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Meat Eater, Vegetarian or Vegan?

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  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Posts: 21,058Member Member Posts: 21,058Member Member
    shell1005 wrote: »
    I eat meat. I understand the ethical side of being vegetarian or vegan, however there are ethical ways to get your meat as well, you just have to be willing to take the time to research the best sources. I eat meat because evolutionarily, our bodies are designed to be able to consume meat, its the reason our teeth are the way they are. We as humans are omnivores.

    If one has concluded that it isn't ethical to harm others unnecessarily, there wouldn't be an ethical way to source meat (unless you're talking about roadkill or animals that have died from other causes). I understand that everyone doesn't share this conclusion, but to flatly state that there are ethical ways to get meat just isn't accurate.

    For some of us, even the most "humane" slaughter wouldn't be considered ethical.

    How is saying there are ethical ways to source meat more or less correct than saying it's unethical to eat meat when the ethics are not shared?

    If one is saying there are ethical ways to source meat (assuming one isn't talking about roadkill or something like that), it's saying there are ethical ways to slaughter animals. I think it's worth pointing out that not everyone agrees it's ethical to slaughter animals for food, even if it is done in a "kinder" way.

    I'm not sure what ethics you are saying are unshared -- perhaps I don't understand your question.

    Why is humanity held to a different standard than other predatory species?

    Where does she say she is holding humanity to a different standard? I saw comments about one's individual sense of ethics and morals, not humanity as a whole.

    I don't require people to share my ethics and don't think that because some differ that it discounts them either.

    I do hold humanity to a different standard due to our ability to exercise moral reasoning and make decisions. I don't expect by that standard that everyone will reach the same conclusion -- we haven't done that in other areas of ethics, so expecting it around how we treat those of other species would be ridiculous.

    But my recognition of the fact that humans have moral reasoning and can make decisions (unlike animals, at least based on what we know of animal cognition today) isn't a vegan thing. Most of us understand that humans are capable of decisions that animals likely aren't -- that's why we punish humans who do certain things and we don't punish animals who do the same things.

    why is it ridiculous? I don't follow. Of what other areas of ethics are you speaking?

    See above on animal cognition. Do we not punish animals?

    Given that we haven't yet reached universal consensus on what is ethical when it comes to how we treat our fellow humans, I don't think it is reasonable to expect us to reach on it on we treat animals. This doesn't mean I don't think we should have the conversations or strive to understand each other, just that expecting everyone to agree isn't realistic. That's why I chose the word "ridiculous."

    We don't agree on things like what makes a just war or when capital punishment is appropriate, how much control women should have over their reproductive capability, what types of human relationships are licit and which are harmful to society, how to discipline children, what types of sexual acts are appropriate and between who, whether or not people are entitled to resources created by others, etc etc etc. These ethical conversations (and others) about human relationships go on and on. I imagine we'll continue to debate these things for as long as there are humans.

    When you say we punish animals, what are you thinking of?

    Help me understand this a bit better. You are saying that since we can't all agree on something that asking people to clarify or defend their positions is "ridiculous?" I never asserted that everyone will agree on ethics. Quite the opposite really. I do see many many assertions in this thread about what is right and wrong and what various people believe. I've been asking why and received very few answers.

    Societies tend to kill animals when animals attack people. One could see that as punishment or mere disposal much like we throw away rusty nails. The former would grant some ethical standard (even rights) to the animals (the killing requires some justification), the latter wouldn't necessarily do that.

    Please reply to what I actually wrote, not what you imagine that I wrote. I never wrote that asking people to clarify or defend their positions was ridiculous. What I wrote: "I don't expect by that standard that everyone will reach the same conclusion -- we haven't done that in other areas of ethics, so expecting it around how we treat those of other species would be ridiculous."

    I think expecting everyone to have the same standard is ridiculous. I think -- as I wrote in the very post you are just responded to -- "This doesn't mean I don't think we should have the conversations or strive to understand each other." So I literally wrote that I am *not* saying the conversations don't have value.

    If you want to respond to what I'm actually writing, it will probably help the conversation flow better.

    I don't think killing an animal that has attacked a human is meant to be a "punishment." It reflects the fact that we don't have a great system to deal with animals that are established threats to humans. Maybe some people see that as a punishment. I think it's a response to a logistical problem. Punishment typically involves an expectation that the offending party understands what they did was wrong -- when we kill a dog or bear that has attacked a human, it isn't because we think they know they did wrong. It's because we're faced with the problem of where they can live where they will not be a threat to other humans.

    For example, when an animal is already in confinement -- like Tilikum (the orka) or Mantecore (the tiger who attacked Roy Horn) -- injures a human, they typically aren't "punished" as there is no real logistical problem of where they will live. Their physical access to others is already controlled and their access to humans can easily be limited so, as long as the humans who own them are willing to continue their care, it isn't typically a legal issue.

    Either way, I don't see how it relates to having different standards for humans than we do for animals. As I wrote above, we frequently expect humans to abstain from behaviors that are quite common in animals. It isn't really related to veganism.
  • sunnybeaches105sunnybeaches105 Posts: 2,846Member Member Posts: 2,846Member Member
    shell1005 wrote: »
    I eat meat. I understand the ethical side of being vegetarian or vegan, however there are ethical ways to get your meat as well, you just have to be willing to take the time to research the best sources. I eat meat because evolutionarily, our bodies are designed to be able to consume meat, its the reason our teeth are the way they are. We as humans are omnivores.

    If one has concluded that it isn't ethical to harm others unnecessarily, there wouldn't be an ethical way to source meat (unless you're talking about roadkill or animals that have died from other causes). I understand that everyone doesn't share this conclusion, but to flatly state that there are ethical ways to get meat just isn't accurate.

    For some of us, even the most "humane" slaughter wouldn't be considered ethical.

    How is saying there are ethical ways to source meat more or less correct than saying it's unethical to eat meat when the ethics are not shared?

    If one is saying there are ethical ways to source meat (assuming one isn't talking about roadkill or something like that), it's saying there are ethical ways to slaughter animals. I think it's worth pointing out that not everyone agrees it's ethical to slaughter animals for food, even if it is done in a "kinder" way.

    I'm not sure what ethics you are saying are unshared -- perhaps I don't understand your question.

    Why is humanity held to a different standard than other predatory species?

    Where does she say she is holding humanity to a different standard? I saw comments about one's individual sense of ethics and morals, not humanity as a whole.

    I don't require people to share my ethics and don't think that because some differ that it discounts them either.

    I do hold humanity to a different standard due to our ability to exercise moral reasoning and make decisions. I don't expect by that standard that everyone will reach the same conclusion -- we haven't done that in other areas of ethics, so expecting it around how we treat those of other species would be ridiculous.

    But my recognition of the fact that humans have moral reasoning and can make decisions (unlike animals, at least based on what we know of animal cognition today) isn't a vegan thing. Most of us understand that humans are capable of decisions that animals likely aren't -- that's why we punish humans who do certain things and we don't punish animals who do the same things.

    why is it ridiculous? I don't follow. Of what other areas of ethics are you speaking?

    See above on animal cognition. Do we not punish animals?

    Given that we haven't yet reached universal consensus on what is ethical when it comes to how we treat our fellow humans, I don't think it is reasonable to expect us to reach on it on we treat animals. This doesn't mean I don't think we should have the conversations or strive to understand each other, just that expecting everyone to agree isn't realistic. That's why I chose the word "ridiculous."

    We don't agree on things like what makes a just war or when capital punishment is appropriate, how much control women should have over their reproductive capability, what types of human relationships are licit and which are harmful to society, how to discipline children, what types of sexual acts are appropriate and between who, whether or not people are entitled to resources created by others, etc etc etc. These ethical conversations (and others) about human relationships go on and on. I imagine we'll continue to debate these things for as long as there are humans.

    When you say we punish animals, what are you thinking of?

    Help me understand this a bit better. You are saying that since we can't all agree on something that asking people to clarify or defend their positions is "ridiculous?" I never asserted that everyone will agree on ethics. Quite the opposite really. I do see many many assertions in this thread about what is right and wrong and what various people believe. I've been asking why and received very few answers.

    Societies tend to kill animals when animals attack people. One could see that as punishment or mere disposal much like we throw away rusty nails. The former would grant some ethical standard (even rights) to the animals (the killing requires some justification), the latter wouldn't necessarily do that.

    Please reply to what I actually wrote, not what you imagine that I wrote. I never wrote that asking people to clarify or defend their positions was ridiculous. What I wrote: "I don't expect by that standard that everyone will reach the same conclusion -- we haven't done that in other areas of ethics, so expecting it around how we treat those of other species would be ridiculous."

    I think expecting everyone to have the same standard is ridiculous. I think -- as I wrote in the very post you are just responded to -- "This doesn't mean I don't think we should have the conversations or strive to understand each other." So I literally wrote that I am *not* saying the conversations don't have value.

    If you want to respond to what I'm actually writing, it will probably help the conversation flow better.

    I don't think killing an animal that has attacked a human is meant to be a "punishment." It reflects the fact that we don't have a great system to deal with animals that are established threats to humans. Maybe some people see that as a punishment. I think it's a response to a logistical problem. Punishment typically involves an expectation that the offending party understands what they did was wrong -- when we kill a dog or bear that has attacked a human, it isn't because we think they know they did wrong. It's because we're faced with the problem of where they can live where they will not be a threat to other humans.

    For example, when an animal is already in confinement -- like Tilikum (the orka) or Mantecore (the tiger who attacked Roy Horn) -- injures a human, they typically aren't "punished" as there is no real logistical problem of where they will live. Their physical access to others is already controlled and their access to humans can easily be limited so, as long as the humans who own them are willing to continue their care, it isn't typically a legal issue.

    Either way, I don't see how it relates to having different standards for humans than we do for animals. As I wrote above, we frequently expect humans to abstain from behaviors that are quite common in animals. It isn't really related to veganism.

    I also think that expecting everyone to have the same ethical beliefs (at least along the fringes) could reasonably be described as ridiculous, though it would be hard to hold anyone accountable if we moved that ever so slightly from the fringe of ethical beliefs to mores or further into law. These are serious issues, and my questions are serious.

    In regard to Tilikum he is treated far differently than how a dog would be treated. The dog would have been euthanized years ago. Do you think that has nothing to do with law? Money also comes into play here.

    As for you not seeing how this relates to having different standards for humans than we do for animals, I honestly don't know what to say. Why and how we treat animals differently from humans is part of the point here. Finding out why we believe what we do should help us find the bounds of those beliefs.

    And that brings me to this: if we really are simply killing animals because it's a logistical problem and we own them (as you put it) then we are not giving animals any rights whatsoever. As I said before, we are simply treating them the same as we would rusty nails that could also harm people. It's not much of a leap to conclude that eating meat is not unethical (again assuming what you say here is true). That is, unless there is something other than the rights of animals driving someone's belief that eating animals is wrong (such as a belief that concern for living creatures is a good thing in and of itself regardless of the mental or moral status of the animal).
  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886Member Member Posts: 30,886Member Member
    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.
    edited March 2016
  • sunnybeaches105sunnybeaches105 Posts: 2,846Member Member Posts: 2,846Member Member
    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. 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. That is not to say there is not a "good" reason to make the distinction, just that most people haven't thought through this very well. As to the silly argument position, why would you engage in a silly argument? 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?

    Any attempt to answer the numerous questions would be appreciated. I find that what is "obvious" to some people often means they haven't attempted to think through the issues involved.

    Take for example this post above:
    jgnatca wrote: »
    Non-human reasoning. Capuchin monkeys reject unequal pay (fairness).
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HL45pVdsRvE

    Would this affect your reasoning (maybe even beliefs) regarding the rights and moral responsibilities of capuchin monkeys? One poster above stated that demonstrated moral reasoning skills at least might mean that such an animal should be given rights (and perhaps moral responsibilities [and let me add perhaps commenserate with such animal's abilities]).
  • ForecasterJasonForecasterJason Posts: 2,582Member Member Posts: 2,582Member 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.
  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886Member Member Posts: 30,886Member Member
    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."
    edited March 2016
  • sunnybeaches105sunnybeaches105 Posts: 2,846Member Member Posts: 2,846Member Member
    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.
  • angelofdefangelofdef Posts: 1Member Member Posts: 1Member Member
    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.
  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886Member Member Posts: 30,886Member Member
    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.

    Am I misunderstanding your original argument? Namely, that you were asserting that it's inconsistent to think non human animals should be not harmed or killed by humans (which you seemed to be reading as "have rights") and that we not then hold them morally responsible for their "crimes" if they harm or kill another animal? Again, I'm not personally a vegan, but it seemed to me you were trying to twist the vegan POV to score some cheap and unwarranted points.

    I'm not drawing "arbitrary" lines (in my view, at least). I just am not convinced it's good for this thread to get into a discussion about the lines (and think probably not). I'm also not convinced that you are arguing in good faith because of how the discussion started (which I might be misreading, granted).
    edited March 2016
  • Need2Exerc1seNeed2Exerc1se Posts: 13,589Member Member Posts: 13,589Member 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.

    It's possible to eat a plant based diet that includes meat. Dietary cholesterol has only a minimal effect on blood cholesterol for most people, and it's possible to keep dietary cholesterol within the recommended limits while eating meat. It's possible to eat cheese without putting a mountain of cheese on top of everything.

    I've been eating animal products all my life (more than half a century) and my blood work has always been good and I've always been healthy.

    What you eat is your business, but had you lost 100 lbs while including animal products you would likely still have seem a dramatic difference in your blood work.
  • kaylasauruskaylasaurus Posts: 45Member Member Posts: 45Member Member
    so I have a question - for vegans with dogs/cats or other carnivorous pets, do you feed them conventional food? just curious, sorry if this is off topic.
  • BecomingBaneBecomingBane Posts: 3,662Member Member Posts: 3,662Member Member
    so I have a question - for vegans with dogs/cats or other carnivorous pets, do you feed them conventional food? just curious, sorry if this is off topic.

    I feed my cat (who was a rescue from before my vegan conversion) a meat based cat food because while I may be vegan, he is an obligate carnivore and that cannot be changed.

    This is, to my current knowledge, the only animal product/industry that I willingly purchase or participate in.

    Does that make me a bad vegan? No idea. Does it provide for my animal companion in a way that is optimal for him? Yes. Does that justify it to me? Not really, but I can't change his dietary requirements and to fulfill my responsibility as his care-taker it is one aspect of a system that I don't like that I must participate in in order to provide for him in a way that is optimal for his health.

    I've not seen any conclusive evidence that feeding obligate carnivores a plant based diet is acceptable, and until such a time, I will continue to feed him a high quality, meat based food.

    (He's also grain free but that's due to age and kidney issues and per his vets instructions)
  • kaylasauruskaylasaurus Posts: 45Member Member Posts: 45Member Member
    shell1005 wrote: »
    so I have a question - for vegans with dogs/cats or other carnivorous pets, do you feed them conventional food? just curious, sorry if this is off topic.

    It is off topic since this is a not a thread about veganism. It is a thread that was started asking people what type of diet they prefer eating. Sadly, that seems to be WAY in the rear view at this point.

    The short answer is, it varies by person.

    Unfortunately I think with any thread like this it is likely to get derailed in the end. I think of it as a conversation - rarely does it end discussing what was originally brought up. But thanks for your response.
  • Need2Exerc1seNeed2Exerc1se Posts: 13,589Member Member Posts: 13,589Member Member
    so I have a question - for vegans with dogs/cats or other carnivorous pets, do you feed them conventional food? just curious, sorry if this is off topic.

    Above someone mentioned it being unethical in the food industry to remove an animal from it's parent. If that is true wouldn't the same be true for pets? How could a human have a pet unless an animal was separated from it's parent?
  • kaylasauruskaylasaurus Posts: 45Member Member Posts: 45Member Member
    so I have a question - for vegans with dogs/cats or other carnivorous pets, do you feed them conventional food? just curious, sorry if this is off topic.

    I feed my cat (who was a rescue from before my vegan conversion) a meat based cat food because while I may be vegan, he is an obligate carnivore and that cannot be changed.

    This is, to my current knowledge, the only animal product/industry that I willingly purchase or participate in.

    Does that make me a bad vegan? No idea. Does it provide for my animal companion in a way that is optimal for him? Yes. Does that justify it to me? Not really, but I can't change his dietary requirements and to fulfill my responsibility as his care-taker it is one aspect of a system that I don't like that I must participate in in order to provide for him in a way that is optimal for his health.

    I've not seen any conclusive evidence that feeding obligate carnivores a plant based diet is acceptable, and until such a time, I will continue to feed him a high quality, meat based food.

    (He's also grain free but that's due to age and kidney issues and per his vets instructions)

    Thanks for the reply. I have heard of people trying to feed their pets a vegan diet and it is something that I object to because as you said it isn't optimal for their health. But it is interesting from an ethical standpoint, guess it goes back to holding animals to different standards from humans..
  • redraidergirl2009redraidergirl2009 Posts: 2,781Member Member Posts: 2,781Member Member
    I will tell you from my personal experience that my blood work for cholesterol, triglycerides, ect was perfect when I was vegetarian without trying. I still eat mostly vegetarian as I had to stop eating 100% vegetarian after I found out I had SIBO and did the low fodmap diet to find out my triggers. I am bringing back mostly vegetarian meals now that I am better. It is my preference now to eat mostly veg when possible. So the correct term is flexitarian. I think flexitarian and vegetarian and healthiest as for health, you shouldn't eat a lot of meat anyway..especially red or fatty meats.
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Posts: 21,058Member Member Posts: 21,058Member Member
    shell1005 wrote: »
    I eat meat. I understand the ethical side of being vegetarian or vegan, however there are ethical ways to get your meat as well, you just have to be willing to take the time to research the best sources. I eat meat because evolutionarily, our bodies are designed to be able to consume meat, its the reason our teeth are the way they are. We as humans are omnivores.

    If one has concluded that it isn't ethical to harm others unnecessarily, there wouldn't be an ethical way to source meat (unless you're talking about roadkill or animals that have died from other causes). I understand that everyone doesn't share this conclusion, but to flatly state that there are ethical ways to get meat just isn't accurate.

    For some of us, even the most "humane" slaughter wouldn't be considered ethical.

    How is saying there are ethical ways to source meat more or less correct than saying it's unethical to eat meat when the ethics are not shared?

    If one is saying there are ethical ways to source meat (assuming one isn't talking about roadkill or something like that), it's saying there are ethical ways to slaughter animals. I think it's worth pointing out that not everyone agrees it's ethical to slaughter animals for food, even if it is done in a "kinder" way.

    I'm not sure what ethics you are saying are unshared -- perhaps I don't understand your question.

    Why is humanity held to a different standard than other predatory species?

    Where does she say she is holding humanity to a different standard? I saw comments about one's individual sense of ethics and morals, not humanity as a whole.

    I don't require people to share my ethics and don't think that because some differ that it discounts them either.

    I do hold humanity to a different standard due to our ability to exercise moral reasoning and make decisions. I don't expect by that standard that everyone will reach the same conclusion -- we haven't done that in other areas of ethics, so expecting it around how we treat those of other species would be ridiculous.

    But my recognition of the fact that humans have moral reasoning and can make decisions (unlike animals, at least based on what we know of animal cognition today) isn't a vegan thing. Most of us understand that humans are capable of decisions that animals likely aren't -- that's why we punish humans who do certain things and we don't punish animals who do the same things.

    why is it ridiculous? I don't follow. Of what other areas of ethics are you speaking?

    See above on animal cognition. Do we not punish animals?

    Given that we haven't yet reached universal consensus on what is ethical when it comes to how we treat our fellow humans, I don't think it is reasonable to expect us to reach on it on we treat animals. This doesn't mean I don't think we should have the conversations or strive to understand each other, just that expecting everyone to agree isn't realistic. That's why I chose the word "ridiculous."

    We don't agree on things like what makes a just war or when capital punishment is appropriate, how much control women should have over their reproductive capability, what types of human relationships are licit and which are harmful to society, how to discipline children, what types of sexual acts are appropriate and between who, whether or not people are entitled to resources created by others, etc etc etc. These ethical conversations (and others) about human relationships go on and on. I imagine we'll continue to debate these things for as long as there are humans.

    When you say we punish animals, what are you thinking of?

    Help me understand this a bit better. You are saying that since we can't all agree on something that asking people to clarify or defend their positions is "ridiculous?" I never asserted that everyone will agree on ethics. Quite the opposite really. I do see many many assertions in this thread about what is right and wrong and what various people believe. I've been asking why and received very few answers.

    Societies tend to kill animals when animals attack people. One could see that as punishment or mere disposal much like we throw away rusty nails. The former would grant some ethical standard (even rights) to the animals (the killing requires some justification), the latter wouldn't necessarily do that.

    Please reply to what I actually wrote, not what you imagine that I wrote. I never wrote that asking people to clarify or defend their positions was ridiculous. What I wrote: "I don't expect by that standard that everyone will reach the same conclusion -- we haven't done that in other areas of ethics, so expecting it around how we treat those of other species would be ridiculous."

    I think expecting everyone to have the same standard is ridiculous. I think -- as I wrote in the very post you are just responded to -- "This doesn't mean I don't think we should have the conversations or strive to understand each other." So I literally wrote that I am *not* saying the conversations don't have value.

    If you want to respond to what I'm actually writing, it will probably help the conversation flow better.

    I don't think killing an animal that has attacked a human is meant to be a "punishment." It reflects the fact that we don't have a great system to deal with animals that are established threats to humans. Maybe some people see that as a punishment. I think it's a response to a logistical problem. Punishment typically involves an expectation that the offending party understands what they did was wrong -- when we kill a dog or bear that has attacked a human, it isn't because we think they know they did wrong. It's because we're faced with the problem of where they can live where they will not be a threat to other humans.

    For example, when an animal is already in confinement -- like Tilikum (the orka) or Mantecore (the tiger who attacked Roy Horn) -- injures a human, they typically aren't "punished" as there is no real logistical problem of where they will live. Their physical access to others is already controlled and their access to humans can easily be limited so, as long as the humans who own them are willing to continue their care, it isn't typically a legal issue.

    Either way, I don't see how it relates to having different standards for humans than we do for animals. As I wrote above, we frequently expect humans to abstain from behaviors that are quite common in animals. It isn't really related to veganism.

    I also think that expecting everyone to have the same ethical beliefs (at least along the fringes) could reasonably be described as ridiculous, though it would be hard to hold anyone accountable if we moved that ever so slightly from the fringe of ethical beliefs to mores or further into law. These are serious issues, and my questions are serious.

    In regard to Tilikum he is treated far differently than how a dog would be treated. The dog would have been euthanized years ago. Do you think that has nothing to do with law? Money also comes into play here.

    As for you not seeing how this relates to having different standards for humans than we do for animals, I honestly don't know what to say. Why and how we treat animals differently from humans is part of the point here. Finding out why we believe what we do should help us find the bounds of those beliefs.

    And that brings me to this: if we really are simply killing animals because it's a logistical problem and we own them (as you put it) then we are not giving animals any rights whatsoever. As I said before, we are simply treating them the same as we would rusty nails that could also harm people. It's not much of a leap to conclude that eating meat is not unethical (again assuming what you say here is true). That is, unless there is something other than the rights of animals driving someone's belief that eating animals is wrong (such as a belief that concern for living creatures is a good thing in and of itself regardless of the mental or moral status of the animal).

    Who said your questions were not serious?

    When did I say the treatment of Tilikum had nothing to do with the law?

    I agree that animals have very few rights. They are generally treated like property. This is part of what veganism is challenging. Recognizing that animals are currently treated like property doesn't mean accepting that this is ideal. When I say animals who harm humans are killed as a solution to a logistical problem, this doesn't mean I'm endorsing this solution or saying it is what we should do.

    You make so many assumptions in your posts that it is difficult to respond to you. Consider slowing down and responding to what I'm actually saying instead of trying to guess what I'm saying. If you don't understand what I'm advocating for, feel free to ask questions instead of trying to guess and arguing against that.
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Posts: 21,058Member Member Posts: 21,058Member 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?
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