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Animal Rights Activists and Service Animals

tulle
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11/5/2013 4:44:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
How do animal rights' activists reconcile their beliefs with the use of service animals? (or not)

Are the two contradictory?
yang.
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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11/5/2013 4:47:54 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/5/2013 4:44:58 PM, tulle wrote:
How do animal rights' activists reconcile their beliefs with the use of service animals? (or not)

Are the two contradictory?

I'm pretty sure PETA is against them:

The Service Animals tag on their blog brought:

http://www.peta.org...

No one can debate the tremendous challenges faced by disabled people, but forcing monkeys to bridge the gap is not the most humane"or the safest"answer. With so many people having lost their jobs during the economic downturn, it seems like it would make more sense to hire them as "helping hands" than to continue to force monkeys into a lifetime of servitude far from their families and natural habitats.

(emphasis mine)
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bladerunner060
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11/5/2013 4:51:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Ah, here's a more official position-type-paper, though it's about all companion animals and only mentions working animals briefly:

http://www.peta.org...

"Optimally, humans should be relied upon for support of the disabled rather than working dogs and other animals"it is too common for animals to be exploited and abused."

But then--it's PETA, and they be craaaaaaaaazy.
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wrichcirw
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11/5/2013 4:53:13 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/5/2013 4:47:54 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 11/5/2013 4:44:58 PM, tulle wrote:
How do animal rights' activists reconcile their beliefs with the use of service animals? (or not)

Are the two contradictory?

I'm pretty sure PETA is against them:

The Service Animals tag on their blog brought:

http://www.peta.org...

No one can debate the tremendous challenges faced by disabled people, but forcing monkeys to bridge the gap is not the most humane"or the safest"answer. With so many people having lost their jobs during the economic downturn, it seems like it would make more sense to hire them as "helping hands" than to continue to force monkeys into a lifetime of servitude far from their families and natural habitats.

(emphasis mine)

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that monkeys and seeing-eye dogs are MUCH cheaper than hiring minimum-wage labor.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Citrakayah
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11/5/2013 7:38:36 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I consider myself pro-animal rights (insomuch as I am anything rights) and pro-service animal. Honestly if I was a dog and I could get free food, run of pretty much anywhere I wanted, great health care, regular exercise, et cetera, but leading a human around and making sure they didn't kill themselves when I liked them anyway, I'd be perfectly happy. The animals in question seem happy enough.
Andromeda_Z
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11/5/2013 9:26:30 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
PETA is to animal activists as the Westboro Baptist Church is to Christians. They're the wackos that make everyone look bad. I'd have to look into it some more and see what other groups have to say, but basing everything on PETA is just lol.
bladerunner060
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11/5/2013 9:51:44 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/5/2013 9:26:30 PM, Andromeda_Z wrote:
PETA is to animal activists as the Westboro Baptist Church is to Christians. They're the wackos that make everyone look bad. I'd have to look into it some more and see what other groups have to say, but basing everything on PETA is just lol.

Well, I did say they were crazy....
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drhead
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11/6/2013 12:07:25 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
PETA: Approves of people throwing raccoons, disapproves of the disabled having dogs to help them see.
Wall of Fail

"You reject religion... calling it a sickness, to what ends??? Are you a Homosexual??" - Dogknox
"For me, Evolution is a zombie theory. I mean imaginary cartoons and wishful thinking support it?" - Dragonfang
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vbaculum
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11/6/2013 7:22:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/5/2013 4:58:17 PM, tulle wrote:
In that case, is there anyone here who agrees with PETA?

Maybe I'll nudge vbaculum about this.

I think the position piece that bladerunner posted was reasonable. (http://www.peta.org...)

If there is a economic incentive to abuse sentient beings, then there will be abuse, and in the animal service industry, there is doubtlessly significant incentives to abuse animals. The ethical thing to do is to understand the abuses that occur or could occur with the training of animals and resist it as much as possible.

For example, if someone I knew needed a guide dog, and that required obtaining one from a company that trains guide dogs, I would forgo that service, rescue a dog from a shelter, and train the dog myself. Or maybe I would volunteer to personally assist the person who needed the service.

I'm not saying the ethical thing to do would be easy or even possible. I am saying animal industries should be resisted whenever possible because practically all of them abuse animals.
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

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ADreamOfLiberty
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11/6/2013 8:01:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/5/2013 4:51:28 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
But then--it's PETA, and they be craaaaaaaaazy.

Indeed, typical loony attitude. Why 'make' animals do it when you can get those worthless little humans to do it (but still pay them minimum wage).

We all know that in that wondrous heaven sometimes referred to as 'nature' all the animals just sit around and commune with the beauty of gaia and why would you want to spoil that by having them lead blind people around?

It's BS, they talk about the dignity of animals; but if I was an animal I would have a lot more self-respect if I actually did things to help the humans who provide for my every need. The need of some people to remove one of the few remaining useful services animals provide is pathological.
LOL, yeah, it's pretty amazing how they think they can "reason" with you. - Sidewalker, speaking of advocates for sexual deviancy.

So, my advice, Liberty, is to go somewhere else. Leave, and never come back. - YYW

And that's what I did. Contact me at http://www.edeb8.com... by the same user name if you have anything you'd like to say.
drhead
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11/6/2013 11:12:47 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/6/2013 7:22:37 PM, vbaculum wrote:
At 11/5/2013 4:58:17 PM, tulle wrote:
In that case, is there anyone here who agrees with PETA?

Maybe I'll nudge vbaculum about this.

I think the position piece that bladerunner posted was reasonable. (http://www.peta.org...)

If there is a economic incentive to abuse sentient beings, then there will be abuse, and in the animal service industry, there is doubtlessly significant incentives to abuse animals. The ethical thing to do is to understand the abuses that occur or could occur with the training of animals and resist it as much as possible.

For example, if someone I knew needed a guide dog, and that required obtaining one from a company that trains guide dogs, I would forgo that service, rescue a dog from a shelter, and train the dog myself. Or maybe I would volunteer to personally assist the person who needed the service.

I'm not saying the ethical thing to do would be easy or even possible. I am saying animal industries should be resisted whenever possible because practically all of them abuse animals.

Why not research these companies, and not buy from the ones that abuse animals (as well as encouraging others to do so)? That'd work just as well to minimize abuse.
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"You reject religion... calling it a sickness, to what ends??? Are you a Homosexual??" - Dogknox
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"There are no mental health benefits of atheism. It is devoid of rational thinking and mental protection." - Gabrian
vbaculum
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11/6/2013 11:52:42 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/6/2013 11:12:47 PM, drhead wrote:
At 11/6/2013 7:22:37 PM, vbaculum wrote:
At 11/5/2013 4:58:17 PM, tulle wrote:
In that case, is there anyone here who agrees with PETA?

Maybe I'll nudge vbaculum about this.

I think the position piece that bladerunner posted was reasonable. (http://www.peta.org...)

If there is a economic incentive to abuse sentient beings, then there will be abuse, and in the animal service industry, there is doubtlessly significant incentives to abuse animals. The ethical thing to do is to understand the abuses that occur or could occur with the training of animals and resist it as much as possible.

For example, if someone I knew needed a guide dog, and that required obtaining one from a company that trains guide dogs, I would forgo that service, rescue a dog from a shelter, and train the dog myself. Or maybe I would volunteer to personally assist the person who needed the service.

I'm not saying the ethical thing to do would be easy or even possible. I am saying animal industries should be resisted whenever possible because practically all of them abuse animals.

Why not research these companies, and not buy from the ones that abuse animals (as well as encouraging others to do so)? That'd work just as well to minimize abuse.

How would you get a company to be honest with you about how it mistreats animals? There's no incentive for a company to have an open door policy on their abusive practices.
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If you want it
drhead
Posts: 1,475
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11/6/2013 11:56:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/6/2013 11:52:42 PM, vbaculum wrote:
At 11/6/2013 11:12:47 PM, drhead wrote:
At 11/6/2013 7:22:37 PM, vbaculum wrote:
At 11/5/2013 4:58:17 PM, tulle wrote:
In that case, is there anyone here who agrees with PETA?

Maybe I'll nudge vbaculum about this.

I think the position piece that bladerunner posted was reasonable. (http://www.peta.org...)

If there is a economic incentive to abuse sentient beings, then there will be abuse, and in the animal service industry, there is doubtlessly significant incentives to abuse animals. The ethical thing to do is to understand the abuses that occur or could occur with the training of animals and resist it as much as possible.

For example, if someone I knew needed a guide dog, and that required obtaining one from a company that trains guide dogs, I would forgo that service, rescue a dog from a shelter, and train the dog myself. Or maybe I would volunteer to personally assist the person who needed the service.

I'm not saying the ethical thing to do would be easy or even possible. I am saying animal industries should be resisted whenever possible because practically all of them abuse animals.

Why not research these companies, and not buy from the ones that abuse animals (as well as encouraging others to do so)? That'd work just as well to minimize abuse.

How would you get a company to be honest with you about how it mistreats animals? There's no incentive for a company to have an open door policy on their abusive practices.

Yes, there is. If one company is honest about their practices (and their practices are ethical), they will be more trusted by the public and more people will buy from them, since they can be sure that they ethically treated any involved animals. Companies which are not open about their practices will fall under scrutiny for not doing so, and will lose sales since the public will not be sure if they treat their animals ethically.
Wall of Fail

"You reject religion... calling it a sickness, to what ends??? Are you a Homosexual??" - Dogknox
"For me, Evolution is a zombie theory. I mean imaginary cartoons and wishful thinking support it?" - Dragonfang
"There are no mental health benefits of atheism. It is devoid of rational thinking and mental protection." - Gabrian
vbaculum
Posts: 1,274
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11/7/2013 12:35:59 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/6/2013 11:56:24 PM, drhead wrote:
At 11/6/2013 11:52:42 PM, vbaculum wrote:
At 11/6/2013 11:12:47 PM, drhead wrote:
At 11/6/2013 7:22:37 PM, vbaculum wrote:
At 11/5/2013 4:58:17 PM, tulle wrote:
In that case, is there anyone here who agrees with PETA?

Maybe I'll nudge vbaculum about this.

I think the position piece that bladerunner posted was reasonable. (http://www.peta.org...)

If there is a economic incentive to abuse sentient beings, then there will be abuse, and in the animal service industry, there is doubtlessly significant incentives to abuse animals. The ethical thing to do is to understand the abuses that occur or could occur with the training of animals and resist it as much as possible.

For example, if someone I knew needed a guide dog, and that required obtaining one from a company that trains guide dogs, I would forgo that service, rescue a dog from a shelter, and train the dog myself. Or maybe I would volunteer to personally assist the person who needed the service.

I'm not saying the ethical thing to do would be easy or even possible. I am saying animal industries should be resisted whenever possible because practically all of them abuse animals.

Why not research these companies, and not buy from the ones that abuse animals (as well as encouraging others to do so)? That'd work just as well to minimize abuse.

How would you get a company to be honest with you about how it mistreats animals? There's no incentive for a company to have an open door policy on their abusive practices.

Yes, there is. If one company is honest about their practices (and their practices are ethical), they will be more trusted by the public and more people will buy from them, since they can be sure that they ethically treated any involved animals. Companies which are not open about their practices will fall under scrutiny for not doing so, and will lose sales since the public will not be sure if they treat their animals ethically.

Okay, can you give some examples of this happening?
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If you want it
drhead
Posts: 1,475
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11/7/2013 12:48:06 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/7/2013 12:35:59 AM, vbaculum wrote:
At 11/6/2013 11:56:24 PM, drhead wrote:
At 11/6/2013 11:52:42 PM, vbaculum wrote:
At 11/6/2013 11:12:47 PM, drhead wrote:
At 11/6/2013 7:22:37 PM, vbaculum wrote:
At 11/5/2013 4:58:17 PM, tulle wrote:
In that case, is there anyone here who agrees with PETA?

Maybe I'll nudge vbaculum about this.

I think the position piece that bladerunner posted was reasonable. (http://www.peta.org...)

If there is a economic incentive to abuse sentient beings, then there will be abuse, and in the animal service industry, there is doubtlessly significant incentives to abuse animals. The ethical thing to do is to understand the abuses that occur or could occur with the training of animals and resist it as much as possible.

For example, if someone I knew needed a guide dog, and that required obtaining one from a company that trains guide dogs, I would forgo that service, rescue a dog from a shelter, and train the dog myself. Or maybe I would volunteer to personally assist the person who needed the service.

I'm not saying the ethical thing to do would be easy or even possible. I am saying animal industries should be resisted whenever possible because practically all of them abuse animals.

Why not research these companies, and not buy from the ones that abuse animals (as well as encouraging others to do so)? That'd work just as well to minimize abuse.

How would you get a company to be honest with you about how it mistreats animals? There's no incentive for a company to have an open door policy on their abusive practices.

Yes, there is. If one company is honest about their practices (and their practices are ethical), they will be more trusted by the public and more people will buy from them, since they can be sure that they ethically treated any involved animals. Companies which are not open about their practices will fall under scrutiny for not doing so, and will lose sales since the public will not be sure if they treat their animals ethically.

Okay, can you give some examples of this happening?

I shouldn't have to give examples of how transparency benefits a business's public reputation - isn't it obvious enough? You said that you wouldn't want to buy from a company that might abuse animals. This means it is likely that you would buy from one which you know doesn't abuse animals. There are plenty of people who would think like you, and who would also prefer to buy from a company which doesn't abuse animals. If a company shows that they don't abuse animals, they've gained you and a bunch of other people as potential customers. If other companies are even remotely interested in money (which they should be), they'll want to jump on the bandwagon as well and will likely disclose their practices in order to keep up. This is simple game theory - it directly benefits the companies to keep their practices ethical and to disclose these practices since they get your money if they do, and they don't get your money if they don't. Evidence is not needed for that which can be determined from what we already know and accept.
Wall of Fail

"You reject religion... calling it a sickness, to what ends??? Are you a Homosexual??" - Dogknox
"For me, Evolution is a zombie theory. I mean imaginary cartoons and wishful thinking support it?" - Dragonfang
"There are no mental health benefits of atheism. It is devoid of rational thinking and mental protection." - Gabrian
vbaculum
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11/7/2013 1:12:04 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/7/2013 12:48:06 AM, drhead wrote:
At 11/7/2013 12:35:59 AM, vbaculum wrote:
At 11/6/2013 11:56:24 PM, drhead wrote:
At 11/6/2013 11:52:42 PM, vbaculum wrote:
At 11/6/2013 11:12:47 PM, drhead wrote:
At 11/6/2013 7:22:37 PM, vbaculum wrote:
At 11/5/2013 4:58:17 PM, tulle wrote:
In that case, is there anyone here who agrees with PETA?

Maybe I'll nudge vbaculum about this.

I think the position piece that bladerunner posted was reasonable. (http://www.peta.org...)

If there is a economic incentive to abuse sentient beings, then there will be abuse, and in the animal service industry, there is doubtlessly significant incentives to abuse animals. The ethical thing to do is to understand the abuses that occur or could occur with the training of animals and resist it as much as possible.

For example, if someone I knew needed a guide dog, and that required obtaining one from a company that trains guide dogs, I would forgo that service, rescue a dog from a shelter, and train the dog myself. Or maybe I would volunteer to personally assist the person who needed the service.

I'm not saying the ethical thing to do would be easy or even possible. I am saying animal industries should be resisted whenever possible because practically all of them abuse animals.

Why not research these companies, and not buy from the ones that abuse animals (as well as encouraging others to do so)? That'd work just as well to minimize abuse.

How would you get a company to be honest with you about how it mistreats animals? There's no incentive for a company to have an open door policy on their abusive practices.

Yes, there is. If one company is honest about their practices (and their practices are ethical), they will be more trusted by the public and more people will buy from them, since they can be sure that they ethically treated any involved animals. Companies which are not open about their practices will fall under scrutiny for not doing so, and will lose sales since the public will not be sure if they treat their animals ethically.

Okay, can you give some examples of this happening?

I shouldn't have to give examples of how transparency benefits a business's public reputation - isn't it obvious enough? You said that you wouldn't want to buy from a company that might abuse animals. This means it is likely that you would buy from one which you know doesn't abuse animals. There are plenty of people who would think like you, and who would also prefer to buy from a company which doesn't abuse animals. If a company shows that they don't abuse animals, they've gained you and a bunch of other people as potential customers. If other companies are even remotely interested in money (which they should be), they'll want to jump on the bandwagon as well and will likely disclose their practices in order to keep up. This is simple game theory - it directly benefits the companies to keep their practices ethical and to disclose these practices since they get your money if they do, and they don't get your money if they don't. Evidence is not needed for that which can be determined from what we already know and accept.

You're not obliged to give evidence proving you theory. But in failing to do so you demonstrate that it can't be proven.

60 percent of Americans have hospitals put their infants through torture sessions called circumcisions.

(http://www.msnbc.msn.com...)
(http://www.cnn.com...)

These sessions are done for the sake of tradition.

People torture their own children. People don't have incentives to be moral - that's why you can't find supporting evidence for you theory.
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If you want it
drhead
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11/7/2013 9:39:58 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/7/2013 1:12:04 AM, vbaculum wrote:
At 11/7/2013 12:48:06 AM, drhead wrote:

I shouldn't have to give examples of how transparency benefits a business's public reputation - isn't it obvious enough? You said that you wouldn't want to buy from a company that might abuse animals. This means it is likely that you would buy from one which you know doesn't abuse animals. There are plenty of people who would think like you, and who would also prefer to buy from a company which doesn't abuse animals. If a company shows that they don't abuse animals, they've gained you and a bunch of other people as potential customers. If other companies are even remotely interested in money (which they should be), they'll want to jump on the bandwagon as well and will likely disclose their practices in order to keep up. This is simple game theory - it directly benefits the companies to keep their practices ethical and to disclose these practices since they get your money if they do, and they don't get your money if they don't. Evidence is not needed for that which can be determined from what we already know and accept.

You're not obliged to give evidence proving you theory. But in failing to do so you demonstrate that it can't be proven.

60 percent of Americans have hospitals put their infants through torture sessions called circumcisions.

(http://www.msnbc.msn.com...)
(http://www.cnn.com...)

These sessions are done for the sake of tradition.

People torture their own children. People don't have incentives to be moral - that's why you can't find supporting evidence for you theory.

How is that analogous to whether or not a corporation values its customers enough to take their concerns into account?

It seems you don't even know what game theory is from your last sentence. Game theory is not a theory in the same sense as string theory. Game theory is a study of strategic human decision making. It's not something that can be proven or disproven. If you were to ask an expert in the field for "evidence for game theory", you would be laughed out of the room with such magnitude that is not conceivable by even the biggest cranks in the anti-science movement. You'd be disputing something that is self-evident, something that can be defended by a priori knowledge alone.

Consider the following scenario: Two criminals are being interrogated at a police station. The interrogator wants each criminal to state whether or not the other is guilty. If both of them claim the other is innocent, they both get 6 months in prison. If one claims the other is guilty, and the other claims that the other is innocent, the person who is claimed to be guilty gets 10 years in prison, and the accuser is set free. If they both claim the other is guilty, they both get 5 years in prison. Now, the best outcome for both of them would be for them to both claim the other's innocence, but if one person is thinking this, the other person can claim the other is guilty, and they will get off without having to stay in prison at all. Both parties would want to be on the receiving end of this deal, which is a motive to claim the other's guilt. The better solution would still be to both claim innocence, but if one does this, there is the risk that they will have to stay in prison for 10 years instead of 6 months. Considering all of this, each player individually gets more by defecting than by cooperating.
This problem is known as the prisoner's dilemma. If you need further explanation, Wikipedia has a well-written article on it:
http://en.wikipedia.org...
That is game theory - it isn't about people always making the most moral decision, it is about them being self-interested even when it will cause both parties more trouble.

Now, back to how this applies to your problem.

If a company has good ethical practices which it is transparent about and it uses these as selling points, there are both costs and benefits associated. There is the obvious cost of making sure these ethical practices remain in place - whether it is the cost of ensuring the workers are held to a higher standard, or the additional costs of time or resources needed to make company practices more ethical.

I'm going to assume we are starting with your scenario - all companies are opaque about their ethics. The consumer does not know if the service dogs were raised individually by trainers who love their job and love the animals they work with, or if they were born in a puppy mill and have been abused throuout their entire career. Everything is starting out equal.

Now, if one company starts to reform its ways (if its practices were ever unethical in the first place - the consumer doesn't know either way at the present) and starts marketing their product around the fact that they are the only company to disclose their practices, they will gain more customers. Some could be people like you who would only deal with a company whose practices are known to be ethical. Some could switch over from other companies if they care about how the animals are treated (though not enough to give up the service altogether until such practices are disclosed), and might even believe it results in a higher quality product. This may result in the company needing to raise prices, though there will inevitably be people willing to pay extra for knowing the animals were not abused. In addition, companies that do not reform their practices will be casted in doubt, and will lose customers for this reason.

So, now for the game theory analysis. If no company does anything, there will be no harm to any company. However, any company that does change will benefit from it. While they may incur additional expenses with this, they will gain customers to offset this, and other companies will lose customers. The first company to do this also adds new customers (people with your views) to the market, further increasing the benefits. Every other company will of course suffer from their inaction, and will continue to lose customers, but they can gain an advantage over all other companies which haven't reformed by simply jumping on the bandwagon. They will gain the same customers which have concerns over ethics. Moreover, they will benefit more from doing this earlier, since waiting too long could result in being crushed by other companies. People won't buy from a company when they are portrayed as torturing their animals by other companies.

With all of this said, is there really any rational reason to be completely opposed to all companies training service animals over ethical concerns when we know that they have plenty of good reasons to address these concerns?
Wall of Fail

"You reject religion... calling it a sickness, to what ends??? Are you a Homosexual??" - Dogknox
"For me, Evolution is a zombie theory. I mean imaginary cartoons and wishful thinking support it?" - Dragonfang
"There are no mental health benefits of atheism. It is devoid of rational thinking and mental protection." - Gabrian
vbaculum
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11/7/2013 6:31:35 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/7/2013 9:39:58 AM, drhead wrote:
At 11/7/2013 1:12:04 AM, vbaculum wrote:
At 11/7/2013 12:48:06 AM, drhead wrote:

I shouldn't have to give examples of how transparency benefits a business's public reputation - isn't it obvious enough? You said that you wouldn't want to buy from a company that might abuse animals. This means it is likely that you would buy from one which you know doesn't abuse animals. There are plenty of people who would think like you, and who would also prefer to buy from a company which doesn't abuse animals. If a company shows that they don't abuse animals, they've gained you and a bunch of other people as potential customers. If other companies are even remotely interested in money (which they should be), they'll want to jump on the bandwagon as well and will likely disclose their practices in order to keep up. This is simple game theory - it directly benefits the companies to keep their practices ethical and to disclose these practices since they get your money if they do, and they don't get your money if they don't. Evidence is not needed for that which can be determined from what we already know and accept.

You're not obliged to give evidence proving you theory. But in failing to do so you demonstrate that it can't be proven.

60 percent of Americans have hospitals put their infants through torture sessions called circumcisions.

(http://www.msnbc.msn.com...)
(http://www.cnn.com...)

These sessions are done for the sake of tradition.

People torture their own children. People don't have incentives to be moral - that's why you can't find supporting evidence for you theory.

How is that analogous to whether or not a corporation values its customers enough to take their concerns into account?

Of course corporations value the concerns of their customers. But if people aren't concerned about the bodily harm hospitals needlessly inflict on their own children, obviously they aren't going to create sufficient demand on animal enterprises to treat animals humanely. It has never happened - as you've demonstrated.


It seems you don't even know what game theory is from your last sentence.

I wasn't refering to game theory. I was refering to your theory that humans could be counted on to act in such a way as to cause some companies to behave morally toward nonhuman animals.

Game theory is not a theory in the same sense as string theory.

Sorry to have made you write all this by the way.

Game theory is a study of strategic human decision making. It's not something that can be proven or disproven. If you were to ask an expert in the field for "evidence for game theory", you would be laughed out of the room with such magnitude that is not conceivable by even the biggest cranks in the anti-science movement. You'd be disputing something that is self-evident, something that can be defended by a priori knowledge alone.

<cut for space>
This problem is known as the prisoner's dilemma. If you need further explanation, Wikipedia has a well-written article on it:
http://en.wikipedia.org...
That is game theory - it isn't about people always making the most moral decision, it is about them being self-interested even when it will cause both parties more trouble.

Now, back to how this applies to your problem.

If a company has good ethical practices which it is transparent about and it uses these as selling points, there are both costs and benefits associated. There is the obvious cost of making sure these ethical practices remain in place - whether it is the cost of ensuring the workers are held to a higher standard, or the additional costs of time or resources needed to make company practices more ethical.

I'm going to assume we are starting with your scenario - all companies are opaque about their ethics. The consumer does not know if the service dogs were raised individually by trainers who love their job and love the animals they work with, or if they were born in a puppy mill and have been abused throuout their entire career. Everything is starting out equal.

Now, if one company starts to reform its ways (if its practices were ever unethical in the first place - the consumer doesn't know either way at the present) and starts marketing their product around the fact that they are the only company to disclose their practices, they will gain more customers. Some could be people like you who would only deal with a company whose practices are known to be ethical. Some could switch over from other companies if they care about how the animals are treated (though not enough to give up the service altogether until such practices are disclosed), and might even believe it results in a higher quality product. This may result in the company needing to raise prices, though there will inevitably be people willing to pay extra for knowing the animals were not abused. In addition, companies that do not reform their practices will be casted in doubt, and will lose customers for this reason.

So, now for the game theory analysis. If no company does anything, there will be no harm to any company. However, any company that does change will benefit from it. While they may incur additional expenses with this, they will gain customers to offset this, and other companies will lose customers. The first company to do this also adds new customers (people with your views) to the market, further increasing the benefits. Every other company will of course suffer from their inaction, and will continue to lose customers, but they can gain an advantage over all other companies which haven't reformed by simply jumping on the bandwagon. They will gain the same customers which have concerns over ethics. Moreover, they will benefit more from doing this earlier, since waiting too long could result in being crushed by other companies. People won't buy from a company when they are portrayed as torturing their animals by other companies.

Yes, I understand your argument completely. My argument is that there isn't enough demand to cause animal enterprises to treat nonhuman animals humanely. That's why you aren't able to demonstrate that this has ever happend.

As they say: "it works in theory but not in practice". But if it works in theory but not in practice then it's a bad theory and should be abandoned. (Just to be on the safe side, I'm not talking about game theory here.)


With all of this said, is there really any rational reason to be completely opposed to all companies training service animals over ethical concerns when we know that they have plenty of good reasons to address these concerns?

I have absolutely no reason to believe any animal enterprise would not abuse animals if there is an economic incentive. All the evidence indicates that this is exactly what happens. For companies that force (train) animals to behave in certain ways, as efficiently as possible, the incentives are all geared toward causing the animal as much unhappiness until he or she submits and conforms to the demands of his or her tormentors.
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

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tulle
Posts: 4,445
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11/8/2013 12:20:48 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
@Drhead---wow, great post.

I think both of you raise fascinating points, Unfortunately, my time on DDO is limited so I can't offer much.

@vbaculum---thank you for responding! Do you have any links to show that service animals are abused? The only thing I can think of is the instruction that strangers cannot pet them because they are "working animals". It's almost like slavery, though I guess I'm not sure where I stand on animal rights.
yang.
Citrakayah
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11/8/2013 10:16:56 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Might one simply have frequent, random, surprise inspections of service animal training facilities and make whistleblowing legal and encouraged?
wrichcirw
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11/9/2013 9:08:44 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/6/2013 12:07:25 AM, drhead wrote:
PETA: Approves of people throwing raccoons, disapproves of the disabled having dogs to help them see.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
vbaculum
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11/10/2013 1:24:13 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/8/2013 12:20:48 AM, tulle wrote:
@Drhead---wow, great post.

I think both of you raise fascinating points, Unfortunately, my time on DDO is limited so I can't offer much.

@vbaculum---thank you for responding!

Thank you for asking me to.

Do you have any links to show that service animals are abused? The only thing I can think of is the instruction that strangers cannot pet them because they are "working animals". It's almost like slavery, though I guess I'm not sure where I stand on animal rights.

No. Most of the investigative reporting I've read about animal exploitation has been devoted to the plights of farmed animals and animals used for scientific experiments since they represent the vast majority of animal suffering caused by humans.

Another area of investigations, however, has been devoted to puppy mills. Just a quick overview: Puppy mills are, by definition, operations which place an animal's ability to make a profit over their welfare. 90% of puppies in pet stores come from puppy mills. Puppies are often prematurely weaned from their mothers. They are packed in crates and sent to pet stores. A significant number of the dogs die during the trip (some say 50%). The breeder dogs themselves are killed after their usefulness to the operation has been exhausted. The biological needs of the puppies in the mills are typically neglected. Similar operations for cats (kitty mills) exist as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Puppies and cats are the most highly regarded nonhuman animal in the West and most of the world. Raising a puppy does not require abusing them or neglecting them; the neglect is a byproduct of running an operation that has a financial bottom line. On the other hand, raising service animal require that the animals be disciplined efficiently and effectively. It's reasonable to assume that this translates to severe abuse. So, given the way puppies and cats are raised in mills - again, the most highly valued of all animal species -, it is rational to extrapolate from this that service animals are abused and neglected even more severely. That's why I said the service animal industry should be resisted as much as possible.

As far your views on animal rights, I would have to imagine that you are very much for them - at least for one species of animal.
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

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tulle
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11/12/2013 8:08:45 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/10/2013 1:24:13 PM, vbaculum wrote:

No. Most of the investigative reporting I've read about animal exploitation has been devoted to the plights of farmed animals and animals used for scientific experiments since they represent the vast majority of animal suffering caused by humans.

Another area of investigations, however, has been devoted to puppy mills. Just a quick overview: Puppy mills are, by definition, operations which place an animal's ability to make a profit over their welfare. 90% of puppies in pet stores come from puppy mills. Puppies are often prematurely weaned from their mothers. They are packed in crates and sent to pet stores. A significant number of the dogs die during the trip (some say 50%). The breeder dogs themselves are killed after their usefulness to the operation has been exhausted. The biological needs of the puppies in the mills are typically neglected. Similar operations for cats (kitty mills) exist as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org...


Yeah, pet stores in Canada no longer sell puppies :)

Puppies and cats are the most highly regarded nonhuman animal in the West and most of the world. Raising a puppy does not require abusing them or neglecting them; the neglect is a byproduct of running an operation that has a financial bottom line. On the other hand, raising service animal require that the animals be disciplined efficiently and effectively. It's reasonable to assume that this translates to severe abuse. So, given the way puppies and cats are raised in mills - again, the most highly valued of all animal species -, it is rational to extrapolate from this that service animals are abused and neglected even more severely. That's why I said the service animal industry should be resisted as much as possible.


@the bolded---Yeah, I can absolutely see that.

As far your views on animal rights, I would have to imagine that you are very much for them - at least for one species of animal.

I guess the dilemma for me is that, while I place a higher value on human beings, I'm disturbed by the thought of service animals being abused/trained. At the end of the day I prefer that people who are blind, deaf, or prone to seizures, etc. have the help that they need, so I'm pro service animals. It gets sticky, trying to figure out which animals have which rights :/
yang.
Xerox
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11/12/2013 10:25:51 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/8/2013 10:16:56 AM, Citrakayah wrote:
Might one simply have frequent, random, surprise inspections of service animal training facilities and make whistleblowing legal and encouraged?

That might work, just maybe.

I haven't checked into it though.
A hydra between TheAntidoter and TheDebateKid.
vbaculum
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11/12/2013 10:30:38 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/12/2013 8:08:45 AM, tulle wrote:
At 11/10/2013 1:24:13 PM, vbaculum wrote:

No. Most of the investigative reporting I've read about animal exploitation has been devoted to the plights of farmed animals and animals used for scientific experiments since they represent the vast majority of animal suffering caused by humans.

Another area of investigations, however, has been devoted to puppy mills. Just a quick overview: Puppy mills are, by definition, operations which place an animal's ability to make a profit over their welfare. 90% of puppies in pet stores come from puppy mills. Puppies are often prematurely weaned from their mothers. They are packed in crates and sent to pet stores. A significant number of the dogs die during the trip (some say 50%). The breeder dogs themselves are killed after their usefulness to the operation has been exhausted. The biological needs of the puppies in the mills are typically neglected. Similar operations for cats (kitty mills) exist as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org...


Yeah, pet stores in Canada no longer sell puppies :)

Yes from what I've read, at least two major municipalities require petshop owners to sale only animals from shelters. That's a very rational and humane move for Canada.

http://www.care2.com...


Puppies and cats are the most highly regarded nonhuman animal in the West and most of the world. Raising a puppy does not require abusing them or neglecting them; the neglect is a byproduct of running an operation that has a financial bottom line. On the other hand, raising service animal require that the animals be disciplined efficiently and effectively. It's reasonable to assume that this translates to severe abuse. So, given the way puppies and cats are raised in mills - again, the most highly valued of all animal species -, it is rational to extrapolate from this that service animals are abused and neglected even more severely. That's why I said the service animal industry should be resisted as much as possible.


@the bolded---Yeah, I can absolutely see that.

As far your views on animal rights, I would have to imagine that you are very much for them - at least for one species of animal.

I guess the dilemma for me is that, while I place a higher value on human beings, I'm disturbed by the thought of service animals being abused/trained. At the end of the day I prefer that people who are blind, deaf, or prone to seizures, etc. have the help that they need, so I'm pro service animals. It gets sticky, trying to figure out which animals have which rights :/

Well, you said that you prefer humans have service animals, implying that opposition to animal abuse would be a secondary priority for you regarding service animals. But does any individual's preference have a bearing on an animal's natural right. For example: Is it correct to argue that humans have natural rights because most humans prefer that it be so? I think if you took your preferences out of these deliberations, the stickiness would begin to diminish and you would be on more solid footing.
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If you want it