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A dispensation to cause pain - Comments

Sally Luxmoore's Avatar Comment 1 by Sally Luxmoore

"University of the Bleeding Obvious"

Brilliant. Says it all.

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 13:21:00 UTC | #405665

Lapin Diabolique's Avatar Comment 2 by Lapin Diabolique

I agree with Craig Johnson and wholeheartedly agree with the stunning of all animals that are about to be killed as well as the stunning of all rabbis, mullahs and other clergy.

There's nothing like a good taser-jolt to the nuts to shut these useless shaman up.

Imagine the blessed silence.
One can always dream.

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 13:21:00 UTC | #405666

tieInterceptor's Avatar Comment 3 by tieInterceptor

I saw years ago a documentary about cows transported from Europe to Muslim countries, like Morocco and Egypt.

The cows MUST arrive alive or they are worthless ... and they are so tightly packed in the trucks and boats, with no food and little water (they will be slaughtered on arrival, so comfort is irrelevant) in every trip inevitably some cows brakes a leg and instead of putting them down right there, and be unable to sell the meat, they keep them alive and force the cows to continue walking with a broken leg, by putting fingers and red pepper in their eyes, so they will stand up and keep moving with the lame leg... then they eventually have their throats cut.

I think the trip is a a week or more.

It was shocking... all of this suffering so some ignoramus can certify that the animal is killed in some irrelevant ritualistic way.

makes me mad... and I still eat meat... but I wish we would eradicate this type of gratuitous torture just to please the "sensibilities" of the religious

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 13:32:00 UTC | #405670

owheelj's Avatar Comment 4 by owheelj

This seems barely worth caring about when you consider the treatment of animals at large factory farms.

That said, I'm completely apathetic about animal rights. I think it's largely just a symptom of societies that are disconnected from their food sources. However I concede that since I grew up on a farm where we slaughtered our own meat my view is probably biased and not objective.

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 13:41:00 UTC | #405673

Noodly's Avatar Comment 5 by Noodly

A very good example of the ridiculous exemptions granted to religions when common sense and compassion are completely ignored.

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 13:59:00 UTC | #405679

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 6 by Tyler Durden

In 2003, the Muslim Council of Great Britain claimed that "the brain is instantaneously starved of blood and there is no time to start feeling any pain." Johnson's work says otherwise.
But it's my religion, so you must be wrong and I must be right. It says so right here in my holy book.

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 14:04:00 UTC | #405682

robotaholic's Avatar Comment 7 by robotaholic

I wish it was easier to be a vegetarian. Between pepperoni pizza & chicken anything I just lose any willpower. A lot of animals require meat to survive -like the big cats...but humans for the most part can pretty much avoid meat altogether. (I think we need maybe some kind of supplement) I just don't want to be associated with the 'animals' listed in this article.

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 14:15:00 UTC | #405687

Stella's Avatar Comment 8 by Stella

I'm vegan.

In a mid-sized American city, it's not that hard.

When I go visit my parents in Bumfuck, East Texas, I am vegan.

It's not that hard.

I used to think it was hard, when I was approaching it like one would a diet. After many years of on-again, off-again vegetarianism, I went vegan in February 2008, and it's been one of the best things I've ever done.

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 14:27:00 UTC | #405691

AllanW's Avatar Comment 9 by AllanW

Comment #423933 by Stella on October 15, 2009 at 3:27 pm


When I go visit my parents in Bumfuck, East Texas,


Erm. I hesitate to ask but is that a real place?

Regarding the article, once again science proves that religion is a menace.

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 14:36:00 UTC | #405694

ANTIcarrot's Avatar Comment 10 by ANTIcarrot

And in yet more news from the University of the Bleeding Obvious... stunning doesn't always work either.

Famously for chickens in the KFC slaughterhouses, they were 'proud' of a 90% success rate - in a building that killed over a billion chickens a year. Do the math on 10% of a billion. If any individual comitted that level of animal abuse, they would be locked up. The percentages aren't that much better for any other method of stunning. It's not only the religious that get exceptions from legal complience.

It always strikes me as hipocritical when one group of meat eaters stands up and says, "Oh but we only torturously killed 200 million animals this year when our methods failed! Unlike those filthy muslims, who cruelly slaughtered 20,000 animals! Aren't they terrible!"

Sure you can claim that at least you try to avoid cruelty, but you also create the need for cruelty in the first place. So, yeah...

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 14:44:00 UTC | #405700

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 11 by Jos Gibbons

I found this article at once interesting and well-written, since it carefully explored and conceded the one or two tricky conundrums in the issue of animal treatment, while still focusing on the fact that the main topic of the article is frankly nowhere near as tricky. In other words, clever philosophers aside, at least one question's answer is obvious.

I like also that Rutherford mentioned the lack of a scriptural basis for these practices, if only because if that's really true then I've learnt something. It is, however, strictly irrelevant, in the sense that whether something is moral shouldn't depend on whether a religious text condones it. I've seen a few interviews with moderate Muslim critics of jihadist terrorism, and was rather perturbed by the fact that their objections are purely about claiming the Koran's words don't support the extremists' opinions (which, judging by the dishonesty in the latter's translations of the Koran into English, may be an issue on which the moderates are right, although I doubt it), rather than, say, whether it causes needless suffering. Ultimately, I'm glad Rutherford did include it, not because a "but the book says ..." counter-argument works, but because the people who need to be reached nonetheless THINK it does.

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 14:48:00 UTC | #405701

Vaal's Avatar Comment 13 by Vaal

Primitive idiots.

I quite fancy Mullah and chips. I am sure they won't be so enthusiastic about "halal" if it is happening to them.

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 14:50:00 UTC | #405703

Oystein Elgaroy's Avatar Comment 12 by Oystein Elgaroy

The all-powerful creator of the universe apparently cares more about how his subjects prepare their meat than feeding the hungry and clothing the naked. It is a testimony to our species' limitless capacity for stupidity that the proponents of these cruel practices cannot see how absurd their beliefs are.

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 14:50:00 UTC | #405702

George Lennan's Avatar Comment 14 by George Lennan

Didn't some ghastly lefty cultural appeasement council in the UK recently start serving halal meat to all schoolchildren because it was cheaper than buying both halal and reasonable meat from different suppliers?

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 14:51:00 UTC | #405704

epeeist's Avatar Comment 15 by epeeist

Comment #423943 by Jos Gibbons:

I like also that Rutherford mentioned the lack of a scriptural basis for these practices, if only because if that's really true then I've learnt something. It is, however, strictly irreleant, in the sense that whether something is moral shouldn't depend on whether a religious text condones it.
You don't need to go as far as terrorism. FGM, forced marriages and honour killings are claimed to be "cultural practices" rather than religious ones whenever the top is raised.

Another case of eating your cake and having it?

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 14:57:00 UTC | #405707

Communist's Avatar Comment 16 by Communist

In my home country Norway, the muslims have accepted that the animal should be unconcious during slaughter. But the jews do not accept this. Two days ago, a jewish spokesman here called the Norwegian banning of traditional slaughter 'eighty years of antisemitic shame on our common conciousness'. If this ban is racism, then where do the limits to racism go?

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 15:39:00 UTC | #405715

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 17 by Jos Gibbons

Comment #423949 by epeeist

I'm sorry, I don't understand what point you're trying to make. I don't even know who you're accusing of cake duplicity, me or someone else.

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 15:53:00 UTC | #405719

pipsy's Avatar Comment 18 by pipsy

Antisemitic shame my arse. Semitic shame is what they should feel for indulging such a practice, not to mention several other so called religious traditions.

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 16:08:00 UTC | #405724

RationalPrimate's Avatar Comment 19 by RationalPrimate

Hmm, I've read the comments here with a certain uneasiness - as a strict vegan, and atheist, (now we're beginning to talk minority opinion), I am slightly dismayed at what appears to be a bit of a double standard emerging here. The main gist of most of the comments here is the usual one: "Amazing what (torture and savagery) can be justified in the name of some holy book." And I quite agree, however in my view it is perfectly logical to extend this particular point to also include this: "Amazing what (torture and savagery) can be justified in the name of "dang that burger just tastes too darn good, there's no way I can give that up!"

People who think stunning a perfectly healthy animal before killing it, simply to satisfy their taste for its flesh and blood, somehow makes the killing no longer savage or cruel has some sort of disconnect going on in their minds. Except for euthanasia, killing can never be humane.

Being vegan is easier than people tend to think and can be (if done correctly) the healthiest way to live.

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 16:45:00 UTC | #405728

phatbat's Avatar Comment 20 by phatbat

19. Comment #423970 by RationalPrimate

Well, if we aren't supposed to eat animals, why are they made out of meat? Ever asked youself that?

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 16:48:00 UTC | #405730

epeeist's Avatar Comment 21 by epeeist

Comment #423961 by Jos Gibbons:

I'm sorry, I don't understand what point you're trying to make. I don't even know who you're accusing of cake duplicity, me or someone else.
I tried to avoid apportioning blame unless I can specifically identify where it should lie. And I am definitely not trying to pin any on you.

Whenever FGM, honour killings or forced marriages are raised then many of the religious will claim that this is nothing to do with the religion, it is a cultural artefact.

Now, this practice isn't mentioned in any of the documents of the respective faiths so is it religious or is it cultural? My personal opinion is that it is probably more cultural than anything, though I wouldn't rule out some element of haruspicy. In hot climates it would avoid the meat going off as quickly. This being so then I don't see any problem in getting rid of the practice.

If the claim is that it is a religious practice then the powers that be in each religion should have to make a rational case as to why we should keep a practice that is ethically dubious.

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 16:51:00 UTC | #405731

Dr. Strangegod's Avatar Comment 22 by Dr. Strangegod

Gazelles die every day in the jaws of lions without stunning or anesthetic. In tooth and claw baby, in tooth and claw. Let us not forget that we humans have teeth and claws as well. Nothing wrong with being vegan (except for the terrible shitting involved), but there's also nothing wrong with killing and eating an animal, even if it hurts it a little. Inflicting torture and needless suffering is one thing, but it is indeed painful to be killed and eaten, and that's just the way of nature.

I find it interesting that those who have grown up on farms or around animals, especially if they've killed, gutted, and eaten one themselves, have a pretty laissez faire attitude about it comparatively. Am I wrong, or is it only city kids and those who've had access to a Trader Joe's or Whole Foods their whole lives who can afford to worry about how much it hurts an animal to kill and eat it? I really think there is a class issue here.

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 17:22:00 UTC | #405736

Mr DArcy's Avatar Comment 23 by Mr DArcy

"Ouch"! I'm sure I heard that potato scream as I put it into the pot, along with all those micro-organisms living on and in it. Every time I breathe I get this particular feeling of murdering millions of bacteria with each inhalation. As for my teeth and digestive system, well they seem to be "designed" for an omnivore like most humans.

Well from my high "moral" ground of the top of Ben Nevis, I'd better descend to the low life of Fort William.

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 17:36:00 UTC | #405741

Simon Wilson's Avatar Comment 24 by Simon Wilson

For all those farm-grown boys and girls, why does it seem OK to not worry about how you kill an animal? Why cant you just kill an animal as humanely and quickly as you can? Just because nature is red in tooth and claw, why do we have to be?
Surely that is the main point of this article? That all animals that we kill be done so as quickly and decently as possible.
I eat a fair amount of meat - although the vegatarian options is often my choice, and I would like to see the laws tightened to reduce the animals suffering before I eat it.

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 18:32:00 UTC | #405748

Ygern's Avatar Comment 25 by Ygern

Comment #423978 by Lucas

That's not a particularly good defence: it's natural, so what are you complaining about.

We are not wild animals, we can do better.

Point of comparison: it is also completely natural for women to die in excruciating agony in childbirth. That isn't a good defence for why it would be okay to not give them access to epidurals and all other modern medical aids that allow less traumatic and safer birthing.

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 18:34:00 UTC | #405749

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 26 by Cartomancer

Trying to stop human beings eating meat is just as silly as trying to stop us having sex - both are hardwired natural instincts bred into us through millennia of evolution. It is most probably due to millennia of meat-eating that we have developed the big brains required to do all this ethics stuff in the first place.

In order to solve the problem of STDs, we could just tell everyone to stop having sex. But that wouldn't work, because people are people and instinctively driven to want and enjoy having sex. So we produce and recommend condoms instead. Likewise, people will not stop eating meat - and nor should we, it's good for us - so what we can do instead is come up with effective ethical guidelines to reduce the suffering of our farm animals. Militant vegetarianism is entirely comparable to abstinence-only sex education - it's just not going to work.

The problem here, however, is an entirely different one - religious exceptionalism. It is people with no good reason pretending they deserve an exception from society's rules just because they have an old tradition that says so.

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 19:14:00 UTC | #405752

root2squared's Avatar Comment 27 by root2squared

Two days ago, a jewish spokesman here called the Norwegian banning of traditional slaughter 'eighty years of antisemitic shame on our common conciousness'.


Oh religion. You are so funny; an endless source of infinite varieties of humor.
It's hilarious stories like this that almost make me wish you never go away.

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 19:28:00 UTC | #405754

mmurray's Avatar Comment 28 by mmurray

but it is indeed painful to be killed and eaten, and that's just the way of nature.


So you are against pain-killers for people with terminal diseases ?

Michael

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 20:09:00 UTC | #405764

xsjadolateralus's Avatar Comment 29 by xsjadolateralus

I'm not going to go into a bleeding-heart plea for everyone to adopt vegetarian principles, but COME ON. We have technology so advanced that our computing power may peak in the very near future (2070ish), yet we still feed on other living, breathing, and conscious beings like dirty blood sucking ticks.

We have the technology to live without murdering other sentient beings. Why don't we? I'm sure there are many reasons why, but none make any sense to a rational human being.

It's almost more disgusting to have a conversation about "humanly" murdering animals for our own satisfaction. I say satisfaction because it isn't a necessity.

Any argument like "Well, if the world stopped slaughtering animals, billions of people would die" is just silly.

If a person doesn't have food for themselves, they shouldn't breed. The same goes for the whole of humanity. If we can't sufficiently feed ourselves without breeding, torturing, and murdering other life forms, then we shouldn't be breeding at the break neck pace we currently are.

It would be like going to a pool with a capacity to hold 100 people, and every time 1 extra person jumped in, we kill one of the other occupants(preferably those who look the least like us).

Here's one moral statement "ultra-moral" believers chose not to add to their 10 "ultra-moral" rules list.

Thou shalt not breed, torture, and murder any conscious being for pleasure, monetary success, or dietary supplementation.

I think that would be better than the first 5 commandments.

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 20:10:00 UTC | #405765

phasmagigas's Avatar Comment 30 by phasmagigas

but there's also nothing wrong with killing and eating an animal, even if it hurts it a little. Inflicting torture and needless suffering is one thing, but it is indeed painful to be killed and eaten, and that's just the way of nature.


i eat meat, one way i 'justify' it is that any animal that is born is going to die and probably in some less than perfect way and that includes me and you, as long as there is good managed husbandry and as humane a dispatch as is reasonable then i will continue to do so. saying that i tend to eat mainly free range organic chicken as my meat source which i feel fulfils those criteria somewhat and the day that i cant afford those birds is the day i will switch to lentils (which i also eat anyway). or i'll switch to animals which are probably less capable of suffering: whelks, shrimp.

when i visit the Uk though i do like a nice black pudding eh epeeist!

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 20:11:00 UTC | #405766