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Would you eat brainless animals?

by feathermoon
Tags: animals, brainless
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feathermoon
#1
Feb16-12, 07:18 PM
P: 60
This is sort of an alternative to the 'would you eat cultured meat' question. What if we could engineer animals without conciousness (sentience)? Would it be cruelty free? Would you eat it?

Example:

http://www.wired.com/underwire/2012/...cken-solution/

Architecture student André Ford has proposed a new system for the mass production of chickens that removes the birds’ cerebral cortex so that they don’t experience the horrors of being packed together tightly in vertical farms.

Each year, the United Kingdom raises and kills around 800 million broiler chickens for their meat. These creatures are grown in vast sheds with no natural light over the course of six to seven weeks. They are bred to grow particularly quickly and often die because their hearts and lungs cannot keep up with their body’s rapid growth.

Philosopher Paul Thompson from Purdue University has suggested “The Blind Chicken Solution.” He argues that chickens blinded by “accident” have been developed into a strain of laboratory chickens that don’t mind being crowded together as much as normal chickens do. As a result, he argues, we should consider using blind chickens in food production as a solution to the problem of overcrowding in the poultry industry. He argues that it would be more humane to have blind chickens than ones that can see.

But Ford goes a step further and proposes a “Headless Chicken Solution.” This would involve removing the cerebral cortex of the chicken to inhibit its sensory perceptions so that it could be produced in more densely packed conditions without the associated distress. The brain stem for the chicken would be kept intact so that the homeostatic functions continue to operate, allowing it to grow.

Ford proposes this solution for two reasons: To meet the rising demand for meat, particularly poultry, and to improve the welfare of the chickens by desensitizing them to the unpleasant reality of their existence.
I find it terrifying in a way. Especially if the solution is just lobotomizing live chickens. That's like killing it twice to me.
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SoggyBottoms
#2
Feb16-12, 07:56 PM
P: 61
I think this raises just as many ethical issues as it solves, so I don't think it's the solution to cruelty in factory farming.
lisab
#3
Feb16-12, 07:58 PM
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Quote Quote by feathermoon View Post
This is sort of an alternative to the 'would you eat cultured meat' question. What if we could engineer animals without conciousness (sentience)? Would it be cruelty free? Would you eat it?

Example:

http://www.wired.com/underwire/2012/...cken-solution/


I find it terrifying in a way. Especially if the solution is just lobotomizing live chickens. That's like killing it twice to me.
Wow. It's both very creepy and very logical.

My aversion to this, and to the cultured meat: I make a big effort to not eat processed foods. I'm not militant about it, I just prefer to eat things as close to their natural state as possible.

So no, I don't think I'd eat brainless animals.

NafeesR
#4
Feb16-12, 08:10 PM
P: 3
Would you eat brainless animals?

Humans are omnivores, embrace it don't hate it.
thorium1010
#5
Feb16-12, 08:13 PM
P: 200
Quote Quote by NafeesR View Post
Humans are omnivores, embrace it don't hate it.
Say's who ?
NafeesR
#6
Feb16-12, 08:28 PM
P: 3
Quote Quote by thorium1010 View Post
Say's who ?
Says me, in all honesty I respect anyone's decision to be vegan but PETA has to stop spreading propaganda and stop trying to make us (the non-vegans) look like criminals.

Cmon I cant be the the only one who thinks this is insane:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...Comic_Book.gif
phinds
#7
Feb16-12, 08:29 PM
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I've always considered chickens to be brainless animals and I love to eat them.
Evo
#8
Feb16-12, 08:37 PM
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How much would it cost to do this to chickens, even if it was possible that they would be easy to keep?
lisab
#9
Feb16-12, 08:44 PM
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Come to think of it, this has already been done.

Mike The Headless Chicken
Pythagorean
#10
Feb17-12, 12:25 AM
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I'm not motivated to eat anything other than wild animals or active livestock for meat. I think a quick death avoids cruelty (as long as the coral is curved thanks to Temple Grandin, so that the other cows don't see it coming).
feathermoon
#11
Feb17-12, 01:26 AM
P: 60
Quote Quote by Pythagorean View Post
I'm not motivated to eat anything other than wild animals or active livestock for meat. I think a quick death avoids cruelty (as long as the coral is curved thanks to Temple Grandin, so that the other cows don't see it coming).
Something I always appreciated about Judaism is the dietary proscriptions on how the animal must be killed. Shechita is supposedly to render the animal unconcious within seconds.

Quote Quote by NafeesR
Says me, in all honesty I respect anyone's decision to be vegan but PETA has to stop spreading propaganda and stop trying to make us (the non-vegans) look like criminals.
Yet, it was PETA (of all the nefarious animal welfare groups out there?) that uncovered evidence of the mistreatment of animals in kosher slaughterhouses. Anyway, their target audience is youths (so are safe to ignore honestly), and this thread isn't concerning them to begin with.


I wonder if there is a way to engineer animals to be born on a factory scale without cerebral cortices? The technological hurdles and especially costs associated would probably be lower than in vitro meat. In that regard this may be a better solution.
Hells
#12
Feb17-12, 07:36 AM
P: 30
In a heartbeat, factory-conditions are animal cruelty.
Ryan_m_b
#13
Feb17-12, 07:44 AM
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Quote Quote by SoggyBottoms View Post
I think this raises just as many ethical issues as it solves, so I don't think it's the solution to cruelty in factory farming.
Agreed. It's just replacing one cruelty with another, whilst people may argue that there is an overall reduction in cruelty/pain I think a better answer would be to heavily regulate the industry to prevent this kind of thing.
Moonbear
#14
Feb17-12, 10:31 AM
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Quote Quote by feathermoon View Post
This is sort of an alternative to the 'would you eat cultured meat' question. What if we could engineer animals without conciousness (sentience)? Would it be cruelty free? Would you eat it?

Example:

http://www.wired.com/underwire/2012/...cken-solution/



I find it terrifying in a way. Especially if the solution is just lobotomizing live chickens. That's like killing it twice to me.
This whole process requires an awful lot of anthropomorphizing about animal husbandry conditions as a premise, and assumes current conditions for raising animals are cruel. I disagree with those premises, and think it is better to maintain humane conditions for the animals than to start decerebrating animals (wouldn't work anyway...no pain sensation would also mean they are unaware of when they injure themselves, removing the entire cortex also removes motor control, which would mean atrophied muscles, among other issues). Worse, if animals get packed closer together, you also increase risks from disease spread through the whole flock or herd.

Likewise, the idea of a blind chicken as beneficial could have only been hatched up by someone completely ignorant about chickens (sadly, as much of the population becomes further removed from the sources of their food and grows up never even seeing an actual chicken or cow, let alone being involved in caring for them, they become more and more gullible to the anti-meat propaganda). Chickens, being birds, are very reliant on their sense of vision, especially for finding food. They aren't like dogs who can sniff their way to the food dish if they become blind, or humans who can feel their way.
feathermoon
#15
Feb17-12, 03:53 PM
P: 60
Quote Quote by Moonbear View Post
This whole process requires an awful lot of anthropomorphizing about animal husbandry conditions as a premise, and assumes current conditions for raising animals are cruel. I disagree with those premises, and think it is better to maintain humane conditions for the animals than to start decerebrating animals (wouldn't work anyway...no pain sensation would also mean they are unaware of when they injure themselves, removing the entire cortex also removes motor control, which would mean atrophied muscles, among other issues). Worse, if animals get packed closer together, you also increase risks from disease spread through the whole flock or herd.

Likewise, the idea of a blind chicken as beneficial could have only been hatched up by someone completely ignorant about chickens (sadly, as much of the population becomes further removed from the sources of their food and grows up never even seeing an actual chicken or cow, let alone being involved in caring for them, they become more and more gullible to the anti-meat propaganda). Chickens, being birds, are very reliant on their sense of vision, especially for finding food. They aren't like dogs who can sniff their way to the food dish if they become blind, or humans who can feel their way.
I agree that blinding them is just crazy. Yet, I think you're wrong in that huge segments of the meat supply industry do use cruel methods to produce chickens. If the cortex was removed with the brain stem intact, they'd be fully capable of chicken-like behaviors.

On second thought, without testing whether a chickens sans cortex is phenomonally conscious I'm fully against it. This just opens more avenues to abuse in a way. Back to cultured meat bandwagon for me.
megin
#16
Feb17-12, 05:47 PM
P: 4
I only eat free range chickens and I only eat free range eggs. This is a personal choice that I can't afford most of the time, but I can't bring myself to eat the alternative. I don't believe that turning the animal into a vegetable would make any difference to my decision. I would just see it as another symptom of an unfortunate truth.

There will always be an abundance of people who can only afford to buy the cheapest meat available, ergo the demand for low-cost mass produced factory raised chickens will always be high. It would be nice if everyone could afford to buy the free range corn fed chickens that get to cluck around in the sun all day, but it's never going to happen unless people stop buying the cheap stuff and demand better quality produce.
Evo
#17
Feb17-12, 07:05 PM
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Quote Quote by megin View Post
I only eat free range chickens and I only eat free range eggs. This is a personal choice that I can't afford most of the time, but I can't bring myself to eat the alternative. I don't believe that turning the animal into a vegetable would make any difference to my decision. I would just see it as another symptom of an unfortunate truth.

There will always be an abundance of people who can only afford to buy the cheapest meat available, ergo the demand for low-cost mass produced factory raised chickens will always be high. It would be nice if everyone could afford to buy the free range corn fed chickens that get to cluck around in the sun all day, but it's never going to happen unless people stop buying the cheap stuff and demand better quality produce.
The term "free range" is pretty meaningless. All it means is that some chickens might have access to an open door for 5 minutes. If you're paying more, you're more than likely getting ripped off.

“Free range” does have an official definition: “Producers must demonstrate to the Agency that the poultry has been allowed access to the outside.”

The definition of “outside,” though, is shaky; does that mean there’s a window chickens could theoretically squeeze through? Do the birds actually go through it? And outside could be a gorgeous rolling hill or it could be … a parking lot. Some producers include a fenced-in section of open concrete in their grow-out houses, with enough room for maybe 5 percent of the thousands of chickens in that house, and this may technically satisfy the term. (Although Mr. Kastel is seeing indications that the Obama administration may crack down on this.)
What you are thinking you're getting is "pastured" chicken.

What some producers and farmers call “pastured” chicken is much more in line what with many people think they’re getting with free range. This means that the birds are actually kept in coops at night, but are left to forage on grass, seeds, worms, etc., during the day. They might be fed grain as well, but they have access to a greater variety of food in their diet, and the result is much more richly flavored meat and eggs — and a much more humane life for the birds. It’s also much more expensive to raise chickens this way, because of the amount of space required and how that limits how many chickens you might be able to raise at a time. What’s more, chickens can quickly turn a field into a moonscape with their pecking, so true pastured chickens will often be moved around a very large pasture as areas they’ve torn up need time to regrow.
http://www.salon.com/2011/01/20/what...s_really_mean/
dpa
#18
Feb17-12, 07:41 PM
P: 149
i am veg. But if i were non veg. It would not be so much about braininess as it would be about economy.
Culture production would definitely be more expensive that normal.
I guess so.


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