[Vision2020] Animal Rights, Pigs & "Pigs On The Wing

Megan Prusynski megan at meganpru.com
Wed Sep 6 19:04:06 PDT 2006

Ted, I just wanted to thank you for your long & well-thought out  
response. It's always interesting to hear others' perspectives on  
animal rights issues and you bring up some great points. Ultimately  
the decision of where to draw the line in terms of sentience and what  
to eat is really up to the individual. We gotta eat something! :)  
It's a difficult line to draw and it has always baffled me how some  
animals are considered ok to eat in our culture and some are not.  
Like the other issues you pointed out, it's a slippery slope. I just  
try my best to educate people about where their food comes from so  
that they can make informed decisions, and this is also a large part  
of PETA's mission.

Thanks for the Pink Floyd lyrics, too. I have never really studied  
them before but Pink Floyd is one of my favorite bands and the songs  
you mention are indeed pertinent to this discussion.

I don't have much to add, just wanted to thank you for your  
insightful post. :)


Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Wed Sep 6 12:58:56 PDT 2006

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Degrees of "sentience," "emotional sophistication"
and/or "intelligence," are often factors that meat eaters
and "vegetarians" alike consider when killing another living being for
food.  Many meat eaters are aware of the well documented and publicised
intelligence and emotional sophistication of primates, and thus would  
not to slaughter and eat monkey or gorilla for food, and I don't mean
because of concern for endangered species/species extinction, which  
is based
on a separate argument than the argument based on avoiding cruelty and

The line between what sort of life will be "killed" or not for food,  
on the definition of these qualities and to what degree the life form  
we are
killing possesses these qualities, is a difficult line to draw  
sharply.  I
can't count the number of times I have debated "vegetarianism" with  
who pointed out the hypocrisy of vegetarians killing the plant organisms
that vegetarians eat.  It can be argued that plants have primitive
"emotions" and a degree of "sentience."  Imagine the "horror" those  
spouts "experience" as you crush them mercilessly while alive in your
avocado tomato sandwich!  This may sound like a joke, but if we are  
going to
show respect for all living beings...

Also, it is quite possible to kill and eat an animal and have no  
involved, except that the animal you are eating had their life cut  
and the death of the animal may impact other living animals, animals who
have profound emotional and behavioral reactions to the death of other
members of their species, a consideration that is not trivial with  
some very
social animals.

The venison served at the famed CIA (Culinary Institute of America)  
from venison farms where the animals are shot by marksman from a  
distance to
avoid inducing any fear, fight or flight reactions in the animal,  
that induce chemical changes the reduce the quality of the meat.  The
animals literally die without knowing what hit them, not necessarily for
kindness, but for culinary perfection.  An ethical hunter who aims to  
kill a
wild deer or elk, etc. instantly with one clean shot before the  
animal has a
chance to notice them, is also killing an animal with minimal cruelty,
probably less so than many animals raised and kept for food.

I suspect there probably is some cruelty involved in the raising and
slaughtering of the animals for the meats the Moscow CO-OP offers,  
the CO-OP should be applauded for addressing the animal cruelty  
issue, and
to some extent mitigating the suffering of food animals.  Animals  
raised for
food are often not living a high quality of life (crowed feet lots,  
conditions, etc.) based on the needs of their instinctive behavior and
social/mating patterns, even if they exit this plane of existence not
knowing what "hit" them.

The idea we can kill and eat animals for food, and avoid the slippery  
of justifying cruelty to animals, is very problematic... Just as the
argument we now must suffer, do to the appalling darkness we appear  
to be
descending into in our culture, that justifying torture of other human
beings in some cases is acceptable, also involves a very problematic
slippery slope.

Are Vision2020 readers aware that a common pattern among sadists is  
to start
with cruelty to animals, behavior that some do not find too  
then move on to human beings?  An ethical slippery slope lubricated  
by human
beings disregard for cruelty to animals!  Megan's comments I post below
about the connection between animal rights and human rights have a solid
psychological basis that is not trivial!

Megan wrote:

...most animal cruelty is so hidden and ingrained
into our culture that people simply don't know or don't see what
really goes on. There are many issues that tie into animal rights as
well, most notably human rights, the environment, wildlife and
habitat conservation, and world hunger.
And on the subject of "ingrained animal cruelty..."

Pigs are intelligent animals, as much or more so than dogs and cats.   
If we
don't serve dog or cat at the local meat counter, animal foods  
accepted in
other cultures, why do we slaughter and eat pig?  Is it merely cultural
prejudice to view dogs and cats as deserving of all this respect, to not
serve their kind on the dinner table, while pigs, an equally or more
intelligent animal, are slaughtered and eaten often with little  
regard for
their suffering?

I think this is sentimental and irrational hypocrisy (or ignorance  
blindness) on the part of meat eaters, based on human emotional  
to "pets," who will support slaughtering and eating pig without a  
for the suffering of these intelligent animals, while they will  
recoil in
horror at the very idea of serving dog or cat on a plate, and judge  
cultures who kill and eat dog or cat as being somehow "barbaric."

"Barbaric?"  The way we treat pigs in the USA is barbaric!

However, these "pigs on the wing," referenced in the musical album  
by Pink Floyd, an album that has political and social commentary even  
applicable to our current situation than it did in 1977, when first
released, are a different species, resembling human beings in some

 >From the album:

Pigs on the Wing (Part One) (Waters) 1:24

If you didn't care what happened to me,
And I didn't care for you,
We would zig zag our way through the boredom and pain
Occasionally glancing up through the rain.
Wondering which of the buggars to blame
And watching for pigs on the wing.


Pigs (Three Different Ones) (Waters) 11:26

Big man, pig man, ha ha charade you are.
You well heeled big wheel, ha ha charade you are.
And when your hand is on your heart,
You're nearly a good laugh,
Almost a joker,
With your head down in the pig bin,
Saying "Keep on digging."
Pig stain on your fat chin.
What do you hope to find.
When you're down in the pig mine.
You're nearly a laugh,
You're nearly a laugh
But you're really a cry.

Bus stop rat bag, ha ha charade you are.
You fucked up old hag, ha ha charade you are.
You radiate cold shafts of broken glass.
You're nearly a good laugh,
Almost worth a quick grin.
You like the feel of steel,
You're hot stuff with a hatpin,
And good fun with a hand gun.
You're nearly a laugh,
You're nearly a laugh
But you're really a cry.

Hey you, Whitehouse,
Ha ha charade you are.
You house proud town mouse,
Ha ha charade you are
You're trying to keep our feelings off the street.
You're nearly a real treat,
All tight lips and cold feet
And do you feel abused?
.....! .....! .....! .....!
You gotta stem the evil tide,
And keep it all on the inside.
Mary you're nearly a treat,
Mary you're nearly a treat
But you're really a cry.

Pigs on the Wing (Part Two) (Waters) 1:27

You know that I care what happens to you,
And I know that you care for me.
So I don't feel alone,
Or the weight of the stone,
Now that I've found somewhere safe
To bury my bone.
And any fool knows a dog needs a home,
A shelter from pigs on the wing.


Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett
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