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Animal ethics

Dookieman
Posts: 130
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11/14/2015 12:08:39 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Recently there was an undercover investigation at a pig slaughterhouse by an animal rights group Compassion Over Killing. Here's the link to the video:
https://www.youtube.com...

Do you guys think treating sentient animals in this way is morally permissible? If so, why?
skipsaweirdo
Posts: 1,861
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11/14/2015 4:32:42 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/14/2015 12:08:39 AM, Dookieman wrote:
Recently there was an undercover investigation at a pig slaughterhouse by an animal rights group Compassion Over Killing. Here's the link to the video:
https://www.youtube.com...

Do you guys think treating sentient animals in this way is morally permissible? If so, why?
Animals accept their place in the food chain. I've never seen an animal jury or a group of wildebeest investigate the loss of their fellow "herdsman" when they get snatched by a crocodile while crossing a river. When animals object to how they are treated and organize protests and pen a proclamation that they deserve certain rights then the process will take its proper course. Other than that, people projecting their emotions onto animals is just a waste of time. Lets kill those people too and start feeding the starving people in the world with a new product, hupig bacon lettuce tomato sandwiches.
Double_R
Posts: 4,886
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11/14/2015 4:46:01 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/14/2015 12:08:39 AM, Dookieman wrote:
Recently there was an undercover investigation at a pig slaughterhouse by an animal rights group Compassion Over Killing. Here's the link to the video:
https://www.youtube.com...

Do you guys think treating sentient animals in this way is morally permissible? If so, why?

Video removed, but I imagine the point is that the slaughter house was being excessively cruel to the pigs. If that's the case I fail to understand why ask the question as this is very simple: Cruelty is immoral.
Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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11/19/2015 12:52:21 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/14/2015 12:08:39 AM, Dookieman wrote:
Recently there was an undercover investigation at a pig slaughterhouse by an animal rights group Compassion Over Killing. Here's the link to the video:
https://www.youtube.com...

Do you guys think treating sentient animals in this way is morally permissible? If so, why?

Proverbs 12:10

A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal, But even the compassion of the wicked is cruel.

Is modern husbandry a cruel side effect of a Godless society? absolutely
beng100
Posts: 1,055
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11/22/2015 8:48:20 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/14/2015 12:08:39 AM, Dookieman wrote:
Recently there was an undercover investigation at a pig slaughterhouse by an animal rights group Compassion Over Killing. Here's the link to the video:
https://www.youtube.com...

Do you guys think treating sentient animals in this way is morally permissible? If so, why?

Clearly it's wrong to be unnecessarily cruel to animals. I'm a farmer. When I send animals to slaughter I expect them to be killed humanely without suffering.
xXCryptoXx
Posts: 5,000
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11/23/2015 2:54:42 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Bishop Barron has good things to say relating to this when commenting on Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si. The video is three minutes long if you are willing to take the time to watch it.

"Something which the Biblical authors, the Church fathers, and the great medieval Doctors had in common was a cosmological vision. Go back to the beginning of the book of Genesis. Human beings are situated within a cosmic framework. It's not all about them. They have a very important stewardship role, but salvation will be played out within a cosmic framework."
Nolite Timere
Dookieman
Posts: 130
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11/23/2015 3:58:24 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/22/2015 8:48:20 PM, beng100 wrote:
At 11/14/2015 12:08:39 AM, Dookieman wrote:
Recently there was an undercover investigation at a pig slaughterhouse by an animal rights group Compassion Over Killing. Here's the link to the video:
https://www.youtube.com...

Do you guys think treating sentient animals in this way is morally permissible? If so, why?

Clearly it's wrong to be unnecessarily cruel to animals. I'm a farmer. When I send animals to slaughter I expect them to be killed humanely without suffering.

I'm glad you agree that it's wrong to be cruel to animals. However, I don't agree that it's humane to kill a healthy animal in the prime of its life when there are other food alternatives.

Animals used for food have their lives ended when they're young, which means they are deprived of all the good experiences or happiness that continued life would have offered them. Death is a serious harm to an animal, the worse harm you could possibly inflict on him or her.

I find it strange that you believe it's wrong to inflict a lesser harm on animals (like suffering), but not wrong to inflict an even greater harm on them (death).
Dookieman
Posts: 130
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11/23/2015 4:04:46 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/23/2015 2:54:42 AM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
Bishop Barron has good things to say relating to this when commenting on Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si. The video is three minutes long if you are willing to take the time to watch it.

"Something which the Biblical authors, the Church fathers, and the great medieval Doctors had in common was a cosmological vision. Go back to the beginning of the book of Genesis. Human beings are situated within a cosmic framework. It's not all about them. They have a very important stewardship role, but salvation will be played out within a cosmic framework."





I totally agree with Bishop Barron in his video. I'm happy to see many Christians having more concern for the environment and animals. Charles C. Camosy is a perfect example of this.
beng100
Posts: 1,055
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11/23/2015 7:56:56 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/23/2015 3:58:24 AM, Dookieman wrote:
At 11/22/2015 8:48:20 PM, beng100 wrote:
At 11/14/2015 12:08:39 AM, Dookieman wrote:
Recently there was an undercover investigation at a pig slaughterhouse by an animal rights group Compassion Over Killing. Here's the link to the video:
https://www.youtube.com...

Do you guys think treating sentient animals in this way is morally permissible? If so, why?

Clearly it's wrong to be unnecessarily cruel to animals. I'm a farmer. When I send animals to slaughter I expect them to be killed humanely without suffering.

I'm glad you agree that it's wrong to be cruel to animals. However, I don't agree that it's humane to kill a healthy animal in the prime of its life when there are other food alternatives.

Animals used for food have their lives ended when they're young, which means they are deprived of all the good experiences or happiness that continued life would have offered them. Death is a serious harm to an animal, the worse harm you could possibly inflict on him or her.

I find it strange that you believe it's wrong to inflict a lesser harm on animals (like suffering), but not wrong to inflict an even greater harm on them (death).

Suffering is cruel. Especially over a long period of time as it is both unnecessary and actually hinders production. Animals thrive while stress free and healthy so minimising stress and suffering improves profitability from farm animals as well as improving their kives. Ultimately the life of a farm animal inly occurs due to the economic potentisl their existence offers both farmers and companies that process the meat and those who ultimately sell it. If done humanely the suffering an animal endures during slaughter is not that high. Farm animals do not understand death or know they are about to be killed. It's only when on rare occasions abattoirs act in an unnecessary cruel manner that animsls are subject to excessive cruelty during the slaughter process. If animals were not farmed for meat 99% would not exist. Eating meat is natural for humans and if people choose to eat meat that is their individual choice. I enjoy eating meat. You I'm guessing do not. It should be an individual decision not a government one.
Dookieman
Posts: 130
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11/23/2015 7:45:07 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/23/2015 7:56:56 AM, beng100 wrote:
At 11/23/2015 3:58:24 AM, Dookieman wrote:
At 11/22/2015 8:48:20 PM, beng100 wrote:
At 11/14/2015 12:08:39 AM, Dookieman wrote:
Recently there was an undercover investigation at a pig slaughterhouse by an animal rights group Compassion Over Killing. Here's the link to the video:
https://www.youtube.com...

Do you guys think treating sentient animals in this way is morally permissible? If so, why?

Clearly it's wrong to be unnecessarily cruel to animals. I'm a farmer. When I send animals to slaughter I expect them to be killed humanely without suffering.

I'm glad you agree that it's wrong to be cruel to animals. However, I don't agree that it's humane to kill a healthy animal in the prime of its life when there are other food alternatives.

Animals used for food have their lives ended when they're young, which means they are deprived of all the good experiences or happiness that continued life would have offered them. Death is a serious harm to an animal, the worse harm you could possibly inflict on him or her.

I find it strange that you believe it's wrong to inflict a lesser harm on animals (like suffering), but not wrong to inflict an even greater harm on them (death).

Suffering is cruel. Especially over a long period of time as it is both unnecessary and actually hinders production. Animals thrive while stress free and healthy so minimising stress and suffering improves profitability from farm animals as well as improving their kives. Ultimately the life of a farm animal inly occurs due to the economic potentisl their existence offers both farmers and companies that process the meat and those who ultimately sell it. If done humanely the suffering an animal endures during slaughter is not that high. Farm animals do not understand death or know they are about to be killed. It's only when on rare occasions abattoirs act in an unnecessary cruel manner that animsls are subject to excessive cruelty during the slaughter process. If animals were not farmed for meat 99% would not exist. Eating meat is natural for humans and if people choose to eat meat that is their individual choice. I enjoy eating meat. You I'm guessing do not. It should be an individual decision not a government one.

Thank you for your thoughtful response.

1. You claimed that animals don't understand death or know they are about to be killed, which is presumably one of the reasons why you don't think it's wrong to eat them. However, I don't think one needs to have a concept of death in order to have a right to life. Newborn infants, like animals, also lack the sophisticated psychological capacities that are involved in thinking about one's life continuing or ending.

Nevertheless, I think virtually everyone would agree that it would be wrong to kill a newborn infant even if, similar to animals, they do not understand death.

So, even if it's true that animals don't know they are about to be killed, that doesn't show that it's okay to kill them.

2. You claimed that if we did not use animals for food they would not exists. This is true. However, I don't see why it would be bad for the animals if we stopped bringing them into existence. Most animals used for food have lives filled with suffering and misery. Thus, it's hard to see how we bestow a benefit on them by bringing these creatures into existence.

Even if we assume the animals could be brought into existence with a life worthwhile, it's controversial whether it can be a good for sentient beings to be brought into existence. Philosophers such as David Benatar have certainly challenged this assumption.

Moreover, it seems like this argument could also be used to justify the killing of other human beings. Consider the following scenario.

Imagine I bring a human being into existence and provide it a life that is well worth living, only to kill him later on for food. After doing this I'm confident that what I did was not wrong, because had I not brought him into existence in order to eat his flesh, he would not exist.

But I think most of us would think my justification is not convincing, and therefore my act of killing him was seriously wrong. In a similar way, bringing animals into existence does not give us permission to kill them later on.

3. You claimed eating meat is natural for humans. But I fail to see the moral significance of this. Rape could be considered a natural thing that humans do, but it doesn't follow that it's therefore okay.
kp98
Posts: 729
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11/23/2015 8:17:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
As long as we worry more about how much our meat costs to buy in a shop than the suffering of the animal it came from 'humane' treatment of food animals is going to have low priority. We townies rarely think of meat as anything except something that comes in shrink-wrap with a price tag.

I don't suppose humanely killed meat would cost much more, but people do make their purchase choices on matters of cents. A system by which humanely killed meat was clearly labelled as such (and sold at a premium) might help, but not everybody would choose their sunday joint on ethical grounds when the alternative is cheaper.
beng100
Posts: 1,055
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11/24/2015 5:23:14 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/23/2015 7:45:07 PM, Dookieman wrote:
At 11/23/2015 7:56:56 AM, beng100 wrote:
At 11/23/2015 3:58:24 AM, Dookieman wrote:
At 11/22/2015 8:48:20 PM, beng100 wrote:
At 11/14/2015 12:08:39 AM, Dookieman wrote:
Recently there was an undercover investigation at a pig slaughterhouse by an animal rights group Compassion Over Killing. Here's the link to the video:
https://www.youtube.com...

Do you guys think treating sentient animals in this way is morally permissible? If so, why?

Clearly it's wrong to be unnecessarily cruel to animals. I'm a farmer. When I send animals to slaughter I expect them to be killed humanely without suffering.

I'm glad you agree that it's wrong to be cruel to animals. However, I don't agree that it's humane to kill a healthy animal in the prime of its life when there are other food alternatives.

Animals used for food have their lives ended when they're young, which means they are deprived of all the good experiences or happiness that continued life would have offered them. Death is a serious harm to an animal, the worse harm you could possibly inflict on him or her.

I find it strange that you believe it's wrong to inflict a lesser harm on animals (like suffering), but not wrong to inflict an even greater harm on them (death).

Suffering is cruel. Especially over a long period of time as it is both unnecessary and actually hinders production. Animals thrive while stress free and healthy so minimising stress and suffering improves profitability from farm animals as well as improving their kives. Ultimately the life of a farm animal inly occurs due to the economic potentisl their existence offers both farmers and companies that process the meat and those who ultimately sell it. If done humanely the suffering an animal endures during slaughter is not that high. Farm animals do not understand death or know they are about to be killed. It's only when on rare occasions abattoirs act in an unnecessary cruel manner that animsls are subject to excessive cruelty during the slaughter process. If animals were not farmed for meat 99% would not exist. Eating meat is natural for humans and if people choose to eat meat that is their individual choice. I enjoy eating meat. You I'm guessing do not. It should be an individual decision not a government one.

Thank you for your thoughtful response.

1. You claimed that animals don't understand death or know they are about to be killed, which is presumably one of the reasons why you don't think it's wrong to eat them. However, I don't think one needs to have a concept of death in order to have a right to life. Newborn infants, like animals, also lack the sophisticated psychological capacities that are involved in thinking about one's life continuing or ending.

Nevertheless, I think virtually everyone would agree that it would be wrong to kill a newborn infant even if, similar to animals, they do not understand death.

So, even if it's true that animals don't know they are about to be killed, that doesn't show that it's okay to kill them.

2. You claimed that if we did not use animals for food they would not exists. This is true. However, I don't see why it would be bad for the animals if we stopped bringing them into existence. Most animals used for food have lives filled with suffering and misery. Thus, it's hard to see how we bestow a benefit on them by bringing these creatures into existence.

Even if we assume the animals could be brought into existence with a life worthwhile, it's controversial whether it can be a good for sentient beings to be brought into existence. Philosophers such as David Benatar have certainly challenged this assumption.

Moreover, it seems like this argument could also be used to justify the killing of other human beings. Consider the following scenario.

Imagine I bring a human being into existence and provide it a life that is well worth living, only to kill him later on for food. After doing this I'm confident that what I did was not wrong, because had I not brought him into existence in order to eat his flesh, he would not exist.

But I think most of us would think my justification is not convincing, and therefore my act of killing him was seriously wrong. In a similar way, bringing animals into existence does not give us permission to kill them later on.

3. You claimed eating meat is natural for humans. But I fail to see the moral significance of this. Rape could be considered a natural thing that humans do, but it doesn't follow that it's therefore okay.

I think the key difference between me and you is that you place a big value on the individual life of each living creature while I do not. Countless humans and animals have existed throughout history. Throughout history there have been plants, plant eaters and predators. Animals eat each other, they fight they kill each other. This is nature. I don't see why humans need to take such an extreme approach towards eating meat. It is natural behaviour. You can take a decision not to eat meat but I don't think it's something that you can say other people have to agree with. It is a decision for the individual. I personally really enjoy my job and my favourite animals are sheep and cattle which I keep on my farm. I know they certainly enjoy their lives. They are well cared for and looked after. When it's time to slaughter them ultimately it's no big deal. A lion catching a buffalo, a polar bear catching a seal or a cat catching a mouse.

A separate point. Do you believe animal rights should be extended to pests such as rats, mice and insects? Where do you draw the line and on what basis do you make that line?
Dookieman
Posts: 130
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11/25/2015 1:42:38 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/24/2015 5:23:14 PM, beng100 wrote:
At 11/23/2015 7:45:07 PM, Dookieman wrote:
At 11/23/2015 7:56:56 AM, beng100 wrote:
At 11/23/2015 3:58:24 AM, Dookieman wrote:
At 11/22/2015 8:48:20 PM, beng100 wrote:
At 11/14/2015 12:08:39 AM, Dookieman wrote:
Recently there was an undercover investigation at a pig slaughterhouse by an animal rights group Compassion Over Killing. Here's the link to the video:
https://www.youtube.com...

Do you guys think treating sentient animals in this way is morally permissible? If so, why?

Clearly it's wrong to be unnecessarily cruel to animals. I'm a farmer. When I send animals to slaughter I expect them to be killed humanely without suffering.

I'm glad you agree that it's wrong to be cruel to animals. However, I don't agree that it's humane to kill a healthy animal in the prime of its life when there are other food alternatives.

Animals used for food have their lives ended when they're young, which means they are deprived of all the good experiences or happiness that continued life would have offered them. Death is a serious harm to an animal, the worse harm you could possibly inflict on him or her.

I find it strange that you believe it's wrong to inflict a lesser harm on animals (like suffering), but not wrong to inflict an even greater harm on them (death).

Suffering is cruel. Especially over a long period of time as it is both unnecessary and actually hinders production. Animals thrive while stress free and healthy so minimising stress and suffering improves profitability from farm animals as well as improving their kives. Ultimately the life of a farm animal inly occurs due to the economic potentisl their existence offers both farmers and companies that process the meat and those who ultimately sell it. If done humanely the suffering an animal endures during slaughter is not that high. Farm animals do not understand death or know they are about to be killed. It's only when on rare occasions abattoirs act in an unnecessary cruel manner that animsls are subject to excessive cruelty during the slaughter process. If animals were not farmed for meat 99% would not exist. Eating meat is natural for humans and if people choose to eat meat that is their individual choice. I enjoy eating meat. You I'm guessing do not. It should be an individual decision not a government one.

Thank you for your thoughtful response.

1. You claimed that animals don't understand death or know they are about to be killed, which is presumably one of the reasons why you don't think it's wrong to eat them. However, I don't think one needs to have a concept of death in order to have a right to life. Newborn infants, like animals, also lack the sophisticated psychological capacities that are involved in thinking about one's life continuing or ending.

Nevertheless, I think virtually everyone would agree that it would be wrong to kill a newborn infant even if, similar to animals, they do not understand death.

So, even if it's true that animals don't know they are about to be killed, that doesn't show that it's okay to kill them.

2. You claimed that if we did not use animals for food they would not exists. This is true. However, I don't see why it would be bad for the animals if we stopped bringing them into existence. Most animals used for food have lives filled with suffering and misery. Thus, it's hard to see how we bestow a benefit on them by bringing these creatures into existence.

Even if we assume the animals could be brought into existence with a life worthwhile, it's controversial whether it can be a good for sentient beings to be brought into existence. Philosophers such as David Benatar have certainly challenged this assumption.

Moreover, it seems like this argument could also be used to justify the killing of other human beings. Consider the following scenario.

Imagine I bring a human being into existence and provide it a life that is well worth living, only to kill him later on for food. After doing this I'm confident that what I did was not wrong, because had I not brought him into existence in order to eat his flesh, he would not exist.

But I think most of us would think my justification is not convincing, and therefore my act of killing him was seriously wrong. In a similar way, bringing animals into existence does not give us permission to kill them later on.

3. You claimed eating meat is natural for humans. But I fail to see the moral significance of this. Rape could be considered a natural thing that humans do, but it doesn't follow that it's therefore okay.

I think the key difference between me and you is that you place a big value on the individual life of each living creature while I do not. Countless humans and animals have existed throughout history. Throughout history there have been plants, plant eaters and predators. Animals eat each other, they fight they kill each other. This is nature. I don't see why humans need to take such an extreme approach towards eating meat. It is natural behaviour. You can take a decision not to eat meat but I don't think it's something that you can say other people have to agree with. It is a decision for the individual. I personally really enjoy my job and my favourite animals are sheep and cattle which I keep on my farm. I know they certainly enjoy their lives. They are well cared for and looked after. When it's time to slaughter them ultimately it's no big deal. A lion catching a buffalo, a polar bear catching a seal or a cat catching a mouse.

A separate point. Do you believe animal rights should be extended to pests such as rats, mice and insects? Where do you draw the line and on what basis do you make that line?

Thank you again for your response.

1. I do not place moral value on the individual life of each living creature. That would be absurd. Plants, for example, are living things but do not have moral status. Sentience, or the ability to feel pleasure and pain is, I think, what gives an organism moral significance.

2. Firstly, what other animals do is of no moral relevance to what we ought to do. We don't derive our moral values by observing the behavior of other animals. Rather, we use our reason and critical thinking to arrive at moral conclusions.

Secondly, most animals that eat meat would not be able to live if they did not consume the flesh of other animals. However, this is not the case with us.

Finally, deriving how we ought to act from other animals leads to moral absurdities. Lions, for example, kill their cubs when they're runts. Under your line of argument, it would be permissible for human beings to kill their babies too since other animals do it.

3. You keep appealing to nature and what is natural. But you have not given us a reason for why those things have moral significance.

4. Rats and mice have moral status because they're sentient beings. Insects, on the other, are very likely not sentient because their nervous systems are more primitive than those of vertebrates. Thus, there is no reason to protect them from being destroyed.

5. I draw the line at sentientence because sentient beings care about their own welfare or whether their lives go good or bad. That, I claim, is what makes it morally significant.
beng100
Posts: 1,055
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11/25/2015 2:04:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/25/2015 1:42:38 AM, Dookieman wrote:
At 11/24/2015 5:23:14 PM, beng100 wrote:
At 11/23/2015 7:45:07 PM, Dookieman wrote:
At 11/23/2015 7:56:56 AM, beng100 wrote:
At 11/23/2015 3:58:24 AM, Dookieman wrote:
At 11/22/2015 8:48:20 PM, beng100 wrote:
At 11/14/2015 12:08:39 AM, Dookieman wrote:
Recently there was an undercover investigation at a pig slaughterhouse by an animal rights group Compassion Over Killing. Here's the link to the video:
https://www.youtube.com...

Do you guys think treating sentient animals in this way is morally permissible? If so, why?

Clearly it's wrong to be unnecessarily cruel to animals. I'm a farmer. When I send animals to slaughter I expect them to be killed humanely without suffering.

I'm glad you agree that it's wrong to be cruel to animals. However, I don't agree that it's humane to kill a healthy animal in the prime of its life when there are other food alternatives.

Animals used for food have their lives ended when they're young, which means they are deprived of all the good experiences or happiness that continued life would have offered them. Death is a serious harm to an animal, the worse harm you could possibly inflict on him or her.

I find it strange that you believe it's wrong to inflict a lesser harm on animals (like suffering), but not wrong to inflict an even greater harm on them (death).

Suffering is cruel. Especially over a long period of time as it is both unnecessary and actually hinders production. Animals thrive while stress free and healthy so minimising stress and suffering improves profitability from farm animals as well as improving their kives. Ultimately the life of a farm animal inly occurs due to the economic potentisl their existence offers both farmers and companies that process the meat and those who ultimately sell it. If done humanely the suffering an animal endures during slaughter is not that high. Farm animals do not understand death or know they are about to be killed. It's only when on rare occasions abattoirs act in an unnecessary cruel manner that animsls are subject to excessive cruelty during the slaughter process. If animals were not farmed for meat 99% would not exist. Eating meat is natural for humans and if people choose to eat meat that is their individual choice. I enjoy eating meat. You I'm guessing do not. It should be an individual decision not a government one.

Thank you for your thoughtful response.

1. You claimed that animals don't understand death or know they are about to be killed, which is presumably one of the reasons why you don't think it's wrong to eat them. However, I don't think one needs to have a concept of death in order to have a right to life. Newborn infants, like animals, also lack the sophisticated psychological capacities that are involved in thinking about one's life continuing or ending.

Nevertheless, I think virtually everyone would agree that it would be wrong to kill a newborn infant even if, similar to animals, they do not understand death.

So, even if it's true that animals don't know they are about to be killed, that doesn't show that it's okay to kill them.

2. You claimed that if we did not use animals for food they would not exists. This is true. However, I don't see why it would be bad for the animals if we stopped bringing them into existence. Most animals used for food have lives filled with suffering and misery. Thus, it's hard to see how we bestow a benefit on them by bringing these creatures into existence.

Even if we assume the animals could be brought into existence with a life worthwhile, it's controversial whether it can be a good for sentient beings to be brought into existence. Philosophers such as David Benatar have certainly challenged this assumption.

Moreover, it seems like this argument could also be used to justify the killing of other human beings. Consider the following scenario.

Imagine I bring a human being into existence and provide it a life that is well worth living, only to kill him later on for food. After doing this I'm confident that what I did was not wrong, because had I not brought him into existence in order to eat his flesh, he would not exist.

But I think most of us would think my justification is not convincing, and therefore my act of killing him was seriously wrong. In a similar way, bringing animals into existence does not give us permission to kill them later on.

3. You claimed eating meat is natural for humans. But I fail to see the moral significance of this. Rape could be considered a natural thing that humans do, but it doesn't follow that it's therefore okay.

I think the key difference between me and you is that you place a big value on the individual life of each living creature while I do not. Countless humans and animals have existed throughout history. Throughout history there have been plants, plant eaters and predators. Animals eat each other, they fight they kill each other. This is nature. I don't see why humans need to take such an extreme approach towards eating meat. It is natural behaviour. You can take a decision not to eat meat but I don't think it's something that you can say other people have to agree with. It is a decision for the individual. I personally really enjoy my job and my favourite animals are sheep and cattle which I keep on my farm. I know they certainly enjoy their lives. They are well cared for and looked after. When it's time to slaughter them ultimately it's no big deal. A lion catching a buffalo, a polar bear catching a seal or a cat catching a mouse.

A separate point. Do you believe animal rights should be extended to pests such as rats, mice and insects? Where do you draw the line and on what basis do you make that line?

Thank you again for your response.

1. I do not place moral value on the individual life of each living creature. That would be absurd. Plants, for example, are living things but do not have moral status. Sentience, or the ability to feel pleasure and pain is, I think, what gives an organism moral significance.

2. Firstly, what other animals do is of no moral relevance to what we ought to do. We don't derive our moral values by observing the behavior of other animals. Rather, we use our reason and critical thinking to arrive at moral conclusions.

Secondly, most animals that eat meat would not be able to live if they did not consume the flesh of other animals. However, this is not the case with us.

Finally, deriving how we ought to act from other animals leads to moral absurdities. Lions, for example, kill their cubs when they're runts. Under your line of argument, it would be permissible for human beings to kill their babies too since other animals do it.

3. You keep appealing to nature and what is natural. But you have not given us a reason for why those things have moral significance.

4. Rats and mice have moral status because they're sentient beings. Insects, on the other, are very likely not sentient because their nervous systems are more primitive than those of vertebrates. Thus, there is no reason to protect them from being destroyed.

5. I draw the line at sentientence because sentient beings care about their own welfare or whether their lives go good or bad. That, I claim, is what makes it morally significant.

Clearly our views on the point at which a creature develops sufficient intelligence to warrant special rights are considerably different. In my view it is fair to say humans killing other humans is generally unnatural behaviour while thr