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]
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.