Vegan

firefinga

New member
I am a human.

I think the capacity of a species, in general, to suffer pain is more relevant here than the ability to write.

Although I would definitely argue that if there are plants which can write, we should not eat them.
Depends on what they write. If it's crap, they should be eaten. And then, there is the question of carnivorous plants.
 
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Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
There's a ton of evidence that plants react to environmental stress, disease and trauma in a broadly similar way that animals do. And plenty of species have been shown to communicate with other plants, including (I think - need to check this) not necessarily even other individuals of the same species.

I took hunting to imply a stressful demise for an animal. So, in that regard, I thought hunting would be worse than 'humanely slaughtered' (which for some reason makes me think of respectable alcohol stupors lol) animals.
I think how humane 'humane slaughter' really is depends a great deal on the species in question - it might be a lot different for a cow and a hen, for instance. I guess a bolt through the head is probably going to be pretty quick in and of itself but mammals aren't stupid, they know what's going on and can hear and smell the distress from the other animals around them. Compare that to a rabbit or pheasant or whatever that gets annihilated by some buckshot coming out of nowhere - I know how I'd rather go.

(And yes, there are certainly un-humane slaughter methods too - including, let's face it, kosher and halal slaughter. That said, I'm very suspicious of people who make a big fuss about these methods but aren't vegetarian or vegan themselves; I mean, if you cared that much about animals, you presumably wouldn't be eating them at all.)

Regarding how animals live while they're actually in the wild versus on a farm, well who can say with any certainty? Wild animals certainly suffer from predation by animals other than humans, as well as disease and parasites, cold, hunger and so on - but all these things would be going on whether humans were also hunting them or not. In fact many animals have far lower rates of predation precisely because humans have killed their natural predators, and in some cases it's necessary to keep their numbers down artificially to stop the local ecosystem getting (further) out of balance. In cases like that, it almost seems obscene not to eat them.
 

you

Active member
I am a human.

I think the capacity of a species, in general, to suffer pain is more relevant here than the ability to write.

Although I would definitely argue that if there are plants which can write, we should not eat them.
The point I'm making is that the ethics of veganism are based on an arbitrary distinction. One does not eat animals because they have a complex biological system that resembles our own. However, plants that have a biological system and concomitant reactions to the world quite dissimilar from our own can, under the vegan premise, be eaten ethically. I question why something that resembles oneself should be granted more rights to life than another organism that is very different. This is why I brought up the bigot-fascist style end point - to only recognize rights in others who are identical to oneself. To say that the ability to 'suffer pain' is more relevant falls into the very anthropocentric view I feel veganism succumbs to - It is to say 'I won't eat things that react to the world in the same manner as I'. But just because something does not 'feel pain' in the same way as I shouldn't have any bearing on the ethics of killing and eating it.

Veganism, for me, has a kind of waterfall ethics (an arbitrary drop-off). Eating anything animal that bears a basic biological resemblance to the human is taken to be unethical but a complex plant, because of its difference to basic animal biology, is not awarded the same rights. It makes me uncomfortable.
 

you

Active member
Conversely, I don't think there should be a sliding scale of ethics based on remove from the human or biological complexity. I appreciate there is, were one to follow the latter an ethical eating grey area that vitiates veganism a touch - so consuming an amoeba might be regarded as more ethical than consuming a venus fly-trap....

EDIT - I'm tempted to say all eating is unethical. And categorical partitions that seek to find an ethical diet inevitably fall into a problematic anthropocentrism of granting more right to organism's like us.

Tea - dig out those studies for me. And re. non vegetarian Halal critics - yes, this falls into the same camp as 'happy chickens', for me.
 
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john eden

male pale and stale
The point I'm making is that the ethics of veganism are based on an arbitrary distinction. One does not eat animals because they have a complex biological system that resembles our own. However, plants that have a biological system and concomitant reactions to the world quite dissimilar from our own can, under the vegan premise, be eaten ethically. I question why something that resembles oneself should be granted more rights to life than another organism that is very different. This is why I brought up the bigot-fascist style end point - to only recognize rights in others who are identical to oneself. To say that the ability to 'suffer pain' is more relevant falls into the very anthropocentric view I feel veganism succumbs to - It is to say 'I won't eat things that react to the world in the same manner as I'. But just because something does not 'feel pain' in the same way as I shouldn't have any bearing on the ethics of killing and eating it.

Veganism, for me, has a kind of waterfall ethics (an arbitrary drop-off). Eating anything animal that bears a basic biological resemblance to the human is taken to be unethical but a complex plant, because of its difference to basic animal biology, is not awarded the same rights. It makes me uncomfortable.
My point is that there is nothing wrong with recognising that humans are humans and have human reactions to things. Arbitrary or not.

Also the inverted commas here make you look like a wrong un':

To say that the ability to 'suffer pain' is more relevant falls into the very anthropocentric view I feel veganism succumbs to - It is to say 'I won't eat things that react to the world in the same manner as I'. But just because something does not 'feel pain' in the same way as I shouldn't have any bearing on the ethics of killing and eating it.
I don't think the difference between chopping up a mushroom and chopping up a lamb is arbitrary. And even if it is, I don't think I mind.

There's a very odd purism seeping into this thread.

People have to eat something and of course their choices will be based on all sorts of things - availability, economics, taste, nutrition, ethics. They will make these choices based on rational and irrational criteria. And there will be arguments about which is which.

Humane slaughter is obviously something that can be improved on (as can "free range" environments). But we have the capacity to do that through science, technology and from our (arguably entirely misplaced and terrible) empathy for our fellow living creatures.

I'm not even vegetarian let alone vegan.
 
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firefinga

New member
EDIT - I'm tempted to say all eating is unethical.
this reminds me of this late 60s early 70s tech-utopism connected with human space exploration. Futurists back then suggested that scientifically produced astronaut food is the way into the future. For many reasons, it wasn't.
 

you

Active member
My point is that there is nothing wrong with recognising that humans are humans and have human reactions to things. Arbitrary or not.

I don't think the difference between chopping up a mushroom and chopping up a lamb is arbitrary. And even if it is, I don't think I mind.
'recognising that humans are humans and have human reactions to things' - this is what I'm drawing attention to, but just because we have human reactions does not make them ethical. Isn't this the WWF issue - humans like furry 'cute' animals and so they receive more support and attention than an equally endangered reptile or invertebrate (that, might - to pre-empt Tea's quip - at least meet us half way in terms of ensuring a further generation).
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
On a technical point: chopping up a mushroom is like chopping up an apple (i.e not like chopping up an apple tree - or a lamb). It's a disposal organ produced by the organism for reproduction.
 

jenks

thread death
I have been thinking about this and, in the end, there seems to be an awful lot of fine words to justify continuing to eat animals because, you know, like, everything is alive, so where do we draw the line? And by that same reasoning, why can't we eat each other - why draw that arbitrary line at animals?

I'd rather there was less pain and suffering on my plate - that's my choice, i'm not asking anyone to get involved, i'm not looking to convert anyone else nor tell anyone how to live but I'm certainly not going to start arguing the toss about the difference between a cow and a beansprout.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
arguing the toss about the difference between a cow and a beansprout.
you's mr spock schtick (i fail to understand you irrational humans) isn't the strongest part of his routine imo.
 

john eden

male pale and stale
"Stabbing someone to death and walking on grass - is there really any difference? Surely it is just human sentimentality to suggest so."
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
you can aspire to being more than a gadfly you. dont demean yourself.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Tea - dig out those studies for me.
In a natural forest of British Columbia, paper birch and Douglas fir grow together in early successional forest communities. They compete with each other, but our work shows that they also cooperate with each other by sending nutrients and carbon back and forth through their mycorrhizal networks.

e360: And they can tell when one needs some extra help versus the other, is that correct?

Simard: That’s right. We’ve done a bunch of experiments trying to figure out what drives the exchange. Keep in mind that it’s a back and forth exchange, so sometimes the birch will get more and sometimes the fir will get more. It depends on the ecological factors that are going on at the time.
https://e360.yale.edu/features/exploring_how_and_why_trees_talk_to_each_other
 
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