Puppyclaws wrote:I don't actually see a difference between what you are describing and a factory situation; I think it is approximately as false as the dichotomy between eating dog and eating cow. As it happens I worked in a high-end butcher that still dealt in whole animals, which is becoming something of a rarity...I used the term "meat-cutter" because I was not in a lead role, did not kill animals by hand myself, and also because the term butcher is something that many are trying to get away from, due to negative connotations. Yes, really.
The big distinction I'd make is that in a factory setting, roles tend to be specialized, so one person isn't handling the process from start to finish--rather, you're handling one part in a very long chain that ends with meat in a grocery store.
What interests me is having the experience of the entire chain--rather than just one link. The link I've experienced is the one where I go to the grocery store and buy the meat--if I worked in a factory setting (depending on many X factors), I'd probably only be familiar with one extra link--the link involved in cutting the meat, or cleaning the meat, or killing the cow from which the meat came. But experiencing it in its entirety--from living, breathing animal, to meat on my plate--I think that experience would give me a better perspective on what's actually going on when I buy meat at the grocery store. It's something I'd like to experience for myself, if for no other reason than it would encourage me not to think frivolously about the process.
(Obviously, if I really want to carry this to its logical conclusion, I should raise the cow myself from the point of its birth, then
kill it and eat it. Or go even one step farther...! But I realize I gotta cut it off somewhere. I just don't like taking things for granted, and prefer to understand, on a personal level, what goes on to make the things I use and see. I think there's a lot of benefit to doing that, and the quality of a discussion increases when more people understand from firsthand experience the processes involved)
Puppyclaws wrote:A professor at my university has made something of a career for herself by asking the question "why, if we eat cows, don't we eat golden retrievers?" To which my answer is, well, golden retrievers are awesome and amazing and cows are not. It's just absolutely impossible for me to get over the emotional state of my love for dogs to think about it impartially. I am pretty OK with people in other cultures eating dog, though, so.
I can't imagine there being anything wrong with that. I think the problem which we're talking about is only a problem when you start trying to create comprehensive rulesets by which to determine which animals are okay to eat and which aren't. I think golden retrievers are awesome and amazing and cows aren't, too--but it's hard for me to pin down exactly why I think that, and I certainly can't generate from that sentiment a system by which we could accurately gauge an animal's 'value'. Which strikes me as a totally fine thing.