Animal Rights?
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22-10-2015, 06:37 AM
RE: Animal Rights?
(22-10-2015 05:41 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  An animal has no concept of rights. You might as well give them a driver's license or a tv remote. They won't put them to use, because they don't comprehend rights.

......

As a legal principle we can quite happily give animals rights. Children have rights, whether or not they comprehend them.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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22-10-2015, 06:51 AM
RE: Animal Rights?
(22-10-2015 06:37 AM)morondog Wrote:  
(22-10-2015 05:41 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  An animal has no concept of rights. You might as well give them a driver's license or a tv remote. They won't put them to use, because they don't comprehend rights.

......

As a legal principle we can quite happily give animals rights. Children have rights, whether or not they comprehend them.

We could, but we shouldn't.

Children do have rights - because they're human.

Animals don't, because they're not.

Animals don't need rights. Rights are self-exercised. Animals need legal protections.

.......................................

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22-10-2015, 07:07 AM
RE: Animal Rights?
(22-10-2015 05:36 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  
(21-10-2015 02:59 PM)jennybee Wrote:  Well, I didn't do it for fun. Wink I think it was in the movie Earthling (the same movie someone else was talking about in another thread). I do a lot to try and help animals and so I like to know about various issues involving them so I can help by donating money or my time to help stop abuses of them.

Calling that movie a documentary is like the Jebus crowd calling "The Ten Commandments" an educational film.

Go look at who was involved in the making of that movie --- find ONE honest carnivore.... I doubt even the best boy or gaffer eats meat.

You don't think they might have just a BIT of an agenda to push, and might "stretch the truth" just a bit??????

Be skeptical of movies.

Somebody's usually got an axe to grind.

That wasn't the only time I've seen video footage of that being done. I just used that doc as an example because it was mentioned in another thread. If you honestly believe that people always treat animals kindly when getting their fur and have never ever skinned them alive despite video footage of them doing this, then of course you are entitled to your opinion. As I said, I don't think it happens all the time, but it does happen.
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22-10-2015, 07:07 AM
RE: Animal Rights?
(22-10-2015 06:51 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  
(22-10-2015 06:37 AM)morondog Wrote:  As a legal principle we can quite happily give animals rights. Children have rights, whether or not they comprehend them.

We could, but we shouldn't.

Children do have rights - because they're human.

Animals don't, because they're not.

Animals don't need rights. Rights are self-exercised. Animals need legal protections.

Call it what you like. Rights seems like a convenient term.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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22-10-2015, 09:22 AM
RE: Animal Rights?
(21-10-2015 04:18 PM)TurkeyBurner Wrote:  
(21-10-2015 11:17 AM)itsnotmeitsyou Wrote:  I look forward to the days of lab grown meats. I imagine they'll be able to make perfect steaks with consistent marbling, flavor, tenderness. Especially combined with the advances in genetic modification. They very well may be able to grow meat with characteristics that wouldn't be possible in a living animal.

If it happens, I think the transition will be gradual enough to where farmers can slowly decrease their stock as demand falls. It will be a hell of a long time, if ever, that everyone switches to lab-meat. Hell, just look at the idiocy surrounding fear of GMOs. That fear mongering is going to be in full gear when lab-meat hits the shelves.

Wouldn't it be easier to genetically engineer our favorite edible animals to not feel pain or perceive terror?

It's already been done. It's called In Vitro Meat. The down side is it's super expensive.

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22-10-2015, 01:24 PM
RE: Animal Rights?
(22-10-2015 07:07 AM)morondog Wrote:  
(22-10-2015 06:51 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  We could, but we shouldn't.

Children do have rights - because they're human.

Animals don't, because they're not.

Animals don't need rights. Rights are self-exercised. Animals need legal protections.

Call it what you like. Rights seems like a convenient term.

The ability to feel empathy seems to be a large driver for humans feeling some obligation to care for (or at least treat humanely) other animals. Intra-species empathy has obvious survival value, as well as inter-species empathy where there is a clear mutual benefit. However, there are many examples where there is no logical value in affording empathy to another species or even another human. There could, in fact, be negative consequences. In prehistoric times, passing up an opportunity to kill a predator that would kill you if the tables were turned seems like a bad idea from a survival standpoint.

Is empathy a uniquely human trait? Are there any studies that document non-human animals exhibiting intra- and/or inter-species empathy?

In cases where there is no real evolutionary driver for human empathy toward another species (i.e., being concerned about whether cows are mistreated on the way to slaughter) there has to be some other driver. I think part of it is based on how we subconsciously judge other humans to be valuable to the group or a potential threat. If a person exhibits a diminished sense of empathy toward other animals as compared to the group norm, they somehow trigger our built-in threat detection mechanism. It could be that in some cases we really don't care how an animal is treated by a human so much as we care that a human would treat an animal that way. Which are really two totally different things.

From an evolutionary standpoint, it would be advantageous for many variations of empathy and whatever other instincts are balancing our ingrained desires to kill for food and protection with our desires to preserve food supplies and other mutually beneficial species. In doing so, we can continue to adapt to changes in our ecosystem and ensure our continued survival. So there will be some born with much greater empathy and others with much less. There are far extremes where super-empathetic people starve to death to keep from harming any living thing or where the non-empathetic totally annihilate everything around them resulting in starving themselves. But, the range of expressions of these desires that will not immediately affect the survival of a population seems pretty broad.

Does there still exist any selective mechanism that would give one group an evolutionary advantage over the other?

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22-10-2015, 02:02 PM
RE: Animal Rights?
(22-10-2015 01:24 PM)TurkeyBurner Wrote:  Is empathy a uniquely human trait? Are there any studies that document non-human animals exhibiting intra- and/or inter-species empathy?

Many studies. Primates have been studied most extensively, and as might reasonably be expected, antecedents and parallels to human empathy are present in our closest relations to fairly commensurate degrees - there isn't really anything in genus homo that's cut in de novo.

Other animals have been studied too (eg cetaceans, elephants, some birds, even rodents and such) but I'm less familiar with that.

(22-10-2015 01:24 PM)TurkeyBurner Wrote:  In cases where there is no real evolutionary driver for human empathy toward another species (i.e., being concerned about whether cows are mistreated on the way to slaughter) there has to be some other driver. I think part of it is based on how we subconsciously judge other humans to be valuable to the group or a potential threat. If a person exhibits a diminished sense of empathy toward other animals as compared to the group norm, they somehow trigger our built-in threat detection mechanism. It could be that in some cases we really don't care how an animal is treated by a human so much as we care that a human would treat an animal that way. Which are really two totally different things.

And such has been plausibly suggested, but it's a more abstracted concern, and the actual basal empathic reaction (such as, witnessing apparent harm to animals causes directly attributable neurological responses, subject of course to natural variability) is very much in evidence.

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22-10-2015, 03:12 PM
RE: Animal Rights?
(22-10-2015 02:02 PM)cjlr Wrote:  And such has been plausibly suggested, but it's a more abstracted concern, and the actual basal empathic reaction (such as, witnessing apparent harm to animals causes directly attributable neurological responses, subject of course to natural variability) is very much in evidence.

Are there any studies on the variability of this empathetic reaction to identical scenarios from individual to individual? What about measured reactions of an individual for various scenarios to see which trigger a stronger reaction?

Is the degree of emotional response triggered by an act a valid basis upon which to establishing a law against that act? How do we make that leap? And where is the line? Is it illegal to pull a puppy's legs off but not illegal to do the same thing to a grasshopper?

Empathy drives us to protect our mate, our children and the members of our group. The further away we get socially from our group, whether we are talking about other humans or animals that we associate with being important to us, the less empathy we feel.

My dad once punished me for throwing a grasshopper in a fire one day when we were burning some brush. But he also sent me out to mow the yard once a week where I am sure many grasshoppers were murdered or horrifically maimed just so our grass would look good. Why did he punish me for killing the one grasshopper but instigate the death of many others? I do not think it was out of empathy for the one grasshopper, though if you were observing brain scans at the time his empathy circuits may have lit up like fireworks. The act of harming another creature must be somehow justifiable to avoid triggering our reaction to the perceived value vs. threat of the act, not to the actual harm caused.

Killing cattle is justifiable because we need them for food. Torturing cattle cannot be justified as it is not necessary and therefore tends to trigger more of an emotional response. There is rarely an instance where torturing an animal is justified, so that seems reasonable. However, killing an animal for food doesn't trigger the same response as killing an animal for fun, even if we are talking about the same animal and the same mechanism for killing it. It is the intent of the killer that is strongly influencing the degree of empathy response of the observer.

I think our empathy circuits are getting hijacked in order to express a deeply ingrained heuristic that assesses the justification of harming/killing another living being. If an an individual's behavior does not align with our assessment our empathy is triggered as a way of notifying us of a disagreement and potentially identifying that individual as a threat to the group or, in my case, as needing correction in order to ensure future adherence to the social norm.

Which bring me back to the question of whether or not there is a legitimate basis for laws protecting animals from certain treatment. Which animals (and from what treatments and under what circumstances) should we protect by law?

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22-10-2015, 03:16 PM
RE: Animal Rights?
What is this talk of "a legitimate basis" Rolleyes We have no "legitimate basis" for freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of expression, freedom of religion or any other rights that we assert as fundamental. We establish them by convention only. Some rights such as the right to democratically elect leaders, seem downright detrimental.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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22-10-2015, 03:18 PM
RE: Animal Rights?
(22-10-2015 03:12 PM)TurkeyBurner Wrote:  Which animals (and from what treatments and under what circumstances) should we protect by law?

Currently all laws passed are not by logic, but by emotionalism.

In some areas it's illegal to kill a cat, but not a rat. Why?

Some people make pets out of rats, and lunch out of cats.

"Cute" seems to be the yardstick by which "animal rights" are measured.

Nobody minds when you kill a cockroach.

I'm sure the cockroach feels differently about it.

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