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Animal rights questions?
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Author:  Wayne Stollings [ Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Animal rights questions?

Ann Vole wrote:
Wayne Stollings wrote:
The anticipation of pain can serve as an amplification in humans but generally not animals as they do not have the self awareness.
and this is a point I will strongly disagree with you on. Self awareness is a state that I think is an important factor in much of the behavior modification necessary for the survival of most animals. I put the border line between self-aware animals and non-self-aware animals in the insects between flies and bees and their reaction to windows. Many fly species will pound their head on a window for days with no change... the fact that they did not succeed at going forward does not stop them from trying again. Bees ants and wasps have to return to their nest for survival but flies just need to find food and have sex... nothing more is required for survival. A bee confronting a window tries once, then tries other windows once, then tries different corners on each window once, then tries walking around the edge of each window. Failure results in a new strategy. For me, this requires the level of thinking that encompasses a will... a plan that changes and is not stimuli-driven. A fly smells food... flies to it. A fly sees another fly... tries to have sex. A bee needs to go into different modes... find flowers, return to the hive, show where the flowers are by a dance, deposit nectar, make a wax lid... these are a lot of different activities with only stimuli based on context of what has happened in the past so memory of events and experience of failure needs to be part of their brain activity. I raise rodents and can see them plan nest structures and build them to a per-visualized plan. When someone else is stealing materials, you can see them get agitated and to also rebuild according to their original plan. This has all the earmarks of deciding to do something based on a plan with a selfish purpose. On the documentary about the making of the IMAX film about beavers, they used tame beavers and put them in a giant abandoned beaver dam lake in Alaska. To their surprise, the beavers were lazy for months and did no cutting down trees. This tells me that dam building is not instinct and beavers are basically lazy. Turns out their main activity when they did start cutting down trees was storing food (tree branches) for winter (poked into the mud of the bottom of the pond). Instinct was obviously involved as these were tame beavers but that is further emphasizing the non-instinct of the dam building. Tool use including mirrors has been used for a test of this "self-awareness". Baboons have a rather big brain and they fail this test. I have set up situations to see gerbils using mirrors as tools and I have seen both cats and dogs use mirrors as tools (I had to train the cat to do starring contests with me first as cats will not look another in the eyes to figure out that it is their reflection).

None of which relates to the understanding or the anticipation of pain, which is an important aspect of pain. That is why someone may be tricked into feeling pain where there was no such stimuli merely by providing sufficient anticipation. The ability to understand that something has caused pain in others and may cause pain in one is a level of self awareness not known in animals.

Author:  Ann Vole [ Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Animal rights questions?

Wayne Stollings wrote:
None of which relates to the understanding or the anticipation of pain, which is an important aspect of pain. That is why someone may be tricked into feeling pain where there was no such stimuli merely by providing sufficient anticipation. The ability to understand that something has caused pain in others and may cause pain in one is a level of self awareness not known in animals.
Ah I see what angle you are looking at... there have been numerous tests to determine empathy for others in animals... usually rats. The conclusion has been that many species show empathy for others including that of the experience of pain in others where they have a choice of self-gratification or stopping the pain in others and choose to stop the pain over food. I admit that my definition of self-awareness is broad and beyond current definitions and testing but the blanket statement that non-humans have no self-awareness is not in line with current thinking on the matter by those researching animal behavior.

Author:  M4animallib [ Thu Jun 13, 2013 6:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Animal rights questions?

Ann Vole wrote:
There are 4 key issues that divide people on the issues of animal rights:

1) the obvious one is the suffering of animals. Some people say animals do not suffer or do not suffer in the same way but personally I do not buy that... pain has a specific purpose to motivate the animal to do what will keep it alive longer and I see no difference in that purpose for humans so our experience of pain should be similar to that of the animals. Where you start to get into grey areas are very small animals... single-cell amoeba will respond to avoid repeat of damage but do so in a chemical method... do they have a sense of pain even though they have no brain? I had a pet oyster and it could detect which human was putting their hand in the water... it opened for me because I fed it and it buried into the sand for anyone else. Oysters do not have a central brain but a bunch of blobs of nerves scattered around it's body. My point is that this animal with no real brain was doing complex behavior with the purpose of increasing pleasure and avoiding pain. Same goes with my pet spiders and pet grasshopper... microscopic brains but they still come to know me as a safe creature. I will add boredom to a form of pain generally termed depression. Keeping their mind and body doing the sorts of activities their body and brain were designed to do is very important to avoid that depression but different animals will have different needs based on their wild habits. A hamster just needs tunnels and stuff to move around... not much to keep a hamster busy.

2) the second one is the sense of free will. We feel trapped when put in prison and assume that other species will share that experience. This is not always the case. Freedom also is at odds with security. Cats, when given freedom, will return because they like the company of humans and of course like the food (or in the case of farm cats, the wild rodents attracted to our food stores and waste). Keeping cats indoors is much safer for the cats but is it cruel? I do not think so as long as they do have something to occupy their brains. I had a horrible problem with pest mice at one house and I was raising other rodents for pets. I used live-catch traps and kept these mice as pets. I had several hundred house mice and over a hundred deermice. They were tamed and prevented from breeding (separated genders). When they figured out how to get out, I would not know until someone was trapped because they would prefer to stay in their cage except for a bit of exploring. When entering a room, they would rush back to their cage and go back in. From their perspective, being a pet in a cage was a cushy arrangement. Of course this does not apply all animals or all individuals but for me, the evidence is that this sense of freedom is only our instincts telling us to have options for escape should we be attacked. When our safety is assured, that need for freedom is lessened and this "our" can include other animals

3) self-determination. We like to think that we can do what ever we want but that condition is very rare in the past and still not possible for most humans. If we cannot have it, it seems silly to worry about animals having it. When you are in the wild, you have no choices... you must do what is required to survive. People controlling an animal is not a bad thing but rather providing a purpose to their life and interesting things for them to think about. Ferrets think being put back in their cage is the worst thing you could ever do... but when they get tired (in a few minutes), they gladly head back for a snooze. My point is that there is no real hardship with cages as long as their mind has stuff to do (and they get exercise).

4) this has nothing to do with the animals but is a very big dividing point between "animal welfare" and "animal rights"... individuals having control over others: For some people, exerting any control over an animal in any way is wrong. These people wish to control people by stopping them from doing anything to control animals. For them, the idea of domesticated animals is morally wrong and they wish for all domesticated species to become extinct. Of course using animal products is also supporting such control over animals. For the question of "should your dog get a vegetarian diet", their answer would be "you should not have pets in the first place". I am sure you can tell that I do not share this attitude. For me, freedom is more important for humans but also is more important to wildlife because we humans have altered the world so much, it is our duty to help the wildlife make the best of the little land we have left for wildlife. Zoos are very important tools to save species and wild spaces (but we have not taken that new goal of zoos seriously). I might agree with going vegetarian but for the reason of growing your own food and leaving more land to wildlife. I will be developing better ways to raise animals in the hope that people will quit eating cows and start eating rabbits and guinea pigs... so more deer and antelope can roam

Anne - Re:We like to think that we can do what ever we want but that condition is very rare in the past and still not possible for most humans. If we cannot have it, it seems silly to worry about animals having it.************ I'm not trying to be rude, but I don't understand what you're talking about? I don't know if you do either. I'm not a seasoned activists by any means, but I have a good understanding of the various issues. It's apparent you're not involved in Animal Rights arena. The media, Ag Industry reps, government and idiots who profit from the consumption of animals (meat, dairy,fur etc) do enough damage polluting the AR movement with misleading information. It is important we give clear and accurate responses or let someone who knows what they're talking about answer the question. I am a vegan, I support the abolitionist theory/approach. I also support animal liberation. I am NOT against domestic animals as pets/companions. I communicate with groups that are considered "extreme" by either useless welfare activists or those who oppose most or all issues concerning the treatment of animals, AND I HAVE NOT COME ACROSS ONE WHO PERSON who is against having domestic animals as pets. The only only issues that are even in the same ball park are: 1) against using the word "owner" or "pet" when referring to a human w/an animal. Those labels can clash w/ anti-speciesism. The term "companion" is used instead. 2) Breeding and/or Mills. The issue is QUIT BREEDING ANIMALS FOR PROFIT!! THERE ARE MILLIONS OF ANIMALS IN SHELTERS IN NEED OF LOVING HOMES. Adopt don't shop. Yes, there are a few people or a couple of groups that believe even domestic animal do not belong w/ humans. BUT THAT IS A FEW PEOPLE PEOPLE WHO DO NOT REPRESENT THE ANIMAL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, and it's irresponsible of you to feed the myth.

Author:  Johhny Electriglide [ Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Animal rights questions?

:evil: So friggin what, you answer a post from 7 1/2 months ago with your diatribe. The important thing, the MOST important thing, is to try to save the biosphere for all life, by reducing emissions 90% within a decade! Put your efforts there first. :mrgreen:

Your diatribe is pure stupidity, and you still don't get it, do you? =P~ Too stupid. ](*,) :twisted:

This in the animal concerns section which includes their habitat and all species, including humans who happen to be mammal animals if you thought otherwise.. #-o
This is not an animal rights forum. Concerns, OK, but your type of pure garbage, no. [-X
Get a life and a cause that really makes a difference like reduce human population and no more fossil fuels, for the sake of the biosphere which contains all your precious animals.
If Not then GTFO!!! :x :x :x :x :x 8)

Author:  M4animallib [ Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Animal rights questions?

Johnny - I wasn't responding to your comment. You keep leaving the same stupid reply. There is an environmental forum of which you might find more enjoyable. Though, I do suggest you dig a little deeper than "so friggin what."

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