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Can we equivocate human pain to animal pain?

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by alaskandream, 02.19.12.

  1. alaskandream

    alaskandream UC Davis c/o 2016!!!!

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    Current law says that the concept of "pain" is only applicable to humans because it is a physical AND emotional response. Instead, we call it "nociception," which I feel does not carry the same weight that a word like "pain" does. This is one the reasons why people and organizations who commit animal cruelty are hard to prosecute. I myself find it difficult to say that animals do not experience pain the same way that humans do, and I'm sure that I'm preaching to choir here, but I wanted to see what you all thought. I also posted this same question in the Pre-Med forum so it will be interesting to see the variations (or similarities) in responses.
  2. squirrelsrule

    squirrelsrule Ohio State CVM c/o 2016!

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    I definitely think animals feel pain and react negatively like we do. I think it is worse for them than us because they don't have any way of knowing that it will get better. They live in the moment so much that I imagine recovering from surgery is worse for them than us. We know the surgery was to make us better and know we'll feel better in time, but I don't think animals understand all that.
  3. bigkittinteef

    bigkittinteef Dick Vet c/o 2016

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    Not to lessen the severity of harming animals by any means, but I was under the impression that many animals have a fraction of the pain receptors that humans have. This would mean that pain for us is very different than it is for our pets. Maybe a current vet student or vet can weigh in on this statement? I'd like to know if this is true.
  4. bunnity

    bunnity Penn 2014

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    The only mention of "less pain receptors" we've had is the naked mole rat (actually it's that they don't have substance P). So as far as I know that's not true, but I would also like to hear from other vet students.

    @ the OP, what do you mean by current law? Is there a specific law? Just curious because there are many physical manifestations of pain (increased heart rate, increased respiratory rate, altered behavior or stance, and many more) so it is is possible to know that an animal is in pain without it being able to speak to us.
  5. breenie

    breenie Weenie 2015

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    If you talk to a horse, it will tell you that it has 1,000x the number of pain receptors of any other animal and that any sort of unpleasant touch can send it into hysterics.

    Or maybe that's just my opinion on horses' response to pain... :p
  6. StartingoverVet

    StartingoverVet Flight Instructor for hire Gold Donor

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    Probably should change the title of thread. I think you misunderstand what the word equivocate means (or confuse it with equate).

    And the issue really comes down to "do animals have emotions?"
  7. CorporateFatCat

    CorporateFatCat UC Davis c/o 2016

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    This is a heavily debated topic in animal ethics. Truth is though that I can't even equivocate what I would consider pain with anyone else. I am only in account for my own consciousness and no one else's. Equivocation of pain between the species would be pointless, I think.

    However, years ago scientists believed that fish did not have the appropriate physiology to feel pain. Now, they have found evidence to support that fish do indeed have the ability to feel pain.
  8. heylodeb

    heylodeb UC Davis c/o 2015 :)

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    I've been using the word equivocate wrong my entire life. Sadness


    As for the post. Yes, I believe animals feel "pain" due to the similar physiological responses that humans have when something painful occurs. I have never heard that animals have less pain receptors.

    We are in our neuro block in school right now and we are being taught to use the word nociception instead of pain and I think that is fine. The animal can't say "I am in pain" and so we have to infer it from their actions and responses. A human is able to tell us that they experience what they consider to be pain (different for each person) and so we can use the word pain. Does anyone know if they use the word nociception when referring to comatose or unresponsive humans?
  9. Trematode

    Trematode

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    People still think that goldfish have 4 second memories :rolleyes:.
  10. alaskandream

    alaskandream UC Davis c/o 2016!!!!

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    Yeah, I don't know if there/are specific laws that define how one would measure pain. I've just been told in different classes that "animal pain" is not recognized in courts.
  11. yann

    yann

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    I was under the impression that if an organism is a vertebrate, it would feel pain. Or are we discussing the combination of emotional suffering with physical pain?

    Also animals do not have the various kinds of stigma that we humans have with pain. For example, when we see a needle or think of a needle we instinctively imagine that stabbing sensation and the pain that courses through our arm. But animals do not have that stigma attached to the sight of a needle, so while they may feel a poke, they probably don't "feel" it as much as we do. I base this upon observation working at an animal hospital for the past year and a half. Most don't even bat an eye when I poke em with needles for blood draws or vaccines.

    The vets I work with also said that animals are a lot tougher than us. I think this is true too..obviously this is a more subjective opinion rather than an objective one so you can disregard this if you like. But while us humans know how to communicate by language and know exactly the right things to say or do to gain attention when we are in physical stress, animals do not. I'm not very knowledgeable about the science of animal behavior, but my understanding thus far is that animals endure physical pain better than humans. We might just as well be experiencing the exact same pain, but our reaction would be different simply because of the different nature of us humans as opposed to say, a dog or cat. We want to be nurtured and we want the attention and we feel it best to show the people around us the pain we are feeling so we can get better; animals on the other hand don't exactly work that way.

    Feel free to oppose this opinion though, since I just wrote this off the top of my head and I know there are a lot of ambiguity and generalizations and lack of scientific facts/data.

    Gotta say though, I am loving this topic.
  12. alaskandream

    alaskandream UC Davis c/o 2016!!!!

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    Yea, I probably meant equate :p. But sadly since I'm new to SDN I have no clue how to changes the title of the thread :(.
  13. yann

    yann

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    Ooh, I want to add something else.

    This gets more social science bordering philosphy, but when we think "I am feeling pain" we are conscious of the existence of pain. We have a word for it, which identifies it as something that exists. But animals do not have a word for it. They cannot have the same level of consciousness of pain as we do, because in their minds "pain" is not an existence because it is not identified on a conscious level. So if they are not "conscious" of this word "pain" and the existence of it, then do they have the same level of emotional/physical stress that we have? As in, do they feel pain the way we do?

    I hope I am making sense here. My humanities background is putting my mind into a more social science base than hard fact science. Let me know if I am not making much sense, and I will try to clarify.
  14. Trematode

    Trematode

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    Some inverts feel pain too. I remember reading a study a while back that concluded that lobsters do feel pain. Also, they wouldn't classify cephlopods as vertebrates when used in research if they were not unlike us in some way with regards to pain.
  15. bigkittinteef

    bigkittinteef Dick Vet c/o 2016

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    I have to say at least some animals do have visual cues that remind them of "stigmas" regarding pain. I've been giving my cat subQ fluids every night the past 10months, for his chronic renal failure and he hates it (it hurts more than it used to unfortunately). When he sees me get the fluids bag out, his eyes get huge and he tries to hobble to a hiding place as quick as can be. They know when something can cause pain from their memories, just like us.
  16. Fly Racing

    Fly Racing

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    I don't have the dog and cat experience you do, so I can't speak to that, but I will add my equine perspective.

    Have you ever seen a horse rear up when the needle comes out on their 3rd day of daily iv or im shots? I've seen all sorts of variations of reactions horses have with seeing the cap come off a needle, from nothing (hopefully), to a "I'm going to kill you if I need to to get out of here" reaction. I absolutely believe horses have the ability to associate a needle with the pain of the stick. What you can see is the first time you do something, they don't react until the pain is actually occuring. We can't speak to them and say, "this is going to hurt a bit", so I wouldn't assume an animal is going to scared before it first experiences something. The reasons humans can be afraid before we acutally experience something, is because we've told something will (or even might) hurt and it makes us emotional :laugh:

    I do think it is too easy to generalize that an animal (and I'm specifically refering to domesticated animals/pets) doesn't feel pain the way we do, just because we don't have the ability to understand what they are telling us. And many animals will put up with a lot (just like stoic human patients; if you didn't ask, "what is your pain level?" You may assume they don't feel pain like you or "I' do)

    I think this specific topic (my first paragraph) is more of a debate of animal intelligence than their ability to feel pain.
  17. SilverSpyderGT

    SilverSpyderGT Veterinarian/Engineer

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    This is a particularly important topic in the lab animal field, so I will chime in with my two cents.

    Animal species vary in their ability to sense pain. In general, mammals (especially high level mammals, such as primates) are physiolologically similar to humans, and it can be reasonably expected that a procedure that would be painful to a human is likely painful to an animal. The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (8th ed.) explicitly states this:

    There is also the consideration that some animals (prey species, in particular, such as mice and rabbits) are particularly stoic and do not overtly show signs of pain in order to avoid appearing weak to predators (including large, omnivorous primates, i.e., humans). There was an interesting paper in Nature Methods about different facial expressions shown by mice in response to various noxious stimuli (Langford, Dale J., et al. "Coding of facial expressions of pain in the laboratory mouse. Nature Methods 7(6): 447-449).

    The lines become a little blurry in amphibians, birds, fish, and reptiles, and blurrier still in invertebrates. However, the most appropriate position, in my opinion, is to provide pain relief in conjunction with any procedure which can reasonably be expected to be painful and/or to complete a procedure as painlessly as possible, unless either of these things interferes with an experiment's scientific aim(s) (the last clause is applicable in research situations only, of course). The best course of action is to err on the side of caution.
  18. Esidence

    Esidence AU-CVM c/o 2015

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    You make sense (in that I understand what you said) but you don't make sense. I want to take your response in sections:

    "This gets more social science bordering philosphy, but when we think "I am feeling pain" we are conscious of the existence of pain. We have a word for it, which identifies it as something that exists. But animals do not have a word for it. They cannot have the same level of consciousness of pain as we do, because in their minds "pain" is not an existence because it is not identified on a conscious level."

    How do we know they don't have a "word" for pain, or rather, how do we know their consciousness. One problem I have with humanities trying to pry into animal ethics relm is that many of them do NOT have the animal experiences neccessary to give them a point of view other than, "I'm a human, and everthing else is lower than me." Someone also hit on the idea that animals don't have as much "weight" associated with the pain (like the needle examples.) I think that pain is probably worse for animals because when we inflict it on them with a purpose in mind (like surgery) they probably don't associate an end to it, so it is probably harder on them.

    "So if they are not "conscious" of this word "pain" and the existence of it, then do they have the same level of emotional/physical stress that we have? As in, do they feel pain the way we do?"

    Someone also hit on the idea that animals don't have as much "weight" associated with the pain (like the needle examples.) I think that pain is probably worse for animals because when we inflict it on them with a purpose in mind (like surgery) they probably don't associate an end to it, so it is probably harder on them.

    Those are my thoughts. I would also recommend the works of Bernard Rollins whom I've had the privilage of hearing speak a few times. He is a philosopher with a great insight into animals who is a pioneer in these questions. Anyway, those are my two cents.
  19. alaskandream

    alaskandream UC Davis c/o 2016!!!!

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    So to come full circle, does anyone know why there isn't more importance put on this when it comes to animal cruelty cases? Yet in regards to lab animal practices it seems to me that it is one of the most important things in consideration?
  20. alaskandream

    alaskandream UC Davis c/o 2016!!!!

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    I'll have to check him out, thanks for the recommendation :)
  21. yann

    yann

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    I don't disagree with you at all. Like I've stated in my previous post, I have next to no knowledge regarding the science of animal behavior, and my comments are not hard-set belief of mine..just a thought that arose and wanted to introduce. I don't disregard their sense of pain, of fear, of anxiety and stress, but I just wanted to point out a possible perspective that could be examined. I agree that like others have mentioned previously, because they live moment by moment unlike us who see time as linear and situations to be only temporary, their pain can be mixed in with unknown fear that it would never end. I can completely understand how this could sometimes be worse. Kind of like having a horrible hang over where you're puking non-stop the next morning and it feels like it'll never end; I definitely live in that moment only and feel like it'll go on forever. Despite my better judgement, fear is a definite factor. Yes, bad example, but man, that Halloween night sophomore year in college was the best and worst day of my life.
    I will look into Bernard Rollins. Thanks for the tip!



    alaskandream, I think it's mainly because society hasn't reached the stage where most of us are at; as in, the idea that animals are not simply objects or tools but are living beings with the same capability of feeling and expressing emotions and experiencing pain and fear. People's awareness are rising for sure, but generally amongst those that are in close proximity with animals in their daily life. In the end, this is an anthro-centric society we live in and animal cruelty cases I do not think are taken into serious consideration, relatively speaking, in terms of public opinion. I still get people asking me whether I am an active supporter of PETA. And that's cynicism, not a genuine question.

    Here's to hoping it will in the next 10-20 years. As a country progresses, so shall the lives of those most vulnerable.
  22. Dsmoody23

    Dsmoody23

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    It seems like you could make the case that an animal has a more profound 'pain' response than we do.

    Animals lack the capability to rationalize pain, especially when it's imposed from an external source. Human pain can be mentally rationalized in a way that (I don't think) animal pain can.

    Animal pain, to me, is the coupling of physical discomfort and fear. Fear comes from not feeling a sense of control over the situation or not feeling as if flight is an option. I'm sure we've all had experience with a dog/cat who panics in response to minor pain while under restraint (blood draws, nail trims etc.) but who is capable of remaining calm for the same procedure with minimal restraint. I've never seen a person in a hospital go into a completely animal fear response when the needle goes in, but I've seen dozens of cats climb the walls to escape.

    It's not just the specific site of physical pain, it's the entire experience that fall under the 'pain' definition, in my opinion. And because we can't always effectively communicate a sense of safety with them, to eliminate that fear response, I think they experience pain to a degree that we don't.
  23. Esidence

    Esidence AU-CVM c/o 2015

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    Not sure where (or if) this fits here, but there is another subject becoming more popular. What class do we give our pets? Are they our property, and as such you can't be "cruel" to a lawnmower? Are they our wards, as in the type of relationship that a gaurdian has? If so, how can we make any decision without their "consent" and how can we punish them and train them or use them as working animals without all the red tape that you would also need to put a child to work? I think society has made leaps and bounds in the area of animal cruelty prevention and relief due to the efforts of many like B.E. Rollins and Temple Grandin (another nice read) but sometimes I wonder if we will go too far. While I think that the founders of PETA and ALF are crazy, I don't think many of their members are. One thing I have to constantly remind myself is not to judge someone on them "being a PETA member" because I would bet my last dollar they don't REALLY know what ALL the organization endorses!
  24. Esidence

    Esidence AU-CVM c/o 2015

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    Also, I was wondering if you wouldn't mind posting a link to that thread. I would love to see what the pre-"real doctors" think of this...

    Edit: Nevermind, I found it ;)
    Last edited: 02.19.12
  25. alaskandream

    alaskandream UC Davis c/o 2016!!!!

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    for anyone else who wants to see/weigh in on the pre-med ideology here's the link:

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=890929
  26. Trematode

    Trematode

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    Are we talking about all animals here or just companion animals?
    Because if we think companion animals have it bad under the legal umbrella, livestock and lab animals have it worse. Yeah yeah, a person may not go into fear response when a needle is jabbed into them at a hospital, but I bet you they would exhibit the same fear (pain) responses as livestock when put into that situation (because we all know that most livestock are not peacefully brought into the barn and shot in the head).

    I do not mean to muddy the waters.

    I went to a lecture several years ago about animals in the law. The only thing that stood out to me is that animals are considered property and thus have the same rights as property.

    Google gave me this article: http://www.animallaw.info/articles/arusgfrancione1996.htm

    It seems as convoluted as ****. Interesting none the less.
    Basically, if we keep making excuses for one group of animals to be treated differently than another, it becomes more difficult to reach the realm where certain animals are not seen as property.
    Last edited: 02.19.12
  27. K9DANE

    K9DANE VMRCVM c/o 2017

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    Typically (on the day-to-day assessments, reports, charting and rounds) no, they do not. I would imagine the neuro docs may use it (if anyone does); however, I've never seen it in any patient chart (not even an initial neuro consult.)
  28. libster06

    libster06 Crank a wank!

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    I'm curious as to why you would say that is the real issue? Pain is real, and has been established in animals in some way, without knowing scientifically whether animals have emotions. Whether they do or not is certainly up for debate, because of the immeasurability of an "emotion" but pain among has been established scientifically without having to establish emotional capacity first...

    Agreed. There is established variability among species, and thus its extremely difficult to really say whether animals have similar, more or less pain than humans. Or even other animals. Cows are known for being incredibly stoic while being affected with or under what humans would consider an incredible amount of pain or severe illness. Whether they are horribly miserable and just not showing it, we don't know and have yet to be able to determine.

    But I think it can be safely assumed that something like after cutting open an animal for surgery, they would be in a considerable amount of pain. I can't imagine a broken leg feeling much less painful either.

    Interesting theory, but I also propose that, as you mentioned pain + fear together are what drives an animal in "pain", the fear may be greater than the pain, rather than the pain being a more profound response. However, it's hard to consider either, without anthropomorphizing our pain thresholds onto animals to determine. Ex: as a human, getting blood drawn isn't fun, but it's tolerable. If an animal gets blood drawn and happens to flip out, I (having experienced a blood draw myself) am inclined to think "well, even though getting blood drawn hurts, it doesn't hurt THAT bad, and it's probably making it hurt even worse because the animal is freaking out!" So, I don't know if it's that the animal is more sensitive to pain or just so fearful that it acts a fool.
  29. lostbunny

    lostbunny

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    I'm just a bit hung up on where you're getting this current law... and maybe the concept of pain depends on your location in the world. People are prosecuted against animal cruelty over here, and just recently some guy purposely swerved to hit a line of ducks 'waddling across the road' (as was described on the news). A couple of them were squished and the person was tracked down and was fined:

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/a...-after-driving-over-ducks-20120128-1qmty.html

    A puppy was found around Christmas time that had been beaten and thrown in the garbage- though no one has been prosecuted, this is only because the person hasn't been found, but if they are they'll be charged $22 000:

    http://www.northernstar.com.au/story/2011/12/13/injured-puppy-has-fighting-chance-rspca/

    Back home in Canada, a few puppy mills had recently been busted and the owners were prosecuted, though they weren't really inflicting direct 'pain' on the animals.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/story/2011/11/24/ottawa-lachute-puppy-mill.html

    These are just a few personal examples... but you get the idea. So I'm just curious as to why and how you can say that people who commit animal cruelty are hard to be prosecuted? What organizations are you referring to that commit animal cruelty?
    Last edited: 02.21.12
  30. sumstorm

    sumstorm

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    Actually, most lab animals have better protections of their needs and pain management than pets in the home environment. As far as I know, in most jurisdictions, there isn't a minimum space, food, water, or exercise requirement for most species of pets. Additionally, have you gone to slaughter houses? If they are set up correctly (aka Temple Grandin's style) the cows quite happily stand in quiet, peaceful lines awaiting their own death. I still find it gruesome, but saying they aren't behaving peacefully or that they are shot in the head are often gross misrepresentations (I don't even know many farmers that would risk shooting a cow in the head, bullets are dangerous.)

    Not all of us object to animals as property. I firmly believe that domesticated animals are property and that wild animals have an intrinsic value to the public. I do think there needs to be a category of property that recognizes living property.
  31. Trematode

    Trematode

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    How many slaughterhouses run in that style? Not very many, I take it. I doubt the pictures I see in class of feedlot animals get time to romp in the green before meeting their maker.
    The vet students here used to be required to make a visit to a slaughterhouse. Until, a cow with a slit throat got away. The trip is no longer required.
    Stick a human in that situation, and they will likely react the same way as the cow.
  32. Bisbee

    Bisbee

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    Some thoughts: Just as we are mammals, so are our pets (cats and dogs are the main animals with which I've had experience). We are all neurologically wired similarly. Although they cannot speak to tell us what they feel, I've always felt (and observed) that any form of touch seems to feel the same to them as it does to me. It's interesting to read about all the ways they may be different in perceiving pain (emotions relating to fear or how they may not "show" pain as a survival mechanism). However, whenever I have worked with animals (or even with my own pets) I've always worked under the assumption that whatever would cause me pain would also cause pain to them. It pains me (emotionally, now) when I hear people who hunt deer or other animals say that "they don't feel pain the way humans do." I don't know where they get their information from, but maybe it's their way of rationalizing what they are doing. I'm sure the same attitude must prevail among slaughterhouse workers in order to be able to do that job.
  33. Minnerbelle

    Minnerbelle Moderator Emeritus

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    All beef sources for McDonalds and Wendy's are supposed to adhere to her standards, which is actually kind of a lot. They get audited based on her standards (which is a system based on having high standards while allowing for a small percentage of mistakes so that plants can improve instead of being set up to fail).

    Since when did Temple Grandin style include "romp in the green before meeting their maker"? And who said that was necessary for humane slaughter?

    Her philosophy is that cattle probably don't have a clue that they're going to be killed while waiting their turn, therefore you can achieve humane slaughter by keeping them relaxed and not scared as they move through the line in the slaughterhouse until they're knocked out by a captive bolt before they even know what hit them. According to her, the next cow would even come over and sniff the blood on the ground and be like "eh," and if anything what would scare her is the reflection of light off that blood puddle. Apparently it is really quiet as some very low number of "moos" (<5% if I remember correctly) is allowed for a processing plant to pass an audit. A vast majority of the cattle just walk on their own accord very quietly to the stunner. If something scares the cattle such that over 5% (I think) need to be prodded, then the plant fails the audit too. It's rather eerie and disturbing to me how that works (like some creepy horror movie ), but I wouldn't automatically assume that everything is totally inhumane and awful. I think skepticism is great, because afterall, that's how animal welfare tends to progress... but I think it's also important to be able to objectively assess situations without too much speculation.

    Now, I'm sure the system's not perfect, and it's definitely not 100% suffering-free. But that being said, most operations are far from the animals are just dangling half alive and the workers do it on purpose for shiz and giggles that a lot of people make it out to be.
  34. PetPony

    PetPony Rawr :*

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    I'm reading one of her books about that right now and I really like that part about it. It's gonna be impossible to make it perfect so often times people don't even want to try to make it perfect. This way there is a bigger incentive to make it better, because they can still pass even if there are small mistakes. It'd be hard to avoid every single thing that could go wrong.
  35. TehSwizz

    TehSwizz OkState c/o 2016!

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    I think it's more that animals experience pain differently than people do. Since we have words and knowledge of what pain can mean and because of that I think it effects humans in a different manner. Animals experience it more as a negative thing happening to them. They can probably determine the source, and not to do it again since healing is draining on an animal and not ideal in a natural setting. They also probably know that pain can lead to death. When it comes down to it, they can't sit there and think about the pain and really rationalize it like a person can, and I think that changes the experience all together.
  36. Esidence

    Esidence AU-CVM c/o 2015

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    Minnerbelle brings up excellent points, and those facts ring more true to animal production facts we learned. Also, you wouldn't even want to cause undue stress in an animal production setting. Once cortisol is released into the blood pre-slaughter, the meat becomes tough enough to be detected by meat graders, and you lose money. Contrary to popular culture, farmers, feedlots, and animal handlers love animals: if not for their intrinsic rights because treating them right gains you money. A happy animal is a growing animal. A growing animal is a profitable animal. It's that easy. I've watched animals being slaughtered at our facility (which resembles those set up by Ms. Grandin and are used by MOST MAJOR slaughter plants) and, while gruesome, isn't as stressful to animals as some extremists would have you believe.
    The fact that you feed into these un-truths is troublesome to me Trematode since you're actually IN the pre-vet field. Make sure you understand some of these ideologies BEFORE you interview anywhere, or it could turn into a long trip to vet school.
    And on the point about the cows getting to "frolic in the grass," why would that be necessary for happiness. Do you think a cow actually sits there wishing it could feel grass under its hooves? That is that ultimate anthropomorphism, and if it proved to be true, would actually give them MUCH more abstract thought and credit than even the most radical animal person would give them.
  37. Trematode

    Trematode

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    FFS, where do I begin, without being a jerk?
    One, our interview is closed-file and behaviour based. :p.
    I did not feed you any untruths. I did not say that all slaughterhouses torture animals. I did say that the ones the vet school students visited, as of a few years ago, slit throats rather than use Ms. Gandin's method. Perhaps it has changed. Perhaps it is a regional thing. I just made a contact with someone who would know this information. Perhaps I will ask.

    When I brought up the topic, I was referring to the fact that animals tend to "overreact" to certain situations and "under-react" compared to humans. I just wanted to point out that if you put each of them in a very distressing situation (the example I could think of was the kosher method of throat-slitting in slaughterhouses) both beings are going to react in a similar manner.

    Unfortunately, I have never been given the opportunity to learn very much about food production. If I was not game to learn, I would not have chosen to do my environmental microbiology project on methanogenesis in cattle and stick my arm inside of a cannulated cow (actually, I am learning quite a lot about the correlation between feed and environment to meat/milk and methane production... and also learned that the Canadian agriculture industry has an ass-backwards approach to measuring methane production :rolleyes:). Give me the opportunity to see a slaughterhouse in action and I will do it. Give me the opportunity to learn more about cows (the little time I have spent with them has perked my interest in them) But based on my upbringing and the media, do not expect me to be comfortable enough to obtain a job in the food production industry.

    Congrats for turning this into an animal extremist debate.
    Last edited: 02.21.12
  38. Minnerbelle

    Minnerbelle Moderator Emeritus

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    Gotta say, that's kind of harsh.... There are plenty of vet students and vets out there who have similar views as Trematode. And all she did was ask a question, make a couple of speculations... which she made clear were speculations.

    Until maybe just a lil after I got accepted to vet school I was actually a veggie (for over 6 years) due to animal welfare concerns. We all come from very diverse backgrounds, and many of us have been brought up very far from agribusiness. When you just hear stories and even real "facts" about what actually occurs in farms, it's extremely difficult to discern how far to the right or left reality lies. There are no doubt people in slaughterhouses who abuse animals. It's just hard to tell if that's the norm or if that's just some deranged person. There are farmers who love their animals and take pride in their well-being. It's also very hard to tell if that's the norm or if that's the occasional animal lover. I would much rather have people who wonder and question about welfare concerns, rather than just assume that everything is super duper fine without having facts to back it up. After all, things were not always as nice as they are now, and there are still always improvements to be made. None of that would occur without people who aren't complacent about the status quo. I think the burden of proof is rightly on the people who say that things are A-okay.

    As long as one's open to hearing other points of views and/or learning, I don't think it's actually that big a deal for a pre-vet to not be knowledgeable about every contentious topic. Definitely, knowing the difference bewteen animal rights vs. welfare and such important. But I wouldn't say that animal science/production is common knowledge.That's actually what I really love about this forum. There's enough people on here from a diverse enough background that you can usually get a pretty good representation of relevant topics to learn from.
  39. Trematode

    Trematode

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    The fact that there are still stories in the media about abuse in farms has me really hesitant to support the industry.

    Also, I tried to Google information about methods of slaughter in Canada at least. No surprise, all it did was link me to extremist articles or to the Alberta beef council (which talks about how they raise their cattle but nothing about slaughter) or to questionnaires done in 1994. When you do not have the opportunity to take a production class or visit a slaughterhouse or shadow a farmer, how do you know what is the truth and what is not? Everything is not black or white. Not every slaughterhouse does it perfectly. Not every slaughterhouse is what you see in PETA photos. I just happen to be one of the few that is bothered by the gray areas. If I had been a large animal person, I would be the type who travels to family farms. There are still a lot of cows grazing in pastures where I am from. :thumbup:.
  40. bigkittinteef

    bigkittinteef Dick Vet c/o 2016

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    I don't agree with the idea that one needs a word for pain to know what pain is. A human raised alone without language would still understand what pain is--something to avoid. The word or term argument just doesn't make sense to me. Though I can see from previous philosophy classes how this might come up.
  41. LetItSnow

    LetItSnow UMN CVM Gold Donor

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    For what it's worth, here we use the terms to refer to different things. Pain refers to an "unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or perceived tissue damage." Nociception is simply the "detection of tissue damage by specialized transducers (nociceptors)." So they are not interchangeable (at least, to our instructors).

    Can you maybe spell that out in simple terms for the slow people (me) in the crowd?

    My dogs don't have a word for 'food', either, but they sure know that it exists. And they darn well understand 'hunger'. So I don't understand the argument that you only experience something for which you have a 'word'. Why does language have such primacy? I dunno... I think that notion is myopic. When my dog has to go to the bathroom, she doesn't simply react to some receptors sitting on her bladder by blindly going and standing near the door to go reflexively to the same place (outside) that she always goes... she puzzles it through. She recognizes the sensation, knows she has to go 'outside', and is smart enough to come find me, and bite me on the hip (yes, really, that's her signal - I didn't say I was a great trainer). If she wants food, a walk, to play, a ride in the car, she does different things (for each). To me, that's just as communicative as any 'word', and demonstrative of a process of thought. Sure, it's simplistic and never rises to the level of a typical human adult, but .... this idea that they don't "experience" pain just strikes me in my gut as hogwash.
    Last edited: 02.21.12
  42. Esidence

    Esidence AU-CVM c/o 2015

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    First, it's no excuse, but when I wrote my earlier response I was running on very little sleep. I apologize for over-reacting and for misunderstanding that post. I also guess I come from a biased point-of-view because Auburn has a very good school of agriculture and a very new slaughter plant I got to experience.
    Second, I am much wearier of media than I am of farmers and meat producers. I think that there are areas where they cut corners, but not in what we are talking about. When you learn the facts behind meat science, and you learn how much stress affects these animals, it is an economical shot in the foot to not have good facilities. Also, this information is taught and available to these people, so it shouldn’t be something new.
  43. Trematode

    Trematode

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    No hard feelings. :D.
    It just bothers me when people take the fact that I do not support the meat industry and suggest I will make a horrible vet because of it.
    I also live in an area with a ton of family farms and where everything is done on a smaller scale. We do not have the fancy new efficient facilities, just the shady ones where nobody knows what is going on.
    Also, just because the US seems to be on top of some things, does not mean it is the same thing everywhere. The EU is in the process of banning battery cages because of the problems associated with them, but that trend has not reached NA yet.
    Last edited: 02.21.12
  44. libster06

    libster06 Crank a wank!

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    "If a tree falls in the woods and no one us around to hear it, does it make a sound?" Well yea, it does.

    Newborns and babies don't know the word "pain" either, thus nor do they have a "conscious level" of pain, but that does not mean their bodies are not still naturally equipped with the physiological response to "pain". You are focusing on the word too much. Pain is a stimulus. That was around long before anyone knew what to call it. It's a natural way to help an animal avoid a noxious stimuli. &#8206;It's not about philosophy, as it is about a proven fact that, regardless of the degree, animals feel pain. They may not feel anger or sadness associated with the source of the pain (a human, etc.) but they do feel it and act accordingly.
  45. libster06

    libster06 Crank a wank!

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    Meat is overrated. I'm not a vegetarian, because I do love sandwiches, but I will always choose things without meat simply because I just don't like it very much. Give me cheese, beans, bread and fruit and I'm set.
  46. lostbunny

    lostbunny

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    BAAAACCOONNNNNN!!!!!!

    Meat is so not overrated! .... fruit on a sandwich? You craaazy!
  47. libster06

    libster06 Crank a wank!

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    Aight yea bacon is the exception. I'll take a pound of bacon over anything. I mostly meant gross low quality beef. And chicken.

    And I meant all those food things individually. Fruit has no place on a sandwich, like meat has no place in a dessert.
  48. Trematode

    Trematode

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    ... what about tomatoes? :lame:
  49. libster06

    libster06 Crank a wank!

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    ......got 'em.


    I stand corrected. But I don't like tomatoes on my sammiches either.
  50. Esidence

    Esidence AU-CVM c/o 2015

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    MEAT HAS NO PLACE IN DESSERT?!

    http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/bacon-chocolate-chip-cookies-recipe/index.html

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Bacon-Cheesecake-Brownies/

    http://allrecipes.com/recipe/dark-chocolate-bacon-cupcakes/

    You Sir, are welcome! Ps: Had most of these, they are indeed delicious

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