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Thread: Kosher meat and "death hormones"

  1. #1 Kosher meat and "death hormones" 
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    I'm curious as to what happens when animals are killed inefficiently: painfully and/or over a long period of time.

    I've heard that kosher beef is killed by slitting the throat with one quick slash. This is done for religious reasons, but I have heard that it also prevents the brain from communicating with the rest of the body, in which case at the moment of death the body usually releases massive amounts of hormones. I don't know this to be true, it is just what I've heard.

    What happens when you die under stress, pain and fear? and how does that effect the meat of the body, and how would that effect the consumer of the meat?

    Deep sea fishers sometimes tire the fish before killing it so the meat is more tender. Is this at all related to hormones due to stress, pain, fear, lactic acid or something like that?

    Any thoughts or knowledge on this?


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    try chabad.org

    tire a fish?


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    I don't know much about tiring fish, I've only heard about it, and for all I know it's not true, or maybe it's just not a common practice.

    I'd assume its done by letting the fish swim until it's tired, and then taking it out of the water.
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    Its an interesting idea I guess study would be needed to confirm one way or another.

    My gut feeling is that cavemen may have adapted to eat animals even if they werent killed in a humane ritualistic fashion.

    On the other hand, we may not have had time to adapt to hormones in food and leaked into ground water, artificial proteins and nanomaterials, pesticides, and genetically modified cells that contain pesticides or proteins from other animals (if something relatively casual like a peanut can be life threatning to some humans how the heck do they know that some genes or related protein that's never been part of anyone's diet arent going to cause health problems or reactions of someking in some humans? The answer is they dont know whatso ever and both consumers and doctors will not be able to figure out what's causing it, so we're guinea pigs)
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    It's fully possible the brain releases massive amounts of hormones upon mortal wounding, although I doubt this would damage the meat in any way


    I read once that in humans fatal wounding, (such as ones caused by a bear or other predator) causes the release of an extremely toxic hormone that acts like super adrenaline, it is only released when wounds are (or were) fatal, limb loss, disembowling and the ilk, and is a remnant of caveman era when a hunter could use this 'super adrenaline' to achive previously impossible feats of strength/speed that would enable them to protect the rest of their tribe by killing whatever wounded them
    apparently this hormone lost toxicity after awhile and could be sold as an extremely addictive drug (super adreneline = super addictive?) of course the human lives needed for it made it an instant black black black underground market (the black market of the black markets)

    dunno if the drug part is true but the hormone sounds plausable, it's true parents can perform impossible feats to keep their children safe, that hormone might be related to the 'death hormone'
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    wether or not the brain really does this or not i have no clue. I dont know for what reason it would. the brain doesnt usually do thinsg without a reason. As far as slitting an animals throat being a merciful killing thats not true. The animal is still alive and breathing. in fact you can hera the blood gurgling as they attempt to breath. so if anything it would be a more traumatic way to go. Now if you severed it spinal cord that would be very different.
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    As Booms was saying, I have heard of those super human feats as well, which I suppose theoretically animals should also be capable of, in order to protect themselves or loved ones.

    However I have been taught that normally humans only use about 30 to 50% of the actual muscle tissues in our muscles to perform a task, and that during these super-human acts, the brain simply tells all of the muscle fibers to contract, thus generating a much greater amount of strength than normal. However the negative to doing this, and why you don't do it unless under extreme situations, is that it damages the muscle fiber themselves and can even tear the muscle. Normally that would be a very bad thing, but if it comes down to dying, or tearing your muscle, your body is going to tear your muscle.

    What in particular would cause this I am not sure, and honestly I don't even know if it is true. As I said it is simply what I have been taught I have not researched it.

    Slitting the throat of an animal wouldn't sever communications with the rest of the body unless they cut off the head, or were very careful and severed the spinal cord before or after cutting the veins in the neck, which is more work than needed. If they simply slice the throat and go have a sandwich while the animal bleeds out, there will be lots of communication from the brain with the body, because the spinal cord would still be in tact.

    I don't imagine that an animal bleeding out slowly would make the meat harmful or poisonous in an animal if this occurred. Otherwise we would have a lot of dead hunters, and I likely wouldn't be sitting here right now.
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    Couple of points.

    1. There is no such thing as 'super-adrenalin'. However, large doses of normal adrenalin can achieve spectacular results. Like a woman who rolls a car off her child, and uses so much strength she damages her arm tendons in the process. While this case is documented, I suspect the car was probably 'balanced' in such a way as to make rolling it easier than if it were lying flat. Adrenalin achieves great things, but claims of 'miracles' are always false.

    2. I have never heard of the death-surge' of hormones as mentioned above. Massive stress releases massive amounts of adrenalin, but that can occur in lots of scenarios - not just in dying.

    3. Quality of meat after slaughter indeed depends on animal stress. For this reason meat works go to great lengths to keep animals relaxed right up to the moment of death. If an animal is stressed, the meat quality is poorer and the works loses money.

    4. Here in New Zealand kosher meat is not much of a market, but a hell of a lot of meat is exported to the Middle East, and must be slaughtered by the halal method, which involves cutting the throat. However, the animal is stunned first by a metal bolt fired into its skull. This causes instant, and very deep unconsciousness - indeed, will kill it in due course if the throat was not actually cut. So there is no chance for stress build up such as would cause adrenalin release.
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    Stress hormones include GH (growth hormone), cortisol, and norepinephrine. These are all endocrine hormones. Technically adrenaline is part of the sympathetic nervous system whose role is in a fight or flight response. At any rate, all these hormones can come into play if an animal is made fearful or caused pain in a drawn out manner. Temple Grandin did extensive work in understanding the role of these hormones in animals at slaughter houses. She has helped implement numerous changes in the quality of slaughter. For example, when cattle were herded down the chutes and made to turn at angles etc., they were always startled by a reflective spot on the wall. The lead cow would halt and the whole line would stop. The workers would simply prod the living daylights out of these animals to get them all moving again. Grandin said to simply cover the reflection and the animals were no longer reluctant to move along as normal.

    The real issue is humane treatment of the animal. Making them scared out of their minds and experience horrible pain leading up to their deaths is a poor reflection of our values as a species.

    Specifically as to the quality of meat upon death after experiencing high loads (especially of catecholimines) the real issue was to the acidification of meat as the muscle glycogen is catabolized by catecholimines in the system even 24 hours after slaughter.

    Hope that helps.
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    Interesting

    What about the different methods of killing "back then"

    would slitting the throat quickly be more hygenic than say, beating the animal to death, puncturing the heart, or other ancient methods?

    Also, a big part of kosher slaughter is the organs must be taken out and analyzed for disease in a specific order. I'm not sure the order they were taken out, but this is definately a means to prevent the spread of disease, and ensure the best quality food. That makes me wonder if the act of killing was not also chosen simply to prevent the spread of disease.
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    Pathogens don't care how the animal was killed. They will simply infect tissue for which they have an affinity. Obviously if the knife you used was not sanitized before cutting, you'll introduce microorganisms that may cause the meat to become tainted. Likewise if you beat the animal with a dirty club, then you'll net the same result.
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    no shit sherly

    but it doesn't sound so simple, more internal bleeding as caused from repeated bludgeons to the head, vs less internal bleeding from severing blood flow to the brain by slicing the throat -- assuming the club and the knife are sanitary, and the dirties part is the animal you are killing and the ground it is on -- will each result in different types and degrees of injury.

    I don't know much about slaughter, but it seems to me if you bruise an apple slightly, it takes a different amount of time to rot than if you bruise an apple more, or if you cut the apple open. Each way of damaging the tissue results in a different way that dissue is infected. No shit each bug attacks each cell in the same way, but take a step back and see how all the bugs are attacking the whole.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    3. Quality of meat after slaughter indeed depends on animal stress. For this reason meat works go to great lengths to keep animals relaxed right up to the moment of death. If an animal is stressed, the meat quality is poorer and the works loses money.
    Unfortunately that's not how the whole world sees it....

    http://theseoultimes.com/ST/?url=/ST...d.php?idx=3165
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    saflanag

    That is a shocking story. Asian people who want to eat animals that are not traditional sources of meat in the West have, of course, a degree of justification. But there is NO justification for cruelty.

    My own view is that the killing of animals with higher levels of intelligence is not justifiable. Cattle, sheep, deer etc., are proper sources of meat, since their mentality is low. However, even for them, the slaughter needs to be quick and painless, without unnecessary stress.

    The Korean killing of dogs by torture is unjustified both because they are killing a semi-sentient animal, and because they are not doing it humanely.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    The Korean killing of dogs by torture is unjustified both because they are killing a semi-sentient animal, and because they are not doing it humanely.
    When in Korea, I once had to listen to dogs being tortured, then slaughtered all night. It was fairly unsettling. This practice is not all that common though. The sale of dog meat "kaegogi" has been illegal in Korea for decades now and most Koreans I spoke to about it were repulsed. There is however, a small but persistent Korean subculture that want to continue eating this traditional food.

    I would recommend against trying it. It tastes icky.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    saflanag

    That is a shocking story. Asian people who want to eat animals that are not traditional sources of meat in the West have, of course, a degree of justification. But there is NO justification for cruelty.

    My own view is that the killing of animals with higher levels of intelligence is not justifiable. Cattle, sheep, deer etc., are proper sources of meat, since their mentality is low. However, even for them, the slaughter needs to be quick and painless, without unnecessary stress.

    The Korean killing of dogs by torture is unjustified both because they are killing a semi-sentient animal, and because they are not doing it humanely.
    Thank you for sharing our irrational beliefs. :-D
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic

    My own view is that the killing of animals with higher levels of intelligence is not justifiable. Cattle, sheep, deer etc., are proper sources of meat, since their mentality is low. However, even for them, the slaughter needs to be quick and painless, without unnecessary stress.
    Hmmm I don't really agree with trying to put animals into intellectual boxes. In fairness, we have no idea of levels of intelligence, until we see them.

    For example, would you eat squid?
    I might.
    But squid actually have a very high level of intelligence. I saw a video once where a squid (at least I think it was squid, it was definately something that is considered "normal" to eat, whatever that is) which can communicate with other squid by changing colours of its normally transparent. The amazing video showed 3 squid, in the order of male male female. The male in the middle was trying to mate with the female, and was decieving the other male, in an extraordinary way. He was causing only that half of his body that the other male COULD NOT SEE to flash colours toward the female. I don't know about you, but deception seems like an indication of intelligence.
    And yet, most people would eat a squid...
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    Saflanag

    I agree that it is difficult to measure sentience. However, that does not excuse us from at least making the attempt. Some things are clear. Dogs are smarter than cows, for example.

    I would not eat whale meat, because I know that whales are smart animals. Especially, I would not eat the meat of bottlenose dolphins, which are probably almost as smart as people. To kill such a dolphin is, in my opinion, ethically equivalent to murdering a child.

    At the same time, even with some doubt as to relative sentience, I would not eat the meat of dogs, seals, large cats, apes, monkeys, or elephants, since they all have a higher degree of intelligence than most animals.

    As for squid, that is something that leaves a lot of room for doubt. I suspect that the smaller squid that form most of the calimari sold as food would have a fairly low order of intelligence. However, I am open to persuasion.
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  20. #19  
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    there is another thread that devolved into an evasion of defining cognition, now that a similar(in ambiguity as well as meaning) has been used in such a corrupt manner, I am afraid I must wield irony and devolve(ironic because there is no such thing as devolution, without of course going back in time, evolution[not just biological, but in this case the evolution of concepts and the languages used to communicate them] only moves forwards, even if it repeats itself randomly[or predictably] along the way)

    to the point, i suppose

    "they are killing a semi-sentient animal"

    sentience is an absolute, it cannot be qualified. maybe you are onto something, I will give you the benefit of the doubt(which is worth absolutely nothing, don't think I'm being arrogant, and feal free not to answer anything I ask of you, but know in doing so you support my opinions which you would have to think are wrong[or not worth arguing against] to not play along as the questions I will ask are very simple ones; as anyone who uses words should know what they mean; the people they are talking to however may not, and so I feel it is the communicator's responsibility to make one's meaning clear if at all possible)

    what do you mean by "semi-sentient"



    "I agree that it is difficult to measure sentience"

    maybe it would be easier if it were defined clearly, but if you are talking about one's ability to feel, then one can easily enough define feeling in some precise manner and then test to see if one has the ability to feel.
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    Re definition of semi-sentient.

    I doubt I can give a formal and acceptable definition. I do not believe this is a black and white question, but rather shades of grey. Degree of sentience would be a continuum ranging from something as lacking sentience as an earthworm, and grading slowly through ever more neural life up to human.

    I may be being arrogant, but for purposes of argument, let us define fully sentient as human level. Semi-sentient would then be those animals which have a substantial fraction of human mental capability, such as most members of the order carnivora, most members of the order cetacea, most members of the order primatia, and the order probiscoidea, plus certain members of the parrot and the crow families of birds. They are not all 'equally semi-sentient', of course. Each species is very different from each other species, and probably even each individual within a species is different from other individuals.

    As I said before, I do not think I can give even an educated guess as to the status of cephalopods in this classification.
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    Maybe sentience is the wrong term. It is not the same as consciousness. Science fiction abuses this term to mean artificial intelligence, or alien minds, etc. but otherwise sentience is rather ordinary: the ability to sense. By that definition, a venus flytrap is sentient, a car alarm is sentient, and an earthworm is sentient.

    The earthworm , moreover, is in a way more sentient than we are. Because it is pure sensation. When it feels pain for example, it is pain - its entire being screams in pain. Can one imagine?

    I know some will begin to protest, "that's not really sentience because it's just mechanical." This is a reductionist argument, like saying pixels on a screen are not really an image. Yet even from one pixel an image emerges. So the earthworm's sentience is emergent. The starkness and purity of sentience is proportionate to its simplicity.

    Humans are funny, because most of our nervous system (brain tissue) is much less sentient than conscious. This is the difference between looking out and looking in. We sacrifice one for the other. Knowing that, some try: "Okay, animals can feel pain, BUT they don't appreciate it like we do." They don't detachedly reflect upon it e.g. simultaneously think to themselves, "Ouch, that hurts quite a lot!" If anyone can pick up that argument and not proceed to silly spirals, I'll be surprised.


    IMO animal rights are rational and unacceptable. This is what happens when the value of something correct (rational) is negligible compared to competing values, which themselves may or may not be rational. We mostly let it slide.

    The values approach tipping point when one of those is human cruelty. This is what we really care about: what people feel in their hearts. Not the pig itself.




    @Saflanag. You described cuttlefish. They're hypnotic psychedelic empaths aren't they? Yeah, with empathy: I think these deceptive predators do have some cat-like empathy thing going on, primarily for anticipating and "mind-controlling" their prey. They seem to have theory of mind - meaning they consider what another mind is thinking. However specialized they are in this way, cuttlefish appear to lack other kinds of intelligence. It's a bit like finding slugs that are brilliant graffiti artists, yet otherwise they're just dumb slugs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    @Saflanag. You described cuttlefish. They're hypnotic psychedelic empaths aren't they? Yeah, with empathy: I think these deceptive predators do have some cat-like empathy thing going on, primarily for anticipating and "mind-controlling" their prey. They seem to have theory of mind - meaning they consider what another mind is thinking. However specialized they are in this way, cuttlefish appear to lack other kinds of intelligence. It's a bit like finding slugs that are brilliant graffiti artists, yet otherwise they're just dumb slugs.
    Gah, I had a feeling I was wrong in saying squid. Apologies!
    But they weren't interacting with prey in this instance, they were deceiving each other for mating opportunities. Maybe I'm a tad simple but I was still impressed. :P

    @Skeptic:
    Not sure if sentience is an argument for defining whether it's "ok" to eat an animal or not (dangerously close to vegetarian propaganda here :\ )
    Looking at this argument factually, the only reason people don't deem it socially acceptable to eat a dog is because a few hundred years ago, we didnt start breeding dogs specifically for food, like we did for cattle and chickens. In fact I'd wager if humans hadn't domesticated cattle they may give the impression of being rather intelligent themselves - where is the drive to be intelligent when you are being fed and housed with no effort?

    However, scaring the crap out of any animal on purpose before killing it, is just a smidge twisted.
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    You are quite correct in your statement as to why people do not eat dogs (unless Korean). However, speaking for myself, my rationalisation is their degree of sentience.

    In the case of dogs, this is measurable. We have on record a number of cases of individual dogs that have learned enough of a human language to understand simple sentences. We can relate that to human age, and say that those dogs have language ability equivalent to a 2 year old human child. Those dogs also show enough other 'intelligent' behaviour so that their other mental skills can be related to a 2 year old child. Do you think a 2 year old is 'semi-sentient'? Or do you think we can treat them as Johnathon Swift suggested satirically? http://art-bin.com/art/omodest.html

    It is quite rational to eat meat, in terms of animal welfare. The alternative to cows, sheep, goats, pigs etc being cultivated for meat, is for those same animals to die. If they were released into the natural environment, they could not survive, and their deaths would be way more cruel than the human methods we, in the west, use to slaughter.
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    skeptic: why is human your measure?

    are all humans the same, and is human so easily objectified and generalized as to be represented in some theoretically sound framework under one catagory consisting of various abilities?
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    Why is human my measure?

    Of course, I could use all kinds of other measures. However, human is the measure we are best able to understand. Perspective is almost automatic. Our emotions wrap easily around human comparisons. If I talk of a 2 year old human child, we all understand.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Saflanag

    You are quite correct in your statement as to why people do not eat dogs (unless Korean). However, speaking for myself, my rationalisation is their degree of sentience.

    In the case of dogs, this is measurable. We have on record a number of cases of individual dogs that have learned enough of a human language to understand simple sentences. We can relate that to human age, and say that those dogs have language ability equivalent to a 2 year old human child. Those dogs also show enough other 'intelligent' behaviour so that their other mental skills can be related to a 2 year old child. Do you think a 2 year old is 'semi-sentient'? Or do you think we can treat them as Johnathon Swift suggested satirically? http://art-bin.com/art/omodest.html

    It is quite rational to eat meat, in terms of animal welfare. The alternative to cows, sheep, goats, pigs etc being cultivated for meat, is for those same animals to die. If they were released into the natural environment, they could not survive, and their deaths would be way more cruel than the human methods we, in the west, use to slaughter.
    I think you missed the point I was making. I'm pretty sure any animal can be taught to comprehend something like the pattern of sounds in a sentence. Yes I have seen dogs capable of recognising our language (my own knows when dinner is about to be given to him) and I have read articles of very intelligent parrots too. So in that respect you are correct. My point is that dogs and parrots have this capability most likely due to a constant exposure to our behaviour. Enough exposure to any stimulus will induce some learning of its effects/response to it.
    I highly doubt this as ever been tried with a cow! So that argument doesn't really come into it.

    Also, I eat meat but I find your last statement about animal welfare to be a bit of a cop out. What I was getting at with my reference to domesticated animals is that IT IS OUR FAULT they wouldn't survive in their natural environment in the wild. They have no need for adaptation when they are living on a farm. Like a human becoming fat and stupid from eating processed foods and watching tv all day would never survive in a jungle. Just because we domesticated them so much that they would not do as well in the wild as their wild counterparts does not mean we are being merciful by killing them off for food.
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    well "a 2 year old human" is more precise of a measure than "a human," no?

    saf: how do you know it is the words these animals are taking as cues, and not the tones, rhythms and body language?
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    well "a 2 year old human" is more precise of a measure than "a human," no?

    saf: how do you know it is the words these animals are taking as cues, and not the tones, rhythms and body language?
    Thats a good point but my dog will respond to all of his names (Ricky, Richard and for some reason Boots) and the words "dinner" and "walk" no matter the tone or body language.
    Also: Alex the Parrot
    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/20...ia-morell-text
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    Respnse to saflanag

    First, animal intelligence is measured in many ways. Understanding of human language is just one. Animals that can respond to human language are normally very smart in other ways also. So a dog can be trained to understand quite a number of human words, and occasionally human sentences also. A dog can also be trained in complex behaviour also. Dogs have been observed to initiate complex 'smart' behaviour without training. That is, they think things through, though at a much more basic level than humans can.

    Cows, goats etc simply cannot do this. They are not intelligent in the way a dog is intelligent. Calves, lambs etc have been raised as pets close to their human owners on hundreds of thousands of occasions, and simply do not develop the smart behaviour of dogs. They can feel pain, and so we have a duty to apply humane slaughtering methods when we kill them for meat.

    And as for survival in the wild. Yes, humans are responsible for the breeding that makes them unable to survive in the wild. However, if you look at the lives led by their wild relatives, that are capable of surviving, you will see a life that is less than desirable. They live, on average, very short lives. The vast majority of their young are taken by predators or disease before they grow much. Death comes often, and is most painful. They live in fear much of the time. Domesticated cows, sheep etc live lives that are much more secure. They lack the terror their wild relatives live with. They are kept well fed and healthy, and when the time comes to be killed, it is done (mostly) humanely, quickly, and without the terror that comes of being brought down by a predator.

    I have no guilt eating meat. The animal that 'gave its all' for my beef steak lived a life that was far better than possible in the wild, and probably lived much longer as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Respnse to saflanag

    First, animal intelligence is measured in many ways. Understanding of human language is just one. Animals that can respond to human language are normally very smart in other ways also. So a dog can be trained to understand quite a number of human words, and occasionally human sentences also. A dog can also be trained in complex behaviour also. Dogs have been observed to initiate complex 'smart' behaviour without training. That is, they think things through, though at a much more basic level than humans can.

    Cows, goats etc simply cannot do this. They are not intelligent in the way a dog is intelligent. Calves, lambs etc have been raised as pets close to their human owners on hundreds of thousands of occasions, and simply do not develop the smart behaviour of dogs. They can feel pain, and so we have a duty to apply humane slaughtering methods when we kill them for meat.

    And as for survival in the wild. Yes, humans are responsible for the breeding that makes them unable to survive in the wild. However, if you look at the lives led by their wild relatives, that are capable of surviving, you will see a life that is less than desirable. They live, on average, very short lives. The vast majority of their young are taken by predators or disease before they grow much. Death comes often, and is most painful. They live in fear much of the time. Domesticated cows, sheep etc live lives that are much more secure. They lack the terror their wild relatives live with. They are kept well fed and healthy, and when the time comes to be killed, it is done (mostly) humanely, quickly, and without the terror that comes of being brought down by a predator.

    I have no guilt eating meat. The animal that 'gave its all' for my beef steak lived a life that was far better than possible in the wild, and probably lived much longer as well.
    First, I'll refer you to what I said earlier, about OUR perception of intelligence, and the fact that we may not be aware of both the ways in which an animal could be intelligent and of ways that we could measure this.

    Again, I'll refer to a point I made earlier, about dogs etc being bred specifically to be "man's best friend", having been domesticated for accustomations to human behaviours for the last 15,000 years. To the case you mentioned of keeping goats and calves as pets, I'm pretty sure the lengthy time dogs have had to get used to us has had something to do with that, as well as the fact that we know them so well that we deem ourselves able to interpret their responses, whereas I'm sure we aren't that knowledgable about cows/goats etc. Given the time to learn our mannerisms, do you not agree that many animals could get used to us? You can't deny that dogs have probably had more exposure to us (in a friendly "we-love-you-we-dont-want-to-kill-you" way) than any other animal. Therefore it would be obvious that they may be able to interpret us better,as well as the other way round.

    As to your arguement about animals being in the wild, look at it this way. Ever seen Wall-E? Do you remember my mentioning the fat slob earlier? Yes they are being looked after. But as to the quality of the cows lives compared to the growth and experiences they could be having in the wild, is a life of inaction and suppression of natural instincts really "better"? I eat meat too, I'm just saying, "we're being kind by killing them" is frankly a laughable argument.
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    My point about intelligence applies to dogs, but also to a wide range of other animals, many of which have never been domesticated. Wolves, for example, are probably just as smart as dogs. Dolphins much smarter. And chimps even smarter still. There is enough evidence for their relative intelligence, that there is no need to call a dispute, even if we do not quite know where to put the error bar on their estimated IQ's.

    I have not said we were being kind to cows by killing them. We are doing them a favour by making sure that their deaths are humane, and we are doing them a favour by giving them a good, stress-free life.

    The comparison between a cow in a pasture, and, say, a cape buffalo in the wild, shows the cow has by far the better deal. On average, the cow will live longer, since most cape buffalo calves die within a few weeks of birth. The cow will eat better, get vet attention for illness, live free of predators and other things causing stress, even terror. Death for the cow will be humane, without fear. Death for the cape buffalo will be either lingering, from disease, or terrifying and excruciatingly painful, from predator attack.
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    Better due to the cultural atributes of what we consider better, there are other cultures though, and conflicting views of what a better life, and as you put it, a better deal, is.


    Since there is no "best life" there is no "better life" since the word better gets its meaning from degrees of goodness between two polar opposites being worst and best

    again there is no best so there is no better

    what you probably mean is more appealing to your imagination
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    This idea that value of life increases with intelligence, is frankly scary. 'Nuff said.


    What I believe, and what I've told my little boy whether squishing a spider or watching Angus calves being castrated, is that animal life is incomparable to human life. We may put our own species ahead of others by any means. However, I add, humans like he and I often naturally have dear, silly feelings towards animals... and those sentiments are good and valid, and we may act on them. It's just like his mom detests the taste of wasabi and that's a perfectly fine reason for her not to eat it. What matters here is not really the wasabi plant or the pet snail; rather what individual people feel in their hearts: If it feels wrong, don't do it.

    Obviously there's a bit of mind game here. Do people really want to learn the visceral reality of how "beef" is made? Of course not, because that must change our feeling about it.
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    are you implying that the engineers who design--and the workers who work in--the factories where cow becomes beef, look at meet in some peculiar fashion?

    this should be easily tested, has it been?
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    I can say anecdotally that my cattle rancher relatives have clear and untroubled ethics regarding animals compared to "normal" people's struggle with the issues.

    They can be sensitive to animal cruelty, but it's not about the animal itself. It's about the person's underlying, unnecessary cruelty.
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    how do you know their ethics regarding animals?

    are you sure there ethics are not different from animal to animal?

    for example their ethics of cattle ranching vs their ethics of bee keeping, would they be roughly the same?
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    how do you know their ethics regarding animals?
    Family reunions, when I may study them for a week or two. Opportunities present, like a sweet little 5-year-old prairie princess skipping out of the field proudly swinging a ground-squirrel she caught by the tail. Adult reactions. "Good job!" "How did you kill it?" "Go fill up that hole so cattle don't trip."

    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    are you sure there ethics are not different from animal to animal?

    for example their ethics of cattle ranching vs their ethics of bee keeping, would they be roughly the same?
    All they want to talk about is animals! That includes animal psychology, which they have a paradoxical empathy for.

    For example calves need shots. This requires corralling, roping, and pinning them down, immobilized, which is necessarily stressful to the animals. Therefore the calves' mothers are corralled as well, because the presence of cows lowing in sympathy helps to calm a calf's nerves. Actually one takes this opportunity to brand the calves, attach an ear tag, and cut their balls off so they bulk faster. Doing these jobs well requires constant empathy for what the cattle think and feel.

    Mean-spirit has nothing to do with it. For example if one rancher aimed a gratuitous kick at one of those immobilized calves, I'm pretty sure all hands would stop in stony aghast silence. Unnecessary cruelty just isn't on. It's not a matter of degree - it's another quality altogether. The ethics don't vary from animal to animal, because they depend on people not animals. Plucking wings off a bee would be mean-spirited just the same. Same quality.

    Ranch children aren't squeamish. They'll see the same rotting carcass by the roadside day after day. They'll see what happens when a coyote gets into the chicken coop. The dogs and cats gnaw various bloody things dragged beneath the porch. So the sight of slaughter doesn't turn the stomach like it does for city people. Their ethics aren't driven by squeamishness.

    They see animals suffering quite often too, often arguably by human negligence, or as above by necessity of running the business. Parasites and obviously painful skin diseases are common and often untreated. The proverbial mangy critter. I'm unsure how farmers think about that ethically. I guess there is some leeway granted to a neighbour, like one assumes the neighbour just hasn't noticed, or can't afford the time / money to deal with inadvertent suffering. Ignorance is not cruelty, neither is necessity.
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    [quote="Pong"]
    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    how do you know their ethics regarding animals?
    Family reunions, when I may study them for a week or two. Opportunities present, like a sweet little 5-year-old prairie princess skipping out of the field proudly swinging a ground-squirrel she caught by the tail. Adult reactions. "Good job!" "How did you kill it?" "Go fill up that hole so cattle don't trip."

    nice story, you weren't exaggerating when you said anecdotal


    this story presents interesting details about these individuals reactions... considering that, according to you, all the adults react in synchronization which is a very odd thing to do. I have never seen anything quite like you describe, except at concerts where people dance to a synchronized rhythm, set by the band(most of the people at these shows I attend[anti-flag, against all authority, against me, mischief brew] are self proclaimed atheists)

    anyway, my point is this: the asult reactions are not "good job" "how did you kill it" but that possibly particular adults may react in this way, while others react in other ways

    nonetheless, if many adults react in similar ways it is reason to wonder if their reactions are not due to some cultural standard, and not their own individual ethics or beliefs about what it means to be a living things

    they may not concider the dead creature a living thing, after all, do you condider your wool sweater a living thing? of course not, nor a steak

    a creature is no longer living when it heart stops, so do you need to feel pitty for it's death, must you give it rights? (does "rights" imply that what are "rights" is "right"?)

    i'm not being apathetic, I'm curious, in completely honesty, how people categorize life

    I feel much for any creature that I know to be suffering, or any thing I feel is out of harmony, but do not know suffering to be wrong(anti-right?) or discord to be wrong either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    if many adults react in similar ways it is reason to wonder if their reactions are not due to some cultural standard, and not their own individual ethics or beliefs about what it means to be a living things
    I touched on that in my last paragraph. Those aforementioned prairie-dog holes make minefields for cattle, causing sprained or broken legs. Then, seeing that your neighbour has a lame cow living in agony, what do you do? Call him up judgmentally to say, "Ought to call a surgeon" ? Probably not. And I think the economic reality for most ranchers argues better leave the cow in pain so long as it's productive.

    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    do you condider your wool sweater a living thing? of course not, nor a steak

    a creature is no longer living when it heart stops, so do you need to feel pitty for it's death, must you give it rights? (does "rights" imply that what are "rights" is "right"?)

    i'm not being apathetic, I'm curious, in completely honesty, how people categorize life
    I don't hold so much distinction between alive or dead in the obvious metabolic sense, because I tend to view life in context of... evolving immortality. The donkey carcass fertilizing a kiwi vine remains very 'alive'. A sweater is alive moreover, in that the spirits who made it potentially live through the sweater by continuing to affect the world. I'd feel a sad waste if the sweater was thoughtlessly destroyed; same goes for book-burning. Death to me is entropy or oblivion not individual metabolisms stopping.

    Hm.. "You are what you eat".. so is the cow what eats her? :?
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    This thread seems to have evolved to a discussion of cruelty to animals. So here is my two bob's worth.

    This is not a black and white issue. There is a continuum of cruelties perpetrated against animals. At the deepest, darkest, most sadistic, most terrifying end of the spectrum, we get Mother Nature, who does lovely things like :
    - wasps laying eggs inside other insects. These hatch into larvae that eat their way out, carefully eating all the non essential organs first so that the host will not die too soon
    - irukandji hunting its prey and stinging it to death, using a venom that is one of the most excruciatingly painful chemicals ever discovered.
    - spitting cobra spraying venom into eyes to render the victim blind, and then prey to the first nasty predator to come along.
    - white sharks hitting a seal hard and biting quickly, then swimming off till it dies in agony, before returning to eat it.
    - a million infectious diseases causing excruciating death.
    - thousands of predators that kill in the most terrifying and painful ways.

    Then, of course, there are nasty humans who strike animals, or starve them, or kill them in non humane ways. These people here in New Zealand, and in most western nations, are now regarded as criminals and get punished.

    At the top end, we get good farmers who care for their stock and make sure they are killed humanely.

    Sure, we still have a long way to go before humans get to become a total friend to animals. However, we should not also forget that we have come a long way. We are much better than we were. And the worst culprit in the cruelty stakes in nature herself.
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    indeed very valid, but reflecting on where we have come from is not a practical alternative to choosing where we can go.

    reflection is one thing, when it is learned from, and the learning is used to create something worth reflecting on in the future

    but one can reflect on a great many eschew things, making a great many conclusions based on distorted bias
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    ........
    At the deepest, darkest, most sadistic, most terrifying end of the spectrum, we get Mother Nature, who does lovely things like :
    - wasps laying eggs inside other insects. These hatch into larvae that eat their way out, carefully eating all the non essential organs first so that the host will not die too soon
    - irukandji hunting its prey and stinging it to death, using a venom that is one of the most excruciatingly painful chemicals ever discovered.
    - spitting cobra spraying venom into eyes to render the victim blind, and then prey to the first nasty predator to come along.
    - white sharks hitting a seal hard and biting quickly, then swimming off till it dies in agony, before returning to eat it.
    - a million infectious diseases causing excruciating death.
    - thousands of predators that kill in the most terrifying and painful ways.
    Don`t try to analize nature from a human point of view, Mother nature is life as life is, whether you like it or not, it will not change to please your feelings about it. All of those examples you posted, simply are the individuals normal behaviour from day 1 of their appearing in the world, and just a part of their instinct of survival.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    .......
    We get good farmers who care for their stock and make sure they are killed humanely.
    Most "good" farmers, care for their stock only to the point by which they will earn more money. Once their cattle is sold, they don`t give a cent of what happens to their former cattle. It`s simply a matter of business and economical efficiency, and by no way, it should be considered as wrong or right. Their activity is a human need for our society.


    (Post edited) :

    Anyway getting back to topic, all animals slaughtered in meat production industry die on bleeding, since it`s the only way to assure the most highest standards of quality in meat production. The variations within one method or another depends of the different devices used to produce the insensibilization of the animal prior to the bleeding process that terminates with the life of the animal, which is also needed to assure a good quality final product : meat. :wink:

    Kosher production is not far from this fact, but lots of you may not be aware that for Kosher, only the front quarters of the animal is used (arms, neck and thorax), and the rest of the animal is processed as normal meat production, so it is not unlikely that the next time you eat a juicy, tender steak, this one might have come from an animal destined to produce Kosher. :wink:

    About the existence of specific death hormones, there isn`t anything as such things, but if an animal is suffering through stress during the process of slaughtering, there is plenty of scientific data that supports the theory that it will invariably affect the quality of the meat afterwards. Some species of animals are more susceptible to suffer from stress, even to levels to that an outbreak prior to the slaughtering process, can kill them in the act, in only a couple of hours, something that I`ve seen very often in pigs, even when they are being transported from the farm to the slaughter house, and they arrive dead.

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    :?

    "Don`t try to analize nature from a human point of view, Mother nature..." -Rickdog



    power to the people... who live vicariously through a dying quotes thread
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    "Mother nature is life as life is, whether you like it or not, it will not change to please your feelings about it." -*ickdog

    So our feelings have no influence on the world? Why then did they evolve, if not to be used in some way to guarantee our genetic success by helping us respond to and influence the world/mother nature?

    "About the existence of specific death hormones, there isn`t anything as such things,"

    stress is hormonal, and you go onto say this:

    "but if an animal is suffering through stress during the process of slaughtering, there is plenty of scientific data that supports the theory that it will invariably affect the quality of the meat afterwards."

    so call them what you will: what I meant by "death hormones" is not "hormones specific to death" but "hormones released during the time of death" which would include stress inducing/transmitting hormones, as well as joy inducing/transmitting hormones.

    (excuse my lack of technical terminology, but saying there is no such thing of something, when you don't know what that something is, is unproductive: if I ever say something, in a way that doesn't make sense, please assume that I'm talking about something legitamate and ask me what I mean, then after further explination it remains that I do not make sense, and you have no patience for further explination, think what you will; and I will do the same, as it is clear some others also lack a certain technical vocabulary)
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    So our feelings have no influence on the world? Why then did they evolve, if not to be used in some way to guarantee our genetic success by helping us respond to and influence the world/mother nature?
    True, but it will not change the natural behaviour of those species. The only thing that can change is what you can feel about it, nothing else.

    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    stress is hormonal.....
    Stress is a condition, probably mediated by the action of hormones, but it is an individual response to any given stressor, to the syndrome of general adaptation. You can find more about it by reading about Hans Selye (1907-1982), who in the British Journal of Nature, 1936, was the first man to describe the condition that he named "stress" and of course about the SGA or Syndrome of General Adaptation. Don`t ask me to do your own homework research.

    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    so call them what you will: what I meant by "death hormones" is not "hormones specific to death" but "hormones released during the time of death" which would include stress inducing/transmitting hormones, as well as joy inducing/transmitting hormones.
    You are the one, who didn`t say it correct in the first place, it`s not my fault that you didn`t express yourself correctly, so don`t blame it on me. Besides, other members here explained it already perfectly well (skeptic), so there was no need to explain it again. Don`t you think so ?

    First,
    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    (excuse my lack of technical terminology, but saying there is no such thing of something, when you don't know what that something is, is unproductive......
    very good suggestion, I`d suggest you, to take it on account the next time you refer to others, too. As a matter of fact, I am a Veterinarian and I`ve worked almost 25 years in quality control and meat inspection, so I understand perfectly well, how the process of slaughtering takes place and of course what happens to the meat, if an animal suffers through stress before he is finally slaughtered, in which case, as other members told you in this same thread, in western modern societies, the animal doesn`t suffer before being slaughtered, so it is unlikely that he`ll be in stress. There`s plenty of data that refers to this issue in FAO, USDA and of course in the manuals of meat inspection of almost every western world health agengy.

    finally
    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    ... if I ever say something, in a way that doesn't make sense, please assume that I'm talking about something legitamate and ask me what I mean
    I don`t need to ask you, if what you said in your first post is true or not, I simply believe your own words, where you say that you are not so certain about facts involving Kosher; that all you knew, is what you have heard about it and that you weren`t so sure if it was true or not. Well my friend, in my case I`m positively certain about it, and I have seen it during my career, almost 100 times of how it is done by a rabi, and if you are not aware in order to make a small contribution in this post, in the case of Kosher, the meat is double checked before it can be declared edible for human consumption, first by the rabi (who also knows all about diseases) and afterwards and during the process, by the local meat inspection authority (the whole team, that includes a veterinarian as myself).
    Of course meat inspection includes all the organs within that animal, but the explanation of this should be posted in another topic. I don`t want to spam this one here.


    For the last words of this post, I have to say that after I saw your post, at first I felt offended by your attitude, which denotes a total lack of education, specially to someone you don`t really know and a new guy to this forum, so at first I felt the urge to reply to it in the same tone that you unjustifiedly used against me, but in this cases, my education has taught me to remain calm and when in total control of my "feelings", only then reply as now.

    I humbly, suggest the moderators to take action in cases as this one, since for any new member, this kind of attitude can "trigger" in the new member, a very negative concept of the whole forum, and force him to never come back and each time he is asked about the forum, he will say "pests" about it, putting as an example the treatment he received when he tried to join in.
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    Just to let you know: I'm not in school, and am not asking you to do any homework for me; However, If you make a claim, and expect it to be taken seriously, you will be expected to support it.

    In your first statement you say

    "True, but it will not change the natural behaviour of those species. The only thing that can change is what you can feel about it, nothing else."

    Now before I jump to conclusions please confirm what "it" is. "nature," I assume.

    "who in the British Journal of Nature, 1936, was the first man to describe the condition that he named "stress""

    Just one question before I look him and his research up, I'm just curious, do you have reason to believe that we have had no advancements in defining stress more precisely, or understanding it since WW2?


    "You are the one, who didn`t say it correct in the first place"

    I'm pretty sure in my initial post, I didn't just say "What effect do death hormones have on meat?" I explained what I meant, don't judge a conversation based on a title.



    Also, in response to your conclusion where you suggest that I am out of bounds for responding to you as I did, maybe you have a point. But you are out of bounds for suggesting reprimands publicly. The appropriate thing to do, as I have learned through past mistakes, is to send a private message to the moderator of this forum. Asking for moderator assistance publicly is a common practice of those who seek to bait an argumentative foe.
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    In reference to your last parragraph, I`ll take what you suggested in account, next time I feel what I felt. As I told you before, I`m relatively new here and I`m not so sure of what is considered a normal and acceptable behaviour, and I may have commited a mistake by not knowing, how to refer to moderators here. In other forums I `ve participated before, you have to express them openly, but this explanation doesn`t justify a wrong procedure, so as I said, I`ll keep it in mind next time.
    :wink:

    (post edited)
    In relation to your question about what "it" was refering to. Its refered to the different species behaviour.

    And in reference to what you said in your posts, actually you haven`t said anything about "death hormones" or "hormones related to death" in the whole topic (not counting the title). Other members have refered themselves to them, about their existence or not. In your initial post, the only thing you really talked about was about "Kosher", and you said that you weren`t so sure about it and also a few words related to stress, but nothing about hormones, so I can`t asume anything at all of what you meant with the title, which if you read carefully at my former posts, you`ll realize that I wasn`t refering to your knowledge about them.
    I only repeated what other members have said about them and what I know about them in relation to the meat after or during slaughtering.
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  49. #48 Re: Kosher meat and "death hormones" 
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    Deep sea fishers sometimes tire the fish before killing it so the meat is more tender. Is this at all related to hormones due to stress, pain, fear, lactic acid or something like that?

    Any thoughts or knowledge on this?
    I really donít have much idea either about tiring fish, but what I knew about it its not true and its not common practice. I was in a position taken by the fish until it is tired, and then pull it out of the water.kosher new york
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