If you love animals, you should spend some time considering how they're slaughtered. Not pretty, but if you eat them, you should know exactly what's going on behind the scenes.
One has to be careful reading articles like this that present anecdotal evidence as if it were endemic. There's also a matter of scale that gets deliberately blurred. Frankly, the article reads like someone took a PETA flyer and put his own by-line on it.
This also kinda pushes the line with relation to Furry, unless one is going to try to push the agenda that all furries, since they love animals, must therefore convert to vegetarianism. I don't think this article should have been linked because it's bound to attract the usual political debates.
Feren pretty much hits the nail on the head in regards to debate. I'm not running this website to be another 'happy happy furry whee!' site. If I can get at least a few people to actually apply some good, critical thought processes to fandom issues, I will have achieved my purpose. There's a great deal of difference between informed, reasoned debate, and the flamepits that are the usenet furry groups.
As far as the article being a PETA flyer, it's not, really. The standard journalist expose piece that may or may have actual factual evidence, yes. Trust me, you will never see PETA propaganda on this website. I was born and raised a dairy farmer, and I'm still involved in agriculture. I have no love for PETA or the constituency they represent. I like my steak. At the same time, I do believe that animals should be treated with respect, even food animals.
Granted, the article is not something I would have posted, but the reason Flayrah has other editors than myself is to provide some different viewpoints.
...respect...: *Especially* food animals.
After all, they become part of us.
Smile! The world could use another happy person.
What good is a news site if it doesn't cause you to think or provoke debate? CNN has been known to post controversial material, yet I don't hear anybody lambasting them. Flayrah is here to inform and educate, as well as create an environment where critical thought should be exercised. It's very similar to CNN, just with a tighter focus.
I also disagree that this shouldn't have been linked. Animal-related news has always, so far as I can tell, been welcome here, and this certainly is that.
Micah has a point. We go to the fast food joint and order a burger, and never stop to realize it was an animal at one point before it became that double quarter-pounder with cheese. Then you start to realize that there's thousands upon thousands of McDonalds, serving these burgers...
If you didn't like this article, I strongly advise you to never, ever read Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, which is what caused the FDA to be established.
"We use them for divine retribution."
"What good is a news site...?" I recall an earlier post admonishing people that this is not a.f.f. Perhaps a bit of clarification of the policy is in order.
Well, I'm not Aureth, nor do I speak in any official capacity for Flayrah, but as a regular visitor here I'll take a quick stab at something. This isn't clarifying policy so much as it is about trying to help you understand the purpose of the site as well as the condition of other forums you're questioning about:
Alt.Fan.Furry is a little more than a flamepit these days (I do recall a few years ago that it was a slightly more gentle place). It is not about debate or critical thought, it is about who can slander who and who can use the most curse words in a three-line post. There is no debate in a.f.f, there are only heated arguements and bickering where the opposing parties exchange barbs such as "You boff cats for sexual gratification" as rationale for their viewpoints, rather than calmly saying "I believe in side Y because of reasons A, B and C."
Flayrah brings you news and encourages you to think for yourself, and to at least examine the viewpoints of others before dismissing them entirely. It doesn't encourage you to dismiss another's opinion by saying "I bet you violate goats each night while videotaping yourself." It is meant to bring you material that is at times controversial (Micah's newsbit, my editorial about the Yerf archive) and provide a forum where people can rationally discuss their thoughts and opinions on the matter without reverting to language that would make a sailor blush. Yes, tempers may flare, but they're not allowed to rise to the point where it boils over into a flamefest.
Flayrah ALSO allows you to participate by bringing topics YOU believe are interesting or important to the furry/fantasy/etc genre to the table by submitting newsbits. So, like a.f.f., you can spread news you find important or opinions you believe in. If you don't think this site is focusing enough on what you're interested in, how about submitting something yourself and helping bring that item to the forefront? This is a system driven by user participation, after all. The editors post what the users submit. Thus, if the users want to affect change, all they have to do is interact.
Is it endemic? I don't know. Maybe so, maybe not. This was, after all, a local news article. But I wanted to make the point that if you love animals, you should be responsible about eating them. Try to find the free-roaming hen eggs. Drink organic milk from farms that let their cows wander around pastures. Find out where your beef and fish and chicken meat came from. There's no excuse for not trying, especially now that alternatives are becoming easier to find.
It's people who thought that one frightened cow or one miserable chicken counted that helped create an environment of responsibility where we could buy Ashley Farms chickens raised in hen runs, with their beaks left intact and their eyes left alone. It's why we can get coffee grown in the shade of rainforest trees, encouraging sustainable growth and the preservation of species. It really is our planet. We use it, but we have to do so responsibly. And part of being an animal-lover is caring about how we use them.
It is for me, at least.
"Is it Endemic?" is the critical question that needed to be asked in the article, and it wasn't. The reporter did no research other than repeating factoids that are from a fairly old report released by PETA. When Sinclair wrote "The Jungle" it was, in fact, endemic, and it caused investigations to be made, and legislation to be passed. But now, taking one poorly run slaughterhouse and saying "This is the Meat Industry", reeks of a piece of PETA political propoganda. It's like taking Vanity Fair and regurgitating it as an expose' on Furry Fandom. It is totally irresponsible journalism.
Frankly, one of the things that causes beef production to be as unpleasant as it is is the need to follow certain procedures to be considered Kosher, but if one were to go after THAT particular angle, one would be branded an anti-semite.
As far as I'm concerned, if an animal's ultimate destiny is to be used as food, other than the possible effects it might have on its quality AS food, what difference does it make?
"Organic Farming" for example, is so inefficient as compared to modern farming, that EVEN MORE wild lands would have to be converted to farmland in the third world to support the same number of people. (The usual theory against urban sprawl is to keep human habitation as dense as possible, so does it not make sense to keep human food production as dense as possible too to minimise the impact on the land?) (On the other hand, if high density is bad for animals, might it not also be bad for Humans?)
On the other hand, if high density is bad for animals, might it not also be bad for Humans?
Sure is. Take a look at downtown Minneapolis, Chicago, San Francisco or New York and tell me you don't see evidence of the negative impact that the overcrowding of humans has. Significantly higher crime rates than in the suburbs, traffic jams that I find comparable only to the arctic ice flows, and people who look like they'll take your arm off if you accidentally bump them -- people who look that way because of the stress of their environment.
If the question was not asked, then let us ask it. Is it endemic? Certainly if it is not, then there should be objective information available to show otherwise. Counter-examples always make for more convincing argument than merely attacking the material in terms of quality.
The point about kosher food production is interesting, though.
Beyond that, the point about the treatment of animals and the question of what difference does it make slips into the realm of personal principles. Obviously, if people are going to hold to the point of view that such animals are little more than industrial resources to be used up and disposed of, then the entire point of all will be lost on those people. For some people, myself included, the treatment of animals is not so much a matter that the animals are treated well for just the sake of the animals, but as a reflection upon ourselves as a society and culture, that there is still a sense of concern and humanity in our actions. Humane behavior is itself expressed by treating other creatures with respect -- inhumanity is treating other creatures without respect.
The argument about efficiency in organic farming is interesting, but assumes that efficiency is the highest goal. It assumes that organic farming has a greater impact/usage on the land verses yield, which is reasonable on the face of it, but makes one wonder about the actual figures. It might be interesting to separate the impact from the are of land usage (i.e. the impact of the pesticide/pollutant/power usage of modern farming practices verses the organic) to get some real numbers about environmental impact used by each method. The problem in such a question would be choosing the boundries of what is included in the impact (that is, for instance, if modern farming methods require more machinery/tools/maintenance/pesticides, which they may or may not, then does one factor in the impact/usage of the factories needed to produce the machinery/tools/pesticides and the tertiary impacts on energy usage and such required by those? That becomes a complex, holistic analysis of the methods, however, which is non-trivial but interesting to consider.)
Obviously, one next step in increasing the efficiency of modern farming methods, assuming that is the sole criteria, would be to cut back the benefits and time off given to the workers in the industry, and make sure they are yielding the maximum productivity for their positions of employment within the industry -- treat the workers as just another resource to be used up.
Which actually was my point. PETA-like organizations protest food animal density (code word: Factory Farms) while advocating Human population density via policies against Urban growth and road construction, and for public transit (which is only practical in dense urban areas), and policies that declare strip mines that accumulate water as "wetlands". The net effect of all of these policies is to increase human density, and thus human misery. (Exacerbated by also making things cost more, which ladles more misery on the poorest people).
I find the self-loathing in "Hyooman-bashing" just as distressing in the fandom as I do in political organizations.
Speaking purely from my experience on family farms, you don't garner "regular" pay, so it's impossible to cut back. My family worked as long as there was daylight, and often quite beyond that point, so I wouldn't say there was any time off given. And we were definately used up by the end of the season, and thankful for the winter when all we had to do was feed animals and plow driveways. ;)
Now, as for corporate farms, I don't know what their workers get in way of compensation, so I can't comment on that.
I don't know. I think there are arguments on both sides of the urban sprawl argument. I can't say that my life is enriched by the presence of strip malls spaced just far enough apart to make walking between them impractical, and surrounded by acres of parking lot. I don't think my health *or* my car's is improved by making lots of 2-minute driving trips to get from one of those places to another. So I think that people who say the way we build is stupid and wasteful do have a point. I also don't think that population density and misery are directly tied together -- I'm considerably less miserable now that I'm living in an apartment near a city with things to do than I was living in a rural town of tastefully spaced homes where there was never anything going on.
However, the ways most places have tried to combat urban sprawl have been just short of disasterous, and have only resulted in housing shortages. Just look at Portland. But then, at least it's not turning into a hell hole like Detroit's become.
I once thought I would like to be a vegetarian so I could be more like a rabbit, but now I realize I'm more fox-like than bunny-like. Well, foxes aren't vegetarian. So now I've had to rethink the whole vegetarian thing. True, I love animals, but what does that have to do with a few chickens or a cow or two? I don't hate chickens or cows but while I would rather die than eat a rabbit or God forbid, a fox, I don't place that much emphasis on the few animals I eat. I don't worry about what I eat anymore. Although I refuse to eat regular hot dogs. At least when I eat a Smart Dog (vegetarian hot dog brand) I know what I'm eating. I'm just not into eating anus and lips and stomach as much as some people.
Anyway, I do agree wholeheartedly that if anyone does eat meat they should make consideration for where it came from. Not to discourage people from eating meat, but for them to have some kind of clue. We tend to keep ourselves ignorant. We have gotten into a terrible state where we just comsume without a thought to where anything came from or how it came to be. Food is not created by the supermarket. Whatever your diet habits and I truly don't care what they are, you should at least open your eyes and realize what you're eating. There is nothing worse than keeping yourself ignorant just because you don't want to acknowledge the truth or because it's simply distasteful. For that matter, if it's so distasteful, why do it? If I eat a chicken, I know where it came from and I still eat it. Although for some strange reason eggs make me gag. Go figure.
Anyway, that's my two cents. I'm gonna go snuggle with Tails. If anyone would like to discuss this further or if you have any yiffy fox pictures (male or female), let me know.
More information about formatting options