Meat-eating and the industry

You are...

All-around meat-eater
28
53%
Minimal meat-eater
14
26%
Pescetarian
1
2%
Lacto-ovo vegetarian
5
9%
Lacto vegetarian
0
No votes
Vegan
3
6%
Other
2
4%
 
Total votes: 53

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Steisi
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Steisi » 2008-10-21, 14:14

Sarabi wrote:
Not in factory farms. I guess you didn't watch the video or remember my original post. Pigs, cows, chickens, and turkeys all have their throats slit. For chickens and turkeys, they are run through a throat-slitting machine which sometimes misses their throat and slices their faces or chests instead.


No, I didn't watch the video, since I knew what would be in it. As I previously said in one of my posts, I don't like being confronted with images of rotting mutilated animals for a number of reasons (guilt isn't one of them, btw.) I also remember writing that just because I eat meat doesn't mean I wish for animals to be killed in such an inhumane manner. I don't wish to be guilt-tripped for something that I haven't done and try to reduce myself, so no, I didn't watch your video. : )
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby loqu » 2008-10-21, 14:17

linguaholic wrote:Wow, this is actually the first online discussion on meat consumption I've seen that didn't evolve into a "yes-no-yes-no-debate" with lots of insults after two posts.


Seems like you were tired of it being that way.
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Tenebrarum » 2008-10-21, 14:18

Sarabi wrote:Nature loves me and is supporting me in my desire to live compassionately. :wink: .

Nature loves nothing :wink:
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Boes » 2008-10-21, 14:37

Draven wrote:
Sarabi wrote:Nature loves me and is supporting me in my desire to live compassionately. :wink: .

Nature loves nothing :wink:


Nature is to eat or be eaten. 8-)

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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby jaybee » 2008-10-21, 14:45

Javier wrote:And do we agree that some animals eat other animals without feeling guilty, right? :D

But even animals kill there food more 'humanely'.

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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby KingHarvest » 2008-10-21, 14:57

We should stop seeing animals as products or producing machines. We can give a meaning to their lives if we stop seeing ourselves as master over their lives. - Meaning we have to stop breeding animals all together. As this is utopic (for now), much can be reached by either checking where your food comes from and buying responsibly, or boycotting animal products.


Animals can't have meaning in their lives, nor can humans. It's an entirely modern phenomenon of the human condition in that since our cultures have evolved into sedentary cultures, we no longer have to spend every second trying to find food or prevent ourselves from becoming food and have turned our minds to such intellectual masturbation. The human brain was "designed" (for lack of a better word, get off my back) to outsmart prey, not to deal with metaphysical problems.
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Zorba » 2008-10-21, 15:15

1. your observation, the validity of which I don't contest, seems to hint more at the suspiciousness of the well-doers than it does to the misguidedness of the cause (if alleviating hunger in Africa is no moot cause)


I am suspicious of politics of "cheap activism". By this I mean those who appear (very visibly) to be an activist but actually risk or lose nothing only than a bit of time. The price of joining a Facebook group called "I support the rights and freedoms of the oppressed people in X!" or posting a YouTube video about "the terrible human rights abuse in Y" is nil, and the benefits seem very few. Sure, there's a very small chance that you might raise enough consciousness to provoke a change in government policy. But there's also a much more immediate pleasure: a sense of self-satisfaction that one is doing good in the world. I'm worried that the latter is more important to some activists than the former.

Similarly, a forum post that incites debate, discussion and action is useful, but one must question the value of a poster who makes a provocative opening post but then shies away from debate. If you are really concerned about something, you should be concerned about appreciating, confronting, and answering the counter-arguments.

I also think it's interesting how Sarabi makes her points through a Romantic victimology: to read her post about me being a Chinese dictator physically abusing her for her political views, anyone would think that she is struggling for basic human rights in a developing country, not talking in an internet forum from the comfort of the world's richest economy which guarantees freedom of speech. What is the effect of metaphors like this, and what does it say about how she creates meaning and truth?

2. the mere comprehensibility of people's indifference -in this case to how their meat is procured- hardly entails its palatibility. To accept it in this case, simply because you can see where they're coming from, is to tolerate any act of cruelty (on humans or animals), provided you have sufficient imagination to understand why the perpetrator(s) did it.


I'm not sure this is true because I don't agree with "tout comprendre, c'est tout pardonner." This is only the case if you are a determinist (you believe that circumstances totally make people the way they are).

I'm not actually interested in pardoning people, and as I said above, I dislike the meat industry. However, I do think that if we're going to deal with this issue, we need an understanding of why people act the way they do. Simple behavioral models ("People go to McDonald's because it's cool") do not accurately illustrate human behavior and therefore they cannot be used to build reforms that aim to change human behavior.

And even if you wouldn't understand, why would that make you feel entitled to impose your sentiments on others, if you won't tolerate animal welfare advocates imposing theirs


Where am I trying to impose my sentiments, and where did I suggest that I don't tolerate the sentiments of others? This is a message board, where debate occurs. One argues here, one doesn't "impose". Anyone is free to write what they wish, and anyone else is free to challenge it. I am delighted when I get an interesting thread like this to respond to.

If some people want to write their views and have them unchallenged, they shouldn't use the platform of a message board to make their views. They should use a blog (preferably with comments switched off!) I don't blog because I don't believe that I have anything important enough to say that it shouldn't be challenged.

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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Babelfish » 2008-10-21, 15:33

jaybee wrote:
Javier wrote:And do we agree that some animals eat other animals without feeling guilty, right? :D

But even animals kill there food more 'humanely'.

Not all of them. Felines generally snap the neck of their prey, killing it almost immediately, but I've seen videos of packs of wolves attacking a bison (or some similar animal) and simply biting and eating it alive until it died from exhaustion. It depends on the predator and the situation.

Comparing humans and animals is always problematic. Some believe animals don't have a 'soul' in the same meaning humans have it. I don't, I tend to believe animals have consciousness similar to ours - the more sophisticated animals, that is; I can't see complex consciousness in a 3mm-long worker ant... And in any case we all believe, I assume, that animals are incapable of ethics as well as sophisticated reasoning. We humans are (sometimes...) so some of us also feel obliged to behave ethically towards animals; but we won't let them vote their opinion nor learn from their [lack of] morality, they're separate.

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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby KingHarvest » 2008-10-21, 15:55

jaybee wrote:
Javier wrote:And do we agree that some animals eat other animals without feeling guilty, right? :D

But even animals kill there food more 'humanely'.


Have you never watched a nature show?
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby nighean-neonach » 2008-10-21, 16:03

Steisi wrote:I'm really interested in nighean-neonach's points. Perhaps it's my location but I really do find the price of organic stuff to skyrocket over the price of everything else. Do you include meat in your diet? If so, how? :D


Yes, my husband and I do eat meat, but not every day, and often just sliced meat on bread, or sausages, or things like that, and those are not so expensive, even if you buy them at special shops or from farmers. Apart from that, I don't mind spending a considerable part of my income on food, if it is good food. There are a lot of other things which I don't need to spend money on, we both don't smoke, we don't have a car, we live in a rather small flat, we hardly spend any money on weekend activities like parties, clubs, alcohol, etc. So, my priorities are probably a bit different from most people's. And that's not even a conscious decision (like saying "no, I won't go to the pub tonight, because I need my money for good quality meat" :roll: ), it's more like my preferences are like that anyway, there are lots of things which I see other people spending money on, but I am not really interested in those things, so I obviously have some money left over and can use it for good food :)
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Steisi » 2008-10-21, 16:45

nighean-neonach wrote:
Steisi wrote:I'm really interested in nighean-neonach's points. Perhaps it's my location but I really do find the price of organic stuff to skyrocket over the price of everything else. Do you include meat in your diet? If so, how? :D


Yes, my husband and I do eat meat, but not every day, and often just sliced meat on bread, or sausages, or things like that, and those are not so expensive, even if you buy them at special shops or from farmers. Apart from that, I don't mind spending a considerable part of my income on food, if it is good food. There are a lot of other things which I don't need to spend money on, we both don't smoke, we don't have a car, we live in a rather small flat, we hardly spend any money on weekend activities like parties, clubs, alcohol, etc. So, my priorities are probably a bit different from most people's. And that's not even a conscious decision (like saying "no, I won't go to the pub tonight, because I need my money for good quality meat" :roll: ), it's more like my preferences are like that anyway, there are lots of things which I see other people spending money on, but I am not really interested in those things, so I obviously have some money left over and can use it for good food :)


I have the exact same priorities and situation as you, it seems :D And I certainly don't mind spending my money on good food, either. It might just be a case of me not knowing when to stop though :mrgreen:
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Boes » 2008-10-21, 16:58

Babelfish wrote:
jaybee wrote:
Javier wrote:And do we agree that some animals eat other animals without feeling guilty, right? :D

But even animals kill there food more 'humanely'.

Not all of them. Felines generally snap the neck of their prey,


Lions kill most of their prey by working it to the ground and the strangling it by biting on the animals windpipe or actually holding the animals mouth shut in its jaws ... strangling is a terrible way to go.

Also, my own little tiger likes to play with her mice before she kills them ... only to leave them on pavement in front of the house.

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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby KingHarvest » 2008-10-21, 17:19

Or think of Timothy Treadwell. His camera recorded 6 minutes of a bear killing and eating him. Keep in mind that the camera was turned on by accident in the middle of the attack and ran out of tape before the attack was finished, so the attack was much longer than 6 minutes. Also keep in mind that an unarmed human is pretty defenseless against a grizzly bear, imagine how much longer an attack takes when prey is actually able to fight back against its predator? Killing in the wild is by no means necessarily humane.

Of course, we're also assuming that animals even perceive pain in the same way that humans do. Do we have anyone knowledgeable enough about the subject to comment?
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby ILuvEire » 2008-10-21, 17:35

I don't eat meat on Fridays anyway, but when I do eat meat I eat Kosher or free-range meat.

But I don't like pork or beef. At all. Mostly I eat seafood because I can get it fresh.
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Varislintu » 2008-10-21, 18:57

KingHarvest wrote:
jaybee wrote:
Javier wrote:And do we agree that some animals eat other animals without feeling guilty, right? :D

But even animals kill there food more 'humanely'.


Have you never watched a nature show?


Animals don't torture other animals throughout their life span. They don't hinder them from living the kind of life that evolution has shaped them to live. They also don't "trick" evolution to force a species to become such that they are genetically incapable of leading a physically comfortable life. Most likely not because animals are more humane, but because they aren't capable. I don't think these things (violence in the wild and violence committed by humans that other humans are able to see as "inhumane" or "not right") are comparable by a long shot. Well, of course things can always be compared, but in this case it feels like "playing stupid". (I'm not calling anyone stupid. One can play stupid without being stupid ;).)

Well, we are capable of doing those things I mentioned above. But the thing that gnaws at my conscience is that we are also capable of finding it wrong and choose not to do them. In my opinion we human beings have no reason to be proud of ourselves in our treatment of animals. For some reason it's just very hard to make thoughts apply in practice.
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby KingHarvest » 2008-10-21, 19:11

Animals don't torture other animals throughout their life span. They don't hinder them from living the kind of life that evolution has shaped them to live. They also don't "trick" evolution to force a species to become such that they are genetically incapable of leading a physically comfortable life. Most likely not because animals are more humane, but because they aren't capable. I don't think these things (violence in the wild and violence committed by humans that other humans are able to see as "inhumane" or "not right") are comparable by a long shot. Well, of course things can always be compared, but in this case it feels like "playing stupid". (I'm not calling anyone stupid. One can play stupid without being stupid ;).)


I was responding specifically to the point that animals don't kill their prey humanely. This is a straw man.
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Varislintu » 2008-10-21, 19:19

KingHarvest wrote:I was responding specifically to the point that animals don't kill their prey humanely. This is a straw man.


Okay then, but I still want my round with this straw man. We can just pluck your metaphorical straw out of it ;).
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby BezierCurve » 2008-10-21, 19:29

As far as different methods of killing are involved - both, by humans and other anuimals - the latter don't claim they have something like conscience or that they rule the Earth. If we insist we're so special and far more developed, then we're falling into our own trap , since that claim obliges us to behave like real rulers, taking the responsibilty for all our decissions, not only the advantages. Feel free to disagree.

I also agree with Bablefish that animals (including humans) feel similar emotions. When a pig sees it's about to be killed I believe it feels as much fear (and pain) as a human when being killed in a similar way. In those extreme moments we behave much like other animals, don't we? What good does for us all our complex and highly developed personality in such moments? That's an old truth, but we're all even in death - people and animals (and shortly before it too, I believe). I agree it's arogance on our part to consider ourselves something better in this matter. Don't get me wrong - I'd choose the life of other human rather than other being, but I don't agree with our way of seeing the killing those creatures because "they're just animals, they don't realize what happens to them".
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby KingHarvest » 2008-10-21, 20:42

When a pig sees it's about to be killed I believe it feels as much fear (and pain) as a human when being killed in a similar way. In those extreme moments we behave much like other animals, don't we?


Do they? Are we sure that it's not entirely reaction and we're just imposing our own emotions onto the animal? We're the only animal, as far as I know, that is cognizant of its own mortality, and, if memory serves, only humans and a couple higher order primates have a concept of self.
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Re: Meat-eating and the industry

Postby Sheidhaf » 2008-10-21, 20:53

Well pigs are supposed to be pretty intelligent. I don't know if they would feel emotions; I'm pretty neutral on the subject. I certainly don't think we should mistreat the animals, but not killing them at all probably wouldn't do much to help humankind.

There are other animals that are somewhat self-aware. Elephants are one of them. There have been some recent discoveries that show that a lot more animals are intelligent than we previously thought.


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