Humane treatment of animals
The objective of this proposal is to study the humane treatment of animals in the way they use human-like instincts to select their food. Human choose their food from a wide range of plants and animals and so do the animals, more so those that are omnivorous like human, select from diverse edible plants and small animals.
Pigs have eating habits that are closely related to those of humans in that they are omnivorous: they eat almost everything that they come across. However, not all foods eaten by humans can be eaten by other animals. Some plants have over the course of time adapted defense mechanisms against being eaten by animals. An example of one of these plants is cassava. To defend its roots against being eaten by other animals, its has undergone adaptation whereby it produces a poisonous substance called cyanide. Even though humans have learnt how to unlock the secret by cooking, other animals and insects such as pigs and locusts are yet to.
We used pigs for our research majorly because are omnivorous like humans. For our research, we used four pigs and provided them with the foods eaten by humans. Among the foods were maize grains, raw potatoes, bran, vegetables and the specimen that we were testing-the cassava. We put the pigs into two groups each containing two pigs. We fed all the pigs with the food samples and provided one group with the raw cassava after they had eaten the other types of food and didn’t provide the cassava to other group. We carried out this process for tw2o weeks consecutively. We cushioned two weeks after we had fed them with the cassava before carrying out the analysis.
The privilege of taking the cassava which is a rich source of carbohydrates is limited to humans. As Michael Pollan aptly puts it, even seasoned animals like locusts, porcupines, pigs and all the other types of animals that feed on cassava “haven’t yet figured out how to overcome the plant’s defense” (Pollan, p. 293). Fortunately, early humans discovered that they could render the poisonous cyanide in the cassava roots harmless and make the root edible by cooking. This followed after the discovery of fire.
Since it we had not yet come across any research material specifying the fate that befell animals after they consumed the raw root we were had no expectations that we were looking forward to.
After the two weeks that we had timed we went to study the pigs that we had used in the research.
When we went to study the animals: the two which were not fed with the raw cassava were fine just as expected. However, the two animals that we fed with the raw cassavas had poor vision, difficulty in walking and increased ranting.
Our research group found that the group of pigs that was fed with the raw cassava roots started shying away from the cassavas after they started having disorders. At times, that is after the two weeks, we would feed the cassavas to the pigs by putting them in separate troughs from other types of food and would barely eat them. We would mix the cassavas with other types of food and they were selective, choosing and leaving the cassavas untouched. Since all animals, save for humans, haven’t found ways to overcome the cyanide in the cassava, perhaps this explains as to why the carbohydrate-rich cassava has been left to the privilege of humans only.
Pollan Michael (2006). The Omnivores Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. New York: Penguin Books.