Total Posts:23|Showing Posts:1-23
Jump to topic:

Vegetarianism & the Ethics of Eating Meat

seraine
Posts: 734
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/17/2011 5:57:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Disclaimer:I will be using utilitarianism in my arguments. However, I will be using what I feel is the "good" side of utilitarianism, not the "bad side" ("it's justified to kill one innocent to save two"). I hope that most of you will agree with this part of utilitarianism I will be using.

What are your feelings on eating meat?

I think that the ethics of eating meat is a great topic which should be discussed more often. My personal feeling is that animals certainly don't deserve equal rights with humans, but they do deserve some rights. Namely, the right to a good life from a utilitarian standpoint.

One would certainly think that your foremost right should be the right to life, but the main reason that most farm animals are around right now is because humans domesticated them (most commercial chickens would die very quickly without human help).

Following this, most animals would have a better life on a humane farm than in the wild. In the wild, it is the strong survive. If you aren't "strong", then you will most likely die a very painful death (and life won't be rainbows even if you are "strong").

However, on humane farms (similar to Polyface), the animals have a good life and very little suffering, and their slaughter is almost painless. From a utilitarian standpoint,
they had a good life.

So, on humane farms there is animals that would have existed without farming and they would have a good life, which would be better than one in the wild. The main (basically only) reason why farms are around is because there is money in farming.

Therefore, the death of an animal is good from a utilitarian standpoint because it allows the animals to exist in the first place, and it's death allows other animals to be created. Think of it as a necessary sacrifice for the greater good.

However, factory farming is wrong. A chicken's life is like crap in battery cages. From a utilitarian standpoint, it's life was bad. Buying factory farmed food supports the "bad".
Therefore, it is wrong to eat factory farmed food.

Basically, I am fine with eating meat as long as the meat(and eggs) was raised humanely. The fact that an animal had to die does not really bother me, as long as it had a good life and was "good" according to utilitarianism.

Food for thought questions. I will also include my answers, and beg of you that you answer them as well.

How many rights do animals have, and to what degree?

Mainly the right to a good life from a utilitarian standpoint.

Is it right to eat factory farmed meat?(given that by buying x, you are supporting x)

No.

Is it right to eat humanely farmed meat?

Yes.

Is it wrong to eat any meat?

No.

Would it be right or wrong to kill an animal with advanced intelligence (such as a chimpanzee) to survive?

Yes, because you experience feelings and emotions to a greater extant than chimpanzees and other life forms. Your life is more valuable than a chimpanzees.

How many "chimpanzees" is your life worth?

To be honest, I am not sure. I think that it would be exponential. As in, a chimpanzee's depth of emotions & feelings is 1, but mine is 4. That doesn't mean I am worth 4 chimpanzees.I think I would be worth more than 4; as a hypothetical answer, I'll choose 20, because the worth of feelings and emotions is exponential.

What is morally preferable-eating humanely raised meat or factory farmed eggs?

Eating humanely raised meat.

What are your feelings?
Rob1_Billion
Posts: 1,300
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/17/2011 6:11:55 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I look at it from a sustainability viewpoint, which would seem to be somewhat compatable with your views. It's not sustainable for people to eat steak every night. People's diets should consist chiefly of legumes, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.

Eating animals and their products, i.e., dairy and meat, should be a (perhaps) once-a-week sort of thing. Obviously, we shouldn't be using CAFOs and hormones, and should be keeping the animals more as cherished pets (or completely wild) than as feedstock. The benefits of this sort of activity are many-fold, and the damage of not practicing this sort of thing are many-fold.
kfc
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/19/2011 7:49:04 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Consider this, you argue that good farms provide a better life than wild living for animals as there is less risk/harm. However would you, by the same logic, say it is acceptable to "farm" humans in the same manner, to put them in controlled environments where they can not hurt themselves. Consider if one race did this to another, or one sex - or further still if we were subjugated by another species. Does the same logic still hold then, if not then why not?
vbaculum
Posts: 1,274
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/21/2011 12:15:39 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/17/2011 5:57:09 PM, seraine wrote:
Disclaimer:I will be using utilitarianism in my arguments. However, I will be using what I feel is the "good" side of utilitarianism, not the "bad side" ("it's justified to kill one innocent to save two"). I hope that most of you will agree with this part of utilitarianism I will be using.

What are your feelings on eating meat?

I think that the ethics of eating meat is a great topic which should be discussed more often. My personal feeling is that animals certainly don't deserve equal rights with humans, but they do deserve some rights. Namely, the right to a good life from a utilitarian standpoint.

One would certainly think that your foremost right should be the right to life, but the main reason that most farm animals are around right now is because humans domesticated them (most commercial chickens would die very quickly without human help).

Following this, most animals would have a better life on a humane farm than in the wild. In the wild, it is the strong survive. If you aren't "strong", then you will most likely die a very painful death (and life won't be rainbows even if you are "strong").

However, on humane farms (similar to Polyface), the animals have a good life and very little suffering, and their slaughter is almost painless. From a utilitarian standpoint,
they had a good life.

So, on humane farms there is animals that would have existed without farming and they would have a good life, which would be better than one in the wild. The main (basically only) reason why farms are around is because there is money in farming.

Therefore, the death of an animal is good from a utilitarian standpoint because it allows the animals to exist in the first place, and it's death allows other animals to be created. Think of it as a necessary sacrifice for the greater good.

However, factory farming is wrong. A chicken's life is like crap in battery cages. From a utilitarian standpoint, it's life was bad. Buying factory farmed food supports the "bad".
Therefore, it is wrong to eat factory farmed food.

Basically, I am fine with eating meat as long as the meat(and eggs) was raised humanely. The fact that an animal had to die does not really bother me, as long as it had a good life and was "good" according to utilitarianism.

Food for thought questions. I will also include my answers, and beg of you that you answer them as well.

How many rights do animals have, and to what degree?
I've never heard of a country that grants rights to animals so I guess zero.

Is it right to eat factory farmed meat?(given that by buying x, you are supporting x)

If the goal is to be consistent with Western ethical norms then eating meat from factory farms is unambiguously the wrong answer.

Is it right to eat humanely farmed meat?

Since all animal have to die eventually, it is possible to imagine a farm that could allow an animal to simply live and then one day, be suddenly, painlessly killed.

However, this could never work because animals are considered property. The rights of a property owner conflict with the "rights" of property. This explains why the laws we have to protect animals from abuse (like the Animal Welfare Act of 1966) allow farmer to systematically mutilate (debeak, dehorn, castrate) and burn (brand) animal. Despite what rights people think animals should have, they will never have actual legal rights if they are subject to the property rights of their owners.

The competitive nature of corporations makes this situation impossible anyway. Companies will always have an economic incentive to treat animals like non-sentient merchandise and the impulse to sadism will always find an outlet in the people who work with animals (sadism on animal farms is a well documented phenomenon).

You'll notice that Polyface does not make the claim that they do not mutilate their birds (sorry for the double negative). As one witness reports: "I toured Polyface on a sweltering day. Chickens were in tiny cages with tin roofs in the beating sun, panting like mad. The cages were located over manure piles the birds were supposed to eat larvae from. Rabbits were kept in factory-farm conditions in suspended, barren wire cages. There was no sign of freedom or compassion for these animals." (from http://dartt-online.org...)
The only solution to the conflict between morality and meat will be found in veganism.


Is it wrong to eat any meat?

See above.

Would it be right or wrong to kill an animal with advanced intelligence (such as a chimpanzee) to survive?

Don't have time to answer fully but as Bentham said: "The question is not Can they reason?, nor Can they talk?, but Can they suffer?"

What is morally preferable-eating humanely raised meat or factory farmed eggs?

Both make a sham of ethics and depend on cognitive dissonance for their justification.
"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
feverish
Posts: 2,716
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/21/2011 8:07:35 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
With eating meat, I almost feel ethics schmethics. It's a personal choice and criticising other people's choices on moral grounds is almost always hypocritical.

Most vegetarians eat eggs and cheese, most meat eaters wouldn't eat dogs or cats. It's pretty arbitrary.

Personally I don't eat mammals because I don't feel comfortable with it but that doesn't make me morally superior to someone who munches pigflesh, nor morally inferior to someone who abstains from chicken carcass.
TheSkeptic
Posts: 1,362
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/21/2011 8:25:38 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/17/2011 5:57:09 PM, seraine wrote:
Disclaimer:I will be using utilitarianism in my arguments. However, I will be using what I feel is the "good" side of utilitarianism, not the "bad side" ("it's justified to kill one innocent to save two"). I hope that most of you will agree with this part of utilitarianism I will be using.

That doesn't bode well at all - I can use the parts of utilitarianism I see to be intuitively acceptable but ignore the significant problems emergent?
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/21/2011 2:12:39 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/17/2011 6:11:55 PM, Rob1_Billion wrote:
I look at it from a sustainability viewpoint, which would seem to be somewhat compatable with your views.
Humaneness is less sustainable than the contrary, it requires converting more land to feed fewer people
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
seraine
Posts: 734
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/21/2011 2:55:32 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/21/2011 12:15:39 AM, vbaculum wrote:

You'll notice that Polyface does not make the claim that they do not mutilate their birds (sorry for the double negative). As one witness reports: "I toured Polyface on a sweltering day. Chickens were in tiny cages with tin roofs in the beating sun, panting like mad. The cages were located over manure piles the birds were supposed to eat larvae from. Rabbits were kept in factory-farm conditions in suspended, barren wire cages. There was no sign of freedom or compassion for these animals." (from http://dartt-online.org...)
The only solution to the conflict between morality and meat will be found in veganism.


People disagree on whether or not polyface is humane. But if you found the process humane, would it be right to eat the meat?
seraine
Posts: 734
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/21/2011 2:59:45 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/21/2011 8:25:38 AM, TheSkeptic wrote:
At 6/17/2011 5:57:09 PM, seraine wrote:
Disclaimer:I will be using utilitarianism in my arguments. However, I will be using what I feel is the "good" side of utilitarianism, not the "bad side" ("it's justified to kill one innocent to save two"). I hope that most of you will agree with this part of utilitarianism I will be using.

That doesn't bode well at all - I can use the parts of utilitarianism I see to be intuitively acceptable but ignore the significant problems emergent?

I'm not exactly a utilitarianist, but I find that the "good" side of utilitarianism makes stuff easier to explain and moral situations easier. It's pretty much just because it's simple.

However, I've never been one to subscribe to particular systems; I usually go with what I've looked over and found to be acceptable.
seraine
Posts: 734
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/21/2011 3:17:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/19/2011 7:49:04 PM, Cliff.Stamp wrote:
Consider this, you argue that good farms provide a better life than wild living for animals as there is less risk/harm. However would you, by the same logic, say it is acceptable to "farm" humans in the same manner, to put them in controlled environments where they can not hurt themselves. Consider if one race did this to another, or one sex - or further still if we were subjugated by another species. Does the same logic still hold then, if not then why not?

Excellent question. I am not exactly sure about this, but here goes.

I think that it wouldn't because humans have more emotions than a cow or chicken, and then would have more of a right to life, which would override putting them in controlled systems.

When you compare the emotions of chickens over death and captivity, they would almost certainly be almost nil when compared to those of humans.

The emotions humans would feel over the deaths of others would be much greater than those of chickens or cows, and the suffering they would feel over death and captivity would actually make this bad from a utilitarian standpoint.

Not only that, I think that enhanced emotions give humans greater rights than animals, and make it wrong to cage and kill humans.

I'm not sure when you make the comparison to the mentally retarded though. Then it would be whether or not speciesism is wrong.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/21/2011 3:28:54 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
However, I've never been one to subscribe to particular systems; I usually go with what I've looked over and found to be acceptable.
It is vacuous to claim that your standard for acceptability is whether you accept it.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Rob1_Billion
Posts: 1,300
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/21/2011 5:02:31 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/21/2011 2:12:39 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 6/17/2011 6:11:55 PM, Rob1_Billion wrote:
I look at it from a sustainability viewpoint, which would seem to be somewhat compatable with your views.
Humaneness is less sustainable than the contrary, it requires converting more land to feed fewer people

High-tech farms do accomplish this more efficiently, but low tech farms can do it without actually "converting" the land to an undesirable state (at the expense of human labor, which I would defend as a better position for someone [farmer, that is] than other menial positions). Low-tech farming also doesn't use pesticides and fertilizers, and, putting aside the obvious side-effects, doesn't need to produce them either (nor does it require the production of much of the machinery). Not having to produce things is a big plus in terms of sustainability.
kfc
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,483
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/21/2011 5:11:44 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/21/2011 2:59:45 PM, seraine wrote:
At 6/21/2011 8:25:38 AM, TheSkeptic wrote:
At 6/17/2011 5:57:09 PM, seraine wrote:
Disclaimer:I will be using utilitarianism in my arguments. However, I will be using what I feel is the "good" side of utilitarianism, not the "bad side" ("it's justified to kill one innocent to save two"). I hope that most of you will agree with this part of utilitarianism I will be using.

That doesn't bode well at all - I can use the parts of utilitarianism I see to be intuitively acceptable but ignore the significant problems emergent?

I'm not exactly a utilitarianist, but I find that the "good" side of utilitarianism makes stuff easier to explain and moral situations easier. It's pretty much just because it's simple.

You missed the philosophical argument he was making. Basically, you're just cherry-picking the parts of utilitarianism you like and discarding the ones you don't for the sake of convenience.

However, I've never been one to subscribe to particular systems; I usually go with what I've looked over and found to be acceptable.

Found to be acceptable based on what? You can't just ignore parts of a theory that contradict your argument.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/21/2011 9:25:28 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/21/2011 5:02:31 PM, Rob1_Billion wrote:
At 6/21/2011 2:12:39 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 6/17/2011 6:11:55 PM, Rob1_Billion wrote:
I look at it from a sustainability viewpoint, which would seem to be somewhat compatable with your views.
Humaneness is less sustainable than the contrary, it requires converting more land to feed fewer people

High-tech farms do accomplish this more efficiently, but low tech farms can do it without actually "converting" the land to an undesirable state
Define undesirable state. Low tech farms require more deforestation to feed a given population, which I understand you tree-huggers dislike.

Low-tech farming also doesn't use pesticides and fertilizers
It uses fertilizers, they are simply fertilizers that have a potential to carry pathogens instead of a potential to be toxic.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
seraine
Posts: 734
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/22/2011 8:34:35 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/21/2011 5:11:44 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 6/21/2011 2:59:45 PM, seraine wrote:
At 6/21/2011 8:25:38 AM, TheSkeptic wrote:
At 6/17/2011 5:57:09 PM, seraine wrote:

I'm not exactly a utilitarianist, but I find that the "good" side of utilitarianism makes stuff easier to explain and moral situations easier. It's pretty much just because it's simple.

You missed the philosophical argument he was making. Basically, you're just cherry-picking the parts of utilitarianism you like and discarding the ones you don't for the sake of convenience.

However, I've never been one to subscribe to particular systems; I usually go with what I've looked over and found to be acceptable.

Found to be acceptable based on what? You can't just ignore parts of a theory that contradict your argument.

I looked into the issue, especially the trolley problem, and I think that I follow the Non Aggression Policy and utilitarianism.

I can't 100% agree with any of the major philosophies (I find problems with deontogical and virtue ethics and utilitarianism), but I do agree with a combination of utilitarianism and the Non-Aggression Policy.

The Non-Aggression Policy, I think, is a very good policy. However, it fails to cover many other situations, where I find utilitarianism is also agreeable. However, the Non-Aggression Policy is slightly dominant over utilitarianism.

Also, what exactly is wrong with cherry picking from philosophies?
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/22/2011 5:31:35 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Also, what exactly is wrong with cherry picking from philosophies?
It's impossible. To cherry pick beliefs is to disavow any philosophies as their source except the criterion on which you picked them, which is the new philosophy. To state "I pick from various philosophies" is a simple falsehood caused by a misunderstanding of what philosophy is.

The closest thing that is possible is being inconsistent, which of course means being wrong.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
ajjbrown11
Posts: 2
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/28/2011 9:11:14 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
My main problem with those who believe that eating meat is ethically wrong is that many of them support themselves with the sole argument that factory farming treats animals inhumanely. While I agree that factory farming needs to be reformed and animals deserve to live comfortably, I do not think that opposition to factory farming correlates to the morality of eating meat. To me, they are two separate issues. In nature, animals eat each other to survive. I believe that it is natural to eat meat, and our advanced ability to reason should be used to treat animals in a humane way. Thoughts?
vbaculum
Posts: 1,274
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/28/2011 3:37:56 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/28/2011 9:11:14 AM, ajjbrown11 wrote:
My main problem with those who believe that eating meat is ethically wrong is that many of them support themselves with the sole argument that factory farming treats animals inhumanely. While I agree that factory farming needs to be reformed and animals deserve to live comfortably, I do not think that opposition to factory farming correlates to the morality of eating meat.

The routine practices that factory farms use (dehorning, debeaking, branding, castration, all without anesthetics) are forms of torture. This is to say nothing of the day-to-day living conditions or the slaughterhouse experience itself. If torture isn't unethical then nothing is.

To me, they are two separate issues. In nature, animals eat each other to survive. I believe that it is natural to eat meat,

The appeal to nature is one of the easiest fallacies to spot but, for some reason, it is the most commonly used fallacies by those who would defend the systems that torture animals.

and our advanced ability to reason should be used to treat animals in a humane way. Thoughts?
"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
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/29/2011 7:55:52 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
If torture isn't unethical then nothing is.
Nonsense :)
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
ajjbrown11
Posts: 2
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/29/2011 1:54:38 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/28/2011 3:37:56 PM, vbaculum wrote:
The routine practices that factory farms use (dehorning, debeaking, branding, castration, all without anesthetics) are forms of torture. This is to say nothing of the day-to-day living conditions or the slaughterhouse experience itself. If torture isn't unethical then nothing is.

I do not argue that they aren't forms of torture; however, the morality of the act of eating meat itself is a separate issue and one should not be used to support the other.

The appeal to nature is one of the easiest fallacies to spot but, for some reason, it is the most commonly used fallacies by those who would defend the systems that torture animals.

Why is it a fallacy?
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/29/2011 2:28:13 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/29/2011 1:54:38 PM, ajjbrown11 wrote:
At 11/28/2011 3:37:56 PM, vbaculum wrote:
The routine practices that factory farms use (dehorning, debeaking, branding, castration, all without anesthetics) are forms of torture. This is to say nothing of the day-to-day living conditions or the slaughterhouse experience itself. If torture isn't unethical then nothing is.

I do not argue that they aren't forms of torture; however, the morality of the act of eating meat itself is a separate issue and one should not be used to support the other.

The appeal to nature is one of the easiest fallacies to spot but, for some reason, it is the most commonly used fallacies by those who would defend the systems that torture animals.

Why is it a fallacy?

http://en.wikipedia.org...
Open borders debate:
http://www.debate.org...