June 8, 2007

When You Find the Need to Survive

Posted in animal advocacy, recovery, rescue, survivors, veganism at 1:13 pm by nevavegan

There is a danger in being too emotional sometimes, that we can lose sight of logic, or trust or gut instinct against all reason. So when I get really emotional I try to find some way I can do a sanity check. I used to joke that somebody should invent a mental thermometer, so I can do decisive home sanity check for myself. Like I’d look at it and say “Ok, in the green, I’m fine.” Or “Ooops, it’s in the red, I’d better take a step back, calm down, and rethink this.”

Wouldn’t that be great? Of course we’d all be taking them to work to secretly sanity-check our bosses!

So, with that disclaimer at the opening, prepare for an over the top emotional blog entry that’s so emo your computer monitor might start sweating huge bloody tears or something.

The thing I wanted to write about is why life is important, not just suffering or protection from suffering. I mentioned this before in my entry on feral cats; the idea was that I can’t be sure I won’t die tomorrow, I can’t be sure that death won’t be horrible and gruesome. But I’d still prefer to take my chances with that than to get a painless lethal injection today.

Taking this a step further, as much as I deplore the conditions on factory farms or in slaughterhouses, and as much as I’d like to see those conditions improved, I still stick to the basic idea that no matter how humanely it’s done, it’s wrong for me to kill an animal because I like how he tastes, or I want to wear her skin, or for sport or entertainment. Just as it would be wrong for someone to kill me because they enjoy the act of killing, or because they want what I have, or they want my body, or any other perceived benefit to eliminating me. Even if my death were sudden, without fear or pain, a single gunshot to the head before I even knew what was happening, even so it would be wrong.

Like many people, I also had a moment where time seemed to slow for me and my very life hung in the balance. With the kind of crystal clarity that sometimes comes in a moment of extreme crisis I suddenly knew that it was a very real possibility I wasn’t going to live through this. My whole being cried out that this was not right. I HAD to live. I wasn’t able to consider the finer points of whether my life was worthwhile. Some people have told me that in moments like that they thought of their loved ones and how missed they would be, or the good they wouldn’t be able to do. I can’t claim anything so noble. Something much more basic kicked in for me, a desperate survival instinct that NEEDED to survive above all else. If I was badly hurt, ok. If I was disabled, ok. But I couldn’t give up, I wanted and needed to live and it wasn’t even a choice it was something felt in every molecule of my body.

Before this I had had some minor experience with those I knew making peace with death and accepting it. I always assumed that when it was the right time for me, I would make my peace. I had a cat named Bernard with advanced cancer when I was only 14 or so. Right before we had him euthanized he wasn’t able to do much but lie on his soft blanket. When I said goodbye to him, he looked back at me with this look of exhaustion, but also love, and also extreme calm. Shortly after that happened, my family had a party and there was a great big gooey cake. My great uncle James was sitting on the couch and asked me to get him a piece and said “be sure it’s an end piece with lots of frosting, a corner is best. If you can get a frosting flower on it, I’d like that.” When I brought him his cake I leaned over him and our eyes met and I was struck by a single thought “that’s the look Bernard gave me right before he died.” Within days my great uncle died, quite unexpectedly, but I just knew. When my grandfather died, it was a shock to all of us, but I was struck by the memory of how he’d looked at me the last time I’d seen him. I’d thought that look of peace and calm had been happy memories as he talked, but I began to see a pattern. And I could only hope that when my life was at an end the calm and love and peace would descend on me too and I’d let go with grace.

But in those moments where I felt my own death coming, there was no peace, just the monumental will to live. Perhaps we could say it simply wasn’t my time, I don’t know.

When I began to rescue animals in earnest I started to notice sometimes when an animal seemed to have given up completely and when they hadn’t. Around this time I took a very ill cat, Q, into my home, only to get a death sentence from the vet a couple days later. She tested positive for FIP and her liver was failing. The vet advised me to say goodbye and then bring her in.

Q was so sick; she was lying on a cat bed, thin in all the wrong places, swollen in the opposite and still wrong places, weak and feverish. And she lifted her head and looked at me, and the look was not peace or acceptance, but overwhelmingly “I want to live.”

Some people think I anthropomorphize too much, but in this one I really don’t doubt myself. I had a very sick cat who wanted more than anything to survive, which should be a no-brainer. Most of us want to live. Some give up after horrible illness; some live a long life and give up in old age… But most living things want to continue to live. We all know this, don’t we?

The end of this story is that Q went through crisis and it was terrible, and then slowly she improved (with a holistic vet, not the original vet). Then later she had a relapse and was very ill again, but managed to pull through again, and has now been with me for 6 ½ happy years. We don’t know eventually what will happen, but it was certainly worth the effort.

I bring up Q’s story because sometimes in all the debating about animals and how smart they are or what they need or notice, we somehow miss this common sense thing: they want to live.

Sometimes when advocates of humane farming talk about killing animals they say things like this: “Since the animal make the ultimate sacrifice for us, we have an obligation to treat them well.” Aside from just the weirdness of the word sacrifice, which makes me think of ancient, obscure religious rituals, this way of speaking glosses over an important fact. The animals aren’t sacrificing themselves, they aren’t lying down their tired heads and going to sleep, they are being violently killed and they want to live. They want to live so badly that sometimes they manage to escape slaughterhouses, which are designed after all, almost more secure than prisons, to prevent escape.

I wonder how intelligent people sometimes manage to twist their brains into knots and think silly things like animals only care about whether or not they are in pain, not if they live or die.

Recently the creek near where I live overflowed its banks during a bad storm. The next day while walking my dogs I noticed puddles that looked like they were boiling. On closer inspection I found that about 100 fish and crayfish and miscellaneous water creatures (I counted as I saved them so I’m pretty sure of the number) were writhing and suffocating in rapidly drying puddles about 20 feet from the creek. I got to work, grabbing out the fish and rushing them to the creek. Even though they were in agony in the puddles, in desperate straights they resisted all my attempts to grab them. They preferred to stay in a stagnant, warm, drying up, oxygen-deprived puddle to being caught by me, who might eat them. And these were small fish and animals we’re talking about. I was finally forced to run home with the dogs, and return by myself with a Tupperware, spoon, and other implements to scoop out the fish and get them into the creek. Their struggle for survival, in an animal so different from us is instructive. They would rather be in pain than die, they feared and avoided death. There’s no other explanation to me at least.

I felt something like recognition in me. I’ve been where you are, I told them. Not that they could hear or understand me. I just saw myself in that moment.

One more note. I wrote this yesterday, but revised today. So imagine my surprise when I discovered another blogger wrote something similar yesterday. For a more straight-forward and logical examination of the topic check out this entry on Abolitionist Animal Rights.

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20 Comments »

  1. Hoss said,

    Don’t sell yourself short, Neva; your examination of the topic is the far more straight-forward and logical of the two.

    The blogger you link to spends his time railing at straw men and misrepresenting imagined enemies; his post seems like little more than a dishonest, posturing rant.

    You, by contrast, speak from the heart and ask honest questions with a sense of humility and fairness.

    There is simply no comparison. 🙂

  2. Neva Vegan said,

    Thanks Hoss. I think this is relevant to a discussion that I’ve been having via comments with Pattrice lately. There is a perception in our culture that emotions aren’t as valid…

    To some extent I agree with the idea that emotions shouldn’t be given undue weight in light of other evidence. I think about a woman I knew who said “I just know in my heart that it’s right for me eat animals because I feel so at peace with nature and part of the natural cycle of life and death.”

    And there I was thinking “I wonder how at peace you’d feel if you actually did the research and understood where that fried chicken came from?”

    So sometimes I feel a little uncertain about putting out extremely emotional entries, even though it’s very much part of who I am. I actually was accused before by someone in AR of never making a logical point but just always saying “I feel this” and “I feel that.” So I do want to find that balance where I can talk about feelings but also bring up logical arguments.

    As far as getting angry at Peter Singer… I’m not angry at him, he is what he is. However, there is a problem with the basic philosophy that death in and of itself isn’t a harm. I mean of course we can’t save everyone, human or animal, but death isn’t something we should dismiss or take lightly.

    Thanks for your comments!

  3. Hoss said,

    Right, I agree that one needs to use logic and think critically — after all, that’s what separates good arguments from bad. But when it comes to animals, the emotional component is critical, too.

    For one thing, it’s at the basis of the argument for animal rights: caring about animals’ interests requires empathy!

    Personally, I think the psychological obstacles that prevent people from considering farmed animals’ interests are more amenable to emotional appeals than logical argumentation — though both are crucial elements, of course.

    As to Singer, I know you’re not angry at him. I was just commenting on how much time the other blogger spends attacking Singer for a point of view that Singer doesn’t even support! It’s just goofy.

  4. Sean said,

    Neva, your discussion makes me think about the mouse you saved from a glue trap in your Brooklyn apartment building. You did not see him when he was initially stuck, but surely he had the desire to live and struggled to exhaustion, at which point you found him, nearly lifeless.

    You managed to get him unstuck, he was tired, limp, and barely had the strength or will to want to live on. He did not resist when you you slowly and carefully got him unstuck, or when you scooped him up and temporarily placed him in a container.

    When shortly thereafter you went to check on him, he surprised you with his renewed energy for life and sprung to freedom!

    Thinking the building was not a good place, we then recaptured him with a humane trap, I brought him back with me to Maryland, put him in a plastic mouse cage for a couple days while we figured out where to take him. The entire time his only goal was jailbreak (interrupted by a desire to eat). He would leap up onto the plastic roof, grab on with his paws and teeth, and was chewing his way out.

    I remember when I took him to a pig barn at an animal sanctuary, in which other mice resided. As I carried his cage to the barn, the little New York City mouse started to smell the other mice and raced feverishly around the cage. When I opened the cage he lept out and quickly disappeared into a mouse hole.

    Though there was time when he had “given up,” without doubt the little guy still had a desire to live, not just a desire not to suffer.

  5. Neva Vegan said,

    Thanks Sean, actually that is a very telling story too, because it shows that sometimes giving up isn’t the measure.

    That poor little mouse. I do think about him from time to time. He had struggled so much that he was completely stuck in the glue, even his neck and chin. I could only tell he was alive by his breathing, luckily his nose had not sunk into the glue yet. I believe the others suffocated because I checked all of them after finding one alive, and all had their noses down in the glue.

    The poor little mouse did struggle as I tried to get him unstuck. It was a problem because I’d get one limb loose only to have him fight me and get it restuck. I only solved that problem by tearing up a cereal box to put between each part of him I freed and the glue. At one point he screamed because I was pulling up on his leg, but one toe was trapped at a weird angle under the cardboard I’d put down for the other leg, so I had to peel it back, soak in more warm water, and then free that leg. He certainly let me know when something hurt! By the end of the process he was exhausted and so was I. I didn’t have a cage, so I took down my light fixture from the ceiling and put some paper and some of Ivan’s hay, and some oatmeal and bits of apple and lettuce. I set him in it and he just sat there and looked up at me. I took a piece of oatmeal and set it right in his front paws and he took it and nibbled, very slowly and sadly, but he nibbled.

    So, here I was thinking that it was a good sign he was eating, but he was just so tiny and seemingly passive. So his great escape 2 days later was a surprise! For about 48 hours he slept and ate oatmeal and more or less ignored me, but after that he was like “So long!”

  6. Sean said,

    Re. the mouse, we have since learned using mineral oil would have worked much better to get a mouse free from a glue trap.

  7. Neva Vegan said,

    Hoss, are you saying that Singer doesn’t support a view that suffering is the main issue, not death? I admit I haven’t read Singer in a while, so I hope I don’t sound foolish, but I thought this was a fundamental difference between Singer and other animal rights philosophers.

    I do know that Singer also said something in an interview to the effect that sometimes when he eats out he is not completely vegan, though I’m not sure that was so much a statement of philosophy on his part, as it may have simply been a confession of personal weakness. I don’t know.

    The trouble really is, in my view, that while Singer is clearly highly intelligent, and sometimes does quite well in interviews, he sometimes seems to say foolish things that just can’t be supported. Think of the whole “Dear Pet” debacle–that was really a nightmare for the whole movement, though Singer I think later said he’d been misunderstood. Also his statements regarding severely disabled children were very offensive to some (to me in particular as someone who has worked with the disabled). Though I do know it wasn’t Singer’s intention to make light of people’s concerns or dismiss some lives as not being worth living. And I do agree with him in as much as I think people should be able to choose euthanasia for themselves if they reach that point. However, he certainly does seem to sometimes speak in the theoretical and ignore the practical…

    Well, that was off-topic. The main point was that I had been under the impression that Singer said we should be reducing suffering, and that death was an acceptable way to reduce suffering, and that death in and of itself was not a wrong to an animal as they don’t make long term plans or have a concept of what their death would mean, they don’t have a sense of the future…

    I should really just look this up, but if you have some quotes of his or links to articles that dispute this view I’d love to see them.

  8. Hoss said,

    Thanks for the tip about the mineral oil. Glue traps are just plain evil. Luckily I haven’t had to deal with them in many years, but once I worked in a Manhattan building where they were common.

    It was awful. We’d come in to work on monday, and there in the corner would be a mouse who had died from dehydration and fright over the weekend; we’d have to walk by his corpse all day long and try to pretend not to be traumatized.

    One day I found a poor guy still alive in one of the traps, convulsing vainly to escape — he was just left there to die, terrified. During a break I snuck him out of the office and did my best to free him in the time available — but it was slow work, very messy, and undoubtedly traumatic for him. By the end he was bleeding — probably from bits of skin ripped off his tiny feet and legs — and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d suffered broken bones, too.

    Even after all that he was still feisty and able to run, though, so I took him down to the subway and he quickly scampered off into the tunnel (where lots of healthy-looking rats live). I’m hoping the poor little guy had at least some sort of half-decent life there. 😦

    I felt so guilty after what he went through, but I couldn’t just leave him to linger there. Still, I resolved never to intervene again with a glue trap. But if it’s possible to weaken the glue with mineral oil, I’ll certainly give it a shot. Thanks for the great tip!

  9. Deb said,

    Yeah, I thought the whole point of utilitarianism was the “greater good”, with suffering being the measuring stick? Well, and numbers too. Singer has supported animal testing (some of which he recanted) and other things because you can put it in a mathmatical equation – kill 1 million animals to save 1 billion humans = acceptable. Or something along those lines.

    I am not a fan of his, but I do think his statement with regards to the disabled is often taken in a way he didn’t forsee. Which means he’s not communicating it clearly enough, and may mean that it was in the back of his mind. I can’t be sure. I haven’t read his stuff in a while either, but my impression of it was that he was saying basically…something like, if you experiment on animals because of their ‘lower intelligence’, that means with the same logic you would be able to justify doing experiments on babies and anyone who was mentally less developed than the average human adult. So when I read it, I didn’t get the feeling he was actually advocating that we go out and do this, but that he was attempting to point out the flaw in the logic that allows animal experimentation based on “intelligence” markers. Because of course no one actually thinks it is okay to experiment on babies! Granted he has no problem justifying it under utilitarianism, in general…

    James is academically logical, but I think that your emotional arguments are just as logical. The posts were excellent compliments to each other.

    And I think we need both kinds of arguments. We have the Temple Grandin’s telling people that they have insight into the emotions of animals, and use that to create their “happy slaughter”. So we definitely need posts like this, and posts like James’ as well.

    The emotional arguments always captured me first, but I know many people who were swayed purely by logical arguments. That was interesting to me – I hadn’t given it much thought, before I met them, but I know I’d assumed that everyone approached the issue from emotions first. But, as I should have known, everyone is different, and there is no one thing that will reach everyone in the same way.

  10. Hoss said,

    Hi Neva. My reading is that Singer focuses primarily on suffering (as opposed to killing) simply because he thinks that’s the clearest way to make a case for animal liberation without unnecessarily complicating the issue. (Even Gary Francione does this from time to time — in his Intro to Animal Rights, for example.)

    This doesn’t mean Singer thinks that killing is okay, of course. But the mere fact that he’s willing to acknowledge the complexity of the issue seems to cause a lot of confusion and unnecessary hostility from his critics.

    While I don’t have any of Singer’s books handy right now (I’m procrastinating at work!) his blurb in Jewcy from a few weeks back provides a good summary. Here’s a quote:

    I wrote Animal Liberation without ever appealing to arguments against killing—in fact I specifically set them aside, saying that they were more complicated, and not required for the case I was making against the way we treat animals.

    From quotes like this, some people jump to the conclusion that Singer must therefore think it’s okay to kill all members of the Animal Kingdom. He doesn’t.

    As you mentioned, I think Singer has acknowledged that he doesn’t know if there would be a problem with killing an animal who has no ability to have interest in the future or past, if that animal were somehow given a loving environment and a painless death. But he’s also quick to acknowledge that such a scenario is only a hypothetical — and certainly not a realistic option in a commercial enterprise.

    Please note that I’m not defending the idea that maybe it’s not a problem to painlessly kill an animal if it lives in an “eternal present” and has a good life. Personally, I really don’t know how to answer that question. I think it’s prudent to err on the side of safety whenever possible, even with invertebrate life forms.

  11. bazu said,

    Yes, yes. I take your point to heart, and it’s something I believe too. In most animals I see, whether my cats, or a farm animal, or an animal in the wild, what I’ve always noticed is a fierce will to live. That’s what really gets me, and why I’m a vegan- the idea of killing an animal in a slaughterhouse, an animal who wanted nothing less at that moment than to be killed (let alone the miserable life s/he lived up to that point) and then to ingest their flesh- all that pain, suffering, and fear. Something is so fundamentally wrong with that equation.

    I did have a very small brush with death once- a car accident, that turned out not to have been too severe. I remember as the other car hit ours, I did go into a calm shock, and afterward, I was convinced that if I had died at that moment I would not have felt any pain or fear. That comforted me just a little. I’m still afraid of death, my own and others’, but now I have the comfort of knowing that at least some people, like your uncle, probably go to their death calmly and bravely. I can only hope for as much.

  12. Neva Vegan said,

    So much to respond to.

    Deb, I was actually speaking of an interview (I read about it in the Washington Post) where Singer had said that he felt parents should be able to kill a severely disabled infant, as an act of euthanasia, soon after birth if they chose to. Now people sometimes withhold live support from babies too ill or too disabled to survive without it (this is often done with anencephaly for example, which is not survivable, but infants can be kept on life support if the parents choose to do it).

    The trouble with Singer’s comments are of course that many people alive today were born with the types of problems which might prompt “euthanasia” at birth. I have a friend who was born with a birth defect and the doctors told his parents that he’d never walk, never talk, never be potty-trained, etc. The doctors were simply wrong. He has health issues and mobility issues, but he lives independently and graduated college. But aside from the possibility of killing intelligent infants who happen to have a disability, some disability advocates simply don’t think other people can judge quality of life. Who is to say that a child with severe Downs syndrome isn’t possibly happier and more fulfilled in life than another person without a disability might be?

    I find myself somewhere in the middle on this one. I wouldn’t want to see any of my friends with various health problems or birth defects put to death obviously. On the other hand I knew a woman who kept her son alive into his teens even though his brain damage was so severe it was almost certain he never had what we would call awareness. I know she kept him alive from love, and he was able to breath on his own. But years in bed and being lifted sometimes into a wheel chair to go places, all the while seeming like he was asleep, it is not a life I’d want for myself. He did eventually die from the repeated infections he got, like most bedridden people will get.

    So had she wanted when he was younger to stop the feeding tubes or not treat an infection, I would not be able to say that choice was wrong.

    The trouble with how Singer said it, was that he really seemed to emphasize the idea the for some children loss of life might not be much of a loss (which offends parents of disabled kids, and the disabled who had been underestimated earlier on), and then makes it about costs, costs to parents, costs to society and so on. Which doesn’t really touch on the entire complexity of the issue. Yes, there are cases where the costs: emotional costs, traumatic costs, and financial costs may not be worth preserving a life indefinitely, but it still has to be addressed case by case and there have to be limits, so parents aren’t just killing kids that seem inconvenient to them.

  13. Neva Vegan said,

    Bazu, you are right. Even if the will to live is gone, when we’re the ones who stole it from that animal, that is just terrible. There’s simply no way to justify all the things done to animals. It’s hard to even think about it all.

    I guess I was just thinking of this one small aspect and how sometimes really smart people convince themselves of something illogical because they really want to believe it.

    Interesting about your experience. I do wonder how much of how we respond to crisis is biological and how much we learn, even if on some subconscious level. I don’t really know how to explain it all. Some people even see things, like lost relatives, during near death experiences… But of course that’s a whole different entry.

  14. Neva Vegan said,

    Hoss, I did read the link you gave me. It is interesting how people might try to use the critique that we’re “obsessed with death.” Because I really don’t think I am.

    I’m ok with death when I can be, but I just want to limit my own role in it and don’t understand how others justify participating in a system based on death. It’s not that I live in some magical world where nobody ever dies and the lions eat straw…

    Of course, if Singer says he simply isn’t addressing death because suffering is a sufficient argument, that’s kind of interesting. I agree it’s a compelling argument, but not the only one needed.

    When he says on the link that people tell him they lovingly raise their own animals and kill them without pain, he responds that he believes them and doesn’t want to call them liars. He brings the discussion back to the abuses in the bulk of the industry.

    I believe that small farmers believe they love their animals and treat them well, and I believe that it’s better than a factory farm. However, since I grew up in such an environment I still have objections.

    For one the animals are killed at a very young age. We’re not talking about an animal that lives a long, happy life and then is killed quite painlessly, they are often slaughtered at one year or even younger. Many people keep sheep and kill lambs that are practically newborns because the meat is so tender–so what life did that lamb have and how does the mother ewe deal with seeing her babies slaughtered year after year?

    Also, though small farmers claim to love their animals, they don’t love them so much that they don’t sometimes sell them to terrible final ends, such as sending out used up milk cows knowing they will die terrible deaths, or selling baby male calves, knowing they might wind up in veal crates. It’s still a business after all. They might hate those aspects, but they will still do them as it brings profit.

    My parents also kept bunnies for angora fiber. If you asked them, they’d swear the bunnies were beloved pampered pets who happened to give lovely wool. But they screamed when my mother yanked out their fur (she called it plucking), and they lived in tiny outdoor hutches. Having companion rabbits myself, I know how complex, intelligent, and loving bunnies are, so I don’t think my parents treated theirs well at all. Still my parents did treat their rabbits better than many of their “small farmer” friends who kept more rabbits or bred them for profit. I visited one such small farm to find bunnies essentially in battery cages in a dank shed.

    Anyway, I’m not arguing with you or Singer, just making some observations. I do think we need to keep death as a harm in the discussion, though clearly it is trickier to discuss than when we merely talk about pain.

  15. Hoss said,

    Just to be a nitpick (sorry, it’s my nature) I should point out that Singer doesn’t say he wants to believe some people who claim they raise their own animals lovingly (whatever that means), but rather, he “suppose[s] it is possible” and “can’t call them liars”. It’s a case of damning with faint praise, so to speak.

    My guess is that he’s also trying to avoid making unsupportable claims because doing so would give some omnivorous readers an easy excuse to ignore the suffering argument.

    In any case, even though I can’t make a strong case to defend the view, I do agree with you about the problem with killing.

  16. Vivacious Vegan said,

    I have been thinking about this a lot lately. My husband and I are watching the BBC Planet Earth series on DVD and of course they show the beautiful landscape, plants, and trees but they also show animals. And often the animals in their natural setting are on the hunt. The common point to all of the hunts are that NO animal just rolls over and gives up. NO animal succumbs to being eaten by another willingly. They always run, fly, or swim for their life. ALWAYS. Every creature on this earth from the small tadpoles to the giant elephants has a desire to live. Obviously in a perfect world there would be no suffering, ever. All animals would be able to live out long and peaceful lives sustained by abundant sources of plant food. But that’s not how nature works. Tigers are carnivores. They have no alternative. They simply will not survive in the wild unless they find an animal to eat. Humans, on the other hand have alternatives. We can survive (and thrive) without having to resort to eating animals (like our ancestors did). I don’t know why more people just don’t get this. Why they think that because the animal was allowed to roam free on a ranch for a year that that constitutes peace and compassion. How they can justify death so long as it is quick and painless. If I think about these things too long it makes me cry.

  17. Vivacious Vegan said,

    Oh, by the way, I just read your profile and liked your comment about the duct tape sculpture. Have you seen the email circulating with the scotch tape sculptures? It’s really cool. If you haven’t seen it, let me know and I’ll email you.

  18. Neva Vegan said,

    Thank you Vivacious Vegan! Yes, in an ideal world there would be no suffering or at least as little as possible. I really draw a distinction between human beings and “a natural order” though. Our population is so large, our technology so advanced that our ability to inflict harm, suffering and death is so magnified. If a tiger kills one animal and eats him, that’s nothing compared to human beings who might eat an animal or even parts of several at every single meal. Plus, as you say, we don’t need it at all to survive. I think about the news story that said in a decade the oceans will simply be empty–that’s something only humans could do. Sharks were never going to kill every sea creature on the planet, but we’re getting close.

  19. Neva Vegan said,

    Yes, Hoss, you’re right, it’s likely a more polite way to avoid the topic. And naturally I’m sure on this huge planet there’s some exception to every rule. I just don’t like to accept at face value when farming advocates talk about going back to the “good old days” or imply that if something is run by a family it must be a good thing.

  20. Neva Vegan said,

    Thanks Vivacious Vegan–I did see the scotch tape sculptures. They are amazing. I don’t think I would have the steady hands to do that though!


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