Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christianity and Speciesism

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speciesism:

"...The term is mostly used by animal rights advocates, who argue that it is irrational or morally wrong to regard sentient beings as objects or property..."

As always, one must answer more than one question on the issue in order to evaluate whether or not this is Shocker...

* do the scriptures indicate a stance on speciesism?

* is that position morally correct?

* what is the historic posture of "The Church" on the matter? Is that morally reprehensible?

I suggest that speciesism is clearly taught in the scriptures:

Ge 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
Ge 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Men were to herd animals, kill them and eat them, as well as offer them to God.

Paul specifically says that a provision that appears to be intended to legislate kindness to animals was actually always intended as a precept for seeing that preachers were provided for, in exchange for their preaching:

1Co 9:
3 ¶ Mine answer to them that do examine me is this,
4 Have we not power to eat and to drink?
5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?
6 Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?
7 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?
8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?
9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?
10 Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.
11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?

Note Paul's rhetorical question in verse 9: "Doth God take care for oxen?"

Apparently, Paul thinks not.

So I think we should get the impression that Paul would not have any qualms about oxen being raised in a CAFO ("Concentrated Animal Farming Operation").

Historically, consequently, the Church has never had any apparent concern with "animal rights." Jewish wisdom literature seems to take the mandate to apply to animals:

Proverbs 12:10 A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

So the scriptures are ambivalent about whether God cares for oxen or not, but I think we should. We should take our cues here more from Proverbs than from Paul.

31 comments:

Bea Elliott said...

One need not become an "animal rights activist" - Simple compassion is universally understood in all religions. And the truth remains in many other verses of Christian bibles and in other religious doctrins: No one will betray their faith if they refuse to kill or eat animals. No religion (save the bushmen tribes) mandates the slaughter of animals to satisfy "gOd".

WoundedEgo said...

Hi, Bea. Thanks for dropping by.

Are you familiar enough with Christianity to opine whether or not you think that it has contributed to or been dampening to the mistreatment of animals? Does that come up in your animal advocacy discussions?

Thanks.

Bea Elliott said...

Hello, I was raised "Catholic" - and over the last 40 or so years have read teachings of other religions. I think I've seen enough in most to believe that as a general rule they support a patriarchal view of "domination". And yes, that definately influences not only the treatment of nonhumans but women and all "others".

Many animal rights activists follow Janism which advocates to harm none... There is also the Essenes - who would persue a course of nonviolence as well.

WoundedEgo said...

These are three articles from "Christianity Today" on speciesism. I have not read them yet:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/search.html?query=speciesism&x=11&y=8

WoundedEgo said...

Bea, it appears that Jainism is not a humanist religion but rather involves metaphysical ideas such as reincarnation:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jainism

Is that where you are coming from?

Thanks.

Bea Elliott said...

Hi... I'm not coming from any particular doctrine or belief except this one: No one will betray their faith if they refuse to kill or eat animals. Every religion provides an "out" for doing such. I don't subscribe to philosophies that attempt to use a "tradition" or an ancient mandate from "gOd" to justify killing. Do you?

WoundedEgo said...

I used to be a "true believer" in Jesus but am now an agnostic. My thinking has certainly been influenced by my culture and religion. However, I'm trying very hard to be objective and reasonable. It's hard. I try very hard to consider the biological factors and whatever else is evidence based.

I have zero interest in Eastern religions involving reincarnation and what have you, but fully respect non-metaphysical traditions, such as I sometimes see in Buddhism. To the degree that the guy is worshiped, I'm not interested.

Okay, having said that, I see no biological or scientific reason to be a vegan. Animals eat animals and I am an animal. Nor do I have qualms about humane mastery of animals, such as riding a horse, milking a goat or raising fish in a pond for food.

I DO very much recoil at pigs raised "cradle-to-grave" in two foot wide pens. That, as someone said, "disrespects the pigness of the pig."

In my original post, I tried to show that "the Bible" seems to have some sayings that are humane, some about mankind being over the animals, using them in various ways, and at least one instance of someone making a very callous statement discounting concern for animals as irrelevant to God and hence believers. I suggested that that last position is NOT an appropriate guide.

My hope is to encourage people to SEE the harm that "the apostle Paul's" words could have in encouraging harmful disrespect for animals and their personal needs.

I'm concerned as well that Darwinian ideas are contributing to gross exploitation and dangerous manipulations of animals and the whole environment.

In other words, I'm probing into the ideas that shape our interaction with animals.

Jainism, based as it is on what is clearly superstition (reincarnation, etc) is not the answer. It presumes that a pig might be one's long dead ancestor, which I can't begin to take seriously.

Ideas, whether they be scientific, religious, or drug induced, all have consequences. I want to hold these connections up to the light so we can have a good look at them and decide if they are helpful or not.

I appreciate your contribution to the discussion.

Bea Elliott said...

Hi! I appreciate that you are objectively seeking a "truth". I am not "religious" but consider myself "spiritual". I am definately a "non theist". My respect for others stems in the very basic golden rule: how would I like to be treated? This applies to my interaction with nonhumans as well.

It's good that you acknowledge the "pigness" of the pig. But your reasons for invalidating veganism confuses me. You say you have not objection to harming animals because they harm each other. Is this the criteria you would use for all your actions? Animals breed with daughters, sons, mothers, etc. Animals don't wear clothing... or brush their teeth - To say it's okay to do something as a human because a nonhuman does the act seems ill advised.

Furthermore, regarding "food" - animals who are predators can kill with their jaw and claw strength... and also eat the flesh raw. If man was intended to eat meat - wouldn't we have this ability too?

I think bibles have done a great deal to secure the interests of "shepherds" and "cattlemen". In my mind the edicts to sacrifice certain animals came by way of kings who wished to sell livestock. It's odd that nearly every religion has these "rites" in place.

But the most incongruant thing about a deity creating specific beings that were meant to be killed and eaten is what kind of "god" would create these "beings" in a way in which they could also suffer. No harm in consuming fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds... As Eden was created for.

WoundedEgo said...

I am not an anthropologist but I am not aware of any group of humans anywhere in the planet or history that has naturally practiced eating only plants, regardless of religious tradition. Moses didn't invent meat eating. We have predator eyes and are well adapted for hunting. Our systems are well suited to digesting animal products. In the absence of animal products, it is difficult to get all of the nutrition that our bodies require. Eating animals is typical of mammals. It is yummy to my tummy. My conscience does not revolt.

If yours does, then by all means, abstain. I'm not at all "against" someone being a vegan, though I would be surprised to see a wolf become one.

>>>what kind of "god" would create these "beings" in a way in which they could also suffer. No harm in consuming fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds... As Eden was created for.

I have long ago despaired of trying to speculate on "why" questions. I can't see any reason that *anything* should exist, least of all in such a symphony of chaos and order. It makes my stomach hurt trying to think about it! But clearly, animals eat animals, so if there is a design, then the design includes the illogical animal-eating-animal feature. Religion didn't tell the Venus Fly Trap to eat flies.

>>>My respect for others stems in the very basic golden rule: how would I like to be treated? This applies to my interaction with nonhumans as well.

The golden rule refers to humans:

Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that **men** should do to you, do ye even so to **them**: for this is the law and the prophets.

It seems disproportionate when applied to a cat or a chicken.

I don't mind disagreeing on this matter. I think we are in *strong* agreement that a view that treats an animal less than as an animal is bad. Treating an animal as less than human is okay with me. I'm a bit of a speciesist in one sense, but a respecter of all species in another. For one thing, this is my species! I don't wish frogs any harm, but if it is between humans and frogs, I'm with the humans.

Bea Elliott said...

Hello again... This might disprove much of what we think we know about man as herbivore: The Comparative Anatomy of Eating
http://www.scribd.com/doc/94656/The-Comparative-Anatomy-of-Eating

I understand your POV in regards to holding "your" species higher. My intention is not to say that man should sacrifice himself when pitted against a raging bull or lion. But what we are discussing here is not that kind of desperation plot. There's not a choice of "us" or "them" when it comes to choosing to eat a chicken or not...

If one respects all Others who live - I don't see how this is disproportionate when considering nonhumans. We have one common denominator with other sentient beings - we all wish to live. And it seems that if man does not have to cause harm, there is no justification if he does.

It's like M Vick. Many feel he was cruel torturing and killing dogs for fun. But when/if one examines their own diet - and establishes that we do not "need" to eat meat... Doing so is done only for pleasure - The "yummy" factor. If people choose this course I only wish they would own up to the idea that they are not "humane" or "compassionate" or "kind" at all.

My problem is most wish to act one way, yet present themselves in another. It is moral dissonance.

WoundedEgo said...

>>>...If people choose this course I only wish they would own up to the idea that they are not "humane" or "compassionate" or "kind" at all.

Again, your golden rule requires that in order to be "humane" and "compassionate" then one must treat others, regardless of whether they are a pig or a cow, as we ourselves would be treated. This is not a shared value.

>>>My problem is most wish to act one way, yet present themselves in another. It is moral dissonance.

Not at all. It is dissonant with your alleged moral system, not with mine.

The natural world has an order that should and must be respected. Contempt for it will destroy it. Your morality seems to come from some idea of "spirituality" - a form of the golden rule that, I say, is unnatural, and unsustainable. In the natural world, animals, and humans (without philosophers around), eat animals.

There is increasing info that plants have emotions. This will not influence my eating them, whether for pleasure or survival. They are my food. I don't castigate my dog for eating animals (unless he gets into my chickens!)

Question: If indeed plants are found to have emotions, as science is starting to lean towards, will you quit eating them?

Bea Elliott said...

How disappointing... I thought there for a while that we would be past the point of toying with the idea that "plants feel pain". Wish I had a nickle for every time it's used as a contention point...

It seems that everyone wants to know where a vegan draws "the line". Is it with "fish", or "insects" ... or "plants", etc. This "line" for me can be drawn where I make all reasonable effort to prevent damage to another. I draw the line at the cost of my own physical wellbeing.

I too have hierarchal prejudices. Of course I see the "value" in a frog's life over a beetle or "bug". BUT - I certainly wouldn't go out of my way to cause this insect harm.

My "line" is drawn in pencil... But I'm very certain on the general location of where it
"ought" to be... The navigation of this "line" gets more vague as we travel away from it.

Plants are not within my moral sphere of concern... They, lacking a central nervous system, are alien to my perception and sympathy... BUT - If it was shown that they do have awareness... If it is shown that they are "subjects of a life". Then yes, I still would eat them anyway - as it would be a matter of survival.

It's not my goal to eliminate man, or myself for that matter! I don't say that man will or can ever end *All* suffering - BUT I do believe it is part of our evolutionary progress to square up with nature.

"Animals eat animals." Regardless of what takes place (without philosophers), the truth is that if man continues to reamain around, so too will his endless thirst for knowledge and enlightenment. There is no doubt, we will either solve the ambiguity
of man's role in regards to "Others", or die trying. That's how important it is! To say it's all been "settled" is blindsided.

In just the recent blink of history - look what things have been redefined because of
evolutionary, critical thinking... These new concepts challenged what was the ancient "natural order" of things; Such as human slavery, children & women as chattel, and
other geocentric views. We weren't born perfect, or with all the knowledge at hand... We evolve our ideas as circumstances demand and permit. Our ideas regarding our relationship with other species isn't written in stone on any tablet... Or carved into the
wood of Noah's Ark. We are re-writing our relationship daily.

This "cycle" you hold as the standard, what you view as the "natural order", might have had it's time and "purpose" once... But I believe the more we think on it... and ponder the pro's and cons - Even beyond our own spiritual growth, nature will
mandate the "timeline" towards a plant based diet.

As we run out of resources, a plant based diet will become a matter of survival.

So, aside from animal sentience... Taking into account the expanding population and dwindling resources - It's quite imperative that we direct ourselves towards some reasonable answers...

I think it is a good thing for man to survive... To learn and prosper. He will not do so while anchored in animal agriculture. Our planet will not sustain us on a meat based diet. Furthermore man will always attempt to find just and equitable solutions. Animal agriculture (animal killing) violates his attempts at
"fairness". More people know this now than 5 years ago... 20 years ago... etc. We will eventually evolve beyond the unnecessary killing. The Venus flytrap knows no other way... Man does.

WoundedEgo said...

I would like to address the sustainability of raising animals. You believe it to be unsustainable. I would say that, done right, it is amazingly sustainable. If you maintain animals, for example, their dropping are perfectly suited for renewing the soil and countering the effects of erosion. The alternative is the artificial production of fertilizers, or endless mechanical tilling, which are both petroleum based practices. There is a beautiful harmony between the animals and the vegetation on a small farm that has allowed humans to live in harmony with their environment since man first appeared.

Wild animals, if they are allowed to roam into your crops will just eat and run. But any and every flock gives you *amazingly* powerful fertilizer and soil conditioning.

Maybe one day we will, as CSN&Y said, "Get back to the garden" but I'm not holding my breath. I think if we get back to the family farm, we'll be doing okay. And so will the animals and our environment.

CAFOs and mono-culture farming are a pendulum shift too far in one direction. "Speciesism" is too far in the other, IMHO.

Bea Elliott said...

How disappointing... I thought there for a while that we would be past the point of toying with the idea that "plants feel pain". Wish I had a nickle for every time it's used as a contention point.

It seems that everyone wants to know where a vegan draws "the line". Is it with "fish", or "insects"... or "plants", etc. This "line" for me can be drawn where I make all reasonable effort to prevent damage to another. I draw the line at the cost of my own physical wellbeing.

I too have hierarchal prejudices. Of course I see the "value" in a frog's life over a beetle or "bug". BUT - I certainly wouldn't go out of my way to cause this insect harm. My "line" is drawn in pencil. But I'm very certain on the general location of where it "ought" to be. The navigation of this "line" gets more vague as we travel away from it.

Plants are not within my moral sphere of concern. They, lacking a central nervous system, are alien to my perception and sympathy. BUT - If it was shown that they do have awareness... If it is shown that they are "subjects of a life". Then yes, I still would eat them anyway as it would be a matter of survival.

Bea Elliott said...

It's not my goal to eliminate man, or myself for that matter! I don't say that man will or can ever end *All* suffering - BUT I do believe it is part of our evolutionary progress to square up with nature.

And just as an aside mention... If one truly cared about plants - They would also refrain from meat eating as 70% or so of vegetation is fed to animals to fatten them up for human consumption. One would still cause "less harm" by adopting a vegan diet.

"Animals eat animals." Regardless of what takes place (without philosophers), the truth is that if man continues to reamain around, so too will his endless thirst for knowledge and enlightenment. There is no doubt, we will either solve the ambiguity of man's role in regards to "Others", or die trying. That's how important it is! To say it's all been "settled" is blindsided.

In just the recent blink of history,look what things have been redefined because of evolutionary, critical thinking... These new concepts challenged what was the ancient "natural order" of things; Such as human slavery, children & women as chattel, and other geocentric views. We weren't born perfect, or with all the knowledge at hand... We evolve our ideas as circumstances demand and permit. Our ideas regarding our relationship with other species isn't written in stone on any tablet... Or carved into the wood of Noah's Ark. We are re-writing our relationship daily.

This "cycle" you hold as the standard, what you view as the "natural order", had it's time and "purpose" once... But I believe the more we think on it... and ponder all the pro's and cons -Even beyond our own spiritual growth, nature will mandate the "timeline" towards a plant based diet. As we run out of resources, a plant based diet will become a matter of survival.

So, aside from animal sentience... Taking into account the expanding population and dwindling resources - It's quite imperative that we direct ourselves towards some reasonable answers... I think it is a good thing for man to survive... To learn and prosper. He will not do so while anchored in animal agriculture. Our planet will not sustain us on a meat based diet.

And these "sustainable" small, family farms that you mention... There are enough of those to provide "meat" to a population equal to Rhode Island.

Furthermore man will always attempt to find just and equitable solutions. Animal agriculture (animal killing) violates his attempts at "fairness". More people know this now than 5 years ago... 20 years ago... etc. We will eventually evolve beyond the unnecessary killing. The Venus flytrap knows no other way... Man does. And that makes all the difference in the world.

WoundedEgo said...

I believe you are saying that we are evolving beyond nature. That is, I think you agree that humans are naturally omnivores but that maybe we should use our evolving brains to become vegans. I'm not as anxious to defy nature as I am to harmonize with it.

You also lump this idea in with advancing beyond human slavery, as if slavery were a feature of nature as well. Perhaps it is, as there are more humans in slavery today than at any time in history - mostly sex slaves. But slavery does not exist in the animal world. It is a human innovation. It also kinda goes against the golden rule!

Again, CAFOs are not sustainable, but integrated farms *are* sustainable, and, over the long haul, more productive than the huge monoculture farms:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/dustbowl/

Do plants have emotions? A central nervous system may not be relevant to an organism that communicates and feels chemically. Obviously, my grape vines know when they have something to hold onto, which way the sun is shining and for how many hours per day, the temperature of the soil, and whether or not it has been through a freeze...

Bea Elliott said...

No, what I'm saying is we should be elvolving *with* nature. I believe there's enough scientific evidence that says we were opportunistic omnivores. We also ate a lot of carrion along the way too... And even "ate our own species"... Doesn't mean we need continue with any of it.

Sure more slavery exists today - A result of reducing the living into commodities. Animal agriculture is the first blueprint for that hierarchal structure. When flesh is traded for greed - doesn't really matter if it's man flesh or dog flesh or cow flesh.

All living beings possess a life - If one believes it is their "right" to steal that life for money, they will - And they do so by treating humans like "animals". If one wishes to change things - Strike at the roots.

Of course I don't believe in "mono culture" - but in order to feed 6.8billion or so people on a "meat based diet" - It is totally necessary. Do you really believe that less than 2% of the U.S. population can feed "the world" meat without cafos? 75% of "pig farms" are now under several feet of snow... If it weren't for these "warehouses" - these pigs would freeze... Same holds true for "egg chickens" and dairy cows. All these animals were put in climates and habitats they were never meant to be in... Animal agriculture did that!

A meat based diet requires nearly 3 acres of land per person - Someone living on a plant based diet needs less than half an acre... Come back in 50 years and lets see how "sustainable" a meat based diet is with 10 billion humans.

The methane issues are also of concern... Livestock's Long Shadow http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/a0701e/a0701e00.HTM reported that animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of global warming... This is "old" news now - The most recent study put it at 51%: http://51percent.org/

And again... if you care about "plants" - any meat based diet causes much more harm to them because your animals must eat the plants at a minimum 6 - 1 ratio.

http://www.nonviolenceunited.org/veganvideo.html

WoundedEgo said...

Cannibalism is not natural and when practiced, Nemesis retaliates.

>>>Of course I don't believe in "mono culture" - but in order to feed 6.8billion or so people on a "meat based diet" - It is totally necessary.

Lions are on a meat-based diet because they eat only meat. Humans are omnivores and eat a balanced diet.

>>>Do you really believe that less than 2% of the U.S. population can feed "the world" meat without cafos?

This is a straw man. I'm not advocating a "meat diet." That is unnatural for an omnivore.

Until a hundred years ago, 99% of the US population was sustained on family farms. As soon as we created exploitative wheat monoculture farms we turned the land into a desert.

Bea Elliott said...

"Cannibalism is not natural"... That would depend on who you ask - Many historians believe the practice was a lot more common than not... And besides a pig, (whose organs are so similar to us) are eaten - And firemen say they eschew pork after smelling human flesh... Pigs and people - They are indistinquishable.

After all, it's not like nonhumans have a different color blood, or don't have brain tissue, lungs, hearts, etc... We all have "skin", "hair", eyes, mouths... The only thing different is "species".

"Lions are on a meat-based diet because they eat only meat. Humans are omnivores and eat a balanced diet." Humans are omnivores by choice - And can thrive without the flesh... I've yet to hear of anyone rushed to the hospital for any vegetable related disease... Heart attacks, stroke, diabetes are all attributed to a meat based diet.

Currently, we consume twice as much "meat" as we did 2 decades ago... Which was also 5 times more than 50 years ago... I mean a meat "based" diet as opposed to a plant "based" diet.

Yes... a hundred years ago was a long, long time ago - There were less than 1.5 billion people on the planet... Resources will eventually run out if we continue to feed animals to feed humans. Just the math alone shows we cannot sustain more carbon beings. Do you think the world is willing to pay $70 for a "free range" turkey? Or $25/lb for "grass fed" beef? Odds are 95%of the population will still desire it's "cheap" burgers... At the cost to the animal, the planet and human health.

We have to shift away from this course... People who advocate a vegan diet do just that.

WoundedEgo said...

>>>...Many historians believe the practice was a lot more common than not..

"Many historians" is rather vague. I'll top that with the equally vague "but most historians agree!" :)

I think you are attempting to portray this as an either or... a "false dilemma." One need not argue against the current American diet which, truth be told, is largely corn. It is the corn that is killing us, albeit processed as meat products and such. If we quit subsidizing corn and made GMO, pesticides and such illegal, most of our problems would right themselves in no time.

Bea Elliott said...

And so we're still left with the unethical and speciesist practice of slaughtering billions of innocent, sentient beings - for absolutely no real "need" to do such.

All I'm trying to illustrate is that if we are doing so simply for the "yummy factor", then it is because of a "might makes right" doctrine.

We will obviously not "die" without eating animals... We eat them because we can - And because through indoctrination we believe they taste good. I lived this way for over 50 years... Believe or not, but tastebuds are pliable. My 6 foot+ husky husband (a former meat/potato man) can vouch for this as well.

It's all a choice - For some a simple question like "Is it right to force a being, who loves their life as much as I love mine, to become my next meal?" The more we ask ourselves this question, the more things will change for the better.

WoundedEgo said...

>>>And so we're still left with the unethical and speciesist practice of slaughtering billions of innocent, sentient beings - for absolutely no real "need" to do such.

It is "unethical" only if one considers it unnatural, **even if it is not absolutely necessary**. I don't deem it so. I don't live by your code. I'm not religiously condemned for killing an animal for food, even if I could have chosen to eat a potato. You would have to convince me that your piety is required of me by nature, not by "spiritual" concerns.

>>>All I'm trying to illustrate is that if we are doing so simply for the "yummy factor", then it is because of a "might makes right" doctrine.

The "yumminess" of meat is there because nature put it there. It didn't put it there for rocks since rocks are not my food.

>>>We will obviously not "die" without eating animals...

Some necessary food values are only found in meat, or are very difficult to get into a vegan diet.

>>>We eat them because we can - And because through indoctrination we believe they taste good.

This is patently false. The taste of meat is not a function of indoctrination. Sorry.

>>>I lived this way for over 50 years... Believe or not, but tastebuds are pliable. My 6 foot+ husky husband (a former meat/potato man) can vouch for this as well.

I agree that tastes change and can be acquired.

>>>It's all a choice - For some a simple question like "Is it right to force a being, who loves their life as much as I love mine, to become my next meal?" The more we ask ourselves this question, the more things will change for the better.

I have asked myself the question and come up with a different answer from you. Most people agree with me, not with you. I respect your conviction but do not wish to adopt your religion.

Bea Elliott said...

"I'm not religiously condemned for killing an animal for food" - At the end of the day, we are all "gOds" unto ourselves... You happen to be a "god" which desires to use sentient beings as "things" - I am a "god" who chooses to see them as having value unto themselves.

"nature put it there" - And of course "nature" put it there for any use that you see fit - And by all rights the "yummiest of meat" would be that of newborns... piglets and humans alike. If your stomach is the ruling factor - And the "product" is there - It's a good argument for being an ogre.

"Some necessary food values are only found in meat, or are very difficult to get into a vegan diet." You're kidding right? I take absolutely no "supplements" - Nor does my husband... We are both far healthier than any of our "meat eating" peers and healthier than our biological kin. Please... tell me what "food values are only found in meat"? B12 is the only thing harder to get - But if you eat organic fruits & veggies - and don't go crazy with "sanitizing" the food - You'll have no problems. One can also supplement or consume foods with yeast extracts (such as brewer's yeast). Not "difficult" at all...

The indoctrination of what we see as "food" definately begins the moment our parents open that first jar of "veal"... If it were "natural" to see dead animal flesh as "food" - we would all salivate at road kill...

My food choices aren't based on a "religious" belief but rather focused on an ethic of "peace". I sincerely don't believe we can ever achieve such while we needlessly slaughter billions of nonhumans.

"Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet. " Albert Einstein

"Most people agree with me" - Numbers? You are using a population to justify your ethics?

If one person is unkind to an animal it is considered to be cruelty, but where a lot of people are unkind to animals, especially in the name of commerce, the cruelty is condoned and, once large sums of money are at stake, will be defended to the last by otherwise intelligent people.
-Ruth Harrison

WoundedEgo said...

>>>At the end of the day, we are all "gOds" unto ourselves... You happen to be a "god" which desires to use sentient beings as "things" - I am a "god" who chooses to see them as having value unto themselves.

Why do you capitalize the O?

I see value in animals for many purposes, such as transportation, pulling a plow, fertilizing the ground, clearing shrubbery, companions, commercial opportunity and food.

>>>"nature put it there" - And of course "nature" put it there for any use that you see fit - And by all rights the "yummiest of meat" would be that of newborns... piglets and humans alike. If your stomach is the ruling factor - And the "product" is there - It's a good argument for being an ogre.

This is a straw man.

>>>...B12 is the only thing harder to get - But if you eat organic fruits & veggies - and don't go crazy with "sanitizing" the food - You'll have no problems. One can also supplement or consume foods with yeast extracts (such as brewer's yeast). Not "difficult" at all...

Well, my wife was a vegan for a period of time and found it very difficult and had to take supplements other than brewer's yeast.

>>>... If it were "natural" to see dead animal flesh as "food" - we would all salivate at road kill...

And if we were meant to fly, we would all have been born with wings?!!

>>My food choices aren't based on a "religious" belief but rather focused on an ethic of "peace". I sincerely don't believe we can ever achieve such while we needlessly slaughter billions of nonhumans.

I don't believe we can acheive it period. It is simply not on the table. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news!

>>>"Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet. " Albert Einstein

Not only are his beliefs irrelevant, but this is falsely attributed to Einstein. He didn't say this.

>>>...If one person is unkind to an animal it is considered to be cruelty, but where a lot of people are unkind to animals, especially in the name of commerce, the cruelty is condoned and, once large sums of money are at stake, will be defended to the last by otherwise intelligent people.
-Ruth Harrison

The cruelty of CAFOs is being condemned by omnivores like myself.

Bea Elliott said...

Mr. Wounded Ego says that "peace" just isn't on the table... Put away your daisies - Let's not even attempt it.

I argue with people all the time who find excuses to do nothing - because they can't do "everything". Just because we've always had rape and child abuse... And might always "have" in the future - Doesn't mean we condone (or ignore) it now.

"The cruelty of CAFOs is being condemned by omnivores like myself."

The cruelty of slaughterhouses is being condemned by vegans like me.

It is clear you see nonhumans... (or perhaps even certain "types" of humans(?) as "tools". Put here for use. I disagree. I think all who possess a life - own that life; And the living of it is, for the one to whom it is given.

If some big, bad "meanies" from another solar system came here for the purpose of "using" Earthlings -We would all argue for the right to our lives and freedom... No matter how inconsequential our lives would be to the brutes.

But, in a system of "might makes right" - I suppose we should all just fall in line...

I dislike using the word "gOd" - It has so many different interpretations. I capitalize the "O" to represent the enormity, and yet the insignificance to what my meaning is... Whose "gOd"? Whose bible? As I said before... we are all "gOds" of our own making.

If I could do only one thing to make my meaning more understood I would include a second "o". And then the word would better reflect what I mean: I mean "good". And it can never be "good" to kill needlessly.

WoundedEgo said...

I didn't say to do nothing. I said, that preventing animal consumption is not going to achieve world peace - just more "whirled peas." It is the fake quote from Einstein that imagines that world peace is a CAFO-closing away. It is not. I am willing to personally guarantee that it is not. You seem to have a bit of a habit of inventing a false dilemma.

Likewise, alien invaders is hypothetical of a decidedly unlikely reality. If it happens, we'll cross that bridge together. It sounds like they won't have much use for your give peace a chance ideas, either!

Bea Elliott said...

Preventing animal killing might not bring world peace... BUT it might. You really don't know for sure. And logic says - less killing is better. The more compassionate society we live in the better. It's just common sense that there is a possibility of a more peaceful world... And at "no cost".

Well, you are the first I've ever heard that says Eisnstein wasn't the author of that quote... Maybe you have some inside information that scholars don't?

In any case - Perhaps you know if Carl Sagan did or didn't say this?

Humans - who enslave, castrate, experiment on, and fillet other animals –
have had an understandable penchant for pretending animals do not feel pain.
A sharp distinction between humans and “animals” is essential if we are to bend them to our will, wear them, eat them - without any disquieting tinges of guilt or regret.”
Carl Sagan

That seems to be what you've done... You've managed to pretend that animals don't feel pain. Or at the very least, that their pain is not significant in relation to your frivolous pleasure. But, you have the "world" on your side - Congrats on having mob rule.

WoundedEgo said...

>>>Preventing animal killing might not bring world peace... BUT it might. You really don't know for sure.

Actually, I do know it as much as I know anything. Consider this joke about human nature:

******
A man was stranded on a deserted Pacific island for years. Finally one day a boat comes sailing into view, and the man frantically waves and draws the skipper’s attention. The boat comes near the island and the sailor gets out and greets the stranded man.

That's Where I Used To Go To Church After a while the sailor asks, “What are those three huts you have here?”

“Well, that’s my house there.”

“What’s that next hut?” asks the sailor.

“I built that hut to be my church.”

“What about the other hut?”

“Oh, that’s where I used to go to church.”
******

>>>And logic says - less killing is better. The more compassionate society we live in the better. It's just common sense that there is a possibility of a more peaceful world... And at "no cost".

This world is not designed around either sentimentalism nor logic. Nature has established the food chain and it clearly involves the consumption of one species by another.

>>>Well, you are the first I've ever heard that says Eisnstein wasn't the author of that quote... Maybe you have some inside information that scholars don't?

Yes. Einstein was too smart to say that. Do you have the citation?

>>>In any case - Perhaps you know if Carl Sagan did or didn't say this?
Humans - who enslave, castrate, experiment on, and fillet other animals –
have had an understandable penchant for pretending animals do not feel pain.
A sharp distinction between humans and “animals” is essential if we are to bend them to our will, wear them, eat them - without any disquieting tinges of guilt or regret.”
Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan's opinions are just that. If he speaks as a scientist, he must admit to the existence of species.

>>>That seems to be what you've done... You've managed to pretend that animals don't feel pain. Or at the very least, that their pain is not significant in relation to your frivolous pleasure.

My animals are the happiest on Earth and have precious little pain (though, life is full of pain).

>>>But, you have the "world" on your side - Congrats on having mob rule.

I wrote that most people agree with me in response to your invitation to opine. You wrote,

>>>For some a simple question like "Is it right to force a being, who loves their life as much as I love mine, to become my next meal?"

My point was that the answer "some" come up with is "no." My point was that "most" have, throughout all time, come up with the same answer that I have: "Yes."

The question has been addressed and answered to the satisfaction of most of us as "yes." For you and Sagan, it is "no." So don't. You are free not to.

Bea Elliott said...

1. I don't get the man/hut joke... sorry.

2. "Food chain" - a) Is that food "ball" & chain? b) "Chains" can be broken and often are...

3. "My animals" - yes... I forgot you were "gOd" and the things that matter you must be "yours".

4. "The question has been addressed"... I totally disagree -This question of animal "rights" is an entirely new concept - Hardly 5 years old.

Please don't bother to cite Singer... He was not for "rights" but was a utilitarian "welfarist".

This question of eating animals is relatively new. Never before have so many options been presented. There's the variety of foods to choose from... and the internet - Neither of these existed like they do now. Nor did the philosophies of Tom Regan and Gary Francione...

The "questions" (and answers) are far, far from over. :)

WoundedEgo said...

>>>1. I don't get the man/hut joke... sorry.

He was the only person on the island, but he still couldn't get along with the congregation!

>>>2. "Food chain" - a) Is that food "ball" & chain? b) "Chains" can be broken and often are...

"Chain" as in "related." But yes, nature's laws are not to be trifled with.

>>>3. "My animals" - yes... I forgot you were "gOd" and the things that matter you must be "yours".

Legally they are my property. But I also refer to "my wife" and she refers to "her" husband.

>>>4. "The question has been addressed"... I totally disagree...

The question of where man stands in the food chain is pretty well established.

>>>>..Nor did the philosophies of Tom Regan and Gary Francione...

Philosophers come and go but nature persists.

The dialog is good. Much must change, but the food chain is not one of them.

WoundedEgo said...

I love NPR radio programming, and love "This American Life" with Ira Glass. I happened upon this show the other day that deals with animals, and it so happens, with a woman photographer who photographs the food chain! It is fascinating stuff:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?sched=597