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Author Topic: Humans shouldn't eat meat. Do you agree ?  (Read 42743 times)

Offline graham.d

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Humans shouldn't eat meat. Do you agree ?
« Reply #100 on: 27/12/2009 19:32:02 »
I just had a vegetarian meal which involved sprouts. Regrettably I could find no way to remove the numerous blackfly (aphids) without killing large numbers. I admit I did not try too hard. Of course frozen sprouts are well cleaned, but these were organic sprouts on a stalk. I can see the logic, if having ethical objections to killing anything, in becoming a vegan, but cannot perceive its practicality when taken to the extreme. I appreciate that there is something to be said in doing one's best, but this seems, at least to some extent, a logical contradiction in an attempt at absolutism.
 

Offline glovesforfoxes

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« Reply #101 on: 27/12/2009 19:40:27 »
I do not object to killing plants for food currently. I do not object to killing as an absolute rule. I do object to killing undeserving creatures which can feel as an absolute rule, as most here do in other circumstances involving animals. You do not kill pets for pleasure (& find it abhorrent to do so I am willing to bet) so why should you finance & therefore enable the killing of other creautres which are quite clearly capable of emotion?

Eating meat yet being unable to personally kill an animal is much more contradictory than my position. I do not believe in some mystical, spiritual aspect of life. I approach veganism from an entirely secular point of view.
 

Offline AgimA

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« Reply #102 on: 28/12/2009 19:31:36 »
Wow, I've looked into the vegan community, and they're creepy. They're comparable to creationists (in the sense of denying every available knowledge/evidence) or some other "we got the absolute moral truth" groups.

From what I read on diverse forums, the majority is comparable to the original poster. Usually they seem to be quite young, radical, incongruent and agressive in their world view. A lot of times they show a latent disregard for human life, excepting their own, of course. An there's an open "we're intelligent and superior, meat eaters are stupid and inferior" "Gedankengut"...

Some go even so far to feed their children, cats, dogs with a vegan diet. Despite all the evidence that children will be harmed by such a diet. There even some cases where, admittedly well intentioned, parents have been jailed, because of feeding their children vegan diets. The result for their children: malnutrition, retardment and in severe cases, death. We don't even have to discuss what a vegan diet will do to a cat or a dog... Animal cruelty at its best, weird for declared animal lovers.

The most congruent group I've found, are the fruitarians, they claim that they feed exclusively on fruits. Which to me, sounds like a lie. I'm 100% sure that on a frugivore diet, a human will begin to develop serious health problems in a short period of time.

At least fructarians, for short periods of time, will achieve the "no killing" dogma. That being said, a vegan is a monstruous as an omnivore or carnivore to a fruitarian.

Here I have found an interesting essay, at least to me, on commom tinfoil arguments thrown around by vegan/fruitarians, dissected in detail:

newbielink:http://www.beyondveg.com/billings-t/comp-anat/comp-anat-1a.shtml [nonactive]

Other interesting read, from a group that advocated, that's how I understood them, a vegan diet in the past (now it's the paleo-diet for them...):

newbielink:http://naturalhygienesociety.org/diet2.html [nonactive]

(There's an interesting article about rats eating eachother's babies when fed on a frugivore diet, not saying that fruitarians do that, but who knows?! ;) )

A rather amusing article:

newbielink:http://www.vanguardonline.f9.co.uk/00509.htm [nonactive]

(The best part, Guru Maharaj Ji's knowledge...)

"The vegetarian myth" a book written by an ex vegan:

newbielink:http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/lipid-hypothesis/the-vegetarian-myth/ [nonactive]
« Last Edit: 28/12/2009 20:00:30 by AgimA »
 

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Humans shouldn't eat meat. Do you agree ?
« Reply #103 on: 28/12/2009 21:55:43 »
Wow, I've looked into the vegan community, and they're creepy. They're comparable to creationists (in the sense of denying every available knowledge/evidence) or some other "we got the absolute moral truth" groups.

From what I read on diverse forums, the majority is comparable to the original poster. Usually they seem to be quite young, radical, incongruent and agressive in their world view. A lot of times they show a latent disregard for human life, excepting their own, of course. An there's an open "we're intelligent and superior, meat eaters are stupid and inferior" "Gedankengut"...

Some go even so far to feed their children, cats, dogs with a vegan diet. Despite all the evidence that children will be harmed by such a diet. There even some cases where, admittedly well intentioned, parents have been jailed, because of feeding their children vegan diets. The result for their children: malnutrition, retardment and in severe cases, death. We don't even have to discuss what a vegan diet will do to a cat or a dog... Animal cruelty at its best, weird for declared animal lovers.

The most congruent group I've found, are the fruitarians, they claim that they feed exclusively on fruits. Which to me, sounds like a lie. I'm 100% sure that on a frugivore diet, a human will begin to develop serious health problems in a short period of time.

At least fructarians, for short periods of time, will achieve the "no killing" dogma. That being said, a vegan is a monstruous as an omnivore or carnivore to a fruitarian.

Here I have found an interesting essay, at least to me, on commom tinfoil arguments thrown around by vegan/fruitarians, dissected in detail:

http://www.beyondveg.com/billings-t/comp-anat/comp-anat-1a.shtml

Other interesting read, from a group that advocated, that's how I understood them, a vegan diet in the past (now it's the paleo-diet for them...):

http://naturalhygienesociety.org/diet2.html

(There's an interesting article about rats eating eachother's babies when fed on a frugivore diet, not saying that fruitarians do that, but who knows?! ;) )

A rather amusing article:

http://www.vanguardonline.f9.co.uk/00509.htm

(The best part, Guru Maharaj Ji's knowledge...)

"The vegetarian myth" a book written by an ex vegan:

http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/lipid-hypothesis/the-vegetarian-myth/
Excellent work AgimA...............
 

Offline glovesforfoxes

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« Reply #104 on: 29/12/2009 01:33:42 »
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Some go even so far to feed their children, cats, dogs with a vegan diet. Despite all the evidence that children will be harmed by such a diet. There even some cases where, admittedly well intentioned, parents have been jailed, because of feeding their children vegan diets. The result for their children: malnutrition, retardment and in severe cases, death. We don't even have to discuss what a vegan diet will do to a cat or a dog... Animal cruelty at its best, weird for declared animal lovers.

The ADA's position, bearing in mind that this has been written by experts in nutrition compared to your opinion (using the sources of other people's opinions/case studies to back it up) is:

Quote
Well-planned vegetarian diets ó even a vegan diet ó can supply all the nutrients that children require for their growth and energy needs.

http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=4294967646&terms=vegetarian

I trust the ADA much, much more than I trust you to have looked thorough, scientific research about vegetarian & vegan diets. I'm willing to bet most others are too.

This also covers the claims by the other webpages, which are again simple, albeit lengthy opinion peices rather than anything coming close to science (except, perhaps, this one: http://www.beyondveg.com/billings-t/comp-anat/comp-anat-1a.shtml but that is a comparison of anatomy, rather than healthy diets)

As for cats & dogs, I am unsure about the healthiness of vegan diets according to scientific evidence. It is a fairly rare phenomenon to feed a cat or dog a vegan diet, but I believe vets tend to agree that it is healthy with supplemented amino acids.

All of the links, sadly, still use some form of the naturalistic fallacy in all of their arguments against having a vegan diet. Seriously, learn what it is, reread the articles once you have, I will not bother to reply if you don't. Also learn about the is-ought problem, the wiki page for both of them are pretty good.

The last link mentions, in the book excerpt, that:

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And agriculture isnít quite a war because the forests and wetlands and prairies, the rain, the soil, the air, canít fight back.  Agriculture is really more like ethnic cleansing, wiping out the indigenous dwellers so the invaders can take the land.  Itís biotic cleansing, biocide. Ö It is not non-violent.  It is not sustainable.  And every bite of food is laden with death.

Which, while accurate about agriculture, fails to mention that an omnivore requires much more land than a vegan, which is because all those animals must graze. Please, please, learn about trophic levels & energy transfer in ecosystems, & apply that knowledge to eating meat. Meat is more energy dense exactly because the animals have built it up over a very long period of time from lots of sources with less energy. A lot of that energy is spent on getting rid of, & chemically altering waste substances. Some is simply lost through heat that all warm blooded animals lose.

This also links with the claim that humans evolved larger, more well developed brains when they started eating meat. I do not think it is a valid claim, since I already knew chimpanzees & other great apes ate meat on occasion, or have heard about it - they have not magically transformed into more intelligent creatures as a result, though I recognise that isn't how evolution works, you would expect them to become more intelligent as a result of eating meat perhaps. Anyway, I'm not going to waste time trying to argue for something I disagree with. If the claim is true, then that is because meat provides more energy per kg than say berries, vegetables, maybe even grains, allowing the use of that energy in building a more organised/bigger/adaptable brain.

Aside from that, the rest of your claims & some of the ones in the other links are just quotations of other vegans - you get crazies in all groups of people. I am not a fundamentalist. I am studying Chemistry at The University of Leeds. Do you really think I am in some way a fringe scientist, or do not truly believe in mainstream science, or whatever? I follow the truth. I love it. I am passionate about truth. I think science is the best tool for finding out the truth.

Well, think what you will, I don't really mind. I do mind you trying to make out vegans as a bunch of crazies or as you quote "creepy", because they're not. Like most groups, it seems to be a normal distribution of weirdness. I think I'm pretty average, but decide what you will.

Thanks for toning down the rudeness. Have a good day :)
 

Offline AgimA

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« Reply #105 on: 29/12/2009 02:31:35 »
"I do mind you trying to make out vegans as a bunch of crazies or as you quote "creepy", because they're not. Like most groups, it seems to be a normal distribution of weirdness. I think I'm pretty average, but decide what you will."

I don't have to, you're doing the job yourself. You may be pretty average for a vegan, which would put you, in my personal view, as less... well how can I put it in nice words? Fantastic utopian?

You have the nerve to tell me that I have to inject insulin and eat stuff like soy, wheat and a lot of vegetals, that are demonstrably harmful for me just because of your radical, utopic fantasy. Can I take you and the likes seriously? Only for your fanaticism, surely not for your ideals.

Only your questioning of if a vegan diet for dogs of cats is harmful is just so out of the moon... it clearly demonstrates that you show symptoms of severe cultism.

Take care of you, I hope that you get through your phylosophy unharmed, I really do.
 

Offline AgimA

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« Reply #106 on: 29/12/2009 02:38:29 »
For the record, the links I provided are opinions and research by a vegetarian, an ex vegetarian, an ex vegan and ex vegan society. People/organizations that have way more experience, in human years, with the mentioned diets than Gloves. One stopped after 20 years of veganism...

And they do explain Glove's reaction in detail, denial and crank science (as put by the vegetarian).
 

Offline AgimA

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« Reply #107 on: 29/12/2009 02:58:00 »
Sponsors of the American Dietetic Association:

newbielink:http://www.cspinet.org/integrity/nonprofits/american_dietetic_association.html [nonactive]
newbielink:http://www.eatright.org/HealthProfessionals/content.aspx?id=7454&terms=sponsors [nonactive]

First I thought that Glove was talking about the American Diabetic Association.

A "non profit" organization that relies on the sponsoring by large corporations, fot its existence, is quite questionable, regarding their recommendations and imparciality, at least to me.
 

Offline glovesforfoxes

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« Reply #108 on: 29/12/2009 12:50:25 »
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A "non profit" organization that relies on the sponsoring by large corporations, fot its existence, is quite questionable, regarding their recommendations and imparciality, at least to me.

Haha, yes! Look who they're sponsored by! The "National Dairy Council", sure they're for vegan diets, Unilever, a giant international company which commonly uses animal ingredients & testing, CoroWise, which state that "skim milk [reduces] cholesterol", Kelloggs, who use honey in a lot of breakfast cereals. The others either stand to gain a little from a vegan diet, such as SoyJoy, but the rest have mixed products or no benefit from a vegan diet, for example Coke/Pepsico. Do you really think SoyJoy can "outbuy" a company compared to the likes of Unilever?
The other page lists others:

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Major ($100,000+) donors include: Kellogg, Kraft Foods, Weight Watchers International, Campbell Soup, National Dairy Council, Nestlť USA, Ross Products Division of Abbott Labs., Sandoz, Coca-Cola, Florida Department of Citrus, General Mills, Monsanto, Nabisco, Procter & Gamble, Uncle Benís, Wyeth-Ayerst Labs. (Nov-Dec 1996 ADA Courier)

In addition to companies I've already mentioned;

Nestle produce no vegan chocolate & few other vegan products which are by nature e.g coffee granules, Procter & Gamble are notoriously unethical  when it comes to testing on animals, as well as practically owning the world financially.

They actually have a vested interest in saying that a vegan diet is unhealthy, since that is what most of their sponsors would like consumers to hear. Unfortunately, some people value integrity, even if they work for a company whose purpose is to educate people about life-saving nutrition.

Even if you do find more evidence of vested interest, that does nothing to refute the claim itself that a vegan diet can be healthy. If you're still worried about vested interest issues, then here's an article by the NHS (National Health Service of England for you international folks):

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Vegetarianhealth/Pages/Vegandiets.aspx

Bearing in mind that The National Health service has published this! They have a vested interest in giving people the right information about dietary choices, since if they don't they will end up with a lot of very sick vegetarians/vegans on their doorstep, or people attempting it. The National Health service is a government organisation & will therefore come under a lot of fire if it is found to be giving misinformation about diets.

Yes, I'm well aware that the latter half of the article is written by a member of the Vegan Society (I am a member myself!) but this does not mean in any way that the society financially supports or otherwise puts pressure on the NHS for any other reason except for producing good health information. After all, a dead or sick vegan as a result of their diet is not likely to continue financially supporting a company promoting veganism now, is it?

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For the record, the links I provided are opinions and research by a vegetarian, an ex vegetarian, an ex vegan and ex vegan society. People/organizations that have way more experience, in human years, with the mentioned diets than Gloves. One stopped after 20 years of veganism...

And they do explain Glove's reaction in detail, denial and crank science (as put by the vegetarian).

Interesting, can you point out exactly where instead of making sweeping claims?

It seems to me that the author uses exactly the same irrelevent arguments omnivores make referring to the moral side (i.e appeal to nature). & I've already explained why environmentally, her critique of agriculture has merit as in yes, it takes land away from animals, but she fails to recognise the same things you do: producing meat is an energy intensive process. Omnivore diets require a LOT more food overall (& therefore land), since you have to take into account animals need to be fed before they grow to a size where the muscle is large enough for people to eat. Once again, simple understanding of trophic levels (the "invention" of mainstream biological science, not me!) would make this intuitive to understand.

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"I do mind you trying to make out vegans as a bunch of crazies or as you quote "creepy", because they're not. Like most groups, it seems to be a normal distribution of weirdness. I think I'm pretty average, but decide what you will."

I don't have to, you're doing the job yourself. You may be pretty average for a vegan, which would put you, in my personal view, as less... well how can I put it in nice words? Fantastic utopian?

*shrug* I'm not particularly radical. I've taken the same morality that we use to legally or morally protect other animals from abuse or death, like pets, or "cute"/good looking animals like polar bears, tigers, pandas & extended it further to include all sentient species, since that is the only basis which is not insensibly discriminate. You should not treat an ugly child worse because it is ugly. The same applies to different animals.

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You have the nerve to tell me that I have to inject insulin and eat stuff like soy, wheat and a lot of vegetals, that are demonstrably harmful for me just because of your radical, utopic fantasy.

You should ask your doctor to test you for celiac's disease, if you haven't already. Perhaps it is that rather than diebetes which causes your suffering.

I'm sure you'd live on a non-vegan diet pain free without unnecessary/additional medication, but my level of knowledge about diabetes (& possibly celiac disease) in combination with a vegan diet is not that high. Even if you didn't, I still think it's your duty to put other animals before your own interests.

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Can I take you and the likes seriously? Only for your fanaticism, surely not for your ideals...

Only your questioning of if a vegan diet for dogs of cats is harmful is just so out of the moon... it clearly demonstrates that you show symptoms of severe cultism.

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=27567.0;topicseen

How embarrassing.

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Take care of you, I hope that you get through your phylosophy unharmed, I really do.

I will. I'm sure if a group like this can live for ~5000 years without any animal products, I can for a little while.

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The few thousand Brok-pa Aryans have over 5,000 years lived in these hostile terrain at 15,000 ft altitude, subsisting on a vegan diet.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/life/2005/01/07/stories/2005010700080200.htm



 

Offline AgimA

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« Reply #109 on: 29/12/2009 15:55:39 »
From the linked article:

"Their striking features include blue eyes, aristocratic noses, fair complexion and flawless skin. They appear ethnically distinct from Ladakhis or Kashmiris. They do not marry outsiders and restrict their contact with the outside world, seemingly happy in their isolated existence. Married women braid their hair, which gives them a resemblance to Greeks. One of the women photographed at Dah could have easily been mistaken for a German tourist. She was blonde and had high cheekbones, rotund face and unmistakable German features.

The Aryan tribes believe in prophecies and the recording of dreams. Most of the elderly Aryans meet in the morning at the Juniper grove and discuss their dreams. One of their folk songs sung at the Bononah festival is translated as follows:

In the beginning there was water all over the earth and some of it froze. Dust settled on this patch of ice. Later, a small patch of grass appeared on the frozen patch and, soon, a juniper tree sprouted from the earth. The whole universe was created by Chag (fire), Ser (water) and Yun (earth)."

What are you bringing next? Adolf Hitler's (a convinced vegetarian) ideas on vegan nutrition? There's another tribe in the Himalays the Hunza, which are also mentioned by vegan/vegetarians as an example of people living since bazillions of years on a vegan/vegetarian diet... It comes out, that when scientifically investigated, most claims are plain myths, exaggerations and crackpot idealizations.

While I'm aware that aryan was a term misused by national socialists, the direction into which this writing is pointing, should be clear, blue eyes, blonde, aristocratic aryan nose, vegetarian = ‹bermensch, brown, brown, brown, meat eater = monkey.

That's what I'm writing about, you're making a fool out of yourself, you deny evidence, you resort to distortions and show your disdain towards, in your eyes, inferior humans. You're an anti-humanist, if we humans are such a pest, then why are you still living?

You value the well being of a pig more than mine, ok, you're definetly nuts, like Adolf Hitler, that valued the well being of his dogs more than the well being of millions of human beings, disgusting.
 

Offline graham.d

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« Reply #110 on: 29/12/2009 17:11:40 »
I do not object to killing plants for food currently. I do not object to killing as an absolute rule. I do object to killing undeserving creatures which can feel as an absolute rule, as most here do in other circumstances involving animals. You do not kill pets for pleasure (& find it abhorrent to do so I am willing to bet) so why should you finance & therefore enable the killing of other creautres which are quite clearly capable of emotion?

Eating meat yet being unable to personally kill an animal is much more contradictory than my position. I do not believe in some mystical, spiritual aspect of life. I approach veganism from an entirely secular point of view.

I did not think you would mind killing the sprouts; it was the aphids I was wondering about.

Do aphids feel pain? Are they sentient? Because they react to stimulus does not make them sentient in my book.

I also agree that my position is contradictory, though I am unsure about the meaning in degrees of contradiction. I am aware and choose to live with this, and many other, contradictions. I just choose which battles to fight and this is not high on my priority list.

I am unsure of the relevence of this but I remember talking with a Buddhist priest many years ago who was happy to live with the idea that he did not have to work but live on the charity of others, and he obviously accepted that the world would not allow everyone to behave this way. But this did not stop him trying to pursuade everyone to adopt his stance and just concentrate on seeking enlightenment. I think living with contradictions is part of the human condition; the above is more stark tham most.
 

Offline glovesforfoxes

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« Reply #111 on: 29/12/2009 18:13:05 »
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What are you bringing next? Adolf Hitler's (a convinced vegetarian) ideas on vegan nutrition? There's another tribe in the Himalays the Hunza, which are also mentioned by vegan/vegetarians as an example of people living since bazillions of years on a vegan/vegetarian diet... It comes out, that when scientifically investigated, most claims are plain myths, exaggerations and crackpot idealizations.

While I'm aware that aryan was a term misused by national socialists, the direction into which this writing is pointing, should be clear, blue eyes, blonde, aristocratic aryan nose, vegetarian = ‹bermensch, brown, brown, brown, meat eater = monkey.

You're well aware of it & yet you're making wild conclusions like the above from the only evidence below:

"Their striking features include blue eyes, aristocratic noses, fair complexion and flawless skin... She was blonde and had high cheekbones, rotund face and unmistakable German features."

You're right - gather round the Allies, we need to fight these monsters for appreciating blonde hair & blue eyes, along with a reference to Aryans which you yourself have admitted was twisted by national socialists.

As for whether or not it's a myth, well, I don't really care. I'm not going to fly over & find out. I don't really need to - I am living healthily on a vegan diet, as are about 200,000 other vegans in the UK.

Please do get checked out for celiac's disease, which explains your inability to eat grains much more than any form of diabetes.

Quote
You value the well being of a pig more than mine, ok, you're definetly nuts, like Adolf Hitler, that valued the well being of his dogs more than the well being of millions of human beings, disgusting.

Well, if anything, thanks for using reductio ad Hitlerum.

I've already stated I'm also for human rights in previous posts, I do not believe we are an evil species though we may do many evil things, we are also capable of good. That is the purpose of my posting. To encourage people to see that veganism is a morally good thing to do. Unfortunately, some people simply cannot see that killing sentient creatures=wrong & meat requires killing, or that animals should have property rights over what they produce simply because they produce it. I would not make a farm of human women, rape them continually so that they can produce milk & then collect that milk from them so I can make profit. It would be barbarious. Just as it is with cows.

I have calmly (with great effort) responded point by point with evidence & science to each of your claims about veganism/diet. You have failed to respond to mine & instead have resorted to sweeping statements, insults & comparisons to Hitler, God only knows why.

Continue with this & I will report you to moderators. I will not stand for it, & even if they disagree with the points I make, they will agree that your conduct is not acceptable.

I'm done with you unless you make some meaningful, thought out, researched points. Please remember to get tested for celiac's disease, which ironically I know about through the vegan lifestyle.

Quote from: graham.d
I did not think you would mind killing the sprouts; it was the aphids I was wondering about.

Do aphids feel pain? Are they sentient? Because they react to stimulus does not make them sentient in my book.

I would not kill them. This is mainly a benefit of the doubt kind of thing; once again, it follows my "the killing is unnecessary" rule. I'm sure you would've lived without eating those particular sprouts :)

That is a far too loose definition of sentiency. I'm just unsure about whether or not they are sentient. There is more evidence that they suffer compared to plants, for which there is almost none, as far as I'm currently aware. Because of this, I err on the side of caution & do not kill insects where I can avoid it. If they were pests, i.e insects killing a plant, I would research the methods organic farmers use to discourage pests from landing on that food & use those.

Quote
I also agree that my position is contradictory, though I am unsure about the meaning in degrees of contradiction. I am aware and choose to live with this, and many other, contradictions. I just choose which battles to fight and this is not high on my priority list.

Good that you choose which battles to fight, but obviously I think this is one worth fighting. I'm still unsure about how it's contradictory - I never made the claim that all killing is wrong, just argued for different parameters on which killing is wrong. Killing or inflicting pain upon innocent, undeserving sentient animals for our own purposes, whatever they may be, is wrong to me & definitely a battle worth fighting for, even if it is contradictory.

Quote
I am unsure of the relevence of this but I remember talking with a Buddhist priest many years ago who was happy to live with the idea that he did not have to work but live on the charity of others, and he obviously accepted that the world would not allow everyone to behave this way. But this did not stop him trying to pursuade everyone to adopt his stance and just concentrate on seeking enlightenment. I think living with contradictions is part of the human condition; the above is more stark tham most.

Well, I'd say that the Buddhist is doing work, just not traditionally how we define work. He's acting in the same way spiritual leaders & psychologists do in the West, except using an unfamiliar method. Helping people is a job in itself.
« Last Edit: 29/12/2009 19:04:07 by glovesforfoxes »
 

Offline AgimA

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« Reply #112 on: 29/12/2009 18:46:33 »
Gloves, for the sake of information:

Gluten is probably toxic to some degree for every human being. The detection of Coeliac's is quite difficult, sometimes not even a biopsy will show positive results, despite an individual having overtly symptoms. If you want more information on wheat related problems, study biochemistry and the interactions of the proteins contained in wheat, with the human body. On why proteins contained in wheat act like insulin in the wrong places, fomenting aberrant growths in the intestine. None to say, I did all tests but they came negative.

What is more insulting, to value my life less than the one of a pig (calling me, by induction, less than a pig, or even an arachnid), or to call you a crazy fool? Decide for yourself. Now report me to the moderators. If they're political correct, then sure I'll get banned...

It's the second time you tell me that will ignore me, stand by your word and do it.

If you don't want to see if what you base your ideas on is correct or not, why do you post a stupid article about some "aryan" tribe in the himalayas to prove your points? Incongruency.

I wonder how many from those 200000 will develop one of the following: MS, Diabetes, Hypothyroidism, neuropathy, would be interesting to study them.

Your messianic zeal, your holier than thou attitudes, your arrogance, whatever...

Take care.
 

Offline graham.d

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« Reply #113 on: 29/12/2009 19:59:21 »
Gloves, in my limited experience of home produce, it is almost impossible to grow sprouts without aphids getting on them, or, alternatively, using pesticides. I am fairly sure this is true of many vegetables. I guess it is theoretically possible to grow them in a sterile environment, but this is not a practical solution. In any case you have to clean them or cook the insects with the sprouts. A contradiction for you to solve maybe :-)

If you watched the Xmas lecture for children (I caught a part of it) the subject of aphid reproduction was discussed. Without natural controls they reproduce at a phenomenal rate. They reproduce using Parthenogenesis (essentially reproducing clones of themselves) and do so in a way that each adult has two generations of offspring prepared and ready to go. Why do you think, because we have brains, that this should mean that it disqualifies us from the natural order of being a controlling factor? It just makes the decisions harder. It is part of the Pandora's box that is called knowledge.

I know this has diverted from the original discussion, but hey, lets be wild :-)
 

Offline glovesforfoxes

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« Reply #114 on: 29/12/2009 20:32:25 »
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Gloves, in my limited experience of home produce, it is almost impossible to grow sprouts without aphids getting on them, or, alternatively, using pesticides. I am fairly sure this is true of many vegetables. I guess it is theoretically possible to grow them in a sterile environment, but this is not a practical solution. In any case you have to clean them or cook the insects with the sprouts. A contradiction for you to solve maybe :-)

Like I've said before, I honestly know too little growing organic produce to know how they deter insects, but I think there are methods. I'd have to ask an organic farmer :)

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If you watched the Xmas lecture for children (I caught a part of it) the subject of aphid reproduction was discussed. Without natural controls they reproduce at a phenomenal rate. They reproduce using Parthenogenesis (essentially reproducing clones of themselves) and do so in a way that each adult has two generations of offspring prepared and ready to go. Why do you think, because we have brains, that this should mean that it disqualifies us from the natural order of being a controlling factor? It just makes the decisions harder. It is part of the Pandora's box that is called knowledge.

I know this has diverted from the original discussion, but hey, lets be wild :-)

I never knew that about aphids!

Oh, we are a controlling factor, sure, & as much a part of nature as a lion or a honeybee. Issues of determinism & responsibility are fairly complex. I used to think that because the macroscopic world is essentially deterministic, at least as far as I can see, we are absolved from responsibility of our actions, but I have revised it simply for practicality. It may or may not be true - whether it is or not is irrelevant because I will still be held accountable for my actions by my own sense of morality & other by people, & I still have an impact on the world simply by existing. The simple fact of my existence may cause suffering to other organisms, but I try not to worry about things I cannot do anything about. I have come across information & access to the wonderful emotion of compassion that helps me to reduce that suffering as much as I practically can, & I am extremely grateful that I have.
 

Offline graham.d

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« Reply #115 on: 30/12/2009 11:03:05 »
I think you are right, to a point, about not worrying about things you can do nothing about, especially if you class worrying as an unhealthy extension to having doubts or concerns. I think that for the foreseeable future man needs to concentrate on his behaviour towards his fellow man and on the maintenance of the planet. I suppose I see the choice of veganism as a rather unimportent and personal decision that is likely to have little impact. Its main value would be to instill people with a greater degree of empathy for other humans via association with the animal surrogates. I see that as worthwhile. Practically, removing vast herds of cattle could reduce the production of greenhouse gasses but that may have to include reducing natural populations too. By the way, although it has been reported many times that rearing livestock is an inefficient method of producing food, it seriously dpends on what is the type of land available and how it is managed. Try growing crops on a hill farm in Wales or the west of Ireland! The balance of arable and livestock farming has been a key factor in optimising land use, especially in marginal areas. It is also a key factor in organic farm management. Rather like the Buddhist I mentioned, the idea is great for a few people to satisfy their concience, but probably not alright for everyone. Try eating the numerous tasty dishes you have learnt to cook if you had to source all the ingredients locally.

I don't think you can sidestep trying to classify animals' worth (maybe on a judgement of sentience) by the notion of whether they are capable of free movement or not. It is far more complicated than that. You would also have to stop walking, driving or other transport to avoid inadvertently killing bugs. This is not to mention how you contol pests that would otherwise eat the vegetables you wish to have as food. I cannot easily see the moral problem being solved by introducing natural methods of control, rather than artificial methods, either. Quite intelligent animals can also be pests too. It is all very well to say we should "deter" them, but that may not be very practical today.

For the foreseeable future I don't see the world becoming vegan and I do not even see it as a practical proposition. I would like to see more respect for animals and their welfare and develop a much greater understanding that animals range in sentience and perception. It is fine for people to become vegan if they wish and the concepts, and the moral stances adopted, are importent in promoting this understanding. I rather think it is similar to thinking it good for people to be pacifists, but in the event that there is a threat to also think that it is good that some people are not. As knowledge grows so does responsibility, and humans are presented with more and more moral dilemmas. I see the world as many shades of grey and it is rare to be able to make such a black/white choice.
 

Offline glovesforfoxes

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« Reply #116 on: 30/12/2009 13:16:48 »
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I suppose I see the choice of veganism as a rather unimportent and personal decision that is likely to have little impact. Its main value would be to instill people with a greater degree of empathy for other humans via association with the animal surrogates.

Once again, this displays the speciesist attitude that I dislike.. let me explain why I think animals should be considered having 'instrinsic value' much like humans are seen has having. I see your arguments as similar to the arguments an 18th century slave owner who is sympathetic towards the black people. Nothing personal, this is just for the sake of argument.

If you use sentience or intelligence solely as a way of judging how well we treat living things, there are cases with humans where, if using a strict definition, we would treat a human badly. Take for example the severely mentally disabled, who cannot even look after themselves, or people in comas. We do not treat them badly simply because they lack intelligence, or because they lack a work function which helps towards keeping civilisation intact. In these cases, the line between species membership is very blurry.. at what intelligence level is a human no longer a human? When they are raised in a feral environment? The same question can be asked about sentience - at what level is a human no longer a human? When they are in a coma?

Of course, we would not treat feral humans or comatose patient badly, even if that person were not sentient. It is the capability of sentience, or even the slightest chance of sentience, as well as that feeling of violating a person's right, that deters us. It feels morally intrinsically wrong because that person has moral intrinsic value; not simply because of what he is, as a human, but simply because there is the slightest possibility that he is aware of what is happening around him. Besides that, even the dead are respected enough to be protected by law from theft, rape, etc, though arguably this is no longer a crime against the person. I believe we afford the dead this protection because of what they were. But this is an aside..

Even if you see animals as having only the tiniest chance of being sentient, then everything should be done to protect them, using the same arguments as I have above. This includes from being murdered, manipulated to serve human ends, raped, abused in any sort of way.

That is why veganism is important for animals & not simply just for humans, though it would be beneficial for both. Rights protect us from being used as means to ends, no matter what ends they are. Animals should not be used as means to our ends simply because it's wrong to use something sentient as a mere tool. Not only that, but it is a question of desertion; the animal has been born into the world as it is, just as you have - neither of you "deserve" the body any more than the other, but one will be subjugated to misery to it's most of it's life, whereas the other will be the subjugator. That is mere luck, nothing else. We have already recognised that it's really morally dumb to treat people badly based on if they have black skin or are born with sex organs that don't dangle - the time is ripe to recognise that we should not treat things badly if they hooves, feathers, or fur. This is also I believe characterising sentient animals in degrees of sentiency is dangerous; at what point can we use a sentient creature capable of feeling for our ends? is the wrong question to ask. Any sentient creature should be afforded at the very least the right of non-interference from humans. It is not a question of sidestepping anything, it is simply that the information about degrees of sentiency & capability of pain are unimportant if you're going to apply the moral principle properly. That's why animals deserve to be treated with intrinsic value & as a result, moral & legal rights.

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that is likely to have little impact.

I'm going to repeat this because it is a major barrier in people becoming vegan.

Let me ask, do you vote? Statistically speaking, your vote makes no difference. Looking it from the perspective of the entire population, your vote makes no difference. That's not really the point, though, is it? It's about partaking in your government, about trying to make as much difference as you, as an individual, can.

This is really a question of perspective. I could argue that from the perspective of the universe, humans are less than nothing. Our lives are over faster than the blink of an eye to the universe. That's missing the point of life, though, isn't it? We do not give up on life simply because we are the briefest of winds in the universe - we have feelings, & they give us meaning. Enjoying ourselves is the ultimate end.. at the same time, we must recognise that all other sentient creatures are also trying to reach that ultimate end of being happy: violating it is similar to how you feel when others make you unhappy. It is deeply unsatisfying. It can be reasonably assumed that other humans & animals have emotions based on similarities with us, it does not require such a massive leap of faith to recognise this.

Similarly, thinking you do not make a difference is a skew of perspective that prevents you from acting in a better way. It is as poor an excuse to not strive for morality as it is being lazy your entire life because you won't make an appreciable overall impact on society from the point of view of the entire of society.

16 10 billion land animals will still be raised for the slaughter next year whether I'm vegan or not. I do not expect to save even a few hundred animals. Hopefully I can save a couple. My expectations for myself are not high. I do not even expect to convert a single person to being a vegan, but I hope to.

If enough people try, then maybe we can make an appreciable impact, even from the perspective of the number itself ;)

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For the foreseeable future I don't see the world becoming vegan and I do not even see it as a practical proposition.

It is not practical to happen immediately - I don't expect veganism to happen overnight.

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I rather think it is similar to thinking it good for people to be pacifists, but in the event that there is a threat to also think that it is good that some people are not.

I do not. Pacifism universalised would mean that the nation in question would be conquered pretty quickly. It is an unsustainable position for a country to take (arguably it is not if it is fully universalised, since no one would be interested in violence, but I guess some people always will be). Veganism is not; it requires much less land & water than a non-vegan diet, though it might require transport as you've pointed out. It does not require that you never kill an animal ever again, only that you do not kill an innocent animal intentionally.

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I see the world as many shades of grey and it is rare to be able to make such a black/white choice.

At what point of womanness does it become okay not to grant them the right to vote? This suffers the same problem I have gone at length to describe above. This isn't really about shades of grey, though I recognise that in many situations it is, the treatment of animals is not.

PS I apologise for the long read, but I think it's necessary to really make my points :)

Edit: WARNING, EXTREMELY GRAPHIC & DISTURBING

a nice movie to watch on my arguments summed up is Earthlings: http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=6361872964130308142&ei=6H07S9XVMdqv-AbaxqimAQ&q=earthlings&hl=en&view=3&client=firefox-a#

If that link doesn't work, head over to google video & search for it. I'm sure some people will enjoy it. :)

Find it illuminating. :-\ I know I have. I am cautious about generalising this to all factories, but based on the cheapness of a lot of meat, I would not say it is uncommon practice. The Kosher section I found extremely shocking.

Edit: corrected number of land animals killed per year for food
« Last Edit: 31/12/2009 16:18:30 by glovesforfoxes »
 

Offline graham.d

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« Reply #117 on: 30/12/2009 17:14:20 »
Again, I see you are justifying your position on the basis of converting your emotional response into a justification for the concept, then extending the concept ad absurdum. Let state my position as clearly as I can:
1. It is wrong to intentionally and unnecessarily inflict pain or distress on sentient animals that we can reasonably expect to feel such pain or distress.
2. It is wrong to intentionally and unnecessarily harm sentient animals except where doing so is necessary for the essential benefit of other sentient animals, including humans, or for other animals of the same species.
3. It is essential that views be taken on degrees of importance in any decisions as it is easy to see that conflicting situations can arise. This would have to be done by decisions on a hierarchy of sentience combined with the impact of any decisions. This would have to be codified as law.
4. The world is not currently in a state where a practical codification is possible and there are many other important problems to be solved.

There are almost certainly more "rules" I could think of with enough time.

Comparison with the slave trade: All men are equal - slavery is wrong. An 18th century slave trader may justify his actions on the basis that the slaves were some sub-species but, more generally, slaves were considered a useful bounty of war in most cultures. The concept of them being inferior was a justification to placate those who may have felt uneasy about it in a developing liberalism.

Comparison with the severely mentally disabled or those in a coma: Yes, they may recover but a sheep is not likely to start reading Proust :-) More importantly, there are laws which are there to protect individuals when those individuals are not able to do that themselves. It is nonetheless the case that someone can be judged to be in a persistently vegetative state and have life support removed. It may be clear that severely mentally disabled people may not recover, but these people have considerable "sentience" compared with any non-human animal. It is necessary for the law to protect such people and we have such laws.

I would guess that you are against abortion. That is a subject for another debate. Personally I dislike abortion beyond a very early stage (zygote stage) but I also think there is a conflict between the continued health and well-being of the mother, the (possibly) unwanted child and the rights of the unborn baby who is no doubt to some extent sentient when abhorted at (say) 3 months. Absolutism does not work here either. We (humans) have to make decisions and formulate laws that can be practically applied within the limitations of the world we live in and the knowledge we have.

It is fine for you to take the view that you are being logically consistant in being a vegan and if you wish to evangelise the idea, that's OK too. It wasn't any sort of "put down" when I said it will be unlikely to matter much. What I meant was, that the idea is impractical with the world as it is, so the concept does no harm. If it encourages people to think about sentience in animals and empathise, then it is a positive for the human race. I happen to think that we will move in such a direction (higher mammals are clearly sentient) but that I think we are looking at 100 to 200 year time span. It will have to involve a good deal of categorising and making value judgements, so I wholly disagree with your view that you should avoid killing anything. I am fairly sure that I would not classify aphids as sentient. I think you are going too far in anthropomorphising all creatures and I think we have to do better than that.
 

Offline glovesforfoxes

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« Reply #118 on: 30/12/2009 19:02:03 »
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Again, I see you are justifying your position on the basis of converting your emotional response into a justification for the concept

Of course I am! Show me morality that doesn't! Emotions are the basis of what is good & what is bad. When we say something is "good" or "bad", that doesn't mean anything if no emotions are involved - describing something as good means it brings a pleasurable outcome to usually, the most amount of people, though there are flaws with this definition. I have based my morality on something wider - the effect it will have on not only humans, but on animals, since the suffering animals feel can be assumed to be very similar to humans, & vice versa. It is simply because we are humans & understand human experience more easily - I am not comparing animals to humans because I think they have human qualities, I think they have shared qualities, most importantly, the shared qualities of feeling pain & being aware. There is extremely good evidence for this - go & apply an injurous stimulus to an animal, & it will try to get away from the stimulus. The evidence for consciousness comes from the similarity in nervous system & brain to humans in other animals & I agree that the evidence becomes weaker the further removed from this setup a nervous system becomes. It is strong enough for me, however, to believe individual fish are conscious. This is almost the opposite of anthropomorphism - I'm not granting animals human qualities, I'm saying in some morally important respects, we have the same qualities, irregardless of whether you're a vole or the president of Nigeria.

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2. It is wrong to intentionally and unnecessarily harm sentient animals except where doing so is necessary for the essential benefit of other sentient animals, including humans, or for other animals of the same species.

I have only quoted point 2 because I agree with points 1 & 4 except the part about importance. Point 3 & the importance issue will be tackled later on.

See, the problem is, you're already framing the issue in terms of instrumental value: that is, if an animal can be used as an instrument to gain more knowledge, then the ends justify the means. The benefit to other species is irrelevant. It's like arguing that we can enslave, experiment on, & then kill a black person, because it is beneficial for another group. It might provide the most useful, amazing new scientific information in the world, but that's not the point. It's still instrinsically wrong in the same way that it is intrinsically wrong to do the same thing to animals. For this reason, there is no need for a heirachy of sentience - there is a need for determining whether a living thing can be reasonably assumed to be sentient - fortunately, there already is one - the biological classifications of animalia, for the current purposes, are fine. The divisions are not perfect. Sponges are included, however, & cannot reasonably be assumed to be sentient or feel pain; for this reason I still buy & use sponges.

However, if you truly believe that one group of sentient creatures should suffer or be killed for the possibility, however likely, of benefitting another group, then we have nothing more to talk about - there is no argument against it, it is a fundamental belief.

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All men are equal - slavery is wrong. An 18th century slave trader may justify his actions on the basis that the slaves were some sub-species but, more generally, slaves were considered a useful bounty of war in most cultures. The concept of them being inferior was a justification to placate those who may have felt uneasy about it in a developing liberalism.

Isn't this an argument for fighting speciesism, rather than against it? The same jusfication is the made by many in this age for the same purpose.

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Comparison with the severely mentally disabled or those in a coma: Yes, they may recover but a sheep is not likely to start reading Proust :-) More importantly, there are laws which are there to protect individuals when those individuals are not able to do that themselves*. It is nonetheless the case that someone can be judged to be in a persistently vegetative state and have life support removed.
*Bold added

I agree that a sheep is not about to start reading Proust :D

You have hit the nail on the head on why such legislature is important. It protects the weak from the strong, in other words, protects both parties from animalistic (I'm using that word ironically of course ;)) predatory behaviour.

As for the vegetative state, well, that's because the person is essentially the same as dead. They no longer experience feelings or percieve the world. Animals do.

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It may be clear that severely mentally disabled people may not recover, but these people have considerable "sentience" compared with any non-human animal. It is necessary for the law to protect such people and we have such laws.

I think you're confusing intelligence with sentience here. Maybe you recognised it yourself, since you put sentience in quotation marks.

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I would guess that you are against abortion. That is a subject for another debate. Personally I dislike abortion beyond a very early stage (zygote stage) but I also think there is a conflict between the continued health and well-being of the mother, the (possibly) unwanted child and the rights of the unborn baby who is no doubt to some extent sentient when abhorted at (say) 3 months. Absolutism does not work here either. We (humans) have to make decisions and formulate laws that can be practically applied within the limitations of the world we live in and the knowledge we have.

This is always a hard debate. I'm pro choice, not pro life.. I do not believe fetuses, at a young age, can be considered sentient or feeling. They are a mass of cells, not yet experiencing. When there is evidence that they are sentient, then I disagree that they should be killed. That fetus, morally, is then a child. That's why I'm okay with stem cell research too. The mere future potential for sentiency & life is not good grounds for granting moral protection; if it were, we would be lead to the moral conclusion that all egg capable of being fertilised should be, which is practically & morally ridiculous.

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It is fine for you to take the view that you are being logically consistant in being a vegan and if you wish to evangelise the idea, that's OK too. It wasn't any sort of "put down" when I said it will be unlikely to matter much. What I meant was, that the idea is impractical with the world as it is, so the concept does no harm. If it encourages people to think about sentience in animals and empathise, then it is a positive for the human race. I happen to think that we will move in such a direction (higher mammals are clearly sentient) but that I think we are looking at 100 to 200 year time span. It will have to involve a good deal of categorising and making value judgements, so I wholly disagree with your view that you should avoid killing anything. I am fairly sure that I would not classify aphids as sentient. I think you are going too far in anthropomorphising all creatures and I think we have to do better than that.


I don't ever claim you should avoid killing everything (an absurd position, imo) & I've tried to explain why we do not need to classify animals further above, as well as explain why I do not think it is anthropomorphism.

I recognise that there are important differences between animal & human rights, but it is the common experience of being able to suffer that means that we should afford the basic right of non-interference to the animals that we routinely hurt.

Thanks for recognising that it's a good thing though - it's enough for me to get people just thinking about this seriously - I really hate that groups like PETA & ALF are the faces of the animal rights movement. The entire reason I'm continuing to spend time debating this with you, & other people, is exactly to show that we are not all fanatics, evangelical, but rather that there are sound reasons behind giving animals rights that can be derived from already existing secular ethics.
« Last Edit: 30/12/2009 19:07:54 by glovesforfoxes »
 

Offline graham.d

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« Reply #119 on: 31/12/2009 11:17:19 »
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Emotions are the basis of what is good & what is bad.
Yes and no. As far as an individual is concerned this would be true for everyday use. It is a personal opinion and, as far as we share a degree of commonality in being human, it works as a moral signpost. However, there are many that will disagree on many subjects, others who may agree but do not care to act in sympathy with their own concience, and others still who may agree but see that in many cases their idealistic views may be self contradictory when taken to extremis and they have to make decisions about a least bad course. I think most of our laws are based on our shared moral sense, usually codified based on earlier religious concepts.

You are using your own moral judgement to make decisions about your own actions; this is fine as long as it does no harm to the rest of the society you live in. There are plenty of cases where this is not an acceptable course of action though; militant religious extremism for example and, as you have alluded to, some animal rights movements. Regrettably there are often problems with idealism.

It is not necessarily the case that because an organism has a response to a stimulus (that may damage that organism), that this is any way related to sentience or in any way similar to that of a human. Evolution has resulted in organisms having reactions, probably originating as methods of defence. That humans also have a similar reaction is unsurprising though the human response is going to be more sophisticated. As far as higher mammals are concerned, there are structural similarities in the nervous systems and it is likely that distress in such animals can be compared with that in humans; in that I agree.

Is it "good or bad" to kill sentient animals? I have an instinctive view that is the same as you, but this is not shared by all humanity. I would not deliberately harm another sentient creature but I also recognise that this is anthropomorphising the animal, and so my feelings are not reliable, and also not a currently sustainable view in the society we live in.

Comparing past treatment of black slaves to today's treatment of animals is fallacious. It is a straw man argument. That the slave trade often treated the slaves as they would livestock is true. That this was wrong was, primarily, because they were human and not because humans should not treat any creature this way. Today most would not agree to treat livestock this way either, but that is not the point you are making. We have made decisions in this society that it is not right to kill a human for the benefit of other humans. However we do have "opt-out" clauses for immediate prevention of killing of other humans. The law does not extend to exploitation though.

If there were a colony of apes about to be killed off by diseases spread by rats and the only option was to kill the rats then I would do that if it were in my power and there were no other viable option. I would make the decision that the apes were worth more than the rats. It may be hard to justify this, and probably impossible from your standpoint, but I would guess that most people would agree to this. If it were one species of ape versus another species of ape this would make the decision very hard but with knowledge and power comes responsibility. To them we are playing at being a God.

If it is one group of humans and another group it is even more difficult as all the world's wars have shown.

You should read about whether a 3 month fetus is sentient or not. You were debating the possibility of whether flies should be harmed the other day and yet take a pro-choice view
on abortion. I don't disagree with your choice but I do not find it at all consistant with your views on how to treat animals. Stem cell research is fine with me too because a Zygote has no nervous system. A 3 month fetus is considerably developed however. There was much debate on the legality of whether there should be elective abortions at this point of development or whether the term should be shortened or lengthened. Not easy, but part of the responsibility I was talking about.

 
 

Offline glovesforfoxes

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« Reply #120 on: 31/12/2009 12:08:20 »
I agree with the first paragraph after the quote. It was a little too simplistic to say that.

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You are using your own moral judgement to make decisions about your own actions; this is fine as long as it does no harm to the rest of the society you live in. There are plenty of cases where this is not an acceptable course of action though; militant religious extremism for example and, as you have alluded to, some animal rights movements. Regrettably there are often problems with idealism.

From the extremist's point of view (a well known group is ALF), animal rights must try their hardest to do everything to save animals right now. ALF are committed to non-violence against people, but not against property - they take the tools out, so to speak. I do think this is a necessary part of any revolution - it gives the AR groups a lot more leverage overall. The basic idea behind it is that they need to protect the animals by proxy, even if that means acting outside the law & even day to day morality. Civil disobedience can be a good thing against a system that is evil. After all, that system is set up to maintain the status quo; if you believe the status quo is evil (& ALF members obviously do, for pretty much the same reasons I do) one way of immediately getting attention to your cause as well as leverage is to destroy property & free animals from their cages, literally.

They recognise themselves that violence against property is not the only way for the war to be won, simply the fastest. & of course the faster ARs are recognised, the more animals will be saved. This is much different to religious extremism.

Read this page for more information on how they justify violence towards property, & their argument against pacifism: http://www.animalliberationfront.com/Philosophy/Pacifism.htm

Mostly they just come across as angry jerks, they aren't exactly professionals. What they say has some merit though.

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anthropomorphising the animal, and so my feelings are not reliable, and also not a currently sustainable view in the society we live in.

It's not anthropomorphising the animal. It is not granting them human qualities. The argument is, which you've already accepted here that:

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there are structural similarities in the nervous systems and it is likely that distress in such animals can be compared with that in humans; in that I agree.

If you were a cow & studied human physiology, & then said to other cows "look! they have a similar physiology, so it's likely that they feel pain in the same way we do!" those cows would not accuse you of bovinialmorphism ( ;D ) in the same way you should not accuse me, or yourself, as anthropomorphic. We compare the animals to humans because we are human, but that doesn't mean that I think the animals are like humans in every way. They might not day dream, but there is evidence that both cows & humans experience pain & suffering in a very similar. Whether you use a cow as your starting point or a human as a starting point is irrelevant, because they are both very similar.

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also not a currently sustainable view in the society we live in.

Of course it isn't! That's why I'm arguing for change!

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Comparing past treatment of black slaves to today's treatment of animals is fallacious. It is a straw man argument. That the slave trade often treated the slaves as they would livestock is true. That this was wrong was, primarily, because they were human and not because humans should not treat any creature this way.

No, it is wrong because they can feel pain, although at the time the basis was that they are intelligent. We've already discussed why using intelligence as a measure for how well you treat something is stupid: simply because intelligence is at least partly determined by genetics, so there is no desertion, & because of the mentally disabled person or child argument. It is not a straw man argument; the blacks were treated badly by oppressors, as animals are today by all humans, either by proxy or directly.

"The French have already discovered that the blackness of the skin is no reason a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tormentor. It may one day come to be recognized that the number of the legs, the villosity of the skin, or the termination of the os sacrum are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason or perhaps the faculty of discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog, is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day or a week or even a month, old. But suppose the case were otherwise, what would it avail? the question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?" - Jeremy Bentham

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If there were a colony of apes about to be killed off by diseases spread by rats and the only option was to kill the rats then I would do that if it were in my power and there were no other viable option. I would make the decision that the apes were worth more than the rats. It may be hard to justify this, and probably impossible from your standpoint, but I would guess that most people would agree to this. If it were one species of ape versus another species of ape this would make the decision very hard but with knowledge and power comes responsibility. To them we are playing at being a God.

This is too hard a dilemna for me to respond to. I will spend time thinking about it, but I suspect my answer would be to deny the validity of the thought experiment since killing the rats would never in real life be the only option to save the apes. I'll have more of a proper think about it though.

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You should read about whether a 3 month fetus is sentient or not. You were debating the possibility of whether flies should be harmed the other day and yet take a pro-choice view
on abortion. I don't disagree with your choice but I do not find it at all consistant with your views on how to treat animals. Stem cell research is fine with me too because a Zygote has no nervous system. A 3 month fetus is considerably developed however. There was much debate on the legality of whether there should be elective abortions at this point of development or whether the term should be shortened or lengthened. Not easy, but part of the responsibility I was talking about.

It is fully consistant; I would not kill a sentient, feeling creature whether it is an unborn child or a cow. I would not pay someone to do it for me, & I would not agree with anyone that does, since in terms of consequences it amounts to the same thing, though I recognise a different in intent. Like you've said - you would not harm an animal yourself, yet you are going to long lengths to defend why it's okay for someone to do it on your behalf. The two actions, financing suffering/killing or doing it yourself, amount to the same consequence. That is why I take care not to accidentally step on insects or kill them - it results in the same thing, though I recognise I am less culpable for one than the other. I am still culpable for both though, even if it's just in my own head.
« Last Edit: 31/12/2009 12:10:23 by glovesforfoxes »
 

Offline graham.d

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Humans shouldn't eat meat. Do you agree ?
« Reply #121 on: 31/12/2009 13:12:42 »
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It is fully consistant; I would not kill a sentient, feeling creature whether it is an unborn child or a cow.
How is it consistant? You said you were pro-choice not pro-life.

I do not claim such self consistancy. I recognise that there are contradictory positions in all aspects of life and choose to live with them. All extreme positions are arrived at by not choosing to see this.
 

Offline glovesforfoxes

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Humans shouldn't eat meat. Do you agree ?
« Reply #122 on: 31/12/2009 16:07:20 »
Yeah. It's consistent because I'm not against killing as an absolute; I am against killing sentient, feeling creatures as an absolute. I'm not sure about the evidence or exact time, but there is a certain point where a fetus is unfeeling & unaware - it is a mass of cells, no more feeling than a rock. I am for abortion until this point, until the fetus becomes sentient, at which point I would call it an unborn child rather than a fetus, but I know that this is medically incorrect. IMO, if people pushed for this change in meaning, it would not only be more meaningful, but perhaps discourage people from having abortions after the point where the fetus grows into sentiency/feeling.

I'm well aware that humans are full of contradictions & we have to live with it.. we simply do not have the time, intelligence or awareness to tackle them all of our hypocritical attitudes, but when 10 billion animals are killed per year for food alone, with a vast majority of them suffering through life, it is definitely an important enough contradictions to tackle. Like I've said.. even if me being vegan for the rest of my life only results in saving just one creature from that suffering life, I'm sure that creature would be eternally grateful for it.
« Last Edit: 31/12/2009 16:11:23 by glovesforfoxes »
 

Ethos

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Humans shouldn't eat meat. Do you agree ?
« Reply #123 on: 31/12/2009 16:32:53 »

 I'm not sure about the evidence or exact time, but there is a certain point where a fetus is unfeeling & unaware - it is a mass of cells, no more feeling than a rock.
That may or may not be true. At least a rock is by no means organic nor alive. I'd like to see your evidence for that statement. Frankly, I doubt you have any....................Ethos
 

Offline graham.d

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Humans shouldn't eat meat. Do you agree ?
« Reply #124 on: 31/12/2009 17:05:26 »
Gloves, I guess we all have specific missions which we regard as ones worth pursuing. I am more active on a political website (with a pseudonym). I have enjoyed the discussion with you here though.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Humans shouldn't eat meat. Do you agree ?
« Reply #124 on: 31/12/2009 17:05:26 »

 

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