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The Ethics of Eating Non-Human Animals


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#121 avelanch

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 12:48 PM

True, I'll concede to that. But killing of certain animals is becoming socially unacceptable (seals, dolphins) which I believe should be universally applied, since there is no reason to limit it to those species. But that's just my opinion.

Eating meat will become a serious issue since it is not sustainable (wild animals or farm raised), and humans are becoming empathetic towards more species as time goes by. Maybe, we'll reach cows at a certain point (I know they are not as cute as seals, but it's no reason for them to die).

their cuteness isn't why they should be used for meat, their tastiness is.
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#122 theminister

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 12:51 PM

their cuteness isn't why they should be used for meat, their tastiness is.

Or in the case of grouse their slowness and dimwittedness.
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#123 unknown33429

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 01:10 PM

their cuteness isn't why they should be used for meat, their tastiness is.


But we get other benefits from killing seals. The only reason killing them is unacceptable by a lot of people is not because they taste bad, but because they are cute.
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#124 avelanch

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 01:12 PM

But we get other benefits from killing seals. The only reason killing them is unacceptable by a lot of people is not because they taste bad, but because they are cute.

i have no issue with seal hunting. Seals are dangerous, they'll maul your face clean off.

Also, apparently seal meat is delicious.

Edited by avelanch, 02 November 2012 - 01:13 PM.

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#125 unknown33429

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 01:16 PM

i have no issue with seal hunting. Seals are dangerous, they'll maul your face clean off.

Also, apparently seal meat is delicious.


Right, but this isn't about you individually, but about human beings in general, particularly in the western world. We are starting to empathize with more and more animals as time goes by.

Just out of curiosity, how do you feel about people (not you personally) killing dolphins, or killing and eating dogs, or killing and eating rabbits?
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Some fans overrate their players, and then there is this guy.

#126 Pistachios

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 01:22 PM

how is being in agony immoral?


I never said being in agony is immoral. You're comitting a straw man (look it up). I said that being in agony gives us a normative reason relating to the badness of it. I'm not attributting praise/blame to the person in agony...

so not only are you suffering, but you are committing an act that violates the socially accepted moral code while doing so? wow, that's like throwing salt on a wound.


Given the above, this doesn't follow. At all.

By your painfully simplistic argument, short quick deaths of animals results in sudden pain but no agony destroying your argument.


Painless killing is a different case which requires different justification. I never made the sweeping generalization that you are implying. You failed to understand that. Surprise suprise someone commits another straw man (look it up).

Do fish qualify as having sentience? Slugs? Insects?


That's a question for science, not me. In any event, cases like these where we arn't sure doesn't negate cases that we are sure about. What can you say about that?
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#127 avelanch

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 01:25 PM

Right, but this isn't about you individually, but about human beings in general, particularly in the western world. We are starting to empathize with more and more animals as time goes by.

Just out of curiosity, how do you feel about people (not you personally) killing dolphins, or killing and eating dogs, or killing and eating rabbits?

I've killed and eaten rabbits myself, so clearly I have no issue with it. as for dolphins, I don't see why we would, they have a very low conversion ratio. I try to stick to smaller fish with higher conversion ratios and sustainable populations.

As for dogs, I wouldn't do it or approve of it, but that's because I grew up with dogs and own my own dog. just like I wouldn't approve of someone killing and eating a family member. then again, I would have no issue with killing/eating a wolf (a type of dog), especially if they were threatening me or my family.
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#128 hsedin33

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 01:32 PM

There's a reason why these animals have a lot of meat in em, there's a reason why their meat contain essential nutrients that make the body stronger (protein for development in brain etc,). A child that does not get his/her essential proteins can become malnurished... (don't point out the vegetarian alternatives like tofu, cavemen and our ancestors did not have this kind of technology).

Frankly, regarldless of which religion you believe in or if you're an atheist, it should be concluded that many animals are on this earth for the very purpose of eating.

Look at it this way, without eating animals you and I would probably not be here. Cavemen would not have survived the harsh weathers without eating meat. I was in a university seminar once in evolution, there was arguments that the ability for mankind to hunt allowed us to eat more protein and hence developed the brain. Monkeys today just eat fruits and vegetables mostly... and what are they? They are just monkeys.

Meat is essential to our diet. Denying it just being completely delusional.


Gorillas are 400-500 pounds of pure mucle and eat nothing but roots, bugs, flowers fruits and veggies, (they would absolutly obliterate every MMA fighter in existence). Cavemen needed that food to survive, we are way beyond living in caves, we eat meat for pleasure, not survival. I've drastically reduced my meat intake, not because I think it's unethical, but because meat is pumped so full of hormones/steroids, preservatives/salt/chemicals that it does way more harm then good (cavemen ate it fresh like every other animal does). Not to mention that if you heat meat above 161 degrees, the protein denatures (loses its moisture and becomes stiff) and is no longer usable as a complete amino chain. Veggies, beans, nuts, there are lots of foods that are offer protein without the fat, cholesterol, chemical content of meat, and if its organic even better. I'll eat a burger or wings if I'm out with friends, but if I'm at home, its fruits shakes and big salads with lots of different vegetables, I'm in way better shape, have way more energy, practiaclly no stress, so I'm going to stick with what is working for me.

Edited by hsedin33, 02 November 2012 - 01:34 PM.

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#129 unknown33429

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 01:36 PM

I've killed and eaten rabbits myself, so clearly I have no issue with it. as for dolphins, I don't see why we would, they have a very low conversion ratio. I try to stick to smaller fish with higher conversion ratios and sustainable populations.

As for dogs, I wouldn't do it or approve of it, but that's because I grew up with dogs and own my own dog. just like I wouldn't approve of someone killing and eating a family member. then again, I would have no issue with killing/eating a wolf (a type of dog), especially if they were threatening me or my family.


Interesting..I asked about rabbits since some people keep them as pets. I wonder if you would've felt differently if you were raised with a rabbit or not, since it is a herbivore and we seem to have less problem eating herbivores.

With the rate of growth of human population, there will be no such thing as a natural sustainable fish population or any animal population that we want to consume. The only sustainability comes from agreements not to wipe out endangered species.
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#130 avelanch

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 01:41 PM

Interesting..I asked about rabbits since some people keep them as pets. I wonder if you would've felt differently if you were raised with a rabbit or not, since it is a herbivore and we seem to have less problem eating herbivores.

With the rate of growth of human population, there will be no such thing as a natural sustainable fish population or any animal population that we want to consume. The only sustainability comes from agreements not to wipe out endangered species.

i had a rabbit as a pet from ages 1-5.
as for sustainable meat, it's easily done with regulations around their fishing/killing and including other forms of food. I don't eat a meat only diet, i doubt anyone does, as meat becomes more scarce the price goes up and people are forced to reduce their consumption, theories about unsustainability go off the deep end and make way too many assumptions about consumption practices.

also, there are MANY sustainable types of fish that grow quick, are plentiful, and cheap (herring, squid, bivalves, etc)
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#131 unknown33429

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 01:47 PM

There's a reason why these animals have a lot of meat in em, there's a reason why their meat contain essential nutrients that make the body stronger (protein for development in brain etc,). A child that does not get his/her essential proteins can become malnurished... (don't point out the vegetarian alternatives like tofu, cavemen and our ancestors did not have this kind of technology).

Frankly, regarldless of which religion you believe in or if you're an atheist, it should be concluded that many animals are on this earth for the very purpose of eating.

Look at it this way, without eating animals you and I would probably not be here. Cavemen would not have survived the harsh weathers without eating meat. I was in a university seminar once in evolution, there was arguments that the ability for mankind to hunt allowed us to eat more protein and hence developed the brain. Monkeys today just eat fruits and vegetables mostly... and what are they? They are just monkeys.

Meat is essential to our diet. Denying it just being completely delusional.


You contradicted yourself at the 2 points. You say tofu is a good alternative, and then go on to say meat is essential, implying tofu is not a good alternative.

Chimps eat a balanced diet and a lot of meat.. why are they only chimps? Monkeys are just monkeys, because they can survive being monkeys. Extinction does not occur simply because is a better evolutionary alternative....
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#132 unknown33429

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 01:58 PM

i had a rabbit as a pet from ages 1-5.
as for sustainable meat, it's easily done with regulations around their fishing/killing and including other forms of food. I don't eat a meat only diet, i doubt anyone does, as meat becomes more scarce the price goes up and people are forced to reduce their consumption, theories about unsustainability go off the deep end and make way too many assumptions about consumption practices.

also, there are MANY sustainable types of fish that grow quick, are plentiful, and cheap (herring, squid, bivalves, etc)


No they really don't. I get you are using an basic supply/demand model to explain human behavior and it is true that as supply decreases, price goes up. But the sellers of a certain product have difficulty determining supply, and even when price goes up, there is people willing to pay it (wealthy people who will buy it) regardless of cheaper food alternatives. Humans are not rational decision makers.

No animal populations is sustainable if the predators population keep increasing at the rate that human population is increasing. There is a reason we have fishing licences etc.
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Are you CRAZY??? Trade Green for ONE first round pick?? He's restricted after this season.... He WILL get an offer sheet for 7-8 million from a number of teams regardless if he plays another minute for us or not. That offer sheet would be worth 4 first round draft choices.


Some fans overrate their players, and then there is this guy.

#133 avelanch

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 02:50 PM

and the liscenses make the seafood sustainable... as do the hunting tags.
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#134 unknown33429

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 03:05 PM

and the liscenses make the seafood sustainable... as do the hunting tags.


Yes and no. You are right about hunting tags for land bound animals, but there are complexities with regards to international treaties for fish in international waters. The biggest problem is inability of enforcement by international bodies such as UN, and a lack of enforcing authority turns it into the prisoner's dilemma, or game theory. Even assuming that problem can be resolved, as human population grows, it means less and less meat/fish per person for it to be sustainable, leading to a point where everyone is basically a vegetarian.

This is ignoring other factors such as the destruction of the natural environment for grazing grounds which are a far less efficient source of food since the animals we feed it to use up some of the energy. This argument is well laid out by someone else before :

"However from an economic and social perspective, it makes a lot of sense to limit your animal protein intake or even go cold turkey. I'm not going to get into a huge debate as I try to avoid such things over the internet but I think it can't hurt for people to have a look at some facts about their diets.

Since people like to quote the biology angle, as you go up trophic levels (food chain) only 10% of the energy is transfered between levels, the rest is lost as inefficiencies. For example, if you have 100 units of energy in grains, and you feed those 100 units to a chicken, you are only able to consume 10 units of energy from that chicken. As we try to feed 7 billion and growing people this poses a slight problem.

Keeping things short I'll throw out some numbers that cause me quite a bit of discomfort as an avid meat eater.

-If everyone were to have a heavy meat diet, the world could sustain only 2.5 billion people, if everyone were vegetarian that number grows to 9-10 billion people.
- Half of the worlds agricultural area is dedicated to growing food for our food, as mentioned quite inefficient.
- The amount of land used to produce 1 unit of a meat eaters diet could sustain 20 units of a vegetarians.
- In the US, 70% of grain grown is for the purposes of animal fodder and livestock requires half the water withdrawn in the country.
- You need 1000 liters of water for 10 grams of beef protein and only 67 liters for 10 grams of protein from potatoes, (476L for pork and 135L for wheat)
- Along the same lines you need 4900 liters of water for 500 calories of beef and a measly 89 liters for 500 calories of potatoes, a magnitude shift of 55x.

It maybe delicious but going forward it certainly is not a smart means of consumption."


Forgetting about the morality aspect of it, eating meat is just not sustainable in our society.
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Are you CRAZY??? Trade Green for ONE first round pick?? He's restricted after this season.... He WILL get an offer sheet for 7-8 million from a number of teams regardless if he plays another minute for us or not. That offer sheet would be worth 4 first round draft choices.


Some fans overrate their players, and then there is this guy.

#135 Mountain Man

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 03:22 PM

Forgetting about the morality aspect of it, eating meat is just not sustainable in our society.


Adaptation is how humans operate. Until the day comes that we no longer have meat a majority of humans will still consume it. At that point we would probably see a large increase in human becoming a dietary offset of those who have strong cravings for meat.

Apparently animals who eat other animals don't taste as good as those who only eat plants.
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#136 ice orca

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 05:22 PM

Gorillas are 400-500 pounds of pure mucle and eat nothing but roots, bugs, flowers fruits and veggies, (they would absolutly obliterate every MMA fighter in existence). Cavemen needed that food to survive, we are way beyond living in caves, we eat meat for pleasure, not survival. I've drastically reduced my meat intake, not because I think it's unethical, but because meat is pumped so full of hormones/steroids, preservatives/salt/chemicals that it does way more harm then good (cavemen ate it fresh like every other animal does). Not to mention that if you heat meat above 161 degrees, the protein denatures (loses its moisture and becomes stiff) and is no longer usable as a complete amino chain. Veggies, beans, nuts, there are lots of foods that are offer protein without the fat, cholesterol, chemical content of meat, and if its organic even better. I'll eat a burger or wings if I'm out with friends, but if I'm at home, its fruits shakes and big salads with lots of different vegetables, I'm in way better shape, have way more energy, practiaclly no stress, so I'm going to stick with what is working for me.

Chimps are our closest relative in the wild and they hunt and consume meat. They are very smart and deadly predators.
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#137 SkeeterHansen

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 05:28 PM

Bacon.
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#138 EmployeeoftheMonth

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 05:49 PM

Right, but this isn't about you individually, but about human beings in general, particularly in the western world. We are starting to empathize with more and more animals as time goes by.

Just out of curiosity, how do you feel about people (not you personally) killing dolphins, or killing and eating dogs, or killing and eating rabbits?


Dogs taste like crap (as does horse btw) but Rabbit done properly is delicious.

I've never knowingly ate Dolphin so I don't know how it tastes. What you're saying is true to a point but there are plenty of ugly animals we don't generally eat because they don't taste good other than dog. For some/many I'm sure there is a part of them that couldn't eat a cow if they went out and saw the cow that was going to be butchered.

And I'm sorry but you're wrong. Eating meat is absolutely sustainable in our society.
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#139 canucks_for_cup27

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 06:40 PM

Dogs taste like crap (as does horse btw) but Rabbit done properly is delicious.

I've never knowingly ate Dolphin so I don't know how it tastes. What you're saying is true to a point but there are plenty of ugly animals we don't generally eat because they don't taste good other than dog. For some/many I'm sure there is a part of them that couldn't eat a cow if they went out and saw the cow that was going to be butchered.

And I'm sorry but you're wrong. Eating meat is absolutely sustainable in our society.


In the same way our energy consumption is sustainable, so long as no one else gets in on the action we'll be fine. I hate to break it to you, but the 83% of the worlds population that do not live in OECD countries would like a piece of the pie at some point. You have zero assertion to your statement beyond what I guessing is your hunch on the subject. Take a bit of a step back from your personal view on the matter and I'm sure the broader picture will give you a much better base with which to make such a decision.

Edited by canucks_for_cup27, 02 November 2012 - 06:41 PM.

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#140 JeremyW

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 06:50 PM

I find it hilarious that you throw around terms like "idiocy" when it is blatantly obvious that you (among others) are irrational and therefore being not sensible/idiots.

Argument from Agony

  • Experience tells us that being in agony is morally bad
  • Anything morally bad always gives us a reason to want to avoid it
  • Therefore, being in agony always gives us a reason to want to avoid it
Argument from Moral Consideration
  • Anything that has an interest (e.g. avoiding agony) is morally considerable
  • Sentient beings have interests
  • Non-human animals and humans are sentient beings
  • Therefore, non-human animals and humans are morally considerable
Deduction from Both arguments:

If non-human animals are morally considerable, and being in agony always gives us a reason to avoid it, then it rationally follows that causing non-human animals to be in agony gives us normative reason to alleviate it. If being in agony is worth avoiding, this reason must apply to non-human animals as well because they are morally considerable. To discount their interests requires arguing why animals are not morally considerable, or why their interests ought to be overridden. Taste doesn't cut it. Nutrition doesn't cut it either.

That I rationally recognize these conclusions and act accordingly is the sensible/smart/intelligent thing to do. That isn't being self serving. That's being logical.

What have you said so far Avelanche? All I can say about you is that you are one big nincompoop. To spell it out for you, that means foolish or stupid.

Good day.

You obviously have some sort of insidious agenda here, or you've somehow acquired 300 posts without knowing how to use the forum's PM system.
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#141 unknown33429

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 06:54 PM

Dogs taste like crap (as does horse btw) but Rabbit done properly is delicious.

I've never knowingly ate Dolphin so I don't know how it tastes. What you're saying is true to a point but there are plenty of ugly animals we don't generally eat because they don't taste good other than dog. For some/many I'm sure there is a part of them that couldn't eat a cow if they went out and saw the cow that was going to be butchered.

And I'm sorry but you're wrong. Eating meat is absolutely sustainable in our society.


No it's not. Not with the rate of increase of the human population.

Also, people don't avoid eating dogs because they taste bad but because they are "man's best friend" which is what avelanch suggested.
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Are you CRAZY??? Trade Green for ONE first round pick?? He's restricted after this season.... He WILL get an offer sheet for 7-8 million from a number of teams regardless if he plays another minute for us or not. That offer sheet would be worth 4 first round draft choices.


Some fans overrate their players, and then there is this guy.

#142 Common sense

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 07:00 PM

No it's not. Not with the rate of increase of the human population.

Also, people don't avoid eating dogs because they taste bad but because they are "man's best friend" which is what avelanch suggested.


Clearly, you haven't been to Korea.
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#143 theminister

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 08:12 PM

Painless killing is a different case which requires different justification. I never made the sweeping generalization that you are implying. You failed to understand that. Surprise suprise someone commits another straw man (look it up).

That's a question for science, not me. In any event, cases like these where we arn't sure doesn't negate cases that we are sure about. What can you say about that?


Both Avalanch and I know what a straw man argument is and gave for years. We don't need to look it up but apparently you do as you are misapplying it here.

It is your point, from your OP, that killing and esting animals is immoral. If you are now saying it is simply the manner in which we kill them, so as to be humane, then I don't think you'll have any argument from anyone. That's a different discussion.

Is it immoral to cause animals undue pain? Of course. Its also illegal and we gave government agencies to regulate that. Could they be more strict? Probably but if that is your point you made it poorly.

But that wasn't your point. Yours was to imply that anyone who eats meat, supplied in anyway, is immoral based on your personal metrics. Obviously, you are in the vast minority and have yet to convince anyone differently.

Edited by theminister, 02 November 2012 - 08:37 PM.

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#144 theminister

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 08:17 PM

Oh, and changing your OP to erase your original argument is disingenuous.

That speaks volumes more about your ability to openly debate based on the merit of your argument than it does on the argument itself.

Incredibly poor form.
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#145 Mountain Man

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 08:42 PM

Oh, and changing your OP to erase your original argument is disingenuous.

That speaks volumes more about your ability to openly debate based on the merit of your argument than it does on the argument itself.

Incredibly poor form.


I found this to be the case in the first thread when this issue came up. It becomes more and more difficult to have a discussion regarding the OP itself. The logical solution is to let this thread, along with the other just slip away.
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virtus junxit mors non separabit.

Hockey season must be back on, the crazies are coming out again....


#146 Common sense

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 09:00 PM

Oh, and changing your OP to erase your original argument is disingenuous.

That speaks volumes more about your ability to openly debate based on the merit of your argument than it does on the argument itself.

Incredibly poor form.


The so-called philosophy student rears his ugly head once again.
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#147 Mastaj

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 11:08 PM

The whole point of this thread is pointless. If someone is a vegetarian, they will argue until they're blue in the face about ethics and morals, but will not convince a single meat eater. If someone eats meat, they will argue until they're blue in the face about biology and what is natural as a human being, and will not convince a single vegetarian.

Being a vegetarian is a choice, and while I don't practice that myself, I don't hate on others for choosing that life. By the same note, do not try to gult me into following your practice; in any case, it won't work on me, since I do not feel guilty for eating meat.

This whole thing reminds me of religious debates....
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#148 Pistachios

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 06:46 PM

It is your point, from your OP, that killing and esting animals is immoral. If you are now saying it is simply the manner in which we kill them, so as to be humane, then I don't think you'll have any argument from anyone. That's a different discussion.


My stated arguments show, at the very least, that the vast practice of killing animals for food is immoral given the physical and emotional stress it causes. Although I think there is strong justification (which I will get to) for not eating animals even if painlessly killed, I'm happy if people accept the rationale for the agony arguments. The idea is that people's practices follow the rationale. the implications, in practice, would make a big difference, ethically speaking.

Is it immoral to cause animals undue pain? Of course. Its also illegal and we gave government agencies to regulate that. Could they be more strict? Probably but if that is your point you made it poorly.

But that wasn't your point. Yours was to imply that anyone who eats meat, supplied in anyway, is immoral based on your personal metrics. Obviously, you are in the vast minority and have yet to convince anyone differently.


I never made such a sweeping generalization about eating animals. I made specific mention of not being absolutely against eating animals. So again, a straw man on your part (look it up and pay attention this time).

The implication, however, is that many current practices involving how animals are raised and slaughtered for food are immoral. Whether or not painless killing is ethically justified is irrelevent to the above point because the majority of practices for how animals are raised and slaughtered are far from painless.


Oh, and changing your OP to erase your original argument is disingenuous.

That speaks volumes more about your ability to openly debate based on the merit of your argument than it does on the argument itself.

Incredibly poor form.


People (including yourself) wanted a more formal argument so I changed the OP. You got it. Making fun of me isn't going to hurt my feelings. The rationale of my argument still stands, and you your self have accepted it given the above. All that tough talk and slander is meangingless.

Edited by SILLY GOOSE, 03 November 2012 - 06:47 PM.

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#149 Pistachios

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 06:48 PM

The whole point of this thread is pointless. If someone is a vegetarian, they will argue until they're blue in the face about ethics and morals, but will not convince a single meat eater. If someone eats meat, they will argue until they're blue in the face about biology and what is natural as a human being, and will not convince a single vegetarian.

Being a vegetarian is a choice, and while I don't practice that myself, I don't hate on others for choosing that life. By the same note, do not try to gult me into following your practice; in any case, it won't work on me, since I do not feel guilty for eating meat.

This whole thing reminds me of religious debates....


It's not about guit. It is about being rational, and recognizing what the right thing to do is. Whether or not that makes you feel guilty is aside from that.

Unlike other vegans or animal rights activists, I don't claim that using animals in any way is immoral. That in itself seperates me from a majority of people who don't eat meat.

Edited by SILLY GOOSE, 03 November 2012 - 06:50 PM.

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#150 GodzillaDeuce

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 08:49 PM

The whole point of this thread is pointless. If someone is a vegetarian, they will argue until they're blue in the face about ethics and morals, but will not convince a single meat eater. If someone eats meat, they will argue until they're blue in the face about biology and what is natural as a human being, and will not convince a single vegetarian.

Being a vegetarian is a choice, and while I don't practice that myself, I don't hate on others for choosing that life. By the same note, do not try to gult me into following your practice; in any case, it won't work on me, since I do not feel guilty for eating meat.

This whole thing reminds me of religious debates....

It's not about guit. It is about being rational, and recognizing what the right thing to do is. Whether or not that makes you feel guilty is aside from that.

Unlike other vegans or animal rights activists, I don't claim that using animals in any way is immoral. That in itself seperates me from a majority of people who don't eat meat.


wtf are you guys talking about lol

Seriously, Silly Goose I can respect what you're trying to do, and hope you can keep a level head with all the heat you're taking. But on the last page you said that people are stupid for eating meat and implied you are smarter. I don't agree with you there, meat eaters may understand the logic and eat meat anyway. In any case, I think the best you can say is that you are benevolent and meat eaters are malevolent hahah
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well I'm sorry that gd is soo perfect





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