Animal Farm starts with Mr. Jones, the owner of Manor Farm, drunkenly heading to bed. The animals gather for a meeting to hear Old Major, the prize boar, who tells them about how the humans exploit the farm animals and how they can get rid of their oppressors through a rebellion. Major tells the animals that "all animals are equal" and the humans are their enemy.
Old Major dies soon and the animals are now tutored in the basics of rebellion by three smart pigs, Napoleon, Snowball and Squealer. The rebellion breaks out unexpectedly when Mr. Jones neglects to feed the animals and they break into a store shed to get food. As they are caught and whipped by the humans, the animals attack the humans who flee the farm. The new leaders of the animals, the pigs, change the name of the farm as "Animal Farm" and ask the animals to continue working for the harvest.
The first harvest under the animals' own administration is a great success as most of the animals work enthusiastically. Differences of opinion begin to appear between the two leaders, Napoleon and Snowball. While the latter puts up proposals for improving the animals' life on the farm, the former sees little merit in the suggestions. The animals gradually discover that the choicest food such as milk and apples is reserved for the pigs under the justification that the leaders need better food for their brain.
As the news of the rebellion spreads, animals on other farms get emboldened and start disobeying their human masters. The humans, led by Mr. Jones, attach the animal farm in an attempt to recapture it. The animals repulse the attack during which Snowball is injured and a sheep dies. Snowball is awarded medal first class; the martyred sheep gets a 2nd class medal.
Differences between Napoleon and Snowball become more pronounced over Snowball's suggestion for building a windmill. When the animals gather to vote on the idea, Napoleon unleashes his vicious dogs on Snowball who is chased out of the farm. Napoleon takes over the sole leadership of the farm; announces the supremacy of pigs and bans all dissent. Squealer, as Napoleon's spokes-animal,…… [Read More]
The Use of Fear in Animal Farm
The use of fear plays a significant part in the campaign of Napoleon to gain control of Animal Farm in George Orwell's "fairy story" of the same name. The satirical representation of Stalin uses, of course, other tactics to consolidate his power -- such as the propaganda spewing by Squealer, historical revisionism, and the exploitation of the sheep's ignorance. However, fear underlies each of these elements, and this paper will provide two examples to show how Napoleon uses fear to turn Animal Farm into a communist environment.
The most obvious example of the use of the fear tactic comes when Napoleon trains the pups of the farm (Jessie and Bluebell's litter, to be exact) to be his own personal guard dogs -- ferocious, vicious animals that repulse any threat to Napoleon's position of authority. The dogs that Napoleon raises come to represent a kind of brutal police force -- call them the NKVD -- of Animal Farm. The worker animals' first glimpse of them is after Snowball has just delivered his lecture concerning the erection of the windmill. Suddenly, Napoleon's attack dogs chase Snowball from the podium, across the farm, and through the hedge. Stunned by this unexpected course of events, the animals can muster no query. Some of the lesser politicized pigs mount a murmur, but "the dogs sitting round Napoleon let out deep, menacing growls, and the pigs fell silent and sat down again" (Chapter 5, par. 16).
The other example of fear tactic is the constant threat of the return of Jones. The image of Jones as an object of oppression is conjured up by the mastermind propagandist Squealer. Squealer effects the specter of Jones to assuage the murmuring of the animals after it is discovered that the milk and apples are all going to the pigs' bellies. Squealer, speaking on behalf of the pigs, objects that the only reason…… [Read More]
Animal Farm, a group of farm animals overthrew their human masters in order to establish a society where all animals would rule and benefit equally from their own labor. Three pigs -- Squealer, Napoleon and Snowball -- set about running the farm after Mr. Jones is defeated in the battle. All animals come together to work towards the common goal of the farm's prosperity, supposedly for the common good of all the farm animals.
Before long, however, it becomes apparent that this goal is largely untenable. All are supposedly created equally, but some animals like Boxer the carthorse do most of the work. By extension, all animals' opinions should matter equally, but any animal who opposes Napoleon's orders are beset by the leader's attack dogs.
Through this depiction, Orwell skillfully demonstrates how revolutions often fail to live up to their goals of equality. Such examples are seen throughout history. The Russian Revolution in 1917, for example, was initially a revolution to overthrow the artistocratic elite that lived off the backbreaking labor of the peasant class. Their goal was to establish a classless society, where everyone would work towards a common good and no one would live in want. The end result, however, was quite different. In place of the tsar rose a new form of repression, as illustrated in the way Josef Stalin purged his perceived enemies from the Communist Party.
In the novel, the Animalist principles forbidding whiskey and associating with humans are supposed to apply to all animals equally. Napoleon, however, acts like a human being by sleeping in a bed, consuming alcohol and trading with the human neighbors. Also, all animals supposedly work for the good of the farm, but unlike their leader, most animals remain cold, hungry and exhausted from too much work.…… [Read More]
S.S. And the West. I personally did not believe that such good relations would last long; and, as events have shown, I wasn't far wrong.
The novel is a great example of allegorical satire that doesn't go beyond its limits. it's very tasteful even if a reader doesn't subscribe to the same views. Orwell presents everything in simple yet highly effective language. Readers should read the book knowing the history even though the book itself is great enough to be read without historical support. However the reason it is better to know history is because we can then truly grasp the depth of Orwell's political thought. Was he a socialist who had reservations about his own principles? Did he think communism was as evil as capitalism? If hatred doesn't work, how should revolutions be brought about?
When studied closely, we realized that these questions are very important. If Orwell was a socialist democrat, why did Major fail to bring about the change he had desired or envisioned? Orwell probably understood that socialism in all its glory was still not free of flaws and that any system that is grounded in hatred can only lead to further brutality. All in all, the book is a classic example of tasteful satirical attack on communism.
Why I Write," in George Orwell, a Collection of Essays (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1953), p. 314
Animal Farm (New York: Alfred a. Knopf, 1993)
V.I. Lenin, What Is to Be Done? Burning Questions of Our Movement (New York: International Publishers, 1969)
Sanford Pinsker, a Note to the Teaching of Orwell's Animal Farm,"…… [Read More]
It was certainly the hope for the socialists and for the Bolsheviks in Russia before the revolution was taken over by Stalin and turned into a different sort of stat than had been envisioned. It was the hope of those fighting the Nazis in Spain, making it also the hope Orwell had when he entered that battle. His disillusionment with the process derives from the fact that human nature enables some to thwart the desires of the many and turn any revolution to their own ends. This begins to take place at Manor Farm as the goods that should be shared by all begin to disappear. Many of the events that take palce are reminiscent of the way the Russian state developed. Boxer the horse is admirted and celebrated fgor his devotion to the cause, much as certain workers were given awards and celebrated in Soviet Russia even as the regime was actually killing thousands who did not follow the party lie or who did not fit with the program set forth by the leadership in some way. The extensive ideas embodied in the tents of Animalism are honed down to "Four Legs Good, Two Legs Bad" because it is easier for some to remember, though this phrase also changes the tenor of the revolution itself. Different groups start to take over different aspects of the society and the economy. The pigs announce that they do all the work in growing and harvesting the apples and so they are going to keep all the apples and the milk for themselves. The rest of the animals let this go.
The tenets of animalism lose even more power after the animals defend the farm but some then decide it is time to trade with the humans, though earlier this had been stated to be an evil always to be avoided. Toa degree, this shows how every revolution has certain aspects that have to be altered because circumstances demand it. Without the ability to trade with humans, the farm would fail. Making antagonism to this sort of move a basic tenet dooms the belief system to as test that can never be passed, for one day trade will be necessary. The other animals begin to question all of the tenets because this one has been broken, which is also something that could be foreseen. Orwell shows both…… [Read More]
An Analysis of Orwell's Animal Farm
George Orwell's Animal Farm is a highly symbolic "fantasy" in which modern day revolution, ideologues, working class members, media and human nature are represented by the animals of Jones' Farm, the setting for the staged rebellion and the institutionalization of Totalitarianism. This paper will analyze Animal Farm from the perspective of plot, character, setting, theme, point-of-view, style and symbolism and show how Orwell's novel satirizes major players of his day and age.
The plot of Animal Farm is simple: Old Major calls the animals together one evening to tell them of a dream he has had. It is the dream of a Romantic, in which equality and class elevation are the ideals. He represents the ideals of the Romantic/Enlightenment era. When he dies, his ideals are pushed forward by the equally romantic Snowball, who encourages the animals to unite against Farmer Jones, whom the less intelligent animals are led to believe is a tyrant. With the violent overthrow of Jones, the animals take the farm into their own possession and rename it Animal Farm. But soon, the animals discover that life was better under Jones. The pig Napoleon seizes control and becomes an even greater tyrant than Jones ever was believed to be. Napoleon accuses Snowball (the hero of the revolution) of being a criminal and a spy for Jones. He executes any animals who disagree with his rule. He changes the laws to reflect his wishes and by the end of the tale has committed the cardinal sin of walking on two legs (which he, Squealer, and the rest of his regime justify by changing the maxim, "Four legs good, two legs bad!" To "Four legs good, two legs better!") (Orwell…… [Read More]
The plot of 'This report is a short summary of George Orwell's "Animal Farm." The novel was set in Hertfordshire which was the community where Orwell was known to have lived and where he wrote frequently. Orwell was an avid poultry farmer so his understanding of rural and farm living seems obvious but his insights in the oppression and governmental abuse is not as obvious. The layout of his south of England home served well as the background of the Old Major's dreams. The novel was originally a children's story because the book follows the style of a children's books. But like modern day cartoons that must take into consideration that parents will be watching along with the kids, Animal Farm has sophisticated humor and wit and can satisfy an adult audience. Animal Farm can also be considered a fable because the characters are talking animals with human characteristics. Since the animals think and talk they are subject to the problems that men face on a day-to-day basis.
Animal Farm was an excellent example of Political Satire. Orwell presents the necessary attitudes, wit and humor that generally can be seen as mocking some political institutions. Orwell was effective in this satire because he says a lot with few words. The story seems to revolve around the principles of Communism and our quest for power. Napoleon for example cannot resist the temptation or need for greater amounts of power over the animals and therefore corruption and secrecy develop under a tyrannical ruler in an autocratic state.
The style is straight forward, almost like a fairy tale, and was enjoyed by children of all ages for its cunning and charm. Animal Farm' is a fairly simple one in that in the first few chapters the reader immediately sees that there is a need for action as the animals' rebel and seizes the farm. There needs to be a leader of the rebellion so this role is thrust upon two characters, Snowball and Napoleon. Napoleon wins the battle and Snowball is expelled from the community as Napoleon usurps power and establishes himself as…… [Read More]
The pigs formulate a rudimentary constitution by condensing the tenets of Animalism into Seven Commandments. Animalism is a doctrine centering on freedom and liberation, and especially on resisting human tyranny. Most of the animals on the farm become involved with the revolution and support it directly or indirectly.
Animals like Boxer the horse especially toil for the common good of the farm. A pro-labor worker ethic becomes the core philosophy of Animal Farm. Fellow Animal Farm residents refer to each other as "comrades" in direct reference to the communist revolution. The animals' solidarity proves strong, at least on a military front because they stave off Mr. Jones' attempt to take back the farm in the Battle of the Cowshed. Moreover, the Animal Farm leaders present their community as a nation-state using symbols like the flag and Mr. Jones' rifle. Community meetings are regular like parliament or congress.
However, the animals struggle with leadership conflicts and political issues that eventually tear apart the community. The power struggle between two pigs: Snowball and Napoleon, comes to a head when Napoleon disagrees with Snowball's suggestion to build an electricity generator. Differences among the diverse animal community exacerbate the power struggles between Snowball and Napoleon. Snowball's emphasis on education, letters, and learning is stymied when he realizes that not all the animals are capable of literacy. Thus, he must distill Animalism's tenets into a more digestible format. Napoleon relies more on his charisma as well as deceit and brute force.
Having trained a litter of puppies to serve his needs as a personal army, Napoleon eventually turns on Snowball. He and his army of puppies chases Snowball from Animal Farm and thus Napoleon solidifies his political power. The event was effectively a military coup. By that time, Napoleon enjoyed a sufficient amount of support from fellow farm animals especially Squealer and Boxer. Squealer and Boxer stick up for Napoleon and thereby garner more support for the increasingly…… [Read More]
.. it's healthy, it's somebody's way of life, it's somebody's livelihood, it's somebody's business.(ibid)
This is a strongly worded statement and indictment of an uncaring humanity. However, bearing in mind the daily evidence of cruelty to animals one cannot but feel that there is an element of truth to this argument.
Commercial reasons for abuse
One of the central reasons or "justifications" for animal abuse and possibly why so many turn a blind eye to animal cruelty, is commerce and the profit motive.
The plain fact is that this country and other industrial countries are deeply dependent on animal exploitation to sustain their present economic structures. The plain fact is that we are more dependent on animal exploitation than were the states of the southern United States on human slavery. (Francione, G.)
Animals are essentially seen as property. While there are many laws designed to protect these animals these laws are also prejudiced towards the interests of the owners before the welfare of the animals. An example of the way animals are often treated only as commercial commodities is the following.
In Australia, lambs are put through a gruesome procedure called mulesing, in which huge chunks of skin are sliced from the animals' backsides, with no painkillers given to the animals. Then, when their wool production declines, sheep are shipped to the Middle East on open-deck ships. These journeys, which can last months, are to countries where animal welfare standards are non-existent. So the suffering sheep are dragged off the ships, loaded into trucks, sometimes upside-down, and then have their throats slit while they are fully conscious. (United Cruelty of Benetton)
Agriculture, which is humanities oldest way of survival, previously meant a certain reciprocity and sense of care and dependence between the farmer and his animals. However, agriculture has now devolved into agribusiness and at no other time in history have farm animals been so badly treated. (ibid)
Another aspect which is related to commercialism is the creation of beauty products from animals -an aspect which reflects badly on the vanity of human nature.
Millions of Americans think they have discovered the fountain of youth in an injection of BOTOX®, whose key ingredient is botulinum toxin, the most poisonous substance known to mankind. Their mission to stop time, however, comes with a cost: An undisclosed number of mice suffer and die painfully in the testing phase of Botox.…… [Read More]
Animal Welfare Assurance Organizations
Animal welfare: Assurance organizations
Organization 1: Manes and Tails Mission (Hoboken, NJ)
Manes and Tails Mission, located in Hoboken, NJ is a locally-based organization that oversees a variety of efforts to reduce cruelty against horses. Given the faltering economy, many horses have been abandoned and/or abused, as fewer and fewer people have the ability to care for their animals properly. Horses from the racetrack or who have been used in vocations like the Mounted Police often have difficulties finding good homes after they retire. This organization resolves to "rescue, rehabilitate, retrain, and re-home the most commonly slaughtered breeds of horses - Quarter horses, Thoroughbreds, and Standardbreds." (Mission statement, 2011, Manes and Tails.). It does not sell horses, although it does lease them. It also provides retirement homes for Mounted Police horses. It educates the public about equine slaughter. It also provides community service through reduced rate boarding, maintenance of rare breeds, and promotes holistic horse care education.
The program is fairly balanced in terms of how it promotes preserving horses physically and mentally, and also attempts to keep horses in as natural a state as possible, regardless of where they are housed (including promoting keeping horses shoeless whenever possible). Providing educational and supportive resources to the community rather than outcomes are emphasized -- the organization is small and its goals are varied, so it does not keep metrics on monitoring how much of a positive or negative effect it has had upon the equine community. The organization disseminates information to all horse owners about improving the care of their animals and tries to help horses on a case-by-case basis. It acknowledges in its mission statement that it is a local organization with limited resources and strives to create liaisons with other community organizations and national organizations devoted to horse rescue and care.
Organization 2: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)
In contrast to the small, localized horse rescue Manes and Tails, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is a national organization. Like Manes and Tails, the ASPCA is devoted to preventing animal cruelty and to educating the public…… [Read More]
Steel can create a very durable and rugged car that will often outlast the animals that are drawing it. However aluminum is as durable and element resistant as well as being extremely lightweight and is often the material of choice for many countries. Pneumatic or inflatable tires also have been a boon to carts by helping to absorb some shock as well as to distributing the weight over a wider surface without significantly increasing drag on the vehicle.
Aluminum casting is already a technique that is widely used in many parts of Africa and other developing countries. Africa, usually to make cooking utensils and the like. "Aluminium wheels with integral roller bearings could be made by these artisans and would provide a very low cost solution to the wheel and bearing problem." (Oram173) See figure 6 below:
These designs element the ordinary friction involved in a typical axle joint design made from wood as well as the quick wear and tear on the material over a shorter period of time.
There have also been considerable important in the foundation of journal bearings. Journal bearings are fundamental engineering component that supports and positions an object while allowing that object to rotate.
Bearings made of wood have long been used in cartwheels, windmills, lathes, and other technical devices Archeological evidence shows that wooden wheels and bearings were first used in the Tigris- Euphrates valley circa 3500 BC These solid cart wheels were crafted of flat planks and rotated on fixed wooden poles. (Sathre & Gorman 48)
Slowly evolving to lighter spooked wheels and the use of bearing lubricants which have been document to the thirteenth century BC, journal bearing have evolved even further in the current epoch. Leonardo da Vinci studied the friction and wear of bearings in the 15th and the recent industrial revolution sparked great advances in bearing Technology. (Sathre & Gorman 41)
Sather and Gorman decided to research improving existing and readily available materials like wood and attempting to ascertain the ultimate combination of variables necessary to make the most efficient bearing out of that material.…… [Read More]
Animal Production: Biotechnology
Biotechnology has achieved some dramatic advances in recent years in both crop and livestock production. Food production results from the interaction of humans, animals, land and water; to help speed up this process, make it safer and more efficient, biotechnology has been involved. These include transferring a specific gene from one species to another to create a transgenic organism; the production of genetically uniform plants and animals (clones); and the fusing of different types of cells to produce beneficial medical products such as monoclonal antibodies. Today, biotechnology has a number of applications in livestock production. It is being used to hasten animal growth, enhance reproductive capacity, improve animal health and develop new animal products. In 1999, FFTC carried out a regional survey to draw up an inventory of technologies and products which have been developed using biotechnology for livestock production. Some of these are now being applied on farms, others are still being developed in research stations. Animal production is important to agriculture, and biotechnology has improved range management, food safety and animal health as well as reproduction.
Biotechnology can increase the digestibility of low-quality roughage, and genetically modify plants to improve their feed value, such as the amino acid balance. It can also provide hormones and other substances that enhance animal size, productivity and growth rates. Synthetic hormone bST (bovine somatotropin) was among the first innovations available commercially. It can increase milk yield by as much as 10 to 15 per cent in lactating cows. Livestock is a very important industry in the global economy. Current development efforts are looking at a whole spectrum of genes that affect growth and production within the animal. Ways to genetically engineer cattle to increase their own natural hormone production are being considered, thus eliminating the need for synthetic bST.…… [Read More]
Animal Dreams: Real Life Reflections of the Effects of Pollution on the World's Fertility
Continued inadequate attention to the world's rivers, lakes and streams will ultimately result to mankind's demise. To ensure the productivity and viability the earth in the future, mankind must start working together to protect the physical environment and ecological processes or face destruction. Government legislation and community action related to this issue up until this point in time have largely been inadequate. More proactive measures are necessary both from governmental officials and community members to significantly change the course of history in a positive manner.
From an ecological viewpoint, of key concern are humankind's natural bodies of water, which historically have nourished and supported human life. In recent years however continual pollution and exposure to environment toxins have diminished the supply and quality of water and life available in the worlds' natural bodies of water. There are no signs that water pollution is significantly declining despite previous legislation and efforts by some community members. Brough (1998) shows that over-consumption and pollution continue to accelerate, which is contributing the destruction of the world's natural water resources. The World Wide Fund for Nature recently reported that whole seas are lowing up to 70% of their water; in addition more than 60% of freshwater species including fish and birds are declining; still other reports suggest that virtually all of nature may be "killed off within 50 years unless politicians act now" (Brough, 15).
Time and time again mankind has disregarded vital ecological processes in favor of development and modern conveniences. Despite measures to reduce water pollution mankind has continually dragged his feet. This fact is clearly demonstrated by the Clean Water Act of 1977 whose aims included achieving pollution control. The deadline for establishing safe levels for pollutant discharges was continually extended by government officials. President's Reagan and Nixon both vetoed measures that were aimed at revising and strengthening the Clean Water Act, suggesting mankind's blatant lack of regard for environmental concerns (Freedman &…… [Read More]
69). Petting a dog lowered blood pressure and respiratory rate -- even if the dog was somebody else's. Pet owners that have heart surgery recover faster and stand a better chance of full recovery. Touching a warm furry animal gives them relief.
Moreover, pet ownership is a predictor of survival after hospitalization for any serious illness (Gunter & Furnham, 1999).
Demello (1999) found that the "mere presence of an animal" could lower blood pressure and that the effect persisted even after the animal was gone. Visual contact with an animal, although it helped, was not as good as touching. Heart rates decreased significantly in a three-minute period of physical contact with the animal (Demello, 1999).
A story in Time magazine (2001) tells how a brain-injured man needed help to get back his sense of balance. Ginger, an Australian shepherd, liked to fetch, so physical therapy for this man was to reach down, pet the dog with his weak arm, and then throw a ball for her to bring back. He said, "I can't turn my neck, and my eyesight isn't good. The dog gives me courage" (cited in Time, 2001, p. 53). The benefits are both physical and spiritual. The primary force that helps a patient to get well is motivation, and animals in critical care units remind patients there is a life to live away from the hospital and a reason to get well (Cenner, 2001).
Dogs who do therapy must be trained. Most dogs that practice in hospitals are certified by Therapy Dogs International in New Jersey or by the Delta Society. Animals are insured for liability by these organizations (Cenner, 2001). The Delta Society screens dogs for personality and obedience. Certification reassures personnel that the dog will behave. Leaser (2005) points out, "While many dogs have a sweet nature and calm disposition, and offer love and companionship at home, not all dogs are appropriate or have…… [Read More]
4). Singer references the essay in the book by Richard Ryder, who criticizes (with great justification) animal experiments ("now a large industry"). Of course there have been laws passed in the U.S. Congress subsequent to when this book was published, laws that provide guidelines for any animal research, but Ryder provides Singer with some gruesome experiments on animals and Singer reports them in his essay.
How moral is a company or organization or university when it injects chemicals into the brains of cats? At the National Institute for Medical Research in London they did just that, and while it is doubtful they could get away with such cruelty in 2011, they certainly did then. The injection into the brain of a cat with a large does of "Tubocuraine" caused the cat to jump into its cage and start calling "noisily whilst moving about restlessly and jerkily… jerking in rapid clonic movements" like an epileptic convulsion, and dying 35 minutes after the injection (Singer, p. 5).
Springer noted that notwithstanding the fact that these kinds of hideously cruel experiments are taking place "on university campuses throughout the country" there has not been "the slightest protest from the student movement" (p. 5). He is wondering in this essay why students protest against discrimination when it has to do with race or sex, or the military and big corporations, but when it comes to animals, the students tend to see them as "statistics rather than sentient beings with interests that warrant consideration" (p. 5).
Conclusion -- What are Americans' Values and Morals vis-a-vis Animals?
When Springer alludes to the essay by Ruth Harrison ("On Factory Farming") he hits home with the most egregious practice in the West when it comes to food production. When veal calves are kept in narrow stalls, to narrow for the poor calf to turn around, that is immoral, and it paints an immoral portrait of the society, whether it is the UK or the U.S. One of the questions to be answered in this paper has to do with skewed morals, and there is no doubt that when a customer buys an…… [Read More]
It is simply human nature. These pigs will be the ones attempting to gain all of the power and control the rest of the population. The image of the humans and the pigs being indistinguishable points to the frailty of the human condition and it declares that this condition cannot be "fixed" and it will lead to humanity's downfall in one way or another. Power and greed only make people more power hungry and greedy. There can be no equals in this kind of society because people, regardless of we like it or not, are simply not equal. There will always be those with more and there will always be those with less. Additionally, there will always be those that want to control everything and those who allow that control to occur.
Animal Farm pokes fun at humanity but it does so with a serious stick. There are messages and warnings to be mindful of in this novel because there can never be a perfect utopian society. This is because groups of people need leaders but most leaders lose their good intentions when they gain power and serve only themselves. Animalism or fascism are illusions used as a means to obtain power and control. The old adage that the road to hell is paved with good intensions is true but it is also paved with evil, greedy ones as well. We also hear that it takes all kinds to run the world but also takes all kinds to ruin it; Orwell saw the depravity of man and deemed it good enough for the animals.
Work… [Read More]
The Impact of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations
In the past century there has been a substantial change in the way human beings raise and keep animals meant for food. While in the past there were great numbers of widely spaced small individual farms, now there are relatively few, but extremely large industrialized farms. And as the numbers of animals kept and slaughtered for human consumption increases, these industrialized farms, known as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations or CAFO's, are having more and more of an impact on the environment and people around them. The concentration of animals causes a major problem with the waste products they produce, as well as the gases, chemicals, and other types of byproducts. And the increased use of antibiotics in the animals is beginning to have a profound effect on the health of not only the environment but the communities that exist around these industrialized farms. CAFO's, and their secondary industries, are also a large consumer of oil, gasoline, and other fuels which can have an indirect, but devastating effect on the environment. Luckily there are some who have come to recognize the problems, and potential future problems, involved in this type of animal farming and have begun to inform the public to the dangers these farms pose. And in response to this information, the public is beginning to force changes in the way these CAFO's operate and the impact they have on the environment and local communities.
Industrialized farms, called CAFO's, have all but replaced the local family farm when it comes to raising animals. For instance, in 1965 there were more than one million pig farms across the country but in the 21st century the totality of pig farms number just a little over 65,000. (Sayre) And even as the number of farms decreased, the total number of pigs being…… [Read More]
Animal Liberation: A Triangular Affair
In his essay "Animal Liberation: A Triangular Affair," J. Baird Callicott discusses the animal liberation movement in relation to Aldo Leopold's "land ethic" as a means of demonstrating that although the two strains of thought appear at first glance to share more than a passing similarity, when considered more closely, the theoretical and practical underpinnings of animal liberation and environmental ethics are so fundamentally different that the two may ultimately be considered contradictory. These contradictions result in the "triangular affair" the title refers to, because Callicott determines that the animal liberation movement is not only locked in a conflict with conservative philosophizers maintaining a fundamental break between humans and animals, but also with environmental ethicists who propose a much broader scope for the application of ethics to realms beyond human interaction. Hopefully by examining Callicott's essay in greater detail, the validity of his argument concerning the unnecessarily reductive nature of animal liberation will become clear.
Before covering Callicott's critique of the animal liberation movement in more detail, it will be useful to briefly discuss Aldo Leopold's "land ethic," because it serves as the "exemplary type" to which subsequent formulations of environmental ethics may be compared and analyzed (Callicott 1). In short, Leopold's theory notes that "animals and plants, soils and waters […] traditionally not enjoyed no moral standing, no rights, no respect, in sharp contrast to human persons whose rights and interests ideally must be fairly and equally considered if our actions are to be considered 'ethical or 'moral'" (Callicott 1). Leopold correctly determines that the overall trajectory of society has been the expansion rights and interests to wider and wider groups, and predicts that eventual this expansion will eventually come to include plants and animals such that humans become only one constituent part of the protected biosphere, rather than dominant over it. In turn, humans may make ethical choices in regards to their place within nature without pretending that the socially constructed notion of legal rights would be useful or widely applicable to the natural world. This is important to understand because Leopold's work constitutes Callicott's "exemplary type," and helps to demonstrate how the theoretical and practical desires of the animal liberation movement fall far short of this ideal, instead unnecessarily focusing…… [Read More]
In particular, Singer could have explained that moral concern for animals does not necessarily require that humans become vegetarians.
On the other hand, there is a tremendous moral difference between raising animals for consumption in conditions that provide for their reasonable comfort and humane slaughter and doing so without any regard at all for their comfort in life or trauma during slaughter. In many instances, morally questionable practices, especially in the farming industry, could be resolved simply by valuing the goal of avoiding the unnecessary infliction of pain a little more and the maximization of profits a little less.
Similarly, Singer does not explain that appropriate moral concern for animals does not necessarily preclude all experimental uses, but only requires a good-faith effort to minimize their suffering and to consider whether the potential benefits of the experiments to humans justifies their cost to animal subjects where it is not possible to eliminate it entirely. In that analysis, certain uses of animals for research capable of curing human disease may justify experimental uses of animals that is not justified in conjunction with experiments designed to help develop cosmetic products for profit. By distinguishing morally permissible uses of animals from morally insensitive uses in greater detail, Singer could have strengthened his position, especially against any suggestion that expressing a moral concern for non-human suffering necessarily means that all uses (and consumption) of animals for human benefit are necessarily immoral as well. The author's failure to do so leaves his position more vulnerable to the (erroneous) conclusion that the issue of moral concern for animals is an all-or-none proposition that requires a choice between prohibiting any form of use or consumption of animals and permitting every conceivable type of animal exploitation.
When it comes to presenting the logical objections to the immoral treatment of animals, it is important to structure the arguments so that they anticipate the supposed justifications of those not already inclined to that perspective. Singer's arguments obviously appeal to anybody already open to the moral concern for animal suffering; they are somewhat less likely to change the minds of those with a…… [Read More]
Society Feels About Animals
As a first order primate, humans have a natural affinity with animals of all types that has contributed to their mutual relationships throughout history. In fact, animals of different types have been since the time of the ancient Greeks to improve the emotional and functional status of humans (Mccauley, 2006, p. 358). Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) has grown in popularity in recent years based on its proven efficacy in treating a wide range of healthcare and mental health conditions. Although dogs and cats are most commonly used in AAT settings, horses, rabbits and even fish can also be used. For instance, according to Macauley, "The use of animals ranges from companion animals that provide camaraderie and emotional support to assistance animals that provide direct physical-functional support to therapy animals that aid with the habilitation-rehabilitation in physical, occupational, speech-language, and recreation therapy" (2006, p. 358). Moreover, some researchers argue that humans have been forging relationships "since time immemorial" and that animals have served human society three broad capacities ever since: as teachers, as healers, and as companions and friends" (Pattnaik, 2004, p. 95).
The use of animals for therapeutic applications is referred to as an animal-assisted therapy (AAT) which by definition specifically incorporates animals into the therapeutic process (Chandler & Portrie-Bethke, 2010). The animals that are used in AAT have a human handler who also serves as a counselor or therapist; the human half of the animal-human AAT duo is responsible for the provision of compassionate and stimulating counseling to facilitate the recovery of the participants (Chandler & Portrie-Bethke, 2010). In this regard, Obrusnikova, Bibik and Cavalier report that, "Using therapy dog teams in school and therapeutic settings for children with disabilities is becoming increasingly popular. A therapy dog team consists of a specially trained dog and her or his owner (called a handler)" (2012, p. 37). The animals used in AAT applications typically include counseling, physical therapy, and occupational therapy (Chandler & Portrie-Bethke, 2010).
How society feels about those with disabilities
The disabled in American society are akin to the homeless; they are out of sight and out of mind until the problem strikes someone or their families…… [Read More]