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The use of animals in sport.

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Old November 21st, 2012 (11:56 AM).
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    Is it ok to use animals for entertainment through sport? Examples of sports involving animals would be horse racing, bullfighting, greyhound racing, etc. As it is impossible to truly tell how the animal feels, if at all, about being involved in such sports, and given potential risks involved for the animals and, where relevant, the people involved, should sports involving animals be permitted?

    Also, how about circus animals? It's not a sport, but it's kind of relevant here, I guess!

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    Old November 21st, 2012 (12:14 PM).
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    It's funny. I don't like the idea of animals in the circus or in sports, but I have a pet. I guess I feel that animals in sports and so on aren't going to be given the level of care that they should have, that the people in charge of them aren't putting the animal's care first because they're focused on the performance.

    If racehorses and circus elephants had good lives free of unnecessary suffering I wouldn't mind at all, but I don't think that's the case in real life.
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    Old November 21st, 2012 (12:23 PM).
    Serene Grace Serene Grace is offline
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    I was watching this Family Guy episode earlier and had to post this .gif!

    As with most discussions like this, contextual factors really do come into play. Some sport treat the animals that it features in a very legitimate manner, trying to emulate natural circumstances while taking care of the animal in question to be at optimum level. This then leads to a showcase of human and animal working in harmony, striving for victory at the top stage and it is rather beautiful sight, in my opinion - as cliché as that may sound! However, those sport who mistreat animals for the sake of greed and corruption are frankly disgusting, regardless of tradition. I'm normally not for a scenario where the minority ruins a situation for the majority; however in this case, for the safety of the animals, I think that not allowing the use of animals in sport will reduce the not so rare cases of animal abuse for the sake of "sport".
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    Old November 21st, 2012 (5:21 PM).
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      The only thing I find disturbing about Animal Sports is the fact that half the contestants pump modifying drugs into their pets for improved performance. They like to treat it like a Football game (which I suppose is reasonable since they make money), but for use on ANIMALS? I think that's a little extreme.

      As for the rest of the sports, I don't really think It has a negative impact on the minds of the animals. They seem to enjoy it even though a lot of other people portray it as 'demeaning' or 'unethical'.
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      Old November 25th, 2012 (9:57 AM).
      Shiny Celebi Shiny Celebi is offline
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      Im not personally comfortable with animals being used for human entertainment. The animals wouldnt naturally do these things and in some cases it can be dangerous for the animal( in horse racing, horses can break their legs and stuff) I just think it's wrong to put wild animals in a cage and force them to perform tricks, it just seems wrong to me, they can't decide for themselves, I dont think they should be forced, they dont even understand what they are doing and why, that's why I think it's wrong. I think animal sports are kind of disturbing actually.
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      Old November 30th, 2012 (2:35 PM).
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      Not really.
      Certain things are okay, in my opinion. Like teaching pets tricks and the like, so long as they aren't in danger. My example being my sister's cat...I taught him how to fetch based on how much he enjoyed chasing the ball and he willingly would play it with me. I don't see a problem with that, considering the cat seemed to like it, wasn't in danger or forced into it, etc.

      Now if the animal is punished for doing it wrong or whatever, then it's definitely a no.
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      Old November 30th, 2012 (2:49 PM).
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      I love animals, but I think "What do pets achieve in life?"
      There is no right or wrong answer to this question because we don't know what an animal feels, obviously. However, I do think that it is good that we put them to use rather them just minding their own business being fed, having their cages cleaned etc. except from if they are harmed or are put in dangerous situations. There are animals that are useful; Dogs for example, have 220 million smell receptors compared to a 5 million that us humans possess so they are able to identify many things with their noses that we can't.
      There is always a risk of injury, sometimes severe, in all sports. But people take the risk because they love to do it and they can get good money and be famous. Do animals know they are famous? Why should an animal risk itself when, quite honestly, they don't have an awful lot to achieve through doing such a thing?
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      Old November 30th, 2012 (5:08 PM).
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      Quote:
      Originally Posted by Shiny Celebi View Post
      Im not personally comfortable with animals being used for human entertainment. The animals wouldnt naturally do these things and in some cases it can be dangerous for the animal( in horse racing, horses can break their legs and stuff) I just think it's wrong to put wild animals in a cage and force them to perform tricks, it just seems wrong to me, they can't decide for themselves, I dont think they should be forced, they dont even understand what they are doing and why, that's why I think it's wrong. I think animal sports are kind of disturbing actually.
      I agree that animal sports are wrong, but only if the animal is being forced to take steroids or is being abused.

      When you stated that dogs don't "naturally" do these things, that's actually not entirely true.
      Dogs were bred by humans, for humans, to be truthful. Almost none of the dogs we have today are direct descendants of their ancestors, the wolf. That's because humans took them and started the process of breeding them for special needs. If one dog was bred with another because they were agile, then you'll most likely get an agile pup. That was how it worked. If a dog like a Labrador is doing jumps through hoops at heights that we can't jump through, it's probably because that dog was a product of years of selective breeding. This is also why lots of dogs, for instance, dalmatians, who were bred with other dogs to get the coat, which were bred with other dogs to get the build, which were then INbred to get a perfect dog happen to have genetic diseases. Dalmatians have high chances of being deaf now, because we've bred them together for so long with the other dogs with the problems.

      What I'm saying is, dogs were practically FITTED to the human being by the human being and aren't really "natural" at all.

      As for the sports, I don't really care much at all. I think it's stupid in the first place and I surely don't get entertainment out of seeing something jump through a hoop. But I think it is fine if someone else enjoys that. I mean, I guess it's nice if the trainer is proud of his dog and they love each other, but I dislike the use of steroids and inbreeding, ect ect.

      Other animals, like elephants and tigers.. Well, as long as they are treated well and aren't abused as most are.
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      Old December 1st, 2012 (3:43 PM).
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        As someone pointed out above, contextual factors enter the scene in this matter. But it is important to notice that the most basic issue is the treatment given to the animals, being it a sport or not. My point is that sport use of animals is just a sub-topic of the general problem of animal welfare. If a dog is used in a dog race, the judgement if this practice is ethical or not, comes down to the analysis of the circunstamces in which the training is done, to the treatment given in that specific case. Whether it is a sport or not is a secundary question in defining the ethical evaluation of such relationships between human beings and animals.
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        Old December 1st, 2012 (4:03 PM).
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          since I watch horse racing, I don't really mind as long as it's not a hurdle/chase race where the horse can seriously injure itself. Bullfighting, I've never watched one, but I don't like the idea where the bull gets killed after. Dog Racing, I don't really care.... but it is the clash at the first corner where usually the 6 dog goes flying out.

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          Old December 14th, 2012 (12:04 AM).
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          As long as the animals are decently cared for, then I don't mind much. I'd rather circus animals be in wildlife preserves or something like that, but as long as they're kept alive and in pretty good health, you can't ask for much more. It's not exactly cheap to keep them there (a wildlife preserve, etc) either.
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