An environmentalist can oppose factory farming because it's reckless stewardship. A conservative can oppose factory farming because it is destructive to small farmers and to the decent ethic of husbandry those farmers live by. A religious person can oppose factory farming because it is degrading to both man and animal - an offense to God.
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APAMatthew Scully Quotes. (n.d.). Jar of Quotes. Retrieved , from JarofQuotes.com Web site: https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=an-environmentalist-can-oppose-factory-farming-because-its-reckless-stewardship-a-conservative-can-oppose-factory-farming-because-it-is-destructive-to-small-farmers-to-decent-eth
ChicagoMatthew Scully Quotes. Jar of Quotes, 2019. https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=an-environmentalist-can-oppose-factory-farming-because-its-reckless-stewardship-a-conservative-can-oppose-factory-farming-because-it-is-destructive-to-small-farmers-to-decent-eth, accessed .
MLA"Matthew Scully Quotes." Jar of Quotes, 2019. . https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=an-environmentalist-can-oppose-factory-farming-because-its-reckless-stewardship-a-conservative-can-oppose-factory-farming-because-it-is-destructive-to-small-farmers-to-decent-eth
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When we call something unfair or indecent or unconscionable or evil, when we speak of mercy and pity and compassion, those words have meaning, regardless of our particular faith or moral philosophy. They appeal to common standards we all are expected to understand and accept, standards without which we could not live any common life at all..
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If we are defined by reason and morality, then reason and morality must define our choices, even when animals are concerned. When people say, for example, that they like their veal or hot dogs too much to ever give them up, and yeah it's sad about the farms but that's just the way it is, reason hears in that the voice of gluttony. We can say that what makes a human being human is precisely the ability to understand that the suffering of an animal is more important than the taste of a treat.
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Where we find wrongs done to animals, it is no excuse to say that more important wrongs are done to human beings, and let us concentrate on those. A wrong is a wrong, and often the little ones, when they are shrugged off as nothing, spread and do the gravest harm to ourselves and others.
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Though reason must guide us in laying down standards and laws regarding animals, and in examining the arguments of those who reject such standards, it is usually best in any moral inquiry to start with the original motivation, which in the case of animals we may without embarrassment call love. Human beings love animals as only the higher love the lower, the knowing love the innocent, and the strong love the vulnerable. When we wince at the suffering of animals, that feeling speaks well of us even when we ignore it, and those who dismiss love for our fellow creatures as mere sentimentality overlook a good and important part of our humanity.
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In any case I just cannot imagine attaching so much importance to any food or treat that I would grow irate or bitter at the mention of the suffering of animals. A pig to me will always seem more important than a pork rind. There is the risk here of confusing realism with cynicism, moral stoicism with moral sloth, of letting oneself become jaded and lazy and self-satisfied-what used to be called an 'appetitive' person.
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Animals are more than ever a test of our character, of mankind's capacity for empathy and for decent, honorable conduct and faithful stewardship. We are called to treat them with kindness, not because they have rights or power or some claim to equality, but in a sense because they don't; because they all stand unequal and powerless before us.
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We live in an age when you can prowl the streets of major cities and find human beings offering themselves in store windows, or just reach for the yellow pages and have them delivered. It is the same mindset at work, spreading in our world, and after a while this attitude can find nothing very special about anything or anybody, let alone whales.
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Let's just call things what they are. When a man's love of finery clouds his moral judgment, that is vanity. When he lets a demanding palate make his moral choices, that is gluttony. When he ascribes the divine will to his own whims, that is pride. And when he gets angry at being reminded of animal suffering that his own daily choices might help avoid, that is moral cowardice.
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My point is that when you look at a rabbit and can see only a pest, or vermin, or a meal, or a commodity, or a laboratory subject, you aren't seeing the rabbit anymore. You are seeing only yourself and the schemes and appetites we bring to the world-seeing, come to think of it, like an animal instead of as a moral being with moral vision.
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An author describing the methods of intensive farming, or the excesses of sport hunting, or even the harsher uses of animals in science writes with confidence that most readers will share his sense of concern and indignation. Sounding the call to action-convincing people that change is not only necessary, but actually possible-is more problematic. In protecting animals from cruelty, it is always just one step from the mainstream to the fringe. To condemn the wrong is obvious, to suggest its abolition radical.
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The smell of factory farms . . . many notice these places only when the odours reach their homes, affecting their own quality of life. We create these animals for our profit and pleasure, playing with their genes, violating their dignity as living creatures, forcing them to lie and live in their own urine and excrement, turning pens into penitentiaries and frustrating their every desire except what is needed to keep them breathing and breeding. And then we complain about the smell.
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