Archive for the ‘Vegetarianism’ Tag
It has recently come to my attention that shocking laws have passed in both Iowa and Utah this year. These laws are designed to stop whistle-blowers from going undercover in meat factories and videotaping the cruelty that happens there. In the past 20 years, probably the most essential tool used by animal rights groups to convince the public about the plight of animals has been for whistle-blowers to go into factory farms (undercover), videotape the horrors occurring in those places, and then share their recordings with the public — to make them aware of the extreme suffering and brutality caused to billions of living beings, and to show the poor standard of health in such locations (potentially posing a health risk to the public). Such documentations have been crucial in pushing people to recall contaminated foods and have been essential in make the public aware of the horrors that occur behind close doors in places like Iowa.
Understandably, corporations in places like Iowa want their doors to be shut. They want the freedom to do whatever they feel like, even if that means exploiting animals in filthy, deplorable conditions in order to maximize profit. Corporations like those in Iowa do not want transparency — they want an opaque environment free of scrutiny. They also want people who eat meat to not think about the horrors that went into making their meals. Because of this desire to be secretive about their ways, the corporations of Iowa lobbied politicians there to make a law called an ag-gag law. “Ag-gag” laws, like the one in Iowa, have one purpose: to stop undercover whistle-blowers from revealing the truth about the suffering and cruelty they inflict on animals. The lawmakers cleverly disguise the law with euphemisms, using names such as “animal enterprise interference prevention act”.
The Humane Society of the United States, Mercy For Animals, the ASPCA, PETA and Farm Sanctuary have all came out against ag-gag bills in Iowa. It is now recommended that people boycott all animal products coming from Iowa. People need to send a message to Iowa that trampling on First Amendment rights will not be tolerated in this country. People have a right to know where their food came from and what’s occurring to it. People have a right to go undercover and document the truth. The same is true for the 4 other states with “ag-gag” laws: Utah, North Dakota, Montana and Kansas.
But of those states, Iowa is probably the most important because it has very large agricultural facilities, including the nation’s largest pork producers. People need to fund politicians in Iowa who oppose the draconian new “ag-gag” law, and they need to vote out politicians like Joe Seng who authored the bill. The “ag-gag” law in Iowa MUST be repealed.
Even more shocking is that there were about 7 other states (including New York, Florida and Minnesota) where similar ag-gag bills were introduced and failed. I fear that the big agricultural corporations will keep authoring these laws in all states until they finally get their way. Unless people stop them, they will try year after year to get unconstitutional “ag-gag” laws passed in various states until they succeed.
It is amazing that instead of actually trying to solve the problem by stopping animal slaughter, the agricultural corporations are trying to cover it up by attacking the whistle-blowers (who are the true heroes in this case). It is such bull**** that the good people in Iowa (i.e. those who try to stop animal abuse via videotaping) are now being criminalized, and the real criminals (i.e. those in the meat industry) are getting away with billions of murders every year. The real criminals (the meat industry animal abusers and animal torturers) are now being protected by Iowan law thanks to the new ag-gag law, and the whistle-blowers who try to stop the animal abuse are now being punished. The law in Iowa, Utah, North Dakota, Montana and Kansas is the opposite of the way it should be.
Part of the problem is that in many states, farm animals are deliberately excluded from the state’s animal cruelty laws. State laws often say things like A person may not torture or kill an animal… farm animals and animals used for “standard farm purposes” are exempt from this law. Either that, or they’ll say A person may not torture, kill or strangulate an animal… so long as it is not a farm animal. Sometimes the law of a state will say A person may not torture or kill an animal… this law may not be construed to be used against “accepted” farm practices.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this kind of legal language is UNACCEPTABLE and never should’ve been written in the first place. It is unfair to write a law banning animal cruelty, only to conveniently exclude animals which people torture and kill for profit (i.e. the agricultural industry). See these links:
The above links are to the “consolidated animal cruelty statutes” of Indiana and Montana. They both prohibit cruelty to animals so long as it is not a farm animal undergoing “accepted farming practices”. The term “accepted farming practices” is a euphemism for “cruelly killing billions of animal who suffer miserable lives prior to their deaths”.
And it is not just Indiana and Montana that have this bad legal language — nearly every state conveniently excludes farm animals from their animal cruelty laws. This is not the way the law should be; the law should be protecting all animals from cruelty, regardless of whether they are being “farmed” or not. It is clear that the language in these laws was written by corporations or lobbyists for corporations, and do not represent the will of the public (a recent poll estimated that 71% of Americans support whistle-blowers who try to stop cruelty behind the closed doors of animal slaughter facilities).
Another issue of concern is that in about 28 states, there are “anti-ecoterrorism” acts — the term “ecoterrorism” is a scare tactic used by corporations to paint the good guys (i.e. the anti-slaughter whistle-blowers) as “terrorists”, which is complete bulls***. These bad laws also take on other monikers, such as “law to prevent interference with animal enterprise or facility”. Whatever they are called, these laws, though not as bad as the ag-gag laws, are pretty bad in their own way. By labeling the good guys (i.e. the animals rights people trying to stop abuse) as “ecoterrorists” and making laws to stop their animal advocacy, the corporations have already successfully silenced their opposition in 28 states. Now, in states like Iowa, they’re taking it a step further by unconstitutionally making it a criminal offense to videotape animal cruelty [damning evidence] happening in factory farms.
Go to the anti-ag-gag petition website and sign it: ag-gag.org
Those who are reading this should try to stop eating meat and become a vegetarian. The more vegetarians, the better, because it will mean less money in the pockets of these unethical corporations who try to trample on people’s First Amendment rights by silencing their opposition. If you have that “I’ve gotta have meat” feeling, just buy Boca or Morningstar products in your local grocery store — they are meat imitators (but not actually made of meat). Or you could try Amy’s products, which are always vegetarian. But you should really avoid meat at all costs, and you should definitely not buy any meat coming from Iowa (as a way to send a message to the corrupt politicians there that their behavior is unacceptable).
Above: pink states = states with unjust “hunter harassment” laws; dark yellow (olive) states = states with unjust “hunter harassment” laws AND unjust “interference with animal facilities” laws; red = states with unjust “hunter harassment” laws AND unjust “interference with animal facilities” laws AND unjust “Ag-Gag” laws (anti-whistle-blower laws); gray = no data
Here are some quotes relating to the atrocious, unjust, unconstitutional ag-gag laws:
“One of the best tools the animal protection movement has against factory farming is the truth, and a picture is worth a thousand words. But special interests are trying to take those tools away from activists in Iowa and Florida by trying to ban the making of undercover factory farming videos. In Iowa, H.F.589 creates the crime of “animal facility interference” for shooting a photo or video without the facility owner’s consent, and “animal facility fraud” for those who obtain employment at a farm for the purpose of shooting undercover photos and videos. […] Iowa residents can contact their state senators, and ask them to oppose H.F.589. You can find your Iowa state legislators here, along with their contact information. The Humane Society of the US recommends making a phone call first, then following up with an email. If you’re in a hurry, you can use their webform.
Bottom line? Whether or not it’s unconstitutional, these bills are wrong and dangerous because criminalizing the making of undercover videos protects the animal abusers and hides illegal activity from the public. These bills would also prohibit journalists from shooting undercover videos, and even prohibit the farms’ own employees from making undercover videos of animal cruelty, unsafe work conditions and other illegal activity.” — Doris Lin, http://animalrights.about.com/b/2011/03/23/bills-to-ban-undercover-factory-farming-videos-moving-ahead-in-iowa-and-florida.htm
“Undercover footage filmed last year at Iowa’s Sparboe Egg Farms, America’s fifth-largest egg producer, shows scenes more harrowing than a slasher flick. Workers burn the beaks off young chicks without painkillers, then toss the bloody, beakless birds into crowded pens. Other employees grab hens by their throats and shove them inside battery cages, enclosures so small the birds can’t even stretch their wings and some become mangled and disfigured by cage wires. Others are tied inside plastic bags and left to suffocate. A particularly disturbing incident shows a worker torturing a hen by swinging it around in the air while the bird’s legs are stuck in a trap.
The video was produced by a representative from animal welfare organization Mercy for Animals who took a job with Sparboe to go undercover. While the footage is tough to watch even for the most committed egg eaters, it led to positive results: McDonald’s, Target, Sam’s Club, and Supervalu—Sparboe’s biggest clients—all ended their relationships with the producer after viewing the video last November. But such changes won’t happen in Iowa anymore: Capturing this sort of footage is now illegal under the state’s newly passed “ag-gag” law—and other states are poised to follow.[…]
So if undercover farming videos are bringing about such positive change to the food system, why blow the whistle on whistleblowers? Blame Big [Agricultural groups]. Industrial farming groups like the Agribusiness Association of Iowa, Iowa Select Farms (the very same operation that was investigated by Mercy for Animals in 2011), the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, the Iowa Farm Bureau, and Monsanto heavily supported the legislation in America’s biggest hog and egg producing state. Because these Big Ag interests mean big money to Iowa, lawmakers wanted to crack down on the folks who hurt their bottom line: animal welfare advocates.
The irony is that while legislatures protect factory farms, they’ve shown far less interest in protecting defenseless animals: No federal regulations protect farm animals from cruelty, and while state regulations exist, factory farms are rarely investigated and laws are seldom enforced. That’s why forward-thinking organizations like the Humane Society of the U.S., Mercy for Animals, and Compassion Over Killing have taken it upon themselves—often at great risk to those involved—to expose the food safety and animal cruelty issues rampant at factory farms throughout the nation. Undercover farming investigations make our food system better—not just for animals, but for consumers too.” — Sarah Parsons, http://www.good.is/post/gag-order-why-states-are-banning-factory-farm-whistleblowers/
From the New York Times:
“Undercover videos showing grainy, sometimes shocking images of sick or injured livestock have become a favorite tool of animal rights organizations to expose what they consider illegal or inhumane treatment of animals. Made by animal rights advocates posing as farm workers, such videos have prompted meat recalls, slaughterhouse closings, criminal convictions of employees and apologies from corporate executives assuring that the offending images are an aberration.
In Iowa, where agriculture is a dominant force both economically and politically, such undercover investigations [are now] illegal. […] Their opponents, including national groups that oppose industrial farming practices, say these undercover investigations have been invaluable for revealing problems and are a form of whistle-blowing that should be protected. They argue that the legislation essentially hides animal abuse and food safety violations.[…]
After a 2008 investigation of an Iowa pig farm showed workers beating sows and piglets as well as bragging about the abuse, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals turned over its unedited video to law enforcement, leading to criminal convictions against workers for animal abuse, said Jeff Kerr, general counsel for the organization.[…]
The association representing egg producers helped draft legislation to ban such videos, earning support from other powerful agricultural groups in Iowa.” — A.G. Sulzberger, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/14/us/14video.html?_r=1
“[Iowa's new ag-gag law] criminalizes investigative journalists and animal protection advocates who take entry-level jobs at factory farms in order to document the rampant food safety and animal welfare abuses within. In recent years, these undercover videos have spurred changes in our food system by showing consumers the disturbing truth about where most of today’s meat, eggs, and dairy is produced. Undercover investigations have directly led to America’s largest meat recalls, as well as to the closure of several slaughterhouses that had egregiously cruel animal handling practices. Iowa’s Ag Gag law — along with similar bills pending in other states — illustrates just how desperate these industries are to keep this information from getting out.[…]
As a Humane Society of the United States investigator, I worked undercover at four Iowa egg farms in the winter of 2010. At each facility, I witnessed disturbing trends of extreme animal cruelty and dangerously unsanitary conditions. Millions of haggard, featherless hens languished in crowded, microwave-sized wire cages. Unable to even spread their wings, many were forced to pile atop their dead and rotting cage mates as they laid their eggs.
Every day, I came to work wearing a hidden pinhole camera, using it to film conditions as I went about my chores. Once I quit, the Humane Society released a video of my findings that showed viewers the everyday, routine conditions in modern egg factories. Although nothing I filmed was illegal (since Iowa’s anemic animal cruelty law exempts “customary farming practices”), the video was alarming enough to make national headlines.[…]
But without investigations like the ones I did in Iowa, the impetus behind this progress would be gone. At least, that’s the hope of groups like the Iowa Poultry Association and Minnesota Pork Producers, each of which helped draft the Ag Gag laws and oppose the federal hen protection bill. They and their backers at Monsanto and Dupont don’t want anything to change at all. They prefer having no rules on how they treat animals and no one from the public second-guessing what they do.
The Ag Gag laws pretend to be about preventing “fraud,” but they actually perpetuate it. They protect a system where consumers are regularly deceived into supporting egregious animal suffering, deplorable working conditions, and environmental degradation. They protect guys like Billy Jo Gregg, a dairy worker who was convicted of six counts of animal cruelty in 2010 after being caught punching, kicking, and stabbing restrained cows and calves at an Ohio farm.[…] Perhaps most egregiously, the Ag Gag laws also protect the slaughterhouses that regularly send sick and dying animals into our food supply, and would prevent some of the biggest food safety recalls in U.S. history.[…] In short, the Ag Gag laws muzzle the few people that are telling the truth about our food. With no meaningful state or federal laws to regulate industrial animal farms, they take away one of the only forms of public accountability this multi-billion dollar industry has ever faced. Now, the foxes are truly guarding the henhouse.” — Cody Carlson, http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/03/the-ag-gag-laws-hiding-factory-farm-abuses-from-public-scrutiny/254674/
“There may be many regulations, but PETA, Avella and others say enforcement is sorely lacking and that undercover investigations are essential. Cayuga County district attorney Jon Budelmann, who prosecuted Phil Niles, tells TIME that the Mercy for Animals video of the employee striking the Willet Dairy cow “was the case.” Banning undercover investigations on farms strikes him as ludicrous. Without proof, he says, authorities would have just one person’s word against another’s. ‘Without the videotape, we wouldn’t have had the admission,’ he says. It seems that down on the farm, if you see something, you have to do more than say something. You have to show something too.” — Alexandra Silver, http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2077514-2,00.html
“[Bills aim to keep Americans in the dark] — The industry has introduced “ag-gag” bills in numerous states aimed at making whistle-blowing on factory farms essentially impossible. Some of the bills would criminalize photo-taking at factory farms, while others would make it a crime for whistle-blowers to gain employment at an agricultural operation. Some would impose unreasonable and impossible reporting requirements intended to silence potential whistle-blowers. These bills aim to ban critical whistle-blowing investigations such as The HSUS’ exposés of unacceptable and callous animal cruelty at a Vermont slaughter plant leading to its closure and a felony criminal conviction—as well as our investigation of a cow slaughter plant in California which prompted the largest meat recall in U.S. history and led to a new federal regulation that banned the slaughter of adult downer cattle. These ag-gag bills raise the question, “What does animal agriculture have to hide?” — http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/campaigns/factory_farming/fact-sheets/ag_gag.html
From the Huffington Post:
“Americans overwhelmingly believe that food from our farms should be safe to eat and that farm animals should not be abused for its production. So it is disturbing that legislators in a number of states throughout the country are considering legislation known as ‘Ag-Gag’ bills that would cripple the ability of investigators to expose animal abuse and food safety concerns. Ag-Gag bills criminalize taking photos or videos on farms to expose problems, such as animal cruelty, environmental and labor violations, and other illegal or unethical behavior. Simply put, Ag-Gag legislation poses a danger to the American public — people and animals.[…]
Legislators bent on suppressing exposés through the passage of Ag-Gag legislation are not only harming animals, but putting all of us — including our children — in jeopardy by preventing our access to critical information about our food supply. They also threaten our constitutional rights by stifling dissemination of information and chipping away at our First Amendment protections.
It’s ironic when you think about it. The individuals targeted by Ag-Gag laws are not the criminals who are beating or stabbing animals (as seen on some undercover videos). Instead, the bills would punish the whistleblowers, the people who dare to lift the veil on these oft-hidden cruelties. The language in the bills varies somewhat state to state, but in many cases the penalties for exposing cruelty may be harsher than those for the actual commission of cruelty. In a number of states the proposed legislation would not only prevent the documentation of the abuse of farm animals, but also could prohibit investigations of puppy mills and dog racing.
Lawmakers who support Ag-Gag bills do so because they are accommodating the agribusiness lobby, not because it is in the interest of their constituents. In fact, a recent national poll by Lake Research Partners found that 71 percent of Americans support undercover investigative efforts to expose farm animal abuse on industrial farms.[…]
These bills represent a wholesale assault on many fundamental values shared by all people across the United States. Not only would these bills perpetuate animal abuse on industrial farms, they would also threaten workers’ rights, consumer health and safety, and the freedom of journalists, employees and the public at large to share information about something as fundamental as our food supply. We call on state legislators around the nation to drop or vote against these dangerous and un-American efforts.
Ag-Gag laws are an affront to many values Americans hold dear. If you live in Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska or New York, you should be especially concerned since Ag-Gag laws are now pending in your state legislatures. Please contact your legislators to let them know that Ag-Gag laws are dangerous for people and animals.” — Ed Sayres, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ed-sayres/aggag-bills-threaten-our-_b_1370091.html
[Ag-gag laws] are troubling not only to animal protection activists, but also to those concerned with food safety, labor issues, free speech, and freedom of the press. The bills would apply equally to journalists, activists and employees. By prohibiting any type of undercover recordings, a farm’s own employees would be prohibited from attempting to record food safety violations, labor violations, sexual harrassment incidents or other illegal activity. First Amendment concerns were raised[…]
[This paragraph: Matt Rice] Legislation should focus on strengthening animal cruelty laws, not prosecuting those who blow the whistle on animal abuse… If producers truly cared about animal welfare, they would offer incentives to whistleblowers, install cameras at these facilities to expose and prevent animal abuse, and they would work to strengthen animal abuse laws to prevent animals from needless suffering.[…]
Undercover videos are important not just for educating the public, but also because they can be used as evidence in animal cruelty cases. — Doris Lin, http://animalrights.about.com/od/animallaw/a/What-Are-Ag-Gag-Laws-And-Why-Are-They-Dangerous.htm
“If the Iowa law had been in effect in California in 2008, Hallmark and Westland [an agricultural company who was targeted by whistleblowers] would have been able to go to court claiming status as victims of “animal facility tampering” for an “amount equaling three times all the actual and consequential damages” against “the person causing the damages.”
“This flawed and misdirected legislation could set a dangerous precedent nationwide by throwing shut the doors to industrial factory farms and allowing animal abuse, environmental violations, and food contamination issues to flourish undetected, unchallenged and unaddressed,” says Runkle. ”[The Iowa Ag-Gag law] is bad for consumers, who want more, not less, transparency in production of their food.” [The purpose of the law is] “to shield animal abusers from public scrutiny and prosecute investigators who dare to expose animal cruelty, environmental violations, dangerous working conditions or food safety concerns.”[…]
Animal rights organizations like HSUS and MFA – working with investigators to expose violations – could themselves be prosecuted under the new Iowa law. Runkle says passage of the ”ag-gag” law proves Iowa agriculture “has a lot to hide.” “This law is un-American and a broad government overreach. It seeks to shield animal abusers from public scrutiny and prosecute the brave whistleblowers who dare to speak out against animal cruelty, environmental pollution and corporate corruption.” The new law makes criminals out of those who dare to expose cruelty to farm animals and threatens the consumers’ right to know, according to the MFA.[…]
“The intent of [the Iowa Ag-Gag law] is simple: shield animal agribusiness from public scrutiny by punishing whistleblowers and protecting animal abusers,” wrote Pacelle. “By signing this bill into law, animal agribusiness will have unbridled and unchecked power over worker safety, public health and animal welfare.”
This year , ag-gag bills have been introduced in Utah, Nebraska, Minnesota, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Florida and New York. [Of those states, only Utah and Iowa signed them into law]
Under the new [Iowa] law, anyone making “a false statement or representation” as part of an application of employment at an animal facility could, after a first conviction, be charged with a class D felony.
To produce a record of image or sound without the owner’s permission is defined as the new crime of “animal facility interference.” — Dan Flynn, http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/iowa-approves-nations-first-ag-gag-law/#.UEvCVXAtcXx
“Now in Iowa, if someone captures that treatment on video, he or she can be prosecuted. Constitutional law professor Mark Kende of Drake University says this could infringe on free speech rights. It could silence any worker who sees abuse and films it. “He can be threatened, not just with being terminated, but he can be threatened with criminal prosecution,” Kende says. “So this is really an extraordinary form of anti-whistle-blowing legislation — and really troubling in that respect.” — Kathleen Masterson, http://www.npr.org/2012/03/10/148363509/ag-gag-law-blows-animal-activists-cover
Multiple states have passed what are known as “ag gag laws”, designed to penalize investigative reporters who explore conditions on industrial agriculture operations. Many of these laws focus specifically on livestock, in the wake of numerous exposés on the abuses of livestock in industrial agriculture. These laws are a significant threat to the freedom of the press, and it’s rather remarkable that they are being allowed to stand. More than that, they threaten the health and safety of consumers, in addition to making it difficult and sometimes impossible for consumers to make educated choices about the sources of their food.
The US should be in an uproar about ag-gag laws, and it’s not. That’s a telling reflection of attitudes about agriculture, and illustrates the lack of interest among many people in the US about journalism[..] Attempts to raise awareness about the issue are often met with indifference[…]
It should come as no surprise to learn that the source of the pressure behind ag gag laws is, of course, industrial agriculture. Big companies have pushed legislators heavily to pass laws limiting the freedom to report on conditions at livestock facilities, including ranches, feedlots, and slaughterhouses. With the benefit of lobbyists, they can exert pressure directly in the halls of the legislature, as well as doing so indirectly by contributing to the electoral process and deciding who gets elected. In states like Iowa, you have to be agriculture-friendly to get elected, and if you want a chance at beating the competition, you’d better be willing to toe the line on industrial agriculture so you’ll get the needed support.[…]
It’s not just about animal welfare. Industrial agriculture also trashes the environment, something that should be of grave concern even to people who aren’t concerned about the health and wellbeing of animals raised for food. Industrial farms contribute to air, water, and soil pollution, consume vast volumes of water, and destroy soil biology and animal habitat[…]
This is why investigative journalism is important: because it brings these kinds of abuses to light and confronts consumers with information about the facts behind their food. Journalists in a wide range of industries and environments spend months or years on research, often from the inside, to prepare stories intended to spark comment, discussion, and change. Ag gag laws are only one example of an attempt to limit the ability to report freely on pressing social issues, and they should be a subject of anger and horror in the population at large. Lobbyists are attempting to limit access to information, and they are doing so by limiting the abilities of journalists to do their jobs.
The anger about exposés is well-founded; consumers are usually horrified when they see images and video from livestock facilities, as well they should be. Dead and dying animals packed close together in unhealthy, dangerous conditions, some with open sores and other obvious health problems. Animals treated casually and abusively by staff members who need to work fast, and cannot afford compassion or gentleness. Horrific conditions in slaughterhouses, where terrified animals are rushed through the production line and subjected to utterly inhumane and dangerous conditions. Workers who are tired, working through overtime, obviously ill, and at high risk of injury.
That the reaction to exposés is to silence journalists, rather than addressing the poor conditions, is an inevitable consequence of capitalism. It is more cost effective to shut off the stories, rather to fix the problem, and legislators are evidently happy to go along with this plan, passing ag gag laws to ensure silence about the continued abuse of farm animals. Consumers, in turn, tolerate this because they have no idea about the nature of the news they can’t see.” — S.E. Smith, http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/06/agriculture-gag-laws-press-freedom
“State Sen. Joe Seng, [author of the Iowa Ag-Gag bill], is challenging three-time incumbent U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack in the state’s Democratic primary on Tuesday for the right to represent Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District in Washington.
Unfortunately for Seng, the folks over at the Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF) have a very good memory, and they’re hoping Iowa Democrats do too. Just in case, they’ve been busy contacting voters to remind them of Seng’s record, and strongly encouraging primary voters to support Loebsack, whose district was recently redrawn. The legislation Seng authored, they say, “punishes whistleblowers, investigative journalists, and anyone who helps them report on problems uncovered at a factory farm.” Loebsack, on the other hand, is animal-friendly.[…]
Part of our message is to signal to candidates that there are consequences for championing ‘Ag Gag’ bills that stomp on our first amendment rights and dim the spotlight on animal cruelty,” Sara Amundson, executive director of HSLF, tells TakePart. [Update: Seng was defeated by Loebsack] — Clare Leschin-Hoar, http://www.takepart.com/article/2012/06/01/humane-society-legislative-fund-iowa-race-ag-gag
“Ag-gag bills may seek to criminalize the recording, possession or distribution of still images (photos), live images (video) and/or audio at or upon a farm, industrial agricultural operation or “animal facility.” Bills in some states seek to bar potential investigators from gaining employment on farms. As noted above, many successful animal welfare investigations have revealed severe abuses of animals and raised additional concerns about industrial farms, such as the potential contamination of eggs and meat.
[Ag-gag laws are dangerous for at least 6 reasons]: Animal Welfare — Ag-gag laws are a direct threat to animal welfare. […] Food Safety — Ag-gag laws threaten our food supply[…] Control over food choices — Ag-gag laws are a direct threat to marketplace transparency[…] Worker’s rights — This legislation often seeks to criminalize the recording of sounds or images in animal facilities, no matter the content. […] Free Speech — [Ag-Gag bills] pose serious First Amendment threats.[…] Environmental Damage — Undercover investigations offer an effective way to expose [environmental] violations, [and Ag-Gag laws seek to stop them] […]
Ag-gag laws are also troublesome because they do not reflect the public’s will. Polls consistently show that the majority of Americans favor humane treatment of farm animals.[…]
If you live in a state that has introduced an ag-gag measure, please visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center online to take action now.
Be vigilant in your state—keep an eye on the local media for any news regarding the introduction and/or progress of ag-gag bills. Talk to your friends and neighbors about why ag-gag legislation is a bad idea.” — http://www.aspca.org/ag-gag
From Iowa State Daily:
“The video is graphic and shows male chicks just hatched being put on conveyer belts, sorted from the females and tossed into grinders alive. The females are debeaked and put in crates to be shipped throughout the states. The newly passed [Iowa Ag-gag law] makes it more difficult for activists to get access undercover to make such videos. “This bill moves this out of the realm civil and into realm of criminal behavior,” Mack said. […] Individuals and groups with animals in mind, such as the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, are concerned.” — Randi Reeder, http://www.iowastatedaily.com/news/article_f340fa68-7132-11e1-907d-0019bb2963f4.html
“Similar bills have been introduced in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, and New York. Weeks after Iowa passed H.F. 589, Utah enacted an even harsher law to go after undercover reporting of industrial farm abuse.[…]
As the Food Integrity Campaign explains, undercover video is a vital tool for proving allegations of wrongdoing and vindicating whistleblowers. One need only recall ABC’s undercover expose into the Food Lion grocery chain’s unsanitary practices for an example of the public good these investigations can produce. Tellingly, Food Lion responded not by challenging the damaging content of the report but by accusing the undercover reporters of fraud. That case, which involved years of legal battles and court fees, had only the threat of civil penalties—these new [Ag-gag] laws come with potential jail time. The implied threat of legal action will only discourage employees who see problems from standing up to increasingly powerful agriculture business interests. [It is of ethical concern to] protect people from conditions that breed E.coli, salmonella, and unhealthy food [via undercover investigations].” — Joseph Jerome
“It is all too understandable why factory farmers would want to keep hungry eaters in the dark. Research shows that following reports exposing modern animal agriculture, general meat consumption of the public lowers for up to six months. In 2008, Hallmark Meat Packing Company of Chino, California, was shut down after undercover investigations from The Humane Society of the United States brought forth footage depicting workers beating sick cows, striking those too crippled to walk into kill pens, and even ramming animals with forklifts. This company, which recalled 143 million pounds of meat (the largest recall in history) after the USDA saw footage and deemed the meat unfit for human consumption due to lack of complete and proper inspection, was also the nation’s second largest supplier to the National School Lunch Program.[…]
The scariest part of this mess may be the meat industry’s response to the unveiling of norms at factory farms. How does the industry respond to the public slowly being educated on the inhumane and unsanitary ways in which food is raised? Do they work to reform their ways, abolishing each method that adds to the diminishment of nutrition, environmental health, and animal well-being? Nope. Instead they work as fast as they can to cover it all up. Eradicating their factory farms of the disgusting practices shown in undercover footage would mean a complete reform for the entire industry. So instead they work to build a thicker barrier between their everyday practices and public knowledge. It’s got to make you wonder, just what is the industry so desperately trying to hide? […]
The undercover investigations, which sadly are the few accurate illustrations of how our meat is produced, should be lit with a spotlight, free for all to see and learn from, not shut in the dark, covered by corporate interests. Supporters of the bills claim they are necessary for the health and safety of our farms, but if factory farms were properly regulated to be healthy and humane, then there would be no need to conceal these practices. They would welcome the mindful consumer, not criminalize his assets.
These ag-gag laws are an assault on our values and rights as Americans. They are a violation of our first amendment rights to free speech and free press, and they constitute a huge step back from our American principles. If Ag-gag bills continue to pass and make undercover investigations illegal, there is no knowing where this will end.[…] Our basic American principles hold “freedom and justice for all” above all else. Let us defend these values even in the face of large companies whose ties run deep in government. Let us exercise our right to unveil truths, which will be held as self-evident when given the opportunity to transcend. “ — Clare Edwards, intellectualyst.com/ag-gag-laws-a-violation-of-our-rights-as-consumers-and-americans/
It really angers me that there are laws in many states which protect the unethical practices of factory farms and “research” laboratories — and yet in those same places, there are laws which prohibit ethical sex with animals. As I’ve stated in previous posts, animal rights activists should stop being hostile to zoosexual people and focus their attention on the people who are really harming animals — the factory farmers and slaughterers (i.e. “big agriculture”). Zoosexual acts in most cases are not harmful — this is in sharp contrast to the staggering brutality going on behind the closed doors of factories (the suffering of billions of animals who are “in the system”). The fact that places like Missouri have banned ethical zoosexuality and yet allow “generally accepted practices” (i.e. slaughter atrocities) is extremely unfair and unjust. For example, look at Missouri’s law:
Notice that the law deliberately excludes “generally accepted” acts from the general animal cruelty law — those “generally accepted” practices are far more unethical than zoosexual acts (the “generally accepted” practices worse than zoosexual acts include slaughtering animals, artificial insemination, performing potentially lethal experiments on them, etc.) It is such bulls*** that those “generally accepted” practices (which should NOT be allowed) ARE allowed by the law, but ethical zoosexuality is prohibited. It should be the other way around: sex with animals should be allowed, and the “generally accepted” practices should be banned.
This is a form of discrimination, and it has been embedded into the law. These are bad laws. The good people (i.e. those who try to stop unethical slaughter, “research”, etc.) are unfairly persecuted by the law and labeled as “ecoterrorists”.) In addition, good (and ethical) zoosexuals are also unfairly persecuted by the law.
Ultimately, much like the “Jim Crow” laws of the South in the early 20th century, there are currently laws on the books in many states which condemn two kinds of good people: ethical zoosexuals (who would never harm an animal), and people who are trying to stop the unethical practices of gigantic slaughterhouses and “research” laboratories (those are the people who are unjustly called “ecoterrorists”). At the same time, the law protects the bad people (i.e. those people who are doing the so-called “generally accepted” practices, like slaughtering animals). This is fundamentally wrong.
The laws of this country need to be changed. There MUST be a reform. The reformation of laws is especially important in places like Missouri, where the good people are punished and the bad people are rewarded. These are the changes that need to occur:
1) REPEAL anti-zoosexuals which unjustly and unfairly prohibit ALL forms of human-animal sexual interactions. Such laws are bigoted, discriminatory, unjust, and prejudicial.
2) REPEAL the so-called “ecoterrorism” laws and which unjustly prohibit people from “interfering” with extremely unethical practices (i.e. the murdering of animals on a massive scale). People should have the RIGHT to interfere with such practices because it is the right thing to do — when massive injustice is occurring (i.e. slaughtering animals, torturing them via experimentation, etc) it is the RIGHT of the citizen to interfere with such practices as a form of protest. Thus, the so-called “ecoterrorist” laws which prevent this protest should be repealed.
3) Zoosexuality should be decriminalized, and current factory farm slaughter atrocities should be criminalized. All forms of animal slaughter should be criminalized
Think about it: it is very unethical to slaughter other humans, so why do people find it morally acceptable to slaughter other animal species? Speciesism has allowed society to “not have a problem” with slaughter — however, people definitely would have a problem if all of a sudden humans were being slaughtered; this hypothetical example shows how humans put themselves on an arrogant, speciesist “pedestal” above other animals — they care more about their own welfare than the welfare of other species.
In addition, zoosexual people (as a class of people) should be protected under the law, and the people who are causing the real harm to animals (i.e. the slaughterers, the artificial inseminators, the hunters, the “researchers”) should be punished by the law. Unfortunately, this is not the case in states like Missouri (which have the opposite of these goals).
It is amazing to me how delusional people are. To me, it is so clear which acts are harmful to animals and which are not. When a human has sex with an animal, it is not intrinsically abusive, not intrinsically cruel, and not “immoral”. Only when other factors are involved (i.e. violence) do such acts become unethical. In addition, it is so clear to me that acts such as slaughter, hunting, and lethal experimentation are harmful to animals and should not be allowed. (Yet the laws in many places like Missouri allow them to be exploited in these ways). At the very least, it can be said without a doubt that acts such as slaughter are far more unethical than a human having sex with an animal. After all, humans are animals, and such inter-species interactions happen in the wild all the time.
People should be encouraged to become vegetarian. Not only is it better for the environment, it shows others that you are not a speciesist and will not support the cruelty of big agriculture. Eating meat is not necessary. The lives of individual animals are more important than the profit being made off them by big companies, and their lives are more important than the superfluous meats that people don’t need to eat.
As I said before, there are a lot of bad laws on the books in states like Missouri, and they need to be repealed. The currently state of laws in places like Missouri is an injustice. I have a feeling that hidden religious values (as well as speciesism and anthropocentrism) are at work in the creation of such irrational and illogical laws.
Some members of the Sea Shepherd crew; Paul Watson is on the far left
Some notes about this post: The term “speciesism” is a term which means “a bias in favor of one species [usually humans] over another”; it is similar to the terms “racism” and “sexism”, and is commonly used to refer to humans who arrogantly think of themselves as “better” than other animals. The Faroe Islands are a territory of Denmark that lies in the north Atlantic Ocean, between Iceland and Scotland.
I personally consider Paul Watson one of the best human beings to ever walk on the Earth. Why? Because he is an animal rights supporter who has done what few animal rights supporters dare to do: save animals in defiance of ignorant, appalling laws which permit animal killing.
Paul Watson is an anti-hunter, and I applaud him for that. He is also an anti-speciesist and a member of the Sea Shepherds group, a conservation organization that patrols oceanic environments in order to stop ignorant people from killing animals (usually whales). If I was given a survey which said “what do you think of Paul Watson and the Sea Shepherds?” I would say “I strongly support them”.
There is a common problem around the world: let me explain. First, there are the ignorant, speciesist, anthropocentric people who arrogantly believe that killing animals is OK because (according to them) humans are “above” other animals (this is bull****). These ignorant people often become lawmakers, and that is why so many laws around the world (such as the laws of the Faroe Islands) are so pro-hunting and pro-speciesism.
Then there are the minority: the animal rights activists who will do anything to stop the barbaric slaughter of innocent whales and other creatures. These people (the animal rights activists) are the correct ones and they are the ethical ones. But unfortunately, in many cases, the law is not on their side (This REALLY pisses me off). It is tragic that in so many cases, the police and authorities of a given location are fighting for the animal killers, not against them. (This is the case in the Faroe Islands, where the arrogant, ignorant authorities of that location do whatever they can to permit the ruthless slaughter of whales).
So that pretty much sums it up: it is a David vs. Goliath type situation. The David (the small, ethical minority) must fight against Goliath (the evil, unethical majority). And in this case, “Goliath” also refers to the atrocious authorities who are on the side of the animal killers. These authorities have embedded ignorant and arrogant speciesism and anthropocentrism into their f***ed up legal system. Their legal system do not treat creatures equally — they prohibit humans from killing other humans (which is fine), but they do NOT prohibit humans from killing other animals, like whales. And that is EXACTLY why the world so desperately needs people like Paul Watson and the Sea Shepherds — since the odds of the immoral laws being repealed are so small, the Sea Shepherds use the last resort: saving animals in defiance of the law, which is wonderful. It is similar to the Rosa Parks incident: sometimes it’s OK to defy the law if the law is discriminatory and unethical.
Here is a quote regarding the Sea Shepherd’s most recent intervention in the Faroe Islands:
“In the Faroe Islands, unlike the Antarctic campaign, the oceangoing conservation [Sea Shepherd] outfit is not hectoring a faceless, corporate, government-subsidized commercial whaling outfit with massive factory ships that kill whales in the name of “research.” On this grouping of 18 small islands in the North Atlantic, a Danish protectorate situated between Iceland and Scotland, the people kill pilot whales by hand, on the shore, as part of a traditional hunt called the “Grind,” (pronounced “grinned”) which residents say is thousands of years old.
The Grind is not pretty, and “Viking Shores” pulls no punches. The Faroese send boats out into the ocean to find pilot whales, which are cetaceans not as large as the fin or minke whales hunted by the Japanese, but are slightly bigger than dolphins. Then they herd the mammals toward one of several dozen beaches on the islands, where residents lie in wait. As the powerful creatures beach themselves in panic, hunters wade into them with long curved hooks and slaughter the whole pod in a bloody frenzy. The Faroese eat a lot of pilot whale.”–http://www.latimes.com/news/local/environment/la-me-gs-whale-wars-paul-watson-faroes-killing-friday-online-debate-20120426,0,5093696.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+latimes%2Fnews%2Fscience%2Fenvironment+(L.A.+Times+-+Environment)
Some people have called Paul Watson an “ecoterrorist”, which makes me incredibly angry because that assertion is not true. The REAL “ecoterrorists” are the people like those in the Faroe Islands who go out of their way to deliberately slaughter hundreds and hundreds of whales. The people who kill animals are the REAL “ecoterrorists” because they are disrupting the environment with their arrogance and speciesism. They fail to realize that whales can feel pain just like humans.
A fundamental problem with the way people in the Faroe Islands annually slaughter whales is the fact that they fail to realize that humans are animals. This failure is demonstrated in the first episode of Whale Wars: Viking Shores, in which an ignorant Faroese person shouts “It’s just a whale!” at the Sea Shepherds. This is an example of the ignorance and speciesism that has permeated places such as the Faroe Islands.
Think about this for a minute: people in the Faroe Islands would never accept the slaughter of humans, as is the case in most (if not all) political regions. However, if the killing is done on beings who happen to not belong to the Homo sapien species (i.e. whales), then all of a sudden the people of the Faroe Islands don’t have a problem with it. This is blatant, ignorant, arrogant speciesism. It is an obvious bias in favor of the human species over other species.
As I already explained, Paul Watson is an anti-speciesist (just like me), and the Sea Shepherd organization is an anti-speciesist organization, which is a good thing. The Sea Shepherd group is clearly in the right, and the people of the Faroe Islands are clearly in the wrong. Why? Because the Sea Shepherd people understand the fact that the differences between humans, whales and other animals are very small. They understand the philosophy common to vegetarians, vegans, Buddhists and Jains: that every creature has an intrinsic right to live, and that no human has the right to take that life away. The people of the Sea Shepherd also understand that other animals (especially intelligent animals like whales) have emotions and feel pain and suffer just like humans. And most importantly of all, the people of the Sea Shepherd organization understand (correctly) that killing animals just for their meat is extremely unethical and unnecessary. (And they recognize the truth, which is that humans are animals).
Above left: two killed pilot whales (barbaric carnage). Above right: unethical people kill beached whales in the Faroe Islands, causing the water to turn blood red. (Remember: carnage is carnage, no matter how “humane” people claim it to be. The unnecessary slaughter of living beings will NEVER be ethical).
When I saw the first episode of Whale Wars: Viking Shores, I was shocked and offended by the comments made by the people of the Faroe Islands. One by one, the Faroe Islands people described their weak “arguments” in favor of whale killing. Let me discuss some them. Firstly, they use the flimsy “argument” that they should do it because of “tradition”; this is the same bull**** way of thinking that is used by people who cut off shark fins. It is extremely important to understand that “tradition” is NEVER a justification for any action in which sentient beings are harmed.
Secondly, they make the “argument” that it is “OK” to kill whales because they kill them “quickly”, so their suffering is shortened. This argument is invalid for this reason: if people in the Faroe Islands were slaughtering other humans and doing it “humanely”, the police would immediately arrest them, no questions asked. The police would not say, “Oh, it’s OK to slaughter humans because they’re being slaughtered humanely“. No, they would not say that; people (not just in the Faroe Islands but pretty much anywhere) would never accept the slaughter of humans, no matter how “humane” it was. Now, let’s focus on whale slaughter. Those same authorities in the Faroe Islands (the same authorities who would immediately condemn human slaughter) are the same people who ignorantly allow the slaughter of whales because the claim it is “humane”. This is proof of a speciesist double standard, in which the lives of humans are valued more than the lives of whales. (This is NOT the way it should be; humans should be considered EQUAL to whales and other animals). In addition, the notion that the whales are slaughtered “humanely” is dubious to begin with because of its anecdotal and unscientific nature. These ignorant people need to realize that killing whales is wrong not matter how “humane” the kill is. The aversion people have to killing other humans should also be applied to whales and other animals.
Thirdly, they argue that it is “OK” to kill whales because people in the U.S. and elsewhere eat chickens and cows. Yes, it is true that people eat chickens and cows, but I am against this. I am a vegetarian, and vegetarians understand that it is unethical to kill ANY animal. Thus, when it comes to vegetarianism, this is a completely invalid point. It only applies to meat eaters who eat meat (i.e. hamburgers), yet condemn whale killing (those people are hypocritical). In the case of those people, the “argument” would apply. But if a person is a vegetarian or vegan (which is the way everyone should be), then the “chicken and cow” argument is irrelevant.
It is worth noting that one of the Faroe Islands people condemned a vegetarian Sea Shepherd by saying “Adolph Hitler was a vegetarian”. That is such ignorant bulls**t. Not only that, but it is also an extremely weak argument; what I would call a “low blow”. Why? Because you can say lots of things about Adolph Hitler that are true: Adolph Hitler had hair. Does that make people with hair bad? No. Adolph Hitler was a heterosexual. Does that make heterosexual people bad? No. Adolph Hitler was an artist and a painter. Does that make artists bad? NO! This Adolph Hitler comment said by a Faroese person is an example of just how desperate they are to synthesize “justifications” for their unethical ways; they truly are “grasping at straws” and use tactics reminiscent of a schoolyard bully. So what if Adolph Hitler was a vegetarian — it has absolutely no relevance to anything. (It is important to note that in the first episode of Whale Wars: Viking Shores, it was quite clear that the Faroe Islands people were bullying the Sea Shepherd people, for example by deliberately eating whale meat in front of them to make them angry. Fortunately, the Sea Shepherd people kept their cool. Even though they kept their cool, I wish the Sea Shepherd people had stood up for themselves more; they should’ve argued against the ignorance of the Faroese more).
When I was watching the first episode of Whale Wars: Viking Shores the part that made me the most angry was when the Faroe Islands police (the assholes) confiscated the Sea Shepherds’ sonar gear. This gear was going to be deployed in the water surrounding the Faroe Islands in order to prevent whales from coming near the islands, and it would’ve been a brilliant victory for the environmentalists and animal rights activists. But nope, the ignorant Faroe Islands authorities just had to confiscate their gear because they’re a bunch of f***ing assholes.
I strongly encourage anyone who is reading this to become vegetarian (if you haven’t already). That way, those ignorant Faroe Islands people won’t be able to throw their “chicken and cow” argument at you. It is important to remember that I have no animosity against the actual people of the Faroe Islands; however, I DO have extreme animosity towards the ignorant, anthropocentric philosophies which have permeated their brains like a virus, and I DO have animosity towards their animal slaughtering. I absolutely hate speciesism, and I hate “human exceptionalism”.
Fourthly, the Faroe Islands people make the claim that Paul Watson and the Sea Shepherd people are “ecoterrorists”, which is complete bull****. As I’ve said before, the REAL “ecoterrorists” are the people who kill whales. The Sea Shepherd is doing the right thing, NOT the wrong thing: they are enforcing wildlife conservation because the ignorant authorities have failed to. This does NOT make the Sea Shepherds people “ecoterrorists”.
Another “argument” the Faroese make is that Paul Watson’s group is just a “floating circus” who wants media attention. This statement really pisses me off because it’s not true. The Sea Shepherds are not doing what they do for show, they are doing what they do because it is the right thing to do. They are also doing what they do because they are filling a “niche” (a “void”) — a whale protection “niche” which the Faroe Islands authorities and politicians have utterly failed to occupy. Yes, there are camera crews following them (the Sea Shepherd crew), but that is just to spread awareness via television of the atrocities being committed by the people of the Faroe Islands. People need to be aware of the REAL “circus” — the atrocious “circus” of barbaric whale killing in the Faroe Islands (and elsewhere).
I also want to point out something else: one of the Faroe Islands whale killers said “don’t come between us and the whales” to the Sea Shepherd people. I find this comment extremely offensive because he [the person who said the comment] acts as though the whales are the property of the Faroese people, which is bull****. The whales belong to no one, and the Sea Shepherd people understand this value.
In regards to ANYONE who is slaughtering animals, whether it be people in the Faroe Islands killing whales or people at a large factory killing millions of chickens/cows, I say to myself: “how would the slaughterers feel if THEY were the ones being slaughtered?” This is a “golden rule”-type thought (i.e. do to others as you would want done to yourself). Maybe if that thought crept into the minds of the slaughterers, they would stop slaughtering. In other words, if the people who slaughter animals understood that non-human animals are basically in the same category as humans (especially in terms of the pain they feel), they would stop slaughtering. But they don’t think this because of the ignorant, arrogant, speciesist cultural beliefs which has permeated their brains.
The following quote represents what the Faroe Islands people have failed to understand:
“First it was necessary to civilize man in relation to man. Now it is necessary to civilize man in relation to nature and the animals.” — Victor Hugo
I’ve said it before and I will say it again:
1) People who arrest and try to stop the Sea Shepherd group are arrogant, ignorant, irrational, delusional and speciesist. It is UNJUST to arrest people who are trying to save lives (in this case, non-human lives).
2) The people of the Sea Shepherd group are the ethical ones, and the whale slaughterers of the Faroe Islands are the UNethical ones
3) It is NEVER OK for anyone to deliberately kill animals (especially animals like whales which are intelligent).
4) Deliberately killing animals is intrinsically immoral. (And remember, when I say “animals”, I’m including humans in that category because humans ARE animals).
5) It is shocking that in places like the Faroe Islands, the law is heavily on the side of the unethical animal murderers. The laws in places like Faroe Islands SHOULD be protecting whales; instead, their bad laws allow people to kill them.
6) People like Paul Watson and the Sea Shepherds group are NOT “ecoterrorists”. The REAL “ecoterrorists” are the people who kill whales and other animals.
My only criticism of the Sea Shepherd group would be that they don’t actively protect sharks enough (in other words, too much of their attention is focused on whales and not enough attention is focused on sharks). This is something the Sea Shepherd organization needs to be aware of (especially considering the fact that 100 million sharks are killed every year by humans. The Sea of Cortez in Mexico is becoming a site for great white shark slaughter.)
There ought to be at least 10 Sea Shepherd organizations. If there were 10 Sea Shepherd organizations, they could team up and would have a lot more man-power to fight against the extremely unethical practices of the Faroe Islands people. Right now, there are not enough “eco-warriors” to protect whales and other marine life. If there were multiple Sea Shepherd organizations, they would be able to make a very strong, tactical assault on the whale-killing assholes. It’s a shame that there’s only one Sea Shepherd organization. But one is better than none. So I say to Paul Watson “keep up the good work”, but I do hope that there will be more Sea Shepherd-like groups in the future.
It is clear that in situations like the one in the Faroe Islands, the playing field is extremely unbalanced; the humans who want to kill the whales have a HUGE advantage over the whales. There is nothing which can justify this kind of ruthless, bloody, barbaric, unethical slaughter. The Sea Shepherd people tried to make the playing field more fair by putting sonar devices in the water to keep the whales away from the Faroe Islands, but they were unable to do this because of the f***ed-up Faroe Islands police confiscated the devices from them.
Before ending this post, it is important to note that everything I’ve said about the Faroe Islands whale murderers could be applied to ANY group that kills large groups of animals. For example, the Japanese fisherman who kill whales in the Southern Sea are just as unethical as the people in the Faroe Islands. The only reason I focused on the Faroe Islands (a chain of islands north of Scotland) in this post is because they are the subject of the most recent Whale Wars intervention. ANY group of people who deliberately slaughters animals for ANY purpose is unethical and in the wrong. They occur on different scales — what the Faroese people and Japanese people do is exponentially smaller than the actions of the meat industry (i.e. killing billions of cows/pigs/etc), but killing is killing, no matter how small or large the scale is. Yes, the big corporate animal slaughterers who slaughter billions of cows/pigs/etc are more unethical than the whalers in the sense that the quantity of lives they end is much larger, but that does not excuse the animal cruelty that animals have endured at the hands of Faroese people, Japanese people, and others.
There is nothing wrong with the Sea Shepherd organization; the fact that they sabotage the unethical plans of animal killers is a good thing. Those unethical people deserve to be sabotaged because of their immoral behavior.
It is suggested that you also read this post: http://vividrandomexistence.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/zoosexuality-should-it-be-considered-acceptable-or-not/
What many people to fail to realize is that zoosexual people have a constitutional right to have sex with animals, so long as no harm is done to the animal. Thus, laws which prohibit sex interactions between humans and and animals for their intrinsic value (and not because of circumstances) are unconstitutional because they deprive zoosexual individuals of liberties guaranteed by the U.S. constitution. what is going on now in the United States is known as “tyranny of the majority” — in other words, the anti-zoosexual majority are forcing their views onto non-zoosexuals. The majority, even if it doesn’t like a minority, does not have the right to stomp a minority it disapproves of into the ground because of wishy-washy feelings like “it’s disgusting” or “it’s immoral”. Such attitudes are what have deprived gay people of their rights for so long.
It is too bad more people aren’t libertarian. If more people understood the libertarian point-of-view, they would understand that the government has no right to interfere in the private lives of people, especially when no harm is being committed. Here is is a PDF essay by Brian Cutteridge which
reflects this point-of-view:
Luckily, more and more people are beginning to realize that zoosexual people aren’t “sickos”, they are normal, everyday people who deserve the same dignity, equality and right to pursue happiness that others do. Here is a quote regarding this point-of-view:
“I love how when people argue against zoosexuality saying animals can’t consent, they don’t bring up factory farming, artificial insemination, the caging of animals, trappings, abusive breeding? methods, and hunting for sport. If people stopped thinking of animals as “children in fur clothing”, maybe people would be a little more tolerant towards zoosexuals. People need to realize that animals aren’t innocent and are sexual beings like us and will damn well hump whoever they please.
Animals can’t consent to being murdered in slaughter houses, but god forbid an animal, such as a dog wants to get into your pants, its all of a sudden “wrong” and “not natural”.
People really need to stop comparing fully grown animals to immature children, as they’re both entirely different species with different mindsets, different ways of thought processing/intellect, and different sexual maturity levels. That’s like comparing apples to oranges. How are they at all alike? Other then being animals, having emotion, wants, and needs? Its absurd and really flawed.
The way I see it, if the animal decides to mount someone, and the person lets them, I don’t see a problem as long as one doesn’t hurt the other. When a person makes a move on the animal, that makes me uncomfortable and makes the person look like a creeper, both to zoos and non-zoos. Either the person lets the animal fuck them, or they just don’t fuck at all and should keep the relationship platonic. People can love animals romantically without sex. Love =/= sex.
It really urks me how there are zoosadist/bestialitist people who go around fucking every animal they see because its a fetish to them, or murderf*ck them for their own sexual gratification with no concern for the animal and their welfare, and these people get roped in with zoosexuals in the media portraying every zoosexual as a horrible sick pervert when not every zoosexual is like that and those people are in the minority of the zoo community. Some zoosexuals like myself don’t even have sex with animals, but are still attracted to animals and enjoy being close to them like a significant other.
Also, being a zoosexual isn’t a lifestyle choice. Either you are one or you aren’t. You don’t just wake up one morning and say “Well gee, I think this dolphin cock is sexy!” it just doesn’t work that way. What IS a choice however, is being a bestialitist (basically f**king animals and whoring yourself to them, or people that make it as much of a disturbing fetish for them as possible).” — peacelovingpegasister
More people should think like the above person: stop condemning zoosexuals for irrational, bigoted reasons and start accepting them.
Here is a quote from Beastforum.com:
“Jamagh brings up an interesting point: is there a place for zoophiles in society? Where can zoosexuals openly express themselves without being condemned and ridiculed by bigots? Where can a zoophile live an know for sure that the law is on his/her side? After all, zoosexuals have a right to have sex with animals, and in my opinion “tyranny of the majority” has taken over (in other words, the majority hates zoophiles, so laws are made against them). That isn’t the way things should work — it is unconstitutional and discriminatory.
I also want to mention that there seem to be several anti-zoo “hot–spots” (i.e. places with unusually high rates of “crack downs” on zoophiles). One of these anti-zoo hot-spots is Maricopa county, Arizona. Another anti-zoo hot-spot is the location which is relevant to this thread: Newton county, Georgia. This is not the first time there has been an anti-zoo attack by the law in this county.
There should be more people standing up for the rights of zoosexual people.” — Zqwm7
What really pisses me off is when innocent zoosexuals are arrested and charged with bigoted “crime against nature” laws. The so called “fence-hoppers” deserve to get arrested, but I’m so sick and tired of reading news reports of innocent zoosexual people (labeled by the media as “animal abusers”) getting their houses raided, their pets permanently taken away from them, and their lives ruined all because of a primitive, irrational moral reaction. This discrimination must end. It should NOT be against the law to have sex with an animal. The only laws relating to sex with animals should address specific, obvious harm, and not broad, all-encompassing legal wording which makes it possible to arrest anybody, good or bad, who engages in bestiality.
Over the past 6 months, there have been 3 anti-zoosexual comments posted to this blog which I had lengthy responses to. Here is the first anti-zoosexual comment:
“I consider myself to be EXTREMELY open-minded (I am more than accepting of gay rights, transgendered people, pansexuality, etc) but Beastiality is something I simply CANNOT wrap my mind around. Hell, I’d choose watching necrophilia any day of the week than beastiality.
To me beastiality/zoosexuaity (in the sexual sense), it’s immoral b/c
1: an animal can’t consent. It’s disgusting to take advantage of them like that for pleasure.
2: We are humans, we are meant to be with other humans. Period. Last time I checked, we didn’t have dog or goat DNA in us.
3: Animals don’t think like us, nor do they feel like us. These kinds of people who bang animals need to stop living in their sick-minded worlds and go back to being a human, for gosh sakes. Leave nature alone, and stop dehumanizing our race.
Lastly, this guy put it perfectly: “such behavior is profoundly degrading and utterly subversive to the crucial understanding that human beings are unique, special, and of the highest moral worth in the known universe–a concept known as ‘human exceptionalism’ … one of the reasons bestiality is condemned through law is that such degrading conduct unacceptably subverts standards of basic human dignity and is an affront to humankind’s inestimable importance and intrinsic moral worth.”
I mean, I can’t tell people what to do. All I can say is that I, personally, think beastiality is outrageously repulsive and disgraceful, and I think anyone who engages in it needs to be thrown in a mental hospital. seriously.
Also, you can use this same zoosexual argument for pedophiles and necrophilia – they can be good people, but that doesn’t make that sexual behavior morally right. what is this world coming to
So gross. I consider myself to be an extremely open-minded individual (I accept homosesuality, pansexuality, etc.) But beastiality has to be the most dehumanizing and repulsive things I have EVER heard of in my entire existance. it’s right next to necrophilia if you ask me. These kinds of people need serious help, I think.”
My response to the above quote:
As I said before, saying something is “gross” is not a philosophical argument. It is clear that you are not really using philosophical arguments, you are more using the moral prejudice and intolerance which I described in my post about zoosexual discrimination. Just because the majority of people thing something is wrong does not make it wrong. Your calling zoosexuals “repulsive” is a form of zoosexual discrimination.
Something I’ve heard over and over again is “I’m very open-minded and accepting, but I’m not accepting of zoosexuality”. This statement is a contradiction — if one is not accepting of zoosexuality, then they are not completely open-minded, not matter how they try to justify it. You may find it gross and unacceptable, but that fails to address the issue of whether it is wrong or not. Many people are disgusted by gay people, but accept them because they know it is the right thing to do.
Animals can consent, just not using human language. It is arrogant and anthropocentric to assume that the only method of communication in our universe is the human language, and that all other methods of communication are “invalid”. And as I’ve said before, animals don’t consent to be slaughtered, they don’t consent to be hunted, and they don’t consent to be artificially inseminated, and yet these are things that people do all the time. In my opinion, it is extremely immoral to kill an animal and eat its meat, and it is also immoral to hunt or artificially inseminate an animal. If one were to compare slaughter/hunting to zoosexuality, one would see that the animal actually has a lot more leeway with sex than it does with slaughter/hunting. And in many cases, the animal is the one who initiates sexual contact, not the human. See this list of arguments against zoosexuality and why they fail for more information.
You said the following:
“We are humans, and we are meant to be with other humans. Period. Last time I checked, we didn’t have dog or goat DNA in us.”
That statement you said is very speciesist and anthropocentric. Humans are animals because they have DNA just other creatures. Also, your statement is incorrect. There IS some dog/goat DNA in us. For example, we have eyes just like dogs/goats, we have noses just like dogs/goats, and we have digestive tracts just like dogs/goats; and most importantly, we have consciousness just like dogs/goats. The reasons for these similarities is in the DNA. Yes, it is true that there are differences between various species (like the fact that dogs have more chromosomes than humans), but the goal should be to focus on the similarities, not the differences. We are all on this planet together, and the “human exceptionalism” concept is the wrong way to think about things. Humans are not “above” nature, they are part of it. Humans think they are above nature because of their huge egos.
Also, your statement that humans were “meant” to be with other humans is partly false. For example, humans have pets, humans ride horses, humans use seeing-eye dogs… the list goes on and on.
Your statement that zoophiles are “sick-minded” people is in the same category as your “grossness” comment — these are comments which are based on emotions and prejudice and are not based on rationality. In other words, they are not philosophical arguments. Your statement that bestiality is “dehumanizing” is fallacious because humans were never “higher” than other animals to begin with; humans were always part of nature. So the notion that bestiality is “dehumanizing” is incorrect because it assumes that a shift is taking place, when in fact the “levels” were never separate to begin with.
Once again, when you say “animals don’t think or feel like us” you are focusing on the differences which set us apart from non-human animals; but what I am trying to explain is that the similarities between human and animals are far more important than the differences. Just because a non-human animal cannot think exactly in the same way as a human does not mean they should be segregated. For example, inter-species sex often occurs in nature, and when it occurs, the two species involved think differently, yet they are mutually satisfied and have sex even though they are different species. To exclude non-human animals from sex is very anthropocentric and contains speciesism.
You claim that zoophiles are “mentally ill”. This is not true, just as the notion that gay people are “mentally ill” is not true. When someone is mentally ill, either the illness causes harm to the individual (as in schizophrenia) or it involves harm to others (as in sadists). It is true that the category of “sadists” does overlap with zoosexuals; however, to arrogantly assume that all zoosexuals are sadistic is incorrect and is equivalent to social profiling. Most zoosexuals are not sadistic, and most are not cruel to animals. Thus, most zoosexuals are not “mentally ill”. (The only thing making zoosexuals “mentally ill” is the depression they have, which is caused by the constant negativity aimed at them by the anti-zoosexuals).
And lastly, if you read my post about why zoophilia is NOT similar to pedophilia you will see what I mean when I say that zoophilia has nothing to do with pedophilia. Zoosexuals are attracted based on species, whereas pedophiles are attracted based on age; they are completely different.
Below is the second anti-zoo comment; is seems to be a visceral, irrational reaction to Artiewhitefox’s (correct) assertion that Christianity is compatible with zoosexuality:
“LMAO You’ve gotta be kidding.
Don’t you DARE try and justify bestiality based on what’s written in the bible, or say that Jesus and God would be okay with someone practicing such sick acts.
You realize that by f**king an animal, you are completely insulting and degrading God’s intent for humans to a special and higher creation. We may be animals in the sense that we eat, sleep, reproduce. But in Gods eyes, we aren’t animals. We are far beyond that. We are humans with a mind, heart, and soul.
Plus, humans were made in God’s image, and I’m pretty sure that God would be pretty darn unsatisfied if you were to lower his image down to an animal’s level by fucking it. God put animals on this earth to be companions that we reign over, not sex toys.
I mean, if you wanna think beastiality and zoosexuality is okay then that’s on you (I personally think its sick and perverted and fucked up on so many different evels). But don’t you dare try and convince us that Jesus and God are cool with it, because they’re not. I mean, why do you think so many people have died from engaging in beastiality? It’s not a coincidence lol.
But yeah. To say that beastiality is acceptable under Christianity is not only ignorant, but it is a HUGE insult to God and Jesus, not to mention a slap in the face to the religion.”
My response to above quote:
This is the problem with religion, and the reason why people fight wars over it — it is not provable. A Christian interpretation in which zoosexuality is viewed positively is just as valid as a Christian interpretation which views it negatively. Although it may make some people uncomfortable, the fact is that the Bible can be interpreted as being in favor of zoosexuality.
I also find it amazing that you are using discriminatory anti-zoosexual words like “sick” in a post which is itself about zoosexual discrimination.
There is no proof that having sex with an animal is offensive to “God” — there is no way to know if God thinks like a human. In other words, what if God thinks like a fish? Or what if God doesn’t “think” at all? What if God is like a rock — in existence, but incapable of thinking as we know it?
When dealing with something as open-ended as God, we all have to keep an open mind about what might be out there, so it is unfair to automatically assume that “God” is a human-like entity who is “watching” over us and making “moral” decisions. Consider the fact that Earth (on a cosmic scale) is just a grain of sand on a beach. And humans are just one species on that one grain. With this in mind, it seems highly improbable that “God” would have the mind of a human. To make such a claim is speciesist and anthropocentric. It arrogantly and unfairly puts humans on a higher “pedestal” than other creatures. The reality is that humans are animals, and there is nothing special about them.
Humans are creatures with big egos, and they always selfishly view themselves as the best thing that ever came into existence — and then they created religion to “back up” those delusional claims. The fact is, humans are not special. They are just another species which was created through millions of years (evolution). Yes it is true that humans are a highly abnormal species, but this does not make them “special” or of a higher “moral” value.
Quote: “You realize that by f*cking an animal, you are completely insulting and degrading God’s intent for humans to be a special and higher creation.”
> This is just more arrogant anthropocentric-ness. There is no evidence that God has a human-like mind and makes “specific” moral judgments over the inhabitants of one grain of sand on a beach (i.e. the Earth). This quote is similar to quotes which claim that God would be “insulted” by homosexuality — it has no validity whatsoever.
It is quite possible (in fact, highly probable) that the true “God” is an entity far beyond human comprehension, does NOT “watch” over what happens on Earth, and does not have the mind of a human (and thus does not have “moral” views about things).
Quote: “But in God’s eyes, we aren’t animals. We are far beyond that. We are humans with a heart, mind and soul.”
>This quote makes me really angry. Who are you to claim what God thinks? Once again, it assumes that humans are “special” is assumes that God thinks like a human with specific moral views. This quote is incredibly speciesist and anthropocentric. Humans aren’t “beyond” anything. And as I have said before, either humans AND other animals have souls, or NEITHER have souls. In other words, it is not possible to claim that humans have souls while simultaneously claiming that other animals don’t have souls. The fact is that dogs, cats, and elephants do have souls just like humans (if by “soul” one means a unique, sentient consciousness). The “heart, mind and soul” argument is not a valid argument because other animals have a heart, mind and soul just like other humans. Other animals (such as elephants and apes) have been shown to be altruistic and have compassion for one another, just like humans.
Once again, this quote is oozing with specieism, anthropocentrism, human exceptionalism, arrogance, and flawed logic. It not only assumes that God thinks like a human, but that he/she/it has a specific opinion in favor of one group of inhabitants on one grain of sand in the universe (grain of sand = Earth), which is ridiculously improbable.
Quote: “Plus, humans were made in God’s image”
There is no proof that this is true. This is just more dogma from delusional religious texts. For all we know, God is a nebula of hydrogen particles without any awareness that an “Earth” even exists. We must keep an open mind when discussing God.
Quote: “and I’m pretty darn sure that God would be pretty darn unsatisfied if you were to lower his image down to an animal’s by f*cking it.”
> Again, making the claim that God would be “unsatisfied” means that one is assuming that God has the mind of a human, which is highly improbable. And since humans are equal to other animals, it makes no sense to use language like “lower his image down”. Humans were never “above” other animals to begin with.
Even if God did think like a human, he/she/it would not be “unsatisfied” with bestiality, since it is simply one of its creations having a non-harmful interaction with another one of its creations. But, if God does not have thoughts and beliefs like people (which is highly probable), and if God is distant and not “watching over us” (which is highly likely), then the notion of God being “satisfied” or “unsatisfied” is irrelevant, in the same way that it is irrelevant to ask a rock what it thinks is moral.
It is impossible to be “pretty darned sure” what God is “thinking”, especially on the flawed premise/assumption that “God” is even “thinking” at all.
“God put animals on this Earth to be companions that we reign over, not sex toys.”
>More speciesism. This quote, like the others, is completely delusional, and a falsification of reality. It assumes very narrow, specific conditions for God, i.e. the notion that God not only has a human-like mind but that God wants to put humans on a “pedestal” above other species — this is absurd. It is highly probable that humans were not “meant” to reign over anything, and the only reason people do “reign” over other species is because of their brains, opposable thumbs, luck, and evolution. We really need to view humanity in terms of evolution, not religion. The fact that humans are so dominant over everything is not because some “higher power” told them to be that way, it is because humans have evolved adaptations which have allowed them to be the bullies of our planet. When I say “bully”, I mean it in terms of all the terrible things humans have done to our planet (like killing 150 billion animals every year, and then arrogantly claiming that such actions would be acceptable by “God”).
The notion that non-human animals are used as “sex toys” is also delusional, since (if one were to read anything about zoosexuals) they would find that the majority of zoosexuals do not treat their companions like “sex toys” — most are genuinely attracted to them, and many actually prefer non-human animals over humans. And many zoosexuals treat their animals better than non-zoosexuals.
Quote: “I personally think it [bestiality] is sick and perverted and f*cked up on so many levels”
>This quote represents zoosexual discrimination and intolerance at its most prominent. And it’s also great evidence that this person’s claims about God are really just manifestations of her own personal beliefs — in other words, she is “projecting” her own personal beliefs onto “God” in order to “justify” her intolerance.
Quote: “But don’t you DARE try to convince us that Jesus and God are cool with it, because they’re not”
>I am puzzled by the certainty of this quote (i.e. the commenter not only claims to know the mind of God, but then claims to know what God claims to “like” and “dislike”.) Firstly, the notion that God “likes” and “dislikes” things is (as already discussed) a fallacy because it assumes that God thinks like a human, which is far from proven (and is highly improbable). We humans must decide for ourselves what is ethical and what is unethical — we should not assume that some “higher power” is doing the work for us, because chances are very high that the Earth is on its own and that nothing is “watching” over it.
Secondly, because religion is not probable, the notion that God and Jesus are not “cool” with zoosexuality doesn’t make any sense. There is no evidence for or against the notion that God favors or opposes zoosexuality. And don’t rely on religious texts for “proof”, because they were written by humans, not some “higher power”.
And even if one was to rely on the religious texts, one would find that there are passages which state that humans are equal to other animals. For example, here is a quote from Matthew in the Bible:
“Look at the birds of the air: they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” — Matthew 6:26
This is proof that even within the context of a specific religion, there are various passages which can “back up” or “justify” a specific claim. In the Bible, there are just ~ 3 passages which specifically condemn bestiality — yet as a whole, the Bible could be seen as being accepting of it. This argument is the same for homosexuality — while there are a few passages which seem to condemn homosexuality, the Bible as a whole (i.e. “love your neighbor”) could be seen as accepting of it.
Quote: “I mean, why do you think so many people have died from engaging in bestiality? It’s not a coincidence lol.”
>This quote is incredibly ignorant. Yes, there have been a very small number of zoosexuals who have been killed by their sex acts, most notably the incident in 2005 in Washington state in which a man was anally (fatally) penetrated by a horse (that man was stupid and obviously risking his safety). But such deaths are very rare. If such deaths weren’t rare, we’d be hearing about bestiality-related deaths all the time, and we don’t. Based on information on Beastforum.com, hundreds of thousands of people have sex with animals all the time without ever causing injury to themselves or their partner.
Quote: “To say bestiality is acceptable under Christianity is not only ignorant, but is a HUGE insult to God and Jesus, not to mention a slap in the face to religion.”
>Actually, it’s not ignorant at all. What is ignorant are your assumptions that God thinks a certain way, has specific moral views and “picks favorites”. God is not on anyone’s “side”, because God probably does not think like a human, and may not even “think” at all. “God” probably is far beyond our comprehension. God may have set the “billiard balls” of the universe in motion (of which one of those “billiard balls” is the Earth), but nothing more than that. No humanistic “moral” judgments, no “watching” over the Earth, none of that crap. God is probably distant and removed from the inhabitants of the Earth.
I will agree that interpretations of religions which are tolerant of zoosexuality are a slap in the face to the “traditional”, conformist, conservative religious views — but then again, the same could be said of homosexuality. For example, the current tolerance that society has towards homosexuality could be seen as a “slap in the face” to the religious views of the middle ages. And people in the U.S. South in the 1820s who liked slavery — their view of slavery would be a “slap in the face” to our current moral standards. The fact is that morality is relative, and so it is a fallacy to claim that one particular issue is a “slap in the face” to anyone or anything.
As I said before, it is up to humanity (not some “higher power”) to decide what is and is not ethical. Humans control their own destiny, not “God”. While some kind of “God” probably exists, it is probably radically different from the “God” portrayed in traditional religions.
And this is the third comment:
“Argument: All things that people do ever, including murder, all sex acts, all forms of mutilation, all forms of theft and harassment and playing God are acceptable and beautiful and anyone who disagrees or is offended is a judgmental and probably religious moron.
Why this argument fails: Being open-minded doesn’t mean having to agree with everything people do ever. It is perfectly natural to be offended, disgusted, harmed or threatened by something without it meaning you are judgmental or irrational.
Argument: Any will to perform any sexual act is natural, rational and beautiful, while any idea that your sexuality is something that has meaning to the quality of your life is simply irrational and judgmental.
Why this argument fails: Human beings are perfectly capable of making decisions about what sexual acts to perform and what not to perform, based on their own rational thoughts about their own sexual integrity and quality of life, completely independent on religions and cultural bias.
Argument: Sexual relations between humans and animals is beautiful and natural and anyone who disagrees is close-minded and has an irrational view of sexuality.
Why this argument fails: If humans have to be open and accepting to the idea that sex between a human and an animal is natural, then just the same they have to be open to the idea that sexuality is natural when exclusively between humans who value their sexuality as something meaningful because they are excluding unnatural, harmful, demeaning or humiliating acts from their life.
Argument: A human having sex with an animal isn’t harming or offending anyone and anyone who is harmed or offended by any kind of sexuality doesn’t understand nature.
Why this argument fails: Having sex with an animal hurts the human in the same way that cutting out a part of your brain or murdering your family does; It effectively destroys and warps all the natural and healthy parts of your body and your mind; You are here to be a human, to be natural, to be alive and to be healthy – Abusing your own sexuality with a creature of another species is in all ways against all that is human, all that is positive life force. It does harm the animal, it can physically harm their health and it does harm them mentally and emotionally. Having sex with an animal is similar to having sex with an infant, someone gravely mentally disabled or someone who can’t see, hear, feel or understand anything. Animals aren’t below humans, but their minds and bodies work in completely different ways, although abled to communicate emotionally with humans, they are not the same as humans. Just like mutilating a dog’s body, feeding it dog meat, giving it plastic surgery and giving it steroids warps the natural anatomy and instincts of an animal, so does sexual intercourse with an animal warp its natural instincts and view of the world from the primitive point of view of their own species. Having sex with an animal also harms those uninvolved – If you have sex with a horse, you offend everyone who will meet you or who will meet that horse, not just from the point of view that their view of sexuality is “superior” to yours, but rather due to appropriate sexual integrity; No one should have to unknowingly eat the meat of a horse that has been raped by a human or have surgery performed by someone who has raped a horse. This is not because sex with animals is ultimately “wrong”, but because sexual integrity and purity is important from a point of view of personal safety and the right to be in control of anything sexual in your own life, rather from the point of view of religion or moral.
Ultimately, no one can effectively keep anyone from their choices or their thoughts; Although with the belief that nothing ever is “wrong” or “unacceptable”, then neither is it wrong to murder someone or simply stop someone from commiting a negative action.
Before doing something unnatural to an animal, please, please ask yourself these questions:
*Will this act somehow harm myself? Will it destroy my view of my own self-worth? Will it make my life unbearable for myself in the future?
*Will this act somehow harm the animal? Will it confuse the animal or warp the animal’s natural instincts?
*Will this somehow harm people who will interact with the animal in the future? Is this someone else’s pet? Will someone eat the meat of this animal?
*Will this somehow harm people who will interact with me? Is it possible people can be harmed simply from learning what I have done?
Hopefully, the answers will change your mind and help you from doing something harmful.
Love, the Angel of Sexual Integrity and Personal Space”
Here is my response to the above comment:
Quote: “Argument: All things that people do ever, including murder, all sex acts, all forms of mutilation, all forms of theft and harassment and playing God are acceptable and beautiful and anyone who disagrees or is offended is a judgmental and probably religious moron. Being open-minded doesn’t mean having to agree with everything people do ever. It is perfectly natural to be offended, disgusted, harmed or threatened by something without it meaning you are judgmental or irrational.”
My response: I agree that argument which puts murder, theft and harassment into the same category as non-harmful sex is not a valid argument. Similarly, any argument in which “God” is a premise is also invalid. It is very important that people realize that zoosexuality is not in the same category as the other things you mentioned, such as murder and theft. And yes, of course people can be offended or disgusted by something, but 1) that is not a rational argument and 2) those irrational beliefs should not be forced upon those who disagree.
Quote: “Argument: Any will to perform any sexual act is natural, rational and beautiful, while any idea that your sexuality is something that has meaning to the quality of your life is simply irrational and judgmental. [...] Human beings are perfectly capable of making decisions about what sexual acts to perform and what not to perform, based on their own rational thoughts about their own sexual integrity and quality of life, completely independent on religions and cultural bias.”
My response: The “nature”, “rationality” and “beauty” of a sex act depends entirely on the circumstances. There are ethical “normal” human-to-human sex acts, and there are unethical ones (i.e. rape). Similarly, there are ethical human-to-animal sex acts, and there are non-ethical ones. A rational zoosexual person who cares about animal welfare, refuses to eat meat and cares about the meaning of his/her life will live an ethical life, regardless of whether that zoosexual person has sex with an animal.
Quote: “Argument: Sexual relations between humans and animals is beautiful and natural and anyone who disagrees is close-minded and has an irrational view of sexuality. Why this argument fails: If humans have to be open and accepting to the idea that sex between a human and an animal is natural, then just the same they have to be open to the idea that sexuality is natural when [exclusively between humans who value their sexuality as something meaningful because they are excluding unnatural, harmful, demeaning or humiliating acts from their life.
My response: sex between humans and animals is natural and is not intrinsically immoral because humans are animals. The notion that human sexuality is “separate” from nature is false. Also, the notion that the natural-aspect of sex devalues human sexuality is also false. In fact, just the opposite is true — the more more one is connected with nature, the better. This argument does not fail. If you are using the terms “unnatural”, “harmful”, “demeaning” and “humiliating” to refer to zoosexuality, that is zoosexual discrimination, plain and simple. It is like calling homosexuality “unnatural” or “demeaning” — these terms are meaningless/b> philosophically and ultimately represent prejudice, intolerance and bigotry.
It is not natural for a species to deliberately exclude certain sexual practices from their lives on the basis of “memes” (ideas). This is a human abnormality. And the fact is that if one looks to humanity prior to religious and cultural contamination, one will see that humans thousands of years ago made zoosexual cave paintings. This is proof that if one were to remove all of the artificial “morality” infecting our society, there would definitely be some zoosexual people (and today there are millions of them, but most are hiding in the closet).
Quote: “Argument: A human having sex with an animal isn’t harming or offending anyone and anyone who is harmed or offended by any kind of sexuality doesn’t understand nature. Why this argument fails: Having sex with an animal hurts the human in the same way that cutting out a part of your brain or murdering your family does; It effectively destroys and warps all the natural and healthy parts of your body and your mind; You are here to be a human, to be natural, to be alive and to be healthy – Abusing your own sexuality with a creature of another species is in all ways against all that is human, all that is positive life force. It does harm the animal, it can physically harm their health and it does harm them mentally and emotionally. Having sex with an animal is similar to having sex with an infant, someone gravely mentally disabled or someone who can’t see, hear, feel or understand anything. Animals aren’t below humans, but their minds and bodies work in completely different ways, although abled to communicate emotionally with humans, they are not the same as humans. Just like mutilating a dog’s body, feeding it dog meat, giving it plastic surgery and giving it steroids warps the natural anatomy and instincts of an animal, so does sexual intercourse with an animal warp its natural instincts and view of the world from the primitive point of view of their own species. Having sex with an animal also harms those uninvolved – If you have sex with a horse, you offend everyone who will meet you or who will meet that horse, not just from the point of view that their view of sexuality is “superior” to yours, but rather due to appropriate sexual integrity; No one should have to unknowingly eat the meat of a horse that has been raped by a human or have surgery performed by someone who has raped a horse. This is not because sex with animals is ultimately “wrong”, but because sexual integrity and purity is important from a point of view of personal safety and the right to be in control of anything sexual in your own life, rather from the point of view of religion or moral. Ultimately, no one can effectively keep anyone from their choices or their thoughts; Although with the belief that nothing ever is “wrong” or “unacceptable”, then neither is it wrong to murder someone or simply stop someone from committing a negative action.
My response: There are several parts of this quote which make me angry (because they are falsifications of reality). First of all, human-animal sex does not automatically equal animal cruelty. It is not intrinsically immoral. Yes, it can be done in immoral ways, but that doesn’t mean all human-animal sex is harmful — to make such a judgment is social profiling. There are plenty of ethical zoosexuals out there who ethically have sex with animals and don’t harm them.
The notion that sex between a human and an animal “warps” a person’s mind is total bull****. That’s the kind of **** that people in the 1950s would say to discredit gay people. I am also extremely offended that you placed zoosexuality in the same category as murder and lobotomy. That is uncalled for. In your argument that zoosexuality warps the “healthy parts” of a person’s “body and mind”, you fail to say explicitly what is being “warped”, or even what “warped” means in this context. This vagueness just seems to be more anti-zoosexual defamation.
What I also find offensive is your claim that in order to live a “natural” and “healthy” life, one must exclude non-human animals from their sex life. That statement is speciesist, anthropocentric and subscribes to “human exceptionalism”. Human exceptionalism is an ignorant and irrational philosophy which arrogantly puts humans “above” other species. An example of the human exceptionalism embedded into your wording is when you say “you are here to be human”. What I would say is “you are here to be a living, sentient being” (without the need for the word “human”). Also, human-animal sex is not “abusing” one’s sexuality, as you put it. There is nothing intrinsically “abusive” about ethically performed zoosexuality.
Also, your statement that human-animal sex is “against all that is human” is more speciesist bull****. This statement is completely false. For those who say that bestiality is “dehumanizing”, I’ve got news for them: humans were never on a “pedestal” above other species to begin with! That is a myth which has been propagated by irrational and delusional religions. In fact, as I have already mentioned, zoosexuality is very much part of what it means to be human. People interact with other species all the time — they eat other animals, they own other animals, they neuter/spay them — why, when it comes to sex, does it all of a sudden become “wrong”? The answer: it doesn’t.
And this statement: “having sex with an animal is like having sex with an infant, someone gravely mentally disabled or someone who can’t see, hear, feel or understand anything” — this statement is completely false. I’m so tired of anti-zoosexual people making the argument that animals are like “mentally disabled” people — this isn’t true! It’s like comparing apples and oranges. Non-human animals are sentient and fully capable of making their needs met. They are not like handicapped humans. The only non-human animals which could be equated to handicapped people are the non-human animals who are themselves disabled (i.e. blind dogs), but I’m guessing that most non-human animals are not disabled.
And this statement: “although animals are able to emotionally communicate with humans, they are not the same as humans”. — My response to this is that two sentient individuals do not have to be of the same species, just as interspecies sex in the wild doesn’t involve this separation. So what if two individuals who have sex are different from each other — that alone is not a justifiable reason to keep them separated.
I am also angered about your conclusion that zoosexuality is “just as bad” as mutilating a dog and giving it steroids. Mutilating a dog and giving it steroids are not in the same category as zoosexuality because they are harmful and unnatural. If a dog has sex with a human, that experience is not going to “warp” the dog’s perspective of reality — the notion of “warping” one’s sexuality is a distinctly human concept. By claiming that non-human animal’s perceptions of sex are “warped” when they have sex with humans, you are anthropomorphizing the animals too much. Sex is not a big deal for non-human animals the way it is for humans; and frankly, it shouldn’t be a “big deal” for humans either, and the only reason it is is because of the ignorant religious and cultural “memes” which have infected society/humanity.
And also, your comment that animals are “primitive” is offensive and speciesist. There are many things that non-human animals do much better than humans — for example, sharks have a 6th sense which allows them to detect electrical fields, and if one were to use this as the criteria by which to judge individuals, the humans would be the “primitive” ones
Your statement of “appropriate sexual integrity” is bigoted crap. Who are you to claim that human-animal sex doesn’t fit into “appropriate sexual integrity”? Morality is relative — one person’s view of “integrity” may be completely different from another person’s “integrity”. It is arrogant to assume that there is a “universal, unchanging morality” which defines everyone. The fact is that for millions of people, having sex with animals is part of their sexual integrity. Your argument that people should not have sex with animals because they will be socially rejected is a weak argument because it does not address the intrinsic value of bestiality; rather, it addresses a “slice” of time (i.e. now) in which the majority of people happen to think of bestiality as “wrong” (and hopefully this will change). The flaw in your logic would be similar to a person in the U.S. 1820s telling slave owners not to free their slaves because others in their community would find it “unacceptable”. Just because other people around you dislike what one does does not automatically make what one does immoral. Things are immoral for other reasons, i.e. whether harm is done, not for, temporary, flimsy reasons like whether or not it is socially acceptable.
Your statement that zoosexual people are “contaminated” and thus shouldn’t operate on people is total discriminatory bull****. That’s like saying that a gay person shouldn’t touch anyone because he/she had gay sex last night. If that kind of statement were made about gay people, that person would be considered a bigot in today’s society. If a person has sex with an animal, it does not make a person more “dirty” (any more than having sex with a human would make a person “dirty”). In fact, in many ways human-animal sex is more sanitary than human-human sex. But ultimately, there really isn’t much of a difference — having sex with a human is just as “dirty” as having sex with an animal (since humans are animals). And also, regarding your comment about horse meat — people shouldn’t be eating horse meat in the first place! Horses have a right to live and not get slaughtered. If an ignorant meat-eater eats horse meat and that horse happened have had sex with a human while he/she was alive, its the meat-eater’s own damn fault because that person shouldn’t be eating meat to begin with. And let’s face it — there have probably been billions of times in which a pig had sex with pigs (non-human animals) and then were immediately slaughtered for human consumption. Do people complain about the meat being “tainted” because of that? No!
And as always, don’t forget the fact that non-human animals can consent to sex, but cannot consent to be slaughtered and turned into meat.
Your notion that having sex with an animal is “not pure” is discrimination. In fact, I would actually argue that non-human animals are more pure than humans because deceive each other and kill each other in gigantic wars, something which other animals don’t do. To claim that humans are more “pure” than other animals is bull**** human exceptionalism.
The key thing to realize is there there are intrinsically immoral things (like murder, theft, etc), but bestiality/zoosexuality is not one of those things. Hunting an animal is intrinsically immoral for the same reason that murdering a person is immoral — by killing a living being (whether that “being” is a human or a deer), one is harming that individual and depriving them of their right to live. Similarly, theft is intrinsically immoral because when one steals something, they are unjustly taking something which they did not work for. So yes, some things are intrinsically immoral, but bestiality is not one of them.
Quote: “Before doing something unnatural to an animal, please, please ask yourself these questions:
*Will this act somehow harm myself? Will it destroy my view of my own self-worth? Will it make my life unbearable for myself in the future?
*Will this act somehow harm the animal? Will it confuse the animal or warp the animal’s natural instincts?
*Will this somehow harm people who will interact with the animal in the future? Is this someone else’s pet? Will someone eat the meat of this animal?
*Will this somehow harm people who will interact with me? Is it possible people can be harmed simply from learning what I have done?
Hopefully, the answers will change your mind and help you from doing something harmful.”
My response: again, you seem to have ignored the premises of the arguments in the post (i.e. that human-animal sex is not unnatural and that it is not always harmful). A zoosexual who ethically has sex with an animal will not harm themselves. The only thing that would destroy their “self-worth” is the constant bombardment of negativity from anti-zoosexuals (such as yourself) which make zoosexuals so depressed that they contemplate suicide. By going to websites such as beastforum.com, zoosexuals can get the acceptance they so desperately need.
Any ethical zoosexual person would never harm an animal. If that zoosexual person intended to have sex with an animal, that person would make sure that it was done ethically. And as already discussed, sex between a human and an animal will not “warp” that animal’s natural instincts. Your argument that having sex with an animal will “harm” people in the future is a weak argument because there is no evidence that such actions would harm anyone. Most of the animals that zoosexuals have sex with never become the meat of someone else, so that is irrelevant. And even if that animal did become meat, 1) sexual interactions would not “contaminate” the meat as you claim, and 2) in the extremely small chance that the meat is contaminated, it’s the meat-eater’s own damn fault because that person shouldn’t be eating meat in the first place.
The goal of zoosexuals and society in general should be to accept zoosexuals — in a society in which zoosexuals were accepted, people would not care if one had sex with an animal; in a society that accepted zoosexuals for who they are, such information would not be a big deal. Unfortunately, we live in a society in which people are bigoted and intolerant. And remember, even if society were more accepting of zoosexuals, it no one’s business what a person does in his/her bedroom. Sexual activity, whether it be heterosexual, homosexual or zoosexual, is not usually discussed publicly anyway. A gay person who has gay sex does not go around the neighborhood the next day shouting “hey everyone, I had sex last night!”
Fortunately, more and more people who learn that their best friend had sex with an animal are not “horrified” or “disgusted”, and hopefully this trend will continue. Unfortunately, it still has a long way to go. But the point is that people who are “horrified” or “disgusted” by bestiality aren’t really “harmed”, they’re just ignorant and misinformed about zoosexuality.
It is clear that the “arguments” you wrote are a thinly-veiled attack on zoosexuality. It is also clear that you are very anthropocentric and speciesist. Your attempt to link zoophilia together with bad things like murder is unfair, offensive and discriminatory. In my opinion, the “arguments” which you described are nothing more than an attempt to slander zoosexuality.
The above three comments are proof that there is still a lot of hostility aimed at zoosexuals, and that kind of hostility has manifested itself in the form of unfair anti-zoosexual laws. People need to realize that although there are some unethical forms of bestiality, there are also completely ethical forms of it.
See also: http://vividrandomexistence.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/zoosexuality-should-it-be-considered-acceptable-or-not/
Recently, a man named Blake Sanderford (a zoosexual) was arrested in Metairie, Louisiana for allegedly having sex with his dog; they charged him with “crime against nature”, an archaic law whose counterparts have been repealed in almost every other state — yet, for some reason, it is still on the books in Louisiana and was never repealed in that state. “Crime against nature” laws are unfair and unjust; they criminalize homosexual and zoosexual acts for being “unnatural”, even though homosexual acts occur in nature all the time, as does interspecies sex. (The “crime against nature” laws were made hundreds of years ago at a time when religious “morality” controlled people and a time when people were not yet aware of the homosexuality/zoosexuality occuring in the wild).
Until the “crime against nature” law is repealed in Louisiana, it will be a misdemeanor if convicted a first time, and a felony for additional offenses. But the point I’m trying to make is that bestiality shouldn’t be illegal in Louisiana in the first place! The reasons for prohibiting bestiality are not compelling and are driven by “human supremacy” and “moral repugnance”, not rationality. As already stated, in January 2012 a person in Louisiana named Blake Sanderford was unjustly arrested and charged with the archaic “crime against nature” law, even though he did nothing wrong. In fact, the dog who was “molested” by Blake did not even suffer any injuries. This is similar to an incident in North Carolina, in which the following was said:
“Animal Control director Dr. John Lauby said the examination showed no physical injury to the dog. He said he doubts the attack will leave lasting trauma. ‘With dogs, the dominant animal breeds with the others, so I don’t think there will be psychological damage,’ Lauby told The Huffington Post.”– http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/12/ray-lynn-mitchum-jr-sex-neighbors-dog_n_1197479.html
Blake Sanderford is not a “monster”, or a “pervert”, or a “heinous sicko” like most of the people in the media would like people to believe — it turns out that he is just your average, run-of-the-mill zoophile who has spent his entire life hiding in the closet (out of fear of being persecuted by society and the law); and the only reason he was “exposed” is because a ****** neighbor snitched on him. Apparently, the neighbor was watching zoosexual videos online and recognized Blake in the video, and then ratted on him (tattled, snitched, whatever you want to call it) to the authorities. In addition, the authorities forcefully raided his house without his consent, which is an extreme violation of the civil liberties which Americans are supposed to be entitled to. It is also an extreme violation of privacy, and it could easily be argued that such a raid is an abuse of power by the authorities.
Most zoosexual people like Blake wish they could come out of the zoosexual closet and tell the whole world about their sexual identity (like the ways gay people do it) — but incidents like the one in Louisiana caused them to become more anxious, more oppressed and more likely to hide in the closet, because of one word: fear.
These laws against zoophilia do absolutely nothing. All they do is persecute a sexual minority. The intent of these discriminatory laws (like the “crime against nature” law in Louisiana) has nothing to do with the degree of cruelty or animal abuse — all it is concerned with is forcing certain moral values on people. If cruelty were the main concern of authorities, then purchasing meat products would be illegal in Louisiana, since a considerable amount of pain and suffering occurs to animals in slaughterhouses. In fact, as others have said, bestiality pales in comparison to slaughtering. Which brings me back to the point: the only purpose of the anti-zoo laws in Louisiana and elsewhere is to criminalize a sexual minority who the majority thinks is “disgusting” and “immoral”. This is discrimination, plain and simple.
Here is a quote by a person who apparently knew Blake personally:
“Know what, I’m sick of hearing people, AND the media rag on Blake [the victim], he’s my best friend, you people don’t even know half the damn story. Blake has had Annika (the husky) since she was a pup, he raised her and loved her, and he still does, he’s a [zoosexual]. This is the life we live because we choose to live our life with an open mind, and that we were brought onto this world to love, and give love to everything around us. Some of us find relationships in an animal, and regard humans as something that would be lower than an animal. [The zoosexual lifestyle] is like a religion to us, we treat this animals as we would our own lover or mate, and yes sometimes this does involve sex, but its not played out like it is in the media where you just go and rape a damn dog, it’s not like that whatsoever.
When you choose to make love with your lover, in this case Annika (Blake’s mate), you do it as you would with a human, there’s loving, kissing, holding, everything like that; animals are very affectionate beings, and we treat them with the same love and respect as they give us. There are so many people out there who think we [zoosexual people] should be killed, or castrated, or tortured, because they are under the close-minded assumption that we rape animals when in fact this is not the case at all. I know most of you are going to read this and be disgusted and I understand, because this is not your life [and] you think there’s something wrong with us, but in fact we see everything so clearly, and regard those who don’t understand us and [those who] harm us as the blind ones.
All I’m asking is that you give our lifestyle a thought — we don’t rape animals and we are ALL animal activists. There are thousands of us, and we all share the same passion for animals you do, except we treat these animals as we would our own kin, our own blood. Annika was taken from Blake at 6:30 in the morning, and now he is unable to ever see her again. Imagine marrying someone, then having someone take them away and say you can’t ever see them again, that is what [the authorities did to him]; all of us are in support of Blake and always will be, the media has already tried to silence our support by taking down all online support pages we have put up for him. All we ask is that you think about it with an open mind, not a closed one, we love these animals more then you could ever know, and we NEVER harm animals, we are just as much against that as you. The owner of this blog has already removed three different people including my comments, they are TRYING to make it look like everyone hates him and silence all the support he is getting; please, open your eyes.” — Smith Baker, http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2012/01/metairie_man_arrested_for_sex/1952/comments-newest.html
And a second quote (a response to Smith):
“Smith, thanks, this news site [NOLA] is totally biased, in fact, there were over 90 posts [pro-zoosexual posts] here yesterday, including a bunch of mine and a bunch from another furry named Zev; the censors here decided this is NOT a neutral news site which allows BOTH sides of opinions, facts and news to be aired.
If people here don’t care their news is pre-censored and filtered for them so they only get a ONE SIDED view of the world, then they will be happy readers here for sure!
I find it pretty outrageous a news site would CENSOR over 50 posts in this article that had no violations of any kind of any rules here, not one post I or Zev made contained any foul language or words that needed filtering, indeed we stuck to the facts and corrected erroneous misinformation, but this was removed while veiled DEATH THREATS and calls to EXECUTE Blake were posted here and STILL REMAIN.
I find it very “telling” that a news site censors opinions and facts in this fashion! – Furry2
[Response from Baker]: About time someone stood up for him, its pathetic that the media tries to cut all support for someone, yet leaves all the death threats, just goes to show you how messed up the world we live in today is.” — Furry2 and Smith Baker, http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2012/01/metairie_man_arrested_for_sex/1952/comments-newest.html
As the above quotes suggest, the people at NOLA.com have actually been actively censoring comments in support of zoophilia and Blake Sanderford. In addition to this, the website has NOT been censoring death threats. Here is one of those death threats:
“PERVERT 21-year old Blake Sanderford of Metairie, LA RAPES husky dog, videotapes it and posts it on the Internet!!! SICK!!! He needs [to be] HUNG and tortured SLOWLY!!!” — Donna Durbin, http://www.webulb.org/directory/Correctional_Center
“I repeat, if a man has sex with an animal, he should be executed by the government” — Justice Man 2, http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2012/01/metairie_man_admitted_to_havin.html
The two above comments were written by zoophobic, hateful, intolerant, anti-zoosexual bigots. To read more of this kind of discimination, read my post about zoosexual discrimination.
Conclusion: It is an abomination that the NOLA website has censored pro-zoo comments, yet NOT censored death threats and discriminatory hatred and intolerance towards Blake. It is not fair that zoosexuals have to hide in the closet due to the fear that their lives will be ruined if they tell people about it (as is the case for Blake Sanderford). There needs to be reform of laws in ALL STATES so that bestiality is intrinsically decriminalized and legalized. It is unbelievable that this kind of barbaric behavior (i.e. raiding people’s homes with intent to interfere with their private sexual lives; extreme anti-zoosexual animosity from the “angry mob”; severely intolerant laws) is still tolerated in the 21st century. People need to wake up and realize that Blake Sanderford, and thousands of people like him, are innocent. The injustice which has occurred in Louisiana is atrocious. People need to stop being arrested and persecuted just because they have an unusual lifestyle which deviates from the “norm”. The fact that they are zoosexual is not their “choice”, just as being gay is not a “choice”. The government has no business going into people’s bedrooms, especially in cases such as this one in which the animal involved was not harmed.
Should zoosexuality be considered acceptable?
Common arguments against zoophilia (and why they fail)
Florida is a wonderful state, especially due to its ecological treasures. So it is tragic that the politicians have created so many bad laws in that state. Laws are a distinctively human concept, and have nothing to do with the ecology of the states — humans are the ones who created them, not nature.
Some laws are justified — laws against robbery, murder, identity theft, arson, animal slaughter, really bad drugs like heroin — these are all justified laws that have logical reasons behind them. These are not the laws I am talking about — I am talking primarily about irrational laws (laws which are not logically sound).
It has come to my attention that Florida has a ton of irrational laws, many of which were created within the last 5 years. Here are some of the ignorant and unjustified new restrictions in Florida:
RESTRICTIONS ON SEXUALITY
Gay marriage ban — Gay marriage was constitutionally banned in Florida within the past decade. Gay people are not treated fairly in Florida. In addition, there is no recognition of same-sex unions. (Kind of prejudicial and intolerant if you ask me).
Zoosexuality ban — Bestiality, zoophilia, and zoosexuality were banned in Florida by arrogant and self-righteous politican Nan Rich in 2011. Nan Rich went on a crusade to outlaw what she perceived to be “immoral” and “disgusting” behavior (human-animal sex), and tried year after year to pass the unfair ban on bestiality until she succeeded in 2011. This law is unjustified, unfair, and discriminatory. It makes it possible to prosecute someone even when no harm occurred, which is bulls**t. It forces people’s “moral prejudice” onto a small, defenseless minority of people, who will have to hide in the shadows to avoid prosecution.
See this link: Common arguments against zoosexuality and why they fail. Also see this link about zoophilia.
Marijuana ban — There are no pro-marijuana policies in Florida. Marijuana has not been de-criminalized, and there are no medical marijuana laws. Yet another example of how Florida politicians want to restrict people’s personal liberties.
It is ironic that in Florida it is legal to buy and use tobacco cigarettes, even though cigarettes are more harmful than marijuana. Similarly, alcohol is also more deadly than marijuana, yet alcohol is legal in Florida but marijuana isn’t (pure hypocrisy).
EXOTIC PET RESTRICTIONS
Python ban — In 2010, Florida politicians passed an unfair law prohibiting people from owning Burmese pythons as “pets” — this is a law which I strongly disagree with. Ignorant politician Tom Rooney was behind it. The law was supposed to deal with the “problem” of invasive pythons in the Everglade (see this post about why pythons in the Everglades is not a “problem”). Humans are so arrogant — they call Burmese pythons an invasive species even though humans are themselves an invasive species. Pythons have the same right to live in Florida that humans do.
And on top of that, it is unfair to ban pythons in Florida because it unfairly punishes responsible snake owners, who would never release their python into the wild. To ban all pet Burmese pythons is economically damaging to snake dealers, and is a slap in the face to responsible snake owners. It needs to be repealed ASAP. This is another example of the Florida state government overstepping its authority.
“Baggy pants” ban — In 2011, a law was made prohibiting “baggy pants” at schools. This is another example of how Florida politicians are trying to restrict people’s freedom of expression. It is also an example of how arrogant Florida politicians make laws which conform to their “traditional, modest values” by imposing unfair restrictions on what they consider to be “indecent” and “immoral”.
In terms of the protection of people’s individual liberties, Florida is a complete failure, thanks to ignorant politicians like Tom Rooney and Nan Rich. There are a high number of laws which punish people for victimless “crimes”. There are real crimes which people should be focused on, like robbery, murder and animal slaughter; instead, the ignorant politicians of Florida have decided to waste their time by getting into people’s personal business and interfering with their lives. Florida is not the place for a libertarian to live (i.e. Ron Paul).
It has become clear to me that the Florida state government has become way to authoritarian. I encourage people living in Florida to vote out the assholes in charge right now and elect more sensible people (people that won’t interfere with the private affairs of citizens). If this cannot be done, there needs to be more activism to repeal the abominable laws listed above. They are not just “laws”, they are “fear-mongering moral prejudice laws”.
Maybe “Occupy Wall Street” protesters should turn their attention towards Florida. Florida politicians may think what they’re doing is “moral”, but in reality what they’re doing is very immoral because they are restricting people’s personal liberties (i.e. in terms of personal liberties in which no harm occurred [the utilitarian perspective]). All I have to say is that I am glad I don’t live in Florida.
It is suggested that you also read this post: http://vividrandomexistence.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/zoosexuality-should-it-be-considered-acceptable-or-not/
Over time, it has come to my attention that although I am a zoosexual vegetarian, there seem to be very few people out there who are like me. One would think that because zoosexuals love animals, they would thus not eat meat, since eat meat implies that one does not care about the lives of some animals. Yet (per evidence on Beastforum.com) there are apparently plenty of zoosexuals who eat meat, which frustrates me and puzzles me.
I find myself in an odd situation — if I go to an online vegetarian discussion group and talk to them about zoosexuality and bestiality, they will likely react with ignorance and “shock” and go on a “witch hunt” to remove me from their discussion. On the other hand, if I tried to bring up pro-vegetarianism ideas on a zoosexual forum such as Beastforum.com, it is likely to be met with scorn by all of the fiercely anti-PETA, pro-meat-eating people on Beastforum. As it stands, I am stuck in the middle; I am a zoosexual vegetarian, but most pro-vegetarians reject zoosexuality, and most pro-zooseuxals reject vegetarianism.
So what is a vegetarian zoosexual like me to do? Surely there must be other people out there who are both zoosexual and vegetarian. Why? The two ideas compliment each other. The ideal of a zoosexual is to love animals. What better a way to love all animals than to become a vegetarian or vegan? It really bothers me when people say “I’m OK eating the flesh of a cow, but not the flesh of a dog because I love dogs”. Why does this bother me? Because that person should respect the lives of both the cow and the dog. It is unjust to assume that a dog’s life is more valuable than a cow’s life; both lives are valuable. In reality, there is no “hierarchy” of animals — all animal’s lives are valuable. When a person says “I love my dog, but I also love eating steak”, that person is a total hypocrite.
On the other hand, here is something that is not hypocritical: being vegetarian and owning a meat-eating dog. Why? Because humans can see the “big picture” and philosophize about whether or not to eat meat, whereas dogs cannot do this. The moral and ethical questions which come into play
for humans do not come into play for dogs, so it is not a contradiction for a vegetarian to own a meat-eating dog. However, it is possible for a vegetarian to give a dog (or other animal) a vegetarian diet; dogs do not need to be meat-eaters. And contrary to popular belief, dogs do not suffer from “malnutrition” due to lack of meat; in fact, one dog (who was on a vegetarian diet) lived to be 27 years old.
In addition, it is not hypocritical to be a vegetarian, but not a complete vegan. I consider myself to be a vegetarian who is leaning towards veganism (for example, I drink soymilk instead of dairy milk). However, ultimately I consider myself to be in the same category as Peter Singer: I am
a vegetarian who is a partial vegan. This is a lot better than not being a vegetarian in the first place. A person who eats no meat is being a lot nicer to the environment than a person who does eat meat.
All people (whether they eat meat or not) should lessen the amount of meat they consume — it is more ethical, it is more environmentally friendly, and it is healthier to not eat meat. It also shows that you have a profound compassion for other animals, and it shows that you understand that other animals have a right to live out their entire lives (rather than being slaughtered in a barbaric factory).
As I said before, it is unethical for a person to love one kind of animal (i.e. a horse) while being OK with the slaughter of another kind (i.e. a pig). Such people are hypocrites. Additionally, people who say “I eat meat and try not think about how the meat got to my plate” are also hypocrites. It is imperative that people realize the abominable truth of how that meat got to one’s plate. The notion that non-human animals are “disposable commodities” is speciesist and anthropocentric. (Speciesism = failure to accord any non-human being equal consideration and respect). People in slaughterhouses don’t treat animals as beings with their own rights, they treat them as objects (property) to be exploited as much as possible. And they don’t care about the pain and suffering animals get.
Now, many pro-meat-eaters are going to argue the “humane slaughter” card. Let me briefly explain why “humane slaughter” doesn’t make any sense. Here is a hypothetical situation:
A person has the choice of doing the following:
1) Humanely slaughtering a human or other animal
2) Not humanely slaughtering a human or other animal
3) Not slaughtering a human or other animal AT ALL
My choice would be #3, and I would hope that most people would choose #3. Why? Because the murder of human should be considered equal to the killing of a non-human animal. The only reason this is not the view of our legal system is because our legal system is severely tainted by speciesism and anthropocentrism; from the point of view of our legal system, humans are “superior” to all other animals, which is bullsh*t. My point here is this: if a person goes out and kills another person, that person is a murderer (except in the case of the death penalty). However, if a person goes out and kills another animal, it is not considered murder (even though it should be considered murder). The range of penalties for killing a non-human animal range from a little bit of prison time (i.e. killing an animal that humans “like” such as a dog) to no penalty at all (i.e. those who are working in institutionalized slaughter factories). This needs to stop.
What I am trying to say is that “humane slaughter” is not a valid argument. Just as a person shouldn’t “humanely slaughter” a human, a person should also not “humanely slaughter” any other kind of animals. All individuals (both human and non-human) have a right to live, and no animal (human or non-human) should be forced to get an early death. Yet that is what happens to billions of animals every year. In one decade, one trillion non-human animals are killed for selfish human purposes, and those “purposes” are often backed up by delusional religious beliefs or the delusional belief that it is OK to “humanely slaughter” an animal. The fact is, “humanely slaughtering” an animal is still slaughter, and it still shortens the lifespan of an animal. Humans should be allowed to live to old
age, and so should animals.
Another card meat-eaters play is the “natural” card — the argument that because meat-eating is “natural”, it justifies their eating meat. While it is true that humans are naturally omnivores, humans (unlike other animals) have the capacity to choose their own destiny — and in this case, that “destiny” would be not eating meat. Although one can make the argument that literally everything in existence is “natural”, keep in mind that a subcategory of “natural” is “artificial” — i.e. anything that a human makes. So although massive slaughterhouses which kill billions of animals are “natural” in the sense that they are made by yet another evolutionary animal (humans), the facts is that because they were made by humans (i.e. artificial) it is a stretch to call such institutions “natural”. It is also a stretch to claim that 7 billion animals (humans) taking total control of the planet as “natural”. In any case, I believe that humans have lost their “right” to eat meat due to their selfishness and the suffering they have caused to the non-human animals of the Earth. A lion in Africa has not lost its “right” to kill and eat its prey because there aren’t 7 billion lions who are killing their prey (in the billions) in industrialized factories. Lions also rely on instinct, and not on arrogant philosophies like “human exceptionalism” — this is yet another reason why lions have a “right” to kill and eat their prey while humans have lost that “right”; humans are just too damn smart for their own good.
The best option would be to forbid killing and/or eating meat altogether; but if this cannot be done, the next best option would be to heavily regulate it and tax it (as is done with tobacco). The extra money would go towards animal welfare and programs which educate people about the cruelty that goes on behind closed doors.
In a previous post, I mentioned how the mechanized, industrialized assembly lines of death present in the WWII holocaust are similar to the industrialized assembly lines of death present in the current animal slaughtering institutions. Obviously the motivations behind both holocausts are different, but the outcome is similar — the mass slaughter of millions of beings. (Actually, in the case of the “animal holocaust”, you would have to change the word “millions” to “billions”.) This analogy is not meant to “offend” people, it is designed to show how the cruelty of humanity continues to live on, in the form of torturing non-human animals.
Just remember: no animal (human or non-human) should be considered “disposable”, and no animal should have to deal with pain and suffering. There are 7 billion people on Earth — this is yet another reason people should stop eating meat (there are too many of us). People “compensated” for the overpopulation by making their methods of killing “crueler”, “more efficient” and “mechanized” in order to satisfy the selfish needs of billions of arrogant, religiously-driven people.
And, as I have said before, people (especially those who eat meat) should feel a moral obligation to feed their remains to animals after they die. After all, if a person eats meat their entire lives (thus stealing nutrients from others), it is only fair to give those nutrients back to the animals.
I also wish more people would have bumper stickers that say “I hate people who hate PETA”. Why? Because I’m so tired of PETA bashers with their “People Eating Tasty animals” bullsh*t. To be clear, the majority of people on Beastforum (a zoosexual site) seem to be strongly anti-PETA and love to bash PETA. Yes, I am aware of their flaws — some PETA members are opposed to bestiality, and PETA does overreact from time to time. But the criticisms of the “PETA haters” are far harsher than they need to be. I feel sometimes that people love to bash PETA just for the sake of bashing PETA. They also bash PETA because of PETA “myths” (i.e. the myth that PETA wants all people to “free” their pets). This is not their opinion — they actually are OK with there being “animal guardians” — what they don’t like is when people put large animals into “prisons” (i.e. killer whales at SeaWorld).
PETA-haters are prejudicial people just like any kind of prejudicial group — in this case they are extremely intolerant of vegetarians and PETA supporters. I myself am not a full PETA supporter, but I do support some of their beliefs. Although I dislike some of PETA’s views, I really dislike the PETA-haters, who smugly eat their steak while screaming insults at vegetarians.
Here are two quotes I found:
“I used to be a huge meat lover. I grew up eating lots of meat everyday and never thought anything of it. I always loved animals growing up and loved to be in the company of cats/dogs. I have always felt I had a special connection with animals, but I didn’t realize I was actually a zoophile until recently, when I absolutely fell in love with a beautiful collie bitch. I love everything about her and I know she loves me back. I feel more attracted to her than any human girl I’ve known.
Being in love with an animal really made me question meat-eating. I’ve always justified meat-eating by putting humans on a higher plane than animals, but being in love with a dog completely changed that view. In some parts of the world, eating dog meat is considered acceptable. Although I would have never even considered eating dog (or cat) meat back when I was a meat-eater, I now had to question myself whether cows were sufficiently different from dogs to a degree such that I could justify eating a cow, but not a dog. The only answer I could come up with was “no” so I literally became a vegetarian overnight. Since that day I haven’t eaten any meat at all even though I’m a former steak-lover. Such is the power of my emotions towards animals.” — http://www.beastforum.com/showtopic-137453.html
“There might be something about loving animals, both as friend and erotically, and respecting ALL animals by not eating their meat. After all, zoophilia means the love for animals. How can we as Zoos say we love animals when we just pick and choose which animals we love? Something to think about.” — Dogssup, http://dogssup.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2008-03-08T14:17:00-05:00&max-results=7
In the meantime, I do not know what to do in terms of my zoosexual vegetarianism, since most people are either zoosexual or vegetarian (or neither), and pro-vegetarians are likely to reject my beliefs (because of their anti-zoosexual beliefs), and pro-zoosexuals are likely to reject my
beliefs (because of their anti-vegetarian beliefs). I can only hope that more people will come to understand the utilitarian ideas that both me and Peter Singer adhere to, and then become a vegetarian zoosexual.
Ultimately, I may never know the reason why there are so few vegetarian zoosexuals. I also may never fully understand why there are people out there who are both zoosexual and yet also eat meat. In my opinion: if an animal is capable of being a sexual partner, it should not be killed and used for meat. This includes dogs, cows, pigs, goats, and many other animals which are slaughtered for food.
I also want to add the following: for centuries, there were traditions (such as slavery and Chinese foot-binding) which originally were considered to be “moral”, but are now considered immoral. I find it frustrating and disturbing that the majority of people in our society think that killing and eating billions of animals is morally acceptable. Animal slaughtering should be in the same “immoral” category as slavery and foot-binding.
I also want to point out that both vegetarians and zoosexuals (represented in the ven diagram above) are minority groups; not only that, but they are both minority groups that have social stigma attached to them. For example, people erroneously believe that zoosexuals are “disgusting” and “perverted”, and people erroneously believe that vegetarians are “weak”. Because society has such prejudices against both vegetarians and zoosexuals, it makes things twice as difficult when a person (such as myself) is both vegetarian AND zoosexual. Why? Because you are constantly being criticized not only by the anti-vegetarians, but also the anti-zoosexuals. You have to deal with twice the hatred and ignorance.
It is sad that vegetarians and zoosexuals are looked down upon by society, and it is sad that they are outcasts. That is why I am so vociferous about this issue: I am tired of seeing aggressive anti-vegetarians make personal attacks against vegetarians (and the vegetarians don’t fight back); and I am tired of seeing aggressive anti-zoosexuals make personal attacks against zoosexuals. I want people’s perceptions to change: zoosexuals should no longer been seen as “weird” and “disgusting”, and vegetarians should no longer be seen as “weak”. Ultimately, I’m tired of vegetarians and zoosexuals being ridiculed for their beliefs.
Many people will say “I have a choice to eat meat”, and they are correct; in today’s screwed-up society, it is socially and legally acceptable to slaughter animals and eat meat, but consider this: imagine there is a strongly anti-slavery man in the U.S. South in the early 19th century. He goes up to a slave owner and says “you must stop owning slaves, what you are doing is morally wrong”. The slave owner then turns his head and says to the man, “Shut up, I have a choice to own slaves. Plus, the people in my community approve of my slave ownership and the law allows me to own slaves, so why should I have to listen to you?”
And that is what I’m talking about. I bring up the slavery analogy because it gets to the point of what I’m saying: when it comes to libertarianism, I fully agree that a person has a right to smoke marijuana or a right to be a prostitute or what ever else they want to do, so long as no harm is involved. Although I agree with the libertarian spirit, there are things I disapprove of due the harm they cause: killing a person, killing a non-human animal, slavery — these are all things I disapprove of because of the harm they cause. And certainly the current massive slaughter industry is causing cruelty, suffering and harm on a massive scale (yet being quietly hidden from the public). In the case of both slavery and animal slaughter, harm is involved and is thus morally unacceptable. Today, if a slave owner tried to own slaves, he wouldn’t get away with it. And in the future, I hope people who slaughter animals and eat their meat won’t get away with it either. Maybe then people will be intelligent enough to treat non-human animals with the same respect and consideration they give humans.
Although my views may seem extreme by the standards of today’s society, remember that the views of the early 19th century anti-slavery person were seen as extreme by the standards of the early 19th century society (in the U.S. South). Just as slavery ended up being viewed by society as barbaric, I hope that eventually society will come to view our current system of animal slaughtering as barbaric. Eventually, my views on vegetarianism and zoosexuality, which seem extreme by today’s standards, may be the “norm” in the future.
Above: “Speciesism, [a word which means] a failure, in attitude or practice, to accord any nonhuman being equal consideration and respect”
I highly recommend that people should read this New York times article:
It is a New York Times article all about how arrogant and human-centric (anthropocentric) people are when it comes to their view of humans and other animals. Here are some quotes from the article:
“Hunting has become a tool of sorts within the realm of political image making. With few exceptions, President Obama among them, most presidents and presidential hopefuls have been seen hunting. Meat eating, too, is an act used to portray strength. Obama is known to enjoy his burgers, a fact that has helped counter his image as a green-tea drinking elitist. Even Sarah Palin’s so-called new brand of feminism revolves around the image of a tough “mama grizzly,” as she calls herself, shooting and gutting moose to feed and protect her family. As she says in her memoir, “I always remind people from outside our state that there’s plenty of room for all Alaska’s animals — right next to the mashed potatoes.” But while politicians continue to channel “Joe Six-Pack” by hunting and killing animals to prove that they are tough providers, animal lovers are often infantilized, pathologized and derided. It is true that White House pets have often become celebrities, but they are usually there for the children, part of the pretty picture of the all-American family.
This is part of a complicated and often hypocritical view we hold toward animals.
In popular culture, celebrities who take on animal causes are seen as a bit crazy — rich versions of the “crazy cat lady,” or dog-crazy Leona Helmsley. Not coincidentally, they are usually women. And, our relationships to the animals with whom (or rather which,to be grammatically correct) we live is given very little status in our society. Despite the proliferation of “cute” pet pictures and anecdotes on the Web, actual displays of affection toward one’s pet or companion animal, or grief expressed over their illness or death, is looked upon with ridicule.
To love animals is to be soft, childlike, or pathological. To admit dependence on animals — particularly emotional and psychological dependence, as pet owners often do — is seen as a type of neurosis.
One telling aspect of this manifests itself in our legal landscape, in which we bestow approval of non-food animal dependence only in cases of illness, handicap or severe need.[...]
Within philosophy, as we know, animals and our own animality has been denigrated and disavowed. After all, philosophy is regarded as a flight from our animal natures and into the realm of intellectual activity, knowledge and enlightenment. Traditionally, man has been seen as having dominion over animals because of his superior capacity for reason, language, technology and other intellectual characteristics valued in philosophy. Some feminists, notably Genevieve Lloyd, Susan Bordo, and Alison Jaggar, among many others, have challenged philosophy’s privileging of mind over body and reason over emotion, issues that bear directly on the question of the status of animals. Philosophers have asked not whether animals think or speak but whether they suffer; but some within the animal rights movement have argued that animals are capable of many of the same intellectual feats as humans. The animal rights and animal welfare debates continue to be dominated by discussions of whether and how animals have minds or intentions like we do. This discourse continues to measure animals against human standards in order to judge whether or not they deserve legal rights. The animals closest too us, namely our so-called pets, are often dismissed from these discussions as yet another example of our exploitation of animals.” — Pet Lovers, Pathologized (Kelly Oliver)
I hope more people will read this article and other that make people aware of how arrogant humans are when it comes to animals. Humans are way to speciesist and anthropocentric, and they need to start seeing non-human animals as being on the same level as humans. Yes, humans can come up with complex physics problems, but that is only “icing on the cake” when it comes to making a biological organism. People should be focusing on the similarities between humans and other animals, not the differences.
It is suggested that you also see this website — the moment the reader visits it, it starts automatically counted the number of animals killed for food
People often talk about the atrocities of the holocaust during World War II, in which millions of people (mostly Jewish) were murdered by the Nazis. But what people don’t realize is that there is a similar event occurring right now all over the world — I and others refer to it as the animal holocaust.
As I’ve said before, humans are animals, and humans are phenomenologically equal to other animals. But the majority of society doesn’t think this way — they think that non-human animals are property and that their purposes is to be exploited for human financial gain. Each year, billions and billions of animals are ruthlessly slaughtered to become the meat on your table — hamburgers, hot dogs, you name it. Chances are that that meat came from animals which were slaughtered in poor health conditions and were treated like objects. What the people in the meat industry fail to realize is that animals are sentient, conscious beings who have an intrinsic right to live out their lives to the fullest possible extent.
People often say that when the Nazis killed Jewish people, they were “slaughtering” them, and I agree with this point. In World War II, millions of Jewish people (and other people) were systemically killed behind closed doors in mechanized, industrialized assembly lines of death. But today there are billions of animals who are currently being systematically killed behind closed doors in mechanized, assembly lines of death, just as the Jews were 70 years ago. Of course, most people are not likely to think like this because of their speciesism and anthropocentrism; unfortunately, most people think that non-human animals are “below” humans, even though many animals (i.e. dogs, pigs, etc.) have the ability to feel emotions just like humans do and the ability to suffer just like humans. And perhaps most importantly, they have consciousness just like humans. The only reason people think of non-human animals as being “below” humans is because our society has brainwashed people by using delusional religious teachings and a constant bombardment of pro-meat advertising.
It has now come to the point where when a person sees a commercial for a steak on TV, they say “mmmm… I want to eat a steak”. However, they should be saying to themselves “this is highly unethical and unjust”. People should see a beef steak as equivalent to a piece of human flesh — because, as many people have said, humans are made of meat just like other animals. That’s why people sometimes get eaten by animals like sharks and bears.
It is also worth noting that when a person goes into a restaurant to eat meat, the truth behind what they are eating is deliberately hidden from them. They no longer think of the meat as having come from an animal, they think of the meat as having “magically” been created out of thin air. This illusion is created by a complex series of smoke and mirrors that the meat industry creates to increase their profit. Not only does the meat industry hide how they treat animals, but they also hide their unsanitary conditions. Few people realize how unsanitary the meal processing plants are.
The point I’m trying to make is that there is an animal holocaust going on right now, and it needs to stop. Most animals that are killed for human consumption are not “humanely” slaughtered and are actually slaughtered while they are still alive. Non-human animals are being killed on industrialized assembly lines of death simply because they aren’t human. These atrocities need to end, and people’s speciesism and pro-human arrogance need to end.
For reference, here are some statistics:
Global Slaughter Statistics for 2003:
45,895,000,000 (45.9 billion) chickens killed
2,262,000,000 (2.3 billion) ducks killed
1,244,000,000 (1.2 billion) pigs killed
857,000,000 (857 million) rabbits killed
691,000,000 (691 million) turkeys killed
533,000,000 (533 million) geese killed
515,000,000 (515 million) sheep killed
345,000,000 (345 million) goats killed
292,000,000 (292 million) cows and calves killed
65,000,000 (65 million) other rodents killed
63,000,000 (63 million) pigeons and other birds killed
23,000,000 (23 million) buffaloes killed
4,000,000 (4 million) horses killed
3,000,000 (3 million) donkeys and mules killed
2,000,000 (2 million) camels and other camelids killed
In addition, 100 million sharks are killed every year by humans. And keep in mind that the total number of animals killed per year is 150 billion. That means that in one decade, more than one trillion animals are killed to satisfy the needs of selfish humans.
Here is a quote by Victor Hugo:
“First it was necessary to civilize man in relation to man. Now it is necessary to civilize man in relation to nature and the animals.”
The next time you eat meat, think about these statistics and the animal holocaust you are contributing to.
(See also: http://www.animalsuffering.com/animal-cruelty.php, Google search “animal kill counter”)