Anyone a question for an ex-mink farmer?
#11
(01-12-2018, 02:02 PM)cassini Wrote: Excellent questions Melkite, ones I hoped would be asked for an understanding of Mink farming.
 
I will answer 'Are mink intelligent animals?' first.  I know what you mean by 'Intelligence,' and on that ground no. A lifetime of pondering on God's reasons for creating animals has been the rock I have accepted in understanding the relationship between man and animal. I remember when I was 15 asking my Holy Ghost priest teacher if it was a sin to be cruel to animals. He was stunned by such a question, never asked of him before. There followed one of the most interesting debates rarely heard. Believe it or not I think I presented him with the answer rather that his telling us. Yes, the conclusion was that deliberate cruelty to an animal had to be a sin. Before that though we debated what constitutes cruelty which in itself is another profound question. And I will tell you why. We have all seen endless movies of animals in the wild preying on one another. We have see acts that any normal human being would consider cruel, like five lions starting to eat a still alive antelope for instance. Now God created them like so, and we cannot accuse God of being cruel can we? Indeed didn't He say in Genesis that this creation was ALL good!
This being so, I as a believer, had to try to understand why such natural slaughter could not be cruel. And this is where 'intelligence' comes back in. Human intelligence cannot be attributed to animals in the same way. We understand all the aspects of cruelty, the animal or bird must not, note must not, for if animals understood what was happening to them it would undoubtedly be cruel. They feel pain yes, but it a pain without human understanding, simply a natural thing. They do not understand death like a human does, they simply must not think at the time like a human would. This understanding of mine is the only conclusion I can come to when trying to understand God's creation of nature, and His making them subject to mankind.
 
There is another kind of Intelligence Melkite, the kind you refer to, and that is awareness as to what is going on around them. All animals are given a different awareness, depending on their kind. A dog has to be top of the list. In my experience mink are near the bottom. I never saw a tamed mink doing anything other than their kind of animal was meant to do in God's creation. They are born killers, kill their prey not always for food but for the sake of killing. If a mink gets into a hen house it will kill every chicken in it. Killing for them is normal, just as eating and sleeping is. Mink must be kept separate after culling as they will kill other mink at the drop of a hat. Their only function in God's creation is to kill so as to keep the balance of nature that is essential to prevent chaos, and this balance in nature is what God meant when He says in the Bible, ‘and it was good.’
 
Mink haven't a clue as to their fate. They were always mindless creatures to me, creatures that did not like to be disturbed. Throughout their lives in a mink farm they are fed and watered every day, provided with boxes of hay or sawdust to sleep and breed in. They show little or no stress in their cage except when they know its feeding time when they run up and down in anticipation of their meal, just as we might rub our hands before we eat a meal. Animal rights people show these movements and say they show mink are going insane and starving.
 
'How are mink killed' is the question everyone asks. When I first started there were various ways to do this. They can be gassed, injected or killed by breaking their necks. I witnessed all three and came to a decision, one I kept private but will explain it to you. To gas or inject mink to kill then involved time and stress as they were moved to places they did not know. It could take a half an hour to do it. I was able to catch and kill a mink in three seconds. Before it knew what was happening I could dispatch it instantly. Mink farmers used to ask me to do some for them as they all considered it the most humane way of all.

I'm glad to know that they don't seem to be aware of what is happening to them.  Perhaps it's just because I have human intelligence, but it is very...I guess uncomfortable might be the best word...for me to consider that something with a degree of awareness but with a finite soul can cease to exist just like that as a conscious being.  I know that my discomfort with that has more to do with me projecting a human level of awareness on them that may not actually be there.  I suppose if their awareness is as you describe it, they are essentially bionic robots, whose consciousness only lasts as long as they are "turned on."  I think part of that discomfort is also with the thought that, if their souls are finite and cease to exist when their bodily functions do, then there is no natural reason to think that a human soul would exist any longer.  It's not apparent to me that, if the cessation of bodily function coincides with the cessation of their soul's existence, our souls would continue to survive physical death merely because our souls are rational ones.

It also seems entirely forced to suggest that they must not be aware of their ends, because if they were, God would be cruel, and he cannot be cruel.  I understand that this is a position of faith, but it doesn't logically follow that because they die, they must not understand what is happening to them.  There isn't any reason to suggest this other than the intellectual discomfort one would have at realizing that God actually may have some cruelty in him.  You may ultimately be right, but you're jumping to the conclusion that you want to be true, to sustain your belief that God is not cruel, rather than come to an empirical understanding of whether they actually have some concept of their impending oblivion.

The other big problem this poses for me is the concept of death in the context of original sin.  You are saying that mink are designed to kill, and nothing but.  If this is a part of their design, then it is logically impossible that death is something outside of God's design that entered the world because of Adam's sin.  I wasn't aware that there were species whose sole purpose was to cull the population of other species and keep things in order that way.  However, your understanding of the existential purpose of mink as a species fits in very well with an atheistic evolutionary biological understanding of the world.  I repeatedly see things like this that indicates to me that death is a natural, intended part of the order of our world, not a discrepancy that was thrust into it after the fact.  Did this occur to you, and if so, how are you able to reconcile that with your faith?
I have resigned myself to the reality that I shall have no peace or joy should I continue to exist for eternity.  The question of deism or Christianity no longer matters.  I hope that Christianity is a farce, and that when I die, my consciousness will cease to exist.  In the meantime, I ask the Theotokos to be at my side at my judgement and ask her to intercede to, as I beg, Christ to have mercy on me and to allow me to cease to exist when I die.
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#12
(01-12-2018, 06:38 PM)Melkite Wrote: The other big problem this poses for me is the concept of death in the context of original sin.  You are saying that mink are designed to kill, and nothing but.  If this is a part of their design, then it is logically impossible that death is something outside of God's design that entered the world because of Adam's sin.  I wasn't aware that there were species whose sole purpose was to cull the population of other species and keep things in order that way.  However, your understanding of the existential purpose of mink as a species fits in very well with an atheistic evolutionary biological understanding of the world.  I repeatedly see things like this that indicates to me that [ANIMAL] death is a natural, intended part of the order of our world, not a discrepancy that was thrust into it after the fact.  Did this occur to you, and if so, how are you able to reconcile that with your faith?

Another marvellous post Melkite, one I agree 100% with regarding animals. I have of course pondered on for years, questions that the Catholic Church, to my knowledge, has never elaborated on. Indeed have you ever seen these questions discussed on a Catholic forum?

As you saw my thinking on these matters is dominated by my Catholic Faith, the ultimate road to the truth of any human experience. 'God can be known from the things that are made' is the first dogma in Ott's book on Catholic dogmas. Only when I began to study the origins of time, the universe, the Earth and its creatures recorded in Genesis did I realise that this dogma is so true that Satan had to blind the human race to it. God created the Earth capable of sustaining the human race in perpetuity. Everything that we humans use and make, all comes from the Earth. God created every creature with a purpose, some living off the land and sea, others to control their populations to keep a balance. There is not a day goes by but we see another film that shows us the complexity in design and behaviour that is perfection for the purpose it serves. That is intelligence and not chance.

My answer to evolutionists is that it is all or nothing to have the Earth that we have. The idea that anything evolved from a cell is simple nonsense. For anything to survive it is all or nothing. You cannot have a living thing without ALL the bits that are needed to keep the other bits working. Thus things had to be created WHOLE, according to their kinds as Genesis states clearly.

But, as you say, there was supposed to be no death before Adam and Eve. Some creationists claim all creatures lived off plantlife, on land and in the sea. Did I say 'plantlife?' yes, plants live, so is their consumption 'killing' plantlife. Yet, the DAY before Adam and Eve were created Genesis tells us 'beasts' of the Earth were created, 'all according to their kind.' Well there are probably as many kinds of predators (beasts) than plant eaters on Earth. Very few could survive on plantlife, so the theory that these were once plant living creatures that survived as they evolved into meat-eating and digesting kinds that lived off insects or fish or animals of every kind is intellectually impossible. That would need a second creation and Genesis said it was finished after the sixth day.

It is my conclusion that the death that Adam and Eve brought into the world was that of mankind alone. The word 'death' then associated with Original Sin cannot be applied to animals, fish or insects. Consequently my belief that animals cannot be aware of death in the same way as humans. I have had the very sad task of taking a long time pet dog that had lost the use of its legs to a vet to be put down. I cried as it was happening, a human understanding of death. The dog thank God did not know or understand it was being put down or it would have resisted. It did not. God gave all animals a nature sufficient for their survival, no more. Some catch others to kill them, the victims run to avoid being cought. That is it, neither ponders on death itself, that is reserved to mankind. Ever see a heard of antelope after one of them is caught by a lion? They simply continue to graze as though nothing happened, all in a day-in-the-life-of-an-antelope on the plains.

How animals are killed is a different question. As human beings we must insure it is done in a way that is not cruel. God gave us reason, we know whast is cruel, a lion does not. Remember Christ ordered fish to be caught, fish that would take some time to die out of water. Was that cruel? God ordered lambs to be slaughtered, were their deaths understood by the lambs? I reason no, absolutely not. An animal 'soul' is different, it ceases to be totally after death.
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#13
(01-13-2018, 03:15 PM)cassini Wrote: It is my conclusion that the death that Adam and Eve brought into the world was that of mankind alone. The word 'death' then associated with Original Sin cannot be applied to animals, fish or insects. Consequently my belief that animals cannot be aware of death in the same way as humans. I have had the very sad task of taking a long time pet dog that had lost the use of its legs to a vet to be put down. I cried as it was happening, a human understanding of death. The dog thank God did not know or understand it was being put down or it would have resisted. It did not. God gave all animals a nature sufficient for their survival, no more. Some catch others to kill them, the victims run to avoid being cought. That is it, neither ponders on death itself, that is reserved to mankind. Ever see a heard of antelope after one of them is caught by a lion? They simply continue to graze as though nothing happened, all in a day-in-the-life-of-an-antelope on the plains.


Does it not suggest some cruelty on God's part if he created the prey with the ability to feel the pain of being torn apart and eaten before losing consciousness?
I have resigned myself to the reality that I shall have no peace or joy should I continue to exist for eternity.  The question of deism or Christianity no longer matters.  I hope that Christianity is a farce, and that when I die, my consciousness will cease to exist.  In the meantime, I ask the Theotokos to be at my side at my judgement and ask her to intercede to, as I beg, Christ to have mercy on me and to allow me to cease to exist when I die.
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