Vegetarianism is a Higher level View

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Doobah47
 
Reply Tue 17 Feb, 2009 06:59 pm
@MJA,
I consider myself at least a vegetarian, but I do regularly eat meat. It's not because I am weak, but because engaging in carnal privileges helps me not to engage in other carnal privileges. Let's say I want to get drunk, eating some sardines on toast satisfies the sort of desire that I feel, so I've no need to get drunk. Let's say that I feel like fighting, I might eat a sausage - that way I harm an individual without damaging society.

I do accept that this position is totally based in the higher value of human society over animals' existence - a position with which I disagree - but what else could I do to accomplish the rejection of one carnal privilege by partaking in another carnal privilege? It works for me...

On another note, I'm vegetarian as a response both to spiritual value of animals, and as a response to the industrial meat farming disgrace... All said, I eat sausages, but they're 'organic', and I try to never drink fresh animal milk - I believe that dairy production reeks of pure slavery, although cheese and eggs don't seem so much a consumer driven disgrace to me.
 
Ruthless Logic
 
Reply Wed 18 Feb, 2009 01:42 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin wrote:
So, ethical boundaries are extremely foolish? Yes, our laws are self-serving, but do you feel we shouldn't have them as we can't objectively measure the value on "life" for all creatures?

Again, no, it's wholly dependent on the development of the nervous system. As far as I know, worms don't *suffer* in the same manner we would if cut.
As I mentioned in my initial post, we don't have canine teeth. We are anatomically omnivores; we don't have herbivore or carnivore specializations.



First, you need to wrap your mind around the empirically provable truth that the creation and delivery of LIFE simultaneously causes DEATH. After you fully absorb this "new" level of awareness, your self-serving, idealistic propensities for assigning increasing or decreasing values to animal-fish-plant-insect should be tempered based on the realization that your emotionally subjective inferences only serve to expose you to the unending and stupidly simplistic accusations of hypocrisy.

Also, here is a quote of information relating to your self-denial of human canine teeth.
Humans have small canines that project slightly beyond the level of the other teeth-thus, in humans alone among the primates, rotary chewing action is possible. In humans there are four canines, one in each half of each jaw. The human canine tooth has an oversized root, a remnant of the large canine of the nonhuman primates. This creates a bulge in the upper jaw that supports the corner of the lip.

boagie wrote:
Hi Ruthless Logic!!Smile

In primary cultures they did make certain animals sacred, mainly because these animals were their main food source, in other words the life of a given animal species became the life of their people. With the plains indians it was the buffalo, on the west coast it was the salmon. Althrough there was some guilt involved in the killing of other animals, the inactment of a myth as ritual delt with this, in killing, the animal's soul was released to return to its spiritual home, it was thought then to return again for another visit another ritual--kind of a renewable resource. Sensitivity to killing and consumption seems to have had a very long history.



I see what you are suggesting, but I do not think that the performance of rituals by natives was influenced by guilt or sensitivity, but rather as a function of dealing with the uncertainty of their natural world and where their next meal comes from. By performing rituals to the "Gods", the natives probably felt less anxious and more in control (illusion) of their volatile and fragile future.
 
Joe
 
Reply Wed 18 Feb, 2009 05:54 am
@boagie,
Ruthless Logic wrote:
I see what you are suggesting, but I do not think that the performance of rituals by natives was influenced by guilt or sensitivity, but rather as a function of dealing with the uncertainty of their natural world and where their next meal comes from. By performing rituals to the "Gods", the natives probably felt less anxious and more in control (illusion) of their volatile and fragile future.


I think they understood the workings of nature better then you think. Perhaps religious exploits were separate from their environmental understandings. If they believed a higher power influenced their bounty, then even if it is a false illusion, they still grasped an important concept out of it. To be thankful. That goes a long way, whether or not you believe in their reasons.

But I imagine that they had their true believers and their basic survivors. Societies cannot thrive on faith alone, there had to be some workings of knowledge.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Wed 18 Feb, 2009 06:25 am
@MJA,
Interesting thread, good issues.I'd like to sound off as well.

  • A Higher View?: I'm not sure it's "higher", but its admirable. Depending on how one eats (what, when, frequency, variety) it could be much healthier or much more detrimental. I've known a good number of vegetarians who swear by it though; and they seem quite happy and proud.


  • Ethical Treatment of Animals/Plants: I'm against what I call "needless suffering"; and what I define as "needless" is case-dependent. From what I understand; however, generally the wholesale slaughter of livestock for their meat is done in a relatively quick and painless method; this is by no means across the board. On the other hand and with respect to the issue's fairness: I've also seen seen examples of gross mistreatment (starvation, painful living conditions, etc). So the ethics of large-scale meat consumption is complicated, to say the least. One can not - in all reason - ethically endorse or vilify the process en-masse; it depends on the circumstances.


  • Ethical Hierarchy: Because I value human life above all others on this planet, I have to have a reason for that; I think most of us do. Differentiating the "why" for this is paramount to anyone who wants to understand ethics. Since my personal reasoning has to do with self-awareness, sapience and sentience combined, this is the relative scale I use. For amusement, it's ok for me to pick a blade of grass and chew it; moreso, than it is to toss an axe into a dog walking by. For all that I can know, one is more self-conscious than the other; is "closer" or "further along" on that scale. We should also take into account our understanding of their perceptions of pain, emotion, fear and more.


  • Eating Meat in General: I eat meat often; it's a central part of my diet. But lest we waxe absolutist, there needs to be a balace that is best for the body. From what I understand, a primary motivator in our brain's evolution was that move from "the trees" in a strictly vegetarian lifestyle to one that included meats; and thereby gave the mass-proteins necessary for the development of a brain (many other factors of course, but an important one nonetheless, or so I think). In short: There's simply no need to vilify meat-eating; but like anything, it can be unethical or ethical depending on the circumstances.


  • Views on inter-Species Predation: We generally watch the seal flop around in the Orca's mouth and say, "Well, that's part of the biological chain - its just natural that some feed on others". Are we not also part of this world? There are many predators that feed on vastly-different animals. This is not to say that it's always right, but I think its important to consider that we, too, are animals that get eaten as well as eat others.

So for you Vegetarians; if that suits you, yee haw! I admire your principles, discpline and (from what I see) your motivations. I just don't share them to the same extent.

Thanks
 
Justin
 
Reply Wed 18 Feb, 2009 07:28 am
@MJA,
OK, if you have weak stomach don't watch the following videos. I've worked on a farm and also in a slaughter house and meat production facility and this stuff actually happens.

This does not mean that we need to turn this into a thread full of videos of animals being slaughtered but for the sake of this thread and pertaining to the conversation, I think this video will act as an eye opener for some.

[CENTER]View Discretion Advised
[/CENTER]

Meet your Meat ! Watch this before you eat your next meal !!
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Wed 18 Feb, 2009 11:33 am
@Ruthless Logic,
Ruthless Logic wrote:
First, you need to wrap your mind around the empirically provable truth that the creation and delivery of LIFE simultaneously causes DEATH. After you fully absorb this "new" level of awareness, your self-serving, idealistic propensities for assigning increasing or decreasing values to animal-fish-plant-insect should be tempered based on the realization that your emotionally subjective inferences only serve to expose you to the unending and stupidly simplistic accusations of hypocrisy.


I can absolutely wrap my mind around the fact that life causes death, that every waking moment I'm alive has caused death -- not just my upon my conception. I can even wrap my mind around the fact that no creature, from the amoeba to the anatomically-complex human, is *better* or *worse* than any other. In fact, I believe every form of life is equal, and I even suffer a secret pain knowing this, knowing that I contribute to the death of so many life-forms daily. Understanding, ultimately, I am a hypocrite, no matter how hard I try. With this said, I am not making accusations of hypocrisy, or least not in the manner you think I am; I am addressing a cycle of life, one of which we're all part. I'm not holding people accountable. What I meant to articulate is that we should not stand above others on a moral pedestal with our emotional subjective inferences.

With this said, at some point you must ask ourselves, "Where's the line?", "Where does it become unreasonable?". I'd like to refer you to part of my earlier post within this thread:

Zetherin wrote:
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)?


I understand that I must be forced to temper, I must be forced to make choice, and I do, we all do. And that was the point of that part of my post: If we actually considered every single way we were bringing death upon life, we wouldn't even be able to function! We must be reasonable here. This is not my stance, though: "stupidly simplistic accusations of hypocrisy", and I hope you understand that.


Ruthless Logic wrote:
Also, here is a quote of information relating to your self-denial of human canine teeth.
Humans have small canines that project slightly beyond the level of the other teeth-thus, in humans alone among the primates, rotary chewing action is possible. In humans there are four canines, one in each half of each jaw. The human canine tooth has an oversized root, a remnant of the large canine of the nonhuman primates. This creates a bulge in the upper jaw that supports the corner of the lip.
The propensity for the development of canine teeth does not imply we are carnivores. Gorillas, for instance, have canine teeth and are completely vegetarian (as far as I know). These teeth are for tearing, and are not nearly as sharp or elongated as many of our mammalian carnivore counterparts. According to my research, the the consensus is that humans are considered Omnivores. If you have some research documents that say otherwise however, I'd be very interested.
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Wed 18 Feb, 2009 03:46 pm
@Zetherin,
Canine teeth doesn't matter regardless of what's said here. Awareness is a maze that self preservation must weave itself around.

Ignorance is selfish because then self preservation becomes easier. There are no problems or puzzles, life is perfect... in a bleak, pallid sense.

It's all about awareness and association the prey invokes upon us. So how is it fair to say the carrot is just as morally implausible to kill as the cow? Morality is about the ego, after all it is relative. The way you say it Nameless is as if morality is separate from our egocentric behavior. I just can't buy that.

What I meant by limited to awareness if in reference to the title in the other post way back. Vegetarianism is not a higher level of morality, it is a higher level of awareness.

If we should strive to be as aware and informed as possible then that's fine, but if a person becomes more aware than a vegetarian probably is, but still is not a vegetarian, then one can call them less moral. Less justified? Absolutely not. For, even though the logic is constant from man to man, from vegetarian to omnivore (both being equally aware), the level of emotional stimulation from the logic will vary from person to person.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Wed 18 Feb, 2009 05:45 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Mr. Fight the Power wrote:
If I place a minute squeezing pressure on a worm, it will squirm and convulse like mad.

Is it suffering?


Beats me - I do not know enough about worms to say.

Zetherin wrote:
I never said a vegetarian diet is necessarily unhealthy. I'm speaking about your statement: "It's a healthier way to go". Nutritionally, no, this is not necessarily true. I just don't like to see misinformation spread because you're advocating your diet. Say it's good to do or whatever belief you have, but don't say it's necessarily nutritionally healthier; it really depends.


You are absolutely right. The common vegetarian argument from health does not work.
 
Ruthless Logic
 
Reply Wed 18 Feb, 2009 09:44 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin wrote:
I can absolutely wrap my mind around the fact that life causes death, that every waking moment I'm alive has caused death -- not just my upon my conception. I can even wrap my mind around the fact that no creature, from the amoeba to the anatomically-complex human, is *better* or *worse* than any other. In fact, I believe every form of life is equal, and I even suffer a secret pain knowing this, knowing that I contribute to the death of so many life-forms daily. Understanding, ultimately, I am a hypocrite, no matter how hard I try. With this said, I am not making accusations of hypocrisy, or least not in the manner you think I am; I am addressing a cycle of life, one of which we're all part. I'm not holding people accountable. What I meant to articulate is that we should not stand above others on a moral pedestal with our emotional subjective inferences.

With this said, at some point you must ask ourselves, "Where's the line?", "Where does it become unreasonable?". I'd like to refer you to part of my earlier post within this thread:



I understand that I must be forced to temper, I must be forced to make choice, and I do, we all do. And that was the point of that part of my post: If we actually considered every single way we were bringing death upon life, we wouldn't even be able to function! We must be reasonable here. This is not my stance, though: "stupidly simplistic accusations of hypocrisy", and I hope you understand that.


The propensity for the development of canine teeth does not imply we are carnivores. Gorillas, for instance, have canine teeth and are completely vegetarian (as far as I know). These teeth are for tearing, and are not nearly as sharp or elongated as many of our mammalian carnivore counterparts. According to my research, the the consensus is that humans are considered Omnivores. If you have some research documents that say otherwise however, I'd be very interested.



WikiAnswers - Is a gorilla an omnivore
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Wed 18 Feb, 2009 09:51 pm
@Ruthless Logic,


Gorilla - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Gorillas are herbivores, eating fruits, leaves, and shoots"

They also ingest insects, but this hardly makes them carnivores.

EDIT: Upon further research, it appears they can be considered omnivores -- it's just their diets are generally vegetarian.

However, as I noted, canine teeth does not imply one is a carnivore. So, just because Humans have canine teeth does not mean we are considered carnivores. The general consensus is that we are regarded as omnivores.
 
Ruthless Logic
 
Reply Wed 18 Feb, 2009 10:10 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin wrote:
Gorilla - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Gorillas are herbivores, eating fruits, leaves, and shoots"

They also ingest insects, but this hardly makes them carnivores.

EDIT: Upon further research, it appears they can be considered omnivores -- it's just their diets are generally vegetarian.

However, as I noted, canine teeth does not imply one is a carnivore. So, just because Humans have canine teeth does not mean we are considered carnivores. The general consensus is that we are regarded as omnivores.




Additionally, there is documented accounts of Gorillas attacking, killing and consuming (cannibalism) other Gorillas.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Wed 18 Feb, 2009 10:23 pm
@Zetherin,
Ruthless Logic wrote:
First, you need to wrap your mind around the empirically provable truth that the creation and delivery of LIFE simultaneously causes DEATH. After you fully absorb this "new" level of awareness, your self-serving, idealistic propensities for assigning increasing or decreasing values to animal-fish-plant-insect should be tempered based on the realization that your emotionally subjective inferences only serve to expose you to the unending and stupidly simplistic accusations of hypocrisy.


The problem with this argument is that vegetarians do not reject the fact that living necessarily causes death. In the Buddhist tradition, for example, that's precisely the point: the idea is to develop mindfulness: to be aware that as you walk you are inadvertently crushing some life.

The fact that to be a human is to cause some suffering does not mean that humans should ignore the suffering we do cause. Take lies, for instance: at some point, we all say "the thing which is not", but our fallibility does not prevent us from trying to be as honest as possible.
 
Ruthless Logic
 
Reply Thu 19 Feb, 2009 02:09 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
The problem with this argument is that vegetarians do not reject the fact that living necessarily causes death. In the Buddhist tradition, for example, that's precisely the point: the idea is to develop mindfulness: to be aware that as you walk you are inadvertently crushing some life.

The fact that to be a human is to cause some suffering does not mean that humans should ignore the suffering we do cause. Take lies, for instance: at some point, we all say "the thing which is not", but our fallibility does not prevent us from trying to be as honest as possible.




The inherent deficit that is comprised of this type of revealed reasoning is the acknowledgement and subsequent measurable dismissal of objective analysis, while adopting the comingling of self-serving inferences that only offer the continuance of accusations of inconsistency, which indicates a lack of understanding that reconciliation is not a VIABLE endeavor, nor should it be, given the creating and expending model of our NATURAL WORLD.
 
logan phil
 
Reply Thu 19 Feb, 2009 03:34 am
@MJA,
MJA: What do you mean by humane? I ask because being or acting in a humane manner does not imply goodness. In addition, for a vegetarian being humane is an anthropocentric notion, something which most philosophically educated vegetarians would usually be very weary of announcing.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Thu 19 Feb, 2009 06:24 am
@logan phil,
Ruthless Logic wrote:
The inherent deficit that is comprised of this type of revealed reasoning is the acknowledgement and subsequent measurable dismissal of objective analysis, while adopting the comingling of self-serving inferences that only offer the continuance of accusations of inconsistency, which indicates a lack of understanding that reconciliation is not a VIABLE endeavor, nor should it be, given the creating and expending model of our NATURAL WORLD.


Your clumsy use of language only serves to make your points unnecessarily confused.
For example: you use the phrase "revealed reasoning". Talk about ambiguity. Revealed by who? If I am the one who has "revealed" this reasoning, then you have not spent much time studying the matter. However, you might be using revealed as the term is often used in religious discourse: meaning something revealed made clear from experiencing God or the divine.
Because you use the word "revealed" I assume you have a reason for doing so.

In any case, you go on to talk about "objective analysis" and suggest that my rebuttal to your objection against vegetarianism is a dismissal of objective analysis. This suggestion is obviously false: my rebuttal consisted of statement of fact, a simply retelling of what some people argue.

You objected to vegetarianism on the grounds that vegetarians are ignorant of the fact "that the creation and delivery of LIFE simultaneously causes DEATH"; however, this assertion is demonstrably false. Any clear objective analysis of the subject will show that not all vegetarians reject the claim "that the creation and delivery of LIFE simultaneously causes DEATH", instead you will find that some arguments in favor of vegetarianism revolve around either that very same claim or very similar claims. Thus, your objection is not a convincing argument against vegetarianism, according to any objective analysis.

In the above quoted post you introduce a new objection to vegetarianism, one entirely different from the earlier objection to which I responded. This new objection is that "reconciliation" is not "a viable endeavor" and that "reconciliation" should not be a viable endeavor. Notice, however, that in the process of making this objection you neglect to provide any argument to support the objection: all you provide is an assertion. I suppose that is fine if you enjoy such an activity, but there is no reason for me or anyone else to even consider the assertion until you provide an argument.
 
MJA
 
Reply Thu 19 Feb, 2009 09:52 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Just me:

My idea of an ideally humane diet, along with so many other of my friends is to not kill and eat meat, but rather live on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. But that I go well beyond the thought of that idea, and have found the practice of my own vegetarian diet ideal not only for the health of myself, but all things.
I suggest only that you and others who have not gone this Way of diet or nurishment to try, for the ideal good of you as well. Equality is more than an idea too, its the ideal Way.

As far as change goes, I'm gonna be Just like Gandhi. I'm gonna be the change I wish to see in the world. You see I am a vegetarian, I am a humanitarian, an equalitarian, I gave up tobacco, alcohol, and drugs, I sold my car for the good of the environment, all for the health of myself which is equally for the health of others, the planet, and the deer as well. Can't run them over anymore either. I'm gonna live the healthy truth I have found, and help by sharing with others what is truly and so simply right for me. And I'm gonna hope someday the world does the same. And that's all One can truly do.
Be equal, be free,

=
MJA

PS: Did you know that happiness is synonomous with health?
Just another goody or Truth to share!!!
 
Ruthless Logic
 
Reply Fri 20 Feb, 2009 02:12 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Your clumsy use of language only serves to make your points unnecessarily confused.
For example: you use the phrase "revealed reasoning". Talk about ambiguity. Revealed by who? If I am the one who has "revealed" this reasoning, then you have not spent much time studying the matter. However, you might be using revealed as the term is often used in religious discourse: meaning something revealed made clear from experiencing God or the divine.
Because you use the word "revealed" I assume you have a reason for doing so.

In any case, you go on to talk about "objective analysis" and suggest that my rebuttal to your objection against vegetarianism is a dismissal of objective analysis. This suggestion is obviously false: my rebuttal consisted of statement of fact, a simply retelling of what some people argue.

You objected to vegetarianism on the grounds that vegetarians are ignorant of the fact "that the creation and delivery of LIFE simultaneously causes DEATH"; however, this assertion is demonstrably false. Any clear objective analysis of the subject will show that not all vegetarians reject the claim "that the creation and delivery of LIFE simultaneously causes DEATH", instead you will find that some arguments in favor of vegetarianism revolve around either that very same claim or very similar claims. Thus, your objection is not a convincing argument against vegetarianism, according to any objective analysis.

In the above quoted post you introduce a new objection to vegetarianism, one entirely different from the earlier objection to which I responded. This new objection is that "reconciliation" is not "a viable endeavor" and that "reconciliation" should not be a viable endeavor. Notice, however, that in the process of making this objection you neglect to provide any argument to support the objection: all you provide is an assertion. I suppose that is fine if you enjoy such an activity, but there is no reason for me or anyone else to even consider the assertion until you provide an argument.



Here we go again, dumbing-down the composition for your clarification.

Revealed Reasoning= Your words, take ownership, stop backpedalling.

Objective Analysis= Empirically based measurements without bias.

Comingling of self-serving inferences= The emotional convolution of interpretations, based on how YOU think the behavior of the Natural World should be conducted.

Reconciliation is not a viable endeavor= Trying to appease any sense of guilt( dysfunctional) for the very existence of yourself, and any related measurable impacts to the Natural World.

Nor should it be= The process of surviving is the reason you are here, not the pathetic process of considering guilt about your existence.

Creating and Expending= Life-Death-Life-Death-Life-Death-Life-Death......
 
MJA
 
Reply Fri 20 Feb, 2009 10:29 am
@Ruthless Logic,
A vegetarian diet is the humanest Way to go.
The Way is The Way as Right is Right as Good is so Good as One is for All.

=
MJA
 
MJA
 
Reply Fri 20 Feb, 2009 10:33 am
@logan phil,
logan wrote:
MJA: What do you mean by humane? I ask because being or acting in a humane manner does not imply goodness. In addition, for a vegetarian being humane is an anthropocentric notion, something which most philosophically educated vegetarians would usually be very weary of announcing.


I would never announce myself as Anthropocentric, cause I don't know or even care to know to what the heck that is!:bigsmile:
I'm Just Me.

=
MJA
 
Aedes
 
Reply Fri 20 Feb, 2009 11:47 am
@MJA,
For god's sake, why is this all so complicated?

1) At some point in human history, we began eating meat. It's more likely that we were scavengers in our most ancient history, rather than hunters. But what's clear is that a) we CAN biologically derive nutrition from meat, b) there are things like iron and vitamin B12 that are hard to get from other sources, and c) we began eating meat BEFORE we began to worry about the morality of it

2) We can survive perfectly fine without eating meat if we so choose. If our moral judgement is such that eating meat strikes us as inhumane or unnatural, then we can make a choice for ourselves not to do so.

Most peoples in the world have some traditional belief about the relationship of animals and humans, all the way back to the cave paintings in neolithic Europe. This is why Judaism and Islam have strictly defined ways of slaughtering animals, and it is why gratitude to the animal you have hunted is integral to some Native American religions.
 
 

 
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