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Peter Singer - Vegetarianism and the Scientific Outlook
Posted: 16 November 2008 12:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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VYAZMA - 16 November 2008 11:19 AM

Ok then.Eating meat is unethical.End of argument.

Actually this conclusion does not follow from either the podcast or our discussion here. What I get is that how we treat animals is subject to moral argumentation and not exempt. There are good arguments eating meat is unethical in and of itself, but none have been advanced here.

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Posted: 16 November 2008 01:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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I suppose this topic has a moral continuum as much any other. From eating plants to eating babies. We would all say (I hope) that the former is ok and the latter is not. We are looking to draw a line somewhere and we are finding it difficult because there are so many other factors thrown in. Singer argues that currently we use the species line to decide but if we believe in evolution and that we do not occupy a special place in the universe, the species line is an arbitrary one and we need to find another one. He suggests that we should not eat “beings with interests” as his line in the sand which, to me, seems like a more valid one. Actually, I think we already adhere to this one but it’s our perception of “beings with interests” that is off. We tend to anthropomorphize dogs and cats making the thought of eating them repulsive. In the same vein, I doubt we’d continue eating cows if they evolved to be as intelligent as we are.

My line in the sand, I suppose, has always been this skewed notion of “beings with interests” but I rationalized the of meat I eat (which is minimal - maybe once a week) based on the fact that well-raised meat is ok thinking that trading quality of life is a good trade for reduced longevity. I’ll have to give this one more thought but Singer has made a strong case…

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Posted: 16 November 2008 02:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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sate - 16 November 2008 12:14 PM
VYAZMA - 16 November 2008 11:19 AM

Ok then.Eating meat is unethical.End of argument.

Actually this conclusion does not follow from either the podcast or our discussion here. What I get is that how we treat animals is subject to moral argumentation and not exempt. There are good arguments eating meat is unethical in and of itself, but none have been advanced here.

Then advance an actual opinion,[personal remark removed].Quit riding the rails!!

[ Edited: 16 November 2008 02:34 PM by mckenzievmd ]
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Posted: 16 November 2008 02:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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jerbreck - 16 November 2008 01:48 PM

I suppose this topic has a moral continuum as much any other. From eating plants to eating babies. We would all say (I hope) that the former is ok and the latter is not. We are looking to draw a line somewhere and we are finding it difficult because there are so many other factors thrown in. Singer argues that currently we use the species line to decide but if we believe in evolution and that we do not occupy a special place in the universe, the species line is an arbitrary one and we need to find another one. He suggests that we should not eat “beings with interests” as his line in the sand which, to me, seems like a more valid one. Actually, I think we already adhere to this one but it’s our perception of “beings with interests” that is off. We tend to anthropomorphize dogs and cats making the thought of eating them repulsive. In the same vein, I doubt we’d continue eating cows if they evolved to be as intelligent as we are.

My line in the sand, I suppose, has always been this skewed notion of “beings with interests” but I rationalized the of meat I eat (which is minimal - maybe once a week) based on the fact that well-raised meat is ok thinking that trading quality of life is a good trade for reduced longevity. I’ll have to give this one more thought but Singer has made a strong case…

This is insight..it has foundations.Of course you needed to tell us how much meat you eat per week….

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Posted: 16 November 2008 02:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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mckenzievmd - 16 November 2008 11:50 AM

VYAZMA,

Maybe I misunderstood you, but you seemed to be saying that Singer’s point was wrong because animals eat each other and humans evolved as omnivores. Is that not true? If that is what you were saying, than my “counterpoint” was that’s not a good reason for deciding what is right or wrong for the reasons I gave. If you had some other point that I missed, than what was it?

The reason I brought history into it is that you also seemd to say that using animals for work (ploughing, specifically) and wearing their fur was necessary historically for us to survive, and that seemed to be a point you were making to explain why Singer was wrong. Again, was this not what you meant?

As for “fringe” that’s juts your opinion. Anything that is not believed by the majority can be dismissed as “fringe” including the lack of religious belief that brings us both here. So what? The arguments for something are either good or bad, and their popularity has nothing to do with it. I happen to live in a place where lots of people are vegetarians, and it doesn’t seem fring to me, but either way it’s not an argument for or against what Singer is saying.

Is eating meat the “natural” order of things? Depends on what you mean. Is it parft of our evolutionary history and something our bodies are designed to do, sure? Is it the right thing to do? Not necessarily. That’s why again I don’t think you reference to what happens in nature is a good argument against it. Taking antibiotics and getting vaccinated are not “natural,” but they’re a good thing. Rape is “natural,’ but it’s a bad thing. All I’m saying is that what is done in nature or what we evolved to do is not a good reason for or against a particular choice, like eating meat or not eating it.

Mckenz…I think me,you and Sate are all on the same page.I know we are.As too often happens on this forum,our thoughts become garbled.Your evolutionary proposals are wrong.Come on.Are you discounting everything you know as reality?
Especially you…you are a Doctor of Animal Medicine.Who pays you?The animals or the animal owners?

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Posted: 16 November 2008 02:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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sate - 16 November 2008 12:14 PM
VYAZMA - 16 November 2008 11:19 AM

Ok then.Eating meat is unethical.End of argument.

Actually this conclusion does not follow from either the podcast or our discussion here. What I get is that how we treat animals is subject to moral argumentation and not exempt. There are good arguments eating meat is unethical in and of itself, but none have been advanced here.

Exactly, there is nothing inherently wrong with eating meat, but rather it is how the meat is grown and harvested that it morally reprehensible.

Here’s looking forward to the day when in vitro meat production ends factory farming. Maybe then I will be able to eat meat again.

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Posted: 16 November 2008 02:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Thomas Donnelly - 16 November 2008 02:22 PM
sate - 16 November 2008 12:14 PM
VYAZMA - 16 November 2008 11:19 AM

Ok then.Eating meat is unethical.End of argument.

Actually this conclusion does not follow from either the podcast or our discussion here. What I get is that how we treat animals is subject to moral argumentation and not exempt. There are good arguments eating meat is unethical in and of itself, but none have been advanced here.

Exactly, there is nothing inherently wrong with eating meat, but rather it is how the meat is grown and harvested that it morally reprehensible.

Here’s looking forward to the day when in vitro meat production ends factory farming. Maybe then I will be able to eat meat again.

Yeah,of course the current method of meat providance is crazy.I agree.100%That has nothing to do with this discussion.Wherein people are trying to implant ethics into humankinds strivance to obtain proteins.

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Posted: 16 November 2008 02:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Eh! I don’t like meat to begin with, never have, but in vitro sounds even worse than the real thing.  Of course, I haven’t studied it much because I could care less about eating meat.  Even as a child, my mother had a hard time getting me to eat meat.  I just never cared for it.

Even so, I did enjoy listening to Peter Singer this week.  Great show.

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Posted: 16 November 2008 02:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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VYAZMA,

So if we’re on the same page, what exactly are you saying? I’m just not getting it. You seem to think vegetarianism doesn’t make sense because we evolved to eat meat. I’ve already said why I don’t think that works, and I don’t see what you latest response has to do with anything. WHat have I said about evolution that is wrong? What does it matter who pays me?

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Posted: 16 November 2008 02:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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VYAZMA - 16 November 2008 02:10 PM

Then advance an actual opinion,patronizer.Quit riding the rails!!

Moral disposition aside, perhaps you’ve had too much meat V =P
I’ve advanced several opinions; about moral continuums, about the irrelevancy of theistic input etc.., but what you want is probably this: There is nothing wrong with the practice of eating meat from domesticated animals provide said animals have a reasonably decent cruely-free life. If some want to be vegitarian in order to facilitate change, I can understand that. I do not make that choice because to me its a throwing the baby out with the bathwater type decision. Alternative solutions seem more practical, sound and likelier to succeed.

One more opinion I’d like to advance- Singer oddly calls out humanists for their lack of veganism and presumes the cause is that they are insufficiently divorced from theism. This is bizarre and presumptuous.. as if the humanists can’t possibly have their own ethical position and instead must be guided by vestiges of Christianity (even ones who were never Christian..?).

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Posted: 16 November 2008 02:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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mckenzievmd - 16 November 2008 02:31 PM

VYAZMA,

So if we’re on the same page, what exactly are you saying? I’m just not getting it. You seem to think vegetarianism doesn’t make sense because we evolved to eat meat. I’ve already said why I don’t think that works, and I don’t see what you latest response has to do with anything. WHat have I said about evolution that is wrong? What does it matter who pays me?

I’ve said everything I have to say.Please provide an actual argument where it can be posited that eating meat,or using animals is unethical.This argument has already been borne out above.It deals with humankinds observance that animals are being mistreated,and animals are being subjugated.If this is the topic,then put forth a reason why animals shouldn’t be subjugated,right now!!We’ll forget the past Dozens of thousands of years.I am not a pro-active supporter of animal subjugation,I just can’t fathom how people can put aside the history,and put forth a new code of ethics,which is completely perpendicular to the history of animal evolution.Even if you succeed in this code of ethics,then what?
PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY ANIMALS SHOULD HAVE RIGHTS,WHY PEOPLE SHOULD STOP EATING ANIMALS.THEN PROVIDE ACTUAL ALTERNATIVES TO THE SYSTEM WHICH HAS EXISTED SINCE THE DAWN OF MAMMALS,THE DAWN OF VERTABRAES,OR EVEN FURTHER BACK.

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Posted: 16 November 2008 02:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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I guess this debate is more about killing animals than eating them because Singer would probably say it’s ok to eat things that die of natural causes.

Even when it comes to humanely raised animals, Singer would probably say (my apologies if I’m misrepresenting him here) it is not ethical to assume that the quality of an animal’s life is a sufficient trade off for killing it.

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Posted: 16 November 2008 02:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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sate - 16 November 2008 02:41 PM
VYAZMA - 16 November 2008 02:10 PM

Then advance an actual opinion,patronizer.Quit riding the rails!!

Moral disposition aside, perhaps you’ve had too much meat V =P
I’ve advanced several opinions; about moral continuums, about the irrelevancy of theistic input etc.., but what you want is probably this: There is nothing wrong with the practice of eating meat from domesticated animals provide said animals have a reasonably decent cruely-free life. If some want to be vegitarian in order to facilitate change, I can understand that. I do not make that choice because to me its a throwing the baby out with the bathwater type decision. Alternative solutions seem more practical, sound and likelier to succeed.

One more opinion I’d like to advance- Singer oddly calls out humanists for their lack of veganism and presumes the cause is that they are insufficiently divorced from theism. This is bizarre and presumptuous.. as if the humanists can’t possibly have their own ethical position and instead must be guided by vestiges of Christianity (even ones who were never Christian..?).

Well then,advance your moral continuum.More power to you.

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Posted: 16 November 2008 02:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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jerbreck - 16 November 2008 02:50 PM

I guess this debate is more about killing animals than eating them because Singer would probably say it’s ok to eat things that die of natural causes.

Even when it comes to humanely raised animals, Singer would probably say (my apologies if I’m misrepresenting him here) it is not ethical to assume that the quality of an animal’s life is a sufficient trade off for killing it.

Ok then put this in front of the massive history of animals quest for food.Now,we have decided this was the wrong path.If this was the wrong path-then what?Now we know we were wrong.Fix it.Please.Posit an idea.

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Posted: 16 November 2008 02:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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VYAZMA - 16 November 2008 02:48 PM

PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY ANIMALS SHOULD HAVE RIGHTS,WHY PEOPLE SHOULD STOP EATING ANIMALS.THEN PROVIDE ACTUAL ALTERNATIVES TO THE SYSTEM WHICH HAS EXISTED SINCE THE DAWN OF MAMMALS,THE DAWN OF VERTABRAES,OR EVEN FURTHER BACK.

In Peter Singer’s world, lions and tigers and bears (oh,my….!) would ALL be vegetarians too!

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