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The Immorality of Eating Meat

nonentity
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1/5/2012 12:35:49 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
This thread is to avoid me derailing a previous thread http://www.debate.org...

This is in regards to vegetarians who believe eating meat is immoral. (inb4 someone says "not all vegetarians believe this blah blah blah".) Do you believe that those in poverty-stricken countries are immoral for eating meat? What about those in poverty who are not in poverty-stricken countries? Why or why not?
royalpaladin
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1/5/2012 12:42:41 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
The entire ethical vegetarian movement is immensely hypocritical because it measures the worth of life based on the human characteristic of rationality while decrying others for claiming that animal life is less valuable than human life because animals are not as rational.

There is not rational reason that plants, bacteria, fungi, protists, and archea are not as equally valuable as animals. In fact, is ability to survive is a measure of worth, then archea and bacteria are clearly the most valuable forms of life on the planet.
drafterman
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1/5/2012 1:01:47 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
There can be no general immoral stance against eating me. All morality arguments revolve around the specific implementations of the meat industry as is. That is, it is a practical, not philosophical, issue.

Case-in-point: How could it be immoral to eat the meat of an animal that has died of otherwise natural causes?
vbaculum
Posts: 1,274
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1/5/2012 1:47:42 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/5/2012 12:35:49 PM, nonentity wrote:
This thread is to avoid me derailing a previous thread http://www.debate.org...

This is in regards to vegetarians who believe eating meat is immoral. (inb4 someone says "not all vegetarians believe this blah blah blah".) Do you believe that those in poverty-stricken countries are immoral for eating meat? What about those in poverty who are not in poverty-stricken countries? Why or why not?

I judge an action immoral if it ultimately introduces more pain than pleasure into the world. This makes it difficult to make blanket statements like "all these people are immoral because...". It's possible, though difficult, to kill an animal thereby bringing into the world more pleasure than pain. A poor person can euthanize an animal or torture it to death.

I've stated my criteria for distinguishing between moral and immoral acts. What is your criteria nonentity? How would you answer your own question in light of your own criteria?
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If you want it
Lasagna
Posts: 2,440
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1/5/2012 10:45:26 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Eating meat is usually immoral because of our energy needs. When humanity was a small fraction of its present form, its energy needs were inconsequential. Now our population is exploding along with energy usage per person, and there are some dark clouds looming in the future unless someone derails this train of consumption.

You lose an order of magnitude, in terms of units of energy, every time you feed an animal and then eat the animal. So when you eat a meat-rich diet, you are actually using as much energy as ten vegetarians (mostly in the form of vegetables that were fed to the animals). Water is wasted in a similar fashion and there are many other externalities like animal waste (an average cow sh*ts out over two hundred pounds of manure every day), and use of hormones and antibiotics. Wisconsin has lots of cows and although land-spreading as fertilizer is a useful recycling option, there is just too much of it and disposal is a real problem. Run-off from farms upstream from Baird Creek (a waterway close to my house) is causing nutrient imbalances and killing the fish.

We have a logical solution: halt large-scale meat production. You don't have to stop eating meat in principle, but you do have to realize that the meat is a sacrifice and appreciate that sacrifice. We take what we have for granted and that is truly sad.

I judge an action immoral if it ultimately introduces more pain than pleasure into the world.

Utilitarianism doesn't do very well in the area of prescription.
Rob
nonentity
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1/6/2012 8:50:57 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/5/2012 1:47:42 PM, vbaculum wrote:
At 1/5/2012 12:35:49 PM, nonentity wrote:
This thread is to avoid me derailing a previous thread http://www.debate.org...

This is in regards to vegetarians who believe eating meat is immoral. (inb4 someone says "not all vegetarians believe this blah blah blah".) Do you believe that those in poverty-stricken countries are immoral for eating meat? What about those in poverty who are not in poverty-stricken countries? Why or why not?

I judge an action immoral if it ultimately introduces more pain than pleasure into the world. This makes it difficult to make blanket statements like "all these people are immoral because...". It's possible, though difficult, to kill an animal thereby bringing into the world more pleasure than pain. A poor person can euthanize an animal or torture it to death.

I've stated my criteria for distinguishing between moral and immoral acts. What is your criteria nonentity? How would you answer your own question in light of your own criteria?

I don't have a blanket statement I can use to deem what is moral or immoral.

So what is your problem with meat-eating exactly? Is it the animals themselves or is it the way they are treated /killed? Because I was under the impression that you believed animals to be sentient and therefore worthy of certain protections (eg. not being eaten).
Greyparrot
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1/6/2012 9:02:07 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
I agree with Lasagna that the morality should consider the stripping of energy and water resources. Calorie for calorie, meat is rather inneficient to cultivate compared to plants.
royalpaladin
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1/6/2012 9:05:55 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/6/2012 9:02:07 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
I agree with Lasagna that the morality should consider the stripping of energy and water resources. Calorie for calorie, meat is rather inneficient to cultivate compared to plants.

What gives us an inherent right to those sources as opposed to animals?
drafterman
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1/6/2012 9:19:57 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Regarding the "efficiency" of Meat-eating vs. Plant-eating.

Well, what about photosynthesis? Hm? If meat eating is immoral when compared to plant eating would plant eating not be considered immoral when compared to photosynthesis and other forms of directly extracting nutrients from one's environment?
royalpaladin
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1/6/2012 9:22:23 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/6/2012 9:19:57 AM, drafterman wrote:
Regarding the "efficiency" of Meat-eating vs. Plant-eating.

Well, what about photosynthesis? Hm? If meat eating is immoral when compared to plant eating would plant eating not be considered immoral when compared to photosynthesis and other forms of directly extracting nutrients from one's environment?

Nice argument; I had never even thought of that.
nonentity
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1/6/2012 9:25:18 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
As I mentioned in the other thread, by virtue of living in North America and other "rich" continents, we have access to imported food. Could I get all my nutrients from plants (and other vegan/vegetarian products) only grown in Canada? Probably not, and I wouldn't want to.

In some countries their diets are vastly different from ours. For example, in Nigeria, dairy is not a part of their diet at all. They have daily blackouts that last for hours so it's not even practical for most people to own a refridgerator.
nonentity
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1/6/2012 9:29:04 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/6/2012 9:25:18 AM, nonentity wrote:
For example, in Nigeria, dairy is not a part of their diet at all.

That's not exactly true... they do use powdered milk (mixed with water) for hot chocolate and their cereal but the concept of drinking milk is unheard of. I've never seen cheese or yogurt there...
Raisor
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1/6/2012 1:09:02 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Most vegetarian arguments Im aware of involve the current state of factory farming. For example, utilitarians find the conditions chickens are often kept in (born and raised in square foot cages and allowed to die of disease) repugnant because of the suffering it causes these animals. Utilitarianism commits one to minimize suffering and it is very difficult to explain why animal suffering is less important than human suffering, especially when the suffering is totally avoidable.

Someone posted that there is no reason to say eating meat is less ethical than eating plants. Well the obvious difference is that plants do not feel pain. A more debatable reason would be that it is possible that some animals might possess higher cognitive functions like low-functioning reason and a sense of self. The distinction between plant/animal goes back to antiquity.
drafterman
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1/6/2012 1:12:08 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/6/2012 1:09:02 PM, Raisor wrote:
Most vegetarian arguments Im aware of involve the current state of factory farming. For example, utilitarians find the conditions chickens are often kept in (born and raised in square foot cages and allowed to die of disease) repugnant because of the suffering it causes these animals. Utilitarianism commits one to minimize suffering and it is very difficult to explain why animal suffering is less important than human suffering, especially when the suffering is totally avoidable.

Someone posted that there is no reason to say eating meat is less ethical than eating plants. Well the obvious difference is that plants do not feel pain. A more debatable reason would be that it is possible that some animals might possess higher cognitive functions like low-functioning reason and a sense of self. The distinction between plant/animal goes back to antiquity.

Dead Animals feel no pain either.
royalpaladin
Posts: 22,357
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1/6/2012 1:12:30 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/6/2012 1:09:02 PM, Raisor wrote:
Most vegetarian arguments Im aware of involve the current state of factory farming. For example, utilitarians find the conditions chickens are often kept in (born and raised in square foot cages and allowed to die of disease) repugnant because of the suffering it causes these animals. Utilitarianism commits one to minimize suffering and it is very difficult to explain why animal suffering is less important than human suffering, especially when the suffering is totally avoidable.

Someone posted that there is no reason to say eating meat is less ethical than eating plants. Well the obvious difference is that plants do not feel pain. A more debatable reason would be that it is possible that some animals might possess higher cognitive functions like low-functioning reason and a sense of self. The distinction between plant/animal goes back to antiquity.

Why does ability to feel pain make life more valuable? There are humans that cannot feel pain; would it be morally permissible to murder these individuals? The same can be said for rationality and infants.

There is no reason to evaulate the worth of life forms based on human characteristics.
vbaculum
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1/6/2012 1:54:15 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/6/2012 8:50:57 AM, nonentity wrote:
At 1/5/2012 1:47:42 PM, vbaculum wrote:
At 1/5/2012 12:35:49 PM, nonentity wrote:
This thread is to avoid me derailing a previous thread http://www.debate.org...

This is in regards to vegetarians who believe eating meat is immoral. (inb4 someone says "not all vegetarians believe this blah blah blah".) Do you believe that those in poverty-stricken countries are immoral for eating meat? What about those in poverty who are not in poverty-stricken countries? Why or why not?

I judge an action immoral if it ultimately introduces more pain than pleasure into the world. This makes it difficult to make blanket statements like "all these people are immoral because...". It's possible, though difficult, to kill an animal thereby bringing into the world more pleasure than pain. A poor person can euthanize an animal or torture it to death.

I've stated my criteria for distinguishing between moral and immoral acts. What is your criteria nonentity? How would you answer your own question in light of your own criteria?

I don't have a blanket statement I can use to deem what is moral or immoral.

So what is your problem with meat-eating exactly? Is it the animals themselves or is it the way they are treated /killed? Because I was under the impression that you believed animals to be sentient and therefore worthy of certain protections (eg. not being eaten).

I don't consider the termination of an animals life to be immoral unless it involves a certain degree of pain. I doubt a system could ever be implemented that could guarantee the painless termination of an animal's existence - despite the claims of the happy-meat industry.

On factory farms, animals are systematically tortured in a numerous ways and in slaughterhouses, animals are tortured to death. Veganism is simply an opposition to torture extended to non-human species. I consider torture to be immoral.
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If you want it
Raisor
Posts: 4,460
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1/6/2012 5:10:39 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/6/2012 1:12:30 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 1/6/2012 1:09:02 PM, Raisor wrote:
Most vegetarian arguments Im aware of involve the current state of factory farming. For example, utilitarians find the conditions chickens are often kept in (born and raised in square foot cages and allowed to die of disease) repugnant because of the suffering it causes these animals. Utilitarianism commits one to minimize suffering and it is very difficult to explain why animal suffering is less important than human suffering, especially when the suffering is totally avoidable.

Someone posted that there is no reason to say eating meat is less ethical than eating plants. Well the obvious difference is that plants do not feel pain. A more debatable reason would be that it is possible that some animals might possess higher cognitive functions like low-functioning reason and a sense of self. The distinction between plant/animal goes back to antiquity.

Why does ability to feel pain make life more valuable? There are humans that cannot feel pain; would it be morally permissible to murder these individuals? The same can be said for rationality and infants.

There is no reason to evaulate the worth of life forms based on human characteristics.

My post clearly indicated that under the framework of utilitarianism pain is an ethically relevant trait. Im not going to engage in a defense of utilitarianism, I am just showing that one of the most widely subscribed to ethical systems provides very solid ground for the vegetarian position.

There are plenty of reasons to evaluate life forms based on human characteristics, since many human characteristics have been defended as stand alone criteria for ethics. In other words, human characteristic are standards for evaluation not BECAUSE they are "human" but because they are ethically important. For example freedom under Sartre and Kant, rationality under Kant, the ability to feel pain for utilitarians, self awareness for different theories of personhood, etc. etc.

I think it is a pretty hard position to take that something like sentience is NOT of ethical relevance. If you disagree I would be happy to take up a formal debate with you on the topic.
Raisor
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1/6/2012 5:12:01 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/6/2012 1:12:08 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 1/6/2012 1:09:02 PM, Raisor wrote:
Most vegetarian arguments Im aware of involve the current state of factory farming. For example, utilitarians find the conditions chickens are often kept in (born and raised in square foot cages and allowed to die of disease) repugnant because of the suffering it causes these animals. Utilitarianism commits one to minimize suffering and it is very difficult to explain why animal suffering is less important than human suffering, especially when the suffering is totally avoidable.

Someone posted that there is no reason to say eating meat is less ethical than eating plants. Well the obvious difference is that plants do not feel pain. A more debatable reason would be that it is possible that some animals might possess higher cognitive functions like low-functioning reason and a sense of self. The distinction between plant/animal goes back to antiquity.

Dead Animals feel no pain either.

That is why many vegetarian positions are rooted not in how animals are treated after they are dead, but while they are still alive. :P
royalpaladin
Posts: 22,357
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1/6/2012 5:12:36 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/6/2012 5:10:39 PM, Raisor wrote:
At 1/6/2012 1:12:30 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 1/6/2012 1:09:02 PM, Raisor wrote:
Most vegetarian arguments Im aware of involve the current state of factory farming. For example, utilitarians find the conditions chickens are often kept in (born and raised in square foot cages and allowed to die of disease) repugnant because of the suffering it causes these animals. Utilitarianism commits one to minimize suffering and it is very difficult to explain why animal suffering is less important than human suffering, especially when the suffering is totally avoidable.

Someone posted that there is no reason to say eating meat is less ethical than eating plants. Well the obvious difference is that plants do not feel pain. A more debatable reason would be that it is possible that some animals might possess higher cognitive functions like low-functioning reason and a sense of self. The distinction between plant/animal goes back to antiquity.

Why does ability to feel pain make life more valuable? There are humans that cannot feel pain; would it be morally permissible to murder these individuals? The same can be said for rationality and infants.

There is no reason to evaulate the worth of life forms based on human characteristics.

My post clearly indicated that under the framework of utilitarianism pain is an ethically relevant trait. Im not going to engage in a defense of utilitarianism, I am just showing that one of the most widely subscribed to ethical systems provides very solid ground for the vegetarian position.

There are plenty of reasons to evaluate life forms based on human characteristics, since many human characteristics have been defended as stand alone criteria for ethics. In other words, human characteristic are standards for evaluation not BECAUSE they are "human" but because they are ethically important. For example freedom under Sartre and Kant, rationality under Kant, the ability to feel pain for utilitarians, self awareness for different theories of personhood, etc. etc.

I think it is a pretty hard position to take that something like sentience is NOT of ethical relevance. If you disagree I would be happy to take up a formal debate with you on the topic.

I actually do disagree. Please set the topic up.
Raisor
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1/6/2012 5:52:27 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/6/2012 5:12:36 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 1/6/2012 5:10:39 PM, Raisor wrote:
At 1/6/2012 1:12:30 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 1/6/2012 1:09:02 PM, Raisor wrote:
Most vegetarian arguments Im aware of involve the current state of factory farming. For example, utilitarians find the conditions chickens are often kept in (born and raised in square foot cages and allowed to die of disease) repugnant because of the suffering it causes these animals. Utilitarianism commits one to minimize suffering and it is very difficult to explain why animal suffering is less important than human suffering, especially when the suffering is totally avoidable.

Someone posted that there is no reason to say eating meat is less ethical than eating plants. Well the obvious difference is that plants do not feel pain. A more debatable reason would be that it is possible that some animals might possess higher cognitive functions like low-functioning reason and a sense of self. The distinction between plant/animal goes back to antiquity.

Why does ability to feel pain make life more valuable? There are humans that cannot feel pain; would it be morally permissible to murder these individuals? The same can be said for rationality and infants.

There is no reason to evaulate the worth of life forms based on human characteristics.

My post clearly indicated that under the framework of utilitarianism pain is an ethically relevant trait. Im not going to engage in a defense of utilitarianism, I am just showing that one of the most widely subscribed to ethical systems provides very solid ground for the vegetarian position.

There are plenty of reasons to evaluate life forms based on human characteristics, since many human characteristics have been defended as stand alone criteria for ethics. In other words, human characteristic are standards for evaluation not BECAUSE they are "human" but because they are ethically important. For example freedom under Sartre and Kant, rationality under Kant, the ability to feel pain for utilitarians, self awareness for different theories of personhood, etc. etc.

I think it is a pretty hard position to take that something like sentience is NOT of ethical relevance. If you disagree I would be happy to take up a formal debate with you on the topic.

I actually do disagree. Please set the topic up.

Ok I sent you a pm so we can agree on the terms.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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1/6/2012 6:15:21 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/6/2012 5:12:01 PM, Raisor wrote:
At 1/6/2012 1:12:08 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 1/6/2012 1:09:02 PM, Raisor wrote:
Most vegetarian arguments Im aware of involve the current state of factory farming. For example, utilitarians find the conditions chickens are often kept in (born and raised in square foot cages and allowed to die of disease) repugnant because of the suffering it causes these animals. Utilitarianism commits one to minimize suffering and it is very difficult to explain why animal suffering is less important than human suffering, especially when the suffering is totally avoidable.

Someone posted that there is no reason to say eating meat is less ethical than eating plants. Well the obvious difference is that plants do not feel pain. A more debatable reason would be that it is possible that some animals might possess higher cognitive functions like low-functioning reason and a sense of self. The distinction between plant/animal goes back to antiquity.

Dead Animals feel no pain either.

That is why many vegetarian positions are rooted not in how animals are treated after they are dead, but while they are still alive. :P

Right. But we only eat them when they're dead. Yes, I understand the fact that eating animals that are a product of an immoral process contributes to that process and thus, is immoral, but that's throwing the baby out with the bath water since it's possible to remove the eating from the process.
nonentity
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1/6/2012 8:48:28 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/6/2012 1:54:15 PM, vbaculum wrote:
At 1/6/2012 8:50:57 AM, nonentity wrote:
At 1/5/2012 1:47:42 PM, vbaculum wrote:
At 1/5/2012 12:35:49 PM, nonentity wrote:
This thread is to avoid me derailing a previous thread http://www.debate.org...

This is in regards to vegetarians who believe eating meat is immoral. (inb4 someone says "not all vegetarians believe this blah blah blah".) Do you believe that those in poverty-stricken countries are immoral for eating meat? What about those in poverty who are not in poverty-stricken countries? Why or why not?

I judge an action immoral if it ultimately introduces more pain than pleasure into the world. This makes it difficult to make blanket statements like "all these people are immoral because...". It's possible, though difficult, to kill an animal thereby bringing into the world more pleasure than pain. A poor person can euthanize an animal or torture it to death.

I've stated my criteria for distinguishing between moral and immoral acts. What is your criteria nonentity? How would you answer your own question in light of your own criteria?

I don't have a blanket statement I can use to deem what is moral or immoral.

So what is your problem with meat-eating exactly? Is it the animals themselves or is it the way they are treated /killed? Because I was under the impression that you believed animals to be sentient and therefore worthy of certain protections (eg. not being eaten).

I don't consider the termination of an animals life to be immoral unless it involves a certain degree of pain. I doubt a system could ever be implemented that could guarantee the painless termination of an animal's existence - despite the claims of the happy-meat industry.

On factory farms, animals are systematically tortured in a numerous ways and in slaughterhouses, animals are tortured to death. Veganism is simply an opposition to torture extended to non-human species. I consider torture to be immoral.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

So why is your first response to meat-eating "veganism"? Shouldn't your first response be to eat meat that has been ethically slaughtered?
shift4101
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1/6/2012 9:10:35 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/5/2012 10:45:26 PM, Lasagna wrote:
Eating meat is usually immoral because of our energy needs. When humanity was a small fraction of its present form, its energy needs were inconsequential. Now our population is exploding along with energy usage per person, and there are some dark clouds looming in the future unless someone derails this train of consumption.

You lose an order of magnitude, in terms of units of energy, every time you feed an animal and then eat the animal. So when you eat a meat-rich diet, you are actually using as much energy as ten vegetarians (mostly in the form of vegetables that were fed to the animals). Water is wasted in a similar fashion and there are many other externalities like animal waste (an average cow sh*ts out over two hundred pounds of manure every day), and use of hormones and antibiotics. Wisconsin has lots of cows and although land-spreading as fertilizer is a useful recycling option, there is just too much of it and disposal is a real problem. Run-off from farms upstream from Baird Creek (a waterway close to my house) is causing nutrient imbalances and killing the fish.

We have a logical solution: halt large-scale meat production. You don't have to stop eating meat in principle, but you do have to realize that the meat is a sacrifice and appreciate that sacrifice. We take what we have for granted and that is truly sad.

I judge an action immoral if it ultimately introduces more pain than pleasure into the world.

Utilitarianism doesn't do very well in the area of prescription.

This does not mean that eating meat is bad. It means that eating cultivated meat is wrong. But hunting and eating wild game is perfectly justified; indeed it seems that the animals do the work for you by going out and searching the food out. In fact, on a personal level, this is much more effective than waiting for crops to harvest. In a calorie to work ratio to determine morality, eating game is the most moral thing you could do. Although on a non-personal scale, there is no way that game could feed our planet of 7 billion people. So I guess you are partially right, if your perspective of morality holds true.
16kadams
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1/6/2012 9:11:30 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/5/2012 12:42:41 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
The entire ethical vegetarian movement is immensely hypocritical because it measures the worth of life based on the human characteristic of rationality while decrying others for claiming that animal life is less valuable than human life because animals are not as rational.

There is not rational reason that plants, bacteria, fungi, protists, and archea are not as equally valuable as animals. In fact, is ability to survive is a measure of worth, then archea and bacteria are clearly the most valuable forms of life on the planet.

this
https://www.youtube.com...
https://rekonomics.wordpress.com...
"A trend is a trend, but the question is, will it bend? Will it alter its course through some unforeseen force and come to a premature end?" -- Alec Cairncross
darkkermit
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1/6/2012 10:40:12 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/5/2012 12:42:41 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
The entire ethical non-murder movement is immensely hypocritical because it measures the worth of life based on the human characteristic of rationality while decrying others for claiming that animal life is less valuable than human life because animals are not as rational.

There is not rational reason that plants, bacteria, fungi, protists, and archea are not as equally valuable as humans. In fact, is ability to survive is a measure of worth, then archea and bacteria are clearly the most valuable forms of life on the planet.


All I did was switch the words around. Your own argument applies to humans as well as animals, so based on your own argument it should be ethical to kill humans, since they are no more valuable then plants.
Open borders debate:
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nonentity
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1/7/2012 8:57:32 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
It's weird that only one vegetarian/vegan has answered the OP. C'mon, where are you guys? I'm not gonna call you out specifically, but I do remember a few of you in previous vegetarian threads claiming you were more ethical than the rest of us :p
vbaculum
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1/7/2012 11:52:49 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/6/2012 8:48:28 PM, nonentity wrote:
At 1/6/2012 1:54:15 PM, vbaculum wrote:
At 1/6/2012 8:50:57 AM, nonentity wrote:
At 1/5/2012 1:47:42 PM, vbaculum wrote:
At 1/5/2012 12:35:49 PM, nonentity wrote:
So why is your first response to meat-eating "veganism"? Shouldn't your first response be to eat meat that has been ethically slaughtered?

Since you brought it up, here is what halal slaughter looks like.

Equally fatuous is the idea of free range farming (http://en.wikipedia.org...) - as if all the other tortures that these animals endure could be made up for simply by letting them outside occasionally.

I said that I'm not opposed to the notion of painlessly euthanizing animals. However, it's simply impossible for a system of animal husbandry and slaughter to fundamentally regard animals as anything other than merchandise. The only way to end these systems of torture - which affects hundreds of billions of animals every year - is to withdraw all of ones financial support and advocate for its complete abolition.
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If you want it
Chrysippus
Posts: 2,173
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1/7/2012 12:32:22 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Why would it be immoral for me to eat the meat of another species?
Am I under an obligation to consider the happiness and well-being of the members of that species?

If we look at it from an evolutionary perspective, I should do everything in my power to survive and pass on my genes. Eating anything slower than I am is justified, if that is the highest moral code we can appeal to. More than that, by eating other species I impose pressure on them which can force them to develop and "improve" (in the sense of becoming better equipped to resist predation). Chickens and sheep are in distinct need of this sort of improvement. If the system of factory farming precents this sort of evolution, it is at least a fairly closed system which allows my species a guaranteed food source (and better chances of survival, at least for the foreseeable future) without unduly disrupting the balance outside. Factory farming and eating meat should help the process of evolution along, then; how is this not good?

Utilitarianism is not applicable here. Even if I agreed that the greatest happiness of the greatest number was actually the greatest good, which I don't, I see no reason why that should apply to anyone outside of my species. I am not a chicken. for instance. Why should I be particularly concerned what the chicken feels like? I recognize no obligation to keep the chicken happy, comfortable, or alive; just as no chicken has ever considered my feelings in any way, or concerned themselves with my survival. There is no quid pro quo.

If I am to consider eating meat immoral, you must tell me why it is actually wrong. Immoral by what standard?
Cavete mea inexorabilis legiones mimus!
Chrysippus
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1/7/2012 12:38:06 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
To put it more succinctly: Why do you assume that pain and suffering is wrong, especially the pain of of another species?
Cavete mea inexorabilis legiones mimus!