questionsis it cruel to make omnivores watch or even…

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Truthfully? Total silliness.

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I don't think you should eat anything you wouldn't or couldn't kill yourself.

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And everyone who drives should be required to build their own car.

While we're at it, how about revoking computing privileges from anyone who hasn't built at least one computer?

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@capitalggeek: How is this the same or even comparable? You didn't have to kill anything to use either of those.

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Let us also be forced to watch people sew our garments, assemble our electronics and dispose of our waste before we purchase, consume or discard anything. (Insert heavy sarcasm font here.)

We all know where our meat comes from. And my argument for vegetarians is: How do know plants don't have feelings? Just because we can't comprehend any form of communication they may have doesn't mean they don't communicate.

Stew on that...pun intended :-)

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@ohcheri: "Knowing" where your meat comes from and taking the life of the animal you put on the table are very different. When you have to kill it you start to re-evaluate how much of it you need.

Amazing, how the farm stays with ya.

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The answer is simple - NO. No reason to know, no reason to care.

This is the silly argument put forth by vegitarians and PETAheads (this group actually creates more damage then they prevent).

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Absolutely not! Death, whatever the cause (hunting, war, accidents) is never as pretty in real life as it's romanticized to be on TV or in the movies. I know cows are slaughtered in order for me to enjoy a steak, in the same way I know my cousin died in a car crash. It doesn't mean I need to see it to make it any more real.

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@nmchapma: For industry and electronics plenty of animals and plants had to die. Think about it.

Mufasa Voice We are all connected. It's the circle of life.

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Now can I ask how many of you have had the experience of placing your own meat own the dinner table? Whether by hunting or farming. I just have a feeling that the answer depends on the background.

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@stormshadow999: I completely agree that death, for any reason is an awful thing, but I still beleive that if you want it to die so you can eat you should be ready to take it's life yourself.

When I think about I'd even be in favor of stopping mass meat production all together. If you want to eat it, you raise it, you feed it, you kill it. And just so ya know, I love a good thick steak myself :-) But I realize that is light years from reality and my question is only hypothetical.

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OK, so let us also include:

Go see (and participate in) the disposal of your human waste.

Likewise, the disposal of your trash.

How about watching some of the experiments take on animals? They are humane (anesthetized and such) but still not fun to watch. Yet you enjoy the benefits of that work (in just about any drug you take).

I

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@nmchapma: I think that's just a sign of the times and advantage of living in this era. People used to HAVE to kill and prepare their own food, just like pregnant women used to give birth at home. I feel very fortunate that there are other people who can make a living doing the dirty jobs the rest of us wouldn't want to stomach. Sure, hunters still kill and field dress their own deer, and many farmers still chop the head off of the chicken their family will eat that night, but it's nice to be able to buy meat nicely wrapped in plastic and styrofoam, too.

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@nmchapma: I have lived on a farm and watched the care/feeding/slaughter of various animals (whom I find delicious).

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@ohcheri: I will not argue. They are delicious.

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@nmchapma: "If we want meat, raise it ourselves" ???. You are proposing MASS STARVATION in the HUMAN population across the globe. I do not own enough land to raise a cow. I might have to TAKE it if I want to eat...hmmm. MORE killing.

You have just elevated the life of our food OVER that of your fellow human beings. This is sick and irresponsible.

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@wilfbrim: Yes, lets include all of that. I really believe a lot of perspectives would start to change.

once again, I realize my question, like so many before it, is outside the realm of reality. That does not change the fact that because we are so seperated from so many of these processes we are also oblivious to the consequences.

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@morriea: MASS STARVATION? Really? Your're just being dramatic. You do not have to eat meat to live. My wife has been a vegetarian for 24 years and is much healthier than most.

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@nmchapma:I am not so stupid as to think that I need meat to live as you statement suggests. I am not looking to JUST LIVE. I want to enjoy life also. It is about more than quantity of life. Quality, including eating the food that I enjoy, is important.

And YES mass starvation. Picture your argument taken to its logical conclusion. As of now, all meat cannot be eaten unless you kill/watch. How much food have you now removed from the Earth? How are the people going to eat (there is not enough veggies for everyone)...you also just condemned all the dumb cows to slow starvation since there will be nobody feeding them and not enough grazing land to go around.

I hate it when people make arguments that do not take into account the REAL ramifications.

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I'll answer when you answer this:

Is it cruel to make herbivores watch or even participate in plant slaughter?

In order for you to live, something must die. That is the way it works. Accept it, and stop passing judgment on your fellow man.

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@morriea: the human race has survived and thrived in similar circumstances. There would be plenty of vegies and fake meat/protein. Although, Your toungue may not be as happy. Most of the earth does not on the same quantities of meat as the good ol' US of A.

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@nmchapma: The Human Race, yes. I am talking individual humans. In REAL time. Not the species. I never claimed that the human RACE would die, just people. REAL people. There is not enough food. People are starving already in today's world and you are proposing that we cannot eat much of the food currently available unless we kill/watch it.

I am not US-centric as you suggest. I am referring to the millions of tons of exported wheat and other products to 3rd world countries that would immediately stop. Your suggestion just killed millions of HUMANS.

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So where, exactly, can you go and watch someone turn a cow into a steak? Are there tours? Or perhaps tasting events, like wineries offer?

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@tctk1044: There are indeed. In fact, I'd be glad to guide you through the experience. From cow to steak takes some time but if you're patient I'll show you the right way, give you a few tastes, and even send you home a goody bag. :-)

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@morriea: Who stopped the exportation of wheat?

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@nmchapma: at least you didn't say 'Doggy Bag'...

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@tctk1044: :-D I'd also prefer to open a few beers instead of wine if ya don't mind. Don't get me wrong I appreciate a good wine, I just feel that the business at hand warrents beer instead.

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They say that if you really saw what happened behind the scenes at fast food places, then you wouldn't want to eat there. I worked at one for a total of a year and a half and then rarely went into one for about six months. After that I realized that nothing had changed in the time between me eating there and then seeing behind the curtain and I had lived through it. I then went back to my usual ways.

I think the same would hold true for watching an animal be killed and prepared for food.

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@capitalggeek: OK, I'm covered on both counts. All three, if you count the original question!

I've always been a fan of Lazarus Long.

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@wisenekt: Your argument is logical and follows human nature. Thank you. You are probably right, it's easy for us to "forget" things when not constantly reminded of them. While the initial effect would be substantial, it would soon loose it's potency. If you have no respect for life other than that of humans it's probably not something you can learn. I'm still in favor of mandantory experience, just in case.

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I like the option of not directly killing things.... Who knows, I may be one of them people who kill for sport. I do like to shoot.

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@morriea: not mass starvation or anything close. All animals are extremely inefficient at turning their food into meat for us. Whether you want to eat meat or not, less meat means more food... if done intelligently, high-quality food. Even marginal arid ranchlands can produce more non-meat than meat food if managed intelligently. Meat is a luxury if the only consideration is the quantity of high-quality food. We would be able to grow our food on properties that now grow animal food.

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@f00l: You are correct...in the LONG RUN. What about the time between now and the next harvest? People cannot go that long without food. Take all of the meat away and the grain producing nations would need to keep the exported grains to feed there own population. In the mean time, till other land is turned into farm land, people will starve in the 3rd world.

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I am not advocating any kind of change at all, let alone a sudden change. And I doubt there would be a sudden change, because what one chooses to eat is partially an economic decision, and the other factors are health, tradition, taste, local availibilty, preferences for or against certain types of foods, family and friend preferences, etc. Why would the population suddenly change its preferences? If changes happen, they will be slow, uncertain, and at a varying pace of back-and-forth, as usual -unless economic, supply, or health considerations forced a change.

I believe what one eats is a personal decision. I am vegetarian, excepting when I am a guest. One of my brothers is an avid hunter, as are some of his children. I respect that. Most of my family eats meat daily. I respect that. It's up to each to make up his/her mind.

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I think that we should all know where our food comes from. Not because we need to have an emotional connection to the animal. Because if we, as a society actually learn where our food comes from and what it takes to get it to you, perhaps we will begin to make better choices about what goes into our mouths. All of our food; meat, fruit, veg, etc.
Comparing cars and modern tech to food is silly at best. While we do rely on cars, we don't rely on them for our health, growth, etc. Apples to apples, if you please.

Now, as to the whole "you're killing it, you should face it" idea - I'm okay with that. Nothing wrong with respecting the world that feeds you. I enjoy my meat, it's good for me and delicious. I do try to support humane farming and avoid factory farms because no creature should live and die in cruelty. I don't think you should have to slaughter every animal you meet, but knowing/seeing how they're treated isn't too much to ask, is it?

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There many many info shows that will show you how meat to me works.
The only reason you get disgusted by it is because you're trained to be.
And, like sex, if you're trained to think that something normal is bad, then you believe it's bad to be normal.
I didn't grow up on a farm, but I had relatives (in Pennsy) that had some. After a dozen chickens or so head wringing is just a job. Parboiling them to remove the feathers, after cleaning them, is just a smelly job.
And back there and back then, I did some hunting. I tried for a deer a year. Happiness is a large gut pile. The thrill of the hunt is not the killing, it's the winning. We like eating venison.
Your newfound self induced self righteous hysteria won't appeal to anybody not already a believer.
Y'all can gather together, nod your heads, "Omm ... How Awful" in unison.
It's chicken thighs and squash on the BBQ night at my house.

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This seems kind of silly, and I don't see the benefit. First for kids - there are lots of realities we hide from them because they simply can't handle it. And that's okay. Some adults need that same consideration, for example, those that are victims of sexual crime are tetchy when it comes to those depictions in movies, and that's okay too.

And here, what benefit would you really derive from watching a slaughterhouse or butchery do its work? I'm not sure any would really happen, those that think meat is created via painless processes are non-existent upon reaching adulthood. I understand your concern and applaud that you wish for humane processes to be upheld, but this isn't the way to go about it.

Extended family raised pigs, grew up across the street from a cow farm, and turkey farm down the road. Good friends with the town butcher growing up. I have no delusions about what goes on, but a good place does their job quickly, efficiently, and humanely.

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@figgers3036: I agree that some people are different in what they can handle. While I'd never ask a victum of sexual trauma to re-live it, eating meat doesn't really fall into that catagory. It's a choice, if you can't handle the truth (like my wife) then don't eat it. It really is that simple. As far as the children go, they do need to be protected. However, death is not something you can protect them from. I'm not saying you should tape their eyes open and force feed them gruesome images of slaughter. Im saying that even younger children need to be aware of where their food comes from.

@Thumperchick: Sometimes your eloquence amazes me. Thank you. I'm often a bit too brash I think. Some of my opinions are not wishing the world would change it's ways but instead wishing the world was different.

We can all sit and pick through exclusions for any arguement thats ever been made. I just don't see how anyone can argue that a higher respect for "the world that feeds you" is a bad thing.

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@nmchapma: I disagree completely. By that logic, what will you do to a child who asks where s/he comes from, or where babies come from? I think everyone here agrees that development level and maturity, as well as what someone can simply handle, plays a huge role. There severely mentally handicapped, for example, at any age would never be able to handle the answer to that question correctly.

You're asking to subject those who grew up with a history of violence and those who were subjected to abuse, to watch something that may trigger regression and/or flashbacks. You're being irresponsible and insensitive to their needs, and could damage them even further. And all this time you're tin-eared to some peoples' dietary needs for protein and could do serious health harm.

I'm supposing you're the sort of person that thinks a verbal description of a late term abortion is unacceptable, and then supports abortion on demand? Are you seeing the logical disconnect here?

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@figgers3036: Wow. you're bringing up abortion? really. While I believe all abortion takes a human life, I will never advise someone on what the right thing to do is. It is a personal decision for which I have no answers. This being brought up here or anywhere as a comparison is appauling. Assuming to know someone's personal beliefs on the subject is worse.

You are still nit picking through details. Of course there are circumstances which would need special attention. I will still stand by that, as a whole, the population can and should be faced with the reality that something DIED to feed them.

Children can handle much more than you think. Where I grew up we were all aware and often times a part of putting meat on the table and I believe that we are better people for it. Would you now like to step in and make a few assumptions about where I grew up or the kind of people I grew up with? Hell, maybe you'd like to make some parental accusations as well.

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@nmchapma: I'm supposing that's a no, you don't see the logical disconnect.

Your idea, taken to its logical conclusion, simply means that any time anything affects someone happens, you think it's appropriate for them to watch it happen and have it explained, in detail, what happened. I picked abortion because it's a touchy subject and many people are not comfortable with a verbal description of what goes on. Meanwhile, you're desiring of a visual description of a slaughterhouse, and extended to other areas, that gets even worse.

No, I don't think a 6 year old should have the butchery process explained to them. I never watched my uncle slaughter a pig until I was a teenager, and that's probably for the best, it's a brutal process. I knew at the age of 4, though, that all meat I ate was taken from a living animal. If that's what you'd like, then I have no problems with that. But it sounds like you want more, and are taking a running leap over the line of what's appropriate.

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Some good points are being made here on both sides. I'll assume some sort of appropriate exemption for very young children, the mentally ill, etc. I do think it's a good idea, if only for first world countries. Many people in places like the U.S. make the choice to eat meat, in comparatively massive quantities, without being in possession of all the facts about it. And I do think the facts extend to firsthand knowledge of how one's meat gets from the living animal to the dinner table. Maybe it's not practical to witness in person, but maybe it is practical to watch on video, in, say, a health class in a public school, which I believe already covers things like dietary choices.

And let's please not get bent out of shape over irrelevant "slippery slope" arguments. The point being made here is that a living thing dies as a direct result of one's choice to eat it. I don't think this invites comparisons to building cars, sewing clothes, or assumptions on anyone's stance on abortion.

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@figgers3036: In order for a logical disconnect to exist my statements would have to be all-inclusive. If you are going to have an abortion you should know exactly what is going on, as unpleasant as it may be, I feel a verbal description would be neccessary.

and no, I do not believe that everything thats happens should be observed and explained. I do feel that actions with such dier consequences should be very well understood. Often times the only way to make the consequences clear is to see it first hand.

When brought up knowing about how your food got to your table it is not such a shock when you see it happen. If you've spent your life gorging yourself on all the meat you could handle with no thoughts or regard for where it comes from, then a shock might just do ya some good.

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@sunnyx0r: "Maybe it's not practical to witness in person, but maybe it is practical to watch on video, in, say, a health class in a public school, which I believe already covers things like dietary choices."

I could live with this compromise. Anything that increases real awareness is a great thing (not PETA style awareness)

Recognizing that your direct choice to eat meat results in the death of living being. well said madam.

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@nmchapma: Correction: madam. :)

And thanks.

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We keep chickens and my kids observed me killing and butchering. Initially, it was "oooh, gross!", shortly followed by curiosity and questions about organs, anatomy, etc. None of them would eat our own chickens, but would eat purchased chicken. We never pressed the matter.

Interestingly, (now teens) all three have expressed interest in pursuing medical careers and none are the least bit squeamish.

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@wisenekt: I agree.

I love animals. I get angry and am moved to tears whenever I see or read about animal abuse.

I have seen very emotionally painful videos of animals being abused and tortured on farms. I know some animals on the big factory farms suffer a lot before finally dying. I know some animals are capable of feeling fear, anxiety and physical pain as much as we do.

Despite all that, I still eat animals. I love the taste and texture of meat. I know some (cough cough vegetarians/vegans) will label me a horrible hypocrite, but so be it. I'm fine with being "no better" than millions, if not billions, of humans.