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Author Topic: You call that HUNTING?!?!
Mistletoey Chloe
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Thanks, Rhi. Don't hold your breath on that explanation though, because, IMO, a) Malruhn does not really believe it, and b) even if he did, he wouldn't care about it. It's just a convenient stick to beat vegetarians with and to help provide an easy rationale for the choice to eat meat.

And I want to add here: I'm not an evangelical vegetarian. I'm not saying everyone has to choose that way of living. But if you (generic throughout) don't, don't fool yourself that you have no choice (the vast vast majority of people do), or that it's too hard to get protein (it's not, and I don't eat very much soy at all), or that all choices cause equal suffering (they don't). That's all.

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Rebochan the Retail Reindeer
Good King Wal-Mart


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quote:
Originally posted by Mistletoey Chloe:
Am I the only one who sees a difference between challenging other people's opinions (perfectly reasonable) and "Do you eat meat? Do you wear leather? Do you wear wool? Do you wear silk?"

The real question is whether the opinions were invited in the first place.

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Mistletoey Chloe
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Not on a messageboard, no. I can see that sometimes opinions are completely inappropriate for a particular thread (you don't post about abortion in the baby thread, for instance) but if they're not inappropriate, there is no question about whether or not they are "invited."

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El Camino
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Mistletoey Chloe:
Am I the only one who sees a difference between challenging other people's opinions (perfectly reasonable) and "Do you eat meat? Do you wear leather? Do you wear wool? Do you wear silk?"

It depends on the context. A lot of the time, that will just be silly posturing. But sometimes it can bring out inconsistancies in an argument, which IMO seriously detracts from an argument.

Suppose there were a person who was a vegetarian who held that eating meat was morally wrong. Although I don't agree with it, it is certainly a legitimate viewpoint. However, if that person wears leather and sees nothing morally wrong with it, their view is almost certainly hypocritical, flawed and invalid. However, if they wear leather but acknowledge that it is morally wrong, but they just "can't resist" or something, then that does not detract from the argument, just their ability to look down their nose at meat-eaters. In such a case it is merely a personal attack and not a valid argument.

Basically, "is it okay to wear leather?" is a valid argument, "do you wear leather?" isn't. However, there are times when I think a "do you wear leather?" statement is warranted outside of a debate. For example, a friend of my SO once criticized her for wearing a rabbit skin lined hat, while at the same time the friend wears leather. While the retort doesn't necessarily attack the argument that wearing animal skins is immoral, it is certainly relevant to the conversation.

But as far as I can tell, that's not what happened in this thread.

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Mistletoey Chloe
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What do you mean by "their ability to look down their nose at meat-eaters"? Personally, I don't see this ability as being a particular benefit of being a veggie. Is there any way for vegetarians to comment on the ethics of vegetarianism without being seen as "looking down their noses" at meat eaters?

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El Camino
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Mistletoey Chloe:
What do you mean by "their ability to look down their nose at meat-eaters"? Personally, I don't see this ability as being a particular benefit of being a veggie. Is there any way for vegetarians to comment on the ethics of vegetarianism without being seen as "looking down their noses" at meat eaters?

Hey, I never said you did. But there certainly people who are. And sure you can discuss the ethics of vegetarianism without doing so. Some people cannot, it seems, or at least choose not to.

Basically, one can certainly discuss vegetarianism on an ethical level even if one is not a vegetarian, or wears leather or something like that. However, I don't think one can speak to someone as though one is morally superior unless you are wholesome in consistantly following your own beliefs.

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Mistletoey Chloe
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Well, that's me out then. I've never been accused of being wholesome.

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~~Ai am in mai prrrrrraime!~~

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El Camino
We Three Blings


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Eh, wholesome isn't really the right word. I meant more something like, uh, I don't know really. All-encompassing? Holistic?

Ah well, I can't think anymore. Finals week, and all that.

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Malruhn
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Chloe, I have never sought out a veggie to debate the worth of diet... but when I sit down at a restaurant to eat a meal and a person approaches me to tell me I am disgusting for murdering a cow that I might smile my way to an early death, yes, I will debate.

The argument about veggie pain is the same as newborn human pain: Both react to negative stimuli and that is about as far as it goes. One, the human kid, is easier to understand and communicate with (albeit one way), as it shares at least SOME communication traits with adult humans. The plant however, displays its reaction to negative stimuli in bandwidths that are impossible to be heard by the human ear. Does that mean that it experiences the negative stimuli less? An animal also reacts to negative stimuli, but their reactions are more familiar to humans...

Which, to me, brings up at least the possibility that since the plant reacts so un-perceptably (versus "in"), and slowly, most of us are unwilling to entertain the possibility that they experience pain.

The same argument can be made for mentally deficient humans, young humans and aged humans as well. Hey, let's establish communication standards, and if something can't react the way we say it should, let's harvest it for food! WOO HOO! There will be lots of empty beds at Shadyside Rest home tonight!!

The argument about vegetarianism was brought up by someone here... oh, yeah, it was you. This is the ONLY reason I am debating it... so it isn't like I was evangelizing in your direction either. By bringing it up, it was you that started the discussion, and acting all superior over ME bringing it up is a bit disingenuous, isn't it?

El Camino's post about the double standard thing is a fine "other side of the coin" my argument.
quote:
It depends on the context. A lot of the time, that will just be silly posturing. But sometimes it can bring out inconsistancies in an argument, which IMO seriously detracts from an argument.

Suppose there were a person who was a vegetarian who held that eating meat was morally wrong. Although I don't agree with it, it is certainly a legitimate viewpoint. However, if that person wears leather and sees nothing morally wrong with it, their view is almost certainly hypocritical, flawed and invalid. However, if they wear leather but acknowledge that it is morally wrong, but they just "can't resist" or something, then that does not detract from the argument, just their ability to look down their nose at meat-eaters. In such a case it is merely a personal attack and not a valid argument.

Basically, "is it okay to wear leather?" is a valid argument, "do you wear leather?" isn't. However, there are times when I think a "do you wear leather?" statement is warranted outside of a debate. For example, a friend of my SO once criticized her for wearing a rabbit skin lined hat, while at the same time the friend wears leather. While the retort doesn't necessarily attack the argument that wearing animal skins is immoral, it is certainly relevant to the conversation.

But as far as I can tell, that's not what happened in this thread.

The whole point of this thread was to bitch about rich bastages spending money on shoots that they call "hunting" and express my dismay at the practice. This is an interesting aside, though, but it wasn't me that brought it up.

You interjected "cruelty free" food, and I offered that it wasn't as "cruelty free" as you may wish to believe. You still haven't said whether you can envision that plants feel pain or not.

Oh, and I can see the date/time stamp on the posts involved. Considering your sniping and interjecting of snide comments in an attempt to not evangelize, I took it as a response to RangerDog and you building an impressive straw-man to attempt to prove a point. It didn't work.

Your comment that "all choices don't involve equal suffering" is suspect as there isn't a unanimous definition of "suffering" (see my first paragraph above). I have friends that don't see cows shaking, panting and lowing continually as stimulus response as they are brought into a slaughterhouse. I do. You (and others) evidently don't see plants' reactions to negative stimulus as reactions at all.

I do.

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Lainie
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quote:
Originally posted by Malruhn:
Chloe, I have never sought out a veggie to debate the worth of diet... but when I sit down at a restaurant to eat a meal and a person approaches me to tell me I am disgusting for murdering a cow that I might smile my way to an early death, yes, I will debate.

Does that happen often? What sort of restaurants do you frequent?

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Hero_Mike
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quote:
Originally posted by Lainie:
quote:
Originally posted by Malruhn:
Chloe, I have never sought out a veggie to debate the worth of diet... but when I sit down at a restaurant to eat a meal and a person approaches me to tell me I am disgusting for murdering a cow that I might smile my way to an early death, yes, I will debate.

Does that happen often? What sort of restaurants do you frequent?
Not in a restaurant, but this happened with alarming frequency in the cafeteria in university residence. Meat-eaters would be harassed and insulted by a handful of "evangelical" vegetarians. Instead of sitting further away, they would sit near the meat eaters and start with "How can you eat that?", and from there things got worse. Much worse.

It happened at the beginning of the fall term in both 1st and 2nd year - energetic freshmen thinking they can change the world all on their own. I think that they were eventually told to take it down a notch and "play nicely".

Strangely enough, I knew many vegetarians who were (to some extent) Hindu, and they had no objection "breaking bread" with a meat eater.

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GenYus
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quote:
Originally posted by Malruhn:
Your comment that "all choices don't involve equal suffering" is suspect as there isn't a unanimous definition of "suffering" (see my first paragraph above). I have friends that don't see cows shaking, panting and lowing continually as stimulus response as they are brought into a slaughterhouse. I do. You (and others) evidently don't see plants' reactions to negative stimulus as reactions at all.

I do.

The statement "all choices don't involve equal suffering" is valid even when we consider the suffering of plants and suffering of creatures killed when plants are harvested. Because to produce one pound of beef requires 10 pounds of grain*.

Vegitarian = suffering from 1 lb of grain.
Meat = suffering from 1 lb of cow, plus suffering from 10 lbs of grain.

So even if we pretent that the steer doesn't suffer at all and the grain is the equvilent to a baby harp seal, eating meat increases the total amount of suffering 10 fold.

*Information from this site shows that it takes about 6,000 lbs of corn and corn silage to add 500 lbs of sell weight to a yearling steer. That's 12 lbs of grain per 1 lb of meat.

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Rhiandmoi
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quote:
Originally posted by Malruhn:

The argument about veggie pain is the same as newborn human pain: Both react to negative stimuli and that is about as far as it goes. One, the human kid, is easier to understand and communicate with (albeit one way), as it shares at least SOME communication traits with adult humans. The plant however, displays its reaction to negative stimuli in bandwidths that are impossible to be heard by the human ear. Does that mean that it experiences the negative stimuli less? An animal also reacts to negative stimuli, but their reactions are more familiar to humans...

Which, to me, brings up at least the possibility that since the plant reacts so un-perceptably (versus "in"), and slowly, most of us are unwilling to entertain the possibility that they experience pain.

The same argument can be made for mentally deficient humans, young humans and aged humans as well. Hey, let's establish communication standards, and if something can't react the way we say it should, let's harvest it for food! WOO HOO! There will be lots of empty beds at Shadyside Rest home tonight!!

.....[rather massive snip]

I have friends that don't see cows shaking, panting and lowing continually as stimulus response as they are brought into a slaughterhouse. I do. You (and others) evidently don't see plants' reactions to negative stimulus as reactions at all.

I do.

Um no. The ability to perceive and react to stimuli is not what gives an organism the ability to suffer. That requires a higher brain capable of emotion. Where do plants and their electrical and chemical responses organize their stimulation into emotion?

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I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

What is .02 worth?

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Mistletoey Chloe
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quote:
Originally posted by Malruhn:
Chloe, I have never sought out a veggie to debate the worth of diet... but when I sit down at a restaurant to eat a meal and a person approaches me to tell me I am disgusting for murdering a cow that I might smile my way to an early death, yes, I will debate.

Yeah, right! How often does this happen to you? I have eaten out in restaurants ranging from greasy spoons to exclusive clubs, most frequently in the company of meat-eaters, and no one I was with has ever, ever, even once, been approached by an evangelical vegetarian. Hero Mike may be right that this behavior is sometimes found in unversity dining, but then, I have also attended and worked at multiple universities, and never seen or heard about this thing. The fact that you have been targeted, if we are to believe you, on multiple occasions, sounds mighty odd to me.

quote:
Which, to me, brings up at least the possibility that since the plant reacts so un-perceptably (versus "in"), and slowly, most of us are unwilling to entertain the possibility that they experience pain.

But if they do experience pain, and given that we have to eat something, surely the best thing to do is stop breeding animals for meat, thus saving plant and animal suffering.
quote:
The same argument can be made for mentally deficient humans, young humans and aged humans as well. Hey, let's establish communication standards, and if something can't react the way we say it should, let's harvest it for food! WOO HOO! There will be lots of empty beds at Shadyside Rest home tonight!!

Now you're being silly.
quote:
The argument about vegetarianism was brought up by someone here... oh, yeah, it was you. This is the ONLY reason I am debating it... so it isn't like I was evangelizing in your direction either. By bringing it up, it was you that started the discussion, and acting all superior over ME bringing it up is a bit disingenuous, isn't it?
I never suggested that you brought up vegetarianism in this thread.

[quote The whole point of this thread was to bitch about rich bastages spending money on shoots that they call "hunting" and express my dismay at the practice. This is an interesting aside, though, but it wasn't me that brought it up.[/quote]
*shrug* Threads drift.
quote:
You interjected "cruelty free" food, and I offered that it wasn't as "cruelty free" as you may wish to believe. You still haven't said whether you can envision that plants feel pain or not.

I can certainly envision the possibility. The question is, if this is true, how should one live to cause the least pain? You know my answer. What's yours?

quote:
Oh, and I can see the date/time stamp on the posts involved. Considering your sniping and interjecting of snide comments in an attempt to not evangelize, I took it as a response to RangerDog and you building an impressive straw-man to attempt to prove a point. It didn't work.
Then frankly, I am at a loss to account for your failure to follow the argument. I rarely bother much with people who are clearly dumb. What I find annoying, frustrating, and eliciting of snarkiness in me is people who are manifestly not dumb, but who choose to *play* dumb, thus wasting everybody's time and effort. Please stop it.

quote:
Your comment that "all choices don't involve equal suffering" is suspect as there isn't a unanimous definition of "suffering" (see my first paragraph above). I have friends that don't see cows shaking, panting and lowing continually as stimulus response as they are brought into a slaughterhouse. I do. You (and others) evidently don't see plants' reactions to negative stimulus as reactions at all.
I do.

And what is it that *you* do to minimize this?

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El Camino
We Three Blings


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A lot of this debate has been discussing the "pain" suffered by animals who are slaughtered for meat. But is that really the crux of a vegetarians reasons for not eating meat? I mean, obviously there are plenty of vegetarians who do so for dietary, religious or, like MapleLeaf, just don't like it. But for those who abstain from meat because eating meat is wrong, is the pain suffered the only issue?

I'm asking a legitimate question, as vegetarians have varied reasons for doing so and obviously I have not talked to all of them about it. Is the pain suffered by animals the only or main reason why you do not eat meat? If the animals where slaughtered in a 100% painless way, would you no longer have a problem with it? If not, what else is there?

Again, for the purpose of this question, I'm going to ignore the "other" reasons mentioned above, and only focus on moral reasons. Because frankly, other reasons aren't really relevant (except perhaps religion, but whatever).

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VersesBatman
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It's not just the pain involved during the slaughter, it's the living conditions of the animals in the meat industry.

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Cervus
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I don't eat much meat because I don't like the way it tastes. I occasionally enjoy fish or chicken if it's cooked or seasoned in a tasty way. I've never enjoyed the taste of meat enough to make it a regular part of my diet, though.

I don't care what someone else eats or why they choose to do so.

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El Camino
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by VersesBatman:
It's not just the pain involved during the slaughter, it's the living conditions of the animals in the meat industry.

You can ignore that too, for this question. They're brought up in perfectly happy free range type situation, organic, whatever. I admit I know little about it, and maybe it's not as nice as it sounds, but think Kobe beef with any problems there removed.

How many vegetarians who are vegetarians for moral reasons would stop being vegetarian in this situation?

ETA: 1000 posts! W00T! Or whatever! [Big Grin]

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VersesBatman
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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I'm a meat lover, but I do like whole grains rather than white bread.

I know sone people who will not eat dairy or eggs because of the way chickens or dairy cattle are raised. The living conditions and the hormones injected to increase production.

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It's like they took a bunch of movies, put them in a blender and turned it on really fast!-Mystery Science Theater 3000

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Rhiandmoi
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quote:
Originally posted by El Camino:
quote:
Originally posted by VersesBatman:
It's not just the pain involved during the slaughter, it's the living conditions of the animals in the meat industry.

You can ignore that too, for this question. They're brought up in perfectly happy free range type situation, organic, whatever. I admit I know little about it, and maybe it's not as nice as it sounds, but think Kobe beef with any problems there removed.

How many vegetarians who are vegetarians for moral reasons would stop being vegetarian in this situation?

ETA: 1000 posts! W00T! Or whatever! [Big Grin]

Some people don't eat mammals, birds or sea creatures with brains, because they think that a brain gives the animal the ability to have emotion and have a higher consciousness. Maybe not as high as person, but higher than carrot. I don't think removing the suffering from the equation would affect their decision not to eat animals with brains. It's not just the suffering of the animal. It is about the animal's right to direct it's own life.

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I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

What is .02 worth?

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Malruhn
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Name calling, Chloe? My respect for you is rapidly dwindling.

Now, to be honest I have never considered the total "suffering" involved... the meat PLUS the veggies to raise the meat. That makes for a valid point, and I thank Gen Yus and then Chloe for going into that.

Rhiandmoi, I was not the first here to anthropomorphize animals to give them the full ability to understand "suffering", I merely jumped on the bandwagon. Why can THEY suffer, but plants can't? They both react to negative stimuli, just at the speeds given them by nature. Is it brain size? There are gatherings of pre-ganglion material in the stems of most plants... do those count? You are obviously drawing a line somewhere, and I just want to be clear. What of bacterium or amebae or even flagellates? Are they advanced enough? Sea cucumbers? Or is there an IQ rating involved, as an earlier post on this page makes it sound like it.

Like Mickey, I was accosted well over a dozen times in college (back in the '80s). I have also been evangelized in FOUR different restaurants, ranging from a four star, fine-dining place to a McDonalds. Okay, I'll admit the possibility that I may just be a nutter magnet, but that belies the fact that I have still been approached and told that my meal suffered to provide me with nourishment.

Which brings me to answer the question, "What do I do to minimize the suffering?" Nothing. Nada. Don't care, except for ONE thing. An animal that dies in pain and loaded up with adrenalin tastes stronger and "harder" than those that were calm. I can't tell any matter of level of "suffering", but I can taste the hormone in my burger/steak. Other than encouraging "clean" kills, I do nothing... however if the taste is too strong, I will send meat back to the kitchens.

Regarding the "baby" comment. After you are done patting yourself on the back in congratulations for being intellectually superior to me, please explain how it should be taken other than as a snarky straw-man argument intended to further anthropomorphize critters? Help me out that I might one day rise to your level of brightitudeness and no longer languish in the cesspool of... forget it. Stop being obtuse and stick to one argument.

The debate is (now that this is completely derailed), degrees of suffering.veggies get upset over the alleged suffering of animals, but in the HUGE majority of cases (only exception I know of is YOU) will not accept the remote possibility that their beloved bean sprouts may have done the plant version of an agonized scream when they were harvested. It pains the veggies when confronted with the possibility that they still may cause pain.

The only pain I wish they would stop is my emotional pain when they accost me as I try to enjoy some meat.
_________________________________

El Camino, my sister is a veggie, and after being raised the same way I was, she just slowly lost her taste for meat products. She has no problem with how meat is harvested or anything else, it just tastes like poo to her.

So when she visits, I eat her meat, she eats my brussel sprouts... it all works out! [lol]

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Opinions aren't excuses to remain ignorant about subjects, nor are they excuses to never examine one's beliefs & prejudices...

Babies are like tattoos. You see other peoples' & they're cool, but yours is never as good & you can't get rid of it.

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LeaflessMapleTree
The twelve shopping days 'til Christmas


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Why is it cruel to kill animals for food? That is the one question I would like someone to answer. I don't see how the mere fact that we are killing a living creature is any justification for calling meat-eating cruel. Animals eat meat. Our digestive systems can digest meat. So what is it about killing animals for food that is so wrong? Is it only some animals? It is okay to swat flies?

This is not an attack. It's a couple of questions that I really want answers to.

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"For me, religion is like a rhinoceros: I don't have one, and I'd really prefer not to be trampled by yours. But it is impressive, and even beautiful, and, to be honest, the world would be slightly worse off if there weren't any."
-Silas Sparkhammer

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Zachary Fizz
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Mistletoey Chloe:
What do you mean by "their ability to look down their nose at meat-eaters"? Personally, I don't see this ability as being a particular benefit of being a veggie. Is there any way for vegetarians to comment on the ethics of vegetarianism without being seen as "looking down their noses" at meat eaters?

I think I can try to answer your question for one group of omnivores.

Many omnivores don't regularly get given grief by vegetarians. But the very fact that folk like you exist, Chloe, is an implicit challenge to our moral values. Not only does your choice make us think about something which may make us uncomfortable, but it also necessarily involves a judgement on your part which makes vegetarianism morally preferable to meat-eating. Nobody likes to be thought of as thoughtless or cruel; it seems to part of be human nature for us to find it easier to look for ways to negate your judgement ("Ha! You murder innocent plants! Hypocrite!") than to think about our own approach ("I am willing to be cruel in order to enjoy this excellent foie gras. I accept that I have less moral worth than Chloe. This makes me sad but I must accept it or change my ways. Can I have another glass of the Sauturnes, please?").

The other group, which comprises unfortunate folk like Malruhn who are frequently mobbed by militant vegetarians, and people with frankly unbelievable attitudes to torture, are beyond my understanding, and I can't speak for their experiences.

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Salamander
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by LeaflessMapleTree:
Why is it cruel to kill animals for food? That is the one question I would like someone to answer. I don't see how the mere fact that we are killing a living creature is any justification for calling meat-eating cruel. Animals eat meat. Our digestive systems can digest meat. So what is it about killing animals for food that is so wrong? Is it only some animals? It is okay to swat flies?

This is not an attack. It's a couple of questions that I really want answers to.

I think that would boil down to things like "quality of life" and also the method used to kill the animal in question.

Unless the animals are clearly kept in unhygenic and overcrowded conditions, the "quality of life" is an argument I find hard to define. Using beef cattle as an example, being kept in a cattle farm is certainly not natural. Yet it is arguable that their quality of life is somehow less.

Sure, they can't freely roam over the countryside (although having said that... cattle stations in Australia are pretty massive) but they are kept healthy and are rarely bothered by predators. When they are killed for their meat, it is typically a swift death. Compare that with living in the wild where they are prone to disease and also natural predators. Ever seen a wildebeest get taken down by lions? It isn't pretty... or fast. Disease isn't a nice way to die either.

Although a fair counter is that we hardly go marching off to the local euthenasia centre when our joints get a little stiff or even if we have a terminal illness... why should we consider killing an animal in its prime as somehow merciful?

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"victory thru self-deception"

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Morrigan
Happy Holly Days


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So, is it cruel when the wolf eats the deer? When the fox eats the mouse? When the cat eats the bird?

While we're on the topic, if all people should be vegetarians, following that point of logic, shouldn't the next step be to make all animals vegetarians?

Morrigan

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"The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep." Robert Frost, Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening

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Simply Madeline
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Morrigan:
So, is it cruel when the wolf eats the deer? When the fox eats the mouse? When the cat eats the bird?

While we're on the topic, if all people should be vegetarians, following that point of logic, shouldn't the next step be to make all animals vegetarians?

Morrigan

It is illogical to compare our behaviour to that of animals. Yes, animals eat meat. Animals also walk around without clothing and randomly mate with other members of their species. I, personally, haven't done that since college.
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Zachary Fizz
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Morrigan, I think a fox is "cruel". But I don't see how you or I should let our moral choices follow the instinctive behaviour of vermin.

Whether animals suffer is neither here nor there. The question is, do we want to be the sort of human beings who inflict suffering?

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Salamander
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Morrigan:
So, is it cruel when the wolf eats the deer? When the fox eats the mouse? When the cat eats the bird?

While we're on the topic, if all people should be vegetarians, following that point of logic, shouldn't the next step be to make all animals vegetarians?

Morrigan

I'm not sure if you're responding to me or not...

At any rate, do I think a predatory animal killing its prey is an act of cruelty? Hmmm... by dictionary defintion, yes I do -- "disposed to inflict pain or suffering" pretty much sums up the act. Yet my personal definition of cruelty adds an element of malice or willing desire to increase the pain or suffering.

Under most normal circumstances, an animal predator is killing its prey as swiftly as it can. Therefore I would not define it as an act of cruelty. If given the choice between being shot (assuming a single, killing shot) or being hunted and eaten by a lion I'd most certainly be choosing the former rather than the latter.

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"victory thru self-deception"

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Morrigan
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Salamander-not at you directly. Just a general question.

But, most "normal" circumstances...have you ever seen a wolf start to eat the deer when the deer is still alive? I have. A cat play with it's meal? An orca flip a seal pup around while it's still alive, just for the joy of it? A lion eat the wildebeast while it's still alive?

Normal circumstances don't exist.

Morrigan

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"The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep." Robert Frost, Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening

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Morrigan
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quote:
Originally posted by Zachary Fizz:
Morrigan, I think a fox is "cruel". But I don't see how you or I should let our moral choices follow the instinctive behaviour of vermin.

Whether animals suffer is neither here nor there. The question is, do we want to be the sort of human beings who inflict suffering?

It's not instinctive when the animal's play with their play.

Do I want to be the type of person who inflicts suffering? If it means that I get to keep eating my meat, then yes.

I know what it feels like to kill an animal. I've been there. I feel as long as it's a quick death (which it was, shot the doe right through the lungs/heart), then there's nothing wrong with it. I give thanks that the animals have given up their lives for me to eat. I know (my opinion, at least) that dogs, cats, horses etc have a higher degree of intelligence than most people believe. That still isn't going to stop me from eating meat.

I'm an animal lover. But (this is going a long ways, now) if it's a choice between me and my (fictional, now) horse, it's going to be me.

Morrigan

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"The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep." Robert Frost, Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening

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Salamander
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quote:
Originally posted by Morrigan:
Salamander-not at you directly. Just a general question.

But, most "normal" circumstances...have you ever seen a wolf start to eat the deer when the deer is still alive? I have. A cat play with it's meal? An orca flip a seal pup around while it's still alive, just for the joy of it? A lion eat the wildebeast while it's still alive?

Normal circumstances don't exist.

Morrigan

In the cases of the wolf and lion eating prey that is still alive, unless you've got evidence to the contrary I would tend to think that isn't out of the desire to cause additional pain and suffering but out of the desire to eat before more dominant pack members or other predators turn up and expect a share.

The only cats I have witnessed that "play" with their prey are domesticated. I don't think I've ever witnessed a wild cat engage in play behaviour. I've seen a great number of domestic cats but only a handful of wild cats though... so I admit my knowledge isn't complete.

As for the Orcas, I believe you are attributing "play" with a valid means of rendering their prey unable to fight back. They flip and slap seals (and other prey) in order to stun or disable it before eating. The reading I've done thus far hasn't indicated this behaviour has ever been done for any other purpose.

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"victory thru self-deception"

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Dreams of Thinking Machines
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I think there is a strong case for the protection of animals like elephants, porpoises, and great apes. It is very likely that these animals have not only self awareness, but beliefs about the thoughts of others as well.
(Luckily, most American hunters don't hunt these animals)

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Obi Wan: "Only a Sith deals in absolutes!"
Anakin: "Um, isn't your last statement an absolute?"

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Salamander
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quote:
Originally posted by dreams of thinking machines:
I think there is a strong case for the protection of animals like elephants, porpoises, and great apes. It is very likely that these animals have not only self awareness, but beliefs about the thoughts of others as well.
(Luckily, most American hunters don't hunt these animals)

Is this because you hold the opinion that an American hunter will shoot anything he or she can?

As much as I am not an advocate of hunting, I firmly believe the plight of some of these animals would be far better if they were in the USA.

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"victory thru self-deception"

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Zachary Fizz
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Morrigan:
It's not instinctive when the animal's play with their play.

Do I want to be the type of person who inflicts suffering? If it means that I get to keep eating my meat, then yes.

I know what it feels like to kill an animal. I've been there. I feel as long as it's a quick death (which it was, shot the doe right through the lungs/heart), then there's nothing wrong with it. I give thanks that the animals have given up their lives for me to eat. I know (my opinion, at least) that dogs, cats, horses etc have a higher degree of intelligence than most people believe. That still isn't going to stop me from eating meat.

I'm an animal lover. But (this is going a long ways, now) if it's a choice between me and my (fictional, now) horse, it's going to be me.

Morrigan

Oh, don't get me wrong - I eat meat and in fact I am fond of foie gras and veal. My point was simply that it is misleading and wrong to point at the behaviour of animals in justification of my choices: the only question is whether I am content to eat meat when I am aware that animal suffering is contingent on that choice. I don't presume to dictate the answer to you or anyone else, but AFAIK nor do the board's vegetarians.

I'm intrigued by your suggestion that predators which play with their prey are not doing it instinctively. I always thought that they were. Now I know they are just being cruel, is it in order for me to go kick a cat?

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Dreams of Thinking Machines
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by Zachary Fizz:

I'm intrigued by your suggestion that predators which play with their prey are not doing it instinctively. I always thought that they were. Now I know they are just being cruel, is it in order for me to go kick a cat?

Most animals cannot attribute beliefs to others, they can't be intentionally cruel. (Your Orcas, apes, and elephants are another matter)

--------------------
Obi Wan: "Only a Sith deals in absolutes!"
Anakin: "Um, isn't your last statement an absolute?"

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