Eating Animals

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Spiral Out
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Re: Eating Animals

Post by Spiral Out » December 4th, 2016, 8:16 pm

ThamiorTheThinker wrote:However, we DO, in fact, treat morality as though it holds some legitimate sway over our reasoning. I don't think it's fair to say that just because morality is a human construct, that we can't talk about it as though it matters.. in fact, to us, it DOES matter. You can't just dismiss morality like this so easily.
I'm not dismissing ethics and morality altogether. Indeed, ethics and morality can be applied to all aspects of life and it depends on your perspective and situation.

Is it ethical to impose your own subjective rules on others? Is it ethical to dictate the diets of others? What if some cannot afford the cost of the diet you demand of them? If you were to ban the production and consumption of meat then the remaining available food sources might increase greatly in cost. Some areas might not be able to produce or sustain a non-meat food industry and would be forced to import at even greater cost. Is it of good moral character to cause an increase of hunger in the world?
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Re: Eating Animals

Post by ThamiorTheThinker » December 5th, 2016, 8:11 pm

SpiralOut

Is it ethical to dictate what anyone does at any time? If one has a moral duty to not eat animals, which some certainly believe to be the case, then those in charge have the moral capacity to enforce that duty. You would agree, no? I think eating animals is unethical, and have made arguments to establish my belief. If you subscribe to the conclusion of those arguments, you would, indeed, be convinced that I am right to dictate what others should or should not eat. Perhaps I have not the power nor duty to enforce such a thing, but that's a separate issue. The rest of your questions I'm not prepared to answer. So, I'll await your response.

-- Updated December 5th, 2016, 8:15 pm to add the following --

I should clarify, SpiralOut:

I think it is ethical to impose subjective rules that are well-argued for. There are good arguments against murder that most would subscribe to, and so we might say it is ethical to impose a no-murder law or policy in any organized, government-run society. Similarly, if we grant my conclusion that eating nonhuman animals is wrong, then in order to avoid inconsistency, we would HAVE to say it is ethical to impose that rule. Yes, moral rules are subjective. Yes, we have the power to not follow those rules. Yet, we do. That first question wasn't really relevant.

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Re: Eating Animals

Post by Spiral Out » December 5th, 2016, 9:27 pm

Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought. Do you want to change the legal definition of murder to include non-Humans? Will killing ants also be murder? People eat those too. Where would you draw the line and why?

You must be ready to engage in the questionable act of subjective line-drawing and have reasoned logic to support it and defend it. It's easy to draw the line at Humans. It's not quite as easy to go beyond that to include animals because there is a well-defined separation between Humans and other animals.
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Re: Eating Animals

Post by Felix » December 5th, 2016, 10:20 pm

Spiral Out: Is it ethical to dictate the diets of others? What if some cannot afford the cost of the diet you demand of them? If you were to ban the production and consumption of meat then the remaining available food sources might increase greatly in cost.
No, their cost would go down. [...] it is far more costly monetarily and in terms of the use of natural resouces (land, water, waste disposal, etc.) than is farming plant crops.
Is it of good moral character to cause an increase of hunger in the world?
No, and that's exactly what livestock ranching does, which is why we should reduce and perhaps eliminate it altogether.
It's not quite as easy to go beyond that to include animals because there is a well-defined separation between Humans and other animals.
What exactly is this "well-defined separation."?
Last edited by Spiral Out on December 6th, 2016, 7:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: off-topic content removed
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Re: Eating Animals

Post by Spiral Out » December 6th, 2016, 7:37 pm

Felix wrote:No, their cost would go down. [...] it is far more costly monetarily and in terms of the use of natural resouces (land, water, waste disposal, etc.) than is farming plant crops.
You're not looking at the big picture. You'll need to account for caloric values, soil nutrient capacities, potential total energy yields, harvesting costs, production costs, pesticide impacts, etc. The propaganda of the anti-meat activist organizations is pervasive and utterly false.
Felix wrote:No, and that's exactly what livestock ranching does, which is why we should reduce and perhaps eliminate it altogether.
Absolutely false. Propaganda.
Felix wrote:What exactly is this "well-defined separation."?
Advanced language, space exploration, technological achievements, opposable thumbs, etc., etc., etc.
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Re: Eating Animals

Post by Wilson » December 6th, 2016, 8:10 pm

Spiral Out, you're wrong. Cows, pigs, and lambs are terribly inefficient producers of calories. Chickens are the best of the lot. I love my steaks but the truth is the truth.

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Re: Eating Animals

Post by Anthony Edgar » December 6th, 2016, 9:01 pm

In the minds of some vegetarians, it's ok for a lion to kill a pig for food, or for a dophin to kill a fish for food, but if a human being kills an animal for food, suddenly it's "murder".
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Re: Eating Animals

Post by Felix » December 6th, 2016, 9:48 pm

Spiral Out: You're not looking at the big picture. You'll need to account for caloric values, soil nutrient capacities, potential total energy yields, harvesting costs, production costs, pesticide impacts, etc.
The big picture, hmm, what is it you think the billions of livestock animals live on? Could it be the food crops they consume have to be grown? And the millions of gallons of fresh water they need, no worries there, because we have an unlimited supply of that, right?

The fact is that in the case of cattle, every pound of beef takes 20 pounds of grain and uses 5 to 10 times as much water as growing an equal amount of grain and uses 5 to 10 times as much water as growing an equal amount of grain. And then there are the associated land use and environmental and carbon footprint costs, such as the previously mentioned tons of methane gas emitted by cows.
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Re: Eating Animals

Post by Spiral Out » December 6th, 2016, 9:53 pm

Wilson wrote:Spiral Out, you're wrong. Cows, pigs, and lambs are terribly inefficient producers of calories. Chickens are the best of the lot. I love my steaks but the truth is the truth.
I was speaking of the caloric needs of the average Human relative to the available soil nutrients and total energy investment (time, fertilizer, pesticide, associated crop losses, soil erosion, composite weather, etc.) available to sustain the production of the caloric value of the crop, especially when the volume of production is required to meet those caloric needs of the world's population. This must all be factored into an equation absent meat production. Consider the profile of total protein, carbohydrate and fats the Human body requires for a healthy metabolism.
Felix wrote:
Spiral Out: You're not looking at the big picture. You'll need to account for caloric values, soil nutrient capacities, potential total energy yields, harvesting costs, production costs, pesticide impacts, etc.
The big picture, hmm, what is it you think the billions of livestock animals live on? Could it be the food crops they consume have to be grown? And the millions of gallons of fresh water they need, no worries there, because we have an unlimited supply of that, right?

The fact is that in the case of cattle, every pound of beef takes 20 pounds of grain and uses 5 to 10 times as much water as growing an equal amount of grain and uses 5 to 10 times as much water as growing an equal amount of grain. And then there are the associated land use and environmental and carbon footprint costs, such as the previously mentioned tons of methane gas emitted by cows.
That's false propaganda. I worked on a small farm for a period. If you think that cattle are fed grain and fresh water exclusively then you're mistaken. There are certain tricks farmers use to increase meat production, improve the meat characteristics and also increase milk production in the cows. I assure you it's not by feeding them grains and "fresh water". Don't buy into the veggie activist propaganda. I've seen the other side of meat and dairy production first hand.

If we were to eliminate meat production and consumption tomorrow, there would be mass starvation and catastrophic soil erosion and land degradation. It would also increase the rate of global warming through deforestation and the production of alternative (likely artificial and chemical-based) fertilizers. This is fact.
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Re: Eating Animals

Post by Felix » December 7th, 2016, 2:42 am

The research is out there for those who are interested. Credible studies conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. Dept. of Agricultural, et. al., have all concluded that beef production is much more resource intensive than other types of food production (and at least as inhumane).

Here's an article from the Smithsonian Institute about it: https://goo.gl/DVHZDB
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Re: Eating Animals

Post by LuckyR » December 7th, 2016, 2:52 am

Spiral Out wrote:Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought. Do you want to change the legal definition of murder to include non-Humans? Will killing ants also be murder? People eat those too. Where would you draw the line and why?

You must be ready to engage in the questionable act of subjective line-drawing and have reasoned logic to support it and defend it. It's easy to draw the line at Humans. It's not quite as easy to go beyond that to include animals because there is a well-defined separation between Humans and other animals.
You're half right. Murder is the killing of one species by a member of that same species. Killing a member of another species is considered normal and doesn't require a label.

So a lion (or a pneumococcus bacteria) killing a human is notable at a low level but isn't called anything in particular.
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Re: Eating Animals

Post by Spiral Out » December 7th, 2016, 6:43 am

LuckyR wrote:
Spiral Out wrote:Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought. Do you want to change the legal definition of murder to include non-Humans? Will killing ants also be murder? People eat those too. Where would you draw the line and why?

You must be ready to engage in the questionable act of subjective line-drawing and have reasoned logic to support it and defend it. It's easy to draw the line at Humans. It's not quite as easy to go beyond that to include animals because there is a well-defined separation between Humans and other animals.
You're half right. Murder is the killing of one species by a member of that same species. Killing a member of another species is considered normal and doesn't require a label.

So a lion (or a pneumococcus bacteria) killing a human is notable at a low level but isn't called anything in particular.
Animals are not held to charges of murder when one kills another, same species or not. Murder is a legal term, the definition of which does not include non-Human animals.

>>>

The one so-called "credible study" cited (based on strong confirmation bias) is also short-sighted, data-selective, does not speculate about future impacts or consider all factors involved with such an extreme and wide-ranging change in agricultural activity and at worst is engaging in the tactic of an appeal-to-emotion fallacy (re: cow heads photo) which exposes it to potential propaganda status similar to the anti-abortion propaganda tactics.

Some will scrutinize, question and analyze all information and sources while others will accept it without further thought and then try use it as an appeal to authority (fallacy). I strongly recommend the former.
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Re: Eating Animals

Post by Felix » December 7th, 2016, 5:55 pm

Fine, Spiral Out, show us the research that counters the study mentioned that appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (and the many other studies that have reached the same conclusion). I doubt that you could find studies that support your claim.

Also eliminate the billions of dollars of government subsidies given to the meat industry (fruit and vegetable crops are not subsidized) and see how economically feasible they are then. See: https://goo.gl/pSgTMs
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Re: Eating Animals

Post by Spiral Out » December 7th, 2016, 7:16 pm

I will post a few links to information outlining the negative effects of mass-production crop industries, their limitations and potential associated dangers.

These negative effects will include:
1. Topsoil Erosion
2. Soil Nutrient Stripping
3. Deforestation
4. Hypoxic Water (Dead) Zones
5. Pesticide Use
6. Herbicide Use
7. Fertilizer Runoff
8. GMO Concerns
Etc.

ucsusa.org/our-work/food-agriculture/ou ... EiScneZPmQ

"Intensive monoculture depletes soil and leaves it vulnerable to erosion. Chemical fertilizer runoff and CAFO wastes add to global warming emissions and create oxygen-deprived "dead zones" at the mouths of major waterways. Herbicides and insecticides harm wildlife and can pose human health risks as well. Biodiversity in and near monoculture fields takes a hit, as populations of birds and beneficial insects decline."

"And a similar over-reliance on the herbicide glyphosate (marketed by Monsanto Co. as Roundup) has spawned a burgeoning population of Roundup-resistant "superweeds" that has become a scourge for farmers in many areas of the U.S., especially the South and Midwest."


aaas.org/news/worlds-growing-population ... ate-change

"More than 80 percent of that increased food production will have to come from an additional increase in the amount of food grown on each acre. In most areas of the world, there isn't additional suitable, undeveloped land available for growing food crops, said Stephen Long, professor of plant biology and crop sciences at the University of Illinois. At the same time that food demand increases, the world will also be facing rising temperatures, increased drought, and increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide and surface ozone concentrations. A larger demand for renewable energy, including ethanol produced from corn or biomass, as well as increasing crop losses to pest insects will make it even harder for food growers."

sustainabletable.org/804/industrial-cro ... production

"Use of intensive irrigation is common in industrial crop production. Agriculture accounts for 80% of the water used in the US. In much of the world, water for agricultural irrigation is taken from ground water that does not replenish itself. Intensive irrigation can also lead to salinization (deposits of salt) in soil, eventually leading to declines in yield."

"Modern methods of industrial crop production are ultimately unsustainable. Reliance upon a decreasing number of highly specialized and mechanized farms make us increasingly vulnerable to the impact of rising oil prices and extreme weather events. This, coupled with the destabilizing global impact of below-true-cost production of commodity crops (due to subsidization and failure to account for long-term environmental problems such as pollution and loss of soil quality), can contribute to food insecurity – when individuals do not have adequate access to healthy food."


who.int/foodsafety/areas_work/food-tech ... d-food/en/

"8. Are GM foods safe?

Different GM organisms include different genes inserted in different ways. This means that individual GM foods and their safety should be assessed on a case-by-case basis and that it is not possible to make general statements on the safety of all GM foods."

"16. Are there implications for the rights of farmers to own their crops?

Yes, intellectual property rights are likely to be an element in the debate on GM foods, with an impact on the rights of farmers. In the FAO/WHO expert consultation in 2003 (http://www.who.int/entity/foodsafety/bi ... rtnov03_en .pdf), WHO and FAO have considered potential problems of the technological divide and the unbalanced distribution of benefits and risks between developed and developing countries and the problem often becomes even more acute through the existence of intellectual property rights and patenting that places an advantage on the strongholds of scientific and technological expertise. Such considerations are likely to also affect the debate on GM foods."
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Re: Eating Animals

Post by Felix » December 7th, 2016, 7:21 pm

I will post a few links to information outlining the negative effects of mass-production crop industries, their limitations and potential associated dangers.
Yes but those same caveats will apply to raising livestock and growing the forage needed to feed them.
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