Why Animals matter:
A Religious and Philosophical perspective
Think differently about sheep.com (TDAS) supports animal rights in its strictest
meaning which is the abolition of all animal
We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of
...the deer, the horse, the great eagle, these are our
brothers. The rocky crests, the juices in the meadows,
the body heat of the pony and man--all belong to the
same family... The White Man must treat the beasts of
this land as his brothers.
Chief Seattle (c.1786-1866)
Why do animals
rights matter. Why should we treat animals differently,
with respect and with the recognition that they too have
the right to life? Why is it important to review the way we think
about the creatures with whom we share this world,
particularly the animals which we use and abuse for
food, clothing, labour and entertainment.
The human animal is
a very inconsistent creature in many ways and none more
so than his attitude to his fellow creatures. Animals do
appear to matter to man but sadly only certain animals,
pets such as cats and dogs and to a lesser degree
rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, caged birds and fish in
tanks. Man's most favoured animal, at least here in the
west is his dog, a creature less highly favoured and
even consumed in other parts of the world. Why is a dog
or a cat so well favoured as opposed to a pig, a creature
of equal intelligence and in many ways more like us than
your dog or cat. In fact if handled affectionately
a adult pig will become just as friendly as your pet dog
who has always been with the family.
So why is one
animal, the dog, a much loved pet while another animal,
the pig, a much despised, abused and exploited creature?
Why is one animal, the most favoured of all pets, treated
with compassion, invited into our homes, fed and
sheltered, cared for and much loved while the other is
confined to a cage (which in reality is how most pigs
spend their lives on factory farms in pens with no room
to turn round) force fed with antibiotics, the sow
treated as a breeding machine, her offspring slaughtered
at two to four months of age as she herself will be when
she has outlived her usefulness, used in experiments and
as a source of spare parts.
Both animals are like us,
mammals, both are intelligent sentient beings capable of
feeling pain and pleasure, both are friendly social
animals. And as already mentioned pigs are very
much like us in so many ways, if this where not so
they would not be used as spare parts in heart surgery
procedures. So why do we love and respect our dog more
than a pig? Why is it cruel to mistreat a dog yet
okay to mistreat a pig? Both feel pain in the same
way as each other as indeed do we. If its cruel to
inflict pain or confine your dog in a cage where he
cannot turn round and slaughter him for food, why
is it not considered cruel to do so to a pig? Can you
imagine what the RSPCA would do if you treated
your dog in the same way as a pig or other farm animal
is treated? You would not be allowed to confine your dog
in a dark shed where he would never see the light of day, in a cage
where he could not turn round until he became infected
and bleed from sores caused by rubbing against the bars,
cried in pain and went mad due to lack of stimulation,
and finally herded into a lorry taken many miles in
extremes of temperature to be slaughtered quite often
fully conscious. Yet this kind of treatment, and even
worse, happens to pigs and other farm animals day in and
Sheep, cows and
poultry are also similar to dogs and cats in many ways
and in the right circumstances can be as social and
interactive as your cat or dog as you will see from the
Piggy, a pig
of course, Audrey and Sybil who where lambs all became close
friends, although there was a more close friendship
between Audrey and Piggy. However this story concerns
Audrey and Sybil. In her book , The secret life of Cows
Rosamond Young tells this story of how Audrey rescues
Sybil from drowning.
While in the
kitchen one day I heard a very loud banging noise
at the back door; a really fierce, repeated relentless
rapping. As I rushed to open the door I realised that
the banging was accompanied by a strident and persistent
baaing. It was Audrey knocking with her foot. When she
saw me she baaed even louder and ran to the lawn,
stopped, looked at me, ran towards me, calling, ran away
agitated, trying Lassie-like to make me follow.
We ran down the lawn, jumped the stream, scrambled up
the back and I found myself standing on the edge of the
swimming pool where Sybil was swimming round and round,
totally unable to do anything but swim. I jumped
straight in to rescue her, put my arms round her and
realised that the dry lamb that I could carry now had a
sodden fleece and was much too heavy for me to lift up
the steep sides of the half full pool.
successfully rescue Sybil but they needed assistance so
both she and Audrey cried out both together and in
turn. Thanks to the actions of Sybil, Audrey was saved.
Doesn't this rather remind you of many similar stories
of rescues involving dogs, in the extract above the
author compares Audrey's behaviour to that of Lassie.
You would not eat
your dog or cat yet few people see any incongruity about
eating a pig or a lamb. Yet both pigs and sheep make
good pets. In a village in Sussex where we once
lived some years ago there was a lady who had a pet
sheep and she interacted with this sheep in the way more
conventional pet owners interact with their cat or dog.
As is the case of the lamb who was rescued from
abandonment in a field and thereafter raised as a pet:
Rescued sheep raised as pet
My husband and I often feed local sheep in a nearby
field who are clearly pets, “much loved” as the owner
once explained. These sheep recognise you, they interact
are great companions.
If only more people knew how smart and lovable they can
Many people have
birds as pets. What is the difference between a parrot
and a turkey or chicken? You would not dream of
roasting your pet budgie would you, so why sit down at
Christmas time and eat a roast turkey? Did you
know that a chicken can be just as friendly as your cat
or dog if given the chance? Many people keep chickens as
pets, turkeys also.
As I sit at
my desk this morning, a large white rooster and two
sturdy brown hens are traipsing through the grass
outside my window. Watching them I agree with chicken
keeper Dorothy English of Illinois who says that "People
who just have lawn ornaments are really missing out."
People who know chickens would agree. Some grew up with
chickens on farms, others got to know them in suburban
settings. New York attorney, Barbara Monroe, had never
really seen a chicken till her daughter bought a baby
white leghorn rooster from a peddler. To her, "The most
amazing thing about Lucie is the way he's adapted to
suburban life," sitting in a car like a person or on the
sofa watching TV with the family. Merry Caplan of
Louisiana got a chicken by surprise one day when a
neighbor brought her a fuzzy black baby bird who made a
beautiful trilling sound. For a while Merry didn't know
if she had a rooster or a hen. She carried "Charlie" in
her pocket, tucking her into a shoe box at night where
"She continued her beautiful song and chirped herself to
How did Celeste Albritton of Texas meet Cluck Cluck? "I
never dreamed of having a companion chicken till one day
a dog drug this chicken home. She was hurt, so Mom and I
took care of her till she was well. Now she's part of
our family." Celeste and Merry both got roosters for
their hens. Cluck Cluck has Chick Chick and Charlie has
Chuck, who Merry says, "Sits next to her while she lays
her egg and announces the event with a series of
Chicken Companions by Karen Davis, Ph.D. Please read the
United Poultry Concerns Chicken
It is possible to
think lambs the cutest things ever and then go and eat a
lovely lamb dinner overlooking a field of them
Homer: Observations on the United Kingdom
there are lamb feeding open days in farms where
visitors are invited to feed the lambs, and afterwards
often the same people will in all probably sit down to a
meal lured by the promotional slogan of fresh local lamb
in a nearby
pub or cafe and think nothing of it. Children, and adults
too, love animated TV shows about farm animals for
instance Wallace and Grommet and the spin off Shaun the
sheep yet sit down to a meal of lamb. Enter sheep or any
other farm animal in the search field in Amazon or other
on line book retailer and you will notice many cute
books for children where the character is a sheep or cow
or chicken. Animated films and cartoons such as Bugs
Bunny, Donald duck and in more recent years the ever
popular animated films about chickens: Chicken little
and Chicken run. The later is a humorous story about a
group of farm chickens who escape their coop before
their owners Mr and Mrs Tweedy plan to turn them
into pies because they are not making enough money from
the sale of their eggs. I can well imagine that after
taking the kids to a showing at the local cinema the
whole family stops off at Kentucky Fried Chicken whose
establishments are often close by cinemas without
any qualms whatsoever as though the incongruity does not
Every year at
Easter time Asda sell a cute cuddly soft
toy lamb while in the adjacent isle you may buy
dead lamb in the form of chops, legs, stew. Yet another
incongruity that few appear to notice
“Why does Sea
World have a seafood restaurant?? I'm halfway through my
fish burger and I realize, Oh my God....I could be
eating a slow learner.”
Shops are crammed
with toy sheep such as those below.
In one shop in the
Yorkshire dales you can buy soft cuddly toys of sheep
right along side decorated lamp shades made from the
skins of sheep or cattle as are shoes, handbags, belts,
purses all of which are on sale here. In the dales and
similar areas of intensive sheep farming you will find
post cards, greetings cards, clothes with sheep designs, cute little
cartoon sheep, photos of lambs and calves, all sorts of
paraphernalia you can image. You can
collect a whole series of ornamental sheep of many
different breeds, along with a sheep dog, a border
collie, even a sheep
dog feeding a baby lamb holding the bottle in his
mouth. Oh how cute! you can see it in the faces of
people who admire, buy and collect these items.
behind this idyllic and incongruous facade is the grim
reality of much abuse exploitation and suffering. Sheep
live wretched lives, many die of exposure and pneumonia
in fields or worse on the hills and mountains in the
north without shelter, ram lambs are
slaughtered within a couple of weeks after birth, ewe
lambs not needed for reproduction are taken from their
mothers at four months old, sometimes after only a few
weeks to provide lamb for Easter, herded into a lorry and taken
to the slaughter house. Of the millions of sheep
slaughtered (16 million in 2003 in the UK alone) 4 million stunned
before slaughter will regain consciousness.
estimates that 4 million may regain consciousness each
year before they die and we have video footage showing
sheep regaining consciousness as they bleed to death. If
only one carotid artery is cut, sheep may not be dead
after the required 20 second bleed out time and they
will therefore be skinned alive."
Viva! - Vegetarians International Voice for Animals
farming of course a great inconsistency exists even
concerning man's best friend the dog. Here even man
exploits his most favoured companion. Border collies
often also kept as pets are used as labour to round up
sheep. Many may be treated well, but many are not.
Entering a farm some years ago to follow a footpath we
came across several very bedraggled and depressed
looking border collie dogs in a wretched and filthy condition.
On another occasion we came upon a collie dog who was
tethered outside the gate leading to a farm on a very short leash,
his only shelter against the severity of the inclement
climate was a tiny lean-too not even as large as a
kennel filled with a sparse amount of
dirty straw, his drinking bowel was empty and equally
filthy. Each time we passed by there was this dog in all
weathers and any naive ideas that he was taken in
at night, tied here only temporary where soon dispelled.
We reported this to the RSPCA who said that they
had had other complaints but who nevertheless took no
real action other than to get the owner to construct a
slightly bigger "kennel" which had a corrugated roof,
imagine when it is raining and when it is hot what this
must be like for his unfortunate animal. I could
not understand why this dog was not allowed to roam
freely during the daytime as there were no busy roads or
any other problem that would necessitate him being
tethered. He was a gentle creature, so timid, retreating
back into his make shift kennel when approached. I
persisted with my request that they take some action to
improve this dog's lot but was told that he was a
working dog and I got the distinct impression as such would not be considered in quite
the same way as if he was someone's pet. What is the
difference between a pet collie and a collie who is
exploited to round up sheep, both are collies are they
not. Does this not strike you as absurd, certainly
Hope you see here what I am getting at. Isn't it bizarre. How can we have
such found feeling towards creatures we abuse and or use
even those of the same species and breed. Why is it okay
to treat a collie dog badly if he is used for labour,
exploit him and in my opinion mistreat him, but not okay
to treat a similar animal of the same breed in a
neglectful manner if he is a pet ? What do you imagine
would happen if your neighbour kept a collie dog in
plain view outside his home in all weathers only
unleashing him when his services where required. I doubt
very much if there RSPCA would refuse to take action.
The RSPCA are an excellent charity for the protection
and welfare of animals but still they are only human and like any other human,
they may fail to see such incongruities. In the
above incident I got the distinct impression that the
person I spoke to agreed with me on the matter, but of
course was restricted by law from taking further action.
The RSPCA can only act within the remit of the law. You will
find that there are many antiquated laws concerning
animal welfare here in the UK. It is only recently that
here fox hunting has been banned, yet other types of
hunting still take place. Millions of peasants are
reared each year simply as targets for those warped
individuals who think it is entertaining to kill another
If you love
animals called pets, why do you eat animals called
As seen on a shirt at veganstore.com
Why is one animal
more important than another ? Why do we love our cats,
dogs and our budgie in some cases as much or even
more than another human being but care nothing for other
animals, eating their flesh, using them as a commodity, as
entertainment or labour or to conduct experiments upon ? I would imagine that many RSPCA
and other members of animal rescue organisations, vets
and others involved in animal welfare go home at the end
of the day to eat a meal comprised of meat, possibly a
pig, an animal more intelligent than most of the animals
that they have tried to rescue, and will not see any
incongruity. Likewise many scientists who experiment on
animals, and yes here dogs are included in such cruel
painful experiments, have a pet dog who they consider as
sentient, a friend, a family member. Yet when it comes to
their work they mistreat a
similar creature and cause him extreme suffering.
I do not see why
we should not be as just to an ant as to a human being.
To my mind all
animals are equal, all creatures are important, all have
a right to life and to be treated with respect as thinking
feeling sentient beings.
Those who wish
to pet and baby wild animals "love" them. But those who
respect their natures and wish to let them live normal
lives, love them more.
Edwin Way Teale, Circle of the
So why is
animal rights important for all animals not simply those that
man takes into his home as pets for reasons mostly of a
selfish nature. Certainly the lot of a pet is better
than that of a farm animal but often his or her life is
not without difficulty. Many dogs are trapped indoors
all day unable to perform natural
bodily functions while owners go to work. Still others suffer rough handing from
young and even older children, some may be deliberately
neglected. It's getting increasingly common to
hear the term house cat in much the same way as one
would say house plant. I know two people who have so
called house cats, the animal is provided with a litter,
his entire existence consists of confinement in the
house, he is never allowed out of doors, never feels the
warmth of the sun or enjoys any other activity that is
natural to the behaviours of a cat, even a domesticated
cat who was once allowed to freely roam. People confine
their cat fearing harm coming to their so called
beloved pets such as traffic accidents, animal cruelty,
or even capture for experimentation.
But consider would we do this to our children because we
loved them and do not want harm to come to them, of
One day, we
would like an end to pet shops and the breeding of
animals. [Dogs] would pursue their natural lives in the
wild ... they would have full lives, not wasting at home
for someone to come home in the evening and pet them and
then sit there and watch TV.
Why are there
so many inconsistencies in our attitudes and behaviours
towards our fellow creatures? The main problem is that
plain and simply we do not think, few people analyse the
situation. By force of habit the same atrocities towards
our fellow creatures continue questioned only by the
relative few, who see past cultural upbringing.
Adherence to the force of habit without questioning it,
let alone breaking it is the greatest impediment to
change, to leaving behind barbarous behaviours which we
cannot condone or allow to continue if we wish to really
be described as a humane and civilised society. Indeed there are
many independent thinkers, who, rather like I, began to
feel unease and began to question beliefs that have been
drummed into us for generations and which are promoted
by the meat and dairy industry whose only motivation of
course is profit, the rearing of animals for meat and
other products has nothing to do with providing food to
the world’s vast populations.
We need to
question question question both our habits and our thinking.
treat animals differently - more humanely
ourselves are the living graves of murdered beasts, how
can we expect any ideal conditions on this earth?
George Bernard Shaw
Why do all animals matter
without discrimination as all humans matter without
discrimination? Why should we treat all animals with
whom we share this world differently than we do at the
present time, in a more
respectful humane manner allowing them to live out the
natural duration of their lives without detrimental
interference? I believe that we should provide
medical care and other aid to animals in much the same
was as we do, or should do, with our fellow human beings, although sadly
in the case of our own species
this is not always so. Having the capabilities and
resources, we have a moral and ethical duty to do so.
What needs to
be done to improve the way we see animals and the way we
behave towards them? How can we begin to treat
animals better than we do now, in a more compassionate
way allowing them to live out the natural extent of
their lives? Why should
we stop eating the flesh of other sentient beings or
exploiting them in other ways for labour, entertainment
and for use in experimentation? Why
is it unethical? Ask yourself why you eat meat, drink
milk, consume eggs.
Here I will tempt to focus on the reasons why we need to
treat animals more humanly and what may be done to bring
Animal rights, why?
sentient in a similar way to humans: animals fear death, like you or I they wish to live, and animals
experience pain; both emotional
and physical. Furthermore we should treat animals
more humanely because it is ethical to do so, for
instance harming animals encourages violence and cruelty
towards humans also.
at these issues in turn
must have renounced, it seems to me, all natural
intelligence to dare to advance that animals are but
animated machines.... It appears to me, besides, that
[such people] can never have observed with attention the
character of animals, not to have distinguished among
them the different voices of need, of suffering, of joy,
of pain, of love, of anger, and of all their affections.
It would be very strange that they should express so
well what they could not feel.
Voltaire, Traité sur la
Firstly and most importantly in our consideration of why we should treat animals more humanely
is that animals are sentient.
and how do we know that a creature
is sentient, why does this matter and how does this
effect how we think about animals and why we should
think about them differently. Basically sentience means
awareness, consciousness, the ability to feel pain and
suffering or conversely pleasure and so on, for a full explanation of
sentience and how it presents in farm animals please
Sentience in Farm Animals
When challenged those in favour of farming and other
exploitative practices often justify such by saying that
animals have no feelings and that they are not aware. We
as human beings experience the world through feelings
and sensations, we are aware of these feelings and
perceptions, we are aware of the existence of ourselves
and others. Sentience is defined as the ability to
experience such sensations and perceptions. A sentient
being is aware of his surroundings and is capable of
both pain and pleasure. It is becoming increasingly
apparent that animals have more complex and emotional
lives than people have previously realised, there is now
much research into the cognitive abilities of animals
including farm animals, fish, crustaceans and insects.
Research shows that farm animals have a whole range of
emotions and a keen in intelligence far beyond that
which was previously thought.
An awareness concerning farm animal sentence is becoming
more recognised generally, though surely the fact that
farm animals are sentient should really be a matter of
observation and plain simple common sense. Anyone who
has any association with farm animals most certainly know that these creatures are sentient,
thinking and feeling beings. Yet despite such
observations many human beings often treat animals as
though they where simply things, inanimate, unfeeling,
impervious to the range of emotions that we experience.
Often considered nothing more than resources for our use
they are often treated in much the same as way as people
treat a lump of wood or a stone or other imamate object
is the same in all living creatures, although the body
of each is different.
We need to treat animals more humanely simply because
they are living beings. I and many others including
scientists believe that animals are sentient beings,
they are conscious, aware of themselves, others and
their environment. And this as already stated applies also to farm
animals. As already mentioned most people will agree
that their pet dog or cat is sentient. Consider that
both a dog and a pig are mammals, if a dog is sentient
it is likely a pig is also. So why do we feel its okay
to eat a pig but not our dog. Pigs are so like dogs to the
extent they can be house trained just like your dog.
Often you hear of a dog rescuing someone or getting
Well here is a story about a pig who saved a boy from
pig in the UK was being taken for a walk by her
caregiver. During the walk the voice of a small boy was
heard screaming for help in a nearby river. Immediately
the pig pulled free from her guardian, leash trailing,
and dove into the river. She swam out to the boy and
continued to circle him until he grabbed the leash. The
boys weight dragged both him and the pig under water,
and the crowd on shore gasped with horror. But sure
enough a few seconds later both their heads popped above
the surface as the little pig swam furiously towards
shore towing the boy behind her. Exhausted, both the
boy and the pig made it safely to shore where waiting
onlookers wept with joy.
And to think that this little pig was slated for the
Extract from Canada Earth Saver article: Farm Animals
not so different
people have observed that their dog or cat has different
moods and that he or she may be depressed as the dog
described in the section on
. Pigs, like your cat or dog, have
similar moods and are indeed very susceptible to
Pigs feel depressed, Owners concerned over mourning pig
Owners of an animal centre in Hertfordshire are worried
about a mourning pig. Poddington the Peruvian Pygmy
stopped eating and started picking fights with other
animals after her sister died. Wendy and John Scudamore
have even tried a herbal remedy similar to Prozac
without success. The herbal remedy Aconite, which is
similar to Prozac, has failed to make her feel better.
Mrs Scudamore, who runs the centre in Kentchurch, said:
“Poddington was devastated when her sister died. We left
the body with her for a day so she could mourn then took
it away. “But she never moved from the spot. I even put a
bed in her shed and slept with her for comfort.”
Dr Nick Neave, an animal psychologist at the University
of Northumbria, told the Sunday People: “It sounds like
she is severely depressed. ”He says pigs are intelligent
and have the same emotions as humans but cannot
communicate them as well.
From sentient beings org
Please note Sentient Beings
Org is now no longer available
Sheep also are similar to humans. When one of their
family goes missing sheep will actively seek him or her out just as
we do. Sheep bleat in distress when they cannot find a
friend or when a ewe loses a lamb other members of the
flock come to give comfort. The same behaviour is common
in cattle and pigs. And indeed poultry, a goose who
loses a partner will pine for days and become depressed
just like a human being.
Animals wish to live.
We need to behave
humanly to animals because they like us wish to live.
In all animals
including ourselves of course the instinct for survival
Abraham Lincoln once said concerning the killing of ants
that the life of an ant is as precious to the ant as
the life of a human being is to him or her.
and he refers to all animals including man
All beings tremble before violence.
All fear death.
All love life.
See yourself in others.
Then whom can you hurt?
What harm can you do?
Shakyamuni Buddha– Dhammapada 129-130
Now the wisdom of
this statement or others like it has nothing to do with religion so please
do not be put off if you are not religiously inclined,
with or without a religious context such observations are reasonable and most relevant
concerning our attitude towards animals .
We should treat animals with respect and not harm them in
any way because they are like us, and like us they simply wish to live.
All animals fear death, if they did not they would not
survive for long, all creatures fear pain and avoid
contact with situations and things in their environment
that bring about pain. The avoidance of both death and
pain are instinctive in all animals including man. All animals feel pain, all
experience the flight or fight response, a survival
mechanism triggered by fear.
treatment of animals will someday be considered
barbarous. There cannot be perfect civilisation until
man realises that the rights of every living creature
are as sacred as his own.
Dr David Starr Jordan
Animals feel pain both physical and emotional
is recognised that animals experience pain and this is
the reason that in most countries there are laws to
protect animals from basic blatant cruelty. Sadly though
these laws do no go far enough and often farm animals
are excluded. The recent
which recognises that animals are sentient may result in
some modification concerning the treatment of farm
animals, improving conditions for them and treating them more humanely, however it
does not go far enough. This is yet another example of
our inconsistency, while this recognition is of course a
good beginning, it appears incongruous that having
recognised that farm animals are sentient to than
continue to breed and slaughter them for food ! To my
way of thinking breeding animals for slaughter is cruel,
inhumane, an atrocity; there is nothing humane about
causing the death of another creature, it is the
ultimate act of profound cruelty to rob a creature of
his existence however "humanely" this act is carried
out, moreover there is no way to kill any animal
without causing him pain and distress. Even if factory
farming was abolished, and despite the EU protocol there
is no indication of this happening, it is still cruel to
confine animals, steal their eggs or the milk that is
meant for their calves, determine their lives, when the
will conceive and when they will die or enslave them in
a life of labour for instance to round up sheep, or to provide us
with entertainment such as race horses and racing dogs
or for use in experiments.
No the only humane treatment of animals is to allow them
to live out their lives the way nature intended without
It is at the
very least accepted in scientific circles that all
creatures man, dogs, pigs, sheep, cows, poultry, all
feel pain both physical and emotional as do fish and
indeed invertebrates often not equated with sentience or
even the capacity to feel pain;
for example are capable of feeling pain,
experience distress and fear.
about how animals experience stress and fear:
We need to
treat animals as we would treat each other because animals
like us feel pain
believe that animals suffer less than humans. Pain is
the same for them that it is for us. Even worse, because
they cannot help themselves.”
Dr. Louis J. Camuti
"The person who kills for fun is announcing that,
could he get away with it, he'd kill you for fun.
Your...life may be of no consequence to anyone else but
is invaluable to you because it's the only one you've
got. Exactly the same is true of each individual deer,
hare, rabbit, fox, fish, pheasant and butterfly. Humans
should enjoy their own lives, not take others."
It is my personal belief independent of any religious
consideration that harming any creature brings you one step closer to harming
another human being.
during a discussion with a Buddhist I remarked that
I did not kill even an ant and that killing any
creature was one step closer to killing a human being. This statement was met with complete agreement. However one does not have to be
religious to know this, it is common sense surely. Violence, killing, cruelty
on any level all becomes easier the more it is
practised; the more a person kills another being whether
man or animal the easier it is to kill another time. To
kill thousands of animals day after day becomes a
callous act which breeds other callous acts. How can we
expect a peaceful harmonious world while we kill other
creatures who have as much right as do we to their
Killing taints the soul for want of a better word. This
is not a religious discussion or consideration for
indeed many religions advocate the killing and eating of
other creatures, no this is an animal rights issue, a
matter of conscience which is independent of
belief or otherwise, a simple matter of right and wrong
which in my opinion is not dependent on religious belief.
I am agnostic so this is not a
religious issue for me although many religious ideas may
be relevant as mentioned earlier. The
word soul is used here for want of a more appropriate
word, we could say instead the killing of thousands of
creatures everyday causes psychological damage for a
less religious connotation. The point is violence breeds
violence it taints you as a person. I can't image
associating with anyone who quite readily day after day
works in a slaughter house, sees the innocent face of a
tiny timid lamb for example and goes on to take his or
her life with out a tinge of guilt or regret and with callus
be treated differently than they are at present, treated
with humanity and compassion as one would treat another
human being because it is ethical to do so.
cannot be peace in this world as long as we exploit
animals. To reiterate, killing a non human animal is one step closer to killing
a human being.
animals is a universal impulse, a common ground on which
all of us may meet. By loving and understanding animals,
perhaps we humans shall come to understand each other."
Louis J. Camuti, D.V.M.
Know that violence is the root cause of
all miseries in the world.
Violence, in fact, is the knot of bondage.
"Do not injure any living being."
"I could not have slept tonight if I had left that
helpless little creature to perish on the ground."
(Reply to friends who chided him for delaying them by
stopping to return a fledgling to its nest.)
Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what
it is - whether its victim is human or animal - we
cannot expect things to be much better in this world...
We cannot have peace among men whose hearts delight in
killing any living creature. By every act that glorifies
or even tolerates such moronic delight in killing we set
back the progress of humanity.
How can we bring about a more humane treatment
Here I will focus
on farm animals, in time in a separate article I will
discuss the plight of other types of animal abuse such
as animals used for labour and entertainment and
animals, we need to examine our behaviours and our
thinking, we need to think differently about creatures
we have designated as sources of food, food which we no
longer need and which causes the destruction of the rain
forest and contributes to world hunger all to provide the
richer countries with meat. We
need to examine the idyllic imagine that many people
have of farms and to see the reality.
question, question, educate yourself, find out how the
food you eat at
arrives on your table
For information on
the atrocities of factory farming and animal slaughter please go to
where you will also find external links to other informative
Ask yourself can a
so called civilised country condone such cruelty to
sentience beings, creatures who experience pain and fear.
All creature know when the are going to die.
Please read this
account, it is horrifying, shocking; but if you eat meat
you should know the extent of the suffering involved for
these sentient, sensitive and intelligent creatures:
"What’s that noise?” asked John, the high-screech pitch
too unimaginable to ignore. We were on the offside of a
slaughter plant wall. He cupped his hands over his ears
to give himself an impossible reprieve.
Pigs!” I yelled back.
I could tell he didn’t understand. I hadn’t understood
the first time I’d heard them, either.
We climbed on lidded barrels to peer over the wall: in
every direction, as far as the eye could see, there were
pigs: pigs on top of pigs, crammed into cross-fenced
pens by the thousands, like dead sardines in tin cans.
The odor they emitted was almost unbearable, of feces
and urine; from the dark-walled interior building, the
pungent stench of blood invaded our nostrils.
And the pigs were screaming—bloody murder...
moment,” I explained, “they’ll kill a pig.” I pointed to
where the warehouse opened like the hull of a giant
ship. “When the pig screams, it will send a shock wave
through the pigs out here; they’ll all scream.”
Right on cue, from the depth of the building’s interior,
a screaming pig could be heard and I could see the
animal, the way I once had: pushed onto a moving
conveyor belt that would take it to the stunning tongs.
Once there, the plant man would grab the pig’s head in
the giant vice the way one would lift lettuce from a
salad bowl. A painful current of electricity would surge
through the animal’s body, stunning it just enough — or
so it is hoped — to render it unconscious before the pig
reaches the throat-cutting blade.."
Extract from In
the Leaving by Laura Moretti
To finish reading
the rest of this story
You have just
dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is
concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is
Ask yourself why you eat meat, drink milk, and consume
There are many
reasons why people consume meat and other animal
will argue that eating meat is natural and that we
ourselves are an animal and therefore like any other
animal we consume meat; this notion is a fallacy, I will
discuss this issue in more detail later. Despite evidence that eating
meat is not healthy the erroneous belief persists that without
meat it is not possible to be adequately nourished, yet
another misconception. Many
people eat meat because of religious belief that God
created animals for us to eat. Many people simply eat
meat or consume dairy products and eggs because they
have always done so simply without thinking from force
of habit. The consumption of animals foods
often continues because of ignorance concerning how
animals are treated.
Lets look more
closely at some of these reasons why people eat animal
stated we consume animal products from a force of habit
and because the notion that it is healthy to do so has
become so entrenched in our thinking that we do not
question it despite more information to the contrary.
Consider for instance why we drink
milk, after weaning all mammals stop drinking milk, that
is with the exception of human beings who continue to
drink milk and moreover the milk of another species. How
many other animals except the cat whom we give milk,
drinks the milk of another species or drinks any kind of
milk after weaning. Is it unnatural? Of course it is.
Milk is meant to feed a baby animal until he or she is
able to take solids. The milk of each animal has evolved
to meet the needs of that particular creature. Cows milk
for instance is meant to support the growth of a large muscular
creature not a relatively weak, and in comparison to
cattle, frail animal, man. No wonder obesity flourishes
in the west, overweight is not the problem in Asian
countries where dairy products are not part of the diet.
The world's entire population could be adequately fed on vegetables. But we
are told that meat, milk and eggs are essential to our
diet, that we would be nutritionally deficit without
them. One mother I know of who is vegetarian but
to cultural upbringing she continues to include milk and
meat in her children’s diets. She believes that meat,
eggs and milk are essential to maintain health in
growing children, so despite her concerns about animals,
still trapped in the erroneous belief that her children
will be nutritionally deficient, she feeds them meat. She
says if she feeds them a vegan diet they have had no
choice. Surely she can see that the same applies to a
meat diet, yet somehow she does not question this
notion, never recognising the fallacy never mind the
inconsistency in such a concept. There are many like
her. Question the facts and you will see that far from
anyone being nutritionally deficient, a vegan diet will in
fact prove more nutritional and healthy. Recently an
insurance provider offered discounts on life insurance
They eat a
diet high in wild hunted meats and have the worst life
expectancy in the modern world. Life expectancy is 45
years for women and 42 years for men. African
researchers report that historically Maasai rarely lived
beyond age 60. Adult mortality figures on the Kenyan
Maasai show that they have a 50% chance of dying before
the age of 59.2
Joel Fuhrman MD Reffering to the high meat-consuming
Maasa in Kenya.
We are told that man is an omnivore. I learnt this in "o"
level biology and believed it! but consider, do we
really have the anatomy of an omnivore, moreover an
omnivore whose diet is predominately carnivorous, do we have sharp
teeth or claws to shred meat. A carnivore such as a lion
has sharp claws and teeth to shred meat and she is
equipped with such to catch and kill her own meat and
needs no tool or implement to do so such as a gun or
spear. Could you tear meat with your smooth even teeth,
raw meat that is ? Could you kill an animal with your
bear hands and shred his flesh to eat ? No of course not
because evolution did not design our bodies to be either
carnivores or omnivores. Consider can you eat meat
without cooking it? Most certainly not. If it was natural
for us to eat meat would we need to cook it first? Man
is the only animal who cooks his meat. We have not
evolved to eat meat. After all we evolved from
herbivores did we not, more about this further down, it is difficult to imagine that
evolution would have developed our organism from that of
an herbivore towards that of a carnivore.
facts, at least in retrospect, are rarely considered,
yet Plutarch the first centaury Greek historian,
biographer and essayist commenting on the argument that
the eating of meat was not natural wrote:
absurd for them to say that the practice of flesh eating
is based on nature. For that man is not naturally
carnivorous is, in the first place, obvious from the
structure of his body. A man's frame is in no way
similar to those creatures who were made for flesh
eating: he has no hooked beak or sharp nails or jagged
teeth, no strong stomach or warmth of vital fluids able
to digest and assimilate a heavy diet of flesh. It is
from this very fact, the evenness of our teeth, the
smallness of our mouths, the softness of our tongues,
our possession of vital fluids too inert to digest meat
that Nature disavows our eating of flesh. If you declare
that you are naturally designed for such a diet, than
first kill for yourself what you want to eat. Do it,
however, only though your own resources, unaided by
cleaver or cudgel of any kind or axe. Rather just as
wolves and bears and lions themselves slay what they
want to eat, so you are to fell an ox with your fangs or
a boar with your jaws, or tear a lamb or hare to bits.
Fall upon it, and eat it still living as animals do. But
if you wait for what you eat to be dead, if you have
qualms about enjoying the flesh while life is still
present, why do you continue, contrary to nature, to eat
what possesses life? Even when it is lifeless and dead,
however, no one eats the flesh just as it is ; men boil
it and roast it, altering it by fire and drugs,
recasting and diverting and smothering with countless
condiments the taste of gore so that the palate may be
deceived and accept what is foreign to it.
above from Plutarch's essay On the Eating of Flesh was
quoted in: Ethical Vegetarianism From Pythagoras to
Peter Singer, Edited by Kerry. S Walker and Lisa
So why did
humans go from a herbivorous diet to an omnivorous diet,
the main component of which is carnivorous, the
consumption of meat?
which we may consider is that humans began to eat meat
not through any natural impulse but
because of a necessity. Famines may well
have been responsible for man becoming omnivorous, which
for example may well have been
responsible for the varied diet of the Chinese. At
periods throughout the history of China, including the
1950s, millions died of starvation. Trees where stripped
bare of leaves and not a blade of grass could be seen so
severe was the shortage of food. From sheer necessity
some of the varied, and to our concept, unusual food
consumed in China may well have been introduced this
way, such as tiny birds similar to those you
see in your garden, insects, including caterpillars and
grasshoppers, and even dogs. I consider that scarcity of
food was perhaps the most likely reason man went from an
herbivore to an omnivore and in Palaeolithic times most
likely during the winter months man became entirely
carnivorous perhaps eating meat due to the absence of
anything else. It is now
widely accepted that man evolved in Africa and migrated
to other regions. During the winter in cooler climes
before man took up cultivation and farming there would
not have been the vegetation to sustain them.
as to why man changed his natural diet may simply
be from choice, observing that other creatures
consumed meat man may have thought to do likewise much
like we today introduce new foods into our diet. Here in
the UK in the last few decades our eating habits have
changed due to cultural influences particularly from
India and other places from where there has been a
significant number of immigrants.
Now this time
has passed, and man is able to provide enough plant
based food to feed the entire world and the need to eat
meat is no longer necessary, and it is a fact that doing
so now actually results in other humans starving to
death. Again it is all a matter of thinking differently
and considering that in basic terms many people simply
consume animal products from an
habit of extremely long standing, one most likely only
undertaken in the very distant past to stop starvation
but which now helps to cause it.
erroneous concept that man is a natural meat eater may
well have become entrenched in our culture as a result
of religious influences. Generally accepted in the theory
of evolution is the concept of man the hunter, yet this
idea may well have arisen from Judeo-Christian beliefs.
from a basic ideology of man being
inherently evil, aggressive and a natural killer. In
fact, when you really examine the fossil and living
non-human primate evidence, that is just not the case."
Sussman, Ph.D Quoted in the article
'Man the Hunter' theory is debunked in new book
wouldn't know it by current world events, but humans
actually evolved to be peaceful, cooperative and social
In his latest book, an anthropologist at Washington
University in St. Louis goes against the prevailing view
and argues that primates, including early humans,
evolved not as hunters but as prey of many predators,
including wild dogs and cats, hyenas, eagles and
It was not
possible for early humans to consume a large amount of
meat until fire was controlled and cooking was possible.
Sussman points out that the first tools didn't appear
until two million years ago. And there wasn't good
evidence of fire until after 800,000 years ago. "In
fact, some archaeologists and palaeontologists don't
think we had a modern, systematic method of hunting
until as recently as 60,000 years ago," he says.
The above is an extract from the
aforementioned article by Neil Schoenherr and is an
informative review of the book 'Man the Hunter' by
W. Sussman and Donna L. Hart well worth reading.
It is often
argued that other primates eat meat. But consider the
diet of a chimpanzee which is about 95-99 percent
vegetables. No, the other small non vegetable percentage
is not meat, its termites. Yes a termite is an animal
and I am not implying that termites are not animals, or
that they are not sentient or intelligent. I am simply saying that
a termite is not meat in quite the same way as a pig or
a sheep and cannot therefore constitute an omnivorous
diet in itself.
intelligent creatures able to make choices much as we
are and the addition of termites in their diet rather
like the addition of meat in ours may simply have been included from necessity
of food shortage or simply choice, but is not necessarily
natural. It is in any
case a great leap to say that
because chimpanzees eat termites that they are
relating to why man is not naturally omnivorous is a
huge subject and requires an article of its own. It
seems rather superfluous for me to write more on this matter as you can read an excellent in-depth article about this subject. Here is an
extract from the article: Eating meat isn't
natural Why humans are primarily plant-eaters by design
by Michael Bluejay.
Concerning the arguments
that are often presented to justify the
consumption of meat as a natural food source for man:
look at the evidence shows that humans are optimized for
eating plant foods, and not meat.
anatomy: We're most similar to other herbivores,
and drastically different from carnivores.
Longevity & health: The more meat we eat, the
sicker we get. Meat is poison to us. It's the
primary reason we get heart disease, cancer,
diabetes, osteoporosis, and every other major
degenerative disease. If eating meat were natural,
it wouldn't destroy our health.
Physical performance: People have much better
endurance when they don't eat meat -- whether
they're professional athletes or not.
We'll look at
these in more detail later, but for now here's a
ancestors from at least four million years ago were
almost exclusively vegetarian.
animals most similar to us, the other primates, eat
an almost exclusively vegetarian diet (and their
main non-plant food often isn't meat, it's termites).
saliva, stomach acid, and intestines are most
similar to other plant-eaters, and dissimilar to
Plant-eaters have the longest lifespans, and humans
are in that category (and yes, this was true even
before modern medicine).
about the same amount of time as other herbivores,
and less than carnivores and true omnivores.
The most common cause of
choking deaths is eating meat.
Real carnivores and omnivores don't have that
the complete article it will change your thinking about the
misconception concerning our assumed need to eat meat.
Eating meat isn't natural -- in-depth article
Also read :Veg.ca
- Were early humans vegetarian?
whenever you are advised about healthy eating that much
of the dietary advice is published by those with an
interest other than your health, this interest of course
profit. Recall the advertising in the sixties, if you
are the appropriate age you may recall here in the UK
the slogan "Go to walk
on an Egg" the implication that eggs are healthy. And
also the promotion of milk and the advice to drink a
pint a day. Can't imagine such an advertising campaign
now can you with the
connection between high cholesterol and eggs. But still
the notion that diary and meat are important to an
healthy diet continues, its has become so entrenched in
our culture that still the majority never question it,
particularly here in the Northeast UK, where still many
people use lard to cook their meals and where obesity is
the highest in the country.
that even if we had evolved to become omnivorous this
does not mean we have to continue to be so nor does it
give us license to factory farm sentient beings. People
live healthy lives without eating meat. The promotion of
health and its dependence up eating meat and other
animal products is the most
tired excuse of them all that people present to justify including meat in
and one that really is no longer valid as all the
proteins, minerals and other nutrients are so easily
available in a variety of alternative food.
information about a vegetarian or vegan diet :
Differently go Vegi/Vegan
It is mostly
only people in the west and other affluent countries who
consume meat, the production of which is not only at the
expense of the lives of other
creatures but also at the expense of other people
in poorer countries. Read the
thought provoking article: Meat =
Death The insanity of the 'traditional' diet
Meat = Death
one of the root causes that perpetuate the inhumane
treatment of Animals: Educate yourself
indifference, callousness and contempt that so many
people exhibit toward animals is evil first because it
results in great suffering in animals, and second
because it results in an incalculably great
impoverishment of the human spirit. All education should
be directed toward the refinement of the individual's
sensibilities in relation not only to one's fellow
humans everywhere, but to all things whatsoever.
One reason why the inhumane treatment of animals is
allowed to continue is ignorance. Although less
prevalent today it is in my opinion a major factor in
the continuance of such abuse. As a child in the fifties
and sixties I was taught by my parents and also in
school that cows needed to be milked otherwise they
would suffer pain. I did not question this of course and
neither, or so it seems, did my parents whom I am sure
where not promoting the dairy industry. No indeed not,
their information came from ignorance. As amazing as it
now seems it was not until my mid thirties that I
realised of course the absurdity of this explanation.
The same circumstance exist concerning the erroneous
idea that sheep need us to shear them and my sister in
her forties had not questioned this fallacy. Yes indeed
sheep now mostly need to be sheared to remove their wool,
but this is not a natural occurrence in the evolution of
sheep but rather the result of selective breeding as
indeed is the existence of woolly sheep: before man's
intervention sheep had mostly hair or kemp intermixed
Failure to question general absence of cattle in fields,
the odd proportion or rams to ewes, bulls to cows.
Rarely do you see pigs in fields or chickens or turkeys.
Yet many people are genuinely surprised when they learn
that pigs are confined in tiny pens throughout their
short wretched lives, as are most cows, chickens,
turkeys and other poultry. And there is a growing trend
in many parts of the world to confine sheep in a similar
manner. Refer to Animal rights
yourself concerning the attitude of the factory farming
industry which has led to shocking abuse and cruelty,
far beyond that which many people would imagine, not only
here in the UK and in similar western countries but
throughout the entire world. The industry does not
consider these animals as sentient feeling beings who
experience pain both emotional and physical.
statements made by those in the factory farming industry
made about animals:
pig is an animal. Treat him just like a machine in a
factory. Schedule treatments like you would lubrication.
Breeding season like the first step in an assembly line.
And marketing like the delivery of finished goods.
J. Byrnes, “Raising Pigs by the Calendar at Maplewood
Farm,” Hog Farm Management, 1976
breeding sow should be thought of, and treated as, a
valuable piece of machinery whose function is to pump
out baby pigs like a sausage machine.”
L. J. Taylor,
export development manager for the Wall’s Meat Company,
Ltd., National Hog Farmer, 1978
egg prices, crowding always resulted in greater
— Robert Brown, “Toe-Clipping May Help Hens Improve
Returns in Crowded Cages,” Feedstuffs, 1985
“Sheep farming, like most agriculture, has become
agribusiness and not just a way of life. We must be
concerned with the amount and quality of the saleable
product produced from our basic production units. In
sheep farming, the basic production units are the ewes.
. . . We don’t need large beautiful fat happy ewes that
only produce one lamb a year. We need ewes that will
provide us an adequate gross income to cover all our
costs and then some.”
— D. E. Hogue, Animal Scientist
believe it’s completely feasible to specifically design
an animal for hamburger.”
— Bob Rust, Iowa State University meat specialist,
quoted in “Hamburger Cattle,” Successful Farming, 1977
Quotations are from SentientBeings.org - Industry's
One of the
most ludicrous objections is the argument when
considering animal sentience, which in turn leads to the
consideration of animal rights, is that animals are all
alike. Despite the fact that this is most certainly not
true - similar statements when applied to humans is
considered racism, and this argument has been used also
to justify the suppression of humans - this kind of reasoning to my mind
is utterly irrelevant. Even if animals or a race of
humans where all alike what is the relevance to
sentience or animal rights?
argument that a group of individuals is ‘all alike’ has
been used throughout human history as a justification
for the oppression of that group. If all the individuals
are alike, then they become impersonal and killing them
seems less wrong or horrendous. Chickens, whether
intelligent or stupid, individual or identical, are
sentient beings. They feel pain and experience fear.
This, in itself, is enough to make it wrong to cause
them pain and suffering.
Another argument that is often presented when the rights
of animals are considered is connected with the
concept of a soul. Religions including the Abrahamic
religions, Christianity, Judaism and Islam generally but
not exclusively believe that animals have no souls.
religions however have a different concept of animals as
beings with souls who may progress throughout many
incarnations to be born as humans and that humans where
once animals. For example Hindus believe in
reincarnation, with animals being part of the
progression of the soul. Often followers will not step on an insect in fear of harming the
reincarnation of a potential human.
Many native American and other tribal people also believe
that animals possess spirits.
quotations are extracts from Animal rights activist
Edward Byron Nicholson's essay The Rights of an Animal:
A New Essay In Ethics
Nicholson born 1849 was an English scholar and
librarian, in 1873 he became librarian of the
London Institution. He published commentaries on
the Gospel according to the Hebrews (1879) and St.
Matthew (1881) and papers on philology.
extracts below he addresses two common objections
which are often put forward in the consideration
of animal rights.
time which they have for living and learning is but
short: wild, their life is in some cases all fear and
struggle; tame, they are under the rule of one who is
often a bad master and seldom a good schoolmaster—man.
Even thus we are driven to see in them, despite our
contempt, and to acknowledge in them, despite our pride,
numberless proofs of the same mental and moral faculties
to which we ourselves lay claim often (though not
always) different in degree, but not so in kind. Nay, if
we are pressed we must admit that many animals are wiser
and better than many men and some entire races, of men.
And, since we cannot put down these faculties to
instinct, ought we not rather to admire and cultivate
than disparage and slight the animal-mind ? can we do
less than forbear henceforth to bring forward the
supposed defects of that mind as a ground for refusing
to the animal what would otherwise be its rights as a
The other common objection to allowing animals rights is
that they 'have no soul,'…This objection [is no more to
the point than the former [that they have no reason].
For put it thus—Animals will have no after life : that
is a reason why they should be denied what would
otherwise be their rights in the present one'—and its
absurdity is plain. Nay, if animals have no chance of
happiness in another life we should be the more careful
to ensure their happiness in this.…But were the
objection ever so much to the point it would still be a
bad one. For in the first place it is not capable of
proof and therefor cannot be used to bar a natural
right. And in the second place, we allow souls to men, I
cannot see how we are to deny them to animals.
Nicholson, The Rights of an Animal
Unfortunately this link to more information no longer
Whether or not
animals including man have a soul is irrelevant, animals
including ourselves suffer in the here and now and as
the above quote suggests, if animals do not have souls
then that is more reason to treat animals more humanely
and to allow them the enjoyment of whatever life they
the religions that do not believe that animals have
souls most of these religions advocate that animals
should be treated humanely. I cannot imagine that the
teaching of any religion that believes in a
compassionate deity could possibly condone factory
farming and the general mistreatment of animals that
prevails the world over. I think that it is unreasonable
to use the excuse, most prevalent amongst Christians,
that God created animals for our use in order to justify
factory farming. I rather doubt that those who belong to
religions that believe that animals are here for our
benefit can honestly think this gives mankind the
license to mistreat animals in factory farms, or to hunt
them for sport, or use them for experimentation or
for entertainment. All of these religions teach against
it is not well known, Judaism has very powerful
teachings about the proper treatment of animals. If Jews
took these teachings seriously, they would be among the
strongest protesters of many current practices related
Judaism and Animal Rights
methods used in factory farming, and the experimentation
upon animals for example, constitutes dreadful cruelty and
therefore cannot be condoned by any religion that
teaches against cruelty to animals.
members of the Abrahamic religions for the most part if
asked the question do animals have souls will reply in
the affirmative. Furthermore according to my
understanding there are no references in any of the
literature of these faiths that states in so many words
that animals do not have souls.
probably the only religion to consistently teach against
harming any creature including the tiniest of insects,
you will find references admonishing against
cruelty to animals in many ancient and modern religions
including, Buddhism and Hinduism. Many of these religions
adhere to a vegetarian or vegan diet even some sects of the Abrahamic religions. For
example St Francis was a vegetarian and in times passed
Christian monks mostly adhered to a vegetarian diet.
Here is a selection of links
to vegetarian associations established and supported by
members of the Abrahamic religions:
Vegetarian News - Islamic vegetarians
Judaism and Vegetarianism
Christian Vegetarian Association
The only diet for a peacemaker is a vegetarian diet
I do not wish
to go too deeply into the religious view of animal
rights here or comment further on the issue of animal
souls as in due course I hope to include an in-depth
article on this subject. Personally I do not know if man
or other animals have a soul. I rather think that if man
does have a soul then so do animals, conversely if
animals do not have souls then neither does man, for man
is an animal like any other. Moreover what is a soul? Is
a soul the same as a spirit, the mind, or is this a
concept that has come into being that actually refers to
sentience? The part of us that makes us who we are, an
aspect of our existence that I strongly believe that
other animals, including farm animals, fish and
invertebrates, in fact all living things, possess.
This is a huge subject which I hope to tackle in an
unbiased way in the near future. For now here is a
selection of quotes from religion and philosophy
stating that animals have souls and that animals
should be treated humanely, with kindness and
there is the evolution of living beings, let people
cherish the thought of kinship with them, and, thinking
that all beings are [to be loved as if they were] an
only child, let them refrain from eating meat.
Buddha, The Lankavatara Sutra, "On Meat Eating*
sentient beings are destroyed, for flesh money is paid
out, they are both evil-doers.
Buddha, The Lankavatara Sutra, "On Meat Eating*
taught that …all animated beings were kin, and should be
considered as belonging to one great family.
race! Do not, I beg you, and concentrate your minds on
my admonitions! When you place the flesh of slaughtered
cattle in your mouths, know and feel, that you are
devouring your fellow-creature.
Pythagoras's Teachings: Vegetarianism 8th c. BCE in
For as long
as men massacre animals, they will kill each other.
Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot
reap joy and love.
Not to hurt
our humble brethren (the animals) is our first duty to
them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher
mission--to be of service to them whenever they require
it... If you have men who will exclude any of God's
creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you
will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow
St. Francis of
is life - whether in a cat, or dog or man. There is no
difference there between a cat or a man. The idea of
difference is a human conception for man's own
man has regard for the life of his beast.
not an animal that lives on the Earth, nor a being that
flies on its wings, but forms part of communities like
you. Nothing have we omitted from the Book, and they all
shall be gathered to their Lord in the end.
kind to the creatures of God is kind to himself.
I just love
this delightful quote from the Islamic tradition:
hear the crowing of cocks, ask for Allah's Blessings for
(their crowing indicates that) they have seen an
Maybe not the
intent of this passage but it does imply sentience
There is not
an animal on the earth, nor a flying creature on two
wings, but they are people like unto you.
Ways to bring
about a humane treatment of animals
Here I will
discuss ways in which we may bring about changes in the
way we think about animals and how we treat them
Challenge the habit.
Find out how your food gets to your table. Learn about
the cruelties of factory farming :
information concerning factory farming and other abuse
may be found on the following external websites:
- Vegetarians International Voice for Animals
fish and dairy causes environmental destruction, damages
human health, contributes to global hunger and inflicts
immense suffering on billions of animals across the
world. Viva! believes that the solution to all these
problems is in our own hands: the best way to stop the
destruction and the cruelty is to stop eating animals
now – go vegetarian, or better still, vegan. "
"Viva! is a dynamic organization
campaigning on behalf of animals killed for food. We do
investigations of factory farms and then produce
campaign materials for students and activists, helping
people change to a veggie diet! We are an international
organization, registered in the USA as a 501(c)(3)
Also VIVA Poland
Viva! Walczymy o konie i inne zwierzeta : .
UK: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA): The animal
formed in 1980 in the United States and has more than 2
million members and supporters, making it the largest
animal rights organisation in the world.
PETA US and PETA Europe are dedicated to establishing
and protecting the rights of all animals. Like humans,
animals are capable of suffering and have interests in
leading their own lives; therefore, they are not ours to
use – for food, clothing, entertainment, experimentation
or any other reason. PETA-named affiliates around the
world educate policymakers and the public about cruelty
to animals and promote an understanding of the right of
all animals to be treated with respect."
I have not said
much concerning other matters of animal abuse such as
experimentation. I hope to include a separate article in
the near future about this and other areas of animal
abuse such as animals used in entertainment.
out the website below for information about a number of
issue concerning animal cruelty .
Uncaged Campaigns: Against animal testing and
organisation campaign against animals experimentation.
"We are a peaceful international animal protection
organisation based in Sheffield, England. Our main
campaigns are against animal experiments (vivisection);
against xenotransplantation (animal to human
transplants); the global boycott of Procter & Gamble;
for animal rights and for democratic action on animal
issues through the political system."
effective way to put an end to the atrocities
of factory farming is to go vegetarian or preferably
information about becoming a vegetarian or Vegan click
the links below.
Differently Go Veggi/Vegan and
So you want to go Vegan/Vegi
about changing your diet to vegetarian or vegan can be
found on the following external websites:
Vegetarian and Vegan Starter Kit:
information, advice, recipes and free vegetarian starter
Another way to
bring about change is to participate in campaigns such
as signing or initiating petitions, writing
letters to government officials and to food producers
and peaceful protests.
Viva! - Vegetarians International Voice for Animals
in Britain, more than 7 billion animals face the
barbarity of slaughter - many fully conscious. Most
spend their short, brutal lives in confinement, pain and
misery. Viva! launches regular, hard-hitting campaigns
and has forced the vegetarian and vegan debate back on
to the agenda - on TV, radio and in the press."
VIVA have wide range of campaigns again animal cruelty
for you to participate in and provides a supporter pack
and PETA Europe are dedicated to establishing and
protecting the rights of all animals. Like us, animals
are capable of suffering, and they have an interest in
leading their own lives; therefore, they are not ours to
eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment or use
in any other way. PETA and PETA Europe work through
public education, research, legislation, special events,
celebrity involvement and protest campaigns.
A wide range
of campaigns in which you may become involved, plenty of
help and advice to help you take action against cruelty
action in which you may become involved to help stop
experimentation and other forms of cruelty
UK Government annual statistics 2007 reveal that over
3.2 million animals suffer and die in British
laboratories in experiments that "may cause pain,
suffering, distress and lasting harm" (experiments that
are considered unlikely to cause pain do not need to be
licensed and are therefore not included in the annual
statistics). An estimated additional 8 million animals
are bred and then destroyed as surplus to requirements.
As well as mice, rats, hamsters, gerbils and guinea pigs
(the bulk of experiments involve rodents), other animals
such as rabbits, dogs, cats, monkeys, horses, cows,
pigs, sheep, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and even
insects are used - in fact there's hardly a species that
are not experimented on."
Differently About sheep went
on-line in March 2009. I hope to provide more
information about the above topics including links to
information, campaigns and dietary advice as such
information on this web page is on going and the content
will be revised and new additions included as more
information becomes available.
Other links of
IMPACT Press: Article: "Gestation Crates: No Way To
Treat A Pig" -- Aug.-Sep.
man is the king of beasts, for his brutality exceeds
theirs. We live by the death of others: we are burial
places! I have from an early age abjured the use of
meat, and the time will come when men such as I will
look on the murder of animals as they now look on the
murder of men.
Leonardo da Vinci