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Guinea Pigs Living In Peru

Rachy1412

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How come Sparky only ever replies to the kitchen forum? :S
 

Sabriel

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I think if other cultures aren't hurting any one then we should fully except thier differnces. Japanese school children go to school 6 days a week and then attend extra "cram" school. That's every different from North America, but is it bad or wrong. No. Political correctness is important but it shouldn't trump morals.

As for the circle of life, I too have use that in another thread to point out why humans eating animals and carniverous animals eating other animals is different. As they point out in the Lion King "When we die, our bodies become the grass and the antelope eat the grass" (I think that is the direct quote. The gist is the same) When humans die, we do not turn into grass fertalizer like the lions do. We are preserved and placed in a chemically treated wooden box to be preserved in the ground that very few animals graze on. I'm sure very few people want a cow eating the grass around a loved one's grave. Or they are creamated. So since we take but not give, we are removed from the circle of life.

All animals can feel pain, pain does not require intelligence. If I slap a genius it hurts just as much then if I slap the average Joe. Suffereing is an emotion. And the capacity to feel emotions and the capacity to think complex thoughts are not quite as liked as you seem to imply.

What animal do you consider not intelligent enough to be worth eating? A chicken? A cow? If you hurt a cow, it suffers and is in just as much pain as a cavy or a gorrila. To me emotions are the universal equlaizer. They are available to all creatures so that all creatures may understand one enother and share something in common on a very base level.

Animals have been know to comfort thier owners when they are sad, regardless of inclusion to social hiarchy (ex. You are part of the dog's pack, but you are seperate from the cavy's herd because they realize you aren't a big cavy) Both cavies and dogs have been reported in comforting thier owners, so regardless of the differences in each animals brain, each animal was able to tell that the human was sad and needed something, even if they couldn't understand what. Now both animals may have had different motives. One could say that since the dog regards you as pack, or family, that it is attached to you, but cavies aren't neccisarily attached to you. Many are, but some cavies are aloof to thier slaves. In that case the cavy is intelligent enough to see that if the bringer of food is distracted then the bringer of food may not bring food on time or not as nice food :)
 
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Access

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Sabriel said:
I think if other cultures aren't hurting any one then we should fully except thier differnces. Japanese school children go to school 6 days a week and then attend extra "cram" school. That's every different from North America, but is it bad or wrong. No. Political correctness is important but it shouldn't trump morals.

Many are, but some cavies are aloof to thier slaves. In that case the cavy is intelligent enough to see that if the bringer of food is distracted then the bringer of food may not bring food on time or not as nice food :)
On other cultures, sure, if it hurts no one, it's no big deal. There's no reason to object to object to something that's just 'different' or 'wierd'. Only something that is hurtful. That's just common sense. I don't think Political Correctness is important at all, to me it is a non-issue.

Intelligence is just one factor. If I drew the line solely at 'level of intelligence' I'd be eating politicians and what-not for dinner (I don't). It's the capacity of intelligence (not the level) that is important; likewise for the capacity for emotions, capacity to suffer, etc.

Then we can go on to the fact that Every cavy is unique, in terms of personality, and hence, not replaceable. That is another reason why we should not end their lives in order to eat them.

Some animals, ie. a common housefly or a mosquito, I don't think twice about harming. But anything like a squirrel, bunny, etc. and up, they deserve to be left alone if they are in the wild, or cared for and loved if they are a pet, etc.
 

Rachy1412

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How is it fair to end the short life of a spider or a fly but not a larger animal. Surely the small insects deserve to live aswell? Also how is it fair to kill the dumb creatures? We don't harm dumb people because they are less intelligent.. so why do it to animals?

I do not agree with eating guinea pigs but it is not my place to say that they are evil people because they are eating them. They are NOT pets to them, they are livestock just as cows and pigs are to us. It is their way of life, who are we to criticise
 

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Because it is very hurtful to the guinea pigs, to the environment, to the people who care about the guinea pigs, a waste of natural resources, etc. Hence it is wrong.

That kind of argument is like me as an american telling the rest of the world "It is the american way of life to drive an oversized SUV, to pollute the earth, waste all the natural resources, make the earth unlivable for future generations, to declare war and invade nations as our leaders see fit, to keep poorer nations we choose not to invade in debt and in virtual enslavement, etc. All this is our way of life, our culture, and because of this we have a right to practice it and you have no right to criticise it or claim it is wrong." Clearly, it's not a valid argument. (note -- I'm stretching the truth a bit here, just for the sake of hyperbole and proving the point).

Cultural or not, some things are just wrong. We can accept many differences, and we are generally very tolerant of these differences because in the end, people are people. But we have to draw the line at things that are hurtful, and therefore wrong.

Whether they are less intelligent or more intelligent, even dumb people are still intelligent so we don't kill them. Something like an insect, it's not intelligent, it's no different than an automated machine except that it is built by nature and not man.
 
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suzy_99

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Because it is very hurtful to the guinea pigs, to the environment, to the people who care about the guinea pigs, a waste of natural resources, etc. Hence it is wrong.

I would like to kow how Peruvian's eating guinea pigs is hurtful to their environment. Also, the guinea pigs in Peru are probably taken care of alot better then many of the ones here that we like to consider our dear pets. There are always guinea pigs being abused and neglected, but I doubt that this happens very much in Peru. These people depend on these little creatures and seem to have a certain level of respect for them. They even believe that Jesus had guinea pig at the last supper. Saying that it is hurtful to the people who care about guinea pigs is not really an argument. Why should they care what we think about their practices. They do not ask us to judge them or to come in and see their guinea pigs. It is people from our culture who are exposing these pictures an stuff to us, because it is different and different often means a good news story. Also, just about everything everyone does can be taken as hurtful to someone somewheres in the world. I guess I can't accept many arguments on this issues because I can't bring myself to say that my values, beliefs, etc... are right while everyone else's are wrong. That just seems a little egotistical to me.
 

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See the other thread on this for more detail.

Caring for the environment means not depleting natural resources, including the grass that makes up grasslands and plains, the trees that make up forests, etc. Throughout history, populations have reduced once fertile lands to deserts by overgrazing, overfarming, etc. For nomanic populations, this was not a large problem, as they would simply move on. But modern-day, this is a huge problem, as the world is becoming more crowded, resources more limited, and the ability to 'move on' to a new area often impossible. This means that -- if we are to survive long-term as a race on this planet -- as the global population grows we must constant refine all practices that use resources, eliminating all those that are uselessly wasteful or inefficient and encouraging those that are more efficient.

Cavies are vegetarians. Vegetarians can be an efficient source of food for people as they eat things that humans cannot eat (ie. grass), grow to adults, and then can be eaten by humans, providing an important part of the diet since they are high in protien and other nutrients.

However nature has its limits, the smaller a vegetarian is, the less efficient its digestive processes are. Efficient vegetarianism requires a large and well-developed digestive system, something that is impossible for cavies to have since they are very small animals. Many pet owners comment on the amount of food a cavy eats, and the amount of poop produced, etc. relative to other small animal pets. A larger vegetarian like a cow, with 5 stomachs and a large, highly advanced digestive tract is many times more efficient (per unit mass of meat produced) than a relatively tiny cavy. Likewise, a cow can subsist off only grass, while cavies require a diet with more variety if they are to be kept healthy -- daily supplies of timothy hay, pellets, and fresh vegetables. Not to mention that Cavies are vitamin-C deficient.

In this way, a cow requires roughly the same amount of resources to raise to adult as about 10 cavies, but the cow will feed many more hungry families than the 10 cavies.

Even where cows are not viable, there are other larger, more efficient animals like goats that can be raised that are popular foods in central and south america.

Hope that explanation helps, as long and complicated as it is.
 

Krysanthemum

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Sparky said:
i find it really interesting how most westernized cultures are groomed to accept trivialities of other cultures as ok, even if you would personally consider it horrible. what if there was a nation of cannibals, would that be ok, just because it was 'their culture'

seriously, where do you draw the line

Because these are cultural differences, and (most) western cultures recognise that they can't always impose their own cultural beliefs on other cultures (as the British sometimes tried to do).

As you pointed out, there are some universal beliefs, such as that killing (and eating) humans is wrong (not to mention flat out unhealthy). But as for the treatment and consumption of animals, it differs from culture to culture. And just because one culture disagrees with another culture's beliefs doesn't mean that one is right or wrong, just different.

To take a human example, many Middle Eastern countries treat their women in ways that western cultures find disgusting, but we have absolutely no right to tell them to treat them otherwise. It is their culture, their country, their beliefs, and while we may strongly disagree with them, it's not our place to order them to comply with our beliefs.
 

Access

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Krysanthemum said:
To take a human example, many Middle Eastern countries treat their women in ways that western cultures find disgusting, but we have absolutely no right to tell them to treat them otherwise. It is their culture, their country, their beliefs, and while we may strongly disagree with them, it's not our place to order them to comply with our beliefs.
Partially, I'd have to disagree. We have every right to tell them to stop, because what they do goes beyond the realms of human decency. Now I wouldn't go as far as to invade, or declare war, not for that -- makes it worse for both sides. But as a global community we have every right to set down some basic standards like nations must follow basic human rights, non-democratic nations must be comitted to democratic reform; nations shouldn't fight wars needlessly; ethnic groups shouldn't commit genocide against one another; no forced labor or slavery, etc. If countries and peoples' want to also belong to and participate in the global community --trade, have dialogues, etc., the rest of the world has the right to set up these basic standards and isolate any nation / people's who does not comply.

Also the community has every right to intervene in extreme cases, like where one nation or one group is committing genocide against another -- whether it's "part of their culture" or not. To me, that's just common sense. The stakes are too high for this sort of thing, especially in a modern world with things like nuclear weapons. Two nations deciding to go to nuclear war with one another (ie. pakistan and india) can have far reaching reprecussions for the rest of the world.

You do have to be careful not to fall into some of the philosophical traps that our leaders sometimes do, though; ie. fighting war eternal to bring about "peace".
 

Sabriel

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I find as long as they aren't killing or forcefully imprisoning/touturing anybody then they have the right to exist as they see fit.For example I know many Muslim women who dislike Canada and want to go home to what feels right to them. It was thier husbands who wanted to move to a safe & free country. What you find barbaric they find comforting. They seem to like the protection thier clothes and men aford them. (I know many Muslim men really look down on the practise of young men leaving young pregnant girlfriends. They keep asking me why this happens) Heck out of all the Muslim people I know the women are much more devout then the men. The other QA at work is experimenting with how much he can shave off his beard before his wife says "I want a divorce" (To be relgiously divorced in Muslim culture you only have to say that phrase 3 times, from what I've been told.)

I can't say that all Muslims are perfect, but the ones I met seem pretty darn nice and there women are pretty spoiled and stubborn (you should have heard that guy's wife when he had a small shaving accident)
 

Krysanthemum

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Access said:
But as a global community we have every right to set down some basic standards like nations must follow basic human rights, non-democratic nations must be comitted to democratic reform; nations shouldn't fight wars needlessly; ethnic groups shouldn't commit genocide against one another; no forced labor or slavery, etc.

I absolutely agree with you, a global community does have that right. But I thought we were talking about western communities, and they're not the same thing. The western world does not have the right to dictate cultural terms to other nations, but the global community should do so in extreme cases, such as those you mentioned. Basically, I'm just pointing out that the western world is not the entire world, and should stop thinking like it is.

Access said:
Also the community has every right to intervene in extreme cases, like where one nation or one group is committing genocide against another -- whether it's "part of their culture" or not. To me, that's just common sense. The stakes are too high for this sort of thing, especially in a modern world with things like nuclear weapons. Two nations deciding to go to nuclear war with one another (ie. pakistan and india) can have far reaching reprecussions for the rest of the world.

Again, I agree with you, but I wasn't talking about major wars and nuclear disputes, I was using the example of the way women are treated in Middle Eastern countries, where they're required by their religion to wear ridiculous clothing for their climate, not drive, not speak to any men outside their family, are beaten or killed for having boyfriends of which their family doesn't approve etc. These are cultural beliefs that I disagree with, but no one is telling these countries they have to treat women as equals, and I think that is correct. It is their belief system, their country, their way of life.

As for committing to democracy, my opinion of democracy is that it's not all it's cracked up to be. Like any other political system, it's great in theory but doesn't stack up so well in practice. For starters, there are so many different forms of democracy, which one are you talking about? American democracy is different from Australian democracy, and different again from Iraqi democracy. Democracy is just the best we have at the moment, but I still don't think we have the right to be forcing other countries into democracy if they think their methods work better. I'm not saying I support dictatorships or communism, they also have huge problems. I just think it's arrogant for western countries to claim that their system of government is the best and that all other countries should adopt it or face trade sanctions.
 

Access

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Sabriel said:
I find as long as they aren't killing or forcefully imprisoning/touturing anybody then they have the right to exist as they see fit.
These things do happen regularly to women in many arabic gulf countries. As far as divorce, in Oman, and some other nations where sharia is used as the basis for law, a man can divorce his wife by saying "I divorce thee" three times. A woman can't do the same.

Facial hair is very important in many asian cultures. Shaving another man's beard is considered a major insult, worse than death. When Ghengis Khan sent a first envoy to the King of Persia, seeking open trade, the King simply had the envoy killed. When Ghengis Khan sent a second envoy to the King of Persia seeking to open trade, thinking he had misunderstood, the King had the envoy's beard shaved before ordering him to return to Khan with no deal. This angered Khan so much that he went on to fight a brutal war against Persia, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghengis_Khan#Central_Asia .
 

Sabriel

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Some Muslim sects do allow the women some of the same rights in divorce as men. The sects from Pakistan seem a little bit more liberal. (There is more then one type of Muslim as there is more than one type of Christian, buddhist, etc)

My point about the beard is that my co-worker seems to take comfort over religion and it seems to be one of the reasons he moved (he is addicted to things like movies and solitare. Things that are not reccomened in his flavour of Muslim) His wife on the other hand is very devout and would move back home in a heart beat. Half of the people I work with are Muslim and this situation seems very common. The women miss being able to tend to thier children and homes or they miss the nice jobs they had back home. The men feel torn becasue they can't offer thier wives the life they had back home, but they feel much safer here. I feel bad for them. They went from teachers and cherished housewives to another number in a chicken processing plant making little more than minum wage. They also face the moral delema of working with meat that is not Halal (or not clean)

I try to help them as best I can. When the holier then thou supervisor rips them apart for "being too slow" (when they aren't) or just plain different, I'm the one in the rest room offering them tissues and a pat on the back. I'm also usually succesful in moving them away from that particular supervisor. She ripped in to me because she lost her position to my husband. I love the look on her face when she sees that the person isn't fired and they are happy as a clam when I come by. It's my little way of thanking the people who did it for me.
 
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