Farmed animals are smart, interesting, and unique individual

One of the more common ideas in people’s heads is that fish, chickens, and other animals are stupid or unfeeling, so that even in the face of the most lurid description of these animals’ suffering, some people will still say, “So what?” They simply have no empathy for farmed animals, and if the person you’re talking with doesn’t empathize with the animals involved, no amount of describing the cruelty is going to move him or her to stop eating animals. So I have found that telling people about the varied personalities of farmed animals is a very effective tactic.

People really are interested in the fact that on cognitive functioning tests such as those that measure an animal’s ability to navigate mazes or learn from one another, chickens score better than dogs or cats, and that pigs play video games more effectively than some primates and learn from one another and interact with one another in ways that have previously been observed only in primates.

There is also very good recent scientific evidence that fish have memories and use tools, which used to be what anthropologists claimed distinguished humans from other primates. Dr. Sylvia Earle, arguably the foremost living marine biologist, says that she would no more eat a fish than she would eat a cocker spaniel. Here’s a person who would know, and she says that “fish are sensitive, they have personalities, they hurt when they’re wounded.”

We’ve tried to make this easier for you because we’ve now posted online some of the best behavioral information about farmed animals that we’ve been able to dig up—we call this our “Hidden Lives” series, and we now have “The Hidden Lives of” fish, chickens, pigs, turkeys, cows, sheep and goats, ducks and geese, baboons, and rats and mice. Read more about the fascinating lives of farmed animals.

All of this shouldn’t matter, of course—it’s neither the degree of intelligence nor cognitive function, but rather the ability to suffer that is crucial. But for many people, it does matter; it helps them relate to animals—just as they relate better to you if you’re dressed more like they are. So being able to explain things about animal intelligence and capacities that will help people to see other animals as more like their dogs and cats and more like us is a very effective way to move people toward agreement with animal liberation and toward a vegan diet. Of course, you don’t want to bog your brain down with so many anecdotes that when you start talking, you can’t figure out what to say. Simply mastering a few key facts and anecdotes about farmed animals will be more than enough when you are explaining why chickens, pigs, fish, and cows are every bit as interesting, sensitive, and deserving of concern as any dog or cat.

Having dogs and cats are actually giving some incentives like lessening our stress. This is what mostly happen in our home last time.

yes that’s true… Not only them, my younger cousin takes care of a pig, whenever my cousin is depressed I always see him running to his pet pig and talking to it, afterward, he will feel much better…

I’d agree that all animals have their own unique and interesting personalities. Most people have known at least one animal in their life and from this it becomes obvious.

What I’m wondering is do you think some people are naturally more sensitive to other species than other people? I remember feeling sad for a prawn my mum was trying to make me eat when I was about 7 years old. Why is it so hard for some people to make the connection?

I just can’t figure it out.

I really can’t answer your question Redsunflower :smiley: but maybe just maybe because they are already used on what they are doing that’s why the connection is hard to make…

You may have heard of the different IQs.

The original IQ (Intelligence Quotient). EQ (Emotional Quotient). BQ (Body Quotient). MQ (Music Quotient). An AQ (Animal Quotient) is entirely plausible. Sure, I just made it up now. It’s related to EQ!

Some people are more sensitive than others.

Then again, I would be careful about using childhood memories to determine your tastes. Memory can be a poor tool. I used to hate broccoli because of childhood experiences (including most vegetables). Only after adult-oriented experimentation did I realize that I actually LOVE broccoli (and veggies). I just don’t like them limp and overcooked, like my parents and so many restaurants always make them.

You might try prawns prepared in a tasty way.

Animal quotient! I LOVE this idea!!! Brilliant…I think vegans maybe are more sensitive souls in general maybe?

Taste doesn’t come into it much for me in choosing a vegan diet. I never liked eating cows, sheep or anything like that. Lambs…oh my god how could anybody? As a young person before becoming veggie I used to eat fish and prawns and loved them. I miss the taste now but I’m coping. And they’re not as yummy as chick peas, lentil dahl and some other great vegan food.

I was amazed with those idea… I didn’t know that there are different kinds of quotients… :smiley:

Perhaps people who don’t particularly care about non-human animals are too busy trying to solve more important problems that actually directly effect people.

This is an incredibly ignorant comment to make, our whole lives revolve around non-human animals.

Think about it, assuming you eat meat, wear leather, have a pet, have ever seen the circus, drink milk, butter, wear woolen clothes, have taken medication, used products and cosmetics that have been tested on animals, have ever been to the zoo etc.

I am willing to bet that your lifestyle, if it includes any of these, and more, relies heavily on non-human animals. So for you to say that they do not directly effect you, and other people, is actually extremely imperceptive.

I’m talking about relative importance, I’m happy to wear some fine leather shoes made from a cow that died screaming in pain so long as they accompany the suit I’m wearing for the conference I’m speaking at which will go toward lowering the rates of homelessness in my country.