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Meat Eater, Vegetarian or Vegan?

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  • Need2Exerc1seNeed2Exerc1se Posts: 13,589Member Member Posts: 13,589Member Member
    shell1005 wrote: »
    Jeepers. How about starting a thread on the ethics of eating instead of continuing to derail this lovely thread on the type of eating that people are choosing. It's becoming quite tiresome how far away from the topic at hand that this thread has become.

    Yes, that's been mentioned several times. But since most everyone agrees that any of the three mentioned can be healthy there is not much to discuss there.
  • ForecasterJasonForecasterJason Posts: 2,582Member Member Posts: 2,582Member Member
    shell1005 wrote: »
    Jeepers. How about starting a thread on the ethics of eating instead of continuing to derail this lovely thread on the type of eating that people are choosing. It's becoming quite tiresome how far away from the topic at hand that this thread has become.

    Yes, that's been mentioned several times. But since most everyone agrees that any of the three mentioned can be healthy there is not much to discuss there.
    Agreed. And this thread has been derailed since page 4, when a certain member came in and essentially shifted the topic away from the original question.

    edited March 2016
  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886Member Member Posts: 30,886Member Member
    Do you think there is a meaningful ethical difference between the death required for the pleasure of bacon and the death required for the pleasure of sport hunting?

    I personally would consider wasteful killing different, yes -- hunting where the animal isn't eaten and there's no purpose for it but just the enjoyment of the hunt. Similarly, I am bothered by letting meat go to waste and think it's much better to use all of the animal.

    I've never hunted (grew up in part in an area where it was extremely common, however), but I have fished, and that's how I feel about fishing too.

    Can I defend this distinction in a convincing way? Not sure, but I do feel rather strongly about it.

    (I have the sense that there's some tiptoeing around the actual ethical arguments by some of us, or I least I don't want to get into a full-bore ethical debate here, as it could take the thread off the rails or just end up in more of an argument than I'd like, since this topic involves such deep feelings. Kind of like the rules against discussing religion or politics.)
    edited March 2016
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Posts: 20,809Member Member Posts: 20,809Member Member
    I had mentioned earlier in the thread that I believe we as humans were created to have superiority over animals. For me, I could not imagine treating animals on the same level as other humans. Now, this doesn't mean I have a license to go on a senseless rage and start shooting down animals for fun.

    Why is it okay to kill animals for one type of pleasure (the pleasure of eating them or wearing their skin or fur) but not for another type of pleasure (the pleasure of sport hunting)? Or is the state of mind you're in (I noticed you mentioned senseless rage) important?

    That is, does being created to have superiority over animals mean it's okay to shoot animals for fun in a certain frame of mind, but not in a state of anger?
    I will say this. Hunting is not something that has appealed to me, but at the same time I don't know that I would jump to the conclusion that it's unethical for others to do it. Personally, that may be hovering over the line for what I would consider to be ethical vs unethical. At least that's an actual activity that society has deemed somewhat acceptable.

    In evaluating the ethics of it, the way I see it the decision comes down to what is to be gained by it. Meaning, I would say that killing animals for food or other human use is very different than, say, shooting animals to take out frustration. One has practical use for other humans, while in the other case there's nothing to be gained.



    There are lots of frustration-releasing activities that result in little gain. Would you consider hunting for sport (where you don't eat the body of the animal you shoot) less acceptable than the current adult coloring book craze (for example)?

    Do you consider any leisure activity that result in little gain of questionable ethics or just the ones that require the death of another individual? If it's the death that makes the difference (not the gain), I'm curious about how much "gain" a human has to get from an individual's death for you to consider it ethically appropriate. And does the type of "gain" matter? Why would a "gain" of culinary pleasure be more important than the gain of pleasure one might get from ending an animal's life for non-food purpose?

    Eating food is necessary for life so calling it "culinary pleasure" is a bit misrepresentative.

    Eating food is necessary. Eating animals isn't (for the majority of people).

    Why do people choose meat, eggs, and dairy instead of other foods? Pleasure and convenience (although many people will cite nutritional needs, most people saying this don't limit their consumption of animal products to the amount needed to avoid deficiency, including the person this post was addressed to -- we already discussed this in previous posts).

    But I don't want to use terms that you consider misrepresentative. How would you like me to describe the choice to consume of meat when there are other options available to meet nutritional needs? If it isn't for pleasure, what is it for?

    Do you think there is a meaningful ethical difference between the death required for the pleasure of bacon and the death required for the pleasure of sport hunting?

    Practicality. What food could be eaten without some creature being killed? And if it all involves death, then it's just a matter of which creatures we are choosing to kill and whether we want to leave it up to others to do the killing or we'd rather do it ourselves.

    To me there is an ethical difference between killing for food and killing solely for pleasure. I've never understood the latter, though it does quite a bit of good by supplying homeless shelters with food. Do you think there is an ethical difference in creatures killed in growing vegetables vs. those killed for meat?

    Edit: Removing response due to feedback.
    edited March 2016
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Posts: 20,809Member Member Posts: 20,809Member Member
    shell1005 wrote: »
    Jeepers. How about starting a thread on the ethics of eating instead of continuing to derail this lovely thread on the type of eating that people are choosing. It's becoming quite tiresome how far away from the topic at hand that this thread has become.

    Sorry. I'll stop.
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Posts: 20,809Member Member Posts: 20,809Member Member
    shell1005 wrote: »
    shell1005 wrote: »
    Jeepers. How about starting a thread on the ethics of eating instead of continuing to derail this lovely thread on the type of eating that people are choosing. It's becoming quite tiresome how far away from the topic at hand that this thread has become.

    Sorry. I'll stop.

    Don't get me wrong, I think it's an interesting conversation...it's just not on topic and personally think it belongs in a thread where people know that the ethics of eating are the topic at hand, etc. I don't make the rules though around these parts, so my opinion is worth as much as anyone else's, etc. (probably less with the feedback I have received).

    I think the change of direction in the thread was reflecting that there isn't much debate around the OP (all three diets can be healthy or unhealthy). But I don't mind suspending the conversation. To quote a cheesy HR slogan, "feedback is a gift."
  • sunnybeaches105sunnybeaches105 Posts: 2,846Member Member Posts: 2,846Member Member
    senecarr wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Okay, so "murder" is "unlawful or wrongful killing?" What makes killing wrongful? And, if we legalized the killing of persons who wore blue shirts would killing a person wearing a blue shirt be "murder" and "wrong" in your mind?

    It's an ethical question. As I find it hard to believe that you don't agree with me that killing is in some (many) cases wrongful, and the fact that we don't hold bears morally responsible doesn't change that (although we might destroy them in some circumstances), I don't see the purpose of derailing the thread with a discussion of when/why killing is wrong.

    And no, something being legal is not sufficient for me to say it's not wrongful.

    Why do you conclude that I don't believe that killing in some cases is wrongful? I'm merely attempting to determine the basis for this belief. What makes killing in some (many) cases wrongful? Are there cases where killing is not wrongful? Why would we not hold bears morally responsible if we also grant them certain moral rights? I'm assuming, of course, that you think bears should be given some rights? Correct me if that assumption is wrong.

    Why is asking someone to clarify their assetions derailing the thread?

    Why would I think bears should have rights?

    Re murder, bears can't form mens rea.

    I don't know what your beliefs regarding the rights of bears might be. Do you think it's okay to kill bears for any reason whatsoever? Per earlier statement above, I agree it's an ethical question, and I'm trying to figure out why people in this thread believe that some beings have rights (and moral obligations) and some beings don't.

    You seriously don't understand why people distinguish between humans and other animals in terms of rights or moral responsibilities?

    I mentioned above that I am not a vegan or vegetarian, so probably I wouldn't think animals have human or Constitutional rights, yeah. The argument that humans are held to different moral or ethical standards by vegans than the animals themselves still seems to me a silly argument. Even if you think it's wrong to kill any animals (outside of defensive reasons), there's still an obvious difference in mental capacity and we don't even hold children to the same legal standards, or incapacitated people, due to such things as mens rea and age of accountability.

    I asked you whether you thought killing bears for any reason whatsoever is okay.

    This is not a clear question. Are you asking whether there is any reason I would think is sufficient to kill a bear? If so, the answer is yes (but it's not particularly relevant to anything in this discussion).

    If you are asking whether I think it's okay (as in ethically acceptable) to kill bears for any reason at all, no matter what it is, no -- there are reasons I would consider ethically insufficient to justify killing a bear, in my own view. Whether I'd impose them on others is a different question
    I have my own theories regarding why people distinguish between humans and other animals in terms of rights and moral responsibilities, but they I often think that these beliefs have less to do with critical reasoning than habit and personal preferences.

    Humans and other animals are different. You can argue about how much it matters, but it's obviously true.
    As to the silly argument position, why would you engage in a silly argument?

    I thought you were trolling a bit and it annoyed me. Specifically, the argument that it's wrong to consider that humans may have moral/ethical responsibilities to refrain from harming animals merely because a cat does not (and we don't consider them criminally liable for eating a mouse). Humans have the ability to reason morally about what they should do in a way that cats do not -- cats act more instinctually (and also are obligate carnivores). Also, I'm weak.
    People once thought giving rights to minorities was silly because it was "obvious" "they" were different. Is that a fair statement? Why or why not?

    In that they are humans, I think comparing this argument with the human/animal one is problematic, for the reasons discussed re the slavery analogy upthread.

    For the record, I didn't say it was silly that we might decide that non human animals have certain limited rights (although I think that's inconsistent with how we normally think about the concept of rights). I said that your assumption that *I* thought bears had rights was silly, in that I had already admitted that I was fine with eating animals (I suppose I could think bears have rights and cows and deer do not, but why would that be the case). That was part of why I didn't think you were trying to engage in a serious discussion (and still do not) -- you were trying to make an argument that it's inconsistent to think non human animals have rights and not hold them morally responsible for their "crimes."

    Okay then. I suppose that's the end of any reasonable discussion.

    Let me simply state that I happen to find ethics to be an incredibly complex and difficult subject, and I concentrated in it prior to graduate school. Some MBA programs have also incorporated it into their programs, and law schools do by necessity (though legal ethics is not really about how we feel unless "we" are the ones writing the rules, though morality aside from legal ethics rules is also often discussed). We also have laws on the treatment of animals. Whether these laws grant animals "rights" depends on the law, but law also isn't static. So, these issues can and do ultimately drive laws and business practices in the real world, and I would hope people spent time thinking through them before claiming the moral high ground.

    I'll add that there is no trolling by me here. If I had a purpose other than curiosity over various stated opinions, it was to suggest that perhaps people should have a degree of humility when it comes to their strong opinions on this subject.

    To be clear, you are drawing arbitrary lines between humans and other animals, and apparently among different animals. What you are doing is common, but the minute someone asks "why" many run away or do as you have done, call it silly and claim trolling. I suppose I'll head back to my bubble. Work to be done and whatnot.

    Nothing arbitrary about the line. If you can pull out a bear that talks and is willing to discuss whether Singer's utilitarianism is speciest or ableist in regards to his existence as an animal, then of course we'll be willing to accept he has an equal responsibility as any rational adult has to not attack other people. So it isn't arbitrary (based on species) it is a sliding scale based on the capacity of the animal. Same as applies to children. Or do you see treating children differently in law and ethics as arbitrary, even when most courts do have procedures for testing if a child has the capacity to be treated as an adult because they do have the understanding?

    Do you speak for everyone when you say "of course we?" I don't think you do. I was attempting to dig into one person's belief system to see why he or she believes what he or she does. I'm happy to engage with you though if you like. I've read your posts in various places and you are thoughtful. My point here is that not everyone would agree with you on the bear though. I'm pretty sure some would still think it's "just a bear" while perhaps many, if not most, in this thread would be taken aback and perhaps introduce ourselves. Thanks for bringing up Singer. I think you may be the first in this thread to do so. Is Singer "right" regarding speciesism? Perhaps. I hinted at a point above regarding the treatment of a whale versus a dog. We do treat various species differently and I'm not at all convinced that our reasons for doing so have anything to do with reasoning ability so much as expedience. Vegans often raise the intelligence of pigs a reason not to eat them, and I think it's an interesting and persuasive point to make. The capuchin monkey is even more of a challenge to common conceptions of our different treatment between humans and non-humans.

    To answer your question on children, I do think children are often treated in an arbitrary manner. That said, exploring the reasons why we do so is not an attack. Nor is calling something arbitrary. We do draw arbitrary lines on this issue. For example, consent, drinking, voting, and draft ages, and juvenile vs. adult court systems all draw somewhat arbitrary lines, and people still debate them. We have made strides over the years in this area. Juvenile laws didn't exist in the US until the 19th century. Also, the sliding scale you mention is a way to avoid the impact of truly arbitrary line drawing, but it's not always used, and even when it is used presumptions are made that may or may not be rebuttable. Can we improve upon it while not unduly burdening the system? I'm not sure and the legal treatment of minors may be too far afield from the discussion.

    So, what do I believe about the subject at hand? I'm not sure. I ask questions of others on subjects like this because my views continue to develop. I know it pains me to see others suffer (an emotional reaction), but I also find it difficult to stop eating meat. I don't hunt anymore. I also don't think that I'm duty bound to give up the ease with which I eat and maintain my health for the sake of something that can't reciprocate or carry my genes to another generation. It could be described as something good to do perhaps, though how much are we to sacrifice for others? I don't know where to put that line, and I have problems finding the utility in sacrificing a substantial amount to such a cause when there are humans who starve and suffer. As an aside, I tend to support charities that help humans rather than animals due to my finite funds and the foregoing. I also stated in the first page that I evolved as a omnivore, and you could say that perhaps I haven't gotten past that. I don't judge people for having different views though, if they've at least pondered the subject a bit, and I definitely wouldn't argue that I think I'm "right."

    Does the next stage of human development involve veganism and will people 100 years from now look back and judge us for eating meat? Perhaps. I suspect artificial meat may solve the debate for them, or at least advance it a bit. I don't know.



  • senecarrsenecarr Posts: 5,377Member Member Posts: 5,377Member Member
    senecarr wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Okay, so "murder" is "unlawful or wrongful killing?" What makes killing wrongful? And, if we legalized the killing of persons who wore blue shirts would killing a person wearing a blue shirt be "murder" and "wrong" in your mind?

    It's an ethical question. As I find it hard to believe that you don't agree with me that killing is in some (many) cases wrongful, and the fact that we don't hold bears morally responsible doesn't change that (although we might destroy them in some circumstances), I don't see the purpose of derailing the thread with a discussion of when/why killing is wrong.

    And no, something being legal is not sufficient for me to say it's not wrongful.

    Why do you conclude that I don't believe that killing in some cases is wrongful? I'm merely attempting to determine the basis for this belief. What makes killing in some (many) cases wrongful? Are there cases where killing is not wrongful? Why would we not hold bears morally responsible if we also grant them certain moral rights? I'm assuming, of course, that you think bears should be given some rights? Correct me if that assumption is wrong.

    Why is asking someone to clarify their assetions derailing the thread?

    Why would I think bears should have rights?

    Re murder, bears can't form mens rea.

    I don't know what your beliefs regarding the rights of bears might be. Do you think it's okay to kill bears for any reason whatsoever? Per earlier statement above, I agree it's an ethical question, and I'm trying to figure out why people in this thread believe that some beings have rights (and moral obligations) and some beings don't.

    You seriously don't understand why people distinguish between humans and other animals in terms of rights or moral responsibilities?

    I mentioned above that I am not a vegan or vegetarian, so probably I wouldn't think animals have human or Constitutional rights, yeah. The argument that humans are held to different moral or ethical standards by vegans than the animals themselves still seems to me a silly argument. Even if you think it's wrong to kill any animals (outside of defensive reasons), there's still an obvious difference in mental capacity and we don't even hold children to the same legal standards, or incapacitated people, due to such things as mens rea and age of accountability.

    I asked you whether you thought killing bears for any reason whatsoever is okay.

    This is not a clear question. Are you asking whether there is any reason I would think is sufficient to kill a bear? If so, the answer is yes (but it's not particularly relevant to anything in this discussion).

    If you are asking whether I think it's okay (as in ethically acceptable) to kill bears for any reason at all, no matter what it is, no -- there are reasons I would consider ethically insufficient to justify killing a bear, in my own view. Whether I'd impose them on others is a different question
    I have my own theories regarding why people distinguish between humans and other animals in terms of rights and moral responsibilities, but they I often think that these beliefs have less to do with critical reasoning than habit and personal preferences.

    Humans and other animals are different. You can argue about how much it matters, but it's obviously true.
    As to the silly argument position, why would you engage in a silly argument?

    I thought you were trolling a bit and it annoyed me. Specifically, the argument that it's wrong to consider that humans may have moral/ethical responsibilities to refrain from harming animals merely because a cat does not (and we don't consider them criminally liable for eating a mouse). Humans have the ability to reason morally about what they should do in a way that cats do not -- cats act more instinctually (and also are obligate carnivores). Also, I'm weak.
    People once thought giving rights to minorities was silly because it was "obvious" "they" were different. Is that a fair statement? Why or why not?

    In that they are humans, I think comparing this argument with the human/animal one is problematic, for the reasons discussed re the slavery analogy upthread.

    For the record, I didn't say it was silly that we might decide that non human animals have certain limited rights (although I think that's inconsistent with how we normally think about the concept of rights). I said that your assumption that *I* thought bears had rights was silly, in that I had already admitted that I was fine with eating animals (I suppose I could think bears have rights and cows and deer do not, but why would that be the case). That was part of why I didn't think you were trying to engage in a serious discussion (and still do not) -- you were trying to make an argument that it's inconsistent to think non human animals have rights and not hold them morally responsible for their "crimes."

    Okay then. I suppose that's the end of any reasonable discussion.

    Let me simply state that I happen to find ethics to be an incredibly complex and difficult subject, and I concentrated in it prior to graduate school. Some MBA programs have also incorporated it into their programs, and law schools do by necessity (though legal ethics is not really about how we feel unless "we" are the ones writing the rules, though morality aside from legal ethics rules is also often discussed). We also have laws on the treatment of animals. Whether these laws grant animals "rights" depends on the law, but law also isn't static. So, these issues can and do ultimately drive laws and business practices in the real world, and I would hope people spent time thinking through them before claiming the moral high ground.

    I'll add that there is no trolling by me here. If I had a purpose other than curiosity over various stated opinions, it was to suggest that perhaps people should have a degree of humility when it comes to their strong opinions on this subject.

    To be clear, you are drawing arbitrary lines between humans and other animals, and apparently among different animals. What you are doing is common, but the minute someone asks "why" many run away or do as you have done, call it silly and claim trolling. I suppose I'll head back to my bubble. Work to be done and whatnot.

    Nothing arbitrary about the line. If you can pull out a bear that talks and is willing to discuss whether Singer's utilitarianism is speciest or ableist in regards to his existence as an animal, then of course we'll be willing to accept he has an equal responsibility as any rational adult has to not attack other people. So it isn't arbitrary (based on species) it is a sliding scale based on the capacity of the animal. Same as applies to children. Or do you see treating children differently in law and ethics as arbitrary, even when most courts do have procedures for testing if a child has the capacity to be treated as an adult because they do have the understanding?

    Do you speak for everyone when you say "of course we?" I don't think you do. I was attempting to dig into one person's belief system to see why he or she believes what he or she does. I'm happy to engage with you though if you like. I've read your posts in various places and you are thoughtful. My point here is that not everyone would agree with you on the bear though. I'm pretty sure some would still think it's "just a bear" while perhaps many, if not most, in this thread would be taken aback and perhaps introduce ourselves. Thanks for bringing up Singer. I think you may be the first in this thread to do so. Is Singer "right" regarding speciesism? Perhaps. I hinted at a point above regarding the treatment of a whale versus a dog. We do treat various species differently and I'm not at all convinced that our reasons for doing so have anything to do with reasoning ability so much as expedience. Vegans often raise the intelligence of pigs a reason not to eat them, and I think it's an interesting and persuasive point to make. The capuchin monkey is even more of a challenge to common conceptions of our different treatment between humans and non-humans.

    To answer your question on children, I do think children are often treated in an arbitrary manner. That said, exploring the reasons why we do so is not an attack. Nor is calling something arbitrary. We do draw arbitrary lines on this issue. For example, consent, drinking, voting, and draft ages, and juvenile vs. adult court systems all draw somewhat arbitrary lines, and people still debate them. We have made strides over the years in this area. Juvenile laws didn't exist in the US until the 19th century. Also, the sliding scale you mention is a way to avoid the impact of truly arbitrary line drawing, but it's not always used, and even when it is used presumptions are made that may or may not be rebuttable. Can we improve upon it while not unduly burdening the system? I'm not sure and the legal treatment of minors may be too far afield from the discussion.

    So, what do I believe about the subject at hand? I'm not sure. I ask questions of others on subjects like this because my views continue to develop. I know it pains me to see others suffer (an emotional reaction), but I also find it difficult to stop eating meat. I don't hunt anymore. I also don't think that I'm duty bound to give up the ease with which I eat and maintain my health for the sake of something that can't reciprocate or carry my genes to another generation. It could be described as something good to do perhaps, though how much are we to sacrifice for others? I don't know where to put that line, and I have problems finding the utility in sacrificing a substantial amount to such a cause when there are humans who starve and suffer. As an aside, I tend to support charities that help humans rather than animals due to my finite funds and the foregoing. I also stated in the first page that I evolved as a omnivore, and you could say that perhaps I haven't gotten past that. I don't judge people for having different views though, if they've at least pondered the subject a bit, and I definitely wouldn't argue that I think I'm "right."

    Does the next stage of human development involve veganism and will people 100 years from now look back and judge us for eating meat? Perhaps. I suspect artificial meat may solve the debate for them, or at least advance it a bit. I don't know.

    Then you sound rather close to my own views. I would like to think that artificial forms of meat will raise the issue to the point that eating animals comes about intentionally eating animals to eat them - not because taste, nutrition, cost, environmental impact, etc. is any different. At which point, I imagine it begins to sound a bit sadist to claim "I eat meat because I like eating something another living, pain-feeling thing had to die for me to consume" and have no other reason behind it.
  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886Member Member Posts: 30,886Member Member
    senecarr wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Okay, so "murder" is "unlawful or wrongful killing?" What makes killing wrongful? And, if we legalized the killing of persons who wore blue shirts would killing a person wearing a blue shirt be "murder" and "wrong" in your mind?

    It's an ethical question. As I find it hard to believe that you don't agree with me that killing is in some (many) cases wrongful, and the fact that we don't hold bears morally responsible doesn't change that (although we might destroy them in some circumstances), I don't see the purpose of derailing the thread with a discussion of when/why killing is wrong.

    And no, something being legal is not sufficient for me to say it's not wrongful.

    Why do you conclude that I don't believe that killing in some cases is wrongful? I'm merely attempting to determine the basis for this belief. What makes killing in some (many) cases wrongful? Are there cases where killing is not wrongful? Why would we not hold bears morally responsible if we also grant them certain moral rights? I'm assuming, of course, that you think bears should be given some rights? Correct me if that assumption is wrong.

    Why is asking someone to clarify their assetions derailing the thread?

    Why would I think bears should have rights?

    Re murder, bears can't form mens rea.

    I don't know what your beliefs regarding the rights of bears might be. Do you think it's okay to kill bears for any reason whatsoever? Per earlier statement above, I agree it's an ethical question, and I'm trying to figure out why people in this thread believe that some beings have rights (and moral obligations) and some beings don't.

    You seriously don't understand why people distinguish between humans and other animals in terms of rights or moral responsibilities?

    I mentioned above that I am not a vegan or vegetarian, so probably I wouldn't think animals have human or Constitutional rights, yeah. The argument that humans are held to different moral or ethical standards by vegans than the animals themselves still seems to me a silly argument. Even if you think it's wrong to kill any animals (outside of defensive reasons), there's still an obvious difference in mental capacity and we don't even hold children to the same legal standards, or incapacitated people, due to such things as mens rea and age of accountability.

    I asked you whether you thought killing bears for any reason whatsoever is okay.

    This is not a clear question. Are you asking whether there is any reason I would think is sufficient to kill a bear? If so, the answer is yes (but it's not particularly relevant to anything in this discussion).

    If you are asking whether I think it's okay (as in ethically acceptable) to kill bears for any reason at all, no matter what it is, no -- there are reasons I would consider ethically insufficient to justify killing a bear, in my own view. Whether I'd impose them on others is a different question
    I have my own theories regarding why people distinguish between humans and other animals in terms of rights and moral responsibilities, but they I often think that these beliefs have less to do with critical reasoning than habit and personal preferences.

    Humans and other animals are different. You can argue about how much it matters, but it's obviously true.
    As to the silly argument position, why would you engage in a silly argument?

    I thought you were trolling a bit and it annoyed me. Specifically, the argument that it's wrong to consider that humans may have moral/ethical responsibilities to refrain from harming animals merely because a cat does not (and we don't consider them criminally liable for eating a mouse). Humans have the ability to reason morally about what they should do in a way that cats do not -- cats act more instinctually (and also are obligate carnivores). Also, I'm weak.
    People once thought giving rights to minorities was silly because it was "obvious" "they" were different. Is that a fair statement? Why or why not?

    In that they are humans, I think comparing this argument with the human/animal one is problematic, for the reasons discussed re the slavery analogy upthread.

    For the record, I didn't say it was silly that we might decide that non human animals have certain limited rights (although I think that's inconsistent with how we normally think about the concept of rights). I said that your assumption that *I* thought bears had rights was silly, in that I had already admitted that I was fine with eating animals (I suppose I could think bears have rights and cows and deer do not, but why would that be the case). That was part of why I didn't think you were trying to engage in a serious discussion (and still do not) -- you were trying to make an argument that it's inconsistent to think non human animals have rights and not hold them morally responsible for their "crimes."

    Okay then. I suppose that's the end of any reasonable discussion.

    Let me simply state that I happen to find ethics to be an incredibly complex and difficult subject, and I concentrated in it prior to graduate school. Some MBA programs have also incorporated it into their programs, and law schools do by necessity (though legal ethics is not really about how we feel unless "we" are the ones writing the rules, though morality aside from legal ethics rules is also often discussed). We also have laws on the treatment of animals. Whether these laws grant animals "rights" depends on the law, but law also isn't static. So, these issues can and do ultimately drive laws and business practices in the real world, and I would hope people spent time thinking through them before claiming the moral high ground.

    I'll add that there is no trolling by me here. If I had a purpose other than curiosity over various stated opinions, it was to suggest that perhaps people should have a degree of humility when it comes to their strong opinions on this subject.

    To be clear, you are drawing arbitrary lines between humans and other animals, and apparently among different animals. What you are doing is common, but the minute someone asks "why" many run away or do as you have done, call it silly and claim trolling. I suppose I'll head back to my bubble. Work to be done and whatnot.

    Nothing arbitrary about the line. If you can pull out a bear that talks and is willing to discuss whether Singer's utilitarianism is speciest or ableist in regards to his existence as an animal, then of course we'll be willing to accept he has an equal responsibility as any rational adult has to not attack other people. So it isn't arbitrary (based on species) it is a sliding scale based on the capacity of the animal. Same as applies to children. Or do you see treating children differently in law and ethics as arbitrary, even when most courts do have procedures for testing if a child has the capacity to be treated as an adult because they do have the understanding?

    Do you speak for everyone when you say "of course we?" I don't think you do. I was attempting to dig into one person's belief system to see why he or she believes what he or she does. I'm happy to engage with you though if you like. I've read your posts in various places and you are thoughtful. My point here is that not everyone would agree with you on the bear though. I'm pretty sure some would still think it's "just a bear" while perhaps many, if not most, in this thread would be taken aback and perhaps introduce ourselves. Thanks for bringing up Singer. I think you may be the first in this thread to do so.

    I did quite a while back. (Pretty sure it was this thread; slight chance it was one of the other recent vegan ones--this one not being a vegan one, of course.)
    edited March 2016
  • aadtamhankaraadtamhankar Posts: 17Member Member Posts: 17Member Member
    angelofdef wrote: »
    I'm Vegan, and while many see Veganism as a healthy lifestyle, it is more about the ethics of not using animal products (more than just food) at all. As far as Plant-Based Diet, which is what many people think of when they think Vegan, I think it makes it a lot easier to eat healthy when you aren't adding a mountain of cheese on top of everything and plant based food naturally have no cholesterol. My bloodwork number before and after making the switch are staggering. I've also been able to lose 100lbs fairly easily since making the switch.

    Congratulations! A vegan diet is a great way to lose weight. Creating calorie deficits become so easy that many times you have to make sure you are getting enough calories lol!!
  • irunforpizzairunforpizza Posts: 52Member Member Posts: 52Member Member
    I am a vegetarian for ethical reasons. I won't eat anything I couldn't kill and the thought of eating an animal's corpse disgusts me.

    However, nutritionally speaking, I believe eating meat and not eating meat can both be healthy. I struggle with protein (I can't eat nuts or soy) but I find that Greek yogurt and eggs can really help!

    The problem with meat isn't normally the meat hit the side dishes. Steak is healthy but steak and mashed potatoes can really pack on the fat and the calories.
  • Lisa_OokooLisa_Ookoo Posts: 134Member Member Posts: 134Member Member
    I'm vegetarian, transitioning to being vegan. I try to eat organically grown foods whenever possible. This just better fits my philosophy of trying to protect the environment and leave a better world for my grandchildren. As a bonus, I lost weight and feel healthier than I have for many years.


  • leahfit77leahfit77 Posts: 18Member Member Posts: 18Member Member
    Vegetarian for 5 years. Was vegan for about a month...I also think all can be equally healthy! I would love to be vegan, but more for the animals/environment than for my love handles haha
  • paradi3sparadi3s Posts: 343Member Member Posts: 343Member Member
    Meat eater but I don't eat much meat, to be honest. I can live without it, but depending on how it's cooked, I still do love the taste and how it fills me up!
  • greenalfoilgreenalfoil Posts: 5Member Member Posts: 5Member Member
    I've been vegan a year now. I was iron deficient before and still am. I don't base this on veganism as I've struggled to maintain a healthy diet well before. But it's made me eat more veggies. More cruelty free options. And also I lost 5kg going vegan :) I think a main worry to look into is dairy. That's usually the most unhealthy product and processed meats are bad too.
    All the best :)
  • greenalfoilgreenalfoil Posts: 5Member Member Posts: 5Member Member
    A lot of comments here say people wish they could be vegan.
    If you need a hand with alternatives or support please feel free to message me!
  • Ws2016Ws2016 Posts: 431Member Member Posts: 431Member Member
    Omnivorous.
  • Need2Exerc1seNeed2Exerc1se Posts: 13,589Member Member Posts: 13,589Member Member
    senecarr wrote: »
    senecarr wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Okay, so "murder" is "unlawful or wrongful killing?" What makes killing wrongful? And, if we legalized the killing of persons who wore blue shirts would killing a person wearing a blue shirt be "murder" and "wrong" in your mind?

    It's an ethical question. As I find it hard to believe that you don't agree with me that killing is in some (many) cases wrongful, and the fact that we don't hold bears morally responsible doesn't change that (although we might destroy them in some circumstances), I don't see the purpose of derailing the thread with a discussion of when/why killing is wrong.

    And no, something being legal is not sufficient for me to say it's not wrongful.

    Why do you conclude that I don't believe that killing in some cases is wrongful? I'm merely attempting to determine the basis for this belief. What makes killing in some (many) cases wrongful? Are there cases where killing is not wrongful? Why would we not hold bears morally responsible if we also grant them certain moral rights? I'm assuming, of course, that you think bears should be given some rights? Correct me if that assumption is wrong.

    Why is asking someone to clarify their assetions derailing the thread?

    Why would I think bears should have rights?

    Re murder, bears can't form mens rea.

    I don't know what your beliefs regarding the rights of bears might be. Do you think it's okay to kill bears for any reason whatsoever? Per earlier statement above, I agree it's an ethical question, and I'm trying to figure out why people in this thread believe that some beings have rights (and moral obligations) and some beings don't.

    You seriously don't understand why people distinguish between humans and other animals in terms of rights or moral responsibilities?

    I mentioned above that I am not a vegan or vegetarian, so probably I wouldn't think animals have human or Constitutional rights, yeah. The argument that humans are held to different moral or ethical standards by vegans than the animals themselves still seems to me a silly argument. Even if you think it's wrong to kill any animals (outside of defensive reasons), there's still an obvious difference in mental capacity and we don't even hold children to the same legal standards, or incapacitated people, due to such things as mens rea and age of accountability.

    I asked you whether you thought killing bears for any reason whatsoever is okay.

    This is not a clear question. Are you asking whether there is any reason I would think is sufficient to kill a bear? If so, the answer is yes (but it's not particularly relevant to anything in this discussion).

    If you are asking whether I think it's okay (as in ethically acceptable) to kill bears for any reason at all, no matter what it is, no -- there are reasons I would consider ethically insufficient to justify killing a bear, in my own view. Whether I'd impose them on others is a different question
    I have my own theories regarding why people distinguish between humans and other animals in terms of rights and moral responsibilities, but they I often think that these beliefs have less to do with critical reasoning than habit and personal preferences.

    Humans and other animals are different. You can argue about how much it matters, but it's obviously true.
    As to the silly argument position, why would you engage in a silly argument?

    I thought you were trolling a bit and it annoyed me. Specifically, the argument that it's wrong to consider that humans may have moral/ethical responsibilities to refrain from harming animals merely because a cat does not (and we don't consider them criminally liable for eating a mouse). Humans have the ability to reason morally about what they should do in a way that cats do not -- cats act more instinctually (and also are obligate carnivores). Also, I'm weak.
    People once thought giving rights to minorities was silly because it was "obvious" "they" were different. Is that a fair statement? Why or why not?

    In that they are humans, I think comparing this argument with the human/animal one is problematic, for the reasons discussed re the slavery analogy upthread.

    For the record, I didn't say it was silly that we might decide that non human animals have certain limited rights (although I think that's inconsistent with how we normally think about the concept of rights). I said that your assumption that *I* thought bears had rights was silly, in that I had already admitted that I was fine with eating animals (I suppose I could think bears have rights and cows and deer do not, but why would that be the case). That was part of why I didn't think you were trying to engage in a serious discussion (and still do not) -- you were trying to make an argument that it's inconsistent to think non human animals have rights and not hold them morally responsible for their "crimes."

    Okay then. I suppose that's the end of any reasonable discussion.

    Let me simply state that I happen to find ethics to be an incredibly complex and difficult subject, and I concentrated in it prior to graduate school. Some MBA programs have also incorporated it into their programs, and law schools do by necessity (though legal ethics is not really about how we feel unless "we" are the ones writing the rules, though morality aside from legal ethics rules is also often discussed). We also have laws on the treatment of animals. Whether these laws grant animals "rights" depends on the law, but law also isn't static. So, these issues can and do ultimately drive laws and business practices in the real world, and I would hope people spent time thinking through them before claiming the moral high ground.

    I'll add that there is no trolling by me here. If I had a purpose other than curiosity over various stated opinions, it was to suggest that perhaps people should have a degree of humility when it comes to their strong opinions on this subject.

    To be clear, you are drawing arbitrary lines between humans and other animals, and apparently among different animals. What you are doing is common, but the minute someone asks "why" many run away or do as you have done, call it silly and claim trolling. I suppose I'll head back to my bubble. Work to be done and whatnot.

    Nothing arbitrary about the line. If you can pull out a bear that talks and is willing to discuss whether Singer's utilitarianism is speciest or ableist in regards to his existence as an animal, then of course we'll be willing to accept he has an equal responsibility as any rational adult has to not attack other people. So it isn't arbitrary (based on species) it is a sliding scale based on the capacity of the animal. Same as applies to children. Or do you see treating children differently in law and ethics as arbitrary, even when most courts do have procedures for testing if a child has the capacity to be treated as an adult because they do have the understanding?

    Do you speak for everyone when you say "of course we?" I don't think you do. I was attempting to dig into one person's belief system to see why he or she believes what he or she does. I'm happy to engage with you though if you like. I've read your posts in various places and you are thoughtful. My point here is that not everyone would agree with you on the bear though. I'm pretty sure some would still think it's "just a bear" while perhaps many, if not most, in this thread would be taken aback and perhaps introduce ourselves. Thanks for bringing up Singer. I think you may be the first in this thread to do so. Is Singer "right" regarding speciesism? Perhaps. I hinted at a point above regarding the treatment of a whale versus a dog. We do treat various species differently and I'm not at all convinced that our reasons for doing so have anything to do with reasoning ability so much as expedience. Vegans often raise the intelligence of pigs a reason not to eat them, and I think it's an interesting and persuasive point to make. The capuchin monkey is even more of a challenge to common conceptions of our different treatment between humans and non-humans.

    To answer your question on children, I do think children are often treated in an arbitrary manner. That said, exploring the reasons why we do so is not an attack. Nor is calling something arbitrary. We do draw arbitrary lines on this issue. For example, consent, drinking, voting, and draft ages, and juvenile vs. adult court systems all draw somewhat arbitrary lines, and people still debate them. We have made strides over the years in this area. Juvenile laws didn't exist in the US until the 19th century. Also, the sliding scale you mention is a way to avoid the impact of truly arbitrary line drawing, but it's not always used, and even when it is used presumptions are made that may or may not be rebuttable. Can we improve upon it while not unduly burdening the system? I'm not sure and the legal treatment of minors may be too far afield from the discussion.

    So, what do I believe about the subject at hand? I'm not sure. I ask questions of others on subjects like this because my views continue to develop. I know it pains me to see others suffer (an emotional reaction), but I also find it difficult to stop eating meat. I don't hunt anymore. I also don't think that I'm duty bound to give up the ease with which I eat and maintain my health for the sake of something that can't reciprocate or carry my genes to another generation. It could be described as something good to do perhaps, though how much are we to sacrifice for others? I don't know where to put that line, and I have problems finding the utility in sacrificing a substantial amount to such a cause when there are humans who starve and suffer. As an aside, I tend to support charities that help humans rather than animals due to my finite funds and the foregoing. I also stated in the first page that I evolved as a omnivore, and you could say that perhaps I haven't gotten past that. I don't judge people for having different views though, if they've at least pondered the subject a bit, and I definitely wouldn't argue that I think I'm "right."

    Does the next stage of human development involve veganism and will people 100 years from now look back and judge us for eating meat? Perhaps. I suspect artificial meat may solve the debate for them, or at least advance it a bit. I don't know.

    Then you sound rather close to my own views. I would like to think that artificial forms of meat will raise the issue to the point that eating animals comes about intentionally eating animals to eat them - not because taste, nutrition, cost, environmental impact, etc. is any different. At which point, I imagine it begins to sound a bit sadist to claim "I eat meat because I like eating something another living, pain-feeling thing had to die for me to consume" and have no other reason behind it.

    I think is highly unlikely to happen until very far in the future, if ever. Anyone that eats meat today is doing so because they'd rather an animal died so they can eat than to eat alternative foods. They may not think of it like that, but since there are plenty of alternatives it is the reality.
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