Is veganism at the "moral baseline"?
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01-05-2012, 07:39 PM
RE: Is veganism at the "moral baseline"?
Actually, it's a proven fact that some higher primates have self-recognition. They've done studies with mirrors. These apes/monkeys realized that it was a reflection and started to examine their body parts in the mirror.

There's no telling exactly how many animals have this ability. It just proves that some animals do.

I said it before, animals have also displayed mourning over deceased loved ones. Some of these animals are omnivores too.

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01-05-2012, 08:09 PM
RE: Is veganism at the "moral baseline"?
(01-05-2012 07:39 PM)NoahsFarce Wrote:  Actually, it's a proven fact that some higher primates have self-recognition.

I ain't worried about the primates, I'm more worried about upsetting the artists previously known as pachyderms.

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03-05-2012, 06:46 AM
RE: Is veganism at the "moral baseline"?
(01-05-2012 07:39 PM)NoahsFarce Wrote:  Actually, it's a proven fact that some higher primates have self-recognition. They've done studies with mirrors. These apes/monkeys realized that it was a reflection and started to examine their body parts in the mirror.

There's no telling exactly how many animals have this ability. It just proves that some animals do.

I said it before, animals have also displayed mourning over deceased loved ones. Some of these animals are omnivores too.
Well perhaps I should alter my statement from "animals" to "the animals we currently farm." Yeah I'd have a problem with killing chimps or great apes for food. Cows? No. My statement stands.
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03-05-2012, 06:57 AM
RE: Is veganism at the "moral baseline"?
(03-05-2012 06:46 AM)Superluminal Wrote:  
(01-05-2012 07:39 PM)NoahsFarce Wrote:  Actually, it's a proven fact that some higher primates have self-recognition. They've done studies with mirrors. These apes/monkeys realized that it was a reflection and started to examine their body parts in the mirror.

There's no telling exactly how many animals have this ability. It just proves that some animals do.

I said it before, animals have also displayed mourning over deceased loved ones. Some of these animals are omnivores too.
Well perhaps I should alter my statement from "animals" to "the animals we currently farm." Yeah I'd have a problem with killing chimps or great apes for food. Cows? No. My statement stands.
Yes, I agree with you. I wasn't arguing your stance at all. Just correcting one point in it.

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03-05-2012, 09:36 AM (This post was last modified: 03-05-2012 09:51 AM by NotSoVacuous.)
RE: Is veganism at the "moral baseline"?
(01-05-2012 10:47 AM)NoahsFarce Wrote:  
(01-05-2012 10:10 AM)NotSoVacuous Wrote:  Either you have contradicted yourself, or I misunderstood this quote:

Just wanted to point that out. Also I am going to answer Nach's question that Noah has quoted right here.

Nach, there is an estimated 70-80 billion animals being farmed for meat at the moment. We caused the populations of these animals to be this high. If we could cut out about 60 billion or more animals from this equation, that is only 20 billion--or less--suffering of natural causes and being hunted by predators.

Simple put, subtract the farming of animals for meat. Means 60-70 billion less animals with the only the sole purpose of to inevitably die. Versus something like 10-20 billion. And the math goes on.

If anyone here has a nihilist view about animal suffering, that it does not exist, then we have nothing to discuss. You are obviously segregated from reality. This wasn't directed at anyone specifically. But you know if it was you.

I have work today, I will try to start back on page 16 and pick up where I left off on answering questions.
It's not the comments that you misunderstood, it's the context of how they were used in reply to others' comments.

I dare not even attempt to say that animals don't feel pain and suffering.

In my comment about how you can never know if an animal really suffers during the killing process, that is true. But keep in mind, I already stated that I exclude the farms that blatantly do cause suffering to animals from the very beginning. I'm talking about the farms that humanely kill (I acknowledge that there might be no such thing as humanely killing anything) animals.

So with that in mind, my comment should not be contradictory.

Example: Kobe beef. The farms that do it real way treat the cows like kings. They give them massages, feed them the "finest" herbs and grass. And give them beer... alright, alright, the beer thing can become a subject of debate as well...

And when it comes time to slaughter, it's a quick process. This is where my point comes in. If you are talking about animal suffering and pain, what do you say in the Kobe Beef scenario.

Let's just say the scenario is 100% accurate in that the cows are genuinely very happy. I know that this might not be the actual case... which is pretty much why I said it's near impossible to know for sure since we aren't the cow.

So in that situation, the subject of animal suffering and pain is a non-issue. It is now solely an issue of how we as humans feel about raising animals for the sole purpose of slaughter and clothing. It is this part I have no justification for, but that does not mean that I believe it requires more justification other than humans like to consume meat and it's a natural thing.

I have 0 issues with you feeling that it's immoral to do so. I have 0 issues with you feeling that you have taken the higher road than me. What I have issue with is you implying that I am an immoral person for eating meat.
IF an animal lived a very happy life on a farm, and IF when it came time to kill it, it was killed INSTANTLY with no pain. I would be fine with the moral aspects of this to an extent. The worthiness of it's life is a different discussion, and how it's life is it's life--not ours. On the other hand, however, I still have an issue with the damage farming animals does to the environment.

When my vegetables are grown, they arguable take up more land space than animals do. However, we now have the issue that the land animals do take up is also accompanied by the land that has to be taken up to grow their food. So in my case, I have a field taken up. In the animals case, it has it's land that it roams on--or factory it is confined in--and a field that is taken up to provide it food. Not to mention this is 60-70 billion animals more, than we would normally have, consuming Oxygen and water. This will only get worse once other countries develop and the Earth's population grows.

Now I have to agree with something someone said earlier. Our discussion here is getting muddled a bit. I want to refine my position, and require us to speak in my specific defined terms.


My position is not a baseline; I view it as a better overall option. It is solely Ovo-lacto vegetarianism.
Eating meat, at the moment, is causing animal suffering.
It is also more of an environment burden than simply farming vegetables.
We do not need meat to be healthy--arguably, overall, more people would benefit from avoiding it.
Thus, this trumps self interest(taste) and appeals to nature. It is natural, but it is detrimental.

Let's sharpen this discussion. Explain to me what is wrong with the above statements. Let's don't muddy up the water. Let's keep it sweet and simple if we can. Because I do feel like I am focusing too much on what a paragraph meant, and am missing the point.

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03-05-2012, 10:13 AM
RE: Is veganism at the "moral baseline"?
(03-05-2012 09:36 AM)NotSoVacuous Wrote:  My position is not a baseline; I view it as a better overall option. It is solely Ovo-lacto vegetarianism.
Eating meat, at the moment, is causing animal suffering.
It is also more of an environment burden than simply farming vegetables.
We do not need meat to be healthy--arguably, overall, more people would benefit from avoiding it.
Thus, this trumps self interest(taste) and appeals to nature. It is natural, but it is detrimental.

Let's sharpen this discussion. Explain to me what is wrong with the above statements. Let's don't muddy up the water. Let's keep it sweet and simple if we can. Because I do feel like I am focusing too much on what a paragraph meant, and am missing the point.
I will argue that eating meat is causing suffering, but not in all situations for all animals being consumed. For example, fish. Scientifically speaking, there is no evidence that they feel pain. There's some circumstantial evidence suggesting it, but it's shady. So, like with Atheism, the overwhelming evidence for fish not feeling pain is too great to be ignored.

I do refute the claim by vegans and vegetarians that their lifestyle is more healthy. I know for a fact that they have to either consume more amounts of veggies for the nutrition, or supplement with vitamins. Yes, because of our first world luxury, this is very easily obtainable at almost any supermarket.

I do feel that we need to crack down on animal mistreatment on farms and slaughterhouses. I do not think it is damaging our eco-system (if that's what you're suggesting with the taking up land comment). I would like to see scientific data supporting that claim if so. If it is, I can't see it being as damaging as a number of things that humans do to the Earth.

I have acknowledged that you might be in a higher moral position than me in terms of meat consumption. What I'm asking you is, am I immoral for consuming meat? Or is this simply a case of you taking the more moral route?

To me, self-satisfaction is actually very important and healthy (obviously within the moral realm so not rape and things of that nature). As anecdotal as it may seem, I am deeply satisfied when I consume meat. Food is something I treasure and love. I seriously would be a less happy person without it. I would also have to greatly alter my and my family's lives to make this change as in the Asian culture, meat consumption is almost religious.

In my opinion, when you ask someone to effectively lead a less satisfying life by halting meat consumption (more in relation to adults who have consumed meat all their lives) just because you hold the opinion that not consuming meat is the moral action, it is in a way immoral of you to do so. It's immoral because your opinion is just that... an opinion. There's no laws stating that meat consumption is wrong, there are no scientific studies proving that meat consumption causes harm to the world and makes animals suffer, there is only a minority opinion that says it's wrong.

Again, I am not saying you are wrong. I am just saying there is a severe lack of evidence supporting your case. This is why I said before, admittedly in a snark manner, this debate mirrors that of a Theist vs Atheist one.

I am a meat Atheist in this debate. I hear a claim that meat consumption is detrimental to the world and animals, so I demand evidence. I don't care for personal experience. I don't care for minority group studies. I want credible, scientific evidence that is accepted by the scientific majority to support your claims. Only then will I consider sacrificing a real part of my happiness. Only then will I consider taking the time to research vegan nutrition and take the time to read each label very carefully so I can avoid every possible animal derivative possible.

This is not like quitting drugs. I have to greatly alter my life. Thus I need great evidence to persuade me to do so. Until then, I will continue to try and not support companies like KFC and Tyson Foods when it comes to my meat consumption.

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03-05-2012, 10:16 AM (This post was last modified: 03-05-2012 10:26 AM by Stark Raving.)
RE: Is veganism at the "moral baseline"?
Quote:
Eating meat, at the moment, is causing animal suffering
one could argue that life period causes suffering. I know this is beyond your point, but just wanted to make it clear that you are saying farming animals factory style causes more suffering than an animal would experience in a normal, wild situation. At least I'm pretty sure that's what you are saying.

My response is that this does not have to be the case. I think I've illustrated before how good the lives of my small farm animals are, so no need to get into that again. Suffice to say that the solution to the animals suffering part of the discussion doesn't have to be vegetarianism. It could also be treating animals better.

The burden placed on the land by animal farming versus veggie farming is a poor argument no matter which side you are on. The most environmentally friendly way to farm is by FAR a system of rotation. This is where an animal grazes rotationally, and is followed by vegetable crops. Let say you pasture raise beef. You insure there is enough pasture for that animal to grow on. no need to grow food for it. They eat grass. Feed them grass. This is not only more environmentally friendly in terms of methane output, but also more humane since the poor animal doesn't suffer chronic diarrhea it's entire life because it's fed an unnatural diet of grains just so that it grows faster to make a quicker buck.
Next year, you but your beef on a different section, and use the naturally fertilized soil the cattle left behind to grow veggies on for a few years. No need for fertilizers, and the food is organic, healthier, and the soil structure is not destroyed.
After a couple years of veg (preferably only two), you plant a year of legumes, like peas or beans, thus fixing nitrogen in the soil. This will help next years pasture grasses grow so the cattle can be rotated back onto this section again.

Even in a no meat situation, we need to come to terms with the fact that growing food on the land requires the help of animals. Otherwise we will continue to require artificial fertilizers. One good option for a vegetarian farm is to raise sheep for wool, and rotating them as described above. But regardless, farming that uses only veg or meat as a crop is the whole problem. Teach our farmers how to use the land like we did before the days of huge combines and chemical fertilizers and they will see with their own eyes why their soil has become dead and infertile.

Anyways,those two points kinda fall under my area of expertise, so I thought I'd address them.
Just for the record, Noah, by not supporting Tyson and KFC, you actually are helping to reduce the suffering of animals. When you do that, it forces companies that use meat to consider other options for obtaining meat or else lose your business. You make it heard that you want meat that is not factory farmed, this pressuring big business to comply and helping the smaller, more humane farmers, by forcing big business to look to them as a viable source of meat.

So thanks! Smile

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03-05-2012, 01:49 PM
RE: Is veganism at the "moral baseline"?
Right on Stark!

I know my gut will always be healthy with the enzymes and good bacteria I get from my yogurt and cheese. I wouldn't get that without healthy goats and cows who are grass fed, rather than completely grain fed. When grass fed, the cow's digestive system does what it's supposed to do... and so does mine.

Balance!!

It's what a healthy life and a healthy planet is all about. Smile

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03-05-2012, 02:46 PM
RE: Is veganism at the "moral baseline"?
Something just occurred to me...I am assuming bacon is exempt from this discussion, correct.
Because no matter who you are, well, it's bacon. And before anyone asks, yes, I do have proof that everyone should eat bacon.

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04-05-2012, 11:06 AM
RE: Is veganism at the "moral baseline"?
Quote:I will argue that eating meat is causing suffering, but not in all situations for all animals being consumed. For example, fish. Scientifically speaking, there is no evidence that they feel pain. There's some circumstantial evidence suggesting it, but it's shady. So, like with Atheism, the overwhelming evidence for fish not feeling pain is too great to be ignored.
Great, so ignoring fish for the moment, what is your justification for eating the meat of animals that do suffer. Arguably if it was proven that fish didn't suffer, and fishing was regulated so that we do not exterminate an entire species, then I would be happy with eating fish. However, fishing is not being regulated as it should. The human population is growing and the oceans are not. This poses a larger problem them a fish's suffering. I hope I won't be pestered for evidence of the human population growing and the oceans not.
Quote:I do refute the claim by vegans and vegetarians that their lifestyle is more healthy. I know for a fact that they have to either consume more amounts of veggies for the nutrition, or supplement with vitamins. Yes, because of our first world luxury, this is very easily obtainable at almost any supermarket.

Vegans yes. Vegetarians, No. I have no health defects as a result of being a vegetarian, and am arguably in better shape than the majority of people. I do not take vitamins. And as mentioned earlier, we can obtain the exact nutrition from a vegetarian diet that mimics that of a meat eaters. As for evidence, maybe I should be demanding it from you.

At 35.7% obesity rate. With only 3% of Americans being vegetarians , and 1% being vegans, I think I should demand that you provide evidence that your style is more healthy. Because this 35.7% obesity rate is arguably coming from at least 32.7% of meat eaters. That is 1 in 3 meat eaters are suffering from an illness that can kill them. Meanwhile you are concerned about small amounts of B12 or Iron consumption in a vegan diet?

Quote:I do feel that we need to crack down on animal mistreatment on farms and slaughterhouses. I do not think it is damaging our eco-system (if that's what you're suggesting with the taking up land comment). I would like to see scientific data supporting that claim if so. If it is, I can't see it being as damaging as a number of things that humans do to the Earth.
I will also address Stark's comment on the idea that it is actually better for the environment. He is probably correct in his scenario, but not with factory farming as he mentioned. The issue is, we cannot have happy little house on the prairie farms supplying the entire world. Thus factory farms are inevitable. These factory farms cause serious damage to our air and water supplies. I have had people argue that this is a result of not controlling the human population, and I agree. If we were to control the human population, so many problems could be resolved. However, just because one issue creates hundreds of more issues, it does not make the newly spawned issues permissible.

Quote:I have acknowledged that you might be in a higher moral position than me in terms of meat consumption. What I'm asking you is, am I immoral for consuming meat? Or is this simply a case of you taking the more moral route?
Our understanding of what is moral and what isn't is slightly different. I do think my position is more respectable and more moral. As far as your position is concerned, it is less moral in my opinion, but I do not speak in terms of less moral, I define it as more immoral. So my position is more moral, and yours in my opinion is more immoral.

Because this is a large continuum with immorality on one end and morality on the other, there isn't exactly a middle point on which you all the sudden pass and become immoral. You are just taking a path that is more immoral than moral is how I see it. I do not view it as two separate continuum, one immoral and the other moral, and peoples actions are placed on either one accordingly.

People who only animals that felt less pain than cows or pigs would be more moral than you, and more immoral than me. Remind you this is speaking on behalf of well being. The more suffering imposed--however small--will inevitably slide closer to immorality.

Quote:To me, self-satisfaction is actually very important and healthy (obviously within the moral realm so not rape and things of that nature). As anecdotal as it may seem, I am deeply satisfied when I consume meat. Food is something I treasure and love. I seriously would be a less happy person without it. I would also have to greatly alter my and my family's lives to make this change as in the Asian culture, meat consumption is almost religious.
I dislike how you try to make it as if I go to great lengths to avoid eating meat. As if this will consume hours of your time. This isn't the case and you know it. As far as your happiness is concerned, well all I have to say is the picture is bigger than your happiness my friend. This is the same dilemma that I run into with conversations about overpopulation and how I think that breeding should be controlled. Well what if having children makes someone happy? Arguably having a child would make someone more happy than your love for meat. (To test this, would you give up your children if it was eating meat or them?) But nevertheless, feelings aside, we simply cannot overpopulate this planet. It is impossible to continue doing so. Sacrifices have to be made void of anyone's feelings. So when it comes to right and wrong, your feelings will have no merit in this argument with me. I hope I did well in my over population scenario to display why feelings are irrelevant.
Quote:In my opinion, when you ask someone to effectively lead a less satisfying life by halting meat consumption (more in relation to adults who have consumed meat all their lives) just because you hold the opinion that not consuming meat is the moral action, it is in a way immoral of you to do so. It's immoral because your opinion is just that... an opinion. There's no laws stating that meat consumption is wrong, there are no scientific studies proving that meat consumption causes harm to the world and makes animals suffer, there is only a minority opinion that says it's wrong.
There is studies, I linked one three responses up. Whether or not laws exist is irrelevant. You have already admitted to the fact that animals do and can suffer--arguably not all of them. These are not opinions, it is a fact that factory farming causes suffering and environmental damage, so it is beyond me why you keep stressing this like a broken record player.



Simply put, I have displayed that environmental damage is being done by factory farming. We are both in agreement that animals suffer in these places. Your choice to buy from local farms when you can is a better choice, but as I stated earlier, it is not practical. Animals are suffering, environmental damage is being done, and evidence has been provided to support these two. This discussion has once again came down to trivial self interest--as you admittedly shown with your argument of your happiness. I might add that this feels more like the atheist vs theist debate in where the atheist is presenting evidence and reason, and the theist is ignoring it because the theist position makes him feel better.

Right and wrong exists on continuum of well being. Keeping one eye shut does not stop your actions from being wrong.

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