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Posted: 06 April 2008 07:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Here is the link for the ASPCA.  I think that I left it out.

McKenzie, I think that PETA does a lot of wonderful things that are not being done elsewhere as effectively in the animal rights/welfare movements, but can appreciate that there approach is not for everyone.  FWIW, I don’t condemn your work in the least.  I quite admire it actually.

Kyu, there is nothing wrong with taking baby steps.  You can always decrease or cut out your meat intake without giving up your leather.  Morality does not have to be an all or nothing endeavor.

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Posted: 06 April 2008 09:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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I have to say brennen, I think life is innantely cruel and ironic. I do think nature is cruel at base. species is pitted against species. Snakes eat babies, the disabled are eaten first or left to starve to death in isolation. Aniamls rape animals, even engage in necrophillia. There are batecteria that feed off the living host until there is nothing left but goo and the whole process is incredibly painful.  And we have us. We are a product of a natural process and we are natural. We use the same self-reflection to say animals have no soul and perform vivisections on live animals or to draw and quarter men or women who don’t believe in a book. We circumsize males and females. We cut the breasts off women, kill people for honour and so on. We aren’t apart from the system, we are the system, And the idea of cultivating animals for food, likely comes from our ability to cultivate plants for food.

I understand the ‘ought’ issue. We ought to know or do better. But then we are arguing that we ought to act against the natural order of things and somehow be separate from it. I don’t agree that is a ‘should’ be action. Can’t something be morally neutral and yet have serious ethical implications regardless? I think it is possible, because I don’t think ethics necessarily is rooted in a dualistic modality of right and wrong and the consequent actions that come from those polarities.

I personally believe it is not only possible, but likely animals have some form of sentinance. I think it is extremely species-centric to think we have that property and nothing else does. I also believe that we ought to reduce as much suffering as possible, when possible because there is already too much. Often these ideas conflict with each other.

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Posted: 06 April 2008 09:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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Oh and I agree about PETA. They kill more animals a year on their own, in their head quarters, than the Los Angles Human Society.  Their tactics are too extreme and they constantly appear as hypocrites. Now if they themselves lived like Janists, their case might be strengthened.

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Posted: 06 April 2008 09:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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goodthink,

Do you consider animal euthanasia as inconsistent with animal welfare?

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Posted: 06 April 2008 10:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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goodthink,

I guess where we disagree is whether or not cruelty is simply inflicting pain and suffering, or doing so with a full knowledge that that is what one is doing, and with the behavioral option of choosing not to. Snakes and bacteria don’t think about the implications of their own actions like people do, obviously. You keep arguing that to not be cruel is to deny that we are a natural, evolved organism part of the ecosystem at large. I think this is nonsense. Of course we evolved our behavioral abilities. The question is whether there is something about our particular behavioral abilities that creates the very question of morality. Are we in some way able to direct and choose our own behavior through reason and reflection in a way that other animals are not, and if so do we have some responsibility to do so?

Long ago, I did a MA in animal behavior and spent several years working with primates in that field, and I am convinced that our capacity to empathise, to understand the distant and delayed consequences of our behavior, and to deliberate decide not to follow our initial ipulses is significantly greater than that capacity in any other living animal. I don’t consider that any more species centric than arguing that bats have an echolocation ability that we do not. We evolved quantitatively greater mental abilities in the context of nature, and using them is consistent with our natures, just like using echolocation is consistent with bat nature. Just because pain and conflict are part of life in the natural world, doesn’t mean that choosing not to inflict pain is somehow contrary to the “natural order.” Our capacity for empathy, compassion, and moral decision making are as much a part of our evolved nature as anything else. How can it be “natural” to cultivate animals for food but “unnatural” to choose not to? Both actions are a product of the same brains.


As for something having ethical implications without having a moral dimension, I guess I don’t understand the distinction you’re making. The only reason to consider something as ethically right or wrong is because we have some sort of standards of right and wrong to consider against our actions.

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Posted: 06 April 2008 10:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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I do think cruelty is the infliction of pain and the causing of suffering. I do not think one has to be able to think about being cruel in order to be cruel.  For some molesters, the thought never crosses their mind that what they are doing is harmful or cruel, it’s the ultimate act of love. Alcoholics see often see their lifestyle choice[s] as self-determinate, self-harming, or enjoying life, they do not consider or reflect on the harm they do to others. In either case it does not lesson the cruelty of what is done.  Likewise, for the patient and the families, lung cancer is incredibly cruel and excessive in the pain and suffering it causes both parties.

Now a case could be made about whether cruelty is the refelction of one’s condition of pain and suffereing, if so, can animals reflect on the pain or the suffering they undergo?, and if the answer is they cannot, then any moral questions about raising animals in inhumane conditions is moot.

As for whether or not something can or cannot be moral and still have ethical entrenchments, I look at morality as the idea of a building, and ethics the planning of construction of the building. One is a vagary and can be absolute, the other specific and compromising.  You can have ethical branching from amoral or immoral positions, as one has from moral positions.  And while both nest the other, they are not the other and are separate in my mind.

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Posted: 06 April 2008 12:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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I have leather shoes, Leathers for biking, and I’m not above(?) buying a leather belt. I would rather not use leather at all, but it is functionally far better than most other materials in the applications i use it. Maybe that is a double standard.

Have there been any studies on the proportion of atheists who are vegies?

Ski.

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Posted: 06 April 2008 03:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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goodthink - 06 April 2008 09:14 AM

Oh and I agree about PETA. They kill more animals a year on their own, in their head quarters, than the Los Angles Human Society.  Their tactics are too extreme and they constantly appear as hypocrites.

erasmusinfinity - 06 April 2008 09:45 AM

Do you consider animal euthanasia as inconsistent with animal welfare?

goodthink - 06 April 2008 10:51 AM

I do think cruelty is the infliction of pain and the causing of suffering.

PETA euthanizes animals as a means of alleviating pain and suffering.  The animals that they have euthanized were already suffering when they were obtained by PETA.  Most all animal welfare organizations perform such procedures, and I think they fit in quite well with the jainist sort of compassion that you were referring to.  I fail to see how this or any other example given in this thread is suggestive of any hypocracy on the part of PETA.

I do agree that many of PETA’s methods, which have not been described in this thread, would seem quite controversial to most.  They certainly pull a lot of stunts.  But they are extremely effective in ways that many more passive animal advocacy groups are not.

For example, last month PETA staged a boycott and petition of H&M;clothing stores for purchasing wool from cruel Australian wool farmers who used primitive and cruel techniques of mass sheering order to obtain their wool.  Procedures that involve tearing large chunks of skin off of the animals and inflicting immense pain and suffering, often accompanied by death.  These procedures are not used on all sheep farms in order to obtain wool.  As a result of PETA’s action H&M;clothing stores ceased doing business with these farmers and now purchase their wool exclusively from non-cruel sources.  It is an example of PETA’s more active approach.  One in which few or no other animal welfare organizations take.  I can give dozens of similar examples of PETA accomplishments over just the past year.

I do not assert that PETA is better than other animal rights/welfare organizations, but that they are an important part of a bigger picture.

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Posted: 06 April 2008 03:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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SkiCarver - 06 April 2008 12:25 PM

Have there been any studies on the proportion of atheists who are vegies?

I would love to see the results of such a study.  I would expect the percentage of atheist vegies to be quite high in comparison to that of the general population.  Althugh, of course, quite a bit less then the percentage of seventh day adventists, hari krishnas and rastafarians.  LOL

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Posted: 06 April 2008 04:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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and I think it is best to encourage the growth of compassion with compassion, not with rage and violence.


I am just curious…, who is talking about or demonstrating “rage and violence” here??? you want to see rage and violence then it is in your own interest to google down and watch “meet your meat”, or ... rather, here…, enjoy…. (for anyone else who is interested in venturing “into” this link, please be aware that the vid is very graphic. Thanks).

erasmusinfinity - 06 April 2008 03:40 PM

...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.

How do I know more about this area, what key word would I use to google down related information?  thank you.

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 understand you, I used to have a male cat with whom I talked to a certain extent he was that interactive!!!  I loved that cat so much at one point I considered getting him alive mouse from pet store to play with, but then I backed out of my intentions of course. My ex got jalous and made him disappear, I came back from work one day, and supposedly my adorable little boy got run over by a car, he wasn’t even an outdoor cat. I moved out myself within 72 hours as result.  Yeah, they deserve the best.

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.

Right on! doing good shouldn’t be stimulated by a threatening un-existant hell but simply by one’s own good conscience. Even when I believed, I was often times very defiant. If I’ve done something worthwhile, god usually had nothing to do with it.

[ Edited: 06 April 2008 04:17 PM by Daisy ]
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Posted: 06 April 2008 04:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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Now here’s what I don’t get.  You have a person who is a carnivore, yet they cannot stomach a wild life show that shows, like a lion (I used that before and might as well stick with it) snagging dinner.  Now what I want to know is, how else do they think a lion is going to get food?  It’s not like they can go to a store and not see the killing of another animal.  What is a little more dietarily natural to humans, esp if thrown back to the stoneage and to live in trees, caves or alike, is sort of like the chimps and gorillas.  Ironically, these primates do eat some meat (small game and insects mostly), but they mostly live on plant sources (fruits, berries, leafy plants, roots, and alike).  If a human child were to be raised by chimps (Tarzan time LOL ), they could survive on that diet with little or no consequence health wise.  What is natural for primates is not natural for wild cats.  Cats have the opposite diet- more meat than plant sources.  They will chew on grass or alike every so often, but fresh meat is their bag.

IF one knows this is the natural way of things, why does it bother people, even carnivorous ones, so much to see a wild cat get his dinner?  I’m a vegetarian and seeing such shows doesn’t bother me in the least because I know that is natural.  Our ancestors, unlike chimps, went for big game, like buffalo, but even then I don’t think they ate as much meat as some people do today.  It was not as easily accessible and a hunt could take the better part of a day- thus why some Native American tribes moved with the game as seasons changed.  Seems strange that some people have issues with what is part of nature.

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Posted: 06 April 2008 04:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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My point about PETA killing animals and being hypocrites was made because they attacked the los angles human society for killing animals.

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Posted: 06 April 2008 04:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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Daisy - 06 April 2008 04:05 PM

I couldn’t stand faux leather,  it either has to be genuines thick nice soft one or I am going for some other material.

I’m not a big fan of faux leather either, but men’s dress shoes and belts have to appear to be leather in order to conform to the cultural norm.  I try to wear less stiff shoes whenever I can, made out of canvas and hemp.  Their much more comfortable anyway.

Daisy - 06 April 2008 04:05 PM

How do I know more about this area, what key word would I use to google down related information?  thank you.

I wish that I could give you a Google search word, but I have had a horrible time trying to find information on various stealth animal products.  Many businesses deliberately shy from making their practices public.  It’s a toughy.  I know that gelatin, in all of its forms including “gummy” products, is made from bone marrow.  Real musk in men’s cologne comes from the adrenal glands of the musk deer.  It is a seemingly endless search, but there are alternatives for most all of these things.

PETA has a site on sheep HERE.
HERE is a vegan wine guide.  It is meant for Irish audiences.  I know of no such site for Americans.
HERE is a wonderful self researched list of veg wine, beer and cider.

Please let me know if you find anything else on the topic.

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Posted: 06 April 2008 04:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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goodthink - 06 April 2008 04:25 PM

My point about PETA killing animals and being hypocrites was made because they attacked the los angles human society for killing animals.

I don’t know about that situation and would be curious to learn more.  Assuming that The Los Angeles Humane Society was euthanizing compassionately, I would disagree with anyone criticizing them for it.  On the other hand, I think that there are animal shelters that kill unnecessarily.  Why was The Los Angeles Humane Society killing animals?  Did PETA make an official statement of condemnation, or were statements made by certain PETA members or supporters?

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Posted: 06 April 2008 04:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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Daisy,

I am just curious…, who is talking about or demonstrating “rage and violence” here???

No one is doing this in this thread, of course. My comment was part of a discussion of my previous experiences with PETA members, so I’m sorry if it appeared I was referring to anyone here.

There is, of course, a fanatical component to the animal rights movement. HERE is the ALF (Animal Liberation Front) FAQ on activism, which calls for harrassment of people doing what ALF unilaterally decides is unethical or cruel things to animals and for destruction of property associated with this activity. There is a lot of justifying such things with references to past revolutionary movements and stirring quotes from Thoreau and Barry Goldwater and the like. The fact is that there are plenty of animal rights activists who believe such ends are justified by the means. There are plenty of anti-abortion activists and religious fanatics who feel the same way. Zealotry is always dangerous because it allows one an exemption from the usual standards of compassionate and respectful behavior towards others that most people acknowledge as right. Whether God or your conscience tells you someone else’s sin is great, it doesn’t matter. It only matters if you decide you are fit to judge and punish the sin. I won’t say I’m a complete pacifist, but I think “rage and violence” is a dangerous “tool” to use to implement a moral agenda, and there is a certain hypocrisy in using it in the name of compassion.

I think animal rights, just like vegetarianism, which is the original topic of this thread, gets stigmatized by the fanatics who claim to represent it. But I don’t think the answer is to deny such people exist, but to repudiate them. Unfortunately, PETA does not, at leats not in any convincing way. Undoubtedly, such a large organization contains a wide variety of styles and opinions, and I don’t intend to condemn it en masse. All I’ve said is that I’ve had some personal experiences with members who seem dangerously zealous and unconcerned about the welfare of anyone with the temerity not to agree with them on every issue since they feel themselves to be on the side of morality against evil, and such people turn me off.

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