Is taking away an animal's freedom worse than killing it?

The emphasis we put on the central, major role of freedom, could lead to the impression that we think slaughtering the animal for consumption-purposes is not as bad as taking away its freedom during the time it grows up. Killing animals can be seen as the most extreme way of deprivation of their freedom. The only difference is the irreversibility. Killing means putting a final end to, in a very short instance, all the options one can choose from while alive. If a human being commits a premeditated murder on another human being, the killer can be put in jail for just about as many years as he or she would be imprisoned if they would have taken someone hostage (a maximum of 15 years opposed to 20 years for murder, under Dutch law). There are circumstances under which killing a human life is permitted: in a case of self-defence, in a case of abortion and by practising euthanasia (i.e.: for the last two cases it goes that in recent years some countries (f.e. The Netherlands) have adapted their laws to that respect). Curtailment of freedom is allowed only by way of punishment or by way of protection of society. Only the government may carry out this task. If you assume that you are allowed to eat animals, this does not yet entitle you to curtail its freedom during the animal's life to an extreme extent. The culling of healthy animals too in cases of FMD or swine fever, is being rejected by a majority of people.

Species versus individual

We have to work hard on the Ecological Main Structures throughout countries, in order to create, for animals, their own territories where they can find rest and liberty. Rights of the species go above rights of the individual (if a certain family of plants is about to become extinct, it is allowed to forbid people to disturb the life of these plants). Put into a schedule: according to the schedule below, genetic manipulation of plants can be allowed provided that the consequences of such handling are fully known. Genetic manipulation or modification of and experiments on animals that would reduce their options to behave naturally, ought to become forbidden soonest possible.
Killing is allowed…. Impeding natural behavior is allowed…. Have rights….
yes no yes no yes no
individual plant animal man plant man animal man animal plant
species plant man animal plant man animal man animal plant

Is hunting for pleasure a natural pastime?

Hunting animals for the sheer pleasure of the "sport", is unnatural since in nature it is virtually unheard of that one creature would kill an other living being just for "fun". Amongst wildlife killing as good as always takes place within the so called food cycle. In that sense the hunting-instinct of the "hunter-sportsman" is both unnatural and hard-hearted. When less hunting would take place in our country, as a result more animals would eventually dare to show themselves - from a distance - to people more often. Make the hunter "shoot" with a camera: that is equally sportsmanlike and exciting and truly a manner of honouring and respecting freedom! More about ethics and farming and food on our ethical barometer.

logoThis page describes one aspect of the influence that man has on the quality of life of an animal. We wish to promote the (in other countries as well) growing of awareness, that freedom is also important for an animal. An animal is not a thing, but a being that has the right to quality of a natural way of life. If you want to do something to help animals, click here for our suggestions.

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