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  1. #1
    rainbow road's Avatar
    rainbow road is offline look at the stars, look how they shine for you
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    Default human/animal suffering

    “Who are we to say that the suffering of a human being is more terrible than the suffering of a nonhuman being, or that it matters more?” Discuss.

    This is my essay question: just curious as to what your thoughts are on the matter?

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    I think we're pretty content to ignore animal cruelt when it's on a large scale (slaughter houses vs individual animals being tortured in the news), just like we ignore large scale ham suffering (Syria, gaze, starvation in Africa).

    Then again. We're willing to euthenise our animals, but not those humans in serious, unending pain.

    I think we just don't care about others suffering lol :-/

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    I think the suffering of any form of being is equal. We are all living and have emotions and feel pain.

    The problem with the human race is if we dont see it first hand or experience the pain ourselves it doesnt seem to affect people and they ignore it.



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    I do not believe for one second that human suffering is worst than animal suffering. They are both equal IMO.
    Suffering is suffering no matter who or what you are, and the fear and pain is felt by humans and animals alike.

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    I think as humans we are more aware of our suffering, our ability to love and feel and contemplate the future separates us from animals (even tho of course animals feel and love its not on the same level imo) but i think suffering of any living creature is awful, but if i had to choose between saving the life of a child or an animal i know which id choose so i do think human suffering is more important.

    Things like Syria, famine in Africa etc do show tho that in general we can be selfish. As long as we are ok we tend to turn a blind eye or maybe more so we dont know how to deal with these things and feel powerless to help so we try and ignore it??
    Last edited by ShanandBoc; 25-06-2012 at 22:47.

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    we're a little bit biased aren't we? Of course to US human suffering is worse - we're human. If you asked a dog he would say dogs suffering is worse. A jellyfish would say save the jellyfish.

    Just a bit handy that no one of them can talk.

    It is nature, not just human nature, to protect one self, ones family, ones community and ones species.

    To put another species in front of your own species = extinction.
    Last edited by northern; 25-06-2012 at 22:59.

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    I suppose the more interesting question is whether other species have the capacity to suffer the way we can. Of course if humans and other species experienced the same suffering then there should be no difference between them.

    Can animals suffer like we do? I don't know. Certain aspects of my lifestyle would strongly suggest I don't think so. I eat meat, I have two backyard chickens, I wear leather shoes, etc.

    It's a very interesting and important topic and one that I personally struggle with.

  9. #8
    ToughLove's Avatar
    ToughLove is offline Meaner than a junkyard dog
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    Ooo I did a paper on just this topic back in high school.

    From what I can remember, one of my points on species-relative suffering was instinctive self preservation. We see suffering and think it's horrible...but we don't rate it on the same level as our own suffering {individual} because of the "rather them than me" instinct.

    Animal suffering we can experience, with all of our senses. Vegans don't read this next part. Animal death descriptions warning.
    I hunt, and in mind of what I experience when I do so, I do not toy with my prey. If I cannot kill it as fast as it is possible to do so, I don't risk the shot. One shot, one kill. I don't aim for a leg and track it over a few hours. I headshoot for meat. I make it a "Ooo, yummy grass, I'm a deer, this is fun, how fun eating grass.." and it's dead without suffering. If I can't make a headshot, I don't take it.
    I always hunt the lame, injured or old first. In other, older times this would mean I'd starve to death.

    Another animal-gore story.
    I have a veterinary background and have seen severe suffering. At one time, I attended a senior vet on a farm trip. A horse had panicked from the sound of a tractor and had tried to jump a fence. It had impaled itself on a stake and had to wait about 40 minutes until we got there to humanely euthanise it.
    It was still screaming when we got there, but beyond struggling. The owner was standing there crying, a big tough man bawling his eyes out over his poor horse, stroking it's neck, pressing his jumper over the massive gash in it's chest, and just crying. He could see the level of pain it was in, we all could.

    He, we, could have just walked away out of earshot and just let it just die of blood loss; that would have solved the issue of caring.
    But none of us did, because we saw pain in a non human being and sought to end it, because it caused us emotional suffering as a result.

    I believe that all life forms suffer in some ways. Some ways we understand, some we can't even comprehend.

    'From the Horse's Mouth' by Amelia Kinkade is a good book to read on animal-perspective hurt.
    So is 'The Pig That Sang to The Moon', on scientific research into the emotional spectrum of non human beings.

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    LifeInShadesOfGrey is offline Just a little bit silly :)
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    I feel that the suffering of an animal is just as important as the suffering of a human. We are all living beings and who are we to say that an animal that is suffering, isn't suffering enough as humans can suffer.

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    It's why I became vegetarian in the first place. We're all equal on this planet, all with a role to fill in this great eco-structure that is Earth.

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