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A quote from Darwin that should be forwarded to PETA
Our familiarity with the larger domestic animals tends, I think, to mislead us: we see no great destruction falling on them, but we do not keep in mind that thousands are annually slaughtered for food, and that in a state of nature an equal number would have somehow to be disposed of.

From an animal welfare point of view, the question is which is better? The method of "disposal" of man, or of nature? I tend to vote man, as the animals slaughtered for food are well-fed, generally healthy, and the actual death is quick. The animals "disposed of" by nature die of starvation and live with fear, illness and injury. A large domestic animal like cattle, horses, etc, if victims of predation are unlikely to die as quickly once attacked as they would in a modern slaughterhouse.

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I love the idea of a farm sanctuary, but it turns out that, in practice, those are mostly neither healthy nor pleasant for the animals taken in. The folks who run these facilities tend to be underfunded and inexperienced in animal husbandry. I gather the Farm Sanctuary outside Watkins Glen, New York frequently has to call upon nearby farmers (who raise animals for human consumption) for expertise and assistance.

I've given money to these folks because I like the idea behind what they do, and wish they could be more viable at it, but I have no illusion that they, or PETA, will ever succeed in ending the practice of industrial food-animal production. If that practice ever ends, it's far more likely to be because of those of us who participate in and evangelise the locavore movement and do our best to consume only locally and humanely raised meat whenever feasible.

I agree with you, that's why the *IF* is there. I really have my doubts about the long term success of animal welfare advocacy though I think that the numbers choosing different diets will grow over time for various reasons - health concerns/pollution/environment etc.

I don't think we have to ponder the "end game" all that much because it's just not real likely anytime in my lifetime.

I have a community farm share and totally love it... and while I'm not hugely evangelizing I do talk about it a fair amount. I'm fortunate to live in a city/area with a very large locally grown movement.

I do support the movement to make regulations for conditions to be better for animals in farming, while I think it's ideal to be veg (and local) I don't really expect the country (or world) to move to my ideal.

Oh, and I guess I'm slightly biased because I regularly read the blog of someone who currently works at a sanctuary and I've met several people who have been involved in running them. While not perfect - I'm fairly certain they are better off there than in most commercially run farms in the United States.

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