If we didn’t raise animals for food, then they would never have had the chance to be born and experience life at all.
Do you think that life on a modern farm, using intensive farming methods, is worth living?
Sheep having maggotts live in the folds of their skin, and needing toxic chemical dips to kill them?
Chickens having their wings clipped, their beaks chopped off, and kept in battery farms, never seeing sunlight?
Pigs kept in cramped farrowing crates for a month after they’ve given birth.
Cows enduring having their newborn calves taken away from them, over and over and over again? Then getting mastitus from the milking equipment?
Personally, I would rather never be born.
Considering how the vast majority of farm animals are currently raised in modern industrialized agriculture, these animals would have been far better off never having been born. The best moment in these animals lives is when they finally die, because only then does their suffering finally end.
However, if the animals are raised and slaughtered humanely, some would say that it is better for the animals to have experienced life for a brief time before slaughter, rather than never have been born at all. My response to this is the following.
Once an individual is born, we have the same obligation to act ethically toward them as we do towards everyone else. This is not changed by the fact that the individual would have never been born in the first place without our intervention. This is the reason that child abuse is immoral. Even though the child would have never existed without his parents, this does not give his parents the right to physically abuse him.
If we hypothetically lived in a cannibalistic society which bred and raised a race of humans for food, then we would be correct in condemning this practice, even though without it, these humans would have never existed in the first place.
In spite of all this reasoning, some people insist that by refraining from eating meat, I am guilty of depriving farm animals the chance to be born and experience life. One way to respond to this is to point out the inherent inefficiency of using farm land to grow crops for livestock, instead of growing crops consumed directly by humans. If everyone ate a vegetarian diet, then a much larger human population could be sustained with the available resources.
Therefore, if I am “guilty” of depriving farm animals the chance to be born, then people who eat meat are “guilty” of depriving human beings the chance to be born and experience life.
How sheep handle this in the wild?
Hmm, that’s a good point…
So, I assume a wild sheep (is there such a thing any more?) is a little more hardy with a shorter coat; less prone to parasites, and able to scratch them off on a nearby tree or rock? I have to confess, I’m not a sheep expert! I know you wrote an article about merino wool somewhere on here…
Other issues with sheep farming include tail docking and castration, and the resulting wounds becoming infected, sheep getting foot rot and going lame, and ewes being unable to recognise their lambs after shearing (resulting in them starving to death).
There’s an article about sheep dipping in the UK here: defra.gov.uk/animalh/welfare … osters.pdf.
Organophosphates are also used in other products such as some flypapers, flea collars for animals, and anti-lice shampoos for use on children’s heads [my dog once became very lethargic and ill after being fitted with a flea collar] They are also known to leach into the ground and pollute rivers if not disposed of properly.
you may have a point but do you think that we have the right to take that away from them?
Merino sheep do not shed their fleece. In addition, they were bred to have “extra skin” and extra folds in their skin so that they produce more fleece. More area of fleece per animal, right? Well the problem with this is that the maggots get into the folds in their skin, and then because the folds are so deep they are able to stay there. If they are not sheared soon enough, this is when the maggots become a problem, and other things like overheating and exhaustion.
Sheep were meant to shed their fleece!
This is educational Circularmotion… Thanks for that… But sad to say that sheep are meant for giving fleece… I mean Merino Sheep.