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Current Affairs > Humans are Animals Too (Culling Canadians)

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message 1: by Tim (new)

Tim | 86 comments Mod
I wonder what it would be like if 275,000 Canadian children were "culled" by being beaten to death with a club.

Of course the killers, sorry "cullers", would try and make it as humane as possible. They would *try* and ensure that the Canadians are in fact dead after a couple of swings of the club.

"Blood on the Ice"

I was thinking of starting a topic to discuss the view that many/most humans do not view themselves as animals, that there is something "more special" about humans.

I wont get into the nitty gritty of the debate in this first post, but this news from Canada urged me to start this discussion now in this way.

message 2: by Seaweed (new)

Seaweed | 1 comments From the seal’s perspective how is it any more or less cruel than a fox jumping on its back and biting at the neck? And is the only reason clubbing a seal is so cruel is the act of clubbing? It doesn’t seem much different than a hunter (lets suppose he is an Inuit hunting for survival) taking more than one shot to kill an animal. Does the seal see all these types of struggles in the same way? Do we as humans, thinking we are above animals, put the twist on in it and turn it into “inhumane” because of our morals and preconceived notions of right and wrong?

How is it any different that an aspen tree quickly spreading its chutes underground to take over a sunny mountain slope before the Douglas fir grows large enough to shade the area and keep the aspen from its needed sunlight?

Would clubbing those 275,000 Canadian children be more or less cruel than eating them alive the way the seal more than likely would die in the wild?

Maybe because humans see themselves as animals, or at least have animal tendencies, it is the reason we do club the seals. I understand that this is not a fully territorial situation, nor is it entirely for food or survival. I may be wrong but I think an Orca will kill for no reason at all. So, is man acting on his presumption that, as an animal, the act is ok?

Just wanted to play devil’s advocate…

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

i'm not sure the cullers are making any fine distinctions
i would think it would take a certain lack of abstract thought to be able to do this type of "work"
just sort of a brute mentality that doesn't see animals as worthy of our compassion or an ability to suppress any compassion because of the money-that is a kill or not eat scenario
i have a friend who was a fisherman with heightened sensibilities
after a time he couldn't countenance killing fish
i've lived with hunters who are able to justify by saying they eat the deer and seemingly good men who guide for bear hunts, over bait usually so an easy kill for the trophy
the guides motivation again is money,
the hunter or "sport's" motive is machismo
which could motivate the cullers also
again not much thought going towards the animal

why do they club seals anyway? the fur?

message 4: by Allie (new)

Allie Yes, the sentiment that humans are somehow different pervades all aspects of human life. Particularly in the West. This, and the practices and norms that stem from it, irk me like nothing else. I understand that the human capacity for complex thought, language, self-awareness and the formation of a worldview etc are things that other animals may not have. I don't see how this can justify the way animals are often treated and conceptualised.

I have also read in numerous place studies which demonstrate that other species exhibit some of the same capacities. Some species of bird have demonstrated rudimentary capacity for world-view formation, while dolphins (and pigs, if memory serves) are able to recognise themselves in reflective surfaces etc.

Another thing I find interesting is the way in which people distinguish between different kinds of animal, in what I see as ways that are dependent on their degree of association and familiarity with them. For example, the taboo over eating dog in the West, but not lamb, cow, etc.

The other thing: 275,000 Canadian children or 275,000 Sudanese children? Raises a different issue, but is still relevant.

message 5: by Carlie (new)

Carlie | 86 comments It is so easy for me to take a look at this sort of behavior and immediately feel an aversion to it. I mean, baby seals are so cute. Actually all babies are cute to me no matter what species. (hmmm, I wonder if this is a natural instinct limited to females).
Anyway, back to the point I was going to make. Yes, I find this perverse. But it disturbs me in an unusual way. Am I not the mirror image of these "monsters" when I find pleasure in swatting the flies in my kitchen?
I do believe all living things should be respected yet I find myself lacking any respect for annoying insects (mainly flies, ticks, and mosquitoes). I do not believe we should needlessly take the lives of any living thing and when we do have the need, we should do it in a "humane" (I hate that word, it is such an oxymoron) fashion (i.e. minimal pain and zero brutality).
But I'm still disturbed by my own behavior towards flies and any condemnation I have for cullers can also be lunged against myself. In any case, I am not responsible for the behavior of others and the only person I am in control of is myself. Will I really be able to exercise that control next summer when my kitchen is once again invaded by these filthy creatures? I don't know.
I am leaning more and more towards defining my "need" for their removal from my kitchen (sanitary reasons) and legitimizing my methods. I am not cruel and do not torture the poor creatures. I flatten them as quickly as possible and if they show any signs of life, as flat as possible.

But perhaps this is not in fact comparable to the serious concerns any thinking feeling person would have in watching this video. I for one will not click on the link because I know it will simply make me furious and feel powerless and more than likely lead to a deluge of tears and I hate crying. So let me just be sure to add that we are in complete agreement as to the inappropriateness of such behavior.
And I should end with adding that I so look forward to a serious discussion on why humans don't see themselves as animals.

message 6: by Riley (last edited Dec 27, 2008 09:53PM) (new)

Riley (booksarecool) I can't look at the link, I am queasy at just the word blood.
Humans kill, we always have. We are the perfect predator, able to think for ourselves, not limited to instincts. We are on top of the food train because we have so many food possibilities, and we have the mind capacity to invent killing machines for us to use. No matter what you believe in, something made us that way, and it will probably never change as a species. And if you can think that killing seals is a terrible thing, and compare it to killing children, then couldn't that be compared with killing flies, like Carlie said? Or maybe killing weeds? For, if these things should live, shouldn't the less wanted things? No.
Like said in the "Why is death so abhored in this society" without the deaths of these animals, plants, flies, etc., we would not be able to live. I am appalled at senseless killing, like trophy hunting. But by cutting back the sick animals, we're giving the healthy animals more room to grow.
But couldn't this be compared with the Nazis or the terrorists? Cutting out one 'unhealthy' part of society to let another part grow? But if we kill a deer, then that leaves less deer to eat a certain type of plant, and that plant could provide nourishment to other deer, so on. Does this justify the killing?
When a member of our society is killed, the killer is punished, most often with death. Why do we kill? Jealousy, fighting over resources, etc. So, as animals, we have not yet overcome that particular instinct. They have it, I want it. Or, They have it, that's not right. We are, in a way, just toddlers fighting over toys, but they are blown up in a way. A toddler fights over a plastic boat, we fight over oil. So one toddler may hit the other over the head, rendering he/she temporarily stunned so they can take the boat (oil). But then Mom comes along and puts the toddler in timeout, along with the boat. But if there is no grownup to make sure we get along, won't we start trying to make them? Behold, United Nations. Congress. etc. We try to battle our instincts to hit(start war) when we are hit (attacked), but we don't always prevail. And if we sought out every violent soul and killed them, would that be unnecessary violence, or toward the greater good?
Now I am rambling, so I will get back on topic.
So, are we justified in these killings? It depends on your personal morale. Why is it some of us are vegetarians, while others stubbornly eat meat? Instinct. Is that to say that being a vegetarian is humane? Not if you think of that plant like that animal. You are killing and eating something living. With offspring. Not hopes and dreams or memories, but could the same be said for animals? Or should humanity starve to save our fellow species? Ah, this will be a question that we can only answer personally, with much thought, yet when we eat, we don't think of these things.

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