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Switch to Forum Live View another aspect to vegetarianism...
3 years ago  ::  Jun 30, 2011 - 7:57PM #31
Ur2
Posts: 4,087

If God didn't want us to eat animals, He wouldn't have made them out of meat.


Humans have been eating meat since we were proto-humans in Africa. Chimpanzees today eat meat from their own kills. Baboons eat meat from their own kills. If we came from a branch of these very same animals that still exist today that surely existed back then... Then eating meat is not something altogether human.


Humans have eaten each other and still do today in some outlandish outposts of our human brotherhood.


The subject of eating meat is a misnomer and any jury would find one innocent of such a practice on any grounds.


Raising meat for food is deletrious to our Planet. The food input toards the food output is alarming. The amount of methane produced by just cattle production alone is irregretable and is often shelved towards what we want versus what is good for the Planet.


Paleontologists support the notion that early humans lived along seashores and ate fish whether it was caught or washed up on the shoreline. The Aleuts today thrive mainly upon meat as they have for ten thousand years.


There is no argument against the OP, there are just many with differing points of view. Does a cow suffer more than a whale when it dies if it is for food and human sustenance?


Thanx,


Ur2   

Health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

The next best thing to being clever is being able to quote someone who is.

"Truth is mighty and will prevail. There is nothing the matter with this, except it ain't so."
Samuel Langhorne Clemens
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3 years ago  ::  Jun 30, 2011 - 8:01PM #32
costrel
Posts: 6,226

Jun 30, 2011 -- 6:29PM, solfeggio wrote:

My only thought is of the mother pig, kept in close confinement with her piglets for a few months, never seeing the outdoors or knowing what it would be like to live a natural life. [...]


And yeah, you know what?  If being empathetic makes me the aberrant one or the deviate, then I'm glad.  And I'm really sorry that the rest of the human race went the other way, into being the spoilt, selfish, self-centred beings that evidently most of us are.  Because if everybody could truly experience the pain and suffering of not just our fellow animals, but our fellow humans as well, maybe this poor, tired old world wouldn't be so friggin' fu*ked up.


Ok, Solfeggio, let's look at the issue you raise in the first passage that I have cited above from a rational perspective (rather than from an emotional perspective). I do think this is a very important issue. If the whole world, or at least the major industrialized nations in North America, South America, Europe, and East Asia were to suddenly stop eating meat (and presumbly, stop using other animal products like milk, eggs, and wool), what would become of these domesticated animals? First of all, we all know that there is very little wilderness left even for the wild animals. Human beings have carved so much of the available land up for cities and non-animal agriculture (the growing of rice, wheat, corn, soybeans, etc.) that animals such as bears, deer, etc. have started to invade human space in order to survive. And with the lack of major predators such as wolves, deer populations, for instance, have increased to the point where it is almost (or indeed) necessary for humans to hunt them because, again, they just don't have enough wild land to live on. So if there is not enough wilderness left for wild animals to live the natural lives that they have been living since at least the Pleistocene (and for many animals, much earlier than that), where is the available space for domesticated animals going to come from?


According to an article in the July 2011 issue of National Geographic, the Pineywoods breed of cattle can "live and breed without human assistance." Domesticated animals have reached such a level of domestication that many of them apparently require human assistance to even live and breed, as if they, like so many humans, would not be able to survive successfully if they were suddenly plopped down in the wilderness and had to fend for themselves. Perhaps this would a beneficial thing in the long run -- certain domesticated breeds that could not survive without human assistance would die out, while those that either do not need human assistance, or that could learn to adapt to the point where they are in a semi-wild or even fully-wild state again (much like wild horses and feral cats) would be able to successfully survive and live automonous lives.


I think it is good that people want to stop eating animals and/or stop using animal products out of compassion for animals, just as I think it is good for meat-eating humans (like the Dalai Lama) to be against factory farming and battery cages and better lives for domesticated animals, but two of the biggest problems I see with dispensing with eating meat is human urbanization and human population growth. If these domesticated animals are going to know what it is like to live a natural life, they are going to need land to live on. And that means that we somehow have to curb not only humanity's obsessive growth of cities, suburbs, and plowed land for crops to feed human beings, but also humanity's obsessive birth rates and population growth. In Japan, nearly every piece of land that does not have a building or that is not dedicated to a shrine or a temple is used for rice fields; and here in South Dakota, we may have very small towns, but the land that separates these small towns consists of cropland. To an extensive degree, this world is (to use your phrase) "so friggin' fucked up" because of urbanization and explosive human population growth.


So again, I applaud those who, like Thoreau, can envision a society and a world where humans do not eat animals or use animal products such as milk, eggs, and wool, but without somehow finding solutions to our ever-growing urbanization and our ever-growing human population, I don't see where these domesticated animals are going to live besides perhaps in zoos, which would mean their caged zoo lives would be little different than their current factory-farm lives. (If, as philosopher Martha Nussbaum suggests in her book Frontiers of Justice, we were to sterilize animals for the purposes of "preventing overpopulation and consequent shortage and neglect" [page 396], we could keep their populations down to the point where we could sufficiently house a few of them in zoos.) But until we can solve this problem of living space for domesticated animals, I am not so sure that refusing to eat them is the most practical or even the most ethical and moral action to take at this current time.

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3 years ago  ::  Jun 30, 2011 - 9:04PM #33
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,833

To get back to the OP, I believe life to be a compromise on many fronts. Some people have the opportunities and resources to eat a varied diet, perhaps even to grow most of their own food. Others live at poverty level or below in cities where they have limited access to good, healthy food options. The homeless who often eat at McDonald's, mentioned previously, would be a good example of people doing what they can or must simply to survive.


Thus, I think that the people in this article who choose to eat meat and endeavor to eat only organic, free-range meats and poultry are making a reasonable compromise. As I see it, they're doing better than many people despite not eating as virtuously as Solfeggio prefers.


Myself, since my digestion can't tolerate a vegetarian diet, I buy organic, free-range meats and wild-caught seafood as often as possible. When I eat meat, poultry or seafood, I follow the Native American custom of expressing gratitude to the animal that gave its life for my nourishment.


That's my compromise.

Moderated by Merope on Jul 09, 2011 - 09:28PM
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3 years ago  ::  Jun 30, 2011 - 9:07PM #34
arielg
Posts: 9,116

So again, I applaud those who, like Thoreau, can envision a society and a world where humans do not eat animals or use animal products such as milk, eggs, and wool, but without somehow finding solutions to our ever-growing urbanization and our ever-growing human population, I don't see where these domesticated animals are going to live besides perhaps in zoos, which would mean their caged zoo lives would be little different than their current factory-farm lives. (If, as philosopher Martha Nussbaum suggests in her book Frontiers of Justice, we were to sterilize animals for the purposes of "preventing overpopulation and consequent shortage and neglect" [page 396], we could keep their populations down to the point where we could sufficiently house a few of them in zoos.) But until we can solve this problem of living space for domesticated animals, I am not so sure that refusing to eat them is the most practical or even the most ethical and moral action to take at this current time.


In your aimless ranting  only one thing  becomes clear: "the world is the way it is and there is nothing anybody can do about it until it changes and then we'll  do all kinds of things differently. 


 But the problem is not so complicated.  It is just this: what do I  do and why?  That is all one needs to be clear about. The world will take care of itself.

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3 years ago  ::  Jun 30, 2011 - 9:10PM #35
arielg
Posts: 9,116

If God didn't want us to eat animals, He wouldn't have made them out of meat.


Great insight. I guess it is OK to eat each other.  We are all made out of meat and hyenas would eat us.

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3 years ago  ::  Jun 30, 2011 - 9:25PM #36
costrel
Posts: 6,226

Jun 30, 2011 -- 9:07PM, arielg wrote:

In your aimless ranting  only one thing  becomes clear: "the world is the way it is and there is nothing anybody can do about it until it changes and then we'll  do all kinds of things differently. 


 But the problem is not so complicated.  It is just this: what do I  do and why?  That is all one needs to be clear about. The world will take care of itself.


First of all, I was not ranting, nor was it aimless. What I was trying to offer was a point of direction for philosophical discussion and real-world solutions that I hope are more rationally-constructed than emotionally-driven (and therefore in a little different direction than the typical emotionally-driven responses concerning suffering and compassion that appear to dominate threads such as these). Second of all, I believe in collective action -- society, and not lone-wolf individuals,  must decide to change before effective change can occur. The individual can accomplish little without being part of a mass of men and women who together try to answer questions, who together try to offer solutions and solve problems, and who work together, in concert, for the betterment of all. (Yes, in some ways, my ideas are similar to the ideas of Eco-Socialists and Eco-Marxists, but in other ways they are different.)


Finally, I did list what I consider two of the major issues that I see that we must collectively change -- lower birth rates and a decrease of urbanization. I know I wasn't very clear about the implications of finding ways to decrease these two issues -- i.e., that solutions to decreasing both of these issues can lead to a reclamation of wild land for the benefit of wild animals and domestic animals. Even if we set aside preserves and refuges dedicated for the use of domesticated animals as we have done with birds, mammals and other wild animals (which I think would be better for the animals than forced sterilization and zoo living), this can only effectively happen if we first reclaim land from human use. And this is something that takes collective action, not individual action.

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3 years ago  ::  Jun 30, 2011 - 9:34PM #37
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,833

I think you've presented a very thoughtful and well-stated analysis, Costrel.


Dismissing it as "aimless ranting" does nothing to demonstrate why your ideas do not represent a reasonable course of action nor why Arielg apparently considers them unworthy of a thoughtful response.


If "What do I do and why?" were the only significant question governing human behavior, many of us would still be slaveowners.


Costrel makes an excellent point, IMO, that collective action is necessary before widespread social change can come about. We have ample evidence of that in the gradually increasing acceptance of gay marriage.


 

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3 years ago  ::  Jun 30, 2011 - 10:03PM #38
arielg
Posts: 9,116

The world didn't come to be what is because someone planned it this way.  And it is not going to change because some people have some plans, which are nothing but intellectual musings.  We influence the world according to what we are. A confused person will bring confusion, no matter what their plans.  That is why I say the only real  changes  happen to  individuals.


Most of the time, people who want to change the world are unable to change themselves. What we eat and why is a good example.

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3 years ago  ::  Jun 30, 2011 - 10:58PM #39
mytmouse57
Posts: 9,782

Empathy is one thing. Projection of human attributes, and importance, is another.


I have enough empathy for animals to know they don't care a sh*t about human projections. For them, eating, or being killed and eaten by something else, is just mere fact.

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3 years ago  ::  Jun 30, 2011 - 11:44PM #40
solfeggio
Posts: 9,468

Mainecaptain -


I so appreciated your post.  ((((((((Thank you very much for your support!))))))

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