Pregnant? British? Here's some healthy food money!

Discussion in 'BOARDANIA' started by Roman_K, Sep 9, 2007.

  1. Roman_K New Member

  2. Ba Lord of the Pies

    They should pay Ba the money to set up a food delivery service for these pregnant women. He would be sure that all the money went into the procurement of healthy food.
  3. Marcia Executive Onion

    The US has had a program for poor pregnant women, and poor women with infants for years.

    You are told exactly what foods you can buy and how much. (I know from experience working in a supermarket, when I had to add up the ounces of milk and formula purchased and match that with the amount allowed.)

  4. Maljonic Administrator

    It sounds like wartime rations.
  5. missy New Member

    This is going to sound like a really selfish rant, but hey I'm fed up/depressed and deserve to wallow for a while.

    This is stupid. I can't have children, through no fault of my own. So in life what the hell do i get? No tax credits, no help with council tax, no help with the rent/mortgage. Pretty much nothing.
    Oh and who is paying for all this help other people are getting, hmmmmm now let me think. It's not difficult, it's the person who would like kids, can't have them and is now supporting shed loads of others who have them and will spend this money on booze or drugs!

    Wallow over with. I'm still fed up/depressed but at least i let it out a bit.
  6. Garner Great God and Founding Father

    WIC is a fantastic program. so is this.

    You give the folks vouchers they can only spend on food, and you make them sit through a lecture on the importance of pre-natal nutrition. net result: some families start to break out of the hideous cycles of poverty and malnutrition they've been in for fuck knows how many hundreds of years.

    what's wrong with it?
  7. Orrdos God

    Oh yeah, they'll give people free food, but they wont give civil servants a decent pay rise!

  8. Roman_K New Member

    There's no vouchers here, just money. And government-sponsored lectures tend to suck miserably. It looks like a band-aid style solution.

    So the money, in the vast majority of cases, will not be spent on anything healthy.

    Also, the program doesn't target a specific socio-economic group, it just pays off any pregnant woman. Thus, as I said, this money will mostly be given to those who can afford healthy food, yet choose not to eat it.

    This will be, in short, an extremely expensive and inefficient program, yet one that will score votes. In short, rubbish.
  9. mowgli New Member

    All for vouchers, my family relied on them back when we were in the under-employed immigrants phase, plus I currently know at least one young Mum who gets milk and fruit for both herself and her kid that way.

    Cash instead vouchers? Yeah, that's asking for trouble. Even non-druggie/non-alcoholic families would be tempted to use the money for something other than health food, and there goes the whole point of the program!
  10. Marcia Executive Onion

    According to the article, though, the British system doesn't provide vouchers. It just gives people money to do whatever they want with.

    As an analogy-

    You see a homeless person on the street begging for money. Assuming that you want to help him you:

    a. Give him money, then walk away, or
    b. Go into the corner shop and buy him a sandwich.
  11. Garner Great God and Founding Father

    i firmly believe the article is inaccurate on that point.
  12. Roman_K New Member

    The above articles all echo the same problematic info, man. No means-criteria, paid in cash... Either a whole lot of papers are wrong, or this UK government plan just plain sucks.

    There were plenty more UK papers with similar articles on Google, by the way. I just took the first few.
  13. Marcia Executive Onion

    Well, I don't see it on the Department of Works and Pensions website yet, and newspapers do sometimes copy misinformation from each other. I would wait for the official announcement before forming an opinion.

    edit: Ok. Here is the direct quote from the 2007 Budget Report.

  14. Roman_K New Member

    The BBC article seems to quote directly from the 2007 budget report in a small part of the article. The wording regarding support already offered to low-income families is pretty much the same in both.
  15. missy New Member

    Whats wrong with it is the article never said it would be vouchers. Vouchers would be a better idea. I used to live next door to a lady that had a little girl, cute kid. She got government hand outs and spent the money on going out while i looked after Demmi.

    I get no help and have to survive, they chose to have kids, they should look after them without the government giving them hand outs for every thing. Especially the bitches that have kids just to get on the housing list and cos they can't be arsed to work.

    I always swore that if i had children, they would be looked after by me and mine, Hell i even tried to pay for my prescriptions until the health service sent me a cheque back. This country can't afford all the hand outs. Thats why we struggle to pay bills and put food on the table. No pay rises but shed loads of tax to pay cos people need "help" to look after a thing they chose to have.

    I think they should make a pet tax relief bill. I would get a fortune. All because i chose to have them.
  16. Hsing Moderator

    A thing they chose to have, eh?

    Even if I followed that logic - and I don't know, it still irks me when people sound as if rising a kid was a lifestyle decision like, say, driving an expensive car or having a pet - it is not only about supporting the mothers.

    Shame on parents who don't use privileges granted by them for the children as intended. That is the downside of every social welfare ever granted, to the kids, to the old, my, even drug addicts who want to break free get some support.
    For the vast majority of people I know who get support adressed to their children, it means getting some slightly better pants on their bottoms, or being able to pay for some daycare that enables them to work and not fall into the welfare category later, and so on.

    It kind of irks me when any kind of political discussion what could be done do change some people's poor situation, poor by habit or poor by circumstance, deteriorates that quickly into bashing a huge group of people per se. Sorry.

    That put aside, a state does well if it keeps trying to make people rise more or less healthy and educated beings. Children are born. Wether they will ever be "productive members of society", ie grown ups who not only sustain themselves but also a state with police and intact roads and all the yadda, is at least partly decided within the first years of their life - the education, the health, etc. One could argue endlessly about wether the how makes sense, but in the end the more intelligent measures might pay out for all people living with those children in their later years.

    The state might be broke as hell, most societies will not be able to afford NOT to spend money on children. Because our beloved pets or our cars or flats or whatever aren't going to run this shop in thirty years to come. Those damn kids will.
  17. redneck New Member

    I firmly agree with having vouchers rather than open money. I don't see why they can't issue them a gift card of some kind that can be monitored. I know that's a little big brothery, but this is grant money not something they have earned. I think that the government is justifiable in checking in on how the money they take from me is being used.

    On a different but similar note: A friend of mine, D, has two beautiful children. His marriage broke up when E started messing around with another guy, J. Now E and J are married and they share joint custody of the children with D. D still has to pay child support. J doesn't work, and hasn't for a little over two years, because he "can't get a job that is worth his time". He's been offered jobs that pay better than mine do, but he turns them down because they are beneath him. E works two jobs. She has seizures occasionally but still holds down both jobs.

    What, you ask, does D's child support pay for? Not clothes, the grandparents and parents pay for almost all of the clothes. Not food, the whole family stayed with D when E and J lost the apartment they were renting. He still paid the child support while E and J as well as the two kids were eating his food, sleeping in his beds, using his utilities, and J still wasn't even looking for a job. J did manage to afford a new Wii, games, and several other things that his unemployed ass didn't have the money for. E and J even told D that most of the time his child support money was used to pay for them going out on the town. D's puts up with a lot of shit that had I been in his position would have already landed me in jail on a murder charge.
  18. Hsing Moderator

    I am a little confused about the he's and she's here... but J's the only one not working, isn't he? *confused*

    Also, I'd also say that the only way to grant the money is really spent on healthy food, would indeed be vouchers. The only problem I see is the following scenario: A city I lived in handed them out to asylum seekers. (They're not legally allowed to work until their status is cleared, i e wether they are allowed to stay in the country for now, or not.) Those who really didn't want to use the vouchers, for certain amounts of food, clothing, and other very basic needs, just sold them - say "I give you a voucher over 50Euro's worth of food, and you give me 40 Euros for it, and I see that I can feed off 30 Euros a week and have 10 Euros for cigarettes." Well, every system has its weaknesses, I guess.
  19. Pixel New Member

    One way round the problem of vouchers being sold would be to issue the recipient with a card with photo and signature, and specify that the card must be presented and the vouchers signed by the recipient at point-of-use in the presence of the member of sales staff serving them. Some provision would need to be made to cover the situation where the recipient is sick and unable to go shopping personally, possibly by being vouched for by a doctor (although doctors would probably not be too happy about the extra work!)
  20. Roman_K New Member

    Voucher trading is indeed a problem, but it's one step of temptation away from cash.
  21. Marcia Executive Onion

    This is pretty similar to how it worked in the US when I worked in shops there. And the government used to send in mystery shoppers from time to time to check that the cashiers were doing it properly.
  22. mowgli New Member

    Wow... I knew about the vouchers, but undercover government agents? And the Americans point to Europe as being socialistic :wink:

    An afterthought... anyone has any inside scoop on what their country does to help impoverished mothers? :)pokes Roman:) As America has already been covered, I can only offer info on the former Soviet Union and the present-day Ukraine. Back in the old days, the Russian government would give the "hero-mothers" a medal (I think you needed upwards of six kids to qualify for one), but that's where the assistance more or less ended. Anyone who couldn't afford a kid was quietly encouraged to have an abortion, which was the primary mean of birth control.

    Today, everyone has already heard about the dropping birth rate in Russia (Ukraine as well!), because parents STILL can't afford kids, only this time there aren't even medals to serve as an incentive. :tongue:
  23. Roman_K New Member

    Actually, making sure that your investment reaches the proper destination is a very Capitalist approach.

    As for Israel, we have child welfare payments. Payments that got a huge cut about four years ago, but then again they *did* reach the point of encouraging big families for government payments purposes... That's all I know of, really, and I doubt there's much more. We don't really have nutrition issues as of yet, fortunately.
  24. mowgli New Member

  25. Bradthewonderllama New Member

    Malnourished babies would cost more in the long run in a socialized health care system. 200 pounds now, or 1000+ pounds later? Cash is a silly option though.
  26. Hsing Moderator

    Well, assuming it is a single parent we are speaking of:
    In Germany, you receive welfare when your income drops under the poverty line, and your child is treated seperately, with a lower hypothetical "income" per head, which is calculated from your income including all child supports, and anything else the child gets, be it from the other parent, the state, etc.

    We once spent some time under the poverty line, but had no right to get welfare of any kind, for complicated bureaucratic reasons. Malin could, for some time, have received her own welfare, but we didn't make a request for the following reason: We would, at the time, have had to sell our car to be allowed welfare, but thought we'd better keep it (it was a 16 year old thingie, would have gotten us about 400 Euros) --to improve my husband's choices to find a job; we didn't want surprise visits from the welfare bureau checking we didn't, maybe, secretly own a Maybach and two lofts, and also for slightly irrational reasons. It would have been 250 Euros at its highest.

    There are supports every family gets for every single child, independently from their income. Often, the German tax model rewards higher incomes, actually: Since January this year, every family gets 60% of the last regular wage the homestaying parent received, for 12 months. Then the other parent gets 60% of theirs, if they stay at home, for two or theree months, or the support ends after 12 months. It is meant to encourage both parents to stay at home, one at least for a short period, because otherwise you get less money; it is also meant to encourage the "better earning people" to have children (the more you earn, the more support you get - of course, you never get more than when you had no children, but worked).

    Also, every family gets about 125 Euros for every child per month (a little more for the first, a little less for the following): I think it is more of a general tax payback (we have 18% taxes on all products but a few exceptions.)

    All in all, you don't have to starve if you have a kid, even if you are alone. But I am pretty sure even the low paid jobs earn you more than what's given to parents by the state. I've seen lots of desparate single parents virtually begging on their knees for one of the few daycare places they have for children under three.
  27. Hsing Moderator

    What I wanted to say (on top of the page), only much shorter.
  28. Cynical_Youth New Member

    I don't really see the problem with this, to be honest. Cash just means that parents have more flexibility in using it.

    It doesn't really address the issue at hand, that's true. In practice, it will be more of a general support mechanism, but I don't think that's too bad.
  29. Katcal I Aten't French !

    The more this gets talked about, the more everyone is proving that there is no perfect way to do this, whatever the system, some people will get it when they don't deserve it, some will abuse the system, and some who need it won't get it. I say they should send Jamie Oliver round to each pregnant mother and give her a series of lessons on healthy cooking. Now, all I have to do is get pregnant and move back to England (easier said than done, that... )
  30. Hsing Moderator

    I think it sometimes is similar to foreign aid for the so called Third World: Done badly, it isn't productive, sometimes even harmful, and a lot of people wouldn't need it in the first place if we'd let them keep their goods, and more of their earnt wages in the first place. I don't know.
  31. Roman_K New Member

    No system is perfect, that much is true. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to improve it.

    As for the Third World, money and aid given to people who don't have the infrastructure to use them properly will not improve the situation, and may indeed harm it. But to invest in an infrastructure, the local government has to be both stable, and to actually care about its citizens.

    This is why a country like Ghana prospers, while a country like Sudan only prospers in one central region, while all the others starve and revolt.
  32. missy New Member

    I'm sorry Hsing. I have to disagree with your comments at the top of the page.

    When people (single, with partners or whatever decide to have a child, it is a decision, just like having a pet or buying a car. Most people get the choice before they conceive but all get the choice when they find out wheather to keep it or not. That choice in my view should not be paid for. I agree that there should be child benefit but throwing money at the parents, good or bad, is stupid and unfair.

    Don't get me wrong, my dad died when i was 9 and my Mom had to bring me up on her own. She sure could have used some help. She didn't get it. The benefits wern't available then. Not the amounts that are now. But i'd like to think i turned out ok.

    The systems could be put into place with this sort of thing, vouchers and the like, if people just made the choice for the right reasons and not just because they feel they must procreate. Sort out the ones in foster care and that need adoption before throwing cash at people that will use it for drink and drugs and going out on the pull.
  33. Roman_K New Member

    I disagree with you, missy. You view new children from a very individual-centric and cold point of view. Whereas it's one of the most important things for people (it's a much more important choice than buying a car. That one is a choice and the other is a choice does *not* make them of equal merit), and for society itself (having someone to continue *being* the society in forty years' time, for one).

    It's not just a choice. Far from it.
  34. Hsing Moderator

    I guess it is one of these issues you can't really discuss without taking your own, very personal experiences into account, wether you want it or not.

    There's as good as no way to support these children, to the benefit of the entire society, without giving the support to the parents, too. That might be, in some cases, a benefit the parents as such don't deserve, but it is not about them, and not about fairness either. It's about need. And that our parents didn't get the same help is sad, but no reason to not give it now.

    Even though my parents raised us together, they could have needed benefits, too. They did all they could, working their asses off, but if we had gotten the kind of support back then that people could get today, I might now be a healthier grown up whose health doesn't fail her quite as regularly*, and well, my little brother might even still be alive. So that might be the personal root channel of mine where my views partly stem from. Not in my dreams I would be capapble of telling people in their situation somethin along the lines of "Well, you didn't have to have another one, eh?"

    Also: Having children or not is an extremely intimate decision. Both people who ask women "What, you don't have children?" or frown upon her when she has them - there are enough people for both sides to pick from- annoy me greatly.

    There is no totally secure option to prevent pregnancy - not even sterilization always works. So, a lot of children come into the world unplanned, though thankfully not autimatically unwanted, and for many people in that situation, abortion isn't something they are capable of doing.

    I'd join any demonstration for the right to abort, for the right of decision. But there can't be a moral implement to do so either. The decision against any other kind of item, thing, whatever you decide to have or not to be able to afford, isn't -and wasn't- quite as existential to me. And when you're a productive member of society, and know that you will pay the state a lot for most of your life -almost half of your wages, in my parent's case, and a third of ours- I see no shame in the fact that in times of need, you get some of it back, or in advance in some cases. You pay in, you get out; that's what this sort of community should ideally work. As long as your life balance works out, you have no reason to hide yourself.

    What is equally important: In extreme consequence, saying that it is a life style decision that all of us have to meet at a point, ideally when they don't need any help whatsoever, restricts having children to the more or less wealthy. A lot of people who see this as a very good thing in some way equal "low income" with "incapapble person".

    Let me explain why I don't like that school of thought: A child costs more than a hoard of pets, and unlike an expensive car, keeps you from doing the plus of paid work you'd have to do to earn the exact amount of money your offspring would cost you. I am glad that most of society has come to accept that there are many designs for a biography, and that many of them don't include children. But I see a strong tendency to frown on people who don't happen to be really wealthy -as in two high incomes- and still found families. No matter wether they are per se good parents, being proud on more than one child* is allowed only to parents from the upper income category. (You wouldn't believe the things you get to hear as a midlle class family these days if you happen to have three kids.)

    Being a responsible parent should be important, and being a loving one should, too. Having to rely on any kind of welfare is not a nice perspective for the most, anyway; most women who abort are single, and/ or have a low or no income. Everyone, parent or not, should be trying to lead a life that allows them not to depend on a whole lot of other people. But I am fine with the state balancing out inequalities in a moderate way when it comes to existential things. A society were having children was a privilege for the rich, where human beings really come into the world as luxury items, doesn't seem desirable to me.

    And the states we live in support a lot more worthless things with a lot more money than human beings, anyway.

    *Proud as in "Proud of something you invested a lot of lifetime and ressources in, and it turned out well so far despite no one teaching you how it all works." Not as in "Parents are better people."
  35. Roman_K New Member

    My view on the matter seems to be pretty much like yours, Hsing.
  36. missy New Member

    I'm not trying to say only certain income families should have children, far from it infact. I was desperate to have them at one point and my ex took it out on me because i can't have them. But i know if we had had them (i now thank god i couldn't) We would have made alot of sacrifices rather than rely on the government for support. In the extreme, there are people out there that specifically have kids for financial gain. It does get alot of people out of a hole. They need a home, well i'm pregnant now so i'm entitled to one mr City Council man.

    I'm sorry but to me it is just a simple decision. It is not the most important thing in the world to have children, weather it be for financial reasons or just because you want one. There are a hell of alot of kids stuck in homes and foster homes because people made the wrong choice. It is just like having a pet in alot of ways. Just because you see children as the most important thing in your life doesn't mean everyone else does. Look at the RSPCA. Dogs left to starve in the same way neglected children are because someone made the wrong choice in life. To you that child would be the one to save to others the dog is just as important. No life should be left to suffer. All these decisions need to be taken seriously and the fact that the government is handing out yet more cash is encouraging the wrong ones to be made.

    I love kids. Always have. But i still don't think its fair that i, as a person who physically can't have them is being forgotten by the system and preferential treatment is being given to the people who don't deserve it. Give them vouchers, hell deliver the food straight to them and don't give them the chance to spend it on alcohol and stuff but stop throwing good money away when there are others out there that would use it in so much better ways.
  37. Roman_K New Member

    No living being should suffer unduly (total avoidance of some degree of suffering isn't possible), but I would never compare a human being to an animal, saying that both are somehow the same and thus deserve the same consideration.

    That's why I see the PETA as a bunch of lunatics, for instance.

    And while I may object to programs that encourage people to make kids for the wrong reasons, same as you, Missy, I can't quite grasp the concept of seeing children as being the same as pets. That in both cases people can make similar mistakes doesn't make them of equal worth.

    That both are choices, and that all the consequences of *any* choice may affect both, does not mean they're the same.

    Your argument on this matter is comparable to saying that a water and piss are the same because both are liquid.
  38. Hsing Moderator

    A lot of people made a lot of sacrifices. Most, actually, if they aren't rich. That is the norm.

    Well, over here, that doesn't seem to work - the financial gain thing, I mean. I can't judge how it is in GB, and I am not saying we don't have people relying on welfare for generations, but I've heard no one ever say kids could mean financial gain for them.

    I said it isn't. Well, for some, it is. It doesn't have to be.

    True, and not contradictory to what I have said before, I think. Unfortunately, people who have been messed up before won't be fixed by becoming parents.

    I am not telling other people how to live their lives, and what they should see as important. But the decision to have a child, and then having one takes place on another level than the one to have a pet, and will change your life a lot more radically, no matter how much you love your pet.

    It may be that you are just trying to illustrate a very strict and strong work ethics here, but comparing children with having pets is, I have to put it that blunt, an insult. It is not comparable.

    As I have said, I had both.
    So did my parents. My father loves his dogs fanatically.

    They buried a child, and three dogs. And can you believe me they would never ever compare that? It is an insult.

    I saw my parents mourning for their dogs - and their only son. They bought new dogs, excuse me. They gave away a dog when they decided he'd have a better life in the countryside. When you know a family crippled by the loss of a child, you'd never make that comparison, or would you?

    Then the government should think over their measurements.

    I am sorry to hear that, but as I said supporting the future generation is always difficult; it is hard to control what happens with support once it is handed out, because the little ones aren't exactly in charge of their own lives. But this is the extreme; most people I know put the money to good use. And eventually, it paid out. More intelligent measures would always be fine.
  39. missy New Member

    To me, they are the same. Neither can look after themselves, both need adults to care for them, feed them, protect them etc.

    To some people pets are more important than children, i don't agree with this but to be honest, thats their choice. To others their children are the most important thing to them which is understandable. But to someone like me who can't have them of her own and can't afford a nice big house with a garden to die for so she can be considered for fostering or adoption, her partner and pets are the most important thing in her life and if it came to a decision between a child of one of my neighbours and my dog who loves me more than anything and has been with me for the worst ten years of my life, well i'm sorry but i chose to have that dog, I chose to look after him and take care of him, he would be my choice to save if i needed to. To me he is the child i can't have as he depends on me. Thats the choice i made, kinda the same as the choice the neighbour made when they decided to have children.

    In a sudden flash of inspiration, why doesn't the government use the cash they are throwing at the people that don't deserve it (and no that doesn't mean everyone) and give it as a government loan (the people would have to pay it back) to couples/responsible people who want to foster/adopt so they can upgrade their house and make it fit for a family life to help the poor little things that are on their own in this life. Sort out the problems we already have before adding more to the world.
  40. Hsing Moderator

    Again, I'm sorry. I know that a lot of people can't have kids, neither biological or adopted. And I get the importance of the living beings who in your life for yourself.

    But putting an animal and a child on one level is ungraspable to me and will remain so.

    And out of curiosity, I still wonder if you'd argue the same in the face of someone who lost both.
  41. missy New Member

    My Aunt lost my cousin and her 2 dogs at the same time. They drowned.
    The dogs are burried next to Andy as a special request from her. She classed them as family. My whole family do. Its probably the way i was brought up that makes me feel this way. My Mom lost her two dogs within 6 months of losing her partner of 18 years and she grieved just the same for them as she did for him.
    You have children and obviously love them more than life itself. They make your life worth living. Well thats how i feel about Charlie and the rest of my managerie. I will be heart broken when he dies as he is one of the most important things in my life.
  42. Roman_K New Member

    Regarding giving government loans to families that want to adopt, I don't see that as a bad idea at all, and one that's worth putting some more thought into.

    But I disagree about focusing solely on the problems of today, as that approach means you have a new set of great big issues ready and waiting for you at the next "today". Forward planning should be an important aspect of any government policy.
  43. Cynical_Youth New Member

    Slightly off-topic, but I don't think PETA argues this. I don't agree with their tactics, but I do agree with their belief that animals suffer in much the same way people do.

    But that's kinda my personal hang-up. I don't mean to hijack the thread.
  44. Bradthewonderllama New Member

    There are several reasons why a government would want to spend funds on these projects.

    One is the healthcare reason that I stated earlier
    One is to try and increase the size of the middle class
    One is to work to ensure a positive population growth
    One is that a government should "promote the general welfare"
    One is that you want to have strong "soldiers for Hynkel"

    There are plenty of reasons for any type of government, Capitalist, Socialist, Fascist, etc, to have these sorts of subsidies.

    My reason would be one of those already stated by Roman and Hsing, to ensure that as many children as possible have a good chance to become productive citizens as adults. Children are a country's future, economically and socially. It sounds vaguely sinister, but it's a survival imperative I guess.
  45. Rincewind Number One Doorman

    A point here is that even if people have children for the wrong reasons- i.e they want a house. We should give them a house becuase it's unfair to punish the child for the perants poor attitude (likewise, we should try to give everyone who doesn't have a house one)

    "won't some one think of the children"
  46. Ba Lord of the Pies

    It's exactly what they argue. They argue that animals should have the same rights as people. They argue that all species are equal. This is why they are against animal testing. They believe that it is not worth the lives of those animals to save the lives of humans.
  47. Marcia Executive Onion

    Echoing what Brad and Rinso said:

    I don't have children. However, I have to live in a world with other human beings who are, or once were, children. Therefore, it is to my personal advantage that children are well-nourished.

    Yes, there are people who will take advantage of the system, but that will happen with any bureaucracy. The way to deal with that is to try and fix the problems with the way the system is run, such as creating a voucher system so that women can't spend the money on alcohol and cigarettes, rather than punish the people who have good intentions and truly need some help.

    As for giving money to people who foster children - this already happens in the US (and I think in the UK as well), and what happens is that some unscrupulous people take advantage of the system by adopting more children than they can care for properly to make extra cash; no different than women having lots of babies in order to get more government benefits.
  48. Marcia Executive Onion

    P.S. I care for pets as much as people. I don't see why a choice has to be made, one vs. the other.

    The issue of animal testing isn't about people vs. animals because animal testing doesn't only benefit humans, it benefits animals with medical problems as well. (Regardless of what PETA says.)
  49. Cynical_Youth New Member

    The argument is usually that the results of animal testing cannot be generalised sufficiently to the human population to warrant the suffering of animals it involves, and also that a lot of the research is unnecessary. "All species are equal" is a part of the rhetoric, yes, but I don't think it should be taken as a normative claim.

    PETA also argues for an increase animal rights, that's true, but those should really be considered separate from human rights. Bringing in a comparison of the two mostly just confuses the issue. PETA argues that animals should have rights because they suffer, not because of their relative value to human beings.

    That's my impression, anyway.

    Regardless, I don't think dismissing PETA's points on the grounds that animals and people are dissimilar is really fair. PETA mostly aims to highlight areas in which there is very little justifiable human gain in exchange for animal suffering. I'd agree that this is a contestable claim in the area of animal testing for scientific purposes (and I'd also say that this is probably the industry that is most responsible about the way in which it inflicts pain on animals), but, in all other areas, it is frighteningly accurate.
  50. Bradthewonderllama New Member

    If PETA had their way, cows would go extinct. Except for maybe a preserve herd on the North American plains.
  51. Cynical_Youth New Member

    Most animal species live in a similar way. Also, it seems preferable to a short, brutal life of pain.
  52. chrisjordan New Member

    I'm not one for unnecessary cruelty to animals either, but I wouldn't know quite where to draw the line and decide what really is 'unnecessary'.

    Just to check though, CY (because I'm not sure how to read this): what are you saying seems preferable to a short, brutal life of pain? Extinction/no life at all?
  53. Cynical_Youth New Member

    I don't think extinction is a real possibility. The amount of land that would become available alone is massive (and often not suitable for growing crops anyway). There is plenty of space for preserve herds (we even have wild cows in the floodlands here).

    On top of that, you could still have small-scale meat farming. The regulations would just be different. No docking (cutting off tails) and things like that, plenty of space, open air, varied diet, no breeding programmes, no separating mother and child, no killing of young male animals, etc.

    This kind of a change would necessarily be gradual anyway. I don't think vegetarianism is going to receive society-wide support yet in the next few decades.
  54. Marcia Executive Onion

    Using the above as a feeble excuse to link to this.
  55. Cynical_Youth New Member

    Pigeon and monkey! :smile:

    They're so cute.
  56. Roman_K New Member

    CY, I am on familiar terms with several animal rights groups on the local level, and personally object to practices along the lines of hormone treatments for chickens that make them grow massively (and snap their own legs due to sheer weight, among other things), force-feeding geese and so forth, and yet...

    And yet I would never go as far as to make a streetwide campaign that displays comparisons of animal slaughter to the Holocaust. Simply because I think that's insane and dehumanizing. This is something that the PETA did.

    There are plenty of animal rights groups around other than PETA. Saying that PETA has a point is the same as saying that the Church of Scientology has a point with its calls for Brotherhood, or about society's over-obsession with psychiatrists and drug treatments. PETA, by the way, have some very bad ties to the eco-terrorist groups ALF and ELF.

    Sometimes it's really best to find a different messenger before discussing the message, otherwise you end up getting a very fishy message.
  57. Cynical_Youth New Member

    PETA appears to resort to appeals to emotion where cogent, intelligent arguments can easily be made. I don't think their campaigns help the animal rights cause, especially since they help characterise it as somewhat unhinged. Although I can see how there are parallels between the Holocaust and the treatment of animals to their minds, I do think the comparison is ill-informed, unhelpful and, above all, unnecessary. I don't think it is intended to reflect on Holocaust victims at all, though.

    However, their points are often good (and not in the roundabout way in which Scientology has a point, they identify both the problem and the solution accurately, in my mind).

    That is true. I do largely agree with you, but I do think that what PETA says shouldn't be dismissed only because they fail to deliver it in an appropriate way.
  58. Roman_K New Member

    I prefer to listen to messages from a verified source, man. This one is too fishy for me. It's not the means that bother me, but rather what they reflect on the group, when combined with their more questionable messages and ties.

    I listen to those I trust and respect as reasonable people. The PETA are not in that list. I discount their arguments because many of them are loaded outright. Like, for example, they looked up Rabbis and posted arguments on their website that supposedly support vegetarianism. Now me, who knows Judaism and Jewish religious law, recognized the word twisting and de-contextualization of matters such as "Tsa'ar Ba'alei Ha'im", law regarding causing sorrow to animals (like not overloading donkeys, for example, or slaughtering an animal in an overtly painful manner). That was an outright lie regarding my own faith, in the hopes that Jews that aren't too familiar with it would follow the Way of the PETA. I didn't like that.
  59. Marcia Executive Onion

    There are many Jews who are also vegetarians; I don't think most of them are vegetarians because they are "following the ways of PETA", they are vegetarians either for health reasons or because they believe that it is the right thing to do based on their beliefs about what is right and wrong (i.e. looking at the spirit, rather than the letter, of the law).

    It also makes keeping kosher a whole lot easier.

    *I doubt if someone who was strictly Orthodox, and did follow the letter of the law, would be looking for religious advice from the PETA website anyway.
  60. Roman_K New Member

    I don't have a problem with Jews being vegetarians, Marcia. I have a problem with the claim that Jews *should* be vegetarians, which is what the PETA were trying to say. You don't have to be a strict religious person to find that claim disturbing, especially when the texts don't mention vegetarianism.

    One can believe in the spirit of the law without trying to twist the letter of the law to suit an agenda.

Share This Page