Specism

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Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 06:35 pm
Specism is about why do we eat cows but not dogs. That kind of thing. We kill spiders but not other human beings. I beilive its because we have compassion toward others like us. Thats how racism can start, or any form of prejudice. What are other thoughts?
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 07:43 pm
@bloodninja72,
bloodninja72;149441 wrote:
Specism is about why do we eat cows but not dogs. That kind of thing. We kill spiders but not other human beings. I beilive its because we have compassion toward others like us. Thats how racism can start, or any form of prejudice. What are other thoughts?

I know why I kill spiders...It is because my daughter has a hairy canary, and makes me...
 
mister kitten
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 07:49 pm
@bloodninja72,
If there wasn't 'specism', then we wouldn't be alive.

Plants are a species.
Humans need to consume.
Humans eat plants.
If humans ate humans instead of plants, then eventually we'd die out.
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 08:01 pm
@mister kitten,
mister kitten;149458 wrote:
If there wasn't 'specism', then we wouldn't be alive.

Plants are a species.
Humans need to consume.
Humans eat plants.
If humans ate humans instead of plants, then eventually we'd die out.

Not true. It would make us sick, but for most of our existence we killed our kind and similar kinds, and it was that protein supply which fueled our metal development... We would not have survived without cannibalism, and now we do not eat each other, but eat what the other needs to survive... Our methods have changed, but the object is the same...
 
raven05
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 10:25 pm
@Fido,
I enjoy Peter Singer's utilitarian position on this subject. Let me preface what I'm about to say by mentioning that I've only read one of Singer's books, "Animal Liberation," and I read it probably over a year ago so what I say could be completely off base.

Singer argues that humans participate in speciesism when they, among other things, consume non-human animals. If i remember correctly he defends a vegan stance because plants cannot feel pain whereas animals can. He highlights how non-human animals have the same basic framework as humans do in regards to a nervous system. From this he infers that animals feel pain just as we do, and that pain is a bad thing. He thinks that it's our role to reduce suffering (utilitarianism), and the main way to achieve that is by not eating/testing on/hunting non-human animals.

I like his position but it raises a lot of other ethical issues. For instance, if you were to defend Singer's position you would have to say that a human "vegetable," for lack of a better term, is more expendable than a deer. If this human had no ability to feel pain, harming the deer would be the worse action.

I hope this helps explain at least one stance on the subject of speciesism.
 
wayne
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 10:50 pm
@bloodninja72,
bloodninja72;149441 wrote:
Specism is about why do we eat cows but not dogs. That kind of thing. We kill spiders but not other human beings. I beilive its because we have compassion toward others like us. Thats how racism can start, or any form of prejudice. What are other thoughts?


Lewis and Clark ate dog, on thier famous expedition. Lewis claimed to be quite fond of it, while Clark never could get used to it.

I don't know if you've ever been hungry, I mean no food hungry, but humans will kill and eat most anything when they have to. Magellans crew boiled thier boots.

We can afford to have compassion for animals because we have plenty of food.
Not many people like spiders, myself included. I suppose that if I could communicate with them and reach an agreement I might not have to smash em. I generally have a jumping spider living in my doorway during the summer months. He stays in his place and I respect him, he shows up near my bed and ...#!!!
 
deepthot
 
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 07:31 pm
@mister kitten,
mister kitten;149458 wrote:
If there wasn't 'specism', then we wouldn't be alive.

Plants are a species.
Humans need to consume.
Humans eat plants.
If humans ate humans instead of plants, then eventually we'd die out.


Your first statement is false. Plants have species, but plants are a kingdom. Here is the taxonomy: Domain: Eukaryota
(unranked): Archaeplastida
 
mister kitten
 
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 07:37 pm
@deepthot,
deepthot;149762 wrote:
Your first statement is false. Plants have species, but plants are a kingdom. Here is the taxonomy: Domain: Eukaryota
(unranked): Archaeplastida


Grazie signore.
I don't eat trees, so I believe you.
 
deepthot
 
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 07:45 pm
@mister kitten,
mister kitten;149458 wrote:
If there wasn't 'specism', then we wouldn't be alive.

Plants are a species.
Humans need to consume.
Humans eat plants.
If humans ate humans instead of plants, then eventually we'd die out.


Your first statement is false. Plants have species, but plants are a kingdom. Here is the taxonomy: Domain: Eukaryota; Archae;
Kingdom: Plantae

Speciesism, to my mind, is the attitude that the human specieies is better, in value, than mammalia. With the exception of the rat, I am inclined to say, No., we're not. This is based upon my personal observations, which is not the most reliable source. I do not want to cause suffering to any creature I am pretty confident can suffer. Even a rat, I want to have a swift death when they mingle with humans. (I feel the same way with any regard to any insects that mingle amongst humans.)

It is the inflicting of harm and suffering that is unethical.
 
wayne
 
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 11:48 pm
@deepthot,
deepthot;149769 wrote:
Your first statement is false. Plants have species, but plants are a kingdom. Here is the taxonomy: Domain: Eukaryota; Archae;
Kingdom: Plantae

Speciesism, to my mind, is the attitude that the human specieies is better, in value, than mammalia. With the exception of the rat, I am inclined to say, No., we're not. This is based upon my personal observations, which is not the most reliable source. I do not want to cause suffering to any creature I am pretty confident can suffer. Even a rat, I want to have a swift death when they mingle with humans. (I feel the same way with any regard to any insects that mingle amongst humans.)

It is the inflicting of harm and suffering that is unethical.


Humans may not be better than other mammals, but we are still part of the food chain. I think we're pretty high up on that food chain too.
We are pretty efficient at getting our food and should be able to minimize any suffering.

I think it is a mistake to forget that we are part of the food chain. IMO that would be specieism.
 
Rwa001
 
Reply Fri 9 Apr, 2010 12:28 am
@bloodninja72,
Cows are a more practical (and seemingly better tasting) form of food than dogs. They're easier to manage, they're larger, and I'm sure there are other ways that make them a superior source of food. I wouldn't call that specieism so much as I would call it 'being practical'.

Otherwise, I'm not worried about animals or compassion.
 
north
 
Reply Fri 9 Apr, 2010 12:43 am
@bloodninja72,
bloodninja72;149441 wrote:
Specism is about why do we eat cows but not dogs. That kind of thing. We kill spiders but not other human beings. I beilive its because we have compassion toward others like us. Thats how racism can start, or any form of prejudice. What are other thoughts?


how is a dog like us , Humans ?
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Fri 9 Apr, 2010 11:01 am
@north,
north;149874 wrote:
how is a dog like us , Humans ?


Both feel pain, both have some form of consciousness, both have many physical similarities (both have hearts, lungs, etc.), both can display aggression, compassion, and other such things.
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 9 Apr, 2010 07:51 pm
@Rwa001,
Rwa001;149872 wrote:
Cows are a more practical (and seemingly better tasting) form of food than dogs. They're easier to manage, they're larger, and I'm sure there are other ways that make them a superior source of food. I wouldn't call that specieism so much as I would call it 'being practical'.

Otherwise, I'm not worried about animals or compassion.

You guys miss the point...Indians had nothing against eating dog to avoid starvation, but their dog was their best friend too, just as with us, and when they feasted on dog for a stranger it was a mark of honor for the stranger that was missed by most... Catlin, the artist remarks on the act in a very pointed manor..
 
wayne
 
Reply Fri 9 Apr, 2010 09:55 pm
@Fido,
Fido;150128 wrote:
You guys miss the point...Indians had nothing against eating dog to avoid starvation, but their dog was their best friend too, just as with us, and when they feasted on dog for a stranger it was a mark of honor for the stranger that was missed by most... Catlin, the artist remarks on the act in a very pointed manor..


How very true, the indians understood their place in the world and had great respect for all other creatures. They could not understand the white man's lack of respect, his arrogance.
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Sat 10 Apr, 2010 01:32 am
@wayne,
Have any of you ever lived with Native american/First nations people? Have any of you done archaeology concerning them? have you done traditional Elder knowledge ethnography with people who were alive around the time of white settlement in their area, or even really studied the information out there on their traditional lifeways? About 3/4 of the romantic drivel that both we and they believe was Franciscan propaganda to the Spanish King, or anti-slavery propaganda to other colonial country's officials. Get in depth on actual belief structure, political structure, and lifeways pre-white man and you find that just like any other group with a similar technological suite their lives were "nasty brutish and short." if they had agriculture is was slash and burn normally, they over-hunted areas, they destroyed entire ecosystems. They, like us, were and are human and do all the things that humans do.
 
wayne
 
Reply Sat 10 Apr, 2010 01:38 am
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead;150169 wrote:
Have any of you ever lived with Native american/First nations people? Have any of you done archaeology concerning them? have you done traditional Elder knowledge ethnography with people who were alive around the time of white settlement in their area, or even really studied the information out there on their traditional lifeways? About 3/4 of the romantic drivel that both we and they believe was Franciscan propaganda to the Spanish King, or anti-slavery propaganda to other colonial country's officials. Get in depth on actual belief structure, political structure, and lifeways pre-white man and you find that just like any other group with a similar technological suite their lives were "nasty brutish and short." if they had agriculture is was slash and burn normally, they over-hunted areas, they destroyed entire ecosystems. They, like us, were and are human and do all the things that humans do.



There were, and are many different tribes of indians, with many different manners of life. Some tribes lived nasty brutish lives ,while others managed to live quite well. The error lies in generalising the term Indian.

As I recall, the Anasazi decorated thier pottery, that doesn't sound so nasty and brutish to me.
 
Fido
 
Reply Sat 10 Apr, 2010 05:36 am
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead;150169 wrote:
Have any of you ever lived with Native american/First nations people? Have any of you done archaeology concerning them? have you done traditional Elder knowledge ethnography with people who were alive around the time of white settlement in their area, or even really studied the information out there on their traditional lifeways? About 3/4 of the romantic drivel that both we and they believe was Franciscan propaganda to the Spanish King, or anti-slavery propaganda to other colonial country's officials. Get in depth on actual belief structure, political structure, and lifeways pre-white man and you find that just like any other group with a similar technological suite their lives were "nasty brutish and short." if they had agriculture is was slash and burn normally, they over-hunted areas, they destroyed entire ecosystems. They, like us, were and are human and do all the things that humans do.

I have worked with them, and grew up with them, going to the same schools, living and playing with them in the same neighborhood... I have also read on them by the foot, and you are right in the fact that thr romantic view, of the noble savage is incorrect, and wrong that their lives were brutish and short... Their technology was primitive, but they were intelligent and able, and their socieites where better structured than ours to preserve the whole people and so defend the individual...The form of their society produced justice for all as ours does not...
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Sat 10 Apr, 2010 11:20 am
@Fido,
Wayne, The Anisazi also boiled humans for food in those pretty pots. For a popularized version of the archaeology and forensic anthropology read the book (Man Corn) Christie Turner. Dr. Turner is a fascinating read in anything he writes, and a fascinating lecturer on many forensic anthropological studies concerning North American Indians, especially concerning dental morphology and migration patterns if you are interested in that sort of thing. If you have access to JSTOR look him up. For interesting ethnohistorical accounts about Native American Archetypes in modern culture look for things written by Don Fowler.

Yes Fido the generalizations and stereotyping are rampant. So true that various tribes lived various ways, some seemingly better than others. And just like with all humans some groups have a more stable cultural structure than others. You said much of what I was trying to say better than I did.
 
classicchinadoll
 
Reply Sun 11 Apr, 2010 03:36 am
@raven05,
raven05;149478 wrote:
I enjoy Peter Singer's utilitarian position on this subject. Let me preface what I'm about to say by mentioning that I've only read one of Singer's books, "Animal Liberation," and I read it probably over a year ago so what I say could be completely off base.

Singer argues that humans participate in speciesism when they, among other things, consume non-human animals. If i remember correctly he defends a vegan stance because plants cannot feel pain whereas animals can. He highlights how non-human animals have the same basic framework as humans do in regards to a nervous system. From this he infers that animals feel pain just as we do, and that pain is a bad thing. He thinks that it's our role to reduce suffering (utilitarianism), and the main way to achieve that is by not eating/testing on/hunting non-human animals.

I like his position but it raises a lot of other ethical issues. For instance, if you were to defend Singer's position you would have to say that a human "vegetable," for lack of a better term, is more expendable than a deer. If this human had no ability to feel pain, harming the deer would be the worse action.

I hope this helps explain at least one stance on the subject of speciesism.


I am actually a vegetarian for similar reasons though I do believe that the method used to kill animals is relatively painless yet I believe if a creature is conscious enough to have a preference to live, as I believe most animals are, then it is immoral to kill them simply because they taste good. However I see spiders as a risk so I will kill them. If I see an insect mostly dead and suffering I will put it out of it's misery.
 
 

 
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