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Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

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Georgeanna
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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Georgeanna » November 1st, 2018, 5:56 am

Steve3007 wrote:
November 1st, 2018, 5:32 am
Have you ever read Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea"?
Not that I can recall. Why do you ask ?

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Steve3007 » November 1st, 2018, 6:04 am

Not that I can recall. Why do you ask ?
It just sprang to mind because Hemingway often deals with the subject of hunting, killing and the psychology of it. I recall from The Old Man and the Sea, he explores the thoughts of the old fisherman guy who catches a huge marlin and tries (unsuccessfully) to get its corpse home, strapped to the side of his small boat, without it being eaten by sharks. It explores the sense in which the fisherman has (he would argue) a certain kind of respect for the prey that he hunts and regret/remorse at what eventually happens.

I recently re-read For Whom the Bell Tolls (about the Spanish Civil War) and that also looks a little bit at the differences and similarities of killing humans in war and killing other animals in hunting.

Hemingway was of course also famously keen on bullfighting.

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Steve3007 » November 1st, 2018, 6:18 am

Georgeanna wrote:It was an instantaneous revulsion at viewing a 'hardcore huntress' grinning in psychopathic glee as she posed beside her beautiful stag which looked alive, despite being very dead. I wasn't thinking of the danger to the species. As to culling - I think that depends on the reasons and how it is carried out.
It's interesting that you call it psychopathic. As I understand it, one of the essential features of psychopathy is lack of empathy. We tend to think it natural and right to empathise with out fellow humans, so we tend to be horrified by people who don't appear to do so. Some of us extend that to some, but not all, other animals. But in most cultures most people don't. Most people in the culture I live in happily eat the flesh of other animals and wear their hides on their feet. As far as I can tell, most of them don't regard the people they pay to kill those animals as psychopaths. Or, if they do, they presumably regard them as useful psychopaths.

If an abattoir worker told you that he/she enjoyed their job and perhaps had a photo taken of them smiling next to the carcass of a recently slaughtered beef cow, would you regard that person as a psychopath?

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Georgeanna » November 1st, 2018, 7:18 am

Steve3007 wrote:
November 1st, 2018, 6:18 am
Georgeanna wrote:It was an instantaneous revulsion at viewing a 'hardcore huntress' grinning in psychopathic glee as she posed beside her beautiful stag which looked alive, despite being very dead. I wasn't thinking of the danger to the species. As to culling - I think that depends on the reasons and how it is carried out.
It's interesting that you call it psychopathic. As I understand it, one of the essential features of psychopathy is lack of empathy. We tend to think it natural and right to empathise with out fellow humans, so we tend to be horrified by people who don't appear to do so. Some of us extend that to some, but not all, other animals. But in most cultures most people don't. Most people in the culture I live in happily eat the flesh of other animals and wear their hides on their feet. As far as I can tell, most of them don't regard the people they pay to kill those animals as psychopaths. Or, if they do, they presumably regard them as useful psychopaths.

If an abattoir worker told you that he/she enjoyed their job and perhaps had a photo taken of them smiling next to the carcass of a recently slaughtered beef cow, would you regard that person as a psychopath?
I knew using that word would get me some attention :)

I admit to eating meat and to wearing leather shoes. And probably to benefitting from animal research. I am that horrible person.
If I had to watch the whole process and then cook and eat e.g. a chicken, I would probably be horrified. Indeed, I have limited my intake since reading up and watching a few programmes on the subject.

I would not necessarily call an abattoir worker a psychopath, given the above scenario. It is employment to provide for self and family. It would depend on the reasons why they enjoyed their work and why they posed smiling for a photograph.

I thought the grin of the huntress 'psychopathic' because of the reasons for her hunting, her promotion of hunting for fun. In a way, it reminded me of Hannibal Lecter. She couldn't wait to eat it. I have a vivid imagination...and could see it as a sensually heightened orgasmic experience.
The pursuit, the shot and the savouring of stag. Taking in the essence of stag. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.

It is degrading - using an animal this way. There is a difference between the firm regulations of a necessary cull and seeing her in camouflage with high powered sniper rifle rejoicing at the killing.

I doubt she has been medically diagnosed as a psychopath or sociopath. How many are ? I think it is a matter of showing certain traits - not all are necessarily harmful. It is such a wonderfully emotive word though...it fairly, or unfairly, rolls round the tongue...

Perhaps of interest:
How words give psychopaths away

https://www.livescience.com/16585-psych ... guage.html

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by LuckyR » November 1st, 2018, 1:41 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
November 1st, 2018, 5:31 am
Belindi wrote:BTW did any one read about that horrible American woman who did just that and apparently feels no remorse?
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland- ... s-45967845
Belindi and Georgeanna, I'm interested to know exactly what it is about that story of a huntress posing with her dead quarry that appals you. Is it one thing or a combination of things? Is it the revelling in death? is it the idea of taking pleasure in killing? Or is it more practical things like the potential danger to the species being hunted? Are you influenced at all by the recent news that we humans have now succeeded in killing off 60% of all the animals in the world? (Up from 40% in the last major news story that I read about this subject.)

If it's those more practical considerations, would you be swayed by an argument that culling individuals of a particular species doesn't necessarily create an existential threat to that particular species as a whole?
Well, since beetles alone make up 25% of the animals on earth, and that extinction among beetle species is exceedingly uncommon, I very much doubt your numbers.
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Belindi » November 1st, 2018, 1:53 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
November 1st, 2018, 5:31 am
Belindi wrote:BTW did any one read about that horrible American woman who did just that and apparently feels no remorse?
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland- ... s-45967845
Belindi and Georgeanna, I'm interested to know exactly what it is about that story of a huntress posing with her dead quarry that appals you. Is it one thing or a combination of things? Is it the revelling in death? is it the idea of taking pleasure in killing? Or is it more practical things like the potential danger to the species being hunted? Are you influenced at all by the recent news that we humans have now succeeded in killing off 60% of all the animals in the world? (Up from 40% in the last major news story that I read about this subject.)

If it's those more practical considerations, would you be swayed by an argument that culling individuals of a particular species doesn't necessarily create an existential threat to that particular species as a whole?
for me, it's combination of things.

It's mainly that a hunter exists whose power is apparent from the cost of the apparatus of travel and killing that got her to that point in a Hebridean island; I fear that she is not the only representative of this culture of self-pleasing greed.

I am persuaded that culling wild animals is sometimes necessary. This should be undertaken by persons who are interested in animal welfare and the pathos of the helpless wild animals, which this grinning woman obviously is not.

I am also opposed to huge tracts of Scotland being owned by consortia and private landowners who profit from leasing hunting and shooting holidays to recreational hunters. The birds and animals on these estates are farmed especially for hunting down and killing. This traditional sport used to involve foxes, otters, and hares but is now confined to shooting farmed pheasant and grouse.It's a recreation that demands the illegal killing of endangered golden eagles. I understand if you think this is a diversion but the whole ethos of killing for sport is both outdated and evidence of man's deep stupidity.

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Georgeanna » November 1st, 2018, 2:04 pm

Belindi wrote:
November 1st, 2018, 1:53 pm
Steve3007 wrote:
November 1st, 2018, 5:31 am


Belindi and Georgeanna, I'm interested to know exactly what it is about that story of a huntress posing with her dead quarry that appals you. Is it one thing or a combination of things? Is it the revelling in death? is it the idea of taking pleasure in killing? Or is it more practical things like the potential danger to the species being hunted? Are you influenced at all by the recent news that we humans have now succeeded in killing off 60% of all the animals in the world? (Up from 40% in the last major news story that I read about this subject.)

If it's those more practical considerations, would you be swayed by an argument that culling individuals of a particular species doesn't necessarily create an existential threat to that particular species as a whole?
for me, it's combination of things.

It's mainly that a hunter exists whose power is apparent from the cost of the apparatus of travel and killing that got her to that point in a Hebridean island; I fear that she is not the only representative of this culture of self-pleasing greed.

I am persuaded that culling wild animals is sometimes necessary. This should be undertaken by persons who are interested in animal welfare and the pathos of the helpless wild animals, which this grinning woman obviously is not.

I am also opposed to huge tracts of Scotland being owned by consortia and private landowners who profit from leasing hunting and shooting holidays to recreational hunters. The birds and animals on these estates are farmed especially for hunting down and killing. This traditional sport used to involve foxes, otters, and hares but is now confined to shooting farmed pheasant and grouse.It's a recreation that demands the illegal killing of endangered golden eagles. I understand if you think this is a diversion but the whole ethos of killing for sport is both outdated and evidence of man's deep stupidity.
Well said.
I agree.

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Belindi » November 1st, 2018, 3:57 pm

Thanks Georgeanna. There are many of us but the ignorant majority is gaining political power. Religions are increasingly useless or worse.

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Greta » November 1st, 2018, 5:31 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
November 1st, 2018, 5:31 am
Belindi and Georgeanna, I'm interested to know exactly what it is about that story of a huntress posing with her dead quarry that appals you.
And me. Hunting for food or to control population imbalances is fine by me. However, this kind of vicious, atavistic bullying and slaughter of innocent animals at a time when large mammals are rapidly going extinct is about as low as a human can stoop, aside from abuse of children.

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Greta » November 1st, 2018, 8:04 pm

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
—Gandhi

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Steve3007 » November 2nd, 2018, 7:46 am

Georgeanna wrote:I admit to eating meat and to wearing leather shoes. And probably to benefitting from animal research. I am that horrible person.
I admit to those things too! On this, as with several other subjects, I equivocate. I've been through phases of being vegetarian in the past. I'm not vegetarian now (and I've just recently bought some very comfortable leather walking boots in preparation for some major hill-walking I'm planning next year) but I don't eat much meat and, when I do, try to buy meat that is labelled as "free range". But I'm aware that it's just a label on a supermarket package and it's perfectly possible that my visions of happy chickens living comfortable outdoor lives before being humanely killed is bound to be, to some extent, naive.

In short: it's a moral maze.
If I had to watch the whole process and then cook and eat e.g. a chicken, I would probably be horrified. Indeed, I have limited my intake since reading up and watching a few programmes on the subject.
Me too. I have never killed an animal larger than a mouse and I suspect, with my belly as full as it is now and my pampered modern lifestyle, I'd be too squeamish. But I also suspect that a seriously empty belly and a more starkly "natural" lifestyle would quickly remove the squeamishness.
I would not necessarily call an abattoir worker a psychopath, given the above scenario. It is employment to provide for self and family. It would depend on the reasons why they enjoyed their work and why they posed smiling for a photograph.
Maybe they take the photo because they are genuinely proud of their work. Maybe they, unlike you and me, have absolutely no moral qualms about the fact that humans, in our societies, eat mean simply because it has a pleasant taste (and not because we need to) and this pleasant sensation trumps the suffering of the animal, so long as that suffering is not gratuitously prolonged. So maybe they're proud of the work they do in the service of people who like the taste of meat and want to show it.
I thought the grin of the huntress 'psychopathic' because of the reasons for her hunting, her promotion of hunting for fun. In a way, it reminded me of Hannibal Lecter. She couldn't wait to eat it. I have a vivid imagination...and could see it as a sensually heightened orgasmic experience.
The pursuit, the shot and the savouring of stag. Taking in the essence of stag. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.
Arguably, the fact that she claims to be keen to eat the animal to some extent excuses her killing it doesn't it? She's simply eating free range venison. The animal ran free for all of its life and was then quickly shot. Isn't that better than eating a cow that has spent its life in a high density feed lot?

Is it the taking pleasure in hunting and killing that is the problem?
It is degrading - using an animal this way. There is a difference between the firm regulations of a necessary cull and seeing her in camouflage with high powered sniper rifle rejoicing at the killing.
I personally don't see an obvious reason why we should see it as degrading. I think that's anthropomorphising. I doubt whether the dead stag sees it as degrading. I think it's probably more humane than the treatment of the factory farmed animals that most of us eat.
LuckyR wrote:Well, since beetles alone make up 25% of the animals on earth, and that extinction among beetle species is exceedingly uncommon, I very much doubt your numbers.
I'm just quoting what I've read in the News. Maybe I've been misled.

E.g:
https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/livi ... -1.4882819
Belindi wrote:
It's mainly that a hunter exists whose power is apparent from the cost of the apparatus of travel and killing that got her to that point in a Hebridean island; I fear that she is not the only representative of this culture of self-pleasing greed.
OK. That sounds like a more general point about the distaste for the spending of a large quantity of resources on personal pleasure.
I am persuaded that culling wild animals is sometimes necessary. This should be undertaken by persons who are interested in animal welfare and the pathos of the helpless wild animals, which this grinning woman obviously is not.
I don't see why grinning is such a problem. If she was taking pleasure in slowly torturing the animal to death then clearly that's a problem. I don't see an obvious reason why people who cull/kill other animals should be required not to enjoy it. Likewise, if we decide that eating meat is morally permissible and that therefore abattoirs must exist, I wouldn't see any reason why we should require the people who work in those abattoirs not to enjoy their work. They question of whether we do actually decide that eating meat is morally permissible, and the conditions in which those non-human animals are kept while they are alive, is another issue.
I am also opposed to huge tracts of Scotland being owned by consortia and private landowners who profit from leasing hunting and shooting holidays to recreational hunters. The birds and animals on these estates are farmed especially for hunting down and killing. This traditional sport used to involve foxes, otters, and hares but is now confined to shooting farmed pheasant and grouse.It's a recreation that demands the illegal killing of endangered golden eagles. I understand if you think this is a diversion but the whole ethos of killing for sport is both outdated and evidence of man's deep stupidity.
I see your point there about the specifics of the sport-hunting industry in Scotland. But, again, as a more general point, I don't see a fundamental difference between rearing wild animals in order to kill them and rearing farmed animals in order to kill them. The main difference seems to be the relatively poor conditions in which the animals most of us eat are kept. But once we've decided to do something, it seems to me irrational to ban ourselves from enjoying it. I think it's odd to take the attitude: "I'm going to eat animals, and therefore conspire in their suffering and killing, but I'm going to feel suitably bad about the whole process."

Having said that, that is precisely how I tend to feel! But I recognise these feelings of mine about the moral maze of the meat/leather industry, and my place in it, as morally confused and irrational. In other words: they're a great subject for philosophical discussion!
Greta wrote:And me. Hunting for food or to control population imbalances is fine by me. However, this kind of vicious, atavistic bullying and slaughter of innocent animals at a time when large mammals are rapidly going extinct is about as low as a human can stoop, aside from abuse of children.
You, like Georgeanna, seem to object to the spirit in which the killing is done - the pleasure taken in it - as much as to the actual result of the killing. Is this because you think it is indicative of future negative behaviour towards non-human animals? If a hunter kills and eats an animal, taking pleasure in the hunting, the result for that animal is the same as if he/she didn't take that pleasure. But do you worry that taking that pleasure sets the wrong precedent for our future behaviour towards non-human animals?

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Steve3007 » November 2nd, 2018, 7:59 am

Note: apologies for the numerous little typos in the above post. I didn't have time to proof read it before posting.

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Belindi » November 2nd, 2018, 8:23 am

Steve made following worthwhile objections:
Belindi wrote:
"It's mainly that a hunter exists whose power is apparent from the cost of the apparatus of travel and killing that got her to that point in a Hebridean island; I fear that she is not the only representative of this culture of self-pleasing greed."

Steve:
"OK. That sounds like a more general point about the distaste for the spending of a large quantity of resources on personal pleasure."

Me Belindi:
I viscerally dislike rich people to be stupid; I like meritocracy. It's stupid to be ignorant about the disappearance of Scotland's wild habitats and the animals they support. I feel the same about all other wildernesses and their wild inhabitants.


"I am persuaded that culling wild animals is sometimes necessary. This should be undertaken by persons who are interested in animal welfare and the pathos of the helpless wild animals, which this grinning woman obviously is not."
"I don't see why grinning is such a problem. If she was taking pleasure in slowly torturing the animal to death then clearly that's a problem. I don't see an obvious reason why people who cull/kill other animals should be required not to enjoy it. Likewise, if we decide that eating meat is morally permissible and that therefore abattoirs must exist, I wouldn't see any reason why we should require the people who work in those abattoirs not to enjoy their work. They question of whether we do actually decide that eating meat is morally permissible, and the conditions in which those non-human animals are kept while they are alive, is another issue."
Belindi:
I used the word 'grinning' because the media control public ideas and this woman looks nice and pretty which makes the image of the hunter more palatable.
"I am also opposed to huge tracts of Scotland being owned by consortia and private landowners who profit from leasing hunting and shooting holidays to recreational hunters. The birds and animals on these estates are farmed especially for hunting down and killing. This traditional sport used to involve foxes, otters, and hares but is now confined to shooting farmed pheasant and grouse.It's a recreation that demands the illegal killing of endangered golden eagles. I understand if you think this is a diversion but the whole ethos of killing for sport is both outdated and evidence of man's deep stupidity."
"I see your point there about the specifics of the sport-hunting industry in Scotland. But, again, as a more general point, I don't see a fundamental difference between rearing wild animals in order to kill them and rearing farmed animals in order to kill them. The main difference seems to be the relatively poor conditions in which the animals most of us eat are kept. But once we've decided to do something, it seems to me irrational to ban ourselves from enjoying it. I think it's odd to take the attitude: "I'm going to eat animals, and therefore conspire in their suffering and killing, but I'm going to feel suitably bad about the whole process."

Killing animals for sport is an activity of rich people. Rich people have a moral duty to be good examples to others. Noblesse oblige. The poorer sort of people also have moral duty to conserve resources including aesthetic resources. It's altogether good to feel guilty about eating animals as the guilt has the effect of making us eat less meat and dairy.
There is a general misconception that frugality is all or nothing but that's not the case. Sustainability and animal welfare are improved by small increments in human good behaviour. Killing animals for fun is worse in one special way which is that the killers can't kill and also feel guilt.

Steve: "Having said that, that is precisely how I tend to feel! But I recognise these feelings of mine about the moral maze of the meat/leather industry, and my place in it, as morally confused and irrational. In other words: they're a great subject for philosophical discussion!"

I seek gradual improvements such as a culture that glorifies frugality, good vegetarian recipes, and improved child education about ecological issues and cooking.

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Steve3007 » November 2nd, 2018, 8:56 am

Belindi wrote:I used the word 'grinning' because the media control public ideas and this woman looks nice and pretty which makes the image of the hunter more palatable.
Maybe. I suppose some people might conversely find the juxtaposition of a pretty looking woman with a recently killed stag a disturbing contrast. A bit like those pictures from Iraq of the female soldier giving a cheery thumbs-up to the camera next to a bunch of tortured and humiliated Iraqi prisoners.

But, of course, this is all about our perception of a picture. Not, in itself, about the present or future treatment of non-human animals.
Killing animals for sport is an activity of rich people. Rich people have a moral duty to be good examples to others. Noblesse oblige. The poorer sort of people also have moral duty to conserve resources including aesthetic resources. It's altogether good to feel guilty about eating animals as the guilt has the effect of making us eat less meat and dairy.
There is a general misconception that frugality is all or nothing but that's not the case. Sustainability and animal welfare are improved by small increments in human good behaviour. Killing animals for fun is worse in one special way which is that the killers can't kill and also feel guilt.
Maybe they can feel some kind of guilt. I was telling Georgeanna earlier that I was reminded of Ernest Hemmingway's "The Old Man and the Sea" in which the titular old man, in his little fishing boat, catches and kills a huge marlin. Hemmingway doesn't depict him as feeling guilt at the killing of the fish, per se, but he does feel guilt at the waste when he is unsuccessful at getting it home.

I don't know how your average deer hunter feels, but it would be interesting if any of them saw this and commented.
I seek gradual improvements such as a culture that glorifies frugality, good vegetarian recipes, and improved child education about ecological issues and cooking.
Yes, I can't argue with that. I think this is why I take the point about the spirit in which the killing is done. I guess it appears to hark back to an earlier age when Victorian hunters travelled to places like Africa and shot anything that moved.

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Belindi » November 2nd, 2018, 9:48 am

Steve wrote:
Belindi wrote:
I used the word 'grinning' because the media control public ideas and this woman looks nice and pretty which makes the image of the hunter more palatable.
Maybe. I suppose some people might conversely find the juxtaposition of a pretty looking woman with a recently killed stag a disturbing contrast. A bit like those pictures from Iraq of the female soldier giving a cheery thumbs-up to the camera next to a bunch of tortured and humiliated Iraqi prisoners.

But, of course, this is all about our perception of a picture. Not, in itself, about the present or future treatment of non-human animals.
The picture affected me and, I gather Georgeanna and Greta too, as you say like that photo of the female soldier posing beside humiliated prisoners.
It would be interesting if other people who post to these discussions told which way the picture affected them. The media have a lot of power over thought.

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