: : Just as I would not debate the morality of rape with a rapist or torture with a torturer, neither will I debate cruelty to animals
: And comments like that are in more than just bad taste
Unfortunately they're not. Just because a living thing is not capable of putting into words the fear and pain they may feel does not remove the fact that these emotions are felt. As the human race 'advances' its attitudes also change. It's not that long ago that the western world felt anyone who did not have white skin was inferior and therefore did not deserve to be treated with any form of respect. The same is true for those with mental and/or physical disabilities. Thankfully, those attitudes are less prevalent and, in my opinion, the same thing will happen to the general attitude towards animals.
Although I've learnt that it's not always a good idea to let your frustrations take over your emotions when trying to explain an 'alien' concept to someone else in the way Mike does, I can't disagree with what he says.