The Exploitation Of Animals

Although this article isn’t entirely about cats, it’s relevant to cats because many are as exploited as other species of animals.

Whether we believe in the Biblical version of how the world began, or believe the theory of evolution, the facts are the same, animals were here before us.

Christians justify using animals because of the words:

‘Man shall have dominion over all’

How do evolutionists justify using animals if they believe we humans are descended from animals ourselves?

Creation or Evolution

Creation or Evolution. Poster by Ruth aka Kattaddorra.

Because we walk on two legs and can talk and reason, many of us think we are above all other beings and that they are there for us to use as we wish. But although animals can’t talk (except in their own tongue) in my opinion they are in reality far more intelligent than humans.

They don’t need watches to know the time or calendars to know the months and seasons, or to know their birthdays.

For example cats, we personally make our cats birthdays an occasion with cards and presents but in all honestly it’s for our own pleasure that we do it, not for them, they don’t care about special occasions.

As human beings progressed they took over the animal kingdom, hunting them for food and clothing and tools, using them for entertainment, domesticating them as rodent catchers and then as companions.

Yes animals have a ‘pecking order’ too. Just as we humans are the most powerful of all species, larger, stronger or fiercer animals are at the top of the animal kingdom pecking order, but here is the difference.

In the wild, animals have a chance to escape from others stronger than themselves, they accept Nature, if an animal further up the food chain catches them, that’s fair game and is what they understand.

But they have no chance to escape humans, because humans are all powerful.

Animals are exploited in many ways, food animals and birds are born especially to be killed, that’s their fate without question, they are born, they want to live but they have to die.

They are forced to live their short lives under whatever conditions the person ‘owning’ them decides, they are taken away to be slaughtered, chopped up and eaten by humans who think they can’t (and maybe some think why should they?) live without eating meat. They have no chance of escaping their fate.

Wild animals are captured to be exhibited in zoos or to perform in circuses.

Domesticated pets, cats and dogs are looked upon as possessions, they have no rights, yes there are laws against cruelty to domestic pets but there is more than one way to exploit a cat or a dog.

Look at what we do to cats. They were born wild to live and procreate and ensure their species lived on forever and Nature designed the survival of the fittest.

  • We take away their freedom, we take them into houses and compromise their immune systems so that they have to have inoculations against diseases.
  • We take away their means to breed, yes it’s necessary but it’s morally wrong.
  • We decide their timetable, cats are naturally crepuscular but they have to follow our routine, go to bed at night, stay there until their ‘owner’ decides to rise, this is so against a cat’s nature and then we wonder why they develop stress related illnesses such as cystitis.
  • Then of course there is declawing, taking away a cat’s toe ends, merely for convenience. The descendants of those beautiful creatures who years ago lived wild and free are so ‘owned’ now that in some countries their ‘owner’ is legally allowed to have their cat mutilated that way.

We think human beings have progressed but we have not, we have merely taken over the world’s animals for our own use and abuse, in various ways.

Medical science has advanced and many people are living longer, some kept alive at all costs, but is that a good thing when there are too many people on this planet, some who are starving for lack of food?

Is it a good thing that humans once unable to have children can now often be helped by medical science to breed and overcrowd this planet even more?

I’m not saying that it’s wrong to want to live longer or to have help in having a baby if a woman wants one very badly, what I’m saying is that we humans don’t have to accept our fate like animals have to, we have choices.

Yet we are animals just the same as other species are animals, birds or fish, so was Nature’s plan not to have all animals including us, live and die by the pattern set out for us at our birth?

Some people ask ‘But what are animals for, if not for us to use?’

The answer is ‘What are humans for?’

All species have a purpose, but what is ours?

The world to me seems to have gone awry and I suppose in a way we are trapped just like the animal kingdom we ‘own’ are trapped.

We are brought up to think animals are there for us, that we are superior to them.

But are we?

Going by the state of the world right now, I don’t think we are.

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Comments

The Exploitation Of Animals — 45 Comments

  1. Great article. It sums up the ethos and ideas that underpin everything that is written on PoC. It is the foundation for the saying “respect your cat”.

    It is a big subject. It goes to the heart of our relationship with nature. You can extend the discussion to plants as well and the climate and the planet in general.

    Humankind’s attitude to the planet needs adjusting. And our attitude towards each other. For me the most important thing is our attitude towards animals and particularly cats.

    I have what is considered to have a peculiar attitude towards animals. I see them as equals. A lot of people think that is a crazy idea. It has never occurred to me to think otherwise. My attitude towards animals is as natural to me as drinking water or eating.

    It surprises me that I am out-of-step with most people. Fortunately for me the regulars of PoC (the “PoC family”) agree with me or at least appreciate my general attitude. Thank you.

  2. Great article Ruth – very interesting – it really goes to the root of people’s subconcious attittude towards animals. I wish I had time to discuss but I have a super busy day 🙁

  3. Thanks Michael, yes I too see animals as our equals, personally we never plan anything without considering it not only for our benefit but for our cats benefit too, or at least so that what we do doesn’t affect their welfare and happiness.
    Yes this is a huge subject and it will be interesting to read what other PoC family think.
    Yes we can extend it to plants and the climate and the planet too, they need respect if the human race is to survive.
    Those of us who care deeply about all this and especially cats of course, may be out of step, but if more people thought as we do, it might not be too late to save this planet!

  4. You only have to look around your own neighbourhood to see how animals are exploited and used, cats left un-neutered roaming attracting abuse and missiles because they’re behaving as un-neutered cats do, dogs tied up or confined to small wooden boxes at their owners pleasure, waiting for whatever attention they’re given and accepting it gratefully, budgies or canaries in small cages in the full sun in windows. Look further at pigeons scattered by kids while indulgent parents look on, at birds and animals hunted for the fun of it, at circus animals humiliated regularly for profit, at lab animals tortured in vain, at “food animals” tormented by abattoir staff for a bit of a giggle, oh yes man is human but not humane. A good and timely article Ruth, thank you.

  5. Here’s a poem I have had on my computer for a few years written by a wise man
    WHAT A FISH WOULD SAY
    By Lance Landall
    They say that we have no feelings, that we’re just fish — a thing,
    Thus, in our direction, a nasty hook and line they swing.
    When we chomp on it, they yank it hard, drag us through the sea,
    While we thrash about, fighting for our lives, desperately.
    When we’re landed, they tear that hook out, leave us lying there,
    Hence we suffer further, gasping, convulsing, going nowhere.
    Or they club us; and later on gut us, unfeelingly,
    And they call this sport — a way to unwind, amazingly.
    The bigger we are, the more excited they get, ghoulishly,
    Dragging us for hours, ’till we’re exhausted, at their mercy.
    Then they string us up, parade us, egotistically,
    And they call this sport — well, we don’t, we call it misery.
    Yes, don’t let them kid you that we don’t feel a thing — we do!
    For we’re living creatures, we’ve nerves, even flesh and blood too.
    Hence why we thrash about, when hooked, jerked, dragged through the sea,
    And they call this sport — well, we don’t — no — we call it cruelty

    • I like Lance Landall. I don’t know why some people think fish don’t feel pain, this is such a cruel world for animals, birds and fish, to live only to die in, to satisfy humans in one way or another.

  6. Such a good article and quality poster as always and close to my own heart in that I don’t think people respect animals or think what we have taken from them for our own ends.
    Use,abuse,mess about with breeding,eat,experiment on,the list is endless.
    I’m bringing my kids up to think outside the box,they are like me vegan and very caring and compassionate and one day will fight against all the abuse and cruelty like their proud mum does.

  7. Unfortunately, most people never get to really “know” their animals and consider them to be lesser beings whose sole purpose on earth is to feed, entertain or otherwise enrich humans.

    They are, however, sentient beings that have emotions and that, if given the chance, will partner with humans for the benefit of both.

    I strongly object to the idea of “having dominion” over the animals. I prefer to consider humans as rightfully being caretakers of the animals and the earth itself.

    • I blame religion for a lot of the world’s ills and “dominion” over animals is one of the bad influences of the Bible and Christianity. Although I respect people’s alternative ideas.

    • Yes Gail that’s exactly what we are supposed to be.
      ‘Caretakers’ of the planet and all the life upon it.
      But some people don’t take good care and in fact some people are careless and some downright cruel.
      It’s very worrying and very sad to those of us who do care, isn’t it!

      • I hope that perhaps those of us who do take the time to show compassion might eventually be able to touch a few hearts and turn a few of those careless ones around. Even if that doesn’t work, we need to remember that even though we can’t fix everything, we can make things better for some…and that’s better than doing nothing at all.

        • You are right Gail, we can only do our best for as many animals as possible, crying for the ones we can’t help doesn’t help them and it brings us down, but it’s so very hard not to care too much.

  8. I don’t think we should have dominion over all animals for sure we don’t deserve to we are ruining this earth and it’s not fair on the other species but not many people seem to care less.
    I thought a lot of people would have commented on this page but maybe they don’t know what to say.

    • I think the concept of dominion over animals is difficult for a lot of people. It is still believed or a version of it. A lot of people, the majority, even those who like cats and care for cats well believe that people are above animals and better than animals etc.

      You are going to have to give humanity about 5,000 more years before there is no one left on the planet who believes that people have dominion over animals and that everyone understands that people are a species of animal. It is a slow learning process.

      • I don’t think humans have 5,000 more years, but I’ll never know because I’ll be long gone and I never want to come back so I hope there isn’t such a thing as reincarnation.
        One lifetime of the heartache of caring about animals is enough!

      • I do agree, Michael, that religion has a lot to do with the attitudes of humans being so superior that they believe can use and/or abuse animals as they wish without regard for the feelings of those animals and that this is what God expects them to do.

        Yes, men have domesticated many animals to perform tasks to aid us or to entertain us, and those animals generally try their best to please us. They deserve, however, to be treated as partners, I believe, rather than slaves.

        My horses have shown me quite a few things that I have found amazing. Since they are social creatures, they tend to express themselves more openly than do cats or even dogs. They invent games like tug-of-war and engage in mock “stallion” battles where they simply pretend to bite and kick each other, but do not actually make contact.

        When my first horse, Ricky, died from old age, we covered his body with a tarp while we were waiting for the backhoe to arrive to bury him. My Peruvian, who was now the leader of our small herd of three, walked up to the body, pulled back the edge of the tarp, and briefly touched Ricky’s body with his muzzle. The other two horses had lined up behind him, and they also briefly touched Ricky’s body. Then they all filed solemnly into the paddock where they separated into individual corners and they all stood quietly with heads down for several minutes, after which they joined back together and went out to graze.
        It looked for all the world like a funeral service.

        Several years later, when my daughter’s mare developed cancer and we had to euthanize her, my Peruvian was desperate with grief over her loss. While we were once again waiting for the backhoe to arrive, he stayed by her body and tried everything he could think of to try to get her up. It was heartbreaking to watch. He grieved for her for weeks.

        Even with the cats… I had been feeding several starving ferals that had shown up about a year and a half prior. Although they tolerated my presence, I couldn’t touch them or get any closer than about four feet or they would panic and run. At that time, I lost one of my favorite indoor cats, and I was truly upset by her loss. I went out to feed the ferals, and then just sat on the porch steps feeling down. Much to my surprise, the feral I had named Muggsy came of his own volition and sat next to me and then leaned into me and allowed me to hug him. He knew that I was sad, and he overcame his fear to try to comfort me. Needless to say, it wasn’t long after that that I was able to corral him, get him neutered and bring him inside. He turned out to be my best buddy for about thirteen years.

        • It looked for all the world like a funeral service.

          Touching little story. People are largely ignorant of how animals think and feel. We guess and those of us who are sensitive to animals’ emotions and are aware of their intelligence and feelings know that there is a lot going on inside an animal’s head that the vast majority of humankind don’t have a clue about.

          One day I hope people will understand animals better and realise we – people – are no better and often far worse.

          The Muggsy story is very tender. It is difficult for people who are sensitive towards animals.

        • Oh Gail what touching stories, those horses saying goodbye to their friend and Mugsy coming to comfort you.
          I hate it when people say ‘dumb animals’ they are far from dumb, they may speak a different language to us but they have emotions and feel fear and pain and grief just like we do.
          One day if all the people on this planet evolve to be thinking compassionate beings (if we do survive) they will look back with horror at the way people have treated animals for thousands of years and still do.

  9. I cannot bear the suffering of any animal, sometimes someone may say to me why do you care about a stray cat yet you seem to show no empathy towards someone who has a debilitating illness? I say ‘the stray cannot communicate with me to tell me how he is feeling; many more people will care for the person than the cat so the person doesn’t need me. The person can talk; tell us how they are feeling; where it hurts, the cat cannot and this is why the cat needs me more’

    Gail your story was so touching about your horses and the feral cat allowing you to hug him. I believe that animals do grieve. A Magpie went into my cat pen to die I don’t know what was wrong with him perhaps he was sick I’m not sure but I knew he had a partner somewhere who may keep looking for him and not understand why she couldn’t find him so I took his body and laid it on the roof of my summer house to give his partner chance to find him and realise that he had died. Indeed I believe this happened because later that day I saw another Magpie hopping around his body and looking so I’m hoping she understood that he had gone and would move on.

    I couldn’t hurt any living thing even a flying daddy long legs that was caught by a spiders web by 2 legs trying to get free I stood on a chair to free it and I actually felt happy to see it fly off. Some would look, see it struggling and not give it a second thought yet I couldn’t walk away.

    I just think that some of the humane race have lost their humanity; their ablility to feel compassion, to look into an animals eyes and feel their pain, fear, suffering.

    I agree with your brilliant articl, Ruth; we mistakenly feel superior probably simply because we can communicate.

    • Thanks Leah, yes the human race has an inflated sense of importance and superiority, where in fact we are just another species of animal behaving like animals do, but we have no excuse to do that because we are supposed to act by thought, not by instinct.
      Therefore we are less than animals because we know when we hurt someone or an animal, animals don’t know that, they just do it instinctively, they don’t feel guilt like we do when we do wrong……or some of us do anyway….those of us who are evolving as we should.

      • Who decided what humanity is “supposed” to do? And how can you be certain they’re right? And why should everyone else agree with your certitude?

        I’m sorry to be a jerk about this, but “because that’s what I believe” really isn’t good enough. It’s the same excuse Al-Qaeda uses when they behead someone and post it to YouTube. Belief is a wonderful thing, but it’s even better when it’s backed up by hard, rational facts and analysis.

        • Daniel you believe what you want to believe and enjoy your hard rational facts and analysis.
          I don’t need to back up my own opinion for you or anyone else, if you don’t like what I write and think it isn’t good enough, then don’t read it!
          I am a warm, loving, humane, human being, not a robot with a computer file of facts for a brain.
          You called yourself a jerk, not me, it’s a horrible word I would never ever use.
          Why should anyone else agree with my certitude (whatever that is) you ask?
          Well they don’t have to do they, nor do you, so here’s an idea…..why not go and write an article of your own and see who agrees with you…..
          Goodnight.

        • Who decided what humanity is “supposed” to do?

          Good question. I guess, we the people (collectively) have decided what we are supposed to do, what our morals are meant to be. In general, people (taken as a mass) know the difference between right and wrong. That knowledge probably comes from millions of years of evolution. What is right morally is written down in the major religious text like the Bible and Koran (provdied they are interpreted properly) and the constitution of countries and in the law. For example the excellent Animal Welfare Act 2006 (UK law). All criminal law is based in morals but morals go further and some law is what I call deviant (gone wrong because humans often go wrong)

          It is not about my beliefs. It is just the way it is – the wider communal belief. I believe there some absolutes with respect to good human behavior. Those are our morals. Yes, people can develop deviant beliefs. That just means people can be stupidly deviant. It does not mean universal morals are wrong.

          • Yes no one decided what humanity is supposed to do, we know in our own minds what is right and what is wrong.
            Those of us who have been to ‘the school of life’ and ‘the university of experience’ have evolved enough to know that moral behaviour is very important, not only in regard to other people, but to animals also.
            We don’t need fancy words or hard facts to prove to those who are still ignorant that we live as we were meant to live, we are the caretakers of this planet and should take the job seriously and not try to muddy the water by trotting out facts about the animal kingdom, who after all, only live by instinct.

              • lol I love the school of life and university of experience yes it’s what we mature and decent people have lived by.
                Clever remarks,fancy words and trying to blacken or twist others reasoning are immature and ignorant,Daniel has a lot to learn before he becomes a decent human.

  10. Here’s the problem.

    Morality is an artificial, purely human construct created ostensibly to keep us from killing each other until there are none of us left. It is and has always been highly fluid throughout history. Today sexual relations between close relatives is morally wrong. During the Age of Monarchs and earlier, it’s how the nobility maintained pure bloodlines and was therefore Ordained By God. Today, in most First World Countries, at least, we have laws against working children more than X amount of hours a day and there are some jobs they just can’t work at all. That wasnt always the case. Seriously, google “Phossy Jaw” for some Grade A Nightmare Fuel sometime. And then there’s the multi-thousand year institution of slavery to consider. Don’t think that was put to bed with the American Civil War, because its still alive and well in many parts of the world.

    There is no absolute morality, and if you believe there is, you are in dire need of a history and anthropology lesson. What is considered right and moral today would get you burned at the stake five hundred years ago. And there’s every chance it could get you burned at the stake five hundred years from now as well.

    How does all this relate to our relationship with animals? Well, the thing is, we AREN’T any better than animals. But have you seen how animals treat each other? Have you seen how WE treat each other? Quite honestly, we do nothing to animals that we don’t do to each other. Does that make it good and right and, dare I say it, moral? Hell no! But that never stopped us before and isn’t likely to stop us today… Or tomorrow.

    Humans are just slightly more intelligent animals who have figured out more efficient ways to do what animals already do to each other. And we’re often quite a lot nicer about it as well. Yes, we’re also quite a lot more dickish at times as well, but no one said we’re perfect.

    • Morality is an artificial, purely human construct….There is no absolute morality

      Morality is meant to be absolute. It is for the time. The human animal needs morality but animals don’t. That says something about the human animal.

      Well, the thing is, we AREN’T any better than animals. But have you seen how animals treat each other?

      We are animals – the human animal. Animals kill each other to survive. We kill each other for the hell of it and for idiotic reasons. I think that makes us the worst kind of animal.

      The human animal abuses and exploits animals. Animals don’t do that. I think the human animal has evolved too far and one day the Planet of the Apes scenario may well happen… 😉

      • Whose morality? Yours? Mine? Pol Pot’s? Paris Hilton’s? Mick Jagger’s? Jeffry Dahmer’s? Stephen King’s? Stephen Spielberg’s? Steven Seagal’s?

        Whose morality is right? And how do you know? And why should I take your word for it?

        Also, again, study real animal behavior before speaking about it. Chimps and dolphins have both been observed inflicting pain on each other AND OTHER SPECIES for no apparent reason other than enjoyment. So apparently we’re not that special in that regard. We’re just better at it.

        We are not special and unique snowflakes imbued with a divine mission to make nice with all other species. We CAN BE great. We CAN BE more than our instincts call on us to be. But by nature, we are brutal, fearful, pack-oriented hunter-gatherers with an innate distrust of what is different and a built-in need to dominate the world around us. It is those very instincts that have kept us alive and evolving for half a million years+ and while yes, we can suppress them with effort, it does not come naturally to the vast majority of us and to blithely dismiss this fact is counterproductive to your stated goals. You must genuinely understand your adversary if you hope to overcome your adversary.

        • I understand your point. I believe “morality” or morals are meant to be absolute and common to all people. They are meant to guide and they should be the same across the board. If not it is because of human failings. As to animals deliberately hurting other animals, as you say it may happen from time to time, but humans are the masters and in a different league to all others it appears to me.

          We should be smart enough and sufficiently able to survive well while living in harmony with other animals and nature. We seem unable to do that. It indicates huge failings yet a lot of people, Americans in particular, don’t recognise these failings and have high levels of self-belief and confidence that what they are doing is right but it is not necessarily right nor is it necessarily good. You try and convince an American who declaws their cat that it is morally wrong. They won’t have the faintest idea what you are talking about.

          There is quite a lot of arrogance + ignorance in respect of animals in any country, I feel. People exploit and think short-term. People should stop being less fearful and start working together.

          • It would be nice if morality were universal, but it clearly isn’t and never has been. Due to the morality of the times, a great many of the “Great Men” throughout history would be considered murderous sociopaths due to their willingness to duel in the name of honor at the drop of a glove. Today the Boy Scouts of America revere Andrew Jackson while conveniently forgetting that he’s the duplicitous son of a double-x chromosomed canine who betrayed and illegally forcibly removed his own former allies during the event historians call the Trail of Tears. Most of the world considers the Japanese High Command during World War II to be war criminals for waging unjust aggressive warfare against others and approving atrocities that, while not on the same scale as the Nazis, were every bit as brutal and horrifying. Even so, the Shinto Yasakuni Shrine maintains memorials to all of them up to and including Hideki Tojo and calls them heroes. My grandfather fought in the Pacific Theater, so I find such veneration sick and wrong, BUT AM I RIGHT? And why? And who am I to tell these faithful priests of Shinto that their religion is wrong and they should change to suit my morality?

  11. Humans are slightly more intelligent than animals?
    What we do to them is nicer than what they do to each other?
    You ARE joking of course.
    They don’t abuse or murder their own or others children like some humans do,they are not selfish greedy power hungry morons,if they kill another animal it’s a fair outcome,they follow their instinct of survival of the fittest,they don’t deliberately keep another animal in misery and kill it horribly like flesh eating humans do.
    We are far far from perfect although most of us think we are but in reality we are the lowest form of life but because we are the most powerful we are systematically destroying our planet and all the creatures on it.

    • Rose, I have a doctor appointment in a bit, so I’ll keep this short. Lions. Male lions that defeat the head of a pride will cheerfully kill the offspring of the former pride leader to ensure his own offspring are the ones who survive. Cheetahs are known to eat their own, adult and cub alike. Certain species of ant are known to enslave other species of ants, crippling them to prevent escape. Chimpanzees and dolphins have been observed RAPING members of their own species.

      Please research animal behavior before talking about it. It isn’t difficult to do in this day and age and can be invaluable in the fight for genuine progress in our cause.

      • Because some animals misbehave it doesn’t mean we humans should too.
        We have the benefit of thought and reason, animals only have instinct, they are innocent of deliberate crimes!

      • I hope it went well at the doctors Daniel and I wish you luck in your research as it seems to me you need to do some if you think animals are as deliberately evil as some people are.

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