I have been passively involved with an on-again off-again online, via the evil-axis of Facebook, personal email, and North Korean Dictator posts, discussion of the Satanic ways of my meat-eating. It all started when a very intelligent young man whom I'm associated with through NASA made a post including a video of cow abuse at a slaughterhouse at the hands of two idiot human workers and made a comment about "Think of this next time you drink your milk". Now, I am not a confrontational type human, (I am actually on lifelong probation from physical altercations after the Texas Roadhouse Incident of 1981...) but I had to ask what a slaughterhouse video had to do with my milk. Last time I milked a cow, I didn't kill the cow first, second, third, or last. I can't imagine what kind of bizarre teat accident could result in the death of the cow. He, let's call him Lamak, went on a small rant about how my personal consumption, thereby human consumption, of animal products including milk, has caused the wide-spread abuse of animals in society; even 3rd World Countries.
Then it escalated to the point where one contributor of our online conversation, not Lamak to his credit, actually wished me a long and painful cancer-riddled death because of my evil meat-eating ways. It was then I bowed out of the conversation since it had slid into the sensationalism of emotions and personal attacks instead of a slightly higher exchange of ideas.
Well, it started again. I re-posted a simple image of a combat soldier petting a dog. Image below.
Somehow, that simple image, sentiments of which I agree and feel deeply about, took on another meaning for some Veggies. Comments like "Does this include all animals? Don't you eat meat? How can you explain that?" and "How can you be so hypocritical? Would you eat a dog?" Short answer, yes, if I had to. Why do these Veggie's (Vegetarians, Vegans, and other Democrats) think they have the right to force their philosophy on me? Can't I eat my fatty burger (NO MATTER WHAT KIND OF RED MEAT IT IS MADE FROM!) without someone shouting that I am killing THEM? I would NEVER try to force my meat-eating tendencies on them! sigh...
NOTE AGAIN (ADDED 01/08/2019): About 4 years back, my lovely wife and I were dining at Bobby's Burger Palace at Mohegan Sun Casino in CT. Yes, BURGERS. The raw-er, the better! Get over it. I had a burger and a spiked milkshake, since they didn't have any good beers on tap, in front of me (Their shakes are the best!) when another patron lit up a "smokeless" vaping apparatus and started blowing that thick-fog shit everywhere. Even though we were at the other end of the short bar, the nicotine-fueled "vapor" bothered me because I know what the "F" is in that "S". ("F" means Fuck and "S" means Shit.) I asked him to stop and he became irate for a moment until the bartender tried to smooth things over. "No smoking at food establishment..." statements didn't sit well with this guy. He yelled across the bar that I was killing myself with my milkshake. Yes, I probably am. However, I was more than happy telling him that "I am not shoving my milkshake shit down your throat." At that, he stopped vaping and I went ahead and lost a month of retirement money at the tables... This post is aimed particularly at the "documentary" Earthlings that Lamak sent my way and claimed that I couldn't watch it without doing something about it. I quote Lamak:
Aren't you being a tad bit hypocritical? If can you watch the whole of Earthlings, a free documentary available to view online at http://earthlings.com/?page_id=32 and you don't see anything wrong with it then I guess it is OK to go on treating some species of animals as friends and others as food.When I replied the video is a "work of fiction" mostly due to its sensational lack of facts, I was called a liar. In fact, I lied to myself. I'm so ashamed. I should be spanked. Here's my run down of this "documentary".
Main Issue: It starts with a quote about the "Three Stages of Truth"; ridicule, violent opposition, then finally acceptance. I'm always skeptical of documentaries that begin with a quote from a philosopher. I'm doubly skeptical of any source of information that doesn't credit the sources of their own information. This is a quote from a dead philosopher, not an original quote by the filmmakers. In this case, Arthur Schopenhauer, a 19th century German philosopher. Fact? No. Science? No. A philosophical view? Sure. If I place a quote by some other person on one of my own class lessons and don't attribute to the owner of that quote, I am creating a false sense that it is mine. I believe that is intellectual theft and should not be tolerated. Even though I do it all the time...
How's this for a quote on truth? "Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods." -Albert Einstein. [Note to Lamak, don't try to out-quote me by using Big Al. I'll kick your quoting buttocks everyday.] Summary: Any documentary that starts on a philosophical note has already set the theme; it's all about philosophical/personal beliefs and not the facts. Reminds me too much of the methodology used by Al Gore at the beginning of his Mockumentary, Inconvenient Truth. After showing a few hundred smoke stacks (spewing mostly clean water steam, by the way) and dead carcasses on dry desert floors, a nuclear blast mushroom cloud was shown. Where's That From? (My way of saying WTF to my students...) Yeah, nuclear explosions will be caused by anthropological global warming. Geeze... Not to mention that Gore's hurricane is rotating in the wrong direction...
So, onto my "review" of Earthlings.
Opening statement: "...these are the industry standards for...". Says who? I was raised on a farm in central PA. I have a tad bit of knowledge on the killing of animals for food. How many Veggies ever been to a real working farm? A real slaughterhouse? Doubtful it's more than a handful and they all have hidden cameras just waiting for something stupid. So, where is the data for that statement? The industry standards? I can show you instances, videos in fact, that show human parents abusing their own small children. Does that mean it is the "humankind standard"? I can show you instances of extreme kindness and true heroism between humans. Does this kindness then extrapolate into some kind of a "humankind standard"? Not everyone is an idiot, Lamak. Not everyone is a genius. Not everyone is a hero. Sorry, but bold statements like this need bold evidence. The video offers nothing other than repeating that sensationalistic unscientific claim over and over.
The very first narration of this mockumentary uses a very narrow definition of "earthling" as "one who inhabits the earth." Then goes off trying to claim that every living thing on the planet is an "earthling"; us, fish, birds, lobstahs (which I just steamed a batch yesterday... Alive, yes.), all living creatures big and small. Even my Mother-In-Law. You want fact-checking, Lamak? Here's a few real dictionary definitions of "earthling".
[American Heritage Dictionary Online] earth·ling (ûrthlng)n. 1. One, especially a human, that inhabits the planet Earth. 2. A person devoted to the world; a worldling.
[Collins English Dictionary Online] earthling [ˈɜːθlɪŋ]n (esp in poetry or science fiction) an inhabitant of the earth; human being
[Online Etymology Dictionary - Word Origin] earthling : O.E. eyrþling "plowman" (see earth); the sense of "inhabitant of the earth" is from 1590s. Earthman was originally (1860) "a demon who lives in the earth;" science fiction sense of "inhabitant of the planet Earth" first attested 1949 in writing of Robert Heinlein. [Mirriam-Webster Online] earth·ling /ˈɚθlɪŋ/ noun (plural earth·lings) [count] : a human being living on Earth ◊Earthling is usually used in stories and movies that involve creatures from outer space.
So we are now using science fiction terms to make science arguments? I'm not going down that path. An earthling is a human. Not the slime or black mold in my basement.
Right after the previous "definition" of earthling, images of African slave trade(circa 1500AD), KKK (1950), Hitler(1929), Suffragettes(1920)?? Are you kidding me? Where's That From: WTF? Can't they even do things chronologically? So, they equate Hitler's absolute evil to a pork-eater because my species "uses another species for my benefit"? I can't even begin to tell you what non-sequiturs these images are to the issue at hand and what kind of insult this is to thinkers and those who were actually affected by these atrocities. Anytime one cannot explain his/her view to another, images of Hitler or some other idiotic comparison is made and it is counted as legitimate. How utterly stupid. (Pun intended...) If you can explain to me what Hitler and human slave trade have to do with my Bobby Flay's rare burger, then I may have a better grasp on how AGW will cause nuclear explosions.
Main issues: 10 Billion animals are slaughtered in the US every year for food. Well, now, if true, that means every man, woman, and child in the US eats 28.6 whole animals per year! WOW! Now, I can eat one whole deer in 6 months; I get two per year from a buddy in Jersey. I do consume my fair share of animal parts throughout the year in the form of chops, steaks, lobstahs, burger, jerky, sausage... However, for me to eat 28 entire animals in one year? I couldn't even eat 28 little chickens per year! Where did this number come from?
Funny you should ask because PETA's own website claims the number is a little larger: Every year in the U.S., more than 27 billion animals are slaughtered for food. OK, now that means I eat, on average, 77 animals per year! WOW! I'm the cause of all this fuss! Let's look at the real numbers, shall we?
The UN has a site, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, which keeps track of all this stuff for each and every country in the world. All you need to do is click on the country (US in this case), the animal, and "slaughtered", and numbers are given. Let's see what the UN says about number of animals slaughtered FOR FOOD in the US in 2010, the latest data year.
Pigs - 110 Mill
Chickens - 8 BILL
Turkeys - 242 Mill
Sheep - 3 Mill
Camel - 0
This amounts to, also according to FAOSTAT, gross production values of:
Cattle - $44 Billion USD
Pigs - $15 Billion
Chickens - $22 BILL
Turkeys - $3 Bill
Sheep - $300 Mill
Camel - $0
This yields a number total of roughly 9 BILLION animals (MOST of them, 88%, are brainless chicken!) amounting to over $74 Billion gross production cost! Sounds like I just argued myself out of a job here, doesn't it? Well, nope. Look at the exporting. According to the US Consensus of 2011, the US exported $17 BILLION of meat & poultry. $6 BILLION in fish. Only $1 BILLION is alcoholic beverages... That's because no one in their right minds wants to import Bud Light! Now, I'm not looking any further for the numbers breakdown. $23,000,000,000 dollars in exported meat, chicken and fish going to mostly poor countries as foreign aide. I don't know and don't care how many this $$$ represents; I know it's a crap-load. I hate folks who spout numbers without knowing what those numbers entail.
So, take the USD production amount of ~$74 Billion and the $23 Billion sent abroad amounts to about 1/3 of the total. That means we, as a nation, are only 2/3 as bad as most Veggie's think we are. Go figure.
Main issue: Animals are pumped full of dangerous hormones. Yeah, right. I don't have the finger strength to fight this stupid claim again. Stop. Just stop.
Main issue: You shouldn't need to make up stories of "happy" animals dying "happy deaths" in order to choose to eat them. Well, now. Going back to the late 60's; my oldest brother and I worked at a meat-packing plant in Middletown PA. Never have I considered "happy" animals going through "happy" deaths. I was not directly involved with the killing of the cows coming to the plant, but I was involved with the slicing and dicing and packing of all that red stuff. I can assuredly tell you there was never any abuse of the animals. Never any idiot human being cruel to the doomed animals. Never. NEVER!
Have you ever visited a slaughterhouse or packing plant? The industry is so heavily regulated by the Federal Government that showing these "undercover" videos of mistreatment toward the animal is at best an exaggeration, at worst a false generalization created for simple shock value.
Main issue: Point by point reply to Lamak's comments.
Lamak: I am not trying to convince to you stop eating animals. I just want to show you how things really are. You are a man of science, don't you want to know the truth? I sure do. Now, I have presented evidence to show that most farmed animals live horrible lives and die horrible deaths. You say my evidence is false but you don't point me to any evidence that shows for a fact that Earthlings was made up in a Hollywood studio (or something similar). I tried to back up your theory by doing various searches along the lines of "Earthlings documentary is a fake." I came up with nothing. Obviously, you have some info I don't. Please share it. I am not trying to convince to you stop eating animals. I just want to show you how things really are.
No, you aren't. You are feeding me sensationalistic non-substantiated "documentaries" of dubious origin. This is not "the way it is". Yes, animals are killed. Yes, we eat them. Your point?
Lamak: You are a man of science, don't you want to know the truth? I sure do. Now, I have presented evidence to show that most farmed animals live horrible lives and die horrible deaths. You say my evidence is false but you don't point me to any evidence that shows for a fact that Earthlings was made up in a Hollywood studio (or something similar)."
Like I said above, have you ever visited a slaughterhouse or even a real working farm? Seems like your only "evidence" is "shocking" video. Oooo. It makes me so scared. I assume you have never gutted a deer or black bear after hunting and killing it. I assume, from your own comments, your only evidence for your own beliefs comes from these videos. I assume you also believed Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth was a documentary with no flaws or intentional lies.
NOTE: Lamak, just read your most recent post on your blog. Follow your own advice. I quote your 2nd paragraph: "There is nothing wrong with a healthy debate. What I don’t appreciate is the vitriol and name-calling in these discussions. Nothing will be accomplished if all we do is dig our heels in and go into attack mode." And you are right, I have fact-checked "Earthlings". It's bunk. Pure and simple. I'll take it apart for you segment by segment and statement by statement when I have some time to write it all up. Further, I don't appreciate being called a liar because I'm a dog-loving meat-eater. Go figure.
Other comments from Lamak:
Lamak: What is fictional about it, Daryl? Did you even see it? Fact-checking IS powerful. I am guessing you "fact-checked" the documentary and found it fictional. I would love to see your evidence. I must say, that is some photo realistic fictionalization, don't you think? What do you think of these undercover investigations: http://www.mercyforanimals.org/investigations.aspx ? If you can find any evidence that they are also fiction, again, I would love to see them.
As I said earlier, sensationalism is not science. Where in this video does it have any, ANY, evidence that what they show in their little hidden blurry videos is anything other than strange. Animal slaughter and meat packing are heavily regulated and, yes, as is the case for any endeavor, some things go wrong from time to time. Just because someone has a 10 second video doth not make it so. Mercy For Animals is a crap piece of crap journalistic crap. Should I tell you what I really think about it? According to Animal Charities, MFA lost their top rating as a charity because of their high priority with media attention and the lack of fiscal transparency. As a charity, they are given a "D+" due to utilizing less than 30% of their donations for actual animal causes. So, yeah.
Lamak:: Consider this, 10 BILLION land animals are raised and killed in the US every year for human consumption. Given that there are only 300 Million people and we see them all the time, why is it that most people don't see 10 Billion farm animals in their day to day lives? I've already discussed the numbers. Ain't 10 Billion for US. It's 9 Billion for the FRIKKIN' WORLD! All 7.5 Billion of them! So, stop this crap about 15 animals die each day because of me! I'd like to have just ONE!
Lamak:: Sure, I understand the need for survival when there aren't any other options. It's also OK to be a"an unapologetic meat-eater." But do you think it is OK to lie to oneself (e.g. calling Earthlings a work of fiction) to be able to continue consuming animal products? If you are gonna be unapologetic, be unapologetic about the whole thing. You shouldn't need to make up stories of "happy" animals dying "happy deaths" in order to choose to eat them.
Duh. See above. Happy? Only me while I'm sinking my incisors into my Bobby Flay burger.
Lamak:: I am not trying to convince to you stop eating animals. I just want to show you how things really are. You are a man of science, don't you want to know the truth? I sure do. Now, I have presented evidence to show that most farmed animals live horrible lives and die horrible deaths. You say my evidence is false but you don't point me to any evidence that shows for a fact that Earthlings was made up in a Hollywood studio (or something similar). I tried to back up your theory by doing various searches along the lines of "Earthlings documentary is a fake." I came up with nothing. Obviously, you have some info I don't. Please share it.
When the only evidence shown is a blurry sensationalistic video put together by a batch of tree-huggers, no. It's not evidence. It's sad.