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Ettina
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19 Jan 2013, 9:40 am

Why do people always act as if being vegetarian is showing a love of animals? I love my cat, and out of respect to her, I accept eating meat as something some species are designed to do. She is a born killer, and I'm fine with that.

It bugs me when people have this overidealized view of how we should treat animals, as if we're not just another kind of animal ourselves. You think slaughtering animals at market is cruel? ('you' meaning the author of the piece linked to, not the OP.) What about a wolf pack running a caribou into exhaustion and then ripping the caribou's guts' out and starting to feed while the caribou is still alive?

We're one of the most successful species, but we're still just one species out of many. Acting like we're special is what got us risking the destruction of our entire ecosystem.

Sorry, I guess that article hit a nerve. Vegetarians really bug me.



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19 Jan 2013, 10:01 am

Well, I don't think you're too sensitive. ;)


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19 Jan 2013, 11:15 am

Ettina wrote:
Why do people always act as if being vegetarian is showing a love of animals? I love my cat, and out of respect to her, I accept eating meat as something some species are designed to do. She is a born killer, and I'm fine with that.

It bugs me when people have this overidealized view of how we should treat animals, as if we're not just another kind of animal ourselves. You think slaughtering animals at market is cruel? ('you' meaning the author of the piece linked to, not the OP.) What about a wolf pack running a caribou into exhaustion and then ripping the caribou's guts' out and starting to feed while the caribou is still alive?

We're one of the most successful species, but we're still just one species out of many. Acting like we're special is what got us risking the destruction of our entire ecosystem.

Sorry, I guess that article hit a nerve. Vegetarians really bug me.


Totally agree with you. I don't eat meat because I don't like it, and I don't eat fish because it's disgusting -- for me, mind you. But I do eat sausage occasionally and buy food for my cats, which is of course based on meat.

Cats are cruel hunters as well. They are playing with scared mice for up to 30 minutes but that's nature.

Humans are only successful on their own terms, but without energy and industry most of them will croak. Applause. At least I'm not sensitive when it comes to bipeds.



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19 Jan 2013, 11:23 am

Ettina wrote:
Why do people always act as if being vegetarian is showing a love of animals? I love my cat, and out of respect to her, I accept eating meat as something some species are designed to do. She is a born killer, and I'm fine with that.

It bugs me when people have this overidealized view of how we should treat animals, as if we're not just another kind of animal ourselves. You think slaughtering animals at market is cruel? ('you' meaning the author of the piece linked to, not the OP.) What about a wolf pack running a caribou into exhaustion and then ripping the caribou's guts' out and starting to feed while the caribou is still alive?

We're one of the most successful species, but we're still just one species out of many. Acting like we're special is what got us risking the destruction of our entire ecosystem.

Sorry, I guess that article hit a nerve. Vegetarians really bug me.


That is well put! I agree that humans are just one species among many. Humans are destroying the ecosystem and other things. It is sad, they just don't see



The_Postmaster
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19 Jan 2013, 11:41 am

You're comparing non-human animals to humans, and it's an entirely unfair comparison. Many wild animals have to eat meat to survive. There are, obviously, many species of animal that don't have to eat meat but still do. Again, it's not fair to compare them to humans. They don't know any better. Animals- as far as modern psychology can tell- don't have sufficient cognitive ability to understand any form of morality. You do have the cognitive ability to understand morality, and you don't have to eat meat. It's as simple as going to the grocery store and picking out things that aren't meat. Animals don't have that luxury.

We should strive to be better than animals. If we're going to use animal behavior as the basis for what's ethically acceptable, you should be going around raping people. That happens all the time in the animal kingdom. In fact, by your logic, there should be no laws at all. Why should we be any more than one species out of many? No other species has a legal system.



MaKin
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19 Jan 2013, 11:51 am

for starters, humans by nature, are an omnivorous species of animal. that being said, i choose to not eat meat (aside from the occasional fish or non-mammalian sea-creature). my choice is not for any exaltation or elevation of animal life, but simply a matter of preference. i don't like the taste, or texture of animal flesh. i also don't like eating somebody else. i wouldn't eat my cat or dog, and also, in that respect, don't take to eating other creatures that i might pet or talk to or admire. but, to push my view on another would be disrespecting them, and that is not how i do things.

i also do not like vegetarians who profess to be vegetarian for "humanitarian" reasons. would they eat meat if it weren't for convictions and consider their vegetarianism as a sacrifice? when i hear another person telling another what they shouldn't eat because of their own beliefs, i cringe. i would never tell another person that they shouldn't eat what they are accustomed to eating.
my housemate eats meat. i buy it and prepare meals for him often. for the most part, people like meat. and why shouldn't they unless for a preference or allergy........ i'm allergic to beef o_0

Ettina wrote:
('you' meaning the author of the piece linked to, not the OP.)


i'm a bit confused by this, Ettina. i see no link, and you appear as the OP of this thread.



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19 Jan 2013, 12:01 pm

The_Postmaster wrote:
You're comparing non-human animals to humans, and it's an entirely unfair comparison. Many wild animals have to eat meat to survive. There are, obviously, many species of animal that don't have to eat meat but still do. Again, it's not fair to compare them to humans. They don't know any better. Animals- as far as modern psychology can tell- don't have sufficient cognitive ability to understand any form of morality. You do have the cognitive ability to understand morality, and you don't have to eat meat. It's as simple as going to the grocery store and picking out things that aren't meat. Animals don't have that luxury.

We should strive to be better than animals. If we're going to use animal behavior as the basis for what's ethically acceptable, you should be going around raping people. That happens all the time in the animal kingdom. In fact, by your logic, there should be no laws at all. Why should we be any more than one species out of many? No other species has a legal system.



I must agree with The Postmaster. We do have a choice and are free to exercise it. I prefer to be vegetarian (not strict) for two reasons: I love animals and also becasue my digestion is much better when I avoid meat. I have fish sometimes and some bits of meat occasionally. My sister and one of my aunts are vegetarian, as well as an elderly female friend in another city.

It's easier to be vegetarian nowadays when there is such a choice of fantastic vegetables available (esp. brinjals and mushrooms!), cheeses, as well as soya products such as our local product known as Fry's Vegetarian range including sausages, pies and a host of others.

There are plenty of vegetarian animals around, e g rabbits, deer and some of them can run fast too!



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19 Jan 2013, 12:01 pm

MaKin wrote:
for starters, humans by nature, are an omnivorous species of animal. that being said, i choose to not eat meat (aside from the occasional fish or non-mammalian sea-creature). my choice is not for any exaltation or elevation of animal life, but simply a matter of preference. i don't like the taste, or texture of animal flesh. i also don't like eating somebody else. i wouldn't eat my cat or dog, and also, in that respect, don't take to eating other creatures that i might pet or talk to or admire. but, to push my view on another would be disrespecting them, and that is not how i do things.

i also do not like vegetarians who profess to be vegetarian for "humanitarian" reasons. would they eat meat if it weren't for convictions and consider their vegetarianism as a sacrifice? when i hear another person telling another what they shouldn't eat because of their own beliefs, i cringe. i would never tell another person that they shouldn't eat what they are accustomed to eating.
my housemate eats meat. i buy it and prepare meals for him often. for the most part, people like meat. and why shouldn't they unless for a preference or allergy........ i'm allergic to beef o_0


See my previous post. I'm also going to pose several counterarguments here.

"but, to push my view on another would be disrespecting them, and that is not how i do things." Yes, it is. I'm sure you're content with having a legal system that protects you and punishes criminals? That's pushing your views on another. It's not disrespect, it's ethics. Another counterargument: if you were alive during a period when slavery was legal people would be saying exactly what you're saying about slavery. Were the abolitionists out of line for pushing their views on slaveholders?



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19 Jan 2013, 12:54 pm

I do think it would be nice if I could just be a vegetarian for an animal welfare reason (and possibly also for some other reason(s)), but I don't want to force that idea on others. And I do actually eat meat because I just can't resist the taste of it. I mostly eat vegetables and fruits simply because they are far easier to prepare. Preparing meat is yukky.

I don't think it's necessarily wrong to think that we human beings are "special" in our own terms. We have significantly higher intelligence than other animals - that's how we see ourselves as "special". In that sense, we are special.

Nothing's wrong with destroying the ecosystem as far as the universe is concerned. Worrying about the ecosystem is another human thing. If human beings and most or all other animals and living things go extinct because of the destruction of the ecosystem, who's there to lament it? The planet itself or the universe itself wouldn't care about that. If we end up destroying the ecosystem, maybe that's what we were designed to do.

I am aware what I said is rather extreme and conflicts with some others' views, but I intend no offense. It's just my thought.



ral31
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19 Jan 2013, 1:10 pm

You are right, violent death occurs all the time in nature. How often do said wolves pen the caribou up in pens so small they can't turn around for their entire lives?
I eat meat but I limit how much I eat for three reasons:
1. The miserable lives we force so many animals live, especially chickens,
2. We can't feed 9 billion people efficiently if we all eat meat at every meal. (there is a 90% energy loss converting plant material into animal.)
3. It's healthier.

Finally, I'm not fond of killing and I couldn't care less if my views bug you. :) Reason it out and maybe you can convince me. Or, continue to be bugged.

Could you explain your reasoning on how vegetarians "acting like we are special" are risking destroying our entire ecosystem?


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Last edited by ral31 on 19 Jan 2013, 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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19 Jan 2013, 5:46 pm

I don't eat meat because it's my choice. That's pretty much it.

I'm perfectly OK with other people eating meat, and I don't want to stop them, but I also want to be accepted for not eating meat.
I don't really like the term "vegetarian" because it sounds like a religion, and for me, it's not.

But yes, it gives me a cleaner conscience. I don't think killing animals is wrong per se, but if I can reduce the number of animals getting killed in my name, it's just a pragmatic trade-off. It's also better for the planet, and even for my body (I used to feel very "full" after eating meat).
These are my reasons.

Does this answer your question?



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19 Jan 2013, 6:08 pm

I don't want to get into an argument about this: other people's eating habits are their own business and mine are my own. However, a major difference between me and a cat is I can live a long and healthy life without eating meat and a cat can't. I have a choice and am able to consider the consequences of that choice.



MaKin
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19 Jan 2013, 7:39 pm

The_Postmaster wrote:

See my previous post. I'm also going to pose several counterarguments here.

"but, to push my view on another would be disrespecting them, and that is not how i do things." Yes, it is. I'm sure you're content with having a legal system that protects you and punishes criminals? That's pushing your views on another. It's not disrespect, it's ethics. Another counterargument: if you were alive during a period when slavery was legal people would be saying exactly what you're saying about slavery. Were the abolitionists out of line for pushing their views on slaveholders?



i don't see what your questions about law and ethics concerning slavery have anything whatsoever to do with not eating meat.

when it comes to my personal preferences about eating meat, i would not push my views on another.
my ideas on humanitarian ethics are a separate matter.
i don't make the laws. i do not work for the legal system. and because of that, i am not pushing my views on another.

let's stick to the subject at hand, please, and not detract from the intent of the OP to get into a debate on slavery, because frankly, i have no idea what that has to do with being vegetarian.



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19 Jan 2013, 7:57 pm

I'm not a vegetarian, but I can understand why some people are.

The idea seems to be, "I don't have to kill animals to survive; therefore, I won't." These people often believe that killing an animal is wrong, and should be done only when the alternative is worse.

Humans are capable of abstract thought, of symbolic reasoning, and of thinking of possibilities that stretch far into the future. That gives us a lot of power--power that other animals don't have. And it gives us a lot of responsibility. We've domesticated some animals; we've driven some into extinction and let others reproduce out of control. Some we use for food, clothing, or entertainment.

The question we need to answer is exactly how we should be carrying out the responsibility that we have over animals. For me, the key part of it is that animals are not fully sentient (for the most part--you could make an argument for some of the great apes, and possibly dolphins). That is, they don't think "Me; my future; my past; my experiences; my life; my death." Animals seem to experience life as a series of sensations, and they don't engage in metacognition. They are not sentient, but most of them are conscious; and that means that they can have joy and sorrow. They can suffer. I believe that we have the responsibility to reduce suffering, and not to inflict it unless the alternative is worse.

I'm not a vegetarian because I don't believe it is wrong to kill an animal. But I do believe it is wrong to cause suffering when you have some alternative. I want livestock to be treated well and to live in an environment that does not cause them pain or stress. I want hunters to kill their prey cleanly and quickly, and to use what they kill. I want humane population control for animals which are feral or non-native, rather than mass kills. An animal's life should be respected, and not be wasted.

I can't agree with vegetarians, but I can understand why they decide not to eat meat. It's a compassionate viewpoint to take. If you believe that an animal has a right to life--that there's no qualitative difference between humans and other animals--then you cannot, in good conscience, participate in the killing of animals. I tend to take a position more along the lines of animal welfare, and so I do not think it is wrong to eat meat.

My cat may catch a mouse and play with it, causing suffering that's quite unnecessary, since she could just bite down and break the mouse's neck in a second. I'm fine with that. That's what cats do. But because I'm human and because I'm capable of very sophisticated thought and perspective-taking, I can't do the same thing. My cat doesn't understand that the mouse suffers; but I can, and that means that when I catch a mouse, it would be wrong for me to play with the mouse like my cat does. As a human, with the ability to understand that a mouse can suffer, I have the responsibility to kill the mouse quickly and painlessly, or to catch it and release it elsewhere, or simply to co-exist with the mouse (this last option I would not recommend, for the obvious reason that mouse droppings do not make a very healthful condiment).


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