Vegetarianism is a Higher level View

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MJA
 
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 10:12 am
I'm a vegetarian because it is the most humane thing I can do.

And so are a few of my closest friends:

Vegetarian Quotes

"For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love."
Pythagoras, mathematician
"The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men."
Leonardo da Vinci, artist and scientist

"To a man whose mind is free there is something even more intolerable in the sufferings of animals than in the sufferings of man. For with the latter it is at least admitted that suffering is evil and that the man who causes it is a criminal. But thousands of animals are uselessly butchered every day without a shadow of remorse. If any man were to refer to it, he would be thought ridiculous. And that is the unpardonable crime."
Romain Rolland, author, Nobel Prize 1915

"If a group of beings from another planet were to land on Earth -- beings who considered themselves as superior to you as you feel yourself to be to other animals -- would you concede them the rights over you that you assume over other animals?"
George Bernard Shaw, playwright, Nobel Prize 1925

"What is it that should trace the insuperable line? ...The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?"
Jeremy Bentham, philosopher

"In their behavior toward creatures, all men are Nazis. Human beings see oppression vividly when they're the victims. Otherwise they victimize blindly and without a thought."
Isaac Bashevis Singer, author, Nobel Prize 1978

"Our task must be to free ourselves . . . by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty."
"Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet."
Albert Einstein, physicist, Nobel Prize 1921

"I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being."
Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. President

"You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity."
Ralph Waldo Emerson, essayist

"As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will be battlefields."
"What I think about vivisection is that if people admit that they have the right to take or endanger the life of living beings for the benefit of many, there will be no limit to their cruelty."
Leo Tolstoy author

"I cannot fish without falling a little in self-respect...always when I have done I feel it would have been better if I had not fished."
Henry David Thoreau, author

"While we ourselves are the living graves of murdered beasts, how can we expect any ideal conditions on this earth?"
"Atrocities are not less atrocities when they occur in laboratories and are called medical research."
George Bernard Shaw

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
"To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being."
Mahatma Gandhi, statesman and philosopher

"I am not interested to know whether vivisection produces results that are profitable to the human race or doesn't...The pain which it inflicts upon unconsenting animals is the basis of my enmity toward it, and it is to me sufficient justification of the enmity without looking further."
Mark Twain, author

"Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages."
Thomas Edison, inventor

Do you have a vegetarian thought of your own to extend this thread?


=
MJA

__________________
[CENTER]The truth of everything is less than one inch,
it is only equal and the lion is one.
One is free when the door is opened,
education has the key.
=[/CENTER]
 
Mr Fight the Power
 
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 12:02 pm
@MJA,
Not one of those individuals can speak to the suffering of animals. They can only observe the reaction of the animals and pontificate.

Do these individuals also consider themselves lower than wolves?
 
sarathustrah
 
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 12:29 pm
@MJA,
would you think a lion is immoral for eating the wildebeest?

i think nature has always maintained a balance with omnivores herbivores and carnivores... i think balance is key... especially if overpopulation of certain animals has a negative impact on the environment... but to eat a species of crab thats going extinct simply because its delicious and craved... thats where the line is...

i agree the treatment of animals should be improved... i think animals deserve rights...

i certainly disagree with hunting for fun or making trophies out of dead animals... thats certainly a sick thing to do...

if reincarnation is how it works... would nobody choose to come back as an animal meant to be food? I certainly wouldnt want to be a chicken or cow in the american meat industry... i would choose a land in more need of food... but just like if my family was deserted and about to resort to cannibalism... i truly believe i would offer myself...

as humans were granted with a specialized empathy it certainly feels wrong sometimes... but it doesnt mean its cruel and wrong to survive... but lately its not survival... its cravings... comfort foods...

its certainly a good thing to practice healthy morals and eat in a healthy way... but its unhealthy to take it to an extreme and say no meat never ever, especially if our teeth and digestive system were designed to consume meat. and kinda silly from my perspective when they even go so far as to say milk is for baby cows and not humans...

what about chicken noodle soup when your sick?

remember that part in hitchhikers guide.... the cow feels its purpose is to be dinner... to deny him the ability upset him...
 
boagie
 
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 12:35 pm
@Mr Fight the Power,
YO!Smile

Life lives upon life as the snake consuming its own tail. This harsh reality is not one you can escape from, becoming a vegetarian does not mean you escape this, vegetables are life forms. Have you never heard the horrific screams emanating from a tomato being sliced. It might be said that the vegetable is the most innocent of life forms and the least able to defend itself--------shame on you, it simply disgusts me!! Did you know Hitler was a vegetarian? One could become to sensitive to survive, the killing and the consumption of other life forms is the way of nature, granted nature is horrific, but that is the way it is.
 
MMHAYES
 
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 12:49 pm
@boagie,
"A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite." - Leo Tolstoy.

I'm seriously thinking about vegetarianism for myself, as I hope to be an advocate of nonviolence in the future... and this would appear to contradict with any meat eating.

The great question is though, where IS the line drawn? If my blood is being sucked by a mosquito, must I let it be? What if ants were to get into my vegetables? In my opinion, if one becomes a vegetarian for ethical reasons, they must draw a line somewhere. And the tiniest insect suffers as much as the cow, the chicken, and the human being.
 
Mr Fight the Power
 
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 01:12 pm
@MJA,
Before I even begin to consider this argument, can anyone please explain to me how we observe and measure suffering?
 
sarathustrah
 
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 03:21 pm
@MJA,
yeah... good question...

plus wheres the line in the right to life argument too... trees? flowers? herbs and medicines? bacteria? parasites? nothing should be harmed? flowers cant be picked... trees cant be chopped down... a parasite has the right to live in you if it got in... even though it feels pain and would suffer the most slow and painful starvation ever if removed...

see... i just think there is a line... and different personalities will put it in a different place... we should just respect the choice thats made... all too many vegetarians are so actively hateful over meat eaters... and many omnivores i know tease the peta people... thats an even more unhealthy mentality yknow...
 
Bones-O
 
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 04:11 pm
@MJA,
Where precisely lies the line? Is it okay to eat clams since they have no central nervous system, self-awareness, etc?
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 07:55 pm
@Bones-O,
I would not bring up PETA as a good example of people trying to end the suffering of animals - PETA has killed thousands of animals at their headquarters.

MFTP: how can we observe and measure suffering? I'm not sure that suffering can be measure in any objective way, however, observing suffering is easy.
For example: go hit your dog, hard. Tomorrow, raise your fist at the dog as though you are going to strike and see if the dog cowers. Well, no, do not strike your dog: but you get the point. We can witness these animals avoid suffering and abuse.

Ever mistreat a cat? Afterwards, she doesn't purr and rub against your leg anymore, does she?

The lion is not immoral for eating a gazelle; the lion has no moral faculty. Humans, however, do have a moral faculty. We have a conscience. This conscience is a gift as well as a responsibility. I am a carnivore, but I accept the fact that being so is immoral.

The question is: is causing suffering morally acceptable or morally reprehensible? If causing suffering is the latter, we have a moral duty to try our best not to cause any undue suffering.
 
Joe
 
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 08:01 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
"Violence does not and cannot exist by itself; it is invariably intertwined with the lie." - Alexander Solzhenitsyn
 
Justin
 
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 09:09 pm
@MMHAYES,
boagie wrote:
Life lives upon life as the snake consuming its own tail. This harsh reality is not one you can escape from, becoming a vegetarian does not mean you escape this, vegetables are life forms. Have you never heard the horrific screams emanating from a tomato being sliced. It might be said that the vegetable is the most innocent of life forms and the least able to defend itself--------shame on you, it simply disgusts me!! Did you know Hitler was a vegetarian? One could become to sensitive to survive, the killing and the consumption of other life forms is the way of nature, granted nature is horrific, but that is the way it is.


True in many ways but why should that discuss you? What does Hitler have to do with it? Just thought I'd toss those out there boagie. Smile

Who knows where to draw the line in suffering and who really cares what the other guy does anyway. If one wants to eat meat and one does not, that's a personal choice and often times a spiritual one as well.

M.M.HAYES wrote:
I'm seriously thinking about vegetarianism for myself, as I hope to be an advocate of nonviolence in the future... and this would appear to contradict with any meat eating.


I love a nice Ribeye or Filet Mignon. However as of recent and certainly unexpectedly my tastes started to change. It could be because I'm around 3 months since quitting smoking. Needless to say, I've been having similar thoughts on becoming a vegetarian. Not necessarily because I want to but because meat doesn't taste good to me anymore. It's funny how these types of things come up in the forums... timing and the thought.

Back to the topic though. I'm leaning towards vegetables and learing to appreciate them and all they have to offer towards health and vibrant mind. I believe becoming a vegetarian would be a personal choice in the direction of the, sharpening of one's stone, per se.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 09:15 pm
@Justin,
Vegetarianism is certainly a personal choice: just as my carnivorous tendencies, despite the fact that I theoretically find meat eating to be morally reprehensible in most circumstances, is a personal choice.

But, even if we admit that the decision is ultimately a personal one, the question of the morality of eating meat remains.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 09:56 pm
@MMHAYES,
M.M.HAYES wrote:
And the tiniest insect suffers as much as the cow, the chicken, and the human being.


Well, that's not necessarily true. It's wholly dependent on the development of the nervous system.

---

Let's delve further:

Many creatures have diets constructed upon organisms that live near their natural habitats. Suppose humans did not have the methods of transportation currently available and could only survive on the animals closest, would it be immoral for us to kill these animals for food? Mind you, this is the way it was throughout the known earth before the advent of anything but horseback. Many more suppositions could be offered, but it would just water this post down (Note: Many of these suppositions would have been prevalent in some form during humanity's existence; they wouldn't just be fantastical conjurations)

The question is: Would the critically thinking vegetarian consider that the very prospect of causing another life pain may not be the deciding factor, but rather particular circumstance?

When one decides to become a vegetarian, I usually see an elitist attitude develop. I witness a tendency to lecture, and also a disrespect for those that aren't advocates of a vegetarian diet. Sometimes, I even see vegetarians argue with more fervor than a fundamentalist Christian! Mind you, I'm not saying this applies to every vegetarian, and I understand my experience may not be that of everyone else. However, for one that takes the path of "Don't harm any creature", I tend to see much harm done, usually in the form of verbal abuse. But I digress, let me stay on track:

As others have asked, where is the line? One can honestly not see the line. Sure, you can refrain from eating animals (mind you, the animals are dead either way), but what does this really change? Unless one completely secludes themselves from society, they will be contributing no matter what to the death of various life-forms. Do these same "vegetarians" not drive cars (harmful emissions for many mammalian creatures), live in houses (destruction of natural habitat), wear clothes (destruction of habitat, in addition to killing of various forms of bacteria, insects), eat grain and vegetables (harvesting kills small rodents and various life-forms)*, or take walks (destruction of insects, insect habitats)?

* Many of these vegetarians buy from popular grocery stores that have contracts with various distributors which harvest grain and vegetables, in, what a vegetarian may judge, "An immoral manner". However, very view are away of our current harvesting procedures, so this is overlooked. If, however, vegetarians were aware of this, I believe a vast majority would become anaroxic [or a bit more flexible] Wink

Either live in your little hut secluded from society, personally harvesting your own vegetables (hoping you don't kill a bee... also hoping that science doesn't reveal plants can *feel* on some level after all!), never abruptly stepping outside in fear you may bring death upon a creature, or, and I'm sorry to use this juvenile quote: "Stop acting like your **** don't stink".

Didymos Thomas wrote:
The question is: is causing suffering morally acceptable or morally reprehensible? If causing suffering is the latter, we have a moral duty to try our best not to cause any undue suffering.


Perhaps moral duty is completely subjective, based upon the society one lives in, among other factors/beliefs; It appears it's something that doesn't really have a definitive right or wrong answer, often times being a highly complex evaluation. If you made a thread concerning this, I'd surely chip in.
 
boagie
 
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 10:17 pm
@Justin,
Justin wrote:
True in many ways but why should that discuss you? What does Hitler have to do with it? Just thought I'd toss those out there boagie. Smile


Hi Justin,Smile

Actually the harsh reality of life living on life is not a pleasing realization to most people, Schopenhaur stated it is forever contary to any sense of morality. The comment about Hilter being a vegetarian was tongue in cheek, I guess that was not as obvious as I had hoped it would be. Nature is cruel that is just reality, in becoming a vegetarian one does not escape that reality, but perhaps there is less suffering on the part of living things due to a vegetarian diet.
 
Joe
 
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 10:24 pm
@Zetherin,
Here's a thought I had that I couldn't figure out:

I eat meat. One reason is because It is provided. I do not have to kill the animal to eat it. The one exception being that I went hunting a couple of times with my pops and Ended up shooting a buck deer. He taught me too gut it and strip the meat. Stripping meat off a deer is tough work even with a fairly sharp knife. Anyways, This whole process to almost an entire 24 hours from the time I spent hunting my prey to the packaging of the meat. So I never went hunting again and its been eight years since I've killed an animal for food.

I feel that alot of meat consumption in the US is due to the easy access. I would venture a guess and say that alot of this is at the preference of taste and luxury more so then necessity.

My question is Where does necessity have a foot in whether the consumption of meat is productive and not a luxury?

and

Is the luxury of meat a good enough argument against the killing of an animal?
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 10:43 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
I would not bring up PETA as a good example of people trying to end the suffering of animals - PETA has killed thousands of animals at their headquarters.



Most of the animals that PETA recovers they slaughter because they cannot find homes for them.
 
boagie
 
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 10:43 pm
@Joe,
Joe,Smile

Certainly if people had to do their own killing and slaughtering there would be more vegetarians, conveinance and luxury are twin aspects of our modern living are they not? I have known people who do not, or did not, consider that they were in this relation of life lives on life, they were so removed their food source that they actually lost this sense.
 
Joe
 
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 10:58 pm
@boagie,
boagie wrote:
Joe,Smile

Certainly if people had to do their own killing and slaughtering there would be more vegetarians, conveinance and luxury are twin aspects of our modern living are they not? I have known people who do not, or did not, consider that they were in this relation of life lives on life, they were so removed their food source that they actually lost this sense.


Hey Boagie,

Yeah, I think its an interesting point that abundance is a filter of how we might feel differently on certain subjects. They don't have to be "moral" reasons, but they qualify for honesty.

peace
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 11:19 pm
@boagie,
The evolution of the brain over the thousands of years leading to us human beings can be attributed to eating bone marrow mainly, right? (we were once scavengers, how does that settle your stomach?) If it doesn't settle well, then you're a vegetarian for the wrong reasons. The carcass is already dead.

Vegetarianism is only a higher level of view insomuch as it is based on the level of awareness one wishes to have on how animals are treated. There is no should-be mentality in this decision that can be based on absolute paradigms. It is simply a matter of ignorance vs. awareness.

The morality branches off from the awareness in a linear proportion, so there is no real higher level of morality involved in being a vegetarian either.
 
WithoutReason
 
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 11:22 pm
@Joe,
In nature animals kill one another for food on a regular basis with presumably no ethical objections to doing so. Apparently with our higher intellect, we humans have developed the ability to question the morality of killing other living beings for food (though how we define living beings does matter - as was mentioned, plants might also be considered living beings). Most people, however, arrive at the conclusion that there is nothing inappropriate about eating meat.

While I am not a vegetarian, I do admire those willing to take on the lifestyle Smile. If nothing else, it seems to result in better health on average.
 
 

 
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