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Author Topic: Confusion, or: how can you believe *anything*?  (Read 867 times)

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Offline BeorningTopic starter

Confusion, or: how can you believe *anything*?
« on: July 10, 2013, 01:22:22 PM »
I'm starting to get the impression that, in today's world, it's impossible to be genuinely and truly informed about anything. When it comes to most of the issues, we can only believe what other people tell us - and we have no way of knowing whether we truly decided properly.

For instance: currently, there's a discussion in my country regarding the issue of ritual slaughter of animals. Animal rights activist demand that this kind of slaughter should be banned, as it's cruel to animals. On the other hand, animal breeders / farmers are against the ban, because of the potential money involved (they claim that there's a big market for ritually-slaughtered animals in Islamic countries). They also claim that the ritual slaughter is, actually, humane and doesn't cause suffering. Which goes directly against what the animal rights activists are saying...

Who's right? I don't know. I have no way of knowing. I can only pick one side and blindly believe in what they are saying... And it's like that with many other issues.

This state of matters makes me... uncomfortable...

Offline Oniya

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Re: Confusion, or: how can you believe *anything*?
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2013, 01:45:30 PM »
With regards to the 'ritual slaughter' - I've done a little reading, and the 'ritual' for halal meat is much the same as the 'ritual' for kosher slaughter (which is detailed in the Old Testament):  One quick cut across the throat, severing both large vessels, resulting in a rapid loss of consciousness, bleed-out, and death.  It's not like some parody of a Black Mass ritual where the animal is slowly tortured to death (which is the image most people get when they hear 'ritual slaughter'.) 

Any meat that you buy with the circled K or circled U (either kosher or pareve) on it has been - by definition - ritually slaughtered.

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: Confusion, or: how can you believe *anything*?
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2013, 02:13:01 PM »
Yeah, I know. The problem is, whether this kind of slaughter is humane. You quote the sources that say that this kind of killing causes rapid bleed-out and loss of consciousness. Meanwhile, the animal rights activists paint the image of animals who die horribly, drowning in their own blood etc.

Who's right? Are there any impartial sources on that matter? I don't know any. Sooo... what should I do? Should I flip the coin, or something..?  :-(

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Confusion, or: how can you believe *anything*?
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2013, 02:26:23 PM »
And there is the 1st Amendment if you ban ritual slaughter your interfering with the religious beliefs of Jews, Muslims and smaller religions such as Santeria who sacrifice animals in rituals in the last case. In the first two your basically saying import your meat or don't eat meat or will force the butchering of animals underground and it will be done anyway since its a dietary demand unless one is starving and has to break the law (if I got that right).

Offline Oniya

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Re: Confusion, or: how can you believe *anything*?
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2013, 02:27:53 PM »
*sighs*  Ruby, Beorning is in Poland.  Not the US.

Well, you have to take bias into account, naturally.  The animal rights activists will take the instances that make their side look the best, and the religious activists will take the information that makes their side look the best.  There was a German veterinary study in 1978 that seems to indicate (by EEG and EKG measurements) that the religious killings produced, for the most part, little to no pain reactions.  I'd say that the instruments are as impartial as you're likely to get.

(Translated source - the instrument results are about 2/3 down the page)

Offline meikle

Re: Confusion, or: how can you believe *anything*?
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2013, 02:31:56 PM »
Quote
Should I flip the coin, or something..?
You could research the matter.  It is not going to be incredibly difficult to find out how halal food is prepared.

Whether or not it is humane depends on I guess your definition of humane.  It is probably more painful than instant death (in the few moments it takes for the animal to lose consciousness from blood loss).  It is probably not as bad as, say, getting shot by a hunter and being chased for a few hours before dying.

Offline Retribution

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Re: Confusion, or: how can you believe *anything*?
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2013, 02:35:32 PM »
I try to not comment on animal rights since well I loath them. But I do happen to be a biologist and I would suggest that if this sort of thing really concerns you check into independent veterinary sources. Such as the following pdf: https://www.avma.org/KB/Policies/Documents/euthanasia.pdf  Or you might go more simple and look at just plain wikpedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shechita I picked the Hebrew version randomly as well as picking the pd randomly. In short do the most you can to find a group that is as neutral as possible. I admit I am not neutral see above, but just did a random search seeking neutrality.

On the biological front though life lives off of life. That is the most basic principle with the exception of single cell bacteria and the like that can absorb various nutrients directly. But on the microscopic level one also gets into the whole thing about pathogens. If one is a herbivore or a vegetarian those plants are every bit as much alive as any animal biologically speaking. Or watch National Geographic sometime those predators often start eating before the prey is dead. One should not be needlessly cruel but your typical animal rights individual is far different than one who is into animal welfare. Take what they say with a grain of salt.

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: Confusion, or: how can you believe *anything*?
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2013, 02:35:41 PM »
The proposed law allows for ritual slaughter conducted by members of Jewish and Islamic communities, so they won't have problems because of it. It's all  about the farmers who want to the sell the meat abroad. Which is fine by me... unless what the animal rights activists say is true and it *is* a cruel way of killing. If so, I'd be for the ban.

But... is it cruel or not? Both sides have their version. Who's right? How can I know? This is the problem for me: the inability to make an informed judgement.

There was a German veterinary study in 1978 that seems to indicate (by EEG and EKG measurements) that the religious killings produced, for the most part, little to no pain reactions.  I'd say that the instruments are as impartial as you're likely to get.

(Translated source - the instrument results are about 2/3 down the page)

Hmmm. Interesting...

Offline vtboy

Re: Confusion, or: how can you believe *anything*?
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2013, 02:52:05 PM »
The problem is, whether this kind of slaughter is humane.

If it's the slaughtering of cattle you're talking about, perhaps the better question is whether it is "bovine."

Quote
Both sides have their version. Who's right? How can I know? This is the problem for me: the inability to make an informed judgement.

Hamlet in a nutshell.

Offline Retribution

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Re: Confusion, or: how can you believe *anything*?
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2013, 02:53:30 PM »
And on the observational front for you without being too graphic. While I have indeed as an avid hunter made marksmanship errors resulting in hours long chases and lost game as mentioned above, but that happens rare and well makes me sick of my stomach. When a well placed arrow, bullet, what have you hits the heart/lungs it does virtually the same as ritually slitting a throat. Both stop blood flow which in turn starves the brain of oxygen resulting in death. Having personally dispatched many animals when hit right they only last a minute at most normally seconds the brain just shuts down then.

Now if you want instant death a shot or blow to the brain is instant. In non ritually slaughtered animals they are dispatched with a blow or shot to the head. Taking all of that into account you have to ask yourself if basically a minute is too much for your moral concerns. Of course this all assumes perfection by the one doing the slaughtering a mistake can make it take longer. As for the money to be made for ritually slaughtered meat I would assume there are other handling concerns besides slaughter. Because of that and supply and demand one can then charge a premium.

And again I state I am a very bias source and I admit it.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Confusion, or: how can you believe *anything*?
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2013, 02:56:19 PM »
Ritual slaughter is mandated by the Jewish and Islamic communities because it is humane as opposed to the electrocution or hammer blow method of killing the animal for commercial purposes.  Fewer toxins are supposed to be introduced into the blood prior to death which is immediate and therefore the meat is untainted as it would be because of the trauma of other methods of killing the animal.

If you eat meat the animal has to be killed before it is butchered.

« Last Edit: July 10, 2013, 02:57:56 PM by Beguile's Mistress »

Offline Oniya

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Re: Confusion, or: how can you believe *anything*?
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2013, 03:02:05 PM »
And on the observational front for you without being too graphic. While I have indeed as an avid hunter made marksmanship errors resulting in hours long chases and lost game as mentioned above, but that happens rare and well makes me sick of my stomach. When a well placed arrow, bullet, what have you hits the heart/lungs it does virtually the same as ritually slitting a throat. Both stop blood flow which in turn starves the brain of oxygen resulting in death. Having personally dispatched many animals when hit right they only last a minute at most normally seconds the brain just shuts down then.

According to another hunter friend of mine, the heart-shot generally results in a less gamey taste to the meat, since the adrenals don't have a chance to kick in.  (My grandfather was an avid hunter in his prime, but by the time I came around he had backed down to primarily fishing, so I never had the opportunity to do any testing of that claim.)

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Confusion, or: how can you believe *anything*?
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2013, 03:05:35 PM »
The simplest rule: Go see what the evidence tells you. In this specific case, some has been provided above. On the other hand, In my xperience, animal rights activists tend not to have reliable or credible evidence for their claims. Which, given that they're the ones clamouring for change, leaves me with little reason to side with them.

Offline Retribution

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Re: Confusion, or: how can you believe *anything*?
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2013, 03:17:29 PM »
According to another hunter friend of mine, the heart-shot generally results in a less gamey taste to the meat, since the adrenals don't have a chance to kick in.  (My grandfather was an avid hunter in his prime, but by the time I came around he had backed down to primarily fishing, so I never had the opportunity to do any testing of that claim.)

Actually true less chase, less stress less gamey taste I attribute it to less heat as well as the adrenalin. *shrugs* Also I am very obsessive about how I handle meat. My family eats almost entirely wild game though we do buy a little store bought meat for guests or since we are rural we have some farm raised. We do not try and trick anyone into eating game though once the kids had company and I did not think about it and grabbed burger that was well deer. Sure enough one of the friends said "deer tastes nasty" as she was having her third serving. My son's answer "funny that looks like your third plateful."

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Confusion, or: how can you believe *anything*?
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2013, 03:27:36 PM »
One other issue you need to be careful of with wild game is cooking it completely to avoid trichinosis. 

Offline Kythia

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Re: Confusion, or: how can you believe *anything*?
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2013, 03:37:58 PM »
Also, Beorning, while its laudable to want to be up to date it is certainly acceptable to say "You know what?  I don't give a fuck about this issue."  Sure, it'll make it hard to get work as a TV pundit but if that's not what you want then not every issue is going to stir something deep inside your soul. 

We had a national thing about ID cards a few years ago and, try as I might, I could not find it within me to give a shit.  Some things you just won't care about.  Both sides - talking generally now, not ritual slaughter specifically - of a debate will usually have some good points because otherwise there won't be a debate.  Saying that you'll let the people who care about it decide the issue is perfectly fine.

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: Confusion, or: how can you believe *anything*?
« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2013, 03:42:34 PM »
Alright then, I've read some more on the ritual slaughtering. It seems that the matter is... complicated.

Anyway... the ritual slaughter thing was actually just an example. My main problem is:

With today's information sources all being biased, can you trust anything you hear? Do you feel you can make an informed judgement on anything?

Personally, I'm feeling more and more manipulated and uncertain as to what really goes on...

Offline Retribution

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Re: Confusion, or: how can you believe *anything*?
« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2013, 03:47:01 PM »
Alright then, I've read some more on the ritual slaughtering. It seems that the matter is... complicated.

Anyway... the ritual slaughter thing was actually just an example. My main problem is:

With today's information sources all being biased, can you trust anything you hear? Do you feel you can make an informed judgement on anything?

Personally, I'm feeling more and more manipulated and uncertain as to what really goes on...

Every person who walks the face of the planet is biased. We all have our own perspectives and points of view....to mix in another controversy *evil smile* god gave you a brain and you should use it to make your own decisions. Life is complicated.

And well as a wise woman said some things you just won't give a fuck about.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2013, 03:48:22 PM by Retribution »

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Confusion, or: how can you believe *anything*?
« Reply #18 on: July 10, 2013, 03:47:54 PM »
Actually I seldom trust anyone's opinion about something, ever.  I go looking for all the information I can find - pro and con, other points of view, new and old research.  I seldom have opinions about things either.  I just like to know stuff.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Confusion, or: how can you believe *anything*?
« Reply #19 on: July 10, 2013, 03:52:28 PM »
*laughs*  Cooking completely is something I do with any meat, regardless of source.  Pink on the inside is fine - blood-red and barely warm in the middle is not.  Drop it in the slow-cooker with a little red wine, some onions, carrots celery and potatoes - a little seasoning, and let it go until it falls apart.  Or let Mr. Oniya have at it.  One of these days, I'm going to get one of those thermometers Alton Brown has that you can leave in the meat while it's in the oven.  Then I'll feel safe cooking large pieces of meat without my crock-pot.

Back on topic:

The more different sources you can find on an issue, the better your chances are of sussing out the real facts.  Look for scholarly journals if it's appropriate.  Those have a peer-review system, so the crackpot theories don't get as much traction.  If all of the sources on one side look copy-pasted from each other, including quirky turns of phrase - chances are that they were copy-pasted from each other.  There are times that no side has it right (look up the story of the blind men and the elephant).

If you care about an issue (as Kythia said, there are some things that may not affect you enough to be worth the research - deep sea fishing rights or whatever), then plug it into Google.  Try different phrasings like 'ritual slaughter inhumane' or 'ritual slaughter humane' - you'll see different results float to the top.  Try phrasing your search query more neutrally (for example 'exsanguination' or 'death from blood loss') and you'll see other results come up.

Does it take some effort?  Yes.  Is the effort worth it?  Only you can answer that one. 

Offline NiceTexasGuy

Re: Confusion, or: how can you believe *anything*?
« Reply #20 on: July 10, 2013, 05:05:12 PM »
Seriously, I think this is the reason for a lot of emotional problems people are experiencing nowadays.

You have people with political agendas, people who think they know, people who have been brainwashed (not to sound extreme, but in a sense it's true) ... Mostly, people get their information from a limited number of sources, be it the evening news or the blogs their friends reference on facebook.  While some of these are outright lies, the real problem is that many of these sources tell us a version of the truth, but only part of the truth.

I once read someone bitching about how television commercials were anti-women because they showed maxi-pads soaking up water that's been colored blue ... which implies that the red stuff they actually soak up is somehow bad and so not showing red in a maxipad commercial is saying women don't count ... blah blah blah .. okay, fair enough, I can actually see their point.  I really can.

However, what the blogger failed to point out in their proof that television commercials are all anti-women is the other side of the issue.. like for instance, did you ever notice that in every commercial where someone is made to look stupid or uninformed, it's the male who needs to be educated by the female.  Every time.  No way would they ever show the female to be the stupid one.  So, is our blogger ranting about television being anti-woman telling the truth, or doing a disservice to their readers?  I say the answer is "B".

Just one example, but basically what I'm saying is if you only get your news from one source or group of sources, you're going to have an unbalanced and pessimistic view of the world and everything in it.  If you're  a conservative, you're expecting Obama to round up the Christians and send them all to concentration camps any day now, but if you're a liberal, the Federal government has already been taken over by fascist Christian extremists.  They can't both be true, maybe neither one is true, but everyone is depressed and needing medication.

Could it be a conspiracy by the pharmaceutical industry?  Probably.  Let me check my favorite bloggers to see what they have to say about it.

Or, maybe we could spend less time exposing ourselves to all the rhetoric and more time fishing or gardening.

------

Edited to add the disclaimer that fishing is not animal cruelty when I do it, because I never catch anything.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2013, 05:09:07 PM by NiceTexasGuy »

Offline Oniya

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Re: Confusion, or: how can you believe *anything*?
« Reply #21 on: July 10, 2013, 05:46:46 PM »
Heh.  I remember when they couldn't show bras on live models.   'Cross Your Heart' was daring for wrapping a measuring tape up and around a clothed model's ribcage.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Confusion, or: how can you believe *anything*?
« Reply #22 on: July 11, 2013, 03:05:43 AM »

Sometimes trying to force a binary answer is where we go wrong.
There does not always have to be a yes or no, right or wrong.

Offline kylie

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Re: Confusion, or: how can you believe *anything*?
« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2013, 07:53:16 PM »
     It's true that sometimes it's hard to get unbiased facts, or to know which site is less biased about what -- particularly if you haven't spent much time reading about the subject at hand.  I think as you read more about it, you'd start to see some commonalities on the more basic info (like what is halal method, etc.)  Then some deviation appears on certain points of contention, and you can start to check sources against each other, and try to imagine a little better what is likely to be messy (or incomplete) reporting and what is likely to be more due to bias.

     Some things are just a question of setting up your criteria, though.  You can repeat "Is it humane?" forever...  But if people don't agree how to frame the issue and pick a common point of reference, it's hopeless looking for an agreement.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Confusion, or: how can you believe *anything*?
« Reply #24 on: July 12, 2013, 10:00:14 PM »
I'm starting to get the impression that, in today's world, it's impossible to be genuinely and truly informed about anything. When it comes to most of the issues, we can only believe what other people tell us - and we have no way of knowing whether we truly decided properly.

For instance: currently, there's a discussion in my country regarding the issue of ritual slaughter of animals. Animal rights activist demand that this kind of slaughter should be banned, as it's cruel to animals. On the other hand, animal breeders / farmers are against the ban, because of the potential money involved (they claim that there's a big market for ritually-slaughtered animals in Islamic countries). They also claim that the ritual slaughter is, actually, humane and doesn't cause suffering. Which goes directly against what the animal rights activists are saying...

Who's right? I don't know. I have no way of knowing. I can only pick one side and blindly believe in what they are saying... And it's like that with many other issues.

This state of matters makes me... uncomfortable...

Take Obama as an example. Is he a *good* president, or a bad one?

Is he good or evil?
Is he right or wrong?
Would Romney have done a better job?

None of these fully apply or can be fully answered with a yes or no. He's done some things that I personally find favorable and some things that I find reprehensible. I'm sure there are many things he's done that I am simply not aware of.

If I slam or praise him because of the x things that I'm aware of that he has done, am I really answering the questions above?