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Are All Animals Created Equal?

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I was reading the New York Times online yesterday and happened upon an article entitled “Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others” by Mark Bittman.  In the article, Bittman brings up some interesting points regarding how we treat a variety of animals we consider “pets” vs. how we treat those we consider “pests” or others considered “food.”

He writes of a recent case in Brooklyn where a 19-year-old girl was arrested and charged with animal cruelty for slamming her sister’s hamster on the floor, killing it.  He compares this with the routine poisoning of rats within blocks of the home where the hamster incident happened and asks why there is such a difference in the handling of pet hamster vs. rat.

Bittman discusses the treatment of cows, pigs and chickens that are raised primarily for the purpose of becoming human food.  Many documentaries, news segments and articles have been written regarding the poor conditions many of these animals reside in before being slaughtered.

All animals, regardless of whether a farm animal or pet, should garner some level of respect and be treated humanely.  Bittman’s article asks a difficult question:  Why don’t industrially raised animals get treated as humanely as those animals we consider pets?


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