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People Are More Important than Animals

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Let’s say your next door neighbor becomes angry at his dog. To punish the animal, he puts him in an oven and cooks him for five minutes at 200 degrees. The dog lives but will bear physical scars of the incident for the rest of his life. The next day this same neighbor is arrested for sexually abusing a minor. For what crime should your neighbor receive the severest punishment: torturing a dog or sexually abusing a minor?

According to Utah animal rights activists, torturing a dog should receive a harsher sentence. Thankfully, for the time being, the Utah state legislature disagrees.

Yesterday, the Utah state legislature balked on voting for a measure that would make acts of animal torture, now a Class A misdemeanor, a third degree felony and punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

This all sounds good until you learn, thanks to Republican Sen. Jon Greiner, that under Utah law such crimes as child abuse, sexual abuse of a minor, assault of a police officer and assault of a school employee are still Class A misdemeanors. “How do we get to a third-degree felony [for animal torture] when we don’t have enough respect for human life, sexually abused children, that we don’t have a higher standard of care for them?” he told the Salt Lake Tribune.

How, indeed.

The fact that the legislature is seriously considering this bill shouldn’t come as a surprise. For years, militant animal rights activists have told us that animals have at least the same rights as people: we shouldn’t eat them, perform scientific experiments on them or even consider building homes, roads or bridges where it might disturb them. Their goal has been to get us to treat animals as equals. Now it seems they want us to treat them as our superiors.

Think about the message the proposed Utah law would send state residents about the value of humans when stacked up against man’s best friend. Stick a dog in the oven and get five years behind bars. Assault a teacher or abuse a child and, at least in the eyes of the law, a lesser sentence is required.

Those who torture animals are cruel, sadistic and should be punished; however, the punishment should not be greater than for harming a person. If Utah state legislators want to make it a third-degree felony to torture animals, they need to increase the punishments for abusing and assaulting people as well.

People are more important than animals. This is something our laws should reflect and something the Utah legislators should keep in mind when they reconsider this bill next January.

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About Abel Keogh

  • Clavos

    As you say, cruelty and sadism perpetrated on animals is reprehensible and should be punished, but animal rights activists are way beyond the pale when they advocate that animals have rights.

    Valuing animal lives above those of humans is inhuman and asinine.

  • Che

    I think you’re forgetting that a crime against an animal is often also a crime against another human. The human that owns, loves and is deeply emotionally attached to that animal. I got no kids, I want no kids, but my cats – at least in my life -ARE my children. What does it say that I was unwilling to leave them during Katrina?

    I’m by no means some crazed animal rights activists. I eat meat and I like to hunt. But people can and do form relationships – close ones – with animals, and to harm said animals is to harm the people that love them. And in cases of animal cruelty I think the relationship should be taken into consideration when meting out punishment.

    But what do I know? I’m just a crazy cat lady. My feelings – and the feelings of those like me – don’t count for shit. There’s still no legislation in place to care for pets in the case of disaster. No care for pets means more humans suffer and die.

    I think it is stupid to assume that the torture of an animal harms no one but the animal. If you care about people as you claim, then you’ll realize that some people can be deeply harmed by animal cruelty and perpetrators should be punished accordingly.

  • http://planetjapan.org Doug DeLong

    Well said, Che!

  • http://howard53545.wordpress.com Howard Ross

    Good logic, but one way to end animal abuse is the jack up the punishment. I am not so sure if higher level mammals should not be given human being level status in the courts, some are more intelligent that the lowest level of the human family.

  • Franco

    Nice work and kudos to ya for bringing it up.

    Hear are some bits from the Salt Lake Tribune August 6, 2007

    Alex Pacheco, cofounder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has stated, “Arson, property destruction, burglary and theft are ‘acceptable crimes’ when used for the animal cause.”

    Tom Daley, a member of the British Animal Liberation Front, goes further: “In a war you have to take up arms and people will get killed, and I can support that kind of action … and probably at a later stage, the shooting of vivisectors on their doorsteps.”

    The Foundation for Biomedical Research in Washington tracks the activities of animal rights activists nationally. The group documented a dramatic increase in vandalism and threats across the country during the past five years.

    Congress has recognized the increasing level of terrorism by animal rights activists by passing the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act in November 2006. The FBI is investigating animal rights terrorism around the country.

    Given this larger picture, the University of Utah is pursuing a range of measures to better protect our faculty and staff from these serious threats.

    Interesting article

  • Dr Dreadful

    It’s natural that humans should assign greater importance to their own species than to others. However, we should consider this:

    1. Other animals don’t know we think we’re more important than them.

    2. They think they’re more important than anything.

    Respect that.

  • Clavos

    Doc,

    “1. Other animals don’t know we think we’re more important than them.

    2. They think they’re more important than anything.”

    With rare exceptions, other animals don’t think.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “Let’s say your next door neighbor becomes angry at his dog. To punish the animal, he puts him in an oven and cooks him for five minutes at 200 degrees. The dog lives but will bear physical scars of the incident for the rest of his life. The next day this same neighbor is arrested for sexually abusing a minor. For what crime should your neighbor receive the severest punishment: torturing a dog or sexually abusing a minor?”

    Define “sexual abuse” and define “minor.”

    If “sexual abuse” means consensual sex that violates statutory rape laws because it was with a minor, and “minor” means a 17-year old who turns 18 next month, I would have to say cooking a dog alive is worse.

    Wouldn’t you?

  • alessandro nicolo

    C’man Doc, only Tarzan knows what animals think just like Aquaman is the only one who understands fish. Everyone knows this. Duh.

    “No care for pets means more humans suffer and die.”

    Che? As in what?

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “I think it is stupid to assume that the torture of an animal harms no one but the animal. If you care about people as you claim, then you’ll realize that some people can be deeply harmed by animal cruelty and perpetrators should be punished accordingly.”

    That’s actually a great point.

    Which is worse:

    A) Sicko child predator lures 9-year old into his home and fondles his genitals for a few seconds

    or

    B) Sicko animal hater lures 9-year old child and the child’s pet dog into his home, and then cooks the dog alive in front of the child

    ???

    I believe both would be permanently damaging to the child, and should be punished severely. But the latter is arguably worse than the former, because there is the aggravating circumstance of an innocent animal being tortured in the process.

  • Zedd

    You know Brits and their dogs.

    Although as a major dog lover myself……..

    Clav:

    How do you define thinking?

    Doc:”2. They think they’re more important than anything.

    Respect that.”

    Actually with the pets that I have had, namely dogs, they don’t care about the species, it is the status of the pack member that is paramount. If I have the alpha position in the household, what I say is gold.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Clavos: OK… for think, read assume.

    Zedd: Not a cat person, then?

  • bliffle

    Sounds like Utah is soft on child molesters.

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    This isn’t an either/or issue. People who abuse animals are of the same mindset as people who abuse children, or people who rape or murder. Those people have power issues. Obviously, the punishment for abusing an animal shouldn’t be greater than that for abusing a child. But when you dismiss it as people are more important than animals, you’re not recognizing that people of that abusive bent don’t often make such distinctions.

  • Clavos

    The important distinction here should be a definition of what constitutes animal abuse. I think we can all agree that the really egregious practices such as those outlined above (e.g. “cooking” a dog), or, from current headlines, dogfighting, beating an animal, etc., are indisputably animal abuse.

    The real debate lies in what is appropriate use of animals for the benefit of humans; food, clothing, medical, etc., particularly as to the use of animals in laboratory experiments for the advancement of science.

    Another issue is in the preservation of endangered species; to what lengths should humanity go to preserve species, particularly when the benefit of humanity is at stake? What constitutes an appropriate balance between the two goals?

    Have at it, folks!

  • Che

    Obviously alessandro, you didn’t read the context of my statement or you would know that particular paragraph was in reference to disaster situations. Duh.

    And thanks RJ, thats just the point I was trying to make. I read some months ago (can’t find the article now) about a man who kicked his children’s pet puppy to death in front of them. Heinous despicable animal abuse to be sure. But it was ALSO child abuse. Someone tell me that man should not be charged with both.

  • Zedd

    Good questions Clav,

    I grapple with most of them as I do eat meat.

    I am also not certain about using animals for laboratory testing.

    My question is, what benefit is it to be at the top of the food chain if we don’t behave like the top “dogs” that we are. However since we have the ability to reason and are far more adaptable than most other species, we could survive without killing other animals. However, why shouldn’t we not kill other animals, if we are part of nature?

    While I couldn’t watch a cow being slaughtered, I certainly eat beef and enjoy it. I just made roast for the fam and it was delish… oh goodness now I feel bad.

    Anyway, since I cant contribute in a meaningful way to this discussion, I will wait until I am struck by something that someone else posts before I reach any conclusions. But great questions!

    The question is probably, “what is gratuitous?” then stop just short of that.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Let’s say that child abuse was made a more serious felony than animal torture and that animal torture was a felony requiring prison.

    Let’s say that both laws were actually enforced in America. My only question is: how would the eighty percent of the population that was NOT in jail be able to feed and support the twenty percent that would be in jail?

  • Nancy

    As far as I’m concerned, penalties for both should be about the same: you kill/torture a person or an animal, you die the same way. If the other entity lives, you are sold into slavery/hard labor for life in prison, and the proceeds support that other entity for the rest of ITS life. For abuse, persons should be barred from ever having pets again, for any reason, with violation bringing automatic stiff prison sentences – again, let the punishment fit the crime: perhaps the criminal serving time cleaning stables or cages in shelters, always wearing a monitor & under scrutiny. With, I think an electric prod applied liberally to the genitalia for any infractions. Sounds like justice to me.

    However, I think Bliffle has it right: sounds like Utah (& everywhere else) is soft on crimes like child abuse & molestation. Most of the worst criminals start off with animal abuse & torture/killing & progress from there to humans. That they might have been abused themselves as kids is no excuse for them perpetuating the behavior. Invariably they know it’s wrong, otherwise they wouldn’t bother to hide it or do it furtively.

    Personally, I object to supporting large numbers of human vermin in prisons. The crimes they have committed should bring them swift & automatic death, for most of them. The only reason it’s so costly to apply the death sentence is because of all the BS unlimited appeals these assholes get at public expense. Cut out the unlimited appeals, & the cost drops radically.

    So – give ‘em one appeal, then fry ‘em. As to how they die, I don’t care if it hurts or they die slowly. In most cases, their victims didn’t get the same consideration. If there were true justice, they’d die in just the same way, for the same length of time, experiencing the same horror, fear, & pain – which is as it should be.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Nancy:

    I’m pretty conservative, and I support the death penalty, but your comment is simply frightening. Hitler would have shuddered reading that.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Try this one, RJ: I support the death penalty, but only for people I don’t like.

    Pol Pot just flinched.

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    Zedd, I think you live in the Dallas area, so I’m sure you heard about the punk-ass who thought it would be fun to set fire to his pit bull puppy. That should be enough to tell you where abuse begins.
    Nancy– I’m right there with you– we “liberals” are a dangerous sort, aren’t we?

  • dogbegone

    Pit bull puppies cook up great in my microwave. Dont like the smell of burning hair but thats the price one pays for Friday night fun.

  • Dr Dreadful

    #23: Trust sr to inject his own particular brand of sophistication into the debate.

  • alessandro Nicolo

    che, you’re right. mea culpa.

    but it’s still an awkward sentence. to me anyway.

    duh.

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    The effects of a child witnessing animal abuse scar a person for life. I know.

    When I was very young, 8 or so, I had a couple of rabbits who mated. They had four babies. One morning, I went outside to find the grown rabbits, along with the four bunnies, dead.

    They were neatly laid out, ears and tails separated from their bodies, all in a row.

    do I need to go on?

  • Clavos

    I think that depends on the child (and the nature of the exposure; what you describe is pretty horrible), Ray.

    As a child (beginning at about age 7), I was taken most Sundays to the bullfights in Mexico City.

    I was also taken duck and dove hunting from age eight on.

    I like animals, I’m not cruel to them, nor do I condone it. I have pets (two cats) and throughout my life have had a variety of pets, from a white rat to a deer, as well as numerous dogs and cats; I can’t imagine not having pets.

    But, I have no qualms about hunting (as long as you eat what you hunt), or eating meat or any other animal product, nor about wearing leather shoes, etc.

    I also see no wrong in using animals as human surrogates in labs for testing medical (but not cosmetic) products.

    I agree with the premise of the article; people ARE more important than animals.

  • Egbert Sousé

    Actually the title should read “People Think People Are More Important Than Animals.” We are just another species and when we go extinct, like the many creatures before us, the Earth will just keep on going as it always has.

  • Dr Dreadful

    I agree with the premise of the article; people ARE more important than animals.

    …Which just leaves me to wonder, Clavos, how come the little potted bio underneath your DNC article says that you and your wife are owned by your two cats…

  • Clavos

    Doc,

    Whaddya mean, “potted bio?” I was stone cold sober when I wrote that!

    Good point, Doc. Cats are the ONE exception (which proves the rule) to the question of who’s more important….(4!)

  • Nancy

    Glad Doc corrected you & you recanted, Clavos; as the well-trained servant of multiple cats myself, I would have had to do it if he hadn’t.

    My twin bed wasn’t big enough for me & the cats. So I got a queen size bed. It’s still not big enough for me & the cats. I occupy a little strip just along the middle or the edge, my choice, OR I can fit between them by gerrymandering myself into positions nature never intended. How can is it animals weighing 12 lbs or less can take up at least a square yard of space apiece?

  • Nancy

    Here’s something for you, RJ; if my prior statement made you shudder, try this one of for size: IMO violent criminals should be used for lab experimentation instead of animals. Having committed a violent crime, they’ve forfeited their rights & claims to humanity. At the least, using them as lab test subjects in a sense allows them to “repay” a modicum of the debt they owe society, while at the same time it affords scientists the opportunity of seeing how drugs work on humans instead of subs that don’t react the same way to various substances. And frankly, after using them as such & their usefulness being over, they could then be euthanized & made into dog food – altho it might poison perfectly innocent dogs, so perhaps making them into fertilizer would be better. When it comes to scumbags such as violent criminals, I have no pity & no mercy – nor should anybody else. If God wants to forgive them, that’s HIS business, not mine or society’s.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Nancy – you need a cali king! Our cali king is big enough for my wife and I and a shephard/lab mix and a britney spaniel/beagle mix. Although, the britney/beagle is just a bit psychotic at times…I still love her!

    I was discussing the Vick thing the other day and I think it comes down to what kind of animal we’re talking about. I love dogs, always have…and I’m really against dog fighting. I’ve never been to any kind of animal fights, but something tells me that I wouldn’t mind seeing a couple of roosters beating the shit out of each other…as long as I knew there was gonna be a barbeque afterwards. And then there’s bullfighting…more dinner there…and why is it okay to tie a rope around a bulls balls and try to hang on? That sure sounds cruel and extremely unusual when you think about it…I’ve always wondered about that…hey Tex..I’m gonna tie a rope around that big ole’ Brahmas balls…I want you to get on top of him and tie your hand to his body…then I want you to hang on for…I don’t know…let’s say…8 seconds…Sound like fun???

  • Nancy

    What’s a cali king? I suspect it wouldn’t be small enough to fit thru my doors….

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    California King. A little shorter than a regular king, but also a little wider. Typically a waterbed size, but they make regular mattresses that size too.

  • Nancy

    LOL – I’d need something collapsible to fit thru my doors! I further suspect, knowing my cats, that an Emperor-sized bed wouldn’t be big enough. It’s just amazing how a relatively small animal like a cat can manage to arrange itself so that it takes up SO much room. And they space themselves just so far apart that they maximize the space utilized: too far to leave me much room, not far enough to allow me to squeeze between them. And if it’s at all chill in the room, they all want to sleep on top of me, anyway, so why bother with a bigger bed.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Oy, Nancy, Nancy, Nancy…

    Never let a cat sleep on your bed. They are pandimensional beings who in our universe appear to be tiny but who, upon contact with springed mattresses (which are hyperdimensional gateways), expand to fill all available space.

    For some reason, they also regard refrigerator doors as portals to their own dimension – hence their excitement whenever one is opened – but in this they are mistaken.

  • Clavos

    Whoa, Doc!

    Cats are never mistaken. About anything.

    Ask either of mine.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Does that mean Dave Nalle is a cat?

  • Clavos

    Uhuh, Chris.

    I know a loaded question when I see one.

    When did you stop beating your wife?

  • Dr Dreadful

    Cats are never mistaken. About anything.

    So if that’s true, in theory if I hold my fridge door open long enough, a cosmic doorway will open to an alternate universe filled to the brim with cheese, ice cream and bologna*.

    * My male cat’s** favorite foods.
    ** My female cat won’t tell me what her favorite foods are. She’s mentally retarded***.
    *** Seriously.

  • Clavos

    “** My female cat won’t tell me what her favorite foods are. She’s mentally retarded***.
    *** Seriously.”

    Too many years ago, in college, my wife and I (she was my girlfriend then, but we were shacked up) were adopted by a six-toed cat who had fled the chaotic house of the dope dealer around the corner in which she had been living for several months, after being fed acid one too may times.

    That poor cat, (whom we dubbed “Superfoot”), was definitely fried in the brain.

    Often, she would leap up from from a deep sleep and begin to run around at top speed inside the rather small travel trailer (19 X 8 ft.) we lived in, crashing into walls, tables, chairs etc. this would go on for ten minutes at a time, and no amount of coaxing or tempting with treats would dissuade her. Once finished, she would lie back down in the same spot from which she had arisen, and go peacefully back to sleep. Until the next time.

  • moonraven

    I will defend an animal’s rights above those of clavos and his ilk any day.

  • Clavos

    Nobody asked.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Often, she would leap up from from a deep sleep and begin to run around at top speed inside the rather small travel trailer (19 X 8 ft.) we lived in, crashing into walls, tables, chairs etc. this would go on for ten minutes at a time, and no amount of coaxing or tempting with treats would dissuade her.

    A classic case of what cat owners call “the rips”. It’s a stress outlet, seen mainly with cats who spend all or most of their time indoors.

    Our boy does it quite a bit, especially after a few whiffs of catnip.

    A stoned cat is a happy cat, I say.

  • SonnyD

    Dr. D. Bologna? My cats won’t settle for anything less than Black Forest ham or oven roasted turkey breast. By the way, bologna usually contains some garlic. Garlic and onion is not good for cats.

    We are only owned by two at the moment, but at one time I had eight. A house is not a home without a cat in it.

  • Zedd

    If you live in a particular part of Asia, is it cruel to microwave a dog or a cat? Off course not alive.

    If you lived in New Guinea or in parts of South America at the turn of the last century, would it have been evil to eat the body parts of a human opponent in battle?

  • Zedd

    I don’t think that anyone has ever dealt with Clav’s questions. Not even Clav.

    Perhaps the sexy hot topic about dots at the end of a sentence distracted him. Have you recovered Clav?

  • Clavos

    Yes, I have, Zedd. Thanks for your concern.

    I think I HAVE partially answered my own questions (#27).

    My purpose in asking them, however, was to see what everyone else’s ideas on the topic were.

    So far, you’re the only person who’s addressed them.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    When I was very young, 8 or so, I had a couple of rabbits who mated. They had four babies. One morning, I went outside to find the grown rabbits, along with the four bunnies, dead.

    They were neatly laid out, ears and tails separated from their bodies, all in a row.

    My Gawd! What sort of sick monster would do such a thing!

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    The same group of punks poisoned my German Shepherd. I learnde at a very young age there are a lot of sick fucks out there, RJ. And people wonder why I’m cynical at times.

  • Zedd

    Ray,

    I cant imagine how you recovered from such shocks. I am tearing up just from reading your posts.

    That is beyond sick.

    I had a German Shepard when I was a small kid. I still mourn its death today. He was a family member. We had to put him to sleep because he was attacked by someone so badly that he couldn’t ever live a life worth living even with the best medical intervention. I was six.

  • Bill B

    Seems to me that Utah needs to beef up it’s penalties for sexual abuse, assault of a P. O. etc.

    RJ posits some great hyotheticals that haven’t really been addressed. As usual the devil’s in the details.

    To say we humans are more important than any species is at best presumptuous and at worst egocentric. How could we possibly know for sure what the pecking order of living organisms is, or more over whether or not there even is a pecking order.

    It’s convenient to assume intelligence/abstract thought crowns us king when those same traits could be cited within an argument making the case that we should know better.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating any revolution here; But honest discourse would be better served w/o the rationalizations/proclamations.

    Something like “I don’t know if any one species is more important than another but as far as I’m concerned what benefits us humans is most important to me” would be refreshing.

  • Clavos

    “How could we possibly know for sure what the pecking order of living organisms is, or more over whether or not there even is a pecking order.”

    Hmm.

    I think science has pretty much solved that riddle (at least as far as earthly organisms are concerned) for us.

  • Bill B

    “Hmm.

    I think science has pretty much solved that riddle (at least as far as earthly organisms are concerned) for us.”

    By what measure? Who decides what measure is appropriate? Science says we use what, about 10% of our brains? Is it at least possible some portion of that other 90% may have a different take on the issue in the future?

    btw I doubt science, as it deals with measureable facts and proveable theses can even take a stance on which species is more important than another.

    Most developed by an objective set of measures set by science, yes; Most important, not in the realm of scientific study.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Science says we use what, about 10% of our brains?

    You may use only 10% of yours, Bill, but the rest of us utilize the full 100%, thanks very much. This is one of the tiredest and sillest urban legends out there.

  • REMF

    “My Gawd! What sort of sick monster would do such a thing!”

    Um, Eric Olsen? Didn’t he once kick a dog to death?
    (MCH)

  • Bill B

    “You may use only 10% of yours, Bill”

    You got jokes.

    Wasn’t aware it was one of them urban legend thingies.

    Any reason you ignored the rest of my point? Maybe because yours is an opinion and not a provable fact backed by science?

  • Clavos

    You don’t have a point, Bill; all you have is an opinion.

    So far, you’ve presented zero evidence to back it up.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Still, nobody had deigned to take my question from comment #18:

    Let’s say that child abuse was made a more serious felony than animal torture and that animal torture was a felony requiring prison.

    Let’s say that both laws were actually enforced in America. My only question is: how would the eighty percent of the population that was NOT in jail be able to feed and support the twenty percent that would be in jail?

    What’s the matter folks?

    Truth hurts?

  • Clavos

    Ruvy,

    You’re beginning to sound as whacky and incoherent as Moonraven.

    Why should anyone attempt to answer a hypothetical?

    It’s your postulate; you answer it.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Clavox,

    To hit the nail on the head, I’m not positing a hypothetical, per se. The kind of child abuse I’m talking about is very real – read this Desicritics article to see what I mean. And if you follow the comments there, you’ll find Indians very reluctant to talk about the core issue that Kavita Chhibber raises in her article, female infanticide in South Asia.

    Both animal abuse and child abuse are widespread in America – far more so than Americans feel comfortable admitting, much less talking about.

    Hypotheticals – thought experiments, to use a scientific term – are a way to consider uncomfortable topics. In this instance, the thought experiment is a way to get Americans to admit to the fact that animal and child abuse is far more widespread than they are willing to admit.

    As to whether we should discuss hypotheticals on this thread, read the following from comment #51.

    Seems to me that Utah needs to beef up it’s penalties for sexual abuse, assault of a P. O. etc.

    “RJ posits some great hyotheticals that haven’t really been addressed. As usual the devil’s in the details.”

    I rest my case…

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Man, did I mess up that last comment!! Didn’t close the underline tag properly, didn’t use the html link tag properly. Didn’t go to “preview”, which I normally do.

    Sorry about that, All!!

  • Clavos

    OK, Ruvy,

    You allege that both child and animal abuse are much more widespread in the USA than any of us care to admit.

    Now, show us.

    Define child, and especially animal, abuse.

    Show us numbers from credible, and especially, objective sources, supporting your allegations.

    Then, we can talk.

    But not until tomorrow, because it’s 0300 here, and I’m going to bed.

  • Bill B

    Um, I believe you have that backwords Clavos. I’ll do a little backtracking if you’re having trouble keeping up.

    You said in comment 55

    “How could we possibly know for sure what the pecking order of living organisms is, or more over whether or not there even is a pecking order.”

    Hmm.

    I think science has pretty much solved that riddle (at least as far as earthly organisms are concerned) for us.

    Note: You left out the preceding sentence of the quoted paragraph which was;

    “To say we humans are more important than any species is at best presumptuous and at worst egocentric.”

    Then I said in comment 56

    “Hmm.

    I think science has pretty much solved that riddle (at least as far as earthly organisms are concerned) for us.”

    By what measure? Who decides what measure is appropriate? Science says we use what, about 10% of our brains? Is it at least possible some portion of that other 90% may have a different take on the issue in the future?

    btw I doubt science, as it deals with measureable facts and proveable theses can even take a stance on which species is more important than another.

    Most developed by an objective set of measures set by science, yes; Most important, not in the realm of scientific study.

    And then you said in comment 57

    “Science says we use what, about 10% of our brains?”

    You may use only 10% of yours, Bill, but the rest of us utilize the full 100%, thanks very much. This is one of the tiredest and sillest urban legends out there.

    Then I said in 59 (I see a pattern forming here)

    “You may use only 10% of yours, Bill”

    You got jokes.

    Wasn’t aware it was one of them urban legend thingies.

    Any reason you ignored the rest of my point? Maybe because yours is an opinion and not a provable fact backed by science?

    Then you in 60 said

    You don’t have a point, Bill; all you have is an opinion.

    So far, you’ve presented zero evidence to back it up.

    So in summary it was you who responded to my statement of, yes indeed opinion, purporting to have science on your side. And it is indeed you who have yet to produce any facts supporting that position.

    Understandably so, as science can not prove humanity is more important than any other species.

    Now to the central point. Your agreement with the author that “people are more important than animals” is also an opinion but an unknowable as far as facts go. My simple point was folks of that opinion should skip the bs concrete declaritive statement and just admit what I alluded to in comment 54.

    Here say it with me. You’ll feel better. Promise.


    “I don’t know if any one species is more important than another but as far as I’m concerned what benefits us humans is most important to me”

    There. Thats better isn’t it. Maybe you should try using all of your brain ;)

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    I can’t give you hard stats on sexual abuse of humans. People generally do not like to talk about this kind of thing. The reality and what gets reported to authorities are two very different things.

    As for animals, please consider the cows, turkeys and chickens raised for slaughter in America. The vast majority are raised in circumstances that would make a person sick. The cow (I should say steer), or chicken, lives its entire life bound in a situation where it can barely move two inches all of its life. The reason is simple. It has to be grown to be fat and delicious – quickly. So, it is injected with hormones drugs, and grows quickly to its slaughter weight, at which point it is shipped for slaughter and “processing.” The same is true for chickens that are “layers” and for cows that give milk. Their lives are miserable and kept that way for the sake of the almighty dollar.

    Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not arguing for vegetarianism or for animal rights per se. Cattle and poultry have been raised for slaughter for millennia. But to deny an animal at least one day a week to enjoy what little boring life it has is, in my eyes, abuse.

    An abused animal may not be considered as kosher. It is analogous to an animal that has been wounded with an arrow.

    So I’m saying two big things here, the first of which is particularly germane to the thread.

    The first is that all the animals raised for consumption have be abused in a most cruel way in their short pathetic and boring lives. You can look up those stats by checking how many animals are raised for slaughter at “factories” called fancifully “farms.”

    The second, which is not particularly relevant here, is that all of these animals, no matter how correct the ritual slaughter of them might have been, are not kosher, for they are analogous to animals who have been wounded by arrows.

  • Bill B

    According to bugwise.net fully “one third of the human food supply is crops that are dependent on pollination by bees.”

    I think we have a winner. Bee’s are the most important species on earth. If bees were extinct I doubt another insect would fill that gap or that our artificial pollination technology could make up the vacuum. And they’re not even addressing the percentage of food supply to other species we eat.

  • Clavos

    Bill,

    Your long, boring rtepeat of all our messages hasn’t even got the numbers correct, so I’m not going to even try to sort tyhe mess out.

    If you want to think “bees (not bee’s) are the most important species on earth,” that’s fine with me.

    Bees it is, Bill.

  • Clavos

    Ruvy,

    “The cow (I should say steer), … lives its entire life bound in a situation where it can barely move two inches all of its life.”

    You’re referring to cattle raised in feed lots, which ARE smaller than open ranges, but are NOT so restrictve the cattle can only “move two inches.” That’s simply not true.

    Calves raised for slaughter as veal ARE raised in a box too small for them to lie down so that they can’t bruise themselves, which would devalue the meat. For that reason, I will NOT eat veal, and I think that practice should be outlawed.

    Chickens and turkeys raised for their meat are also raised in small cages, but not so small that they can’t move at all; they simply don’t have freedom to roam around at will. Ditto egg layers. This is done for efficiency (and as you pointed out, to keep the meat high in fat and not tough), and in no way causes either injury or pain to the birds; to do so would again devalue the meat. To say that the birds are leading boring lives is anthropomorphism way beyond their intellectual level, Ruvy.

    I owned chickens as a kid; they’re not real smart (actually, they’re downright dumb) , they live to eat, shit and reproduce, and the food “factories” allow them to eat and shit in abundance. I see no harm or cruelty there.

    Dairy cows ARE allowed out to roam during the day, and are kept confined in the barn only while being milked. Drive through Wisconsin one day, and you’ll see cows roaming everywhere in pastures. Again, not a real smart animal; and one that has few, if any, “wants,” Ruvy.

    Thou hast been listening too much to the extremists at PETA, methinks, Ruvy.

    I don’t know anything about Kosher Law, so won’t address that issue.

  • wdufkin

    Lots of facts but not many solutions. God created man to take dominion over the earth and over everything in it. With that comes enormous responsibility, for which we will give and account, to administer wisely and not destroy what we’ve been given. One person can not take dominion over the entire earth, but each can choose to take authority and responsibility for that which God has given him. This includes your own family, children, animals etc. We are here to bless the earth. The chicken keeper to care wisely for the chickens, the beekeeper the bees etc. We err in at least two ways, one way is when we, like Romans 1:25 states, worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator. Or antithetically we can fail to be the good “steward” we were intended to be, ie the guy who microwaves his puppies.

  • Bill B

    Your long, boring rtepeat of all our messages hasn’t even got the numbers correct, so I’m not going to even try to sort tyhe mess out.

    Clavos

    Regardless of the numbers your inability or unwillingness to follow your own logic speaks volumes.

    My citing of Bees was a simple attempt to show how one could make a case for the importance of who knows how many species. The closer one looks, I suspect it’ll be more evident that in many ways all life is tied together (I know-Duh!) – and quite possibly, in the grand scheme of things, none is more important than any other. Now there’s a novel thought.

    RE #70 –

    While I believe in God and consider myself a spiritual person, I try to steer away Bible references as the interpretations put forth often tell more about the interpreter than anything else.

    The ‘Dominion’ lines is in Genesis is it not? You do seem to have a good compassionate take on this though others can and have used the same line to justify all sorts of abuse. The key phrase is ‘good steward’.

  • Troy

    Parents protect children because they are defenseless; people protect animals because they too are defenseless, even more so than a child who will eventually be able to communicate. Animals feel pain just as you and I do, should their pain be ignored just because they are of a different species? Of course not, and any human being that things so is not much of a humane being. Animals should fall under the same umbrella of protection as children where the law is concerned. Thats my professional stand. My personal stand says animal abusers should be pissed on and shot in the head.

  • Troy

    As I stated above, animal abusers should be shot in the head, and I stand firm on that. One needs only to read a story like this, a couple accused of hoarding, abusing and neglecting over 300 dogs. This is just one of thousands of examples of animal abuse that occurs every year, yet these people get away with a slap on the wrist. Its sickening.

  • Ryan

    I find it funny how so many people try to respect animals and give them rights. But in a survival situation, an animal would eat you in a heartbeat with no remorse. For further illustration of this, watch the p.e.t.a. Freaks in the “Vote or Die” episode of Southpark. And to the woman who said “cats are my children”, you’re a huge antisocial loser and no one cares what you have to say about animals, because most of us are realists.

  • cant tell u my name

    i am 10years old. ad i dont agree in this argument at all! There is mrore humans than animals so if we are always trying to protect the humans, and harmings the animals, they will soon die out. so i think that animals should go one level higher!

  • McKenzie

    I’m sorry, but I have to say animals are just as important as humans. They have feelings, they feel pain… But also the fine for sexually abusing someone should be higher but not by much.
    And what you said about people being more important then animals is a opinion.

  • Neilandio

    Humans and animals have the same rights, they are both living beings. So think it this way what should be more punished if I cooked a little girl or if I sexually abused her? The damage in the first case is both physical and mental, and so it is in a dog, so it should be punished more. Human lifes are not more important than animal lifes

  • Jim

    I’m sorry, but this is wrong. I am a vegetarian and appreciate life, I’m not an extremist like some people out there. I’ve been sexually abused, it was horrible, but putting an animal through torture is way worse. The sexual abuse put me through psychological problems, but the dog would be burned alive, I can imagine what that must be like. I’m not saying that sexual or other types of assaults aren’t a big issue and should be punished, but think for a second, if you had to go through one, what would you choose? Torture? or rape?

  • Noname

    People ARE more important.

    Also, people have a soul. Animals don’t.
    God gave MAN dominion over the creatures. He didn’t give animals dominion over man.
    Also, I don’t believe in spaying or neutering a pet. I also DO NOT believe in birth control or abortion. It’s wrong and sinful. In the Bible,God tells Man (and the animals) to be fruitful and multiply. That means ‘have a lot of children and fill the Earth.’ Also, the Earth is NOT overpopulated. That is a BIG FAT LIE.

    I do not believe in spaying or neutering pets, I do not believe in abortion, and I do not believe in birth control.

  • Noname

    Oh, yeah, and I am NOT vegetarian. Period, exclamation mark!

  • Noname

    When I become a mom, I am going to teach my children that humans are WAY more important. Us humans were made in the image of GOD. We were made to bring GLORY to him. Humans are more important. We need to be more concerned about people’s souls than animals. As a matter of fact, I pray for people I see out in public, that they will come to know God.

  • Angelica

    This is just atrocious. Humans are NO more important than other animals. We’re all life that has evolved on a tiny planet in a huge, possibly infinite universe. We and all other living creatures are connected through DNA, biological and chemical makeups, we’re all made of the same stuff, we’re all animals. We’re all life, we’re all equal. We may be the most advanced and evolved specie, we may have created a world and society for ourselves, but before you go on anymore in your arrogant manor, remember this:

    We are the same as all over living beings, we’re animals, and other living creatures deserve just as much sympathy, love, and care as us humans. Everything is part of nature, we’re all connected. And no, laws shouldn’t reflect the arrogant, bogus belief that us humans are more important than our fellow Earthlings. If we can reason, ration and be logical, why are people such pompous egocentrics

    If you watch the episodes of “Wonders of life” by a physicist named Professor Brian Cox, you’ll open your eyes to the reality of this world, and you’ll realise every living being on Earth, including us, are all equal.

    And by the way, I think the abusive neighbour should receive equal punishment whether he sexually abuses a child or lobs a dog in the oven.

    Because I believe in equality, and see things for how they are.

    Think twice before being like that.

    End of story.

  • Glen Contrarian

    Think about that the next time you swat a mosquito….

  • Wilemutt

    “God gave MAN dominion over the creatures”? Noname, did you read the part of Genesis where God said to man: “I have given you every herb and seed-bearing plant; to you it shall be for food.” Funny how carnivores just blow this part off. Humans eat meat because it is an addiction, nothing more. We do not need meat to live. A wise vegan Indian man once replied to a question with a question: Heckler: “Oh, how can you get enough protein?” Wise Man: “How does a cow get its protein?” The American diet has an abundance of protein in all the fruits, grains, vegetables, and legumes we eat. Wake up! Who really knows “who” or “what” has a soul? You believe that because your parents and like-minded folks told you that. I believe that when God returns, He will be royally pissed at the shameful manner in which we treat his beautiful animal kingdom – Factory farming, zoos, circuses, fur trade, the lies from the biomedical industry (yeah, like we needed to kill thousands of pigs to test Thalidomide to prove it safe on humans). Ask the moms who took this when they were pregnant what happened. Same thing with Vioxx which has caused hundreds of deaths. That proved safe on animals too. Animal research is definitely BAD SCIENCE. We should be aiming for a higher level of existence, not trying to perpetuate the horrors and fighting to stay in the dark ages.

  • Allium

    Torture is a more serious crime than abuse and assault. You’re trying to make being cooked alive in oven sound like a minor thing because it’s happening to a dog, when it is actual torture. Militant animal activists want animals treated like superiors? No, if they wanted animal torture prosecuted more harshly than human torture, then they would be asking for animals to receive superior treatment.