Vegetarian's guide to talking to carnivores

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by James R, Aug 29, 2011.

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  1. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

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    Hey, I think Opossums are cute! I took five of them to the rescue people when their mom got hit by a car, and when I picked up the babies they all wrapped their little tails around my fingers....

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    AWWWW.

    Ok...A yam is apparently dioscorea genus...and is from Africa and or southeast Asia...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yam_(vegetable)

    However, sweet potatoes are ipomoea batata, and related to morning glories.
     
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  3. Enmos Staff Member

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    What you said is: "I'm sorry, I don't think a chicken or a cow has the same value as a human."
    I asked you why that is. So far your only argument has been "Because it's a chicken". Which is absolutely no argument at all.
    If you think it is an argument, please explain to me why.


    Come again?
    Me: "Nor do I. Funerals are for the living. As for crying uncontrollably (), I don't do that either but I do feel bad if I accidentally kill a living being."
    You: "An ant is a living being?"

    I'm not sure what you mean here. What has been my argument?

    No. Where did I demand that?

    Sure, but that is not the question. The question was why a chicken is of lesser value than a human.

    I am not ranting. I am merely asking you to support your claim and you are being obtuse.

    Nothing at all. Well, perhaps a meaningful answer..

    It is poultry because humans do not give them equal consideration. So that is not the reason either.

    You mean because they are not humans. Humans are animals too.

    Yeah, right..

    And what does it depend on how one treats a chicken?

    Excuse me? You are the one categorically missing points here.
    You don't answer questions and keep on claiming I said things I didn't say even though I told you a number of times that I didn't say them.

    So, according to you, the word 'being' is pretty much a synonym for 'human'?
    What you are saying here is, if I understand correctly, that as soon a something is worthy of being called a being it should also be granted human values (what do you mean by 'human values'?). However, you said this earlier:
    Should cats and dogs be granted 'human values'?

    And you remain a human.. :shrug:

    Yes, yes. A chicken is of lesser value than a human because it is a chicken.
    Then you could just as well say this: "Humans are more valuable than any other species because they are humans."

    It really does look like you have problems with reading and understanding writing.
    The analogy is meant to display how nonsensical the argument is.

    I keep expecting you to answer my question in a meaningful way:
    "Because it's a chicken" is not a meaningful answer.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2011
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  5. Bells Staff Member

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    So you are trying to "put a lid on it" by inserting yourself into this thread and bringing up a conflict that has absolutely nothing to do with this topic?

    That is not putting a "lid on it". This is you trying to inflame matters further and bringing up other members of this site who are not even participating in this thread to try to inflame it even more.

    And referring to members as children.. again..? Patronising much?

    Contrary to what you may believe, no one here considers the moderators or administrators to be 'Mom and Dad'. Least of all you. In short, stop trolling. I can assure you, you are not doing James any favours here.

    You actually need me to explain why "it's a chicken" Enmos?

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    Now, look at the image above then look at yourself in a mirror and ask yourself why I would consider you as having more value than that. If you cannot spot the difference between yourself and said image above, contact your physician immediately.

    No. It is poultry because it is poultry.

    If we gave them equal consideration, they would still continue to be poultry.

    While you may not consider animals to be animals, the scientific reality is that even if you name it, dress it, sleep with it or even date it and have sexual relations with it, does not make it human or have equal consideration. It will remain an animal.

    Because you seem to be applying an almost religious meaning to it. Or one of equal to yourself.

    I'm sorry, but I don't look at chickens and sing 'we are family'. You might and good for you. I do not.

    They already are.

    Which I do find somewhat disturbing, even from myself.

    Because by doing so, we expect them to conform to us and to our rules. Which goes against the nature of the animal in many instances.

    Correction.. Humans are more valuable to other humans because we are human.

    It is actually the only answer.
     
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  7. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    No, what you said suggests that only plants that have a detrimental effect on humans and human affairs, where as every definition I've encountered doesn't make it that exclusive - as I said, they're more likely to be categorized as pests, but it's not a pre-requisite.

    Really? Because the (simple) majority of the definitions that I looked at last night, and have looked at (including the definition I learnt studying Horticulure in highschool), are not worded so exclusively - a pest species is any destructive species.
     
  8. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    adoucette:

    My argument is that we ought to be consistent. A cow has as much interest in continuing its life as a human has. Same interest, so treat like as like. We don't allow humans to be killed and eaten, so why the double standard?

    So what? Nothing in that is a rebuttal to the arugment I've made.


    Anti-Flag:

    Not at all.

    Suppose you and I stand in front of 100 people and you say "I think all 100 should be killed" and I say "3 should be killed". Am I then just as much at fault as you? And we haven't sven started considering reasons at this stage of the proceedings.

    When in doubt, I'm happy to assume they are all equal. So, let's agree not to eat ants then, ok?

    Happy?

    Like quadraphonics, a little earlier in the thread, you are perhaps conflating two meanings of "equal". I don't think all animals are "equal" in terms of being "the same". That's a fairly obvious observation. On the other hand, I do think that animals should be given equal moral (and legal) consideration when they have equivalent interests.

    If all you're saying is that a cow is not the same as a human being, in terms of physical differences, then you're not saying anything particularly interesting or important, and you're also knocking down a straw man.

    What I have said is that a cow has an equal interest to a human being in continuing its existence, and therefore ought to have an equal right to continue said existence. If you won't go that far, then you ought to at least admit that a cow have some interest in continuing its own existence, even if that interest is "less important" or less worthy of considertion than the equivalent right of a human.

    At this stage, you say, I assume, that a cow has no interest at all in continuing its own existence, and therefore human beings are free to kill cows and eat them with no compunction.

    Not at all. It may be a bit out of date, admittedly.

    Meh. Join the complaint queue with the other disgruntled meat eaters.


    Tiassa:

    Thankyou for proving mine.

    Next!
     
  9. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Bells:

    To ignore my post #195 while continuing the same argument with Enmos is to bury your head in the sand. Just thought I'd let you know.

    Meanwhile....

    A black person is of lesser value than a white person and cannot (should not) be given equal consideration, because s/he is black.

    Same argument. (Not my argument, but an illustration of yours, in case you're inclined to misinterpret this again.)

    Ah, we wouldn't want to raise any false hopes or expectations of fair treatment, would we? It's like giving a slave hope of freedom. Can't have that. Keep them in their place, you say.

    Right. Not automatically. What we need to do is to consider the chicken's interests (in a moral sense) and to determine from those what is fair and just. In particular, we should not have clear double-standards between chickens and human beings where the interests of both are broadly equivalent.

    I responded in detail to this in post #195.

    You cannot in all honestly ignore that reply then reproduce nonsense like the above, pretending that you haven't been told.
     
  10. Bells Staff Member

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    I had explained to you why I would not discuss this with you in my previous response to you. Prime example.. again:

    "A black person is of lesser value than a white person and cannot (should not) be given equal consideration, because s/he is black.

    Same argument. (Not my argument, but an illustration of yours, in case you're inclined to misinterpret this again.)"


    I have explained in detail why I find such a comparison deeply offensive. And you keep repeating it over and over again. Because for some bizarre reason, you seem to equate racism and the treatment of blacks by whites to be akin or similar to my considering a chicken or a cow to be a chicken or a cow.

    If you are going to keep behaving in this offensive manner, I will PM the owners of this site and report you for continuing to offend by comparing my ancestors to farm animals.

    Is that clear enough?
     
  11. Enmos Staff Member

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    You know what Bells, forget it. There's going to be no end to this because you're being deliberately obtuse (I hope for your sake that it's deliberate).
     
  12. Enmos Staff Member

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    Ok, I see what you mean. I left out a word like 'especially' where most dictionaries include it.
     
  13. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Bells:

    Fine.

    Then let's not have any more silly claims from you that I am equating cows to black people and that kind of nonsense.

    No, and I have carefully explained this to you two or three times now, most recently in my eloquent and informative post #195, above.

    I have not compared your ancestors to farm animals.

    I have compared your speciesist attitude to animals to racism.
     
  14. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    The only people who don't have a speciesist attitude are cannibals. Everyone else lives on all other species but their own
     
  15. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    SAM:

    Please refer to post #236, above, where I addressed that claim.
     
  16. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    You said:
    If that is so, it is only applicable to human beings because designations of superiority or inferiority do not bother the rest of the biosphere. Whether the leopard kills for fun or food he is not occupied in dissecting how inferior his prey is or how superior he is in comparison.

    This is a paternalistic approach and by limiting it only to "those like us" ie animals whose sentience you comprehend vs plants or plankton or algae whose life processes you don't, you fall prey to the same kind of prejudices which you abhor as speciesism. The farmer kills vermin to protect his crops. He also weeds out dandelions and uses insecticides to protect his "production" - all of these practices go into protecting the food sources of vegetarians. Now, if a farmer has to choose between exterminating a rabbit and disposing of it or eating it, which would be the less wasteful approach?

    Similarly, protected reserves have periods of limited hunting. This is because of the imbalance in predator prey due to human encroachment on forested lands. If the choice is between hunting animals to control their populations or allowing them to grow unchecked in an environment where human encroachment has made the land unsustainable, what would your advice be regarding the disposal or feeding of these animals?


    In her book, Lierre Keith asks:

    Its not sufficient to just look at the dead animal on the dish. There is far more involved in food production than just the food sources of the animal. If you look at only the cow, or the goat, or the sheep or the chicken and ignore all the other animals/plants/organisms who weren't eaten but were still killed, that is a myopic way of viewing vegetarianism.

    One of the more speciesistic acts of human beings is their removal from the food chain - whether by using weapons against predators, by burying/incinerating corpses rather than leaving them for scavengers or microorganisms or simply by delimiting the space allocated to their predators. So it is that due to guns, we are no longer food for the lion or the grizzly except under unfortunate circumstances. How should we tackle this form of speciesism?

    Re: your assertions about "equal consideration" are you willing to contribute human beings to the ecological food chain of carnivorous predators? If not, why not?
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011
  17. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    SAM:

    It's nice to get a thoughtful post from you once in a while.

    Yes. All the time I have been talking about speciesism here, it has been about human attitudes. We are, after all, talking about humans making a choice to eat meat or not.

    It's not that I don't comprehend plant sentience. It is that there is no evidence, as far as I am aware, that plants are sentient. By "sentient", I mean consciously perceiving - in particular consciously perceiving pain and suffering. Both the consciousness and the perceiving are required.

    ... and meat eaters alike.

    Wasteful for whom or what? The method of disposal might be relevant, too.

    The issue in the current thread, by the way, is primarily about choosing to raise and kill animals solely for food. This is a choice. It is not, for the most part, a trade-off between two evils.

    The base problem here seems to be that these "preserves" are not ecologically balanced, which is most likely due to human activities in the first place. If some animals grow unchecked then they probably don't have their natural predators present in their environment. My advice, therefore, might well be to reintroduce the natural predators of the "pest" animals.

    I agree.

    You appear to be using the term "speciesism" in a way that I am not.

    I read somewhere (perhaps in one of those reviews of Leirre Keith's book) that the very term "food chain" is a paternalistic one. All animals live in ecosystems. Even carnivorous predators are the prey or food of other animals and organisms. When they die, they are scavenged, or else they rot and their remains return to the environment. They often have tiny parasites that can kill them. Humans are no exception.

    But I'm not sure why you think that we need to tackle the "problem" of human guns and techological superiority over, say, lions. Could you perhaps elaborate on exactly what the "problem" is that you feel needs addressing?

    Maybe we should round up some Christians and reintroduce the ancient practice of feeding them to the lions, you mean?

    Obviously, I'm against killing human beings specifically in order to feed them to non-human animals, for exactly the same reasons that I'm against killing non-human animals to feed them to human beings. I can't see much objection to contributing already-dead human beings to the ecological food chain, but that's where they all end up anyway in the long term. Maybe we could speed up the process a little... :shrug:
     
  18. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    ALL my posts are thoughtful, even the ones which appear flippant!


    So basically we are adopting a moralistic attitude about human choice by claiming that those who do not make certain choices are deficient in some ways.

    The question is not whether or not you comprehend plant sentience. The question is that you draw a line between those "like us" in certain ways as being more deserving than those "not like us" - the line is based on subjectively attached morals and values which by default put those on a superior hierarchy vs The Others.
    Meat eaters are not - last I checked - arguing the morality of dandelions vs rabbit vs locust and defending ONLY rabbits based on sentience.


    It is if you ignore the fact that raising grains can wipe out ecosystems and convert topsoil to desert.

    Again from Keith's book:


    And what happens if the predators thrive too well and decide to extend their feeding grounds? e.g. the black bear stalks and hunts its prey and unlike the grizzly, it hunts for fun. Once it becomes a man eater, it is shot and killed because it will then forever stalk and kill any human it scents. How should we deal with such predators, vis a vis equal consideration?

    I'm using the term speciesism in the meaning of human beings being more valuable or superior to non-humans. i.e. we shoot and kill predators who prey on human beings while we do not attach the same commitment to the lives of lesser prey [no one has been shot and killed even for killing an animal on the endangered species list, for example]


    Correct. But we immunise humans and those animals that we value against infestation and infection. We generally bury our dead and "waste the meat" rather than feed it to other animals as we do for animals who are vermin, prey or food sources.
    Yes, I am addressing the question of "equal consideration". I noticed that all your equal consideration is focused on animals on whom human beings prey and not on animals who prey on human beings.

    Would you support such a consideration?

    Then what is your solution to the feeding of predators? Where should they be located? Should we set them loose in human habitats and allow them to survive and adapt to their adopted habitat? As equal consideration?
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011
  19. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    If you can't see the inate difference between a human and a cow then there is nothing I or anyone in this thread can do to educate you.

    The difference though is the laws of every country in the world agree that there is an inate difference and that they SHOULD be treated differently.

    Arthur
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011
  20. Anti-Flag Pun intended Registered Senior Member

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  21. Anti-Flag Pun intended Registered Senior Member

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    It's about the difference between a cow and an ant in James' theory. He seems to believe that well enough!
     
  22. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    It's seriously funny to see many of the same people here who used to go off on that Norsefire guy over the matter of the meaning of "equality" in certain contexts, and here they are sounding exactly like that Norsefire guy--that is to say, they sound as though they are genuinely ignorant of, you know, basic shit like words having slightly different meanings in different contexts or they're simply being deliberately obtuse for reasons not entirely clear to me.

    For fuck's sake, people, this thread is a fucking joke and it's hardly even entertaining anymore--do somethin' about that!

    And @ SAM: you're quoting a primitivist? Seriously? I mean, I'm all about that, but I didn't realize that you were. So what say we go out and blow up some dams, and, uh, maybe some tall buildings together.

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    Edit: Ah, I see from the other thread that you just bought the book--I gather that you're not all that familiar with Keith's politics then? I'm guessin' that you're not likely to cotton to them--and the book's got some major flaws as well. Could have used a few proper editors and fact checkers.
     
  23. Gustav Banned Banned

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    i like that
    james is the martin luther king of cows
    if blacks get to have civil rights, why not cows?
     
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