Mar 20, 2009

Live Vegetables vs Dead Animals * Vegan Biology 101

Biology 101
Animal - Vegetable - Mineral
In response to: "Yeah, but you kill vegetables."
Rocks and Minerals are not alive - they do not feel pain. Vegetables live and grow - but lack a central nervous system. They do not feel "pain" nor can they suffer... However, animals are made of tissue, organs, blood, nerves, senory receptors and neurons which transmit physical experiences.

But you don't have to be a genius to know all this... it's quite simple: In other words... if I cut the pepper... it will not hurt the pepper... The only reason I may need a bandaid - is if I accidentally injure myself. Are you with me? And even though this pepper has been cut, removing it's very core and "heart" did not cause it to suffer... But the cow heart... came from an animal... And like all animals was capable of being hurt. Removing parts of animals causes them pain and death. Now, to make it clearer for those who still might have difficulty grasping this: Ask a child... or anyone who wishes to avoid causing harm... Who's more likely to go "ouch!" if you remove his body parts? This guy: Or this one? The best of science (and common sense) tells us that veggies don't feel pain. Therefore causing no pain or suffering, we can indulge to our optimal health and pleasure, on a plant based vegan diet.

50 comments:

~~ KLEM ~~ said...

I like this post. I get a lot of questions about what I eat. Eg:

Person: Why all the green yo?

Me: I'm a vegetarian.

Person: So you're a vegetarian. Where do you get your protein from? Do you eat chicken?

Me: Err, no I don't eat meat.

Person: So you eat fish.

Me: Are you even listening to me?

Now I'm just going to tell people that I don't eat anything with a central nervous system! I don't know why I haven't thought of this before!! :) Haha!

~K~

Bea Elliott said...

Hi Klem... you'll find after a time - that the questions are quite predictable, and most are a desperate attempt to validate their meat-eating habits. Most people though, do not wish to know unpleasant truths.

I admire you so for having an open mind and the courage, willingness to change things that are seen as "difficult" or "impossible" to most. Why doing the right thing should be so hard, I'll never know.

I've often thought... looking at what the crowd is doing: Do they justify their actions with purposeful ignorance to facts? Do they base their ideology in emotionalism? Is their argument "rational"? It's a pretty safe bet that if you march to your own drummer - it is the better tune :)

To thine own self be true.
Stay well & cheers!

Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as "vegan".

It is an illusion.

Dozens perhaps hundreds of animals are exterminated to grow every acre of crops - birds, moles, voles, rodents, deer - in order to keep said crops safe for harvest for human consumption.

So if one cow dies for my hamburger, several other types of animal died for your veggie burger.

You cannot pretend to tip toe through life not harming anything, it just is not reality, nor is it even desirable, as the circle of life and death is the ageless, natural cycle of renewal on this planet.

Grow up.

Bea Elliott said...

Hello Anonymous - I'm so glad you brought this up.

Yes, I'm aware that moles, voles, rodents, insects, nesting birds, rabbits and other lives are tragically taken when vegetables are harvested. However, there's a world of difference between accidental death and deliberate killing; which is what animal agri-business is all about.

Further, 95% of animals raised for "food" are fed the very plants that are harvested, which in turn kill these wildlife creatures... Therefore, the lives that die (to produce the grain) to feed the animals which then in turn must be killed - causes much more harm than just eating the plants directly.

I'm not saying that a vegan diet can eliminate all cruelty, but it certainly minimizes.

Being "vegan" attempts to cause as little harm as possible. It's not about "purity", but about "intent".

I reckon your cow that was killed was slated for that end from the moment of it's mother's artificial insemination to the moment it arrived on the killfloor. A deliberate plan of harm - which violates everything "natural" to civilized (and compassionate) men.

Good day :)

Anonymous said...

Bea Elliott-
You can tell yourself there's a 'world of difference' between killing animals to make way for crops vs killing them to eat them. It doesn't make a damned bit of difference to the animal.

And eliminating 'pest' animals for crops is not 'accidental'.

I reckon that farmer who planted soybeans slated those hundreds/thousands of animals living in his fields for destruction from the day he bought the property to the day he harvested the crop (not to mention all the others harmed by pesticide runoff, groundwater poisoning etc)- which by your ruler, "violates everything 'natural' to civilized (and compassionate) men."

Like I said before, narrow minded, self-satisfied, unctuous, self-congratulatory "vegans" need to grow up.

Bea Elliott said...

Actually, if I was narrow minded - I'd just delete your comments. But unlike many animal/meat and agribusiness blogs I've posted on, (which wouldn't allow an opposing view), I don't feel threatened in my position.

The harvesting of vegetables don't necessarily have to include pesticide runoff... there are orgainic choices. And there are other folks like me, who grow their own. My garden sustains me and my family for most of the year... with no harm to animals.

To say that a vegetarian or vegan who consumes an apple, pear, carrot or beet has equal malevolence as one who consumes what was once a being's leg, breast, muscle, organ or flesh is ludicrous.

And finally, the groundwater poisoning. A quick search will point you to hundreds of studies, documentation and personal accounts of compromised air and water quality due to animal agriculture. On the top of my head factoryfarm.org is a great place to start. I know there's a video interview with residents who live near a pig farm. The folks can't breath the air, the well water is unpalatable with high levels of bacteria, their property is infested with flies and they can't find a buyer for their home (at any price) because of the wretched stench.

I'd say in this example as well, not only does animal agriculture violate the beasts they create but they also have total disregard for their community members and those who would be neighbors. I assure you, no one is fussing anywhere about farmer Brown growing his (bloodless) beans.

Serenity said...

Bea, I LOVE this post, it's fabulous! As for your anonymous commenter --pffff!

Bea Elliott said...

Hi Serenity! Some of the time it is the simplist things that ring the most true - Perhaps that's what got "anonymous" in such a tiff? "pffff!" - Well said. :)

Indranil said...

Ok, so let me get this straight. Just because a plant can't say "ouch", you will say that it can't feel or anything? It grows why, then? Just for the heck of it? Seeks sunlight why? Oh hell, let's be more nutritious for humans? If they can't "feel" pain, "common sense" tells us they can't "feel" hunger, or anything. Yet, plants are always growing, making their own food, nourishing themselves, propagating. Oh wait, more propagation, more nutrition for humans?

And common sense? Seriously? Wake up. Experiments have proven, time and again, and I just showed in 1 paragraph that plants have feelings.

Bea Elliott said...

Indranil - It's not only that plant's can't say "ouch" but that they have nothing to "ouch" about. They have no central nervous system - like animals have.

Sure, they are genetically coded to seek sun and their roots are "programed" to find water - But these are not "choice" as an animal chooses to eat or not - chooses to move or not. Plants cannot escape a predator. Animals can - because if they don't they will be harmed.

No, there is no science or "common sense" to plants "feeling" anything.

And even so... lets assume in some far off removed piece of fantasy "science" that plants can suffer... Since we feed 70% of the crops to fatten livestock - wouldn't we be reducing harm by just eating the plants directly?

What you're trying to do is to justify eating animals in some way which appeases your sensitivities -May I ask why you eat flesh? Perhaps there is something you have not considered about the practice which may enlighten you to better choices?

Indranil said...

Bea - Plants cannot escape predators so we eat them? Also, I can say the same thing for any animals. They are all - heck - we are all genetically coded to move about looking for (good) food and a place to procreate.

And on the subject of plants having feelings, look up some experiments conducted since the 1920s.

You're also trying to justify eating plants by saying that they'll die anyway, either us or other animals? Well, animals also die anyway, be it old age, or other predators.

And I eat animals because of so many reasons:
a) They taste good.
b) I don't think any plant deserves so much wrath that we direct ourselves to eating them only. Plants help us survive, don't forget that. Would be stupid to wipe them out.
c) If I were in a jungle, I'd be eaten - not by plants - but by other animals. It's a food chain, and I know I'm on the top. Any other animals on the top would do the same.

Bea Elliott said...

Hi Again... Please cite your sources for "plants feel pain".

And I am not justifying eating plants because they will die anyway. I justify eating them because this is what I need to live. I have no "plan B" for food.

Yes animals die... But why would I kill them for unjustifiable reasons? I don't "need" to in order to live. Lions and wolves and other such predators can't walk into a grocery store and select their meal... I can. Nor is there anatomy geared to what my diet can survive on... A plant based diet.

Justifying eating flesh because of taste is somewhat akin to someone who would rape because "it feels good"... We can't expect to hold a moral code based on what "feels" or "tastes" good - when doing so causes the innocent to suffer. There's just not enough weight there to counter the harm.

Wipe out plants??? As I mentioned before 70% of the crops grown go to feed animals... So we can eat them... Why not eat the plants directly and feed 16 times more people?

Yes, if you were in a jungle... animals may very well eat you - Are you at your computer now - in a jungle? I already conceded that when there is no other choice it may be justifiable for survival... But we are talking about contemporary man in modern civilization, are we not?

It is a "food chain" totally immersed in tradition and myth. The "food chain" only holds true in matters of no other choice. Yes, other animals may eat us - but they don't live 4 miles from a local Walmart either.

Every store is filled with other options which are not only healtier for the human body but for the planet as well.

Did you know that methane gasses from livestock are responsible for 18% of global warming? And that 75% of the Amazon forest that has been cleared has been for cattle grazing? And that it takes about 200 times more water to make a pound of "meat" than a pound of grain? And that a meat based diet requires nearly 3 acres of land whereas a plant based diet needs only a half an acre? And finally, did you know that because of our meat based diet 95% of the animals are raised in concentrated facilities... And millions of gallons of manure are seeping into the ground water and into our rivers?

There are dozens of reasons why a plant based diet is better for our future sustainability. And you provided 3 so/so reasons for eating meat - Maybe you should re-evaluate those beliefs?

Aaron said...

You make wild assumptions in order to propagate your cause. You assume that plants feel no pain. First of all, there is no science of pain. Science has only shown that nerve cells send signals. This is exactly what plants do when they are damaged, but with chemical signals. There is no scientific way to measure pain. The only way we know animals feel pain is that we feel it ourselves. You have no way of telling what a plant feels because you are not a plant, and they work on a completely different system than we do. Just because they can't scream, doesn't mean they don't suffer. Plants have been shown to release stress hormones when they are damaged. How else would they know to start healing themselves? They could be feeling something 100,000 times worse then what we call pain. You can't assume that they feel nothing. At the very least, if we eat animals, we can understand what they are going through, and appreciate their sacrifice in order for us to live.

You are also under the assumption that we have a choice. We are animals too, and we have the same set of urges and instincts that they do. Why should we have to ignore ours when another animal (let's say, a tiger) would do the same. A tiger isn't evil because it kills in order to noursh itself (actually, cats have been shown to release endorphins when they kill, so they actually enjoy not just eating meat, but killing too, but they're still not evil). Ok tigers need meat fine, so let's talk about an animal that does have a choice, an omnivore. A fox has the choice of eating a bunny or, I don't know, a grape. They eat meat, even though they can survive without it. So that we have a choice has no bearing on the matter.

Your reasons for eating plants are over simplified, an the benefits of eating meat far excede the cost on the part of the animal, and that is just nature baby. I don't hate animals, I have a great respect for them, and I am against the pointless suffering of animals. But killing them for food is not wrong or unfair. Since your reasons are based on bias, and personal opinion, maybe you should re-evaluate your position.

Bea Elliott said...

Hi Aaron... Here's the deal: We KNOW animals feel pain! And even IF we could assume that a living organism (which does NOT possess a central nervous system) could feel pain --- We are still causing LESS SUFFERING by consuming plants directly. Fattening "livestock" first only increases the harm. On a plant based diet we would be growing less crops which would also decrease the amount of wildlife that had to be "managed" or destroyed due to competition for resources. What you are attempting to do is manufacture a VERY lame excuse to justify the suffering of beings we have factual evidence of their ability to suffer... Sorry, I'm not buying that one.

As far as the "assumption" that we have a choice --- But of course we do! We are moral agents. We DO have free choice and can make our actions fit our ethical value system. And the reason we must make moral choices is because we CAN! That we have a "choice" makes every bearing on the matter!

Suppose this: Suppose a tiger could biologically survive without the consumption of flesh... Suppose this tiger could enter any superstore and select whatever sustainance he wished... And suppose he still chose the selections which required the killing of Others. Guess what? We'd call him a dangerous, deranged, vicious monster --- So if we'd do this regarding a tiger... Why don't we apply the same standards for ourselves? BTW foxes and other carnivores cannot wheel around a buggy to make compassionate selections.

Finally... Please cite the overwhelming facts that eating animals is a healthy choice? I am living proof we don't "need" to eat them... Millions of others are also a testament too - So your "logic" that you are "respecting" them while still voluntarily killing them is extremely flawed. You ARE causing them needless suffering! Sorry baby - That's just critical thinking!

Bea Elliott said...

Oh Aaron... One other VERY important thought: Animals do not "sacrifice" anything for us! We kill them - and steal their lives... There is no altruistic "gift" made in our behalf.

Aaron said...

Stop being so narrow minded, and stop interpreting everything so literally. When I said "sacrifice", I didn't mean they choose to give up themselves. It just means they lost their life so that we can live.

And we are animals too. Otherwise the argument that animals feel pain like us would be pointless. It is also true that we have urges and instincts like them. So we aren't doing anything that an animal wouldn't do when it comes to eating meat. This might not be a reason for you, but I'm just telling you how it is.

You have also failed to successfully refute my argument concerning foxes. If you cared so much about animals, we could round up every fox, and force them to eat vegetarian, and they would still be healthy. Hell, we could come up with some goop from plant extracts that meets the nutritional needs of a tiger. Shall we round up the tigers next?

Just because I eat animals, doesn't mean I have anything personally against them. You don't hate plants, do you? O.K. then.

And for your nutritional argument, that doesen't point to eating meat being morally wrong. Doughnuts are one of the most unhealthy things known to man, and they are made of plants (grain and sugar cane), but they are unhealthy because they are made of sugar, white flour and more sugar. I'm sure some doughnuts are made with animal fat, but you know there are a bunch of meatless, high sugar desserts that are far worse than meat. So where's that ban on doughnuts?

Haven't you seen Avatar yet? The Na'vi are one with nature and they are against the senseless killing of animals, but they still hunt.

Again, I don't know what your definition of "know" is, but there is no way you can say that you know plants can feel pain when lately, more and more scientific experiments have proven that plants send chemical signals in response to stress and damage. That is similar to the way pain signals are sent in our bodies. With that scientific data you can't just assume they feel nothing. But like I said before, at least relate to what animals feel. But what plants feel, you have no idea. So the notion that plants can't feel is ignorant. Anyways... sorry, but your thinking is one sided thinking.

Aaron said...

Whoops, I screwed up that last paragraph. I meant to say:
"there is no way you can say that you know plants can't feel pain" and "at least we can relate to what animals feel".

Bea Elliott said...

Interpreting things literally? Uh - We're on a forum in which we depend on accurate words to communicate ideas... An online debate does not have the luxury of word manipulations.
You used the word sacrifice wrongly... And now you back track and say you meant to say that animals "lost" their lives - so we can live. WRONG Again! Their lives were not "lost" but stolen. Taken. Removed. They were foreably "killed". Does that word offend you so much that you can't even use it?

Civilized man does not operate on "urges and instincts". This is why we have "law" and social custom. This is why we evolved - Because we are moral agents and as such we have the responsibility to use GOOD judgements. Killing innocent beings when we don't have to is NOT good judgement. That's just the way it is...

And you wish to round up tigers and foxes... You miss the point about allowing animals to exist without interference from man. In nature they do not have a choice. They are "wild" - Let them stay that way... We have free choice and the ability to think critically - Let's do what we're good at shall we?

Foods that are nutritionally inadequate for health are not "immoral" to consume. The only "victim" is the unhealthy person that eats the sugar laden donuts. Meat eating however requires that lives be taken. The degree of damage and consequence far exceeds the boundries of one's own body... as with eating junk-food.

Yes, I saw Avatar and I found the contradiction in their "value" of animals and their killing of them to be an unfortunate flaw in the story's plot. But I don't base my ethics around Hollywood films either... It's just a movie meant to entertain and to make people *think*. A culture which is in harmony with nature will choose not to abuse, destroy, violate or exploit it. There we go using "good judgement" again! ;)

Finally let's try looking at the science of "plant pain". It just does not make sense why an organism would be able to suffer and not be able to remove it's self from harm. That is not the way nature works. We are given pain receptors to avoid damage to our bodies. If plants could "feel pain" they would also be able to escape it. Seen any carrots with legs lately?

We "know" the difference between the torment of a sentient being and the "suffering" of a vegetable because we are sentient beings too! If my neighbor steps on my grass I'm not offended... If he steps on my cat's tail it causes me (and the cat) distress. We can theorize about a nervous system in plants all day --- In the final analysis - Animals that are killed DO suffer and feel pain; They do wish to live. They have interest in their lives. They are aware of their world much the same way we are aware. To ignore all these relative similarities and focus on the abstract possibility of plant sentience is a cowardly way of avoiding responsibility for unjust actions.

We do not "need" to eat meat to thrive. A plant based diet is more sustainable and better for human health. It eliminates the unnecessary suffering of 57 billion animals a year. No amount of "pain to plants" negates these facts.

Aaron said...

Ok, you are the one pointing out how similar we are to animals, about how they think and feel like us, and I agree with you on that. But then, I point out similarities like our instincts, but you reject that part. That is hypocritical. If you think animals are so similar to us, why do you only accept the similarities that support your side of the argument?

Plants are alive to. They have their lives "stolen" from them to. The only difference you are making is that animals have a right to live because they have the desire to or the instinct to live. But plants do have a desire to live and reproduce, whether mentally or not. Plants don't move, but they do defend against predators (yes, in a biological context, to a plant, a deer is a predator) with toxins and thorns and other things. And humans have the instinct to eat meat. So that's instinct against instinct+fact, that's 2-1 in my favor.

Once again, foxes can live in the wild and not eat meat, but they do anyway. So by your rule, they are immoral.

As far as using the word "lost" I am justified, because when people are killed, people say "they lost their life" whether they were murdered or not. And if you wan't to play the word game, you are killing plants still. Even if they are not able to feel pain, they are still living things. You can't change the definition of life to suit your tastes. If you continue to make your point by attacking my word usage (while playing around with words yourself) you are just going to seem immature. You are wrapped around that "consent" thing, but since plants can't talk, they can't give concent either. Plus they also have been shown to defend themselves, which is a clear sign they don't want to be eaten anyway. I can sit here and play semantics all day, but it is just a waste of time, and you need to watch your wording to. There are falsehoods and groundless opinion in half of your sentences. I could simply make a list of all the weak arguments you make and reflect them back at you if you like. Or we could have a logical discussion.

Also, meat is not unhealthy. Some people just: don't eat enough different types of meat, eat overly processed meat, eat meat cooked in grease, eat meat high in fat, and worst of all, just eat too damn much in general. Anything not in moderation is bad, and the healthiest diets do include some meat (because we're omnivores omnivores omnivores!). Believe it or not, there are people that have died from eating too many carrots.

Bea Elliott said...

Aaron - We may have similar instincts. Let's take mating as an example. The hormonal changes for an adolescent is as pitched for a puppy, hawk, human or cow. All "teens" have raging impulses. BUT it is only the humans which are
capable of regulating those physical
urges. Man is the only one who can
assess the consequences of his actions.

He is the one who is capable of
selecting which "instincts" to follow or not. This ability makes man a "moral agent". Man (and teen) are given the gift and responsibility of using good judgement. Puppies, hawks and cows do not have this burden or advantage.If a puppy gets sexually
excited he will react physically unless "taught" to do otherwise. If a hawk is hungry he will react physically- and choose to hunt what is necessary for survival.

We may share the same desires as other species but we have knowledge of consequences. Foxes may be able to survive on a plant based diet but they do not have the cognitive ability OR the resources to do anything about it! Foxes cannot "choose". Therefore nothing they do is moral or immoral. In order for a being to be "ethical" they must have options to be otherwise. Nonhumans do not possess those faculties. Sorry.

The "plants feel pain" defense is mostly posturing. I ask the following:

- Would you step on a cat's tail to avoid stepping on the grass?
- Would you swerve and hit the dog, to spare the shrub?
- If forced to make a choice between cutting the limb off a dogwood, and cutting the limb off a dog, would you really have a dilemma?

You seem to have a fake sense of increased sensitivity to plant pain, without the same increase in sensitivity to animal pain. Do you empathize with the plants when you have to walk on the grass because you're "hurting" it? Do you feel bad because the apple tree misses her apple that fell on the ground (maybe you move the apple closer to the tree so they can be together)?

If you are concerned with plants' pain, then surely you must be at least as concerned when mother cows who show obvious affection for their young bellow for days when their calves are taken from them; or when pigs regain consciousness and writhe in extreme pain as they're bleeding to death; or when turkeys are so top-heavy they develop internal organ failure, or fall down and can't get back up. These pains are stunningly obvious and recognizable; no imagination or theories are necessary to see them.

Do you have a heightened sense of empathy for all living things, or are you just insincerely using a convenient psuedo-philosophy as an excuse to dominate, control and kill? And if it is the latter, that only goes to show that you must resort to the implausable in order to defend unncessary infliction of harm unto others.

Please do not be disingenuous, it taints the debate.

Regarding your "word usage". Clearly you avoid at all costs, saying that animals are "KILLED". First their lives were "sacrificed", then "lost". If plants and animals rank on the same scale of value... Would you ever say a plant was "sacrificed" or a plant's life was "lost"? You could, but it would appear very foolish...

It matters not that plants can also be killed. But for the sake of argument - I could also survive on fruits and vegetables that "yield" without the destruction of the parent life. Then where is your argument???

Finally, on eating animals - It just is NOT necessary. Stomp your feet all you want that we are omnivores - The facts remain that many cultures and civilizations thrive without flesh.

"Believe it or not, there are people that have died from eating too many carrots."

Your theories are amusing Aaron. It's good to question issues- But even better still to learn from critical thinking. Good luck! ;)

Aaron said...

I posted a response that answers every one of your points, but it didn't go through, and I don't feel like doing all that typing again. So just answer me this: Why should we extend a right to animals (the right to eat other animals) that we ourselves wouldn't get if we made eating animals illegal? Isn't that conflicting?

Aaron said...

You need to watch this video. It effectively counters the argument that consuming plants directly allows you to pretend that you have no impact on the environment. It shows the danger of doing something to have less of an impact on the environment for its own sake.

http://www.theonion.com/video/taco-bells-new-green-menu-takes-no-ingredients-fro,14348/

Also, about Avatar, it is not a contradiction, nor is it a flaw because the Na'vi understood that no matter what, if you're alive, then you have to take from the environment in order to live (so it doesn't matter whether you are killing a plant or an animal). Only someone who is extremely narrow minded couldn't see that.

Bea Elliott said...

"Why should we extend a right to animals (the right to eat other animals) that we ourselves wouldn't get if we made eating animals illegal? Isn't that conflicting?"

Aaron - We don't give animals the "right" to eat each other. We don't approach bears or lions and say "it's okay for you to kill others". First, it would be totally uninforcable, and secondly most reasonable people understand that nonhuman carnivores "have no choice". No one could dictate what a wild nonhuman must consume to survive.

I'm not talking about making eating any flesh (human flesh included) "illegal". It is how that flesh is obtained which is in question. It is the deliberate taking of life that I am opposed to. If someone has the urge for "meat" by all means they may troll the interstate at dawn... I'm sure they'll find a wealth of "treats".

That "Onion" piece is clever - But since it's meant to be totally sarcastic and an absurd spoof, it's hardly grounds for a well reasoned argument for doing more harm if one has the option of doing less harm.

Yes, intent does matter. And so does the volume of "casualties". If we hear of a car crash and one person is injured it's very sad... If we hear a dozen were hurt or killed - That's even worse. Less harm is better than more harm.

And yes, it does matter if needless harm is done to innocent victims. Plants are not "victims" - They have no central nervous system. Haven't we done this before???

Maybe this will help: Go to the "meat/dairy/egg isle" in just about any grocercy store. You will probably find some nonesense on the label that says: "humane" or "animal welfare approved" on the labels. This is an attempt to get consumers to feel better about their purchase... NOW - go to the produce section - Look it over throughly... Any lettuce, cabbage, carrots, beans, apples, pears etc. that have these labels??? People don't care about how thier plants were treated - Because (most) people know they don't matter because they cannot suffer.

I am not saying anyone can live without the cost of life or "use" of the environment... I'm saying that nothing justifies doing more harm when you can do less. Eating a plant based diet causes less harm to those living entities that matter: nonhumans.

Aaron said...

People don't care about how plants were killed because it is easy to dissociate them from ouselves. Although I wouldn't avoid stepping on grass, neither would an animal. All I am saying is that you can't pretend like you care about life unless you are willing to care about all life. Otherwise your argument carries no weight. Pain or not, all animals must eat other organisms to live. That is a fact. It is to no real moral advantage to eat one organism over another (with exception to other) for the sake of the prey organism itself. But then again dissociating an organism with oneself just so one can not feel guilty about eating it isn't exactly moral.

Aaron said...

(with exception to other humans), that is.

Bea Elliott said...

Aaron people can disassociate from plants because there is no reason to believe that plants "feel" as animals do. None. It's a totally alien theory. The understanding of animal sentience is understood by us because their "condition" in life is echoed in our own biology.

We know animals can suffer because we have the ability to empathize with them. There's nothing anyone can connect with plant "pain". Therefore there is no "disassociation". "It" (plant pain) just hasn't been qualified or quantified enough to even remotely consider as a "moral issue".

"It is to no real moral advantage to eat one organism over another..." You are wrong. Pain, suffering and unnecessary killing of sentient life does matter. It is a morally relevant issue.

If you are trying to say that all life must cause some harm in order to survive - You are right. BUT - a simple truth is that it is better to cause less harm than more... And a plant based diet attempts to follow that doctrine the closest.

"Intent" and degree of harm has everything to do with judging moral standing. If this were not so... There would be no distinction between "manslaughter" and murder in our legal system. Every soldier fighting and killing in wars would be tried for genocide. But we DO distinguish between "accidental killing", "murder" and deliberate killing as in "war". We do so because "intent" makes the crime.

Since there is no rational reason to believe that plants (or rocks) value their lives... Removing, controlling or ending that life does not have the same ethical consequences as removing the life of a sentient being who *does* value life. And it matters little if that non-sentient life is taken by accident or by design. It is never that way for animals - Because we animals DO value our lives.

Aaron - There is no "disassociation" regarding plant pain. It simply does not exist to "disassociate" from-

Aaron said...

I don't know when I said "intent does not matter". My intent is not to insure the animal suffers, it is simply to eat the animal. Animal cruelty is illegal because it is deliberately causing harm to the animal. Eating animals is not illegal because it is reasonable for one animal (a human) to eat another (a cow or something). Also animals don't go torturing eachother for the sake of it. Intent for killing other humans works the same way. It is reasonable for one human to kill another in self defence.

Also, not causing pain is not "logical". It is empathetic. It is to no evolutionary advantage to cause less harm to other organisms. Why exactly should we have empathy for organisms that don't have empathy? We are not obligated to treat animals any differently than they treat eachother when it comes to animal instincts like hunger.

Bea Elliott said...

"Animal cruelty is illegal because it is deliberately causing harm to the animal."

But we do cause deliberate harm to 10 billion land mammals every year.

"Eating animals is not illegal because it is reasonable for one animal (a human) to eat another (a cow or something)."

No, not all laws are just laws. Just because something is not "illegal" doesn't mean it's moral. It was once legal for a man to beat his wife once... It was legal to put children to work... It was legal to own other people... But those acts were never moral.

And as far as it being "reasonable" for one animal to eat another - In the case of humans that's obviously being questioned all the time. And even ever more so as we evolve past the "need" to eat other animals.

"It is reasonable for one human to kill another in self defence."

Yes, of course - But humans are not "defending" themselves against chickens, cows or pigs. Right?

"Also, not causing pain is not "logical". It is empathetic."

But now your confusing things... Are we discussing ethics or logic? In either case I would argue that history has shown time and again that our collective moral compass has always pointed to compassion.

And if you're interested in "scientific" evidence that we are and should be evolving into a more "empathetic" species:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7AWnfFRc7g

"It is to no evolutionary advantage to cause less harm to other organisms."

You're wrong - Extending compassion to "lesser" beings enables us to have more compassion for all "Others". And this advances our civilization by recognizing that we are capable of "whole" person-hood. Meaning we are capable of experiencing the full realm of human emotions.

"Why exactly should we have empathy for organisms that don't have empathy?"

Because we are moral agents and have the capacity to sympathize with those who need it. It doesn't matter that they can't return the "favor". Empathy is not something you "give" in order to "get". The virtue of compassion is it's own reward.

"We are not obligated to treat animals any differently than they treat eachother when it comes to animal instincts like hunger."

But we are not talking about "hunger" and "survival" - The "rules" of "fairness" and compassion take on a different meaning then. Non-humans live in this "struggle" for food all the time. Since we don't AND because we are capable of knowing the value of life... Since we are "moral agents" we have the obligation to live within a moral framework. A "civilized" moral framework says it's always better to do less harm when possible. Not killing when you don't have to falls into the goal of "less harm".

Aaron - We've really been through this before. What don't you get about being capable of ethical choices?

Aaron said...

Are we discussing ethics or logic? Well I thought we were discussing ethics, but then you started saying that your cause is "logical" so I simply reminded you that your arguments were not based on logic, but empathy.

That not eating meat makes people nicer to each other is all theoretical. It doesn't actually work in real life. Being empathetic towards prey has no evolutionary advantage, so still it is in no way "logical".


Deliberate killing is not the same as justified. Killing for food is justifiable. Unless you can come up with a way to magically take an animal's flesh without killing it, keep your mouth shut.

Also, I wasn't saying that just because something was illegal it is right. I was explaining the reasoning behind the laws.

Lastly, we are not "moral agents". If we were then we would be out there preventing tigers from killing their prey. So we have no need to treat them in a way other than how any other animal would. I have gone over this before, but we humans do not have perfect control of our bodies. Can you stop breathing for 3 minutes at will? It would conserve oxygen! It won't kill you, but it's not possible.

Bea Elliott said...

Hi again Aaron - Let's just assume we are talking about logic and ethics shall we?

I'm just curious... How often do you encounter "prey"? I lived in the middle of 6 acres and had to really go out of my way to once find a wild boar. He was 10 foot away from me. Our eyes met, I turned and walked the other way - and he took his 300 pound self in another direction as well... Not saying it wouldn't be justified OR "logical" to defend yourself if you were threatened... But again, the question is - How often are you talking about that happening? And why is the topic even relevant here?

Ahhh... "killing for food"... that was the topic. No, I cannot "magically" take an animal's flesh without killing him or her - Which is why I don't eat meat. (And please do try to watch YOUR language on MY blog).

Laws are in place to protect financial interests and property "rights". I do not believe living beings are "things" to be owned.

We indeed are moral agents who can monitor our values through our actions. We cannot control other species. We can determine what is or isn't acceptable within our own. How many times do we have to go through this part? Other animals cannot define or regulate their "ethics"... They simply act according to instinct. Man is different - We can choose better options that cause less harm when "more harm" is totally UNNECESSARY.

And I really don't know what you're getting at with human's control or lack of control over thier own bodies - or ceasing to breath for 3 minutes - or concerving oxygen or any of your last "points".

If you are trying to say that man "instinctually" kills animals for food I suggest you interview a few dozen ex-slaughterhouse workers... There' nothing about that practice that is "natural" or emotionally healthy to any homo-sapien.
http://ukiahcommunityblog.wordpress.com/2010/06/01/probing-the-link-between-slaughterhouses-and-violent-crime/

Aaron said...

You cannot simply pick and choose what aspects of human nature you like and declare them to be the only ones that are true. Doing so is unproductive. Dream on, dream on.

I'm not sure how often I encounter prey is relevant. I don't encounter edible plants growing around in my daily life either.

We can determine what is or isn't acceptable within our own. But that argument isn't very helpful towards your cause seeing that there are no significant (if any) countries that have determined that eating meat is unacceptaple. If we were moral agents we would be obligated to force our "values" on other animals. We cannot control other species? Of course we can! But doing so would be stupid! Just like making meat illegal! Forcing your laws on some species, but not others makes your views hypocritical.

Oh this is YOUR blog? I could have sworn it was mine. I was so confused. Thank you for correcting me. And your use of capital letters was very intimidating.

Instinct makes eating meat necessary and justifiable. It is not an instinct that is worth overriding because their is nothing fundamentally wrong with it since killing for food is justifiable!

Just to be clear, do you consider it to be a tiger's right to eat other animals? I can't really understand what your trying to say unless you answer me this important question.

What was my main point again? Oh yeah, humans have instincts too that need to be respected and they override the will of the prey animal to not be eaten.

Bea Elliott said...

Aaron... Are you trying to say that it is human nature to kill? I totally disagree. I'd say it's part of our hard-wiring to survive. We hold the same "fight or flee" chemicals and reactions that all animals have. But again that's a matter of survival. And yes, if you're using that as an example or "reason" why we should or do kill - It IS relevant. The context your citing this example in means everything.

Oh and BTW open your eyes... Unless you are living in a wall to wall concrete, urban area - Yes, there are "edible" plants growing all around you. They may not be "choice" foods - But most weeds and grasses indeed can be ingested by humans without any harm. My DH is a "survivalist" nut - So this news comes from the "experts"...

And Aaron - Now you're going to other countries to validate a vegan diet? Huh? Hint: You don't need "gOd", or a higher authority, or a mob, or even a single neighbor to simply do what you believe is right. So what others do, say or think IS irrelevant.

Since we are moral agents we aren't "obligated" to force our values on ANYONE - In the case of nonhumans we would simply "leave them alone" to be what their instincts tell them they should be. That is their "authority". And again who said anything about making meat "illegal"?

Just to be clear: Man does not operate on "instinct" alone. AND he doesn't operate on instinct, at all unless all other options of reasonable deliberation are denied to him. Therefore, when there is a viable choice to not kill when you don't have to - That "not killing" *choice* is the ethical way to proceed.

I don't consider a tiger to have a "right" to eat animals - I consider it instinct. His instinct and nature is the authority - not US. Unlike man who does not operate on "instinct". (see above {again}).

Aaron - I believe not causing harm when I don't have to is the right choice. I don't know why you're so hell-bent to prove otherwise to me?
Unless you're trying to convince yourself?

I love a lively debate, but I'm to the point that we've rehashed many things several times. I'm at a loss as to what you don't get in what I'm saying - Perhaps you feel the same. Maybe we should evaluate where our time can be better spent. and move on?

Aaron said...

Hm hmm, it's because you're so entertaining! Not that I'm trying to just mess with you or anything, I am just pointing the flaws I see in your logic and sense of moral superiority. I do enjoy my conversations with you, so you should try to enjoy them too. But I am taking this seriously.

You actually pointed out what I've been trying to say. Nature is the authority, not humans, and not vegitarians. Nature controls instinct, life, and death, and there is no reason for you or any vegitarian to mess with that. Whether you eat meat, or eat plants, in the end the result is the same. Death.

All I am saying is that you have no right to claim moral superiority because you are causing less harm. The cost to the environment is about the same, but the harm you are talking about is only superficial. Pain represents an animal's instinct to avoid something being done to it. In this case, it wants to avoid being eaten. Plants produce thorns, toxins, unpleasent tastes, and chemicals to attract things that eat its predators, all to avoid being eaten! Except for the fruit, plants don't want to be eaten either! But we can't just live on fruit now can we? But just because an organism doesn't want to be eaten doesn't mean we don't eat it, because nothing wants to be eaten! So choosing one type of organism to eat because you care about it more doesn't make you a better person. It just means you don't understand how things work. Doing something so you can feel better about yourself is narcissistic. There is no reason to give empathy to food!

Bea Elliott said...

Aaron... If you don't know or can't see by now that I don't consider animals "food" - We're just never going to settle this in a way you're going to like or in a way I have the patience for...

You fail to see the difference in the way a cow values her life as to the way a carrot would value "it's" life.

I think differently. I know animals are sentient - Very much like me. They know the world and are aware that they are in it - similar to the way I know I'm in it. If you wish to call it "narrow minded" that I value animal life over rocks and plants. So be it. You're really not going to change my POV or belief that animals do possess thoughts and emotions similar to my own. My empathy in knowing that they do definitely "exist" like I "exist" makes me want to include them in my circle of compassion. This is my choice. If I can avoid harm to animals - I will. And of course everyone thinks their own choices are the "right" ones...

If you on the other hand still cannot see the difference in the way they value their own life and the way you value yours... We've just gotten no where in this whole discussion. And you are free to believe what you think and how you live is the "right" choice too.

So rather than spend yet even more time in this un-winable debate - Can't we just agree to disagree?

Thanks. ;)

Aaron said...

I'm not saying there is anything wrong with being a vegetarian, I'm just saying there is nothing right with it either. There's no benefit to it because you are just trading off one organism for another. Plants don't have any less right to live than animals. If plants don't value their lives, why do they protect themselves? Comparing plants to rocks is why they don't teach vegan biology in high school.

Aaron said...

Then again, reading your comment over again shows how little you know. First of all most animals most certainly do not "know they exist". Only a handful of animals are self aware like dolphins, chimps and elephants. Second of all, having a nervous system doesn't objectively prove that we feel pain either. The only way we know others feel pain is because we can. Just because plant's don't have nervous systems, doesn't mean they can't suffer. Plants send electrochemical signals through themselves. That is a well known scientific fact, and you cannot deny that. You have no idea what they are feeling. You THINK you are causing less harm, but you're not. You are just being delusional.

Furthermore, what's with calling a cow "her" while putting the "its" for plants in quotes. Is that some sort of attempt to depersonalize the issue plants, while giving extra sympathy to animals? Are all cows female? Do females deserve better treatment? All you are doing is using loaded language. Your cause has possessed you so much that all you can do is throw around charged statements without reasoning. Like I said, delusional. Perhaps the low amount of protein is affecting your ability to think?

From the way you talk, it seemed to me like your goal was to ban eating meat or something, which is forcing your views on someone else, and again immoral. If you are not, then I have nothing to talk you out of, but let me give you a tip: this site of yours is not going to convince anyone who doesn't already agree with you, that eating meat is wrong.

Bea Elliott said...

"First of all most animals most certainly do not "know they exist"."

Really? You mean my dog isn't aware? The bird on the telephone wire doesn't know he *is*? Well, if that's so - It must be the same for human babies as well... Shall we just cook a few up because they probably won't miss "themselves" at all?

"what's with calling a cow "her" while putting the "its" for plants in quotes. Is that some sort of attempt to depersonalize the issue plants, while giving extra sympathy to animals?" Oh Aaron - Now your catching on! Good for you! Yes, indeed I certainly am trying to evoke emotion for animals over pity for cabbage. I'm an odd one - huh?

"Are all cows female?" No, males are called "bulls". "Do females deserve better treatment?" Some would say maybe, since they are the "mother" and we are taught that "mother" is sacred and holy - And to be revered. But honestly - I just like the word "she" as opposed to "he"... I have an "s" fetish if you must know.

"Perhaps the low amount of protein is affecting your ability to think?" Well then! If that's the case I'd better double up on my beans at my next meal! Thanks for the suggestion. :)

Aaron said...

Ha ha ha! Wow, I have to start out by saying I must give you props for that last thing you said about doubling up on the beans . That literally made be bust out laughing. I'm glad to see you got my joke and that you do have a sense of humor.

Also, I apologize for the quadrouple post; the website was glitchy and was telling me the post wasn't going through. What should have been 2 posts ended up being 4. The first time, I had to retype it, so of the 4 you can delete the first one and either of the last 2 because they're identical.

Now back to the top. Babies are not aware of their existance, but we don't eat them because they grow into humans! It's very simple! Although it is certainly the reason people use to rationalize circumcision (which I hate), comparing eating meat to cannibalism won't help your cause. The notion that meat eaters must do everything that carnivores do is ridiculous. Do you eat leaves directly off the plant like a herbivore? I think not. In short, I'll start hunting when you start gathering.

Yes, using loaded language does hurt your creditability. When people are talking about an animal of unknown gender, they usually say "its". If you are aiming to depersonalize plants, A. Don't expect your opponent not to do the same for animals; accusing them of such would be hypocritical, and B. Don't complain when they chop down all the trees.

"'Do females deserve better treatment?' Some would say maybe"? Well being sexist won't help your argument, especially since you are always comaring "speciesism" to sexism.

Also, even though this is off topic, I thought I should bring it up because it is something we both agree on. I also like the letter "s". I would say it is one of my favorite letters. What do you think about the gender of the letter "s"? I think of it as feminine because its sound and shape are very elegant.

Aaron said...

That's a very interesting point that you make. What makes human life so superior to a non human life that we can justify taking that life? Nothing! I never said there was! Are predators automatically more evolved than their prey? Not necessarily. Also "need" ironically as it sounds is a matter of opinion. I consider instinct to be enough of a reason to need meat.

When a baby grows into an adult and actually does something bad, then they can be executed, at least depending where they live. Nobody is spared from this because they were a baby, because everybody was! But you can't punish somebody before they actually do something bad. Again, animals≠babies.

Well it certainly is interesting that you eat food right off the plant. But that was really a rhetorical question. I know for a fact that most people don't do that. Just to be clear, I meant eat the food while it is actually still attached to the plant. Also, if I go out and stalk my own prey, and kill it myself does that make it OK yet? Can I use a bow and arrow, or is that unfair? OK, how about a knife? Under what conditions is hunting fair?

Yes I am aware that female cows are referred to as female, but my point was that not all cows are female, and females don't deserve extra sympathy. Females are more abused? Well that is a matter of opinion, and one that I don't agree with.

Yes, it is well known that in non-gender-neutral languages, a is feminine, while e,i,o and u are masculine, so this isn't the first time gender properties have been assigned to letters, it's just that the "s" thing is my opinion.

Bea Elliott said...

Aaron - If indeed you think you are following "instincts" when you eat meat, the next time you see road-kill YOU MUST start salivating. No cheating now - This has to be something done automatically and not by choice...

I realize you can't punish someone for doing something that is out of their control... No nonhuman should be "punished" for not being born a man or a woman.

Eating plant matter... You say you used a "rhetorical question" - But upon review of the original question it was asked to "prove" a point. Your "point" was to show the inconsistency in my argument of plants being a natural sustenance and animal eating an alien and contrived one. You didn't do that. Plant eating can indeed be as natural as breathing...

No... Female cows are referred to as "daughters"... You tried to discredit a "sexist" bias (on my part) and I've tried to show you that even the animal growers use terms that (should) elicit certain (protective) responses.

So I guess in your case "chivalry" is definitely "dead". Pity.

Aaron said...

About the roadkill thing... How could I cheat? Or more specifically, please tell me how not to cheat exactly. If I told you I did, you wouldn't have to believe me or care anyway... I must start salivating? Well yes sometimes I do, unless it was flattened at some part, or unless there are flies around it. Although one time, me and my father were watching TV, and a commercial for a show about how pork is produced or something like that. The dead pigs were going through this machine that sliced them in half so you could see their ribs and muscle tissue. My father, as a vegetarian, said "Ugh, disgusting" but I got excited and started salivating. I also watch a lot of nature shows about big cats, and when say, a cheetah kills and starts eating its prey it always makes me hungry. So from my perspective, telling me to give up eating meat is like telling me that my body is just inherently evil or something like that which is ridiculous, because most people eat meat, and it's perfectly natural. So yes, when I see a dead animal, my first thought often is "food", and it is an automatic response. I would in no way consider that to be a choice. OK now, do you start salivating every time you see a plant? You must have to carry a snack with you every time you go for a walk...

No nonhuman should be punished for their gender? I would extend that to humans as well.

No, I said DO YOU EAT VEGETABLES DIRECTLY OFF THE PLANT WHILE IT IS STILL ATTACHED TO THE GROUND, AND GROWING, AND WITH YOUR MOUTH, NOT YOUR HANDS? How specific do I have to get to get a straight answer. That is how most herbivores eat. So if meat eaters "have" to eat in the same style as carnivores, then the same goes for vegetarians and herbivores. It's very simple. Don't try to overanalyze everything, it causes you to distort facts.

The animal growers use those terms, yeah yeah, I've acknowledged that, but so what? It's not relevant. You're not talking to "animal growers" right now, you're talking to me.

I guess in your case, sexism only works one way. Chivalry is dead, pity? I'd say +1 for civil rights and equality. Oh yeah, I forgot, you don't like freedom...

Bea Elliott said...

No Aaron it is you who does not believe in freedom... Or at least not freedom for those who you deem "less than" yourself. It's amazing that those who make the "rules" always seem to think they are so "just". But you're not at all. Your philosophy enslaves plenty... If "freedom" is to mean anything - It only does so by applying to all who would benefit. I can't imagine any living being more deserving than those who are exploited so horrifically and with institutional sanction.

So if you salivate when you see hunks of flesh - It should make no difference what species - Right? You said you would salivate over a road kill carcass be it cat/dog/rat etc...

And following your logic of being "consistent" - You'd have to salivate witnessing a car accident too... With human victims. Flesh is flesh. Same goes with the sawed pig - What difference between that and a severed human limb? We're not discussing ethics here... Just your "instinctual" appetite for "meat".

So... because I eat plants I cannot eat with my hands? Yet my hands are perfectly formed for grasping fruits, nuts and seeds... Just like the great apes do.

But you as a meat-eater can use your hands - right? To claw and rip flesh... Then to consume it raw with bared teeth. Have I got that right?

It does matter that animal growers call female offspring "daughters" and males, "sons". So that you know I am not appealing to emotion... If the industry calls them this - That is fact - And I am allowed to use fact... If you think these words conjure "sympathy" you might want to question why it does, and how you should respond to such empathetic emotions. That is, if you are a "whole person" with the ability to experience such...

Civil rights? Equality? But only for "your group"... That is speciesism - And we're right back to the beginning of our conversation.

I think by now I'm convinced you're opinions will not be swayed... Even though I've suggested ending this conversation a long time ago - I recommend the same again. For it is also clear that I remain convinced that doing less harm to sentient beings is the proper way to live.

If you think I'm a hypocrite or a "speciesist" for eating plants - Cast the stone... At this point it doesn't matter to me at all. If I do have a "moral blind spot" regarding vegetation and their "suffering" - It's going to take someone much more astute than you to convince me of such.

I tear when I see a bird, cat or pig in distress. I do not cry one silly sniffle when I prune my hedges or pick daisies. Now that you know I'm such a cold hearted brute - Can't we just agree to disagree and go on our merry way?
Thanx! ;)

Aaron said...

OK, you are just deliberately ignoring the main points of what I just said, so I will make my next points very short.

No, I don’t like to eat every species of animal. If that is speciesism, then you are just making a play on words. The notion that I must eat humans too is once again ridiculous.

Primates eat meat too. Next.

What animal growers call what matters... somewhere... but it is not relevant to this conversation. For the last time, no! Female cows do not deserve better treatment than male cows! That is not compassion, that is sexism!

Throwing the word “speciesism” around, while disreguarding it on your part is not going to convince anyone else of anything. It very much so makes you a hypocrite, and therefore you have no right to criticize.

Commanding that all must live according to your “values” against what most people consider a natural instinct is not what I would call the proper way to live. You would be harming your own species; why should I be deprived of my right because of your misguided cause?

That not causing harm to animals is better because plant’s can’t feel assumes you know everything (i.e. that plant’s don’t feel), but you don’t know that. Posturing or not, it’s still been scientifically demonstrated.

Here is a brand new study I heard about yesterday on the news that plants “can think and remember”. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10598926

It's going to take someone much more astute than me to convince you of such? Ha, I’ve heard much better arguments for being vegetarian that yours, and have still smacked ‘em down. You may be very devoted to your cause, but you haven’t even gotten to the good arguments yet (ones that are based on actual fact, and not just opinion). In the end though, all the reasons for becoming a vegetarian have little benefit, or make wild assumptions.

I tear (well I wouldn’t go that far... let’s just say “feel sad”) when I see a bird, cat or pig in distress, but that doesn’t have to interfere with lunch. This is because under certain conditions, we (people) see animals as food. Just like with animals, there are “certain conditions” under which it is OK, to kill a human (in self defence, or when they have committed a heinous crime), but those are different conditions, since humans are different creatures.

Bea Elliott said...

The reason it sounds ridiculous is because it is consistent with your "ridiculous" claim that you eat meat because of "instincts". An alligator that operates on instincts could care less if his meal was a dog, cow, bird or child... It is only logical that when you claim you operate on "instincts" as well that you would have no preference as to what "meat" you were consuming.

Primates are really classified as fruitivores - Their "meat consumption" is usually grubs and insects - Elephants eat vegetables... What does that have to do with anything? Next.

Reference to the feminine... The issue originally was me using the term "she" - I've clearly shown that most animals "used" in "food production" are female. It is reasonable to assume and imply that whatever animal I'm referring to is a "she". Furthermore... There can be no "he's" in "meat production" without the "she". Yes, female anatomy IS exploited more in nearly every "animal industry". I am not saying they "deserve better treatment" - What I am saying is that they are subject to worse treatment.

And still your reasoning for *possibly* harming plants does not justify *knowingly" harming animals. Regardless if you have the entire world on "your side" - You are wrong to cause harm to sentient beings when there is no NEED to do so.

I'm just curious though... If you ARE so CERTAIN of your beliefs why have you invested SO MUCH time trying to convince me that you are right? Don't you have a blog of your own? (hint)

Aaron said...

Your first paragraph about instinct. Totally untrue. Canivores do care what they're eating. Plus like animals we don't have access to every animal.

Being vegetarian is no excuse to pretend you are causing less harm. It is just superficial. You may think aou're making a big difference, but you aren't. It being an instinct does make it right for us to do it because we do need to eat to live.

Why don't I have my own blog? I do! I just don't wan't you there! Just kidding! I don't have one because I'm not a lunatic.

I found the article I wanted you to read. It explains the fallacy of your argument:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moralistic_fallacy
Especially this sentence: "Because eating meat is violent and harms the environment, humans have no biological need for it." Cheers!

Bea Elliott said...

Carnivores devour the whole carcass. Absolutely no discrimination between consuming the brains or the butt-end of their victim. They eat eyeballs, fur, intestines, etc. In what way do you see that as "caring" about what they eat?

Not having access to all animals? We can choose to ship a dozen elephants, giraffes, or hippos half across the world to put in a zoo - We house thousands of primates in labs - And breed millions of rats & mice there too. If we were not indoctrinated to carnism - eating "certain" animals by TRADITION - Meat eaters *would* create "access" to them all. Practicality created "tradition" - We DO have access to ALL animals but it's much easier to breed/eat the docile herbivores.

There is no "pretending" to cause less harm when less harm is actually caused. If you ate a chicken yesterday, you are directly responsible for the loss of his life. If you drank cow's milk, you had a hand in her baby being removed from her and offered up as "veal". If you entered the grocery store and bought a pound of bacon - That action says to the supplier that you approve of his product and that you desire more of it... That causes the next sow to be impregnated and eventually slaughtered.

The commodities a meat eater buys is based on killing. Economically those living on a plant based diet withdraw monetary support from such systems. Therefore they DO LESS HARM.

Finally, "Because eating meat is violent and harms the environment, humans have no biological need for it." Rephrased: "Because *civilized* humans have no biological need for eating meat, and because it is violent and harms the environment, it is morally unjustifiable to do so".

You are hinged on the "Naturalistic Fallacy" which relies on the idea that humans have always eaten meat for thousands of years. However, just because something has a long tradition or seems natural does not necessarily make it morally right. Robbery, rape and murder are also part of the natural, long-established stock of human behaviour, but this does not make them necessarily ethical.
http://www.zoosavvy.com/naturalistic-fallacy.html

Aaron said...

Yes, but because forcing people be vegetarian goes against our nature, instincts and freedom in general it is wrong to do so.

Eating harms the environment. Shall we kill ouselves? Kiling in self-defence is still killing, should we just not defend ouselves against attack? So obviously yes killing for food is necessary and justified. Your version of critical thinking is just narrow-minded loaded language.

Bea Elliott said...

Aaron... No one is "forcing" anyone to be vegetarian.

"Eating harms the environment" - As stated over & over again it depends on *what* you eat to what degree there is harm.

And when your life is threatened by a big grizzly, lion, alligator or shark you have every moral justification for protecting yourself.

So what does either have to do with breeding and killing billions of innocent herbivores?

Aaron said...

Hmm, I don't know. What do rape and slavery have to do with eating meat? Nothing.

You are certainly pressuring people into being vegetarians in ways other than plain honestly. If vegetarianism was morally superior, you wouldn't need to "verbally" criticize meat eating; your "graphic" videos would be enough. It's ironic though, vegetarians always complain about being oppressed by people pressuring them to eat meat, but feel free to openly insult meat eaters, while never admiting they are acting even worse. Truely childish.

All I'm saying is that it wasn't accepted scientifically that animals' pain was real until the 1980's, so for thousands of years, people believed animals couldn't really feel pain. Now, you are being the same with plants. Especially with the recently increasing evidence of plant sensitivity, maybe you are the one who needs to keep an open mind?

Bea Elliott said...

Slavery and rape have everything to do with forcing beings to serve your purposes. This is what animal agriculture is all about. The "livestock" industry "uses" beings against their will and commodifies their bodies for profit. This is exactly what "pimps" do.

But being that we DO know now that for thousands of years we've been violating beings that "scientifically" feel pain - What possible justification can there be to continue? Even if we could "prove" plant "pain" - It would still not give us cart blanc to do what we do to nonhumans.