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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:42 pm 
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Hey!
I am a college student currently researching into animal rights for a college project and for part of my research i am asked to put together a range of interviews on the topic. I was hoping that someone with a strong knowledge and opinions on animal rights would kindly answer a few questions for me.

The questions will only be used in my college project and will not be sold or used for anything else.

If you are interested in helping me please contact me via this site or e-mail me on: steph_freer@msn.com

I will need to know your first name, your age and your location (be it London, Manchester etc.)

Hope to hear from some of you soon!

Steph.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:38 pm 
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Is this limited to the UK or are you interested in an international opinion? Are you looking for pro-, con-, or any opinion?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:16 pm 
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I am looking for a mixture of people with different backgrounds and beliefs to give me their opinions on how they feel about certain topics, for example, battery farming, seal clubbing, whale conservation etc. I welcome all information.. the more i have the more detail i can put into my final piece :)

regards, steph.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:21 pm 
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I welcome anybodies opinions. I am hoping to get information from multiple people with different cultural backgrounds, different views on each matter, for example, battery farming, whale conservation, seal clubbing etc. The more information i have, positive of negative, the more detailed i can make my final interviews.

(sorry if you received this message twice, i am new to this forum and i didn't know if it had posted my last reply so i posted it again.)

regards,
Steph.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:40 am 
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I am game. If you want to post your questions you might get several replies in additional comments and/or rebuttals.

You have my name already and I can send you the rest.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:42 am 
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Thank you that is great!
Here are just a few starter questions, if you could answer as well as you can and then I will keep adding more until I have all my information.


a) What do you think is the main reason that animal cruelty is still around today?
b) Which area of animal rights (for example.. battery farming, whaling, animal testing) would you say affects you most?
c) What do you feel you could do to prevent or even stop this from continuing in the future?
d) Have you ever taken part in an event or protest to try stop animal rights? If so, explain.

Regards, Steph.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:16 pm 
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slf95 wrote:
Thank you that is great!
Here are just a few starter questions, if you could answer as well as you can and then I will keep adding more until I have all my information.


a) What do you think is the main reason that animal cruelty is still around today?


Partly because it is human nature and partly because the definition of animal cruelty has been expanded over the years.

Quote:
b) Which area of animal rights (for example.. battery farming, whaling, animal testing) would you say affects you most?


I would say animal testing, as the elimination of it creates a potential hazard for harm to humans and prevention of necessary research development.

Quote:
c) What do you feel you could do to prevent or even stop this from continuing in the future?


Educate the general public as to the actual risks to humans due to research impacts.

Quote:
d) Have you ever taken part in an event or protest to try stop animal rights? If so, explain.


No, animals do not recognize rights so they do not have them. We as a species cannot grant them rights unless we are willing to protect them from all infringement and that is impossible for us to do. Thus, we cannot stop what does not exist.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:02 pm 
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Extra questions:

So do you agree with animal testing or do you believe that it should be a last option?

Would you say animal welfare is more important than animal rights? If so why do you believe one is more important than the other.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:43 pm 
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slf95 wrote:
Extra questions:

So do you agree with animal testing or do you believe that it should be a last option?



I believe that it is a very important part of research, but there are some tests which may be replaced and any others which can be replaced effectively in the future should be replaced as is practical to do so.

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Would you say animal welfare is more important than animal rights? If so why do you believe one is more important than the other.


Animal welfare is more important because it is attainable. While animal rights sounds good, it is an overextension of the term and as such detracts from the movement, IMO. Animal welfare also allows for human interaction with domestic species which AR does not when fully applied. AW deals with the real world while AR deals only with a theoretical utopian fantasy.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:19 pm 
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As well as animal testing, what other topics involved in animal welfare/rights do you have strong opinions on?

Do you, in any way whether it be donating to a charity or protesting, help educate or spread the news on these subjects as a career or past time? If so, explain.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:45 pm 
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slf95 wrote:
As well as animal testing, what other topics involved in animal welfare/rights do you have strong opinions on?

Do you, in any way whether it be donating to a charity or protesting, help educate or spread the news on these subjects as a career or past time? If so, explain.


I support the local SPCA organizations which actually work to help the animals. I do not support any of the national groups that use the monies for lobby efforts or in campaigns to raise more money. I oppose the terrorist groups such as ELF, ALF, and Sea Shepard. I support actual welfare laws such as the work Temple Grandin does for domestic food animals. I actively adopt rescue animals, both dogs and cats and have done so for the last 20 years or so.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:14 am 
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I will join in when you have finished with Wayne. I have a long background in the animal liberation movement and am a convicted ALF/SHAC activist.

I can also put you in touch with other activists throughout the world, main contacts are in Europe and USA.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:05 am 
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Hi Steph: I think you really need to think through some of your questions so they are really targeted. I am a long time animal researcher from Australia, now retired.
Q. 1 is straightforward. While cruelty to animals can be intentional (dog fights, harpooning whales), I think it is mostly out of ignorance, and it can be unintentional but necessary. In the first category, cruelty can be from the inappropriate treatment of pet and domesticated animals in not being aware of the Five Freedoms, and the needs or appropriateness of the animal as a human companion; in the second category, I think of animals especially in the Third World where they have to submit to whatever humans want because owners' livelihoods depend on this.
Q.2: I am with Wayne here. If AR had its way, there would be no research or testing (they are two different things) using animals, and humans would suffer. And so would their animals. Contrary to what AR organizations tell people, diseases have been eradicated (small pox) or are about to (polio) - rinder pest is now a disease of cattle species of the past. Without animals, the next flu epidemic or emerging diseases would kill countless humans (or animals) before a vaccine or cure might emerge ( and it might not).Just staying within my own area, we will not ver have a treatment for dementia, schizophrenia, or severe depression; or be able to help people with brain and spinal injuries, or after strokes. To me, to say, as some AR people do, that humans have no right to expect cures for what may ail them, this is invariably said by people who are healthy (or if not, like suffering from diabetes yet taking insulin, saying '"the animals need me, therefore I take this treatment") is misanthropy. I get furious when I see a good friend of mine who has Parkinson's disease that someone would tell me we should not look for treatments that may use naimals - even though of all uses of animals by humans, the use of animals in research and testing is the most tightly controlled. Q4 (I'll come back to Q3, forget it for the moment) I have certianly been the target of AR people because of my research, receiving mail calling me a murderer, a nazi (which of course loses you the argument) and other names; it has been suggested that my parents abused me, the best thing for me would be to commit suicide... that is the level of discussion AR goes down to. Fortunately, I have also found that this is only true of the real fanatics who always know best what other should do. Ordinary people when you talk to them and explain the hwat and why of what is done with animals in research, and the legal safeguards for these animals, will (as is shown in most opinion polls where questions are more nuanced) not be against the use of animals, because they now know what it involves.
Good luck with your project, I'll check on Q3 and come back to it if necessary.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:08 am 
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Oh, Q 3. This is the most fuzzy question. What do I want to stop? Really, AR ignorance about the nature of animals. I want to promote rational discourse about animal welfare based on real knowledge of animals' needs.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:49 pm 
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(I added letters to the other questions too)
slf95 wrote:
a) What do you think is the main reason that animal cruelty is still around today?
b) Which area of animal rights (for example.. battery farming, whaling, animal testing) would you say affects you most?
c) What do you feel you could do to prevent or even stop this from continuing in the future?
d) Have you ever taken part in an event or protest to try stop animal rights? If so, explain.
slf95 wrote:
e) So do you agree with animal testing or do you believe that it should be a last option?
f) Would you say animal welfare is more important than animal rights? If so why do you believe one is more important than the other.
slf95 wrote:
g) As well as animal testing, what other topics involved in animal welfare/rights do you have strong opinions on?
h) Do you, in any way whether it be donating to a charity or protesting, help educate or spread the news on these subjects as a career or past time? If so, explain.
a) all lifeforms operate on greed. Benevolence is only natural in cases where the genome of the population or the dynamics of the group (who may not be the same species) increases the chance of survival of the members of such a group. Humans have used language to extend the group to any humans that can read and soon after, to all life-forms within a set of boundaries of their own choosing. The problem comes from what those boundaries are and of course everyone has different ones and often more then a few different boundaries with different parameters of what constitutes cruelty. In short, it is natural for us to be cruel but it benefits humans to not be cruel to other humans and it benefits the globe for us to not be cruel to other species. Recognizing and acting on such benefits is an individual thing. I personally do not like to mow the lawn because I can tell the grass chemically suffers as a result. I still pick grass to feed my rodents.
b) animal rights activists. I have had two people I knew personally be killed as a direct result of animal rights activists... both burned to death in separate incidents. I wish to improve the lives of animals by designing better care practices, equipment, and foods. The process of developing such improvements requires raising animals. I have gone to great lengths to prevent attacks by animal rights activists.
c) "What do you feel you could do to prevent or even stop this from continuing in the future?" I am not sure what "this" is referring to. If it is the answer to b) then I will say things like getting land to be under a different name then myself, locating mail elsewhere, using a variety of false identities, making buildings fire proof, putting undercarriages on my vehicles to prevent cut break lines or other damage that has been done by animal rights activists to people I know, fighting various law changes with petitions, independent energy and food development to make my facilities harder to attack (including financially).
d) you may have worded that different then intended but I will answer as worded: I have protested several laws put in place by animal rights activists. For what I believe was the intended question, I have also fought many laws and practices that allow cruelty to pests in their manor of control. My life goal is to establish two-way communication with small mammals so we can get a better sense of what truly is cruel because they do not think the same as humans but do think very well but in ways that benefit their species. For a mouse, a very small home might be preferred as an example.
e) animal testing is a fact of life. The safety it brings to both human and animal lives is high and the safety it brings to the environment and the wildlife in that environment is invaluable and will positively affect countless organisms for hundreds or years. While that may be so, the lives of those test animals can be improved with better equipment, foods, and practices and I aim to develop and promote those things.
f) My only problem with animal rights is the lack of thought put into them. Providing any form of rights to anybody will bring about restrictions on the actions of other people including well-meaning people. One example is the so-called Dr Death. Henry Morgentaler was not allowed to kill his patients. It is obviously a good idea to prevent murderers but at the same time, many people preferred to die and wished to do it in the care of someone who could do it right. Over in some countries of Europe, euthanasia is common but many people are suspected of being forced into the decision to end their lives... like anything, it can be abused. Back to the topic, if you gave animals certain rights, they would end up suffering as a result. If you have no rights altogether, some animals will suffer as a result. Striking a balance requires wisdom and, in my opinion, requires communication with lots of the animals affected. I hope to provide the tools to conduct such communication with certain species (ones that already have a verbal language in the wild and thus have their brains wired up for the task of communication). I think it is clear that animal welfare is highly important to me. Rights are only needed to help control humans who, in someone eles's opinion, is not behaving correctly.
g) invasive species. The biggest threat to the welfare of wildlife is invasive species. This includes farmed animals who were released during fires or released by animal rights activists. Controlling the spread of Norway rats and house mice has saved many species but the lack of control of those two species can account for roughly half of the species extinctions that we know of in the last century. House cats probably account for another 20% of extinctions. All three of these species make fine pets (I have had lots) but in the wild, they result in half the rodent species out there to become extinct. The remaining 30% of extinctions are mostly habitat destruction from agriculture going to grain instead of animal grazing so my next area of animal rights is agriculture: Wild animals need a place to live and with cattle grazing, most species can co-exist with cattle grazing (with the obvious exception of wolves). Grain farming and cotton farming destroy all lifeforms except some of the microscopic soil life. The only animals that can survive are a few mobile animals that can deal with plows and harvest equipment. The best thing you can do for helping the most number of animals (including the last remaining rain forest animals) is to grow your own food instead of buying grain or vegetable oils (the rain forests are being replaced by palm oil production so more land is available for grains).
h) my life goals are and were always to improve the lives of animals. I concentrated on rodents because I realized the importance of animal testing and figured 95% of animals in captivity were rodents and thus represented the greatest good for the largest number of animals for the least amount of effort. I quickly changed and expanded that goal to all rodents as they represent about 98% of the individual mammals on the planet. Many species of rodent have gone extinct or have not been seen alive for decades... and still not listed on any endangered species lists (and some have even lost their scientific name). This is because they are the kind of animal that may be found in agricultural areas and we could not risk starving humans because someone found one of these rodents in a farmers field! The health and welfare of rodents (and the animals that eat rodents... most other mammals and a good portion of the birds and reptiles) is my goal in life. On a side note, I have fundraised for cat rescue organizations that catch, vaccinate, neuter and release stray cats to prevent them from being killed in animal shelters nor creating more kittens. These are cats that "fall through the cracks" of the system... cats that cannot be made into pets for some reason. They do adopt out cats that can be adopted and even take cats from the shelter slated to be euthanized and find alternate homing for them.


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