Vegetarian's guide to talking to carnivores

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

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  1. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

    so james what do you think of that?

    organic meat better for the enviroment than a vegitible diet?
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  3. Gustav Banned Banned


    james? is it only when living things are unable to express their "displeasure" at being eaten in a manner that satisfies your seemingly arbitrary, moral aesthetic, that you condone its killing and consumption?

    could you elaborate on why plants, clearly alive and "interested" in perpetuating itself, ends up on your plate?

    i do see this.....

    how would you like plants to communicate their sentience to you in order to pass your test of consciousness? what behaviors do they have to exhibit in order to demonstrate your "consciously perceiving"?
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  5. Gustav Banned Banned


    i thought his focus was the ethical argument as evinced from this bit of hilarious braggadocio

    there is nothing scientific or logically consistent about an poorly rationalized aesthetic
    please move this thread to pseudoscience
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2011
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  7. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    I know, this is one of the points I have been trying to make that largely seems to have gone unheeded, for the most part at least. By far and away though, dairying tends to be the most destructive practice.

    There in lies another rub, doing anything else with that land - the desolate backwoods ranches, as you call them, would require huge amounts of water for irrigation, and so any environmental impact assessment would have to take that into account.

    I don't have any figures (aside from water quality impact, because that's like... my job) at my fingertips, but I do know that there was something of a hue and a cry a while ago, because the UK market has a carbon miles tax on it, or something similar (I forget what it's called, precisely) so the price of NZ Beef and Lamb (in the UK) went up by some ridiculous amount as a reflection of the fact that where London is GMT +00:00 Auckland is GMT +12:00. I've always said it was a mistake on the part of the New Zealand Government to focus so much time and effort on getting into the European and US markets, and that they needed to focus on growing the Asia-Pacific region, but what do I know, I'm just an environMENTAL chemist

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    Quite, and this is one of the other points I have endeavoured to allude to, with varying degrees of success and dismay from the vegie patch.
  8. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    Actually more complicated than that.

    I read somewhere our farming methods are so carbon-intensive it was actually more ecologically friendly to eat New Zealand apples than ones grown the same article it said French wine is more eco-friendly east of the Mississippi compared to California wines.
    (Din't say anything 'bout Texas wines!)


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    If I find stuff grown in my state it's often the best deal for the money...but have you seen how big Texas is?
    I think we could fit five or six New Zealands in here...

    I understand much of our tomato occurs in Mexico, because of the crackdown on immigration in part.
  9. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

  10. Emil Valued Senior Member

    And if I claim that plants destroy the atmosphere?
  11. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    But if you <insert food source=human being> than you suddenly don't think it's ok. Do you?

    So let's start with why you don't eat human beings. After all, something has to die for you to eat. So, why not a human being?

    You say eating is not a moral argument. But isn't it a moral argument to say "Human beings should not eat other human beings"? Or do you base that decision purely on health grounds, or something else?

    I completely and utterly disagree with you that all food sources are equivalent. And unless you are a cannibal, I don't think you actually hold that position yourself.

    So, if somebody else decides they want to be a cannibal and kill other humans for food, then that's just fine with you? After all, they have their PERSONAL reasons for eating some foods. Morality doesn't come into it. Or does it?

    And so human = food is no different. Right?
  12. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    I've changed my mind on this issue at least once already in my life. How many times have you changed yours?

    I'm not sure about what clams or shrimp think about death, adoucette. To tell you the truth, I'm not sure about the brain capacity of a claim or a shrimp, or even about its ability to feel pain. Although, I do think I've seen images of divers cutting clams and they do appear to react in a way that suggests they feel pain.

    Given the doubt, it's probably safest to take the moral high road and not eat clams or shrimp.

    Have you checked them all? I must say I'm impressed by your diligence, adoucette.

    Laws have been wrong in the past, and some are wrong now. You used to have laws that said slavery was hunky dory. Remember? Or, take segregation. Or that there was no rape in marriage. Or ... well, you should be able to find plenty of other examples.

    That's the Appeal to Nature fallacy again.

    Your argument is that because we can eat meat - more specially, because we evolved to be able to eat meat - we should eat meat. Or, to put it another way, it is morally good to eat meat because it's natural to do so.

    The fallacy lies in the assumption that everything that is natural is good. I have elaborated on this elsewhere, but you can find further explanation in many places on the web. Look it up.
  13. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    well, I wouldn't eat people because its illegal (just like eating a panda)
    But if I were hungry enough and my kids were starving, I'd eat a person. Couldn't kill the person, but I'd eat one
  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    I'm not sure where you're getting that from.

    Where, exactly, did I say that killing and suffering doesn't concern me one iota?

    Oh, that's right. I didn't.

    Great! Where can I find the dealing and debunking, exactly? Link to the most relevant post, please.

    You have no answer to this simple question? That's so telling. It really speaks volumes.

    Ok. I'll take your word for it. Sounds like a positive development.

    Please link me ONE plausible source that says that the world has never been 50% vegetarian. Because I have one that says it was, and only 25 years ago or so.

    Because cows are just like robots, really, I suppose. It's not as if a cow could ever want anything or enjoy anything or perceive anything or - heaven forbid - think anything.

    Even to suggest such a thing is low. It's as if cows were more than mere machines or automatons, and as Anti-Flag knows that's all they are in fact.
  15. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    I explained earlier.

    A carrot does not have a central nervous system. It does not feel pain. It does not conceive of itself as a lifeform that is ongoing in time. It has no sense of a future. It has no desires. It has no brain. It is not conscious. etc.

    Yes, but you must consider each morally significant issue on its own. You can't have a blanket rule like "All cows have no rights, because they are not human". A right is a recognition of an interest. Therefore, the sensible thing to do is to accord equal rights where there are equivalent interests.

    In particular, a cow and human being have an equivalent interest in not being arbitrarily killed and eaten.

    No. See my reply earlier in the thread to quadraphonics on this point (and probably also below, when I next get to it).

    Please post three of them, and tell me which ones made you a vegetarian.
  16. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    I'd probably eat the pig, because the others probably won't make it to civilisation without me, the kid is probably somebody I know or have taken on responsibility for and the camel is our mode of transport which will maximise our chances of survival as a group. Being a life-or-death situation, this is an unfortunate choice to have to make.
  17. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    If I have no choice but to eat meat or a plant, then I'll choose the plant. It's the lesser of two evils, given your assumptions.

    Do you have any grounds for that, or are you just trolling?
  18. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    I haven't discussed that "fundamental difference" anywhere in this thread, as far as I can recall. So you can hardly comment on what I do or do not recognise in this regard.

    But don't let that stop you making stuff up.

    You haven't explained how these relationships are morally relevant. Since the issue hasn't been discussed, you're in no position to say I have overlooked it.

    But don't let that stop you making stuff up.

    The second premise here is a straw-man version of what I said. Here, you try to paint me as arguing that cows and black people are generally interchangeable in any argument about anything, for any purpose. My real point, however, involved a specific comparison between racism and speciesism.

    For further elaboration on this point, see earlier in the thread. I have been crystal clear about this many times by now. Your wilful blindness cannot save you.

    But don't let that stop you making stuff up.

    Yeah, I'm recognising your irrationality and hatred more and more as time goes on.

    You'd like people to thinking you were ROFLing to yourself, wouldn't you? But you know, and I know, that you very much aren't.
  19. X-Man2 We're under no illusions. Registered Senior Member

    Lets just grow crops using soil-less techniques and grow our meat in a petri dish,then and only then can we all be content.

    Nothing new but still cool video,hydroponics:
  20. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Not personally, no. But my dietary preferences are guided both by religious and cultural conditioning. However, there are plenty of human beings throughout history who do not make the distinction between human and food, so its a personal preference. A human being to me is what a potato is to a Jain - taboo food. However, even my religion says that if nothing else is available there are no taboos that should impede survival so if I was stuck on the Alps with my dead co-passengers in the crashed plane, they might start looking pretty much like steak and potatoes to me.

    Then you're ignoring the fact that there are several human communities where eating human beings or products of their bodies is not taboo.

    Sure, I saw a documentary the other day about some tribe that hangs up their dead over fire and melts their body fat in a slow process. The dead are "honoured" by selected tribe members then consuming leaves dipped in the mixture they wipe off the corpse.

    Is that immoral? Not according to them.

    Yup - and since we're avoiding speciasism, if you don't think a human beings can be food, try jumping into a river with hungry crocodiles and convince them they are better off as vegetarians.
  21. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    No. I directly addressed that point, in detail. See above.


    The problem is the word "inferior". From your example, it would be reasonable in the absence of contradictory evidence to conclude that black people are in fact inferior to white people in terms of "doing better". What is not justified is the conclusion that black people are inferior in every way to white people, or in all ways that are considered "important" under some set of criteria.

    It's not racist to say that, on average, white people enjoy a higher standard of living when compared to black people. That's a statement supportable by reasoned, factual evidence.

    Not at all.

    If you read back in this thread, you'll see that where arguments have been presented about differences between species I have addressed them directly. It is only where people have said that humans ought to get special treatment just because they are human that I've raised the issue of speciesism. And in all such cases, I have invited the poster concerned to come up with a better justification. Only a few have even attempted that. Most have chosen to stick their heads in the sand.

    That's why I have been so careful to ask probing questions to try to get people to clearly express their reasons and not just their prejudices. What I have found, mostly, is that people either don't have reasons or else they use flawed reasoning to justify their meat eating. You can find numerous examples above.

    That's why in the end we must examine the supposedly supporting arguments so carefully. Name-calling won't resolve the issues. It takes a lot of patience, believe me, but fortunately I'm up to the task on this particular issue because I have a good acquaintance with all the usual supporting arguments.

    Suppose that we can convince people that killing and eating cows is morally wrong. Just cows for now, not sheep and pigs and fish. I don't think the millions of cows that would avoid being needlessly killed and eaten would "quibble" about that, though you might.

    A similar argument: we ought not to even discuss whether to introduce gay marriage laws, because gay people will only ever be a minority of the population. Most of the people who want to marry can marry already, and we're only "quibbling" at the edges by arguing for inclusion of another small(ish) group. So, we're better off just going with the status quo. It's all just too hard and not worth effort (for heterosexuals, in particular).

    The age at which a particular child, or children in general, are capable and equipped to drive is not self-evident to me. Perhaps it is to you. I think that this is a matter that needs to be (and has been) argued out. "They shouldn't drive just because they are children" is prejudice.

    You ought to explain this point to the many meat-eaters arguing in this thread, who are constantly accusing me of taking the position that, for example, a cow is equal to a human being (in every respect, presumably). I, like you, thought it was a simple enough point, but apparently for many it is not.

    I am capable of and willing to provide detailed reasoning as to why a chicken should not vote in an election or hold a driver's licence, if required. In fact, I think I have even had to go to the extent of actually making such an argument for an apparently-confused meat eater earlier in this thread.

    In comparison, when I have asked some of the meat eaters here what facts morally distinguish the right of a human not be to killed and eaten from the rights of a chicken or a cow (or, more accurately, the fact that apparently they have no such right at all), not only have the meat eaters not felt the need to give a reason, but when pushed they have been totally unable to give one that stands up to scrutiny. Some of them have even struggled on much easier questions of distinctions between animals and human beings - ones that no doubt you and I would not normally feel require a detailed explanation.

    It's really not my fault if other participants argue poorly. Am I supposed to argue both sides of the issue? Am I supposed to do their work for them?

    I really wish that some of them would spend 30 seconds on Google and produce something at least moderately coherent on the topic.

    What I seem to get instead is mostly accusations that I'm clinically insane and/or a zealot with a special type of religious belief and/or that I'm a troll for daring to raise a moral question that some people feel uncomfortable about.

    I'd venture that most people come to their moral opinions via an emotional route rather than a reasoned one. Sometimes they become aware of an issue via reasoned arguments, but to actually change your own views in the area of morality requires more commitment than just an intellectual one, I think.

    I always think of the quote (don't know who said it) that goes along the lines of: you can't argue somebody out of a position that they haven't been argued into.

    Many people adopt stances on moral issues without any critical thought at all. Call that prejudice or gut feeling or whatever. Smart people, especially those who strive for harmony and consistency in their views and opinions, then often do go on to marshall justifications. The best are also open to changing their minds if the justifications they find don't pass muster. And they try to avoid confirmation bias as far as possible.

    I hope that, however I arrived at my views on vegetarianism, they are now solidly grounded in valid, reasoned justifications, and that I'm somewhat past the point of "uncritical prejudice". I'm content to let intelligent readers judge that for themselves.

    Oops! There you go again. Why does every post of yours have to end with a petty personal attack? You often start off so well, but after a while it's as if you just can't contain yourself any more. Of course, I have noted your snide remarks scattered at various points throughout your post. I choose to rise above those, for the most part.

    I don't actually give plants zero moral value, and I'm not sure if I'd consider every plant to be inferior to every animal either.

    You'll probably need to be more specific. But, I'm afraid you might be disappointed if I don't have a single awe-inspiring fact that will make this issue a no-brainer for you. Some things are inherently complicated.

    What, specifically, do you want to know about my "manifold moral inequality relations"? Which ones in particular are you referring to?
  22. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    I think that if it is true (which is a big "if") then it might still not outweigh moral considerations involved in killing and eating animals. After all, animals are also part of the environment.
  23. leopold Valued Senior Member

    in the case of chicken farms here in indiana the above quote is 100% wrong.
    the main diet of these birds is locally grown crushed corn.
    although this isn't 100% wrong it IS misleading.
    there is no lagoon associated with the local farms, it is stored inside the chicken houses or more appropriately warehouses. when full it is trucked off somewhere (don't know where).
    the stench from chicken farms is practically nonexistent.

    i know about chicken farms because we have 3 of them here locally, i used to work at one of them.
    they sell eggs and chickens by the semi load, an 18 wheeler.

    for anyone wishing some info about these local farms,
    i must point out that there is no such thing as a "free range" chicken on these farms.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2011
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