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Ocean of Blood
November 20, 2006 5:33 AM   Subscribe

It's the season once again for the annual dolphin drives in Japan, the appallingly cruel (see "Les massacres" video) practice of herding into shallow waters and brutally slaughtering these highly intelligent, self-aware and emotional creatures. There are those trying to stop it, and should you be so inclined, you can sign their petition.
posted by flapjax at midnite (62 comments total)

 
There should be a Sea Shepard [wiki] signal like the bat signal...
posted by trinarian at 7:04 AM on November 20, 2006


That video in the 4th link is unbelievably appalling. What an inhumane and disgusting practice.
posted by papakwanz at 7:13 AM on November 20, 2006


Tuna however are not cute or smart enough to rate an emotional appeal.
posted by srboisvert at 7:13 AM on November 20, 2006 [2 favorites]


The Japanese -- and rightly so -- get a lot of shit for their whale-eating, dolphin-clubbing habits from the western supporters of animal welfare. But I still think China's record in the animal cruelty department is much, much worse than Japan's, and they seem to get away with it much more often.

China's secret, of course, is that they merrily give the finger to the protesters -- it doesn't matter if they protest against the occupation of Tibet or, say, the widespread use of caged bears as bile kegs. They just don't give a shit because the pwn us.

The Japanese, on the other hand, kind of pretend to marginally give a damn. And, of course, they don't really pwn us.
posted by matteo at 7:16 AM on November 20, 2006


re: what srboisvert said. I witnessed the operation of a tonnara in the Mediterranean. It's as bad as the dolphin slaughter.
posted by matteo at 7:17 AM on November 20, 2006


Tuna sure tastes good though.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:22 AM on November 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


What's a bile keg?
posted by spicynuts at 7:22 AM on November 20, 2006


I love dolphin...the proto-language skills somehow make it taste better.
posted by OmieWise at 7:28 AM on November 20, 2006


Save The Cute Smart Animals!!
posted by jonmc at 7:34 AM on November 20, 2006 [2 favorites]


Fa love Pa! *bonk*
posted by schoolgirl report at 7:39 AM on November 20, 2006


spicynuts: a keg. of bile.
posted by trinarian at 7:42 AM on November 20, 2006


srboisvert writes "Tuna however are not cute or smart enough to rate an emotional appeal."

Killing a dolphin is arguably more morally wrong than killing a human fetus. Have you ever heard of a Tuna that recognized itself in the mirror or used language?
posted by mullingitover at 7:48 AM on November 20, 2006


I was bitten by a dolphin once. It didn't really hurt, but it shook me up. It's like getting mugged by Gandhi.
posted by brain_drain at 7:49 AM on November 20, 2006 [4 favorites]


It's like getting mugged by Gandhi.

I watched a nature show that showed dolphins fighting eachother like you wouldn't believe. The whole 'peaceful dolphin' thing was cooked up by people who watched Flipper stoned too often. And to sell ankle tattoos to crunchy chicks.
posted by jonmc at 7:51 AM on November 20, 2006


Have you ever heard of a Tuna that recognized itself in the mirror or used language?

Has one ever been given a chance?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:55 AM on November 20, 2006


There are people who can't recognize themselves in mirrors or use language. I wonder if they taste good.
posted by hojoki at 7:59 AM on November 20, 2006


Have you ever heard of a Tuna that recognized itself in the mirror or used language?

Has one ever been given a chance?


Try to give tuna a chance to use language and somebody's just gonna say "can it "...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:00 AM on November 20, 2006


I have no particular opinion on which animals the world chooses to eat or not. They are protein, and some are quite delicious. Some are disgusting to me but hey, there might be societies out there disgusted by peanut butter, so what do I know?

What I object to is unnecessarily brutal slaughter of any animal, be it dolphin or cattle or chicken. And yes, the American meatpacking industries are brutal, but the slaughter of animals in most of the rest of the world borders on the barbaric.

I don't think dropping "carnivore" from human traits is the appropriate response, or very likely. I think finding more humane (interesting term, eh?) slaughtering techniques is the answer. And it can be done... and the additional cost would have to be on the order of pennies per pound, given the sheer volumes.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:05 AM on November 20, 2006


Well put, Ynoxas. And we should keep in mind that these dolphins they're hacking to death are mostly for pet food and fertilizer.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:08 AM on November 20, 2006


I think finding more humane (interesting term, eh?) slaughtering techniques is the answer

Yeah. Show the animals a typical MetaTalk thread. That way we can bore them to death.
posted by jonmc at 8:11 AM on November 20, 2006


What's a bile keg?

In China, thousands of bears are caged (in cages so tight that they cannot literally move) and kept alive for their bile. Their bellies are perforated with some sort of device -- like a drain -- that allows the bile farmers to milk the bears bile several times a day. The bile is then sold at a high price as medicine. The link is, unsurprisingly, graphic.
posted by matteo at 8:14 AM on November 20, 2006


hojoki writes "There are people who can't recognize themselves in mirrors or use language. I wonder if they taste good."

Apparently they do.
posted by mullingitover at 8:15 AM on November 20, 2006


oooh, dolphin stories. I once saw a dolphin separated from its pod, corralled, killed and eaten by orcas (which are also dolphins, it must be said). It was in a small bay in northern British Columbia and I was manning the skiff while my crew was checking out some stuff on shore. It was one of those calm, sightly misty west coast mornings, quiet, quiet, raven calls, a slipslopping on the transom, coffee, that sort of thing unfolding a long way from anywhere. Or nowhere. Around the point - picture an enclosed bay about the size of two or three soccer field, with two points eclosing it like a little bag -- came a pod of seven orcas, full tilt, like clipper ships, with bones in their teeth as they say. They were spread out in a 3-4 formation, driving a dolphin ahead of them which was twisting and turning and porpoising but couldn't turn back into the wall of teeth. The dolphin knew it was trapped, it couldn't get airborne long enough, and was running out of water; it turned back around at which point two orcas converged on it at fulll speed, 20 knots at least. Near the surface, in shallow waters, two little tsunamis zeroing in on little flipper, while the others circled wide. One of them gave the dolphin a tremendous bunt with its snout, a ramcharge, knocking it out of the water, skipping sideways across the surface, out of control, maybe already dead, while the other circled back and bit it, hard, in the middle, below the fin. All seven came in for a bite and in two minutes from start to finish it was over, fifty yards (and fifty million years) from the boat. And when the waters were calm, one of the orcas spy-hopped, rose out of the water head first, slowly, hanging there, a black and white column, and fixed an eye on me, and the boat, and opened her mouth, and bright red dolphin blood glistened out and down her cheek. She slid back down and off they went. A killing bay they had used before.
posted by Rumple at 8:16 AM on November 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


Does any other organism perform such cruel acts as our species? I'm hardly a member of PETA, wearing the quantity of leather that I do. and feeding on flesh...but the depths of our depravity never ceases to amaze me.

(It's easy to say Japan is crueler than the rest of the world...there are so many wa-fu delicacies that require the actual suffering of defenseless creatures, but I think there's still some horrible stuff going on in the livestock industry, worldwide. Just because it's not happening on your plates or near your beaches, doesn't mean it's not happening.)

Nonetheless, I wonder if I would have lasted 12 years here if I lived in a coastal town. None of these images are ever shown by the media in central Japan....
posted by squasha at 8:20 AM on November 20, 2006


Well, I guess Rumple answered my somewhat rhetorical question with that orca tale....</small)
posted by squasha at 8:23 AM on November 20, 2006


Jesus, Rumple!
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:26 AM on November 20, 2006


meh.
"
posted by squasha at 8:28 AM on November 20, 2006


If the dolphin suffered, I don't know, it was a risk of living in the dog eat dog, kill or be krilled world. It was good for the environment if bad, if bad for the individual dolphin

Ynoxas: I have no particular opinion on which animals the world chooses to eat or not. They are protein, and some are quite delicious. Some are disgusting to me but hey, there might be societies out there disgusted by peanut butter, so what do I know?

Sahlins on Chagnon:
Needing blood and information quickly, Chagnon would announce his visits to a village in the guise of a Yanomami warrior: dressed only in loincloth, body painted red, feathered--and carrying a shotgun. His field kits have been known to contain chemical mace and an electric stun gun. He tried to cultivate a reputation for dangerous magical power by engaging in narcotic shamanistic seances. When someone stole from him, he got children to inform on the thief; then he returned the favor by carrying off the latter's hammock until he got his stuff back. But when it came to the reciprocity of food sharing, he protested that he could not feed the whole village. On the contrary, he disgusted curious Yanomami by telling them the canned frankfurters he was eating were animal penises, and peanut butter likewise was just what it looked like. Unselfconsciously, he acknowledges that his unwillingness to share food generously or widely made him "despicable in their eyes."
posted by Rumple at 8:28 AM on November 20, 2006


Rumple: aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaerrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!. Thar she blows. Natre red in tooth'n'claw'n'fin......
posted by lalochezia at 8:29 AM on November 20, 2006


jonmc: Kinda reminds me of that whole peaceful Native American thing.
posted by Captaintripps at 8:40 AM on November 20, 2006


jonmc: Kinda reminds me of that whole peaceful Native American thing.

Exactly. Once a population has endured horrible suffering, the genral liberal response is to bestow instant sainthood on them. Unfortunately, the whole Wise Old Indian Dispensing Native Folk Wisdom is as much a racist stereotype as any 'Ugh' Tonto portrayal.

/tangent
posted by jonmc at 8:45 AM on November 20, 2006


*Cries single tear upon reading jonmc's tangent*
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:53 AM on November 20, 2006


Yeah, mullingitover, but then there's that whole kuru thing. Damn.
posted by hojoki at 8:56 AM on November 20, 2006


*Cries single tear upon reading jonmc's tangent*

That Indian was actually Italian. The chick who Brando sent to get his Oscar was Mexican. White folks are suckers.
posted by jonmc at 9:01 AM on November 20, 2006


I have no particular opinion on which animals the world chooses to eat or not.

Personally, I think it's better to kill a chicken than a gibbon. I like gibbons. They're cute. Also, they swing artfully. Chickens, let's face it, suck.

I think killing a gorilla is worse than killing a mouse. Killing a gorilla is this close to murder. A mouse, again, sucks.

I think that killing an otter is worse than killing a big ropey eel. Otters are way cute. Eels are scary as shit and are also delicious.

And let's not bring insects into this. Die, insects, die!

I'm just not sure I buy this argument that aside from humans all animals are equal. And you don't have to be a hippie or think dolphins are saints to be uncomfortable with the slaughter of very smart creatures.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:03 AM on November 20, 2006


Killing a dolphin is arguably more morally wrong than killing a human fetus.

Wow
posted by The Power Nap at 9:12 AM on November 20, 2006


Acquiring food may be the main rationale for these kills, but its hard to avoid suspicion it is also to reduce competition for dwindling fish stocks. The same (completely bogus, by the way) rationale is used for the Canadian seal hunt, and for calls for seal culls on the west coast as well. Being cute is one thing, but the fact is, marine resources are in appalling decline, and when resources decline, predators start to compete more directly with each other for diminishing returns. In the old days that might have been a fair fight, but now its just a slaughter.

So, the point being, cuteness aside, the underlying issue is one of the rape of the oceans, and we should all be concerned about that. , or we will soon be harvesting nothing but jellyfish as we ratchet our way down the food chain. Tons of information here.
posted by Rumple at 9:17 AM on November 20, 2006


bookhouse: I'm not really saying all non-human life on the planet is equal or "the same". That's not really relevant to the issue.

Different cultures have already decided what animals are food to them and which aren't. In America, dog, cat, and horse are typically not consumed, although they are in other parts of the world. Hell, even regional differences can be shocking. How many urban dwellers would eat squirrel? How many would eat rattlesnake or "mountain oysters" or frog legs?

For god's sake, lobsters and crabs look horrifying and are encased in hard brittle shells, and people still fall all over themselves to eat them.

Trying to argue WHAT people should eat is likely to be non-productive, as most of these choices were made hundreds of generations ago.

Instead, I think concentrating on more humane techniques of slaughter is the key.

Basically, if the creature is able to sense pain, then we, as the dominant species, should minimize that sensation of pain wherever possible, be it dolphin or dog, lobster or lamb.
posted by Ynoxas at 9:45 AM on November 20, 2006


Rumple for the context and winning plea for intervention.
posted by Fupped Duck at 10:05 AM on November 20, 2006


In China anything with it's back to the sky is considered fair game on the food/hunt chain.
posted by Holy foxy moxie batman! at 10:50 AM on November 20, 2006


Dolphins are stupid. They're also total jerks.
posted by porpoise at 12:11 PM on November 20, 2006


Ynoxas -- fair enough. I see your point.

How many urban dwellers would eat squirrel? How many would eat rattlesnake or "mountain oysters" or frog legs?

I live in Brooklyn and I've eaten all of those. 'Course, I were born in the Ozarks, so I take your meaning.
posted by Bookhouse at 12:51 PM on November 20, 2006


What sucks is how much more fun and interesting are most dolphins than are many of the homo sapiens who hunt them.

In fact, I can spend several hours of entertaining fun out in the water with a lesser-inteligent dolphin, but I can handle only about thirty seconds with an ignorant person who is also a bore.

But with experience comes insight. Perhaps we can have an annual harvest of ignorant bores. Seeing as some of us have no particular opinion on which animals the world chooses to eat or not, ignorant bores can even be used for the same things as the japanese-hunted dolphins!

Remember, tastes like bacon!
posted by mongonikol at 1:15 PM on November 20, 2006


I keep waiting for Flipper to get an account and pop in with his two fishes worth and then get mentioned in sidebar.
posted by srboisvert at 1:39 PM on November 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


squasha : "Does any other organism perform such cruel acts as our species?"

I would imagine a lot of the "wrap them up, inject muscle paralyzing chemicals, and eat them alive by liquifying them within their shells" end of the insect spectrum kicks our ass, among others.

mongonikol : "I can spend several hours of entertaining fun out in the water with a lesser-intelligent dolphin, but I can handle only about thirty seconds with an ignorant person who is also a bore."

Racists say "nigger" less often than non-racists, too. I can spend an hour with a racist and only hear the word "nigger" once or twice, but if I spend an hour with a non-racist with tourettes, I'll hear it twenty or thirty times!
posted by Bugbread at 2:57 PM on November 20, 2006


I can't believe these Japanese would torture innocent animals just to please their own appetites.

Waiter, more foie gras please.

posted by matkline at 3:57 PM on November 20, 2006


No, seriously: Does anyone know what dolphin tastes like? Is it good?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:16 PM on November 20, 2006


I was waiting for someone to mention the insect world. Nasty buggers. There is definitely more outright torture on the menu, here because it isn't hidden back in the kitchen of some fine restaurant, it's part of the "show". For example, a soup which involves placing a cool block of tofu into the center of boiling broth, then adding live dojo loach, which naturally burrow in to the temporary sanctuary of the bean curd. As they boil slowly to death, they release all the adrenaline (and, presumably, waste product) that seasons the tofu...and don't get me started on iki-zukuri....

Compared to these methods the dolphin have a downright sporting chance.

Yes, I am being sarcastic.
posted by squasha at 4:38 PM on November 20, 2006


I think killing a gorilla is worse than killing a mouse. Killing a gorilla is this close to murder. A mouse, again, sucks.

What have you got against ickle wee mice, hmmm? I have it on good authority that when humans are not around they hang out, dressed in appealing peasant garb, in holes that are furnished with empty spools of thread and sardine cans made into beds and other endearing bits and pieces.
posted by jokeefe at 5:30 PM on November 20, 2006


I can't believe these Japanese would torture innocent animals just to please their own appetites.

AAARRRGGGHHHH! To this comment and all others that have indicated in one way or another that the dolphins are being eaten by humans (and therefore that this slaughter is as justified as, say, tuna fishing) I say: DID YOU READ THE LINKS? These dolphins are being turned into pet food and fertilizer. And some that they take out alive are sold to Sea World-type places for dolphin shows. OK? Japanese people don't LIKE dolphin. By and large THEY DON'T EAT DOLPHIN! Not only is the slaughter hideously cruel but it's also POINTLESS! Yeesh...

And there's been a lot of knee-jerk "this is tree-hugging peacenik hippie stuff" type comments by folks who would seem to have spent little to no time actually reading the links, watching the videos, etc. Should you bother to take a look at, say, this link from the post, you'll see that the concern shown for these animals is not the province of bleeding-heart, saffron-wearing vegan terrorists but rather a large group of marine biologists, zoologists, etc. from all over the world who feel very strongly that this practice must end.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:44 PM on November 20, 2006


It's weird how people continue to think dolphins are always peaceful and fun-loving gentle sea creatures, rather than the belligerent gang-rapists they are most certainly capable of being.
posted by nightchrome at 6:29 PM on November 20, 2006


It's weird how people continue to think dolphins are always peaceful and fun-loving gentle sea creatures, rather than the belligerent gang-rapists they are most certainly capable of being

At what point in the links (or in any of these comments) is it indicated that they are always peaceful and fun-loving? And is your point that because they aren't always peaceful and fun-loving, they should be herded by the thousands and hacked to death by humans? Forgive me, but I'm really trying to understand the logic (if any) behind comments such as this, inasmuch as they relate to the current post. To follow through on your logic, it would be justifiable to herd humans by the thousands and hack them to death because humans are capable of (and sometimes engage in), say, gang-rape.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:38 PM on November 20, 2006


I was referring to the comments, not the article. And nowhere did I say anything about the validity (or lack thereof) of slaughtering animals or humans for any given reason. It's equally odd that you felt it necessary to pounce on me for things completely unrelated to what I actually said.
posted by nightchrome at 7:51 PM on November 20, 2006


Apologies offered for any misinterpretation on my part. But again, I couldn't find any comments that indicate or address any peaceful and fun-loving dolphin ways, so I simply assumed that your comment must somehow have had something to do with the specific issue of this thread, namely the dolphin drives. And that your comment about their sometimes violent ways must have been in some way related to the morality (or whatever) of said drives, and your position on said topic. I was wrong, it would seem. Anyway, again, apologies.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:06 PM on November 20, 2006


It's weird how people continue to think dolphins are always peaceful and fun-loving gentle sea creatures, rather than the belligerent gang-rapists they are most certainly capable of being.

Seems to me that people's objections boil down to three possible things:

i) they're cute
ii) they're intelligent
iii) they're kind/playful/fun-loving

The first is a possible motivation for objection, but less so than for other creatures, I think. I don't think "cute" springs to mind first when people think of dolphins though for some it might.

The second item certainly comes to mind first for me: intelligence. You can debate about whether or not that does or should make any difference.

The third seems to be based on personal experience and stories -- whether "I saw them playing at the aquarium" or "they saved my buddy who was caught in a riptide" kind of thing. One thing seems to be clear: while they are capable of violence, they are capable, and often willing, to show altruism toward humans, which along with dogs is certainly worthy of admiration. That they are capable of violence makes them no less worthy of saving (as individuals, not a species) as any human. Everybody is capable of violence. Did someone suggest otherwise or is that a particularly strange strawman?

I would hazard that it's a combination of these factors, but that intelligence carries the day when it comes to objections about hunting. (that it happens, not how it is done)
posted by dreamsign at 2:36 AM on November 21, 2006




I say: DID YOU READ THE LINKS? These dolphins are being turned into pet food and fertilizer.



Yeah. Here you go from your own damn link:

Dolphins are killed for food, the Japanese have a massive
appetite for seafood evidenced by the fact that 75 nations
provide Japan with fish.

Dolphin flesh is sold in Japanese restaurants but high levels of mercury have been discovered in the meat of coastal dolphins in recent years.


So to me your credibility is pretty low when you misrepresent the very content you are providing.

AAARRRGGGHHHH!

Indeed.
posted by srboisvert at 8:39 AM on November 21, 2006


No, I saw that from one of the articles, but it is inaccurate. There is very very little dolphin sold in Japanese restaurants. I've been here for 11 years straight and I've never seen it. There may well be a small amount of consumption of it, but the operative word here is small. All other sources I linked to (besides that one article you quote, which I believe is from 2002?) indicate that the great majority of dolphin is (I'll say it one more time...) turned into pet food and fertilizer. In fact I had I noticed that inaccuracy in the article you quoted, but other aspects of the article (its paticularly descriptive description of the hunt practices, for example) led me to want to include it. Y'know, not everything you read on the intert00bs, srboisvert, is 100% true.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:37 PM on November 21, 2006


Oh, and srboisvert, there's your own damn answer.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:33 PM on November 21, 2006


Y'know, not everything you read on the intert00bs, srboisvert, is 100% true.


It is your damn link flapjack! You bring weak ass agenda filter articles that are actually full of far more bullshit than I even pointed out such as claiming universal support for dolphin drive bans (which obviously can't be true ), insulting ad-hominen attacks on oppossing views (surely all compassionate people must agree...fishermen are just dole drunken bums) and then you get snarky with me for pointing out that your support is full of holes.

The article I quoted from pointed out that some of the fishing was illegal - meaning there are already laws - plus it also mentioned that there were attempts to improve the technique to reduce suffering.


The scientist's support statement calls for a ban on all dolphin fishing not just drive fishing. You want to be the thin edge of a vegan agenda wedge then you better bring stronger arguments than you did.

I eat animals. Vegans annoy the hell out of me. I don't believe certain animals are exempt because they cute and cuddly or because they look like us.

Every year in Canada we have to go through this bullshit when celebs like Paul McCartney and his wife hope off a private jet and announce that they feel an industry is bad because killing animals is messy.

srboisvert, there's your own damn answer.

I quoted from a link YOU provided. It was YOUR material that you brought for YOUR point of view. I 100% guarantee you that your comment is NOT my answer and if dolphin's are as intelligent people say it might not even be their answer. Maybe when people like yourself start to realize that your view isn't necessarily everybody else's and that not everyone will find weak arguments mixed with emotional appeals persuasive you will have more success.

I am not even necessarily opposed to stopping drive fishing of dolphins. I could support research based efforts to pursue proper husbandry that minimizes suffering and maximizes the long term viability of fish stock but I won't support this kind of campaign that clearly has other goals.
posted by srboisvert at 1:37 AM on November 22, 2006


Jeez, you're a testy fellow, srboisvert! But you're swimming around in circles here: you really haven't addressed the point I made about Japanese largely not eating these dolphins, which was in reply to the heart of your earlier argument. Did you just conveniently forget that that was the main point of your comment-before-last?

Yeah, there are already laws... What does that mean, that that's automatically "enough"? That everything's all peachy? There are a lot of people (and fer chrissakes, they're not all vegans, so you should really put that to rest) who think that the existing laws don't do enough, are not strong enough. For them fact that these unecessarily cruel drives are happening at all is proof that the existing laws aren't strong enough. I'd tend to agree with them. You may well disagree, and that's fine, but "there are already laws" is no argument at all.

And no one ever said anything about "cute and cuddly", you dig? I don't even think dolphins are particularly cute or cuddly. But I don't think they should be killed in the way they are being killed in these drives. If you saw the video I linked to ("les massacres" for example) and still think that all's well and good, no sweat, that's the way it should be done, then fine. We simply disagree. But cute and cuddly or vegan or fucking Paul McCartney and his private plane have NOTHING to do with it.

And all this "YOUR point of view" is stupid. Who are you to tel me what my point of view is? My point of view is that this practice is unnecessarily cruel, and that's IT. Anything else you ascribe to me as MY point of view is something you've invented, perhaps some convenient, knee-jerk way of relegating me into whatever category you (for whatever reason) want to put me in. But I'll tell you right now, I'm not a vegan, I eat meat, I eat fish, I'm not against fishing. I'm against the practice of these dolphin drives because they are unnecessarily cruel. And there are thousands of others who are against them as well. And I don't expect you to "support this kind of campaign" if you're as sure as you seem to be that it has "other goals". FINE!

So, as HAL said in 2001, A Space Odyssey, "This conversation can have no further purpose" (Anyway, something like that...), so, I'm signing off. All the best to you.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:52 AM on November 22, 2006


And yes, the American meatpacking industries are brutal, but the slaughter of animals in most of the rest of the world borders on the barbaric.

I don't see how North American meatpacking industries are any less barbaric. Let's assume, as you argue, that the actual killing methods here are less barbaric than those of the East, no doubt a contestable point. But what about the living conditions at the meat packing plants. The dolphins live in the wild for most of their lives, and are killed off within (and hopefully much shorter than) an hour. Chickens, on the other hand, are imprisoned from birth, live in a miniscule feces-infested space, and have been pumped with so much growth hormones that their legs break as they cannot support the weight of their bodies.

Don't get me wrong, the acts in the video are deplorable. But the West's treatment of animals should not be put on a pedestal. We're just better at concealing our acts of cruelty.
posted by Chomskyfied at 11:06 AM on November 22, 2006


Chomskyfied: trust me, I believe the meatpacking industry has a LOOOONG way to go. I wouldn't hold them up as a shining example to anybody.

But, the cattle at the slaughterhouse getting a piston in the brain is at least an attempt to introduce some kind of technology to make it as quick and absent of suffering as possible. It's far from perfect, but at least it's something.

The videos of dolphins (like above), seals being bludgeoned, dogs having their heads stomped, and lambs getting their throats cut, all show a frightening lack of technology. It is barbarism in the name of food (or industry).

Frankly, the entire thing is disturbing for me. But, this has been going on a long time. I'm glad we have a meatpacking industry and I'm not expected to incapacitate an animal with a spear and then bite into its neck while its still flailing like our early ancestors had to.

For heaven's sake, as recently as my grandparents, people in this area would wring chickens' necks and pluck them at home. Hell, it probably is still going on today in some remote areas.

And yes, the living conditions of the animals before the slaughter absolutely should be examined as well.
posted by Ynoxas at 10:28 PM on November 22, 2006


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