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Saragossa
06-08-2010, 10:17 PM
I have been a vego' for two months now and I am really enjoying the change, now I have begun a slow transition into veganism. People often ask why; firstly, because I don't want to cause pain and suffering to animals and secondly, because vegetables are cheap*. The first reason raises the issue of whether I should thus boycott all meat, rather than say: eating meat which is raised in a nice lifestyle (my Mother raises lambs so it annoys her) or only eating prawns and muscles etc. I am of the opinion although it is inconsistent with my reasons I would not eat well raised animals or shellfish/crustaceans, because a life is a life regardless.

Opions of vegetarianism and other forms of practical philosophy are welcome.

Saragossa
06-08-2010, 10:22 PM
Second topic is the illegality of Marijuana. My opion revolves around the much more harmful substances tobacco and alcohol being legal. If the government doesn't legalise marijuana they should make tobacco and alcohol illegal.

Not a troll post. Serious opinions very welcome.

Rincewind
07-08-2010, 12:32 AM
My opinion is that there is an argument for a degree of vegetarianism but I haven't investigated the options too closely as yet. However the life is a life philosophy isn't sustainable as 'life' is too broad a term. After all vegetables are also alive (or were once). Most of us makes decisions about the comparative worth of the life of various species of animals every day. We swat mosquitoes, we pat and cuddle companion pets, even comparing eating lamb (which are cute and cuddly) with eating shellfish, which aren't. I think the issues are too intertwined with emotions and the common human trait of anthropomorphism.

Anyway, for me I'm still and omnivore. But a potential convert I guess if someone can make a really good case. Maybe if I read Animal Liberation, but somehow I don't think that would do it.

Saragossa
07-08-2010, 10:36 AM
However the life is a life philosophy isn't sustainable as 'life' is too broad a term. After all vegetables are also alive (or were once).

Yes, I think a discussion with a vegan friend ended in, "To be free of death, in our diet, we would probably need to become breathairians." Notably, mentioned somewhere else on the board, I know people who farm all their own vegtables and fruit and they only eat the fruit which has fallen off the tree. Crazy level of conservation, but I apreciate the effort.


even comparing eating lamb (which are cute and cuddly) with eating shellfish, which aren't.

My sister based it on a sensory argument, i.e. Shellfish aren't suffering through death because they don't feel pain as we do. Personally I don't know how this was proven, but in the supermarket I didn't have any reliable resources except logic :doh: :doh: :doh: , I fell back on the principle of life conservation.


We swat mosquitoes

I try, in the most part not to, neither do I purposlessly crush ants or other insects. When I witness people doing this it annoys me.

I was converted by the movie Food Inc., which I, upon reflection, see as shallow; however, I also note I became part of the quota the movie was intending to reach.

I can't see how eating meat can be justified, I read short debate on it ages ago and after watching Food Inc. I again could not justify eating meat, so I stopped. Have an internal debate and see if you can justify it. That being said, I hate tool factories who impose their beliefs upon others, I'm not trying to.

Rincewind
07-08-2010, 11:39 AM
I try, in the most part not to, neither do I purposlessly crush ants or other insects. When I witness people doing this it annoys me.

Senseless crushing of ants or swatting mosquitoes is just cruel. However if a mosquito (or ant) is going to bite me then best to take preventative measures. In some parts of the world mosquitoes are vectors for various diseases like Malaria, Ross River of Dengue Fever. I have no problem with mass killing of mosquitoes to lower the incidents of these diseases.

Kevin Bonham
07-08-2010, 01:26 PM
My sister based it on a sensory argument, i.e. Shellfish aren't suffering through death because they don't feel pain as we do. Personally I don't know how this was proven, but in the supermarket I didn't have any reliable resources except logic :doh: :doh: :doh: , I fell back on the principle of life conservation.

Any animal that is killed more or less instantly won't feel much pain anyway no matter how advanced or otherwise its sensory system.

Many ethics committees and so on now consider cephalopods (squid, octopus, cuttlefish) to be equivalent to vertebrates in terms of the permits you need to experiment on them, from which it follows that those who refuse to eat meat, poultry or fish on ethical grounds might consider adding calamari to their list. This, however, is based on a judgement about the intelligence of these creatures. There seems to be an assumption that an invertebrate that is stupid either doesn't feel pain or immediately forgets about it.

In my own research on snails, it is possible to take a DNA sample from a snail without killing it by cutting off a chunk of the tail; experiments have shown that snails this is done to survive at apparently normal rates. The funny thing about this is that the snails I have done this to will vigorously resist being trimmed, but once cut they just walk off and go about their business as if absolutely nothing had happened.

Saragossa
07-08-2010, 01:41 PM
Many ethics committees and so on now consider cephalopods (squid, octopus, cuttlefish) to be equivalent to vertebrates in terms of the permits you need to experiment on them, from which it follows that those who refuse to eat meat, poultry or fish on ethical grounds might consider adding calamari to their list. This, however, is based on a judgement about the intelligence of these creatures. There seems to be an assumption that an invertebrate that is stupid either doesn't feel pain or immediately forgets about it.

I don't eat any meat.


Any animal that is killed more or less instantly won't feel much pain anyway no matter how advanced or otherwise its sensory system.

The suffering of the animal in captivity is what I am more concerned about. Farmed fish and shellfish etc go through this as well, thus I will not eat them. In many instances animals are not killed instantly.


In my own research on snails, it is possible to take a DNA sample from a snail without killing it by cutting off a chunk of the tail; experiments have shown that snails this is done to survive at apparently normal rates. The funny thing about this is that the snails I have done this to will vigorously resist being trimmed, but once cut they just walk off and go about their business as if absolutely nothing had happened.

Fully radical. How do they test whether the snail goes through suffering?

Saragossa
07-08-2010, 01:43 PM
Senseless crushing of ants or swatting mosquitoes is just cruel. However if a mosquito (or ant) is going to bite me then best to take preventative measures. In some parts of the world mosquitoes are vectors for various diseases like Malaria, Ross River of Dengue Fever. I have no problem with mass killing of mosquitoes to lower the incidents of these diseases.

Very interesting point of whether human life should be more valued than non-human life. Although not rationally justifiable humans always seem to come first, and I agree with this, in most instances.

Kevin Bonham
07-08-2010, 04:22 PM
How do they test whether the snail goes through suffering?

I'm not sure how you can really test whether anything experiences suffering, whether it appears to do or not. It's all assumptions one way or the other, and people more readily make these assumptions with things that are complex and "like us" than with things that aren't.

We tend to anthropomorphise our own pain responses, eg that something that is in pain is expected to complain, to twitch or lash around, to avoid the cause of the pain, and so on. But any of this is within the abilities of a machine.

Igor_Goldenberg
09-08-2010, 04:05 PM
I used to be a vegetarian for almost nine years (for reasons similar to Saragossa), even though I only excluded meat and poultry (fish and seafood was a fair game!). However I stopped quite a few years ago.
While it's OK for a grown up, I wouldn't recommend it to a young person who is still growing.

One of the reasons I stopped being a vegetarian was a realisation that while killing another living being is cruel, refusal to eat domestic animals that are specifically grown for that purpose means that they will not be born in the first place. I still do not to eat hunted wild animals.
Irritation with numerous Green groups insisting on treating animals like human didn't help either.
The last straw was PETA idiots comparing chicken in the farm to Holocaust victims.

Spiny Norman
09-08-2010, 06:41 PM
I can't see how eating meat can be justified ...
Are lions evil then?

road runner
09-08-2010, 07:12 PM
...refusal to eat domestic animals that are specifically grown for that purpose means that they will not be born in the first place.I think this is a good point.

If we didn't consume cow products there wouldn't be any cows left.

Rincewind
09-08-2010, 08:25 PM
I think this is a good point.

Are you being serious of just pulling my leg?

By similar reasoning you can say that slavery was a good thing because without it America would not have won so many track and field medals in the Olympics.

Saragossa
09-08-2010, 09:36 PM
I would eat animals hunted myself, if I were manly enough to kill it in the first place.

I agree with Rincewind, we would still have cows, I don't see why we wouldn't as there are many animals humans don't use which are still surviving.

No lions aren't intrinsically evil, they don't have the intellect to overcome instincts like humans do.

Rincewind
09-08-2010, 10:59 PM
No lions aren't intrinsically evil, they don't have the intellect to overcome instincts like humans do.

Of course you might believe that lions were meant to be vegetarian and only turned to eating meat because mankind at some bad fruit. :rolleyes:

Spiny Norman
10-08-2010, 06:08 AM
No lions aren't intrinsically evil, they don't have the intellect to overcome instincts like humans do.
So is your rule: only non-humans are justified in eating meat?

On what basis do you treat humans differently from non-humans? It would seem to be instinct ... but since some non-humans apparently also have the ability to overcome their instincts, that would seem to be a bit flimsy. But each to their own.

Capablanca-Fan
10-08-2010, 07:30 AM
Of course you might believe that lions were meant to be vegetarian and only turned to eating meat because mankind at some bad fruit. :rolleyes:
Even today one lion refuse to eat meat (http://creation.com/the-lion-that-wouldnt-eat-meat), and another loves spaghetti (http://creation.com/lea-the-spaghetti-lioness).

Saragossa
10-08-2010, 09:19 AM
So is your rule: only non-humans are justified in eating meat?

On what basis do you treat humans differently from non-humans? It would seem to be instinct ... but since some non-humans apparently also have the ability to overcome their instincts, that would seem to be a bit flimsy. But each to their own.

Not just non-humans, if a human had a mental defect which hindered their decision making ability or understanding of life/death and pain/suffering then they don't have the mental equipment to overcome their need to eat i.e their instincts in regards to eating are stronger than their intellect in related fields. A vast majority of non-humans cannot disobey their instincts, this is due to a lot of things, perhaps every lion wishes to be vegetarian but their habitat just won't cater, those lions Jono has brought to our attention are not subjects of the wild but subject to human interference, this is not an instance of the Lioness overcoming instincts due to moral conflict, but a lioness overcoming instincts due to situation and possibly some odd up-bringing. Besides this point non-humans defying instinct is going to be an irrational anomaly not like vegetarianism which is practised by many humans (and herbivore non-humans but this isn't really all too relevant).

road runner
10-08-2010, 09:30 AM
Are you being serious of just pulling my leg?

By similar reasoning you can say that slavery was a good thing because without it America would not have won so many track and field medals in the Olympics.
Serious

People who think that if we didnt consume cow products that those cows would just frolick forever need a reality check

Rincewind
10-08-2010, 09:47 AM
People who think that if we didnt consume cow products that those cows would just frolick forever need a reality check

Life in the wild is no bed of roses and domestic animals have been adapted to the point that they would not survive without human assistant. I think I just got the wrong end of what you were saying. While I have no issue with consuming farmed meat products (or hunted meat products like much salt water fish) I believe it is a stretch to say that the farming of a species leads to the greatest possible good. Counting the life that domestic animals experience before they are butchered as a positive doesn't seem right to me. I don't have a problem with the point you were trying to make regarding the survivability of domestic meat species without human intervention which is generally low.

I would point out that by making this point you are open to having the argument fragment into considering animals which are domesticated and cannot survive compared with those that are basically nondomesticated. For example, deer, kangaroo, crocodile farming and the like occurs and the animals are almost entirely undomesticated. Does that change your position regarding the eating for farmed venison against wild venison, or venison against beef, for example?

Spiny Norman
10-08-2010, 04:54 PM
Not just non-humans, if a human had a mental defect which hindered their decision making ability or understanding of life/death and pain/suffering then they don't have the mental equipment to overcome their need to eat i.e their instincts in regards to eating are stronger than their intellect in related fields. A vast majority of non-humans cannot disobey their instincts ...
Putting the two thoughts together, you seem to be saying that non-vegetarian humans have a mental defect. I'm not sure why you would not also think therefore that carnivore animals also have mental defects.

Saragossa
10-08-2010, 06:26 PM
Non-vegetarian humans are needlessly killing animals. Whether it is wrong or right isn't for me to judge; however, I, personally, cannot morally justify it and thus, I believe, it is wrong and to do so - eat meat - implies a moral weakness in this regard. As people how shower for too long or pollute the earth, may not be evil, but their actions are certainly dubious given the earth's situation.

Rincewind
10-08-2010, 07:56 PM
Non-vegetarian humans are needlessly killing animals. Whether it is wrong or right isn't for me to judge; however, I, personally, cannot morally justify it and thus, I believe, it is wrong and to do so - eat meat - implies a moral weakness in this regard. As people how shower for too long or pollute the earth, may not be evil, but their actions are certainly dubious given the earth's situation.

Humans are biologically omnivores and ancestors ate meat to survive and our bodies to some extent operate best with some meat in the diet. However, it is possible to live as a vegetarian and since we no longer need to eat meat the question is, is it morally acceptable to kill animals for food when other options are available?

I don't believe there is a compelling argument either way. So I'm happy for everyone to let their moral compass be their guide. If enough people go vegetarian then societal values will naturally change too. I don't agree that vegetarianism or not should be forced down anyone's throat (so to speak).

Sinister
16-08-2010, 08:52 PM
Non-vegetarian humans are needlessly killing animals. Whether it is wrong or right isn't for me to judge; however, I, personally, cannot morally justify it and thus, I believe, it is wrong and to do so - eat meat - implies a moral weakness in this regard. As people how shower for too long or pollute the earth, may not be evil, but their actions are certainly dubious given the earth's situation.
If we weren't meant to eat meat, we simply would not be able to, this does not suggest a moral weakness any more than a blatant weakness in not eating meat. From what I have read, you recently turned vegetarian, at least wait six months before condemning us omnivores to death

Saragossa
16-08-2010, 09:25 PM
If we weren't meant to kill people, we simply would not be able to. If we weren't meant to eat kids, we simply would not be able to.

However, I do agree with the last part of your argument. There should be a waiting period before you can begin properly arguing your case; however, again, the thread was started to induce discussion on practical philosophy so without a pro-vego guy I imagine the thread would die out quickly.

Rincewind
16-08-2010, 09:33 PM
If we weren't meant to kill people, we simply would not be able to. If we weren't meant to eat kids, we simply would not be able to.

Reminds me of my favourite:

If God had not meant for us to eat animals, then he wouldn't have made them out of meat.

Oepty
16-08-2010, 10:43 PM
If God had not meant for us to eat animals, then he wouldn't have made them out of meat.

Well that does lead into my position quite well. I have absolutely no problem with killing any animal that can provide nutrition for that purpose, except where there is a choice of killing a plentiful species or one that is near extinction, animals should not be killed if it leads to extinction. I believe this based on religious reasons, ie God has no problem with killing and eating animals.
Scott

Saragossa
18-08-2010, 10:57 AM
On what basis do you treat humans differently from non-humans?

I pose this same question to you, Spiny.

Space_Dude
20-08-2010, 08:06 PM
Ok, came back from a 10 day vacation of no internet and phone signal...

This is my "idea"...

1. if the meat we see at the shops dont get bought... they are wasted... after all they have an expiry date. which means a cow died for no reason... therefore we are doing the world a favour by not polluting the world with a rotting carcass

2. If one of your bases of vegetarianism is because you care of the environment you should know that animal stocks creates the second most amount of polluting gases after industrial wastes.

3. We were meant to eat meat wayy before we had the same intellect of an average chimp. we are strong and the dominant race because we hunted for our food. the human race might not have even existed if we were herbivores from the beginning... we were herbivores to begin with and over generations and generations of evolution, we saw the benefits of eating meat as well as vegetation.

4. When i saw your comment on Sinisters post, i saw that your logic is dictated by the fact that mental ability is the same as biological effcts. We have the mental ability to kill man and children. but We can eat meat because of specific enzymes which break down the fibres in to nutrients we need. If you fed a herbivore which can kill ( ie a hippopotamus ) they would prob get sick because they cant break down certain nutrients that roams within the meat. so, they would die. We however have that enzyme to break down meat as well as enzyme to break down vegetation.

5. Imagine if 6 billion people stopped eating meat... ( and say that there is no hunger when it happens) the animal population will begin to thrive, we will harvest more vegetation, and clear more land for more farms, use more pesticides, use more fertilizers. The animal population will start to become almost pest like and ruin our farm stocks, shortage of food because of these pests as well as shortage of land and chemicals will result in world wide famine. except we cant eat meat to survive because we're vegans... see the problem here?

What are you trying to prove by not eating meat or eat any dairy products? which brings me to another point. Dairy Products

6. If cows dont get milked, it can die, if it has to calves to feed, than what happens than? its good for the cows to be milked....

7. Eggs... its NOT FERTILISED!!! ITS NOT A BABY CHICKEN!! if it was in the wild, it would still lay eggs that arent fertilised. they would rot or be eaten by a dingo or something. Why not feed the hungry population of the world with these domesticated animal's what you may be able to call as "NOT A LIFE FORM!" egg...

8. Eggs... its NOT FERTILISED!!! ITS NOT A BABY CHICKEN!! if it was in the wild, it would still lay eggs that arent fertilised. they would rot or be eaten by a dingo or something. Why not feed the hungry population of the world with these domesticated animal's what you may be able to call as "NOT A LIFE FORM!" egg... I know I already mentioned it but i thought it was soo important that i thought i should mention twice.

That's the end of my logic.. from my point of view i dont think you vegans are doing us any favour

Good huntin'
Tony

Saragossa
20-08-2010, 08:58 PM
1. if the meat we see at the shops dont get bought... they are wasted... after all they have an expiry date. which means a cow died for no reason... therefore we are doing the world a favour by not polluting the world with a rotting carcass.

What if the carcass has no purpose in being there to begin with? If were were not to eat meat the meat wouldn't have a market.

Carcasses are biodegradable and, again, you seem to be missing the fact that slaughter animals are farmed, we don't cull the random population of 'wild' cows.


2. If one of your bases of vegetarianism is because you care of the environment you should know that animal stocks creates the second most amount of polluting gases after industrial wastes.

Animals which humans farmed to high numbers. Without human influence animals, non-human, were doing a fine job of keeping the world in check. By the way, you realise you are supporting the continually-polluting, farmed animal industry by buying meat? Your point almost seems counter intuitive.


3. We were meant to eat meat wayy before we had the same intellect of an average chimp. we are strong and the dominant race because we hunted for our food. the human race might not have even existed if we were herbivores from the beginning... we were herbivores to begin with and over generations and generations of evolution, we saw the benefits of eating meat as well as vegetation.

We had to eat meat back in our pre-historic days, our canine teeth are evidence of this and as you said our digestion system; however, we also have an appendix, previously used to digest grain/grass, it is now useless because we evolved and cut raw grains/grass from our diet. Because we now have protein supplements and a greater understanding of nutrition, we no longer need meat, thus I have cut it out of my diet and intend for my canines to have the same fate as my appendix, albeit if fried tofu is chewy.


4. When i saw your comment on Sinisters post, i saw that your logic is dictated by the fact that mental ability is the same as biological effcts. We have the mental ability to kill man and children. but We can eat meat because of specific enzymes which break down the fibres in to nutrients we need. If you fed a herbivore which can kill ( ie a hippopotamus ) they would prob get sick because they cant break down certain nutrients that roams within the meat. so, they would die. We however have that enzyme to break down meat as well as enzyme to break down vegetation.

My last comment explains my opinion on this. Killing men also has its benefits, but it is so frowned upon in society, why?


5. Imagine if 6 billion people stopped eating meat... ( and say that there is no hunger when it happens) the animal population will begin to thrive, we will harvest more vegetation, and clear more land for more farms, use more pesticides, use more fertilizers. The animal population will start to become almost pest like and ruin our farm stocks, shortage of food because of these pests as well as shortage of land and chemicals will result in world wide famine. except we cant eat meat to survive because we're vegans... see the problem here?

This is an excellent point, the entire world cannot be vegetarian, it is true, but animals are fed on grains (they eat more grain in America than the people of America do) and since there would be no need for this grain we would have far more land. Again, I belive Jono gave me the link, land is not scarce, in Australia we have loads of free land and we have the technology to farm it. Another problem with global vegetarianism is the amount of jobs which would be displaced; global vegetarianism, as cool as it sounds, would be extremely problematic based on our living style in contemporary society. I will have to research this issue.


What are you trying to prove by not eating meat or eat any dairy products? which brings me to another point. It causes suffering to animals and I don't like the idea of supporting that.


Dairy Products

6. If cows dont get milked, it can die, if it has to calves to feed, than what happens than? its good for the cows to be milked....

Do research into the dairy industry, this is an ill educated statement. If I had a pet cow, which had a calf, I would milk it; however, a cow pumped full of hormones after its calf (in some dairies they drug indice lactation solely) has been killed is not natural and it is cruel


7. Eggs... its NOT FERTILISED!!! ITS NOT A BABY CHICKEN!! if it was in the wild, it would still lay eggs that arent fertilised. they would rot or be eaten by a dingo or something. Why not feed the hungry population of the world with these domesticated animal's what you may be able to call as "NOT A LIFE FORM!" egg...

Battery chickens suffer to have those eggs, I think you seriously missed the point of veganism. I would like to note soy harvests kill many animals which dwell in the fields, so I do not eat soy products, I am conducting research into the most friendly harvests.



That's the end of my logic.. from my point of view i dont think you vegans are doing us any favour

Thank you for that deep, deep insight.

Good huntin'
Tony[/QUOTE]

Saragossa
20-08-2010, 09:03 PM
Tony, why do you eat meat, how do you seperate an animal life from a human life?

Space_Dude
20-08-2010, 09:56 PM
Tony, why do you eat meat, how do you seperate an animal life from a human life?
First, its better in long term.

second, why are you comparing a human life to a farmed animal? If you could save a person or a dairy who would you save?

Thirdly, they taste awesome!!! I rather have beef steak than a lentil subsitute...

road runner
20-08-2010, 10:06 PM
Tony, why do you eat meat, how do you seperate an animal life from a human life?How do you seperate a plant life from an animal life?

Space_Dude
20-08-2010, 10:16 PM
How do you seperate a plant life from an animal life? ohhh!!! SNAP!!!!

Saragossa
20-08-2010, 10:20 PM
How do you seperate a plant life from an animal life?

I see the plants living a far more natural life than the animals for slaughter, when compared to theur natural environments or well-treated domesticated lifestyle.

An arguement which seems to hold against canabalism is it is not natural because we look at humans as equals and we can identify with them, I indentify to the depth of animals but cannot conjure that sympathy for plants.

Further more, proving someone is a hypocrite is does not prove them wrong, how do you seperate human life from animal life, Boris?

As an aside, if your post had the intention of proving me a hypocrite, I have already mentioned that meat production kills more plants than vegetarians. So you have kind of doubled up your distribution of suffering to other life-forms.

Saragossa
20-08-2010, 10:28 PM
First, its better in long term.

second, why are you comparing a human life to a farmed animal? If you could save a person or a dairy who would you save?

Thirdly, they taste awesome!!! I rather have beef steak than a lentil subsitute...

First answer is ambiguous and seemingly ridiculous. It is better in the long run to kill off a large percentage of the population, to avert global warming, that doesn't mean I would do it, or another like-wise analogy, I'm sure there are a few.


second, why are you comparing a human life to a farmed animal? If you could save a person or a dairy who would you save?

A very relative question, as it depends on the human, however, in most instances, I would save the human, as I am sure you intended. However, your question serves little purpose as it only proves that I value human life over animal life, it doesn't prove I needlessly mistreat and kill animals so I can eat, when there are perfectly good substitutes.

I hear Cocaine is way better than energy drinks, do it! The taste argument is silly, slavery also feels radical, generations ago we deemed it immoral, hopefully we will do the same in regards to the slaughter of animals.

Space_Dude
20-08-2010, 11:34 PM
First answer is ambiguous and seemingly ridiculous. It is better in the long run to kill off a large percentage of the population, to avert global warming, that doesn't mean I would do it, or another like-wise analogy, I'm sure there are a few.



A very relative question, as it depends on the human, however, in most instances, I would save the human, as I am sure you intended. However, your question serves little purpose as it only proves that I value human life over animal life, it doesn't prove I needlessly mistreat and kill animals so I can eat, when there are perfectly good substitutes.

I hear Cocaine is way better than energy drinks, do it! The taste argument is silly, slavery also feels radical, generations ago we deemed it immoral, hopefully we will do the same in regards to the slaughter of animals.
hmm... how about this... you are starving and freezing. you have a cow and a man, which you both deeply value... which would you kill and eat?

Saragossa
20-08-2010, 11:46 PM
hmm... how about this... you are starving and freezing. you have a cow and a man, which you both deeply value... which would you kill and eat?

Extremely odd hypothetical you have posed me, I assume if I value the person and the cow equally there would be no rational way of determining which one to eat. Thus I would have to revert to my primal instinct and eat the cow, regardless of how much it tortured me, let alone my deeply valued friend standing there being judged alongside a cow. I still have no idea whta you are trying to prove with this hypothetical, but seeing as all of your other arguments have been flimsy I am not surprised.

I will set you a ludicrious, out-of-this-world, zany hypothetical: you are completely fine, and you have the choice of picking some field mushrooms and potatoes, then cooking them on the fire, or you can slit a puppy's throat, skin it and cook it on the fire. Which option do you take?

Space_Dude
21-08-2010, 12:30 AM
Extremely odd hypothetical you have posed me, I assume if I value the person and the cow equally there would be no rational way of determining which one to eat. Thus I would have to revert to my primal instinct and eat the cow, regardless of how much it tortured me, let alone my deeply valued friend standing there being judged alongside a cow. I still have no idea whta you are trying to prove with this hypothetical, but seeing as all of your other arguments have been flimsy I am not surprised.

I will set you a ludicrious, out-of-this-world, zany hypothetical: you are completely fine, and you have the choice of picking some field mushrooms and potatoes, then cooking them on the fire, or you can slit a puppy's throat, skin it and cook it on the fire. Which option do you take?
i dont know is the dog annoying?

road runner
21-08-2010, 07:11 AM
I see the plants living a far more natural life than the animals for slaughter, when compared to theur natural environments or well-treated domesticated lifestyle.I don't see any difference between say breeding and raising a calf and then eating it, and planting and growing some parsley and then eating it. That is, no difference unless you differientiate the two lives somehow.


An arguement which seems to hold against canabalism is it is not natural because we look at humans as equals and we can identify with them, I indentify to the depth of animals but cannot conjure that sympathy for plants.we are social creatures, it is a selective benefit for us to cooperate. Eating Joe Bloggs up the road probably doesn't meet that end too well.


Further more, proving someone is a hypocrite is does not prove them wrong, how do you seperate human life from animal life, Boris?

As an aside, if your post had the intention of proving me a hypocrite, I have already mentioned that meat production kills more plants than vegetarians. So you have kind of doubled up your distribution of suffering to other life-forms.It was not my intention to prove you a hypocrite. It was my intention to point out what I believe is a flaw in your argument.

Does parsley suffer if I pick and eat it? Somehow I doubt it has the cognition to do so.

No doubt some animals can suffer. We have procedures in Australia that ensure that any suffering is kept to a minimum. Some animals I don't think they do suffer.

Basically I think that the more like us something is, the more we sympathise with it. As it happens, the more like us something is, it probably also has more cognitive activity. We eat tuna but not dolphin. Why?


second, why are you comparing a human life to a farmed animal? If you could save a person or a dairy who would you save?
A very relative question, as it depends on the human, however, in most instances, I would save the humanTo me it just beggars belief that you would have to consider "what human" but not consider "what animal".

Spiny Norman
21-08-2010, 10:42 AM
I agree with Boris here. One can be a vegetarian because of preference, but the implication trotted out here is that vegetarianism is somehow morally superior. If it is superior, then a moral argument needs to be made, and so far it hasn't been. I have no problem with people being vego's for preference sake; but I object when they claim moral superiority and then either trot out an illogical argument, or worse, seem to be claiming that its superior "just because it is".

Saragossa
21-08-2010, 01:10 PM
I don't see any difference between say breeding and raising a calf and then eating it, and planting and growing some parsley and then eating it. That is, no difference unless you differientiate the two lives somehow. [QUOTE]

The two lives are seperated by humans and the cruelty humans inflict. When I buy organic vegetables, the vegetables have lived, what I consider to be a far more natural life than a farmed pig. I have seen naturally occuring yams and I have seen organic potato farms; the potato farm seemed to replicate nature far better than the farmed pigs' lives.

[QUOTE]we are social creatures, it is a selective benefit for us to cooperate. Eating Joe Bloggs up the road probably doesn't meet that end too well.

This is true, but the concept is the same. If you can justify an animal's death, for food, how can you not justify a human's death, for food? If I set up a hypothetical where animals were as socially based as humans, do you believe we would stop eating them?


It was not my intention to prove you a hypocrite. It was my intention to point out what I believe is a flaw in your argument.

How is it a flaw? If anything it furthers my argument, if I cannot justify the plants I kill, how coould I possibly justify killing animals? How can you do it?



Does parsley suffer if I pick and eat it? Somehow I doubt it has the cognition to do so.

As do I.


No doubt some animals can suffer. We have procedures in Australia that ensure that any suffering is kept to a minimum. Some animals I don't think they do suffer.

Some animals don't suffer; the root of the problem is we see the animals as our resources, they are a seperate life and should not be ruled by us. I also have this opinion on slavery, which I see as practically identical to animal farming. Everyone else seems to love slavery.


Basically I think that the more like us something is, the more we sympathise with it. As it happens, the more like us something is, it probably also has more cognitive activity. We eat tuna but not dolphin. Why?

I don't eat either of them. Why should I have to justify omnivores' problems?


To me it just beggars belief that you would have to consider "what human" but not consider "what animal".

I assume if I had any animal sitting in front of me I could indentify it easily, to a certain extent. Any human would be a different instance as I would have to take moral gauge of their previous actions etc, regardless I think in a majority of the situations I would choose human survival anyway.


I agree with Boris here. One can be a vegetarian because of preference, but the implication trotted out here is that vegetarianism is somehow morally superior. If it is superior, then a moral argument needs to be made, and so far it hasn't been. I have no problem with people being vego's for preference sake; but I object when they claim moral superiority and then either trot out an illogical argument, or worse, seem to be claiming that its superior "just because it is".

It has yet to be demonstrated that it is not morally superior and even reading these arguments I am convinced everyone arguing for meat hasn't seriously thought it over. Perhaps I need to construct a picture book.


http://www.animal-rights-library.com/texts-m/regan03.htm

Read The Case For Animal Rights and Animal Liberation

What gives you the right to end and animal's life, Spiny?

Saragossa
21-08-2010, 01:11 PM
Also I notice how Rincewind and Spiny have not clarified how they differentiate between a human's life and an animal's life.

Spiny Norman
21-08-2010, 01:52 PM
Also I notice how Rincewind and Spiny have not clarified how they differentiate between a human's life and an animal's life.
Speaking for myself only, I differentiate between human life and animal life on the premise that human life is specially created by God and is therefore fundamentally superior in value to any animal life. Humans demonstrate superior intellectual capacities and are also capable of making moral, philosophical and aethetic judgements in ways that animals cannot.

Kevin Bonham
21-08-2010, 02:13 PM
Humans demonstrate superior intellectual capacities and are also capable of making moral, philosophical and aethetic judgements in ways that animals cannot.

Pretty much any broad assertion of the only-humans-can-do-X variety is an argument from ignorance that will get shot down by contrary evidence sooner or later. How would you know whether animals make moral, philosophical or aesthetic judgements or not?

Furthermore, not all humans demonstrate superior intellectual capacities; indeed some who are extremely severely impaired appear to demonstrate none at all.

Once you buy the moralistic premise you get sucked all the way to Regan and Singer or else you wind up in an inconsistent and arbitrary position.

I have the good furtune of not buying the moralistic premise in the first place so this all doesn't bother me.

Saragossa
21-08-2010, 02:26 PM
Speaking for myself only, I differentiate between human life and animal life on the premise that human life is specially created by God and is therefore fundamentally superior in value to any animal life. Humans demonstrate superior intellectual capacities and are also capable of making moral, philosophical and aethetic judgements in ways that animals cannot.

So if there is a disabled human, completely incapable of making any moral, philosophical and aethetic judgements am I allowed to eat them? Of course you have seen them alive and then they die, so you don't conflict with "thou shalt not kill', which seems a double standard, but whatever.

Your god is morally weak. Also you have chosen a cop out option which forces the argument to a stan still because you need to prove your god exists and I have to prove your god does not exist, regardless my first statment is true if he happens to exist.

Can I say all people who eat animals and will burn in hell because it is murder and my God is right, without being questioned?

Saragossa
21-08-2010, 02:37 PM
Once you buy the moralistic premise you get sucked all the way to Regan and Singer or else you wind up in an inconsistent and arbitrary position.

Completely true in a pure moral/ethical debate; however, in a pragmatic sense any reduction of suffering is a good thing. For instance, I have a friend who eats meat when other people make it for him (perhaps once every two weeks) but refuses to eat meat otherwise. Even though he is in an inconsistent moral position, the effort to reduce suffering can only be positive.

Kevin Bonham
21-08-2010, 02:39 PM
For instance, I have a friend who eats me

:eek:

Saragossa
21-08-2010, 02:43 PM
:lol: :lol: He has truly transcended the barrier between human, animal and plant life, by simply eating them all! :lol: :lol:

road runner
21-08-2010, 03:13 PM
The two lives are seperated by humans and the cruelty humans inflict. I don't understand this statement.


When I buy organic vegetables, the vegetables have lived, what I consider to be a far more natural life than a farmed pig. I have seen naturally occuring yams and I have seen organic potato farms; the potato farm seemed to replicate nature far better than the farmed pigs' lives. To follow this argument to its logical conclusion, you should have no problem eating meats that Rincewind mentioned earlier, Eg Wild venison.


This is true, but the concept is the same. If you can justify an animal's death, for food, how can you not justify a human's death, for food? If I set up a hypothetical where animals were as socially based as humans, do you believe we would stop eating them?No, to extend my argument with your hypothetical would be to say that if the animal was as sociatally based then they would not eat each other.

Re justifying, I am not the one imposing morality on meal choices so I feel no need to justify my choice. You are the one doing so, so you should justify your choice to eat plants. I mean every seed you eat is a stolen life of a tree that could have been planted. I don't know how you can live with yourself. :lol:


How is it a flaw? If anything it furthers my argument, if I cannot justify the plants I kill, how coould I possibly justify killing animals? How can you do it?You seem to be in agreement that it was a flaw when you thought I proved you to be a hypocrite.

Simply put you are saying that you cannot justify X (eating animals) or Y (eating plants), and therefore you choose to do only Y. Makes no sense.




As do I.Well if you are going to set the bar for what we can eat at what we know can suffer, then you should allow for several animal choices in your diet.



Some animals don't suffer; the root of the problem is we see the animals as our resources, they are a seperate life and should not be ruled by us.But as I said before they would not even be born if they were not born for the purpose of feeding us. Now you may not see any value in a cow allowed to quite freely graze, procreate, raise young etc for several years, but I'm not so sure I would agree. Isn't some life better than no life.


I also have this opinion on slavery, which I see as practically identical to animal farming. Everyone else seems to love slavery.Such as who?

I don't eat either of them. Why should I have to justify omnivores' problems?It was a rhetorical question which I had answered in my preceeding comments. The two reasons I proposed that we might be OK with eating tuna but not dolphin are that we sympathise with the dolphin becuase it is more like us, and that it has more congnition.

I assume if I had any animal sitting in front of me I could indentify it easily, to a certain extent. Any human would be a different instance as I would have to take moral gauge of their previous actions etc, regardless I think in a majority of the situations I would choose human survival anyway.Oh so you want to play god, and just let the person live if he is up to your standards. Well why not take the animal out of the hypothetical altogether and let's just let you decide who can live and who can die on a daily basis shall we.

Saragossa
21-08-2010, 04:50 PM
To follow this argument to its logical conclusion, you should have no problem eating meats that Rincewind mentioned earlier, Eg Wild venison.

I stated earlier that if I hunted and killed my own meat I would eat it.


No, to extend my argument with your hypothetical would be to say that if the animal was as sociatally based then they would not eat each other.

I realised early I had misunderstood what you were saying and thus I made my idiotic statement. Please, allow me to clarify. The fact that humans are social creatures has nothing to do with life and death, the legality of eating humans is impairing your ability to see the parallels between animal and human life. As far as I understand it seems to be, as I don't really get the significance of humans being social creatures.


Re justifying, I am not the one imposing morality on meal choices so I feel no need to justify my choice. You are the one doing so, so you should justify your choice to eat plants. I mean every seed you eat is a stolen life of a tree that could have been planted. I don't know how you can live with yourself. :lol:

You make it seem as if I am creating some crazy new idea that we should think about how what we eat is treated, I am not imposing morality, the morality is intrinsic.



You seem to be in agreement that it was a flaw when you thought I proved you to be a hypocrite.

Not a flaw against killing animals, a flaw in my lifestyle.

I am, to an extent, a hypocrite, but in proving this, you have proved yourself an even worse person because the meat you eat is fed on plants (more plants than we eat) and I assume you also eat vegetables.


Simply put you are saying that you cannot justify X (eating animals) or Y (eating plants), and therefore you choose to do only Y. Makes no sense.

I have reduced the suffering significantly, you appear to be doing nothing. Also seeing as I had to boycott one it seems extremely logical to eliminate X because it is clearly the worse of the practices.



Well if you are going to set the bar for what we can eat at what we know can suffer, then you should allow for several animal choices in your diet.

Thanks for the advice.


But as I said before they would not even be born if they were not born for the purpose of feeding us. Now you may not see any value in a cow allowed to quite freely graze, procreate, raise young etc for several years, but I'm not so sure I would agree. Isn't some life better than no life.

'the beef grazing industry does not currently have a specific code of practice' http://www.anra.gov.au/topics/agriculture/beef/index.html

The National Beef Cattle Feedlot does, but I see no evidence of the wonderland you describe, I am open to more evidence. If you read Regan's excerpt you would also see there is a wrong in abusing animals as resources regardless.





Such as who?

Animal slavery, I can barely see the difference between animal farming/slaughter and slavery, do enlighten me.


It was a rhetorical question which I had answered in my preceeding comments. The two reasons I proposed that we might be OK with eating tuna but not dolphin are that we sympathise with the dolphin becuase it is more like us, and that it has more congnition.

I don't eat either of them, as I said before.


Oh so you want to play god, and just let the person live if he is up to your standards. Well why not take the animal out of the hypothetical altogether and let's just let you decide who can live and who can die on a daily basis shall we.

I clarified in the last sentence that in a majority of cases I would spare the human life, I have already expressed my opinions in another thread on capital punishment. You seem to be happy playing god with animals, but their lives aren't worth anything so it is all good.

road runner
21-08-2010, 05:48 PM
I stated earlier that if I hunted and killed my own meat I would eat it.Regardless of its suffering? I put it to you that if you were to hunt and kill something that it would likely suffer a lot more than a similar creature being killed by a professional.


I realised early I had misunderstood what you were saying and thus I made my idiotic statement. Please, allow me to clarify. The fact that humans are social creatures has nothing to do with life and death, the legality of eating humans is impairing your ability to see the parallels between animal and human life. As far as I understand it seems to be, as I don't really get the significance of humans being social creatures.My comment was in regard to you bringing up cannibalism. As such, any parallel you might raise should be animals eating their own species. So far this does not appear to be what you are doing.


You make it seem as if I am creating some crazy new idea that we should think about how what we eat is treated, I am not imposing morality, the morality is intrinsic.You are attempting to impose your morals on others. If you think you should think about how what you eat is treated, then fine. It's when you start replacing the you's with we's, as above, that you are imposing.


Not a flaw against killing animals, a flaw in my lifestyle.So why prescribe it to others.


I am, to an extent, a hypocrite, but in proving this, you have proved yourself an even worse person because the meat you eat is fed on plants (more plants than we eat) and I assume you also eat vegetables.Only when I can't avoid it. :lol:

Allow me to illustrate why it is an inconsistent postion for you and not for me.

You cannot justify eating animals
You cannot justify eating plants
You do not eat animals
You eat plants

I make no attempt to justify eating animals
I make no attempt to justify eating plants
I eat animals
I eat plants

See the difference?


I have reduced the suffering significantly, you appear to be doing nothing. Also seeing as I had to boycott one it seems extremely logical to eliminate X because it is clearly the worse of the practices.Again you use a moral argument. Also I question that the level of suffering is significant.


'the beef grazing industry does not currently have a specific code of practice' http://www.anra.gov.au/topics/agriculture/beef/index.html:rolleyes: Selective quoting.


The National Beef Cattle Feedlot does, but I see no evidence of the wonderland you describe, I am open to more evidence. If you read Regan's excerpt you would also see there is a wrong in abusing animals as resources regardless.Whether or not it is a "wonderland" would you like to comment on my question as to whether such a life is better than nothing? I mean do you really hate animals so much that you would will them out of ever existing?


Animal slavery, I can barely see the difference between animal farming/slaughter and slavery, do enlighten me.Not so fast, you said "everyone else" loves slavery. Tell me who you mean.


I don't eat either of them, as I said before.l2read. it was a rhetorical question.


I clarified in the last sentence that in a majority of cases I would spare the human life, I have already expressed my opinions in another thread on capital punishment. You seem to be happy playing god with animals, but their lives aren't worth anything so it is all good.You are the one who would deny them a life at all. I am not so arrogant as to ask for a summary of someone's life before deciding whether to save it.

Spiny Norman
21-08-2010, 08:19 PM
So if there is a disabled human, completely incapable of making any moral, philosophical and aethetic judgements am I allowed to eat them? Of course you have seen them alive and then they die, so you don't conflict with "thou shalt not kill', which seems a double standard, but whatever.
You are making an error here, by giving an example of a single human, whereas I was referring to humans as a category.


Your god is morally weak. Also you have chosen a cop out option which forces the argument to a stan still because you need to prove your god exists and I have to prove your god does not exist, regardless my first statment is true if he happens to exist.
I don't need to prove that my God exists, for the purposes of this argument; I am simply pointing out that this is a starting assumption for the establishment of my point of view. If you don't accept that God exists, then you are right to dismiss the argument from your perspective, however that doesn't make my position invalid, it only makes your position invalid if you were to make the same argument as me and also deny that God exists.


Can I say all people who eat animals and will burn in hell because it is murder and my God is right, without being questioned?
You can say whatever you like. Its your right. Just don't expect everyone to agree with you if its (a) just plain wrong, and/or (b) illogical, and/or (c) lacking sufficient grounds.

Saragossa
21-08-2010, 09:13 PM
I'm working on a response to both as we speak, it is a large body of work and I will get back to you both in good time.

jhughes
26-03-2011, 07:40 AM
Hi guys, for Philosophy at school we are currently studying the issue of eating meat. For our assessment task we have to write a dialogue discussing one particular aspect of eating meat, and as the unoriginal I am, I chose the topic of animal cruelty. Anyway, I have come to a point where a found an argument from the vegan point of view that I was unable to refute, and since I find it highly unlikely that I have found a silver bullet in the issue of eating meat I have turned to the internet in order to obtain a response, anyway here is what I have so far:

Scott: Welcome Daniel, I’m glad you could join me tonight.
Daniel: Thank you Scott, I’m glad to be here.
Scott: If you would not mind, I would like to discuss the morality of eating meat, and more specifically: the issue of animal cruelty. I understand that you that you do not believe eating animals is an immoral practice; nor do you think that the eating of domestic farm animals can be considered as cruel; is this correct?
Daniel: I can assure you that you are correct in your understanding.
Scott: Thank you for your confirmation. As I see fit there are two key issues to examine when examining whether or not eating domesticated farm animals can be considered cruel.
1) The first of which is whether or not there is anything inherently wrong with killing life for food. Is there any inherent value within life?
2) The second issue (and owing to time constraints, this is the one I wish to discuss) is whether or not animals are treated cruelly in order for us to obtain our food.
Would you agree with me that these are the two main issues? The life of a domestic farm animal is an undoubtedly miserable one. As livestock you are seen entirely as a source of revenue, the entire purpose of your life is to gain weight and (if applicable) produce commercial products (e.g. eggs and milk). To highlight this issue, I would like to discuss the life of a typical domestic pig:
- Pigs are left in dark rooms for nearly 24 hours a day .
- Pigs live most of their lives on grids; this causes them to have foot injuries1.
- Pigs spend most of their life in extremely confined spaces, causing them to stress and chew on the rails of their cages1.
Animal cruelty in farms extends far beyond this; chickens too will never see the light of day, suffer from bone diseases and will lose many of their feathers ; and if a doe does not produce seven litters in a year they are killed (this means there is a replacement rate of 90%)1.
It is clear to me that typical treatment of a domestic farm animal is appalling, if humans were subjected to these conditions it would be considered abuse. Would you agree that such treatment could not be considered ethical?
Daniel: I do indeed agree that this is not ethical; however the problem here is that such treatment need not be the case; pigs and chickens could be farmed in open environments, while does could simply not be culled for a low production rate. The problems are there, but so are the solutions, we need not consider a practice unethical if it needn’t be unethical.
Scott: Daniel, while I do admire your optimism, I do not think your approach is realistic. The amount of meat we consume requires such unethical treatment of livestock, meat prices would raise significantly if farmers needed to own more land. If pigs didn’t live on grids the conditions would be considered unsanitary, and the human population would have to significantly decrease its consumption of meat if we were to adopt these new conditions.
Additionally, laws removing such practices would be nigh impossible to enforce, farming is one of Australia’s biggest industries and it would be extremely difficult to ‘catch’ all those who broke these laws. Your position Daniel is idealistic, but not realistic; so many problems need to be solved if we are to adopt more ethical practices. How can you justify such a view when it is so unlikely to occur?
Daniel: Indeed Scott I understand your scepticism, but we must always be trying to solve our problems, regardless of how difficult it may seem.
Scott: But surely it is not worth the time when we can simply not eat meat? There are many more reasons arguments against shouldn’t eat meat, eating of meat can have severe health issues, and the environmental consequences are disastrous! Would it not be easier to simply cease eating meat?

Of course if you notice any errors with spelling, grammar etc. corrections would be appreciated!
Jack

Rincewind
26-03-2011, 10:03 AM
It is an interesting dialogue however I have a problem with Scott's position about the enforcing of more humane farming practices being both economically detrimental and difficult to enforce. His alternative (it appears) is vegetarianism. Now how does he propose to enforce that and what will be the economic impact of that regime.

Assuming Scott is not talking about enforced vegetarianism then his solution will only work if a significant proportion of the world's population make that choice, which is exceedingly unlikely for a number of reasons. Since even if Australia was to become 100% veg then farming industry could in theory continue completely for export. Also if rather than vegetarianism, Scott convinced everyone to purchase only ethically grown farm products he would probably get a higher number of converts and improve the lot of at least some animals in Australia which are being farmed to cater for the ethically farmed domestic market.

The most successful strategy in my opinion would be to lobby to enact laws to ban inhumane practices in the farming industry. This is a long game and would involve a number of small goals along the way. Of course educating people to choose ethically farmed animal products as well to help grow the domestic market these goods.

jhughes
26-03-2011, 10:26 AM
It is an interesting dialogue however I have a problem with Scott's position about the enforcing of more humane farming practices being both economically detrimental and difficult to enforce. His alternative (it appears) is vegetarianism. Now how does he propose to enforce that and what will be the economic impact of that regime.

Assuming Scott is not talking about enforced vegetarianism then his solution will only work if a significant proportion of the world's population make that choice, which is exceedingly unlikely for a number of reasons. Since even if Australia was to become 100% veg then farming industry could in theory continue completely for export. Also if rather than vegetarianism, Scott convinced everyone to purchase only ethically grown farm products he would probably get a higher number of converts and improve the lot of at least some animals in Australia which are being farmed to cater for the ethically farmed domestic market.

The most successful strategy in my opinion would be to lobby to enact laws to ban inhumane practices in the farming industry. This is a long game and would involve a number of small goals along the way. Of course educating people to choose ethically farmed animal products as well to help grow the domestic market these goods.
Thank you for the reply RW, I'd just like to clarify a few things. The point of the dialogue is to discuss whether or not it is possible for humans to eat meat meat without treating animals unethically, not whether or not it is realistic to enforce laws that would outlaw the eating of meat. I am aware that this makes the task significantly easier for Scott, but they were simply the requirements for the dialogue.

My second thing that I'd like to clarify is that I am looking mainly for a rebuttal against Scott's final point, as otherwise the dialogue would simply be too biased against the meat eaters point of view.

Rincewind
26-03-2011, 10:28 AM
My second thing that I'd like to clarify is that I am looking mainly for a rebuttal against Scott's final point, as otherwise the dialogue would simply be too biased against the meat eaters point of view.

I deal with that in the other thread.