Most Helpful Opinions
Suffering requires a sense of contingency (you have to be able to think "this need not have happened") and a feeling of yourself as an entity. Many animals have the latter clearly, they recognize themselves in a mirror for example a few probably have the former as well, cetaceans and apes but probably not any farm animals. Pigs are the smartest animals we raise for food, it would be interesting to see if they can conceptualize contingency.20
Your thought process reminds me a lot of mine before I went vegan. I acknowledged the pain that animals went through and it felt wrong to cause harm, but I was so convinced that eating meat was normal, natural, and necessary. However, upon further research, I realized that all my concerns about veganism and all my misconceptions about morality and food choices were completely cleared up. I'd highly recommend watching Earthlings, which you can find on YouTube, and Cowspiracy, which you can find on Netflix. It'll answer questions you have and it will clear up those misconceptions you have about veganism not being sustainable (it's actually the most sustainable diet for the planet).
To answer your question, animals do suffer as they have central nervous systems, nociceptors, and are capable of feelings such as fear, anger, and sadness. I think boycotting animal agriculture is very reasonable and should be considered by everyone, seeing as animal agriculture is the leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions, water pollution, water consumption, ocean dead zones, soil erosion, Amazon rainforest deforestation, and many other environmental issues we're facing today.0
Well we are after all omnivores, and like other animals our preys meet a sad end just so we can eat. Its pretty much just nature if you ask me. Are we going to tell the wolves and lions to stop eating their prey alive because they would be in pain? Haha I think not. And even if we stopped eating animals such as chickens, leave them in the wild and they'll be eaten by another predator. They'll pretty much suffer either way because that is nature, unfortunately.21
What Girls & Guys Said
"animals don't feel pain" - Creed Bratton14
Yes, of course animals suffer. Animals are very emotional creatures, just because they can't communicate with us doesn't mean they don't have feelings/thoughts/emotions. Some studies have shown that some animals (in the study it was whales) are actually more emotionally developed than humans. Animals are also way more in tune with the spiritual world than we are. Animals grieve over their dead, crows go back to visit their parents every once in a while, they understand what's going on. There have been many instances that prove animals have emotions.21
I strongly believe they can suffer, and feel sadness just like the rest of us. Just because they can't talk doesn't mean they don't feel. Ever see how excited a dog gets when the owner comes home? That's love.20
I think they definitely feel more distress at their factory farm living conditions than they do most of the time in the wild or on a small far. I think about this often, but honestly, the enormity of the human population is hard for me to even fathom as real.0
That's why we have to eat them. So that they could suffer less.0
Yes they suffer, I'll eat anything though. Thats how life works, don't think about it.0
hope not, i've killed too many ants in a cruel way10
A vegan in the making.1
Yes. I've even seen a dog cry.0
Yes I'm a giraffe and I suffer everyday0
Well that is rather airtight...0
Most Helpful Opinions
I think everyone knows that most animals feel pain and they can suffer. I don't think you're correct that the "food industry doesn't want this question answered". I don't think they care, and neither do most people.
It is one thing for people to SAY they care about animals being sent to the slaughterhouse. But public behavior does not reflect what people say. If farms were to raise their animals in more humane ways (e. g., more roaming space, better vet care for sick animals... etc), the price of your meat and animal products could double or triple - especially seeing how vet costs are very high. A few visits from a vet at several thousand dollars a pop, and your cow is no longer a profitable commodity.
When it comes to the grocery store, consumers ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS select the lowest priced product. I few may not - but 99.99% of those will. And this is the driving force that causes slaughterhouses to cut costs, reduce land usage and making living conditions for animals cruel and torturous.
Because the reality is, if they applied more humane practices and increased their product price, they would go bankrupt because consumers (you and me) would choose the meat that costs less. And even if higher standards were passed into law, imported meat from other countries would still be cheaper because those laws don't apply to their farming practices.
Besides, if you ever see animals in the wild, the natural way they die from predators isn't all that much better. They're usually being chewed away while still alive. Eating meat causes suffering on the one being eaten. Too bad.