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#26594 - 07/01/09 06:57 PM Vegetarian, The Moral Argument.
TornadoCreator Offline
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Registered: 10/24/07
Posts: 586
Loc: No Fixed Address
I thought I would attempt to cover this topic as I recently had a debate on this that ended unexpectantly. I had to concede.

The debate on vegetarianism is always one of those arguments where people will spout a lot of nonsense. There will be silly claims like "I can taste the fear in the meat" which makes no sense whatsoever and from the other camp "agricultural machines kill more rodents harvesting a field of wheat than animals killed for meat", as though a smaller quantity of death makes it better somehow.

Now, before we go too far. I'm not a vegetarian and have no intention of becoming one. I may agree that it's the moral high ground but, basically, I like bacon and nothings going to stop me eating it. I consider the enjoyment of certain foods worth taking the more immoral stance in this argument.

Now, one of the strongest arguments for vegetarianism would be, without too much examination, that they live a "death free" life. Which is a fantastic idea. My claim would be that this is simply false and a true sign of ignorance. If you're killing a plant to survive, you're still taking life, just because it doesn't scream when you pluck it doesn't mean you're not killing it. That said, I suppose the lack of pain felt would be a sketchy bonus on this side, but we're assuming the plant cannot sense pain. We know of no way so far for them to feel pain, but a housefly can't feel emotions as it lacks the brainpower required, but if you swat towards it it'll take evasive manoeuvres and speed up to avoid you, that certainly seems like fear to me.

It was at this point the vegetarian suggested something to me that I couldn't counter. "What if you only eat cuttings, fruit and leaves (some are edible). The plant will survive and you can live an entirely healthy life eating fruit, beans, nuts and parts from certain flowering plants without having to kill anything." I see no flaws in this argument.

If you consider it morally wrong to take any form of life, you must agree that the suggestion put forward by my opponent in this case is the morally superior point. Now, I have a personal justification for not following that path, simply that it would be too much hassle and I really like bacon, but this is certainly doesn't excuse the moral issue.

So my point is this. Clearly people are prepared to forgo morals if following their morals are too much effort for them. After all, I certainly consider the taking of life to be immoral unless it is necessary to my survival or the survival of someone else (ie. someone is trying to kill me or a loved one of mine, and I must kill them in self defence). So, at what point are someone morals no longer of consequence. At what point are people prepared to go against the morals, and what moral points to you know you regularly go against simply because it would be too much trouble for you to be the "better person".

Put simply, how much do your morals cost, and does anyone honestly believe they have any specific morals that are so strong, that they wouldn't break under any circumstances? If so, what are these morals and what makes them so immutable? I can't think of a single thing I wouldn't do personally, if I was in a situation where I must. I can think of many things I would only do if my life was immediately in danger such as murder, but nothing that I can honestly say I would never do.
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#26598 - 07/01/09 09:14 PM Re: Vegetarian, The Moral Argument. [Re: TornadoCreator]
Nemesis Offline
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Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2175
Loc: US
 Quote:
Put simply, how much do your morals cost, and does anyone honestly believe they have any specific morals that are so strong, that they wouldn't break under any circumstances? If so, what are these morals and what makes them so immutable?


That's the thing of it, TC. One can be firm as a rock in their convictions, as long as they're never tested. As you said in your post, "I can think of many things I would only do if my life was immediately in danger such as murder, but nothing that I can honestly say I would never do."

We'll never fully realize that part of ourselves until we come to that point. Anything else is just empty posturing. Someone who's against the death penalty might end up getting a loved one murdered. Suddenly, the death penalty sounds like a great idea, fitting punishment for the convict sitting across the bench, smiling away with no remorse. Or, a woman says she'll never have an abortion. Lo and behold, she is raped by a black meth head in a back alley. Oh, the shame of having to bear and raise the child of such a fiend! To the women's health center we go, tra la la la.

I think the biggest tests of will and moral fortitude have to be war and survival. How would that vegan feel after a week of only being able to find a handful of green bananas? That is, of course, providing that the person is wandering around the tropics, where such fruits are readily available. Otherwise, either stealing or *gasp* having to harvest tubers in order to eat.

I eat meat. I enjoy the hell out of it. But I've never had to kill an animal. Would I be have the guts to kill and dress a deer or other prey that I've felled? If there were other foods available, I could say, nah, I'll eat corn and potatoes today. But if there were no alternatives? I guess I'd have to come to terms with myself in a hurry. I don't want my corpse to be found in a ditch, my eyes long since plucked out by crows.
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#26599 - 07/01/09 09:37 PM Re: Vegetarian, The Moral Argument. [Re: TornadoCreator]
6Satan6Archist6 Offline
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Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 2509
Vegetarian a moral standpoint? I find that laughable. To me there is nothing immoral about eating meat. Therefore I would never refer to a vegetarian as someone who is "taking the moral high ground". I don't see how anyone could argue either as moral or immoral. Even if you were to do so you would only be able to speak for yourself. Trying to hold me to your moral compass will only bring laughter and contempt.

It is a very simple concept people, it is called the food chain. More often than not we are on the top of it. There are times when we are not at the top. Like when swimming in the ocean, on safari or camping. A shark, lion, or bear wouldn't think twice about eating you if it were hungry enough and the opportunity presented itself.

If people want to be vegetarian, fine, go for it, no skin of balls. What I can't stand are the people who try and shove their vegetarianism and "moral superiority" down my throat. The vegans are the worst. Especially the militant vegans who scoff at you for eating a burger while they stand there in their leather boots on top of their mountain of hypocrisy.

It is one thing to be appalled by the conditions of slaughter houses and the treatment of the animals therein, but it is quite another to expect everyone to feel the same way.

Meat tastes good. As long as it continues to taste good, I will continue to eat it.
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#26605 - 07/01/09 10:07 PM Re: Vegetarian, The Moral Argument. [Re: 6Satan6Archist6]
TornadoCreator Offline
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Registered: 10/24/07
Posts: 586
Loc: No Fixed Address
My point wasn't that vegetarianism is a moral high ground, just that if you agree that taking life is immoral, which most people will, the diet that the vegetarian I spoke to follows would be a moral high ground as it doesn't kill any living thing at all.
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#26608 - 07/01/09 10:51 PM Re: Vegetarian, The Moral Argument. [Re: 6Satan6Archist6]
Atralux Lucis Offline
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Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 79
Loc: Australia
To the first argument, I just wanted to point out that we dont know if plants feel pain, but we do know animals do and therefore we can blame eating plants on ignorance.

I dont like vegans, I respect their goal which I believe is the next stage of human evolution, but I think its too early and most of them are retarded and dont know how to spread the ideal.

Im going through final stages of being a vegetarian and that is past eating red meat and chicken and so eating small amounts of fish and seafood (not sharks or whale though) and think they eating meat is altogether not only morally wrong (to me) but environmentally and economically impractical. Not to mention its complete unnecessary.

And whilst I agree we are part of the food chain, it seems now we are doing much harm to the world from our greed of meat. My father is strongly supports eating meat but he also says we eat too much, more than is necessary. I think the whole thing is unnecessary and for humans to evolve further we must stop causing unnecessary pain to animals and break out of this 'food chain'.

And not to mention the amount of animal sadists that torture animals in the meat industry. I think no amount of pleasure can equate for that suffering. Yes we encourage 'humane' killing but in reality alot of animals are simply tortured to death.

Now my arguments may be flawed, you might not agree with them, my wording my be off, but please argue my ideas and what im trying to say before we start dissecting things and insulting each other.

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#26611 - 07/01/09 10:53 PM Re: Vegetarian, The Moral Argument. [Re: Atralux Lucis]
Atralux Lucis Offline
pledge


Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 79
Loc: Australia
Oh and about life, id say an animal is more innocent than a human and I would sooner slaughter a person and eat them than an animal,
Animals fueled by pure instinct and have no desire to cause suffering or what-not on someone else, nor are they judgemental.
I dont hold 'life' to be this highest thing where we dont kill anything but I dont agree with killing innocent beings. Humans are inherently not innocent

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#26615 - 07/01/09 11:13 PM Re: Vegetarian, The Moral Argument. [Re: Atralux Lucis]
fakepropht Moderator Offline
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Registered: 08/29/07
Posts: 990
Loc: Texas
Please explain your solutions to the problem of overcrowding by these very animals that we eat. If we stop eating cows, chickens, pigs, deer, bear, etc, then they will continue to populate. They will have to live somewhere. As we encroach on the forests, the wild animals(deer, bear) that we would normally hunt and thus control the population, will have to go somewhere. That usually means your back yard. Your trash bin. They will have to cross our highways. Usually done in darkness, when we can't see them very well while hurtling down the highway. What you will see is more incidents of cars smashing into these large animals and not only tearing up the car but killing the animal. With these little rollerskates that we call cars today, that more than likely will result in the driver or passengers being seriously injured or killed. Have you ever seen the outcome of a Ford Festiva vs a cow? Wouldn't be nice to find your small child snatched out of your back yard by a bear? Or yourself face to face with a pissed off 8 point buck? It happens. Hunting is a necessary fact of life to help control these populations. Especially the deer population.

Back to the domestic animals. What do you propose we do with them? Will each family be required to house a cow, a chicken, and or a pig? We have to do something with them. They aren't going to just assimilate into the wild.

Lastly, you do realize that these very animals, that it is "morally" wrong to kill and eat, will be competing for your newfound food source. They don't eat meat. They eat green leafy vegetables, corn, seeds, nuts, etc. And they eat a lot of it. Suddenly, your food source has a whole shitload of new competitors that require a whole lot more than a human. By trying to take the "moral" high ground, you will in effect be hastening the depletion of your food source, and as a side effect, raising the prices of your food source. Supply and demand.

The only way they will take my slice of bacon from me is if they can dodge 8 bullets and a sharp meat cleaver.
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#26616 - 07/01/09 11:36 PM Re: Vegetarian, The Moral Argument. [Re: fakepropht]
Atralux Lucis Offline
pledge


Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 79
Loc: Australia
And who keeps the human population in check? Unfortunately with our desire to prevent wars our population will be growing unchecked.
Im sure the animals survived quite well before we started eating them due to the food chain if you forgot. The food chain where the meat eaters would eat the other animals. We arent needed to keep populations in check because they check themselves. Humans are not needed nor desired to be in the natural system because we slaughter too much, take too much, and destroy the very thing we profess to be protecting ie the ecosystem as your pointing out.

I agree to an extent that, yes, they wouldnt adapt very well, but then we still feed them now anyways with the food we grow, in not feeding them now we have more feed that we grow for now ourselves.
You make a good argument but its still easily thrown back because there are still solutions to those problems.

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#26617 - 07/01/09 11:42 PM Re: Vegetarian, The Moral Argument. [Re: Atralux Lucis]
6Satan6Archist6 Offline
stalker


Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 2509
 Originally Posted By: Atralux Lucis
eating meat is altogether not only morally wrong (to me) but environmentally and economically impractical. Not to mention its complete unnecessary.


Care to prove that? I am of course speaking of your contention that eating meat is "environmentally and economically impractical. Not to mention its complete unnecessary."

 Originally Posted By: Atralux Lucis
I think the whole thing is unnecessary and for humans to evolve further we must stop causing unnecessary pain to animals and break out of this 'food chain'.


That is completely impossible. Just because people no longer eat meat doesn't mean they are somehow removed from the food chain. If anything you are easier prey for the other carnivores out there because you lack the strength to defend yourself due to malnutrition.


 Originally Posted By: Atralux Lucis
And not to mention the amount of animal sadists that torture animals in the meat industry. I think no amount of pleasure can equate for that suffering. Yes we encourage 'humane' killing but in reality alot of animals are simply tortured to death.


I agree that it is wrong to torture animals in that respect. However, there will always be sadists out there torturing and killing animals. At least the majority of the animals killed are used for purposes other than sadistic pleasure. No amount of vegetarianism will ever stop the world from accumulating assholes who like to torture animals just for fun.
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#26620 - 07/01/09 11:54 PM Re: Vegetarian, The Moral Argument. [Re: 6Satan6Archist6]
Atralux Lucis Offline
pledge


Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 79
Loc: Australia
Environmentally impractical because of firstly gases produced by livestock (we encourage its breeding) and land usage economically.
There are various different source of the things gained in meat and moreso now with new food such as tofu (may not be to your liking) or other vegetables, and eggs too. So its not necessary for health reasons.
And dont bother saying its easier to get from meat because if we were all vegetarian we wouldve made new ways of getting nutrients from all sorts of foods in a more efficient manner.

There are no other carnivores that would attempt to eat us and besides we can kill in self defence anyway.

Also meat industry provides a nice little cover up for sadist activities. Do you think the companies give a shit what happens to the animals? I doubt it, as long as they dont lose money they are happy, and so the sadists can torture the animals. Who would become worker in those places anyway if one reason may well be CoS they are sadistic. Im not saying they all are but its one most obvious possibility. The meat eating also enhances the impression of animals as inferior and therefore free pickings to do what we want with including torturing

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#26621 - 07/02/09 12:05 AM Re: Vegetarian, The Moral Argument. [Re: Atralux Lucis]
Jake999 Offline
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Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 2230
Sorry. They'll have to take my burger from my cold, dead hand.

Wait... can't be doing a on liner here...

Thank you Charlton Heston.
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#26629 - 07/02/09 01:10 AM Re: Vegetarian, The Moral Argument. [Re: Atralux Lucis]
6Satan6Archist6 Offline
stalker


Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 2509
I like how you compeltely dodged the questions posed to you by fakepropht...

Moving onward. The gases? If we don't control the population i.e. kill the animals their numbers will increase uncontrolled and create even more of the gas you speak of. Not a really sound argument.

I assume you are speaking of methane gas. I have an idea of the problems caused by methane, but I wonder if you do. Can you elaborate why the gases are a problem, or are you just repeating an argument you heard from someone else?

Tofu is alright, if flavored properly, but I will not give up meat for it. Don't hold your breath for everyone else to either. I can argue that it is not neccessary to process the soy beans into tofu when we can just get the same protiens and nutrients from animals.

And yes there are still carnivores that would like to eat us. As fakepropht pointed out the animal populations would increase and eventually be competing for the same food resources as the rest of us.

To tack onto that scenario, if we stopped killing animals for food we would also have to stop killing all the animals (because it is morally wrong, right). This includes other animals not normally killed for food, like wolves, cougars, bears etc. Those will definitely try and eat you, and as I already said, wouldn't think twice about it. Not to mention that in extreme cases people have been none to eat each other to avoid starvation, as well as for fun and in some places it is the norm.

Yes there are probably instances where companies cover up animal torture etc. in order to protect their bottom line. There are also instances where companies cover up the mistreatment of people in order to protect their bottom line. I am not saying that any of this is "right", but it is a fact of life. People will do what they have to do to protect their livelihood.

Again none of that changes the fact that the animals are ultimately killed to serve a purpose. It is not as if they are tortured then thrown away, people eat them. People eating animals is also a fact of life.

I think the most obvious reason one might work in a slaughterhouse is not because they are sadistic, but because it is a job. My mom worked in a chicken slaughterhouse. She did not get a job there because she was a sadist, rather it was literally the only place around she could get a job. Most of the people in that area worked in that slaughterhouse.

In a sense animals are inferior to us. Animals haven't built vehicles capable of landing on the moon. Animals don't write poetry or produce other great works of art. A monkey, or ape, that has been trained to finger paint doesn't count so don't even try to go there.

Don't mistake that to mean that I think it is ok to torture animals. Which is what this thread seems to have turned into. The purpose of this thread is to discuss the pro's and con's of eating meat, not debating animal torture.

All that said I still maintain PETA stands for People Eating Tasty Animals.
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#26641 - 07/02/09 04:12 AM Re: Vegetarian, The Moral Argument. [Re: 6Satan6Archist6]
Dimitri Offline
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Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3138
Vegetarianism, the moral argument.
Many vegans say they only eat vegetables so animals aren't killed. I can't say it's a non-valid moral, but it's one who is at war with natural instincts.
Normally I don't care what someone is eating, but only eating vegetables isn't THAT healthy and the risk of having illnesses related to protein and vitamins deficiencies is quite raised.
Humans are omnivores, our dental structure, intestines and metabolism proof so. Only focusing on 1 aspect of our "diet" isn't healthy. Maybe it is good for several days or a week or 2, but not an entire life.

There must be variation in what humans eat. Flesh contains proteins WHICH CAN ONLY BE FOUND IN MEAT and are very important to keep the body functioning at maximum level. Not having enough of these means the person getting complications and start getting "sick" (bit exaggerated but still..).
Also, most vegetarians don't seem to know that becoming one (or being one..whatever) is joined by knowing what to eat on quite a high level. Most simply focus on the vitamins and 8 necessary proteins for intake to remain "healthy". Well fuck it, it's not sufficient. The body also needs certain minerals only found sufficiently in meat and or animal products (Fe, Mg,..).
Of Course one can buy supplements in the next apothecary, but that's a money waster and the doses vary within the pills. To the ignorant vegetarian who thinks taking enough of them certain diseases will follow by an overdose of vitamins (yes, to blow away the curtain about vitamins being healthy all the time.. they can be serious fuck-ups).

To conclude: someone being a vegan is fine by me, although I don't like the argument some have to make their decision valid.
Even so, there are more arguments against vegetarianism then arguments for it. And the best part is, those against make the most sense.. But that's just own opinion.


To AL:
Ever heard about natural balances? If a population get's too big a mass-extinction will follow to achieve order again in which every individual of the population will have enough supplies to survive..
Helping animals from extinction? I guess you feel bad what happened to the mammoths, dinosaurs and other prehistoric beings.
Humans are just fulfilling their role here on earth, what's the deal an animal specie vanishing of the earth? What kind of "mind-blowing purpose" did it have to us? The only thing I can come up with is the specie being placed in a zoo for us to stare at...

 Quote:
There are no other carnivores that would attempt to eat us and besides we can kill in self defence anyway.

Jump in a shark-infested ocean, go camp in Africa between the lions and other carnivores and if you survive that come tell me there aren't animals who would attempt to eat us. Hungry remains hungry for animals and they aren't picky about eating a human or another animal if they had to choice.


Edited by Dimitri (07/02/09 04:22 AM)
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#26649 - 07/02/09 07:07 AM Re: Vegetarian, The Moral Argument. [Re: Dimitri]
Atralux Lucis Offline
pledge


Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 79
Loc: Australia
Just one point: So because we dont eat meat we are now immediatly prey for other animals. Well just stupid. As I recall if a lion came at me I dont think eating a cow will save me which Is the belief you all seem to support.


Also we dont need to keep populations in check ourselves. I thought there was a food chain you mentioned where some other animal will eat the lower one. If we arent eating other animals something else will replace our position obviously. The idea of over population is garbage. There are other predators to keep the whole system in check. As we all know humans do more harm to animal populations than good anyways as we are killing off important animal groups to the ecosystem (eg sharks and whales) and then other groups maybe not so important.

And then on the point of superiority. So because we build roads, have what we call intelligence, conquer the world in our eyes and so we are superior. Well I dont think ive seen an animal suffering from moral dilemma. Or going out of its way to cause suffering on a another being. My father often says that 'nothing changes just the décor' and really its the same for us. We live, we do pointless things and die then nothing we do makes any difference to us. Animals do exactly the same. So theres no point saying we are superior because in the end we do exactly the same just with more detail as a side effect of our intelligence.


I think really humanity is just too lazy to stop eating meat. We cause suffering and death to animals soley because we like to eat them which seems a pretty poor excuse. Murder is considered bad, but then when we eat the victim its seen as terrible, disgusting and what-not. Why is this so? just another contradiction in this argument of whether eating meat is bad. Eating animals is fine but eating humans rather than wasting their corpses is bad.

I have gone in a complete circle and made a bunch of arguments that can easily be used against me but I cant be bothered thinking about arguments at the moment so Ill just leave all that crap I probably typed for everyone else to bitch at each other because thats all alot of you tend to do.
Thanks for the argument though, I must say you all provide more intelligent and occasionally unintelligent conversation than most I talk with.

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#26653 - 07/02/09 07:51 AM Re: Vegetarian, The Moral Argument. [Re: Atralux Lucis]
Nemesis Offline
senior member


Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2175
Loc: US
 Quote:
Environmentally impractical because of firstly gases produced by livestock (we encourage its breeding) and land usage economically.


So instead, you would have land used for livestock, converted into veggie farms? Do you have any idea how large farms would have to be, to supply billions of vegans with food? Quadruple the size they are now, at least. Nice try on the "land usage" argument.

Some info on methane:

Methane is the most reduced form of carbon in the air. It is also the simplest and most abundant hydrocarbon and organic gas. Methane is a greenhouse gas that absorbs thermal-IR radiation 25 times more efficiently, molecule for molecule, than does CO2...Methane slightly enhances ozone formation in photochemical smog, but because the incremental ozone produced from methane is small in comparison with ozone produced from other hydrocarbons, methane is a relatively unimportant component of photochemical smog. In the stratosphere, methane has little effect on the ozone layer, but its chemical decomposition provides one of the few sources of stratospheric water vapor.

Methane is produced in anaerobic environments, where methanogeic bacteria consume organic material and excrete methane. Ripe anaerobic environments include rice paddies, landfills, wetlands and the digestive tracts of cattle, sheep and termites. Methane is also produced in the ground from the decomposition of fossilized carbon. The resulting natural gas, which contains more than 90% methane, often leaks to the air or is harnessed and used for energy. Methane is also produced from bio-mass burning, fossil-fuel combustion, and atmospheric chemical reactions.


Taken from "Atmospheric Pollution: History, Science and Regulation" by Mark Z. Jacobson.

What you have here is a study that finds methane to be beneficial, in its natural amounts. The facts and figures skewed by organizations like PETA serve only to further their own ends. That all methane is BAD and it's all caused by RAISING LIVESTOCK.

If you would rather see veggie farms covering the planet, think about the biomass that will have to be burned, a methane-producing action, and you'll find that it will either be even with the amount produced in raising livestock, or even surpass it. One trade-off for another.

Sounds like a sound argument to me. Not.
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