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Peter Singer: animal friend or foe

Has anyone read this book? Singer is coming to my university in April (and our bioethics club may get to have dinner with him--yay!) and I want to read his new book. Anyone read it?

The paperback is called The Ethics of What We Eat: Why our Food Choices Matter and the hardback is called The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter.

EDIT: OK, I got the info I wanted and now those who are interested in debating Singer's work can do so with a more appropriately-titled thread. Enjoy!

Yes! I read it & really liked it. My boyfriend bought it for me last May & I devoured it in about two days. Very interesting! I would love to be able to see him speak!

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:)  It sounds really good.  I'm definitely going to go pick it up, thanks for letting us know!

Youre very lucky that hes visiting your campus...  I wish he would come to mine!  If he did I would probably be too scared to talk to him anyways though,  :-X  Hes like, my hero.  ::)

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Hes like, my hero.  ::)

Oh dear, Wormyworm, my friend, we really need to have that "evils of welfarism" talk on Vegweb soon.  ;)

When I get the time, I'll start a new thread on it. Did you not read that article that I posted yet about how Singer raped (artificially inseminated) a turkey all in the name of curiosity? Imagine if someone did that to a human against their will...all in the name of curiosity? Would that be okay? Why is okay to do it to a non-human animal then? I'm sorry, but my feeling is that there is no excuse for this...especially not from an "animal activist." It's just sickening.

The following paragraphs are written by Gary Francione from this link to his excellent article: http://www.abolitionist-online.com/article-issue05_gary.francione_abolition.of.animal.exploitation.2006.shtml

You do not have to get deeply into philosophy, however, to assess the nature of Singer's “animal liberation.” Singer's most recent book not only maintains that we can ethically eat animals and animal products, but it also has a disclosure that should inform our views about Singer and his views about violence toward nonhumans. In The Way We Eat , Singer and Mason tell us that they learned that a turkey factory needed workers to assist in artificial insemination. “Our curiosity piqued, we decided to see for ourselves what this work really involved.” Singer and Mason spent a day “collecting the semen and getting it into the hen” They caught and restrained the male turkeys while another worker “squeezed the tom's vent until it opened up and the white semen oozed forth. Using a vacuum pump, he sucked it into a syringe.” Singer and Mason then had to “‘break'” the hens, which involved restraining the hen “so that her rear is straight up and her vent open.” (28) The inseminator then inserted a tube into the hen and used a blast of compressed air to insert the semen into the hen's oviduct.

And it wasn't just the turkeys who had an unpleasant time. Singer and Mason complain that their day at the turkey factory was “the hardest, fastest, dirtiest, most disgusting, worst-paid work we have ever done. For ten hours we grabbed and wrestled birds, jerking them upside down, facing their pushed-open assholes, dodging their spurting shit, while breathing air filled with dust and feathers stirred up by panicked birds.” All that, and they “received a torrent of verbal abuse from the foreman. We lasted one day.” (29) One wonders whether Singer and Mason would have returned for a second day if the working conditions had been better.

It is deeply disturbing that Singer and Mason regard it as morally acceptable to engage in violence against nonhumans for any purpose, particularly to satisfy their curiosity about what “this work really involved.” I suggest that there is no non-speciesist way to justify what Singer and Mason claim to have done without also justifying the rape of a woman, or the molestation of a child, in order to see what those acts of violence “really involved.” Perhaps Singer's perverse actions with the turkeys can be explained by his claim in 2001 on Nerve.com that “ sex with animals does not always involve cruelty” and that we can have “mutually satisfying” sexual contact with animals. In any event, if violence against nonhumans is permitted under Singer's theory, we do not need to know much more before concluding that the theory has some very serious flaws and his goals are probably not ones that, as Singer thinks, we share.

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The following paragraphs are written by Gary Francione from this link to his excellent article: http://www.abolitionist-online.com/article-issue05_gary.francione_abolition.of.animal.exploitation.2006.shtml

You do not have to get deeply into philosophy, however, to assess the nature of Singer's “animal liberation.” Singer's most recent book not only maintains that we can ethically eat animals and animal products, but it also has a disclosure that should inform our views about Singer and his views about violence toward nonhumans. In The Way We Eat , Singer and Mason tell us that they learned that a turkey factory needed workers to assist in artificial insemination. “Our curiosity piqued, we decided to see for ourselves what this work really involved.” Singer and Mason spent a day “collecting the semen and getting it into the hen” They caught and restrained the male turkeys while another worker “squeezed the tom's vent until it opened up and the white semen oozed forth. Using a vacuum pump, he sucked it into a syringe.” Singer and Mason then had to “‘break'” the hens, which involved restraining the hen “so that her rear is straight up and her vent open.” (28) The inseminator then inserted a tube into the hen and used a blast of compressed air to insert the semen into the hen's oviduct.

And it wasn't just the turkeys who had an unpleasant time. Singer and Mason complain that their day at the turkey factory was “the hardest, fastest, dirtiest, most disgusting, worst-paid work we have ever done. For ten hours we grabbed and wrestled birds, jerking them upside down, facing their pushed-open assholes, dodging their spurting shit, while breathing air filled with dust and feathers stirred up by panicked birds.” All that, and they “received a torrent of verbal abuse from the foreman. We lasted one day.” (29) One wonders whether Singer and Mason would have returned for a second day if the working conditions had been better.

It is deeply disturbing that Singer and Mason regard it as morally acceptable to engage in violence against nonhumans for any purpose, particularly to satisfy their curiosity about what “this work really involved.” I suggest that there is no non-speciesist way to justify what Singer and Mason claim to have done without also justifying the rape of a woman, or the molestation of a child, in order to see what those acts of violence “really involved.” Perhaps Singer's perverse actions with the turkeys can be explained by his claim in 2001 on Nerve.com that “ sex with animals does not always involve cruelty” and that we can have “mutually satisfying” sexual contact with animals. In any event, if violence against nonhumans is permitted under Singer's theory, we do not need to know much more before concluding that the theory has some very serious flaws and his goals are probably not ones that, as Singer thinks, we share.

Holy crap!  I wan't familiar with this Peter Singer guy, and am DEFINITELY not impressed with him (quite the opposite!!  >:( ) -- from what this says he condones!   How freaking crazy of him to condone these things in any way as ethical!   

And I love how they call turkey's penuses and vaginas as "vents."   Way to "de-humanize,"  distance themselves, and attempt to lessen the reality of the  horror of their inhumane actions and treatment of sentient earthlings.    >:(       

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You do not have to get deeply into philosophy, however, to assess the nature of Singer's “animal liberation.” Singer's most recent book not only maintains that we can ethically eat animals and animal products, but it also has a disclosure that should inform our views about Singer and his views about violence toward nonhumans. In The Way We Eat , Singer and Mason tell us that they learned that a turkey factory needed workers to assist in artificial insemination. “Our curiosity piqued, we decided to see for ourselves what this work really involved.” Singer and Mason spent a day “collecting the semen and getting it into the hen” They caught and restrained the male turkeys while another worker “squeezed the tom's vent until it opened up and the white semen oozed forth. Using a vacuum pump, he sucked it into a syringe.” Singer and Mason then had to “‘break'” the hens, which involved restraining the hen “so that her rear is straight up and her vent open.” (28) The inseminator then inserted a tube into the hen and used a blast of compressed air to insert the semen into the hen's oviduct.

And it wasn't just the turkeys who had an unpleasant time. Singer and Mason complain that their day at the turkey factory was “the hardest, fastest, dirtiest, most disgusting, worst-paid work we have ever done. For ten hours we grabbed and wrestled birds, jerking them upside down, facing their pushed-open assholes, dodging their spurting shit, while breathing air filled with dust and feathers stirred up by panicked birds.” All that, and they “received a torrent of verbal abuse from the foreman. We lasted one day.” (29) One wonders whether Singer and Mason would have returned for a second day if the working conditions had been better.

It is deeply disturbing that Singer and Mason regard it as morally acceptable to engage in violence against nonhumans for any purpose, particularly to satisfy their curiosity about what “this work really involved.” I suggest that there is no non-speciesist way to justify what Singer and Mason claim to have done without also justifying the rape of a woman, or the molestation of a child, in order to see what those acts of violence “really involved.” Perhaps Singer's perverse actions with the turkeys can be explained by his claim in 2001 on Nerve.com that “ sex with animals does not always involve cruelty” and that we can have “mutually satisfying” sexual contact with animals. In any event, if violence against nonhumans is permitted under Singer's theory, we do not need to know much more before concluding that the theory has some very serious flaws and his goals are probably not ones that, as Singer thinks, we share.

Yes I read it and I thought he supplied a decent argument but still doesnt justify the idea that singer has made things worse for animals in the long run.  Although I do agree that better living conditions for animals hurts the abolitionists ability to convert omnis into vegans, we cannot use this to justify mistreatment of animals when theres people willing to help improve the living conditions of animals.

I am not totally convinced that by praising people for cutting down on meat consumption really decreases the chances of them becoming abolitionists, although for some it may delay that.  I myself became vegetarian immediately and have been slowly working into veganism since, so would the abolitionist see my slow transition as wrong?  Even for those omnis who cut back on meats who do not see veganism as an eventual goal they have taken the first step and shown themselves able to take more...  And many will.

As for singer working at a turkey farm for a day...  So what?  :P  I will never condemn people who need the money for working at a farm or slaughterhouse any more than I would condemn soldiers for fighting in an unjust war.  In fact, I think soldiers are much more guilty for supporting a war than farm workers are, because farm workers almost always do it simply for the money where as most soldiers strongly believe and support war.  Singer of course doesnt need the money, but he needed the first hand experience so that his book would be more complete and could better compel those who read it.  If had he not worked that day, someone else on the farm would have.  If he somehow shut that farm down completely, other farms would take its place with little or no noticeable change in the price of meats.  In fact singer obviously cares about animals more than the average man, so his working on the farm probably lead to the turkeys being treated more humanely than otherwise would have happened, even if just a little.

And whats wrong with mutually satisfying sex with animals?  :D

And I love how they call turkey's penuses and vaginas as "vents."  Way to "de-humanize,"  distance themselves, and attempt to lessen the reality of the  horror of their inhumane actions and treatment of sentient earthlings.    >:(       

Yeah I noticed that too and it really bothers me.  :-\  Not that Singer uses it, he's just trying to convey the state of farms to us, but just that it would be used at all.

And firefightress, Singer does not condone the mistreatment of turkeys or other farm animals, his book 'Animal Liberation' is one of the most significant and influential works in the animal rights movement and I cannot imagine how many animals have been spared mistreatment indirectly by his works.

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As for singer working at a turkey farm for a day...  So what?   :P  I will never condemn people who need the money for working at a farm or slaughterhouse any more than I would condemn soldiers for fighting in an unjust war.  In fact, I think soldiers are much more guilty for supporting a war than farm workers are, because farm workers almost always do it simply for the money where as most soldiers strongly believe and support war.  Singer of course doesnt need the money, but he needed the first hand experience so that his book would be more complete and could better compel those who read it.  If had he not worked that day, someone else on the farm would have.  If he somehow shut that farm down completely, other farms would take its place with little or no noticeable change in the price of meats.  In fact singer obviously cares about animals more than the average man, so his working on the farm probably lead to the turkeys being treated more humanely than otherwise would have happened, even if just a little.

WTF?

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WTF?

my thoughts exactly...

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Yes I read it and I thought he supplied a decent argument but still doesnt justify the idea that singer has made things worse for animals in the long run.  Although I do agree that better living conditions for animals hurts the abolitionists ability to convert omnis into vegans, we cannot use this to justify mistreatment of animals when theres people willing to help improve the living conditions of animals.

My point is not about the abolitionists vs. welfarists. I am not not an abolitionist, though I think many of their ideas on how to abolish animal cruelty far surpass any other ideas out there.

This is about Singer himself, and the hypocrisy of actively and willingly participating in animal cruelty. I cannot have respect for anyone who does what he did to those poor turkeys. To me, it discredits almost anything valuable he may have to say about helping animals, whether in the short term or long term. He doesn't walk the talk.

I am not totally convinced that by praising people for cutting down on meat consumption really decreases the chances of them becoming abolitionists, although for some it may delay that.  I myself became vegetarian immediately and have been slowly working into veganism since, so would the abolitionist see my slow transition as wrong?  Even for those omnis who cut back on meats who do not see veganism as an eventual goal they have taken the first step and shown themselves able to take more...  And many will.

Abolitionists (and myself) never say that you need to become vegan overnight. Any vegan knows that it takes time to learn how to to eat properly to become a vegan. Abolitionists would not see your slow transition as wrong. From what I have read of their views, they would hope for someone to try to work toward being vegan the best they can, but they know it doesn't happen overnight. Turning people vegan is their main goal. To educate people about veganism. They find any and all violence toward animals abhorrent. So of course, they do not, for any reason, believe that animal reforms are conducive to their efforts or philosophy. Welfarism has been around for a long, long time. It has proven itself not to be effective in the long run. Creating a bigger cage for a hen does not help the fact that it is still in a cage and will still be shipped off to a slaughterhouse. The chicken's fate remains the same.

As for singer working at a turkey farm for a day...  So what?  :P 

Huh? So what? :o :o :o :o :o :o

I will never condemn people who need the money for working at a farm or slaughterhouse any more than I would condemn soldiers for fighting in an unjust war.  In fact, I think soldiers are much more guilty for supporting a war than farm workers are, because farm workers almost always do it simply for the money where as most soldiers strongly believe and support war. 

Interesting analogy. War and factory farming are very much alike in that both are accepted by society. Many activists claim that the mass killing of factory-farmed animals is like the holocaust. However, the WWII holocaust is viewed with horror by most people today, whereas the mass killing of factory-farmed animals is NOT. Rather, it is likened to a war, since war and the killing of animals are both deemed acceptable by the masses--a fact of life.

"By examinging the Holocaust and examining war, we find that animal commodification is less like the Holocaust than it is like war. The systematic use of animals throughout the world is seen as normal and natural and inevitable and vaguely eternal, and its only antidote is peace."

- Lee Hall (Capers in the Churchyard)

Singer of course doesnt need the money, but he needed the first hand experience so that his book would be more complete and could better compel those who read it.  If had he not worked that day, someone else on the farm would have.

Why couldn't Singer just spy on the workers and take photos of what's going on in the factory? Why did he feel it was necessary to participate in it? I can't even kill a spider in my house...I take it outside. If he can do what he did to those poor turkeys and feel that it was justified, than there is really something not right in his views toward animals. Where is the compassion? I would be bawling my eyes out just watching it...and I could never, ever do it. Even if a gun were put to my head.

If he somehow shut that farm down completely, other farms would take its place with little or no noticeable change in the price of meats.

What an odd statement. Imagine if that line of thinking applied to everything. "If a plantation were to shut down, another one with just as many slaves would open up. And the price of cotton would stay the same."

Yeah, and while we're at it, let's do the "humane" thing and build shacks for the slaves that are an eighth larger than what they were before. That should keep them happy, and consequently make them more productive in the fields. Yay for profits!

In fact singer obviously cares about animals more than the average man, so his working on the farm probably lead to the turkeys being treated more humanely than otherwise would have happened, even if just a little.

I disagree. Either way, the turkeys will be killed. The result just provides more "happy meat" for the omnis so they feel "guilt-free" when they eat it.

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Um, could someone start a different thread debating Peter Singer if that's what is desired? I really just wanted to talk about this book and whether it was a good read and worth buying, not everyone's personal views on Singer. Not that I wouldn't welcome a debate, but can we leave this thread to be just about the book if possible?

Sorry--don't mean to be a veg-b*tch  :-\

Yes! I read it & really liked it. My boyfriend bought it for me last May & I devoured it in about two days. Very interesting! I would love to be able to see him speak!

Thanks, JessaCita! I think I'll go ahead and buy it, then! Yes, I'm excited to hear him speak. No matter one's opinion on Singer, he is one of the most influential people in the animal welfare/rights movement and one of the most controversial modern philosophers (he has written on a number of subjects in addition to his animal ethics stuff), so for that reason alone, the talk should be interesting.

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Yeah. F*ck. Just slap me with another "off topic warning." Why not.

I'm willing to take this to another thread. I'll leave it up to the mods. Who just love me.

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Yeah. F*ck. Just slap me with another "off topic warning." Why not.

I'm willing to take this to another thread. I'll leave it up to the mods. Who just love me.

I'm not "reporting" anyone for this--sorry if it sounded like that. I'll just change the title of the thread so it's more applicable to a debate. I got the info I wanted from JessaCita, so I don't need the thread anymore. So let the debating begin!  :)

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How about we change the title of the thread to "Peter Singer- turkey rapist".

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Yeah. F*ck. Just slap me with another "off topic warning." Why not.

I'm willing to take this to another thread. I'll leave it up to the mods. Who just love me.

I'm not "reporting" anyone for this--sorry if it sounded like that. I'll just change the title of the thread so it's more applicable to a debate. I got the info I wanted from JessaCita, so I don't need the thread anymore. So let the debating begin!  :)

No problem...I didn't mean for what I wrote to sound defensive...only funny/sarcastic! Sorry for that..the tone didn't come across in my words. Wormyworm and I had meant to start a thread on the topic...I guess we got impatient! ;D I'll go ahead and make a new thread and cross-post stuff...hopefully that's okay with the moderators.

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I enjoy reading your well-thought-out responses, SB.

I'm glad I know enough to not read this book based on the information I've obtained in reading this thread- it'd be like buying milk or eggs or meat for me-- not supporting it.  The kicker was when wormy said that this man did NOT have to work in the factory-- and I appreciated SB's response because it was the same thing I was thinking-- then why did he do it?!?!?

Ick.  Must step back, maybe revisit this some other time.

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How about we change the title of the thread to "Peter Singer- turkey rapist".

If it's okay with Wormyworm, I'm all for it.  ;D

Edit: Oh, looks like Kbuettne changed the title? (I can't remember what the title was before!--?) Okay, I guess we're continuing the debate here then?

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Sorry, I didnt mean to sound so anti-abolitionist in my post, I am not. :)  I think both welfarists and abolitionists have improved this horrific situation, and it would be wrong to say either does not contribute.  I think its really hard to say which does more good, so its a fun topic to debate...  I dont mean to insult anyone here of course  :).

This is about Singer himself, and the hypocrisy of actively and willingly participating in animal cruelty. I cannot have respect for anyone who does what he did to those poor turkeys. To me, it discredits almost anything valuable he may have to say about helping animals, whether in the short term or long term. He doesn't walk the talk.

Singer does walk the walk...  He is a vegan and gives over 25% of his income to charity groups.  He has devoted his life to ethics, the defending of animals and poverty stricken humans.  Working a day in a turkey farm has no effect on the turkeys lives...  The fate of the turkeys is the same, they are going to be tortured and suffer a terrible death.  Being handled by a worker who actually values them does nothing but improves their lives, though slightly no doubt.  Working a day on a turkey farm does effect Singer though, it gives him a better understanding of his enemies and a stronger foundation for what his book will argue.
I suppose he could have spied on the workers from a distance; that could be preferable although not a complete experience.  Either way the turkeys are going to suffer.

Welfarism has been around for a long, long time. It has proven itself not to be effective in the long run. Creating a bigger cage for a hen does not help the fact that it is still in a cage and will still be shipped off to a slaughterhouse. The chicken's fate remains the same.

The torture that the chick endure is part of their fate, and by increasing the size of the cage you are putting the chicken through less torture and thereby changing their fate.  I dont really think increasing the size of cages is going to do a ton of good either and it definitely doesnt justify killing or eating the chickens.  It is meaningful though to the chickens who no doubt prefer a large amount of torture to an even larger amount.  :'(  Veganism is the only way to end it completely, and Singer knows that too!  He supports veganism in his books.  He just also says that vegetarianism and semi-vegetarianism are morally preferred to a typical diet.

Why couldn't Singer just spy on the workers and take photos of what's going on in the factory? Why did he feel it was necessary to participate in it? I can't even kill a spider in my house...I take it outside. If he can do what he did to those poor turkeys and feel that it was justified, than there is really something not right in his views toward animals. Where is the compassion? I would be bawling my eyes out just watching it...and I could never, ever do it. Even if a gun were put to my head.

I'd probably be bawling too.  Thats a shame you wouldnt do it though even if a gun was pointed to your head...  I'm sure youre going to spend a long life influencing those around you to better understand veganism, maybe even converting quite a few people!  :)  Those people who you help convert will live on to convert more, and live lives that would otherwise have tortured and killed many animals.  If you died by a gun today, you would never get to live that good life.  If you carried out the job at gunpoint, it would no doubt make you very upset and ashamed but it would not affect the turkeys or any one else, as the job would have been carried out by another if not by yourself.

::)  Of course, if the meat industry killed a human I bet there would be a lot of really bad publicity for them, and that could lead to a lot more vegans.  ;D  I'm just joking of course, I would never want anyone here to sacrifice their lives.  :)

If he somehow shut that farm down completely, other farms would take its place with little or no noticeable change in the price of meats.

What an odd statement. Imagine if that line of thinking applied to everything. "If a plantation were to shut down, another one with just as many slaves would open up. And the price of cotton would stay the same."

Yeah, and while we're at it, let's do the "humane" thing and build shacks for the slaves that are an eighth larger than what they were before. That should keep them happy, and consequently make them more productive in the fields. Yay for profits!

Somewhat yes, if a plantation were to shut down then other plantations would take its place to some extent.  Only a tiny tiny group of people owned slaves in America, there were a lot of free men who grew crops too and they would also benefit from the closing of a plantation, so closing a plantation would be more warranted (which is different from animal farms as that farms that produce meat will always need animals, while farms that produce crops do always not need slaves).  The price of cotton would probably stay the same though, unless it was a especially large plantation.  If the farm that Singer hypothetically shut down was incredibly large then yeah it would make a difference in the price of meat too and would be a decent victory for animal advocates.

In fact singer obviously cares about animals more than the average man, so his working on the farm probably lead to the turkeys being treated more humanely than otherwise would have happened, even if just a little.

I disagree. Either way, the turkeys will be killed. The result just provides more "happy meat" for the omnis so they feel "guilt-free" when they eat it.

The turkeys would feel 'torture-free' too.  But yeah I agree that its a problem when omnis feel guilt free eating animals that were tortured as much as in the past.

PS, I think that would be a cute name for the thread.  ;D

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I appreciate your reply, Wormyworm. I'm about to leave the house...I'll get back to you a bit later on this... :)

This is a good discussion/debate. :)

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As for singer working at a turkey farm for a day...  So what?   :P  I will never condemn people who need the money for working at a farm or slaughterhouse any more than I would condemn soldiers for fighting in an unjust war.  In fact, I think soldiers are much more guilty for supporting a war than farm workers are, because farm workers almost always do it simply for the money where as most soldiers strongly believe and support war.  Singer of course doesn't need the money, but he needed the first hand experience so that his book would be more complete and could better compel those who read it.  If had he not worked that day, someone else on the farm would have.  If he somehow shut that farm down completely, other farms would take its place with little or no noticeable change in the price of meats.  In fact singer obviously cares about animals more than the average man, so his working on the farm probably lead to the turkeys being treated more humanely than otherwise would have happened, even if just a little.

Wow, WHAT??!!!
Many, if not MOST soldiers enlist in the armed services for the same reason the people work at factory farms and slaughterhouses: money.   Money equaling the chance, hope, and possibility of providing a somewhat stable income, and- maybe if they're lucky- a better future for themselves than being caught in the never-ending cycle of financial indebtedness and demoralizing impoverishment many/most experienced throughout their upbringing.   A paid education for the soldiers is highlighted and dangled out to these kids, promising better opportunities in advancing their lot in life; same way the promise of bringing home a steady income for the people, usually from lower socio-economic (majority even illegal or recent immigrants), working at these factory farms and slaughterhouses.   Soldiers have drilled into their heads (brainwashing, no less IMO) the "glory" of what they are doing.    Factory farm, and slaughterhouse workers become numb to the violence and pain they "must" commit in order to provide for themselves and their family.  Soldiers are grilled constantly with the "rationalizating" of why they are better than the other side in committing the violence they "must" in order for us, the U.S., to be best <--- which is for our safety we are all taught.   They are both so very similar.   This is not meant to be anti-war, simply to point out the fallicy in your comparison.
     

Singer NEEDING to commit those atrocious acts for the sake of investigation, journalism, or first-hand experience is silly, if not ridiculous.  At the least, Singer could have shadowed a worker to find out/experience exactly what happens and/or interviewed the actual workers what exactly goes on and what they experience.  To say that it is ok to do it  since others will do it anyway if he does not, is also ridiculous.  That is no different than omni's saying they really don't want to eat meat, but animals will be killed anyway, so they might as well go ahead and eat meat.  Or how about, "We're all gonna die.  Might as well not try to be healthy while we're alive."  That's a defeatist or fatalistic attitude.  Rationalizing inaction or attitudes of not trying due to fear of failing or, even worse, uncaring or apathetic indifference is no excuse.  

If he shut down the farm another one would just take its place???!!!  Wow... what's the point in anyone ever trying then to, oh say, helping an animal in need, a homeless person develop working skills, an alcoholic become sober, prosecute a company for an act of illegal toxic dumping?  I mean, there's always gonna be others out there just like that, right?   So what's the point then, right?   I mean, why would an animal rights person even want to be vegan since the majority of people eat animals anyway?  What's the point?  ::) 

???      

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Wow, WHAT??!!!
Many, if not MOST soldiers enlist in the armed services for the same reason the people work at factory farms and slaughterhouses: money.  Money equaling the chance, hope, and possibility of providing a somewhat stable income, and- maybe if they're lucky- a better future for themselves than being caught in the never-ending cycle of financial indebtedness and demoralizing impoverishment many/most experienced throughout their upbringing.  A paid education for the soldiers is highlighted and dangled out to these kids, promising better opportunities in advancing their lot in life; same way the promise of bringing home a steady income for the people, usually from lower socio-economic (majority even illegal or recent immigrants), working at these factory farms and slaughterhouses.  Soldiers have drilled into their heads (brainwashing, no less IMO) the "glory" of what they are doing.    Factory farm, and slaughterhouse workers become numb to the violence and pain they "must" commit in order to provide for themselves and their family.  Soldiers are grilled constantly with the "rationalizating" of why they are better than the other side in committing the violence they "must" in order for us, the U.S., to be best <--- which is for our safety we are all taught.  They are both so very similar.  This is not meant to be anti-war, simply to point out the fallicy in your comparison.

::)  Okay I'm sorry I definitely shouldn't have used the word most...  I really have no clue how many people become soldiers because they support war.  Yeah looking back it was probably a bad idea to mention wars and politics n stuff  :D

Singer NEEDING to commit those atrocious acts for the sake of investigation, journalism, or first-hand experience is silly, if not ridiculous.  At the least, Singer could have shadowed a worker to find out/experience exactly what happens and/or interviewed the actual workers what exactly goes on and what they experience.  To say that it is ok to do it  since others will do it anyway if he does not, is also ridiculous. 

I think doing the work himself has a few benefits.

    Doing things yourself in general give you a better idea of what is going on. 
    Omnis who think singer is some emotional animal loving nut job might give him some credit when they realize maybe his philosophies are deeper than loving animals because they are cute.
    Shadowing or doing the work yourself has the same moral utility, (except for points 1 and 2), because working for pay on a farm for a day does not have any negative consequences for turkeys or any other animal, it is not atrocious or morally defunct.

That is no different than omni's saying they really don't want to eat meat, but animals will be killed anyway, so they might as well go ahead and eat meat.

By purchasing meat they increase the amount of animals that are raised/tortured/killed in the future, and that is the link that makes eating meat wrong.  Singers actions did not lead to an increase in the amount of animals that are raised/tortured/killed.

Or how about, "We're all gonna die.  Might as well not try to be healthy while we're alive."  That's a defeatist or fatalistic attitude.  Rationalizing inaction or attitudes of not trying due to fear of failing or, even worse, uncaring or apathetic indifference is no excuse.

Yeah its important that we dont give up hope.  :)  Singer has not given up hope, he has written several books in the defense of animals which advocates veganism, animal rights, and animal welfare.  I'm sure it was hard for him to visit that turkey farm but he knew that it would help give more substance to his book, and that his book could make a difference to the world.

If he shut down the farm another one would just take its place???!!!  Wow... what's the point in anyone ever trying then to, oh say, helping an animal in need, a homeless person develop working skills, an alcoholic become sober, prosecute a company for an act of illegal toxic dumping?  I mean, there's always gonna be others out there just like that, right?  So what's the point then, right?  I mean, why would an animal rights person even want to be vegan since the majority of people eat animals anyway?  What's the point?  ::) 

In the case that you help an animal in need or an alcoholic, another does not take their place because there is not a economic demand for animals or alcoholics in need of help.  :)  In the case of animals, theres a huge economic demand for animal products, and as long as it is legal for them to do so businesses will continue to meet those demands.  So we can act by convincing people to stop demanding animal products (go vegan!) and by convincing our government to make torturing and killing animals illegal.  ;D  Shutting down individual farms wont help much unless its shutdown is highly publicized or the farm supplies so much meat that it being shut down raises the cost of meats (which in itself would be temporary as new farms open to get in on the higher cost of meat) and some omnis stop eating meat due to its high costs.
Theres definitely a point to improving the lives of animals and minimizing their deaths.  :) 

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