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I agree. I would like to ask though if you've thought about what would happen if everyone did adhere to these positions? Would you just chalk it up to being the lesser of two evils?
Wait, I remember. My response is, "Yes, killing causes harm. So what?"
It's unclear from your responses whether you actually accept or deny premise (1). This information would be helpful in furthering our discussion. Assuming that you don't accept premise (1), I doubt there is anything further I could say that could instill in you the realization that things like rape, torture, and murder violate interests by inflicting serious harms. So do you really have an indifferent attitude towards things like rape, torture, and murder? If so, I guess we'll have to cut our discussion short.
If we suddenly stopped killing animals for food, and I'm including hunted wild animals as well as stock animals, what would you propose we do with them? Most of them wouldn't be profitable in any other way so would you expect us to keep feeding them until they die of old age? I say this because if we did just let em all go and loose they would starve to death and die, so we would have knowingly caused their death, no? I'll ignore the impact on the ecosystem for now and just point that fact out.
] So? It is actually quite irrelevant whether nonhuman animals can themselves devise the rights or interests or values we understand. A severely retarded human being might not have the ability to understand value, or interest, or right, but that does not mean that we should not accord him or her the protection of at least the basic right not to be treated as a resource manufactured for our use. We don't abuse seriously mentally impaired humans, so why abuse other species? [/size]
Well, that's a promising start.
Typically your local GNC outlet store. By the way, I'm arguing for vegetarianism, not veganism. That said, vegetarianism generally fulfills all human nutritional requirements, as I stated earlier.
Harming animals is not wrong.
Just to clarify then, do you mean all animals, or all nonhuman animals?
If your response is the latter, could you expand on what the morally significant differences are between human and nonhuman species that makes harming humans wrong but harming nonhumans not wrong? Thank you.
(assuming that we recognize the interests of animals)The fact that we are in some sense responsbile for the existence of domesticated farm animals does not give us the right to continue treating them as resources. So yes, we could as stewards continue to care for those who are still alive as their and let them die out peacefully.
It should be noted, however, that one of the purported justifications for human slavery in the United States was that many of those who were enslaved would not have existed in the first place had it not been for the institution of slavery. The original slaves who were brought to the US were forced to procreate and their children were considered property. Although such an argument appears ludicrous to us now, it demonstrates that we cannot assume the legitimacy of the institution of property--of humans or animals--and then ask whether it is acceptable to treat property as property. The answer will be predetermined.
To suggest that we should continue using domesticated farm animals as resources because allowing them to go free and die out would be wrong is logically and morally indistinguishable from the same kind of reasoning which sought to justify perpetuating the institution of slavery by appealing to the idea that liberated slaves might never find jobs, starve, and die.
I don't treat animals as resources. Why should I have to pay for a bunch of animals that I'm not responsible for so they can lead happy lives? Wouldn't that money be better used going to Africa or some other impoverished region of the world? We can't even feed every mouth on the planet right now and you're suggesting to continue feeding a bunch of animals just to make sure we aren't causing their deaths? Wonder how many human deaths in turn could have been prevented if we had fed them instead of the animals...
I wasn't expecting this response, honestly. I would first like to point out that, I agree with your premise, but I am playing devil's advocate and you have effectively avoided confronting my point by chalking it up as an ignorant, bigoted defense. Now that we have that cleared up, are you going give a reasonable response to the fact that if we DID continue feeding them to let them die naturally we would be ignoring hundreds of thousands of humans and letting them die because we need to keep feeding these animals?
What does it matter, since in either set there are animals that it is not wrong to harm.
What does it matter since even harming humans in the case of punishment for law breaking is reason to say that harming humans is not wrong.
If you are interested in how I reason that harming non-human animals is different from harming humans - specifically how killing one for food is not the same as killing/raping/murdering/torturing the other (as you seem to think there is no difference) - then I am interested in explaining it.
But what is the point of that, if you won't explain how you reason that harming all animals (human, non-human, insect to boot) is wrong? This dispute comes first logically.
If you have, I should like to hear your defense of your first premise, so that there would a proper foundation for any further debate on the issue of the morality of harming animals and the distinctions between kinds of animals, the means by, and the ends to which we harm them.
The irony in your response, thysin, is that the abolition of the meat industry actually would help alleviate world hunger, help eradicate livestock diseases harmful to humans, and help improve the environment. Let's suppose that we did abolish the meat industry by sustaining one last generation of livestock. What would improve?
The meat industry harms our environment by polluting the air, water, and atmosphere with harmful antibiotics, growth hormones and nitrates, depletes resources, emits greenhouse gases, and dramatically decreasing the quality and functionality of land. Furthermore, the pesticides necessary to sustain the meat industry pollute any sources of water near agricultural land and decrease the habitat quality for the organisms that live there, both human and nonhuman. In terms of fossil fuel usage, plant agriculture is thirty times as efficient as animal agriculture. The amount of crop yield the meat industry squanders on feeding livestock in order to satisfy our dietary preferences could very well feed the world, or something close to it. If land were redistributed, and if the grain used to feed livestock in the United States for a year was instead grown for people, it could sustain millions. Instead of growing nearly all crops to feed livestock, agricultural land could be used to feed starving people. The hungry will have drinking water too, since two-thousand gallons alone are needed to produce a single steak.
So, the meat industry is not only wasteful and destructive, but completely unnecessary. "Meat-eating humanitarians" have a choice to make. Do they abolish the meat industry (or refuse to support it), let the last livestock generation die out, and free up an abundance of resources that could alleviate world hunger? Or do they refuse to sacrifice their dietary preferences?
3. Abolish meat industry: Feed the live-stock animals until they die natural deaths(and don't let them breed, which I'm sure they wouldn't like, so you're killing their chance for survival as a species but that's a point I'll leave alone). In turn you're withholding food from starving people in impoverished nations and inevitably leading to some of their number dying.
The response to this "problem" seems too obvious to warrant serious discussion, but you seem intent on creating conflict where none really exists.
So let me get your reasoning straight: it is preferable that we allow the meat-industry to persist indefinitely and forever deny starving humans excess crops because even though we could abolish the meat-industry now and feed starving humans within a single generation, doing so would result in livestock dying out peacefully, in which case it is better that livestock continue to be systematically bred and slaughtered as resources to suit our dietary preferences? Therefore, world hunger persists.
I am absolutely dumbfounded.
If we stopped livestock farming...they're still there...we have to spend money to feed them until they die naturally, in the meantime we could have been using that money/food to feed starving people elsewhere. What do you think about that situation, is this one where we can just let our morals slip for a second?
What about the people or animals that starve and die in the transition?
Are you not reading my responses carefully or are you deliberately attempting to create confusion where there really is none?
Humans and nonhumans are dying now. Do you really mean to suggest that we should avoid the transition towards improving human welfare because the transition, however temporary, will need to run its course before it can begin helping people who are already suffering and who will, as a matter of course, continue to suffer in the long-term unless we resolve ourselves to helping them at all?
Do you not understand that we are currently in the moral slippage you are so concerned about, and that concerted steps need to be taken before we can unravel ourselves from that moral slippage? I don't understand the reasoning which suggests that we should not take steps to improve human welfare in the long-term because such a transition will involve a short-term moral slippage that is already the status quo!