Animal Rights?

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Beardhammer
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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby Beardhammer » Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:22 am UTC

cazadoremi wrote:The problem with much of meat eating is that it's divorced from killing. People should be required once or twice a year to kill one of the animals they eat. People are very good at pushing unpleasant thoughts out of their heads, and need a dose of reality when talking about life and death.


Pretty interesting concept. Having taken a few deer and helped my buddy clean and butcher them, it's not a pretty process, but it does make you appreciate your meat more. Mentally, I can see where the vegetarianism thing comes from, and I agree with it... but I like the taste of meat way too much to ever give it up, even if I do think it's extremely difficult to morally justify eating something more complex than simple vertebrates and invertebrates.

Deep_Thought wrote:But have you ever seen a carnivore refuse to gut a prey animal just because it doesn't like it? Morality requires empathy, something I'm not convinced my house cats ever had.


Probably not, but I don't think your cats would enjoy being the ones disemboweled. For that matter, I doubt the rats and birds they caught and ate enjoyed it, either. But there's a difference between being a predator and setting dogs on fire just for the hell of it, yeah?

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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby Deep_Thought » Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:37 am UTC

Beardhammer wrote:Probably not, but I don't think your cats would enjoy being the ones disemboweled. For that matter, I doubt the rats and birds they caught and ate enjoyed it, either. But there's a difference between being a predator and setting dogs on fire just for the hell of it, yeah?

Oh very definitely. For the record I don't advocate setting dogs on fire for any reason I can think of right now. I was just trying to point out that (Leaving higher primates and dolphins out of the discussion for a second) most of the animals I've encountered don't seem to have a sense of empathy, especially towards other species. My cats would play with injured birds on occasion, which seems an awful lot like doing it for the hell of it, and then quite contentedly curl up on my lap afterwards. Our ability to empathise with each other and other species is one of the things that marks homo sapiens out as different.

Upon re-reading the comments I posted that in response to, it would appear they were making mostly the same point. So now I'm not sure why I brought it up. Oh well.

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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby Falling » Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:19 pm UTC

Deep_Thought wrote:
Beardhammer wrote:Probably not, but I don't think your cats would enjoy being the ones disemboweled. For that matter, I doubt the rats and birds they caught and ate enjoyed it, either. But there's a difference between being a predator and setting dogs on fire just for the hell of it, yeah?

Oh very definitely. For the record I don't advocate setting dogs on fire for any reason I can think of right now. I was just trying to point out that (Leaving higher primates and dolphins out of the discussion for a second) most of the animals I've encountered don't seem to have a sense of empathy, especially towards other species. My cats would play with injured birds on occasion, which seems an awful lot like doing it for the hell of it, and then quite contentedly curl up on my lap afterwards. Our ability to empathise with each other and other species is one of the things that marks homo sapiens out as different.

Upon re-reading the comments I posted that in response to, it would appear they were making mostly the same point. So now I'm not sure why I brought it up. Oh well.


How is your point at all relevant anyway? Does the fact that a cat cannot empathize with a mouse mean we can ignore the cat's suffering? I'd like to see some really awesome logic to back that up instead of what everyone seems to through out which is basically, "if those animals that are so much dumber than I am can do it, so can I!"

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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:23 pm UTC

Curious that people agree that we should have to butcher an animal once or twice a year if we want to continue enjoying meat. Out of curiosity, do you feel that you should have to goto a field and spend a day harvesting goods? Goto a factory and assemble computer components? Work in a hospital and perform surgeries?

The ability of an individual to enjoy the perks of living in society does not require an individual be able to do, or indeed, even try to do, everything that is provided by that society. To suggest otherwise is patently ridiculous.
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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby Deep_Thought » Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:36 pm UTC

Falling wrote:How is your point at all relevant anyway? Does the fact that a cat cannot empathize with a mouse mean we can ignore the cat's suffering? I'd like to see some really awesome logic to back that up instead of what everyone seems to through out which is basically, "if those animals that are so much dumber than I am can do it, so can I!"

Because at some point I thought that someone in the thread had posted "We shouldn't hurt animals because they wouldn't hurt us", which is clearly nuts. That's all. I've reread the thread, and at the point I posted no-one made that point. I think someone did further up.

Izawwlgood wrote:Curious that people agree that we should have to butcher an animal once or twice a year if we want to continue enjoying meat. Out of curiosity, do you feel that you should have to goto a field and spend a day harvesting goods? Goto a factory and assemble computer components? Work in a hospital and perform surgeries?

It's not that you actually have to go and do it, just that you'd have to be willing to do it. It's not about being an expert, it's about the fact that just because somebody else does it for you, you are not absolved of any moral responsibility involved.

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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby Falling » Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:23 pm UTC

Deep_Thought wrote:
Falling wrote:How is your point at all relevant anyway? Does the fact that a cat cannot empathize with a mouse mean we can ignore the cat's suffering? I'd like to see some really awesome logic to back that up instead of what everyone seems to through out which is basically, "if those animals that are so much dumber than I am can do it, so can I!"

Because at some point I thought that someone in the thread had posted "We shouldn't hurt animals because they wouldn't hurt us", which is clearly nuts. That's all. I've reread the thread, and at the point I posted no-one made that point. I think someone did further up.

Izawwlgood wrote:Curious that people agree that we should have to butcher an animal once or twice a year if we want to continue enjoying meat. Out of curiosity, do you feel that you should have to goto a field and spend a day harvesting goods? Goto a factory and assemble computer components? Work in a hospital and perform surgeries?

It's not that you actually have to go and do it, just that you'd have to be willing to do it. It's not about being an expert, it's about the fact that just because somebody else does it for you, you are not absolved of any moral responsibility involved.


Oh ok, sorry. Other people certainly have made the claim I was railing against. So I think we're on the same page that it's just as ridiculous to say it's ok to hurt animals because they'd hurt us.

Izawwlgood, I'm partially agreeing with Deep_Thought's reply. There's also the fact that the majority of people have no idea whatsoever of what is involved in farming/killing an animal, so they have a responsibility to understand the effects of their actions.

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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby jakovasaur » Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:36 pm UTC

Falling wrote:
Oh ok, sorry. Other people certainly have made the claim I was railing against. So I think we're on the same page that it's just as ridiculous to say it's ok to hurt animals because they'd hurt us.

Izawwlgood, I'm partially agreeing with Deep_Thought's reply. There's also the fact that the majority of people have no idea whatsoever of what is involved in farming/killing an animal, so they have a responsibility to understand the effects of their actions.

What exactly are the effects of my actions as a meat-eater? Those animals were all dead before I even got a hankering for a hamburger. And it would be ludicrous to suggest that my purchasing habits, by themselves, are sufficient to cause the producers of meat to kill even a single extra animal.

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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby Deep_Thought » Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:41 pm UTC

jakovasaur wrote:What exactly are the effects of my actions as a meat-eater? Those animals were all dead before I even got a hankering for a hamburger. And it would be ludicrous to suggest that my purchasing habits, by themselves, are sufficient to cause the producers of meat to kill even a single extra animal.

I kind of see where you are coming from, but not really. I think the latest stats (Okay, I got these from an episode of QI) are that on average, Westerners eat something like a whole cow, several pigs, a whole lot of chickens, and several thousand fish over the course of their lifetime. So yes, your hankering for a hamburger might not cause an entire bovine to be killed but if you've ever been to KFC that's most of one chicken you're eating. Plus because most meat animals are reared specifically with that purpose in mind, if there wasn't demand for meat farmer's wouldn't bother growing them in the first place.

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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby Falling » Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:54 pm UTC

jakovasaur wrote:
Falling wrote:
Oh ok, sorry. Other people certainly have made the claim I was railing against. So I think we're on the same page that it's just as ridiculous to say it's ok to hurt animals because they'd hurt us.

Izawwlgood, I'm partially agreeing with Deep_Thought's reply. There's also the fact that the majority of people have no idea whatsoever of what is involved in farming/killing an animal, so they have a responsibility to understand the effects of their actions.

What exactly are the effects of my actions as a meat-eater? Those animals were all dead before I even got a hankering for a hamburger. And it would be ludicrous to suggest that my purchasing habits, by themselves, are sufficient to cause the producers of meat to kill even a single extra animal.


This sounds like a logical fallacy - false continuum maybe?

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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby Turtlewing » Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:57 pm UTC

My views are basically this:

Everything has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But since it would be really inconvenient to not be able to eat for moral reasons, I'll fall back on the age old tradition of selectively ignoring the rights that I find sufficiently inconvenient.

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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby jakovasaur » Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:32 pm UTC

Falling wrote:This sounds like a logical fallacy - false continuum maybe?

I'm not sure what you mean by this, but I don't think anything I said was factually incorrect. My purchases and eating habits are not significant enough to impact the business practices of meat producers into killing one more animal. The difference between me eating meat and me going vegetarian is effectively zero.

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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby TrlstanC » Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:55 pm UTC

jakovasaur wrote:The difference between me eating meat and me going vegetarian is effectively zero.


That's true, each time you eat meat the impact on gross demand for factory raised animals is effectively zero. Of course, that's only for each time as opposed to a lifetime of eating meat, and effectively zero is different than actually zero. For example, if I get drunk and drive and kill someone my impact on the road fatalities statistic is effectively zero.

But since it would be really inconvenient to not be able to eat for moral reasons, I'll fall back on the age old tradition of selectively ignoring the rights that I find sufficiently inconvenient.


This is really what it all comes down to, most people probably feel some small amount of discomfort when they think about where their meat comes from (at least if they've recently watched Fast Food Nation or something similiar) but they get more pleasure from eating it, so they're able to find a way to justify it to themselves . A lack of empathy for the animals keeps the discomfort to a managable level, and maintaining that lack of empathy isn't too hard if we can just keep pointing out some of the ways that the rest of the animals on this planet are different than us.

There's also some profit to be made by making sure that consumers are ignorant of the source of their food, or at the very least aren't reminded about the amount of processing, cost cutting, lack of quality, mass production and outright cruelty that's necessary to keep the american food system going.

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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby jakovasaur » Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:01 pm UTC

TrlstanC wrote:
jakovasaur wrote:The difference between me eating meat and me going vegetarian is effectively zero.


That's true, each time you eat meat the impact on gross demand for factory raised animals is effectively zero. Of course, that's only for each time as opposed to a lifetime of eating meat, and effectively zero is different than actually zero. For example, if I get drunk and drive and kill someone my impact on the road fatalities statistic is effectively zero.


No, I mean zero over the entire course of my life. I just can't imagine that if you took every single time I ate meat, and instead I said "no" and didn't have any, that even one less animal would be killed. And I said "effectively zero" rather than "zero" because the impact would ostensibly be some small portion of an animal, but given that the meaningful unit here would be number of actual animals killed.

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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:09 pm UTC

Deep_Thought wrote:It's not that you actually have to go and do it, just that you'd have to be willing to do it. It's not about being an expert, it's about the fact that just because somebody else does it for you, you are not absolved of any moral responsibility involved.

Yes, that's ridiculous; I have no desire to pick up a cities worth of trash, but enjoy being able to pay my taxes and have my trash picked up for me. Similarly, I have no desire to butcher an animal, and am quite content being able to pay someone to do it for me.
And what is the 'moral responsibility' involved in eating meat? It is being arbitrarily claimed that it is literally having an animals blood on your hands, and A) that's sort of silly for the reason I suggest above, and B) relies on then notion that animals are beings for whom their life is more important than the sustenance we gather from their execution. I think that point is debatable.
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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby TrlstanC » Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:34 pm UTC

jakovasaur wrote:No, I mean zero over the entire course of my life. I just can't imagine that if you took every single time I ate meat, and instead I said "no" and didn't have any, that even one less animal would be killed.


Farm Animal Statistics Meat Consumption

Americans eat 222lbs of meat each on average, or about 11 chickens (assuming you eat the whole thing, in reality, it's probably twice that number considering the amount of waste), 1 turkey, 1/3 of a pig, and a 50lb chunck out of a cow - every year. Or some where around 17,000 lbs in a lifetime, that would probably be somewhere in the range of a couple tractor trailer trucks full, not the amount that some corporation is just going to round to 0.

That's just for one person, eating the average amount of meat, there's certainly a lot of people eating way more than average. And then there's the estimated 7.3 Million Americans that are vegetarian. By my rough estimates the 3% of Americans that don't eat meet will prevent 8 Trillion chickens from being killed during their lifetimes.

Of course all those people could instead justify a choice to meat instead by saying that their choice had effectively zero impact, and we could open up a few more factory farms.

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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby jakovasaur » Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:39 pm UTC

TrlstanC wrote:
jakovasaur wrote:No, I mean zero over the entire course of my life. I just can't imagine that if you took every single time I ate meat, and instead I said "no" and didn't have any, that even one less animal would be killed.


Farm Animal Statistics Meat Consumption

Americans eat 222lbs of meat each on average, or about 11 chickens (assuming you eat the whole thing, in reality, it's probably twice that number considering the amount of waste), 1 turkey, 1/3 of a pig, and a 50lb chunck out of a cow - every year. Or some where around 17,000 lbs in a lifetime, that would probably be somewhere in the range of a couple tractor trailer trucks full, not the amount that some corporation is just going to round to 0.

That's just for one person, eating the average amount of meat, there's certainly a lot of people eating way more than average. And then there's the estimated 7.3 Million Americans that are vegetarian. By my rough estimates the 3% of Americans that don't eat meet will prevent 8 Trillion chickens from being killed during their lifetimes.

Of course all those people could instead justify a choice to meat instead by saying that their choice had effectively zero impact, and we could open up a few more factory farms.

So you're saying if I stopped eating meat today, that by this time next year 11 fewer chickens would have died? That sounds outrageous to me. The amount a company produces to meet the aggregate demand of each person in the entire country cannot possibly be affected by one person. They'd never notice.

Edit: What you seem to be saying is that if I suddenly go vegetarian, Perdue or whoever is going to notice that their demand has decreased by 11 chickens and set 11 of the little guys free or something. There is just no chance that is true. They will kill the exact same number.

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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby TrlstanC » Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:48 pm UTC

jakovasaur wrote:So you're saying if I stopped eating meat today, that by this time next year 11 fewer chickens would have died? That sounds outrageous to me. The amount a company produces to meet the aggregate demand of each person in the entire country cannot possibly be affected by one person. They'd never notice.


I'm just saying that there's a difference between zero and almost zero. However, if your moral decision on whether you feel right eating meat or not is based on the premise that "I don't make a difference" than you're probably right.

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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby Falling » Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:01 pm UTC

jakovasaur wrote:
TrlstanC wrote:
jakovasaur wrote:No, I mean zero over the entire course of my life. I just can't imagine that if you took every single time I ate meat, and instead I said "no" and didn't have any, that even one less animal would be killed.


Farm Animal Statistics Meat Consumption

Americans eat 222lbs of meat each on average, or about 11 chickens (assuming you eat the whole thing, in reality, it's probably twice that number considering the amount of waste), 1 turkey, 1/3 of a pig, and a 50lb chunck out of a cow - every year. Or some where around 17,000 lbs in a lifetime, that would probably be somewhere in the range of a couple tractor trailer trucks full, not the amount that some corporation is just going to round to 0.

That's just for one person, eating the average amount of meat, there's certainly a lot of people eating way more than average. And then there's the estimated 7.3 Million Americans that are vegetarian. By my rough estimates the 3% of Americans that don't eat meet will prevent 8 Trillion chickens from being killed during their lifetimes.

Of course all those people could instead justify a choice to meat instead by saying that their choice had effectively zero impact, and we could open up a few more factory farms.

So you're saying if I stopped eating meat today, that by this time next year 11 fewer chickens would have died? That sounds outrageous to me. The amount a company produces to meet the aggregate demand of each person in the entire country cannot possibly be affected by one person. They'd never notice.

Edit: What you seem to be saying is that if I suddenly go vegetarian, Perdue or whoever is going to notice that their demand has decreased by 11 chickens and set 11 of the little guys free or something. There is just no chance that is true. They will kill the exact same number.



That's why I said this is a continuum fallacy. Obviously at some point of people going vegetarian there is going to be a reduction in the number of animals killed, but at any point someone can say what you're saying.

No, if you go vegetarian Purdue will not reduce their numbers by 11, but if 1,000 people go vegetarian you can bet there's going to be a reduction.

Edit: Tristan I don't know how you came to your number of 11 chickens, but as slaughter weight of a broiler chicken around 5 lbs, we're talking about more like 40 chickens.
Other Edit: Sorry, Tristan. Just realized you had other animals in there, but jako left them out. Since we're talking about chickens though, 40 is the number.

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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:42 pm UTC

Falling wrote:No, if you go vegetarian Purdue will not reduce their numbers by 11, but if 1,000 people go vegetarian you can bet there's going to be a reduction.

If you want to take the economics approach, I think you fail to understand how the industry works: in the event of a reduction of some people eating meat, the industry will simply try and make remaining customers eat more meat, or, rope more customers into eating meat. If you want to send a message that factory farming is amoral, then instead of not buying from factory farms, you should instead buy from 'non-factory' farms. That is, help the competition, buy the products of businesses that raise meat in a manner you find acceptable. When those industries are successful, factory farms will take notice.
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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby Falling » Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:57 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Falling wrote:No, if you go vegetarian Purdue will not reduce their numbers by 11, but if 1,000 people go vegetarian you can bet there's going to be a reduction.

If you want to take the economics approach, I think you fail to understand how the industry works: in the event of a reduction of some people eating meat, the industry will simply try and make remaining customers eat more meat, or, rope more customers into eating meat. If you want to send a message that factory farming is amoral, then instead of not buying from factory farms, you should instead buy from 'non-factory' farms. That is, help the competition, buy the products of businesses that raise meat in a manner you find acceptable. When those industries are successful, factory farms will take notice.


I'm guessing you mean immoral there.

Please don't tell me how to spread a message, especially when you don't even know what the message is. Factory farms may be the most egregious, but I do not find any animal farms acceptable. I have no desire to consume animal products nor would I want to actively encourage anyone else to. If I put my money into vegan businesses and food products, I am helping the competition. It may not hurt the CAFOs as much as buying from smaller farms, but I have no desire for smaller animal farms to succeed either.

Of course I understand how businesses work. I think it's fairly obvious that when a business sees a fall in demand, they will try to increase it. That doesn't mean they'll be successful. Do you think that the current consumption of meat can never decline because they're just that amazing at marketing, because I think that's pretty ridiculous.

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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby DSenette » Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:06 pm UTC

Falling wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:
Falling wrote:No, if you go vegetarian Purdue will not reduce their numbers by 11, but if 1,000 people go vegetarian you can bet there's going to be a reduction.

If you want to take the economics approach, I think you fail to understand how the industry works: in the event of a reduction of some people eating meat, the industry will simply try and make remaining customers eat more meat, or, rope more customers into eating meat. If you want to send a message that factory farming is amoral, then instead of not buying from factory farms, you should instead buy from 'non-factory' farms. That is, help the competition, buy the products of businesses that raise meat in a manner you find acceptable. When those industries are successful, factory farms will take notice.


I'm guessing you mean immoral there.

Please don't tell me how to spread a message, especially when you don't even know what the message is. Factory farms may be the most egregious, but I do not find any animal farms acceptable. I have no desire to consume animal products nor would I want to actively encourage anyone else to. If I put my money into vegan businesses and food products, I am helping the competition. It may not hurt the CAFOs as much as buying from smaller farms, but I have no desire for smaller animal farms to succeed either.

Of course I understand how businesses work. I think it's fairly obvious that when a business sees a fall in demand, they will try to increase it. That doesn't mean they'll be successful. Do you think that the current consumption of meat can never decline because they're just that amazing at marketing, because I think that's pretty ridiculous.

vegan producers aren't seen as direct competition, especially given the extreme lack of them in general.

conventional meat farms see organic and "responsible" meat farms as their direct competition.

so you shifting your cash over to a vegan producer isn't going to show up on their radar.
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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby Falling » Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:11 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:vegan producers aren't seen as direct competition, especially given the extreme lack of them in general.

conventional meat farms see organic and "responsible" meat farms as their direct competition.

so you shifting your cash over to a vegan producer isn't going to show up on their radar.


So we shouldn't help that industry grow because it's too small to make a difference. Srsly?

I have absolutely no desire to see any of those farms succeed, and whether they currently see vegetarian alternatives as a threat is irrelevant.

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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby DSenette » Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:13 pm UTC

Falling wrote:
DSenette wrote:vegan producers aren't seen as direct competition, especially given the extreme lack of them in general.

conventional meat farms see organic and "responsible" meat farms as their direct competition.

so you shifting your cash over to a vegan producer isn't going to show up on their radar.


So we shouldn't help that industry grow because it's too small to make a difference. Srsly?

I have absolutely no desire to see any of those farms succeed, and whether they currently see vegetarian alternatives as a threat is irrelevant.

no no, you should try to help them succeed so that you have a place to buy stuff from, and the better they do the less they'll charge.

you just shouldn't suggest that it will have an impact on meat farms
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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby Falling » Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:23 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:you just shouldn't suggest that it will have an impact on meat farms


I absolutely think it will have an affect on meat farms, whether or not that's currently apparent to them.

There are significantly more veg*n businesses now than 10 years ago. Not only does that make it easier for people to become and stay veg*n.
Also most of these places see a lot of business from "regular" people, so I fail to see how this is not direct competition for those selling meat and other animal products.

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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby distractedSofty » Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:33 pm UTC

Falling wrote:There are significantly more veg*n businesses now than 10 years ago. Not only does that make it easier for people to become and stay veg*n.
Also most of these places see a lot of business from "regular" people, so I fail to see how this is not direct competition for those selling meat and other animal products.

Surely that's backwards: that only shows that they're not competition for meat, because not everyone who eats their food doesn't buy meat.

TrlstanC wrote:If we're going to talk about rights (whether human or animal), than we should recognize that rights are generally seen as inalienable, they exist whether we choose to recognize them or not. The question is "do animals have rights that we've been ignoring? What kinds of rights? And if so, should we start recognizing them?"

On the contrary: it should be recognized that if "rights" refers to something inalienable, then it is meaningless.

To illustrate, consider the human right to life. If the total population of the world did not recognise the right, and "random" killings were a fact of life, then you might say that the right to life is not being respected or recognised, but that right doesn't get you anything: you still are likely to be randomly killed. It is more useful to consider rights as an abstraction of the beliefs of the masses: when people are killed without cause, it is the opposition of the majority of the population that "creates" the right.

(Or in other words, you may believe in a kind of rights that exist outside of people's minds. Unfortunately, those rights can't interact with the real world in any meaningful way, so we should stick to the discussion of the kind of rights that can: those that are created by human morality.)

Most people already have a double standard when it comes to human rights: while I respect everyone's right to property, for example, I would actively assist a select group of people with retaining their's if they were having difficulty. The majority of people believe that animals have a right to freedom from cruelty, but not a right to life. (Actually, I'm not sure if anyone truly disagrees with that statement: even PETA recognise that putting down animals is often necessary.) And to take it a step further, we only believe that animals have a right to freedom from human cruelty. That's just another double standard(human/not human) we have to go along with the others.

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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby Falling » Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:38 pm UTC

distractedSofty wrote:
Falling wrote:There are significantly more veg*n businesses now than 10 years ago. Not only does that make it easier for people to become and stay veg*n.
Also most of these places see a lot of business from "regular" people, so I fail to see how this is not direct competition for those selling meat and other animal products.

Surely that's backwards: that only shows that they're not competition for meat, because not everyone who eats their food doesn't buy meat.


..no? It's not zero-sum. If someone who would normally eat a hamburger for lunch decides to go to a vegan restaurant, how is that not competition?

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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby distractedSofty » Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:40 pm UTC

Falling wrote:..no? It's not zero-sum. If someone who would normally eat a hamburger for lunch decides to go to a vegan restaurant, how is that not competition?

Again, you seem to have it backwards: You are implying that it is zero sum: the gain to the vegan establishment must necessarily come at a cost to the hamburger place.

But even if it were zero sum, the omnivore's diet already includes non-meats: patronising vegan establishments could just be a change in venue ("I was going to have a salad at home/at my desk, but you're right, that vegan place does sound great, let's go"), or time(Having eaten a vegan lunch yesterday may increase the chance of eating a hamburger today, and vice versa).

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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby Falling » Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:02 pm UTC

distractedSofty wrote:
Falling wrote:..no? It's not zero-sum. If someone who would normally eat a hamburger for lunch decides to go to a vegan restaurant, how is that not competition?

Again, you seem to have it backwards: You are implying that it is zero sum: the gain to the vegan establishment must necessarily come at a cost to the hamburger place.

But even if it were zero sum, the omnivore's diet already includes non-meats: patronising vegan establishments could just be a change in venue ("I was going to have a salad at home/at my desk, but you're right, that vegan place does sound great, let's go"), or time(Having eaten a vegan lunch yesterday may increase the chance of eating a hamburger today, and vice versa).


Yes, you're right just because someone eats at a vegan restaurant does not necessarily mean they are foregoing an otherwise meat-filled meal. Anecdotally, I can tell you this certainly does happen some of the time (which I'm sure you could have imagined on your own), which is all that's necessary to prove my point.

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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby Vash » Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:23 pm UTC

Deep_Thought wrote:But have you ever seen a carnivore refuse to gut a prey animal just because it doesn't like it? Morality requires empathy, something I'm not convinced my house cats ever had.


Cats don't generally have empathy for their prey, as far as I know. There are generally no indications at least. I doubt that they do. I still have empathy for cats, though.

Edit: How much can you really judge humans for forgoing empathy and eating animals? I would say not at all, really. Edit 2: I suppose in modern civilization we could eventually stop being omnivores, though.

OT:
Spoiler:
There is an argument to make that both within-species and outside-species aggression are linked, though. Einstein famously made that argument, and I've read it recently with a lot more evidence and detail. I thought it was foolish because self-regulation could just overcome that, though. Thinking about it more clearly now, there is no reason that aggression in general would have to be gotten rid of. I suppose I knew that in the first place, though
To discuss that, we'd need a new thread (or PMs). It'd be a short, though.

Demented Teddy wrote:I oppose animal cruelty but they do not have "rights", they're animals for Christ's sake, not people.

Treating them as if they were people will just monumentally mess up the...how should I put it...order of life or something, I can't think of the correct term.


I certainly would say one shouldn't treat any other animal identically to a human. It doesn't make sense. Rights for non-human animals, though? Sure. That doesn't mean that they should be identical to human rights. Animal rights can be conceived far too much like human rights, actually, and with little insight on morality in general. Some people are vegans who support animal rights and feed their cats vegetables. There are animal rights activists who kill humans. They channel their beliefs on veganism into within-species conflict, because they don't see anything wrong with that.

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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby thc » Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:44 pm UTC

Deep_Thought wrote:But have you ever seen a carnivore refuse to gut a prey animal just because it doesn't like it? Morality requires empathy, something I'm not convinced my house cats ever had.

I have met humans that are mean and cruel and use their "empathy" to hurt others. I have met animals that are kind and generous and caring of their owners.
Beardhammer wrote:But there's a difference between being a predator eating meat for enjoyment and setting dogs on fire just for the hell of it, yeah?

No, I don't believe there is a fundamental difference.

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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby Whimsical Eloquence » Sat Aug 06, 2011 1:02 am UTC

thc wrote:
Beardhammer wrote:But there's a difference between being a predator eating meat for enjoyment and setting dogs on fire just for the hell of it, yeah?

No, I don't believe there is a fundamental difference.


In one instance you are causing immense pain and suffering to a living creature, in another you're eating it's dead flesh. Now the latter option requires the death of that animal (usually non-naturally). The Ethical question for me is whether the creature felt pain. So I have no problem with largely painless, instantaneous slaughter.

Pain and Pleasure Utilitarianism is the Ethical system to apply in regards to animals, who only conceive of and be affected by things in that matter - as varying stimuli of differing quality and sensation.
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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby Cheezwhiz Jenkins » Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:10 am UTC

Whimsical Eloquence wrote:Pain and Pleasure Utilitarianism is the Ethical system to apply in regards to animals, who only conceive of and be affected by things in that matter - as varying stimuli of differing quality and sensation.


*In your humble opinion.
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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby Whimsical Eloquence » Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:35 am UTC

Cheezwhiz Jenkins wrote:
Whimsical Eloquence wrote:Pain and Pleasure Utilitarianism is the Ethical system to apply in regards to animals, who only conceive of and be affected by things in that matter - as varying stimuli of differing quality and sensation.


*In your humble opinion.


I understood that was the basis on which this whole forum is predicated.
“People understand me so poorly that they don't even understand my complaint about them not understanding me.”
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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby Beardhammer » Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:09 am UTC

jakovasaur wrote:So you're saying if I stopped eating meat today, that by this time next year 11 fewer chickens would have died? That sounds outrageous to me. The amount a company produces to meet the aggregate demand of each person in the entire country cannot possibly be affected by one person. They'd never notice.

Edit: What you seem to be saying is that if I suddenly go vegetarian, Perdue or whoever is going to notice that their demand has decreased by 11 chickens and set 11 of the little guys free or something. There is just no chance that is true. They will kill the exact same number.


Probably, but you're looking at it from an individual level, which is also the issue with the kinds of numbers being posted. The amount of chicken eaten amounts to the same weight as 11 chickens, but you're right that it's not going to literally be 11 individual chickens.

If you decided you don't wanna eat chicken anymore, the producers won't even notice. But 1,000 people decide to stop eating chicken? 10,000? 100,000? You can be damned sure they'll notice and likely have to dial back production unless they can convince the rest of the chicken-eating people to step up their consumption rates.

distractedSofty wrote:
Falling wrote:..no? It's not zero-sum. If someone who would normally eat a hamburger for lunch decides to go to a vegan restaurant, how is that not competition?

Again, you seem to have it backwards: You are implying that it is zero sum: the gain to the vegan establishment must necessarily come at a cost to the hamburger place.

But even if it were zero sum, the omnivore's diet already includes non-meats: patronising vegan establishments could just be a change in venue ("I was going to have a salad at home/at my desk, but you're right, that vegan place does sound great, let's go"), or time(Having eaten a vegan lunch yesterday may increase the chance of eating a hamburger today, and vice versa).


Wait, I don't get this. If we've got a person that has decided they're gonna eat out today and it's a toss-up between the burgers or that awesome hummus stuff the vegan place makes, and they decide on the vegan place, how is the burger joint not out of money in this situation? If the person had $5 to blow on eating out and they decided on veggies instead of burgers, that means the burger place isn't getting their money. If that happened consistently enough to develop into a trend, I'm pretty certain they'd notice it and consider the veggie people to be competitors.

Couldn't this also be applied to people making their food at home? You go to the grocery store to buy the food. What if someone decided to alter their diet (for whatever reason) to include more veggies and less meat? The meat producers are now making less money from that person because they're dividing their food money for the week or month so that they spend more of it on veggies now, and less of it on meat. Again, that would show up if enough people started doing it, and wouldn't that qualify the veggie people as competition for the meat folks? It's not direct competition within the same industry - they aren't, for example, going from buying from meat producer A to meat producer B - but it's competition for food production as a whole? I'm not sure if I'm misunderstanding your point or if I'm failing to get my point across correctly.

thc wrote:No, I don't believe there is a fundamental difference.


How so? Cats aside, I don't know of many animals that deliberately play with or otherwise antagonize their prey before killing it and eating it, outside of basic hunting practices (wolves coursing a herd of whatevers until they panic and scatter, for example.) More to the point, dousing a dog in gas and setting it on fire for shits and giggles isn't about hunting, or even feeding - you wouldn't douse a dog in gas if you were planning on eating it.

It's cruelty for the sake of cruelty. I don't see how you're able to see that as being the same as a predator-prey interaction.

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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby cazadoremi » Sat Aug 06, 2011 8:14 am UTC

The argument that going vegetarian doesn't directly impact the meat industry doesn't hold water, because the profit margins aren't so high:
Here's something from the USDA (sorry the frames are kinda crazy)
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s ... ogle.co.jp
$83 per cow profit margin, with around $270-330 per year feeding cost. If the average cow yields 450 lbs of beef, and 9 people going vegetarian is enough to make up for 1 cow, then it takes the sale of 3-4 cows to recoup the upkeep cost of the one unproductive cow.
US farming subsidies might ease this loss, but the significance of just a few people is clear.

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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby Deep_Thought » Sat Aug 06, 2011 8:44 am UTC

Exactly. The idea that people going vegetarian/vegan doesn't affect the meat industry at all is clearly ludicrous - if we all turned vegetarian tomorrow the meat industry would collapse overnight. Of course, that's the extreme at one end of the continuum, and you guys are right that one person turning vegetarian makes no practicable difference. There is a point somewhere in between where if enough people turn vegetarian then aggregate demand for meat drops, resulting most likely in some farms going out of business and hence the number of animals raised and slaughtered dropping.

See just about every social movement ever. When there's 6 billion people on the planet then yes, your individual actions don't matter that much. But get a few hundred thousand, and then a million, people to think and act the same as you and you can change the world.

Whimsical Eloquence wrote:*In your humble opinion.


I understood that was the basis on which this whole forum is predicated.

Emphasis on the opinion but not necessarily the humble ;)
Last edited by Deep_Thought on Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:10 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby distractedSofty » Sat Aug 06, 2011 9:44 am UTC

Beardhammer wrote:Wait, I don't get this. If we've got a person that has decided they're gonna eat out today and it's a toss-up between the burgers or that awesome hummus stuff the vegan place makes, and they decide on the vegan place, how is the burger joint not out of money in this situation? If the person had $5 to blow on eating out and they decided on veggies instead of burgers, that means the burger place isn't getting their money. If that happened consistently enough to develop into a trend, I'm pretty certain they'd notice it and consider the veggie people to be competitors.

Couldn't this also be applied to people making their food at home? You go to the grocery store to buy the food. What if someone decided to alter their diet (for whatever reason) to include more veggies and less meat? The meat producers are now making less money from that person because they're dividing their food money for the week or month so that they spend more of it on veggies now, and less of it on meat. Again, that would show up if enough people started doing it, and wouldn't that qualify the veggie people as competition for the meat folks? It's not direct competition within the same industry - they aren't, for example, going from buying from meat producer A to meat producer B - but it's competition for food production as a whole? I'm not sure if I'm misunderstanding your point or if I'm failing to get my point across correctly.

You're misunderstanding my point (or more accurately, Falling's original point that I was responding to):

Falling wrote:There are significantly more veg*n businesses now than 10 years ago [and] most of these places see a lot of business from "regular" people, so I fail to see how this is not direct competition for those selling meat and other animal products.

Or in other words, there are people who eat meat eating at vegan restaurants: meat producers must be getting less money.This is a non sequitur: not all of a meat eater's money or even all of their food budget is spent on meat.

This is not the "person has 5 dollars, could spend it at hamburger joint or vegan restaurant" scenario. This is "person just spent $5 at vegan restaurant: hamburger joint must be out $5". You can't assume that a meat eater who spends $5 at a vegan restaurant would otherwise have spent it on meat.

Which leaves out two points that I only alluded too before, but will state now: Food budgets are not zero sum (who knows, now I might both have the delicious vegetable curry, and still have a hamburger mid afternoon), and secondly, the meat eaters eating at vegan establishments don't care about the veganness(veganity? veganosity?) (if vegan cuisine became hugely popular, it's quite likely that you would see "knock off vegan": say using dairy and chicken stock and so on, because they are cheaper/people like them.)

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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby Cheezwhiz Jenkins » Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:21 pm UTC

Whimsical Eloquence wrote:
Cheezwhiz Jenkins wrote:
Whimsical Eloquence wrote:Pain and Pleasure Utilitarianism is the Ethical system to apply in regards to animals, who only conceive of and be affected by things in that matter - as varying stimuli of differing quality and sensation.


*In your humble opinion.


I understood that was the basis on which this whole forum is predicated.


Oh that's right, I forgot, we don't use Science here at all.
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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby Falling » Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:07 pm UTC

distractedSofty wrote:Or in other words, there are people who eat meat eating at vegan restaurants: meat producers must be getting less money.This is a non sequitur: not all of a meat eater's money or even all of their food budget is spent on meat.

This is not the "person has 5 dollars, could spend it at hamburger joint or vegan restaurant" scenario. This is "person just spent $5 at vegan restaurant: hamburger joint must be out $5". You can't assume that a meat eater who spends $5 at a vegan restaurant would otherwise have spent it on meat.

Which leaves out two points that I only alluded too before, but will state now: Food budgets are not zero sum (who knows, now I might both have the delicious vegetable curry, and still have a hamburger mid afternoon), and secondly, the meat eaters eating at vegan establishments don't care about the veganness(veganity? veganosity?) (if vegan cuisine became hugely popular, it's quite likely that you would see "knock off vegan": say using dairy and chicken stock and so on, because they are cheaper/people like them.)


Dude, I'm not sure how you aren't getting this. I never claimed it was always the case that a vegan meal necessarily replaces a non-vegan meal, but it DOES happen. You just can't argue this point. You want to argue the relative frequency? Knock yourself out.

Those numbers become much harder to talk about, but in my experience, the average american has animal protein at almost every single meal, so I would still venture to guess that a vegan meal is generally replacing a non-vegan one, but again this is not central to my point.

As for your last point, I think you're wrong there too. I don't exactly know why, but many non-vegans still feel good about a vegan meal. In my experience, vegan places depend on vegan patronage. A lot of there business is mixed company and I don't see a "knock-off" vegan eatery doing well at all.

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Re: Animal Rights?

Postby distractedSofty » Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:10 pm UTC

Falling wrote:Dude, I'm not sure how you aren't getting this. I never claimed it was always the case that a vegan meal necessarily replaces a non-vegan meal, but it DOES happen. You just can't argue this point. You want to argue the relative frequency? Knock yourself out.

I'm "not getting it" because you have completely failed to provide any evidence. All you've done is make a logical argument, but the logic doesn't hold: if a meat eater has a vegan lunch, then nothing stops them from saying "well, I didn't have any meat for lunch, so I feel completely fine with cooking more meat for dinner". Feel free to point me to studies that show that part time vegan eating reduces total meat consumption.


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