User:Genjix/Pigs deserve respect

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Humans are an omnivorous species. Meat is a pillar of our diet, the combustion engine that enabled our continued evolution to larger brains. But there does remain limits. We don't consume our kin- cannabalism incurs opprobrium universally. And we extend our kin to include great apes like the chimpanzee. Globally there too is now an veritable outrage over Japan's continued slaughter of dolphins.

We feel an affinity for dolphins, who play gregariously with humanlike mirth. But from chimpanzee to dolphin, the biggest characteristic we value is their intelligence that sets them shoulders above the rest of the animal kingdom.

The mirror test is a measure of self-awareness, as animals either possess or lack the ability to recognize themselves in a mirror. Animals that have passed the mirror test include: all of the great apes, rhesus macaques, bottlenose dolphins, elephants, and corvids. The test manages to correlate exactly with the current belief of top-tier animals in science. We should then give a measure of reprieve if not from slaughter, then from unnecessary harm. The Great Ape Project seeks prohibition of torture and protection of liberty and life for our related cousins. Why not extend this torture prohibition to all the groups listed above?

One more animal type passes the mirror test in a varied form: pigs. Pigs are highly social and intelligent animals. We keep them in cramped distressing conditions where they end up biting each other. Tails must be docked to prevent other pigs chewing them off and they're pumped with antibiotics to stop infection. Treatments like ear clipping and removing teeth are done without pain medication. Sows are confined inside cages laying on their sides to prevent them turning, to enable piglets to suckle on their mothers while the mothers defecate over themselves.

In an indoor intensive pig farm, manure can be managed through a lagoon system or other waste-management system. However, waste smell remains a problem which is difficult to manage. The pigs also smell and breathe their own faeces and urine fumes for their entire existence as it is lies directly under their grid floored pens. Pigs in the wild or on open farmland are naturally clean animals.

Pigs can harbour a range of parasites and diseases that can be transmitted to humans. This self-aware social animal is subjected to horrific conditions. There are better forms of meat.

It is time to call quits on pig-meat.