# Animals and pain

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The actual classification is a little difficult and some doctoers class it as Chronic Pain (as the pain has lasted for more than 6 months - going on nearly 8 years now - 1st of May will be 8 years), but because it has been caused by a repeated injury, some doctors call it a chroinic injury (although I don't think there is such a medical term).
Yes, there is such a thing as a chronic injury. It's usually used in sports medicine and results from overuse or repeated damage to a particular part of the body, making subsequent injury to that site much more likely (which seems to describe your shoulder).

Very intense .
Sorry to hear that.

Yes. However, as the pain never quite goes away (just from the sheer amount of tissue damage that has occurred through 6 opperations, and nearly 8 years of almost constant dislocations). The amount of constant pain I am in (when not in an accute phase) is roughly the same as having your arm twisted hard behind your back. I have learned to live with this level of constant pain through the methods I talked about earlier (distraction, etc).

Without consious awareness, this background pain is manageable.

However, when the subluxation occurs, then there are other signals that draw my attention to the injured site and it is much harder to avoid awareness of the pain, but I can control it in the same way (it just takes much more effort to avoid awareness of the stimulus).

Yes. I can avoid using the shoulder (which is really difficult as it is the shouder of my dominent hand ) and reduce the inflamation, which does bring down the background levels of pain. But, it doesn't elimiate them as there is soft tissue damage, and possible some minor nerve damage that means that there will always be some pain.

It sounds like the greater proportion of the pain is acute and from repeated trauma due to your chronic injury. However, if there is nerve damage then it's quite possible that there is an element of chronic pain involved. You could only tell if the joint were corrected and stabilised. That would eliminate the acute pain from repeated trauma, but the chronic pain due to nerve damage would persist.

I'm surprised so much surgery hasn't managed to stabilise the site. what was the original injury (if you don't mind my asking)?

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what was the original injury (if you don't mind my asking)?

It was a dislocation. The shoulder was under strain at the time so the muscles and capsule were tight (so when the head of the bone came out it did a lot more damage that it would have if it had dislocated due to an impact like most dislocations are - it was probably the worst way to dislocate the sholder).

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Must have been a lot of soft-tissue damage there. Sorry to hear it.

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couldn't you buy a shoulder support to stop the chance of dislocations?...

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Sorry I haven't posted in the last few days, the shoulder was bad (and still is).

couldn't you buy a shoulder support to stop the chance of dislocations?...

I have a special shoulder support designed to reduce the agrivation and risk of dislocation while at a desk. This does help a lot (I can usually get around 10 to 15 minutes of constant typeing as opposed to a couple of munite without it).

So yes, I have these things and they do help, it is just not enough.

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I have noticed that animals appear to be less sensitive to pain than humans... Like when the dog does something stupid and hurts itsself, it looks extremely painful but the dog doesnt even seem to care.

Is it possible that animals have evolved over time to be less sensitive to pain? Considering that in the animal kingdom, most animals suffer extremely painful looking deaths...

That is why I no longer eat animals. ...ds

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That is why I no longer eat animals. ...ds

Plants, although they can't Moo or run away, can show a definite (and repeatable) reaction to noxious stimuli (ripping leaves off for instance). There are several species of plants that when given such treatment cause their leaves to close up (it makes it harder for insects to walk on them) and then have their stems droop (to drop insects off them). Other plants have more subtle, and sometimes very sophisticated, reaction to such noxious stimuli.

Knowing this, it is very difficult to just accept that a reaction to noxious stimuli is evidence of pain, unless you also accept that plants can also feel pain.

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Not to worry, they are working on animals genetically engineered to be pain-free. Though these come with other problems IMO.

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I'm not sure if I'm following right here, but the only way to turn the pain off is to stop feeling it any more, and you do that only when you have no electric impulse going through your nerves!

That is not quite correct. Pain is a complex neurological reaction, with both impulses of the sensory nerves and interpretation of impulses in the brain.

As you noted below, if you are concentrating on something else. you don't "feel" pain. Enough adrenaline in a human will block "feeling" pain.

Humans, as noted, get used to "chronic" pain and don't "feel" it anymore. Or at least don't feel it at the intensity of someone encountering that sensory input for the first time.

Also, humans feel pain when there are no nerves being stimulated. This is a common phenomenon following traumatic amputation of a limb -- called phantom limb pain. Interestingly, phantom limb pain is not present when the amputation is a voluntary decision in reaction to chronic pain.

It is very difficult to tell when animals are in pain. I haved performed many surgeries on rats and witnessed many procedures on rats that humans would regard as painful, yet the rats exhibit no pain-related behaviors. Do they "feel" the pain? I can't tell. Are the nerves stimulated? Maybe. Does their brain process the stimulation as pain? I don't know. We mostly know pain in humans due to speech -- we tell each other we are in pain. In some cases of severe pain, there are behaviors: screaming, writhing, etc. But some people don't display those behaviors with injuries where other people do.

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Knowing this, it is very difficult to just accept that a reaction to noxious stimuli is evidence of pain, unless you also accept that plants can also feel pain.

Those are the 2 possibilities, aren't they?

1. Behavior to noxious stimuli is not evidence of pain.

2. Plants do not feel pain.

You can argue in favor of #2 by saying that plants do not have nerves. However, are nerves the only way "pain" can be transmitted? So #2 isn't as solid a conclusion as you seem to believe.

Humans have behavior to noxious stimuli that, by means of speech, we know is pain. How can you conclude that similar behavior in other species is absolutely not evidence of pain?

The uncertainty in the whole situation is why IACUC rules follow human standards: if a human reports pain from a similar procedure, then it is assumed the animal will feel similar pain and require analgesics. That may be on the conservative side, but IACUC has decided to err on the conservative side.

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Plants, although they can't Moo or run away, can show a definite (and repeatable) reaction to noxious stimuli (ripping leaves off for inscowstance). There are several species of plants that when given such treatment cause their leaves to close up (it makes it harder for insects to walk on them) and then have their stems droop (to drop insects off them). Other plants have more subtle, and sometimes very sophisticated, reaction to such noxious stimuli.

Knowing this, it is very difficult to just accept that a reaction to noxious stimuli is evidence of pain, unless you also accept that plants can also feel pain.

ability to respond to stimuli. Even fish and chickens have evolved the capacity to feel pain, fear and terror. And when we consider cattle and pigs wich have highly evolved brains able to experience pain,dread,terror much the same as humans do, there seems not much of a point to be made by saying plants are capable of responding to stimuli as if that was the equivilent of what a cow or pig suffers when it is killed for slaughter. Some animals have highly evolved brains and nervous systems including pigs and cows. Plants do not. ...Dr.Syntax

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can you post supporting links. prefferably to a peer reviewed paper on pain response in animals.

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can you post supporting links. prefferably to a peer reviewed paper on pain response in animals.[/QU Here is what you asked for. Presentation before: The American Board of Veterinary Practitioners : Symposium 2002 at: http://www.grandin.com/welfare/fear.pain.stress.html . Much of what was presented there is referenced throughout the text of it with a long list of credentialed references at the end. ...Dr.Syntax
Edited by dr.syntax

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Thanks, dr. syntax. In addition to just sharing the links, though, please be sure to quote the relevant bits which relate to/support your argument. I can link to a whole book, but it won't do much good if I"m not specific and don't reference which part supports my contentions. Enjoy.

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Thanks, dr. syntax. In addition to just sharing the links, though, please be sure to quote the relevant bits which relate to/support your argument. I can link to a whole book, but it won't do much good if I"m not specific and don't reference which part supports my contentions. Enjoy.

I found informative and a bit surprising:" In both mamals and people, the frontal cortex reduces responses to stimuli that elicit fears, but it increases suffering from pain. Fear operates in a low more primitive brain system than pain. The prefrontal cortex wich is the most highly evolved brain region helps an animal to control its reactions to fear provoking stimuli, but heightens pain perception. It has the opposite reaction on fear and pain. " Since no references were provided I asssume it was the speakers remarks. Thier names are Temple Grandin and Mark Deesing at: The American Board of Veterinary Practitioners Symposium 2002 web address : http://www.grandin.com/welfare/fear.pain.stress.html . They then go on to give examples of different experiments done on the brains of animals and back when they did lobotomies on people to explain some interesting aspects of what removing or disconnecting a certain aspect of the brain results in. Behavioral changes, things like that. Its not a long read and I think there is a lot to learn there about how brains function. ...Dr.Syntax

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I do wish to add that it is Professor Temple Grandin PHD whose list of accomplishments and awards are truly impressive. She is a rare person who both cares about animals and actually does what she can to help insure that animals destined for slaughter are handled more humanely. Ways of ensuring they die quickly and ways to minimize the terror they experience prior to dying. She works with the slaughter houses to do what she can to minimize thier suffering. Her resume is at: http://www.grandin.com/professional.resume.html This is the caliber of person who put together that research ...Dr.Syntax

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correction

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I found informative and a bit surprising:" In both mamals and people, the frontal cortex reduces responses to stimuli that elicit fears, but it increases suffering from pain. Fear operates in a low more primitive brain system than pain. The prefrontal cortex wich is the most highly evolved brain region helps an animal to control its reactions to fear provoking stimuli, but heightens pain perception. It has the opposite reaction on fear and pain. "

Notice that there were no citations to back this claim. There were other quotes you should also have looked at. For instance:

"It has long been known that an intact cortex is required for the full extent of suffering. In his studies on the neurology of noiception, Woolf (1983) removed the cortex of rats to “obviate” the problem of suffering from pain. Even now, it is not well-understood how higher association areas in the brain interpret subcorticol input. "

I do wish to add that it is Professor Temple Grandin PHD whose list of accomplishments and awards are truly impressive.

You are trying to make an Argument from Authority here. What matters is the data and, reading the presentation carefully, the data does not back the claims with the certainty the authors are claiming.

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Even fish and chickens have evolved the capacity to feel pain, fear and terror.

That isn't what the presentation states. The presentation says that these species have the anatomical areas associated with pain, fear, and terror in humans. BUT, the data from the papers cited are not able to tell whether the animal feels fear or terror! I found this interesting from the presentation:

"The present consensus is that the PFC mediates executive functions which include advanced higher mental processes, such as directing attention, accessing various memory systems, coordinating sensory and motor information, and modulating emotional states (Krasnegor, et al 1997). In humans, the prefrontal cortex must be intact in order to experience the emotional sensation associated with pain (Freeman and Watts, 1950). However, neurobiologists long believed that the PFC is a recent evolutionary acquisition and is unusually large in the human brain. Recent advances in the study of prefrontal cortex find no justification for these beliefs. Jerison (1997) conducted a formal analysis of similarities and differences between species and provides evidence that the PFC is an ancient part of the mammalian brain, is put together in all mammals pretty much the same way, and it’s functions are basically similar. The percentages of frontal cortex in relation to the rest of the brain are 29% in humans, 17% in chimps, 7% in the dog, and 3% in the cat (Broadman, 1912, Fuster, 1980). Although cats have less PFC compared to dogs, we would argue against any suggestion that cats suffer less from pain than dogs, or that rats suffer less than cats. It is likely that the cat has sufficient frontal cortex circuitry to have the minimum required amount to fully suffer. "

It does appear that the PFC is unusually large in humans. Notice that there is no data on comparison of pain between cats and dogs. Instead, the authors make the unwarranted inference that cats have sufficient PFC to "fully suffer". They need data to back that claim.

And when we consider cattle and pigs wich have highly evolved brains able to experience pain,dread,terror much the same as humans do,

There is no such things as "highly evolved". Amoebas are just as 'highly evolved' as humans. The question is whether the brains of cattle and pigs can experience "dread, terror" as humans do. No data. And the paper does not provide any.

there seems not much of a point to be made by saying plants are capable of responding to stimuli as if that was the equivilent of what a cow or pig suffers when it is killed for slaughter. Some animals have highly evolved brains and nervous systems including pigs and cows. Plants do not. ...Dr.Syntax

Again, the question would be: are nervous systems the ONLY way that an organism can feel pain? You assume the answer is "yes". But it's an assumption, not one based on data.

What you are doing is projecting human emotions on cows and pigs when you say "suffers when it is killed for slaughter". I would argue from an evolutionary standpoint that this is not the case. Both cows and pigs are prey in nature. Individuals are "slaughtered" all the time by predators. Would an ability to "suffer" aid or hinder survival under these circumstances. I would argue that the ability to feel "terror" or "suffer" would be deleterious. What happens to humans experiencing "terror"? They tend to freeze and be unable to act. Such behavior would make an individual prey easier to catch. Therefore the ability to anticipate "suffering" or feeling "terror" would be eliminated by evolution.

Hominids might have evolved such feelings only after extensive tool use when humans became predators instead of prey.

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You can argue what ever you want. How could a prey animals ability to feel terror not aid it as a survival trait ? Prey animals in particular need the ability to sense danger and respond quickly. Also, all animals require the ability to sense pain to avoid injurying themselves the same as we do. Or to avoid using an injured limb to allow it to heal. Things like that. ...DS

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Notice that there were no citations to back this claim. There were other quotes you should also have looked at. For instance:

"It has long been known that an intact cortex is required for the full extent of suffering. In his studies on the neurology of noiception, Woolf (1983) removed the cortex of rats to “obviate” the problem of suffering from pain. Even now, it is not well-understood how higher association areas in the brain interpret subcorticol input. "

You are trying to make an Argument from Authority here. What matters is the data and, reading the presentation carefully, the data does not back the claims with the certainty the authors are claiming.

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That isn't what the presentation states. The presentation says that these species have the anatomical areas associated with pain, fear, and terror in humans. BUT, the data from the papers cited are not able to tell whether the animal feels fear or terror! I found this interesting from the presentation:

"The present consensus is that the PFC mediates executive functions which include advanced higher mental processes, such as directing attention, accessing various memory systems, coordinating sensory and motor information, and modulating emotional states (Krasnegor, et al 1997). In humans, the prefrontal cortex must be intact in order to experience the emotional sensation associated with pain (Freeman and Watts, 1950). However, neurobiologists long believed that the PFC is a recent evolutionary acquisition and is unusually large in the human brain. Recent advances in the study of prefrontal cortex find no justification for these beliefs. Jerison (1997) conducted a formal analysis of similarities and differences between species and provides evidence that the PFC is an ancient part of the mammalian brain, is put together in all mammals pretty much the same way, and it’s functions are basically similar. The percentages of frontal cortex in relation to the rest of the brain are 29% in humans, 17% in chimps, 7% in the dog, and 3% in the cat (Broadman, 1912, Fuster, 1980). Although cats have less PFC compared to dogs, we would argue against any suggestion that cats suffer less from pain than dogs, or that rats suffer less than cats. It is likely that the cat has sufficient frontal cortex circuitry to have the minimum required amount to fully suffer. "

It does appear that the PFC is unusually large in humans. Notice that there is no data on comparison of pain between cats and dogs. Instead, the authors make the unwarranted inference that cats have sufficient PFC to "fully suffer". They need data to back that claim.

There is no such things as "highly evolved". Amoebas are just as 'highly evolved' as humans. The question is whether the brains of cattle and pigs can experience "dread, terror" as humans do. No data. And the paper does not provide any.

Again, the question would be: are nervous systems the ONLY way that an organism can feel pain? You assume the answer is "yes". But it's an assumption, not one based on data.

What you are doing is projecting human emotions on cows and pigs when you say "suffers when it is killed for slaughter". I would argue from an evolutionary standpoint that this is not the case. Both cows and pigs are prey in nature. Individuals are "slaughtered" all the time by predators. Would an ability to "suffer" aid or hinder survival under these circumstances. I would argue that the ability to feel "terror" or "suffer" would be deleterious. What happens to humans experiencing "terror"? They tend to freeze and be unable to act. Such behavior would make an individual prey easier to catch. Therefore the ability to anticipate "suffering" or feeling "terror" would be eliminated by evolution.

Hominids might have evolved such feelings only after extensive tool use when humans became predators instead of prey.

I will argue that it is this terror response to imminent danger that triggers the neccessary biological chemical entities to be released,pumped into the endangered animals body to maximze its ability for fight or flight. There are numerous systems involved in this proccess. Adrenaline and cortisol are well known neurohormones involved in this process. ... Dr.Syntax Edited by dr.syntax
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You can argue what ever you want. How could a prey animals ability to feel terror not aid it as a survival trait ? Prey animals in particular need the ability to sense danger and respond quickly. Also, all animals require the ability to sense pain to avoid injurying themselves the same as we do. Or to avoid using an injured limb to allow it to heal. Things like that. ...DS

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I will argue that it is this terror response to imminent danger that triggers the neccessary biological chemical entities to be released,pumped into the endangered animals body to maximze its ability for fight or flight. There are numerous systems involved in this proccess. Adrenaline and cortisol are well known neurohormones involved in this process. ... Dr.Syntax

I can program an AI computer program to respond in these ways. Can you therefore conclude, based only on observation of behaviours, that these AI programs feel pain and terror? No.

You have to understand what those emotions mean in the context of those animals. We can even simulate the chemical interaction of the neurohormones involved so that we are simulating the entire process. Do they now "Feel" pain, fear or terror?

Fight or flight is not only because of neurons. Single celled organisms also show this behaviour. When a predatory single celled organism attacks a prey single celled organisms, there are many of these prey cells that will try to escape. They can detect the chemical traces of the predator and seek to avoid them. Is this evidence that single celled organisms "feel" terror?

In my last post, I tried to explain that just because an organism (or even, for example, a computer program) displays behaviours that one can anthropomorphicly read as "Fear" or "Pain" does not necessarily mean that the organism feels those emotions.

It, of course, does not mean that they don't feel them either.

What I am saying is that according to modern research, Pain and Suffering, and Fear and other emotions are not as simple as stimulus/response and any attempt to analyse them using such criteria will not give us a true understanding of what is going on. And without that understanding, making moralistic rulings based on such invalid results is damaging to both the organisms involved and us as well.

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I can program an AI computer program to respond in these ways. Can you therefore conclude, based only on observation of behaviours, that these AI programs feel pain and terror? No.

You have to understand what those emotions mean in the context of those animals. We can even simulate the chemical interaction of the neurohormones involved so that we are simulating the entire process. Do they now "Feel" pain, fear or terror?

Fight or flight is not only because of neurons. Single celled organisms also show this behaviour. When a predatory single celled organism attacks a prey single celled organisms, there are many of these prey cells that will try to escape. They can detect the chemical traces of the predator and seek to avoid them. Is this evidence that single celled organisms "feel" terror?

In my last post, I tried to explain that just because an organism (or even, for example, a computer program) displays behaviours that one can anthropomorphicly read as "Fear" or "Pain" does not necessarily mean that the organism feels those emotions.

It, of course, does not mean that they don't feel them either.

What I am saying is that according to modern research, Pain and Suffering, and Fear and other emotions are not as simple as stimulus/response and any attempt to analyse them using such criteria will not give us a true understanding of what is going on. And without that understanding, making moralistic rulings based on such invalid results is damaging to both the organisms involved and us as well.

How could ceasing to slaughter animals be damaging to them ? ...DS

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Single celled organisms also show this behaviour. When a predatory single celled organism attacks a prey single celled organisms, there are many of these prey cells that will try to escape. They can detect the chemical traces of the predator and seek to avoid them. Is this evidence that single celled organisms "feel" terror?

Off topic, but are there real-life examples for this? While technically not impossible and apparently logical I cannot recall any single-cell organisms off-hand that do that (active predator avoidance, that is). The only mechanism I am aware of are more passive in nature and inhibit the predatory mechanisms (e.g. by means of reducing accessibility of inhibition of lytic activities, etc).

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Off topic, but are there real-life examples for this? While technically not impossible and apparently logical I cannot recall any single-cell organisms off-hand that do that (active predator avoidance, that is). The only mechanism I am aware of are more passive in nature and inhibit the predatory mechanisms (e.g. by means of reducing accessibility of inhibition of lytic activities, etc).

Does running from shadows count? I remember there was one critter with eyespots that did that.

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Well there are single celled organisms that do phototaxis, mostly positive as they are photosynthetic. But it is not normally linked to predator avoidance as most organisms predating on anything of that size do not cast noteworthy shadows.

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How could ceasing to slaughter animals be damaging to them ? ...DS

Well here in Australia, we have an animal called the Eastern Grey Kangaroo. Around where I live these are getting to such large numbers that they are eating most of the grasses. This is leaving them short on grass to eat due to their large population and many are getting to the point where starvation is setting in.

Now, is it more or less humane to slaughter some of these animals to keep the population under control or leave them to starve?

Animals bread for food (cows and such) are quite docile and can't usually defend themselves from predators (we are predators and we bread out their ability to defend against us). As such, these animals would quickly become prey for another species if we didn't farm them. In other words, they would be slaughter "naturally". But, if you have ever seen a "natural" kill by a predator in the wild, especially against a large animal (like a cow), it can take several minutes to bring that cow down.

If these animals are,going to be killed anyway, is it more or less damaging to do it quickly.

Also, many of the animals that have been domesticated have been transported to environments that can not properly support them . they can usually , in the short term, do very well, but when large populations go unchecked (no predators and we are not slaughtering them) then they can severely damage their environment and degrade it.

So is it harmful to let a population of animals grow unchecked untill they destroy their environment and their food supply is destroyed and then they starve, or is it better to control their population some how.

See, most people who suggest that we stop killing animals forget that these animals breed. Without predators (and thus killings) they will not have any limit on their populations other than food supply. This population will grow until the food supply is exhausted and then it will crash as they starve.

So, is being slowly killed over several minutes, or a cycle of population booms and starvation more or less humane than a quick death (even a relativity quick death) and carefully controlled populations to avoid starvation.

Feral animals, even though a lot of effort is taken to control their population is the wild, have massive impacts on the environment, and although that species might thrive, they impact a lot more native species, even making those native species become extinct.

Not killing these domesticated animals will cause their populations to expand unchecked. This will cause knock on effects that will not only cause harm to them (starvation as the environment collapses) but also effect numerous other species in a harmful way.

So yes. Not killing these animals will cause them harm and the harm of countless other animals.

In an overly simplified world, you can propose not killing farmed animals as less harmful, but in the real world it would be an absolute disaster on a global scale if we just all stopped using them as food.

Even then, this whole "lest stop killing them" is based on the Naturalistic Fallacy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalistic_fallacy) because people think that animal killed by other animals is some how "better" than the way we do it because they see the natural way as better.

Wolves can take ours to chase down their prey (harassing it all the time with bites and such) causing it to have to run until it is almost dead from exhaustion. Then they bite its neck and cause it to drown in its own blood.

That is the natural way. A shot to the head with the gun they use is quick by comparison. Even if it took a couple of shots, the cow would be in far less distress than they would be in the wolf hunt and it would take far less time too.

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Well here in Australia, we have an animal called the Eastern Grey Kangaroo. Around where I live these are getting to such large numbers that they are eating most of the grasses. This is leaving them short on grass to eat due to their large population and many are getting to the point where starvation is setting in.

Now, is it more or less humane to slaughter some of these animals to keep the population under control or leave them to starve?

Animals bread for food (cows and such) are quite docile and can't usually defend themselves from predators (we are predators and we bread out their ability to defend against us). As such, these animals would quickly become prey for another species if we didn't farm them. In other words, they would be slaughter "naturally". But, if you have ever seen a "natural" kill by a predator in the wild, especially against a large animal (like a cow), it can take several minutes to bring that cow down.

If these animals are,going to be killed anyway, is it more or less damaging to do it quickly.

Also, many of the animals that have been domesticated have been transported to environments that can not properly support them . they can usually , in the short term, do very well, but when large populations go unchecked (no predators and we are not slaughtering them) then they can severely damage their environment and degrade it.

So is it harmful to let a population of animals grow unchecked untill they destroy their environment and their food supply is destroyed and then they starve, or is it better to control their population some how.

See, most people who suggest that we stop killing animals forget that these animals breed. Without predators (and thus killings) they will not have any limit on their populations other than food supply. This population will grow until the food supply is exhausted and then it will crash as they starve.

So, is being slowly killed over several minutes, or a cycle of population booms and starvation more or less humane than a quick death (even a relativity quick death) and carefully controlled populations to avoid starvation.

Feral animals, even though a lot of effort is taken to control their population is the wild, have massive impacts on the environment, and although that species might thrive, they impact a lot more native species, even making those native species become extinct.

Not killing these domesticated animals will cause their populations to expand unchecked. This will cause knock on effects that will not only cause harm to them (starvation as the environment collapses) but also effect numerous other species in a harmful way.

So yes. Not killing these animals will cause them harm and the harm of countless other animals.

In an overly simplified world, you can propose not killing farmed animals as less harmful, but in the real world it would be an absolute disaster on a global scale if we just all stopped using them as food.

Even then, this whole "lest stop killing them" is based on the Naturalistic Fallacy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalistic_fallacy) because people think that animal killed by other animals is some how "better" than the way we do it because they see the natural way as better.

Wolves can take ours to chase down their prey (harassing it all the time with bites and such) causing it to have to run until it is almost dead from exhaustion. Then they bite its neck and cause it to drown in its own blood.

That is the natural way. A shot to the head with the gun they use is quick by comparison. Even if it took a couple of shots, the cow would be in far less distress than they would be in the wolf hunt and it would take far less time too.

Evolution,natural selection, predation and the need for it. If it were not for the total indifference of natural selection to the survival of individuals and species we humans would not exist along with all the other organisms. Plants and animals. It is this complete indifference to suffering and death that allowed us to come about. All I have ever argued here is that animals suffer pain, fear,terror much the same as we people do. I would expect that the animals that have evolved those portions of the brain associated with pain and fear,that have those stuctures the most highly developed, experience pain and fear the most. Those areas of the brain are the earlier more primitive structures common to most vertebrates. Its one of those facts of life that seem so cruel though necessary to me. I also stated I no longer eat meat for that reason. Just because of the cruel nature of evolution does not justify in my mind that it is O.K. to support an industry based upon the production of animals for slaughter, simply so that I might enjoy tastier meals. Many of these animals are treated in very cruel ways from birth to death. In very unnatural ways such as being penned in together to such a degree that they never enjoy a peaceful moment. Predation is a neccessay part of life to keep populations in balance with thier evironments. Also it is crucial to evolution itself . Eating meat is not crucial to human health. There are many other sources for the necessary nutrients we people need to maintain optimum health other than meat. There are places in the world where hunting by humans is crucial to keep certain populations in balance because we have killed off the natural pedators. The deer population of certain areas is a good example. Still, I want nothing to do with it because of the way I feel about all this. Life is full of awful things I choose to not take part in unless I have to. I served as an infantryman in Viet Nam and did two so called tours . I had no problem with killing people trying to kill me for example.These were NVA soldiers wearing uniforms and firing weapons at me and my comrades.I have never been a hunter and I no longer fish. If I had to to survive I would. I guess that old adage: life sucks and then you die has a lot of truth to it. Well,whatever, ...Dr.Syntax

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It is only in our technological global civilisation that Vegetarianism is actually viable. It is only through our ability to source plants from all over the world that we can gather the right types of plants to be able to give us all the nutrients we need to survive. No native population has ever led a complete vegetarian existence. They have had to rely on animals or animal products (there have been some sub groups within a culture but not complete cultures).

We have evolved to be omnivores (eating both plan and animals) and this shows in the dietary needs of cultures.

The other thing about your arguments is that it is wrong to eat animals because they show signs of distress. But this is "Stimulus/response" reasoning and if we just use this kind of reasoning, then we have to conclude that plants too feel pain.

So if plants fell pain, then how is that any better than causing animals pain?

The immediate reaction to this is that plants are somehow "inferior" to animals where pain is concerned. But this is against the argument that we should avoid causing any pain to anything that can feel it.

Neurons are nothing special when it comes to cell structures or behaviours. Many of the properties that allow neurons to function like they do also occurs in ,any other animal cell types, and also many plant cell types (even in single celled organisms).

What the important properties are is that they can signal each other (all cells in multicellular organisms have this ability to some degree), that they can change their behaviours to these signals and that these changes also include being able to send signals.

Even if we don't know the methods by which cells do this, we can infer the existence of these abilities if we can get non local responses to a localised stimulus. In animals you clearly see this all the time, but many people don't realise that plants have this too, and if you look it is just as prevalent.

This means that plants must have the ability to respond to stimulus, form networks of these signalling pathways and process these stimuli.

These structures might not be "brains" as they appear in animals, but they essentially do the same function (collect stimuli, process the stimuli and respond to that stimuli).

As plants don't move around and the reactions they take are not as complex and they ahve no need of complex co-ordination, there has been no real evolutionary pressures to make these plant "brains" as fast acting or as complex as our (or as centralised). But they do have the abilities we associate with a network of connected signalling and processing cells (nerves). We have specialised cells, but plants tend to have this as part of normal cellular operations (much less specialised cells).

So if the criteria for pain is that an organism can detect, process and respond to noxious stimuli, then plants have to be determined to feel pain (as they show all of those requirements). This also makes the argument "We shouldn't eat animals because they feel pain" an invalid argument as plants, by the stimulus/response measure, also feel pain.

If you take the current medical view, that Pain and Nociception are different things (although usually closely associated), then it will allow you to exclude things, than even though they show stimulus/response behaviours.

In this framework, nociception is just another input into the organism, one that might illicit a response that we might interpret as a reaction to a "painful" stimulus. However, this is not considered evidence of pain as such.

Pain is now a state of the network structure and can even exist without external noxious stimuli (nociception). It is certainly evident in humans that such type of Pain exist (without external causes), and even emotional distress can be seen as "painful" (and many medications that are used to treat painful stimuli can also be used to reduce the perceived pain of such painful emotions, like say a broken heart).

There are even time were nociception does not result in pain, and Pain can be controlled despite there being noxious stimulus.

So pain is not tied to noxious stimuli and nociception. Pain is an internal mental state.

And this is important, as not all animals have enough awareness of their own internal mental states. They can't experience Pain. A certain level of self awareness is definitely involved (although what this level is and what aspects of self awareness is involved is still not yet determined).

I am not saying these organisms can't detect and respond to nociception or noxious stimuli in a way that an organism that does experience pain does. Just that this response to the stimuli is no gauge of the organisms being able to experience pain.

However, I do agree that the farming practices that we employ, whether or not the organisms involved experience pain or not (and here I am not separating plants and animals as I also include plants in this too), is detrimental to not only these organisms, but to ourselves as well (psychologically as a species).

Empathy is one of the defining characteristic of humanity, and is essential to peaceful co-existence as a species. Teaching ourselves to ignore this empathy is not a good thing.

However, going vegetarian is also not a viable option as the problems that would occur with disposing of the current domesticated animal population, and even then we have to consider that the plants are also capable of the stimulus/response behaviour and so we have to ignore our empathy there too.

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It is only in our technological global civilisation that Vegetarianism is actually viable. It is only through our ability to source plants from all over the world that we can gather the right types of plants to be able to give us all the nutrients we need to survive. No native population has ever led a complete vegetarian existence. They have had to rely on animals or animal products (there have been some sub groups within a culture but not complete cultures).

We have evolved to be omnivores (eating both plan and animals) and this shows in the dietary needs of cultures.

The other thing about your arguments is that it is wrong to eat animals because they show signs of distress. But this is "Stimulus/response" reasoning and if we just use this kind of reasoning, then we have to conclude that plants too feel pain.

So if plants fell pain, then how is that any better than causing animals pain?

The immediate reaction to this is that plants are somehow "inferior" to animals where pain is concerned. But this is against the argument that we should avoid causing any pain to anything that can feel it.

Neurons are nothing special when it comes to cell structures or behaviours. Many of the properties that allow neurons to function like they do also occurs in ,any other animal cell types, and also many plant cell types (even in single celled organisms).

What the important properties are is that they can signal each other (all cells in multicellular organisms have this ability to some degree), that they can change their behaviours to these signals and that these changes also include being able to send signals.

Even if we don't know the methods by which cells do this, we can infer the existence of these abilities if we can get non local responses to a localised stimulus. In animals you clearly see this all the time, but many people don't realise that plants have this too, and if you look it is just as prevalent.

This means that plants must have the ability to respond to stimulus, form networks of these signalling pathways and process these stimuli.

These structures might not be "brains" as they appear in animals, but they essentially do the same function (collect stimuli, process the stimuli and respond to that stimuli).

As plants don't move around and the reactions they take are not as complex and they ahve no need of complex co-ordination, there has been no real evolutionary pressures to make these plant "brains" as fast acting or as complex as our (or as centralised). But they do have the abilities we associate with a network of connected signalling and processing cells (nerves). We have specialised cells, but plants tend to have this as part of normal cellular operations (much less specialised cells).

So if the criteria for pain is that an organism can detect, process and respond to noxious stimuli, then plants have to be determined to feel pain (as they show all of those requirements). This also makes the argument "We shouldn't eat animals because they feel pain" an invalid argument as plants, by the stimulus/response measure, also feel pain.

If you take the current medical view, that Pain and Nociception are different things (although usually closely associated), then it will allow you to exclude things, than even though they show stimulus/response behaviours.

In this framework, nociception is just another input into the organism, one that might illicit a response that we might interpret as a reaction to a "painful" stimulus. However, this is not considered evidence of pain as such.

Pain is now a state of the network structure and can even exist without external noxious stimuli (nociception). It is certainly evident in humans that such type of Pain exist (without external causes), and even emotional distress can be seen as "painful" (and many medications that are used to treat painful stimuli can also be used to reduce the perceived pain of such painful emotions, like say a broken heart).

There are even time were nociception does not result in pain, and Pain can be controlled despite there being noxious stimulus.

So pain is not tied to noxious stimuli and nociception. Pain is an internal mental state.

And this is important, as not all animals have enough awareness of their own internal mental states. They can't experience Pain. A certain level of self awareness is definitely involved (although what this level is and what aspects of self awareness is involved is still not yet determined).

I am not saying these organisms can't detect and respond to nociception or noxious stimuli in a way that an organism that does experience pain does. Just that this response to the stimuli is no gauge of the organisms being able to experience pain.

However, I do agree that the farming practices that we employ, whether or not the organisms involved experience pain or not (and here I am not separating plants and animals as I also include plants in this too), is detrimental to not only these organisms, but to ourselves as well (psychologically as a species).

Empathy is one of the defining characteristic of humanity, and is essential to peaceful co-existence as a species. Teaching ourselves to ignore this empathy is not a good thing.

However, going vegetarian is also not a viable option as the problems that would occur with disposing of the current domesticated animal population, and even then we have to consider that the plants are also capable of the stimulus/response behaviour and so we have to ignore our empathy there too.

modern technology makes it a lot easier or viable to eat a nutritionally complete, vegetarian diet. I dont dispute that. We evolved as omnivores,I don`t dispute that. What I see as our area of dispute is that because some plants have the ability to respond to certain stimuli, that there is as much reason to believe plants feel pain as there is to think that animals do. I believe it requires a more complex nervous system to feel pain. I would not call the simple, extremely limited abilities of plants to respond to some stimuli a nervous system and I am not saying you would. Or would you ?Animals have evolved complex nervous systems. Some extremely complex ones. From an evolutionary framework I include fish,amphibians, reptiles ,birds, and mammals as having nervous systems whith the necessary components to prococess noxious stimuli [ pain ] much the same as we humans do. Also the more developed these areas of the brain are, in any given species the more sensitive to pain or anything else for that matter, that particular species would be.There is the feeling of fear and terror to consider also. It is processed in some ways differently than pain. Both pain and fear are processed in the lower, more earlierly evolved portions of the brain. One of the systems involved is the limbic system. It is more complex than I wish to try and describe here. To learn about the limbic system go to: http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/kinser/Structure1.html . By at least purusing the information and diagrams there you might be able to see why I believe many animals are able to percieve pain and fear in much the same way we people do. Plants simply do not have anything remotely comparable to the limbic system, not to mention the other systems with thier numerous and complex organs of their brains, of animals such as fish,amphibians,reptiles,birds,and mammals . Regards, ...Dr.Syntax

Edited by dr.syntax

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