By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog.
To anyone who still believes animals don't experience pain, here's a new study to shock you into reality:
Queen's University says new research it conducted shows crabs not only suffer pain but retain a memory of it. The study, which looked at the reactions of hermit crabs to small electric shocks, was carried out by Professor Bob Elwood and Mirjam Appel. The crabs reacted adversely to the shocks but also seemed to try to avoid future shocks, suggesting that they recalled the past ones. The research is published in the journal Animal Behaviour.
If crabs, a less complex form of life than, say, dogs, horses, or cows, feel pain, what does that say about the animal slaughter experience? Pigs are smarter than dogs. Factory farming brings these intelligent animals into the world to give them a horrific life (cramped into small quarters, unable to move) and then an equally horrific death. Would you stand by and watch the same thing being done to your dog? Of course not. Then why do you tolerate it, even partake in it, for higher forms of life?
One reader posted a response to one of my earlier columns saying something to the effect that God put animals on Earth for man to eat. What poppycock! If you don't believe in God, then a much more realistic view is animals are here as a product of nature and not necessarily for human consumption. Even if you believe in the Christian god, there is ample evidence that Jesus Christ was a vegetarian. There's also evidence in the Bible that he was not, but it can at least be said that early Christians entertained a lively debate about vegetarianism.
At least give the question some considered thought.
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By Bonnie Erbe