Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ass-Backwards, As Always

I found this NYT article today, and my jaw nearly fall off from shock. It discusses the possibility of genetically engineering animals used for agriculture so that they don't feel, or notice, the pain that we inflict upon them in the name of greed. Specifically, the author points to research with rats that has been effective at damaging, or reducing protein production in, areas of the cingulate cortex (yep, BRAIN), which is important for pain sensitivity.

"When these mice encounter a painful stimulus, they withdraw their paws normally, but they do not become hypersensitive to a subsequent painful stimulus, as ordinary mice do."

So... it still hurts, but they don't complain about it? 

How screwed up is it that rather than choose not to intentionally torture and slaughter animals simply for our taste preferences, convenience, and social comfort, we would actually invest who knows how much money into altering animals' brains so that they may "suffer less"... or at least appear to suffer less. It's amazing how much the idea that treatment is preferable to prevention has pervaded every last inch of our society. The world is happier to maintain the status quo, no matter how twisted and dysfunctional it may be, than to give up burgers and scrambled eggs. We're killing animals for their flesh and secretions, which in turn, are killing us via their high saturated fat, cholesterol, bacterial, and chemical content.

When are we going to wake up and change the way we do things?? We have no right to breed, own, and control animals to suit our own purposes. Moreover, we have  no need  to. Research has consistently shown that a whole-foods plant-based diet is related to longer life-spans, fewer lifestyle diseases, and lower weight. Plain and simple - it's the way to go. Creepily altering animals' brains so that we can slaughter them with a slightly lighter conscience is not.

The article, however, says "If we cannot avoid factory farms altogether, the least we can do is eliminate the unpleasantness of pain in the animals that must live and die on them. It would be far better than doing nothing at all." Right. Because trying to improve the "humanity" of factory farms has been so effective so far... All welfarist activism does is make people feel better about eating animals.

Go Vegan.


  1. I almost have no words for this entire concept. Creepy doesn't even begin to cover it. What is wrong with people? Ugh!


  2. I didn't know this was really being considered! A friend of mine mentioned cloning animals to eat them so that we'd be only eating animals that wouldn't have existed otherwise, therefore it is more humane. I thought he just made it up! Gross. It is totally mind-blowing what lengths society will go to in order to excuse the lifestyle they want to continue leading. Obviously, they know factory farming is wrong, or they wouldn't be considering different methods of obtaining the animal to eat. Weird!

  3. I just read this article this morning & was so mad!! How ridiculous can people get?! You eloquently stated everything I thought. If you haven't already, you should write a letter to the editor at NYT. I'm going to, as well.

  4. Unbelievable! Is our society that ignorant to believe this is truly a good idea? Why is it so hard for society to see the errors of their ways? I saw a show about people that came from other countries to visit the United States. They asked these people what they thought of the American diet. All of them were shocked by our portion sizes and how much fatty foods we eat. They also did a test on foreign children by placing McDonald's Happy Meals and plates of rice and veggies in a room with them. The children made disgusting faces and asked what was the chicken nugget, it was gross to them. Needless to say, they ate the rice and veggies.

  5. I remember when the scientist and medical community said that babies do not feel pain so it was okay to circumsise little boys and even perform surgery without anesthetic. This seems like the same kind of heartless.

  6. Very good point. I think that years and years from now, people will be looking back and wondering how people could be so barbaric in their treatment of animals. Here's hoping it's sooner than later!

  7. I hadn't heard of this but it seems related in a way to the in vitro meat debate but an even scarier way of trying to find ways to continue eating meat instead of just reducing or eliminating meat.


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© Allison, The Busy (Happy!) Vegan, 2010