Cruelty Free...

I'd better be careful here. The last time I posted on vegetarianism and humane treatment of animals, it really pissed some readers off. Nothing makes a Christian angry like talking about homos... unless you're talking about being kind to pigs and chickens.

But I've been reading a blog I found recently and am really enjoying it.

The brief blog bio reads:

"My name is Emily. This blog chronicles my spending a year (and counting!) of buying 100% cruelty-free products. I also write about boycotting factory farming, my life in the San Francisco bay area, and my dog, who I cook food for."

She's got a funny style, even while dealing with relatively volatile (and often emotional) material. In one post she writes, “If you’re a humane omnivore, I think you’re a lovely, caring person who is taking a stand against the animal abuse that goes on at battery farms.”

I think it's important to affirm those people, outside one's own immediate "circle" who are moving toward a middle - perhaps toward ethics or conviction or belief or whatever it is. Like Israelis and Palestinians who seek common ground, or open-minded "spiritual seekers" who dig hearing about Jesus and Buddha and Oprah Winfrey. Emily does that.

Good stuff.


Dan Wright said...

Hey Pete, you are up early sir, as I see that post was from 5am or so!

I have some interesting views on the whole veg./humane treatment of animals thing. Being a hunter and therefore a killer of animals, and a pet owner (and I "love" my dog although she doesn't get nearly as much attention as she used to since my daughter was born, and that's how it should be), and someone who ate dog when he was in Korea (just once), I have conflicting views on the issue.

Why can I eat dog, and "love" my dog?

I love humans, but certainly would never eat a human of course, (and as I wrote that I thought of the movie "Alive" where they eat dead humans to stay alive). Was that wrong? I digress, (as I often do!)

I hunt, and yet give the utmost respect to animals. (That one I can explain very easily.) Most people say "how can you hunt and say you "love" animals? It's very simple. People who eat meat and don't hunt it for themselves, (which I do also, so I can't be on my high horse too much here) indirectly treat animals very bad. They (or I) support the horrible treatment of animals in the "farm factories" by eating the meat they provide. They (or I) have other people or machines do their dirty work for them. We often don't think about where that meat comes from. So I guess my point is, park the shopping cart and pick up a gun (a rifle not a handgun, I think handguns should be illegal, unless your a cop of course).

On another note, I feel like I should apologize to RickNiekLikesBikes, no one saw the super long post I wrote addressing the whole Iraq, Bush, Valerie Plame thing, because it never posted for some reason, (probably for good reason!) But it was definitely not in the spirit of love. It was sort of scathing actually. And that's not how Jesus want's me to disagree with people right? Rick and I don't agree on a couple of things, but I'm willing to bet that we agree on a lot more than we disagree on. We might even be friends if we met in person. So Rick, I love you brother, and even though we disagree sometimes it's ok, God knows our hearts.

Sue said...


As someone who grew up in Iowa and whose uncles and cousins "factory farmed", I'm a little cynical about the cruelty to animals folks. It's a little like the media portraying Christians. The media, of course, finds and amplifies the worst of the worst pastors and congregations, and completely ignores the vast majority of pastors who are giving of themselves daily to the "health" of their "flocks."
The TRUTH is, it is much more profitable to raise animals that are healthy than to treat them with cruelty. And there are many farmers who continually learn how to better care for their herds.
In fact, the Christian college (in Iowa) that I graduated from studies methods of farming that align with a "Christian world and life view."
So you can see a news report about emaciated horses and believe "all horse-owners are abusers" or you can believe that, while many, if not most, people who make their living from raising animals do all they can to give them the best care they can, there are some folks out there that are just plain jerks.
Peter, I am not SO old, but old enough that I am very cynical about "all-or-nothing" arguments about anything, whether that be Christianity, Islam, wearing fur, hunting, or "factory farms." Unless you are talking about actions that are clearly reprehensible, such as genocide, there is always, always, always more to the story.
Well, thanks for reading my rambling. Gotta go out now and see whether its salmon, steak or pork chops are on sale this week.

Peter said...

Dan, thanks man. I think I said somewhere else that I actually don't have a problem with the killin gof animals. Maybe sounds inconsistent, but animals who are hunted in the wild have managed to experience freedom in nature - not too bad a thing (although there are of course OTHER arguments for why some animals are better off cared for in captivity, animals in nature is - well - natural). So no, I don't have a problem with hunting, as long as it's responsible (a whole other topic about overhunting, cruelty, depleted populations, etc...).

In the same way, I don't have a problem with raising cattle, pigs, chickens or anything else for food - if it's humane.

Peter said...

Sue, THANK you for your post - great thoughts. I'm going to re-post what you said with some of my own thoughts...

Emily said...

*snort* -- Peter, you're hilarious! I'll have to quote you on this:

"Nothing makes a Christian angry like talking about homos... unless you're talking about being kind to pigs and chickens."

Very nice!

And Dan -- really great point! I personally could never hunt anything, ever, but I have to admit that some deer living a beautiful life out in the forest who dies swiftly one day from a bullet has a HECK of a better life than any chicken smushed in a cage no bigger than a laptop on a factory farm for its entire 6-week life. I FULLY support your argument there that you are far more humane than any of those people who ask you how you could hunt anything yet eat horribly factory farmed meat products from Safeway every single day.

Also, I grew up in a small town close to rural areas so I have met a few hunters. (One of them was actually a pig-hunting veterinarian. I kid you not.) Anyway, this one hunter I met was a fiance-of-a-friend-of-a-friend and he and I ended up talking at numerous parties and the affection and bond he had with his hunting dog was just amazing. That dog was far more loved than many a vegetarian's dog. It sounds like you have a similar relationship with your dog, and I think your situation is far more common than you might think :)


David Henson said...

I wish I was a hunter. I'd feel better about the meat I consume, to be honest. I also wish I was farmer. I'd feel better about the produce I consume.

I'm working on the latter one. Maybe I should take up hunting, too. Might be useful when the Apocalypse comes, too.

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