Domestic chickens display signs of empathy, the ability to ”feel another’s pain” that is at the heart of compassion, a gobsmaking scientific study has found. The discovery has important implications for the welfare of farm and laboratory animals, say the researchers.
Chickens Can Feel Each Other’s PainIve just completed a month of veganism which I agreed to do this after an challenge on this blog from a passionate advocate of the vegan lifestyle. How did I get on? If you want some detail, you can listen to an interview that I did on a local radio station by clicking here, but in essence, I had a challenging but enjoyable month. I even ended up recording a vegan video recipe for the Veggievision website.
Veganism is an extreme form of vegetarianism; not only is meat banned, but so are all food items derived from animals. No milk or dairy products, no eggs, and not even any honey.
A comment on Wedderburn’s article says:
I am not Vegan but Vegetarian. For me its simple logic that mass slaughter of animals is morally wrong. No one drilled this in to me. Im not a member of any animal rights organisations. I just dont eat meat because I know the majority of animals about to be slaughtered will experience absolute terror, and well I like animals. From the moment they are born to the second they are slaughtered their lives are spent in perpetual misery. Surely anyone with even the smallest amount of intelligence (or empathy) could see this is wrong.
I believe a lot of people bury the idea that Cows, sheep, pigs dont feel, dont think, and dont matter way back in the recesses of their minds. They wont let the moral side through because if it meant stopping their meat eating ways they think it would mean inconvenience in their lives.
Now I am not going to argue against anyone being vegetarian on principle, their moral choices are entirely up to them. My reservation about the meat trade is not the eating of animals, we did not get to the top of the food chain by being nice to our predators back in the days when our ancestors knuckles dragged on the ground. I do have a prpblem with factory farming though and so my wife and I pay more to buy from a local butcher in a small village in order to make sure the animals have not been kept in darkness, fed hormone enriched feeds and brought to preternatural physical maturity as the products found on supermarket shelves have.
OK they still get killed and eaten. But before humans were atound how many vegetarian, animal rights supporting lions and wolves were there in the world?
Pete Wedderburn’s vegan experiment is all very well but did he faithfully follow these rules: Source no food that has been grown, transported, processed, sold, in any circumstances where meat-eaters or meat-eating has played any part.
Switch off your fridge too, walk naked, take no transportation, move out of your house, live in a field being careful not to crush any insects.
Only plant materials to make clothes assuming land could be devoted to growing things not required to food.
Those would be conditions of true veganism.
The variety and quantity of plant material needed to build and sustain the Human body would be huge, particularly through childhood and where hard physical labour is required – which would be so in a Vegan World – and where the most concentrated and readily digestible protein source, animal or fish flesh – are not available. Given that most vegans are Warmageddonists who would shut down the oil wells and coal mines at the drop of a hat we would have no tractors, 4 x 4s, quad bikes or steam engines to do the hard graft. Horses or Oxen tamed to the plough would be anathema to vegans as it is exploitation of animals.
So it would be back to spades, hoes and weheel barrows, (did you hear about the American tourist who thought a Dutch hoe was an Amsterdam prostitute?) very labour intensive food production, lots of water requirement, and many hours spent eating, chewing and digesting. This was fine in the neolithic era when there were probably less than ten million humans in the enture world. Seven billion of us squabbling over scraps of land on which to grow lentils presents a nightmare vision of an unsustainable future however.
Veganism is a self-indulgent lifestyle – like its family member Environmentalism – only possible on the back of a normal, omnivorous Human existence. I have nothing against vegans, I am self indulgent in different ways and they have as much right to their beliefs as anybody. The evangelical vegans who write in The Guardian (where else) that to impose veganism by law is the only way to save the planet are as crazy as scientologists however.
Had Veganism been viable in evolutionary terms, then Mankind would have evolved as such because it is much less dangerous than going out to kill a Woolly Mammorth or a Giant Aurochs armed with aonly a thick stick. And if such a lifestyle were so successful the Third World, mostly vegetarian though not by choice, would be thriving, instead it is not, because its cannot grow enough plant food to feed itself effectively.
Do we really need scientists to tell us animals can empathise with one another. Is this not absolutely obvious to all? Sure, animals can empathise, the biological academy are resistant to the idea of morphic resonance but the real world evidence is overwhelming. Anyone who has kept dogs or cats or any other pets will be aware they communicate on levels not available to us. Anyone who has watched a flock of starlings or shoal of fish behave as one single creature will know something is going on that defies logical explanation.
So, question: Given that the work of biologist Rupert Sheldrake on Morphic Resonance suggests that plant life like animal life has a morphic field, can we be certain that carrots do not scream in pain when ripped forcibly from the earth or that cabbages feel nothing when we cut through their stalks?
GM science to feed the world