captivity - a cruel creation by mankind

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Reply Thu 21 Jan, 2010 03:46 pm
I would like to hear some opinions about the issue "captive animals". I think this is a major of all ethical issues. Certainly it is also a very uncomfortable theme for many people, as most are indirect keepers themselves by consuming products from agricultures mass production such as eggs, meat and milk. Still, hopefully there is some will and readiness to even face such very difficult and important topic.

My standpoint:

1. The state of captivity is a creation of modern mankind and there has never been any kind of captivity in free nature.
2. Holding animals in captivity for their entire live, often in narrow cages just to produce cheap meals, is the spawn of arrogance.
3. There seem to be strong parallels to the Morlocks (H.G.Wells, 1885) when considering today's human society's behaviour toward the weaker creatures.
4. Everybody consuming products of the imprisoned creatures is a keeper and responsible.

Please do not widen the theme to the captivity of humans or killing of animals, as these two themes are discussed in other threads and/or the matter would get unmanageable.

I don't want to offend anybody, but I think that intelligent people like those here in this forum will have the courage to handle the issue without closing their eyes. I'm very curious about your opinions.

_______________________________
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BabyBear phil
 
Reply Thu 21 Jan, 2010 05:43 pm
@steffen phil,
It is certainly an interesting and largely inescapable topic. Even if people don't want to talk about it, as you say, they are more likely than not somehow involved in it.

I do think there are some gray areas. Obviously the way many animals are treated today is deplorable, with huge farms where cattle and chickens become nothing more then mass produced commodities and are treated as no better (I recently watched the Food Inc. documentary, which opened my eyes to things I was aware of but never saw in graphic terms before).

Now, as far as general captivity goes, is there such a thing as humane captivity? I think that's where some discussion could come in. Certainly you could argue that anything less than a species natural habitat is not good for it. You could also argue that captivity, such as in the case of zoos, can save certain animals from extinction. (Of course, they wouldn't be in danger of extinction if people didn't over hunt them in the first place and destroy habitats.) Some people even argue that if we want to save some animals from extinction we need to start farming them. They say that if we ate tigers and other animals that their procreation would be ensured because there would be a demand for them. This might be true, but that doesn't necessarily make it moral. We started domesticating animals thousands of years ago for our own benefit, which from an evolutionary standpoint is the only real reason to do anything. And there are some good and bad things that have come from this. Pets can be a wonderful companion for people, but then the domestication of cats and dogs has also led to thousands of homeless strays. Are strays worse off than they would be in the wild? Did we select any instinctive hunting skills out of domesticated animals that makes them no longer able to survive without an owner? Maybe in the case of pets we've only ruined any natural chance of happiness as much as we've ruined it for ourselves.

Maybe I've only just raised more questions rather than answering any of yours. I think that from a selfish standpoint I would be ok with some sort of "humane" captivity as far as farming goes... such as free range or at least not keeping the animals in the chicken or cattle equivalent of a ghetto or concentration camp. But I know even "humane" captivity still raises the point that you're raising something that's alive only to kill it and eat it. As I said, from a selfish standpoint I guess I would see that as an acceptable shade of gray. Of course, even with that I'm more talk than action. I still buy meat at the grocery store that was probably brought there from one of those massive "farms". It seems like things tend towards a natural progression of getting exponentially worse rather than any better.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Thu 21 Jan, 2010 07:33 pm
@BabyBear phil,
steffen;121664 wrote:


My standpoint:

1. The state of captivity is a creation of modern mankind and there has never been any kind of captivity in free nature.
2. Holding animals in captivity for their entire live, often in narrow cages just to produce cheap meals, is the spawn of arrogance.
3. There seem to be strong parallels to the Morlocks (H.G.Wells, 1885) when considering today's human society's behaviour toward the weaker creatures.
4. Everybody consuming products of the imprisoned creatures is a keeper and responsible.


First, I would like to suggest a very interesting book by Peter Singer you may like, called Animal Liberation. Peter Singer essentially states that there is no reason why animals should not at least have an equal consideration of interests. As far as captivity and the use of animals as a means of sustenance, Singer suggested that an animal should be compared to that of a small child. If it were acceptable to hold a child captive (as well as most other things like testing, etc.), then it would then be acceptable to hold an animal. To not consider animals in the same light as, say, the child, it is a form of speciesism, racism, etc. Likewise, there is a philosopher by the name of Tom Regan who, in The Case for Animal Rights, posits that animals, as subjects of life, are entitled to basic rights (which are honestly much the same as Singer's). Singer and Regan both support an extension of rights to animals. And in the case of captivity, the rights surely do extend.

Now as far as the points you have, I draw some opinions. In the case of your first point, that in the case of the nature of captivity, because it does not exist in a state of nature, then there is something inherently wrong with it. Suppose the contrapositive, that because there is something which does exist in a state of nature, then there is something right with it. Survival is one thing that could be brought up, among quite a few other points. As to point #2, I do think there is something inherently wrong with the fact that an animal would be incarcerated without the freedom of choice only to be killed for "cheap meals." However, humans need livestock the way chickens need feed (or whatever they would eat in nature LOL!). Chickens would just as soon protect their sustenance the way humans would. On your point #3, I remember that the Morlocks in The Time Machine do not as much represent the top of the food chain abusing the substance they eat, but rather form a link in a greater chain in the grander scheme of things. The Morlocks themselves die out and the Eloi become bunny-like creatures. Irony? Maybe. As to point #4, I do not agree with the extension of accountability. Honestly, there is not a person alive who is not guilty of consuming products of an imprisoned creature. If you have ever had a flu shot or any of a myriad of other things, you have had at least bear some sort of "responsibility." Does this mean we are all guilty? If so, then what do we do or how do we censure ourselves for it.

One thing that should at least be amusing to many is the fact that if animals are not consumed, then there must be some sort of substitute which is. Most cases, it is plants. But if animals deserve rights, don't plant's as well? They have no means of defending themselves (in many cases) from the predation of humans, who hold them captive in small gardens only to raise them to a level of maturity and then consume them. I wonder of Singer would agree that this is a form of Plantaeism?
 
Jebediah
 
Reply Thu 21 Jan, 2010 07:47 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
Quote:
1. The state of captivity is a creation of modern mankind and there has never been any kind of captivity in free nature.


I don't know about this, spiders certainly keep flies captive in their web.
 
BabyBear phil
 
Reply Thu 21 Jan, 2010 09:16 pm
@steffen phil,
Jebediah makes a good point. I, being in a state of ignorance on the subject, honestly, would vote for the compromise (humane captivity) if it exists.
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Fri 22 Jan, 2010 01:45 am
@BabyBear phil,
So should we look down on the farmer ant for biting the wings off aphids tending and herding them?
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Fri 22 Jan, 2010 07:59 am
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon;121693 wrote:
...
However, humans need livestock the way chickens need feed (or whatever they would eat in nature LOL!). ...



That is simply false. It is quite possible to live without livestock, eating no animal products. Vegans do it all the time, and, in fact, on average, live longer than meat eaters.


VideCorSpoon;121693 wrote:
...

One thing that should at least be amusing to many is the fact that if animals are not consumed, then there must be some sort of substitute which is. Most cases, it is plants. But if animals deserve rights, don't plant's as well? They have no means of defending themselves (in many cases) from the predation of humans, who hold them captive in small gardens only to raise them to a level of maturity and then consume them. I wonder of Singer would agree that this is a form of Plantaeism?


There are two things wrong with that. First, whenever animals are raised for food, the animals are fed plants, so that you will be indirectly eating plants anyway, and, in fact, a good deal more plants will die that way (it takes many pounds of plants as food to make one pound of meat). So even if all one cared about was plants, it would be better to directly eat plants than to eat animals. Second, usually, the interest in not harming animals has to do with them being sentient. There is reason to believe that plants are not sentient.

---------- Post added 01-22-2010 at 09:01 AM ----------



Should we look to ants as a guide for good conduct?
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Fri 22 Jan, 2010 10:01 am
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;121759 wrote:
That is simply false. It is quite possible to live without livestock, eating no animal products. Vegans do it all the time, and, in fact, on average, live longer than meat eaters.


That was simply selectively read. Interestingly, my statement was more about the sufficient assumptions of sustenance rather than the necessary necessary for a human to eat meat in order to survive? No, because there are other things that can supply the body with omega-3's, iron, calcium, amino acids, etc. The link of Vegetarianism was interesting though. And on your comment about vegans (also on necessary and sufficient assumptions) would the fact that vegans (on average) live longer than meat eaters be entirely dependent (necessary) on not eating meat? There may be other factors and considerations to take into account.
Pyrrho;121759 wrote:
There are two things wrong with that. First, whenever animals are raised for food, the animals are fed plants, so that you will be indirectly eating plants anyway, and, in fact, a good deal more plants will die that way (it takes many pounds of plants as food to make one pound of meat). So even if all one cared about was plants, it would be better to directly eat plants than to eat animals. Second, usually, the interest in not harming animals has to do with them being sentient. There is reason to believe that plants are not sentient.
 
Jebediah
 
Reply Fri 22 Jan, 2010 10:06 am
@VideCorSpoon,
Quote:
Should we look to ants as a guide for good conduct?


I'm not sure why you say this, since the OP was using ants as a guide to good conduct, and that link was posted as refutation.
 
TickTockMan
 
Reply Fri 22 Jan, 2010 10:57 am
@GoshisDead,
Jebediah;121699 wrote:
I don't know about this, spiders certainly keep flies captive in their web.




Or perhaps this as well:
Slave ants keep a taste for revenge - life - 14 April 2009 - New Scientist

Nature is not as idyllic and harmonious as we humans would like to believe.
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Fri 22 Jan, 2010 11:50 am
@TickTockMan,
Amen Tick:
I'm all fine with limiting cruelty to animals but I also dislike the hypocrissy with which it is often times preached...

"ohhhhhh We are the unique stewards of nature and we must save it from itself."
 
fast
 
Reply Fri 22 Jan, 2010 01:49 pm
@steffen phil,
[QUOTE=steffen;121664]I would like to hear some opinions about the issue "captive animals". [/QUOTE]I'm fine with keeping animals captive.

[QUOTE]Certainly it is also a very uncomfortable theme for many people, as most are indirect keepers themselves by consuming products from agricultures mass production such as eggs, meat and milk.[/QUOTE]I'm okay with eating eggs and meat and drinking milk. I also have no qualms with doing so when they come from animals in captivity.

Quote:
1. The state of captivity is a creation of modern mankind and there has never been any kind of captivity in free nature.
Even if true, that wouldn't bother me.[/SIZE]

[QUOTE]2. Holding animals in captivity for their entire live, often in narrow cages just to produce cheap meals, is the spawn of arrogance.[/QUOTE]I don't particularly like the idea of keeping animals in narrow cages for long periods of time. I think that is wrong. Although I'm not crazy about keeping them in captivity for their entire lives, there really isn't much we can do in cases where we eat them.

[QUOTE]4. Everybody consuming products of the imprisoned creatures is a keeper and responsible.[/QUOTE]That sounds odd. I play a very small role for the demand, so perhaps I am partly responsible in a narrow sense, but I'm certainly not responsible for the conditions in which they are kept.

[QUOTE]I'm very curious about your opinions.[/QUOTE]And that's what I gave.
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 22 Jan, 2010 02:27 pm
@steffen phil,
Captivity is a result of what may be the first technology, the cord, which represents the use of natural fibres, and the clothing, and domestication of animals and improved forms of shelter follow...Technology has always been turned against nature...The bright spot is that what began as an aid to food gathering, fishing, and the like that early on was turned to the capture of people as food, also resulted in slavery replacing cannibalism...It is not capture that is the cruel creation, but first the cord, and eventually all technology...
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Fri 22 Jan, 2010 02:36 pm
@Fido,
Oh to be traveling the the sub-sahara naked scavenging hyena leftovers, eating grass seed, running from predators, and dying from old age at 20. What a blissful state of pre-material-culture homeostasis that must have been.
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 22 Jan, 2010 11:34 pm
@steffen phil,
Is it that much better being a Londoner never being out of the eye of a camera...We are all captives, and freedom is always under threat...Technology that everyone celebrates also endangers each and every one of us
 
steffen phil
 
Reply Sat 23 Jan, 2010 02:57 am
@Fido,
Thanks to each of you for your interesting comments.

Certainly there has never been any captivity before we have created it.

Something has taken care that there can never be any kind of real captivity inside the system of the free nature, the tool to ensure that is a simple logic: A creature concentrating on stealing the freedom of another to arrange a durable food source, would automatically run into a blind ally. All creatures without exception, have created themselves by finding niches in each other's existence and all major characteristics of every living thing is constructed to fit like a very complex stone, into the much more complex puzzle of free nature. An animal that would use forcibly captivity for its own surviving would put energy into something that will automatically vanish pretty soon by degenerating or changing, just like sand will run through your fingers.

There has never been any species that has adapted to stay in captivity and there will never be one in this universe. Mankind's arrogant self-delusions in this matter are based on the fact that, for example, large mammal species become easier to handle when some important behavioural patterns have been reared away, which indeed is possible in a relatively short time. These misconceptions are also based on the inability to distinguish between free nature's main structures of symbiosis and parasitism on the one hand, and humans' invention of captivity on the other. Dogs might have adapted into a state of symbiosis with humans, and there are billion variations in the nature, mostly invisible for us.

However, the belief that cattle or pigs are already adapted to the state of captivity into which we have forced them is just an illusion. These species are already in a process of severe degeneration since our regarding activities began only a few thousand years ago. And this process is vastly accelerating, now that the natural races have almost completely vanished during the last centuries

As for the symbiosis between aphids and ants, the classical point of discussion when trying to find captivity in the free nature, the parties are contrary since many decades. One side is sure that the aphids are the winners of this connection, as they would need very little energy to keep armies of very strong bodyguards, while other scientists (often those with connections to the agricultural industry) will do everything to find a disadvantage on the side of the aphids.
The last phrase of the article quoted by GoshisDead is typical example:

Quote:

Professor Vincent Jansen of Royal Holloway's School of Biological Sciences, concludes: "Although both parties benefit from the interaction, this research shows is that all is not well in the world of aphids and ants. The aphids are manipulated to their disadvantage: for aphids the ants are a dangerous liaison.



Using common sense, there is no need to be a professor to understand that there is never a real disadvantage in a symbiotically system, as this would be made even automatically or one partner would change or vanish away from the other.

BabyBear wrote:

Quote:

I do think there are some gray areas


Nature laws are very straight and clear and there would be no more grey areas if we could see clear. But in the reality for us the border between some of the main structures of free nature (symbiosis and parasitism) on the one hand, and the unnatural and major sin of captivity on the other, is sometimes very hard to see due to the extreme complexity of it all.


VideCorSpoon wrote:

Quote:

But if animals deserve rights, don't plant's as well? They have no means of defending themselves (in many cases) from the predation of humans, who hold them captive in small gardens only to raise them to a level of maturity and then consume them. I wonder of Singer would agree that this is a form of Plantaeism?


A plant doesn't care if it grows in a small or in a big garden. Something that has not developed itself to move around can not be taken in cruel captivity. Anyway, certainly it would be a matter of arrogance to say that a plant has no rights. To intentionally kill a plant without clear reason would be a natural sin.

Jebediah wrote:

Quote:

I don't know about this, spiders certainly keep flies captive in their web.


When I asked for opinions for the matter of captivity I did not mean situations where a prey is not instantly killed by the predator. Surely there are different methods of predators to keep the prey alive for hours or even days in seldom cases by paralysing it.


Mankind has used its extreme power, connected with leaving the frame of free nature and finding the tools, do develop borderless (or better frameless) cruelty and we should face this fact instead of closing our eyes.

There is no cold and greedy computer in the background of life, and what had created the rules of free nature has done a phenomenal and extraordinary job.

Spend some time alone in the free nature. Watch the animals dying when falling a prey or get injured or ill. You will see no real torture, as everything is happening pretty fast and mostly under some state of shock.
Each victim had spent an amazing and exiting free life as it was meant to be and the end would come pretty fast. Free nature is a very just and merciful system

And then, after this, walk into a farm where thousands of chicken (for example) are hold in captivity, five in each plain, very small cell, no chance to ever see the sun and the moon or even a single flower. Even the strange darkness, the heat and smell will make you walk out of this hell after few minutes.

So, captivity, agony and torture for animals and humans is clearly a creation of mankind, and therefore we are responsible. Nature will take care that this things will soon be over.

www.basicrule.info
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Sat 23 Jan, 2010 10:07 am
@steffen phil,
steffen;121943 wrote:
VideCorSpoon wrote:

A plant doesn't care if it grows in a small or in a big garden. Something that has not developed itself to move around can not be taken in cruel captivity. Anyway, certainly it would be a matter of arrogance to say that a plant has no rights. To intentionally kill a plant without clear reason would be a natural sin.

A few points to raise here. So if a plant does not care where it grows, whether that be a small or a large garden, does that negate the fact that it careshttp://www.philosophyforum.com/community-forums/social-groups/pre-law-group/3581-who-should-punished-case-dog-provetie-1595-a.html
 
Khethil
 
Reply Sat 23 Jan, 2010 10:29 am
@steffen phil,
Well...

I think whether or not its wrong depends on your individual morals and upon what you base those morals. For me, I believe that causing any living thing pain - where we have any reason to believe such sensation exists - is ethically wrong unless it can somehow be justified (very slippery and very complex). Is pain and loss of freedom perceived by these creatures in a negative way? Do they simply 'feel' yet just not perhaps understand the nature of that feeling? Have we over anthropomorphized* our concept of what they can and can't feel? Does it matter? What's more...

Do animals value their freedom? Do they abhor captivity? ... even 'comfortable' captivity? If a creature has no concept of freedom to value, then what is the loss of such? And by the way, I believe it's irrelevant to the ethical issue at hand whether or not humans invented it (as if somehow who invented 'it' could make something OK that's otherwise not). Oh, and legal issues should be driven by what's determined to be ethical - not the other way around.

We can go down many roads on this: Should we be eating animal flesh at all? Are we truly omnivores? If so - or if not - on what does one base this? Our physiology? Our habits over the eons? Further, if we can somehow justify eating flesh, does that also justify the captivity that's being discussed? Even this gets questioned since it's been well shown that we needn't eat meat at all. Many issues, complex and interrelated.

I think I'd agree with the OP's basic sentiment: Captivity, and certainly the way it's done in a mass-production setting, is unethical. Yep I eat meat: I did yesterday, I likely will today and I'll probably again tomorrow. I accept and try, with eyes wide open, to accept the inconsistency this creates (Behavior -vs- Ethics). While I admit this inconsistency and do often consider it, I think it far worse to wallow in hypocrisy.

What makes captivity wrong? What makes killing wrong? - from the smallest to the most advanced life forms. Thinking these through, for the thinker, is extremely important.

Thanks



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* - Remember, when you see an animal in a disgusting, torturous situation you're perceiving it through your eyes - human eyes. Your compassion, identification, protection instincts and the emotions these invoke are not necessarily those felt by the animal. Could they be in agony (in such a circumstance)? Absolutely! Even so, your not them
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 24 Jan, 2010 10:41 am
@steffen phil,
steffen;121664 wrote:
I would like to hear some opinions about the issue "captive animals". I think this is a major of all ethical issues. Certainly it is also a very uncomfortable theme for many people, as most are indirect keepers themselves by consuming products from agricultures mass production such as eggs, meat and milk. Still, hopefully there is some will and readiness to even face such very difficult and important topic.

My standpoint:

1. The state of captivity is a creation of modern mankind and there has never been any kind of captivity in free nature.
2. Holding animals in captivity for their entire live, often in narrow cages just to produce cheap meals, is the spawn of arrogance.
3. There seem to be strong parallels to the Morlocks (H.G.Wells, 1885) when considering today's human society's behaviour toward the weaker creatures.
4. Everybody consuming products of the imprisoned creatures is a keeper and responsible.

Please do not widen the theme to the captivity of humans or killing of animals, as these two themes are discussed in other threads and/or the matter would get unmanageable.

I don't want to offend anybody, but I think that intelligent people like those here in this forum will have the courage to handle the issue without closing their eyes. I'm very curious about your opinions.

_______________________________
basicrule.info


I have heard that spiders keep flies captive until they eat them. Spiders are not a part of mankind, and spiders existed before mankind existed. So, maybe captivity is a cruel creation of spiders.
 
steffen phil
 
Reply Sun 24 Jan, 2010 11:08 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
Quote:

I have heard that spiders keep flies captive until they eat them. Spiders are not a part of mankind, and spiders existed before mankind existed. So, maybe captivity is a cruel creation of spiders.

I have answered that already:
steffen wrote:
Quote:

When I asked for opinions for the matter of captivity I did not mean situations where a prey is not instantly killed by the predator. Surely there are different methods of predators to keep the prey alive for hours or even days in seldom cases by paralysing it.

Maby more clear for you: Free creatures hunting other free creatures is a main structure of free nature. To control a species in captivity (which means to feed it or even breed it) is impossible in the free nature.



BabyBear wrote:
Quote:

I think that from a selfish standpoint I would be ok with some sort of "humane" captivity as far as farming goes... such as free range or at least not keeping the animals in the chicken or cattle equivalent of a ghetto or concentration camp.

Quote:




Khethil wrote:
Quote:

I think I'd agree with the OP's basic sentiment: Captivity, and certainly the way it's done in a mass-production setting, is unethical. Yep I eat meat: I did yesterday, I likely will today and I'll probably again tomorrow. I accept and try, with eyes wide open, to accept the inconsistency this creates (Behavior -vs- Ethics). While I admit this inconsistency and do often consider it, I think it far worse to wallow in hypocrisy.

I'm a bit helpless with that, it sounds as you are thinking about the right way of thinking and in the end you seem to be completely free of any practical consequences (in the discussed matter).

Don't get me wrong, I don't even want to criticize what you both or others here are doing, I just don't understand that. To think and to understand that there is something wrong would normally be connected with consequences (in my world).

Certainly most people would not get vegan if they have understood the extreme cruelty connected with today's industrial mass production, but they would for example try to get more ethical products like eggs or meat from free range-chicken or cattle.

Might be a good theme for a new thread: What is the sense of thinking?

Or better: Is there any sense in thinking?

___________________________
www.basicrule.info
 
 

 
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