This may come off as incredibly stupid, but it's just a thought...
Are live stock really suffering? I mean, animals that are in captivity have it alot better than those in the wild. An endless supply of food, and they never have to worry about predators or disease. And how can something without a conscious even suffer? Animals function completely on instinct. If a cow is being abused, it's not thinking about how ghastly this slaughterhouse is and hoping that one day someone will liberate her and all her cow brethren. If it reacts at all, it's simply because of a pre-programed response to pain for the sake of survival. It doesn't know that it's in pain, it doesn't even know that it's alive.
Again, sorry if I sound like a massive dumbass. And for the record, I don't advocate animal abuse.
I don't think anyone has implied that livestock suffer all day every day. But on the first page of this thread when I listed points number 1-5, I mentioned how these animals do suffer, and how it is unnecessary. Also, comparison with the wild is not valid, since all suffering in the wild occurs regardless of our actions, and the suffering we impose on farmed animals is additional
to this. The pain response that you and I feel is also a pre-programmed response for the sake of survival. Unless adequately proven, it is a fallacy to assume that cow pain receptors as well as the relevant pain centres of the brain serve a significantly different purpose from those of humans.
Minimising harm is still harm, and it's a completely unnecessary form of harm. If you don't understand, I suggest impaling your face with a hook and letting us know the result.
I'd suggest you read Nagel's famous essay What Is it Like to Be a Bat?
before you pursue this line of argument in the future.
(I would be bored as fuck and want to kill myself if I was forced to stand in a field full of cow shit doing nothing but eating grass all day long in the hot sun ... but I shouldn't skip over relevant biological differences and infer that cows, unable to commit suicide, would feel how I would feel and would be grateful for me to kill them.)
The key point here is that even if we don't know exactly what it is like to be a bat, or a cow, we can make inferences based on differences and similarities between the species. My argument about facial impalement of fish applying to humans is valid, because I have already posted a link about how fish feel pain and have nociceptors just like we do. However, we can't make the same assumption about standing in a paddock all day, because we don't have the physiological requirement to graze on grass for 13 hours per day. It might be reasonable to assume that cows have evolved past the potential "boredom" issues of their lifestyle, because being bored eating grass would not have been a beneficial trait for a cow.
We should definitely take into account relevant biological differences between species, if known. For mammals who breastfeed their young, essentially the same hormones and instincts involved in a suckling neonate apply to cows as to humans, so it is reasonable to assume that taking a newborn calf from her mother is as traumatic as if I invaded a hospital and stole infants. This is the logical interpretation, until we discover relevant differences in how a calf suckles from her mother. After weaning there are
differences in the roles that parents of different species play in the life of the young, which explain why taking a ten-year-old human child from its mother would be reprehensible, but a ten-year-old cow? This is obviously different because of differences in species.
It really puzzles me how they talk about equality (they complain about what's called 'speciesism', which is like racism, our putting human mere-interests ahead of the rights of other species), but then permit every form of animal-caused suffering to exist and be deemed permissible except those caused by one species...ours. seems remarkably speciesist, to me--as though we don't even get to be regarded as equally a part of nature as the other animals (fair enough for them to say 'we should know better', and that's why equality is a mistaken virtue, but they need to drop the 'speciesism' rhetoric in that case). Most puzzling of all is the idea that our behaviors in question are immoral because they cause suffering that could be prevented, but yet suffering is worth ignoring so long as it wasn't caused by a man ... as though a deer hates a bullet in the head from a farmer but loves when screw-fly larvae bore through their eyeball. Given that a fish doesn't say 'oh, good, I'm only being ripped apart by a shark, not a man', it's weird that the vegan finds consolation in this and manages to be apathetic about the majority of the suffering that goes on in the animal world. ... they say 'it's necessary', as though this advances the argument. Suppose it was proven that a pedophile would shrivel up and die if they abstained from molesting children. ...would we permit molestation by pedophiles but not by anyone else, or would we say 'good riddance'? ... the vegan only has empathy for the suffering of some victims, and since it makes little difference to the victims, what rationale have we to be vegan? (compassion?...clearly the vegan's 'compassionate' attitude is grossly exaggerated).
Perhaps "unpreventable" or "not reasonable to prevent" would be a better word to use than "necessary". If we tried to save zebras from being killed by lions it would necessarily involve a disruption of natural ecosystems, increased suffering to the lions, or perhaps increased zebra suffering due to higher population and competition for resources. I'm not apathetic about a fish being ripped apart by a shark, but I acknowledge that it is unreasonable for me to do anything about it. I can only control my own behaviour.
I think you're misinterpreting speciesism as well. In cases where there are differences between species that make it reasonable for them to behave differently, it is not speciesist to treat them differently (for example, taking a ten-year-old cow from its mum as I explained earlier). If we use racism as an analogy, it is not racist for me to say "black people have less of a requirement for sunscreen", but it is racist for me to say "black people don't require schooling". The racist statement is a fallacy because it assumes differences between races that don't exist, or have not been proven to exist.
1. First off, we're omnivores. Killing animals is natural for us.
2. There is absolutely no harm in milking a cow. Not to the cow itself, not to anyone else.
3.Tell me, in a world where we drop bombs on people. In a world where all sorts of fucked up shit happens, why the hell should I care about some stupid animal whose death is completely inconsequential to anything- no, whose death is beneficial to my well being? I don't really want to sound like a jackass, however, i'm just going to say this. This is hippy bull crap. If we're such pacifists, than we should just kill ourselves before we kill a single solitary being. That's what I call a logical fallacy.
4.If osama bin laden offered me a delicious steak, would I accept it? Consider this hypothetical situation. Should it matter that this person is evil? Do I accept this steak from this evil man? To further embellish this hypothesis, let's say I didn't even know osama bin laden was the one who made me a steak. Does it make a difference? No.
1. Physiologically we are herbivores. Our intestine lengths relative to our bodies, our grinding molars, our tiny canines, lack of claws, inability to run fast enough to catch a rabbit, stomach pH, inability to cope with bacteria from raw meat, inability to metabolise animal cholesterol (we are the only "meat eating" species that deposits the cholesterol in our arteries). All of these attributes are herbivorous.
2. I have already posted links about the welfare issues relating to dairy cows. The mere act of milking them may not be harmful, although the milking machines do cause debilitating mastitis problems throughout the herd. The farming practices certainly are harmful though, and I have explained these already.
3. Your fallacy is "suffering already happens, so it's ok for me to needlessly inflict more". You also talk as if you don't believe it's possible to care about multiple causes. If I see an old lady having her handbag stolen, I don't say "sorry, I'm too busy not eating this steak, I can't help you."
4. You've misunderstood. It doesn't really matter if the person offering you a steak is evil, but it is a fallacy to assume that the animal you are eating was killed humanely. I have explained this already, but perhaps my wording was a bit strange in the originally posted myth.
I participated in legalised, institutionalised animal abuse until December 2011, when I realised that there was absolutely no justification for it. I think that those of you who continue to consume animal products either haven't been pressed to justify yourselves, or subscribe to unscientific myths such as those above.
Congratulations. Also, no. How on earth did you come to this conclusion?
The alternative to my theory of childhood indoctrination with meat/dairy/egg consumption, is that each child was presented with the facts about where their food came from and how it was produced, and made logical and informed decisions before eating anything. This is not plausible, since parents feed their children before they can even talk. Unless there is a third alternative I have not considered? I'm willing to be proven wrong of course.
These myths have been taught to us from a very young age, and most of us have grown up without challenging them. Many people who have replied to this thread have indicated that they do in fact believe the myths that I stated at the beginning, which has validated the point I made. I have disproven the myths throughout this thread.
...animals are killed for dairy and eggs right? Young males especially are superfluous to the industries and are discarded, generally via inhumane conditions and treatment. If I went into a hospital and stole a bunch of babies, I expect that I would end up in prison and the victims would be highly traumatised.
and if you killed someone else's offspring and mated with her, we would put you in prison. However, it doesn't follow that we should lock up gorrilas for doing this.
Gorillas have different sexual behaviour from humans. We also can't reasonably prevent them from killing their own offspring. You have exposed a grey area though; if a severely mentally retarded person commits a murder or rape, there is an argument about whether they really knew what they were doing. This generally does not apply to our daily lives though.
Your comparison to Christianity is the exact opposite of the truth as well. Omnivores only eat animal products because of childhood indoctrination (much like religion), and have the production process hidden from them.
similarly, you could fantasize that I'm only an atheist because I 'haven't heard the good word yet'. however, you're both wrong, and wrong to assume, that the only reason people don't agree with you is because they're ignorant.
But in this case, I have actually posted scientific evidence to debunk the dairy = strong bones myth.
The analogy that best fits veganism is ex-Christians who have abandoned their faith and overcome brainwash after being presented with the facts and interpreting them logically.
or Catholics who have become Methodists, bewildered at how the Baptists/Catholics/atheists/etc. can't see that this is so clearly the one true religion. ...they're merely fools being fooled once again, sucked in by what they have an emotional weakness for.
Again, if strong scientific evidence had been provided indicating that they indeed should become Methodists, your analogy might hold.
As I've said, you can find some very intellectual vegans, like Peter Singer, but they're pretty ruthless compared to the common high-school girl who feels sad after watching a video and becomes a vegan (again, analogous to someone switching to a religion because of some powerful sentiment and leaps in logic beyond the evidence). It's rare that I meet a vegan who actually studies moral philosophy and has a consistent ethic.
If the videos of cruel treatment of farmed animals actually do represent standard practice, then making changes as a result is not merely a sentimental decision. If combined with research into what actually happens in the industries, it is a logical decision. Also "consistent ethic" is an impossible goal for anyone. megalowho has posted some ethical arguments that indicate that often there is no "correct" ethical choice. All we can do is our best. It would seem to me that choosing to overtly harm animals for our own pleasures wouldn't be an example of our best.
Referring to me as arrogant necessarily implies that I'm wrong (as it's impossible to be correct and arrogant), so I think you really need to explain where I am wrong.
on the contrary: I'm arrogant, myself (perhaps you ought to google the word before presuming deductive conclusions from it). But I've put in a lot more time studying those who disagree with me than you have, so I'm not terribly worried about it. We all know Richard Dawkins is arrogant -- he should be, he's right, and he wrote one of the most important books of our era. arrogance is only a bad thing when it leads someone to think they already know enough, when in fact it's coupled with ignorance that misleads them and is counterproductive to persuasive argument.
I don't think I know enough, but I'm still waiting to be proven wrong in my assertions. I'm the only one here who has backed up what I have said with scientific links.
Also, someone mentioned preaching, which I would define as saying "you should [insert action]". Stating facts, followed by logical inferences based on those facts, is not preaching. By complaining about preaching, rather than addressing the actual argument, you effectively "shoot the messenger".
meh. I think you're "preaching", but what's wrong with preaching? you're not bringing this up in someone else's thread, anyway. The only reason to not "preach" about something important (like moral atrocities) is for lack of argument backing one's opinion there to (which is what keeps so many Christians quiet). And, as far as I'm concerned, failing to voice and defend one's opinions only ensures that whoever is wrong will stay wrong longer. If someone doesn't like to argue some subject...go find another thread. Like CrushedRevelation said, if a vegan is going to think I'm evil, or a Christian is going to think I'm a sinner...so what? why would that bother me? either they have a good argument or they don't; none of their arrogance or preaching or holier-than-thou attitude makes me feel any worse, so there's really no need to ask them to STFU.
This certainly makes sense, although we probably have different ideas of what preaching is.
I hope this casts some doubt on the suggestion that, since nobody's going to take it upon themselves to interfere with the eating habits of sharks in the wild, we need not worry about doing anything to ameliorate the needless suffering of animals, so doing our best to adopt an animal-friendly diet must be out of the picture.
You definitely showed that there is no such thing as consistent or perfect ethics. We certainly are not obligated to go around saving animals, but you have not provided an argument for actively harming them, which is what farming does.
even monkeys and birds have been shown to be able to use tools. I'm not sure how we're supposed to strip mankind of its ability to use tools and somehow thereby reach some deeper understanding of what it is to be human. ...sure, we would freeze in Alaska if we couldn't make clothing, but what moral truth does this tell us about the eskimos? if we are not "naturally" (and 'naturally' here denying that our brains--which conceive of how to use tools just as a wolf's brain conceives of how to hunt with a pack strategy--are a part of nature) supposed to survive there, is there some moral imperative to leave those habitats unpopulated by humans? what is it you think is the consequence of this silly observation?
hell, to look from the other direction: some vegans feed their shelter dogs vegan-friendly pet food. ...given that the dog wasn't designed by evolution to put together a vegetarian recipe, but to rip apart rats and rabbits instead, does this mean the vegan has a duty to increase animal suffering rather than to offer nutritious healthy vegetarian food to their dog?
All I've said is we didn't evolve
to use tools. Other primates did. This doesn't mean that we should stop using tools or anything like that. I don't think I ever said Alaska should be unpopulated by humans. In fact I would acknowledge that there may be an imperative for Alaskans to eat fish if plant matter doesn't grow well there.
Dogs have evolved as scavengers who can adapt to just about any type of diet. Cats however, now this would be an abuse to try to feed them vegetables, given their biological imperatives.
But did you notice how all the hens on the farm were female? (obvious tautology) What happened to the males? Most egg farms source their hens from a breeder, who definitely would have macerated or gased the male chicks after hatching, as it's not profitable to raise and feed non-egg layers.
what's your point, here? are you opposed to abortion rights?...if you were killed when you were 3-weeks old, do you think you'd have suffered? do you think those chicks have more self-awareness than you did?
The issue is that the chicks go into the grinder feet first, which is a painful death. There are thousands that need to be killed at a time, so they enter via a conveyor belt. CO2 gassing also causes suffering. It is not a peaceful death.
Even though grass-fed beef sounds nice, it takes about 10kg of grass to grow 1kg of beef, and in the meantime you have methane emissions that rival that produced by the world's transport http://science.howstuffworks.com/enviro ... ne-cow.htm
. The land used to grow the 10kg of grass could instead have been used to grow 10kg of vegetable matter to feed directly to humans, instead of the 1kg of steak. No wonder there's a food shortage. http://www.fammed.wisc.edu/sites/defaul ... atives.pdf
what's your stance on breeding? (one might also factor in that most offspring will grow up to consume meat/perpetuate this cycle we can stipulate is bad for the environment).
...why should I sacrifice my fondness for something that requires 10kg of grass, when you/others won't sacrifice their fondness for offspring and pets and power-guzzling houses that require more than mere grass?
Breeding animals for human use almost inevitably leads to their interests being placed secondary to profit. I would advocate adopting pets from shelters rather than supporting breeders. This is another issue though.
As I said, the land used to grow the grass could have been used to feed ten people, rather than just feeding yourself. With starving people in the world, I cannot justify that level of greed. Whether I am causing people to starve simply by living in my house, I am uncertain of.
Minimising suffering...but why is it ok to inflict suffering at all? The lions have no choice; they have to rip zebras apart to survive themselves.
but we have a choice of whether or not they survive, just as we have a choice of whether or not child predators continue to roam free and cause suffering whenever they please to.
why is it ok to let them inflict suffering at all? what apologetic would you offer to their victims if zebras could understand English?
It can be argued that the suffering caused by lions is a necessary part of the ecosystem. Perhaps removal of this suffering would lead to other suffering due to outcompeting for resources and starvation. Child predators however are not a necessary part of the ecosystem.
I would offer the same condolences to the zebras as I would to a human who is ravaged by a horrible incurable disease.
cooking actually deactivates many nutrients in food. The main purpose of cooking meat is to kill all the Salmonella and disgusting stuff on meat that we have not evolved to handle.
perhaps for you. but cooking has several functions, and making meat more digestible is one of them. (if you were stuck in the snow with nothing to eat but a dead human, you might best opt to eat their brain, because it's about the largest quantity of edible meat you could get without the ability to cook). a lot more goes to waste if you don't cook the body than if you do. If cooked meat wasn't nutritious, we'd have stopped doing it by now, through sheer hunger!
Fair enough. Meat offers lots of nutrients in the short term, but causes cancer/diabetes/heart disease/atherosclerosis in the long term.
Yep, I'm sure there are exceptions where some people are forced to eat animal products. In general this is not the case for humans. Are these Tibetans eating fish mainly? If they're eating land animals, then my question is what are the land animals eating? The paddocks used to feed the land animals could feed humans directly, at much higher efficiency.
livestock are able to graze on land that isn't suitable for horticulture. you can't just presume they're squandering prime horticultural land.
If we're talking about large herds of land animals, then they require large paddocks for prime horticulture. If they're not on paddocks like these, then the farmers need to give them supplementary feed (such as hay, grain) which was from prime horticultural land. If we're talking only about livestock who can graze poor quality land opportunistically, then we're necessarily talking about very small stocking densities, and therefore an extremely tiny portion of the overall food supply.