Specism

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raven05
 
Reply Sun 11 Apr, 2010 12:41 pm
@classicchinadoll,
classicchinadoll;150497 wrote:
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.


You could be correct that the actual KILLING methods are painless, but I think that Singer, and myself, focus on the atrocious living conditions. It honestly makes my stomach hurt when I see and read about what these poor creatures go through. Here is a video found after a quick youtube search. I hope it makes my point more lucid:
YouTube - Cruelty of Factory Farming
 
pinfall
 
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2010 08:37 am
@bloodninja72,
It would be ignorant and naive to believe that we could sustainably increase supply to equal the demand whilst spending any excess at all in factory farming. I agree that it is attrociously cruel but, besides mass vegetarianism, I don't see how we would manage without it.
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2010 08:52 am
@pinfall,
pinfall;150824 wrote:
It would be ignorant and naive to believe that we could sustainably increase supply to equal the demand whilst spending any excess at all in factory farming. I agree that it is attrociously cruel but, besides mass vegetarianism, I don't see how we would manage without it.


If you are right, then the choice is between being a vegetarian or being callous and cruel. Which are you?
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2010 09:38 am
@pinfall,
pinfall;150824 wrote:
It would be ignorant and naive to believe that we could sustainably increase supply to equal the demand whilst spending any excess at all in factory farming. I agree that it is attrociously cruel but, besides mass vegetarianism, I don't see how we would manage without it.


I don't know if there is a kind method of killing, but we could treat animals alive with greater respect and kindness...If an animal gives his life for ours, does it deserve less than our thanks, and kindness??? The fact seems obvious, that where animals are mistreated, humans as well are mistreated, and if the goal is the better reatment of humanity, then the minimum standard of decent human treament should be set by the humane treatment of animals...
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2010 12:03 pm
@bloodninja72,
Imo it's about values and benefit.

In old Rome, they would kill these primitive barbarians as they was mere flies, because they didn't display any greater value to the romans, and their understanding of human values was only limited to other "civil civs" who posed a threat or had values they could understand and appreciate, such as high evolved art, laws, architecture ..etc.


In China they eat dogs casually, because they don't pose any great value, because food is scarse, in western culture we don't eat dog casually, because it has been our hunting companion, guard and pet ..thereby pose a value for us, besides have other plentiful resources of food.
 
ValueRanger
 
Reply Tue 13 Apr, 2010 12:34 am
@bloodninja72,
Our behavioral consistencies are based upon deficiency/proficiency value hierarchies.

Choosing to eat a more plentiful protein source that is at a lesser evolutionary stage than a dog, such as a cow, interconnects with a variety of other value metrics - including sustainability as a resource.

Perhaps a study in the principle of parsimony is in order.
 
classicchinadoll
 
Reply Tue 13 Apr, 2010 03:01 am
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;150830 wrote:
If you are right, then the choice is between being a vegetarian or being callous and cruel. Which are you?


choose the vegetable

CHOOSE THE VEGETABLE
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 13 Apr, 2010 04:55 am
@ValueRanger,
ValueRanger;151248 wrote:
Our behavioral consistencies are based upon deficiency/proficiency value hierarchies.

Choosing to eat a more plentiful protein source that is at a lesser evolutionary stage than a dog, such as a cow, interconnects with a variety of other value metrics - including sustainability as a resource.

Perhaps a study in the principle of parsimony is in order.



I love your first sentence... I would likely need a dictonary to get directions to the store from you...It is some times impossible to simplify reality beyond the simple...I tend to believe that people obscure their meaning to exclude others from their relationships, which in this case is in the form called philosophy... If you seek a larger audience, you must be able to communicate with them; but it is your game, and I would not tell you how to play it...
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Tue 13 Apr, 2010 06:30 am
@ValueRanger,
ValueRanger;151248 wrote:
Our behavioral consistencies are based upon deficiency/proficiency value hierarchies.

Choosing to eat a more plentiful protein source that is at a lesser evolutionary stage than a dog, such as a cow, interconnects with a variety of other value metrics - including sustainability as a resource.

Perhaps a study in the principle of parsimony is in order.


"lessor evolutionary stage"? Upon what do you base that idea? And what, precisely, do you mean by it? The animals that 'westerners' eat are not the least intelligent ones, as pigs are evidently as intelligent (or more) than dogs.

As for being a "more plentiful protein source", that is a function of what people choose to create and raise for that purpose. (Pretty much no one is hunting wild cows.) We could, if we wished, raise dogs for this purpose instead.
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Tue 13 Apr, 2010 09:57 am
@Pyrrho,
I figure I won't eat meat when my digestive system evolves into one that doesn't process it better than it does vegetation.
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 13 Apr, 2010 02:34 pm
@bloodninja72,
There was some oriental king who asked: Why should I make my stomach into a grave yard for animals??? I am starting to see things his way... I don't eat much meat...Now I have to learn to kill for the fun of it...
 
polpol
 
Reply Wed 14 Apr, 2010 04:30 pm
@bloodninja72,
This is a very interesting thread. We can say that humans are omnivorous. This is part of our very high capacity of adaptation which allowed us to evolve from a bunch of unskillful primates that kept falling off trees and had to run for their lives to what we have become. Contrary to most living creatures we humans will not only eat anything but also do anything to stay alive. But we are also cultural beings ie. we chose to set common rules and goals according to various ecological, ideological and economical factors. That's where it gets really interesting. In general, humans eat vegetarian animals and it would not be economical to raise dogs for food since we would have to give them meat. Some eat dogs and other carnivorous animals but they don't actually raise them. I would agree that the more a society evolves, the more we can chose what we eat accordind to other ideals than pure survival. I never heard the term Specism before, it is interesting. For example someone showed how we tend to change the names of animals when they are alive and when they are in our plate. I don't remember except the pig that becomes "porc" when we eat it. Also, cannibalism, people will not consider the cannibalised as "huaman" even if they know and will use various practices to dehumanise the victim like cutting off the head and the hands. So there is some similarity with the dynamics if racism. Thanks to all for the very interesting contributions.
 
Mentally Ill
 
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 07:21 pm
@bloodninja72,
We eat whatever is most easily accessible and tastes best, sometimes sacrificing taste for ease of access and vice versa. I would not say that this is specism, as the reason is survival based.

However, it is most definitely specism to claim that a dog is worthy of being a man's best friend but a pig is a filthy animal only worth execution and digestion. A pespective like that is clearly the result of ignorance of pigs and dogs, as pigs are actually both smarter and more hygienic than dogs.
But we actually like dogs because of their stupidity in a lot of cases, finding it adorable and endearing, while a highly intelligent animal like an orangutan can come across as sneaky and rude.
I wouldn't want a human as a pet, they're too smart; but a rat is a great pet precisely because it is a very dumb animal.
 
Rwa001
 
Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2010 08:16 pm
@Mentally Ill,
My main issue is that none of the animals I eat on a regular basis are self-aware. It would follow from a lack of self-awareness that there would be no concept of death, at least not self-death. At this point the only issue would be to minimize suffering, which is the main goal of the animal to avoid.

I don't think there is any moral dilemma with eating meat, especially in that instance of a lack of self-awareness, but even in the case of animals who are self-aware. The game is survival, right? I wouldn't consider the hungry lion who eats me as being immoral or wrong, regardless of the painful death I suffered.
 
raven05
 
Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2010 08:41 pm
@Rwa001,
Rwa001;154697 wrote:
My main issue is that none of the animals I eat on a regular basis are self-aware. It would follow from a lack of self-awareness that there would be no concept of death, at least not self-death. At this point the only issue would be to minimize suffering, which is the main goal of the animal to avoid.

I don't think there is any moral dilemma with eating meat, especially in that instance of a lack of self-awareness, but even in the case of animals who are self-aware. The game is survival, right? I wouldn't consider the hungry lion who eats me as being immoral or wrong, regardless of the painful death I suffered.


I think your argument would be stronger if you only ate animals that you hunted (maybe this is your position, correct me if I'm wrong). In that instance then it is possible that maybe the 'survival is the fittest' mentality stands, but I would like to offer two responses.

First, if I am incorrect and some of the meat you eat is not from free chase hunting, I don't think it's fair to say that it's the animals job to survive. Many animals in factory farms are born into those conditions with no means of escape. They have no possibility of matching wits with you and them coming out on top. These animals are doomed from the beginning, they cannot survive even if they tried. I don't think it's a fair characterization of their situation.

Second, even the survival of the fittest argument seems to me to be morally bankrupt. If you are to assume that humans are higher on the food chain, I don't think you would hesitate to say that humans also have higher cognitive ability (the ability to rationally deliberate, etc) than animals do. Please note that I also think that many non-human animals have those abilities too, but that's not where I'm going with this. My argument is that if we can assume that humans have higher cognitive functions, can't we also assume that humans have the ability to ethically make decisions on a higher level than non-human animals? Couldn't one of those decisions be to not eat meat? It appears to me that your argument really gets you nowhere, and that the idea that we are better than them is a reason to NOT eat animals, rather than to do so.

Sorry if this is convoluted I'm doing crazy amounts of homework so I probably rushed my response a little bit.
 
Rwa001
 
Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2010 10:12 pm
@raven05,
Quote:
I think your argument would be stronger if you only ate animals that you hunted (maybe this is your position, correct me if I'm wrong). In that instance then it is possible that maybe the 'survival is the fittest' mentality stands, but I would like to offer two responses.

First, if I am incorrect and some of the meat you eat is not from free chase hunting, I don't think it's fair to say that it's the animals job to survive. Many animals in factory farms are born into those conditions with no means of escape. They have no possibility of matching wits with you and them coming out on top. These animals are doomed from the beginning, they cannot survive even if they tried. I don't think it's a fair characterization of their situation.

Second, even the survival of the fittest argument seems to me to be morally bankrupt. If you are to assume that humans are higher on the food chain, I don't think you would hesitate to say that humans also have higher cognitive ability (the ability to rationally deliberate, etc) than animals do. Please note that I also think that many non-human animals have those abilities too, but that's not where I'm going with this. My argument is that if we can assume that humans have higher cognitive functions, can't we also assume that humans have the ability to ethically make decisions on a higher level than non-human animals? Couldn't one of those decisions be to not eat meat? It appears to me that your argument really gets you nowhere, and that the idea that we are better than them is a reason to NOT eat animals, rather than to do so.

Sorry if this is convoluted I'm doing crazy amounts of homework so I probably rushed my response a little bit.


Whether we hunt or not is irrelevant. I certainly could hunt, but courtesy of one of our fantastic adaptations called specialization, my time is better spent on other endeavors. We're talking about species food-chains, not an individual food-chain, wherein I would certainly rank lower than a terrifying number of animals in the wild. But we've advanced to the point of domesticating and farming animals.

That being said, it is wholly the job of the animal to survive. Who else would be in charge of that? Let's say we discovered an island free from human invasion, and as we observed, we noticed a species going extinct, would it be our duty to preserve that animal who failed in adapting to the environment around it? I don't think so. We let animals eat each other in nature all the time. The issue most people seem to have here is the nature of factory farming, which you mentioned. While I don't think the 'chance of survival' argument holds much weight, I entirely agree that as rational, cognitive beings capable of creating moral codes we should be seeking to minimize the physical suffering of the animals we eat as much as possible.

As for your last part, we can assume that we can make decisions on a higher ethical level, and not-eating meat is certainly a moral decision we can make. But you must see here how YOUR argument gets us nowhere. Because we haven't made that decision. Maybe you have, but that's up to you. Just because we can consider something from a 'higher cognitive' level, doesn't mean that the outcome will go your way.

And I think my argument is a natural one. We require (I guess we could debate this, but that might be for a nutritionist's forum) meat, meat is available, ergo eating meat is morally permissible. From here you are welcome to debate the manner in which we get our meat, but the conclusion remains the same.

Your argument is (I'm assuming here) we can live without meat, eating meat is unethical, we are capable of making this rational ethical decision, ergo we shouldn't eat meat.

Your argument gets us nowhere because it necessarily leads to a moral judgment. And you just haven't given adequate support to suggest that eating meat is not morally permissible.
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Wed 21 Apr, 2010 09:08 am
@Rwa001,
Rwa001;154721 wrote:
... We require (I guess we could debate this, but that might be for a nutritionist's forum) meat, meat is available, ergo eating meat is morally permissible. ...


It is simply false that we require meat. So your argument fails, as it is resting on a premise that every decent nutritionist knows is false. Just do some online searching, and you will find that the average vegetarian lives a longer, healthier life than the average meat eater, and the average vegan (a vegetarian who eats no animal products at all [e.g., dairy and eggs]) lives a longer, healthier life than the average vegetarian. There is absolutely no need for people to eat meat in the modern world. If you were living "off the land" in the wilderness on your own, it is likely that you would need to eat meat, but as you are online, I know that that is not likely the case with you.
 
Rwa001
 
Reply Wed 21 Apr, 2010 08:35 pm
@Pyrrho,
That seems to be true, given the number of vegetarians who live healthful lives, however, nutritionists also agree that eating meat is the most effective way to ensure a healthful diet. Even lacking a requirement, it is not true that we must show a requirement of survival to do any given action.

The fact that omnivores tend to overeat more than vegetarians is irrelevant. It isn't the meat that is unhealthy, it is the lack of moderation, as always.

You can adjust my argument to say that eating meat is the best way to ensure a complete diet, rather than as a requirement, that's fine. But if suffering is minimized, then there is no ethical reason for not eating a non self-aware animal, such as cows, pigs, and turkeys.
 
bloodninja72
 
Reply Thu 22 Apr, 2010 07:32 pm
@Rwa001,
I think what I said was misleading. Let me lead the topic in another direction. Why do we have no problem eating cows and and not cats?

---------- Post added 04-22-2010 at 09:40 PM ----------

Mentally Ill;154226 wrote:
We eat whatever is most easily accessible and tastes best, sometimes sacrificing taste for ease of access and vice versa. I would not say that this is specism, as the reason is survival based.

However, it is most definitely specism to claim that a dog is worthy of being a man's best friend but a pig is a filthy animal only worth execution and digestion. A pespective like that is clearly the result of ignorance of pigs and dogs, as pigs are actually both smarter and more hygienic than dogs.
But we actually like dogs because of their stupidity in a lot of cases, finding it adorable and endearing, while a highly intelligent animal like an orangutan can come across as sneaky and rude.
I wouldn't want a human as a pet, they're too smart; but a rat is a great pet precisely because it is a very dumb animal.


exactly, we find cats and dogs to be "cute" but that type of behavior makes me sick. If the case that the animal is not self aware, then it would make sense to me. But we like the animal more, so its ok to kill ones we dont like. I am by no means racist, but if i was, maybe id cus out the chinese and shake hands with the black man, only becasue i like the black man better.

pointless. It really does make me sick. And some people i ask why they can eat cow but not dog, dont have a justifiable answer. So i think its mostly that its socially acceptiple to do so.
 
Wisdom Seeker
 
Reply Thu 22 Apr, 2010 07:48 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?


in depends on the quality of life, the greater the purpose, the greater the overall the greater the quality.

why do we eat cows but not dogs?
cows are heavy and healthy, they are herbivores, most herbivores are meaty and tasty for carnivores, that is why carnivores likes them. i think we don't eat dogs since it can have more diseases as it eats everything it eats.

We kill spiders but not other human beings?
we kill spider since they have less purpose and a far more dangerous, we value human life since it has greater purpose, greater use.
 
 

 
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