Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Calgary Stampede and Animal Exploitation - A Conversation

Meat Eater: The animals there actually get treated pretty well. They have access to high-quality vets, the best of food, far better than any horse in captivity or the wild. It conforms to all canadian laws, and the SPCA and Humane society watch over it every year, giving advice. Sure a few horses die, but that's out of over 7500 animals every year.

Vegan: yea, and black slaves got treated pretty well too, right? i notice you don't mention calf that being "treated well"?

conforms to canadian laws? well whoopie whoop. many things that cause harm to the environment, people and animals are within "the law"...but that doesn't make them moral.

"sure a few horses die". yea, so what eh? long as some people got to be entertained, after all, every creature on this earth is here for man to exploit, right?

Meat Eater: The horses have some of the best veterinary care in the world, and the best food and housing. Their standard of living is far above any other horse. Not only are there laws in place to protect these animals, the SPCA and Humane Society endorse the stampede, and make sure as little cruelty as possible happens. That's why stampede horses live far longer than average horses. Learn the facts before you go off on a silly rant.

Vegan: and yet every year there seems to be another chuck-wagon accident where another horse needs to be "put down" because of injuries. is being a slave to humans more enjoyable to the horses than having their freedom? these animals are not property, they are living, sentient beings with inherent worth.
rodeos are not entertainment. they glorify human exploitation of animals and cause needless suffering.
learn to empathize with the suffering of another creature before defending the status quo.

Meat Eater: So a better option would be to release all these horses? Good thinking, then they can die of starvation in the wild. Really humane. The stampede constantly makes changes to support the welfare of these animals. The deaths are tragic, but sadly unavoidable. The men and women in the stampede work with these animals, and make their welfare a top priority. Have you even ever been there?

Vegan: you sound like the way a slave owner would have spoken about his chattel.

say your statement again only replace "horses" with "slaves" and "stampede" with "plantation" and see how it sounds.

just as the stampede needs healthy animals to do the work of entertaining people so too the plantation needed healthy slaves to do the work.

perhaps both are fed, housed and kept from becoming too sick or injured, but nevertheless, because of the very nature of the business, injury and death invariably occurs.

but more to the point, the very idea that a human being could be considered property by another person was at last realized to be unjust and immoral and was (at least in theory if not in practice) abolished.

but that idea when first brought to light, met with strong opposition and ridicule. people did not know how their economy could survive without the necessity of the institution of slavery. but we learned kinder, more compassionate and more reasonable ways to organize our society...and we are still learning.

to answer your question, a better option is for people to finally come to the realization that we do not possess some god-given right to use another sentient being solely for our own purposes and amusement. non-human animals have their own interests. they have a well-being, just like us. they have inherent worth quite separate from any instrumental value they may have for us.

we need to respect the lives of the other creatures we share this planet with and allow them their space and habitat so they can be who they are, namely, autonomous beings with a good-of-their-own.

as they live, there will be struggle. there will be death as one animal does what he must in order to survive. but there will also be, freedom. freedom from exploitation and suffering caused by us.

we so dearly value our freedom, but we so blithely and callously take it away from so many of our non-human animal kin.

let us not hinder what these animals must do to survive, let us rather help them if they are injured or sick so that we may release them back to the wild. let us use our skills and know how to gain a more complete understanding of their physical and psychological suffering so we may allay their wounds. let us finally be the thoughtful and considerate stewards of this garden we

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