Debate:Eating meat is wrong

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[edit] Proposition

The consumption of meat products is morally wrong because it causes enormous suffering to sentient creatures and is causing disastrous harm to our planet.

"Meat" for the purposes of this debate is defined as the body parts of animals. These animals include pigs, cows, chickens, and other land mammals. It shall also include fish and sea creatures such as shrimp or oysters. For the purposes of this debate (purely for the sake of scope), "eating meat" shall not include the consumption of cheese or eggs, the wearing of leather, or the use of other animal byproducts (such as the cow hooves that compose the glue holding the wood joists of your house together).
"Morally wrong" means that the practice goes against personal ethical considerations. These may vary from individual to individual, but in my case refer to a system of intellectually-derived moral guidelines that make use of the veil of ignorance and the principle of universality. The whole of my moral system being too difficult to expound to any useful length, I will instead only address individual objections to this characterization. For example, I cannot adequately answer the question, "What are your morals?", but I could answer the proposition, "It's not wrong because animals eat each other, so we might as well do so."
"Sentient" means the quality of being able to perceive pain or discomfort. It will be assumed that animals possess a lesser level of sentience than humans - in some way, their "hurt" doesn't mean as much as ours might - but that animals still do possess sentience and are capable of hurting or being miserable (not emotionally, but as a physical feeling) due to their treatment or living conditions.
Note: It is impossible to prove or disprove the proposition that animal suffering is somehow just different from human suffering and therefore doesn't matter. This seems to be something that is inherently impossible to know, and I would suggest that it is a belief that springs mostly from a desire to assuage human guilt and not from any real reasoning or evidence. This can be addressed, but I will scrutinize and challenge anything I consider to be magical thinking.
It will be assumed for this debate that global climate change is probably occurring and is a serious threat to the planet. You may disagree on this score, but such a disagreement is beyond the scope of this debate.
It will be assumed that ethical actions are desirable. You may be a nihilist, but such a disagreement is beyond the scope of this debate (but I will say that you are silly right now anyway).
It will be assumed that if you are providing a statistic, quote, or other objective fact that you have some way to prove it, and can provide it here. Many items are misleading, easily understood, or deserve strong scrutiny because of their source. You don't have to cite yourself as you go, but please know that it is very reasonable to expect such a request.
It will be assumed that "eating meat" is understood to more specifically refer to the production, storage, and waste associated with that practice. Lowering these associated factors is more moral, and if it were possible to eliminate them it would be only mildly wrong - it would amount to the curtailing of the natural life of the animal, which morality may be more questionable.

99% of the meat that is eaten today comes from factory farming and industrial fishing. The animals in factory farms live in terrible conditions and suffer enormously. Chickens have their beaks cut off to stop them from going insane and hurting each other. Injured cows are thrown into vast piles to slowly suffocate. Large fish are stabbed through the eye and allowed to drown thrashing in the air. Even meat that is labeled as "organic" or "farm-raised" or any other label is almost inevitably actually a product of factory farming or industrial fishing, thanks to unbelievably lax enforcement of unbelievably lax laws, and highly inconsistent practices from one country to another. From the start of their lives to the brutal end, the land animals that are eaten as food continually suffer pain and discomfort. They die in squawking, screaming, writhing masses by the billions. Their lives and deaths are heavily tax-subsidized in America (and presumably in other countries as well) to make it affordable to kill and eat them in such huge quantities with so little apparent expense to the end consumer.

To cause the massive suffering and death of sentient creatures, capable of perceiving that suffering and pain, is wrong.

Further, factory farming and fishing (or as I shall say, the "food industries") are far and away the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. They are responsible for more than 40% of all methane emissions and 62% of all nitrous dioxide emissions, not counting the incidental fraction of industrial and transportation emissions that are also ultimately devoted to food industries. Little CO2 is produced by the food industries directly, but when it is considered that methane produces eight times the greenhouse effect of CO2 (for example), it becomes apparent that the food industries are the worst perpetrator in the creation of global warming.

Further, the local damage done by the food industries staggers any attempt to summarize it. Massive pig farms flush tons of nitrous waste into the waters, which swell with algae and kill entire ecosystems. Out of 35 species of seahorses, 20 are endangered because of shrimp farming - a process wherein 26 pounds of seahorses and small crabs and a thousand other tiny creatures are killed and discarded for every single pound of shrimp produced.

Eating meat is wrong.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 05:31, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

The first time I was exposed to farming issues was when a friend showed me some films of cows being slaughtered. We were teenagers, and it was just gross-out shit, like those “Faces of Death” videos. He wasn’t a vegetarian — no one was vegetarian — and he wasn’t trying to make me one. It was for a laugh.
We had drumsticks for dinner that night, and I couldn’t eat mine. When I held the bone in my hand, it didn’t feel like chicken, but a chicken. I always knew I was eating an individual, I suppose, but it never hit me before. My dad asked me what was wrong, and I told him about the video. At that point in my life, I took whatever he said to be the truth, and I was sure he could explain everything. But the best he could come up with was something like “It’s unpleasant stuff.” If he’d left it there, I probably wouldn’t be talking to you now. But then he made a joke about it. The same joke everyone makes. I’ve heard it a million times since. He pretended he was a crying animal. It was revealing to me, and infuriating. I decided then and there never to become someone who told jokes when explanations were impossible. -- Eating Animals by Jonathan Foer

[edit] Responses

Humans have canines, humans have a colon, humans have a stomach designed to handle meat. Morals do not come in to it - we are animals and the moral side only comes about due to our higher intellect and says nothing about our nutritional needs. AceMcWicked 05:21, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

We can meat meet our nutritional needs without eating meet meat. TheoryOfPractice 05:30, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
If God didn't want us to eat animals, He wouldn't have made them out of meat. SoldierInGodsArmy 05:23, 10 November 2009
If God (heehee, how cute, you believe in God!) didn't want us to eat people, he wouldn't have made them out of meat, too. TheoryOfPractice 05:29, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
But that's cannibalism, which can be argued against solely on the fact that it spreads unique and sometimes deadly diseases and infections. SoldierInGodsArmy 05:38, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
so does eating meat--e coli, mad cow, that nasty bowel infection I got in Tanzania, any one of a number of bacteria that thrive on the effluvium produced through meat production...TheoryOfPractice 05:39, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
So does eating fruit and vegetables. I guess we humans can't eat anything, should all become "breatharians" and die. SoldierInGodsArmy 16:25, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Humans can eat meat. We can also not eat meat. Humans can rape. We can also not rape. I am suggesting that just like it is immoral to rape (something we can do and have done, and even morally sanctioned on occasion), it is immoral to eat meat (something we have done and can do and even morally sanctioned on occasion).--Tom Moorefiat justitia 05:31, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Wow, you did not just compare eating meat to rape, I hope. I smell a Godwin coming soon. The Spikey Punk I'm punking my punk! 05:33, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
I did, actually. In fact, it's pretty appropriate. Rape is prevalent throughout the animal kingdom and human history, so if we're going to be biological determinists, that means my Saturday nights are going to be busy.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 05:35, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
T-minus 5 edits to Godwin! Lord Goonie Hooray! I'm helping! 05:37, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Repeatedly shrieking "Godwin" is exactly what the Nazis did. So if you keep doing it, you're just like Hitler.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 05:40, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Tom is correct on both ethical and environmental grounds.--BobNot Jim 07:34, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
There's no such thing as "ethically correct". — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 21:21, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Human's are omnivores. We are designed to eat both meat and plants. In order to compensate for the lack of consuming meat, we would have to consume more of specific plants, nuts, etc. Most vegetarians eat eggs, anyway, since it is otherwise difficult to obtain the necessary amount of protein for your diet on just plants and nuts. QuantumDude (talk) 03:10, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
Eh, the simplest answer is that we crave meat. If eating meat was bad for us, evolution would ensure we'd be repulsed by the smell of it the way we are repulsed by shit. CorruptUser (talk) 04:03, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
Well, clearly, fundamentalists aren't repulsed by the "shit" they spew... and also "consume". QuantumDude (talk) 17:48, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
We also crave sugar, but look how much good that's done for the average American. Thing is, the way evolution's 'programmed' us is based on how things were in the past. Meat and sugar used to be scarce, but now it's everywhere. Also, evolution isn't really that reliable that you can depend on it to 'ensure' things like that. For example, if doing something only starts having noticably bad effects once you're past your prime and aren't making babies anymore, evolution couldn't give less of a shit. (talk) 04:25, 6 June 2015 (UTC)

The argument that humans can eat meat, and therefore morals do not come into it, is the most vacuous and juvenile argument I have ever had the misfortune to encounter. It is completely non-sequitur and ridiculous. RightfulGod (talk) 06:46, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Moral Compass

I knew the "moral compass" argument would come into it. Raping and Murder disrupt our social order, hence it is not wise. Eating animals does not disrupt our social order hence morals are irrelevant. AceMcWicked 05:39, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Global warming--and meat production contributes to that--will disrupt our social order. So will masses of hungry people (producing grain to eat directly is a far more effective way of transforming land, sunshine and water into food than is producing grain to feed to animals to eat and then eating the animals.) TheoryOfPractice 13:56, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

That is true, if you think the social order is the sole factor for morality. But consider if you think it would be moral to torture a dog in your home. Most people - including you, I suspect - would say it is not moral to do that, for much the same reason other kinds of cruelty to animals are wrong.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 05:43, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
I'll say with a straight face that torturing a dog is wrong but killing and eating a dog is not. Morals are not involved. AceMcWicked 05:45, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Why is torturing a dog wrong? It doesn't disrupt the social order. Clearly, something about intentional causing suffering to animals is wrong in your eyes. So why is it okay to do so on a massive scale?--Tom Moorefiat justitia 05:48, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, actually torturing animals is disruptive to our social order. It signifies an abhorrent behaviour pattern AceMcWicked 05:55, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
So you're saying that if it was commonly accepted, it would be okay? If everyone went home after work and strung up a dog on the rack, then cut it open for fun, would that be fine with you since it was no longer indicative of an abhorrent behavior pattern? Not to be melodramatic, but if group consensus and patterns of social acceptability determine moral correctness in such instances, then doesn't that mean such practices as human gladiatorial games in Rome would be moral?--Tom Moorefiat justitia 06:08, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
To be frank, yes. Morals follow a largely societal pattern. But pyschopaths, in their earlier phases, torture animals. It is a sign of a defunct empathy sense which is harmful to a co-operative society. AceMcWicked 06:14, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

(ui)I appreciate your frankness, Ace. I disagree in what I suppose is a fundamental way - I don't see how morality by consensus is right. But I guess that's beyond the scope of this debate. Luckily, though, my argument is two-pronged; even if it were okay to cause the suffering and death of animals, it is still wrong to harm the environment to the extent to which the food industry does.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 06:19, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

So as stated below your quibble is the environmental impact? Think about it this way - would Humans have evolved as we have if we were not meat eaters? This is before there were any environmental impact but animals were killed in a savage manner. AceMcWicked 06:23, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't think I'm qualified to answer your question. I have seen it suggested that no, we would not have. It is also possible, though, that murder was also necessary for our evolution. Perhaps the systematic elimination of competing bands of other homo erectus was necessary for the evolution of the successful band. That doesn't make murder morally right now that we know better and can do otherwise, though.
I don't think anthropogenic global warming and the massive destruction to worldwide aquatic ecosystems, or the vast rivers of animal feces that contaminate large tracts of land, can be fairly characterized as "quibbles," by the way.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 06:40, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Murder may well have been a requirement for our survival, but now we call it war. Again, it is not considered "immoral". Secondly the quibbles are not moral barriers to eating meat - only to its production. AceMcWicked 07:31, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
War and murder are two pretty different things. If I killed my neighbor for his sweet potatoes, as might have been necessary long ago, it would be a crime. It would be considered immoral. And again, I agree about your point on production, and have altered the definitions above accordingly. Consider "eating meat" to be synonymous with all the aspects of production of meat and the pain and death of animals.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 15:14, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Serious response: Eat meat. Don't eat meat. Who cares! Just don't try to force your pro- or anti-meat decision on me. SoldierInGodsArmy 05:40, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

I hope you feel the same way about pot. TheoryOfPractice 14:46, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Apathy is your right, of course.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 05:44, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

[edit] Harvesting

Let me ask you this, Tom: Is it okay that many animals are killed brutally by the machines that harvest your vegetables? Here's an article you may not like to swallow, but I find it quite intriguing. The Spikey Punk I'm punking my punk! 05:42, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

I was aware of this, and no, it's not okay. Ideally, that problem would be reduced or eliminated.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 05:44, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Reduced how? Lord of the Goons The official spikey-haired skeptical punk 05:45, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't know. I don't know enough about the process.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 05:46, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Putting it into perspective, though, is the central question: If you know animals are being killed to harvest your vegan/vegetarian food anyways, then what makes eating meat so reprehensible? Especially when the corpses of the animals killed for, say, grain production, lay to waste anyways? The Goonie Punk Can't sleep, clowns will eat me! 05:49, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
I think it is too bad that there are so many animals killed during grain production, but it should be remembered that (a) they are not intentionally killed, and so it is less wrong just like manslaughter is less wrong than murder (b) those animals do not live in terrible, human-imposed conditions and so they suffer rather less than a broiler chicken that goes from egg to blade in perpetual dusk, covered with feces, and crammed into a tiny space in a manner wholly contrary to their more favored conditions. Ideally, as I said, the problem of incidental death in vegetable production would be assuaged as well as meat-eating entirely being eliminated, but practically I must tackle one problem at a time. The intentional suffering and slaughter in the food industries is the more immediate problem, in other words.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 05:56, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
(EC) From an entirely utilitarian perspective, there are less animals killed during harvesting then by abattoirs, therefore it is more moral. - π 05:57, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
How do you know less are killed when no studies have been done to count how many are? And, still, that means animals are killed so that Tom can have a salad. Lord Goonie Hooray! I'm helping! 06:03, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
(EC)Animals killed by harvesting + animals killed for meat > animals killed by harvesting. And I said a utilitarian perspective. - π 06:06, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
If you gave a dollar to charity, how much of a dick would I have to be to suggest you were being a hypocrite because you didn't give two dollars, or two hundred? Each person's ability to balance practical living and moral living is their own call to make. I maintain, however, that eating meat is wrong. Perhaps you think I am therefore doing something wrong, but it is still wrong, is it not?--Tom Moorefiat justitia 06:05, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

[edit] Problems with your premise

The problem with your premise Tom is not that eating meat is wrong but the production, storage and waste combined with meat production is wrong. Not eating meat for the reasons you mention is a fine position to take however to say that having meat as part of healthy diet is morally wrong is ludicrous. I would like to continue but my roast chicken dinner is just out the oven. AceMcWicked 05:53, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

That's a very good point, and I spoke inaccurately. More accurately, the production, storage, and waste of meat production is wrong. Were it possible to produce meat from animals that had not suffered or died, it would not be wrong. Eating meat in and of itself is not wrong. Practically speaking, however, the two ideas are inseparable unless you engage in the most careful practices. I will, however, alter my premises accordingly. Thank you.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 05:58, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

[edit] Case Study

Recently in NZ we had this case. A Samoan gent slaughtered and cooked his dog for the family BBQ. There was outrage from white NZer's however the practice is quite common in Samoa and the Samoan community did not consider it "morally wrong" to do so. So is it morally wrong to you Tom? AceMcWicked 06:19, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Yes, although much less so that roasting a chicken for the BBQ would be. The dog (presumably, anyway) suffered relatively little, and (presumably) the process did relatively little harm to the environment. In contrast, dog farms I have seen in Korea are brutal. As in so many things, it's a question of degree and scale.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 06:21, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
So then it is relevative to your feelings on the matter? To some the idea of the dog is far worse. AceMcWicked 06:26, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
I know that many think that dogs shouldn't be eaten. The idea seems to stem from companion animals as a protected group; it seems as though people often think we shouldn't eat those animals that we are also friends with, like horses, cats, or dogs. I see no value or reason to this argument. To the contrary, I think that such feelings are actually discomfort from having the inconsistency of our views pointed out to us. Pigs are just as smart, affectionate, and fun to have around as dogs - in many cases, far more so. To me, the things that make the practice wrong are the suffering and environmental impact, and in the example you cite it seems as though both of those things are of a much lower degree. It's not just my "feelings," although of course my judgment is involved (as in all moral calls).--Tom Moorefiat justitia 06:36, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

[edit] Organic Meat

Whenever possible I eat organic meat because I'm concerned about some of the same issues as you: animal welfare being the prime example. When an animal is reared in good surroundings, fed a proper diet and allowed space to roam, is that still "wrong" in your belief? –SuspectedReplicantretire me 07:28, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Incidentally, at the risk of being accused of advertising, Londoners can do much worse than these people. I don't use them any more because it's difficult for them to deliver to my flat, but when I did the food was always good and delivered direct to your door. I don't believe they operate much outside the capital though. –SuspectedReplicantretire me 07:34, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
I play cricket with a guy who was a devout vegetarian for most of his life because of the original argument at the top (animals suffering because of intensive farming), but a few years ago he was watching something on telly like Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall who was pointing out how local, small range farmers who bring up their chickens outdoor free range and organic were selling them for only a few pounds more at local farmers markets. He then realised that him not eating meat at all doesn't make a difference, because the industry gets pushed even further down the intensive farming route to make the process cheaper. So since then he has started eating meat again, but only locally sourced outdoor reared / free range meat from his local farmer's markets and farm shop. The idea is, the more people who support these farming methods, the more the demand will be driven away from intensive farming. Personally I thought that was one of the more intelligent vegetarian actions, rather than "Meat is bad, mmkay?" with lots of irritating preaching to people who don't live off soya, lentils, and quorn. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 08:46, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
If we take the environmental argument for vegetarianism then organic farming would reduce the impact - though it would still be significant. See this New Scientist article. There is also the question of efficiency and scalability. Most food is not produced organically because it's not the most efficient way to produce food. If all food were produced organically there would be a net reduction in the food produced by the planet. Finally, while an "organically reared" animal might have a happier life, its death would probably be as unpleasant as any other. Having said that I'm personally far more concerned about the environmental impacts then the ethical ones. But that's me being selfish.--BobNot Jim 16:44, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
The problem is that - at least in the USA - "organic" is almost meaningless. It means that the meat might be healthier for you, since the feed of the animals and possible diseases are much more closely monitored. But they actually have no requirement to let animals roam free, experience natural lighting cycles, or the like. And of course because of that almost zero people do that. As I said before, 99% of all animals we eat are factory farmed. And it's almost impossible to verifiably eat otherwise. Perhaps that's different in the UK. And even if you were eating organically, you are still killing animals in their adolescence to feed yourself. Death is arguably also wrong when you have a more healthy and cheaper viable alternative.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 15:12, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Organic food is a great way to ensure that rich people have access to a better and less ethically-troubling diet than poor people. Until organic food is no longer a prohibitively expensive way for poor people to feed themselves, it's not really viable as anything but a status marker. TheoryOfPractice 14:05, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

I'm aware of that. But it means I feel less guilty while chowing down on delicious roast lamb. –SuspectedReplicantretire me 14:15, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Hang on, what did we all do before intensive poultry farming? You always used to buy locally produced chickens from your local butcher and there was never a shortage. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 16:07, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
There are more people every day and the vast majority of the chickens sold in the west certainly didn't spend their lives happily running around farms. Indeed, if you want to eat an animal which has almost certainly had miserable existence - eat a chicken.--BobNot Jim 16:49, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
There's something like >2 chickens per person in the world, and 6 per person in the US (although I don't know where those numbers come from). Sterile baseball bat 20:24, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

[edit] What about carnivore animals?

Some vegans have pets and make them eat a vegan diet. Is that morally right? Would the OP find some vegans' ideal world, of all animals being herbivore, morally right? (hmm, reminds me of those "dinosaurs were herbivores before original sin" fundies). The fact is, that death and eating of meat are an essential part of nature - twist nature and I'll find you morally wrong. Editor at CPmały książe 09:32, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

For me the major problem is the vast amount of methane produced by current farming methods. Carnivorous pets make little difference to this argument.--BobNot Jim 11:13, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
"eating of meat [is] an essential part of nature." Right, but what's required to give billions of people a meat-based diet is decidedly NOT a part of nature, and in fact is detrimental to nature. TheoryOfPractice 13:58, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
How could a lion be an herbivore? That is silly. Death and eating of meat are an essential part of nature. Animals aren't culpable for that or any of the other things they do, because they don't have morals or our intelligence. We don't put a lion on trial for murder when they kill their kin in mating rivalry.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 15:06, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Death and eating of meat are an essential part of nature - this says it all. I stand on Nature's side. Editor at CPmały książe 18:25, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Cool. So you have no problem with slavery, murder, or rape, either? Ants enslave each other all the time, great apes murder their rivals, and rape is rampant among chimps. Stand with nature and forget all morality, that's cool with me as long as you're not my neighbor.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 20:21, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Obviously this is not what I meant. Editor at CPmały książe 09:36, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Obviously. And yet slavery is an essential part of nature. So is murder. So is rape. Animals do all kinds of things human beings don't do. So if the whole of your justification is "it happens in nature," then I thought it would be interesting to point out the many other things that justifies. The point is that as thinking and moral animals, we are responsible to choose in a manner consistent with our reason and morality, not just do what we want to satisfy our urges (like an animal). In such an instance, to "stand with nature" is to stand apart from man.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 19:24, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Flawed analogy. Very few people are put in the position of having to murder (or rape). For most of the history of humanity, eating meat was a necessity as a part of a healthy diet (or a diet at all). Rape and murder were hardly necessities. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 19:38, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
The amount of meat necessary for a healthy diet is a lot less then most westerners eat. In fact, most western diets are unhealthy becasue they contain far too much meat.--BobNot Jim 20:35, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Whoa now, suddenly you switched from "it's found in nature" as your justification to "people have found it a necessity." I thought you were standing with nature? Hey, did you know there's a certain kind of beetle whose phallus is a barbed weapon, and he rams it right into the body of the female?--Tom Moorefiat justitia 10:43, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

[edit] Leather

I'm interested in why you exempt leather and other by-products from discussion here. Ok, the issue of egg-farming & dairy-farming is a little more complicated, although pretty closely related with meat-farming in most cases. But are you saying that it is moral to wear leather but not to eat meat? I don't understand how you can condemn a whole industry while condoning consumption of its secondary products. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:45, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Just because I know almost nothing about the leather industry, and don't even really know where I stand yet on it. I don't feel like I could discuss it intelligently. You are certainly welcome to make points about it, though; I don't want to stifle anyone's discussion.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 15:04, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

[edit] Eating meat is 100% correct, having so many people is wrong

There, I said it. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 14:02, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Why?--Tom Moorefiat justitia 15:04, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
From what I gleaned from your essay, your objections seem to be primarily ethical and environmental. I can't fathom ethical objections to carnivorousness, as it is perfectly natural and near omnipresent. The environmental objections stem from required production for our present overpopulation/overconsumption. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 15:28, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
I strongly encourage you to read the rest of the debate, above. But to summarize: many things that are morally despicable are "perfectly natural," such as rape and murder. Further, we have no need to eat meat, we just like to do so.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 15:54, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Murder can be perfectly ethical, but that's another debate. You have no need to eat meat, others don't have a similar choice. Is that an acceptable observation? — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 16:00, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
There are certainly some indigenous tribes that find meat to be a necessary part of their diet, since they have a hard time getting enough food. They hunt or farm-raised animals. But those people are a tiny fraction of the world. There's no one in Africa who must eat pork or starve to death, for the very good reason that meat is incredibly inefficient. It takes a hundred kilograms of hay and ten kilograms of grain to produce one kilogram of beef. The number of people who "don't have a choice" is vanishingly small. Move to New Guinea, strap on a penis gourd, and run down a pig with your spear. Then you might have an argument for needing to eat meat.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 16:16, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Tom, I think you've got a warped view of the need to eat meat. Think about the space/time/resources to grow food. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 16:26, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
I am not sure what you're saying. Are you saying that it's more efficient to eat meat, because animals live in a smaller space than the equivalent corn?--Tom Moorefiat justitia 16:27, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
What I'm saying is: Drought destroyed your crops? Eat the meat. Flooding destroyed your crops? Eat the meat. Swarms destroyed your crops? Eat the meat. Other natural disaster destroyed your crops? Eat the meat. I think you're being narrowly focused on us, not people. I agree 100% that neither of us direly need to eat meat. Is it wrong? This is a whole new debate, and I'm sorry if you see this as handwaving, but there's no such thing. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 17:42, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
@Tom: What about the parents who put their kids on a vegan diet and end up malnurishing them? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 16:02, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you're looking for, Crundy... "Oh that's okay, I don't care about humans!"? Of course that's stupid and terrible. It's also awful when a vegetarian hits someone with their car, or a vegan becomes a cannibal. Or are you saying that meat is necessary for children?--Tom Moorefiat justitia 16:16, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm breaking down the argument that humans don't have to eat animal based products. We have evolved that way. As adults we can choose whether we want to eat meat or not. We have a lot of good meat alternatives and nutrient suppliments so it isn't a problem. I'm certainly not going to say that everyone should eat meat, because I don't think that's right. I just despise the stupid arguments made by veggies as to why everyone else shouldn't eat meat. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 16:22, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
"The American Dietetic Association contends that carefully planned vegetarian diets, including vegan diets, are healthful and nutritionally sufficient for individuals of all ages, including pregnant or lactating women, infants, children, adolescents, and athletes." I'm not a nutritionist, but they are.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 16:24, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Tom, as has been already pointed out, things like rape and murder vary on their "moral wrongness" from society to society. Humans decide their own right and wrong, and you are simply deciding yours. Z3rotalk 16:11, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

ECThey're as bad parents as the ones who feed their kids too much fast food and make them obese and diabetic. The fact some people don't know how to feed their children properly is no argument against the environmental and moral impacts of meat-eating. TheoryOfPractice 16:12, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
That's not the same thing at all. The junk food parents don't proudly say "I'm only feeding my child McDonalds because everything else is unethical", they are just idiots. Vegan parents deny that a vegan diet does not produce the nutrients (and especially the fat) required by a young baby. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 16:14, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Z3ro, if you are a moral relativist, that's fine. But I am not. I think that even if everyone decided that raping a certain type of person was okay, it would still be wrong. Absent any objective values or reasoning when it comes to ethics, any discussion of what's "wrong" turns into an opinion poll, though, so I guess I can't meaningfully respond to you. I can say that, yes, I am deciding my right and wrong. I am trying to encourage other people to decide their right and wrong as well, and assuming they have reasons for those decisions.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 16:19, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Crundy, Lots of people around the world and throughout history have managed to feed themselves and their children well without having to rely on a predominantly meat-based diet. The fact that some people haven't learned to do that is no argument against the ecological costs of producing enough cheap meat to meet the demands of a population that expects to eat meat on a regular, if not daily, if not several times a day, basis. TheoryOfPractice 16:19, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
See my point above. I have no problem with people being veggie. I do have a problem with intensive meat farming, and I also have a problem with the arguments veggies make when they're on their soapbox (i.e. humans are actually herbivores etc). CrundyTalk nerdy to me 16:24, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
No one said that. Humans are omnivores. I could go eat a steak right now. It's hard to discuss things when you're intent on refuting things that weren't said.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 16:26, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Except people do say that (perhaps not here). Where I'm at is that I don't think people should be forced to eat meat. I don't think people should be forced to turned veggie. What's wrong with eating meat from an animal which has been ethically reared and humanely killed? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 16:28, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
People also say that Jesus is coming to punish all the homosexshuals in 2012. I can't help that.
Aside from the fact that a tiny percentage of meat that is ethically reared and humanely killed, you are still killing animals in mass quantities because you like the way they taste.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 16:33, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
So? Why is that such a problem? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 16:36, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Isn't that the whole argument? -- VradientHit me up 16:39, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

I think it is wrong to kill sentient creatures for that purpose. However, I will say that it is much, much less wrong to engage in the practice of which you speak. It is also prohibitively expensive and not done on any scale to speak of. When there is an alternative to mass killings of animals in any way that is just as viable and better in some ways, I think the alternative is the more moral choice.
Out of curiosity, what do you do? You don't have to answer if you feel uncomfortable with it.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 16:43, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't think it is prohibitively expensive. You don't have to eat meat every day. I refuse to eat foods such as fois gras (which is expensive) and veal, because I'm completely disgusted at how the animals are effectively tortured to provide a particular flavor. The only difference between you and I is you go one step further and say that killing an animal for food in a developed country is unacceptable no matter what. P.S. I'm a software developer. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 16:50, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Haha I actually meant what are your meat habits; there are only a handful (literally) of humane meat producers, and I was wondering if you sought them out? I'm not speaking of "organic" meat in the USA, where they are not fed antibiotics with every meal and they have an open window (generally that's the extent of improvement to their welfare). Gross deception is ubiquitous.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 16:59, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Oh right, with you. I have an excellent butcher round the corner from me who sources outdoor reared pork from a farm a few miles away, so I get pork mince, sausages and pork steaks from there. It's about 1.25x more expensive than the supermarket. If I'm getting chicken then I'll actually get it from the Co-op supermarket, because they sell excellent quality RSPC monitored freedom food chickens at a reasonable price. I would like to buy chicken from my local farm shop, but they have the foot cut off, which I'm always suspicious of because people only tend to do that to hide hock burns. I tend to cook a meat free meal twice a week (usually something like a thai red veg curry or a pasta dish with mushrooms and spinach).
By the way, I'm really not attacking you for being veggie. In fact I have far more respect for you than any meat eater, as you clearly have a strong ethical view about animal welfare. I too love animals (have a house full of the little buggers) but I don't see the problem with eating meat that has been reared and killed well. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 17:09, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

(ui)Truth be told, I don't particularly like animals. I have never had pets and don't have them now. While I think dogs and cats are nice and will play with them and tolerate them, I doubt I will ever have any kind of companion animal. To me, though, it seems to be a small evil to kill an animal. You are ending a life of complexity, social interaction, and sensations. Assuming there is little pain or suffering involved, it's a small wrong, not a big one. In other words, animal lives have value, even if that value is small in and of itself. But I also think that to not do wrong is better than to do wrong, and one should seek to do as little wrong as possible. So even though literally every favorite dish of mine is meat-based, and my most favorite meal is a thick porterhouse seared on the outside for a half-minute (no more - it should be almost raw) - even despite these things, I don't eat meat. I don't want to kill animals when I can not do so fairly easily and live more healthily in the process. I respect your decision otherwise.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 17:15, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

That's interesting. It's not the first time I've found that people who are concerned over what they see as cruelty to animals tend to be those who have had very little direct contact with actual animals. Not that I'm attacking your right to be a vegetarian, or to make your case, but I would also be very interested to hear from people with actual first-hand understanding of farm animals who share your point of view.-- Kriss AkabusiAAAWOOOGAAAR!!1 17:22, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
I grew up on a farm and I live in the countryside now. I recently saw two pigs being slaughtered in the traditional way. It's not something that I want to see or hear again. I've got a lot of sympathy for Tom's view - though I'm more concerened about the clear environmental impact of meat eating.--BobNot Jim 17:26, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

[edit] Moral Stands

Maybe this should be a seperate debate altogether, but what stand do most people take with regards to morals in general? Several arguments have been made that torturing/kills animals is morally wrong, or that we should try to do the moral thing. Well, do you believe there are absolute morals, and if so, where do they come from?

For my part, I do not believe in absolute morals. Right and wrong are what we define them as, and yes, that includes rape and murder. I would certainly not want to be a part of a society that thought rape and murder were good, but that is the societies collective right. Z3rotalk 16:47, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

I personally feel that this should be a seperate debate. If we do it here it will totally derail this one.--BobNot Jim 17:07, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
You ignore the fact that morals can be compared and measured objectively. RightfulGod (talk) 06:48, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Evil bears

Eating meat in the fish, with their amoral lifestyle, and those hdeonistic lions, chewing on those gazelles and making them suffer while they die. ĵ₳¥ášÇ♠ʘ In Soviet Russia, the unbalanced flan absolves YOU! 01:45, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

And bears could probably survive without eating meat also. But bears don't have morals because they are animals. But we have morals which are constructed by our higher intellect and societal lifestyle. Errrr but not - according to Tom above. AceMcWicked 01:57, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Conscious doth make sinners of us all. Would you perhaps prefer to be a beast discourse of reason?--Thanatos 02:16, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
So go be a bear, I guess? I'll be a human and think about things.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 02:53, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Fuck, J-Scap, I thought you were smarter than that. By your logic, then, since it's as natural for us to eat meat as it is for bears and lions, my wife could decide to bite my head off after mating like a praying mantis, or to eat her own young if she judges that they're too ill to survive. After all, it's NATURAL, right? TheoryOfPractice 02:58, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Sounds like good logic to me, TheoryOfPractice. Oooooh, can I eat my roomate, too? AnarchoGoon Swatting Assflys is how I earn my living 03:00, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
My point here seems to have been misinterpretated. I was trying to make a statement against the perspective I am seeing here, which is that eating meat is morally wrong because animals suffer in the process. However, animals suffer what I am sure are very painful deaths in the "real world", and as that, I fail to see why I should feel a twinge of guilt when I have a nice chicken patty from a local diner. I have been searching around the innertubes for something I remember reading, but have failed to find it. I recall reading a statistic that a really large number of animals are killed even in the process of collecting crops. (bear with me, I am trying to find it) Javasca₧ the most colourful sig on RationalWiki! 07:19, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
So you are proposing this rule: "If Action A happens in nature - and accordingly will happen no matter what I do - it is okay for me to do Action A as well." Does that state it accurately?--Tom Moorefiat justitia 19:10, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
At some point, it stops being an appeal to tradition and starts being the natural order of things. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 19:21, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I have read that several times, but do not understand it. Sorry, I am probably a bit slow today. Are you saying that the above rule is valid or invalid? Or are you suggesting that the clause "happens in nature" be changed to "happens in nature for a long time"?--Tom Moorefiat justitia 21:43, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
It's so much more than "happens in nature". It's...nature. I think if you understood what I'm saying, you'd understand why it's ok to eat meat, which you're not going to understand, so don't beat yourself up about my ravings. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 21:48, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
So it's right, but you can't say why? If I felt the way you do, I'd understand? Sorry, I guess I just don't have faith.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 22:18, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

[edit] Of vegetables and men

I think, Tom, you and I will just have to agree to disagree here. While I understand your point about killing animals being immoral and all, I think that, no matter what humans do, animals will die somehow or another. In fact, Mother Nature itself can be more cruel than us humans at times. And, if combine harvesters kill animals be slicing and dicing them anyways, where is the humanitarian advantage? Besides, racks of barbecued ribs are the keys to my heart. Now, if you could replicate that with tofu (bones and all), I would become a strict vegan. The Goonie Punk Can't sleep, clowns will eat me! 03:11, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Speak into my 16 gauge if you have a problem with me BBQing venison.--Thanatos 03:24, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Speak into my bow if you dislike the way I get turkey for Thanksgiving... ĵ₳¥ášÇ♠ʘ In Soviet Russia, the sumptuous centrifuge vitiates YOU! 06:59, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Mmmmmm, it's been so long since I had venison. Forget my pledge to become vegan if they find a way to make tofu BBQ ribs. The Spikey Punk I'm punking my punk! 03:26, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
You're right. In fact, your argument can be used in many useful ways. For example: No matter what humans do, people will die somehow or another. People die in hurricanes and of old age. And, if car accidents will be slicing and dicing them anyways, where is the humanitarian advantage? Besides, racks of barbecued human ribs are the keys to my heart.
Just because things won't be ideal, doesn't mean they can't be better. Just because animals will still die, doesn't mean we have to torture and kill them.
But seriously: I love meat. It's my favorite thing. Honest. It's not like I don't want to eat meat. Ribs are the keys to my heart as well. But at a certain point, a man has to look at the morality of something beyond just whether or not it feels good. It is a pretty poor kind of cowardice to shrug off evil just because it's convenient and tasty.
Oh, and I would challenge you to find any situation in nature more cruel than the life of a factory-farmed chicken. Honestly. In eastern Maryland, there's a poultry farm subsidiary of Tyson Foods. The farm is called Sunny Mornings. It has bright blue-painted windowsills and a big smiling sun on the side of its building.
A young chick was just born - right this very moment as I write on this wiki. It's late in the evening, but the continual alterations of the natural light cycle means that the true time is meaningless. Ironically, the sun has no purpose to the poultry of Sunny Mornings.
The chick is treated like all the chicks. It has its beak burned mostly off with a section of red-hot metal and is dosed with a thick syrup slid between its charred remains of a mouth to replenish its extremely low vitamin levels. Its toenails are also burned off. These measures are so that when it grows up it will not hurt other chickens, since it is very common for chickens to go insane when crowded for their entire life into less than a square foot. It will only have to endure the pain for six weeks or so, though; even though ordinarily it takes months for a chicken to grow to adulthood, this chick like all others will reach adolescence in an incredibly brief time. This is good for another reason: if it lived any longer, it would be crushed under the weight of its own chest, and its legs would break under the pressure of genetically-engineered thighs.
It will spend its brief life completely covered in its own excrement and those of its fellows. It will be kept on a diet calculated to bring it as close to death as possible without lowering its body weight. Eventually it will be seized by its legs (probably breaking them) and taken to be slaughtered. It will be killed in a slipshod manner - with almost no regulatory oversight - and may be boiled alive like many of friends. It may be cut apart while still staring around in frightened agony.
Factory-farmed animals are born and spend every subsequent moment in hell, until their painful death. There is no comparable situation in nature. And even if there was, a hurricane or a lion has no conscience or morality. Humans do - or at least most humans.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 03:57, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Now, now, Tom, no need to resort to personal attacks against me. Especially since a lot of what I say is tongue-in-cheek.Lord of the Goons The official spikey-haired skeptical punk 04:02, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I didn't mean to make any personal attacks against you. Rereading that, I can see how the last comment can be seen as an implication you have no morals. I didn't mean that, and I apologize. Seriously, though: things can be better. This is a change you can make in your life that will help improve the world in several very real ways - reduce the hideous pollution of the factory farms, reduce your contribution to global warming, and reduce the subjection of feeling creatures to a very real and perpetual hell. Sometimes it's hard to know when you can make a difference in anything in this world, but this is one thing that can be done.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 04:07, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
The thing is, though, Tom that, yes, hurricanes and car accidents kill. But, those don't occur in the production of food. My point is that, no matter what, mass production of food will slaughter some kind of animals. No, I do not support factory farming practices, either. But that is why I try to buy meat produced humanely and work, along with family farmers, to end factory farm practices. But if factory farms are the question, then I am of the opinion that you don't buy meat from them; consumer choice is key. And, yes, there are companies that do not sell factory farmed meat. At least here, in Minnesota. Lord Goonie Hooray! I'm helping! 04:13, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Could I ask for an example of these companies?--Tom Moorefiat justitia 04:18, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I can give some examples this weekend, since I am going shopping then next and can find them. Right now, curiously, I have no actual food in my house. I do have beer and whiskey, though. Gooniepunk2010 Oi! Oi! Oi! 04:20, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Whisky is food. AceMcWicked 04:24, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

(UI) Tom: Where do you live? I see a common theme here with your argument, which is that humane meat is very hard to come by, which is bollocks. I suspect that because you have not been exposed to meat and not, like myself, been trying to track down sources of good quality ethically produced meat, that you now think there is only one farm in the middle of the nowhere in the whole world which produces such meat and all other meat is made by tourturus assholes in huge factories. As I mentioned before, I have no problem getting hold of outdoor reared pork, RSPCA monitored chicken, and free range lamb where I live. Where the hell do you live? P.S. I do not classify "Organic" meat as humane meat fwiw. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 21:10, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

My position is fairly Americentric, it must be admitted, although it reflects the experiences of many areas. I live in Korea, although currently I am spending a few months in Florida in the USA. It is certainly true that there are areas of the UK, France, Germany, and certain sections of the USA and Canada where one can get humane meat with much less trouble. But I note that almost all meat (i.e. approaching 99%) consumed is not humanely raised. Further, "humane" is a pretty relative term. It often just means "closer to 'traditional'", and the testicles of pigs are still torn off with tongs. And even further, they still consume huge amounts of resources. In fact, humanely-raised animals often consume larger amoutns of resources.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 21:40, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
My position is that I dislike the cheap meat industry. I dislike all the KFC and McDonalds "cheap is cool" attitude. I dislike the unessesary castration of pigs because of a never-proven phenomena ("Boar Taint"), but I also dislike the attitude of a lot of people who assume that all meat eaters are immoral assholes. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 21:54, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't have that attitude. I think that most people just really love the taste of meat and are seldom personally confronted with the true costs of it and reasoning against it. I like to think I wasn't an immoral asshole when I ate meat. I like to think that my friends and family aren't immoral assholes. And I have generally tried to keep any such implications out of this discussion, except occasionally in reaction to the continual and wearysome attitude of flippancy. Way too many people respond with a nervous laugh and say, "Heh, yeah, I know it's really bad for the environment but I just like it." Or worse, they become aggressively callous.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 22:17, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I agree, I work with a guy who refuses to eat meat unless the animal has been kept in the most horrific conditions imaginable, and he's exceptionally proud of his attitude towards meat. I just think he's a tosser. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 08:46, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

[edit] Question

Has anyone else here wanted to try human meat? Or just me? I think I would even know what cut I'd like. AceMcWicked 03:26, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Are we talking Hannibal here, or plane crash? Or this?--Thanatos 03:36, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I would just like to eat some. AceMcWicked 03:38, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Absolutely. I think it would be amazing and I have often wished it was possible. I have tried everything I could find in the way of foods (at least when I wasn't veggie) - live octopus, stewed dog, alligator nuggets, and so on. It's too bad Hufu wasn't real.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 03:50, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Honestly, I've always wanted to try human (particularly fetus). For some reason, I don't think it'd be very good, though. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 19:16, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm intrigued about eating human flesh, but will probably never have the opportunity. I would like to try whale at some point, even if only once. Incidentally, Tom, is it hard to get by as a vegetarian in Korea? WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:35, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I've got some students who've eaten whale. I told them they would rot in all seven hells. They told me it's like beef - which seems counter-intuitive until you remember it's a mammal.--BobNot Jim 20:30, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
It's not hard. Like most peoples outside of America and Europe, they eat meat as part of soups or side dishes as flavor by and large. Some meals are predominantly meat (such as kalbi) but those are expensive and unusual.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 21:45, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

[edit] pain free animals

Just remembered this piece in New Scientist. It seems it could be possible to genetically engineer pain-free animals. Would this change the issue?--BobNot Jim 11:13, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Wow, I don't know. The implications are a little huge to consider offhand. It is worth noting, though, that the physical pain is only a component of the misery of animals. The complete abrogation of all natural behavior, reworking of their physical bodies (light manipulation, complete changes in diet, starvation diets), and so on are also a big part of the ill-treatment they suffer. It does seem as though it would be better to have animals that can't feel any pain. That inevitably leads me to imagine a world where meat is grown on creatures that don't even resemble animals anymore, but are just grown sacs that produce firm flesh of various flavors, but do not move or have brains. The prospect is disconcerting and troubling.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 19:14, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Why? Eew factor? Evil cubic Hoover! 19:46, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I find it hard to say. It seems callous in some way - to genetically alter living creatures and make them into meat-producing machines ("meat-fruit" as is said below). I'm not sure I would object to it in its event, but I know that I find the prospect unsettling.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 21:50, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I can't fathom how that is troubling. Don't eat meat because the poor animals, I get that...but start growing meat fruit and you still have a problem? What the fuck, Tom? Are you sure this isn't just a personal aversion to meat's taste/texture/smell/something? — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 19:49, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I have no personal aversion to meat. All of my favorite foods are meat. I would like nothing better than to go eat a bloody roast-beef sandwich right now, with mayo and tomato and oregano on a white roll. No, in this case I just find it unsettling in some manner. I don't think I would try to stop it, but the notion of changing around animals wholesale is a bit off-putting, is all.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 21:50, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Hey, if I could grow great globules of living meat that hung from the rafters like a dripping, heaving steaky fruit I would. AceMcWicked 20:12, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I share Tom's disquiet. The idea of making animals immune to pain so as to justify our abusing them does seem a little strange. Nevertheless - if it were possible - it would seem to remove one of the main ethical objections to eating meat however uneasy it might make us feel. It obviously does nothing to mitigate the environmental impact; indeed if it made meat-eating more "palatable" it might even exacerbate the problem.--BobNot Jim 20:27, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
abuse? use? rhetorical question. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 20:32, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I would say that treating them in a way which shows casual indifference to their suffering to be abuse. I know that one could hypothesize about ethical meat production and humane slaughter, but the fact is that these are the exception.--BobNot Jim 20:38, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Point being, it was rhetorical. It's not either one, or it's whatever one that suits your agenda. I use animals for meat, whereas you think I abuse them. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 20:40, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Also, I remember seeing on the Michael Portillo documentary about the death penalty that they are looking into using nitrogen as a method for killing the animals in abattoirs, as it causes no pain whatsoever. The animal actually experiences calm euphoria before passing out and dying. Therefore, if said animal was reared in a fashion that did not include "The complete abrogation of all natural behavior, reworking of their physical bodies (light manipulation, complete changes in diet, starvation diets), and so on", would this be acceptable as a food source? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 21:14, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I suppose so. It makes me uncomfortable, but that would eliminate or all of any ethical objection. "Meat-fruit" would be better than the way it is now, in any case, where they are treated as meat-fruit without any of the properties of numb mercy that status entails. It would still be a big resource hog (no pun intended) and damage the environment, presumably. If that were assuaged, I might well start eating meat again myself.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 21:53, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
If the price of meat was inversely proportional to the amount of pain that the animal suffered, I'd probably go for the cheap stuff. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 21:22, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, you're shocking and edgy in your wholesale ideological conviction than animals have no rights. We get it. You can tone it down now.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 21:53, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
That was just bait for the ensuing clever put down from some high-horsed ideologue. Caught one! — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 21:23, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

I do not Understand the Logic of Pain Free animals. Creating them would BE Unnatural.--Tolerance 21:25, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Tom, you should be specific about your definition of pain. The reason I bring this up is simply that the biological divide between plants and animals really doesn't have anything to do with central nervous systems; it differentiates organisms that have metabolisms that employ photosynthesis (plants) or which must get food from external sources (animals). (Let's ignore those pesky chemo-autotrophs for now.) Regardless of how you define "feel pain" (sensory input to a "brain"?, sensory cells?), it stills smacks of a rather arbitrary divide between organisms which we should be allowed to eat vs. those we don't. Some plants respond to sunlight (e.g. sunflowers rotate), others respond to touch in a visible manner (e.g. venus flytraps). Would you classify those as "feeling pain"? My point is simply that your argument about "feeling pain" is fairly arbitrary and definition-dependent. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

[edit] Historically

Many, or even most, people in the urbanised 18th & 19th centuries (at least in the UK) lived almost entirely on bread, potatoes and beer. Country folk for centuries had meat once or twice a year when they sacrificed a chicken or a pig unless they could poach one of the landowner's grouse or rabbits. The habit nowadays of having meat at every main meal is the product of our lifestyle and has a harmful effect on the global environment. Meat has never been as available as it is now. (except possibly in the US where a hunting economy existed much later than the rest of the Western world and there's so much land area per capita?) I like meat (Mmmmm ... bacon ...mmm) in moderation but I do think that we overdo it. Toast& marmitechat 20:03, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

It's the same appeal to tradition that Tom's accusing meat eaters of. But if you want to pit agriculture vs. hunter/gatherer in terms of tradition, h/g wins hands down. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 20:08, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I think the point is that eating meat is just a cultural thing. A little bit in your diet is no bad thing - and historically a little bit as what you got. Now most of the west eats far too much of it. Before the crash, one of the things pushing up global food prices was increased affluence in China. People who previously ate meat one a month or once a week began go be able to afford it every day. As animals need to be fed far more grain or other foods than they produce in meat this was pushing up the price of all foodstuffs. Because obviously if you're feeding the stuff to animals it's not available for people. If everybody tried to eat the same amount of meat as westerners there would be global food collapse.--BobNot Jim 20:19, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
EC) Not appealing to tradition: stating the facts. Hunter gatherer became agriculture because hunter gatherers couldn't supply the larger populations. We had to wait until we could import either meat or veg to replace the meat. If the whole population of the world were to have a "western" meat eating diet, there'd be nowhere to raise enough meat. Toast& marmitechat 20:19, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Oh, okay Toast...Not appealing to tradition, just stating the facts...about tradition... — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 20:28, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
It doesn't seem like she was appealling to anything. It seems more like she was just reminding us about the lifestyle changes that have brougt about societies whose meat consumption mightily surpasses any other society in history.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 21:55, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I know, it just seems like when I remind you about such things it's an appeal to tradition. When Toast does it..."what fallacy?" It might not be a fallacy either way, or maybe it is both ways. It's just the rhetoric we frame our arguments in. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 21:57, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
The difference is that you say that it's a reason to eat meat. That's why it's an argument - you're saying the behavior is justified because people have always done it. That's an appeal to tradition. Pointing out that people have not always lived the way we do is not an argument against it or for it. She was just saying she "likes meat but think[s] we overdo it." Seems more like a suggestion that we eat too much meat, rather than saying we should eat none.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 22:12, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

[edit] So where are the lines?

I'll leave aside the questions of the environment, factory farming, etc. (in which I think you have a stronger case) and simply ask, where do we draw the lines about when massive suffering and death is caused?

Take the more traditional methods from a utilitarian standpoint - hunting, fishing, traditional farming. Do these in fact cause the massive suffering and death? In the case of hunting, no. Most animals will die in equally or far more painful and horrific ways than a bullet, arrow, trap. In the case of fishing (if we're really going to extend pain-consciousness to fish), no, for the same reasons. Quick asphyxiation is better than starvation, rot, and on par with or better than carnivore's-meal-being. Non-factory farming is a more curious example, as the animals exist in an artificial environment, but given that domesticated cows do not suffer devouring by packs of predators, slow death due to disease, wasting away to starvation, death of cold, etc., I find it hard to see how relatively humane slaughtering practices are a blight upon their species.

  • Is it wrong to eat an animal that has already died?
  • Is it wrong to shoot an animal bleeding to death from predators' wounds and then eat it?
  • Is it wrong to eat insects or molluscs, which is to say, when does an animal become an animal? What defines pain? How complex must an animal nervous system be to constitute sentient and turn sensation into pain or even suffering?
  • Going back to the examples, is our objective to minimize suffering in nature or simply not to add to it? The first one we can quickly recognize as absurd and impossible, but the second seems to allow for many forms of carnivorous behaviour.

PubliusTalk 20:11, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

I will firstly agree, after this discussion (which has brought so many points I had never considered to light), that the environmental case is much stronger.
I think it is much less wrong to eat an animal that has already died or a wounded animal - almost not wrong at all. Inasmuch as it is wrong even a bit, it is mostly wrong because it perpetuates a meat-eating culture. But this is negligible.
I don't know if it is wrong to eat insects or molluscs. It's a very tricky bit of judgment and I haven't been able to figure it out yet. I don't do so.
The objective is not to add to suffering in nature, in my eyes. Human beings are clearly not responsible for everything, but only for their own actions. Thus, raising pigs in agony (as almost all of them are) on hundreds of millions of pounds of grain (that could feed the hungry) and producing liquid rivers of feces (that destroy water supplies) and accelerating global warming (as the largest caise) is something we are responsible for. Preventing wolves from eating wild pigs is not.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 22:01, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

[edit] Why?

Whyever must all of us be good Catholics vegetarians, respect life, and abstain from the pleasures of sin meat? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 20:33, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Because God evolution put animals on the earth and gave us dominion evolutionary advantages over them. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 20:42, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Besides, abortion eating meat is ending the life of the unborn child a cute little animal. The Spikey Punk I'm punking my punk! 20:44, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
This section is full of win. Please, continue. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 21:18, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Section is full of win fail. Strikethrough is great stupid. Please don't continue. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 00:01, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
I guess you're right. After all, the environment doesn't really matter because Jesus is coming soon .... uh... shit. I'm doing this wrong.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 22:05, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
They were sending up the moral component of your argument, and now you've switched to the environmental one. You keep doing that. You presented two clear reasons why you don't eat meat, moral and environmental, and you would be much easier to engage with if you'd stop switching between the two whenever someone makes a good point.-- Kriss AkabusiAAAWOOOGAAAR!!1 11:29, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
As I acknowledged elsewhere, the moral component of my argument has proven much weaker. So while I have not switched between the two, I have tended to give way on the moral component and respond by pointing out the remainder of my argument, the environmental one. Because I have a two-pronged argument, it is not unreasonable for me to give way on one prong and point out the other. In other words, even if you don't think it's morally wrong, it's still terrible for the environment, and it's worth pointing that out.
Also, this was pretty obviously a joke thread, so I don't feel too bad about making light along with it.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 21:04, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

[edit] What about us hunters and fishers?

In your quest against factory farmed animals (which I can't say I'm against), you ignore those of us who hunt and fish for our food. While I am not an avid hunter, I do fish a lot and eat about 50% of the stuff I catch that is keep-worthy. But, what are you feelings on hunting and fishing, since I know plenty of people up here in Minnesota that get, almost, and entire year's supply of food from the hunting season and get a good amount of food from fishing. Lord of the Goons The official spikey-haired skeptical punk 21:27, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Good question. I used to enjoy sea fishing, catching dab and whiting to give us a freezer full of fish for a few months. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 21:33, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
That seems pretty okay. It would yield very little meat with proper hunting and fishing restrictions to protect the species, but in a way that is mostly environmentally sustainable and with little cruelty. My views have been forced to shift during this discussion, and I must admit that such situations can have little objection to them.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 22:07, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I'd rather talk about how it's wrong to "protect the species", even if that species is us. I'm a little bit more anarchic when it comes to nature. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 22:22, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I think humans are doing pretty okay, and probably will not become extinct soon. That may be going out on a limb, but I'm just reckless that way.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 22:24, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
What more interesting is that it is hunters and fishers who are, though not overt about it, staunch conservationists. Here in Minnesota, they were key to passing a sales tax hike that funded conservation and the arts. Unfortunately, as a result of that amendment, the politicians decided to de-fund general fund allotments to those programs, thus making it a neutral gain even though the amendment was supposed to raise funding for those programs. The Spikey Punk I'm punking my punk! 22:36, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
As I might have pointed out, I do hunt. I have already planned to hang out with my friends and bowhunt two turkeys for Thanksgiving. While we are at it, we are also planning to fish out what we can from a lake. The hunting arrows we use are called "Guilotines" because they are sharp rotating blades, which decapitate the bird instantly, killing it rapidly. There are no arrows gouging into the body as it runs, just a quick lob off for the head. ĴάΛäšςǍ₰ current location: between the contagious brisket 21:13, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

[edit] UN says eat less meat ! Well no, but the truth is more interesting.

Most of this debate has focused on the question of animal suffering. However, some time ago it was reported the the UN was urging people to eat less meat to save the planet. Chasing the story down a bit more it seems that Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change made these comments on a personal basis and not on behalf of the IPCC. Nevertheless his blog post on the subject makes interesting reading - and he would be expected to know what he is talking about. It seems to me that, whatever the rights and wrongs of animal suffering, the environmental question alone should be enough to discourage amean-eating.--BobNot Jim 21:55, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

I for one will never eat another mean! <sorry, Bob> Toast& marmitechat 22:00, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Blast. And now I can't correct it becasue then your comment wouldn't make sense. :-( --BobNot Jim 22:13, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
No, we should go back to population levels that allow for environmentally sound production and consumption of meat. That's the problem. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 22:02, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
How?--BobNot Jim 22:04, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
EC) He's not wrong. Just impractical. 22:06, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
The debate has mostly focused on cruelty because (it's becoming very clear) there are a lot more flaws in my arguments in that regard, I think.
It would certainly be enormously helpful it people at least ate less meat.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 22:09, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Non-meat based diets are even more efficient in terms of land use, forget CO2 etc. Arable farming's much better in terms of 'food/m^2' than a lot of pastoral farming, or so go my half-remembered geography lessons. TVP grows in great big towers, mushrooms can be cultivated in a very compact environment, etc. All the space that you save by not rearing cattle on ranches can remain Amazon rainforest/have windfarms on it/be turned into carparks, or whatever. But, oh wow, that blog comment section:

"My countrymen may not be aware of it, but fatal cases of heart attack and cancer have crept up as our society's two top killers. Can it be the "ghosts" of animals slaughtered past starting to "haunt" us? I hope to interview you for a scientific approach on vegetarianism and how it would "exorcise" the demonic heart disease and cancer from our system.'

I think I remember that X-files episode. --䷉䷻䷶䷈䷰䷒䷰䷈䷶䷈䷡䷶䷀䷵䷥
Just keeps getting back to naturalism for me. Things are supposed to suffer. In fact, things have to suffer. But I've completely lost interest :-/ — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 22:12, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't think anything's "supposed" to happen, or "has" to happen. I'm not religious. But I do think that things do suffer, often and everywhere. I also think that I don't like to hurt things. I don't like to hurt people and I don't like to hurt animals. Pain may happen, but I don't want the responsibility for causing it.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 22:22, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
If you don't think suffering has to happen, I think you live on a fucking rainbow in la-la land, Tom. I have no clue what's making you tick, and I'm almost disappointed with myself that I've lost all interest in finding out. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 22:24, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't believe in determinism. Ten million years in the future, it's possible suffering will be a thing of the past - if only because all creatures will be extinct. I think suffering does happen and will continue to happen, but that's pretty different from saying it has to happen, unless you were being poetic in your language. I'm bemused by your puzzlement at my attitude. From what I understand, it's a pretty common outlook to want to avoid causing pain to other people and animals.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 22:27, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Also, just because we can't stop it, doesn't mean we can't try and minimise it as far as possible. --䷉䷻䷶䷈䷰䷒䷰䷈䷶䷈䷡䷶䷀䷵䷥

[edit] Regrettably, I could not reply earler.

as I was on my annual 400-mile hajji to the Amish meat store in rural Indiana to pick up my annual supply of delicious meat. Image very relevant. Inner party members always get the best goods. --The Emperor Kneel before Zod! 23:15, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

About 3/5 is for me.
That's awesome :) I assume their meat is more ethically-raised?--Tom Moorefiat justitia 23:33, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

[edit] Um...

To me, though, it seems to be a small evil to kill an animal. You are ending a life of complexity, social interaction, and sensations. Assuming there is little pain or suffering involved, it's a small wrong, not a big one. In other words, animal lives have value, even if that value is small in and of itself. But I also think that to not do wrong is better than to do wrong, and one should seek to do as little wrong as possible.

Tom, my man, if you really believe the above, then you need to become a Jain, not a veggie. And it's an absolute bastard to reframe in more specific terms without trivialising it to death. You end up in silly "degrees of wrongness" territory for every class of animal life on the planet. --Robledo 23:25, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

As little wrong as possible. And as I also said above, it's each person's job to balance practical living and moral living in their own life according to their own judgments. You may give a dollar to charity, saying it is good to give to charity, and I could demand to know why you don't give two dollars. And you would rightly be annoyed and call me an asshole.
I agree that it is almost impossible to work out the specifics for every form of life. I know some people have various rules, such as our friend right above this section who only buys ethical Amish meat, or my girlfriend who only eats shellfish, but for me it is easier to just eliminate meat.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 23:32, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm objecting on a rather more basic level, fella. If you can't hold to it universally, then there's a problem with either the framing or the argument itself. If you can't reframe it without trivialising it to death, then you must at least consider the possibility that the argument is bunk to begin with. --Robledo 00:00, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
I disgree. I suspect you do as well, if you stop to think about it. Consider lying. Prresumably you think it is wrong to lie to someone, and it would be best never to have to lie. But on the other hand, you almost certainly tell numerous lies, generally on a daily basis. Does that mean that lying is actually okay all the time? Or is it that you are forced - like everyone - to compromise between your ideal moral life and the one you live practically?--Tom Moorefiat justitia 01:25, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Given that there are obvious cases where lying is the correct moral choice, I'll give you a mulligan on that one. ;) --Robledo 18:22, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Sure. And there are cases where killing something is the correct moral choice. I was asking you if you agree that lying is wrong in principle, but that sometimes you lie anyway - and often not for a noble reason.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 18:32, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Disagree. See above. --Robledo 18:59, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Too many angles. Is large-scale meat production bad for the environment, almost certainly. There you go. It's sort of like global warming. Yeah, it's real, and I'm pretty hard up on it (insulation, new windows, efficient appliances, wearing a sweater instead of turning the heat up), but I'm not selling my SUV or sports car. Yeah, it's bad and will probably kill us, but daddy needs more horsepower so he can get to the steakhouse while his kobe fillet is still mooing. The stuff about being right or moral or ethical is a fruitless debate (and way fucking boring). — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 19:08, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Ethics = SRS BNS. ;) --Robledo 19:18, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Being economical with words is a virtue, but a few more would help me figure out what you mean, Robledo. Do you mean that lying is not wrong? Do you mean that you never lie without a greater moral purpose? Or do you mean that the situation is not analagous between a wholly nonviolent life and a wholly honest life?--Tom Moorefiat justitia 19:45, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

<--- I don't think the analogy with lying is at all helpful to your argument that there are clear and compelling moral reasons not to kill and eat animals. You're taking a stand on the idea that non-human animal life has "value" because it displays "complexity, social interaction, and sensations". It's hard enough to make that case meaningfully for human life - in fact, we mostly just give ourselves a free pass on the grounds that we're able to consider it in the first place. I think, therefore I matter, as it were.

Going back to lying for a moment, I reckon any serious and comprehensive attempt to expand on your idea of the value of non-human animal life is doomed to failure. It'll end up as silly and as trivial as exploring the relative ethical merits of telling your missus her bum doesn't look big in those jeans, when in fact it does. --Robledo 23:33, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

It's okay if it gets silly. I'm just trying to point out that I can believe animal life has some value without acting in a way entirely consistent with that belief. It's the same with honesty.
Perhaps maybe I didn't get your point in the first place. Maybe you could restate it for me in a different or clearer manner?--Tom Moorefiat justitia 00:59, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

[edit] Then there's health.

So we've beaten to death the moral question. The environmental damage caused by our liking for meat seems unquestionable. That leaves health.

From New Scientist we have. Red meat linked to breast cancer risk , Red and processed meat linked to early death , Cured meats may reduce lung function and Toxic bug has meat-eaters in its sights I'm sure I could find more if I bothered to look. OK, it's just those reality-based liberal scientists saying these things. So we don't need to believe them, right?--BobNot Jim 07:48, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Why do all the Quotes come from the Same Source? Presumably it's biased in favor of the Editor's Opinion. --Tolerance 21:30, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Wow, this looks like ASoK or CP. Editor at CPmały książe 09:03, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, how many countless times have we laughed at Andy for being so hard-headed about linking to articles in the reputable scientific press? Whoo boy, if he links to the New Scientist just one more time in their reporting about a study done on the pertinent topic of discussion, I'll just go crazy!--Tom Moorefiat justitia 10:45, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Seriously guys, let's link to all those articles that say that alcohol is good or bad for health (you'll find both, and both are right!). Linking articles like that has the same value. What you need is an understanding of the whole of nutrition science. This said, nobody denies that a vegetarian or vegan diet is doable and healthy, and that excess amounts of meat give rise to health problems. But this should always be considered in regards to whole diets and way of living (obese? physically active?). The consensus is that the risk for vegetarians of having an unbalanced diets is greater than for omnivores. On the other hand, vegetarians also seem to be more aware of healthy diets and needs. But linking to random articles and saying "meat is bad for you" is not very rational. Editor at CPmały książe 11:16, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
I guess you're right. New Scientist isn't the place to go for environmental or health-based stories. What do scientists know? We need a more "balanced" approach.--BobNot Jim 13:03, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Worrying about the healthiness or otherwise of eating meat is pretty pointless given the vast range of processed food we all eat. It reminds me of the Billy Connelly story of the family eating a pizza the size of a wagon wheel but drinking diet coke. Having said that I only eat organic chicken because of concerns about the amount of growth hormones I might be eating when consuming other chickens, whether free range or not Bob Soles 14:00, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Sounds a bit like the heavy smoker's excuse: There are plenty of carcinogens in the atmosphere already so how are all these cigarettes going to hurt me?--BobNot Jim 19:56, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Editor at CP + 1 — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 20:02, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
I Agree with those who say that Animal Suffering is Irrelevant.--Tolerance 21:09, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
How Can eating Meat be Unhealthy? It is another Myth.--Tolerance 21:23, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Excess. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 21:26, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Don't be Silly. People have eaten Meat for the Past six thousand years. How can it be Unhealthy?--Tolerance 21:28, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
A diet heavy (unbalanced) with meat would be unhealthy, just like any other unbalanced diet. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 21:30, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Esqumoes eat nothing but Meat. Or they Did.--Tolerance 21:31, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
I was actually thinking about that, too. I think that's why they have to eat all the parts of the whale to get the required nutrients. I think we're talking about flesh here. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 21:34, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

(ui)"Eskimo" is not a meaningful term, since it describes roughly a dozen different peoples. But assuming you mean Inuit, it's true they ate a lot of meat - but not "nothing but meat". That's an absurd claim. But assuming you eat a lot of seal blubber to get Vitamin C and preserved seaweed, you can exist fine on just meat. But that is a carefully balanced diet that has evolved over a long time, and in pretty stark contrast with a pork-roast-a-day Western diet. As others have noted already, a diet of too much meat can be very unhealthy. I haven't tried to claim that it's unhealthy to eat meat at all, though, because that's not really verifiable or supportable. It is true, though, that almost everyone in the west would benefit from eating substantially less meat. The "necessary" serving of meat recommended is about the size of a standard deck of playing cards.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 21:54, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

[edit] Dead cow = delicious dinner = morally right!

Simple. John Stuart Mill said that the more happiness an action creates, the more morally right it is. We know that meat is delicious, so it creates happiness. And since most animals are big enough to feed lots of people, the pain of one dead cow can create a lot of happiness. So there's a significant net gain in happiness from eating meat, ergo eating meat is morally right (and delicious). QED. 20:36, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Playing devil's advocate, if the immense self-satisfaction of being a vegan is greater than that of eating the steak, being a vegan would be more morally right than eating meat, which, when faced between the two, would make eating meat the wrong option. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 20:41, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
True, smug self-satisfaction is a strong force. But surely that happiness is reduced by all the horrible stuff they actually have to eat every day? 20:56, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Wouldn't every unsavory bite increase the self-satisfaction? I suppose at some point, you'd reach a maximum and the self-righteousness would start to be outweighed by the unsavoriness of the food, save for any acquired tolerance. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 21:01, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
There is Nothing in the Bible against eating Meat, and the Environmental Arguments are Irrelevant.--Tolerance 21:07, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
The environmental arguments are only irrelevant if the environment is irrelevant to you (or do you disagree?). If you are concerned with the environment, please explain how the environmental argument is irrelevant. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 21:10, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
The Environment is Important to me, but I don't Believe that Animals can affect it Negatively. I agree with you that they are are Natural like Eating meat is natural.--Tolerance 21:13, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
It's not the animals that affect the environment negatively, it's the space/pollution/resources required to "farm" them. Tom had some figures, I'll try to pick them out. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 21:18, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
So called "Scientific evidence" is not always convincing. Anyway Somebody Else said there are always other Scientists with Other Figures. But I thought that You also Did not Believe there was a problem.--Tolerance 21:21, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
I think it's relevant, but not pressing enough to be an impetus. I didn't see any actual figures or citations, maybe someone else will dig them up. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 21:25, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
I am glad we Agree that these Numbers are Not Important.--Tolerance 21:26, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

(ui)The World Bank estimates that the raising of livestock by itself contributes to a minimum of 51% of greenhouse gases, not including the numbers for the fishing industry or associated transportation pollution. A large fraction of the planet's landmass is devoted only to raising animals for consumption (according to a guy at Tel Aviv Uni, it's about 30%). In more local problems, in 1995, Smithfield Farms accidentally released a river of feces twice the size of the Exxon Valdez spill into their local river. They were fined $12 million, a record amount... that equals their earnings of just one week. Because eating cheap meat is so important to so many people, the USDA and EPA are toothless when it comes to the meat industry. There are about a thousand more facts available like this.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 22:02, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

I can't put my finger on what makes me not care enough to do something. It's actually rather frustrating. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 22:11, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Indeed.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 01:03, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

Utilitarianism is retarded. RightfulGod (talk) 06:52, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Responses

Essay:Why I eat meat

[edit] The Subject of Breeding

I've read a lot of opinions on both sides, but nothing about what would happen if people were to significantly reduce their meat intake. All domesticated animals have been domesticated for a reason: sheep for wool and meat, chicken for eggs and meat, cows for milk, meat, and leather, dogs for hunting, cats for pest control, etcetera. Of those, only dogs and cats have really stopped being used in those ways. People don't really have grain stores they need to guard from rodents, and hunting with dogs is rare; in some places it's been banned.

Chickens, cows, and other livestock have been bred for thousands of years to be as useful for humans as possible. A very significant population of all of them exists for the sole purpose of providing food for humans. If demand for their products were to significantly decrease or disappear entirely, there is very little chance that any kind of large population of them would be able to survive in the wild. We haven't been breeding cows and chickens for survivability, we've been breeding them for meat. They'd be practically defenseless, and I think that they would run the risk of becoming extinct.

Of course, this raises the question of whether the life that our livestock currently lives is any better than extinction. I'm not so sure, but I think it's something that should be taken into consideration. Arkhon (talk) 22:58, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Eating a living being

Eating an animal is wrong you say? what about plants? they are living also & it has been proven that several species of plant have emotion and feeling. Humans and animals cannot escape eating other living beings. Only plants have that blessing. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Yawn.gif WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:22, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Don't know about you but my meat and plants are typically dead by the time they get to my plate. Also, Citation Needed on that "plants have emotions" bollocks. (talk) 15:58, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Farming animals for food is morally wrong

Eating meat that has already been killed is not morally wrong, but farming animals for food is because you are restricting the animals unlimited potential to improve our lives and reducing them to improving our lives in a small way, namely the provision of food for our stomachs. Not to mention the inefficiency of land use and other practical considerations. Furthermore, I assert that the raising of animals for food accustoms people to view the farming of humans in a more favourable light; in other words it encourages evil actions(I assume you consider farming humans as evil). In a world with no farmed animals, the idea of farming humans would be more unthinkable. RightfulGod (talk) 06:59, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

"Eating meat that has already been killed is not morally wrong, but farming animals for food is"
"I assert that the raising of animals for food accustoms

people to view the farming of humans in a more favourable light; in other words it encourages evil actions(I assume you consider farming humans as evil)"

That's a lot of absolute morality you have there. Are tigers evil? They eat the flesh of still-living sentient creatures. Guinea pigs (amongst many, many species) eat their own young. Some sharks eat their own siblings in utero. By your logic, animals are evil, and confining them, and later executing them, is a moral responsibility. Eating the carcasses afterwards is just utilitarianism.
Only the environmental argument holds any water. It's why I am a low-dairy Vegetarian. But those who state that a population reduction who solve that issue faster are right. As it stands, it is easier to avoid meat than it is to go on a killing spree, though. (talk) 16:45, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
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