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The Ethics of Eating Non-Human Animals


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#331 EmployeeoftheMonth

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:08 PM

Sure; I'll start with the original post.

You mean the one that keeps changing? :bigblush:
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#332 SILLY GOOSE

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:01 PM

However, I would point out that if you take Sillygoose's arguement to other aspects of life, most interactions between us and animals are not moral. Draft animals, riding horses, harvesting furs/leather etc...

I would rather question whether the utility we enjoy in consuming animals can justify the pain and suffering of these animals. Keeping in mind that the evolution of our species and the rise of our intellegence is largely attributed to the consumption of meat, specifically cooked meat.

Quite honestly, I don't give a ... about the morality of my meat consumption, no more than a lion would feel sorry for a delicious antelope baby. If I did, I would argue that my personal enjoyment would justify the death of the animal. If you feel morally wrong in consuming meat, then you're just not enjoying it enough! Something a good steak and a side of bacon will fix.


I don't argue with the fact that meat is very tasty for many people. It's probably the foremost reason why people are so hesitant about not eating meat. This is why I consider development of in vitro meat to be ethically significant (ironiclly enough I have to argue with many vegans about even in vitro meat being ethically permissable).

However, your post points out a general trait about people's psychology- they don't want to admit what they are doing is wrong. Even though almost all people would never rationally permit causing agony to animals purposed for food if they had to witness it for themselves (and if they did they are clearly sadistic), they don't want to admit eating meat is significantly contributes to this. So they try to justify it even though the conlcusion is obvious. Where's the integrity in that? I've admitted that I buy products that are derived from animals and that this is not right. I'm not going to try and justify it. But being ethical isn't about being a perfect moral agent. We arn't gods. But you do what you can because we have reasons to try to. I think that matters.

English please.


You are switching back and forth between two different meanings of "cultural relativism". The normative meaning is that all moral judgements reduce to particular facts about one's community. That's different from a legal perspective, because law is relative to the legal rules a particular society adopts.

I'm asking for normative justification for cultural relativism. That is a meta ethical claim. I also have problems with the normative implications of cultural relativism i.e. if the holocaust is morally wrong, what grounds do we have for saying German's acted wrongly given that we are judging it by our community standards? Is it just us expressing our attitudes or is there an actual fact about the matter (most people think there is- the holocaust is universally morally wrong)? There seems to be a gap between communities and therefore no objective standard that applies to all if cultural relativism is adopted.

Well, the slave trade does hurt your fellow man. It's not like eating a hamburger.


Well we marginalize animals much like how slaves were marginalized before slavery was abolished, and for what reason? In that respect they are similar. But I'll agree that they arn't equivalent. My point though, is that appealing to tradition isn't always a good justification.

Obviously not every tradition is morally permissable in every other tradition. Whey do you think they are so keen on shooting each other in the middle east? Various cultures there feel each is superior and look down at the others as being immoral.


And doesn't that give you pause? Shouldn't this make you doubt the superiority of culture? You're the one constantly appealing to tradition for your justification to eat meat. If tradition itself is problematic, why do you constantly evoke it?

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#333 SILLY GOOSE

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:01 PM

You're completely missing the point. Ron was making a good counterpoint, and you tried to discredit it because it referenced the holocaust (gasp!).


The holocaust reference was a logical implication of Ron's view. He endorsed cultural relativism. This poses problems for the moral wrongness of the holocaust. His rebuttal was that massive de population could arguably be a good thing. I said that if that is supposed to justify the holocaust......it's absurd.


You pretend that your reasoning is perfectly sound and logical, but you repeatedly attempt to appeal to base emotions (you wouldn't eat your dog!).


This isn't an appeal to emotion. It's an appeal to a considered moral belief most people have- most people would agree that eating their dog would be morally wrong. That is, there is good reason not to do it i.e. the dog has interests independent and more important than their owners interests in eating it. That's a plausible moral intuition, not an appeal to emotion.


You claim others are resorting to high school mockery, and then resort to petty, childish insults (talking out of your a**). And then to top it all off, you try to edumacate all us poor, unenlightened folk about the logical fallacies you learned last week in your freshman philosophy course.


babble babble babble


Reading your posts is like watching Glenn Beck. But he's actually more tolerable, because I know that he's getting paid to play that part, whereas your motivations are much less transparent.


You seem more concerned with attacking me then having anything substantive to say. All you've offered so far is that I'm guilty of appealing to emotion for my arguments. That's been clearly refuted.


Marriage is a cruel unfair tradition. Why should someone have different tax rules because they shack up with someone? Wholly putting yourself in the people's bedrooms on a massive scale! Of course trying to convince people otherwise (even if giving the same tax breaks to someone with a stay at home spouse doing their cooking and cleaning as a single parent trying to raise a child is grossly unfair and massively un-progressive) has about as much chance as a silly goose convincing us to give up meat. Jargon and a repetition of "non-human animals" as if it's going to make me think that the cow on the farm should be though of in the same light as holocaust victims shows that the source has a perverse view of morality and as such has no standing on having a rational moral conversation with.

You're clearly misinterpreting what I'm saying. Sensationalizing the issue in order to reject it is a straw man. I shouldn't have to point out this as obvious Ron. You can do better.

Edited by SILLY GOOSE, 28 November 2012 - 01:03 PM.

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#334 ronthecivil

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:09 PM

You're clearly misinterpreting what I'm saying. Sensationalizing the issue in order to reject it is a straw man. I shouldn't have to point out this as obvious Ron. You can do better


I ain't writing no degree in philosophy. And it's pretty hard to interpret anything when 90% of your content is various philosophy jargon.

#335 ronthecivil

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:14 PM

You are switching back and forth between two different meanings of "cultural relativism". The normative meaning is that all moral judgements reduce to particular facts about one's community. That's different from a legal perspective, because law is relative to the legal rules a particular society adopts.

I'm asking for normative justification for cultural relativism. That is a meta ethical claim. I also have problems with the normative implications of cultural relativism i.e. if the holocaust is morally wrong, what grounds do we have for saying German's acted wrongly given that we are judging it by our community standards? Is it just us expressing our attitudes or is there an actual fact about the matter (most people think there is- the holocaust is universally morally wrong)? There seems to be a gap between communities and therefore no objective standard that applies to all if cultural relativism is adopted


No, seriously, in English.

Not jargon. English.

If I have to get a degree in philosophy to determine whether or not my own morals are justified or not I would prefer the bliss (especially when enlightenment may deprive me of my thirst for blood) of ignorance.

#336 ronthecivil

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:20 PM

I don't argue with the fact that meat is very tasty for many people. It's probably the foremost reason why people are so hesitant about not eating meat. This is why I consider development of in vitro meat to be ethically significant (ironiclly enough I have to argue with many vegans about even in vitro meat being ethically permissable)


Your dinner conversations must be a riot! :lol: Pass the soy please! Not for me thanks! I sustain myself solely on sunshine and my sense of self worth!

P.S. Your in-vitro meat would not be tasty due to it not having a soul (that's what makes the meat taste good). Never mind the further detachment of humanity from anything that's not a factory or laboratory.... :sadno:

#337 ronthecivil

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:24 PM

And doesn't that give you pause? Shouldn't this make you doubt the superiority of culture? You're the one constantly appealing to tradition for your justification to eat meat. If tradition itself is problematic, why do you constantly evoke it?


Because I CAN.

It's enshrined in the constitution. And of course MY culture is superior! It's MY culture! Duh!

That other people's cultures seem to be clashing in violent matters is there problem. Heck, it's a pretty good case that my culture really is superior! See, you and your friends aren't the only ones that can sustain themselves on sunshine and moral superiority!

#338 SILLY GOOSE

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:25 PM

No, seriously, in English.

Not jargon. English.

If I have to get a degree in philosophy to determine whether or not my own morals are justified or not I would prefer the bliss (especially when enlightenment may deprive me of my thirst for blood) of ignorance.


Sorry Ron but that was plain english. I think it's the reasoning you are having difficulties with. Can't help you there. Perhaps you should drop the cultural relativism point of view until you better understand exactly what this view endorses.

P.S. Your in-vitro meat would not be tasty due to it not having a soul (that's what makes the meat taste good). Never mind the further detachment of humanity from anything that's not a factory or laboratory.... :sadno:


Animals don't have souls. Nor do humans. Unless you hold religous beliefs. If that's the case, I can't help you there either.

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#339 SILLY GOOSE

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:29 PM

Because I CAN.

It's enshrined in the constitution. And of course MY culture is superior! It's MY culture! Duh!

That other people's cultures seem to be clashing in violent matters is there problem. Heck, it's a pretty good case that my culture really is superior! See, you and your friends aren't the only ones that can sustain themselves on sunshine and moral superiority!


Like I said, you're not getting it. I'm talking about the normative justification, not what you can legally do.

As for culture, superior to who? Indian culture or buddhist cultures whom are predominatly vegetarian? Really? Are you seriously saying your culture (whatever that is) is better than theirs? (just because you eat meat-ha!) Talk about an unqualified value judgement. Absurd.

As for culture clash and "violent matters" I have no idea what you are saying. You should clarify what you are saying.

Edited by SILLY GOOSE, 28 November 2012 - 01:31 PM.

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#340 goalie13

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:36 PM

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#341 D-Money

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:43 PM

Animals don't have souls.  Nor do humans.  Unless you hold religous beliefs.  If that's the case, I can't help you there either.


Says the guy who also said this:

That is, there is good reason not to do it i.e. the dog has interests independent and more important than their owners interests in eating it.


I love how you spend pages arguing the validity of your belief - that animals are creatures that inherently deserve a significantly different treatment from humans than they receive from other animals. But then you quickly and carelessly dismiss one of the most core beliefs of around 75% of the world's population.

Your entire argument is very similar to a religious argument. And yet, you approach this debate as though you have all the facts, what you believe is right, and everyone else simply needs to see things your way. People hate that.

You may truly believe what you believe, and you are certainly free to appeal to others. But your methods are immature counterproductive, and no amount of philosophical references will make that better (in fact, they make it worse). Reading your posts makes me want to eat my dog just to spite you. But I will settle for short ribs.
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#342 ronthecivil

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:14 PM

Like I said, you're not getting it. I'm talking about the normative justification, not what you can legally do.

As for culture, superior to who? Indian culture or buddhist cultures whom are predominatly vegetarian? Really? Are you seriously saying your culture (whatever that is) is better than theirs? (just because you eat meat-ha!) Talk about an unqualified value judgement. Absurd.

As for culture clash and "violent matters" I have no idea what you are saying. You should clarify what you are saying


If it's legal I don't need to justify it. That is pleases me is enough.

My culture is clearly better than every other culture. If I didn't think so I would simply start following that culture! That's the beauty of Canada, my culture is what I want it to be!

You may say that my values are unqualified but until you have enjoyed to bliss of a smoked roast with beer (also required in my culture as opposed to some that feel it evil) based smokey drippings gravy is all the qualification I require.

#343 ronthecivil

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:17 PM

Animals don't have souls. Nor do humans. Unless you hold religous beliefs. If that's the case, I can't help you there either.


I understand that one should not expect a silly goose to have a soul. Ergo the need to be pressed into foie gras. It's how one puts the soul back in.

#344 ronthecivil

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:21 PM

Sorry Ron but that was plain english. I think it's the reasoning you are having difficulties with. Can't help you there. Perhaps you should drop the cultural relativism point of view until you better understand exactly what this view endorses


I understand your view. I also understand what my view endorses.

Your view is irrelevant and culturally insensitive (as noted by your brushing off of 75% of the world's population a few posts up). That does not help your cause.

#345 EmployeeoftheMonth

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:25 PM

So why is it that there is a clear distinction between human and non human animals in the thread title when such a gloriously stupid comparison is being made with the slave trade?

Edited by EmployeeoftheMonth, 28 November 2012 - 02:25 PM.

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#346 Gumballthechewy

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 03:18 PM

Ok, I'm just going to post my opinion on the matter.

I wouldn't eat my dogs nor would I inflict pain upon any animal just for the fun of inflicting pain on something, however, if an animal I eventually am going to eat is subject to pain at some point in it's life, oh well, it's not my problem. I could care less about some retarded animal who's face I'm about to eat. Now your probably thinking; "isn't that a little hypocritical?" Yes, very much so, your point is? My dogs are my friends, a cow is not. I'm not against people who eat dogs either. Dogs are probably tasty, however I have no desire to eat one myself.

I'm going to continue eating meat because:

1. It's tasty.
2. I can.
3. As a human being I have evolved to eat meat.

"But Gumball, it's morally wrong!" Boo hoo, I guess that makes me an evil person then, besides good and evil are subjective points of view anyway, some people view sex as evil for crying out loud!

I don't condone vegans for how they live their lives, it's their lives not mine, however I hate the ones that try and shove their beliefs down everybody's throats and tell them they're wrong for living their lives how they choose to and all that. You want to be a vegan then fine, that's cool, lets be friends but if you think I'm wrong for living how I choose to then you're wrong for living the way you choose.

Don't take anything I say seriously! EVER!


#347 SILLY GOOSE

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 03:30 PM

I love how you spend pages arguing the validity of your belief - that animals are creatures that inherently deserve a significantly different treatment from humans than they receive from other animals. But then you quickly and carelessly dismiss one of the most core beliefs of around 75% of the world's population.


My argument is predicated on secular reasoning. If someone is intent on turning the debate into a religous versus secular one, well that is an entirely different discussion. It's close to the cultural relativism debate because it is distracting to the point at issue. If someone is steadfast about arguing "animals don't have souls, therefore I can do them no harm" or "eating meat reflects my culture, therefore I can do animals no harm" it's going to be difficult to reason with them. I'm working from the assumptions that 1) being in agony is morally relevant and 2) animal agony is morally relevant. I think these are reasonable assumptions.

Your entire argument is very similar to a religious argument. And yet, you approach this debate as though you have all the facts, what you believe is right, and everyone else simply needs to see things your way. People hate that.


I've made very reasonable assumptions. That is what good debate consists of. You'll notice that I havn't endorsed an absolute prohibition against eating animals among other things. Perhaps that's why my argument isn't as easily attacked because I don't make far reaching claims. Perhaps arguing against the justification for eating meat seems far reaching to some, but the reasoning is there.

You may truly believe what you believe, and you are certainly free to appeal to others. But your methods are immature counterproductive, and no amount of philosophical references will make that better (in fact, they make it worse). Reading your posts makes me want to eat my dog just to spite you. But I will settle for short ribs.


Are you trying to say that point out logical fallacies is immature and counter productive? If anything it's the oppositte. Good argumentation depends on not making these types of errors. If you want to spite me for that, well you need to grow up.


I understand your view. I also understand what my view endorses.

Your view is irrelevant and culturally insensitive (as noted by your brushing off of 75% of the world's population a few posts up). That does not help your cause.


I can't argue with irrationality like this. I'll send you a dunce cap for x-mas.

So why is it that there is a clear distinction between human and non human animals in the thread title when such a gloriously stupid comparison is being made with the slave trade?


You should go back and re-read the posts before noting anything to do with "stupidity". Because the irony is glaring.

Edited by SILLY GOOSE, 28 November 2012 - 03:31 PM.

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#348 SILLY GOOSE

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 03:56 PM

I wouldn't eat my dogs nor would I inflict pain upon any animal just for the fun of inflicting pain on something,


So causing an animal to be in agony for no good reason is not a sufficient justification.


however, if an animal I eventually am going to eat is subject to pain at some point in it's life, oh well, it's not my problem. I could care less about some retarded animal who's face I'm about to eat. Now your probably thinking; "isn't that a little hypocritical?" Yes, very much so, your point is? My dogs are my friends, a cow is not. I'm not against people who eat dogs either. Dogs are probably tasty, however I have no desire to eat one myself.


Listen to what you are saying. Your dogs are your friends. You value your relationship with them. And other people value their relationships with the animals they know. But animals whom have no relationships with humans, many of whom arn't even given the chance to forge relationships automaticlly get the short end of the stick? You're right- it is hypocritical because it is down right cruel. You would never treat your dogs like how other animals are treated in factory farms. Just because other animals arn't "friends" with you shouldn't stop you from taking their interests into consideration.


"But Gumball, it's morally wrong!" Boo hoo, I guess that makes me an evil person then, besides good and evil are subjective points of view anyway, some people view sex as evil for crying out loud!


People who view sex as evil don't have good reasons to support their view. Just because their views are unreasonable doesn't make ethics all together unreasonable and hence, subjective.


I don't condone vegans for how they live their lives, it's their lives not mine, however I hate the ones that try and shove their beliefs down everybody's throats and tell them they're wrong for living their lives how they choose to and all that. You want to be a vegan then fine, that's cool, lets be friends but if you think I'm wrong for living how I choose to then you're wrong for living the way you choose.


This is a cop out. No one said you had to join this discussion. It was YOUR choice to enter into the debate. You could have just ignored it and gone about your merry way right?

Nor am I "shoving" my view down your throat. I want to have an intelligent discussion about it. If the rationale bothers you, well I can't help that. I'm not hanging out in front of your house waving a placard saying "meat is murder". I don't think sign waving is going to convince anybody.

I think even you understand to some extent that even though you eat meat, we shouldn't treat animals like they are worth nothing. I was once in the same position as well.

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#349 ronthecivil

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 04:29 PM

I can't argue with irrationality like this. I'll send you a dunce cap for x-mas


Way to explain your point!

Up above you say....

If someone is steadfast about arguing "animals don't have souls, therefore I can do them no harm" or "eating meat reflects my culture, therefore I can do animals no harm" it's going to be difficult to reason with them. I'm working from the assumptions that 1) being in agony is morally relevant and 2) animal agony is morally relevant. I think these are reasonable assumptions.


It looks like you are making assumptions. Obviously you have to harm the animal to eat it! You have to kill it!

But I gotta tell ya, a fish tastes so much better when you pull it out of the water (a long process probably not appreciated by the fish), gut and behead, fillet, and smoke on a plank of cedar than when you pull it off of a styrofoam plank. You might claim that if people were actually involved in the process they might think twice about eating meat. And you might be right. But not me brother. I have been involved in every stage of the process with a fish and with a deer and wouldn't mind doing it with a cow. Heck, if it got me higher quality meat at a cheaper price locally made I would be the first one out there feeding it and giving it massages right up until I cut it's throat.

#350 ronthecivil

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 04:32 PM

Listen to what you are saying. Your dogs are your friends. You value your relationship with them. And other people value their relationships with the animals they know. But animals whom have no relationships with humans, many of whom arn't even given the chance to forge relationships automaticlly get the short end of the stick? You're right- it is hypocritical because it is down right cruel. You would never treat your dogs like how other animals are treated in factory farms. Just because other animals arn't "friends" with you shouldn't stop you from taking their interests into consideration


Pssh, people don't even worry about taking other PEOPLE into consideration that aren't there friends!

Do you think people get THAT upset over say the gangsters that got shot up in the hotel the other day (provided it didn't hit any non gangsters that is), or the people starving in Somalia, or the kids shooting each other up in Congo? If they are it's hard to tell!

#351 EmployeeoftheMonth

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 07:04 PM

My argument is predicated on secular reasoning. If someone is intent on turning the debate into a religous versus secular one, well that is an entirely different discussion. It's close to the cultural relativism debate because it is distracting to the point at issue. If someone is steadfast about arguing "animals don't have souls, therefore I can do them no harm" or "eating meat reflects my culture, therefore I can do animals no harm" it's going to be difficult to reason with them. I'm working from the assumptions that 1) being in agony is morally relevant and 2) animal agony is morally relevant. I think these are reasonable assumptions.



I've made very reasonable assumptions. That is what good debate consists of. You'll notice that I havn't endorsed an absolute prohibition against eating animals among other things. Perhaps that's why my argument isn't as easily attacked because I don't make far reaching claims. Perhaps arguing against the justification for eating meat seems far reaching to some, but the reasoning is there.


Are you trying to say that point out logical fallacies is immature and counter productive? If anything it's the oppositte. Good argumentation depends on not making these types of errors. If you want to spite me for that, well you need to grow up.




I can't argue with irrationality like this. I'll send you a dunce cap for x-mas.


You should go back and re-read the posts before noting anything to do with "stupidity". Because the irony is glaring.


1. No irony...you should look that term up. Unless...wait...are you Alanis Morrissette?

2. Still a pretty "silly" thing to do imo. The title conflicts with this aspect of your (and this term is used loosely) argument.


Don't blame me for your logical falsities.

Edited by EmployeeoftheMonth, 29 November 2012 - 12:00 AM.

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#352 aeromotacanucks

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 07:15 PM

Dear Silly Goose.

1) Go to the nearest Strip Club and enjoy. it´s clear that you REALLY NEED THIS...

2) when you get there pay 500 bucks to a hot girl and have fun...

3) after 4 hours leave the Strip Club and go to a nice pub with your friends, drink vodka with wisky and wine and talk about stupid things...

4) after that relax and learn that everybody has a reason to follow what they believe, show your side is one thing, many people will agree with you, many will not. if they don´t avoid force them, it´s not good...
Shup up and fly! you´re not payed to think, you´re payed to fly!

#353 Jägermeister

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:47 PM

Who else likes to eat meat and read this thread at the same time?

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#354 Gumballthechewy

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 11:16 PM

So causing an animal to be in agony for no good reason is not a sufficient justification.


I don't recall saying it was?

Listen to what you are saying. Your dogs are your friends. You value your relationship with them. And other people value their relationships with the animals they know. But animals whom have no relationships with humans, many of whom arn't even given the chance to forge relationships automaticlly get the short end of the stick? You're right- it is hypocritical because it is down right cruel. You would never treat your dogs like how other animals are treated in factory farms. Just because other animals arn't "friends" with you shouldn't stop you from taking their interests into consideration.


It's not wise to form relationships with your food.

Like ronthecivil said, I don't really care about human beings I don't know much less animals. Does that make me an ass? Yes. Do I care? No.

People who view sex as evil don't have good reasons to support their view. Just because their views are unreasonable doesn't make ethics all together unreasonable and hence, subjective.


I'm sure they don't feel that their views are unreasonable, the same way you or I don't feel that our views are unreasonable.

This is a cop out. No one said you had to join this discussion. It was YOUR choice to enter into the debate. You could have just ignored it and gone about your merry way right?


It's not a cop out, it's actually a fact. I'm stating my opinion/belief on a subject you posted on a public forum. I could have ignored it but I didn't.

Nor am I "shoving" my view down your throat. I want to have an intelligent discussion about it. If the rationale bothers you, well I can't help that. I'm not hanging out in front of your house waving a placard saying "meat is murder". I don't think sign waving is going to convince anybody.


I wasn't talking about you specifically being that kind of person. That was just a bit of vague rambling on my part, but you are, 'aggressive', towards people who don't share your beliefs.

I think even you understand to some extent that even though you eat meat, we shouldn't treat animals like they are worth nothing. I was once in the same position as well.


Every animal is here on this earth for a reason, no animal is worthless, however that doesn't mean I'm not going eat a few of them.

Don't take anything I say seriously! EVER!


#355 Kryten

Kryten

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 11:25 PM

Who else likes to eat meat and read this thread at the same time?


Kind of hard not to since a Goose gets served on every page. Oh!

/Andrew Dice Clay impression
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