Veganism

ungodly
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Veganism

I'm posting this at Brian's request. I do not typically post in forums, as I simply don't like the mechanics of the format. (It's just personal preference.)

This argument is different from what I first presented Brian with, as Brian asked some questions that made me rethink the structure of my argument.

I'm looking for comments, questions, or whatever else you want to offer.

My goal here is to plead for a consistantly rational response to ALL issues, not just the question of theism. I am bringing up the issue of Veganism for this purpose, but it should go without saying there are plenty of other issues.

I am a Vegan.

Here is my definition of Vegan
"One that does not consume products that were produced using any process that caused unnecessary harm to an animal."

Note that this means to me that consuming eggs or milk is fine as long as the animal producing the product was not subjected to harm to produce them. This is a difficult thing to determine. I don't pretend to be able to judge this accurately, or that I do in practice. I'm sure I buy products that violate my own terms from time to time.

I specify ?unnecessary? because during the course of an animal?s life certain pain is unavoidable. Just as a small amount of pain caused by the drill at the dentist office is ultimately beneficial to us, there are situations in which a small amount of pain will benefit an animal. In those situations I would advocate whichever actions cause the least amount of unnecessary harm.

My expectations regarding my actions are not grand. I do not think my not eating meat will have anything more than a minute impact on the market. In time, however, those who agree can make a large impact by shifting demand from animal products to other products. Shifting market demand should be the current goal of vegans, in my opinion. So even convincing someone to eat less meat is positive in my view. In fact, I think this is the only way to make a large impact because I do not think it is reasonable to expect large groups of people to give up animal products cold turkey. Forgive the pun.

The burden of proof should always fall on the person making the claim. I do make a positive claim, that non-veganism (for lack of a better term) is unethical. However, so do those who consume animal products. Those who consume animal products typically make the claim (sometimes implicit) that non-veganism is ethical.

If one can not make a case for meat consumption, one must refrain from meat consumption.

So to say

"You have not proven that eating meat is unethical, so it must be ethical."

Contains the same logical flaw as

"You have not proven that god-belief is unreasonable, so it must be reasonable."

As an aside, I think the case for plant-consumption is very solid, and very necessary.

The issue of burden of proof is one I find interesting because it is often ignored in this particular debate. Most non-vegans assume their case is the default one, much like most theists.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

This is an ethical issue, which makes it inherently complicated.

Obviously, we all have different views regarding morality. What some of us consider immoral, others consider moral. I want to make it clear that I?m not telling anyone what should or shouldn?t be moral. I do have my own ideas about that, like everyone else, but that is not what I?m addressing. I?d be happy to explain my views on ethics to anyone who asks, but it is not important to this discussion at the moment.

What I am attempting to demonstrate is that your own ethical code favors veganism. I have many speculations about why this is, but they are not relevant to this discussion. Though I?d be happy to answer if anyone asks.

Here are the premises of this argument

1. You would not condone the torture humans or killing humans for food without necessity.
2. There is no significant difference between humans and other animals that would justify treating them differently.

If you personally disagree with #1, I fully admit I can not make a case for veganism to you.

If you agree with #1, let?s continue.

It might be said that we are superior to animals, which makes it okay to treat them differently.

What makes us superior? If this is a question of intellect, are you saying it is okay to eat anything with an intellect less than yours? There are people born with mental problems that are so severely retarded they have an intellect less capable than many animals. Do you think we should be allowed to eat retarded people? What else would make us superior? For it to be a legit objection it would have to be a trait all humans shared. Even as such, if we are superior, what about being superior gives us the right to harm them? This trait would have to have that as well.

So, we must have a trait that fits the following criteria.
1. Shared by all humans.
2. Not possessed by other animals. (Or even just a subset of animals if you like. Like cows, for example.)
3. Justifies humans causing harm to other animals.

Intellect comes to mind, but as I mentioned that is not shared by all humans. I contend that there is no such trait. If you agree, then we?ve established something fairly powerful.

1. You would not condone the torture humans or killing humans for food without necessity.
2. There is no significant difference between humans and other animals that would justify treating them differently.

Conclusion You can not justify animal torture, or killing animals for food.

If you can not justify it, even if we can?t prove it is unethical, you should be a vegan.

Just like god-belief.

If you can not justify it, even if we can?t prove god doesn?t exist, you should be an atheist.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Potential counters

1 It is necessary to (or difficult not to) kill animals for food.
A I live without eating animals without difficulty. However, that is a moot point. While we do sometimes accept that excuse for other immoral acts, we only do so when there is clearly no other option. In this case there is almost always another option. I would agree though, that if someone had the choice of eat meat or die, eating meat would be acceptable. However, I also would say it is ethical to eat humans in this type of situation. (The movie Alive comes to mind.)

2 Meat tastes good.
A It is true that consumption of animals can be pleasurable, but pleasure is not an acceptable excuse for any immoral act. For example, we would not allow someone to get away with killing a human simply because they found it pleasurable.

3 Aren?t plants alive?
A Yes, however they do not have a nervous system or brain. It is literally impossible for them to feel pain (though they do respond to stimuli in a way that resembles pain) or want to be alive. You can't want without a brain. There is no hypocrisy in eating plants but not animals. However, if you feel there is that wouldn't prove that eating animals is okay, it could only prove that eating plants is also wrong. If you believe that, there are dietary options.

4 What about shellfish? They have no nerves or brains.
A I personally choose to err on the side of caution here. I really don't know that much about shellfish anatomy, but I hear that clams, for example, feel no pain and want nothing. I'm not so sure about this, so I'll not be eating them just in case.

5 What if an animal does want to die? Or dies naturally?
A First, prove it. Second, would you eat someone who died of natural causes or suicide? I certainly wouldn't want you eating my grandfather so I wouldn't eat yours. However, this is not a practice I would object to. If you would eat a human that dies of natural causes, I suppose I see no ethical inconsistency with you eating an animal that died of natural causes.

6 Isn't eating meat natural?
A I think this is a moot point. Computers are not natural, yet we all agree that they are beneficial, no? Claiming something is good because it is natural is known as the naturalistic fallacy. I think we can agree that this is not a factor.

However, I am compelled to ask? what makes this ?natural?? Is it the fact that it was common among humans living ?naturally?? Does that make any practice widely accepted by humans living ?in the wild? natural, and therefore good? Doesn?t god-belief fall into this category? Doesn?t rape?

This is the argument that Brian tried to make. I would ask anyone attempting this argument to make a list of several behaviors. Divide them into ?natural? and ?unnatural,? and explain why they have been divided so.

I don?t think any action can be considered ?unnatural.? So I see the trait of ?natural? as insignificant in regard to ethics. Perhaps someone can give me an idea of what they mean when they say "natural" in this context. Of course, this is just for my curiosity. Even if there were a workable definition, this would still be a fallacy as I explained above.

Thank you for your time.


Yellow_Number_Five
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Veganism

One of the counters you've failed to address, in what is, I think, a rather rationally thought out argument is that only humans understand the concept of rights.

Rights, liberties, freedoms, civility, etc. - are for the most part human domain. I will not claim, for exapmple, that chimps for example do not exhibit empathetic behavior, they certainly do, and I use research and lines of evidence all the time in my own arguments with creationists.

To give animals equal rights, to me, seems untinkable - for no animal is capable of understanding the responsibility and reciprocation involved in such an entity. A lion will not refrain from eating you if you grant it rights, and chimp won't refrain from ripping you limb from limb if you step between him and his mate or offspring.

Rights are a two way street.

You bring up exceptions like mentally handicapped humans. The simple fact of the matter is, if such people are not capable of responsibility and reciprocation of rights, they DON'T have the same rights as you and I may have. Clinically diagnosed pyromanics are not permitted to roam the streets at will, nor are people who would obviously be a danger to others or themselves. Rights are proportionate to the ability of the organism, human or otherwise, to respect them, understand them, and reciprocate them.

Now, I do expect some sort of counter along the lines of "well we don't kill the retarded, simply because of this lack of understanding, so why are we entitled to kill animals who also do not understand." The thing is, I think it is simply natural to grant exceptions and clemency to one's own kind and own species - we've been conditioned to do so by billions of years of evolution. This is not an ethical argument, it is a animalistic one, for after all, we are animals - and as the only animals who understand the concept of rights, we're the only animals who have them. I would think to argue against this, you would have to say that humans are superior in some capacity to other animals, which would be a contradiction of one of your central premesis.

I know that clashes with your point 6 above. I'm not claiming eating another animal is moral or immoral - I think it is A-moral.

In the end, I honestly do not see any problem placing our species above others, that is exactly WHY we are still here. All species do it. It prompts the question that if there were a rodent or primate or insect species that threatened human survival, would we be justified in exterminatint it? I think if you answer yes to that question, then you do understand where I'm coming from, at least in part.

We must also look at facts like; domestic cows, pigs, chickens, sheep, horses, etc, exist for the sole reason that we eat them or use them in other capacities and use their hides - same goes for domesticated pets. These animals were bred for the table, they probably would have gone extinct or have been hunted to extinction long ago without us.

Then there is medical research. I've been involved personally with that myself in the past, and the blunt fact of the matter is that animals are excellent models to work on. The strides in medicine and drug development due to animal research is hard to deny - this sort of goes back to my last point. Also, don't forget that this research also benefits animals in the end.

I do concur with your points on needless cruelty and suffering. I don't think any living thing should be subject to abject torture for our whims; the cat that toyed and tortured with a mouse on my porch for two hours last week doesn't share that sentiment.

The simple fact of the matter is, there IS a difference between humans and animals, regardless of how closely we are related.

Any sort of animal rights policy needs to start by acknowledging that first.

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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applesforadam
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Veganism

I agree with yellow on the fact that we human beings are unique in our capacity to develop systems of moral code above and beyond that of the Darwinian "Survival of the Fittest." However, I did not see that basic premise of life in this Universe as we know it mentioned.
Now I must insert here that your 2 premises (1. We would not kill other human beings... and 2. There is no significant difference between us and animals...) do not necessarily bring you to the conclusion you appeared to draw from them. The argument is simply not sound. Consider this: I would not kill another human being for any immoral purpose, such as to eat them. There is no significant difference between human beings and animals in terms of biological makeup that would justify my treating them any differently than humans. Animals routinely kill other animals as a matter of survival and to ensure that evolution and the stability of this earth continues to keep it's course. Therefore, as long as my killing of animals is purely for nurishment or for some other purpose having to with the sustaining of the human race such as medical research (I do not agree with killing as a matter of sport), it follows that it is perfectly moral and in accordance to the natural way of life.
A counterpoint might be that since we have evolved to a state of awareness that allows us to appreciate things like life in a way that mere animals cannot carries no real weight because it's self defeating. The fact that the animals have no comprehension is what allows us to slaughter them (humanely of course) and devour their usually tasty flesh. We have no obligation to let animals have our consciousness in some vicarious way because nature and evolution simply did not gift them with that. Your argument that we wouldn't eat retarded people is just baseless (and base at the same time... play on words). Retarded people, however unaware some of them might be, are simply an unfortunate product of an imperfect world where genetics don't always play nicely. However, even if someone is comatose, the human brain recognizes the fact that it is a human being and unless it was a situation where you were forced to (Alive), then good luck finding a philosophy that will hold up that allows the unprovoked eating of people.

"It's not so much staying alive. It's staying human that's important." - 1984
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applesforadam
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actually i retract my statement of the omission of the evolutionary and animalistic explanation not being in yellow's argument. I just for whatever reason didn't commit it to memory when i read it.

"It's not so much staying alive. It's staying human that's important." - 1984
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Equilibrium
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On the ethics of life, I think Sartre was absolutely right. There is no inherant meaning, survival isn't even an axiom in itself. The only reason we would want to live is the potential for happiness.

It just so happens that I couldn't be happy without eating a big juicy rib-eye steak. Being on top of the food chain gives me that right. I do not feel remorse for killing animals (although I don't condone torturing them, as it's a detriment to our compassionate feelings that make us a decent society), in fact I have been hunting a couple of times, and that's the reason we take dogs with us (and folks with good aim) - to prevent too much pain.

Regardless of what you think about ethics, we can't give up medical research. The social good simply outweighs the bad, as such research can save billions of lives. Utilitarianism at it's finest. In order for me to be a vegan, I would have to 1) forget about going to get my wisdom teeth out in a month because of the anasthetic being tested on animals and 2) forget about any essential medical procedures that would save my life and 3) if I had diabetes... heh... I wouldn't be able to take insulin as it's produced from research done on dogs.

Killing animals, in many ways, improves their quality of life. Just like our exponentially growing population is decreasing ours.

"Character is higher than intellect... A great soul will be strong to live, as well as to think."
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ungodly
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Response.

First, thanks for your responses. I appriciate the feedback. As I said, forums are not my typical bag. Excuse me if I skip something or fail to address something, it's really not intentional.

This is an argument I'd like to lose. I'd like to be able to say that meat-consumption is justified, then go out to my favorite italian place for a piece of very meaty lasagna... or my favorite chinese place for some chicken fried rice... or my favorite mexican place for a whole bunch of stuff... but I can't. I can't becuase as I consider these arguments with as much honesty as I can muster... I can't think of any reason to justify those actions.

I want you to know, I agree with Penn. If it would save a child's life... I'd strangle a monkey to death with my bare hands.

Eating meat does not save anyone's life. Not even my own. It doesn't satisfy any of my needs any better than vegan alternitives. The only difference between consuming meat and what I eat today is that I have less variety in the foods available to me. That's IT.

This, however, is a moral argument. I don't tell you this because I expect it to sway you. Far from it. I just want you to know that, for me, this wasn't easy. It wasn't easy to admit I was wrong, it wasn't easy to change. It certainly wasn't easy to admit to myself that I had allowed the pleasure of consuming animals to over-ride any consideration I would have given them for so long. And really, that's what I ask of you. I ask that you do not allow the pleasure you derive from this act to cloud your view of the arguments at hand. If I can't sway you, that's fine. It's expected. Just don't make the classic theist mistake of looking at this belief with rose-colored goggles. You were probably raised with meat-consumption, and you probably enjoy it. Believe me, I understand those things. I'm fighting a childhood full of being praised every single time I finished all the meat on my plate. I suppose that's all, so back to the arguments...

Yellow
1. So, you feel that if a creature can not accept the responsibility of granting rights to others, it does not deserve to have rights. If that were true, it would certainly be a good argument. So why do you draw that conclusion? You say "rights are a two way street" but you do not say why that should be so. I don't see any reason that should be the case.

2. Your second main point seems to boil down to your "All species do it." argument. To me this seems like the argument a child uses to justify bad behavior. "But all the cool kids are smoking!" I assume you remember the counter to that one. ) It is exactly the next point you make, the fact that we are superior, that allows us to refrain from behavior that is harmful whereas a wolf, or cat, or lion may not. So I absolutly agree that we are superior in that way.

What you have not addressed is what about this particular superiority justifies cuasing harm to aniamls.

I don't think you are saying it's justified just because we CAN do it. So... what is it?

3. I don't pretend to know exactly where to draw the line, but I would categorize some animal testing as "necessary" and it would thus be acceptable according to the criteria I discussed above.

Apples
Your argument seems to just be the naturalistic argument. Your points are, in essence, correct... but you've also not stated what about the fact them makes meat-consumption justified.

You say it's natural. You say it's a result of evolution. You can make a solid case for that, obviously, but what about that justifies meat consumption?

Equilibrium
This is an argument I really take issue with. The fact that something makes you happy does not make it ethical. That is a horrible thing to say. It justifies rapists, child molesters, and serial killers everywhere. I know that isn't your intent, but that's why it's such a bad argument... it doesn't seem well thought out to me.

BTW, I loved that movie.

I'm seeing a common theme here.

1. Provide justification for calling some actions "natural" and some "unnatural." Provide examples. I really would like to know how this works, just to understand your thought process.

2. Provide a reason that those things in the "natural" category are "a-moral" or "moral" or whatever you like, and thus justified.


MattShizzle
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Veganism

Ain't no way I'm giving up eating meat! Laughing out loud


ungodly
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Heh

MattShizzle wrote:
Ain't no way I'm giving up eating meat! :lol:

"Ain't no way I'm giving up god!" -Theists Everywhere

I know you are joking, but I think it's a point worth addressing. The unwillingness to consider rational arguments for veganism is much like theists being unwilling to consider the rational arguments for atheism.

I've run into this type of thing from a lot of atheists.

I don't know about you, but I'm rational first, and an atheist and a vegan second.


Equilibrium
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Re: Response.

ungodly wrote:
Equilibrium:
This is an argument I really take issue with. The fact that something makes you happy does not make it ethical. That is a horrible thing to say. It justifies rapists, child molesters, and serial killers everywhere. I know that isn't your intent, but that's why it's such a bad argument... it doesn't seem well thought out to me.

BTW, I loved that movie.

That has to be the worst straw man i've ever seen someone set up.

Read the argument again. It's greatest average happiness as well as "feasable ethics".
And let me make this absolutely clear, Humans take absolute priority over non-human Animals.

"Character is higher than intellect... A great soul will be strong to live, as well as to think."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson


MattShizzle
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Actually, I'm talking about taste. I like meat. Most vegetables make me want to throw up. Not going to give up that which tastes good for that which tastes terrible! Laughing out loud

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ungodly
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Re: Response.

Equilibrium wrote:

That has to be the worst straw man i've ever seen someone set up.

Read the argument again.

Assuming it's a strawman, yes, I'm sure it's far worse than any straw man we've seen Hovind produce. /sarcasim

Is every argument that disagrees with you the worst argument you've ever seen? )

I'm fully willing to admit if I'm misinterpreting your position. I looked at it again though, and that's what your argument seems to boil down to.

You start out saying that life has no particular meaning, and that happiness is the only reason for an individual to live. I think I basically agree, but that doesn't really pertain to what you say next.

Next you seem to be saying you enjoy eating meat. You can eat meat.

Saying you are on the "top of the food chain" is merely saying that you can consume meat.

So here is how I view your argument
p1 I can.
p2 I want to.
C I have the right to, and I should not feel remorse.

Please provide me with an explanation if you feel this is an unfair evaluation of your argument. As I said, I don't think this is the argument you intend to make. I simply think it's not well thought out, but I could be wrong... maybe I don't understand some key piece, or maybe you arn't explaining it very well.


Equilibrium
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People aren't going to eat what tastes bad :shock:

Besides, meat as part of a balanced diet with vegetables IS healthier than vegetables alone.

"Character is higher than intellect... A great soul will be strong to live, as well as to think."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson


ungodly
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MattShizzle wrote:
Actually, I'm talking about taste. I like meat. Most vegetables make me want to throw up. Not going to give up that which tastes good for that which tastes terrible! :D

1. I addressed that issue above. What about the fact that meat tastes good justifies it's consumption?

2. Have you tried vegan alternitives? Products by boca or morning star? There are some meat dishes I simply can't recreate, but you'd be surprised how good some of the alternitives are. If you have not tried them, you have no basis by which to claim you could not enjoy vegan meals.


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I havn't read the thread at all so don't punch me too hard if this point was already made but, other species eat meat as well, it's a completely natural process. However, I will agree that *OUR* process for doing so is not exactly natural. But, and I'm going to openly admit to being a total hypocrit here, I just don't have the heart to go kill animals myself for food. I would do it to survive, but I'm content with being a hypocrit on this particular subject. If I had a choice to buy meat from the store or go kill an animal and obtain the meat myself, I would choose the first simply because I don't have the heart to kill an innocent creature if I do not have to.

I don't even know if that was on topic at all, but if not let me say this to redeem myself;

I would never give up meat because I enjoy it and my body needs it. You can argue that I can take supplements in place of eating meat, and I can argue that you could simply eat meat and not let some animal die for no reason. Both are strawman arguments, though. Smiling


ungodly
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Equilibrium wrote:
People aren't going to eat what tastes bad :shock:

Besides, meat as part of a balanced diet with vegetables IS healthier than vegetables alone.

1. Vegan meals do not necessarily taste bad. Some do, some don't. Some substitutes are indistinguishable from meat. Boca italian sausages for example. Diced into pasta sauce, I can't tell the difference.

2. It might be easier to live life as a theist too. What might be more pleasureable is not a basis for ethics. As I've already demonstrated, it's not the basis of your own ethics.

3. Meat is not an essential part of a healthy diet. I know because I have not eaten it in over two years, and I'm very healthy. I'm actually more healthy now, but I attribute that to my increasing my general knowledge of health issues. However, I am Vegan. I am Healthy. I know other Vegans that are healthy as well. My own research has confirmed this many times over.

Do the research yourself. Don't believe anything I say just because I say it.


ungodly
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CynageN wrote:
I havn't read the thread at all so don't punch me too hard if this point was already made but, other species eat meat as well, it's a completely natural process. However, I will agree that *OUR* process for doing so is not exactly natural. But, and I'm going to openly admit to being a total hypocrit here, I just don't have the heart to go kill animals myself for food. I would do it to survive, but I'm content with being a hypocrit on this particular subject. If I had a choice to buy meat from the store or go kill an animal and obtain the meat myself, I would choose the first simply because I don't have the heart to kill an innocent creature if I do not have to.

I don't even know if that was on topic at all, but if not let me say this to redeem myself;

I would never give up meat because I enjoy it and my body needs it. You can argue that I can take supplements in place of eating meat, and I can argue that you could simply eat meat and not let some animal die for no reason. Both are strawman arguments, though. Smiling

Very honest of you. I used to feel the same way. All of those points have been addressed I think.


Equilibrium
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Fine Ungodly

I didn't say it was the worst argument i'd ever seen, it was just irrelevant, and you completely oversimplified.

We agree on happiness being the only goal, survival itself is unjustified without it. That rules out the axiom that we should only eat what it takes to survive, and that it comes down to the individual's choice of what makes them happy.

This is where we seperate human and animal ethics. Utilitarianism makes a very good argument in that the only reason we should not cause unnecessary pain to animals is because it can deplete our human compassion.

Killing animals for food can be done painlessly, and it brings happiness to those who enjoy meat, as long as it's done correctly. It also thins out the population, bringing a greater quality of life to the remainder. If we did not play our role in the food chain, the natural balance would be upset.
With hunting, there is a downside and that is the pain caused to some animals if they are not delivered a killing blow. During hunting, I have counted that around 90% of hits have been instant kills. Hunting is enjoyable (to some), and it brings back the same effects as just killing animals for food.

The last I heard, the human population was growing to uncomfortable levels. What's stopping us thinning our own herd? The social contract of course. Because we are rational animals, we can break through the social barrier programmed into our brains (a study showed that humans as a species should only be living in "herds" of 150) and create larger societies with rational agreements with each other. This is what stops child molestation from being justified, and seperates it from animal ethics.

If it makes vegans feel happy to avoid killing animals at all, more power to them. It's their right to be happy.

EDIT: I notice that I haven't even mentioned animal testing. In this case, as I mentioned earlier, I will put a human life infinitely higher than a non-human animal's. Without animal testing, there would be no biomedical science, and billions would die (both humans and animals).

In the end, it's like Yellow#5 says, Our interaction with animals is A-moral, it comes down to the effect on humanity.

"Character is higher than intellect... A great soul will be strong to live, as well as to think."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson


Equilibrium
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ungodly wrote:
Equilibrium wrote:
People aren't going to eat what tastes bad :shock:

Besides, meat as part of a balanced diet with vegetables IS healthier than vegetables alone.

1. Vegan meals do not necessarily taste bad. Some do, some don't. Some substitutes are indistinguishable from meat. Boca italian sausages for example. Diced into pasta sauce, I can't tell the difference.

2. It might be easier to live life as a theist too. What might be more pleasureable is not a basis for ethics. As I've already demonstrated, it's not the basis of your own ethics.

3. Meat is not an essential part of a healthy diet. I know because I have not eaten it in over two years, and I'm very healthy. I'm actually more healthy now, but I attribute that to my increasing my general knowledge of health issues. However, I am Vegan. I am Healthy. I know other Vegans that are healthy as well. My own research has confirmed this many times over.

Do the research yourself. Don't believe anything I say just because I say it.

1. I like a good veggie enchilada. But I have to say, it's better with chicken. And personally i'd love to see them make veggie BBQ ribs, but I doubt that will happen.

2. I didn't say anything about "easy". If being a theist makes someone happy then I support it, as long as they don't do what every right-wing fundie is doing today.

3. You can substitute meat and get some of the same nutrients, and I imagine the effect on the body in the end would be virtually indistinguishable. Theoretically, meat makes a diet complete, and I have done the research.

"Character is higher than intellect... A great soul will be strong to live, as well as to think."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson


ungodly
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This is kinda why I don't like forums. SO much to respond to here... it would take so much time out of my day to properly address this.

Equilibrium wrote:

I didn't say it was the worst argument i'd ever seen, it was just irrelevant, and you completely oversimplified.

I didn't say you said it was the worst argument. I said you said it was the worst straw man. Which you did.

Now here is my regretfully short responses to the rest.

1. I agree that we should not "eat only what's required to survive." However, it does not follow from that we should eat whatever makes us happy. Your premesis do not support your conclusion.

2. The earth can actually support a FAR greater population than it does currently. What makes it difficult is our behavior. Behaving as we do, the earth can not support us for much longer. Behaving far better, the earth can support far more people than it does now. (I read an article about this in national geographic. The points seemed to be backed up quite well.)

3. I'm not sure what you are saying keeps child molestation from being justified in your view.

Equilibrium wrote:
If it makes vegans feel happy to avoid killing animals at all, more power to them. It's their right to be happy.

4. It would make me most happy if no one did. So would I be justified in physically preventing anyone from killing an animal, if I had that power?


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Equilibrium wrote:
ungodly wrote:
Equilibrium wrote:
People aren't going to eat what tastes bad :shock:

Besides, meat as part of a balanced diet with vegetables IS healthier than vegetables alone.

1. Vegan meals do not necessarily taste bad. Some do, some don't. Some substitutes are indistinguishable from meat. Boca italian sausages for example. Diced into pasta sauce, I can't tell the difference.

2. It might be easier to live life as a theist too. What might be more pleasureable is not a basis for ethics. As I've already demonstrated, it's not the basis of your own ethics.

3. Meat is not an essential part of a healthy diet. I know because I have not eaten it in over two years, and I'm very healthy. I'm actually more healthy now, but I attribute that to my increasing my general knowledge of health issues. However, I am Vegan. I am Healthy. I know other Vegans that are healthy as well. My own research has confirmed this many times over.

Do the research yourself. Don't believe anything I say just because I say it.

1. I like a good veggie enchilada. But I have to say, it's better with chicken. And personally i'd love to see them make veggie BBQ ribs, but I doubt that will happen.

2. I didn't say anything about "easy". If being a theist makes someone happy then I support it, as long as they don't do what every right-wing fundie is doing today.

3. You can substitute meat and get some of the same nutrients, and I imagine the effect on the body in the end would be virtually indistinguishable. Theoretically, meat makes a diet complete, and I have done the research.

2. Why do you oppose what right-wing fundies are doing? Arn't they just doing what makes them happy?

3. That's exactly my point. I don't understand. You started out saying meat and veggies is more healthy, now you are saying the difference is indistinguishable. I only mentioned this to counter your statement that it was more healthy. Now you are countering that statement. What am I missing?


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ungodly wrote:
I didn't say you said it was the worst argument. I said you said it was the worst straw man. Which you did.

"Is every argument that disagrees with you the worst argument you've ever seen? Smiling"

Quote:
Now here is my regretfully short responses to the rest.

1. I agree that we should not "eat only what's required to survive." However, it does not follow from that we should eat whatever makes us happy. Your premesis do not support your conclusion.

2. The earth can actually support a FAR greater population than it does currently. What makes it difficult is our behavior. Behaving as we do, the earth can not support us for much longer. Behaving far better, the earth can support far more people than it does now. (I read an article about this in national geographic. The points seemed to be backed up quite well.)

3. I'm not sure what you are saying keeps child molestation from being justified in your view.

1. Because happiness is the greatest goal, you agreed to that. I am not advocating absolutism here, there will always be exceptions (lol I love that statement, so paradoxical).

2. You try telling the mormons not to have 10 kids. The earth cannot support us, but the rest of the universe will Smiling This is what seperates us from animals.

3. I'll add a few things. It's the social contract (our ability to reason that there are undesirable social consequences connected with child molestation) and for the majority of us - compassion for other humans.

Quote:

4. It would make me most happy if no one did. So would I be justified in physically preventing anyone from killing an animal, if I had that power?

How can you be so confident in your beliefs that you would cause harm or prevent the progress of medical science (thus causing more harm) to defend them?

"Character is higher than intellect... A great soul will be strong to live, as well as to think."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson


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ungodly wrote:
2. Why do you oppose what right-wing fundies are doing? Arn't they just doing what makes them happy?

Like I said, nobody should be so confident in their beliefs to kill, cause harm, or die for them.

Quote:
3. That's exactly my point. I don't understand. You started out saying meat and veggies is more healthy, now you are saying the difference is indistinguishable. I only mentioned this to counter your statement that it was more healthy. Now you are countering that statement. What am I missing?

I said virtually, the difference is there.

"Character is higher than intellect... A great soul will be strong to live, as well as to think."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson


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I see...

1. Happiness being the greatest goal doesn't mean happiness trumps all other concerns. You obviously agree with this.

2. Just because something is difficult, or even impossible, doesn't mean it's not the right thing to do. So yeah, I will try telling the mormons not to have 10 kids. I have done that very thing actually.

3. Okay, I didn't see how that tied into the statements that preceeded it. I think I see what you are saying now.

I love this statement:

"...nobody should be so confident in their beliefs to kill, cause harm, or die for them. "

That's exactly why I'm a Vegan. You are so confident in your belief that meat-eating is justified that you are willing to kill and cause harm.

If you really believe that statement, prove it. Become a Vegan.


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Re: I see...

ungodly wrote:
1. Happiness being the greatest goal doesn't mean happiness trumps all other concerns. You obviously agree with this.

What's your point?

Quote:
2. Just because something is difficult, or even impossible, doesn't mean it's not the right thing to do. So yeah, I will try telling the mormons not to have 10 kids. I have done that very thing actually.

That's very true, but you MUST consider the utility of ethics. Or else we have no society.

Quote:
3. Okay, I didn't see how that tied into the statements that preceeded it. I think I see what you are saying now.

I skip steps often, what's simple in my reasoning may not be so simple to see. I also hate writing giant posts.

Quote:
I love this statement:

"...nobody should be so confident in their beliefs to kill, cause harm, or die for them. "

That's exactly why I'm a Vegan. You are so confident in your belief that meat-eating is justified that you are willing to kill and cause harm.

If you really believe that statement, prove it. Become a Vegan.

Except I don't believe animals to be the same as Humans morally.

I could make a Theist parallel right here (such as with abortion) like you seem to enjoy doing, but I don't compare Atheists to Theists. But I hope you can see how subjective it is, and how difficult it is to make the call.

And one last thing, the burden of proof is on the affirmative side. You need to provide evidence (a priori or a posteriori) that non-rational animals should be considered ethically identical to humans. In the end, I agree with Yellow#5's reasoning on that subject.

"Character is higher than intellect... A great soul will be strong to live, as well as to think."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson


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No.

No. The burden of proof is on you.

I've already demonstrated this.

If you can't justify meat-consumption, even if I can't prove it's not justified, you still should refrain.

Veganism, like athesim, is a default position. I happen to be a strong vegan. However, you should still be a weak vegan based on your statements.

And again you've stated that humans and animals are not equivilent in this question, but not provided any reason that you think this is the case. If you can't prove it, then we can't assume it's true.

We can't assume it's false either. I think it is, but if we can't prove either, we must take the nuetral position. Veganism is required.


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Re: No.

ungodly wrote:
No. The burden of proof is on you.

I've already demonstrated this.

If you can't justify meat-consumption, even if I can't prove it's not justified, you still should refrain.

Veganism, like athesim, is a default position. I happen to be a strong vegan. However, you should still be a weak vegan based on your statements.

And again you've stated that humans and animals are not equivilent in this question, but not provided any reason that you think this is the case. If you can't prove it, then we can't assume it's true.

We can't assume it's false either. I think it is, but if we can't prove either, we must take the nuetral position. Veganism is required.

LOL! We are omnivores, it's as natural as Atheism. You are trying to change that, therefore you prove it.

Refer to Y#5 for why humans and animals are not equals. The short answer is that they are ethically nihilistic, and have no concept of rights. They are driven by the survival instinct, not reason.

"Character is higher than intellect... A great soul will be strong to live, as well as to think."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson


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What is natural or not doesn't determine burden of proof.

Burden of proof is on the affirmitive claim as YOU stated. Your claim is that there is a signifigant difference between animals and humans that justifies our consumption of them.

If you can't prove that claim, you must refrain from that behavior.

Please explain to me what makes any action, or philosophical position natural or unnautral. I've asked several times. I really don't understand how this is possible. It's a totally moot point, I'm just interested.

Demonstrating that we are different from animals is not sufficent to justify our killing them.

You must demonstrate that we are different in a way that does justify this behavior. So, what about these traits of animals justifies our consumpiton of them? I don't dispute those traits. Just that those traits justify animal consumption. How are you making that leap?

p1: X has no concept of rights.
p2: ?
C: Killing X for food is justified.

Let's say you can fill in a p2. Do you eat humans who don't have a concept of rights? Children perhaps? Retarded people?

If not, then this is not the reason you are not a vegan.


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ungodly wrote:
What is natural or not doesn't determine burden of proof.

Burden of proof is on the affirmitive claim as YOU stated. Your claim is that there is a signifigant difference between animals and humans that justifies our consumption of them.

Oh please stop, you know fully well what I meant. Omnivore is a default position, which is exactly the reasoning you used. Natural = default position.

Quote:
Demonstrating that we are different from animals is not sufficent to justify our killing them.

I noticed you already agree that if it's beneficial, you would kill an animal (such as with medical research). I explained that my position is that of utilitarianism (unnecessary animal suffering degrades our human compassion), but we must understand that meat-eating brings happiness to the majority. Half of the week I eat vegetables, I like them, but always look forward to putting a steak on the grill. There is just no substitute.

Quote:

Do you eat humans who don't have a concept of rights? Children perhaps? Retarded people?

No because they don't taste good Sticking out tongue
Children and Retarded people have a concept of rights. If you're referring to Braindead people, most of them will die of their own accord. Personally, I have written that if I was ever to lose my cognitive abilities, I would like to be left to die or euthanized painlessly. But that's a right that I am exercising while I am "alive". The majority of people do the same. When family members keep them alive, the person provides nothing except sentimental value.
If there is no will given by the patient, and those who cared for him/her want them alive, so be it. This corresponds with my position on animals.

"Character is higher than intellect... A great soul will be strong to live, as well as to think."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson


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I dunno what you are saying with the burden of proof, but it doesn't matter.

The burden of proof is still on you, as you are making the claim.

My 4-year-old nephew has NO concept of rights. He is on verge of understanding, but he currently doesn't.

That objection was an aside. You've still not addressed what about not understanding rights revokes them.

You've also gone back to the "happy" argument, which I still don't get. The fact that you like meat doesn't justify your consumption of it.

I'm seeing a pattern here. You keep naming things you claim justify your position, but do not provide any reasons why that would be the case.


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ungodly wrote:
I dunno what you are saying with the burden of proof, but it doesn't matter.

The burden of proof is still on you, as you are making the claim.

How can you not understand it? YOU MADE MY REASONING FOR ME!

Quote:
My 4-year-old nephew has NO concept of rights. He is on verge of understanding, but he currently doesn't.

But he's learning them. Animals will never be able to unless they evolve to our level, nor will braindead people.

Quote:
That objection was an aside. You've still not addressed what about not understanding rights revokes them.

Because they are morally nihilistic, they will not return the favor. If you grant them human rights, logically you have to consider others, and the social effects will not be good.

Quote:
You've also gone back to the "happy" argument, which I still don't get. The fact that you like meat doesn't justify your consumption of it.

Happiness is the highest goal, remember? As long as the good outweighs the bad.

Quote:
I'm seeing a pattern here. You keep naming things you claim justify your position, but do not provide any reasons why that would be the case.

What the fuck? I'm gonna go eat dinner... It's all vegetable, so don't get pissed off.

"Character is higher than intellect... A great soul will be strong to live, as well as to think."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson


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Did I say neutral someplace and you think I said natural perhaps? I really don't get where you are comming from the burden of proof argument.

Is the only reason you "behave" so that others will "behave" regarding you? You just don't kill people so that no one kills you?

I agree with your "as long as the good outweighs the bad" statement. I just think it's clear the death of an animal is more bad than you tasting something nice for a bit is good.

Where exactly do you draw the line?


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ungodly wrote:
Did I say neutral someplace and you think I said natural perhaps? I really don't get where you are comming from the burden of proof argument.

You said "Veganism, like athesim, is a default position. I happen to be a strong vegan. However, you should still be a weak vegan based on your statements."
When in actual fact, Omnivore is the default position.

Quote:
Is the only reason you "behave" so that others will "behave" regarding you? You just don't kill people so that no one kills you?

First of all, we have human emotion. Love for our fellow man, yadda yadda, that prevents us from harming others. But emotion, we all know, is very unstable. You cannot tell me that you've never been in the mindset where you hated someone so much you wanted them dead. When that comes along, the only thing that stops us is the social contract. It's a failsafe, we are not as ethical as one may think.
Everything we do is self-interested, even the most seemingly selfless actions are subconciously making us feel good, and we know it.

Quote:
I agree with your "as long as the good outweighs the bad" statement. I just think it's clear the death of an animal is more bad than you tasting something nice for a bit is good.

Where exactly do you draw the line?

There is more to it, I already mentioned the "thinning of the herd" example. But even without that, I don't put the life of an animal very high at all, i've already said this.

A vegan that I respect is Jared Paul (RRS Show 11), who is more against the modern slaughterhouse methods than animal killing itself, which I agree with to an extent.

"Character is higher than intellect... A great soul will be strong to live, as well as to think."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson


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Re: No.

I see much of the same debate here, that we had in email. You already know and the forum should know that I believe ethics and morals come from within. Therefore those whose ethics and morals allow them to eat meat should eat meat, those who feel guilty about it shouldn't.

I see the entire argument for "you should all be vegans" to be very weak, to the point that you're almost forced to misrepresent someones position or resort to theist tactics to win your argument, all the while slinging the biggest possible insult you can at an atheist, which is to say that they are acting theist. It would seem it is you who is acting a theist in this sense, misrepresenting the omnivores position and building strawmen. (yes, I know I just did it, only after you started it... I'm an eye for an eye kind of guy)

The more I see this argument the more I start to realize that I sit in the rational position, which is... to each his own, and while you're at it, eat as many vegetables as you can, as it's healthy. You claim someone eating meat is violating their own ethics, and I don't see it. I don't see it at all. If their ethics include personal honesty, and they honestly like the taste of meat more than vegetables, they should eat it. If they're ethics include loving every living sentient being as much as themselves, then they shouldn't eat meat. What is the ethical code that we all adhere to that you think we are violating. Boil it down to a few sentences, I'd really love to know.

ungodly wrote:

Veganism, like athesim, is a default position. I happen to be a strong vegan. However, you should still be a weak vegan based on your statements.

Veganism is not a default position, this is ludicrous, simply ludicrous and the worst argument you've made thus far, even worse than the strawman that Equilibrium pointed out. How would you go about proving this? I'd love to see it. Do we find it ironic that vegans don't even consume dairy, yet the first thing a baby drinks is milk? Maybe just maybe, we remain at the default position (omnivore), and you have changed your position.

The whole notion of comparing veganism to a default position is ridiculous anyway, as not all default positions are good positions, or valid. Some would've said the default position 1000 years ago was that the Earth was flat. Yet anyone remaining at default would've been wrong. Atheists don't claim they are at the default position to assert their argument is valid, they merely claim it to show theists they are waiting for evidence that there is a god. The comparison is that you are waiting for evidence that meat exists, or that we're meat eaters, or that it's natural to eat meat, (or something else) all of which I can provide evidence for.

In terms of being disingenuos to make your argument, here is a mischarecterization of my argument, a strawman, in which you have defeated. You are forced into a state where you have to, (I hate to say it) be dishonest to make your case.

Quote:

6: Isn't eating meat natural?
A: I think this is a moot point. Computers are not natural, yet we all agree that they are beneficial, no? Claiming something is good because it is natural is known as the naturalistic fallacy. I think we can agree that this is not a factor.

No we can't agree this is not a factor, especially if you keep strawmanning people on the issue. I never said, that because it's natural it's "good." I don't believe eating meat is "good" or "bad" or "right" or "wrong" it is an amoral issue. (high five to yellowfive for agreeing without prior deliberations) It's natural, and often completely acceptable within many peoples moral and ethical codes. The burden remains on you to prove that eating meat is wrong of which I don't think you have done.

Quote:
However, I am compelled to ask? what makes this ?natural??

The fact that it was something we ate instinctually, since before we were even homo sapiens in our evolution. Since you could've observed the natural world at that time to see it happening. It was an action that required the exact same thought process as eating vegetables. Eating vegetables and eating meat are just as natural as each other, it is engrained in our biology, it is who we are. It's also more efficient to eat meat. More energy, protein, and calories packed into less chewing than the amount of energy you'd have to exert while eating plants to get the same nutrition. (speaking from a homo erectus in the jungle perspective)

Quote:
Does that make any practice widely accepted by humans living ?in the wild? natural, and therefore good?

Once again, stop it with the "good." It has nothing to do with good or bad, ethics come from within each individual person. If someones ethics are to murder children and eat them in this country, they go to jail... meat eating is allowed, is natural, is engrained in our biology, it's how we developed the capacity to have this complex conversation, and it's legal. Who gives a shit if it's good? Do you ever do anything that some people would consider bad? Jerk off, drink beer, smoke cigarettes, have premarital sex? Do you give a shit that other people think it's bad? No. Enough with the "it's not good" arguments.

Quote:
Doesn?t god-belief fall into this category?

Nope, meat eating is an instinctual part of our biology that existed for millions of years before god belief (as far as we can tell). God belief was created, and seemingly unnaturally. To use your computer example, I contend that god belief is equally as natural as computers (which you claim are unnatural).

Quote:
Doesn?t rape?

Is rape legal? Is meat eating? While rape may be natural, you can't do it and get away with it. Just because some natural things land you in a jail cell doesn't mean that all natural things that you don't ethically adhere to are "bad" and "unethical."

Quote:
Perhaps someone can give me an idea of what they mean when they say "natural" in this context.

nat?u?ral Audio pronunciation of "natural" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (nchr-l, nchrl)
adj.

1. Present in or produced by nature: a natural pearl.
2. Of, relating to, or concerning nature: a natural environment.
3. Conforming to the usual or ordinary course of nature: a natural death.
4.
1. Not acquired; inherent: Love of power is natural to some people.
2. Having a particular character by nature: a natural leader.
3. Biology. Not produced or changed artificially; not conditioned: natural immunity; a natural reflex.
8. Expected and accepted

Main Entry: nat?u?ral
Pronunciation: 'nach-(&Eye-winkr&l
Function: adjective
1 : having, constituting, or relating to a classification based on features existing in nature
2 : of or relating to nature as an object of study and research
3 : relating to or being natural food <--- funny (would veggies be natural, but meat wouldn't be)

Those definitions all work

Quote:
Of course, this is just for my curiosity. Even if there were a workable definition, this would still be a fallacy as I explained above.

Holy shit. Like this for example, this is what I am talking about, with the dishonesty. I never claimed it was "good" because it was natural. You built that strawman and tore it down, with absolute certainty that you were right (you were only curious, not unsure of your accuracy), all the while claiming you want to be proven wrong, because you want a hamburger. If that don't sound theistic I don't know what does. Additionally you are in violation of an irrational precept, we can't limit thought just because it may adhere to the set definition of a specific logical fallacy. There is a fallacy that you have just violated should you choose to claim that just because a fallacy was used means it must not be true, and that would be "Argumentum ad Logicam."

ungodly wrote:

This is an argument I'd like to lose. I'd like to be able to say that meat-consumption is justified, then go out to my favorite italian place for a piece of very meaty lasagna... or my favorite chinese place for some chicken fried rice... or my favorite mexican place for a whole bunch of stuff... but I can't. I can't becuase as I consider these arguments with as much honesty as I can muster... I can't think of any reason to justify those actions.

Sorry, I don't buy it. I bought it the first time I heard it but not anymore. I think you're very intelligent, intelligent enough to get all of this, I think you were projecting when you said that I was "rationalizing" it in email, and it is you who are projecting. These are just my thoughts, and I'm fully willing to accept the possibility I may be wrong, and am very sorry if you take my attacks on your integrity personally. I just don't buy that you actually don't see where the errors are in your argument. Proving meat eating is unethical, takes a lot more than what you have done here. Responses should not be defended with strawmen, and complaints of fallacies all the while committing a fallacy yourself (and violating an irrational precept), they should be defended with honest representations of the opposition.

I believe that the existence of vegans can be positive for our world, that generally those who choose it for themselves are trying to benefit either themselves or humanity and that their intentions are in the right place. I congratulate you for your efforts in attempting to remain ethical. I am live and let live on this issue. I believe vegans (most are), should be live and let live on this issue as well. You are seeking a "rational" position from the squad that eating meat is wrong, unethical, and undesireable and unless you can erase millions of years of biology, I can't see how it will happen. Again, to reitterate, because I feel the strawman coming yet again, this doesn't mean I just said that all biological and natural things are good.

I really didn't want to get in on this thread as we had the discussion in email already, however I have to speak up if my position is misrepresented, which it was. Now everyone knows a little more about my position, and I will likely leave it at that. Please someone, anyone, Equilibrium, Yellow, Todangst, anyone... please respond to the next Brad post for me, represent me, so I can get back to work. This was one hour that I should've been editing shows, and getting other work done... the main reason I asked Brad to post this to the forum in the first place (so I could work on more important things).

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Equilibrium wrote:
ungodly wrote:
Did I say neutral someplace and you think I said natural perhaps? I really don't get where you are comming from the burden of proof argument.

You said "Veganism, like athesim, is a default position. I happen to be a strong vegan. However, you should still be a weak vegan based on your statements."
When in actual fact, Omnivore is the default position.

*Cyber high five* for seeing eye to eye without discussing it seperatly.

That argument really made me lose respect for the way Brad "ungodly" is choosing to defend this. He need only look at that argument for his excuse to go eat that "chicken fried rice" he's craving. Brad, if you have to resort to such poor arguments to defend your position that "eating meat is unethical" your position is likely not defendable. Eat that meat man, shit, beers and Philly Cheesesteaks on me if you want to stop by.

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Equilibrium wrote:

What the fuck? I'm gonna go eat dinner... It's all vegetable, so don't get pissed off.

CheeseSteak Stromboli here! Fear my unethicalness. Sticking out tongue

Equilibrium wrote:

A vegan that I respect is Jared Paul (RRS Show 11), who is more against the modern slaughterhouse methods than animal killing itself, which I agree with to an extent.

Me too. I've been looking for the "free-range" products he referred to. Can't find them at my local stores, if anyone knows of a spot in Philadelphia (there has to be one), let me know. I'll drive the extra 20 miles, burn the extra gallons of gas, add to the global warming problem, spend an extra $4 on gas, and extra "$X" on the chicken, so that I can know that the chicken I ate, wasn't in cramped quarters for his life. :smt082

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Re: No.

ungodly wrote:

If you can't justify meat-consumption, even if I can't prove it's not justified, you still should refrain.

Veganism, like athesim, is a default position. I happen to be a strong vegan. However, you should still be a weak vegan based on your statements.

Everytime I read it, it's worse. :smt010

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Veganism

Unfortunatly I do not have the time to fully respond.

I just wanted to say I am not insulted by you comparing my tactics to that of a theist.

I don't really understand why you would be either.

We all make mistakes. I don't put myself above theists in any way. I simply feel they are wrong. I don't put myself above you in any way. I just think you are wrong.

Just like you think I am wrong. We all consider ourselves to be correct. I don't see anything wrong with that.

I didn't intend for the discussion to take this path... so maybe I shouldn't respond further. I really do not think my argument was considered fairly, and I don't see anything here that makes me think further discussion would change that anyway.


the_avenging_bucket
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Veganism

If i ever had to kill a person, for whatever reason, i would feel terrible.
If i had to kill every cow that i eat myself, and i could do it in a humane manner( in other words in a way that minimises suffering for the animal) i would do it, and not feel bad about it.

Damn i need a steak Smiling


Sapient
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I think we should not forget about the extreme amount of life that we take when we eat vegetables. What did those plants ever do to you? I bet it feels real great to kill that brocolli... oh if brocolli could talk, the things it would say. "You grow me, just to kill me you fucks... EAT MOR CHIKN!"

/silliness

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Veganism

You guys will have to excuse me for jumkping 3 forum pages, but I simply cannot take it !

In my opinion, you guys have WAY TOO MUCH SPARE TIME TO WASTE ! When you've got very little to place on the plate for your family at home, the least you think about is whether or not it is moral to kill the pig you've been keeping and eat it. When you are so swamped into work that you rarely have time to visit a forum and post something, you really don't give a shit about whether or not eating that hamburger is ethical or not.

I'll just make my argument here (sorry if someone made it earlier, I told you I just don't have the patience to go through 3 pages): When a pigeon will stop shitting on me and choose to shit in a public toilet, when a tiger will not tear me apart just for invading his hunting territory, when an elephant will not stump me down into a mass of pulp for going near her babies and when chimpanzees will start working as unqualified workers and earn money to make a living and start paying taxes, well... when all these things will start happening, then I will think of animal rights and ethics... until then, stop the bullshit.

As someone said: "I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain just to become a vegetarian" (applies to vegans as well).

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Veganism

"I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain just to become a vegetarian."

That's because you didn't fight your way to the top of the food chain. You didn't do anything. You were born into a situation. Nothing more.


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Veganism

I ain't giving up eating meat without a fight to the death. :smt071


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Veganism

ungodly wrote:
"I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain just to become a vegetarian."

That's because you didn't fight your way to the top of the food chain. You didn't do anything. You were born into a situation. Nothing more.

And that situation was that humans have been eating meat since before they were humans, and before they were at the top of the food chain. Additionally there is plenty of good science to suggest that eating meat is what got us higher or to the top of the food chain.

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Rigor_OMortis
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Veganism

ungodly wrote:
"I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain just to become a vegetarian."

That's because you didn't fight your way to the top of the food chain. You didn't do anything. You were born into a situation. Nothing more.


I was talking about humanity in general, and I'm sure the author of that original quote had the same thing in mind.

Basically, I agree with the points of view ungodly expressed related to Veganism. But I agree through the fact that I am able to look at the world through eyes not only my own. However, I also agree with my point of view that whatever is food, can be eaten. I respect the views of the Veganists, but I will not share them.

My grandpa always had a saying: "The best vegetable is still the pork".

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Yellow_Number_Five
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Re: Response.

ungodly wrote:

Yellow:
1. So, you feel that if a creature can not accept the responsibility of granting rights to others, it does not deserve to have rights. If that were true, it would certainly be a good argument. So why do you draw that conclusion? You say "rights are a two way street" but you do not say why that should be so. I don't see any reason that should be the case.

No, in fact I say EXACTLY why it is so. If you'd bother to respond by quoting me, it would be apparent.

The simple fact of the matter is that humans DO NOT grant equal rights to those who cannot respect the rights of others, regardless of the reason.

Criminals get locked up. Pyromanics get institutionalized. Blind people cannot drive.

We expect a certain amount of respect and decorum of those around us. We expect that a mother won't beat the fuck out of us if we step between her and her children - a chimp, a bear, a lion will.

Rights, quite simply, are a two way street, because without mutual respect for agreed upon rights, such rights would NOT exist.

Case in point, humans grant one another the RIGHT to free speach, the right to assembly, etc. We can grant one another such things because we are capable of understanding the concepts and capable of reciprocation.

Likewise, humans typically grant one another the right to life. We make and enforce laws against beating the fuck out of people for getting between you and and food or a potential mate.

Quote:
2. Your second main point seems to boil down to your "All species do it." argument.

Wrong. Again, if you actually bothered to quote my text and argument, this would be obvious. My point was that we are conditioned by evolution to place ourselves above other species. There IS a difference here, which is exactly why I think you failed to comment on whether or not we'd be justified in exterminating a pest that threated our species.

Quote:
To me this seems like the argument a child uses to justify bad behavior. "But all the cool kids are smoking!" I assume you remember the counter to that one. Smiling It is exactly the next point you make, the fact that we are superior, that allows us to refrain from behavior that is harmful whereas a wolf, or cat, or lion may not. So I absolutly agree that we are superior in that way.

No, you've made a strawman of my point, and I think you know it.

I argued that survival and the food chain was A-moral.

You are the one compicating matters, and missing my point. Like I said, are we better than animals, so we should not eat them out of some purely human moral invention, or are we animals who are justified in eating one another?

I do not see how you can have it both ways. You either need to say that we're better than animals, ergo you can try to argue that by dominion we should try to save such lesser beings from ourselves; or you say we're all animals and all equal - in which case I fail to see why we should grant any favors, as they certainly grant us none.

You cannot have it both ways, for the EXACT reason that rights require responsibility and reciprocation.

Quote:
What you have not addressed is what about this particular superiority justifies cuasing harm to aniamls.

I don't think you are saying it's justified just because we CAN do it. So... what is it?

I'm saying that's simply the way it is. Like I said, I DON'T see this as a moral or ethical issue. Animals have ONLY the rights we grant them, because animals are incapable of understanding rights, incapable of reciprocating rights and are incapable of respecting rights, etc.

When they are capable of such, I'll gladly reconsider my position.

Quote:
3. I don't pretend to know exactly where to draw the line, but I would categorize some animal testing as "necessary" and it would thus be acceptable according to the criteria I discussed above.

Ask yourself WHY you would classify it as OK in ANY case. Would HUMAN testing be OK under certain circumstances?

I think you DO understand the difference, and are simply listening to your heart more than your rational mind.

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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Veganism

ive actually had a very good experience with a vegan resturant. the food was great and they had very good meat substitutes (we had a roast duck) and nobody in my family could tell (we thought they actually served us a real duck in a vegitarian resturant) until we saw that the duck had no bones

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I wrote this yesterday and

I wrote this yesterday and it got lost in the move but here it is again for those of you wondering about veganism.
http://www.parkc.org/plantsfeelings.htm
I also submitted this useful chart so here it is again as well:

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b291/dirtgirl5998/vegchart.jpg


Johny
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A case against Vegans (beside their food tasting horrible! :-P)

Let me begin by saying that I find this subject extremely interesting. I go to school for Culinary Arts and hope to one day be a chef, thus I have studied food, and eating habits, as well as nutrition and proper diets. Also, my mother has been a vegetarian for my entire life, and I had a 7 month relationship with a kosher vegetarian. During that time I spent about 4 months as a vegetarian, wanting to see what it was like. I will say that I found I had increased energy and felt the same satiety (feeling full and satisfied) as when I ate meat. However, I have gone back to eating meat and I would like to explain why.

First though I would like to address a few very common reasons I hear for people who live vegan or vegetarian lifestyles.
-It is good for the environment; clear-cutting rainforests so cattle can graze is horrible (I agree).
-It's cruel to animals (again, I agree, they are raised in close, unclean quarters and often treated quite poorly).
-It's healthier (this is untrue).

Quote:
There is no significant difference between humans and other animals that would justify treating them differently.

This is not true, and the reason for this is what I would consider "natural" as it involves evolution. Our digestive systems have evolved in order to process proteins. We are, through evolution, omnivorous. Some animals don't eat plants. Some don't eat meat. This is not a lifestyle choice for them, it is the way they evolved. It is the same for us, our bodies have evolved to consume meat, and this step in evolution is what separates us from our earlier ancestors in the evolutionary chain. Therefore, the killing of animals to sustain our life is, "natural" (and there is an ethical way, which I'll get to later). So as I see it, we have evolved into omnivores, and thus, just like a wolf killing a deer, it is natural for us to not only kill animals for food, but also to ingest them. I would also point out that this is a trait shared by all humans (save digestive disorders), and few animals.

So I believe your main points were:
-What makes us different from animals (and therefore gives us the right to eat them). That would be our evolution into omnivorous creatures.
-Being Cruel to Animals, let me address that now:

One of the major problems with the consumption of meat in our country today is not that we eat meat, but that we eat too much of it. Vegetarians tend to have fewer incidences of heart attack, and heart disease, lower blood pressure, and generally trimmer figures. However, studies also show that vegetarians tend to live healthier lifestyles in general, such as exercising. This would lead us to believe that it is not necessarily the diet, but the lifestyle which could be not only simulated with an omnivorous diet, but also improved by eating less saturated fats, and more fruits and vegetables. The problem is that we eat too much meat. For example, an adult male weighing 180 pounds would require approximately 2 ounces of protein a day. Just two. But consider the amount of meat we eat in one hamburger! That is where the problem lies, and this high consumption leads us Americans to our health problems, our obesity, our lethargy, and a host of animal cruelty and environmental problems.

The answer here is not cutting meat out of our diet, but eating less of it. The fact of the matter is that the amount of land needed to feed someone living on a vegetarian diet is greater than the amount of land needed to feed a person who ate the appropriate amount of meat (i.e., that would be better for the environment than a vegetarian diet). Also, if we ate less meat we would need less cattle, which would mean we could use less land, give them better living conditions, and treat them in a much more human manner. This would also give us better meat products in the end (which would not only make them taste better, but be healthier for us!).

Right now with the way we use our land, you could feed 20 vegetarians on the amount of land it takes to feed one meat eater. Also, more than half of America’s water supply goes to raising cattle! Do you see the issue here? If we reverse this trend, it would be better for the animals, the environment, and our own health.

Also, living a vegetarian diet and maintaining proper health is hard. Most vegetarians supplement their diet with minerals and vitamins. However, I would argue that this practice in itself is not natural. When you can get these things from a natural source, and your body needs them, that seems like proof enough to me that you were meant to eat that (such as fish to get vitamin B12). Now, speaking of protein, one of the most important things in our diets, there is only one source of complete protein that is not an animal product: Soy. You can make a complete protein by mixing nuts and grains, however, you have to be careful and make sure you combine the right things to make that complete protein or your health could be in danger.

On a side note, while I'm thinking of it, when we think of "unnatural practices:" Drinking Milk. This is not natural, animals and most people of the world don't drink milk after infancy (which is why women stop producing it). No other species drink milk from another, and most humans do not do this either. It is a New-World practice and I am uncertain how it developed. However, it is certainly not natural.

To summarize my arguments, it would be better for human health, the treatment of animals, and the environment if we ate less meat, not stopped all together. Our cultural practices are the problem here, not the consumption of meat. This is shown in diets such as the Mediterranean diet which is high in fish, fruits and vegetables and has red meat near the top of it's pyramid, small amounts eaten MONTHLY. However, consuming meat is natural and we have evolved to this practice, it is what our bodies were designed for. It is what separates us from other animals.

And that's why I'm a hard-core omnivore!

We are a nation that is unenlightened because of religion. I do believe that. I think religion stops people from thinking. I think its justified craziness.
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I'm sorry for the length....

I'm sorry for the length....

I have been vegan for 13 years now. I cannot let a non-vegan/vegetarian have the last word on this post. Um...Johny, you said:

First though I would like to address a few very common reasons I hear for people who live vegan or vegetarian lifestyles.
-It is good for the environment; clear-cutting rainforests so cattle can graze is horrible (I agree).

Good enough for me. I don't want to contribute to that, enough said.

Furthermore:

-It's cruel to animals (again, I agree, they are raised in close, unclean quarters and often treated quite poorly).

Whoa! an added plus to the reason I won't eat dead things.

And then:

-It's healthier (this is untrue).

Where's your research, please? Here's mine (and I have books on the subject if you would like for me to refer them to ya): In The Scientific Basis of Vegetarianism, Dr. William Harris analyzes hundreds of studies and concludes that the evidence is irrefutable that eating meat leads to cardiovascular disease, various cancers, diabetes, osteoporosis, and other illnesses-a $123 billion cost directly attributable to meat-eating, and this is a conservative figure, as it doesn't even include costs attributable to lost productivity and premature death. It also doesn't include costs attributable to the 60 to 70 percent of food poisonings (including 6,000 deaths) that are linked to meat intake or the ill effects on human health of consuming animals who have been pumped full of hormones and antibiotics. In fact, the U.S. surgeon general indicates that 69 percent of U.S. deaths are diet-related.

Nutritional researcher T. Colin Campbell, who studied exhaustive data collected from thousands of people over the course of 10 years, concurs: "The vast majority of all cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and other forms of degenerative illness can be prevented simply by adopting a plant-based diet."

Unfortunately, all of us-meat-eaters and vegetarians alike-get stuck paying the bill for meat consumption, through "hidden" costs like skyrocketing health insurance premiums. An excise tax on each purchase of meat, poultry, and fish could change all that. Not only would a meat tax help cover the costs of treating meat-related illnesses and fund much-needed education programs about the link between diet and health-it may give Americans the incentive they need to make the switch to a healthy meat-free diet.

Consider the following:
Thirteen million Americans suffer from coronary artery disease, and heart attacks kill more than 500,000 people a year, far more than any other disease. The only two documented researchers in human history who have successfully reversed heart disease, by far America's biggest killer, have included an exclusively vegetarian diet as a part of their programs. On the Ornish and Esselstyn programs, patients become "heart attack proof," according to Dr. Esselstyn, in the August 1999 American Journal of Cardiology.

Vegetarianism is an automatic cholesterol-cutter. Dietary cholesterol, which causes heart disease, is found only in animal products. No one has ever died of a heart attack with a cholesterol level below 150, and the average vegan has a cholesterol level of 128.

The incidence of high blood pressure is generally greater among meat-eaters than among vegetarians, and cancers of the breast, colon, and prostate are more common among people on a high-meat, high-fat, low-fiber diet.

One 21-year-long study that compared meat-eaters and vegetarians showed that the greater the meat consumption, the greater the death rate from all causes combined.

Up to 90 percent of federally inspected poultry is infected with bacteria like salmonella and campylobacter, which cause sometimes-fatal vomiting and diarrhea.

According to William Castelli, M.D., director of the Framingham Heart Study, the longest running epidemiological study in medical history, "Vegetarians have the best diet. They have the lowest rates of coronary disease of any group in the country ... they have a fraction of our heart attack rate and they have only 40 percent of our cancer rate. On the average, they outlive other people by about six years now."

It is the same for us, our bodies have evolved to consume meat

In that case, I guess I want to de-evolve in that respect because to evolve to barbarism seems like an oxymoron.

Here's more reasons I choose not to consume dairy and animal products:

1. Milk is mucous and it tastes like snot to me. (I've had a sinus cold before and I know what snot tastes like.)

2. Eggs are a hen's menstrual cycle. eww Gross.

3. I can't kiss someone who eats meat because their breath smells like a carcass. And their sweat smells kinda funky.

4. Our intestines are 10-12 times more than our body length, which means it takes a longer time for food to get to our stomach for the digestion process to really begin. Guess how long a lions intestines are? It's around 3-6 times their body length. Way quicker digestion. I don't want some rotten cow bits in my stomach 3-4 hours after I've eaten.

5. People say "meat tastes good". No it does not. You know what tastes good? A-1 sauce, salt/pepper, barbiQ sauce, cajun seasoning. My point-add seasoning and you could be a cannibal. Eat a chicken, cow, pig, dog, what-have-you and it does not taste good unless a)it's cooked b) it's seasoned.

My list could go on. I grew up skinning the animals that my parents hunted and killed-I've eaten snake, chicken, deer, goat, rabbit, squirrel, frog legs, fish and I know how to skin them. I think meat eaters should do this before they get all righteous about eating meat. It's not pretty and it's not clean.

In closing this long response, I would like to say I know there are people who are dead set against my ideas but that's ok. But if there is anyone interested in veganism/vegetarism and I can be of assistance let me know.
Other than that I am glad that I still agree with one thing on this site- freethinking.

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Johny
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Wow... I just wrote a 4

Wow... I just wrote a 4 pages... and it didn't post.... that fucking sucks...


MarthaSplatterhead (not verified)
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I feel your pain. That

I feel your pain. That happened to me the first time I wrote above. But I have a habit of saving anything I write to notepad if it starts to get some length to it. My kid unplugged my computer once when I was writting a 3-page paper about racism and it was hard to get those same feelings across the second time. I would love to hear what you had to say if you want to try it again.