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Found the link to be very interesting - I must admit I have my head totally up my bum, wasn't thinking at all of the same thing

I would agree with Eileen....

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Dixie Girl: "To a PETA person, I am commiting an atrocity every time I put meat in my mouth, or even take my dogs to training or a trial. But I don't feel that way, and so far none has convinced me otherwise. So, am I a horrible person, or are they just stupid?"


Answer: They're just stupid.



Mark: "Suppose there was a country where it is acceptable to collect the blood of animal fetuses and then use that for medicinal products? Would you consider that barbaric and then choose to not purchase any products from any retailer that sells these goods?"


Answer: If I personally considered that unacceptable, yes, I would choose to buy my products from another company. That's what's good about living in a free society.



Luisa: "There's little sweet about human culture."


Reply: It's sad that you've seen nothing good in human culture. Perhaps you're not looking.

What comes to mind instantly is the Tsunami in Thailand/Bande Aceh. It didn't matter what your culture was - if you were there, you helped bury the dead, search for the missing, and help those who survived.


There was no religion. No politics. No race.


The same thing after 9-11, too.



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"The *unhelpful wow*" is more or less all we'll get , because everyone gets so emotional about this , quite naturally since we are talking pets , and best friends to some .

I feel that as in most arguments , the misunderstandings lie more in words than ideals .

We have been killing for millions of years .

Some people have strived to do it humanely , some populations still ask the skies or gods for forgiveness , but as we grow into huge unhuman crowds , the killers tend to see it as any other old job , conscience is lost , and those who benefit forget tactfully . There is not much sense of holy (gratefulness?) left , though I am not a believer of anything but our actions .

There is a huge difference between killing to eat and killing for fun . Sadly lots of people don't care , even more sadly some take pleasure .

As for different cultures , I've seen Inuits bury their family moose with so much love and respect , I've lived in China as a kid and I believe I might have eaten dogmeat , I love my animals like they were the best people I'll ever meet on earth , whilst some rich girl throws away one chihuahua after another ... hunting is such a respected 'sport' in many countries East and West , some tribes play polo with a live animal , and I have friends who will not even wear leather shoes , let alone eat eggs ...

I might sound confused , but my point is that we are all the produce of our ancestors and their way of life , we can , and must , work for a better handling of this problem in our own circle , more if we have the time and means .

I do believe what some wiseman said about "the way a nation treats their animals is a reflection of their evolution and humanity" .

I also believe that many underdevelopped countries are in some ways akin to what *we* westerners were 5 or 6 hundred years ago , this is obvious in all things not only animal , and Western Europe was a hell of a place to live in in the Middle Ages too .

Comparisons lead nowhere , well they lead to judgements , and I am more in favour of assessements , assessements of what exists , what can be done , how culture and socialisation can help opening minds .

This won't do anything to prevent the poachers and profiteers , but then nothing will rid the world of those .

Self-righteousness and obscurantism are our worst enemies , I don't feel I am at liberty to express anything but feelings , and maybe hopes for a better future .

This unusually long and torturous post was to say that from reading here for 2 years I really think all people on this forum agree on the basics , some are more rational , or emotional , or want to prove a point , or reassure themselves ...there are no straight answers to what mankind does or is capable of doing , conscience and empathy is the best help to all , but it would be a sad day when like-minded people on such a forum argued over words .

(I did read the thread about the dog Brock and his unhuman lady , she definitely is not part of this convo in my mind ).

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Good post, Mado!


May I add that it's not so much the West pushing our ideas and philosophies on some other culture (if we did that, we'd change their culture - which is wrong, of course), but that progress (from neanderthal to now) has offered us this kind of "enlightenment" that.. NO.. you do not skin a dog alive.. and NO... you should not use an animal for a football.. etc etc.


When you see another culture that has not grasped the concept of humane treatment of animals, conservation, preservation, etc - it does have the capability of effecting us directly. We may be a bunch of cultures (and some screwed up ones at that), but we are on one planet - and it is not asking too much or overstepping bounds that we ask other nations or races to be humane.. or to stop their pollution.. or not sell children into slavery.. or not commit genocide, etc.


There comes a point when we have a responsibility to ask our neighbors to shape up.. but sometimes we have to provide them with the means to be able to do so (education, etc).


Great thread.

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progress (from neanderthal to now) has offered us this kind of "enlightenment"


Wow. I thought I was done with this, but I have to say this one thing. I am not sure what depresses me more: the staggering ignorance implicit in this post, or the fact that a great lot of you probably don't see anything wrong with it.

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Originally posted by Pipedream Farm:

My participation here has primarily been to point out that it is often cultural bias that determines how one classifies a species of animal (pet, tool, food, etc) and it is this classification that often dictates what we find as acceptable for that animal. We would not find dog as an acceptable food source because we (our culture) classifies dog as a pet while we have no problem consuming or wearing cow because we classify them as livestock.


So what/who determines which species can be consumed and which cannot? Was that not passed onto you by your parents (culture)?


By all means condemn inhumane practices in animal husbandry and slaughter (like we should and do within our own culture); but is it fair/right to condemn another cultural bias? How would you feel if we were condemned, called barbaric, by another culture for our consumption of a cow?



Mark, if you consider that skinning dogs alive is acceptable, then I certainly condemn you.


The issue isn't whether we find dogs a food source. I wouldn't eat dog, but I have no objection to other Cultures eating them.




Cruelty, pain, fear. THAT'S the issue.


Be it any animal, no Culture has the right to inflict all of this on an innocent animal.

They have hundreds of options, regarding humane rearing, keeping and killing of dogs, yet they CHOOSE to keep, rear and kill them in cruel and unacceptable (to me anyway) ways.


I can't believe that any member of this Board could possibly condone this.

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Melanie said:



I fail to see anything ignorant about that post.

If we cannot " learn" from the past, how are we to advance? If we cannot share our knowledge with others, how are they to learn?

I wonder what personal issues caused this type of response from you?



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Maggie, I deleted a couple of your posts because of the graphic pictures. Links have been posted elsewhere in this thread where people can see pictures like this if they so choose, and you can post more links if you wish, but not the photos themselves. I would add that as I read his posts, Mark has never said that he condones skinning dogs alive. He wrote, "By all means condemn inhumane practices in animal husbandry and slaughter." I think you may be more in agreement than you realize.


Melanie, please do not put up any more posts that are nothing but flames. "Your ignorance depresses me, and lots of the rest of you are probably just as ignorant" has no content but personal insult. If you want to address the issue raised, that would be fine, but insulting other posters is not.

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Originally posted by Eileen Stein:

[QB] Maggie, I deleted a couple of your posts because of the graphic pictures. Links have been posted elsewhere in this thread where people can see pictures like this if they so choose, and you can post more links if you wish, but not the photos themselves. I would add that as I read his posts, Mark has never said that he condones skinning dogs alive. He wrote, "By all means condemn inhumane practices in animal husbandry and slaughter." I think you may be more in agreement than you realize.



I understand perfectly Eileen, and you are almost certainly right. I don't think there is anything relevance that I can add to this topic.


Personally, I love the Vietnamese, and most of the Asian Cultures. They're kind generous people, with far better manners than most western Cultures.


Just don't sell 'em a dog

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Melanie, I really like you and respect your opinion around this forum. It distresses me to see you upset.


My motto - even though I am not pagan - is "an it harm none, do as ye will." I live differently from a lot of people in my own country and the one I live in now, not to mention countries on other continents. I try to respect everyone's culture, religion, beliefs. However it's the "an it harm none" part that comes into play here. Anyone, anywhere, for whatever reason harming another - skinning and torturing dogs fits that description. And I feel I do have a right to be offended by that, to have an opinion on it, to believe it is wrong. I honestly do not have enough knowledge to "blame" it on a specific people or culture - I've never been there. But if it happens? If I read about it? Then I AM going to feel appalled by it and wish it to change.


It IS a fine line to walk, and we deal with it constantly here in the U.S. - with both pets and children. We have certain laws here to protect the dog, requiring shelter, food and water for a dog. We also have laws against animal abuse. And I know many of us here on these forums would like to see those laws increased to protect the dogs even further from uncaring owners. But on the other side of the coin one could ask - what right do we have to intrude on how someone lives their lives, on what they do on their own property with their own dogs? Yes, there are many in the U.S. who do object to the interference of others. Who feel it's their right to do as they will. It's a slippery slope - you want people to have autonomy and live their lives free from judgement. But you want to protect the innocent lives and prevent abuse.


And that's how I see it in the bigger picture. There are certain few things that I think should not happen, anywhere in the world. Abuse of people, abuse of animals. Harming others.


It's where you draw the line that matters, and maybe that's what's upsetting to some here... the idea of forcing your opinion on someone else, of judgint them. Of walking into another culture and saying, "That's wrong, don't do it." And for any other reason, I would agree.


But of course everyone's opinion of what constitutes "abuse" differs. I eat meat, which requires the killing animals. Some people would say that's condoning abuse. But to me personally, the humane killing of some animals for food is in the grey area. (Honestly I'm not sure how I feel about it. I don't think I would/could ever become a vegetarian, but the thought of killing any animal makes me feel ill.) And I guess that is an issue here too - we kill cows for food, another culture kills dogs for food, is that different? Is that wrong? And that is a VERY hard question. I have such a close, personal relationship with dogs that the thought does make me ill, yes. Killing for food is a much greyer area than torturing and skinning for pretty fur (to me, at least).

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Originally posted by SoloRiver:

progress (from neanderthal to now) has offered us this kind of "enlightenment"


Wow. I thought I was done with this, but I have to say this one thing. I am not sure what depresses me more: the staggering ignorance implicit in this post, or the fact that a great lot of you probably don't see anything wrong with it.

Oh good Lord, Melanie. Lighten up.


Try to put your scientific side aside, and re-read what I wrote. I was being tongue-in-cheek.



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I think you've made some very good points.


You wrote: "It's where you draw the line that matters, and maybe that's what's upsetting to some here... the idea of forcing your opinion on someone else, of judgint them. Of walking into another culture and saying, "That's wrong, don't do it." And for any other reason, I would agree."



Our student environmental group would have gotten NOWHERE if we did not work hand-in-hand with local Okinawan students. We loved learning from them, and they wanted (craved, is more like it) to learn from us... it was SO fun and so exciting!!


Let me see if I have some pictures -- they speak a 1000 words. Eileen.. is it all right to post pics here, or is there some other place to do that?


Learning about the Japanese culture is EXACTLY what prevented me from charging in hurling insults and demanding they do better...

I used to argue with a good friend of mine there, a card carrying member of PETA no less, about this very issue.


In the end, we encouraged change -- but as a cooperative learning experience, not as a shove-western-philosophy-down-their-throat one.


Aaaaaaaah. I just have to show you a picture to explain.


Anyway, good post Lunar.



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ShoresDog wrote:

Whole Foods is supposedly developing a labeling system to address this in the meat department. I hope they do. But meanwhile, I try to buy local.
And wasn't it a Whole Foods meat department manager who told me that they had started labeling their meats as "naturally raised" because legally it means absolutely nothing. You can put a "naturally raised" label on a package of chicken that comes from factory farmed chickens fed prophylactic antibiotics and not run afoul of any regulation provided that there's a statement on file at the slaughterhouse where the label was affixed to the package from the producer stating what the term means to them.


There are actually more regulations about whether meat and seafood are labeled "fresh" or "frozen" than whether they're labeled "naturally raised" or "grass fed" or "humanely raised."

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Eileen, my post was not a flame. It was an honest expression of dismay at the content of a post within this specific context. I have no idea who Kim is (indeed, as far as I can tell Kim has never posted on the Boards except to this thread) or what she is like as a person ? I have only words to go on. Despite her later disavowals, I saw nothing tongue in cheek about those words (they are perfectly congruent in the context of her earlier posts), and in fact the import of those words is both, yes, depressing and ugly.


Others have posted with far more inflammatory and personal language here, and have not been scolded as I have. I?m not implying any purposeful bias, I just think it?s a bit unfair.


My problem (and I know it isn?t only my problem) with this discussion is as follows. ?Cultures? don?t abuse dogs. People abuse dogs. This discussion started out being about specific abusive practices (not of dogs, but of animals related to dogs, but let?s leave that aside for now) and morphed into a condemnation of an entire group of people on the basis of their ?culture.?


Let?s dissect this a little bit more. What group of people are we talking about here? There have been numerous references to ?Asian culture.? What does that mean, exactly? Asia is a really big continent. Is there only one culture? Does everyone in Asia abuse dogs in the manner described? Should every person in Asia be held responsible for what some people in Asia do? Why are we defining our unit of discussion as ?Asian culture?? What is it about defining this group of people that is important to this discussion? Would it not be more productive (and less depressing) to talk about specific practices in their context (by this I mean a context less overwhelmingly broad and more specifically relevant than ?Asia?) than to talk about what ?they? do ?over there??


There have been references to and denunciations of ?cultures? or ?peoples? that allow such abuse to continue amongst themselves. By this argument we are not innocent. Many, many horrible abuses of animals continue in the United States. Most of them will continue and very little will be done about them either because in general people don?t think these abuses are serious enough crimes to warrant serious punishment, or because the resources for enforcement of existing laws isn?t there. (These are probably also the reasons that animal abuses continue "over there.") Should we be condemned and boycotted by serious animal lovers around the world because we allow puppy mills to exist? On Animal Planet every week I see owners who get away with slaps on the wrist or no charges at all despite committing abuses ranging from starving their own dogs slowly to death in their backyards to muzzling them with barbed wire for barking too much. Does this mean that ?American culture? doesn?t care about dogs?


Here on the Boards we get our panties in a twist when folks make unfair sweeping generalizations about how ?working dog people? treat their Border Collies. But it?s OK to make even more unfair, sweeping generalizations about the putative culture of an entire continent?s worth of people?


I am not bringing this up to suggest that what happens in other parts of the world is not serious and disturbing. I am bringing this up to illustrate that we are not as different as we might think from people ?over there? and that abuses happen everywhere. I am bringing this up because I do not believe that the horrific actions of some justify the denunciation of everyone ?over there? any more than I believe myself personally responsible for the actions of every puppy miller or pit fighter in America. Again, "cultures" don't abuse dogs. People abuse dogs.


I am personally outraged by animal abuse. I do not however think it is productive to cast the discussion in a ?cultural? argument cast as broadly as has been here because (a) the context is too broad and amorphous to be useful and (:rolleyes: it invites all sorts of ugly biases to come into play.


The argument, unfortunately quite historically popular (particularly during the Age of Exploration but also still, apparently, today), that there is some sort of evolutionary continuum of culture, with whoever is making the argument invariably at the pinnacle and people from other parts of the world still ?backward? or culturally retarded in some respect, is only the latest upsetting thing that?s been said in this thread. (By the way, Kim, I have a reading assignment for you: it?s called The Mismeasure of Man and it was written by Stephen Jay Gould. I?m not upset by your words because they?re scientifically imprecise. They?re offensive for other reasons as well, but they make me think it might be a good idea for you to read this book.)


I love dogs as much as anyone here. (The ?if you don?t feel this way, you must not love doggies as much as I do? argument has come up a couple of times here. All I can say is that if anyone doubts my bona fides in this respect, she has not been around the Boards very much.) I hate dog abuse as much as anyone else here. I don?t think broad, sweeping generalizations or condemnations of entire ?cultures? are productive, or that they help dogs.

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Can a set of learned behaviors and views be held responsible for the deplorable actions of an individual? I personally think every human can recognize suffering and agony; every human has stopped to think about how something else is feeling. Culture doesn't take that away. I live in the U.S. and while cattle are not highly valued for anything more than food here, I still do not wish to see them suffer. I couldn't eat meat if every cow was killed with blunt blows to the head, or just skinned and quartered while still alive. There is no excuse for a person to be so deliberately cruel to an animal. Ever.


Melanie's point is quite clear to me, and I agree with her for the most part. It is so easy for one to judge what they don't know . . . Culture is, I feel, irrelevant to the issue at hand. Culture doesn?t teach callousness and cruelty. This is about individuals taking advantage of animals in order to feed an industry. To make money. This happens everywhere.


If people still don?t believe that this is the doing of individuals and not the result of ?culture?, if blame must be cast at all, it's ultimately the fault of the people who buy these products and keep the demand for them as high as it is. If there is a great demand, someone will supply it.

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IMO, (and I dont have a dictionary so this might not be Webster's definition) Culture is a group of people who share the same set of beliefs. So to equate dissagrement with a belief to racisim is wrong. Racisim would be seeing an asian person at the mall or on the street and immedietly thinking, "Those people 'over there' kill dogs. Im not going to associate with them." That of course is wrong. And I dont see where anyone has that kind of issue.

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Referring back to Bill Fosher's post on meat labeling -- Thanks, Bill. Keep us honest. The story I had read was in the New York Times this fall, "Meat Labels Hope to Lure the Sensitive Carnivore." The plan is that they will have labeling that indicates the animal was raised humanely until slaughter. "Whole Foods ... has been working on its animal compassionate standards for three years and plans to unveil its logo in a few months, as soon as auditing guidelines are established to make sure farmers are following the rules." Here is a link to the story. I believe you have to register for the site to read content more than two weeks old, and I hope that's not a problem. (If it is, please PM me) I for one would really appreciate your input on this issue as it evolves.


Whole Foods Labeling



This thread has gone in a lot of directions, and I hope that we can find a way to be concerned about the treatment of animals without slandering entire continents. Please!

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I have not, to my recollection on this board, read any negative posts about how working people keep their dogs. This is not an us versus them issue- for this discussion. Working, pet and those in between, are all people who have dogs, who also have opinions on the humane care and dispensation of dogs.

As for the continent it occurs on- should I *EVER* see anyone skinning a dog alive, or any other practice, where the endpoint is not humane-a flame thrower would not keep me away from trying to stop it then and there. Even if it was smack dab in the bloods and cryps (sp?) gang territory in NYC.


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