Sunday Sermon

Since the Disapproving Rabbits were such a hit, I thought we'd continue on the topic of animals.

I think they get a raw deal for the most part. For most of human existence we have used them as we pleased. For labor, for food, for their skins and bones. We've manipulated them, bred them to suit our needs, and exterminated whole species. Certainly, we do bring a few species into our lives and make them part of our families, but they are the pampered few; the vast majority of animals are better off when they have no interaction with humans at all.

Now, I'm not a radical animal rights activist by any means. I acknowledge that there was a time when humans needed to use animals in order to survive, and I understand that many scientific discoveries are the result of animal-based research. I would just ask if it's needed now.

Do we still need to exploit animals in order to survive?

I don't belong to PETA and I have never thrown paint on anyone wearing fur (although I can see how that could be fun...), but I do think that the answer is no. For the most part, we no longer NEED to treat animals that way - we choose to. We are guilty of speciesism.

Speciesism is prejudice against other life forms because they aren't humans. I know this will probably begin a row (if any of my 5 readers actually bother to argue with me...) but I think this is simply another form of injustice that needs to be fought.

Go in Peace. (And discuss.)

23 comments:

ZEUS said...

By exploit, are you limiting yourself to scientific research or are you going beyond to the question of whether or not we should rely on them for our sustinence as well? I don't think the arguments are that far apart.

The Ionian Woman said...

Three Cheers for Vegitarianism, you fucking hypocrite. You make me want to nail things to your head.

Big Gay Jim said...

*grabs some popcorn and waits for the Rev's response* This could get good. Anybody want to buy a ticket?

His Sinfulness said...

Zeus,

I was referring to all forms of animal exploitation. I agree completely that the arguments are very similar. Both seem to me to be based in our desire to survive - either using animals as food or using animals to explore scientific andvances that enhance and extend life. To me, the research question is a very sticky one, while the food issue is much more easily resolved.

Ionian Woman,

I have no idea what your comment means. As a vegetarian myself, I don't see how my comments are hypocritical. I posed this question to open a dialog about a more just and compassionate form of interaction with other species. Your response seems to indicate that you aren't even ready to be compassionate to your own kind...

Sirus Kane said...

Well thanks for that you Ionian Coward! If you want your blasts to carry any weight, how about this… get a profile, post a link to your site, and take a step up when you want your voice to be heard. That being said, on with my point.

Personally, HSBP and myself have a conversation about my carnivore ways about once a day, which usually ends with me being reminded that I am... in point of fact, dead inside. I am sure that he means this in good fun, but with a moral point behind it. I simply enjoy the savory taste of dead animals too much to let myself stop feasting upon them. Though he has made an impact, this is not a topic that one should get hostile over.

By and large I would go into a spiel about how this blog, more than nearly any other, is a place where opinions can be forged, honed, polished and then put to the test in a relatively haze free environment. But I am sure this will be yet another craven, uncorroborated upheaval of nonsense related to the topic at hand. So instead let me simply say that your lashing out is nothing more than a premature ejaculation from your own fragile, reactionary, little mind, and follow that up with a “Have a nice life!”

Levi said...

ionian woman took my comment...

i read an interview with a member of Cattle Decapitation, notorious grindcore/vegan band, where the interviewer thought he was being clever when asking "If you were alone in the woods with nothing to eat would you kill a deer and eat it?" and the guy crom catdecap says "fuck yes i would. because that's survival. but we don't need to eat meat to survive now, do we?"

so what i'm saying, really, is that grindcore/vegan bands make more sense than random anonymous internet posters/posers.

His Sinfulness said...

Thanks, Levi - perceptive as always.

Mark Travis said...

Having tried vegitarianism myself, I see the positive and negative.

I personally would posit a middle way argument. Something about how meat in moderation is alright, but consumption of large amounts of meat each and every night is both unhealthy physically and karmically.

Either extreme is just as wrong, any extreme leads to a worse situation than a path that takes both sides of the argument into consideration.

So, yeah...

p.s. ionian woman is one of those extremes i'm talking about.

Fran├žois Villon said...

Actually, I'm not an extremist at all. I'm a vegetarian, but not because I woke up one day and thought, “It might be a fun thing to try!”
From a health perspective, vegetarianism isn't very healthy. Animals that we as omnivores eat synthesize amino acids that we need in order to survive. As creatures with very small cecums, we are simply incapable of digesting plants the way we would need to be able to in order to be healthy and not eat meat. However, meat eating isn't very healthy either since the meat we eat is generally very high in hormones (which, by the way, is part of the reason girls have started to have periods earlier and earlier in life, in other words at age eight instead of a normal time such as 13). They also tend to be high in fat because of the way we raise them.
However, to clarify, I've seen his "holiness" eat meat. In addition, if he really feels this way about animals, why would he bother oppressing them and keeping them as pets?
On the other hand, where would we be with out animals? With out useful animals of burden, we wouldn’t have been able to cultivate huge tracts of land the way we did. That means that we wouldn’t have been able to create the diverse culture we enjoy today. So, in some ways, we do actually need animals. Plus, keeping a carrot as a pet isn’t nearly as fun as keeping a puppy. Carrots just aren’t very playful.

Modig_Bjorn said...

I think Clay is commenting incognito...

Modig_Bjorn said...

Either that or a woman who has either had her heart broken by the Dark Pontiff or is on the rag.

This has been a crude and sexist message brought to you by your friends at the "Damn, Get That Bitch a T-Bone Company."

His Sinfulness said...

This was intended to be a discussion of the idea of speciesism, not a referrendum on my behavior. Since you seem to want that, I confess - I'm as guilty as the rest, and I never said otherwise. It's "His Sinfulness" not "His Holiness". :) That alone should make it clear that I am not putting myself forward as any kind of example. I have eaten meat, and still do on occasion.

I am not suggesting that we shouldn't have companion animals, nor do I see compassionate animal ownership as a form of oppression.

If you actually read the post you'd see that I'm not suggesting that animals haven't helped man survive in the past, including beasts of burden. I am just asking if we still need to use them the way we do.

Levi said...

see, now that wasn't so hard. silly civil discussions.

Raksha said...

Fran├žois Villon smells like cabbage.

Sirus Kane said...

Ok... first I would like to point to my previous post about you, Francios Ionia d' Gender Issues, being a coward, an educated one albeit. Second if keeping pets is a form of oppression, I certainly have been guilty of it and have had my life enriched by it, and I do not think that having pets make us “Speciesist”.

In an industrial age like ours, to exploit animals for labor should not be necessary, with exception to very, very remote areas where it would be impossible to get the equipment to let along the fuel. Exploitation for food is a subject that can spawn all sorts of discussions; genetic engineering to “grow” sides of beef vs. slaughtering the fatted calf, supply and demand with regard to the current world population and its exponential escalation, and a horde of others.

However, there are a number of “exploitations” that have greatly benefited mankind in a number of ways beyond food and structure. Animals have been used for the advancement of knowledge of treatments for human diabetes, in some cases animal livers can be used to filter toxins in the blood of humans and then have it pumped back into the human body with out lasting harm coming to the animal. These exploitations, if you call them that, have been greatly beneficial to mankind, but as the question is not “are their benefits that came about because of the exploitation of animals” but rather, “do we do so without thought to the suffering of animals, thus making us ‘speciesists.’ By and large, most people I believe do not think of animal suffering or how many things animal by-products are in. Before I sought out the information, I know I never did. So yes, I believe that we, the human race, by and large are speciesists.

Levi said...

I would like to point out that most of the farmable land in the US/World is used for grazing pasture, and is three times as wasteful for being done so. Also, the methane gases released by the huge number of cattle-processing areas is by many accounts an equal if not larger threat to global air quality and the ozone layer than carbon gas emissions from vehicles.

I don't remember L-train saying anything to the tune of "humans aren't meant to eat me!" His post was more about how humans have evolved, technologically if not biologically, beyond the need to consume and oppress animals.

Levi said...

hahaha, i'm leaving that typo there.

His Sinfulness said...

On the health issue, nutritional science has long accepted that it is possible to live in perfect health on a vegetarian diet, but it is easier to achieve nutritional equilibrium on a diet that contains both animal and vegetable foods. Being healthy on a vegetarian diet requires more planning and a more disciplined approach to eating - not a strong suit for most Americans.
Anecdotally, I have felt very good physically on a diet that was almost copmpletely meat, but I have found that I seem to be more resistant to colds and the flu when I don't eat any meat.

Ben strikes at the intended point of this post when he mentions the suffering of animals, and how rarely we think about it. That's what I was really trying to get at...

Anna said...

Tehe! I heard about this one the other day and decided to check it out. They were right; this is very entertaining (if this is misspelled, I'm sorry, I can't spell to save my life, it was always my worst subject and caused me to get horrible grades on more than one test in high school). I like Jim's comment best! Sorry about the rambling, I do that sometimes...eek! I'm going to quit now before I get further behind than I already am.

Clayton said...

get a clue Brandon, I am not the crazy woman. I have better things to do*, and I only comment here for birthdays or when I am directly invoked by idiots. I have never been afraid to directly express my opinion when I have one, but I don't comment here no more.

*apparently you, on the other hand, like to entertain ideas about how I am trying to ruin the internets for everyone. Quite frankly, the amount of stuff you seem to believe about me without ever having met me is creepy.

Clayton said...

also, I should say, for the upteenth time, that trying to bitchslap me back or making a deal out of this would be a monumental waste of everyone's time.

Despite my tendency to clash with Linus on the blog, I still consider him and and everyone else round these parts to be good friends (even if that isn't reciprocated all the time) and love them all.

So there you have it. I'm out; not checking for responses, but I hope I made myself clear. I'll continue to read this blog intermittenly, as always, but don't go accusing me of crap.

His Sinfulness said...

clayton,

Since your self-imposed comment ban seems to be slipping, let me make this perfectly clear. Your comments are not welcome here, invoked or otherwise. I'm going to let these stand in the interest of completeness, but in the future all comments from you will be deleted without ceremony. And for the third time, his name is "Brendon", not "Brandon".

In fairness to Clay, I don't think he is the ionian woman/francois villon. The syntax of those posts is not typical of Clay's, and the spelling is entirely too good to be his.

Modig_Bjorn said...

Oooooo.....SNAP!

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