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Brutal cruelty at the BBC

Religion and Philosophy
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stewamax
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Brutal cruelty at the BBC

#36015

Postby stewamax » March 3rd, 2017, 4:42 pm

In today's papers it was reported that a mouse seen scurrying along the floor in New Broadcasting House was instantly dispatched with someone's boot.

The RSPCA warned that mice in offices should not be killed but that offices should be made less attractive to them.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said that stamping on a mouse was 'hideously cruel'.
If stamping on a mouse is hideously cruel, is a mousetrap more or less cruel because a human is more distant when the jaws snap shut and perhaps just trap but don't kill?

Have they any idea what happens all day every day and all night every night in the natural world? A sparrowhawk, for example, slowly feeding tasty morsels of a live pigeon to its young?

If I see a cat 'toying' with a mouse or small rabbit, I would (and have - several times) put the back edge of my heel behind the prey's neck and .... bingo. But I wouldn't blame the cat.

When I was young, I worked in holidays in a family poultry business and regularly used to kill chickens by hand. I also use to boil live lobsters.
These things had to be done - the only consideration was that it was done quickly. Was the BBC staffer being crueller than me just because no-one ate the end result? Did the BBC mouse feel more pain?

Perhaps PETA and the RSPCA should visit an abattoir or a battery hen-house; they might both gain some sense of perspective.

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Re: Brutal cruelty at the BBC

#36019

Postby midnightcatprowl » March 3rd, 2017, 4:58 pm

Perhaps PETA and the RSPCA should visit an abattoir or a battery hen-house; they might both gain some sense of perspective.


They do. In fact it is a compulsory part of the training of an RSPCA inspector to visit an abattoir.

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Re: Brutal cruelty at the BBC

#36466

Postby DiamondEcho » March 5th, 2017, 6:14 pm

I used to live in a flat above an old chapel in East London, and we/it had a rodent problem. One day unbeknownst to me a mouse got in my gym bag. That evening in the changing rooms at work I opened the bag to change and out jumped the mouse. It was running all over trying to climb the ceramic walls. By instinct I stamped on it and it effectively exploded, shooting the whole of it's bloody entrails up and across a pristine white tiled wall. I then turned around to find colleagues who were there completely :shock: :?

All these years later, FWIW, I can say it was nothing other than reflex action...

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Re: Brutal cruelty at the BBC

#39564

Postby LadyGagarin » March 19th, 2017, 5:13 am

I'm not sure you can draw parallels between what happens in the natural and human (unnatural?) worlds though. The cat and the sparrowhawk have to eat meat and are instinctively driven to behave as they do. I am not advocating that everyone ought to be forcibly converted to a meat-free diet - indeed I am not a vegetarian myself though I do have a concern over how the animals I devour are treated while still alive. But you can't really compare the dispatching of a mouse, which no human would eat, to a cat killing one and eating it.

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Re: Brutal cruelty at the BBC

#39653

Postby DiamondEcho » March 19th, 2017, 4:54 pm

LadyGagarin wrote:But you can't really compare the dispatching of a mouse, which no human would eat, to a cat killing one and eating it.


FWIW I've seen cats killing mice plenty of times, or playing with dead or injured ones, but I've never seen a cat eat one.

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Re: Brutal cruelty at the BBC

#39659

Postby beeswax » March 19th, 2017, 5:17 pm

Cats are evil and should be kept on a lead where they can't do its business on everyone's garden and kill millions on birds for fun.

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Re: Brutal cruelty at the BBC

#39680

Postby DiamondEcho » March 19th, 2017, 5:48 pm

beeswax wrote:Cats are evil and should be kept on a lead where they can't do its business on everyone's garden and kill millions on birds for fun.


They're unusual in being an animal that kills for pleasure. The only other one IME that has parallels is the fox, which also can toy with half dead prey and apparently enjoy doing so. Though foxes have the added evil streak of, in human terms, of being psychotically driven killing machines. For example IME if a fox can break into a hen-house it's likely to kill or injure every bird in their, even if it only takes one away to eat. They'll do similar with lambs too.

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Re: Brutal cruelty at the BBC

#39681

Postby beeswax » March 19th, 2017, 5:55 pm

DiamondEcho wrote:
beeswax wrote:Cats are evil and should be kept on a lead where they can't do its business on everyone's garden and kill millions on birds for fun.


They're unusual in being an animal that kills for pleasure. The only other one IME that has parallels is the fox, which also can toy with half dead prey and apparently enjoy doing so. Though foxes have the added evil streak of, in human terms, of being psychotically driven killing machines. For example IME if a fox can break into a hen-house it's likely to kill or injure every bird in their, even if it only takes one away to eat. They'll do similar with lambs too.


Yes, some chap I knew kept prize bantams and he thought his henhouse was OK with the reinforcement he had...Wrong, a fox got in and slaughtered the lot. People who are against fox hunting should be shown pictures as what they can do...

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Re: Brutal cruelty at the BBC

#39698

Postby dionaeamuscipula » March 19th, 2017, 7:59 pm

beeswax wrote:
Yes, some chap I knew kept prize bantams and he thought his henhouse was OK with the reinforcement he had...Wrong, a fox got in and slaughtered the lot. People who are against fox hunting should be shown pictures as what they can do...


Mostly IME people who are anti hunting are against unnecessary cruelty rather than pro fox. Although there are people in any movements who veer towards the extremes.

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Re: Brutal cruelty at the BBC

#40778

Postby UncleEbenezer » March 23rd, 2017, 12:56 pm

DiamondEcho wrote:
beeswax wrote:Cats are evil and should be kept on a lead where they can't do its business on everyone's garden and kill millions on birds for fun.


They're unusual in being an animal that kills for pleasure. The only other one IME that has parallels is the fox, which also can toy with half dead prey and apparently enjoy doing so.

Is that an elephant in the room? No, it's humans who kill in many cruel and contrived ways for gratification and ritual.

For example IME if a fox can break into a hen-house it's likely to kill or injure every bird in their[sic], even if it only takes one away to eat. They'll do similar with lambs too.

That's down to the unnatural environment. If a fox hunts a natural chicken, all other chickens would naturally flee, so there's only the one to kill - or any other bird still there is too sick to move and needs euthanasia. Keeping them in captivity prevents that and confuses the fox's natural behaviour.

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Re: Brutal cruelty at the BBC

#40793

Postby DiamondEcho » March 23rd, 2017, 2:06 pm

UncleEbenezer wrote:That's down to the unnatural environment. If a fox hunts a natural chicken, all other chickens would naturally flee, so there's only the one to kill - or any other bird still there is too sick to move and needs euthanasia. Keeping them in captivity prevents that and confuses the fox's natural behaviour.


What pray-tell is a 'natural chicken' :lol: Is that like a wild chicken? If so I can't say I've ever seen or heard of them.
Your point falls down with lambs, as sheep/lambs in fields are in their natural environment and yet foxes will - for no logical reason - often kill many despite only eating a part of one.

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Re: Brutal cruelty at the BBC

#42005

Postby cavebat » March 28th, 2017, 11:40 pm

What pray-tell is a 'natural chicken' :lol: Is that like a wild chicken? If so I can't say I've ever seen or heard of them.


Chickens are a subspecies of Jungle fowl.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junglefowl

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Re: Brutal cruelty at the BBC

#42008

Postby XFool » March 29th, 2017, 12:49 am

beeswax wrote:Cats are evil and should be kept on a lead where they can't do its business on everyone's garden and kill millions on birds for fun.

I'm sorry but that is nonsense. If you really belief that (rather than just using a figure of speech) IMO you don't understand the concept 'evil'. AFAICS only humans can actually be 'evil', not animals. Possibly we can have a discussion when it comes to some of the higher primates.

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Re: Brutal cruelty at the BBC

#42050

Postby hermit100 » March 29th, 2017, 10:27 am

UncleEbenezer wrote:That's down to the unnatural environment. If a fox hunts a natural chicken, all other chickens would naturally flee, so there's only the one to kill - or any other bird still there is too sick to move and needs euthanasia. Keeping them in captivity prevents that and confuses the fox's natural behaviour.


As I understand it it is more that, when faced with an abundance of food, such as a run full of chickens or a field full of sheep/lambs, the fox will kill as many as it can with the intention of later retrieving/eating them. It will cache moveable prey such as chickens. It isn't 'evil intent' on the part of the fox, it's the fox making the most of a food source. It's only because humans intervene and remove the corpses/kill the fox that this whole scenario doesn't play out.

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Re: Brutal cruelty at the BBC

#42232

Postby beeswax » March 29th, 2017, 10:24 pm

XFool wrote:
beeswax wrote:Cats are evil and should be kept on a lead where they can't do its business on everyone's garden and kill millions on birds for fun.

I'm sorry but that is nonsense. If you really belief that (rather than just using a figure of speech) IMO you don't understand the concept 'evil'. AFAICS only humans can actually be 'evil', not animals. Possibly we can have a discussion when it comes to some of the higher primates.


It may be nonsense to you but not me and I do indeed understand the not just the concept of evil but clear evidence of that sick behaviour in humans especially and animals like Cats can exhibit evil by tormenting mice and birds and then taking them to their owners to show how clever they are. Few are eaten by them. I really do despise them for shitting on my garden too. Most know not to do it on their own patch though.

Just one example. I got out of my car a few years back and there was a cat tantalising a field mouse and I just managed to separate it from the Cat while it was still alive although terrified. And I dropped it off in a corn field a few miles away and now this is the thing, the look of hate on that Cat's face told me everything I know and that was a look of evil as I had took its plaything off it and as said here that very few animals do that and will only kill for food.

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Re: Brutal cruelty at the BBC

#42237

Postby XFool » March 29th, 2017, 10:51 pm

beeswax wrote:
XFool wrote:
beeswax wrote:Cats are evil and should be kept on a lead where they can't do its business on everyone's garden and kill millions on birds for fun.

I'm sorry but that is nonsense. If you really belief that (rather than just using a figure of speech) IMO you don't understand the concept 'evil'. AFAICS only humans can actually be 'evil', not animals. Possibly we can have a discussion when it comes to some of the higher primates.

It may be nonsense to you but not me and I do indeed understand the not just the concept of evil but clear evidence of that sick behaviour in humans especially and animals like Cats can exhibit evil by tormenting mice and birds and then taking them to their owners to show how clever they are.

That's just your human interpretation of what the cat 'thinks'. But you are not a cat, so you cannot be certain how the cat sees the world. I just don't for one moment believe any cat thinks like that about what it's 'owner' (a human's POV, does the cat agree?) thinks about it!

It's only human to anthropomorphize, it's natural enough and convenient. I know I do it, but it doesn't make it reality.

P.S. I really like cats. 8-)

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Re: Brutal cruelty at the BBC

#42242

Postby XFool » March 29th, 2017, 11:04 pm

UncleEbenezer wrote:
DiamondEcho wrote:
beeswax wrote:Cats are evil and should be kept on a lead where they can't do its business on everyone's garden and kill millions on birds for fun.


They're unusual in being an animal that kills for pleasure. The only other one IME that has parallels is the fox, which also can toy with half dead prey and apparently enjoy doing so.

Is that an elephant in the room? No, it's humans who kill in many cruel and contrived ways for gratification and ritual.

And for beliefs and ideology. Which would appear to be something unique to humans.

DiamondEcho wrote:For example IME if a fox can break into a hen-house it's likely to kill or injure every bird in their[sic], even if it only takes one away to eat. They'll do similar with lambs too.

UncleEbenezer wrote:That's down to the unnatural environment. If a fox hunts a natural chicken, all other chickens would naturally flee, so there's only the one to kill - or any other bird still there is too sick to move and needs euthanasia. Keeping them in captivity prevents that and confuses the fox's natural behaviour

Yes. And it is in some ways almost 'funny' that those who rage against foxes over this sort of thing rarely if ever seem to blame themselves - for creating just the 'artificial' situation in which this then happens!

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Re: Brutal cruelty at the BBC

#44559

Postby bionichamster » April 8th, 2017, 9:10 am

'Surplus killing' occurs in many predatory species, it's just that the conditions for it aren't an everyday occurence and thus many animals only rarely have the chance to express the behaviour. The human practice of keeping livestock at unnaturally high densities gives certain predators more opportunity than others, hence the fox getting a bad name for something that a great many individuals of other species would do in other analagous circumstances but perhaps not right on people's doorstep.

As for cats being the only species that kills for fun, well frankly that's just pointless anthropomorphising. The cat has evolved as an efficient hunting machine but now we humans have both interrupted the processes that have selected for that, and we have utterly changed the lifestyle of the animals but as yet the hunting instinct has not been sufficiently watered don in most cats (although a few thousand years of Felix and kitty treats might achieve this, along with some selective breeding). Yes they kill when they don't need to but mainly that's what they are programmed to do, they play with live prey, but that is also a behaviour that is seen in many predatory animals and has a purpose, particularly young animals still learning to handle prey. It's a way of practicing and honing skills, the changed lifestyle of the domestic cat may have corrupted that process somewhat or made it uneccesary but the instinct is still there and being expressed. Taking food back home may be a way of providing for the family, the cat isn't hungry so perhaps it takes the night's harvest back to the den for the family to share and dumps it where the the dominants will find it.

'Toying' with prey is much more common than you may think. For example I've seen stoats seemingly playing with (or taunting, if you like) live rabbits on a number of occassions, the oddest one was a rabbit sitting upright in a frozen hypnotic state (tonic immobility it's often called) with the stoat dancing round it and even climbing on top of it to balance on its head, this lasted several minutes until I shooed the stoat away and the rabbit snapped out of its trance. Have also sat and watched otters playing with fish and crabs, tossing them around the shore and patting and flipping them with paws for far longer than is neccesary to efficiently kill them, and I've seen them effectively deal with the same prey types on enough occasions to know they could if they wanted.

Much of the behaviour seen in both surplus killing and 'prey play' can be explained in perfectly logical terms relating to the animal's natural ecology without having to resort to human emotional/moral or philosophical analogies. Animals don't share our carefully constructed moral codes.

BH

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Re: Brutal cruelty at the BBC

#44569

Postby Halicarnassus » April 8th, 2017, 10:27 am

To a Mouse Related
BY ROBERT BURNS

On Turning up in Her Nest with the Plough, November, 1785

Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi’ bickerin brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee
Wi’ murd’ring pattle!

I’m truly sorry Man’s dominion
Has broken Nature’s social union,
An’ justifies that ill opinion,
Which makes thee startle,
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
An’ fellow-mortal!

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen-icker in a thrave
’S a sma’ request:
I’ll get a blessin wi’ the lave,
An’ never miss ’t!

Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
It’s silly wa’s the win’s are strewin!
An’ naething, now, to big a new ane,
O’ foggage green!
An’ bleak December’s winds ensuin,
Baith snell an’ keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ waste,
An’ weary Winter comin fast,
An’ cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro’ thy cell.

That wee-bit heap o’ leaves an’ stibble
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
Now thou’s turn’d out, for a’ thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole the Winter’s sleety dribble,
An’ cranreuch cauld!

But Mousie, thou art no thy-lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!

Still, thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But Och! I backward cast my e’e,
On prospects drear!
An’ forward tho’ I canna see,
I guess an’ fear!

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Re: Brutal cruelty at the BBC

#44621

Postby DiamondEcho » April 8th, 2017, 4:10 pm

bionichamster wrote: For example I've seen stoats seemingly playing with (or taunting, if you like) live rabbits on a number of occassions, the oddest one was a rabbit sitting upright in a frozen hypnotic state (tonic immobility it's often called) with the stoat dancing round it and even climbing on top of it to balance on its head, this lasted several minutes until I shooed the stoat away and the rabbit snapped out of its trance.


Fascinating post BH, and makes sense.
On the above quoted piece. I had an uncle who was a zoologist/explorer who spent his life catching animals for study and [invariably] release. I don't know if it derived from that but he had [from a child's viewpoint] a magical talent for catching wild rabbits by hand, by stealth not speed.
When his family stayed with ours we'd have walks with our dog, rural Cotswolds, across fields of grass + the occasional wood. He could spot a rabbit's ears from a long way off, would ask us to wait, and he'd crouch slightly and at a steady pace walk directly to it, lean over and pick it up. Then as children we'd all run over to look at it :) And they were 100% wild rabbits, it wasn't a rabbit farm or anything :) I still don't know how he did it. I tried it out on my own a few times but it never worked, never got closer than say 15M.

Both he and my dad used to catch trout by hand, 'tickling trout'. Recently I was diving off Fiji, and at a site where tiger sharks come in at one location and are fed*. You might imagine some frenzy, maybe 6 tigers and perhaps 12/+ others [bulls, lemons, bronze whalers etc] all piling in for food. But not a bit of it. The sharks would circle around our group maybe 20M away [nope, no cage, just kneeling on the sea-floor in row :)], and they'd pretty much come in to the food one at a time. Occasionally two at once, but no crowd or rush. And no aggression of any kind, not even changing course, or 'grabbing', just gliding by, even within touching distance [not recommended, apparently!]. One tiger c2.5-3M, on one lap came in really slowly and the guide er... imagine holding up your out-stretched palm to say 'stop!'. Ok, then imagine gently folding your outward facing palm onto the sharks nose, and very gently and slowly rubbing the width of it's nose from side to side. Well that's what he did*. This was happening 3-4M in front of me, amazing.

I know in the case of the sharks that is tonic shock. In other words they go into a trance like state. The same might go for tickled trout. But I still don't know what enabled my uncle to catch rabbits by hand! Or indeed your rabbit with a stoat on it's head!? :lol:


* This is part of a scientific project, and regulated as such. The dives happen IIRC twice a week and cost a premium. The funds thus raised go to a programme for villagers to go out on non-dive days and do reef maintenance, mapping, and monitoring/reporting fishing boats etc. Their work has helped re-populate the sharks in the area, where they had been severely impacted by illegal finning. I'm just mentioning that as many divers me incl. adhere to the strict 'Look, don't touch' rule. And can get very and rightfully shirty hearing of someone breaking it. I've known the guy who runs this programme many years, respect him greatly, and he had no difficulty in pre-briefings persuading me of the benefits of his team's work.


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