# Is eating meat morally wrong

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Theoryofrelativity, Mar 14, 2006.

1. ### FacialValued Senior Member

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2,223
Campbell reece mitchell is already in its 7th edition? Wow, I remember learning from the 5th 4 years ago back in my AP Bio class.

3. ### TheAlphaWolfRegistered Senior Member

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445
yep, Neil A. campbell died on 2004 though. It's sad... I love that book. So much info.
"He died in 2004 of heart attack just after the manuscript for the fifth international edition was completed."

5. ### TiassaLet us not launch the boat ...Staff Member

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I smoke cigarettes. I can quit. I don't exercise. I can start. I'm an American. I suppose I can move. There's lots I can do for my health before meat becomes a consideration. I look at the benefits of vegetariansim like I look at the psychological reward of redemptive religion. If I spent my life worshipping God, I would probably regret it on my deathbed. All those years wasted. Try "Aceldama".

In the same notion of regret ... well, I wouldn't have had the wonderful, rare peppercorn New York the other night, a $57 steak on the occasion of a friend's departure. Nor the$13 glass of wine that went so well with it. (Don't look at me, I didn't pay.) Or the pepper-rub filet, made from Les Schwab's free beef. The bacon cheeseburger mentioned in an earlier post. Bacon and hash browns, late night at Beth's ....

As to the God argument, well, I should have used the word "or". I never would have thought to split that particular hair.

And so what if we evolved as omnivores a long time ago? Didn't say it was better.

And as far as omniscience goes, that's not the point. The question is a moral one. To refer to a consideration of the morality of morals in general:

Which leads me back to Huxley. Really, the argument is in Huxley. It seems I repeat this argument from time to time. I haven't the volume to transcribe at present, but I mentioned this last year in response to the topic, "Is it wrong to kill an animal?"

And Huxley's discussion of his tour of the Bose Institute, especially his direct and pointed consideration of moral vegetarianism--essentially, "Watch a plant gasp and suffocate, and then see how you feel about it"--pretty much sums up the point. It is merely a matter of perception. If you were capable of actually seeing your salad gasp, you wouldn't enjoy eating it as much. Of course, it's not like the garbanzos actually scream. Neither do the crab.

7. ### FacialValued Senior Member

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2,223
Hmmm I must be wrong then... I took AP Bio in 2001-2002, and they were soon using the next edition, so I must've been using either the third or fourth edition.

8. ### TW ScottMinister of TechnologyRegistered Senior Member

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You completely ignored his point. Or perhaps you complete misunderstood it. Most vegans are from upper middle class and above families. This means they have had a better education, either in better public schools, tutors, or private academies. Of courser they are going to test better than the average meat eater if that is the way you seperated them. However I would bet that if you took the same social level, similiar background, and similiar schooling that the IQ scores will be exactly the same.

9. ### MadMaxRebornLife Through My EyesRegistered Senior Member

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That was my entire point! That one highly unrepresented population scoring 20 points higher on an I.Q. test doesn't prove ANYTHING! Especially that they are smarter because of what they eat.

No, you missed my point completely! My point was that this quote from the ADA doesn't prove that eating vegetables makes you smarter.

Just because they went to college doesn't take bias out of the conclusion. I guess you miss Mark Twain's point as well. Because his point was that you can prove anything with statistics, because you can't take the experimenter out of the experiment. If you hold onto some other naive notion, I wish you well, but this society works around money.

It doesn't matter the size of the organization, it is the lack of representative data. They are trying to prove that a small population of people are smarter because they don't eat meat. I bring up the point that this small population of people might have already been smarter, regardless of the fact that they eat meat. And to make this point I show, and you agree, that most vegans are part of a population that is already smarter than the general public. I was saying that middle-class, white, suburban people are smarter, regardless of what they eat.

If you can show me proof that this study took a sample of vegans and a sample of "meaties" that would be exactly alike except for the fact that one eats meat and the other doesn't, then I would have to detract my earlier claim. But upon that possibility I have another statement to make. But at this point I need not yet make it.

I would also like to thank TW Scott for recognizing the point and defending it.

Max

10. ### TheoryofrelativityBannedBanned

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5,595
Actually eating 'EPA' makes you smarter!

Can be derived from vegetable source but largely fish sources.

11. ### lixlukeRefined ReinventionValued Senior Member

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Although humans were not made to eat meat just as all other primates were not made to eat meat, it is not morally wrong to do so. It is however biologically unconducive tothe human body just as smoking or frying your brain on 24 hours straight of anime and video games.

12. ### TW ScottMinister of TechnologyRegistered Senior Member

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Primates not menat to eat meat? You do realize chimps eat caterpillars. Ape like the ants of there area, Baboons actually prefer meat. I think perhaps someone believes that all primates eat banana a little too much.

As for meat being bad for you, well anything in excess is bad for you. You can even die of drinking too much water. The point is moderation. Don't consume too much, but there is no reason to forebear.

13. ### lixlukeRefined ReinventionValued Senior Member

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The same can be said for eating paper. Humans can digest paper or even glass. Does it mean their body was meant to digest glass? The human body is biologically designed to digest fruits and vegetables. Not the same type that herbivore eat. More of a frugavore diet. Herbivores eat grass and leaves. Frugavores eat fruits and vegetables that we regularly consume as part of our diet, but not often enough all of our diet.

14. ### finewineRegistered Senior Member

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Well, morals will tend to imply some sort of dogma to which one adheres.

It becomes a moral issue to a person when it conflicts with the dogma to which one subscribes.

It has been stated in a book, of which at the moment I cannot recollect the name of it, that the moral issue is because of the shedding of blood.
Life flows through the body by way of the blood.
When you kill an animal and eat it, you have killed life which is a sacred thing which then gets into "religious" dogma of what is right or wrong and therefore brings into question the morality of eating animals.

Christianity says that you can eat animals freely without fear of committing some sacred heresy but it also says you should not practice your freedom in front of a person who may find it in his/her own mind as morally wrong.
Funny thing is about Christianity, Adam and Eve were more than likely vegetarians at the beginning.

The Jews were told not to eat any animal with cloven feet as they were unclean and therefore morally speaking the eating of those animals were morally wrong.

Ok why not just kill humans and eat them too. What is morally wrong with that?

Last edited: Mar 28, 2006
15. ### TW ScottMinister of TechnologyRegistered Senior Member

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Okay first of all, you are right it is a personal moral code for most part. Since I view my self as a Omnivore (which we are, argue all you want) I see no problem with preying on "lesser animals". Like every other mammal species on the planet I abhor eating of human flesh. However like them if it was that or starve to death the body goes on the BBQ. Not that I would kill someone to eat.

16. ### lixlukeRefined ReinventionValued Senior Member

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OK. Humans are not omnivores.

17. ### James RJust this guy, you know?Staff Member

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Ah, welcome back TW Scott. I thought you'd given up. But no, it seems you just have no answers to MY arguments, so you thought you'd try somebody else, I guess.

Don't mind me, but I can't resist...

The word "meant" implies some kind of design by a Creator. No animal is "meant" to do anything. Some primates can and do eat meat. Others do not. There's no "meant to" about it.

Apart from all the ethical reasons, of course.

Some personal moral codes are superior to others, of course. (At the risk of somebody citing Godwin's law, think about Hitler, for example.)

i.e. the naturalistic fallacy again. "What is natural is necessarily ethically good."

Sorry, but this argument isn't any better this time than the last time you tried it.

I'm sure that, given the chance, lions and tigers and bears would quite happily subsist on a diet of human flesh.

Then again, this is just an extension of the naturalistic fallacy, again, and we've already established that that particular argument is a waste of time, haven't we?

Not even if you were starving and had no other food options? Why not, I wonder...

18. ### finewineRegistered Senior Member

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Well, let's not get into the same questions as those other threads mentioned earlier in this thread have already discussed which I have not read thoroughly yet.

We are talking about the morality of eating animals.

Now what exactly is meant by morality in the original question?

Why do we think animals have rights when we do not think aborted fetus have rights??

Why is it not morally wrong to kill a fetus?
That would be a good food source instead of animals.
Let's just eat them. Lots of good protein, vitamins, minerals in them.

Hey, why not just eat those who die like in the novel and movie "Soilent Green"?

One day that will be exceptable don't you think?

Farming of plants and animals have been in existance as long as man has been alive.
As intelligent man has evolved so has his farming methods had to evolve to feed the sheer numbers of people in demand of the product.
There is no difference seen between animal and plant in the consumerism of the food chain.

If I can pay someone to slaughter my meat for me, then I don't have to kill it and I can make his clothes for him and build his house which are things that I am good at doing as he is good at farming animals. We become community and specialise so that we can also expand our knowledge and minds with the free time given to us by specializing.

Last edited: Mar 28, 2006
19. ### James RJust this guy, you know?Staff Member

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finewine:

Interesting that you want to turn this into a debate about abortion, then.

An aborted fetus is dead. Why should it have any special rights?

But, I'm sure you didn't mean that. You meant fetuses about to be aborted have no rights.

I personally have never argued that unborn foetuses don't have any rights. My position is that they aren't entitled to all the same rights as a newborn child. See the difference?

Well, foetuses are animals, so similar kinds of arguments apply to not eating them. On the other hand, the life of a healthy cow might well be worth more than that of a two-week old foetus, for example, so we might worry more about killing and eating the cow. That wouldn't get rid of any potential rights the foetus might have.

I think you'll find that vegetarians won't eat animals OR foetuses. So, they are consist. Yet here you are, saying that eating animals is fine, but eating human foetuses is a great crime. Isn't that inconsistent?

No. Early man lived a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Farming only developed quite recently in our evolutionary history. Not that it is relevant...

Yes.

Animals are conscious and sentient. Plants are not. Quite a significant difference, if you ask me. Why do you ignore it? Don't you believe it?

Yes. And so? Are there no alternative jobs for farmers than raising animals for meat?

20. ### finewineRegistered Senior Member

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Actually I am not trying to turn this into an abortion pro/con debate.

A fetus is not dead until it is aborted. It is living and suffers the same if not worse "pain" that farmed animals do. Where is a living fetus' rights? The 'superiour' of its kind has the 'right' to kill it. Why?
We could at least give its death meaning by eating it, couldn't we? I do know byproducts are used in medicine and beauty lotions but surely why not feed the masses of starving by farming out the killed fetus like we farm out the killed animals.
No, I do not see the difference , a fetus is an unborn child in the womb of its mother. I have had five children. When does a fetus become a child when it is born?? Hell no, it is a child, living and breathing as a fetus in the womb and then its next stage of development is called newborn, then toddler, then youth, than adolecent, then young adult, then adult, then senior citizen.

The point of this thread to me is not about vegetarianism but morality and when does morality come into play with eating animals if at all?

Indeed, the cow has more value than an unborn child? Why is that and is that moral?

I am pointing out different aspects of morality. I am not discussing vegetarianism. I will reiterate. This thread to me was not about vegetarianism.

I am pointing out the inconsistancy in the morality of championing the animal rights of animals that we eat, but ignoring the rights of another animal that we do not eat but discard as an inconvenient byproduct of the act of sexual copulation that will produce offspring.

You do not have to correct me with your superior intellect. I am well aware of farming developing quite recently. The point in my statement if you will look a bit closer is that farming did develop in our evolution and the point is relevant to the issue of morality of eating animals being discussed since we as humans tend to modify our morality for any reason to suit our own wants and wishes.

Sure, they can farm plants and they can make synthetic furs and fabrics for clothing. I'm not arguing with you about vegetarianism as a better way.
The question here is the morality of killing animals. I am stating the facts of why farming of animals exist. Men like the taste of meat and will kill to eat it and will pay someone to kill for them.

I do not ignore it. I view it the same way you see that babies don't have rights until they are born.
You can condone the abortion of babies and I'll eat animals. Either way we are killing life.
The morality question posed to me goes much deeper than sentient. It goes to sapient. I do not believe that animals are sapient. I do not believe fetuses are just animals nor do I believe that mankind is an animal in the sense of evolutionary progression on the food chain, though he may exhibit a more vicious pedatory instincts than any of the sentient beings we eat as animals.

Last edited: Mar 28, 2006
21. ### TW ScottMinister of TechnologyRegistered Senior Member

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Okay:

1: I mispoke myself it should read: I, almost every mammal on the planet, abhor the eating of my own kind.

2: Eating meat is only an Ethical issue if you believe it does. Like anything a belief is hard to change. It is also limiting and self defeating. A person rarely if ever sees past their own belief. They get so wrapped up in it that they will view anyone who doesn't have it to be morally bankrupt.

22. ### James RJust this guy, you know?Staff Member

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37,351
finewine:

You sound a little confused.

It seems to me that most vegetarians respect the rights of animals AND of human foetuses. They would not eat either of them.

On the other hand, most pro-life proponents are, strangely enough, meat eaters. While they march through the streets demanding rights for unborn children, at the same time they are quite happy to completely ignore the rights of animals not to be killed and eaten arbitrarily. To me, that seems hypocritical. If they say they respect life, then why is it not ALL life, but only human life (born or unborn)?

No vegetarian is advocating that we eat human foetuses, as far as I can see.

I very much doubt that it suffers "the same if not worse pain", especially before the point where it has a fully developed nervous system. But let's suppose it does. Then we have an argument for not killing foetuses AND not eating meat. You still haven't presented a good reason why it is ok to eat meat.

First, realise that it is not a blanket right. In the 3rd trimester of pregnancy, for example, abortions are very rare indeed, and in my opinion the unborn child has greater rights at that time than in the first trimester.

Second, realise that we need to balance (at least) two sets of rights here: the rights of the mother and the rights of the foetus itself. If the mother's rights win the battle, then the mother has the right to terminate the pregnancy. Right-to-lifers generally downplay the interests of the mother, making the interests of the foetus paramount in all situations.

Well, we could eat aborted foetuses, but I think you'll find that most people would find that a distasteful thing to do, for many reasons. I challenge you, in particular, to find a single vegetarian who will support your proposal.

I agree. Now, consider: do senior citizens have the same rights as adults? No. For example, adults are not entitled to discounts for certain things which are given to senior citizens.

Do adolescents have the same rights as adults? No. They are not allowed to vote, or drink or drive a car.

So, why do you assume that an unborn foetus should have all the rights of an adult, or a senior citizen?

The argument is very simple:

1. Animals can suffer.
2. It is wrong to inflict unnecessary suffering.
3. Meat production causes unnecessary suffering, and the premature end of an animal's life.
4. Therefore, meat eating is wrong.

Why is that? Because the cow may have a greater capacity for suffering than the foetus. It is conscious of its surroundings. It has no wish to die; on the contrary, it will make efforts to protect itself as best it can if somebody tries to kill it.

That's ok. I agree we should consider BOTH sets of rights. Agreed?

Morality is meaningless if it can be modified at the whim of the individual. It becomes indistinguishable from pure selfishness.

23. ### Electric_AshalarI've got my EYE on You.Registered Senior Member

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148
Food for thought...Lmao!
===================.
Scientists forecast meat grown on kitchen counter

Article QUOTE:
"Scientists are trying to develop an industrial process that grows meat tissue from a few cells in a lab – or even at home, in a device like a bread maker.

Jason Matheny, University of Maryland researcher.
Instead of being cut from a farm animal, the beef, pork or chicken would be grown in incubators from a few starter cells, a growth medium and some hormones to get the cells to divide..."

http://www.cbc.ca/story/news/national/2006/03/27/lab-meat-200602.html