Did You Know?

”Ask the experimenters why they experiment on animals, and the answer is:  “Because the animals are like us.”  Ask the experimenters why it is morally okay to experiment on animals, and the answer is:  “Because the animals are not like us.”  Animal experimentation rests on a logical contradiction.” ~Charles R. Magel

In Chemistry today, we were studying Eutrophication (the enrichment of a body of water with nutrients). This results in excessive plant growth, which in turn decreases dissolved oxygen levels in water…la di dah I won’t bore you but in the end, all sorts of things die. I was listening to this and I thought to myself, well, you know it’s fish, who cares? Right? No, totally wrong.

I got home tonight and decided to check my e-mail. One of the messages was one of those forward-me-to-a-million-people-or-risk-sudden-and-imminent-death-by-a-loose-panda-tomorrow-at-one-in-the-morning but I opened it anyway. Turned out to be a forwarding list for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), against animal skinning. There was a video link attached (I wouldn’t say I’d be allowed to post the link here). It had a warning of being seriously disturbing, but I thought, c’mon it can’t be that bad. I clicked the link, switched on the video and went back to my inbox while it was loading up. I went back to that tab just at the moment a guy was bludgeoning the head of a racoon before skinning it alive. Yes, you read right – alive.  Then it showed the little helpless eyes staring at you, with blood all over the place, which basically reduced me to tears. I quickly closed the link and re-read the e-mail. Apparently, if I had stuck around to watch the rest of this footage, i would have seen it’s heart still beating. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with the world?

Now, I think I sound like a hypocrite. I do Biology, I did a heart dissection three times. I watched a rat dissection at the end of fifth year as an end of term ”treat”. I eat meat. It’s not like I personally went up to these animals and committed the heinous acts depicted in the clip, but by consuming, am I not in some way creating a demand? I’ve never done Business or Economics, so if I’m wrong, please correct me. Why don’t we ever learn or even talk about this kind of stuff somewhere along our Leaving Certificate studies? Not even in C.S.P.E. Well, not really anyway, at least i don’t remember.

On the other hand, what about the circle of life? What was it that Mufasa said to Simba? ”When we die, our bodies become the grass, and the antelope eat the grass. And so we are all connnected in the great Circle of Life.” I don’t know what to think or what excuses to make. But I won’t look at a fish dying the same way again.

4 thoughts on “Did You Know?”

  1. Demand increases supply.. but remember, animals that are raised for consumption aren’t bludgeoned to death by a hick in a field.

    PETA show the extreme side of animal cruelty as pass it off as the norm. They’re like all extremists, be they for abolishing eating meat or abolishing western culture. Although there’s no way to *humanely* kill an animal, there certainly are ways to ensure they don’t die in as much pain as being hit with a hammer.

    It’s like with any good debate – you have to take a biased source, weigh it up and make a decision based on what you can say is fact. Some organisations want people to believe that this kind of thing is more widespread than it actually is – you have to take everything with a grain of salt.

    Then again, if we weren’t meant to eat animals…. Why do they taste so good??

    ~e, ex-macrobiotic, Probably Eating Tasty Animals.

  2. Animal experimentation and the treatment of animals as pets are results of the false dichotomy between humans and animals. Animals simply do not have human “rights”, even though clearly they should. Eating animals, and taking their fur, is part of the natural order. It’s what we do, and we do the same to plants. However, because animals can feel pain, this should, in my opinion (and I’m sure you’ll agree) be done in the most humane way possible.

    Animal testing is necessary because we’d rather kill an animal than a human. Like I said, we make an imaginary division between humans and animals. I can see the sense in animal testing, but it should be done in as humane a way as possible and only when necessary.

    As for having pets – here I sound like one of those PETA extremists – I think that having a pet (or an animal for labour, such as a horse) should be a symbiotic relationship rather than a master-and-slave one.

    We simply think we’re superior to animals. Kill an animal and it’s fine – kill a foetus, and you’re a murderer. It’s disgusting.

  3. PETA are an extreme animal rights groups, they’re the al quaida of the animal activist world. They show the worst of the worst, and often these things aren’t commonplace, if you eat meat you’re most likely just eating animals that have been raised and killed humanely and not tortured, so you can sleep well at night!

  4. I understand that PETA show the worst of the worst, but I feel that if it’s happening once to any animal then it’s one time too many. Never watch “Chicago Animal Police” or anything similar on Animal Planet…it certainly won’t reduce you to tears. It will make you REALLY angry.

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