Pest, pet, meal or menace - How do you relate to the animal kingdom?

  • July 19, 2014 · 6:00 PM

The human race has had a fraught and complicated relationship with the other breathing beings on planet Earth. We are told in our religious books, by our natural instincts, and for our own survival, that animals exist in our service. But can we evolve beyond that? Do animals deserve better treatment? And it's not just about eating meat, riding horses. or fighting bulls. There are myriad issues to consider, and as Deep Thinkers, it is probably about time that we put the topic on the table. So let's talk about our furry - and not so furry - friends.

What is most persuasive to you about how to relate to animals? Would hunger compel a vegetarian to eat meat? Would loneliness make you consider befriending a snake? Do you assume a dog will bite or obey? Do animals have a conscious or a soul?

And then there's the cruelty visited upon creatures for their precious appendages - tusks, horns, genitalia. Or cruelty that can be a precursor to crimes against other humans. This is a topic that is multi-faceted, but one that just about everyone has an opinion. So let's air it out at our favorite IHOP in Westchester. Don't worry, I have an iron-clad guarantee that it's ours to use.

Pet owners, meat eaters, vegans and cat-haters are all welcome to have a lively -  but civil - discussion about the animals in our lives, stomachs, zoos and hearts. I hope to see you all there!

Check out these posts:

http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/07/07/your-monday-cry-4/

http://youtu.be/bv2OGph5Kec

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/02/140223-morell-animal-wise-animals-science-book-award/

http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2014-04-28/fight-legal-rights-animals

http://sciencefriday.com/segment/02/29/2008/animal-testing-and-research-ethics.html


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  • Raymond F.

    Had a really nice time. 3 1/2 hours without getting bored? And I have a really bad case of ADHD.

    July 20

  • Todd K.

    More than 3 hours and no one left early - it was great! Thanks, Christina!

    2 · July 19

  • Georgia

    love the topic & wish I could make it

    July 18

  • Judith N.

    I love all animals as other sentient creatures, support them and give money to animal savior groups, AND I eat meat and I have NO idea how to reconcile these two things, so I don't. I keep them entirely separate; that's one way to do it.

    1 · July 15

  • maryA

    Sorry but have to change my rsvp. This subject is so close to my hard as an animal activist I might have a hard time listening topeople discussing about animals as inferior creatures

    July 12

    • maryA

      if you are then you not much of an animla lover! see i told you.

      July 14

    • Christina

      You don't know what I eat and what I don't eat. It is a good idea to reserve opinions, attacks, etc. once we have a solid knowledge otherwise we have very little influence and draw little respect.

      July 15

  • jane

    hard for me to comprehend that the group is being rescheduled at a location that ignored reservations twice!

    July 13

    • Christina

      I agree with you both.

      July 14

    • Todd K.

      As I frequently say, please forward any suggestions for alternative venues. I have no vested interest in IHOP, except that they are centrally located, have a private room, will accommodate separate checks, plenty of free parking, and decent (but not exceptional) food.

      July 14

  • perdita c.

    I LOVE the ANIMAL Kingdom because its Us cosy fury and kind sweet

    July 14

  • Larry S.

    Sorry, we will miss the meeting. Once again, we will be out of town for the next 2 weeks on vacation

    July 14

  • John G.

    A free 1:35 hour documentary about animal welfare called "Earthlings," narrated by actor Joaquin Phoenix. Skip the first 8 minutes if you are impatient with the film's philosophy and get to the core of the film. Graphic depiction of shelters, puppy mills, slaughterhouses, etc:
    http://www.documentarywire.com/earthlings

    July 12

  • maryA

    I had to change my rsvp because of an suddrn change in my plan
    But this subject is so close yo my heart I am afraid I woud insult people if I heard anything negative sbout our non human perdons so called (animals). :)
    I would try to behave though :)

    July 12

  • gayle k.

    July 12

  • gayle k.

    Another thought - perceptions of animals across cultures Example, Pretty short read.

    [PDF]
    homo communicativus.p65

    www.hc.amu.edu.pl/numery/1/lukoszek.pdf

    July 12

    • gayle k.

      Unfortunately, I couldn't "think deep" enough to figure out how to allow you to just "click" on the site. Anyone else, feel free

      July 12

  • John G.

    If you are not convinced that animal welfare is a worthwhile issue, watch this video from The Guardian about sheep shearing in Australia:

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/11/sheep-cruelty-video-sparks-rspca-investigation?guni=Network%20front:network-front%20main-4%20Pixies:Pixies:Position5

    July 11

  • gayle k.

    Just curious, something to add, Animals used for "entertainment." From horse and dog races to chicken and dog fights and the "training" of animals used for "entertainment."

    July 10

  • Molly H

    I have long found it difficult to fathom how atheists could possibly imagine there were something essentially superior about humans. I can understand theists being led by their beliefs to think humans are imbued with a little something extra, but it seems it requires a real belief in the supernatural to hold that assumption.

    1 · July 10

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