Animal Consciousness

#41
Those elephants have chains around their necks. One of them is being ridden. They do not look like they are in a happy environment.
I would imagine you have to have some kind of restraint on elephants in contact with the general public to make sure nothing goes wrong. Those chains were very slack.

Are you suggesting that no animal likes being ridden - even horses?

David
 
#42
I would imagine you have to have some kind of restraint on elephants in contact with the general public to make sure nothing goes wrong. Those chains were very slack.

Are you suggesting that no animal likes being ridden - even horses?

David
Im not sure we know the answer to that. Somebody who was brought up around horses their whole life might know better. Although they may have a bias in their thinking. I wonder what a gifted animal psychic like Anna Breytenbach would say about it.

No doubt that horses have formed a psychological/spiritual bond of sorts with humans. I might suggest that perhaps they do typically enjoy that form of bonding (riding) with their owner. I don’t think it harms them physical so long as they are healthy.
 
#43
I would imagine you have to have some kind of restraint on elephants in contact with the general public to make sure nothing goes wrong. Those chains were very slack.
For a start, they didn't seem to be in contact with the general public. But in any case, if you find you have to restrain an animal with a chain, then you have probably set up an unkind, unethical, and cruel situation in the first place. Why are these elephants even being held captive? Why are they not out in the wild where they belong? Is it merely for selfish human pleasure at the cost of the quality of life of the elephants? It seems that way to me.

Are you suggesting that no animal likes being ridden - even horses?
Consider the term that is used to describe the process of bringing a horse to accept being saddled and bridled and ridden: "breaking" it in. If you have to "break" a being in order to get it to accept being ridden, does that suggest that that being "likes" being ridden?
 
A

Aliceinunderland

#44
Are you suggesting that no animal likes being ridden - even horses?
Ask yourself, would you like to be ridden? Perhaps now and then if it was say a small child and for their pleasure. As with the chains, there must be reason for them, such as the elephants might want to go off and 'have a life' as we all would. How can we tell whether a horse likes to be ridden, unless say, it persisted in lying down and clearly indicating for you to get on it's back.
 
#45
For a start, they didn't seem to be in contact with the general public. But in any case, if you find you have to restrain an animal with a chain, then you have probably set up an unkind, unethical, and cruel situation in the first place. Why are these elephants even being held captive? Why are they not out in the wild where they belong? Is it merely for selfish human pleasure at the cost of the quality of life of the elephants? It seems that way to me.



Consider the term that is used to describe the process of bringing a horse to accept being saddled and bridled and ridden: "breaking" it in. If you have to "break" a being in order to get it to accept being ridden, does that suggest that that being "likes" being ridden?
Ask yourself, would you like to be ridden? Perhaps now and then if it was say a small child and for their pleasure. As with the chains, there must be reason for them, such as the elephants might want to go off and 'have a life' as we all would. How can we tell whether a horse likes to be ridden, unless say, it persisted in lying down and clearly indicating for you to get on it's back.
Well OK, that is an extreme position, but it rules out horse riding, and I suppose putting a dog on a leash - so you can't take the dog out into the countryside.

Take it a little further, and perhaps we should not 'break in' children - forcing them to go to school etc.

Do either of you have any pets?

David
 
#46
Most domesticated species such as dogs, horses, and chickens have in common that they naturally form a social hierarchy with other members of their species. This characteristic allows them to be domesticated because they can be controlled by humans who take a place at the top of the hierarchy. So animals do not feel "enslaved" when they are told what to do by humans. Most horses like to be ridden if they are not abused by the rider because it relieves the monotony of waiting in a small stall in the stables. Likewise dogs love to be walked on a leash because it is then that the get to go outside. If an animal was born in captivity it will never know the freedom of being wild and not be able to miss it..
 
A

Aliceinunderland

#47
Take it a little further, and perhaps we should not 'break in' children - forcing them to go to school etc.
Yes, we should not. School is used to train children to suppress natural traits and conform to the limitations of a society driven by commerce.

Both my dogs walk without need of a leash and I don't ride either of them.
 
A

Aliceinunderland

#48
Most domesticated species such as dogs, horses, and chickens have in common that they naturally form a social hierarchy with other members of their species. This characteristic allows them to be domesticated because they can be controlled by humans who take a place at the top of the hierarchy. So animals do not feel "enslaved" when they are told what to do by humans. Most horses like to be ridden if they are not abused by the rider because it relieves the monotony of waiting in a small stall in the stables. Likewise dogs love to be walked on a leash because it is then that the get to go outside. If an animal was born in captivity it will never know the freedom of being wild and not be able to miss it..
Domesticated animals have been bred for traits desirable to humans because humans currently enjoy 'a place at the top of the hierarchy' they created. Most animals retain a deeply-primal capacity to revert to a wild state and we cannot know if they miss it. For e.g. chickens released from battery-cages very quickly behave like normal birds, scratching for food and even roosting in trees. We impose our expectations and perceptions on animals for our own interests and should not be surprised that they also suffer from boredom, or slavish pleasure in small reprieves. They are therefore as conscious as us, just less able to act on it.
 
#49
PETA (perhaps not surprisingly) doesn’t approve of horse riding. As far as “breaking it in” is concerned, that’s just verbiage. You can’t really judge an action by the label which was placed upon it using abstract and metaphorical language.

There’s probably some grey area here. It’s probably a complicated question to answer. I suppose I’m somewhere in the middle on this question. But I’d be really surprised if many horses didn’t relish the chance to be ridden. As far as walking a dog on a leash, I can speak with 100 percent certainty when I say that my dog loves it. So much so that he quite literally can’t contain himself as we are getting going.

Is it because, as Alice suggests, that he is being granted a Momentary reprieve? I’m not really sure. But he seems to prefer going for walks on a leash to running around free in the backyard. But maybe he’s just a weirdo lol, who knows. Walking around the neighborhood, with me, perhaps not a stranger seems to be, by far, his favorite activity. He follows me wherever I go throughout the house and even sleeps right up next against my leg every night. I’ll always be convinced that man and dog share a special relationship that transcends normal nature. There’s a spiritual connection there imo. It does break my heart when dogs are kept in cages for the majority of the day. But as far as taking a well treated dog for a walk? Meh.


https://www.peta.org/about-peta/faq/how-does-peta-feel-about-horseback-riding/
 
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#50
Well OK, that is an extreme position
Only in comparison to the norm, which itself is an extreme in comparison to mine (it's all relative). From the perspective of peaceful co-existence, the idea that humans should be able to capture animals and force them to do things for their (the humans') own pleasure is extreme - and moreover a violent and coercive extreme, versus my peaceful "extreme".

so you can't take the dog out into the countryside.
Of course you can. There is no need to leash dogs in the countryside.

perhaps we should not 'break in' children - forcing them to go to school etc.
Sure, we ought to question whether the methods of education that we use are best suited to the task. There is an awful lot of coercion applied in modern education, and not enough scope for children to direct their own learning. Of course, the point of sending children to school is to prepare them for life, which I suppose it achieves to an extent, and different children thrive under different conditions - some prefer the structure of our current system - so we should also be wary of a wholesale trashing of the system.

Do either of you have any pets?
I have no pets. If I did, they would be (1) unconditionally loved and (2) free to go and do as they pleased - hopefully though with the toilet training to keep them from fouling my home.
 
#51
Most domesticated species such as dogs, horses, and chickens have in common that they naturally form a social hierarchy with other members of their species. This characteristic allows them to be domesticated because they can be controlled by humans who take a place at the top of the hierarchy. So animals do not feel "enslaved" when they are told what to do by humans.
The bankruptcy of this argument is best exposed by noting that (1) it can equally be applied to humans, and (2) we would never accept it in those terms (as applied to humans). It is thus revealed as a gross form of speciesism.

Here's how it looks when applied to humans:

"Humans form a social heirarchy with other humans. This characteristic allows one group of humans to be controlled by another group of humans who take a place at the top of the hierarchy. So humans do not feel "enslaved" when they are told what to do by other humans."

Who buys that? And if - as you ought not to - you don't buy it, then why would you buy it when it is applied to animals? Think carefully. There are answers that seem obvious but that are also obviously wrong.

Most horses like to be ridden if they are not abused by the rider because it relieves the monotony of waiting in a small stall in the stables.
The assumption being that it is reasonable to confine sovereign beings of another species in a small stall in a stable - an assumption which is - again - gross in its prejudice.

Likewise dogs love to be walked on a leash because it is then that the get to go outside.
The assumption being that it is reasonable to confine sovereign beings of another species indoors and refuse to allow them outdoors except on a leash and at human discretion - an assumption which is - once again - gross in its prejudice.

If an animal was born in captivity it will never know the freedom of being wild and not be able to miss it.
Let's again apply the same principle as originally: how would this argument look when applied to a human being?

"If a person was born in captivity that person will never know the freedom of being free and not be able to miss it."

Do you buy that? And if - as you ought not to - you do not, then why would you buy it when applied to the member of another species?
 
#52
As far as “breaking it in” is concerned, that’s just verbiage.
Bullshit.

It's an accurate allusion to the coercive nature of forcing a sovereign being to submit to a practice to which it does not wish to submit.

There’s probably some grey area here.
The only grey area I can see is in what I have heard about the practices of Native Americans in this respect when horses were introduced to their land. From what I've heard - though I have not researched the matter to discover whether it is true - Native Americans formed a non-coercive relationship with their horses, and gained the trust of the animals to freely - and without force - allow them on their backs due to the nature of the close friendship between man and horse.

But that is not "breaking"; that is seeking free consent from a friend.
 
#53
I quite admire Lairds consideration towards animals. We need more people who think like this going forward if we are going to grow as a species regarding our treatment of animals as a whole. Animals are gaining more rights each year seemingly, and I hope we can continue to further this.

I don’t have any experience with horses, nor do I have a much knowledge about them. I do know something about dogs. Domesticated dogs are quite different from wild animals. They have been changed fundamentally and to their core through human interaction and bonding. It’s not the same thing as taking a lion from the Savannah and throwing it behind a cage to be put on display in a zoo. I really like Rupert Sheldrakes work because it shows how animals are individually and collectively changed through their experiences. What a species experiences as a whole seems to affect future offspring even though this offspring did not have the direct experience themselves. Still, they learn and are changed by the past experiences of their kin. Sheldrake calls this Morphic resonance, I tend to think of it as collective consciousness. Although we probably mean the same thing.

Domesticated dogs are miles away from being true wild animals anymore. They do not require the same things that wild animals require to be psychologically healthy. If you look closely at a zoo animal, it’s a rather sad sight. They seem totally depleted of vitality and energy. Quite literally they seem depressed. This has been widely observed in zoo animals. You don’t get this feeling from domesticated dogs.

Having always had at least 1 dog my entire life, and having spent some time in shelters and lots in dog parks etc, when it comes to domesticated dogs, the well cared for ones, do not lack vitality and happiness. They’ve quite literally grown into their new reality as a species. And this relationship, although likely weighted in the favor of humans) has largely been symbiotic.

if I were to give my rescued 6 pound Chihuahua free range of the neighborhood, between the other dogs of the neighborhood, the cars, and the coyotes, he would likely be dead soon.

When you domesticate a dog, bring it into your home, give it food and protection, that animal is fundamentally changed in a profound way. And in a way which puts it at a major disadvantage to true wild animals out in the wild. Depending upon where you live it could be wildly irresponsible to give that animal free reign. Stray cats generally fare much better than stray dogs, perhaps because they aren’t as domesticated

I do not generally approve of crating dogs, that seems cruel to me, or of many other treatments that dogs sometimes receive. But I think one would be hard pressed to convince me that walking dogs on a leash is immoral or that dogs who are walked on a leash are less happy than dogs who are not. Or that dogs even hate being walked on a leash in the first place. Or, that wild dogs are happier than domesticated dogs. Of course I don’t know this, but it’s my feeling anyways. Dogs love nothing more than to be with their loving owners.

Im really only speaking about dogs here. I feel it’s the only species that I truly know. I don’t approve of keeping birds in a cage, or gerbils in a small tank etc

But the true horror of human/animal involvement is that found within factory meat farming. The meat industry is a truly disgusting and unnatural practice which causes IMMEASURABLE animal suffering. And it’s one that hardly anybody thinks twice about. But their dog gets all the consideration in the world.
 
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#54
I quite admire Lairds consideration towards animals. We need more people who think like this going forward if we are going to grow as a species regarding our treatment of animals as a whole. Animals are gaining more rights each year seemingly, and I hope we can continue to further this.

I don’t have any experience with horses, nor do I have a much knowledge about them. I do know something about dogs. Domesticated dogs are quite different from wild animals. They have been changed fundamentally and to their core through human interaction and bonding. It’s not the same thing as taking a lion from the Savannah and throwing it behind a cage to be put on display in a zoo. I really like Rupert Sheldrakes work because it shows how animals are individually and collectively changed through their experiences. What a species experiences as a whole seems to affect future offspring even though this offspring did not have the direct experience themselves. Still, they learn and are changed by the past experiences of their kin. Sheldrake calls this Morphic resonance, I tend to think of it as collective consciousness. Although we probably mean the same thing.

Domesticated dogs are miles away from being true wild animals anymore. They do not require the same things that wild animals require to be psychologically healthy. If you look closely at a zoo animal, it’s a rather sad sight. They seem totally depleted of vitality and energy. Quite literally they seem depressed. This has been widely observed in zoo animals. You don’t get this feeling from domesticated dogs.

Having always had at least 1 dog my entire life, and having spent some time in shelters and lots in dog parks etc, when it comes to domesticated dogs, the well cared for ones, do not lack vitality and happiness. They’ve quite literally grown into their new reality as a species. And this relationship, although likely weighted in the favor of humans) has largely been symbiotic.

if I were to give my rescued 6 pound Chihuahua free range of the neighborhood, between the other dogs of the neighborhood, the cars, and the coyotes, he would likely be dead soon.

When you domesticate a dog, bring it into your home, give it food and protection, that animal is fundamentally changed in a profound way. And in a way which puts it at a major disadvantage to true wild animals out in the wild. Depending upon where you live it could be wildly irresponsible to give that animal free reign. Stray cats generally fare much better than stray dogs, perhaps because they aren’t as domesticated

I do not generally approve of crating dogs, that seems cruel to me, or of many other treatments that dogs sometimes receive. But I think one would be hard pressed to convince me that walking dogs on a leash is immoral or that dogs who are walked on a leash are less happy than dogs who are not. Or that dogs even hate being walked on a leash in the first place. Or, that wild dogs are happier than domesticated dogs. Of course I don’t know this, but it’s my feeling anyways. Dogs love nothing more than to be with their loving owners.

Im really only speaking about dogs here. I feel it’s the only species that I truly know. I don’t approve of keeping birds in a cage, or gerbils in a small tank etc
I have a very long experience with horses. I only will say this: people who only saw horses on tv often opine on how they should be trained without a shred of practical experience (that's not a reference to anybody in particular, just a general observation).
As to dogs, I totally agree with you. My beloved Irish setter would die in the wilderness in a few days, without a doubt. Even in the city: she would eat anything she finds appetizing, without knowing whether it's dangerous or not, or step on broken glass if I don't make her avoid it, etc. She needs to be fed and taken care of, disciplined when she needs to be, etc. I was called "slave owner" because I owned animals, like horses and dogs. Those morons don't understand that those of us who have animals are, more likely, caretakers if not servants to our beloved four-legged family members.
 
#55
I don’t have any experience with horses, nor do I have a much knowledge about them. I do know something about dogs. Domesticated dogs are quite different from wild animals. They have been changed fundamentally and to their core through human interaction and bonding. It’s not the same thing as taking a lion from the Savannah and throwing it behind a cage to be put on display in a zoo. I really like Rupert Sheldrakes work because it shows how animals are individually and collectively changed through their experiences. What a species experiences as a whole seems to affect future offspring even though this offspring did not have the direct experience themselves. Still, they learn and are changed by the past experiences of their kin. Sheldrake calls this Morphic resonance, I tend to think of it as collective consciousness. Although we probably mean the same thing.
I totally agree.
Domesticated dogs are miles away from being true wild animals anymore. They do not require the same things that wild animals require to be psychologically healthy. If you look closely at a zoo animal, it’s a rather sad sight. They seem totally depleted of vitality and energy. Quite literally they seem depressed. This has been widely observed in zoo animals. You don’t get this feeling from domesticated dogs.

Having always had at least 1 dog my entire life, and having spent some time in shelters and lots in dog parks etc, when it comes to domesticated dogs, the well cared for ones, do not lack vitality and happiness. They’ve quite literally grown into their new reality as a species. And this relationship, although likely weighted in the favor of humans) has largely been symbiotic.

if I were to give my rescued 6 pound Chihuahua free range of the neighborhood, between the other dogs of the neighborhood, the cars, and the coyotes, he would likely be dead soon.

When you domesticate a dog, bring it into your home, give it food and protection, that animal is fundamentally changed in a profound way. And in a way which puts it at a major disadvantage to true wild animals out in the wild. Depending upon where you live it could be wildly irresponsible to give that animal free reign. Stray cats generally fare much better than stray dogs, perhaps because they aren’t as domesticated
Right - civilisation changes animals just as much as it changed us. Our cat appreciates arm chairs, and also appreciates going outside when he wishes. From time to time he gets into repeated fights with other cats at night, so we keep him in at night for a bit to protect him.

Cats that are allowed out, clearly show that they like their homes because they come back!
I do not generally approve of crating dogs, that seems cruel to me, or of many other treatments that dogs sometimes receive. But I think one would be hard pressed to convince me that walking dogs on a leash is immoral or that dogs who are walked on a leash are less happy than dogs who are not.
Furthermore, people often take their dogs on a leash where necessary in order to let them run free when appropriate.
But the true horror of human/animal involvement is that found within factory meat farming. The meat industry is a truly disgusting and unnatural practice which causes IMMEASURABLE animal suffering. And it’s one that hardly anybody thinks twice about. But their dog gets all the consideration in the world.
Yes, I would also like to see factory farming banned.

David
 
#56
Of course you can. There is no need to leash dogs in the countryside.
At one point my family included a beagle/shepherd mix. I liked to go work a walk in the countryside with her. But she had a habit of trying (and sometimes succeeding) in killing any wild animals she could find. She greatly enjoyed doing this. But I found it unpleasant, so she went on a leash in the countryside (in the city she was fine).
 
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