Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Reply to the Argument from Animal Suffering

From guest blogger, Haley:

The Argument from Animal Suffering is that animal agriculture causes a very large amount of suffering. In this argument I agree that animals feel pain and they are a lot smarter than people give them credit for. As humans we need to be aware of how much pain we put animals through and be cautious of some of our practices involving our animals. But does that mean farming and agriculture is a bad thing and immoral? I don’t believe so. If we put our best efforts in and do all we can to be humane and reduce pain, then farming and agriculture is a moral practice.

I also don’t believe that all of what we see from CAFOs is true information. There are USDA regulations out there to keep these practices from occurring. Does this mean that farms can still get away with mistreatment of animals? Honestly speaking, yes they can. Some farms can get away with flying under the radar but that also doesn’t mean they should. For today’s society, regulations are pretty strong but they can always be stronger, it will always be that way. It is good to keep in mind though that some of what people put out about these farms is incorrect information and can be taken out of context. When working on a beef or dairy farm, the farmers are working with animals that are 1,000 plus pounds. If they aren’t careful they can sometimes be hurt and being careful sometimes means being forceful. Say if one of those 1,000 plus pound animals is standing on your foot, (speaking from experience) it can really hurt regardless of what footwear you’re wearing. In this situation you have to remain calm so you don’t scare the animal but you also have to get them off, which can mean being forceful. Cattle are also very sensitive to their surroundings which means when you move them they are very alert to the change that is going on and they can be very stubborn. To get this animal moving you may need to give them tap on the rear. It’s not harming them, it’s just to get the job done.

I disagree with premise three of the argument as well: there is no adequate reason for animal agriculture. The agriculture industry as whole is feeding the entire world. We have the resources, people, animals and crops to do it so we should stick with it. What’s more is if we stopped animal agriculture the farmers, the people who work in processing plants, the people who transport the animals and meat will be out of a job. The job loss and the loss of revenue from having meat on the market would also effect economies as well. Agriculture is a large industry worldwide and it’s not fair to the workforce to put them out of job. For some farmers, it is a multigenerational family tradition and their family’s life as well as their own life put into work. Why should they have to lose all they put in?  Instead, we should do our part to learn more about how food gets to our plates and we should also thank farmers for what they do.

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