Eating Animals

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Post Number:#16  Postby sweetbabyj » September 16th, 2007, 3:57 am

pjkeeley wrote:It's natural for a man to want to rape a woman.

Wow. That's a fairly extreme claim. I am a man and I don't seem to be in a constant struggle with myself not to rape the females in my vicinity. Seems to me there is nothing natural about a desire to commit rape.
pjkeeley wrote:Lions can't decide not to kill other animals.

pjkeeley wrote:Animals rape each other all the time.

In the first quote above you state that Lions(and by extension, animals)are incapable of deciding not to do a thing(specifically kill another animal). Then in the next quote you say that animals commit rape. Rape is sex forced on another without their consent. Consent as an act is a form of decision. But you have already stated that animals cannot make decisions. This is obviously contradictory.
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Post Number:#17  Postby Scott » September 16th, 2007, 1:00 pm

It's part of civilization.

I don't like to think in terms of morality.

We civilized, and we no longer rape. We use toilets and wipe our butts with paper. We fight our nature all the time, and one might even define 'civilization' as such.

Lions may eat each other, but lions aren't my role model.

Giving up the brutal, inefficient, and needless process of eating animals may be one of the next steps in our civilization.
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Post Number:#18  Postby sweetbabyj » September 16th, 2007, 2:36 pm

Scott wrote:Lions may eat each other, but lions aren't my role model.

I think we were talking about killing to eat. Lions are lazy and would rather hunt things that don't hunt back, like gazelles.
But, I'm willing to concede the point because I found your concluding statement very thought provoking.
Is giving up meat the next step in our process of bettering civilization? If so, why?
I have to run so I can't post my thoughts on this, but I will try to soon.
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Post Number:#19  Postby pjkeeley » September 16th, 2007, 10:43 pm

I am a man and I don't seem to be in a constant struggle with myself not to rape the females in my vicinity. Seems to me there is nothing natural about a desire to commit rape.

Think carefully. I say rape is natural, I do not mean it is instintctual. The drive to fornicate with women is unquestionably instinctual, but the moral question of whether it is right to do so against their will is not. The hesitation to commit rape is something we develop from the society in which we live. In societies without this meme, rape is not considered wrong (in many societies rape occurs within marriage and is acceptable, and in some societies even if a man rapes a woman outside of marriage it is the woman who is punished). You can also observe this phenomenon in times and places where the moral structure of society has broken down (for example, in war zones or disaster areas).

My claim that rape is natural is only "extreme" because of the time and place in which our cultural attitudes exist. The Bible for example contains instances of sanctioned rape.
In the first quote above you state that Lions(and by extension, animals)are incapable of deciding not to do a thing(specifically kill another animal). Then in the next quote you say that animals commit rape. Rape is sex forced on another without their consent. Consent as an act is a form of decision. But you have already stated that animals cannot make decisions. This is obviously contradictory.

It is contradictory only because you have misrepresented my argument. The definition you use of rape, "sex forced on another without consent", is too narrow. Consent is used as a legal term, and this definition is used to define rape in the law. But check the dictionary. Rape can be defined as "any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person." Just because we do not call sex between animals "rape" doesn't mean it isn't the same thing. Many animals force themselves onto their mates. That they may or may not have the cognitive abilities to "choose" to have sex is irrelevent; the fact that the mate tries to escape or resist mating shows that the act is forced.

So my point is that, like rape, eating meat might be natural, but that doesn't make it right. It shows a poor argument to appeal to nature in order to demonstrate that something is morally right. This is known in philosophy as the naturalistic fallacy. (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalistic_fallacy)

If you want to eat meat, as I do, fine. Just don't try to justify it with fallacious arguments.
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Post Number:#20  Postby jayardia » November 13th, 2007, 12:15 pm

"If you want to eat meat, as I do, fine. Just don't try to justify it with fallacious arguments."

I must say- dead on and well said.

I've been at this chestnut for a while. I have been convinced that the arguments 'for' modern, urban humans eating meat don't tend to fly, -they are pretty easily shot down. ...Yet I myself eat the stuff anyway. It's not difficult to 'forget' about my conscience when smelling or seeing a juicy steak sizzling away. Personally, I consider it a cultural, habitual problem to overcome.

The argument stating "I buy from the grocery, thus the blood is off my hands", is- in all fairness -a poor one. ...Distancing doesn't make it 'better', it quite possibly makes it worse. In such a case, you're (likely) sponsoring an industry of overcrowding, horror and cruelty. The issue is how these animals are forced to live, not so much as how they are slaughtered- (which, by the way, isn't often so tidy, even in the most 'humane' circumstances.) Finding out where your meat comes from...and actually GOING THERE is a step in the right direction- ...hunting and killing it yourself may be a better one, as it connects you to the entire process. Ever killed, hung, gutted and skinned a large mammal? Quite the experience, right?

Armchair philosophizing is one thing. Rolling up your sleeves, getting out there and implementing 'right thinking' is another. This is one area where I must learn to walk the walk.
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Post Number:#21  Postby ignoranceizbliss » November 27th, 2007, 2:53 am

I dont think killing for food and murder is the same thing. If you can stretch the definiton of murder to include a steak I grilled, it wouldnt make a difference. Obviously murder is a part of live that occurs constantly in nature. Lions arent loosing any sleep and neither am I.
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Post Number:#22  Postby PhalThrax » November 28th, 2007, 12:05 pm

I do not eat meat because I do not view animals as subordinates to us. As pseudo-hippie as that may sound, I have felt this way for many years.
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Post Number:#23  Postby Patrarch » November 28th, 2007, 8:26 pm

Something very interesting happened to me due to this post. I come at the issue, I admit, not objectively. I come at the issue as somebody who takes great pleasure in enjoying meat products and does not want to ever stop. So after reading this post, I did some research to get better knowledge on the topic (I have never really done research on it personally as I have never really thought about it as much as other topics, and I refuse to speak on a subject in ignorance- therefore I had to research before posting). The evidence and arguments I found for the opposing position are SO compelling and logically sound, while the arguments and evidence on my "side" of the topic are awful, invalid, sad arguments. I am now far more open to the subject and am currently considering undergoing a belief revision process due to this experience.

I am not really going to say anything on the issue in this forum at the moment besides what I have mentioned, I will merely say what I researched.

The anatomy and biology of humans, the biological research on the effects of meat on human physiology, etc.

These points don't really directly effect the ethics of eating animals- however, if our bodies are constructed in a way that meat is detrimental to us while plants, nuts, beans, etc is highly positive, then why would we even bother with the issue of eating meat anymore?
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Eating animals

Post Number:#24  Postby blackdog2 » January 5th, 2008, 5:46 pm

For deeply moral and important health and ecological
reasons, I have decided to not eat meat products. At
this time in human history there has been enough industrialized killing of animals and humas. I just
finished a comprehensive histroy of World War One,
and the killing of humans and animals was horrendous.
I plan on rersearching and writing a book on the horrid suffering of horses, dogs, and mules during
this war.

Our industrialized animal killing business is never
humane. We have viable protein sources in 2008 that
are infinitely more healthly to humans and the
global ecology. On a percsonal note, the family
food budget ahs become much smaller since I have avoided meat. My Crohn's disease is also quited.

I firmly believe, after having taught Ethics for
30 years that continued meateating is ethically
wrong and ecologically disasterous. When I look into
the eyes of farm and domestic animals, I vividly
see a life thAt wants to live. My volunter work
for animal adoption agencies and my dogsitting
business have exposed me to hundreds of different
breeds of animals. They all desire life and a natural destiny. I have also witnessed the healing
and educative powers of animals. We have a friend
in the Boston area who teams children and animals
for a successful reading improvement program. I was
involved in a pet visitation program that shared the
joys of seniors and pets. In some areas of New York
State, nursing homes have adopted multiple animals in the life of seniors. Infection, mortality and depression rates have gone down.

With delicious non animal protein sources available,
why are we continuing to brutally destroy ( check out
chicken and pig processing plants ) these gentle
animals.

The new year could bring a reduction of suffering to these animals if all of us reduce or eliminate
animal products from our diet.

Thanks for reading.

Joseph


destiny.
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Post Number:#25  Postby Marcus Clayman » January 20th, 2008, 9:01 pm

Scott made a good point in an other post about morality, how people tend to use morality as an oversimplification of what they realy mean.

Like saying

"eating meat is immoral"
when you mean

"eating meat supports an industry that only cares about profit: there are compounding negative effects to the animal, our health and the world because of it"

Making unhealthy desicions is selfish, it sacrifices you health and your ability to live and thus share life with others, think healthily and make healthy decisions, for the sake of pleasure.

I think that one animal should be enough to feed someone their entire life if they had a proper diet of mostly fruits and veggies. YOu do need b vitamins which can only be found in meat I think, but you store many years supply of it and need very little, you don't need a constant supply, it all just goes to waste... anyway, you don't "NEED" aything, how does a cow build strong muscles on a diet of grass? he has four stomaches, but that doesn't account for many nutrients we "need"

i think meat makes us dumb, and if it is true that we recieve an energy from an animal, like that of how it lived, that makes us more like it in life, than pasturization just makes us more comfortable in stagnant civility, togethar with stupidity we become labor drones... they say something like that in the tao, something like keep them fat keep them lazy keep them in order, the key to order in a nation is food, as long as people are fed they will not rebel.

"eat to live, dont live to eat"
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Re: Eating Animals

Post Number:#26  Postby OTavern » January 28th, 2008, 12:54 am

cynicallyinsane wrote:Murder is immoral, right? So, is it immoral to eat animals? We don't kill them in defense, it's murder. Right?


It depends upon whether an animal has an awareness of its own existence and therefore an awareness of pain. It is very possible that feeling pain in the sense of responding to a painful stimulus does not entail self-awareness (consciousness). My own thought is that it is wrong to kill human beings because we are aware of our own existence. Perhaps some higher order mammals are also self-aware, but I suspect that is not the case.

If there is no self-awareness, no conscious being there to know its fate, killing it is quite different from killing a being that is aware of its own existence.

There is good reason for believing most, if not all, animals do not have consciousness because none show the kind of deliberate, purposeful adaptation that humans do. Animal culture has remained much the same in each species from the time each has appeared. Human adaptations demonstrate awareness of their own state and a continuous propensity to add new and "creative" ways of coping with natural and social situations.

By the way, this in no way entails that humans should be allowed to wantonly kill animals. There are many good reasons for showing care and concern for living creatures which do not entail refraining completely from killing them.

One can argue that a masterful work of art, for example, should be preserved at great cost. Most higher order animals have at least the aesthetic properties of great works of art, not to mention functional complexity. However, human survival (food) or to keep balance in nature could be good reasons to allow killing of animals, without excusing wanton killing.

Another good reason for using "self-awareness" or consciousness as a condition for moral sanction against killing is that there is no other good reason why killing animals shouldn't be as wrong as killing humans.

This is not an arbitrary cut-off because it fits with historical perspectives in almost all cultures.
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Post Number:#27  Postby Invictus_88 » February 6th, 2008, 3:23 pm

medicore_fluff wrote:It's not murder when you kill something to eat it.


It is murder when you kill a person to eat them.
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Post Number:#28  Postby coffeeprincess » February 8th, 2008, 11:14 am

Meat is good. I made this roast last night...perfect, pink inside just a little, perfectly seasoned, you could pull it apart with a friggin fork.
Now, on the other hang, my mom made lasagna for me the other night with Boca burger instead of meat and I had a **** up stomach for five hours.
I love steak. I love chicken, I love seafood and clams and lobster and everything.
I don't eat veal 'cause it makes me sad, but what else are you going to do with a cow? You can't ride 'em, they just eat and ****.
Besides, you can be like the indians and use every part of the animal, like the sinews and hide and bones and claws and everything, so it's not as wasteful as our way.
If I had my own farm and my husband was too big of a ***** to kill a cow so I could feed my family I would take a **** shotgun and kill that son of a bitch.


The cow I mean, not the husband.


And for all you vegetarians out there, for every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat five.
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Post Number:#29  Postby Fpoiuyt » February 19th, 2008, 11:34 am

1. cynicallyinsane, It's obviously not murder to just kill a grasshopper for no good reason. So not all killing of animals is murder. Of course, some animals might be close enough to humans. Maybe wantonly killing a chimpanzee or a gorilla is (something like) murder: after all, those animals have complicated and intelligent social lives they're living. But it's not at all clear that cows and chickens are anything like that.

2. But even if killing animals isn't murder, it might still be morally wrong. Maybe there's something intrinsically wrong with taking an animal's life. But, first, you'll have to explain why there's nothing wrong with taking a plant's life. And, second, you'll have to deal with the fact that killing grasshoppers doesn't even seem morally wrong (at worst it indicates bad character).

3. Maybe it's just those animals with a conscious life (those animals aware of their surroundings) that it's intrinsically immoral to kill. But since this claim doesn't seem plausible, I'd like to see an argument backing it up. After all, killing a chicken in a completely painless way just doesn't seem immoral.

4. Of course, there is something wrong with torturing animals. Generally there's something wrong with subjecting animals to intense suffering. Someone who hooks stray cats up to batteries in his basement is about as clear a case of moral depravity you could hope for. And factory farming subjects animals to unbelievable amounts of suffering. So there does seem to be something clearly wrong with working in factory farming, with mistreating animals so badly.

5. But then there's the question of whether it's okay to buy products from factory farming (meat as well as dairy). If your purchases end up increasing the overall amount of animal suffering, then it looks like you should stop buying their stuff. But if your purchases have no clear effect on the overall amount of animal suffering, then it's hard to see what the problem is. And, as I understand matters, the purchases of an individual consumer make no significant difference. If you stop buying factory farming products, it won't do any good at reducing animal suffering. Becoming a vegan is like wishing on a star.

6. Of course, if lots of people become vegans, then that significantly reduces the amount of animal suffering. So big boycotts and widespread lifestyle changes are to be welcomed and encouraged. Or if we could shift to a painless way of killing animals and getting dairy. Or if we could grow meat and dairy in a lab.

7. But even then there's nothing wrong with an individual eating meat/dairy every now and then: it doesn't contribute to animal suffering. And if everyone reduces their meat/dairy consumption only by 90%, that's a huge improvement. Lots of vegans, I gather, are purists: they would say that a 90% reduction is morally comparable to no reduction at all. But it seems obvious to me that a 90% reduction is a lot closer to a 100% reduction: it's basically a victory.

8. sweetbabyj, there are lots of times when we should "cal[l] our very nature into moral question". Human nature has a lot of ugly elements to it: impatience, laziness, hatred and distrust of foreigners. I thought this was obvious.
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Post Number:#30  Postby Fpoiuyt » February 19th, 2008, 11:56 am

pjkeeley wrote:So my point is that, like rape, eating meat might be natural, but that doesn't make it right. It shows a poor argument to appeal to nature in order to demonstrate that something is morally right. This is known in philosophy as the naturalistic fallacy.


Just a nitpick. When philosophers talk about the naturalistic fallacy, they're talking about a very different point raised in G. E. Moore's work in metaethics (even if e.g. pleasure is the only thing with intrinsic value, it doesn't follow that 'good' and 'pleasant' mean the same thing).
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