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 Post subject: Re: Ok...
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 3:47 pm 
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Manatee
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I must say that I give a great deal more gravity to the word "evil" than apparently others here do, but I do not hesitate to tell people that I come into contact with, and therefore have the same resources available to them as I, that eating animals is wrong. Undeniably, indefensiby wrong. No matter the intellect or education level, the response always boils down to either "I don't agree," or "I don't care." Neither are defenses.

You don't need flesh to survive, ergo you are killing simply out of selfishness, ergo you are doing wrong.

dtougas wrote:
Animals kill each other.

Therefore, animals are evil?


This question always annoys me. You should know, and probably do, that non-human animals are not capable of making moral decisions.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 3:48 pm 
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sirdle wrote:


Eating animals, or plants for that matter, involves the killing of living things


the difference between animal life (both homo sapien and other) and plant life is sentience.


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 Post subject: Re: Ok...
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 3:49 pm 
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Sknydpr wrote:
I must say that I give a great deal more gravity to the word "evil" than apparently others here do, but I do not hesitate to tell people that I come into contact with, and therefore have the same resources available to them as I, that eating animals is wrong. Undeniably, indefensiby wrong. No matter the intellect or education level, the response always boils down to either "I don't agree," or "I don't care." Neither are defenses.

You don't need flesh to survive, ergo you are killing simply out of selfishness, ergo you are doing wrong.

dtougas wrote:
Animals kill each other.

Therefore, animals are evil?



This question always annoys me. You should know, and probably do, that non-human animals are not capable of making moral decisions.


Exactly!!!!!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 3:59 pm 
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sirdle wrote:
Eating animals, or plants for that matter, involves the killing of living things


dtougas wrote:
Animals kill each other.

Therefore, animals are evil?


Well, it has hit Rock Bottom!!! "Animals do it, why can't we?" and "Eating plants is murder too." are the usual last ditch efforts of those who have run out of rational arguments. It is the final cry of the intellectually defeated. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Ok...
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 4:08 pm 
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compassionategirl wrote:
This question always annoys me. You should know, and probably do, that non-human animals are not capable of making moral decisions.


So, then, what you are suggesting, is that if lions were capable of making moral decisions, then they would choose not to eat meat? They would die, because their bodies are designed to eat meat.

There are people on this planet who really don't have much choice. Take people who live in extreme climates, for example. I am not going to judge them and say that because they have to hunt some animals to be able to survive the winter, that they are somehow immoral. They have had no choice for centuries. Just because you have the privilege to live in a country where you can have anything you want, and can make the choice to live every day of your life as a vegan, does not mean that someone else who does not have that privelege is living a life of sin.

I think that there is a certain design to nature, and some of that design involves creatures killing and eating meat. That may not be pleasant to think about, but I beleive it is true. I don't think that there are always moral issues at stake. I think the moral issues come into play when we look at cruelty, and exploitation, and excess and how it negatively affects the world around us.

I may come across as a meat lover, but I am not, by far.

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 Post subject: Re: Ok...
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 4:27 pm 
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dtougas wrote:
compassionategirl wrote:
This question always annoys me. You should know, and probably do, that non-human animals are not capable of making moral decisions.


So, then, what you are suggesting, is that if lions were capable of making moral decisions, then they would choose not to eat meat? They would die, because their bodies are designed to eat meat.


And if frogs had wings, the wouldn't bump their asses on the ground. Come on, guy. Even ignoring the hypothetical, that's a poor argument. Lions are, as you've said, strictly carnivorous. Humans are not only fully capable of living solely on plant matter, rather the current level of flesh consumption in developed countries is far beyond what our bodies are designed to be able to handle.

Quote:
There are people on this planet who really don't have much choice. Take people who live in extreme climates, for example.


Which is precisely why I specified "people that I come into contact with". Yes, there are people who live in climates that won't support plant life. The Inuits are a prime example; their diet is almost completely animal-based. Are they immoral? Not in my opinion. (And I'll leave it at that.)


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 4:29 pm 
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Quote:
Killing in self-defense is still murder, but it is "justified" under the circumstances and thus isnt morally culpable murder.

I think the word you are looking for is "homicide". Homicide is the killing of another human being. Murder is the illegal killing of another human being. Killing another human being in self-defense would be "justifiable homicide," not murder... at least according to my dictionary.

Please let me clarify a few of my thoughts:

1. If you wish to use the word "murder" to add emotional strength to your argument, I won't disagree, I just don't think it is precise.

2. Even if killing animals is not murder, that doesn't make it right. I just think that a new concept is needed, similar to the concept of murder, which applies to animals. This concept, if it is to carry weight amongst the general public, must be rigorously explored and rationally defended.

3. I never suggested that eating plants was murder. I was merely pointing out that "death" could not solely be used as a standard of value. As Natalie pointed out, setience is an important distinction between plants and animals. I would go a step further and argue that self-sentience (or self-consciousess) represents a dividing line between the higher animals and the lower ones. It is not obvious to me that "sentience" is more important than "self-sentience" when deciding what to kill and what not to kill.

4. I totally agree that it is on the self-conscious level that the question of morality arises. So, no, morality does not apply to animals.


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 Post subject: Re: Ok...
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 4:55 pm 
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Sknydpr wrote:
dtougas wrote:
compassionategirl wrote:
This question always annoys me. You should know, and probably do, that non-human animals are not capable of making moral decisions.


So, then, what you are suggesting, is that if lions were capable of making moral decisions, then they would choose not to eat meat? They would die, because their bodies are designed to eat meat.


And if frogs had wings, the wouldn't bump their asses on the ground. Come on, guy. Even ignoring the hypothetical, that's a poor argument.


Actually, what I thought was a poor argument was the fact that compassionategirl suggested that because animals could not make moral decisions, they killed. The point I was trying to make is that it is not always about making moral decisions, but about the design of nature.

Sknydpr wrote:
Lions are, as you've said, strictly carnivorous. Humans are not only fully capable of living solely on plant matter, rather the current level of flesh consumption in developed countries is far beyond what our bodies are designed to be able to handle.


I couldn't agree more.

Sknydpr wrote:
dtougas wrote:
There are people on this planet who really don't have much choice. Take people who live in extreme climates, for example.


Which is precisely why I specified "people that I come into contact with". Yes, there are people who live in climates that won't support plant life. The Inuits are a prime example; their diet is almost completely animal-based. Are they immoral? Not in my opinion. (And I'll leave it at that.)


Ok, now I feel bit better. Someone has admitted that there might be a slight possibility that humans eating animals is not necessarily always an evil thing.

I am going to sign off this discussion now. I think I have done enough damage to the "first impressions" the ethical vegans are getting of me :(. Maybe I should change my avatar, I think it is probably giving the wrong idea...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 5:01 pm 
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Stegosaurus

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Damien,

I dont understand what the point of considering a hypothetical that is never going to happen. Animals cannot make moral decisions, we can. And thus, we should. While there are many further flaws and silliniess about the irrational argument that "animals eat meat, so why shouldnt we?" that can be pointed out which havent already been done so, i am not going to dignify that frankly pathetic argument and defense of UNNECESSARY meat eating with a further answer. Sorry if that seems harsh.


Not only can we make moral decisions, WE are not designed physiologically to eat meat. This is supported by both common sense and anthropological evidence. If you are unaware of this evidence, I can point you to some sources.


Furthermore, you later in that post are AGAIN describing a situation wherein people dont have a choice - where it is hunt for food, or die of starvation. When we eat Turkey on Thanksgiving, you DO have a "choice". The choice not to eat Turkey and thereby the choice not pay the Turkey murderer and support the Turkey industry. I have repeatedly stated, rather clearly (or so i thought) that the UNECESSARY human killing for food is plainly and simply wrong/veil/morally culpable or whatever. I am really not a fan of getting hung up on semantics. The principle, the moral argument, is clearly there, and canot be diminished by semantic acrobatics.

BOTTOM LINE: Killing, murdering, animals for food when it is not necessary to do so for your own survival is unethical, immoral, wrong, bad, indefensible, inexcusable, evil, bad....take your pick. But i think the point is clear. Killing animals because you like to taste of their flesh is no more ethical or acceptable than killing animals because simply you like the feel of their fur and want it for your own back (again, not talking about a do or die situation here). There is no relevant difference.


I am not picking on you, for the record, and I have tremendous respect for your ENTIRE vegan family. Although I wish your veganism was also motivated by ethical/animal reasons, in which case, I dont think you would see Thanksgiving turkey as a treat. I know you never described eating Turkey as a treat, but you said you are a vegan who eats it in Thanksgiving, so hence, the idea that maybe you see Thanksgiving Turkey as a treat?

at any rate, you are vegan - which is the bottom line and the most important thing. And no, you havent lost any friends or credibility. heck, if everybody cut each other off because they did not agree with something that that person said, how could any progress be made? It is critical to keep the debate ongoing, but i must admit i do get frustrated with irrational, pathetic excuses which are offered as an 'argument' in defense of eating animals when one neednt do so to survive.

peace
Editted to add: I see your post in which you acknowledge that humans arent designed for meat, a belief that is obviously reflected in your whole lifestyle and the lifestyle you have chosen for your family. So please ignore that part of my post.


Last edited by compassionategirl on Thu Jul 28, 2005 5:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ok...
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 5:03 pm 
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Manatee
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dtougas wrote:
Actually, what I thought was a poor argument was the fact that compassionategirl suggested that because animals could not make moral decisions, they killed. The point I was trying to make is that it is not always about making moral decisions, but about the design of nature.


Actually Cgirl was quoting me, and I don't believe I made that inference. I was stating that carnivorous animals are incapable of doing wrong because they are incapable of making moral decisions.


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 Post subject: Re: Ok...
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 5:28 pm 
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Stegosaurus

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dtougas wrote:
Actually, what I thought was a poor argument was the fact that compassionategirl suggested that because animals could not make moral decisions, they killed. The point I was trying to make is that it is not always about making moral decisions, but about the design of nature.



Well, to state that sometimes it is the design of nature is to state the obvious. Lions kill because they are natural carnivores and predators. Not because they are immoral. No kidding. How exactly does that justify the killing of an animal by one who is NOT designed to be a carnivore (i.e. a human), in circs that are not "a struggle to survive"?


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 Post subject: Re: Ok...
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 6:07 pm 
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Rabbit
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compassionategirl wrote:
Well, to state that sometimes it is the design of nature is to state the obvious. Lions kill because they are natural carnivores and predators. Not because they are immoral. No kidding. How exactly does that justify the killing of an animal by one who is NOT designed to be a carnivore (i.e. a human), in circs that are not "a struggle to survive"?


Ok, I know I said I was done... :D

Well, but let me say this. I have had a hard time understanding the stance of ethical vegans for this reason. All of the impressions I have gotten from ethical vegans in the past has left me with the impression that under no circumstances can animal products be eaten as food. Now, I am hearing that there may be unusual cirumstances where it may be acceptable, i.e. "a struggle to survive". This is good, and I really appreciate an ethical vegan is willing to say it, because honestly, you are the first one that I have heard say that.

I started being a vegan for health reasons, and I now also have many ethical reasons for being a vegan (which at this point revolve largley around the environmental, human impacts, and animal cruelty).

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 6:26 pm 
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Stegosaurus

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Hey Damien,

I do think your avatar is cute by the way.

Just to be clear and so as not to mislead anybody, the "struggle to survive" is an example I gave that as you correctly point out, is not a universally accepted thing by all vegans. I dont presume to be speaking for all vegans here, and i am not even sure that I am speaking for myself. The point of this qualification was to reach some common ground and show that the "but animals eat meat so why cant we" excuse lacks logical coherence or moral relevance.

If I am stranded on an island, and I am going to have to kill and eat a cow to survive, I dont know if I would do it, because in my view, the animal has a right to his life as much as I have a right to my own life.

However, these types of arguments and sentiments are really not the point and distract from the very simple fact that should be acceptable to all honest and self-relfecting people:

killing animals for food when it is unnecessary to do so is wrong, immoral, bad, etc etc etc. ALL people should be able to agree on that. Now whether or not that is as far as you would go, or whether or not I would go even further - instead of focusing on what divides us, let us reach some common ground.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 5:15 pm 
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I think it's 'evil' to kill stuff for your own enjoyment. I don't think it's evil to kill stuff in order to survive. However, if I think someone is evil, this doesn't mean that I dismiss them entirely or think they should be punished, I just mean that I think they are morally wrong. I see eating meat as evil, if it's in a situation where it's totally unnecessary. In the 'developed' world, there is a simple choice and it's not linked to survival at all, so I think it's evil. If a person lives in a desolate remote place where they literally cannot survive on a vegan diet, then I think it is totally understandable to kill or be killed. The supermarket is not a desolate remote place where you fight for your survival, it's where you buy whatever you want to eat, and it's up to you to make a compassionate decision.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 5:42 pm 
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Stegosaurus

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Richard wrote:
I think it's 'evil' to kill stuff for your own enjoyment. I don't think it's evil to kill stuff in order to survive. However, if I think someone is evil, this doesn't mean that I dismiss them entirely or think they should be punished, I just mean that I think they are morally wrong. I see eating meat as evil, if it's in a situation where it's totally unnecessary. In the 'developed' world, there is a simple choice and it's not linked to survival at all, so I think it's evil. If a person lives in a desolate remote place where they literally cannot survive on a vegan diet, then I think it is totally understandable to kill or be killed. The supermarket is not a desolate remote place where you fight for your survival, it's where you buy whatever you want to eat, and it's up to you to make a compassionate decision.


well said richard


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