Monday, August 4, 2008

Animal Rights: "A Disease of the Bourgeoisie"?

by Aaron Gardiner, guest blogger

Introduction: There is a story that, on being asked about gay rights, an official spokesman for North Korea replied, "There is no homosexuality in North Korea. It is a disease of the Bourgeoisie."

Actually I just heard this story from Aaron Gardiner, whom I have the pleasure of introducing you to today. Born in Australia, Aaron has lived in China, mostly Beijing, and has also spent times in other parts of Asia. Though we have never met in person, I have gotten to know Aaron in cyberspace, and asked him if he could share something on the cultural differences he perceives between Asia and the West (or whatever collective euphemism includes both the United States and Australia). The topic he chose, animal rights, will likely raise some disagreement among readers, and I would love to hear your views. Please feel free to chime in with a comment. – Xujun

Should we treat animals with dignity and respect? Not just yet.

Despite having lived in China for 5 years, I've retained a "Western" perspective on most issues—with one exception. On this one point, my compatriots and other foreigners regularly lock horns, making me feel, for want of a better phrase, partly Sinocized. Is it geopolitics, perhaps, or poverty reduction? No, the source of so many pained dinner conversations, nasty looks, and canceled second dates is rather more mundane: Animal rights.

Western folk, to a greater or lesser degree, believe animals have rights. They are rarely specific about what these rights are, but they are sure animals have them. Few of the Australians, Americans, or Europeans I went to college with think it is okay to kill gorillas for sport. A sizable minority of them would not think it permissible to kill a gorilla to provide food for people. They empathize with animals. They value animals as contributing something to our environment greater than their immediate utility to humans.

I don't. I feel the same way about gorillas as most Westerners feel about chickens. Dolphins? Yum. Dogs? Can't eat my fill. And don't even get me started on minke whales, the cockroaches of the ocean.

Feminist theorists talk about the "unconscious aspects of privilege". I think this is very much what has happened to Westerners with animals. I can recall being a young boy, loving animals, and believing it was okay to shoot rabbits for food (we have lots of rabbits in Australia) but evil for Americans to shoot black bears for food (so noble, so anthropomorphic). I think this was as aspect of privilege. After I had lived in Hanoi for a year or so, I had become thoroughly alienated from the idea of animals being anything other than property or food - because there was far too much human suffering going on for me to give up any of my concern or empathy for animals.

In Australia, there are, with the exception of Aboriginal folk who live far, far away, no poor people. But when I moved to Hanoi , there were many. People who lived on others' garbage. People who lived in others' garbage. People who didn't live, because they died from medieval diseases that no longer exist in the Western world. These poor people had, and have, no rights. They didn't have property rights; the police would smash and steal whatever vegetables or fruit they tried to sell by the side of the road. They didn't have a right to education; schools cost money and they had none. They most certainly didn't have a right to pride or self-worth; if they could, they sold their children into prostitution for a pittance. So would I, were I hungry enough, and so, very probably, would you.

Having seen all this, and knowing that many parts of the world are far worse places to live than either China or Vietnam , I now get angry that Western people spend so much time and effort trying to improve the lot of animals. It strikes me as profoundly unbalanced. That an enormously wealthy, educated man like Peter Singer would chose to devote himself to raising up the prospects of pigs inflames me with contempt. Who cares about cattle when real people, human beings, are dying like cattle?

You might say: Why can't we have both? But each person has a set amount of time, and a limited amount of energy and money. The opportunity cost of writing a letter denouncing cosmetics companies is not writing a letter to support refugees; doing one is making a conscious decision not to do the other.

Things are changing in China. As people get richer, and the choke hold of the state loosens, my younger Chinese friends have expressed their desire to see animals treated better. One even signed a petition asking the Beijing Zoo to treat its captive animals better - a significant commitment in a country where petitions signing is potentially illegal. But my friends are all Beijingers, and compared to most Chinese people, they are rich.

Gordon Gecko says to Bud Fox in the movie Wall Street, "One thing to remember about WASPs, kid: They love animals; they hate people." If Western people want non-Westerners to be nicer to animals, they should support things that create and spread wealth—for example, free trade and globalization. More global trade equals higher worldwide incomes, which in turn equals greater concern for animals. If it is true, as New York Times columnist Nicholas Krystof says in a recent op-ed piece, that "the tide of history is moving toward the protection of animal rights," it is only because global capitalism and free trade have lifted millions from poverty and enriched people in parts of the world that hitherto had known limited wealth. Once China's per-capita GDP gets high enough, Chinese, like WASPS, may love animals, too.


Unknown said...

I agree in principle that humans have rights and animals do not. I think we should treat animals humanely, but saving human life should always trump saving animal life. Animals are here to serve us, not vice versa.
Americans in particular are rich and don't even know it. Look at pictures of poor people around the world--they are emaciated. The poorest Americans are just like the richest--much too fat. We don't worry about where our next meal is coming from, so we have time to worry about giving "rights" to animals, worrying about our self-esteem instead of working hard to earn a good education, etc. Again, don't be cruel to animals. But if it means humans starve so animals can live, it's a "no brainer." We shouldn't force our beliefs, in our prosperity, on those whose lives those beliefs endanger.

Anonymous said...

An interesting article, and one that largely resonates (though I am not persuaded that I should eat dogs). A couple of comments though.

First, rights for anything are not an attribute of the thing receiving the rights but rather of those conveying the rights. Thus, with the exception of extreme individuals, human, animal, gay, religious and other rights go hand in hand. They are part of tolerance and compassion - one does not preclude another but rather it is a matter of achieving some balance.

Second, and this is more technical, it is valuable to have voices for the largest possible variety of things. As a society evolves some of those voices will become stronger, and some weaker, but once extinguished they may not come back. Thus having a few people in China worry about animal rights seems like a good thing. Again the key is balance.

Anonymous said...

I would agree with the writer on a number of counts but vehemently disagree on others. I cannot help feeling there is some similarity in the writer's attitude to that of the people who devote their attention to animal welfare and despise people; both are somewhat extreme.

The excesses to which some people will go in providing welfare for animals look totally out of step when so many people in the world live even worse existences. However, there is nothing wrong in giving an animal a decent life, and much that is right, whether the animal is feral or domesticated and whether you intend eating it or not. By that I mean avoiding cruelty, negligence and abuse – none of which are acceptable to humans either. Animals, feral and domesticated, do contribute to the eco-system beyond providing food for humans but the writer's inability to see this appears to leave him unable to contemplate anything on four legs as being anything other than the next meal. The world is a little more complicated than this.

I'm quite happy to eat animals, but I want them to live properly while they are alive. Common sense tells me it is in my own selfish interests to take care of them and keep them healthy, that way what I eat is less likely to be diseased and harmful to me. The animals I look after [cattle and sheep] must be cared for while they are alive, and not just for economic reasons, and when the end comes their death is quick. I would not want to inflict pain upon them, any more than I would a human.

“In Australia, there are, with the exception of Aboriginal folk who live far, far away, no poor people. “ - really?
"they live far, far away" - that explains everything?

The examples of injustice he cites, i.e. the poor people in Vietnam, are morally wrong, I can't imagine many people arguing against that, but that does not make it wrong to care about other issues, whether they be corporate corruption, political sleaze or next Saturday's football match.

“Who cares about cattle when real people, human beings, are dying like cattle?”- well, I do actually, as indicated earlier, but until now I hadn't realised there was anything wrong in caring for them.

We all live our lives believing we have found the right balance between the issues of the world [if we didn't believe then we wouldn't live that way] yet we all end up with very different ideas. All I know is that I would have some difficulty reconciling my attitudes and values to those expressed in this article.

PS By the way, what is a W.A.S.P.?

Anonymous said...


My point about poor people in Australia living far away is that most Australians never see them. And no, other than those people who are Aboriginal and living in remote areas, there aren't any genuinely poor people in Australia.

WASP stands for White, AngloSaxon Protestant, but in this context is shorthand for rich Americans.

I don't think that people should treat animals poorly because it is virtuous to do so; I think that people who expend time and energy attempting to alleviate the suffering of animals are doing so at the opportunity cost of alleviating the suffering of their fellow humans.

"but that does not make it wrong to care about other issues..."

Sure, but opportunity cost is real. The time you spend caring about animals is time you don't spend caring about Congolese people.

I certainly wouldn't suggest there was anything wrong with your desire to treat livestock well - I think this is a sign of empathy on your part. If you were to make a really big part of your life involved in animal welfare and trying to control other people's behavior with regards to animals, then I would say there was a problem ( a la Peter Singer).

Ideally, I want everyone in the world to have the same wealth and opportunity as you and I do. I suspect that when they do, even dairy farmers in SiChuan will care for their cattle as you do. At the moment they don't, because they are poor, ill-educated, and desperate.

Aaron Gardiner.

Anonymous said...

It's a fun piece to read. Thanks.

I think, to some large extent, one's ecnomic/social/educational status do decide one’s priorities. But there are also some spiritual elements (e.g. compassion, religion, calling…) in explaining why some people choose to put their engery into saving animlas rather than hugry people. To me, my love for animlas is not confined in choosing either eat it or treat it as equal as humans. In my own case, finding a balance is easier when I try not to actively seek meat to eat and/or don’t pass on a hush judgement to other people who eat more meat than me. Finding a balance is also easier when I try to actively having conversations with my friends about the cruelties in animal farms and the negative environmental impacts of making meat, etc.

Xujun said...

Thanks for the good discussion, guys! It certainly helps me and other readers see both shared and different views on this topic. I'm touched by your sincerity and especially glad to see the stress on balance.

Anonymous said...


I too have seen poor people in Asia eating from garbage bags. It is difficult to not notice the level of poverty that still exists in Asia. However, no matter how shocking and outrageous that is it does not mean that nothing else is worthy of our attention, which is what you are saying.

“there aren't any genuinely poor people in Australia.” – there are people in the UK who express exactly the same view; read this –
However, there are a substantial number of people living below the recognised poverty line – about 25%, not exactly a score for any country to be proud of – and I suspect the same applies to other places, USA, Australia, etc, though the percentages will probably be different.

“I want everyone in the world to have the same wealth and opportunity as you and I do.” – I have opportunity? I am wealthy? Isn’t this a little presumptuous, if not to say ignorant?

Anonymous said...

A great article and one that I can't agree more with, to a point.
Firstly, Australia does have a quite a few poor people, but they are a)less frequent and b) less visible. In particular, the cost of living in Australia ensures that people who are mentally unwell, and have no one to care for them, will often fall into similar traps of homelessness, poverty and yes, eating out of trash cans (I have seen it). Of course, having lived in China and travelled through various parts of the developing world, I would agree with Gardiner, in that the levels of poverty are really incomparable.
I am not senitmental about the consumption and treatment of animals. However, I do believe that certain things that may be seen as cruel, are in fact merely bad practice and a waste of time. For instance, a quick death ensures more livestock can be killed. On the other hand, I don't believe all animals are created equal. Some require protection due to their low numbers or ecological importance. Healthy ecologies are also necessary for long term poverty reduction.
In regards to the comment on Globalization, I agree,it is a useful avenue for poverty reduction. However, free trade policies such as in the EPZs of the Phillipines and Indonesia, have had shaky past, and in some cases have worsened the plight of average people by widening the poor-rich gap. China is another example of this. I do not disagree with cheaper manufacturing in less developed countries, as this provides jobs and livelihoods. Unfortunately, many of the companies operating under a "free trade" banner, take extra liberties to extract as much profit as possible out of their sub-contracted manufacturers, often resulting in coercion, exploitation and increase poverty for their workers. Free trade, just like communism, is an ivory tower ideal, nice in principle but doesn't work. There is also an irony that free trade promoters, such as the US, are also home to the most protectionist domestic economies.
To return to the point, I think human and economic rights for people are a must and should take precedent over animal rights movements. I do however recognise that their are cases where ecological, animal and human welfare are not easily separated and so should be acknowledged accordingly.
Dogs, cats, monkeys, bugs, lobsters, pygmy whales etc. are delcious, plenty of them to go around...Sun bears and blue whales on the other hand...

Anonymous said...

Anybody who thinks people are more important than animals is twisted! Humans are the disease of the world. We are the vermin. Take a look at the environment, look what we have done to it. We have no rights to put our species above any other. Furthermore, any living being should be treated with respect. If we kill an animal for pure survival, it should be done out necessity and done with humanity. There is no excuse for keeping and killing animals in cruel conditions. It is only done out of selfishness and greed for money. No animal is here to "serve" humans. Humans try to control everything; animals, the land, the rivers and oceans. The sooner there is an end to the human era, the better of this planet will be.

Anonymous said...

The author who wrote this article is really egocentric.

Humans are an invasive species on earth, and nothing makes a human's life more precious than an animal's. He said "Who cares about cattle when real people, human beings, are dying like cattle?” The world is grossly overpopulated with human beings, who are a destructive species on planet earth, so the dying of people helps restore the natural balance on earth.

To an animal, it's life is as important to it, as yours is to you. All this talk about animals being put on earth for human beings to use, just goes to show how cruel and ignorant some people are - they are the ones who are too damaged by society.

Xujun said...

To the two Anons above: are you the same person or not? Another reason to leave your name(s) next time.

I totally agree with you that animals shouldn't be treated cruelly. As to whether animals hold rights equal with human beings, I have a curious question:

If you, with another person and a moose, are on an island with no food, what would you do?

Note that this is not meant to challenge, rather it is out of curiosity.

Rupert said...

I think you're being a bit unfair to Peter Singer. Peter Singer is a wealthy man, yes, but he donates 20 percent of his income towards agencies such as Oxfam which improve the lives of people in developing countries and has put a lot of effort into encouraging others to do the same. Peter Singer is concerned about both animal and human suffering and has put a lot of effort into reducing both and I don't agree with your view that the former is less important. Both problems require urgent attention.

Anonymous said...

think about this

humans are animals,
what gives us humans the right to think that we are more important than animals

we should be equal

Anonymous said...

People should learn to cut down on reproduction instead of reproducing like rabbits from a rabbit club and depending on other living beings for food. Any culture that condones animal suffering should be frowned upon. Everything starts from the bottom up. There can be no peace in this world as long as the non-speaking and the indefensibles suffer. I wonder what would happen if all the "edible " animals of this world perish. Would people start eating the more " exotic " animals and maybe turn to barbarism?
I have witnessed extreme animal cruelty not only in China but also in the US. I have seen a German Shepard hanging on a hook in China and slit open while all it's insides came out. To this day I hear the poor dog's scream. I've seen dogs skinned alive in Korea.I've seen pigs crammed in factories in the US. I've seen cows being denied their calves. What gives humans the right to treat these animals as they wish? In the wild, nature can be cruel. However, animals don't scheme and keep their preys in cages in horrific conditions. They only kill and eat when they need to. If humans are the so called intelligent species then they need to realise that animals are sentient beings. Humans and animals may have their differences but in suffering they are one.

Anonymous said...

I think there is no excuse to deny animals rights. There is abundant evidence that animals feel pain the same way people do. I dog or a cat or a civet or a raccoon dog has the same nervous system and the intelligence of a five year old human child. So if you would not use the argument that skinning a little Chinese child alive to sell their skin to make a profit is justifiable if their mom and dad badly need cash, then also cannot use the argument that skinning animals alive or hakcing chunks out of them to eat them alive is OK because you need to make a profit. Saying that we must put people ahead of animals makes no sense, because people are animals and animals are peope- there is absolutely no difference, only the uneducated think that there is a difference. This argument is founded on the false supposition that animals are somehow less important than people and ultimately on a lack of a sense of altruism. You do unto others as you would have them do unto you, where 'others' scientifically includes all sentient things and animals.

Human slavery had been justified by commerce. This was done by suggesting that humans from other races were somehow less important than those who profited from them.

The argument proposed by the writer of the article is essentially the same. The profit made from animals is so very necessary that the needs of animals take second place. The reason for assuming the animals are not as important as the humans they are supposedly benefitting, is never fully explored or questioned in all articles of this kind. It is understood to be the case, that animals are not as important to us, as the profits they generate to benefit us- in other words that humans are purely self-interested. Had this been true, there would not be so many people opposed to animal cruelty.

Animal cruelty is not an acceptable means of making a livlihood and those who beleive animals should be treated as well as people are not anti-human, they are just well informed.

A country does not need to wait to become affluent to treat animals well. It is not expensive to stop eating animals and be a vegan. It is not expensive to stop wearing leather and fur. It is expensive to eradicate bird flu or to treat people infected with the SARS virus- both direct outcomes of the Chinese live animal markets and the lack of sanitation there. Animal welfare and human welafare are mutually interrelated- because humans are animals and animals are human.

Anonymous said...

By the way, the last submission of Nov 23rd is mine, and I am not one of the previous Anons.

Also as to whether I would eat a person or a moose if I had no food- the answer is I might toss a coin- I dont think either is preferable to the other.

Anonymous said...

I am in search of animal activists to mention in a book. I am especially in need of someone within Buddhism, Chinese religions, Judaism, and Islam, but would like to hear from anyone who might qualify. I greatly prefer the person be vegan, or at least vegetarian. I am looking for people who do direct action—any kind of direct action. If you have started a group, poster and protest, run a website, or do sit-ins for animal rights/liberation, for example, any of these are appropriate. If you think you might fit, or know someone who might, please send some information on your religion, and your activities (or a link where I can find them) to:

Thank you very much!

Anonymous said...

Animal rights- A disease of those who have empathy.

So why give animals rights?
Here is a perspective, I think is logical:

What about animals? Do they have inherent value? Do they, like humans, deserve respect?

There is no doubt that animals experience a life, certainly the vertebrates (animals with backbones), and possibly others. Like us, animals can feel pain and fear, but also excitement and satisfaction. Close contact with animals shows that they look forward to some events, and can clearly get a lot of enjoyment from their lives, be it from basking in the sun, exercising, eating favourite food, or interacting with others, as in playing and mutual grooming.

Certainly animals don't have the same abilities as humans. They can't talk, write books or drive cars, but neither can some humans. Do we say that humans who lack these abilities have no value and no rights? Certainly not, because those people still experience a life which can be filled with positive or negative events. We don't ask how intelligent a person is before we decide whether to eat them or experiment on them. Regardless of intelligence, their life still has value to them.

Exactly the same is true of animals. In spite of species differences, we have in common the capacity for experience. As philosopher Tom Regan has said in his argument for animal rights:
"... we are each of us the experiencing subject of a life, a conscious creature having an individual welfare that has importance to us whatever our usefulness to others. We want and prefer things, believe and feel things, recall and expect things. And all these dimensions of our life, including our pleasure and pain, our enjoyment and suffering, our satisfaction and frustration, our continued existence or our untimely death -- all make a difference to the quality of our life as lived, as experienced, by us as individuals. As the same is true of those animals that concern us (the ones that are eaten and trapped, for example), they too must be viewed as the experiencing subjects of a life, with inherent value of their own ."

If the inherent value of humans means that they have the right to be treated with respect, then the same applies to animals. The points made earlier about human rights can be rephrased: animals may not be killed, exploited, cruelly treated, intimidated, or imprisoned for no good reason. Animals should be able to live in peace, according to their own needs and preferences.

Anonymous said...

If left on an island with a person and a moose what would I do?
When it comes to compassionate living vegans/vegetarians are always challenged with these idiotic questions.
"Plants feel pain" just like the animals: another lame question. The fact still remains that plant eaters save more lives indirectly. The cow an omnivore had eaten had had far more shares of plants than a herbivorous human. Thus the omnivores have eaten more plants indirectly plus an animal.
A third of the land of this planet is cleared for grains so livestock can be bred forcefully. Global warming can not be combatted by recycling plastics and saving electricity alone.
Back to the question. Would the moose, a herbivore, a plant eater ever decide to eat a human for survival? Let's say the moose has been eaten by my fellow friend while I am capitalising on my will to survive. It's been proven healthy individuals can survive without food for thirty to forty days. Would I survive or be the next victim?

Anonymous said...

i agree that we humans are the vermin of this planet, look what we have done to each other , our ego's prevent us from being humble and understanding that any animal including us ,that breathes life is a sentient being who deserve our love and compassion, i made a choice to become vegan as i love all animals and i believe that as human beings we cannot evolve until we stop making the lives of others miserable, in my eyes meat is murder and animals are spiritual perfection, who are not here to serve us, now thats a real egotistical thing to say, as for killing animals in religious circumstances that makes it worse, we all were created equal, every single one of us, but mankind thinks he's better, he can survive animals cannot unless we speak up for them!!

Anonymous said...

Despite all these musings on animal rights- the Chinese continue to kill thousands of dogs, cats and other fur bearing creatures a day. These animals are skinned alive or they are deliberately butchered with the greatest possible creulty because the Chinese eat them and beilieve that the more the animal suffers the better it tastes. Go to the Animals Asia site and see for yourselves.
When are these atrocities going to end?

Anand said...

Vegetarianism is essentially an East Indian movement or concept(most people in India don't eat red meat, and a pretty sizable minority eat no meat).

Indians are generally very poor, but most still love animals and can not fathom factory farming. A lot of this is due to religious regions and the concept of karma and rebirth in other life forms, but even many unreligious Indians avoid meat.

It is probably impossible for a majority of the world to start eating meat since a meat diet consumes far more resources than a vegetarian diet. Of course it is easy for a well off person to enjoy meat and not think about the environmental ramifications (not to mention the inherent cruelty of course). I have seen many documentaries of heartbroken young animals dying because their mothers were killed by poachers.

Humans are probably inferior to most animals if you measure inferiority and superiority by the number of your own species you kill or by the environmental damage you cause.

Minu Pillai said...

Humans and animals may have their differences but in suffering they are one.

If humans are supposedly sitting on top of the food chain then they need to exercise greater responsibility.

Factory farming, poaching, horse racing etc are all acts of cowardism in the name of spinning profits at the expense of indefensible beings. Killing animals in inhumane ways and abusing Mother Nature can only go so far.

I agree with Anand totally.

fkalich from USA said...

You don't have to be a vegetarian, but humans who are advanced in any real sense have compassion for all animals, and try their best to hurt them as little as one can. In my case, I don't eat Mammals, best I can get myself to do, I limit meat eating to fish, chicken and turkey. I try to get the ones that are treated humanely as possible. I have a neighbor who has similar views to the author. This is how I feel about people like this. They may act friendly. But this person given the right circumstances is capable of about anthing. Given extreme circumstances, or those where great personal gain could be obtained, they would do just about anything. And that makes me not like them very much. People that are ethically solid, and I mean who would stay solid in tough times, always have compassion for other species of animal.

Anonymous said...

I understand your points about human rights and that human life is important .. HOWEVER, the way that animals are treated in this country is inexcuseable.. I am an avid animal lover and in my ideal world , there would be a way for us to all coexist peacefully.. Unfortunately , this will never be the case, and I am not so delusional to think it is possible. I do however believe that there is a HUMANE way to kill an animal that does not involve suffering, like skinning it alive for example! Im sorry, but the people who do this, i beleive in karma, and one day they will get theirs...If people are so superior to animals they should at least have the decency and common sense to have respect for life and suffering.. im sorry but this culture disgusts me and i have absolutely no respect for it! what kind of country has animal olympics?? Evolve with the rest of the world you!!!! This country is so backwards!!!

Anonymous said...

Seriously, you want to complain about free trade and the poverty of people there?.. The inhumae treatment of animals is part of the reason that people have such a disrespect for the chinese culture and dont want to do buisness with that country! Maybe if this country stepped up and grew a moral concious other countries would want to do buisness about them! What goes around comes around, and until this country begins to treat its people better, along with animals, you don't deserve respect.. karma

Anonymous said...

The staggering atrocities committed against "animals" by "humans" far exceeds the staggering atrocites committed by humans against humans. Ultimately humans can gain strength and power over their human oppressors and torturers and free themselves. Since humans are equal in intelligence, they can always scheme and plan their way to freedom, eventually, prevailing even over the most horrific tyranny.

Our animal brothers and sisters here on earth (especially the small ones that are easily captured), have no way to free themselves, except for the exceedingly rare occurance of one or two who manage to escape.
The humans who committ these acts of unimaginable torture -- whatever their reasons, their reasons are irrelevant -- have made a clear choice, to use their creative ability, power, cunning and intelligence, their physical strength, their gift of human life, for purely evil gain.
But they get away with nothing ultimately. They can never erase, minimize, rationalize or justify these actions, and they will follow them to their graves.

Each and every one of these people have imprinted on their DNA their evil deeds, and when their own lives perish they will come to review, in the disintegration of their physical selves, the appalling and horrendous acts that they committed, and were responsible for.

I'm thoroughly bored and sickened by the preposterous stupidity of the "we have a right to kill animals" argument.
All humans the world over (even the poorest of the poor, the dumbest of the dumb) know how wrong it is to torture an animal. Even psychopaths who claim pleasure at this activity know full well that it is simply wrong and pointless, and only serves to further alienate them from other humans.

Moronic Chinese or Taiwanese or Iraqi or Mexican or Spanish (or whomever else) that hoard, torment, torture, slaughter, hunt-for-sport, and kill-to-eat animals are being willfully stupid, greedy and abhorrent.
We Americans can't race all over China to stop these depraved morons. If they want to torture animals they'll do it, and the only people who are in a position to stop them are their neighbors, their compatriots, their government, basically, anyone in their own "camp". -- continued at next post --

Anonymous said...

--continued from previous-- Was too long to be accpeted as one post:

We have horrific acts of animal abuse right here in the US and some of us work devotedly for greater awareness in our our "camp" for the enacting of and broadening of new laws that protest animals here. People in backward nations who witness (and find abhorrent) these animal atrocities need to step up to the plate and set a precedent. They need to start a revolution, to organize, wake up, set up grassroots organizations, protest, move, act, wake up and get committed about making change.

Change never happens when people sit around dumbly staring apathetically.
If Chinese citizens (for example) in these towns and parts of the cities simply stopped eating at these establishments, stopped eating meat altogether, you'd sure as hell see a domino like effect in those areas.

We need to stop indulging the depraved appetites of these greedy and appallingly dumb people. Their arguments for all the good reasons they have for slaughtering and torturing animals are all baseless and moronic. Take the appetite away. Take the market away.
These atrocities, and others the world over, occur when people refuse to involve themselves, are selfish, greedy, unbelievably dumb,lazy, and fear-mongering. Fear is their religion, and is what they base their whole life structure on.

As for the dumb greedy Americans who defend eating, killing and tormenting animals because they "like the taste of" them, I have this to say:

You have no leg to stand on. You make a choice to indulge your greedy appetite, and have stepped over the line from a life of decency, mercy and respect for all life, to one of cruelty, coldness and indifference to life, and is so doing, you have lowered yourself to a lifeform that is degraded and savage, and altered yourself for the worse.

This is your choice, and proud though you may be of yourselves I can promise you that you will face every one of your actions, every one, upon your own disintegration. You beware, truly, for everything you do follows you, becomes you, IS you, ultimately. You can't run from your own shadow. It is you. This has nothing to do with "religion" or "spirituality", it is about your human earth nature.