A very confusing argument here

More than 40 million farm animals are estimated to die each year in the UK before they reach the slaughterhouse, according to a report to be published this week which urges the government to introduce measures that would compel farmers to disclose the numbers.

The report, The Uncounted Dead: Farming’s unofficial victims, by Animal Aid, an organisation opposed to meat eating, is the first to put a figure on the number of animals that die before slaughter.

So, an organisation that opposes the slaughter of animals for us to eat them opposes the idea of animals dying naturally before we slaughter them to eat them?

That’s a bit, umm, confused, isn’t it?

12 thoughts on “A very confusing argument here”

  1. You’re missing the point Tim. ALL animals should be banned so that the numinous vegans can no longer be tempted by their meaty deliciousness!

  2. The guy’s argument seems to be that farmers don’t care that their profits get destroyed before they can be realised. He has clearly not met many farmers.

  3. I think they would prefer that the animals were not alive in the first place, since they are being “bred for death”. In that context their complaint actually is rational – fewer deaths before slaughter means fewer animals would have to be farmed to satisfy current consumption. Of course, farmers are already trying hard to reduce this wastage, so the group’s proposal is silly, but the underlying desire for fewer deaths is understandable.

  4. So Much for Subtlety

    Yes but in the state of nature, they would be living in a Garden of Eden slash Disney film with no pain, suffering or death. It is humans that have to come and ruin everything.

    Whoever wrote Bambi has a lot to answer for.

  5. bloke (not) in spain

    Bearing in mind a lot of those will be chickens & pigs, both of which naturally produce numerous offspring, maybe there’s a reason.
    Maybe the same reason the UK’s not a coast to coast squirming mass of pork & fowl.

  6. b(n)is

    I spent my teens and early 20s working on farms, mostly mixed. Never poultry, so I have no idea about chicken deaths. In general, farmers don’t like dead animals.

    On one farm the boss bought a cheap lot of sheep in poor condition due to fly-strike. We dipped the fly-stuck sheep. A few fly-struck sheep died, most survived, and they gave the profit.

    When cows get old they go to the slaughter house The only exception in my experience was an old cow that went down in the yard and didn’t get up. We sent for the knackers and they took her away. Knackers do a useful job, but they are as popular on the farm as tax collectors.

  7. bloke (not) in spain

    Don’t know about pigs (although i have been responsible for a lot of pig deaths. Fair shot) But I have kept chickens. They are not good parents. Chicks are not survivors. There’s a lot of little graves.

  8. Sheep tend to lie on the third or fourth lambs born, killing them. Farmers take away the third or fourth and wean them onto one with only one. If she doesn’t take them, they’re reared by hand.

    40m sounds high. Aside from the fact that lobby groups tend to simply make up numbers, the foot and mouth crisis showed:

    1) farmers hate losing animals before their time. It gets to them.

    2) a good many people who claim to care for animals don’t. The RSPCA endorsed the government decision to kill and burn tens of thousands of healthy animals.

  9. bloke (not) in spain

    That sort of thing, Tim N, was what I was thinking of. A lot of animals reproduce at way over the replacement rate. Pigs for instance. There must be a pretty high natural mortality rate or evolution wouldn’t have invested the porcine energy to compensate for it.
    I’ve no idea what the total number of domestic animals is in the UK. But, given farmers go to great lengths to prevent animals dying, it may well be 40m expiring before reaching maturity is a very low number compared to what might occur in nature.

  10. “Whether people are meat eaters or vegetarians, it will surely be of concern to them that millions of farmed animals perish every year as a result of fires, floods, road collisions, disease and neglect,” Tyler said.

    And that’s where he is horribly wrong. I no more care whether farmers lose their stock than whether a clothing maker has high wastage, or a retailer high shrinkage. I would like to see the number go down, as I expect that will either lead to lower food prices or healthier farm economies (or a mix, depending on relative elasticity). Zealots seem to often project their pet causes as matters of universal concern – generally they are both wrong and unconvincing.

  11. I observe that Animal Aid thinks that no rabbits geese or ducks were slaughtered for food (did they ask my butcher?) but 600,000 died while while waiting to be slaughtered. Call me a pendant if you like, but if I’ve cooked a goose that was provided to order I don’t believe that no geese were slaughtered to provide food.
    I may be prejudiced (but that definitely does not mean bigoted) to think that I have less confidence in other statements made by people who are clearly lying in the statements that I can immediately check.

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