Animal Consciousness and Meat
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12-12-2012, 10:52 AM
RE: Animal Consciousness and Meat
I like meat. In fact, it makes up about 90% of my diet. My only non-meat intake is in the form of grains and milk. It's only 11:44 AM and already I've had an 8-ounce steak and two chicken breasts - and it's not even lunch-time yet. Meat is where I get my fats and proteins.

If livestock animals evolved to the point that they were capable of recognizing their fate, it would certainly put a major twist on things. It brings to mind the idea of role-reversal horror concepts in which humans are kept in cages, then hoisted up on meat-hooks and butchered. It'd be essentially the same idea, because cows and chickens would be as perceptive as we are.

As unsettling as that may be; in this strange new world where animals are capable of rational thought, I'd have to say that if they're smart enough to overcome my dietary needs, by all means, they may attempt to do so. But I'm still going to be hunting them for sustenance. Savage though that may seem to us; it's how nature works. The lion hunts the gazell, the cat hunts the mouse, and I hunt the cow (or chicken, or deer, or whatever).

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12-12-2012, 11:56 AM
RE: Animal Consciousness and Meat
(12-12-2012 07:46 AM)Vosur Wrote:  
(11-12-2012 04:57 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  Love and hate are secondary emotions not inherent. A baby can feel a prime emotion such as joy, anger, fear, or grief for example but actual love and hate are both taught and come later. Most children learn what love and hate are from their parental figures (not necessarily from their parents). Eventually we discern what those words mean. We extrapolate their meaning based solely on our world view.

I see nothing absurd in the claim, this is very basic psychology.
Since you haven't told me what love and hate are for you, there's not much I can say about this.

Going by the dictionary definition of these emotions, I don't see how they need to be taught.

My definition is irrelevant to the fact. You can define love or hate as simply or as complex as you like. Nothing changes the fact both are not prime emotions. No one is born with a notion of <i>what</i> to love or hate.

I have never said love and hate aren't "emotions." I have only said they aren't prime emotions, which are innate.
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12-12-2012, 12:08 PM
RE: Animal Consciousness and Meat
(12-12-2012 11:56 AM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  My definition is irrelevant to the fact. You can define love or hate as simply or as complex as you like. Nothing changes the fact both are not prime emotions. No one is born with a notion of <i>what</i> to love or hate.
I don't recall disagreeing with you on that point. What you originally claimed was that we need to be taught how to love and hate, which is, as I've said, simply absurd.

(12-12-2012 11:56 AM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  I have never said love and hate aren't "emotions."
And neither did I say that you did.

(12-12-2012 11:56 AM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  I have only said they aren't prime emotions, which are innate.
There would be no disagreement between the two of us if that was all you said. You may want to re-read the first post of yours that I've responded to.

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12-12-2012, 12:46 PM
RE: Animal Consciousness and Meat
(12-12-2012 12:08 PM)Vosur Wrote:  
(12-12-2012 11:56 AM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  My definition is irrelevant to the fact. You can define love or hate as simply or as complex as you like. Nothing changes the fact both are not prime emotions. No one is born with a notion of <i>what</i> to love or hate.
I don't recall disagreeing with you on that point. What you originally claimed was that we need to be taught how to love and hate, which is, as I've said, simply absurd.

(12-12-2012 11:56 AM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  I have never said love and hate aren't "emotions."
And neither did I say that you did.

(12-12-2012 11:56 AM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  I have only said they aren't prime emotions, which are innate.
There would be no disagreement between the two of us if that was all you said. You may want to re-read the first post of yours that I've responded to.

This discussion is going around in circles and yes I did read what I wrote within the full context, in which it was written. Love and hate are not innate emotions therefore they must be taught. All secondary emotions are learned. As I said, which you seemed to agree with, no one is born with direct knowledge of "what" to love or hate. The only logical conclusion is they must be learned, which you disagreed with. If something, like an emotion isn't innate, it must be learned/taught/acquired somewhere.
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12-12-2012, 01:22 PM
RE: Animal Consciousness and Meat
(12-12-2012 12:46 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  This discussion is going around in circles and yes I did read what I wrote within the full context, in which it was written. Love and hate are not innate emotions therefore they must be taught. All secondary emotions are learned. As I said, which you seemed to agree with, no one is born with direct knowledge of "what" to love or hate. The only logical conclusion is they must be learned, which you disagreed with. If something, like an emotion isn't innate, it must be learned/taught/acquired somewhere.
Again, I agree that no one is born knowing what to love or hate. Where we differ is whether or not the ability to love and hate has to be taught to you by someone after birth. You have, thus far, not substantiated your claim and quite frankly, I don't see how you could do so, even in theory. Love, according to the dictionary definition, is a feeling of affection for someone/something, whereas hate is the feeling of great dislike for someone/something. Do you want to go as far as saying that, for example, a baby cannot and does not feel affection for its mother/father?

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12-12-2012, 02:09 PM
RE: Animal Consciousness and Meat
(12-12-2012 01:22 PM)Vosur Wrote:  
(12-12-2012 12:46 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  This discussion is going around in circles and yes I did read what I wrote within the full context, in which it was written. Love and hate are not innate emotions therefore they must be taught. All secondary emotions are learned. As I said, which you seemed to agree with, no one is born with direct knowledge of "what" to love or hate. The only logical conclusion is they must be learned, which you disagreed with. If something, like an emotion isn't innate, it must be learned/taught/acquired somewhere.
Again, I agree that no one is born knowing what to love or hate. Where we differ is whether or not the ability to love and hate has to be taught to you by someone after birth. You have, thus far, not substantiated your claim and quite frankly, I don't see how you could do so, even in theory. Love, according to the dictionary definition, is a feeling of affection for someone/something, whereas hate is the feeling of great dislike for someone/something. Do you want to go as far as saying that, for example, a baby cannot and does not feel affection for its mother/father?

Generally such knowledge would come earliest from a parental figure (not necessarily a parent). Do babies feel affection? It's doubtful. A newborn can feel contentment or joy. Affection? Again by your usage, the very word suggests innate emotion. For example, a baby might feel joy regardless of who is holding it. Just as a baby might cry no matter who is holding it -- we often project emotions onto them Older babies do develop preferences over-time, but again those are learned and not innate.

Since we both agree the ability to love or hate is not something we are born innately with -- where or how is such knowledge acquired if not learned?
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12-12-2012, 02:37 PM
RE: Animal Consciousness and Meat
(12-12-2012 02:09 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  Generally such knowledge would come earliest from a parental figure (not necessarily a parent). Do babies feel affection? It's doubtful. A newborn can feel contentment or joy. Affection? Again by your usage, the very word suggests innate emotion. For example, a baby might feel joy regardless of who is holding it. Just as a baby might cry no matter who is holding it -- we often project emotions onto them. Older babies do develop preferences over-time, but again those are learned and not innate
Good point.

(12-12-2012 02:09 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  Since we both agree the ability to love or hate is not something we are born innately with -- where or how is such knowledge acquired if not learned?
To be honest, I don't know. As I see it, our current technology doesn't allow us to falsify or validate the hypothesis. Needless to say that I'm interested to hear whether or not you're able to propose a way of empirically testing it.

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12-12-2012, 03:03 PM
RE: Animal Consciousness and Meat
(12-12-2012 10:52 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  I like meat. In fact, it makes up about 90% of my diet. My only non-meat intake is in the form of grains and milk. It's only 11:44 AM and already I've had an 8-ounce steak and two chicken breasts - and it's not even lunch-time yet. Meat is where I get my fats and proteins.

If livestock animals evolved to the point that they were capable of recognizing their fate, it would certainly put a major twist on things. It brings to mind the idea of role-reversal horror concepts in which humans are kept in cages, then hoisted up on meat-hooks and butchered. It'd be essentially the same idea, because cows and chickens would be as perceptive as we are.

As unsettling as that may be; in this strange new world where animals are capable of rational thought, I'd have to say that if they're smart enough to overcome my dietary needs, by all means, they may attempt to do so. But I'm still going to be hunting them for sustenance. Savage though that may seem to us; it's how nature works. The lion hunts the gazell, the cat hunts the mouse, and I hunt the cow (or chicken, or deer, or whatever).
This. Except I don't drink milk.

I don't see a problem with hunting for meat, whether you actually need it or not (as in, you probably won't die without it). That's how nature works, and animals are usually made out of delicious meat. We don't (usually)hunt and eat humans because we are self-aware and wouldn't want another human to kill and eat us (usually).

I think a lot of sort of militant-vegan types I met in college didn't make a distinction between torture (for the purpose of sadistic pleasure) and hunting/killing for meat and other useful things, and also they didn't seem to distinguish between poaching a species to extinction and controlled, limited hunting. I live in PA, and there are a lot of woods and deer here. If people didn't hunt them, they would exceed the carrying capacity of the land, and they would either (1) slowly, painfully die from starvation, or (2) get killed by cars and kill a bunch more humans in the process. Population control is something that pretty much has to happen in modern society, because it's not all vast stretches of forest; we have cities and it's best not to let the animals overflow into them. I think if you're gonna say "don't ever hunt," you'd better also be prepared to give up all modern technology, electricity, and cities because that excess population is going to have to live somewhere.

Quote:I
think the problem with eating meat is killing another living being,
capable of experiencing pain (and often keeping them in extremely cruel conditions and subjecting them to a treatment very nearly approaching torture).
I think that's the problem with factory farming, yes, but I don't think it's a problem inherent in meat eating. If a lion kills a gazelle and eats it, most people would not call the lion sadistic. Causing pain was not his motivation, he was just hungry and saw some food walking by. Likewise, i don't have a problem with humans killing animals for meat. Some meat is good for us so we can get our amino acids or whatever. I think self awareness gives a responsibility to think about things and to minimize pain caused by us, but I don't think it means we have to give up the foods we evolved to eat and all become herbivores. It's problematic when the meat industry is a business and trying to cut corners, but the concept of never hurting anything ever and eating nothing but broccoli seems a bit too idealistic and not based in reality. I think suffering does happen and will happen, and people should focus on eliminating as much needless suffering as they can, but not strive to attain some utopian vision where nothing ever dies and wild buffalo herds roam through the streets of Manhattan.

But to answer the original question, I don't see myself giving up meat, no.
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12-12-2012, 03:13 PM
RE: Animal Consciousness and Meat
(12-12-2012 03:03 PM)amyb Wrote:  I think that's the problem with factory farming, yes, but I don't think it's a problem inherent in meat eating. If a lion kills a gazelle and eats it, most people would not call the lion sadistic. Causing pain was not his motivation, he was just hungry and saw some food walking by. Likewise, i don't have a problem with humans killing animals for meat. Some meat is good for us so we can get our amino acids or whatever. I think self awareness gives a responsibility to think about things and to minimize pain caused by us, but I don't think it means we have to give up the foods we evolved to eat and all become herbivores. It's problematic when the meat industry is a business and trying to cut corners, but the concept of never hurting anything ever and eating nothing but broccoli seems a bit too idealistic and not based in reality. I think suffering does happen and will happen, and people should focus on eliminating as much needless suffering as they can, but not strive to attain some utopian vision where nothing ever dies and wild buffalo herds roam through the streets of Manhattan.

But to answer the original question, I don't see myself giving up meat, no.
No, I don't think the problem is with eating meat itself, either, but with the conditions those animals are being kept in (as well how they are killed).

The pain bit was to illustrate that if we're going to stop eating meat for ethical reasons, self-awareness is not even necessary. The ability to feel pain and fear should be enough.

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12-12-2012, 03:29 PM
RE: Animal Consciousness and Meat
Agreed with that, but yeah, the conditions and methods are the problem, IMO. I think the best scenario would be to minimize pain, have more humane conditions to live in, faster/less painful methods of killing.
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