we would like to be treated in a similiar position of being at ones mercy.

In fact I at times feel we are Guinea Pigs for our government. They experiment with us with food, medicine, technology, and the occasional terrorist attack.

Last edited by CleanCutHippie; 12-28-2008 at 10:02 PM..
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Old 12-28-2008, 11:46 PM
 
Location: NW Nevada
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Hmm.."animal rights". Interesting term. Basically animals have no "rights" per se. To give non sentient creatures the same equal status under the law as human beings sounds ....impractical at best. Under such conditions a person could be prosecuted for murder because he shot a maurading predator, or defended his child against attack from a vicious dog. From the tone of some of the "animal rights" advocates this is not a far fetched concept. Animals are property, plain and simple. That statement may displease some folks but it's a fact and it shouldn't change. Laws that punish people who mistreat animals to satisfy some sadistic fetish already exist. Elevating pets and livestock to sentient status under the law is a ludicrous concept. As a horse and cattleman I stand agape at the idea. Livestock is a food source, or a means to gather said food source. I can't fathom the idea of the steers getting a lawyer at branding time, but some folks seem to think thats the way it should be. . Takes all kinds I guess and it's a good humorous topic we can talk about at Miller time. Whats next I wonder...the sheep want to unionize and get veteranary benefits?
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Old 12-29-2008, 12:02 AM
 
Location: Back in New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NVplumber View Post
Hmm.."animal rights". Interesting term. Basically animals have no "rights" per se. To give non sentient creatures the same equal status under the law as human beings sounds ....impractical at best. Under such conditions a person could be prosecuted for murder because he shot a maurading predator, or defended his child against attack from a vicious dog. From the tone of some of the "animal rights" advocates this is not a far fetched concept. Animals are property, plain and simple. That statement may displease some folks but it's a fact and it shouldn't change. Laws that punish people who mistreat animals to satisfy some sadistic fetish already exist. Elevating pets and livestock to sentient status under the law is a ludicrous concept. As a horse and cattleman I stand agape at the idea. Livestock is a food source, or a means to gather said food source. I can't fathom the idea of the steers getting a lawyer at branding time, but some folks seem to think thats the way it should be. . Takes all kinds I guess and it's a good humorous topic we can talk about at Miller time. Whats next I wonder...the sheep want to unionize and get veteranary benefits?

Obviously "sheep will not form a union" as you said or dogs won't be at the voting booth. duhh :-) When I say rights I am not referring to such things.

Other animals are not on this earth for the sole purpose of being a food source for US. Certain animals are farmed or hunted for food which is just part of life. I eat meat too. However there is no reason for someone to mistreat animals even if they are just for food. Treating the "food" animals well not only benifits the animal but also benifits us. Feeding cows fattening grain, giving them fina prior to being slaughtered is bad for us too.

If your shooting another animal who is attacking you, fine. Its a kill or be killed world I guess. I know even if another person tried to attack and mortally me, they are dead.

Sadistic fettish? Hardly. I just find it hard to believe that anyone could possibly think Mike Vick does not belong in jail. You gotta be kidding me. If you kill anything for fun you are a person who is not needed out in society. The only exception being a liscensed hunter.

Last edited by CleanCutHippie; 12-29-2008 at 12:18 AM..
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Old 12-29-2008, 12:23 AM
 
Location: NW Nevada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CleanCutHippie View Post
Other animals are not on this earth for the sole purpose of being a food source for US. Certain animals are farmed or hunted for food which is just part of life. I eat meat too. However there is no reason for someone to mistreat animals even if they are just for food. Treating the "food" animals well not only benifits the animal but also benifits us. Feeding cows fattening grain, giving them fina prior to being slaughtered is bad for us too.

If your shooting another animal who is attacking you, fine. Its a kill or be killed world I guess. I know even if another person tried to attack and mortally me, they are dead.

Sadistic fettish? Hardly. I just find it hard to believe that anyone could possibly think Mike Vick does not belong in jail. You gotta be kidding me. If you kill anything for fun you are a person who is not needed out in society. The only exception being a liscensed hunter.
Who said anything about Vick? Not me. We don't mistreat our livestock, far from it. Lot of dough wrapped up in them critters. The "sadistic fetish" comment was intended to encompass those who torture and mistreat their animals in any way just to get a rush or something. A general statement shaking a wide loop. My general point is that animals are at our whim. I'm NOT advocating abuse of that power, far from it. Animals are an integral part of my life. Some are pets ..others ain't. But there are some out there that take a totally impractical stand on animals. Views that are downright SILLY. Thus my humorous ( or attempt at) comments. I can see the sheep appointing a spokesman now, lol YOU WANT WOOL>>>WE WANT SWEETFEED!! RANCHERS UNFAIR SHAME ON YOU!
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Old 12-29-2008, 12:35 AM
 
Location: Back in New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NVplumber View Post
Who said anything about Vick? Not me. We don't mistreat our livestock, far from it. Lot of dough wrapped up in them critters. The "sadistic fetish" comment was intended to encompass those who torture and mistreat their animals in any way just to get a rush or something. A general statement shaking a wide loop. My general point is that animals are at our whim. I'm NOT advocating abuse of that power, far from it. Animals are an integral part of my life. Some are pets ..others ain't. But there are some out there that take a totally impractical stand on animals. Views that are downright SILLY. Thus my humorous ( or attempt at) comments. I can see the sheep appointing a spokesman now, lol YOU WANT WOOL>>>WE WANT SWEETFEED!! RANCHERS UNFAIR SHAME ON YOU!

Vick has been brought up numerous times in this thread unfortunately. The thought of the guy sickens me. He is where he belongs no matter what anyone says.

I am glad you treat your animals well because it benifits the animal and us, especially when we are talking about the food supply which is an issue I am sensitive too. I saw a tape from a yr ago from a slaughterhouse where the cows were sick and being treated absolutely terribly. They do feel pain and to do that to another animal shows a disregard for all life. I dont think its too much to ask for a humane death. The same one I would want if the option of living was no longer mine.

It was a good attempt at humor but its 3 Am here so my apologies...lol
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