Vegans and Vegetarians

willthescaryatheist
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Vegans and Vegetarians

I am vegan and I've seen a lot of support for being vegan. The problem is that almost the support I've seen is based on reasons like "god loves all his creations". But i want to know what some rational people choose to eat and why they choose that. So what are your opinions?


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I am a vegetarian just out

I am a vegetarian just out of sheer compassion. At our local atheist meet-ups 70-80% are vegetarians or vegans.


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willthescaryatheist

willthescaryatheist wrote:
I am vegan and I've seen a lot of support for being vegan. The problem is that almost the support I've seen is based on reasons like "god loves all his creations". But i want to know what some rational people choose to eat and why they choose that. So what are your opinions?

Here's my standard diatribe:

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

To give animals equal rights or really any rights at all though, to me, seems unthinkable - 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, because you have rights.

Rights are a two way street. Rights cannot exist without the capacity to reciprocate them.

You can 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 (nor a naturualistic fallacy - I claim no "ought" here) it is a animalistic one, for after all, we are animals - and as the only animals who understand the concept of rights, we're simply 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 probably lead you down a road you don't want to go. Either we're all animals and equal, so anything goes as far as survival goes, or we're somehow better than the other animals and have some sort of ambiguous moral obligation to save them from ourselves.

Either avenue upholds the status quo.

I'm not claiming eating another animal is moral or immoral - I think it is A-moral.

If I were to expound personally, 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 exterminating 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 or for our entertainment, they probably would have gone extinct or have been hunted to extinction (by us probably) 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 (I've got a great story about being harrassed by animal rights protestors, btw if you want it) - this sort of goes back to my last point. Also, don't forget that this research also benefits animals in the end.

I do think we should endeavor to avoid 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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willthescaryatheist
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Well of course they are

Well of course they are different than humans. Scientifically they can't be considered the same as humans. But at the same time that doesnt mean that it's alright to take another animal's life for your pleasure. Furthermore on a health standpoint its much healthier to have a diet lacking of meat or animal products of almost any kind. Protein is easily found in many other foods besides meat. The same can be said about any essential vitamin or mineral. And its also much more efficient to use plants to feed the world. One statistic I've seen shows that 20,000 lbs of potatoes can be made on one acre of land, while only 165 lbs of beef can be produced on that same acre. My resource for that info and a lot more is http://www.hal-pc.org/~dmanning/Vegan.html              Furthermore, evidence shows that our ancestors ate meat when nessicary, not as their main diet, showing more reason to beleive that we are intended to eat plants. And although a lot of the human brain development over time is credited to meat protein, that doesn't chance the fact that plant protein can just as easily be utilized to promote growth just as well as meat protein without the added fat, saturated fat,  and cholesterol. That's generally my opinion on the subject crammed into one huge nutshell.


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willthescaryatheist

willthescaryatheist wrote:
I am vegan and I've seen a lot of support for being vegan. The problem is that almost the support I've seen is based on reasons like "god loves all his creations". But i want to know what some rational people choose to eat and why they choose that. So what are your opinions?

Hey man, great to hear from someone who takes a much more scientific approach to veganism. When it's narrowed down to all ethical reasons I think it makes vegans look weak. Although that alone still has all of my respect.

 

Yellownumberfive, when vegan activists talk about "animal rights" we are simply talking about their right that they deserve consideration because they can feel pain, anxiety, experience relationships, etc. They deserve consideration of what is in their own best interests regardless of whether they are cute or useful to humans. For instance, a dog most certainly has an interest in not having pain inflicted on it unnecessarily. We therefore are obliged to take that interest into consideration and respect the dog's right not to have pain unnecessarily inflicted upon it.

 

Animals don't have the same rights as humans because their interests are not always the same as ours and some rights would be irrelevant to animal life. For example, a dog doesn't have an interest in voting and therefore doesn't have the right to vote, since that right would be meaningless to a dog as it is to a child. Another example, we wouldn't give a man the right to an abortion because that would obviously be absurd.

You made a lot of points but I'll just bring this one up briefly...

 

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

 

I'm certainly not anti-choice though. Not everyone can be vegetarian or vegan. I don't impose my choices on anyone unless they are genuinely interested in learning about why I am a vegan. But to address this point, whenever I debate people on the abortion issue I always point out that I respect the women's right to a choice in a similar sense that I respect the right to consume animal products. Whether you think eating animals is supporting murder or not is irrelevant. Everyone in a free society has the right to consume animal products if they want to.

 

In a debate on abortion, I pushed my xtian friend into a corner with this argument and she said "humans are superior to animals" like as if I would care more about a fetus than an animal. She said it is "natural to care about our species more", and that it is different because abortion "gives a human the right to murder another human being, and with animals it is giving a human the right to murder an animal; so it is therefore different"

 

Haha, so do you think this could qualify as an argument for anti-abortion? (I'm referring to the quote)

 

If anyone here listens to the point of inquiry radio show, I highly recommend listening to the recent podcast of dj grothe interviewing peter singer. It was a great interview and they covered a lot of the points being raised right here. I'm going to listen to it again to take notes on it. I'll post everything I write down on this thread in a little while.

 

I don't think humans and animals are equal although we have many similarities. We have our differences, but I will adress that later. As for me though, I do care about animals, but I think there are many other good reasons to go vegan. I'll mention a little bit more of that later as well.

 

"Every true faith is infallible -- It performs what the believing person hopes to find in it. But it does not offer the least support for the establishing of an objective truth. Here the ways of men divide. If you want to achieve peace of mind and happiness, have faith. If you want to be a disciple of truth, then search." - Nietzsche


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"Haha, so do you think this

"Haha, so do you think this could qualify as an argument for anti-abortion? (I'm referring to the quote)"
To clarify, I was reffering to yellownumberfive's quote.

"Every true faith is infallible -- It performs what the believing person hopes to find in it. But it does not offer the least support for the establishing of an objective truth. Here the ways of men divide. If you want to achieve peace of mind and happiness, have faith. If you want to be a disciple of truth, then search." - Nietzsche


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I've been vegetarian for 13

I've been vegetarian for 13 years and vegan for 5.  I don't care about anyone's elses reasons for being so.  If they want to eat meat, if they want to mass produce farm animals to slaughter or if they go out and hunt deer, elk, buffalo, etc.  I am not a preacher.  I won't tell people what to eat.  If you come to my house though, there will be no lives taken.  I cook really good.  You'd like it. 


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MarthaSplatterhead

MarthaSplatterhead wrote:
I've been vegetarian for 13 years and vegan for 5.  I don't care about anyone's elses reasons for being so.  If they want to eat meat, if they want to mass produce farm animals to slaughter or if they go out and hunt deer, elk, buffalo, etc.  I am not a preacher.  I won't tell people what to eat.  If you come to my house though, there will be no lives taken.  I cook really good.  You'd like it. 

Haha right on! I would suggest that you feed me when I come to Oregon, but I think there will be a whole sub culture of vegans that can help me out with that.

"Every true faith is infallible -- It performs what the believing person hopes to find in it. But it does not offer the least support for the establishing of an objective truth. Here the ways of men divide. If you want to achieve peace of mind and happiness, have faith. If you want to be a disciple of truth, then search." - Nietzsche


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I'm about as Vegan as GWB is

I'm about as Vegan as GWB is an intellectual.


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You should definitely give

You should definitely give me a number when you get here and I will let you know about shows and I would be stoked to feed you. Laughing out loud

I just wanted to clarify the bit about why I don't preach to people about why I'm veggie. I went through a phase of that for the first 6 years or so, kinda. Ex. handing out pamphlets about the cruelty to farm animals, etc.

It becomes divisive among friends. I don't wish to lose my dead flesh, er um meat eater friends and I don't want to hear them rant on trying to justify why they eat meat. It's kind of a live and let live for me now, at least in the real world. I do belong to the vegweb.com site but I hardly ever post because the people there come off real smug.


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Some things to see

There are lots of good reasons to be vegan. I find them strongest on a moral argument. But no doubt evironmental and health reason are good to.  I would refer to

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=crewspence

 

See his videos on vegartarianism and animal liberation. They lend good support for vegetarianism.

A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. ~ Albert Eins


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Fuck dat.

Fuck dat.


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Being a vegetarian is a good

Being a vegetarian is a good thing. But diet and nutrition-wise veganism is a poor choice, simply put, humans need either a small amount of meat in their diet, or animal products. Early humans, having no dairy, ate mostly grain, fruit, and a little meat when they were lucky. But dairy does the trick as well. You dont need very much. The only reason we eat meat is because it has the raw material to make the aminoglycocides and proteins that are absolutely critical for life, no exceptions.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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deludedgod wrote:

deludedgod wrote:
Being a vegetarian is a good thing. But diet and nutrition-wise veganism is a poor choice, simply put, humans need either a small amount of meat in their diet, or animal products. Early humans, having no dairy, ate mostly grain, fruit, and a little meat when they were lucky. But dairy does the trick as well. You dont need very much. The only reason we eat meat is because it has the raw material to make the aminoglycocides and proteins that are absolutely critical for life, no exceptions.

This is kinda the point I wanted to make. Early, early,early humans couldn't even eat grain. Veganism for me is not a poor choice as my youngest son is very allergic to dairy. We thought he had asthma for a long time because of his heavy, hoarse, raspy breathing. I had him on a respirator and antibiotics. Nothing worked until a doctor told me to try to take him off dairy. A change was noticed almost immediately. Since it's easier to not have to explain to him why we can have dairy and he can't esp. when he was too young to understand, we just don't have it in the house anymore. It's like anything though, you have to make an effort to eat right and get the right ingredients in your diet. We subsist mostly on beans, tofu, wheat gluten, soy milk, peanut butter, etc for protein. We take vitamin B12 supplements. And like I said before, I'm a good cook which helps if you are trying to be a vegan. You really have to love to cook.


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MarthaSplatterhead

MarthaSplatterhead wrote:

You should definitely give me a number when you get here and I will let you know about shows and I would be stoked to feed you. Laughing out loud

I just wanted to clarify the bit about why I don't preach to people about why I'm veggie. I went through a phase of that for the first 6 years or so, kinda. Ex. handing out pamphlets about the cruelty to farm animals, etc.

It becomes divisive among friends. I don't wish to lose my dead flesh, er um meat eater friends and I don't want to hear them rant on trying to justify why they eat meat. It's kind of a live and let live for me now, at least in the real world. I do belong to the vegweb.com site but I hardly ever post because the people there come off real smug.


Right on. I almost never preach unless people just ask me. Sometimes I like to discuss it with people who disagree to regain some insight on it, but it's a great lifestyle nontheless.
Word to everything else you said as well.

"Every true faith is infallible -- It performs what the believing person hopes to find in it. But it does not offer the least support for the establishing of an objective truth. Here the ways of men divide. If you want to achieve peace of mind and happiness, have faith. If you want to be a disciple of truth, then search." - Nietzsche


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Glad to hear people are

Glad to hear people are doing things right.

I had several friends in highschool and college who went vegetarian on moral grounds but did nothing to adjust their diet and just dropped meat all together. Their families would make dinner, and they'd skip the meat course and fill up on a veggie, potatoe, and perhaps some bread, then wonder why after a few weeks, they were feeling wiped out.

I recognize that we don't need meat at every meal and for cost/health considerations, don't eat meat much more than once a day and sometimes not at all for a few days in a row. Some tofu here, some quinoa there, whatever.

I don't think I would ever go completely veggie until one of two things happen: A)"Soylent Green" aka Meat gets way too expensive, or B)New breakthroughs in cross-species communication allow us to know exactly what other animals are thinking. Although in the case of the latter, we'd probably breed animals that want to be eaten a la HHGG.

Hmmm, but my $.02 towards the original question is that the health/cost argument is strongest (to me), while the moral argument seems like an argument from ignorance (unless I'm strawmanning it, which I hope I'm not.) The health argument alone may not stand to strong against an "I'm going to die anyway" attitude, but the cost argument allows one to have more resources to do stuff while you are on this planet.

-Triften


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Yeah, depending on where you

Yeah, depending on where you live it can be either really easy or really difficult, really cheap or really expensive. I live in Buffalo, NY and it sucks big time, but I'm moving to Eugene, Oregon, a great place to live and be vegan.
On an individual level there isn't much argument to be made, but on a large scale, it is extremely beneficial for the enviornment, the animals (of course), but most importantly humanity, because we can feed many more human beings by feeding them the plant based foods directly rather than feeding massive amounts to the animals simply to eat the animals.

"Every true faith is infallible -- It performs what the believing person hopes to find in it. But it does not offer the least support for the establishing of an objective truth. Here the ways of men divide. If you want to achieve peace of mind and happiness, have faith. If you want to be a disciple of truth, then search." - Nietzsche


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I SO admire those that are

I SO admire those that are vegetarians and even more so those that are vegan. I wish I could do it.

I was on a pasta kick for awhile and didn't have meat for a couple of weeks without realizing it. I got lightheaded and very cranky. It took awhile to figure it out.

My veggie friends sent me great literature about "if you eat this, you should eat that" to replace proteins, etc. Unfortunately, the list included things like salad and beans which I just can't make myself eat.

Being vegetarian does require some education to balance your diet. I admire those that can do it.

I make an effort to buy free-range items. I've heard, though, that free-range doesn't always mean the animals have a whole lot of room to run around; sometimes it just means they're not in a teeny cage. It's a start.

By the way, did you all know that one of the brainwashing techniques is to deprive those being indoctinated of sleep and protein? (At least that's what I heard.)

 

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Susan wrote: I make an

Susan wrote:

I make an effort to buy free-range items. I've heard, though, that free-range doesn't always mean the animals have a whole lot of room to run around; sometimes it just means they're not in a teeny cage. It's a start.

Sometimes they're just in really big cages. I know in the case of chickens that keeping them packed in what is basically a caged-in gazebo counts as "free-range" by the USDA definition as long as the sides are exposed to the outside. Not every "free-range" farm does this bare-minimum, but, from my trips to Maryland's Eastern Shore, I know most of the big name guys do.

-Triften 


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deludedgod wrote: Being a

deludedgod wrote:
Being a vegetarian is a good thing. But diet and nutrition-wise veganism is a poor choice, simply put, humans need either a small amount of meat in their diet, or animal products. Early humans, having no dairy, ate mostly grain, fruit, and a little meat when they were lucky. But dairy does the trick as well. You dont need very much. The only reason we eat meat is because it has the raw material to make the aminoglycocides and proteins that are absolutely critical for life, no exceptions.

Where do you get this? Everything that can be found in meat can be found in a balanced vegan diet. Here you go:

http://www.goveg.com/essential_nutrients.asp

 

BTW this is one of the best greens protein formula in existance IMHO:

 

http://www.olympianlabs.com/html/product/default.aspx?catID=14&prodID=363

A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. ~ Albert Eins


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triften wrote: Susan

triften wrote:
Susan wrote:

I make an effort to buy free-range items. I've heard, though, that free-range doesn't always mean the animals have a whole lot of room to run around; sometimes it just means they're not in a teeny cage. It's a start.

Sometimes they're just in really big cages. I know in the case of chickens that keeping them packed in what is basically a caged-in gazebo counts as "free-range" by the USDA definition as long as the sides are exposed to the outside. Not every "free-range" farm does this bare-minimum, but, from my trips to Maryland's Eastern Shore, I know most of the big name guys do.

-Triften 

In Rochester, NY which is close to here, this group of vegan activists exposed what was going on on the wegmans factory farms and showed their videos to the public and I had the chance to read the letter that wegmans wrote regarding the video. It was completely pathetic. Their excuse for keeping the animals locked up in the tiny cages was so that they would be safe from predators, haha.
It's really the capitalism of it all. The fact that the goal of a business is to make money, not to worry about the suffering animal that can't speak up for itself.
Animal rights activists should focus more on getting people to speak up about it rather than just try to encourage vegetarianism.

"Every true faith is infallible -- It performs what the believing person hopes to find in it. But it does not offer the least support for the establishing of an objective truth. Here the ways of men divide. If you want to achieve peace of mind and happiness, have faith. If you want to be a disciple of truth, then search." - Nietzsche


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willthescaryatheist

willthescaryatheist wrote:

Well of course they are different than humans. Scientifically they can't be considered the same as humans. But at the same time that doesnt mean that it's alright to take another animal's life for your pleasure.

I'm actually inclined to agree, but why not? Why ISN'T it alright to kill an amimal for pleasure? Why is it wrong? Why is it different from chopping down a tree, or is it different? Is killing a worm as bad as killing a dog? Why or why not?

Quote:
Furthermore on a health standpoint its much healthier to have a diet lacking of meat or animal products of almost any kind.

Completely beside the point, even if true, I'm not so sure it is.

Quote:
Protein is easily found in many other foods besides meat. The same can be said about any essential vitamin or mineral.

Again, beside the point of morallity. If you want to ague on utilitarian grounds, say so.

Quote:
Furthermore, evidence shows that our ancestors ate meat when nessicary, not as their main diet, showing more reason to beleive that we are intended to eat plants.

Well, if by "necessary" you mean "whenever possible", I agree. We are not "intended" to eat anything in particular - that a rather myopic view of how biology and evolution work. The current thinking is that scavenging kills and hunting small game gave us the calorie capacity to support larger brains, which led to furthur innovation and the ability to take down even larger game. Now, that does NOT support us continuing to eat meat, but frankly, you've completely ignored my original post where I said as much.

Quote:
And although a lot of the human brain development over time is credited to meat protein, that doesn't chance the fact that plant protein can just as easily be utilized to promote growth just as well as meat protein without the added fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. That's generally my opinion on the subject crammed into one huge nutshell.

That's not an opinion. It's saying we should not eat meat because we don't always have to in order to survive. So what?

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ChosenByPasta

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willthescaryatheist wrote:
I am vegan and I've seen a lot of support for being vegan. The problem is that almost the support I've seen is based on reasons like "god loves all his creations". But i want to know what some rational people choose to eat and why they choose that. So what are your opinions?

Hey man, great to hear from someone who takes a much more scientific approach to veganism. When it's narrowed down to all ethical reasons I think it makes vegans look weak. Although that alone still has all of my respect.

 

Yellownumberfive, when vegan activists talk about "animal rights" we are simply talking about their right that they deserve consideration because they can feel pain, anxiety, experience relationships, etc. They deserve consideration of what is in their own best interests regardless of whether they are cute or useful to humans.

So the capacity to feel pain is all that matters? Anything with nerve endings is somehow off limits? 

Quote:
For instance, a dog most certainly has an interest in not having pain inflicted on it unnecessarily. We therefore are obliged to take that interest into consideration and respect the dog's right not to have pain unnecessarily inflicted upon it.

I have no problem regulating things to not inflicting unnecessary pain; now define unnecessary pain. If I can kill what I eat painlessly, does it make it OK? You too, are not addressing the points I raised. 

 

Quote:
Animals don't have the same rights as humans because their interests are not always the same as ours and some rights would be irrelevant to animal life. For example, a dog doesn't have an interest in voting and therefore doesn't have the right to vote, since that right would be meaningless to a dog as it is to a child. Another example, we wouldn't give a man the right to an abortion because that would obviously be absurd.

 

Total dodge of the point, and you know it.


Quote:


Everyone in a free society has the right to consume animal products if they want to.

Then I honestly don't need to debate with you.  

 

I'm baffled why you decided to go on about abortion, but hey, in the end the line above is all I care about. 

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MarthaSplatterhead

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If you come to my house though, there will be no lives taken. I cook really good. You'd like it.

I don't doubt it. I like vegan food, my brother is a "psuedo" vegan (he eats foul and fish every now and then, but very rarely) and he makes some kick ass food. I love his spring rolls and habanero hummus dip, it would be better with meat though Eye-wink

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willthescaryatheist

willthescaryatheist wrote:
I am vegan and I've seen a lot of support for being vegan. The problem is that almost the support I've seen is based on reasons like "god loves all his creations". But i want to know what some rational people choose to eat and why they choose that. So what are your opinions?

Vegetables are what food eats.

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Vastet

Vastet wrote:
willthescaryatheist wrote:
I am vegan and I've seen a lot of support for being vegan. The problem is that almost the support I've seen is based on reasons like "god loves all his creations". But i want to know what some rational people choose to eat and why they choose that. So what are your opinions?
Vegetables are what food eats.

 

LOL!!!

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Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
So the capacity to feel pain is all that matters? Anything with nerve endings is somehow off limits?
Well yeah, that's the way I look at it. For example, I think that women should have the right to an abortion because in most cases it is in the first tremester where there is no suffering taking place. If animal welfare standards were adopted on factory farms I probably wouldn't even object. Corporations are getting away with brutal things for profit and little is being done about it. That's not even an argument for vegetarianism. Just the fact that something should be done about it because it's absurd.

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
I have no problem regulating things to not inflicting unnecessary pain; now define unnecessary pain. If I can kill what I eat painlessly, does it make it OK? You too, are not addressing the points I raised. 

Total dodge of the point, and you know it

Then I honestly don't need to debate with you.

Yellow, you are big hero of mine. I wasn't even really taking you up on a debate. I was just making some points of my own. I wasn't really trying to adress all of your points or make an attempt to persuade you on anything. I was basically just pointing out some of the misconceptions about animal rights and sharing my opinion.

Nonetheless, I'm a vegan because I just think it's a respectful choice. I do it for a couple of reasons:

- Out of compassion for animals, whether they deserve our consideration or not.

-You can completely prevent heart disease (or reverse it in certain cases) and prevent a number of other chronic diseases.

- Most meat that comes from all of these corporate supermarkets are shot up with steroids, hormones, etc.

- It's an ethical choice to better the enviornment

- More food can be fed to humans if we feed them plant based food directly rather than feeding more amounts of food to an animal, that will simply be eaten by the human anyways.

-And I just think meat and dairy is disgusting.

You can make all of these same ethical choices even from not being a vegetarian, that being caring about animals, preventing diseases, eating meat that doesnt have garbage in it, doing great things for the environment, or stopping world hunger. I just think it's a wise choice either way.

"Every true faith is infallible -- It performs what the believing person hopes to find in it. But it does not offer the least support for the establishing of an objective truth. Here the ways of men divide. If you want to achieve peace of mind and happiness, have faith. If you want to be a disciple of truth, then search." - Nietzsche


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Yellow_Number_Five

Quote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

 

Here's my standard diatribe:

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

 

The real question is "should we include animals in our moral sphere and how much? " And "what methods should we use in determining moral behavior?"

Quote:
To give animals equal rights or really any rights at all though, to me, seems unthinkable - 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, because you have rights.

It would be absurd to give animals the right to vote, for that would be equal rights. I do not think equal rights is the way to go but rather an equal consideration of interests. All animals that have a brain have an interest in avoiding pain and suffering.

Quote:

Rights are a two way street. Rights cannot exist without the capacity to reciprocate them.

You can 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.

 

Moral behavior is along similar lines but empathy is the key. If you don't want other to inflict pain on you, then you don't do it to others. Why doesn't this sort of empathy apply to animals? Regardless of werther or not they can reciprocate, I don't harm them unless in the context of self-defense.

Quote:
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 (nor a naturualistic fallacy - I claim no "ought" here) it is a animalistic one, for after all, we are animals - and as the only animals who understand the concept of rights, we're simply 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 probably lead you down a road you don't want to go. Either we're all animals and equal, so anything goes as far as survival goes, or we're somehow better than the other animals and have some sort of ambiguous moral obligation to save them from ourselves.

Quote:

Either avenue upholds the status quo.

Actually human beings are the only once to show empathy or clemency as you call it to there own injuired or disabled. However, holding your (our) own species above others is called specieism. It is as form of discrimination just like sexism or racism is. It is easy to use specieism against animals for they can not defend them-selfs. "Either we're all animals and equal, so anything goes as far as survival goes," Yes we're all are animals but I assert that we do not need meat for survival. I would go as far as that factory farming is harming the planet and making our meat unheathy by puting polutants in it.

Quote:
I'm not claiming eating another animal is moral or immoral - I think it is A-moral.

If I were to expound personally, 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 exterminating it? I think if you answer yes to that question, then you do understand where I'm coming from, at least in part.

 

It is not morally justifible to cause the suffering of animals just because we want to eat meat. Seeing that eating meat now is more luxury than nessesity, why contintue? Specially under the banner of specieism.

Quote:
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 or for our entertainment, they probably would have gone extinct or have been hunted to extinction (by us probably) long ago without us.

 

You more or less are comparing hunting vs. farming. But why is specieism are justification for such things?

Quote:
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 (I've got a great story about being harrassed by animal rights protestors, btw if you want it) - this sort of goes back to my last point. Also, don't forget that this research also benefits animals in the end.

 

Indeed, animal research has done many great things. I find it as an necessary evil. But at the advent of new techonology I no longer see the need for animal testing.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1640538/post

 

Quote:
I do think we should endeavor to avoid 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.

 

Indeed. But I find you final words as kinda contradictory for everything you been saying. We should end needless cruelty... the only difference is that you probly don't see factory farming as that.

As everything said above, you can see more at:

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=crewspence

See the ones on vegetarism and animal liberation. Animal liberation Part 3 has the hard facts on the effects of factory farming.

 

Personally I am not agaisnt meat per se but when the moral, heath, and environmental all add up. Then I see a problem. None the less technology to the rescue:

http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,71201-1.html?tw=wn_technology_2

A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. ~ Albert Eins


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sorry I keep try to fix my

sorry I keep try to fix my post but the quote blocks are not working as they should.


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I'm not sure how it's

I'm not sure how it's possible, but I grew up in a meat-eating house with a father who hunts, and I've only had red meat once in my life.  Even as a child, I disliked the look, smell, and idea of red meat, so I always refused to eat it.  As a freshman in college I read Peter Singer's "Animal Liberation" and gave up all meat, fish, and poultry as well.  I've been a vegetarian for almost ten years now, although now it's mostly just out of habit more than anything else. 

I would consider myself a moderate animal rights supporter.  I do not support PETA (especially after watching the episode of Penn & Teller's Bullshit about PETA), and I definitely oppose extremist groups like Animal Liberation Front (ALF).  The fact that these groups would attempt to draw parallels between the meat industry, slavery, and the Holocaust is disgusting and completely dishonest.  And when they blow up or otherwise sabotage science laboratories, they are attacking the forces of reason and progress.

 


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voltaire28 wrote: I'm not

voltaire28 wrote:

I'm not sure how it's possible, but I grew up in a meat-eating house with a father who hunts, and I've only had red meat once in my life. Even as a child, I disliked the look, smell, and idea of red meat, so I always refused to eat it. As a freshman in college I read Peter Singer's "Animal Liberation" and gave up all meat, fish, and poultry as well. I've been a vegetarian for almost ten years now, although now it's mostly just out of habit more than anything else.

I would consider myself a moderate animal rights supporter. I do not support PETA (especially after watching the episode of Penn & Teller's Bullshit about PETA), and I definitely oppose extremist groups like Animal Liberation Front (ALF). The fact that these groups would attempt to draw parallels between the meat industry, slavery, and the Holocaust is disgusting and completely dishonest. And when they blow up or otherwise sabotage science laboratories, they are attacking the forces of reason and progress.

 

 

You just totally spoke my mind. 


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voltaire28 wrote: I would

voltaire28 wrote:
I would consider myself a moderate animal rights supporter.  I do not support PETA (especially after watching the episode of Penn & Teller's Bullshit about PETA), and I definitely oppose extremist groups like Animal Liberation Front (ALF).  The fact that these groups would attempt to draw parallels between the meat industry, slavery, and the Holocaust is disgusting and completely dishonest.  And when they blow up or otherwise sabotage science laboratories, they are attacking the forces of reason and progress

Nah man, I don't have a problem with what PETA does. I think Penn and Teller are awesome, but they completely misrepresented PETA in that video. I wasn't into their shows on the bible or creationism either. I think they could've done much better.
I agree with you on ALF although I don't mind some of the things they do. They do give AR a bad name for sure though.
And what you said about them drawing parallels between slavery and the Holocaust, I don't really mind the example, and I've heard that there are Holocaust survivors who have come out and completely agreed with what PETA has to say. We have screwed animals over more than anything, and they can't say a word about it.
I have an unpopular view amongst vegans. I don't object to scientists testing on animals for things like cures for cancer, etc; although I do think there should be better animal welfare standards adopted if there already aren't. And we don't see PETA launching campaigns against this type of animal testing.
But I completely object against testing on animals for things like toothpaste and shampoo, cosmetics. It's just completely unacceptable. Read the labels, I encourage everyone to buy their household products that were not tested on animals or contain animal ingredients.

"Every true faith is infallible -- It performs what the believing person hopes to find in it. But it does not offer the least support for the establishing of an objective truth. Here the ways of men divide. If you want to achieve peace of mind and happiness, have faith. If you want to be a disciple of truth, then search." - Nietzsche


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To make a more significant

To make a more significant contribution than the last one, though I see it was appreciated, I think vegatarians are for the most part hypocrites. We have evolved to be omnivorous. It is foolish to cut either side of consumption out. Especially when doing so out of a bias against plant life compared to irrational empathy for animal life. Every life form on this planet exists to be eaten. Accept it, move on.

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Because the discussion

Because the discussion seems to have shifted to animal testing, I completely oppose science testing on primates (and I work in science). they are, along with humans, some of the very few organism on Earth that have a triple-tiered brain. Every mobile organism has a midbrain and limbic system, the first tier. Most have a Sensory and movement processing unit, but almost none have the third tier: The outer brain is reserved for several primates and the homo sapiens. It contains the higher cortex, processing advanced emotional reponse, advanced social constructs, and linguistic processing (gorillas can be taught sign language). No animal that has a third-tier brain should be tested on.

Fortunately, we almost never test on them. We test almost exclusively on mice. We inject them with isotopes to track things like transcription and hemodynamics, drug receptor response and cell dynamics. I think that I am prepared to sacrifice three mice for the sake of scientific advancement.

 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Vastet wrote: To make a

Vastet wrote:
To make a more significant contribution than the last one, though I see it was appreciated, I think vegatarians are for the most part hypocrites. We have evolved to be omnivorous. It is foolish to cut either side of consumption out. Especially when doing so out of a bias against plant life compared to irrational empathy for animal life. Every life form on this planet exists to be eaten. Accept it, move on.

No, I don't think so. As others have said, it is best to have very little or no meat in your diet at all. Everyone knows that "cholesterol" is the dirtiest of dirty words when it comes to diet. As a joke sometimes I'll say: "If you were meant to eat meat then how come you werent born with an oven in your stomach?" But yes, little meat and plenty of exercise will do you fine.
The argument that vegetarians are hypocrites for eating plants is a cop out. Plants don't have a nervous system, can't feel pain, etc. But oh, even better than that, if you actually cared about plants being a vegetarian is one of the best things you can do for the environment on an individual level. Think about it. "Accept it, move on." 

"Every true faith is infallible -- It performs what the believing person hopes to find in it. But it does not offer the least support for the establishing of an objective truth. Here the ways of men divide. If you want to achieve peace of mind and happiness, have faith. If you want to be a disciple of truth, then search." - Nietzsche


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Vastet wrote: To make a

Vastet wrote:
To make a more significant contribution than the last one, though I see it was appreciated, I think vegatarians are for the most part hypocrites. We have evolved to be omnivorous. It is foolish to cut either side of consumption out. Especially when doing so out of a bias against plant life compared to irrational empathy for animal life. Every life form on this planet exists to be eaten. Accept it, move on.

They're not hypocrits; they're just doing what they want to do. 


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deludedgod wrote: Because

deludedgod wrote:

Because the discussion seems to have shifted to animal testing, I completely oppose science testing on primates (and I work in science). they are, along with humans, some of the very few organism on Earth that have a triple-tiered brain. Every mobile organism has a midbrain and limbic system, the first tier. Most have a Sensory and movement processing unit, but almost none have the third tier: The outer brain is reserved for several primates and the homo sapiens. It contains the higher cortex, processing advanced emotional reponse, advanced social constructs, and linguistic processing (gorillas can be taught sign language). No animal that has a third-tier brain should be tested on.

Fortunately, we almost never test on them. We test almost exclusively on mice. We inject them with isotopes to track things like transcription and hemodynamics, drug receptor response and cell dynamics. I think that I am prepared to sacrifice three mice for the sake of scientific advancement.

Interesting method of ethics for animal testing.

A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. ~ Albert Eins


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Vastet wrote: To make a

Vastet wrote:
To make a more significant contribution than the last one, though I see it was appreciated, I think vegatarians are for the most part hypocrites. We have evolved to be omnivorous. It is foolish to cut either side of consumption out. Especially when doing so out of a bias against plant life compared to irrational empathy for animal life. Every life form on this planet exists to be eaten. Accept it, move on.

 http://www.goveg.com/naturalhumandiet_physiology.asp

 

Nice try.

 

A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. ~ Albert Eins


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AtheistPaladin, what do you

AtheistPaladin, what do you make of the fact that as soon as early humans learned to make tools, they used them to kill and butcher animals? If we're talking about what's "natural" or "what we evolved to do", do you think this trait should be considered at all, or should our physiological similarities to herbivores be the only deciding factor? 

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daveyboy

daveyboy wrote:

AtheistPaladin, what do you make of the fact that as soon as early humans learned to make tools, they used them to kill and butcher animals? If we're talking about what's "natural" or "what we evolved to do", do you think this trait should be considered at all, or should our physiological similarities to herbivores be the only deciding factor? 

 

It was done for survival sake. Why continue now? If it better for your health, the evironment, why continue?

A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. ~ Albert Eins


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Vastet wrote: To make a

Vastet wrote:
To make a more significant contribution than the last one, though I see it was appreciated, I think vegatarians are for the most part hypocrites. We have evolved to be omnivorous. It is foolish to cut either side of consumption out.

You are commiting the is-ought fallacy.  "We have evolved to be omnivorous" is a statement of what is; it does not follow that it is something we ought to do.  Troy McClure on the Simpsons made a joke about how vegetarians don't recognize The Food Chain, but it was just a joke.  You've taken a similar argument and made it serious.

Quote:
Especially when doing so out of a bias against plant life compared to irrational empathy for animal life. Every life form on this planet exists to be eaten. Accept it, move on.

The moral vegans and vegetarians I know do not clam that life is intrinsically valuable.  If that were the case, then yes, they would be hypocrites for killing plants.  However, it's not the case.  What's morally relevant to them is the capacity to hold interests, to be happy, to suffer, and to feel pain.  There is currently no evidence that plants possess these things, but undeniably true that many mammals, birds, and other vertebrates with sophisticated CNSs do.

And again "every life form on this planet exists to be eaten" is a statement of what is.  If we derived values from that, I could cite the fact that all things die anyway and use that to justify indiscriminate murder. 

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I understand that many

I understand that many animals eat meat and that we have evolved with partial meat filled diets. But when a diet without meat is proven to be healthier, it is clear that it is a bad idea to eat such an horrible substance as meat. And in response to your last point, have fun eating yourself.


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willthescaryatheist

willthescaryatheist wrote:

I understand that many animals eat meat and that we have evolved with partial meat filled diets. But when a diet without meat is proven to be healthier, it is clear that it is a bad idea to eat such an horrible substance as meat. And in response to your last point, have fun eating yourself.

nice
Herbivores- 1Omnivores- 0

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I choose to eat meat

I choose to eat meat 'cause................it's.................good Smiling......and lol yeah uh to me it don't seem right for humans to live on and eat only like vegetables.

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I agree with you on the Penn

I agree with you on the Penn and Teller episode on PETA. They misrepresented them badly. Also correct me if i'm wrong but they completely avoided trying to disprove the health benefits of a vegan diet.


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Vegetarian out of

Vegetarian out of compassion? Ha!
Be vegetarian for any number of reasons, and I will have no objection. You may simply not like the taste of meat - or perhaps your body has difficulty digesting it. So what? But COMPASSION? That is a fucking ridiculous reason not to eat meat.

Why are plants not entitled to the same "right to live" as animals? It's childish and naive, in my opinion. Life cannot exist without death. Being ALIVE is selfish, because it cannot be done without killing other organisms, directly or by the mere chance of you being alive in another potential being's prospective place.

The capacity to feel pain or be aware of one's existence are arbitrary excuses to value life. It's by no stretch of the imagination a RATIONAL justification to preserve one species yet mercilessly slay another. What it falls down to is that humans can relate more closely to an animal than to a plant. What it is is a primal form of discrimination and I truly believe it's pathetic.

Life is death and death is life. You can't defy that cycle.

Compassion in this sense of the word is an evolutionary weakness. If one is unwilling to survive by any means necessary, one is INFERIOR to the lifeforms which are. By this reasoning, vegetarians are inferior people and inferior living beings =)

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From an evolutionary

From an evolutionary standpoint, Named is completely correct regarding the baser driving force of life.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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ChosenByPasta

ChosenByPasta wrote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
So the capacity to feel pain is all that matters? Anything with nerve endings is somehow off limits?
Well yeah, that's the way I look at it. For example, I think that women should have the right to an abortion because in most cases it is in the first tremester where there is no suffering taking place. If animal welfare standards were adopted on factory farms I probably wouldn't even object.

Have you contradicted yourself in your second sentence? You seem to agree that the capacity to feel pain was your main crux, then said that so long as farm standards were raised you would not object to the culling of animals for food.

 

Quote:
Corporations are getting away with brutal things for profit and little is being done about it. That's not even an argument for vegetarianism. Just the fact that something should be done about it because it's absurd.

That seems typical. I may be biased, but it honestly seems to me that the underlying theme of PETA and GreenPeace types isn't so much saving animials or the envioronment, but simply opposing capitalism. Not that I'm lumping you with either group, just saying that I find the sentiments seem to go hand in hand for reasons that altogether baffle me; A has little to do with B.

Quote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
I have no problem regulating things to not inflicting unnecessary pain; now define unnecessary pain. If I can kill what I eat painlessly, does it make it OK? You too, are not addressing the points I raised. Total dodge of the point, and you know it Then I honestly don't need to debate with you.
Yellow, you are big hero of mine. I wasn't even really taking you up on a debate. I was just making some points of my own. I wasn't really trying to adress all of your points or make an attempt to persuade you on anything. I was basically just pointing out some of the misconceptions about animal rights and sharing my opinion. Nonetheless, I'm a vegan because I just think it's a respectful choice.....You can make all of these same ethical choices even from not being a vegetarian, that being caring about animals, preventing diseases, eating meat that doesnt have garbage in it, doing great things for the environment, or stopping world hunger. I just think it's a wise choice either way.

That's fine. Let me make it clear, I have zero problem with people choosing to be vegan for personal reasons. I only have a problem when such people tell me I cannot eat a hamburger or use animals to develope treatments for diseases.

I can understand respecting animals, I feel I respect them as well. I simply don't understand granting animals rights.  

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TheAtheistPaladin

TheAtheistPaladin wrote:
Quote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

 

Here's my standard diatribe:

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

 

The real question is "should we include animals in our moral sphere and how much? " And "what methods should we use in determining moral behavior?"

Quote:
To give animals equal rights or really any rights at all though, to me, seems unthinkable - 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, because you have rights.

It would be absurd to give animals the right to vote, for that would be equal rights. I do not think equal rights is the way to go but rather an equal consideration of interests. All animals that have a brain have an interest in avoiding pain and suffering.

Well, I don't think you're quite getting my point, but I'm going roll with what you've said for now. I, for the most part, agree that we should consider animals and their suffering - but I wouldn't say animals have "interests" per se or that we are obligated to treat animals as such by anything other than our own empathy.

As I said earlier, its a Catch-22; we either say we're equal to animals and in such respect it is truly dog eat dog, or we must say that we have some sort of ethical obiligation to protect animals from ourselves.

Personally, I think we fall in line with the latter, and I think we should be honest about that. Animals have the priveledges and clemency we grant them, and this is a subjective thing that changes as circumstances change. 

Why do we feel more empathy toward chimps and sea otters vs. chickens and cows? The former tend to remind us of ourselves, the latter were bred for the table.

A sea otter is cute, a cow is baseball gloves and hamburgers. 

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Rights are a two way street. Rights cannot exist without the capacity to reciprocate them.

You can 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.

 

Moral behavior is along similar lines but empathy is the key. If you don't want other to inflict pain on you, then you don't do it to others. Why doesn't this sort of empathy apply to animals?

Because animals are incapable of granting us the same empathy. I've already pointed this out. 

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Regardless of werther or not they can reciprocate, I don't harm them unless in the context of self-defense.

 That's fine, but does little in the context of the argument. I have no problem with your personal views, it's your choice, only with your personal views as policy or moral edict.

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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 (nor a naturualistic fallacy - I claim no "ought" here) it is a animalistic one, for after all, we are animals - and as the only animals who understand the concept of rights, we're simply 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 probably lead you down a road you don't want to go. Either we're all animals and equal, so anything goes as far as survival goes, or we're somehow better than the other animals and have some sort of ambiguous moral obligation to save them from ourselves.

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Either avenue upholds the status quo.

Actually human beings are the only once to show empathy or clemency as you call it to there own injuired or disabled.

Actually, no we are not. 

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However, holding your (our) own species above others is called specieism. It is as form of discrimination just like sexism or racism is. It is easy to use specieism against animals for they can not defend them-selfs. "Either we're all animals and equal, so anything goes as far as survival goes," Yes we're all are animals but I assert that we do not need meat for survival. I would go as far as that factory farming is harming the planet and making our meat unheathy by puting polutants in it.

And when a lion eats a human, it that specism?

No, it's nature.

That's the point.

We are conditioned evolutionarily to empathize MORE with our own than with other species. This carries over to other organisms, but it is a ONE WAY street. Moralistic arguements will always fail in this sense.

You could argue on utilitarian lines that eating meat may not be necessary (persoanlly, I think it is the only valid line of argumentation availabel), but humans do a LOT of things that are not necessary or utilitarian; and we'll have to look at any such argument in the scope of such. 

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I'm not claiming eating another animal is moral or immoral - I think it is A-moral.

If I were to expound personally, 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 exterminating it? I think if you answer yes to that question, then you do understand where I'm coming from, at least in part.

 

It is not morally justifible to cause the suffering of animals just because we want to eat meat.

 Why not? Is it justifiable to use antibacterial soap? Is it justifiable to swat a fly? Is it justifiable to use a worm a bait? Is it justifiable to put out a mouse trap? Where is the demarcation line, and why? Is there any other justification than your "gut", than individual perceptions of empathy?

 

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Seeing that eating meat now is more luxury than nessesity, why contintue? Specially under the banner of specieism.

Why not continue? I find nothing wrong with "specieism" and have stated as such. All species are "specieist". That is simply the way of the world. I do not see how simply consuming another organism has any moral prediliclictions at alll.

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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 or for our entertainment, they probably would have gone extinct or have been hunted to extinction (by us probably) long ago without us.

 

You more or less are comparing hunting vs. farming. But why is specieism are justification for such things?

It isn't. No moral justification is necessary. 

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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 (I've got a great story about being harrassed by animal rights protestors, btw if you want it) - this sort of goes back to my last point. Also, don't forget that this research also benefits animals in the end.

 

Indeed, animal research has done many great things. I find it as an necessary evil. But at the advent of new techonology I no longer see the need for animal testing.

 There will be a need for it for the conceivable future. Testing new drugs and surgical techniques on humans first is not something the majority of us are ready for.

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I do think we should endeavor to avoid 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.

 

Indeed. But I find you final words as kinda contradictory for everything you been saying. We should end needless cruelty... the only difference is that you probly don't see factory farming as that.

I fail to see where I have contradicted myself.  

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Yellow_Number_Five
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Well, since the topic has

Well, since the topic has gone to research, here's the story I alluded to earlier.

 

As an undergrad at the University of Delaware, I was working on degrees in microbiology and chemical engineering. To make ends meet, in addition to my shitty job at Kinko's, I aided in research. Some of the research I did was sequencing chimp DNA in support of ERV evolutionary research and HIV research. One Saturday morning, about 11AM I go outside of the animal research laboratories to have a cigarette and shake off my hangover while my centrifuge is running. What do I see but a mob of "peaceful" protestors harassing and pushing around an 85lb female graduate student from Vietnam named Hyuen. She was sobbing uncontrollably, but the twits saw that white lab coat and an easy target and went for blood. It took me a moment to realize what was going on, but when they actually knocked her over and swarmed around her, I simply lowered my shoulder and charged into the throng of about 25 protestors.
I pushed them away from her and carried her, sobbing and bleeding, back into the building. Then I went back, extremely pissed off. Funny how none of them wanted to push me around or yell at me; cowards to the end.

So I yell and bitch and wait for campus security, BEGGING one of them to start something with me. They finally get shooed away by the campus Rent-a-cops.

    Two weeks later our labs were raided. Months of valuable and potentially life saving research were destroyed. Two grad students I knew personally had their Ph.D awards delayed over a year due to it – one in particular had to leave the program, because he couldn’t afford to live as a pauper for another year and support his family on a University stipend, I’m not sure if he ever returned to get his doctorate at UD or at another school – I doubt it. Huyen left school and returned to Vietnam over the whole issue (she now lives in Japan and is working on HIV research (yes, using animals, including chimps), she has made it clear to me that she won't be coming back to the US.)

So yeah, I have issues with such fuckers. And you would too, if you knew what was good for you.

It is one thing to have your own moral and ethical views on the subject - quite another to beat up and harrass a brilliant, small Vietnamese girl and ruin the lives and careers of people who simply want to help other people and are in the predicament of having to use animals toward that end. 


 

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

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daveyboy
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Named wrote: But

Named wrote:
But COMPASSION? That is a fucking ridiculous reason not to eat meat.

I'm not a vegetarian, but I don't see what's so hard to understand. The animals people eat are intelligent to some degree, and feel fear and pain. If we use empathy as a basis for morality, and avoid causing pain to others because we understand the sensation of pain and wouldn't want it inflicted on us, why wouldn't we feel some degree of empathy to other animals that experience pain?

Named wrote:
 Compassion in this sense of the word is an evolutionary weakness. If one is unwilling to survive by any means necessary, one is INFERIOR to the lifeforms which are. By this reasoning, vegetarians are inferior people and inferior living beings

We're not talking about survival. Vegetarians put in real life-or-death situations would eat meat if there was no other way to meet their protein/calorie requirements. 

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