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I posted the following diary on my own blog, La Vida Locavore but it's so dang funny, I decided to cross-post it here. I regularly listen to this Big Ag radio show and when they get really funny I write it up for my site (like here when the beef industry talks about Meatless Mondays). This one might be the best ever!!!

I listened to a fantastic episode of the Hannity of Industrial Agriculture's show - AgriTalk with Mike Adams. It's the May 12 episode, if you want to hear it for yourself. They were at an Animal Agriculture summit, ranting about the crazy animal rights nuts on the left (you know, the Humane Society) who wants to pass legislation or ballot initiatives in several states around the country to make the lives of factory farm animals very slightly less miserable.

I've transcribed it below. Be warned, what you are about to read is insane, arrogant, and at times, totally insulting.

I'm only including the 2nd guest here, because he's the truly funny one. If you want to read what the other guest had to say, to get an idea of what their strategy is for fighting back to protect their right to mistreat animals, go here.

Guest #2 was a Baptist minister named Dr. Wes Jamison. Mike began by asking him about the animal rights' groups use of religion in their arguments:

Jamison: Mike, that’s very true. One of the issues we face in this debate is why do animals even matter? Often times we talk about animal welfare and animal rights and no one ever says why should we even care. If you believe in evolution, then we won.

Wait... hit the pause button. You believe in evolution? That's news. OK, keep going.

And.. why would we wring our hands about it? If dolphins don’t like it, they should grow opposing thumbs and farm us maybe a million years from now. We won the evolutionary battle, but for some reason people have inside of them this desire to want to protect these animals.

So does that mean that because we won the war in Iraq, anything we did in Abu Ghraib was OK because if they didn't like it, they should have come to the U.S. and taken over us? And, on a less sarcastic note - that's ridiculous. Yes we're higher up on the food chain, but the way we are raising animals now isn't only cruel to the animals, it's unhealthy for us. I don't think the idea is to get to the top of the food chain and then purposefully make yourself sick by wrecking your food. Pasture-raised animals - animals that live the way they evolved to live, and they way we evolved alongside them as we domesticated them and ate them - are far healthier than factory farmed animals. We're polluting our environment with factory farms, making it less inhabitable for us, and we're producing inferior quality meat, milk, and eggs.

He continues:

The Humane Society is going there naturally for three reasons, going to the religious side of the issue for three reasons. First of all, is the financial aspect. People of faith give more money than people who do not have faith. Not only to their denominations but to any causes that they deem fit, so it is a financial aspect. If you can recruit people of faith to your cause, they will give money.

Obviously, those animal rights nuts are totally after the religious people's money.

Number two, American politics, because of our incremental political system, requires sustained intensity over time to change things. There is nothing more effective at sustaining zeal in our political system than a religious cause. In fact if you look back through American history, the great changes in our culture have been brought by religious causes, whether it be abolition, or the civil rights movement, and some people even argue today that the environmental movement had to become somewhat religious in order to bring about its changes. And so, number two, to have those kinds of activists that will engage for decades at a time, religion provides that rationale.

And third, one of the things we’re finding is that the animal welfare debate is non-partisan cuz it hinges upon pet ownership. So whether you’re liberal, conservative, Democrat, or Republican, if you own pets, you are very receptive to an argument about animal welfare and a religious argument provides one more leverage point on the hinge for the Humane Society of the United States to help convince people this cause is right and just. Because you have quite a few people in there – if you look at the spectrum, right in the middle there’s that group of people that are kind of fuzzy on where they stand on some of these things and they are very susceptible to some of these messages.

OK, this is my favorite part...

I kind of look at it like that bell-shaped curve, on the extreme right hand side you’re gonna have people that know their Koran, that know their Bible, that know their Torah, that know their tradition and theology that clearly gives them permission and calls the use of animals good. Not only is it value neutral but all three traditions say that animal use – in fact killing animals for human benefit – is a good thing.

I specifically recall my rabbi telling us in Sunday School that we were supposed to treat animals well according to Jewish tradition. He didn't say don't eat them, but you're not supposed to abuse them during their lives.

The on the other side are the hardcore atheists or people who don’t believe any sort of faith tradition and they tend, from our research, that they don’t really care what you say, they’re gonna eat animals anyway.

I'm a "hardcore atheist" vegetarian. What do you make of that?

In that middle, that squishy middle is people who call themselves spiritual, who call themselves religious, but really don’t know what that means. They are very fertile recruiting ground for what I call meaning entrepreneurs – people who go out and actually define for them what it is they actually think. And so what you’ll have is you’ll have people like... the Humane Society of the United States begin to make statements that are outlandish and absolute nonsense for a person who actually knows their denominational theology. But if you don’t, and it resonates with your pre-existing values regarding humans and animals, you’ll begin to say "Ahh yes, God is a God of compassion. Factory farming is not compassionate, therefore God hates factory farming." That’s a sort of sophisticated argument the Humane Society is going to use.

Wow. Just... wow. First off - about the idea that God hates factory farming... do you have a copyright or can I use that on T-shirts and bumper stickers? Cuz I think you're onto something there.

Second, about that compassionate God thing? Yeah. I think that's what the New Testament was about, wasn't it? But also: HOW TOTALLY INSULTING! So if your values don't line up exactly with his interpretation of the Bible, you're wrong and that's that? And if your values include compassion to animals, first of all you're being religious the wrong way, but second of all, you're being used and fooled by animal welfare organizations? How absolutely arrogant.

He continues (responding to a new question about why people give their money to HSUS):

A lot of people give money to protect pets but we’re finding, in our research, that the argument goes something like this: You treat one animal – you put one animal in the center of your heart and you put another animal in the center of your plate. You’re a hypocrite and should feel very bad for doing that. So we’re not asking you to stop eating a pig while loving a cat. You should help us with $20 and a vote to make the life of a pig a little bit better. So what the Humane Society and the Farm Sanctuary have stumbled upon is the ability to exacerbate and amplify the guilt of pet owners regarding the treatment of farm animals. And the argument goes like this: We’re not going to ask you to stop eating meat but at least be compassionate. We’re not even asking you to treat the pig like you treat your cat. But help us make it a little bit better.

And that's wrong? Seriously, there's the animal welfare argument, but all of the issues surrounding animal agriculture are intertwined. Factory farming is cruel, but is also destructive to the environment, to food safety, to the effectiveness of human antibiotics, and to human health in general. People who contribute to animal welfare causes are working towards reform on each of those issues by making the lives of pigs better, even if they still they eat them.

He continues:

Long term strategy, of course, is to increase regulation through legislation and litigation to the point where competitive advantage is removed. So we either have to offshore our production or, more or less because of competitive advantage, we go out of business.

Competitive advantage against who? Against plant-based foods and against ethically and sustainably raised animal products. Nobody's asking for the entire U.S. meat industry to go out of business. The goal is to shift competitive advantage back to the farmers we want to encourage - the ones who raise animals on pasture, humanely and sustainably, who produce healthier food.

There's one last line I want to share from the interview. If you're religious and you haven't been offended yet, enjoy!

Once you begin to believe in the religious understanding of animals and the idea that you are called by this nebulous Santa Claus god figure to treat animals well, it’s amazing the sacrifices you’ll make and the amount of time you’ll make them to bring this cause to fruition.

Originally posted to Jill Richardson on Mon May 18, 2009 at 07:07 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips (45+ / 0-)

    Also... if you want to be a supporter of a new liberal radio station (one that will ultimately be in many cities nationally but is starting this week in its first city, San Diego), check this out:

    I wrote a book! You should buy it!

    by Jill Richardson on Mon May 18, 2009 at 07:08:22 PM PDT

  •  I think I'm a hard core (9+ / 0-)

    member of the Rotary Club Gone Bad, myself.

    "Anybody who's made bread knows what happens when yeast sits in its own juices for too long. It dies." - Anonymous Bosch

    by mieprowan on Mon May 18, 2009 at 07:10:10 PM PDT

    •  I think I'll diary this tomorrow but (16+ / 0-)

      you know what gets me? They are talking about how producers need to be ambassadors so that the public understands where their food comes from. Guess what? The farmers who do that are the ones who treat their animals well. The ones who aren't afraid of going to a farmers market and getting asked how they treated the animals. But what do they expect from factory farm laborers? Blogging? Twitter? YouTube? These were their suggestions. I'm sorry but first off, your illegal immigrant laborers who you pay less than minimum wage don't have internet, and second, are you really going to shoot YouTube videos of your factory farm for everyone to see? No.

      I wrote a book! You should buy it!

      by Jill Richardson on Mon May 18, 2009 at 07:13:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Besides, if you're treating the animals badly to (7+ / 0-)

        increase the profit margin to the absolute limit, are you really going to spend paid time doing public relations personally for your entire industry knowing that everyone else has the same as much profit as possible mission?

        Can you see this inaugural, Dr. King? Did you see this?

        by Cassandra Waites on Mon May 18, 2009 at 07:25:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yes they will and yes they do (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          crose, BYw, Jill Richardson

          they present a united front. But it's the owners doing it, not the farm workers. The farm workers might have quite a bit to say about this, if they weren't generally living in an ongoing state of fear, despair, exhaustion, etc.

          "Anybody who's made bread knows what happens when yeast sits in its own juices for too long. It dies." - Anonymous Bosch

          by mieprowan on Mon May 18, 2009 at 07:28:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  great comment! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        julifolo, Jill Richardson

        This is passive framing. The public as usual is supposed to be able to sit around and expect the world to come to them. How about the public demanding they get to visit the farms they buy their food from? How about the public demanding that people be allowed to grow food without excess and pointless regulation? How about the public deciding to do it themselves, thank you very much?

        The more I read your blog, Jill; the more I see that transparency and localized food production are much more important than centralized regulation. These, and education. Educated people who can talk to educated farmers, be they clients or friends or whatever, can work out a lot of this stuff without a lot of red tape.

        "Anybody who's made bread knows what happens when yeast sits in its own juices for too long. It dies." - Anonymous Bosch

        by mieprowan on Mon May 18, 2009 at 07:26:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  A story for you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jill Richardson

        about the Asian food producers who supply our rice, prawns and tuna on the BBC. Nothing surprising, I suppose; what interested me was the apparently intensive work needed to produce rice, which is such a staple for so many, though less so in the US.

        The big guy in the commercials would not approve of my use of the High Life.

        by leberquesgue on Tue May 19, 2009 at 11:52:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Kashrut does require animals be slaughtered (12+ / 0-)

    in a certain way that's supposed to involve the least suffering.

    Mammals and fowl must be slaughtered in a specific fashion: slaughter is done by a trained individual (a shochet) using a special method of slaughter, shechita (Deuteronomy 12:21). Among other features, shechita slaughter severs the jugular vein, carotid artery, esophagus and trachea in a single continuous cutting movement with an unserrated, sharp knife, avoiding unnecessary pain to the animal. Failure of any of these criteria renders the meat of the animal unsuitable. The body must be checked after slaughter to confirm that the animal had no medical condition or defect that would have caused it to die of its own accord within a year, which would make the meat unsuitable.[

    "Democratic Luntz is a prized blogger here."

    by DemocraticLuntz on Mon May 18, 2009 at 07:18:11 PM PDT

    •  Also, it's nice to know that PETA has competition (4+ / 0-)

      on the right in the hilarity contest.

      "Democratic Luntz is a prized blogger here."

      by DemocraticLuntz on Mon May 18, 2009 at 07:18:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fine for its time (3+ / 0-)

        but Kosher/Halal because it mandates that an animal be fully conscious when its throat is slit (not an altogether painless thing I would imagine) and it bleeds out, is no longer the most humane available method.

        From: Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs: An Inside Look at the Modern Poultry Industry by Karen Davis Phd

        Ritual slaughter refers to "a method of slaughter whereby the animal suffers loss of consciousness by anemia of the brain caused by the simultaneous and instantaneous severance of the carotid arteries* with a sharp instrument and handling in connection with such slaughter" (Federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, USA). Contrary to assertions, ritual slaughter (e.g. Kosher, Muslim) does not ensure a humane death. Researchers at the Food Research Institute at Langford near Bristol in the UK showed that "in cattle, brain activity sometimes persisted for some time after Shechita" (Jewish ritual slaughter), and that "sometimes the carotid arteries balloon within 10 seconds of being cut, causing an increase in blood flow to the brain, and so maintaining its activity".

        Alito. Kennedy. Roberts. Scalia. Thomas.
        More important than ever: ERA NOW!

        by greeseyparrot on Mon May 18, 2009 at 09:57:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is why (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          if I were to get back involved in Judaism again, I would be part of the Reconstructionist or Humanistic movements. Preserving tradition should take a back seat to an ethical, modern, scientific understanding of the world, in my view. (Also, I think it would be easier for me to feel comfortable as an atheist in those movements.)

          Economic Left/Right: -4.00 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.82
          This sig is the former home of a witty Monty Python quote.

          by AaronInSanDiego on Tue May 19, 2009 at 02:18:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  That evolution BS is so stupid. (13+ / 0-)

    We didn't "win the evolutionary battle" just because we're capable of slaughtering animals left and right. By that logic, the AIDS virus is "winning the evolutionary battle" in parts of Africa.

    I think if people properly understood evolution, there would be a lot more of us crazy animal rights nuts. I mean, sure, we're the most intelligent species on the planet, and that's notable, but there's no such thing as a species which is objectively the best species ever.

    If we want to talk about ethical obligations, that's based not on intelligence but on pleasure and pain, or else we would be justified in treating small children and the mentally handicapped with less ethical consideration. And like small children and the mentally handicapped, animals feel pleasure and pain just as much as we do even though they can't effectively fight back if we decide to treat them like crap.

    Just another skeptical atheist progressive vegetarian environmentalist neo-hippie language geek.

    by AtomikNY on Mon May 18, 2009 at 07:23:46 PM PDT

    •  We didn't get to our place on our own. (8+ / 0-)

      We as a species got this way by joining forces with some other animal species and with some plant species. It's not entirely symbiotic, but it's close enough.

      If you're symbiotic with something, making it ill tends to mess with your own health as well.

      Can you see this inaugural, Dr. King? Did you see this?

      by Cassandra Waites on Mon May 18, 2009 at 07:29:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Americans are long on framing things as battles, (5+ / 0-)

      as war. We do it with diseases all the time, we do it with nature. It's always us against them. Loser framing, again.

      One of the standard arguments brought up in animal rights debates is about the mentally retarded orphan - why it is not okay to kill them, but okay to kill smart animals like ownerless dogs, horses, pigs?

      It's a really interesting argument. I think part of the answer has to do with stigmas against killing conspecifics (and that gets us into abortion and when a fetus becomes a child, and even when a child becomes a person).

      Overall, I think the idea of the sacrosanct nature of anything living that is human is highly problematic. When we anthropomorphize this into dogs, horses, etc. we run into related problems. More life is not always good.

      None of this is to suggest that any of the ethical problems involved are any less than horrendous. But nobody ever solved a problem by refusing to admit it existed.

      "Anybody who's made bread knows what happens when yeast sits in its own juices for too long. It dies." - Anonymous Bosch

      by mieprowan on Mon May 18, 2009 at 07:37:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mint julep, crose, mieprowan

        I don't think there is anything intrinsically sacrosanct about any life form, really. When it comes down to it, ethics is based on value judgments and we are the ones who choose what does and does not merit ethical consideration and to what degree. And like it or not, for obvious evolutionary reasons we are inclined by nature to give more consideration to beings which are more similar to ourselves, especially to those of our own species and to beings with which we have a close personal history.

        The consequence of that is that many people are more comfortable with the killing of a fish than a chimpanzee, a wolf than their loyal puppy, a brown Muslim than the white Christian next door. Even though from an objective standpoint, none of those things are "better" or "more worthy" than their counterparts.

        It is a tricky ethical conundrum to navigate, for sure. I'm not pretending I have all the answers, or even satisfactory partial answers, but my personal solution is to consider how much pleasure and how much pain my actions cause, and to just do what I feel is right based on that.

        Just another skeptical atheist progressive vegetarian environmentalist neo-hippie language geek.

        by AtomikNY on Mon May 18, 2009 at 08:01:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  as I wrote previously (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          crose, AtomikNY

          except that some people may not be able to see it now, this is an important argument, but the other one is broader and more substantively ecological; that it is still hubris to focus too much on what we perceive as pain we cause to another life form, because it assumes that we understand pain entirely. And also the more mundane "what goes around comes around" (which I've always liked, trite though it seems).

          You write good comments. I don't know that I've run across you before here; pleased to meet you.

          "Anybody who's made bread knows what happens when yeast sits in its own juices for too long. It dies." - Anonymous Bosch

          by mieprowan on Mon May 18, 2009 at 08:05:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Pleased to meet you as well. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mint julep, mieprowan

            I don't think I'm assuming that we understand pain entirely. I take the position that it is impossible to understand anything entirely. But I believe we can legitimately make ethical decisions based on what limited understanding we do have of animals' pain, even though it's going to inevitably involve judgment calls of some sort. Animal cruelty laws being an obvious example.

            Just another skeptical atheist progressive vegetarian environmentalist neo-hippie language geek.

            by AtomikNY on Mon May 18, 2009 at 08:14:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  This is religiously based...... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jill Richardson, mieprowan

        ...the idea that man is above all creatures. However, at the same time, the Bible says we are stewards of the earth and all of its creatures. Taking religion out of it for a moment (or if I had my way, forever), there is a part of our species that is naturally humane. That is, we are intelligent, and can perceive suffering in other beings. Even dogs can do this. It would be against our nature --or at least one part of our nature-- to be cruel to creatures, even if ultimately we plan to eat them.

        Tonight I'm going to party like it's 1929.

        by Bensdad on Mon May 18, 2009 at 09:53:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Correct (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bensdad, Jill Richardson

      ...the AIDS virus is "winning the evolutionary battle" in parts of Africa.

      And parts of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Asia, Europe, and everywhere else in the world. The AIDS virus is a very good example of evolutionary fitness in operation. Incredibly difficult to transmit, equally incredibly difficult to eradicate completely. And constantly shifting its colors so it can keep on being transmitted.

      •  re: AIDS (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Incredibly difficult to transmit,


        equally incredibly difficult to eradicate completely.

        Because it takes so long to start killing people.

        And constantly shifting its colors so it can keep on being transmitted.

        we adapt, viruses adapt. I'm just amazed there hasn't been a blockbuster killed most of us all off by now, with all of this running around all over the world on airplanes & such.

        "Anybody who's made bread knows what happens when yeast sits in its own juices for too long. It dies." - Anonymous Bosch

        by mieprowan on Mon May 18, 2009 at 08:08:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Yes, incredibly difficult to transmit. According to the CDC's December 2008 surveillance report (PDF link), the transmission rate in the U.S. is down to about 5 per 100 persons living with HIV--meaning that 95% of those who have it are not transmitting it.

          Considered by mechanism, the highest risk is transfusion or sharing (i.e., through sharing of needles used in injection drug abuse) of tainted blood. That represents about an 80%-90% chance. For sexual transmission, however, the rate can be anywhere between 0.3% to 30%. The 30% is rare, and requires that the infected person have a high viral load (meaning the infection is relatively recent), and probably requires facilitation through sexual contact involving tears, lacerations, or open sores.

          HIV is difficult to eradicate partially because it takes so long to show itself, but also because it has the ability to sequester itself in reservoirs away from where we are able, at least with current technology, to hit it with antiretrovirals.

          And we don't even need airplanes to get wiped out by blockbuster diseases. Just look at the 1981 flu pandemic, or the Black Death. Whatever that was, it was incredibly effective--it wiped out something on the order of 30% to 50% of Europe's population in the span of a couple of years--all before we had anything like modern transportation capabilities.

          •  well, semantics (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            "incredibly difficult to transmit" seems strange phrasing for a disease that has killed so many.

            No, we don't need airplanes to get wiped out by plague - but I'd think they'd help. My point was that I've spent most of my adult life expecting it to come down, simply because there are so many of us, and the transportation vector, one would have thought, might have been a big straw on the camel's back.

            We know more about disease transmission now, and that may be most of why there are so many humans. AIDS would quite possibly have not turned out to be anywhere near so much of a problem if there was not so much repression of information about it (not to mention terrorizing the populations in which it first turned up) back in the 80's.

            "Anybody who's made bread knows what happens when yeast sits in its own juices for too long. It dies." - Anonymous Bosch

            by mieprowan on Mon May 18, 2009 at 08:43:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  More like technical jargon (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              julifolo, crose, mieprowan, AtomikNY

              Things like HIV and Ebola are very difficult to transmit. Thinks like the flu are far easier. Thinks like cholera or malaria are somewhere in between. Things that can be transmitted environmentally, like colds and flu and other respiratory problems, or cholera, are probably easiest. Then there are the things that require a vector, like malaria, anthrax (at least in normal modes), or the plague. After that, there's the stuff that requires person-to-person contact (smallpox, for example, or almost all sexually transmitted diseases).

              Give any disease the right set of circumstances, and it can move swiftly and effectively and wipe out whole populations in next to no time. But put the same group of people and the same pathogen in more or less the same environment, but changing a few factors, and next to nothing happens.

              The 1918 flu pandemic is probably a good example of that. That virus had some mutations that made it far more transmissible, and far more lethal, than the average strain of influenza. But if it hadn't struck at a time when significant numbers of people were faced with food shortages, malnutrition, and deprivation associated with the First World War, it might not have gotten quite so deep a foothold quite so quickly--and fewer people might have died.

              AIDS might have been combatted more effectively if officials hadn't been so quick to stereotype it as a "gay disease." But then, the doctors who were seeing it who were in a position to do something about it were seeing it almost exclusively in populations of men who were having sex with men. Plus, it was a new sort of a disease, and we really didn't have a good handle on it for several years after it erupted very disastrously on the world stage--even though if you dig back into the medical and pathological journals, cases of what would probably now be classified as AIDS were turning up in Africa as early as the 1950s.

    •  That Person (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is an absolute monster, and the type I'm sure,who would have come up with all sorts of reasons to justify slavery.

      Amazing to me how little these people resemble their etherial figurehead...

      We can't let the First Amendment down, it's the only one I know!" - Timmy Turner, Fairly Oddparents

      by Maori on Mon May 18, 2009 at 09:03:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Probably too soon to say "Mission Accomplished".. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ..I think the roaches and dung beetles still have a shot at this.

      Tonight I'm going to party like it's 1929.

      by Bensdad on Mon May 18, 2009 at 09:49:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why did we stop evolving? (0+ / 0-)

      That is one of the questions I got a while back while "discussing" whether evolution is real.

      It took me several deep breaths and quite a few blinks to think of an answer to "If this evolution stuff is real, why did we stop evolving?"

      Sometimes the ignorance is just too deep to wade through.  I settled for; "What makes you think we have stopped evolving?'

      swift change of subject.....

      Sometimes, diplomacy is as delicate as gossamer. Sometimes diplomacy is a sledgehammer. And sometimes, it's both. Sun Tzu

      by maybeeso in michigan on Tue May 19, 2009 at 05:29:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I noticed that, as usual, the preacher ... (5+ / 0-)

    ... defined everyone who isn't a monotheist as not having a "real" religion.

    Do they ever understand what creedist bigots they are?

    (No, of course not.)

    Isn't it nice to have a SMART President?

    by ibonewits on Mon May 18, 2009 at 07:31:03 PM PDT

  •  As a progressive and devout Episcopalian (8+ / 0-)

    I support, financially and morally, the work of Wayne Pacelle and the HSUS.

    On animals:

    Hear our humble prayer, O God, for our friends the animals,
    especially for animals who are suffering;
    for animals that are overworked, underfed and cruelly treated;
    for all wistful creatures in captivity that beat their wings against bars;
    for any that are hunted or lost or deserted or frightened or hungry;
    for all that must be put death.
    We entreat for them all Thy mercy and pity,
    and for those who deal with them we ask a heart of compassion
    and gentle hands and kindly words.
    Make us, ourselves, to be true friends to animals,
    and so to share the blessings of the merciful.

    ~ Albert Schweitzer

    I believe that:

    Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened.

    ~ Anatole France

    And I deeply appreciate this story in the Denver Post, which I know to be true:

    Canine Emotions Raise Theological Questions.

    Atheist vegetarians are true friends of animals.  Dominionists and other evildoers . . . well, they are just sad sociopaths.

    "Let reverence for the laws . . . become the political religion of the nation." ~ Abraham Lincoln

    by noweasels on Mon May 18, 2009 at 08:17:35 PM PDT

    •  A pet's ten commandments: (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elmo, Jill Richardson, mieprowan, BardoOne
      1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful.
      1. Give me time to understand what you want of me.
      1. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.
      1. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you.
      1. Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me.
      1. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.
      1. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet, I choose not to.
      1. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative,ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.
      1. Please take care of me when I grow old. You too, will grow old.
      1. On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me please. Never say you can't bear to watch. Don't make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there, because I love you so. ALWAYS!

      Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

      by crose on Mon May 18, 2009 at 10:13:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What about us god less athiest vegans? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radarlady, Jill Richardson

    These kinds of arguments will be made with the amounts of money involved. Traditions being what they are, it would not surprise me that some folks will even latch on to these specious arguments.

    I need us, and we need me.

    by globalvgn on Mon May 18, 2009 at 09:30:22 PM PDT

  •  The Bible and Animals (5+ / 0-)

    The Bible does not give permission to people to treat animals any way they feel like. There are a number of restrictions, for example, forbidding binding the mouths of animals working the fields to keep them from eating some of the crops. Or forbidding cutting a limb off a live animal and eating it.

    They accuse supporters of animals of twisting religion in order to decieve people. But that is exactly what they themselves are doing. In any case, the Humane Society doesn't have anywhere near the free media access that right-wing Christians have. When the religious right sold out to the political right, they eagerly made a deal with the devil. Why should protecting factory farming be a religious priority of anyone? Only makes sense if you're talking to people who have sold themselves.

    Of course, the media will certainly give equal time to more liberal Christians, right? I'll just sit here and wait then.

    The wolfpack eats venison. The lone wolf eats mice.

    by A Citizen on Mon May 18, 2009 at 09:37:04 PM PDT

    •  And actually, the Bible DOES prohibit eating pigs (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elmo, crose, Jill Richardson, mieprowan

      I don't know what Bible this guy is reading, but according to all the copies I've seen, there is that bit where God forbids the eating of pigs. In fact, Jews and Muslims would both agree that it's a good idea "to stop eating a pig while loving a cat."

      And I bet this guy's head would probably explode if he tried to understand Jainism. Good thing it's not a real religion like the monotheistic ones.

      Just another skeptical atheist progressive vegetarian environmentalist neo-hippie language geek.

      by AtomikNY on Mon May 18, 2009 at 10:03:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sentient beings deserve respect (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Abolition of animal abuse is the only way if you believe that sentient beings deserve respect.

    Many on this site I am sure buy what they think as "happy meat" from their health food stores. Sure it suffered less than factory farmed meat but any suffering is still wrong. Some southern slave owners might have had "happy slaves" but their suffering was just as wrong as the slaves in horrible conditions.

    Abolition of animals as products is the moral way forward, not shifting the suffering to "happy meat."

  •  Anything to promote a state of (0+ / 0-)

    non-thinkingness. Jesus said "of he to whom much is given, shall more be required." He was being gender-inclusive when he spoke it in Aramaic, of course, but, the point remains: we have the ability to understand that we are causing suffering. We also have the capacity to end that suffering. We should be using it.


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