Meat. Eating it. Is it alright to?

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Enuja
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Re: Meat. Eating it. Is it alright to?

Postby Enuja » Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:05 am UTC

Not only was this quite a thread necro, it also didn't show up on my ego-search. I wonder why not, and I wonder if that's true for the other folks who posted previously on this thread?

mmmcannibalism wrote:Thread necro much?

Since I never posted my opinion.

Either you recognize animals have human* rights or not. If so, then beyond not eating meat you must agree to not take any action which leads to the killing of an animal. This would require a ban on pesiticides(bugs), and modern farming(obviously tractors and ploughing kill some things) because animals are killed by the machines. So if you want to not eat meat the basis of morality(health concerns being a personal choice) you must also grow all of your own food(or ensure it was personally hand grown and picked).

If not, it is perfectly acceptable to eat animals because they have no right to life.

*human may not be the precisely correct term, my point is there is a separation between the question "is it okay to kill animals " and the question "is it okay to be wantonly cruel to animals".

mmmcannibalism, that's an extreme position not supported by the evidence. For one crucial thing, it is easy to distinguish between the types of animals you are morally willing to kill while you're trying to eat. I know people who have no objection to killing insects, and only a small objection to killing cold-blooded vertebrates, but are against killing birds and mammals. It's fairly easy to find food produced with much reduced mammal and bird death over the amount of bird and mammal death needed to eat birds or mammals. You seem to have completely ignored the most realistic possibility for people who object to any and all animal death: they would like grow their own food or otherwise ensure it hasn't killed any animals, but simply don't have the resources to do so. The impractically of a moral position does not make it philosophically impossible for people to hold those morals.

stevey_frac wrote:Something since reading this thread, and possibly participating in it (it's been a while) is the idea that we should not eat meat because the meat industry is terrible, and cruel to animals.

Well, I raise you this. My meat is all independently butchered, raised on a farm that I visit regularly, and is treated decently.

There was a bull called bluepoint who, despite being a fairly angry creature in life, tastes absolutely wonderful! Just had a steak from him. It was very tender.

And avoided a lot of the pitfalls of the meat industry. Dead was a gunshot to the head, and quick. Butchered fresh, and frozen immediately. And the animals provided in this fashion are basically leftover animals from the dairy industry, which has no need for male animals, as they don't seem to milk well.

Still immoral? Thoughts?
I have a friend who only eats animals who she knew when they were alive, so there are certainly people who do hold that moral position.

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Re: Meat. Eating it. Is it alright to?

Postby mmmcannibalism » Tue Aug 10, 2010 5:45 pm UTC

mmmcannibalism, that's an extreme position not supported by the evidence. For one crucial thing, it is easy to distinguish between the types of animals you are morally willing to kill while you're trying to eat. I know people who have no objection to killing insects, and only a small objection to killing cold-blooded vertebrates, but are against killing birds and mammals. It's fairly easy to find food produced with much reduced mammal and bird death over the amount of bird and mammal death needed to eat birds or mammals. You seem to have completely ignored the most realistic possibility for people who object to any and all animal death: they would like grow their own food or otherwise ensure it hasn't killed any animals, but simply don't have the resources to do so. The impractically of a moral position does not make it philosophically impossible for people to hold those morals.


and what is the logical or moral basis for saying which animals are okay to kill and which aren't? I hate to overgeneralize, but it seems rather close to I'll kill anything that I don't have to see in a supermarket.
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Re: Meat. Eating it. Is it alright to?

Postby duckshirt » Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:30 pm UTC

I'm not sure I follow the logic of that moral compromise there, either... What good is a moral if you put 'practicality' ahead of it?
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Re: Meat. Eating it. Is it alright to?

Postby Enuja » Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:09 pm UTC

I should clarify that I, personally, have no moral objections to killing non-human animals (and I'm even OK with killing humans under a certain set of circumstances), and that I was explaining that there are a variety of morally consistent positions mmmcannibalism was dismissing; I wasn't trying to explain a single, specific, morally consistent position.

One animal-related moral I do have is to avoid causing pain. But I still give my cats shots! I think it's morally wrong to needlessly cause pain, but I don't think it's wrong to kill animals, and sometimes I think it makes moral sense to shoot them, or hit them a bolt gun, instead of putting them down with painless drugs. In other words, it's perfectly possible to have consistent, strong morals with details like: killing warm blooded animals should be avoided whenever possible. Morals don't have to be absolute to be real. Your morals may be absolute, but that doesn't mean that morals with fine print are somehow logically void.

As it turns out, we humans are heterotrophs. We have to consume other living things in order to survive. If my spouse ever came face-to-face with a creator god, he would express his absolute moral disgust and anger at being created as an organism that must destroy to survive. But the only alternative to consuming other living flesh (animal or plant) is to die. You can choose to label the universe as being morally flawed instead of your morals as irrelevant when your morals and practicality come to an unresolvable conflict.

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Re: Meat. Eating it. Is it alright to?

Postby mmmcannibalism » Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:25 pm UTC

I should clarify that I, personally, have no moral objections to killing non-human animals (and I'm even OK with killing humans under a certain set of circumstances), and that I was explaining that there are a variety of morally consistent positions mmmcannibalism was dismissing; I wasn't trying to explain a single, specific, morally consistent position.


I'm saying they aren't morally consistent.
One animal-related moral I do have is to avoid causing pain. But I still give my cats shots! I think it's morally wrong to needlessly cause pain, but I don't think it's wrong to kill animals, and sometimes I think it makes moral sense to shoot them, or hit them a bolt gun, instead of putting them down with painless drugs. In other words, it's perfectly possible to have consistent, strong morals with details like: killing warm blooded animals should be avoided whenever possible. Morals don't have to be absolute to be real. Your morals may be absolute, but that doesn't mean that morals with fine print are somehow logically void.


To the first, you are saying minimizing animal pain(shots<disease) is a better moral premise then do nothing that causes pain; that is morally consistent because the goal is to minimize pain not prevent all of it.

My point is, the moral don't kill warm blooded animals lacks a moral basis, what is special about warm blooded animals that differentiates the morality of hurting them from the morality of hurting a lizard?

You can choose to label the universe as being morally flawed instead of your morals as irrelevant when your morals and practicality come to an unresolvable conflict.


I doubt the logic behind the idea that their can be a morally good action that exists outside of reality.
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Re: Meat. Eating it. Is it alright to?

Postby duckshirt » Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:29 pm UTC

Enuja wrote:In other words, it's perfectly possible to have consistent, strong morals with details like: killing warm blooded animals should be avoided whenever possible.
How is that different from an absolute moral, "don't intentionally kill animals"? This moral is always possible, the bad argument is that sometimes it's "impractical," but I disagree that practicality can come first before a moral.
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Re: Meat. Eating it. Is it alright to?

Postby SocialSceneRepairman » Wed Aug 11, 2010 4:07 pm UTC

I would say no. Nothing to do with animal rights; I have little empathy for animals, although I'd be concerned about the psyche of someone who went out of his or her way to harm one. Rather, the animals we're talking about, I'd like to see mostly die off, at least the long-extinct, resource-intensive cow. People talk about how putting animals to pasture is easier on the environment, but if that were true, we'd be doing it; the system we have in place is designed to streamline resources. We can't produce this much meat and animal produce without it. Therefore, even if it would be best if we all ate just a little, since we're not going to get enough people who do that, those who consider the question have a categorical imperative to eat as little meat and dairy as possible, which for most of us is none at all.

It's a venial sin, but it's not a good thing to do. And I would say that it's better to eat chicken than to drink milk.

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Re: Meat. Eating it. Is it alright to?

Postby big boss » Wed Aug 11, 2010 5:05 pm UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:My point is, the moral don't kill warm blooded animals lacks a moral basis, what is special about warm blooded animals that differentiates the morality of hurting them from the morality of hurting a lizard?


And to take it a step further what differentiates the morality of hurting warm blooded animals from hurting insects? What about plants and microorganisms? People kill millions of microorganisms with antibiotics and disinfectants. Yes they might not be able to feel pain or anything such as that (this has not been conclusively proven mind you, that plants can't feel anything), but even if they cant feel anything plants and bacteria are still living creatures and what gives people the right to kill them? I have yet to hear an argument against this that does not involve something akin to "well plants are a 'lower' organism than animals and are therefore ok to kill." There is nothing in the universe that gives humans the special privilege of deciding what can be killed and what cannot be killed.
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Re: Meat. Eating it. Is it alright to?

Postby name99 » Fri Aug 13, 2010 1:54 am UTC

Life doesn't really exist. Quadrillions of chemical reactions constantly taking place are still just that: Quadrillions of chemical reactions. Freeing up molecules from taking part in the life of an animal is really not a bad thing, or a good thing for that matter.

KIlling animals unnecessarily doesn't really matter, especially if it's for bacon.

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Re: Meat. Eating it. Is it alright to?

Postby Waylah » Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:24 am UTC

"There is nothing in the universe that gives humans the special privilege of deciding what can be killed and what cannot be killed." Sure. There is nothing in the universe that gives humans the special privilege of deciding what can and cannot be done.

name99 wrote:Life doesn't really exist.


Depends on your definition of the word 'life'. By most definitions of 'life', it does exist.

name99 wrote:Quadrillions of chemical reactions constantly taking place are still just that: Quadrillions of chemical reactions. Freeing up molecules from taking part in the life of an animal is really not a bad thing, or a good thing for that matter.

KIlling animals unnecessarily doesn't really matter, especially if it's for bacon.


It is only a good or bad thing for an end. depends on what you are measuring as that end. If you're measuring the amount of bacon at the end, then 'freeing up molecules' from a pig is good for achieving that end, bacon. If you're measuring the number of live pigs, then it is bad for that end. If you're measuring the amount of pain suffered, then depending on how you 'free up' those molecules, it will either be a little bit bad, ranging to very bad, for that end.

The thing is, most people are measuring lots of ends at the same time; how much deliciousness they get, how much squeamishness they have about various bodily organs, how much pain was involved, how important that ingredient is for this dish, etc. This makes the equation complex, and different for every person's selection of things they are considering.

If you are not measuring any end, then there is no good or bad, and as you say, it "doesn't really matter."

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Re: Meat. Eating it. Is it alright to?

Postby mmmcannibalism » Fri Aug 13, 2010 6:07 am UTC

name99 wrote:Life doesn't really exist. Quadrillions of chemical reactions constantly taking place are still just that: Quadrillions of chemical reactions. Freeing up molecules from taking part in the life of an animal is really not a bad thing, or a good thing for that matter.

KIlling animals unnecessarily doesn't really matter, especially if it's for bacon.


So things don't exist if they have a rational explanation?
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Re: Meat. Eating it. Is it alright to?

Postby Mike_Bson » Fri Aug 13, 2010 6:26 am UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:
name99 wrote:Life doesn't really exist. Quadrillions of chemical reactions constantly taking place are still just that: Quadrillions of chemical reactions. Freeing up molecules from taking part in the life of an animal is really not a bad thing, or a good thing for that matter.

KIlling animals unnecessarily doesn't really matter, especially if it's for bacon.


So things don't exist if they have a rational explanation?

I think that he is saying that life does not exist objectively, but it just human-defined, and is no more ''living'' than anything else, and is therefor not wrong to kill it.

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Re: Meat. Eating it. Is it alright to?

Postby big boss » Fri Aug 13, 2010 5:22 pm UTC

Mike_Bson wrote:
mmmcannibalism wrote:
name99 wrote:Life doesn't really exist. Quadrillions of chemical reactions constantly taking place are still just that: Quadrillions of chemical reactions. Freeing up molecules from taking part in the life of an animal is really not a bad thing, or a good thing for that matter.

KIlling animals unnecessarily doesn't really matter, especially if it's for bacon.


So things don't exist if they have a rational explanation?

I think that he is saying that life does not exist objectively, but it just human-defined, and is no more ''living'' than anything else, and is therefor not wrong to kill it.


But the difference between a rock or any inanimate object and a human is sentience (as far as we know we are the only things in the universe that are sentient). If something doesn't know it exists then destroying it doesn't have as severe of moral repercussions as killing something that would miss its existence because it is sentient. Life may be self defined but so far chemical systems that have evolved into what humans call "life" appear to be quite rare in the evolution of the universe. And if life is "no more living than anything else" and it is ok to kill it, does that mean its right to pollute entire planets, which are themselves just very large chemical systems with chemical reactions taking place on very large scales? What gives you the authority to decide whether or not freeing up molecules from taking apart in the life of an animal is a good or bad or neutral action, even if life is self defined and doesn't objectively exist?
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Re: Meat. Eating it. Is it alright to?

Postby Dark567 » Fri Aug 13, 2010 7:56 pm UTC

big boss wrote:
But the difference between a rock or any inanimate object and a human is sentience (as far as we know we are the only things in the universe that are sentient). If something doesn't know it exists then destroying it doesn't have as severe of moral repercussions as killing something that would miss its existence because it is sentient. Life may be self defined but so far chemical systems that have evolved into what humans call "life" appear to be quite rare in the evolution of the universe. And if life is "no more living than anything else" and it is ok to kill it, does that mean its right to pollute entire planets, which are themselves just very large chemical systems with chemical reactions taking place on very large scales? What gives you the authority to decide whether or not freeing up molecules from taking apart in the life of an animal is a good or bad or neutral action, even if life is self defined and doesn't objectively exist?


I am pretty sure if "no more living than anything else" it is perfectly okay to pollute entire planets. If life is self defined no one has the authority to decide whether the taking the life of an animal is good, bad or neutral. It just is a neutral action.

Really what name99 is arguing is moral nihilism. This argument can be used to attack any moral at all.
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