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Author Topic: Fox Attack Twins  (Read 2990 times)

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Offline Aviva

Re: Fox Attack Twins
« Reply #25 on: July 04, 2010, 03:13:25 PM »
At one point our natural habitat was caves, then mud huts etc as we progressed things got better and bigger. That then changed things for the animals as our populations grew and we began to take up the land at one post was probably ran so to speak by the animals.Now the tide has turned against the animals as we have evolved.

I do not agree that a fox being in a city goes against it's natural environment as most animals like humans will adapt to survive.

We can not decide what to a animal is natural or not especially seen as we are generally the ones taking up what land they did have for our own population so they foiund a way to co-exist.

They eat what we leave and in most cases harm no one. They tend to keep the rat and mice population down as well as other possible animals depending on the type of city you live in.

A city not too far from me would be over run by rabbits and moles if not for some of the foxes that live in the city.

Offline Noelle

Re: Fox Attack Twins
« Reply #26 on: July 04, 2010, 04:46:37 PM »
Depends highly on what animal is pervasive in an area. Animals can also carry diseases and be a host for other pests to live on. If they're raiding your garbage, they're destroying your property and probably making a mess in the process. They become a hazard for motorists and can become dangerous to citizens.

By definition, a fox that has adapted to scavenge in cities is going against its natural environment. Foxes aren't native to cities. Just because an animal moves somewhere for its own survival doesn't necessarily make its new dwelling its natural environment nor the best possible one for its species.

Also, maybe it's just me, but I think some people are lacking a great deal of respect for the nature that spawned them and through the resources of which humanity is kept alive.

I have to wonder though, what kind of things are you doing to respect nature? Having respect can mean anything. You can be conscious of something without actually doing anything for or against it. Your daily habits, even using the internet, impacts the environment in one way or the other. Our modern conveniences are causing more damage every day than what these people would do if they culled foxes that were in the wrong place to begin with. If you look at it that way, you're more guilty than they are of this 'disrespect' -- but I sincerely doubt many people, including you (and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong), are willing to give up everything to "return to nature" and "give back the land".

But that's really not the point. The point is, we are "respecting nature" by keeping balance. If we catch and release these foxes, as was stated, you end up culling them anyways because they destroy the natural ecosystem in the environment in which they're introduced. Or is it better to let them overrun an area and do so for the sake of not killing any of them? Some say it's better to put them in a contained environment, like a zoo, but do you realize there are people with similar thoughts as you who think zoos are terrible, harmful places to animals? So what's a person to do? Let's not even get started on farming and what happens with the food you eat.

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Sure, how is killing foxes related to human survival? Right? But it appears to me that the kind of mentality that only cares about finance and war is the kind of mentality that decided hunting certain species to their extinction or polluting natural habitats is justified if it's good for business and humanity in a short sighted future.

Actually, species being hunted to extinction isn't exactly an ongoing issue in first-world countries, who have specific laws protecting said animals, as well as nature reserves. In fact, I'd wager that most issues happen in third-world/developing nations who A) have either lax or no laws regarding the protection of animals and/or B) have animals that can fetch large sums of money. I would be willing to bet that poverty, or at least trying to stay out of it, is a reason many nations overhunt certain species, such as tigers across Asia.

Not only that, but you seem to be disregarding the fact that there is a lot of evidence that interest in protecting nature not only exists and is growing, but is increasingly prominent and even successful in many ways. People hit the panic button over the ozone layer depleting in the late 80's/early 90's. Fast forward 20 years or so and it has almost completely healed itself and in fact, I just read an article that stated that it's dangerous if it over-heals itself. There are scientists devoted to the protection, breeding, and rehabilitation of entire species. PETA, Greenpeace, OneWorld, you name it. Notice lately that everything is labelled "green" or "environmentally friendly"? Entire countries have gotten together to make agreements to curb emissions to balance out the effects of global warming, and all of this is just a drop of water in the huge movement of "going green" and "respecting nature" that has been happening for the last few years.

So let's bring this back around. To answer your (rhetorical) question, culling foxes is directly related to human survival because it protects the natural balance of the local ecosystem, thus ensuring humans can still reap the rewards of the land later on. I don't think that's short-sighted at all. Nobody is suggesting culling these foxes for profit or for a business endeavor or even for fun.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2010, 04:48:12 PM by Noelle »

Offline electrichigh

Re: Fox Attack Twins
« Reply #27 on: July 04, 2010, 05:27:06 PM »
The justification for that argument is that the urban environment is  an unnatural environment, and the fox has no business in a habitat outside it's own natural habitat. That is a very general statement that applies to all species.

It was their environment until we built on it. We took away their home. This is our fault and killing them is no way to make that right.

Offline Xenophile

Re: Fox Attack Twins
« Reply #28 on: July 04, 2010, 05:40:32 PM »
It was their environment until we built on it. We took away their home. This is our fault and killing them is no way to make that right.

And after that, is that changed and alien habitat a natural habitat for the foxes?

There are wild areas for them to live as nature intended. It isn't like anyone's suggesting complete eradication or anything. Just a removal, or culling, of a predator population from a unnatural environment  that they are not ideally suited for, nor is the habitat (the suburbs/urban areas) suited for them.

Offline Jude

Re: Fox Attack Twins
« Reply #29 on: July 04, 2010, 09:00:45 PM »
If you're going to confer human-like rights onto animals, then we have even more reason to execute the foxes.  They're committing mass genocide against rats.

Offline Noelle

Re: Fox Attack Twins
« Reply #30 on: July 04, 2010, 09:48:36 PM »
It was their environment until we built on it. We took away their home. This is our fault and killing them is no way to make that right.

This is a completely unrealistic thing to say, if you ask me. By those standards, you have no right to be sitting in your home right now because your house is on something's "land". We "took away their home" to allow for the development of modern conveniences you're enjoying every single day. If you have a better suggestion as to where billions of humans should go exactly, I welcome you to speak of it.

Offline Serephino

Re: Fox Attack Twins
« Reply #31 on: July 04, 2010, 09:55:50 PM »
I have just been quietly reading this for a while.  In the case of the original article and topic, the idiot parents knew about these foxes, and still left the gate and the door open.  That makes them partially at fault.  If nothing else, it's a case of negligence.  It's like knowing that if you play in traffic you might get hit by a car, but doing it anyway.

I'm definitely all for animal rights.  We've already done a great job in fucking up the ecosystem.  Where I live coyotes were 'culled' because they posed a threat.  They were culled right into extinction, and now we have a huge overpopulation of deer, rabbits, groundhogs, and anything else they used to hunt.  The farmers who were worried about their livestock are now losing their crops to the deer and rabbits.  And there are lots of dead deer on the side of the road which wrecked someone's car. 

That's what culling does.  Get rid of the foxes and you'll have a rise in the rat population.  They steal food and destroy stuff, so of course everyone will be bitching about them.  Then the only way to deal with them will be traps and poisons, but I've had them as pets and know that they are breeding machines.  Bunnies have nothing on rats.  So what will likely happen is you might keep the population from getting seriously out of control, but you will never get rid of them, and you'll be endangering your pets in the process.  Dogs like rat poison too.  One of my cousins lost a dog because it wandered into a neighbor's yard and got a hold of some.

The rise in the rat population will attract any other predators in the area, be it more foxes, or stray cats.  Then you'll have a rise in stray cats, and the same problem you had with the foxes of people being attacked. 

So yes, just killing foxes is incredibly short sighted.  Sure, it fixes the immediate problem, but no one is thinking about possible consequences.  It's like the local government people introducing the Asian beetle as a natural way of dealing with some pest or another that they ate.  But then the Asian beetle population got out of control.  I don't remember the specifics because I was a kid at the time, but I do remember having the blasted things all over the house and they bit. 

The argument that a city is not a natural habitat for a fox would be valid if we as humans hadn't altered the world so much.  There may be some natural habitat left, but not enough to support the current population.  We saw land, decided it was ours, and built our towns.  All the foxes are trying to do is survive.  If people would have some damned common sense then there wouldn't be as much of a problem.  A wild animal is um... wild...  You can't go and pet it no matter how cute and cuddly it looks.  If you try to shoo it away by kicking it or something, it's going to feel threatened and retaliate.  They aren't domesticated dogs.  They only see you as another animal, and just like you'll defend yourself, so will it. 

Now on the other hand, if one of them just outright attacks for no reason, then by all means, kill it.  If you see a fox that's acting sick, then call animal control.  But to kill a healthy animal just for existing where you don't want it to is just wrong. 

Offline Aviva

Re: Fox Attack Twins
« Reply #32 on: July 08, 2010, 07:03:30 AM »
Thank you Serephino for being able to state all that I tried and failed at trying to state.

Offline Jude

Re: Fox Attack Twins
« Reply #33 on: July 08, 2010, 10:26:14 PM »
Now on the other hand, if one of them just outright attacks for no reason, then by all means, kill it.  If you see a fox that's acting sick, then call animal control.  But to kill a healthy animal just for existing where you don't want it to is just wrong. 
Did you kill those Asian beetles?  How about ants if you find them in your home?  By that logic, rat traps are a grievous moral sin.  It just doesn't make any sense unless you differentiate between different types of animals, then things get fuzzy because literally the only reason people want to protect foxes ultimately is because they /are/ fuzzy when the same people freely endorse killing of insects in mass quantities.  I suppose you could make a complexity of life argument, but because humans are infinitely more complicated than any other species, well... we're back to the whole human domination thing which really justifies killing the foxes to begin with.

In the rest of your post you're bringing up issues with the tactic because of a perceived effect on the ecosystem, and while I agree if the benefits don't outweigh the drawbacks, the foxes should stay in the city, I don't think either of us is qualified to make that judgment.  I'm certainly no biologist; I assumed that if they're considering the action they've consulted the proper experts who've green-lighted it, otherwise the case can be made on the grounds of effectiveness and morality doesn't even come into the equation.

Offline Aviva

Re: Fox Attack Twins
« Reply #34 on: July 09, 2010, 07:50:46 AM »
Did you kill those Asian beetles?  How about ants if you find them in your home?  By that logic, rat traps are a grievous moral sin.  It just doesn't make any sense unless you differentiate between different types of animals, then things get fuzzy because literally the only reason people want to protect foxes ultimately is because they /are/ fuzzy when the same people freely endorse killing of insects in mass quantities.  I suppose you could make a complexity of life argument, but because humans are infinitely more complicated than any other species, well... we're back to the whole human domination thing which really justifies killing the foxes to begin with.

In the rest of your post you're bringing up issues with the tactic because of a perceived effect on the ecosystem, and while I agree if the benefits don't outweigh the drawbacks, the foxes should stay in the city, I don't think either of us is qualified to make that judgment.  I'm certainly no biologist; I assumed that if they're considering the action they've consulted the proper experts who've green-lighted it, otherwise the case can be made on the grounds of effectiveness and morality doesn't even come into the equation.

I am just curious about one part of your post.

"I suppose you could make a complexity of life argument, but because humans are infinitely more complicated than any other species, well... we're back to the whole human domination thing which really justifies killing the foxes to begin with."

So reading that I am curious where that logic ends. So because humans are more complicated makes it alright to kill foxes? Then what next? Where does that line get drawn in the sand?

Offline Noelle

Re: Fox Attack Twins
« Reply #35 on: July 09, 2010, 12:41:57 PM »
It was a hypothetical, mostly, I believe...If one person is speaking out against how unjust it is to kill a small number of foxes, it's wise to look at their own behaviors; how is killing a fly, a rat, Asian beetles, spiders, and others like it different from killing foxes? There are ants that get stepped on accidentally every day, what is the gap between that and this? Is it how cute the animal is? How complex a species it is? I think he's saying if you follow that line of logic, humans are always the most complex species and therefore always come before anything below it, which would then justify killing them anyway. Not necessarily that it's the RIGHT logic, but that it's something to consider.

Offline Aviva

Re: Fox Attack Twins
« Reply #36 on: July 09, 2010, 03:01:02 PM »
Personally I see a accidental death and a going out and purposefully killing rather different.  I am one that tries to avoid killing anything though I have done it by accident in the past. I tend to try to capture and release animals I find varying from insects and those further up the food chain.

I have ants int he garden which I leave be, if they manage to get into the house I collect them and release them. My house mate and partner are ones to generally kill if they come into our territory so to speak.

I personally do nto agree with that logic as that can become extremely comply if you are to follow such what defines complication and domination.

We may dominate the planet maybe because we had perhaps the luck to be born human and advance such. I do nto see how that gives us the natural right to decide what lives and dies beyond the need of survival.

At one point when man came against beast they did have to defend themselves one to survive and secondly to feed their family. We are now passed those days by a long way and though animals do attack humans occasionally which is natural though I am sure on a ratio scale a lot less than it was.

Also just as side note animals that are close to extinction or extinct have not all been done so for survival so what is the reasoning there? Where is our right?

Final question for those who can perhaps be able to do this. Though some may consider it silly.

Try and place yourself in the position of a animal hunted down for various reasons and then from the human perspective..

Though then again perhaps I should simply accept my mind is not wired like most people and I see a great difference in many things.

So because someone feels they are able to dominate a country and kill people does that then also give them the right to do that?





Offline Remiel

Re: Fox Attack Twins
« Reply #37 on: July 09, 2010, 06:00:43 PM »
This has nothing to do with anything, but when I saw the subject header, I thought it was going to be a discussion about a J-Pop group or youth-oriented anime.

"Fox Attack Twins Super Power Group Happy Time Go!!!"

And now back to the debate...

Offline Serephino

Re: Fox Attack Twins
« Reply #38 on: July 09, 2010, 08:05:47 PM »
I've killed fleas and mosquitoes, and it had nothing to do with the animal's cuteness, or its complexity.  I see it as a manner of self defense because they were sucking my blood and leaving me covered in huge itchy welts.  Oh, and technically I've wiped out a colony of whip worms, but again, they were feeding off my dog and making her sick.  I chose my dog over the worms. 

With spiders it depends.  I'm severely arachnophobic.  If you hear me scream like a little a girl and run from the bathroom to crawl on top of the couch you can assume I saw a spider.  Though it's usually screaming and running more than killing.  I let them be unless they get too close.  Of course if it's a Brown Recluse, or something else I know is poisonous then I'll kill it.  I don't want me or my pets getting bit by something that would make us people sick, or possibly kill my cat. 

So no, you can't dismiss everything I say by calling me a hypocrite.  If it doesn't pose a threat to my health and well being, then I let it be.  A fox getting into my garbage doesn't pose a threat.  It makes a mess and can be annoying, but a garbage lid would fix that.  The only threat I can see in this case is rabies, which as I said, if you see an animal with rabies, then kill it.  Rats can get rabies too, as can any other wild animal and pet that isn't vaccinated.  I really don't see any threat posed by a healthy fox that can't be fixed with garbage lids or leaving your doors closed, so again, why?  What's the point other than we can because for some fucked up reason humans think themselves superior.  Sure, we've developed language and learned how to build things, but the foxes can't help not having a certain type of vocal chords or hands they can hold stuff with.  If you're not the type to believe in the god and grand design, then you can say we just got lucky to have evolved the way we did. 

Offline Noelle

Re: Fox Attack Twins
« Reply #39 on: July 09, 2010, 09:14:46 PM »
I've killed fleas and mosquitoes, and it had nothing to do with the animal's cuteness, or its complexity.  I see it as a manner of self defense because they were sucking my blood and leaving me covered in huge itchy welts.  Oh, and technically I've wiped out a colony of whip worms, but again, they were feeding off my dog and making her sick.  I chose my dog over the worms.

With spiders it depends.  I'm severely arachnophobic.  If you hear me scream like a little a girl and run from the bathroom to crawl on top of the couch you can assume I saw a spider.  Though it's usually screaming and running more than killing.  I let them be unless they get too close.  Of course if it's a Brown Recluse, or something else I know is poisonous then I'll kill it.  I don't want me or my pets getting bit by something that would make us people sick, or possibly kill my cat.

Where I find your statements to be inconsistent begins here.

This is my discrepancy: you kill fleas and mosquitoes for breaching your space and preying on you as food. Aren't they just trying to survive? Aren't you natural prey since humans, as animals, contain blood they feed on?
And your dog. You claim humans aren't so superior, but through breaking the nature of the wild dog over the course of thousands of years, going against its very nature and forcing it into an unnatural habitat to serve us as both companion and utility (through hunting, herding, etc.) have we domesticated canines and not only made it possible for you to own one (and "own" isn't exactly a sign of equality), but also to kill the natural species that prey upon it in order to keep your dog alive for your benefit. The wild dog has no desire to be confined to the spaces a human tells it to be, to eat the food a human designates it to eat, or to obey human commands. The wild dog has no desire to be your pet, but alas -- what other animal takes other animals and essentially forces them against their nature purely for companionship? Couldn't you possibly say that it's kind of a selfish human behavior?

Don't get me wrong, I understand the love for a pet, I've owned a few over the years, and I get that some people consider them "like family", but if you had to choose between a little girl (or boy, I guess) and a dog drowning in a river, which are you going after? Assuming you choose the human like I expect you probably would, why is that?

And a spider -- you said "unless it gets close", you let it live. Once it gets close enough, your irrational fear has you killing what is a very useful part of the ecosystem for no apparent reason. The spider is not posing you any threat, in fact, it is akin to the foxes in that it is killing other pests below it while it takes up residency in your house. How is this different from senselessly killing foxes like you claim they're doing? How is your case different from that one?

Quote
So no, you can't dismiss everything I say by calling me a hypocrite.  If it doesn't pose a threat to my health and well being, then I let it be.  A fox getting into my garbage doesn't pose a threat.  It makes a mess and can be annoying, but a garbage lid would fix that.


A garbage lid doesn't prevent a sizable enough animal from knocking it over and digging through it anyway. I've seen my cats knock over a trashcan five times their size and root through it. Digging through garbage cans can also spread sickness due to the things that may be contained in it, as well as the decay and mold that forms within. It can attract other pests and animals into your territory, thus making it an even bigger problem. Animals can become attached to an area like stray cats and dogs...they start lingering around, they make it their home, and pretty soon, you have them trying to get into your house and...well...attacking your children. It doesn't even have to go so far as to be a fox going into someone's home -- strays are just as capable of biting people, especially if a particular place where they commonly get their food has been marked as 'their' territory and a human strays near it or the animal feels threatened.

I guess one attitude I don't really understand is that you essentially say "leave it alone if it's not doing anything to hurt you", but then when at least one fox attacks two small children, you immediately pin blame on parents of the victims and that it's completely unjust to cull any foxes -- while also saying that you'll kill spiders out of your own fear, whether or not there's any actual immediate danger to you. I see a very big problem with this, as you seem to be presenting a double standard for others than yourself.

Quote
Sure, we've developed language and learned how to build things, but the foxes can't help not having a certain type of vocal chords or hands they can hold stuff with.  If you're not the type to believe in the god and grand design, then you can say we just got lucky to have evolved the way we did. 
[/color]

Even if you gave foxes thumbs and vocal cords, you're kind of missing that whole part where they are not self-aware, have no capacity for language or logical reasoning, and are driven purely by instinct, to name a few. The issue a lot of humans have is that they delegate human traits onto non-human beings -- but only the ones that are convenient. If you're going to make another animal on an equal level as human beings, then it should be able to live by human standards -- unless humans suddenly want to de-evolve and live by theirs, which I think would have an equally-disastrous outcome.

And also, your comparison isn't entirely accurate...if you believe in evolution, it's not luck and it never has been. It's always been "survival of the fittest" -- those species that can adapt and overcome will carry on and continue to survive. Because man effectively has dominated the earth (for all intents and purposes, obviously we aren't in control of every aspect), that would suggest that we, as a species, are fittest. If you want to play the religion aspect, I think it's in Genesis somewhere that God made mankind the master of nature. Either way, it doesn't really give any credit to luck or chance being a part of it.

But really, if what you're asking is "what separates man from other animals", then the answer is this:

We have an ability to care about species even when they attack our own -- the superiority of human beings isn't necessarily an egotistical status; imagine if bears were superior, or lions, or any other predator that could effectively tear our limbs off. Do you think they would pause for a moment and consider that humans can't help themselves and need to be protected? That maybe they should've watched their cubs better so we wouldn't be sniffing around? Absolutely not. Because no other animal has the same ability to reason and look ahead and overcome basic instinct in favor of rational thought. Humans have the ability to predict outcomes and change their behavior accordingly.

We have one HUGE advantage over all other creations, and that is, as was mentioned, self-awareness. We have concepts of self, we have the ability to think of the hypothetical, the abstract, to reflect on our actions, to try and predict future events and prepare accordingly, to place ourselves in another position and consider something another way. We have developed so far that we can even go against nature in that we can nurture other species, even if they are inherently a threat to our safety if we encounter them in the wild, through captivity, rehabilitation, and nature reserves.

Because humans are superior, it means we also have an inherent responsibility towards those who are 'lower' than us -- which I think is at the very crux of this argument. We are responsible for what we have dominion over, which is why I can agree that if it is proven by a biologist that it would be more harmful to cull multiple foxes rather than just one, then it should not be done because it would be senseless and irresponsible. However, if a biologist says that it will not do any harm in the long-run and will help control the population and/or prevent an occurrence like this...Well, are you going to say you know better than a biologist?

Offline Jude

Re: Fox Attack Twins
« Reply #40 on: July 10, 2010, 01:53:57 AM »
You seem to be claiming that it's not moral to kill animals simply for wandering into human territory.  Your claim seems to be based on the fact that you consider animals to be equal to humans (which I am inferring from the fact that you reject human superiority).  By the reflexive property of logic in combination with your assumption (animals are equal to humans), humans are also equal to animals.  By that assertion, any behavior which is considered morally tolerable for an animal must be morally tolerable for human.  Animals kill other animals for wandering into their territory regularly; this is a part of animal instinct.  Therefore, it is morally permissible for humans to kill other animals... which is one big contradiction.

In short with less logic terminology, you can't hold humans to a higher standard than other animals while simultaneously claiming equality.  And even if you tried to hold them to the same standard as you expect of humans, animals can't make moral decisions, they lack that fundamental capability.  Is that not a point in our favor when it comes to considering us superior?  What sense does it make to add a moral dimension to a creature that isn't capable of thinking morally?  You wouldn't consider breaking a table immoral unless somehow that table is attached to a moral creature in a meaningful way (say property ownership), so what makes an animal different from a table?

You certainly can't say thought.  And if you consider the meaningful difference between the two to be the capability to die, then what about plants?  Movement surely isn't a factor for differentiation, and even if it was, I'm not entirely sure that there aren't plants that can't move, such as the Venus Flytrap.  What about the thousands of bacteria you kill when you spray Lysol in the air to remove odor, or the antibacterial soap you wash your hands with.  Are you committing genocide?

I realize that you've sort of stated that it's OK to kill animals for the sake of self-preservation, but the issue we were originally discussing was one of self-preservation.  A group of animals living in the city have begun attacking human beings.  It's true that they don't pose a very large threat, but how do you discriminate between which threads are large enough to be destroyed (say a bear living in the LAX Airport Terminal) and creatures that deserve to be let alone?  What is the dividing line?
« Last Edit: July 10, 2010, 01:59:04 AM by Jude »

Offline Aviva

Re: Fox Attack Twins
« Reply #41 on: July 10, 2010, 02:19:54 AM »
BAsing the fact once more that there have been foxes there for over a decade and there has been one attack and since the attack at least six foxes have been killed compared to if you are going to pitch animal against animal theory on equality then why for a domesticated dog attacking the only one killed is the animal itself. Not any more than that. So how is that fair? Is that not technically some type of favoritism? Despite the fact that some type of dog breeds have more inclination to attack than others Technically then should they not be culled as people are stating to do witht he foxes. After all if you see animals lower than us I would see dogs and foxes being along the same lines of the food chain there being only one difference. The dog has in comparison been tamed though not the foxes.

Culling for survival /save the eco system once more I understand but this is taking one event. ONE event and putting the blame on any fox that may be in the area because of what one fox did. If that is what should by peoples stand happen to foxes then so should it be for dogs also though that is not going to happen either.

Oh and on the point of people and choices etc does that not make it all the worse when they choose to take a human life? They again do not get killed depending on country etc. Yet technically aren't they more dangerous than a fox or dog? They have chosen to kill and cause another pain based on perhaps felt theories they are better than their victim or some wrong done against them be it real or imagined.

Offline Jude

Re: Fox Attack Twins
« Reply #42 on: July 10, 2010, 02:38:23 AM »
BAsing the fact once more that there have been foxes there for over a decade and there has been one attack and since the attack at least six foxes have been killed compared to if you are going to pitch animal against animal theory on equality then why for a domesticated dog attacking the only one killed is the animal itself. Not any more than that. So how is that fair?
I haven't seen the facts that indicate that there has only been one Fox attack--if that was somewhere on the thread, I've missed it.  I also haven't seen any statistics put forth that show that per capita domesticated dogs are more likely to attack than Foxes.  I've already said earlier in the thread that if it isn't normalized per dog population and exposure versus fox numbers, then you're comparing apples and oranges.  You have to compare the frequency with respect to the population, not the absolute number if you're trying to get a measure of danger.  Furthermore, wouldn't it only be appropriate to compare domesticated dogs which bite people other than their owners to wild foxes?  If someone chooses to buy a dog and it bites them, well clearly they're taking responsibility for that end result wholly, whereas these foxes are not owned by anyone; they're there of their own accord.

Is that not technically some type of favoritism? Despite the fact that some type of dog breeds have more inclination to attack than others Technically then should they not be culled as people are stating to do witht he foxes. After all if you see animals lower than us I would see dogs and foxes being along the same lines of the food chain there being only one difference. The dog has in comparison been tamed though not the foxes.
Where are you getting that they have more inclination to attack?  Furthermore, your judgments seem to be taking into account cons and not pros; domesticated animals are far better for human health overall when you take into account the psychological benefits they bring (drastically lowered incidence of depression, et cetera).  I've yet to see a shred of solid evidence that having the urban foxes in the area actually results in anything positive for human inhabits, just conjecture on potential benefits.  I don't expect you to know that, I certainly don't, which is why someone who does know needs to be consulted before making the decision, I don't disagree there.  If removing them isn't beneficial to the humans living in the area, then it shouldn't be done.  It's the job of an educated expert to determine that.

Culling for survival /save the eco system once more I understand but this is taking one event. ONE event and putting the blame on any fox that may be in the area because of what one fox did. If that is what should by peoples stand happen to foxes then so should it be for dogs also though that is not going to happen either.

Oh and on the point of people and choices etc does that not make it all the worse when they choose to take a human life? They again do not get killed depending on country etc. Yet technically aren't they more dangerous than a fox or dog? They have chosen to kill and cause another pain based on perhaps felt theories they are better than their victim or some wrong done against them be it real or imagined.
And we have procedures for dealing with humans who commit crimes.  Now, you're saying that killing all humans in a particular area in order to protect humans makes sense according to my logic, I'm sure you can see the glaring error in that if you did that there would be no humans to protect, thus it's not the course of action that favors survival.  Even if it did, humans have innate value due to their sentience which makes the situation far harder to analyze and comprehend.

I'm not saying animals are worthless, that it's okay to abuse them, or that we should be killing them left and right just because it seems like it could benefit us, I don't think anyone's exposing that point of view--it's short sighted and counterproductive.  I think that animals have value in the way that they sustain, enrich, and add to human life.  We need them for the sake of biodiversity, the health of our planet, to serve as a food source, for companionship, and research.  I simply put humans first, because they are self-aware and capable of making moral decisions.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2010, 02:42:52 AM by Jude »

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Re: Fox Attack Twins
« Reply #43 on: July 10, 2010, 11:15:16 AM »
I simply put humans first, because they are self-aware and capable of making moral decisions.

You keep stating that humans are better because they are self-aware, while animals are not. No one knows this to be fact. We cannot communicate with animals. However, while not as complex as ours, animals of many different species are known to have language. Many use tools to perform functions of every day life.

While their use of language and tools may not be as intricate as ours, it doesn't deny the fact that the usage is there. It can be said that since humans use language and tools and are self-aware, that other species of animals (humans are animals) have this capability as well. This is unknown, however, and until evidence is brought forth to prove it fact in either way, it really shouldn't be used as a truth in an argument.

Offline Lithos

Re: Fox Attack Twins
« Reply #44 on: July 10, 2010, 12:45:21 PM »
Dolphins and Orcas have already proven to be self aware, able to do things just for fun, teach their young, and able to act for others benefit, not their own so whole point about animals not being self aware is moot.

I believe in natures laws too though, we are better cause we are stronger (by the virtue of our intelligence, not physique) and can get rid of any of the above mentioned if need be with what our intelligence has brought us.  All of the more intelligent animals defend their own, in nature films we often cheer if pack of animals is able to drive the predator away or kill it. I see no reason why we would not have same right, we are part of nature too.

(PS. Dolphins do revenge and pre-emptive predator control too, they are quite very mean to sharks)
« Last Edit: July 10, 2010, 12:49:36 PM by Lithos »

Offline Jude

Re: Fox Attack Twins
« Reply #45 on: July 10, 2010, 01:28:38 PM »
A lot of animals lack the brain structures for self-awareness, which is pretty strong proof that they don't have it.  They also don't exhibit characteristics associated with it, but I suppose it's still possible that they have it, just extremely unlikely.  Furthermore I've been using the wrong terms, self-awareness is actually not very sophisticated (I actually did some research this time!).  Just because an animal is self-aware does not mean it possesses consciousness, the capability for metacognition, or any of the other complicated ingredients that come together to form sentience.

It is true that there are plenty of animals that are self-aware, dolphins, elephants, etc, yet that self-awareness has not given them any heightened degree of sophistication; nothing show no traits that come even close to mirroring humans.  The only way in which Dolphins are like humans that separates them from the rest of the animal kingdom, is that they kill porpoises (creatures that closely resemble them) for seemingly no reason whatsoever.  You could use tool usage as another example, but tool usage that we exhibit in animals is extremely limited, absolutely nothing like the human ability to adapt to situations and utilize a variety of things in their environment.

True sentience, I think, is the dividing factor, and animals simply don't display this at all.  There've been numerous attempts to teach animals English, sign language, to study them for language patterns, etc.  All have failed miserably with the exception of a few very simple successes that occurred in creatures most-similar to us--definitely not foxes.  And there's a large difference in being able to sign for a banana and being truly intelligent.

There's a reason that humanity has set up a dichotomy between us and animals; they are very different than us and quite clearly no where even close when it comes to intelligence, but even if you disagree on that, you still don't have an argument as to why humans should treat animals better than animals treat other animals or humans--infact that makes even less sense the more you believe us equal.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2010, 01:36:08 PM by Jude »

Offline Noelle

Re: Fox Attack Twins
« Reply #46 on: July 10, 2010, 02:23:50 PM »
You keep stating that humans are better because they are self-aware, while animals are not. No one knows this to be fact. We cannot communicate with animals. However, while not as complex as ours, animals of many different species are known to have language. Many use tools to perform functions of every day life.

While their use of language and tools may not be as intricate as ours, it doesn't deny the fact that the usage is there. It can be said that since humans use language and tools and are self-aware, that other species of animals (humans are animals) have this capability as well. This is unknown, however, and until evidence is brought forth to prove it fact in either way, it really shouldn't be used as a truth in an argument.

But it is known to be a fact -- as Lithos brought up, yes, dolphins (and to a lesser extent, orcas) are self-aware on a level that is not found in other species, but to make it comparable to the complexity of human self-awareness (and meta-cognition) is laughable, at best. They are intelligent, but there is a subtext to it -- they are intelligent comparatively speaking to other animals, not counting humans. Writing off complexity as a tool for comparison is writing off the argument all together; complexity is precisely why I'm willing to make the claim for human superiority, and is the only reason humans have risen to the top in the scheme of things. On a basic level, humans have many things in common with other animals -- the real, massive difference is to what degree each "category" is developed, and the case has been proven many times over that animals simply keep falling short -- they display a number of building blocks to stages necessary to evolve towards our level of complexity, but the fact is, it's non-existent now.

Besides, science is able to explore brain activity of animals just as they are humans and compare the working parts, track the activity in various parts of the brain, and perform tests to see if certain stimuli are met with certain behavior. One of the tests is called the mirror test, and it has been a widely-used method of checking an animal's potential for self-awareness, including some species of ape and, of course, dolphins. There are definitely methods. The mirror test employs first introducing an animal to a mirror and how it works. They then put the animal to sleep, and while they are under, the tester places a mark on the animal's body that it cannot see. When the animal wakes up again, it is reintroduced to the mirror in such a way that it can only see the mark on its body using said mirror. If the animal tries to investigate said mark, scratch it off, any recognition that the mark in the mirror corresponds to their own body, it is taken as a sign that the animal can recognize itself -- that it is self-aware.

However, one thing I found curious was that the tests for dolphin self-awareness were not consistent...and not really duplicated, which means there is a very small pool of results to dip from, which means that the evidence isn't so hard and fast. Monkeys and the like passed the mirror test almost 100% of the time, but those monkeys were hand-reared by humans. Natural-born and raised ones failed consistently.

Language is another beast; animals have a kind of language, yes, but most fundamentally lack -- again -- the complexity of human speech. There is largely an emphasis on grammar being the core element of 'true' language (Noam Chomsky did a ton of work on this), amongst other things.

A good number of animals (I can't say if it's "most" or "all", as none of my own research has yielded that) have "culturally-taught" language that requires it be taught to them at birth or else they simply do not have the ability to make accurate and normative sounds as they mature -- conversely, human children need not be specifically taught anything at all. They are able to simply pick up the complexities of language and speech naturally (you can make a case for children with disorders of various kinds, but those are abnormal cases and not the norm) and even have the ability to learn other languages -- an ability that, as far as I am aware, is not present in any other animal.

You can make the case for parrots, but it has been shown almost exclusively to be pure mimicry and not an actual cognitive recognition of what it is they're repeating. Dogs who respond to language are typically a product of conditioning. Humans have attempted to teach language to animals numerous times -- even to the "most intelligent" of all, dolphins. As Jude has already said, all attempts have been fruitless. If a grammatically-based language could be taught to a non-human animal, it would, in effect, disprove Chomsky's claims that true linguistics, true grammar is uniquely human. So far, no dice. Most experiments have fallen to the Clever Hans effect, an effect that seems as if a being is displaying unusual knowledge/prowess at something, but is really the product of a clever reading of situational/social cues.

Ultimately, to make this relevant, animals lack fundamental "things" that make their skills -- or even capability to develop skills -- even remotely comparable to humans. In every single case I've read (and you can do a Google search on things like 'animal self-awareness' and 'animal language' amongst other things), there is always a gap, something that is missing or something that cannot be grasped.

That being said, I don't think it's appropriate to kill things -- self-aware or not -- that is unjustified. I agree with you there. But I do think it's wholly inappropriate to try and place other animals on a human level when they are fundamentally incapable of acting and performing to human standards. We can treat them with responsibility, to care for them and to act with self-control when it comes to terminating them, but that is because we have the cognitive ability to think to do so.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2010, 02:39:08 PM by Noelle »

Offline Aviva

Re: Fox Attack Twins
« Reply #47 on: July 25, 2010, 08:17:41 AM »
I did try and do a quick search for dog attacks stats but I found this first and while I continue to look for something more official  I thought perhaps this might be worth putting here for those that wish a idea of dog attacks stats.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1235851/100-people-week-treated-dog-bites-attacks-soar-66.html

Yes I know there is far more dogs in the UK than foxes but this does go to show just because animal are domesticated does not mean by any means they are tame.  There is another site I shall post up later that has a list of the most dangerous dogs in the UK and how some of them if I read rightly were deemed so dangerous they have been made illegal to walk around the UK without a muzzle on.

I am a all round animal lover dogs included in that category but after reading the above link I would be certainly far more cautious in own a dog now than I was before.

Offline Noelle

Re: Fox Attack Twins
« Reply #48 on: July 25, 2010, 06:49:43 PM »
There are roughly 51.5 million citizens living in England. 5221 were treated in '08-09. That's roughly 1% of the population. Comparatively, in the US, the stats that I could conclude say that our rate is ~2% or so. That's still a pretty small population.

Roughly 31% of English citizens own dogs; that's about 15,965,000 people. If, out of all these people, 5221 of them have dogs who bit somebody (assuming there are no repeat offenders and excluding the rare occasion that a singular household has two different dogs that may have attacked), that's about 3% of dog owners who have dogs who have attacked a human for one reason or the other. Still not huge and still does not consider that humans are occasionally the provoker -- people are cruel and/or idiots from time to time, I don't think that's much of a stretch.

But that still doesn't account for why dogs are attacking humans.

1. How was the dog raised?
- Pit bull owners have been arguing for years that pit bulls that are raised according to their breed and are given proper care and training as they grow up do not attack unprovoked.
- Because of this, one can possibly conclude that because the dog is domesticated, humans then have the responsibility to care for the animal they have tamed. If the animal attacks, it is a failure on their part to give their dog what it needs to function along side humans and thereby perpetuate proper domestication.
- In addition, the dog's own lineage and breed-mixing can influence its behavior. They are prone to behaviors instilled in their parents as well as traits inherent of breeds mixed (or included in) their own.

2. How was the person acting when they were attacked?
- The issue with humans is that they treat dogs like miniature, furry people and not like animals. They don't have the same interaction or read the same body language. We tend to personify them because pets have a place in our society as companions and friends, but dogs do not interact the same. Period.
- Because of this, small children are usually easy attacks -- hugging a dog can be perceived as a threat and the dog will then, of course, try to eliminate said threat. It's not the child's fault, of course, since they typically don't know better, but it's also important to watch out for your children and teach them not to approach strange animals.
- In a few cases of actual death that I've read, it seems that the attacks were almost always done in the dog's own home without the owner present, and in cases with children, the child was unattended. There are some major issues there. Dogs are different with their owners -- the ones who control them, as opposed to strangers or those they aren't taking commands from. Different dogs have different quirks and different things that set them off. It's important to pay attention to that with any dog because any dog can bite.

I read the "most dangerous dogs" list, and there are plenty of people who also disagree with the list singling out breeds precisely because of the ownership factor. That's the prime factor that separates dogs from foxes. Foxes are not domesticated. Foxes cannot be counted on to have an owner who has raised them and who can instill in it behaviors that make them able to live peaceably beside humans and therefore cannot be relied upon to be controlled.

And actually, domesticated does mean 'tame', by its very definition.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2010, 06:58:55 PM by Noelle »

Offline Aviva

Re: Fox Attack Twins
« Reply #49 on: July 26, 2010, 03:19:56 AM »
No animal can be relied upon to be controlled. As some one stated before to our current knowledge and understanding animals in the majority have no self awareness but survive and live on some of the more basic primitive natures that are ingrained to all perhaps genetically. Even humans have them though as we grow up in most cases that is civilized.

Perhaps tame would be the wrong word to use perhaps safe is better though that would depend on your own personal opinion of what a word means rather than the generalization

I agree that in a lot of cases that people do treat animals like children from what I have seen out of myhosue hold..others are abusive and the smallest even playful knock can remind a dog of it's past and trigger an attack as a animal goes on the defense.

This was not meant as me attacking dogs but some requested some stats on dog attacks and that was oneof the links that came up.

My partner and I also discussed this topic while I was browsing the internet and we discussed the points you have made, upbringing, what was going on at the time . We have a similar idea of if we ever got a dog how it would be handled as we have both had dogs in the past but because my two have a fear of dogs we have not yet. We know because they currently fear them that could lead to the dog honing in on them at their fear and just making the circle worse. My eldest is gradually coming through the other side of it and petting dogs she knows well but we do not wish to take the risk.

Some parents may have felt that getting a dog would have helped ease the fear quicker without realizing that (from my own experience at least)   dogs go for those that fear them.

Though at the same point in time if for a dog you take ALL those consideration into account for why it did what it did it would appear not many go to so much effort to consider why the fox did it and not just talking about this singular attack but any attack. They are automatically classed as vicious killers by press and end of story.

"Foxes cannot be counted on to have an owner who has raised them and who can instill in it behaviors that make them able to live peaceably beside humans and therefore cannot be relied upon to be controlled."

Nor can dogs at all times even if it is only one percent of a population that is attacked though that does not give us the stats of dog attacks compared to dog numbers as not all of those 51 million has dogs. I live in a village of just over two thousand people and only I think ten of them have dogs.

Though at the same time perhaps if foxes had been given the how ever many years it took humans to actually domesticate dogs it would be very different.