Why are animal rights suporters so intolerant?

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Fenrisulven, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. Enmos Valued Senior Member


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    Ok then, forget it.
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  3. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    I get what you meant, or, at least I think I did.

    You said.

    "It is not alright to kill or hurt any animal unless it is out of direct physical defense where there is no reasonable alternative, or to prevent one self from starving to death when there is no reasonable alternative."

    I think:

    "It is not alright to kill or hurt any animal unless it is out of direct physical defense where there is no reasonable alternative, or as a food source, or source of nourishment."

    While, arguably, the fishing industry is killing as a source of food, an individual doing it on their own behalf should never take more then they reasonably need, ostensibly that's a different issue though.

    if you kill, don't waste - otherwise you're arguably killing for sport.
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  5. MetaKron Registered Senior Member

    People need their houses and cars. These are not optional. Going back to the 16th century is not an option, either, and producing more food than you can eat, and selling it, means that other people can pursue other goals. They need to learn to appreciate this fact.
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    As a matter of fact, cutting grass doesn't kill it. It keeps growing. But let's concentrate on the animals that we know are conscious, can feel and express pain, and have some idea of themselves as beings whose lives will continue into the future.

    But your food does not require killing of sentient creatures. You simply make a choice to eat those kinds of foods that involve needless killing. When it comes down to it, the only reasons you eat those foods are because you enjoy them and/or because they are convenient and easy for you. The interests of the animals involve just don't enter the equation for you at the point of killing.

    So, you would consider it ok to kill another human being to eat, then, would you? Provided that you wanted sustenance, of course.

    The cheetah has no choice. You do.

    [enc]Appeal to nature[/enc]

    This statement makes no sense as far as I can tell. "Right" and "wrong" are moral terms. Perhaps you can explain what you mean.

    You eat meat because you're allergic to most vegetables? So, essentially what you're claiming is that unless you eat meat you'll starve.

    That may put you in a special position as a human being, akin to a cat or cheetah. You apparently have special health needs that are very uncommon (in fact, I've never heard of anybody else who is allergic to all vegetables).

    But you will agree that the vast majority of humans are not allergic to vegetables, and therefore have no reason like yours to eat meat. Right?

    Are you claiming that if a person wants to do something (anything), then it is just fine to do so? Surely not.

    This is probably a separate topic. If what you say is true, though, that suggests we should all become vegan.

    A battery farm is still a battery farm, even if its cages are slightly larger. Animals still live out their shortened lives never seeing the light of day, never being able to run around, etc.

    Yes, I eat dairy products. I am not a vegan.

    However you look at it, my environmental impact is still less than somebody who eats dairy products and meat.

    Many areas are suffering significantly from over-fishing. But it is actually irrelevant to the moral issue as to how many animals exist anyway, if we accept that animals have [enc]intrinsic value[/enc].

    Do you know why there are so many? Answer: human beings breed them for no other reason than to eat them. They live drastically shortened lives, often in conditions that make their lives a misery from start to finish.
  8. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    It seems you've missed some of the previous debates on this topic. You might want to read this to know where I'm coming from:

    [enc]Equal consideration[/enc].
  9. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    Arguably, this is a distraction. While it may be true that the grass that remains is not killed, the grass that is removed is, in the same way that were I to amputate an individuals limb, while the individual may continue living, the severed limb does not.

    While the specific example might not have been the best, my point remains the same. In order to eat vegetable material, we must still kill all, or part of plant.

    Consider this: If I were to remove from a chicken, only the part of the chicken that I required to eat (for example, removing a single drumstick from a chicken) would that not be presented as an act of cruelty?

    My point was that, to me at least, the distinction between killing an animal and killing a plant seems arbitrary. Killing is killing, and if killing an animal is immoral, how is killing a plant any different?

    At what level do you draw the line? To me no matter what place you draw the line, it's still arbitrary, and still represents a double standard.

    For example, your description would appear to be referring to Phylum chordata (at first glance), but then Hydra, which have no centralized nervous system, respond to stimuli in a manner that could be interpreted as pain.

    So where then, Sub kingdom Eumeatoza? Everything except sponges? Or shall we extend Sponges the same rights that you would extend a HUman being?

    No, I eat meat to ensure I get the appropriate nutrients.

    There's a certain nutritional argument that could be made in favour of Human flesh (the Human body does, after all, contain all of the nutrients required to sustain the human body (bio availability is another issue).

    Besides, you're mis representing my position. At no point have I said that I could bring my self to kill, gut, and process a human being. In fact, in all honesty, I doubt I could bring myself to kill another human being, so were human flesh available to purchase, I wouldn't, for that precise reason (and the values i've already espoused on this thread).

    This is related to what I said further down - but in essence, you're assuming that we do actually have a choice, and this assumption is based in a given morality set, and ultimately this boils down to nature versus nuture.

    Not intrinsically, and not intentionally. I was simply drawing a comparisson (perhaps I could have made that clearer) At this point i'm going to appeal to my posting history, and make the point that typically relying on, or resorting to logical fallacies is not something I ordinarily do.

    In this case, it was intended (more or less) as an analogy. I'm not saying that all human beings must eat meat, on the contrary, I would hope that you've gathered from my posts that I would encourage any individual to make an informed choice - do that tour through a slaughter house, preferably, do the deed yourself at least once, and if you can't stomach the idea of eating meat after that, then you shouldn't be. Part of my point was that, from the point of view of Ontogeny (and therefore evolution), and by analogy with our nearest living relatives, we have, at some point, had to rely on the consumption of meat, either as a primary or supplementary food source.

    Then again, comparing the behaviour of the Bonobos Chimpanzies to the rest of the Chimpanzie population.

    Suddenly i'm not sure I can, it made sense at the time, but, in essence, even people regarded as being immoral, still have some personal moral ethics (they might not be recognizable as such by the population at large). I suppose, for lack of a better way of putting it, your moral ethics are only more right then mine within the framework of your moral ethics.

    You are (essentially) stating that because killing a human being is morally wrong, then by extension killing an animal must also be wrong.

    My point is essentially the opposing stance. Moral ethics is purely a construction of H. sapiens, something that we have imposed upon the world at large, we regard the killing of a Gazelle by a Cheetah as being amoral, just as we consider the killing of a Cheetah by another Cheetah as part of a territorial debate (for example) or a tiger killing a human also as being amoral.

    By extension why should a member of H. sapiens killing any other species (including it's own) be regarded as anything other than amoral? That stance is a purely emotive one, it has no (IMO) rational basis, it takes it's roots in the fact that we (ultimately) share an emotive link with other human beings, we by in large value their existence, this, combined with the fact that we consider ourselves aware of the choices we make combines to make it different in our minds, but from a strictly logical perspective, there is no difference, one way or the other.

    I believe that without the choice of eatin meat, my health might suffer yes. I don't know if I would say that i'm allergic to most vegetables, but I am allergic to groups of vegetables (without going into details, I am allergic to, for example, the group that includes deadly nightshade, potatoes, and tomatoes - something that is consistent with allergies to natural latex, and I tend to react badly to latex based surgical tapes).

    I suspect it's more common then you realize (I also happen to known someone who can not metabolize a spefic protein, or amino acid, I forget which).

    And note that I didn't say that I was allergic to all vegetables, just that I was allergic to many (Technically a strawman fallacy, but i'll let it slide).

    The most common food based allergy (as I understand it, and at least here anyway, it's on the rise) is Wheat allergy/Gluten intolerance.


    But one could also draw analogies with the rest of the animal kingdom, and again, we come back to the only difference being that we're aware of the existence of a choice - or we believe that we're aware of it.

    To some extent, yes, actually, that's exactly what i'm claiming. I happen to believe that the basically, Human rights boils down to "You have the right to do what you want, as long as it doesn't impinge on someone elses right to do what they want."

    For example - you have the right to drive on the wrong side of the road, as long as it doesn't impinge on another drivers right to drive on the correct side of the road.

    I'll admit, that to some extent, this represents a substantial simplification, but then again, to some extent, it's the logical final result of equal consideration.

    A dairy farm has exactly the same methane production capacity as a beef farm (possibly more so, I don't recall exactly, but I seem to recall comoing across something that indicated that generally dairy farming is more intensive then beef farming, plus on top of that there's effluent management, dairy effluent has similar sorts of NPK ratings to Urea (although dairy effluent typically has more Potassium, which can result in toxicity problems).

    Here's a government publication: http://www.trc.govt.nz/environment/land/darying environment/effluent/2.pdf it's a 4.5 meg pdf that discusses the land application of dairy effluent (as opposed to dumping it in a waterway, which used to be the accepted practice - it's the level of government I work at, just a different part of the country).

    I don't have a link to the specific regs, however, my understanding is that they require enough space to run around in, and natural sunlight.

    I don't eat dairy products primarily because (on top of everything else) i'm Lactose intolerant.

    I agree, and I agree that this is as a result of profit taking, and that in these instances, they could have been managed better.

    If you recall it wasn't me that raised that point - somebody else bought up the point that it was wrong for humans to kill for food because Humans out numbered the animal species involved, I was simply countering that point.

    I'm well aware of why there are so many, but again, this is beside the point that I was countering - that humans killing for food is wrong because we outnumber the animals.

    But I also disagree with this statement, because a well run farm should ensure the well being, saftey and comfort of those animals.

    Don't take me wrong though - one of the points taht I have tried to make is that killing humans is only morally wrong from a certain moral standpoint (Typically, but not exclusively a european one).

    To reiterate - what i'm advocating is probably much the same thing that you are - making an informed choice, thinking of a steak as having formerly been a cow, another living being, and understanding what's involved in turning that cow into a steak, and not simply regarding a steak as being something that comes from a plastic wrapper in a freezer.

    Eating meat as a conscious, deliberate choice, rather simply doing it because it's what you like to do, or what you've always done.

    I'm also questioning what seems (to me) like an arbitrary choice, based on what, Phyllum? Kingdom? Because to me, killing is killing, period, irrespective of whether your killing an animal or a plant.

    The only difference is the level of similarity - we feel an emotive response to the idea of harming something that displays similar traits and responses to us (techincally a form of Anthropomorphism I believe).

    Finally, I'm stating that I do not judge people for choosing not to eat meat, or choosing to consume dairy products. So i'm asking not to be judged for what is, ostensibly on my part, a fully informed and conscious decision (or as fully informed as I have been able to make).

    Heh, I hope that speil makes sense.
  10. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    I understand the conept, and I would argue that my stance involves extending the concept as broadly and completely as possible. I've simply approached the idea from a different angle.
  11. Dr Hannibal Lecter Gentleman and Cannibal. Registered Senior Member

    If the average human is justified in eating pigs then I am justified in eating the average human.
  12. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    If you are justified in eating the avergae human, then the average human is justified in feeding you to pigs.
  13. MetaKron Registered Senior Member

    It has not been proven to me that I have any choice but to eat some meat. It has been proven that I can be permanently damaged by a vegetarian or vegan diet before I know it. Morality doesn't care about science unless science is on the side of the morality. This destroys the science of it.
  14. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    It occured to me this morning while I was getting ready for work - the presence of 'meating eating' teeth doesn't neccessarily imply an evolutionary imperative to eat meat.

    I will conceed (to James R) that similar forms could also arise from an evolutionary imperative to diversify the types of vegetable matter consumed, after all, teeth that are ostensibly for cutting and tearing animal flesh, are also useful for tasks such as removing the flesh of certain fruits or vegetables (for example corn) and for seperating and parting fibrous husks (especially if you have dextrous hands, but no substantial claws).
  15. MetaKron Registered Senior Member

    What do herbivore teeth look like again?
  16. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    In refference to the comment that I made earlier.

    A Dairy farm requires more water to operate than a beef farm does, so on top of the Methane emissions, and the, lets farse it, sparce excreta (and the associated leaching of nutrients) on a dairy farm you have increased irrigation of water, and water consumption then compared to a beef farm, and twice a day the entire herd spends its time concentrated in the same 100 odd square meters (IE - the space that the milking shed and feed pad occupy), plus on top of that, you've got the 50 l per cow, per milking of wash down water which is going to be contaminated with Bovine excreta (and used to be discharged straight into water ways).

    One of the key differences being that Beef farms generally farm bulls and steers, where as dairy farms farm cows. And if you think about it, every litre of milk you consume represents a litre of bodily fluids lost by the cow, so for every litre of milk the cow produces, it needs to drink a litre of water ON TOP OF the water the cow would ordinarily have to drink in order to replace that excreeted as urine or sweat.
  17. MetaKron Registered Senior Member

    But don't you know that it doesn't make a difference to animal rights activists if they are right or wrong about these things? They hate their own species and that justifies lying, swindling, and junk science, so even when they're wrong they're right.
  18. heliocentric Registered Senior Member

    Most human beings (meat eaters and vegetarians alike) tend to draw the moral line at things which look they either could, or do, experience pain.

    If you think that's a double standard then picking up on vegetarians in itself is completely arbitrary. Youd be just as well off taking issue with western governments for having animal welfare acts (which almost all do at this point) and not 'plant welfare acts'.
    I think to really engage with questions like these you always need to bring the question right back to why we're moral in the first place (recognition of the capacity to experience pain in the first place imo). Otherwise youre just subjecting yourself to a never-ending tangled web of false analogies and erroneously perceived hypocrisy.

    But vegetarians don't base their philosophy on the idea that killing is 'intrinsically bad'. Rather that needless suffering is 'inherently immoral'.
    So the concept of animal rights only appears arbitrary to you because youve failed to recognise the grounds upon which its based.

    Its like if i only enjoy watching football teams who wear red shirts - if you observed all the matches i attended week in week out, without detailed knowledge of the basic rule that governs my behaviour, youd assume i was just picking different teams to watch each week almost at random.
    But, as soon as you understand the general rule that im following, it doesn't take long to see that im actually basing my decisions on very consistent and continuous premises.

    Basic physiology actually. Google the 'fear response' for a quick and easy example, all mammals tend to react to threatening stimuli in the same way - taught muscles, dilated pupils, hair stood on its end (etc).
    Its a huge mistake to think that recognising similar traits in other mammals is just wishful thinking or 'anthropomorphism', its an unavoidable scientific fact.
    Even Darwin stated that humans and animals are only different 'by degree', we're actually nowhere near as distinct from the rest of the animal kingdom as people tend to believe.

    Anyway sorry to butt in. Carry on..
  19. MetaKron Registered Senior Member

    Who decides what suffering is "needless"?
  20. heliocentric Registered Senior Member

    In the context of human behaviour; humanbeings.
  21. MetaKron Registered Senior Member

    We'd better carefully pick which human beings we allow to decide this. The AR people have a habit of killing off people's pets and claiming that this eliminates needless suffering.
  22. Enmos Valued Senior Member

    I think you are sick.. get yourself checked out.
  23. MetaKron Registered Senior Member

    That response is not very convincing. You should work on it.


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