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Vegetarian?
Posted: 05 April 2008 06:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Do those of you who don’t eat meat for moral reasons buy leather products?

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Posted: 05 April 2008 07:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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I do not have any leather products in my homeor anywhere else.  I use faux leather and alternatives such as canvas, that work just as well, for belts and shoes and such.  I also avoid wool, because of the cruel manner in which wool if often acquired.  And I avoid all stealth animals products that I am aware of, such as white out, foods made with gelatin including gummy bears, wine that utilizes isinglass or oxblood in the clarification process.

If you are looking for an admission of a double standard, I will admit to feeding my cats meat.  A part of me wishes that I didn’t, but I believe that it is essential to their nutritional needs.  It is, of course, a bizarre practice for humans to kill an cut up and feed one species of animal to another and I am quite conflicted and unresolved about it morally.  I do have both species and adopted kinship biases in favor of my cats.

I should add that, being non-religious, I do not believe in the eternal judgment of a deity nor do I expect moral perfection from myself or others.  I only see such moral choices as matters to strive for for the sake of ourselves and those effected by our actions.  So in this case, advocacy is not the same as condemnation.

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Posted: 05 April 2008 07:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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mckenzievmd - 04 April 2008 08:35 PM

The Great Ape Project is an excellent collection of essays on the general topic of how one decides who’s a person and who isn’t, and what sort of “rights” make sense for different categories of personhood.

I agree completely.  I don’t think that all animal life should be considered equally.  And I think that The Great Ape Project is the best attempt in a long while to establish distinctions of rights and/or welfare entitlements based on the actual mental characteristics of particular species of animal.  It is not the same thing to step on an ant or flee as it is to kill a chimpanzee.  And animal rights activists ought to be working to be more specific about their claims in arguing the reasons why people should care about animal rights/welfare.

mckenzievmd - 04 April 2008 08:35 PM

And I think showing people how brutal the system is is important. But letting a bunch of lab ferrets loose to starve and harrassing or even harming people who do research is missing the whole point of a humane, compassionate life stance. I understand the anger and the pain at seeing how animal suffering is ignored by most Americans, but I think the culture has changed mightily already, and that change will likely continue. As Pinker describes it, our circle of who is “us” and who is “them” is expanding historically, and I think it is best to encourage the growth of compassion with compassion, not with rage and violence.

Was PETA involved in the lab ferret stunt that you are referring to?  That sounds more like the ALF to me.  I would not knowingly support such actions.

I think that the matter of animal experimentation in the name of research is one of the more complicated aspects of animal rights/welfare.  In general, I support the use of animals for well intended research.  Particularly medical research that aims to save human lives.  I am only cautious of the more gratuitous variety.

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Posted: 05 April 2008 07:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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erasmusinfinity - 05 April 2008 07:02 AM

If you are looking for an admission of a double standard, I will admit to feeding my cats meat.  A part of me wishes that I didn’t, but I believe that it is essential to their nutritional needs.  It is, of course, a bizarre practice for humans to kill an cut up and feed one species of animal to another and I am quite conflicted and unresolved about it morally.  I do have both species and adopted kinship biases in favor of my cats.

You know, this is the weird part with my girls (cats) who have been raised among vegetarians all their lifes- they will eat green beans, lettuce, and alike, but if you put real meat in front of them and even though that is what is in their cat food (canned or dry) they won’t eat the real meat.  They will look at you like you have gone and lost your mind, then they will refuse to eat it.  You can leave the dead animal, be it beef, pork, chicken… sitting there until it rots, they won’t touch it.

I think I have vegetarian cats and don’t know it.

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Posted: 05 April 2008 09:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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[quote author=“Mriana”]I’ve never seen that video, but if it has a lot of cruelty in it, I probably could not handle it.

Anyone got a link to that video?

[quote author=“Mriana”]I’m also an animal rights activist too.  No, not like PITA, they take it a bit too far, IMO. More like the ASPCA, Jane Goodall, and alike groups.

I’m confused ... you’re an animals activist yet you said “I don’t impose my views on others”! Isn’t the very essence of activism an attempt to change society and thus people, doesn’t activism necessarily impose someone’s views on other people? Even here aren’t we doing much the same thing? Don’t I with my campaign?

Kyu

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Posted: 05 April 2008 09:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Kyuuketsuki UK - 05 April 2008 09:29 AM

[quote author=“Mriana”]I’m also an animal rights activist too.  No, not like PITA, they take it a bit too far, IMO. More like the ASPCA, Jane Goodall, and alike groups.

I’m confused ... you’re an animals activist yet you said “I don’t impose my views on others”! Isn’t the very essence of activism an attempt to change society and thus people, doesn’t activism necessarily impose someone’s views on other people? Even here aren’t we doing much the same thing? Don’t I with my campaign?

Kyu

When has the ASPCA ever gotten in your face?  Have you abused your pet?  Then don’t worry about it.  They aren’t imposing anything on you as far as I can see, unless you want to abuse your pet.  Has Jane Goodall gotten in your face about Chimps?  Nope.  WWF (World Wildlife Foundation) hasn’t bothered you have they?

Now PETA gets in people’s face with rediculous and sometimes very mean things.  They themselves kill animals with their extreme behaviours and attitudes, as well as the psychic of human beings.  PETA does more harm than good and are very vocal.

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Posted: 05 April 2008 09:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Kyu,

I suppose that we all impose our views on one another in the sense that we advocate.  But there are clear differences in the approaches of various animal rights/welfare organizations.
I’d say check out these organizations web sites and decide for yourself where you fit in or don’t.  I think that they are all good.

American Humane Association
Animal Rights International
Compassion Over Killing
Great Ape Project
The Humane Society of The United States
People for The Ethica Treatment of Animals

The Meet Your Meat Video can be Accessed via PETA’s site on their GoVeg.com web site.

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Posted: 05 April 2008 09:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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George - 05 April 2008 06:37 AM

Do those of you who don’t eat meat for moral reasons buy leather products?

I have to say this would be a huge problem for me ... quite apart from shoes, I have a smart leather jacket, a long leather coat (ala Spike from Buffy) and a really cool Harley Davidson biker jacket I inherited when my older brother died. I really like leather.

Kyu

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Posted: 05 April 2008 09:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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[quote author=“Mriana”]When has the ASPCA ever gotten in your face?  Have you abused your pet?  Then don’t worry about it.  They aren’t imposing anything on you as far as I can see, unless you want to abuse your pet.  Has Jane Goodall gotten in your face about Chimps?  Nope.  WWF (World Wildlife Foundation) hasn’t bothered you have they?

Now PETA gets in people’s face with rediculous and sometimes very mean things.  They themselves kill animals with their extreme behaviours and attitudes, as well as the psychic of human beings.  PETA does more harm than good and are very vocal.

Hi Mriana,

I’m a Brit!!!! I don’t even know who ASPCA (or PETA) is. I was simply questioning the nature of activism ... any sort of activism. I genuinely don’t see how you can say you don’t impose your views on others if you are an activist. I’m an atheist and science activist by virtue of my campaign, my webblog and the fcat that I discuss such issue in forums ... any time anyone says anything I consider wrong, or based on unjustifiable assumption I’m right in there. By that act I have to impose my views don’t I?

Kyu

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Posted: 05 April 2008 09:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Kyuuketsuki UK - 05 April 2008 09:55 AM

Hi Mriana,

I’m a Brit!!!! I don’t even know who ASPCA (or PETA) is.

Well, then I guess you aren’t being imposed upon, if you don’t know what they are.  LOL

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Posted: 05 April 2008 10:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Mriana - 05 April 2008 07:49 AM

I think I have vegetarian cats and don’t know it.

You can also teach a chimp to smoke cigarettes. Would you?

I don’t believe a vegetarian diet is good for cats or dogs. Brennen?

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Posted: 05 April 2008 11:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Mriana - 05 April 2008 09:58 AM
Kyuuketsuki UK - 05 April 2008 09:55 AM

Hi Mriana,

I’m a Brit!!!! I don’t even know who ASPCA (or PETA) is.

Well, then I guess you aren’t being imposed upon, if you don’t know what they are.  LOL

Doesn’t answer my question does it?

Kyu

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Posted: 05 April 2008 12:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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George,

I haven’t gotten rid of my leather stuff, though I’m trying not to add new items to it. Lots of things on my plate to reform about my life always, and I can’t say as I do a thorough job with any of them. grin

And while dogs can do well on a vegetarian diet if it is very carefully balanced nutritionally, cats are obligate carnivores and cannot. I try to explain to those of my clients who want to feed a vegetarian diet to their cats that since they will inevitably be unhealthy and have shorter and less vigorous lives, doing so is itself an act of cruelty. If the confilct is too much to rationalize, then they really shouldn’t have an obligate carnivore as a pet since they cannot comfortably provide for its needs.


Erasmus,

Yes ALF was the group involved with the ferret capture and release, from a military research lab if I remember corectly. I have trouble with PETA mostly because of the hostile and self-righteous attitude of those members I have encountered. Many condemn my work either because they believe I do cruel and unnatural things, like sterilizing pet animals, or because they see pet ownership as morally equivalent to slavery. And as I said before, I think working for greater compassion through histility and intimidation, which some of the group do, is hypocritical and unproductive. Obviously, there are plenty of exceptions I’m sure, and most of my negative experiences came when I myself was investigating joining the group since I have some sympathy with its aims. But the kind of angry, zealous you folks I met turned me off to it completely.


Goodthink,

I’d be a bit careful about correlating what is “natural” with any kind of ethical judgement. The infliction of pain in the course of social interactions or predation is common in nature, and undoubtedly a big part of our own evolutionary history. But cruelty, the deliberate and knowing infliction of pain that is unecessary, is not “natural.” Industrial agriculture is not just killing to eat for survival, but the production of cheap and, mostly, luxury food in a way that bars the food animal from anything resembling a normal life for its kind. We are fundamentally different from lions, as you point out with regard to other behaviors we eschew, in that we can ask and attempt to answer moral questions without simply enacting innate behavioral imperatives. That we can do so imposes, it seems to me, some obligation to do so, and it is a recognition of our fundamental, evolved nature, not a denial of it. So I think eating meat is a moral issue, regardless of how one ultimately comes to decide it.

Of course, I agree with you in terms of not forcing others to comply with my moral decisions, except in very limited circumstances (laws against child abuse, and the usual list of things we mostly agree on as a culture). I’m not a zealot or evangelist for any of my positions, which does not reflect a lack of seriousness or commitment but a philosophical belief that education but not evangelizing is the ethically and practically preferable way to “convert” others to one’s point of view in most cases. As I said in my first pots on this thread, I think people are sometimes turned off to considering the question of vegetarianism by the messianic zeal of some vegetarians they encounter, and hopefully people like myself, erasmus, Singer and others who believe in the animal rights ideas but not in bashing people into submitting to them may offer a more welcoming doorway into thinking about the issue.

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Posted: 05 April 2008 03:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Kyuuketsuki UK - 05 April 2008 11:56 AM
Mriana - 05 April 2008 09:58 AM
Kyuuketsuki UK - 05 April 2008 09:55 AM

Hi Mriana,

I’m a Brit!!!! I don’t even know who ASPCA (or PETA) is.

Well, then I guess you aren’t being imposed upon, if you don’t know what they are.  LOL

Doesn’t answer my question does it?

Kyu

I’d go with what Brennen said to Goodthink concerning cruelty and all.  This is not imposing anything on anyone, but rather preventing something that is unnecessary.  PETA imposes their ideology on others by taking things too far and insisting everyone MUST be a vegetarian in order to stop cruelty to animals.  ASPCA attempts to prevent abuse of animals, they do not go as far as insist people should do this or that concerning animals.  The ASPCA also rescues abused animals- like those in puppy mills that are not kept very well or pets locked in a closet without food, water, or sanitary conditions.  Animals have rights, but this doesn’t mean they have the right to be protected from natural causes.  No one can be protected from such things.  What PETA does is on the level of telling a lion he can’t eat African deer for dinner.  Anytime you use fat people as a means of telling people to stop eating meat, it is a from of abuse or telling people “Got beer” to get people to stop drinking milk is encouraging alcoholism and encouraging nutritional deficencies. This last is something PETA does.  It is not only insulting to others, but it encourages other things that are not necessarily good for people.  In effect, they are doing more harm than good, while the ASPCA attempts to do more good than harm.

PETA = People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (which is not so ethical)
ASPCA = The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Someone gave links to these two groups.

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Posted: 06 April 2008 05:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Mriana,

Thank you for the clarification.

Kyu

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