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16 Comments

  1. 1

    Tracy

    While I understand that some people have problems with the comparison, you have completely trivialized and misunderstood the problem of raising and killing highly intelligent and sensitive beings for meat which we don’t need to eat. The fact that we purposefully and artificially bring them into this world to live a life of terrible suffering and then be killed (which involves transportation to abattoirs on trucks or trains for long distances in any weather conditions and slicing of their throats with a cold metal blade) makes it all the more wrong. That these pigs never experience happiness or kindness, feel the grass under their feet or see the sky over their heads is tragic.

    Pigs can and do love. Mothers make special nests for their young and care for them until they are adults. They make wonderful pets as you can see with Esther the Wonder Pig: //www.facebook.com/estherthewonderpig. Pigs can play sophisticated computer games, can work out puzzles and love to bathe in the mud.

    Factory farming is industrialized, large-scale torture and murder which frustrates every natural instinct that animals have. Factory farming is a symptom of our complete disregard and contempt for other animals, as evidenced in your article. This contempt for other animals is similar to racism, xenophobia or sexism. It is the same psychological process of hierarchy and domination; a feeling of superiority over others which allows us to view their concerns, feelings, pain, happiness and freedom as insignificant in comparison to ours.

    It was Isaac Bashevis Singer, a Jewish author who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1978 who first said in the Letter Writer, “In relation to [animals], all people are Nazis; for the animals, it is an eternal Treblinka.” He also said: “How can we speak of right and justice if we take an innocent creature and shed its blood?” He also wrote: “When a human kills an animal for food, he is neglecting his own hunger for justice. Man prays for mercy, but is unwilling to extend it to others. Why should man then expect mercy from God? It’s unfair to expect something that you are not willing to give. It is inconsistent. I can never accept inconsistency or injustice. Even if it comes from God. If there would come a voice from God saying, “I’m against vegetarianism!” I would say, “Well, I am for it!” This is how strongly I feel in this regard.”

    Here are some videos about pigs which might offer some valuable insight: //www.estherthewonderpig.com/#!the-dark-side/c1odx.

  2. 2

    Cathy

    I believe that it was a Jewish person who placed the ad in the paper. Please just Google “animal holocaust” and you will see that what mankind currently does to billions of animals around the world is just as bad as the holocaust. Pigs were not put on this earth to be eaten, who told you that? And if it were dogs being treated like this, would you have a problem with it then?
    Animals are not objects or property, they have the same rights to life as we do.
    During the seven years of the holocaust, 12 million people perished. The same number of animals is killed EVERY FOUR HOURS in the US alone for food. Can you not see the comparison?

  3. 3

    CW

    I am in complete agreement with Tracy, but am not nearly so eloquent. The writer is making an incorrect assumption: the assumption that one race (in this case the human race) is somehow better than an animal. If that is her truth than it is what it is. However, the point which the author is missing is that the people/person/group who posted the ad do not have that distinction whatsoever. That needs to be reiterated. NO DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER. That is to say: the ad (and the stance in itself) is not about ‘lowering’ one sect of the human race BELOW pigs, but that we see us ALL on the same plane. If the author wants to go after only humanitarian issues with no thought to any other cause that is her right. However, that doesn’t mean that there other causes that others may fight for. In fact, as unbelievable as it may seem – one can actually support both human and animal rights at the same time (wow, I know, it boggles the mind right?). It may further actually astound the author to find out how closely related animal abuse is to that of abuse to mankind. It is not a fine line, nor even blurred. Without holding compassion for everything we have on earth, violence will remain abound.

  4. 4

    Claire

    I have Jewish family living in Israel so I am not insensitive to your position. You have chosen to see a comparison of humans to pigs where the intention was to highlight the horrific suffering inflicted on innocent people and innocent animals alike. I do not see any intent to equate these people to pigs. I see an attempt to create awareness of the suffering experienced by humans and animals alike when subjected to cruel practices. We are all sentient beings capable of suffering. It is horrific for people to be treated like that and it is also horrific for animals to be treated like that. In my opinion – that is all that this ad is attempting to highlight.

  5. 5

    verysuperfamous

    “Auschwitz begins wherever someone looks at a slaughterhouse and thinks: they’re only animals.”

    –Theodor Adorno…Jew

  6. 6

    Joe

    Recently there was an ad for Feed A Child SA with a black child depicting a dog…of course it was protected and black ppl were accuse of playing a race card, but when something like this happens ‘WE’ must all be outraged….

  7. 7

    Mike Golby

    “Like Raymond Ackerman, I am a Jew, not a pig.”

    And I am a Palestinian.

    People are animals. Trust me.

  8. 8

    Idi_Amen

    Dear Tracy, If we denied the existence of the natural food chain none of us would be here today. Its the natural order of things in which there is no place for misguided bleeding heart sentiments – you’d probably be eaten. I wonder whether you have ever set foot on a real pig farm like the one on which I grew up?

  9. 9

    Tracy

    There is no “natural” order of things. The natural order of things was used to justify women being treated like second class citizens who couldn’t work or vote. It was used to justify racism and the enslavement of black people. We live in cities, we drive cars, we use computers, we comment on the Internet. We have factory farms. Are these things natural? We do not need to eat meat, therefore we are killing and confining animals unnecessarily and that is wrong. Animal farming has been a part of one side of my family for generations. My great grandfather used to hunt whales on a whaling ship. That’s how he ended up in South Africa. I have visited numerous abattoirs in Canada and South Africa. Even if I hadn’t had these connections to animal agriculture and killing, I would still have a right to comment and have an opinion on this issue. There is plenty of information and videos on the Internet for people to see. Or they could find their local abattoir or farm and see for themselves.

  10. 10

    Idi_Amen

    I did not question your right to comment, only how well-informed you were. You made some other nonsensical comments, like “mother pigs” – you actually call them sows – making nests and caring for the little pigs. Well, on our farm the big fat sows more often than not would sometimes roll over and crush to death some of her litter without a grunt or batting an eye. They also don’t make good pets as their natural instinct is to plough up everything, rip things up, devour it and destroy everything in their path. Humans living in cities etc. most certainly is part of the natural order of things. Due to our higher intelligence we have invented technology and can therefore arrange ourselves socially in a different way to other animals – that too is survival baby. And please, don’t trust and believe everything you read or see on the internet. Apart from some useful and informative stuff, there’s a huge load of crap out there as well. And by the way, are you now likening women and people of other races to pigs? And do you condone your grandfather’s whale hunting?

  11. 11

    Tracy

    Why is the use of “mother pigs” nonsensical? Sow is just another word for mother pig. On farms, sows are not able to live natural lives. They are stressed, living in cramped conditions and have been bred to be extremely large. In the wild babies do not need to be protected from their mothers! Mothers protect their babies. Pigs do make good pets and many people have them as pets. See Esther the Wonder Pig. If cities, laws, religion and consideration of ethics and morality are natural, then so is the desire to live more peaceably with other animals. Yes, I did compare myself to pigs. I am an animal and so are you. I don’t condone or condemn my great grandfather’s whale hunting. That was the time he grew up in and I don’t know what options he had available to him. But we don’t need whale hunting anymore and so I don’t believe we should continue the practice. Where we can stop killing, we must. I understand your family has a pig farm so you want to defend them. I’m not saying they’re bad people, but times are changing. We need to move to a more compassionate world.

  12. 12

    Idi_Amen

    I give up Tracy. You again (purposefully?) miss the point. It’s not your use of “mother pigs”, but your statement about making nests for them. Sure, all animals in the wild have their habitat and their “nests” where they also raise their offspring, but this does not demonstrate some human-like quality of motherly care for their little ones like where we prepare elaborate baby rooms etc. In the wild or in a sty the pig is driven only by natural survival instincts, very much like humans: eat, reproduce and fend off danger to keep the species surviving. Believe me, the pigs don’t shed a tear when they accidentally kill one of their piglets – more likely than not, if left alone, they will eat them. Pigs eat human flesh too if given the chance. Like whale hunting for your grandfather being “one of the options” available – which seems to make it okay in your eyes – eating pig meat today is one of the options available to us.

  13. 13

    Idi_Amen

    One last thing: personally I don’t eat pork – hate the taste of it. I prefer eating fish, the occasional red meat and lots of chicken – all of which humans also breed in large numbers in confined spaces to satisfy their survival-driven lust for food.

  14. 14

    Tracy

    How does making nests, feeding young and fighting off predators not demonstrate motherly love? Where does human motherly love come from then? Is it also not an instinct? Do you believe in the discarded notions of Descartes – that animals are just machines with instincts that don’t feel anything? This goes against everything we know about evolutionary biology, genetics, cognitive neuroscience and animal ethology. Here are some excellent books written by scientists (ethologists) on animal behaviour and emotions which argue otherwise: //www.amazon.com/The-Emotional-Lives-Animals-Scientist/dp/1577316290 and //www.amazon.com/The-Pig-Who-Sang-Moon/dp/0345452828. Franz De Waal, the world famous primatologist, has also written excellent books on chimpanzee minds. In 2012, cognitive scientists from around the world presented their findings on animal cognition and signed a declaration in the presence of Steven Hawkins stating that animals were consciousness and providing their scientific evidence and reasoning. You can find presentations from the conference here: //fcmconference.org/ and the declaration here: //fcmconference.org/img/CambridgeDeclationOnConsciousness.pdf. Peter Singer’s book, “Animal Liberation” provides an excellent basis for understanding the ethical arguments supporting the moral consideration of other animals.

    On a side note, there are many possible reasons for cannibalism and infanticide, including stress, and humans have practiced it too. (Lecture on cannibalism here: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8jgiCkfnMs.) Pigs may eat human flesh under exceptional circumstances and we eat their flesh every day. Dogs will also eat human flesh and so will cats given the right circumstances. But there are many, many examples of humans living with pig companions as pets or on sanctuaries. They have no fear that the pigs will eat them. I would like to know how many documented cases of pigs eating humans exist? But even if animals are not perfect moral agents, neither are humans, yet we have laws which protect humans from violence.

    I don’t agree with whale hunting or my great grandfather’s hunting. When I talk about his options, I mean he may have lacked other options besides whale hunting to make money. I don’t condemn people who lack options and may be forced to do work they don’t like. Also, hunting whales was a part of his Norwegian culture, so like most of us, he might not have questioned his own culture. But we know better now. We know that animals are conscious, have a rich emotional life and experience pain and pleasure. We know we can and must leave behind cultures, traditions and practices that are harmful to ourselves and others. We can help people shift to kinder jobs and economies through our purchasing choices and providing them with other skills.

  15. 15

    Tracy

    Good for you for not eating pigs and thank you for bringing up the plight of chickens and cows. Thank you for this conversation.

  16. 16

    Omar Faried

    So tired of the anti-semitism card being rolled out at every opportunity … I suppose palestinians are also pigs now?

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