May 26, 2020 at 10:05 am #202942AnonymousInactiveALB taking the side of the state against a vegetarian community trying to protect a cow from being murdered. Also, cynically saying that it was a case of “rescuing” a cow from “being ill-treated by vegetarians.” What ill treatment? And now “to rescue” someone means killing them?
Woe betide the farm-animal sanctuaries and refuges for farm-animal runaways we have now, should ALB’s view become typical of the masses who are to make socialism!
Not to mention the general diminishing of people’s feelings.
For all the naysaying, the fact remains that for Marxists animals of nonhuman species are food and nothing more.
The ignorance of ALB regarding nonhuman cultures is also appalling. Nonhumans do change their environments, though no animal does it to the extent that humans do. Nonhumans such as macaques adopt new ways of doing things which prove useful to them, and they teach these to their children. Nonhumans build, and everything being relative and species-useful and necessary, it is crass to draw comparisons of capability to satisfy human self-congratulation (itself a failing).
Alan, don’t waste energy on here.
All “animal question” Marxist forums, whether real Marxist or Bolshevik, soon degenerate into menu appreciation forums. That is because that was precisely Marx’s own attitude.
Fortunately, socialism won’t be made by any Marxist party, but by the masses themselves – the vast majority of whom will never know anything of the SPGB, nor anything about Marxism, not even when they are making the revolution.
And attitudes toward diet and fellow animals are already, even now, well in advance of the comrades whose sensibilities never go beyond Marxian economics.May 26, 2020 at 10:17 am #202938
It goes back to alienation, ALB. The nature of work itself and what drives people to perform work and take satisfaction from it.
There is a disconnect between survival of the individual and the community and today’s level of killing at a scale at which according to yourself can be projected into socialism, itself.
I offered you a quote from one of the religious halal slaughterers who compensated for the type of work by saying he felt rewarded by performing a service and duty to his Islamic community.
By extension, your argument is that abattoir workers will share a similar social worth and continue with the job for the good of society, that there will be volunteer replacements to take up the task of killing animals on a factory-line operation, (not as Bijou’s artisanal almost William Morris-like handicraft.)
I juxtapose another interpretation. It is alienated labour and it is harmful, to the person involved and to wider society at large. It is not socially useful labour and that is what determines what is produced inside socialism, even if there exists a demand for the product. I have confidence in the reason and rationality of those living in socialism to decide on such issues. (and as always i add a caveat that certain special situations will involve exceptions)
Once again it seems you are ignoring research into the effects of such work in todays capitalist world and you believe that such capitalist conditions and its influences on the personality disappears and ends with the establishment of socialism. It won’t.
It is not a form of dirty or demeaning or dangerous work (the 3-Ds) which can be compensated for by changes to it – but it is the 4th-D – damaging (to the health of the worker)
I gave you a link that even those who act in the interest of animals welfare suffer psychological consequences. How much worse it is then when you remove those well-intentioned motives and the purpose is to fill the belly of another person with one particular protein source.
To return to your earlier analogy, abortion clinic staff act with empathy and compassion for another person and deal with foetuses, not babies. If they were performing infanticide i am sure they would suffer trauma.
Anyway, some extracts from my cherry-picking trawling of the Socialist Standard’s views.
“Cruelty to animals will go the way of all forms of cruelty, when a real civilised existence becomes a possibility to everyone.”
“we want the best possible world for humans—but there is no reason why this should be at the expense of the suffering of other animals or why in practice it should lead to cruelty to animals being regarded as justified. It will, however, not rule out the conclusion that animals can be raised and killed for humans to eat, as long as this doesn’t involve cruelty…To tolerate the deliberate infliction of pain on them is to devalue opposition to human suffering too and so make it easier for some humans to get away with deliberately inflicting pain on other humans. In short, it is to help make for a less humane world….So, animals will be raised as food, but there will be no pressures to use methods of raising and slaughtering that impose suffering on them…”
“Socialists are not unduly sentimental about animals, and consider that a human’s first loyalty should be their own species. Nevertheless, the degree to which human society is ‘civilised’ can reasonably be gauged by its treatment of animals and the natural world as well as by its treatment of humans, and socialism, in its abolition of all aspects of the appalling savagery of capitalism, will undoubtedly do its part to abolish all unnecessary suffering by non-human sentient creatures.”
“There can be no dispute that many animals are treated abominably under capitalism. One question is to what extent their treatment is due to capitalism’s demands for profit and for constantly cheapening the costs of production. For it does not follow that mistreatment is a hallmark of all use of animals for food. It is perfectly possible that a Socialist society would involve less eating of meat and eggs, and any animals kept for food purposes would certainly be treated as humanely as possible.”
“However, people cannot be separated from their environment and in socialism a regard for human interests will obviously entail a cherishing of animals and what is called wildlife. That is not to say that socialism will be a world of sentimentals; as human interests require it animals will be used for food and, if such were necessary, in experiments with the object of saving human lives.”
“If socialists expect a large-scale meat industry they will have to face the fact that there is no ‘ethical’ way to do this. The New Scientist article points out that free-range farming is the most inefficient method both in terms of land use and greenhouse gas emissions, and argues that intensive factory farming is the only logical choice. No reasonable person today really questions the fact that animals, or at least farmed animals, are capable of fear and pain. Most people do not visit abattoirs nor do they really want to know what goes on in them, yet there is an unspoken knowledge behind the sterile and sanitized supermarket packaging. As the Nobel Prize winning writer Isaac Bashevis Singer put it in The Letter Writer (1968), speaking of factory farming: ‘In relation to [animals], all people are Nazis; for the animals, it is an eternal Treblinka.’ The rise in demand for ‘cruelty-free’ products in Western countries shows that, given the luxury of choice, people prefer not to be responsible for inflicting such suffering…Unless and until the welfare and humane treatment of humans is first attended to the question of the ethical treatment of animals must remain an issue waiting for its moment. ”
So how do we determine the degree of cruelty in the slaughter of animals to justify satisfying society’s choice of diet as something that is unavoidably necessary and required for the functioning of society?
I’m sure many will say present custom of stunning animals with a bolt-gun is painless and cruelty-free. Or using electricity. Or gassing the animals. But is it painless for the operator, no matter how remote he or she may be from the actual hands-on experience. How different is it really for the follow-up chores of gutting and cleaning out the still-warm carcasses so to eventually present them in cellophane-wrapped bloodless, odourless packaging. People want distanced from the reality of meat-eating.
But it should be noted, I have tried to place the emphasis of my arguments upon the expectations of humane treatment from society of those workers directly involved in the carrying out such cruelty. The only counter to it has been reference to almost individualised experiences, nothing comparable to the reality of the enormous social scale of the situation. Skinning and gutting the occasional rabbit cannot be compared to the estimated 70 BILLION land-animals that are killed annually. Even reduce that figure ten-fold and it is still an enormous responsibility placed upon abattoir workers. The social effects of slaughterhouses are harmful and far-reaching and I believe those workers when no longer obliged to submit to the wage-slavery of working in such places will halt their own suffering. Those living in socialism will have to change their diet because I simply cannot accept that their will be willing replacements or individuals will carry out the killing of animals for their personal palate.
But should the practice continue perhaps Percy Shelley’s advice should be followed:
“Let the advocate of animal food, force himself to a decisive experiment on its fitness, and as Plutarch recommends, tear a living lamb with his teeth, and plunging his head into its vitals, slake his thirst with the steaming blood; when fresh from the deed of horror let him revert to the irresistible instincts of nature that would rise in judgment against it, and say, Nature formed me for such work as this. Then, and then only, would he be consistent.”
Or as a more recent poet said,
“If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.” – Paul McCartneyMay 26, 2020 at 10:53 am #202950AnonymousInactiveMay 26, 2020 at 11:38 am #202954robbo203Participant
This might be of interest. Goats can play a very important role in the ecology of southern Spain as well as providing goat cheese. The article should automatically translate into EnglishMay 26, 2020 at 12:15 pm #202955
Mutual Aid, I have to come to the defence of ALB concerning the Hindu cow cult.
I believe a several years ago, he referred to his brother’s story when I was living in south India and remarked about how the sacred cow meant needless suffering of urban cows eating refuse and plastic. The event ALB referred to was a very sick cow which the local Hindu community refused to put out of its misery and permitted its suffering to be prolonged.
Related is the inhumane treatment of temple elephants in India.May 26, 2020 at 12:16 pm #202956
Goats are amazing critters. I used to meet them on trails on the French-Spanish border territory in the Pyrenees also. All sorts of wild stuff there too.May 26, 2020 at 12:19 pm #202957
Robbo, in an earlier post I suggested that goats were one breed of livestock that may well be returned to the wild. Message #202915May 26, 2020 at 12:24 pm #202958
Related is the inhumane treatment of temple elephants in India.
Yes and the Elephants chained up for the use of and amusement of tourists in Thailand.May 26, 2020 at 12:52 pm #202959AnonymousInactive
Basically, militant meat-eaters just don’t want to give up their pleasures, no matter who suffers.
What about foxhunters (like Engels) and trophy hunters? Won’t we be able to stop them indulging? What about animals who can’t be exploited for human amusement or food. No doubt you’ll come up with something, for example, breeding captive lions for shooting?
After all, according to human supremacist reasoning, why should free socialist humans not indulge where the rich do today?May 26, 2020 at 12:55 pm #202960AnonymousInactive
I agree about the elephants etc. in many temples, but was the cow sick, truly, when one vet said there was no sign of illness and the govt. refused a second, confirmatory, skin sample?May 26, 2020 at 12:57 pm #202961AnonymousInactive
And refused antibiotics to treat TB, as one would do for a human. Are human TB sufferers put to death?May 26, 2020 at 1:00 pm #202962AnonymousInactive
Even the govt. now recognises the badger kill is unnecessary.May 26, 2020 at 1:23 pm #202963
It is not a question of ‘militant meat eaters’ but of naturally omniverous humans. No one is advocating any of what you say below here.
No doubt you’ll come up with something, for example, breeding captive lions for shooting?
We are a diverse group which consists of vegans and vegetarians also no doubt some are ‘militant’ too.
Until we can eliminate capitalism and its twin concomitants of war and poverty then human, as well as animal suffering, can not be addressed in any adequate manner.
As you have indicated, “attitudes toward diet and fellow animals are already changing”, and socialists in the wider society are not immune to this change, but how much is genuine in the wider society, recognising urgent concerns about the environment, global warming, and animal suffering, and how much is driven and shaped by commodification and market segmentation, is up for speculation.May 26, 2020 at 1:27 pm #202964
And refused antibiotics to treat TB, as one would do for a human. Are human TB sufferers put to death?
Vaccinating cattle for the control of bovine TB is not currently used within any international control program and it is illegal within the E.U.7 This is because vaccines based on the TB bcg vaccine, all interfere with the action of the tuberculin skin test which is used for the diagnosis of TB in cattle. If the bcg vaccine is used then it is impossible to differentiate between cattle that have TB and cattle that have been vaccinated. In addition in 2016 there started to be a worldwide shortage of the bcg vaccine.
May 26, 2020 at 1:29 pm #202965
- This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by Matthew Culbert.
Even the govt. now recognises the badger kill is unnecessary.
Not necessarily so. It was seen as counterproductive as badgers were scattered and moved onto wider areas.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.