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Thread: Dual standards in animal welfare

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    Dual standards in animal welfare

    A man in California has been jailed for 16 years after admitting he stole and tortured cats, killing 18 of them.

    The name of each cat killed by Robert Farmer, 26, was read out to him by the judge in Santa Clara Superior Court.

    Cat killer jailed for 16 years in San Jose, California - BBC News
    What on earth is this 16 year sentence for? The theft of 18 cats, replacement value as new perhaps $5,000?

    This is in a country where the commercial slaughter of steers, heifers and cows exceeds 25 million every year, all of which are killed without anyone getting prosecuted. What possible value do Americans place on non-primate mammalian life given that single fact.

    16 years is an absolute disgrace to the nation, the sentence shouldn't have gone beyond community service and a permanent ban on owning lifeforms.
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    Re: Dual standards in animal welfare

    Did you miss the word Tortured ?
    I thought I knew more than this until I opened my mouth

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    Re: Dual standards in animal welfare

    No, I didn't miss it. You're suggesting these 25 million cattle a year are all unaware of what's happening in the abattoir?
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    Re: Dual standards in animal welfare

    I think you are not differentiating sufficiently between killing done for a good social purpose - feeding people - where standards are at least supposed to be enforced and can be improved (no doubt) and the killing of cats for the purpose of causing pain only. I think it does make a difference.

    Add the hint of sexual gratification and he sounds very dangerous to me. We can argue about whether we should be locking up people considered dangers to the public before they actually harm someone, as well.
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    Re: Dual standards in animal welfare

    Quote Originally Posted by Clodhopper View Post
    Add the hint of sexual gratification and he sounds very dangerous to me.
    I note there was insufficient evidence to charge or convict him on that insinuation, I see no reason why it should be raised as a canard at this stage. Had it been an allegation worthy of consideration by the court then evidence would have been tested during the proceedings. That didn't happen. I'd call it mud-slinging.

    You offer feeding people as an example of killing done for a good social purpose but you do so with no reference to morality, merely utility. Killing enemy combatants during war is a matter of utility but that doesn't make it moral. Exterminating civilians for the purpose of lebensraum is a matter of utility but that doesn't make it moral. Similarly, reducing wild species in order to appropriate the land or sea they live on is utilitarian but immoral.

    Humankind recently started to reverse its assault on the ozone layer, to put the planet back into a clean state. It's starting to do the same on greenhouse emissions. I think the principle can be taken further. I think we should aim to have a negligible impact on the planet as a whole. That means giving the surface back to every other species in a sustainable state and it means not polluting or harming any other species. It's not a matter of extending rights, it's a matter of custodial responsibility. Beyond just allowing them to remain alive as other species it means not domesticating them and not using them as a resource.

    How far should this protection be extended? Just primates? All mammals? Even to that limited range there would be outcriers wanting to eliminate rats. There are two problems with rats, we've fed them and we've spread them. By all means exterminate them from habitats they never occupied before we took them there, that's cleaning up a mess. By all means stop throwing millions of tons of waste food annually into their environment and making their numbers explode. Those issues aren't the fault of the rats, they're our mistakes. The rat as a species has as much moral right to its natural environment as we do. As far as I'm concerned the same goes for anything that employs naturally-evolved DNA and reproduces.

    The law recognizes a category of "crimes against humanity" and treats it as an intolerable affront. I'd like it to recognize an even more heinous crime, "crime against life", and condemn it to at least the same extent. If it needs a scale then species extinction tops the list, species domestication might come next and the wholesale slaughter of mammals, reptiles, birds or fish for food one step down again. Herds of cows are an abomination. Torturing eighteen domesticated cats to death is absolutely insignificant by contrast with any of this.
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    Re: Dual standards in animal welfare

    I think when you look at a case such as this it's not just a legal but a clinical matter and the hint of sexual gratification is relevant there from a diagnostic point of view. From a legal point of view the charge is torture - any sexual element is merely incidental.

    I think my concern here is that there isn't any psychological input, at least not mentioned in the report, when he looks to me to be at high risk of becoming a very nasty serial killer of people if no intervention takes place. Next stop liver and chianti.

    I'm not sure how certain it is that someone who starts on cats will graduate to humans. Hmm. I'll see what I can find.

    edit: A quick look suggests that this sort of behaviour is quite strongly associated with serial sexual and homicidal offenders. The rough figure seems to be between a third and a half of those offenders had animal torture and sexual abuse of animals in their background. But the samples are all small, the range of offenders included not always the same...the figures can be no more than indicative at best.
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    Re: Dual standards in animal welfare

    Quote Originally Posted by spot View Post
    I note there was insufficient evidence to charge or convict him on that insinuation, I see no reason why it should be raised as a canard at this stage. Had it been an allegation worthy of consideration by the court then evidence would have been tested during the proceedings. That didn't happen. I'd call it mud-slinging.

    You offer feeding people as an example of killing done for a good social purpose but you do so with no reference to morality, merely utility. Killing enemy combatants during war is a matter of utility but that doesn't make it moral. Exterminating civilians for the purpose of lebensraum is a matter of utility but that doesn't make it moral. Similarly, reducing wild species in order to appropriate the land or sea they live on is utilitarian but immoral.

    Humankind recently started to reverse its assault on the ozone layer, to put the planet back into a clean state. It's starting to do the same on greenhouse emissions. I think the principle can be taken further. I think we should aim to have a negligible impact on the planet as a whole. That means giving the surface back to every other species in a sustainable state and it means not polluting or harming any other species. It's not a matter of extending rights, it's a matter of custodial responsibility. Beyond just allowing them to remain alive as other species it means not domesticating them and not using them as a resource.

    How far should this protection be extended? Just primates? All mammals? Even to that limited range there would be outcriers wanting to eliminate rats. There are two problems with rats, we've fed them and we've spread them. By all means exterminate them from habitats they never occupied before we took them there, that's cleaning up a mess. By all means stop throwing millions of tons of waste food annually into their environment and making their numbers explode. Those issues aren't the fault of the rats, they're our mistakes. The rat as a species has as much moral right to its natural environment as we do. As far as I'm concerned the same goes for anything that employs naturally-evolved DNA and reproduces.

    The law recognizes a category of "crimes against humanity" and treats it as an intolerable affront. I'd like it to recognize an even more heinous crime, "crime against life", and condemn it to at least the same extent. If it needs a scale then species extinction tops the list, species domestication might come next and the wholesale slaughter of mammals, reptiles, birds or fish for food one step down again. Herds of cows are an abomination. Torturing eighteen domesticated cats to death is absolutely insignificant by contrast with any of this.
    I think you assume mankind has risen to your level of moral exactitude. It hasn't .......not yet......I doubt it ever will.

    The Bushman of Africa are far more pragmatic.

    There is a type of arrogance where you apportion mankind custodial responsibility of the earth, most people don't have custodial responsibility of their own lives for heavens sake.

    How some nutter torturing cats to death sent your mind on this tangent no one can know.........................why not the UK acid attacks or throwing gays off buildings ?
    I thought I knew more than this until I opened my mouth

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    Re: Dual standards in animal welfare

    Quote Originally Posted by Clodhopper View Post
    this sort of behaviour is quite strongly associated with serial sexual and homicidal offenders. The rough figure seems to be between a third and a half of those offenders had animal torture and sexual abuse of animals in their background..
    The lack of association there is distressing. It's not what proportion of serial sexual and homicidal offenders have animal torture and sexual abuse of animals in their background, it's what proportion of people with animal torture and sexual abuse of animals in their background become serial sexual and homicidal offenders. I'd suggest the second, relevant, ratio is smaller by several orders of magnitude, and this lower ratio is the association you're trying to make. It would be hard to make chiefly because very few people with animal torture and sexual abuse of animals in their background are counted, detected or known about. I'd be surprised if fewer than a million adult males in the UK had such an event in their past, while the number of serial sexual and homicidal offenders must be fewer than one in a hundred of those - in other words at least 99% failed to make the progression you've suggested.
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    Re: Dual standards in animal welfare

    You offer feeding people as an example of killing done for a good social purpose but you do so with no reference to morality, merely utility. Killing enemy combatants during war is a matter of utility but that doesn't make it moral. Exterminating civilians for the purpose of lebensraum is a matter of utility but that doesn't make it moral. Similarly, reducing wild species in order to appropriate the land or sea they live on is utilitarian but immoral.

    Humankind recently started to reverse its assault on the ozone layer, to put the planet back into a clean state. It's starting to do the same on greenhouse emissions. I think the principle can be taken further. I think we should aim to have a negligible impact on the planet as a whole. That means giving the surface back to every other species in a sustainable state and it means not polluting or harming any other species. It's not a matter of extending rights, it's a matter of custodial responsibility. Beyond just allowing them to remain alive as other species it means not domesticating them and not using them as a resource.

    How far should this protection be extended? Just primates? All mammals? Even to that limited range there would be outcriers wanting to eliminate rats. There are two problems with rats, we've fed them and we've spread them. By all means exterminate them from habitats they never occupied before we took them there, that's cleaning up a mess. By all means stop throwing millions of tons of waste food annually into their environment and making their numbers explode. Those issues aren't the fault of the rats, they're our mistakes. The rat as a species has as much moral right to its natural environment as we do. As far as I'm concerned the same goes for anything that employs naturally-evolved DNA and reproduces.

    The law recognizes a category of "crimes against humanity" and treats it as an intolerable affront. I'd like it to recognize an even more heinous crime, "crime against life", and condemn it to at least the same extent. If it needs a scale then species extinction tops the list, species domestication might come next and the wholesale slaughter of mammals, reptiles, birds or fish for food one step down again. Herds of cows are an abomination. Torturing eighteen domesticated cats to death is absolutely insignificant by contrast with any of this.
    Added since I replied to the first para above.

    Oh, ok, you can argue that all our interference with the natural world is wrong and should be reversed. It's a position, I'll grant you.

    I was focussed on this case and rather concerned that there's no sign a very dangerous person is being recognised as what he is.

    I don't regard farming or hunting for food as naturally immoral, though they can be done immorally. Your argument seems to me to be a reduction to the absurd, useful as a way of pointing out that perhaps we don't need to farm animals, but of little value beyond that because we live in a real world where we can't just click our fingers, wipe out domesticated cattle and replace with soy or something. Making ordinary life throughout history and prehistory criminally immoral doesn't help any issue.

    The big issue behind all this is birth control.
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    Re: Dual standards in animal welfare

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    Quote Originally Posted by spot View Post
    [indent][I]A man in California has been jailed for 16 years after admitting he stole and tortured cats, killing 18 of them.

    16 years is an absolute disgrace to the nation, the sentence shouldn't have gone beyond community service and a permanent ban on owning lifeforms.
    This case is a relatively local one, so there has been a lot of coverage and public emotion.

    The guy stole 21 cats from people. That's 21 cases of theft. He also tortured and killed them in violation of local and state laws regarding treatment of animals. So, we're talking about 42-63 crimes. The evaluation by the court ordered psychiatrist didn't help his case.

    he had a “profound lack of empathy and remorse” for his crimes and “significant anger” toward his family. The doctor also considered him a possible danger to the community, with a prognosis for recovery that was “poor, with potential escalation to higher life forms in the future.”
    link to local article :http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/07/1...lling-21-cats/

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