jules.lt wrote:I and countless others firmly believe that it is NOT ok to torture animals.
To hurt them as a means to a useful end like food and research, yeah, but torture? It's not like they're going to talk.
Except where do you draw the line? You don't believe in hurting animals, but you're fine with killing them and eating them? Go to a Whataburger, get a burger. Where did that cow meat come from? Do you think it came from a cow that was allowed to graze peacefully in a picturesque pasture, or do you think it came from a cow that spent its entire miserable existence in a feedlot?
If you're not okay with killing and eating humans (usually justified on the basis that humans are "intelligent"), why are you okay with killing and eating other intelligent species? Sure, cows and chickens and pigs aren't exactly geniuses, but I grew up on a farm and I've certainly seen remorse and sadness in cows whose calf didn't make it. We didn't raise pigs and I'd probably say chickens are generally pretty dumb animals, but the cows certainly showed awareness and sadness that one of theirs was dead.
Understand, I'm a meat eater. I'm not a vegetarian and certainly not one of those vegan crazies (who could voluntarily deprive themselves of bacon and nice leather workboots? madmen, that's who), but it's a subject I basically just choose to shove under the carpet, because I can't find a logical reason for eating meat, other than "it tastes good." Imagine if you somehow found out that grilled human was the best damned meat ever. Why would it be wrong to start farming and killing and cooking humans? Other than "because they're one of us"? What if you were white, it turns out that black people taste really damn good. Would you be able to justify farming and eating black people, because they aren't "one of you"?
Now, I agree with you. I don't think that any animal deserves unnecessarily inhumane treatment, and I think that people who abuse animals should be treated as criminals, but I think there's an actual logical reason for that - people who would abuse and harm animals and especially pet animals (cats and dogs, mostly) tend to have the same kind of sociopathic mindset that can lead to a serial killer/rapist later on, so punishing them as a criminal and hopefully getting them help works out in the long run.
Sure, there's also "aww, it's a cute little pup! aww, it's a cute little kitty!" thing, but that's irrational and isn't really something I'd want to create laws based on.
Sorry if I started meandering in this post