• NKBJ
    316
    But I can afford the pig if I harvest it at some point, and I'm confident that the pig would rather have lived and been harvested than to have never lived at all, so actually what I'm doing might be considered morally praiseworthy, although not morally obligatory.VagabondSpectre

    Nope.
    A) A non-existent entity has no interest in being born. Therefore there are no non-existent pigs who wish for you to create them. Your hypothetical pig would not be unhappy about not being born, because not being born prohibits anyone from having interests positive or negative.
    B) You cannot justify causing harm that way. Try: "I can afford to have children only if I sell them to traffickers/cannibals/pornographers once they are a certain age".... should those children be happy their lives were afforded by your pemeditating to harm them? I think not.

    Life has suffering is a quality that none of us can (100%) control. Actively causing suffering is not justified on that basis.

    because life will contain some suffering and eventual death for our farm animals and our children.VagabondSpectre

    No duh. But you'd still be wrong to beat and eat your kids.

    Regarding my personal consumption of meat: I do mainly consume what I believe to be somewhat humanely produced animal products, and when I am in in a state of health where eating no meat does not pose a health risk to me, I will do so.VagabondSpectre

    I thought we had moved on from talking about you? You can't think clearly about something that you so intensely personalize. You'll notice I also do not expound upon my personal experience, because it's simply too subjective and I realize it's too prone to the regular trappings of psychology.

    By harvest I mean humanely slaughter for sale and consumption at a point when it is financially beneficial to do so.VagabondSpectre

    Can one humanely slaughter unwilling humans? If not, I find the term silly.

    We're still a part of natureVagabondSpectre

    Farms, refrigerators, heating, medications, clothes, etc are all not things which are "part of nature." We can clearly deviate from nature when we choose to.

    Believe it or not, but public health involves more factors than the existence or absence of public health careVagabondSpectre

    Some interesting points, most of which I don't agree with, but really, if you want to talk about this completely separate issue, you should make a new thread. But of course I also understand if you're kinda sick of talking to me by now :joke:
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.2k
    Nope.
    A) A non-existent entity has no interest in being born. Therefore there are no non-existent pigs who wish for you to create them. Your hypothetical pig would not be unhappy about not being born, because not being born prohibits anyone from having interests positive or negative.
    B) You cannot justify causing harm that way. Try: "I can afford to have children only if I sell them to traffickers/cannibals/pornographers once they are a certain age".... should those children be happy their lives were afforded by your pemeditating to harm them? I think not.
    NKBJ

    A) Once a creature is born it can begin exhibiting preferences and interests. Therefore, once a pig is born it can be indirectly pleased that you created it. Your argument here is that the whole concept of a life worth living cannot be considered or applied with respect to as yet non existent creatures, but given the similarity between past and future members of given species, it's more than reasonable to assume that once born, animals who are treated well would prefer life over non-existence, despite the nature of its end.

    B) Your comparison is blown far out of proportion. Ethically slaughtered animals are not sentenced to a life of such abuses. If a pig's existence necessarily entails its slaughter, and I was that pig, I might be upset at the brevity of my existence but I would still be thankful for the life I do have.

    No duh. But you'd still be wrong to beat and eat your kids.NKBJ

    Beating farm animals isn't good practice...

    I thought we had moved on from talking about you? You can't think clearly about something that you so intensely personalize. You'll notice I also do not expound upon my personal experience, because it's simply too subjective and I realize it's too prone to the regular trappings of psychology.NKBJ

    When discussing my individual justification for eating meat, I have to bring up myself. Yes this is anecdotal, but such is the nature of personal circumstances. I don't know why you're concerned about psychology and subjective experience though, you could just address the things I've said directly.

    Can one humanely slaughter unwilling humans? If not, I find the term silly.NKBJ

    Well, lethal injection protocols were developed precisely to achieve this. Hanging seems painful, and while the guillotine is fast and probably more ethical it's also an instrument of terror.

    I won't say there's a perfectly humane way to slaughter unwilling humans, but there are more and less humane ways, just as there are more and less humane ways to raise and slaughter farm animals. Relatively speaking, yes, animals and humans can be humanely slaughtered.

    Farms, refrigerators, heating, medications, clothes, etc are all not things which are "part of nature." We can clearly deviate from nature when we choose to.NKBJ

    We don't deviate from nature really, it's our nature to deviate. Refrigeration is a wonderful product of the wondrous natural adaptive capabilities of the human brain, and it allows us to transport and store quantities of vegetables which would otherwise rot, but we're still beholden to material, energy, and thermodynamic limitations which prevent us from just doing whatever we want to do. We cannot refrigerate everything because it's too expensive.

    Some interesting points, most of which I don't agree with, but really, if you want to talk about this completely separate issue, you should make a new thread. But of course I also understand if you're kinda sick of talking to me by nowNKBJ

    I'm not interested in making a companion thread for this other subject. I was more so trying to broaden your perspective of the interconnected and complex nature of societal agricultural systems. Contrary to popular belief farmers aren't stupid, especially when it comes to farming. If eliminating animal husbandry entirely was more nutritious, cheaper, and more environmentally friendly in every way, they would already be doing so en-masse. Many farms are indeed switching towards more human edible plant-based crops, but the feasibility of such a switch is farm dependent and is not suitable for traditional pastureland in the least.
  • NKBJ
    316
    A) Once a creature is born it can begin exhibiting preferences and interests. Therefore, once a pig is born it can be indirectly pleased that you created it. Your argument here is that the whole concept of a life worth living cannot be considered or applied with respect to as yet non existent creatures, but given the similarity between past and future members of given species, it's more than reasonable to assume that once born, animals who are treated well would prefer life over non-existence, despite the nature of its end.VagabondSpectre

    The key being once it is born. Arguing that we ought to bring people into life, because they will then enjoy it is just an argument against birth control.

    And even a well-treated pig doesn't want you to hurt it or kill it. You're pretending like this is a bargain that the pigs made with you: "some time living for my right to eat you." Well, you never asked the pig permission, it hasn't agreed to those terms.

    I might be upset at the brevity of my existence but I would still be thankful for the life I do have.VagabondSpectre

    Baloney. If you knew what was coming, you'd try everything in your power to get the heck out of there. You wouldn't just happily say "oh, gee thanks for letting me live at all. I guess it's okay for you to kill me now for the sake of eating my flesh." You would obviously try to escape and you wouldn't be all that grateful. Just like I don't think African American slaves were so grateful to be alive that they thought their situation was just a-okay.
    And the comparison to child traffickers is spot on. But we can change it to "black-market organ sellers" or "cannibals" or "snuff film makers" if you want to err on the side of the animal/child simply dying. Cattle are killed at 22 months of age on average, but they have a natural lifespan of 20 years. So killing them at that age is like killing a human whose only 10 years old.

    . I don't know why you're concerned about psychology and subjective experience though, you could just address the things I've said directlyVagabondSpectre

    Ummm, but you keep on inserting your personal stories like they matter.

    won't say there's a perfectly humane way to slaughter unwilling humans, but there are more and less humane ways, just as there are more and less humane ways to raise and slaughter farm animals. Relatively speaking, yes, animals and humans can be humanely slaughteredVagabondSpectre

    The death penalty is for people who have murdered others (and I still think it's wrong). It's not right to compare the killing of a criminal human to that of an innocent animal. But even if some ways are less awful than others, that doesn't make any of them "good" or "humane". Compassionate murder of someone who wants to live is just contradictory in terms. Like I said, you wouldn't be so convinced of your aggressors compassion if it was your neck on the line.

    we're still beholden to material, energy, and thermodynamic limitations which prevent us from just doing whatever we want to do.VagabondSpectre

    And yet all the medical evidence points to the fact that meat is something we can actually live very well without. Better yet, it points to the fact that meat consumption is linked to various diseases and shorter lifespans.

    I was more so trying to broaden your perspective of the interconnected and complex nature of societal agricultural systemsVagabondSpectre

    How sweetly condescending. I don't buy it though. You've obviously just bought into American corporate propaganda.

    I know plenty of farmers-some just vegetable farmers, some raise cattle. They don't dispute that raising cattle is a lot more work, money, and resource intensive than beans and kale.
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.2k
    The key being once it is born. Arguing that we ought to bring people into life, because they will then enjoy it is just an argument against birth control.NKBJ

    You know very well that I'm not arguing that we ought to reproduce or raise farm animals for their own sake. I've explained this multiple times, you keep repeating the same misinterpretation. I'm arguing that it's not immoral to breed farm animals, just as its not immoral to produce children. The reason you keep making this mistake can only be because you hold the position that reproducing or breeding animals is immoral, and you're confusing the negation of this with inversion into moral obligation. You're clearly an anti-natalist.

    And even a well-treated pig doesn't want you to hurt it or kill it. You're pretending like this is a bargain that the pigs made with you: "some time living for my right to eat you." Well, you never asked the pig permission, it hasn't agreed to those terms.NKBJ

    If pigs could make such bargains then they probably would. If their life is a net positive, worth living, then they would probably rather have the lives they have than never have lived at all.

    You never asked your child's permission to thrust them into the world, and it will inevitably involve suffering and death for them. this is exactly what anti-natalists say to argue that reproduction is immoral.

    Baloney. If you knew what was coming, you'd try everything in your power to get the heck out of there. You wouldn't just happily say "oh, gee thanks for letting me live at all. I guess it's okay for you to kill me now for the sake of eating my flesh." You would obviously try to escape and you wouldn't be all that grateful. Just like I don't think African American slaves were so grateful to be alive that they thought their situation was just a-okay.NKBJ
    Wanting to escape the farm before my execution (even though it's certain death) isn't the same as not wanting to have ever lived at all.


    And the comparison to child traffickers is spot on. But we can change it to "black-market organ sellers" or "cannibals" or "snuff film makers" if you want to err on the side of the animal/child simply dying. Cattle are killed at 22 months of age on average, but they have a natural lifespan of 20 years. So killing them at that age is like killing a human whose only 10 years old.NKBJ

    You're very good at not addressing the meat of the argument. How would you like it if I used the Christian potential life argument and endlessly compared your moral beliefs to that of Hitler, Stalin and Mao? You would probably want me to address the actual subject matter at hand and get tired of the emotion laden false equivocations and irrelevant appeals.

    Let's see if we can actually agree on a comparison: Your hypothetical wife is pregnant and prenatal genetic testing reveals a congenital terminal disease which will definitely cause the death of the child around age 10. If your hypothetical pregnant wife chooses to have the baby knowing it must die young but will otherwise live happily until then, has she done something immoral?

    Your intuition will rightly tell you that it is not immoral, and you will assume that it's not a fair comparison because the killing of the farm animal is optional, and this is where you're wrong.

    Just like your hypothetical pregnant wife, the farmer must make a decision prior to the birth of their animals which functions in the exact same manner as the decision she faces: if the animal is to be afforded life, it must include an early demise. One is a genetic cause, the other is a thermodynamic/economic one. Even if you hold to the idea that we can afford animals without harvesting, we cannot afford all of them without harvesting some.

    Ummm, but you keep on inserting your personal stories like they matter.NKBJ

    If I'm making a point about my own circumstances, then I needs must reference myself. This is very straightforward and easy to understand. Obfuscatory hand-waving is bad rhetoric.

    And yet all the medical evidence points to the fact that meat is something we can actually live very well without. Better yet, it points to the fact that meat consumption is linked to various diseases and shorter lifespansNKBJ

    Medical evidence pointsd toward consuming less meat as a healthier alternative, not consuming no meat. And unfortunately there are yet extant economic and logistic hurtles toward a nutritionally adequate national diet.

    How sweetly condescending. I don't buy it though. You've obviously just bought into American corporate propaganda.NKBJ

    Or you've obviously bought into vegan propaganda? You don't buy that either agriculture or health-care are complex systems which are difficult to model, predict, control, and plan?

    Of course you don't...

    But why?

    I know plenty of farmers-some just vegetable farmers, some raise cattle. They don't dispute that raising cattle is a lot more work, money, and resource intensive than beans and kale.NKBJ

    And depending on the resources available to the farm, cattle might be more profitable than vegetable.

    Why are you inserting your personal stories like they matter? :D
  • NKBJ
    316
    You know very well that I'm not arguing that we ought to reproduce or raise farm animals for their own sake. I've explained this multiple times, you keep repeating the same misinterpretation. I'm arguing that it's not immoral to breed farm animals, just as its not immoral to produce children. The reason you keep making this mistake can only be because you hold the position that reproducing or breeding animals is immoral, and you're confusing the negation of this with inversion into moral obligation. You're clearly an anti-natalist.VagabondSpectre

    This is clearly a case of projection on your part: you tell me I'm insisting on a misinterpretation and then you call me an anti-natalist without any suggestion of that on my part.
    I have repeatedly said that putting animals on this planet is not immoral. Therefore putting humans on it is neither. The problem arises when you seek to cause them harm, and death counts as harm.

    Your analogy with the pregnant wife is flawed in part because there is (obviously) a huge difference between someone's natural death that you can't stop, or causing someone's death. To equate the two just means you think that since all children we have will eventually die of natural causes, it's just as okay to kill them when we please.

    Wanting to escape the farm before my execution (even though it's certain death) isn't the same as not wanting to have ever lived at all.VagabondSpectre

    But it shows that you don't want to die, and neither does the pig, and that you would see something wrong in being killed...that's because it is wrong to kill someone for your own profit.

    If I'm making a point about my own circumstances, then I needs must reference myself. This is very straightforward and easy to understand. Obfuscatory hand-waving is bad rhetoric.VagabondSpectre

    Your own circumstances matter not in the least here. Whine to your doctor about it. Until you show me some scientific evidence about how this happens to people and not just you your personal "experience" cannot be used in this discussion. Not sure why that's so hard to wrap your head around? If I told you that being vegan cured my cancer, I should hope you wouldn't just take my word for it either. It's just hearsay.

    Medical evidence pointsd toward consuming less meat as a healthier alternative, not consuming no meat. And unfortunately there are yet extant economic and logistic hurtles toward a nutritionally adequate national diet.VagabondSpectre

    Medical evidence shows that eating less meat or no meat is great for your health.

    And I've already explained that being vegan does not have to cost more than being omnivorous... the price of either diet depends on your abilities to shop and cook and perhaps your location.

    You don't buy that either agriculture or health-care are complex systems which are difficult to model, predict, control, and plan?VagabondSpectre

    Of course I know they are complex, but I know for a fact that in comparison to what we currently have, both plant-based agriculture and universal health care would be much much simpler, affordable, better for humans, animals, and the planet.

    And depending on the resources available to the farm, cattle might be more profitable than vegetable.

    Why are you inserting your personal stories like they matter? :D
    VagabondSpectre

    So you admit then that meat is more expensive since it is more profitable?
    Just, FYI, citing relevant sources or experts does not count as personal anecdote. At most you could argue that I should be providing some way to verify these sources, but I guess that you really have a hard time telling what is and what isn't anecdotal.

    In any case, no new arguments are being made here. We've clearly reached an impasse, so unless you have something new to add, I will consider this conversation over now.
  • FreeEmotion
    122
    I am not sure if these ideas have been raised before:

    1. Eating anything, plant, animal, for example means that they have to be killed first, or destroyed. For those who believe in God's creation, this means destroying God's creation, in part at least. The scriptures which talk about the Lion laying down with the Lamb envision a peaceful Kingdom where there is no death or killing.

    2. You can still eat animals without killing them: wait for them to die. Call these "Carrion Farms" where animals that die of natural causes can be safely processed and consumed.
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.2k
    This is clearly a case of projection on your part: you tell me I'm insisting on a misinterpretation and then you call me an anti-natalist without any suggestion of that on my parNKBJ

    Actually I pointed out your well repeated misinterpretation, and then explained why your continued misinterpretation suggests you're an anti-natalist.

    More than once you presented my position as stating that we're morally obligated to breed farm animals and to reproduce, even going so far as to say I've argued against abortion, which is not a reasonable interpretation of anything I've said. I'm now characterizing your position as anti-natalist because as I've explained, unless many farm animals are harvested at some point we could never afford them to begin with, so to not harvest farm animals is to not breed them.

    The thermodynamic necessity of harvesting our farm animals is why we're justified to eventually do so. Just because we need to harvest some or many of them doesn't make their lives not worth living.

    And when you compare farmers to child-traffickers/rapists, you're pretty much confirming your anti-natalist position towards farm animals in strong emotional terms.

    I have repeatedly said that putting animals on this planet is not immoral. Therefore putting humans on it is neither. The problem arises when you seek to cause them harm, and death counts as harm.NKBJ

    We seek to continue life, not to cause harm. If we invest our energy to produce nourishment with plants only, then we cannot waste any on breeding animals.

    But it shows that you don't want to die, and neither does the pig, and that you would see something wrong in being killed...that's because it is wrong to kill someone for your own profit.NKBJ

    I see neither right nor wrong in the situation. The farmer does what nature permits them, and so does the pig. It's an evolutionary contrived exchange made necessary by thermodynamic limitations; prey and predator, just with much more sophisticated predators. The pig wants to live and the farmer wants to continue being a farmer and get a return on their investment (less they risk bankruptcy), so the pig tries to escape and the farmer tries to harvest the pig. If the pig can clear obstacles before it, then it can possibly live free (unlikely unless it is a robust enough breed) and maybe even find intergenerational purchase and become the grandparent of a new invasive species of boar, if the farmer clears their own hurtles, then they play a part in the continuation of human civilization, which inexorably demands suffering as payment.

    Your own circumstances matter not in the least here. Whine to your doctor about it. Until you show me some scientific evidence about how this happens to people and not just you your personal "experience" cannot be used in this discussion. Not sure why that's so hard to wrap your head around? If I told you that being vegan cured my cancer, I should hope you wouldn't just take my word for it either. It's just hearsay.NKBJ

    Your compatriot Chatter-bears kept asking if I ate meat myself, which is why I brought it up originally, but it has relevance to my central argument:

    Planning and purchasing a nutritionally adequate vegan diet might be possible for me to do, but it is presently too difficult. Different people do have different nutritional requirements (do you want scientific evidence for that?). different people also have different means and access with which to purchase nutritionally adequate vegan diets (do you want scientific evidence for that?). As a society, at present, we are not yet able to pull off the logistical miracle of delivering a nutritionally adequate plant-based diet to everyone for the host of reasons I've previously went in to and more.

    Medical evidence shows that eating less meat or no meat is great for your health.

    And I've already explained that being vegan does not have to cost more than being omnivorous... the price of either diet depends on your abilities to shop and cook and perhaps your location.
    NKBJ

    Medical evidence shows Americans in particular eat too much meat, and medical evidence shows that well planned diets result in improved health.

    Show me the study that demonstrates consuming zero meat or animal products is nutritionally superior to eating some meat...

    Of course I know they are complex, but I know for a fact that in comparison to what we currently have, both plant-based agriculture and universal health care would be much much simpler, affordable, better for humans, animals, and the planeNKBJ

    How are you going to fertilize all the existing and extra crops without manure and as the price of oil based synthetic fertilizer goes up? How will you manage the logistics of ensuring nationally adequate planting per total nutritional requirements? alter our harvesting and processing infrastructure? ensure proper refrigerated distribution? manage year round nutritional consistency against possible bottlenecks of certain nutrients? Re-educate everyone to understand how to plan and prepare adequate vegan diets? Develop and redevelop the extra land required to grow varieties suitable for replacing animal products in our diet?

    Where will all this money come from?

    If it was simpler and more affordable we would already be doing it.

    So you admit then that meat is more expensive since it is more profitable?NKBJ

    This doesn't make sense at all.

    Just, FYI, citing relevant sources or experts does not count as personal anecdote. At most you could argue that I should be providing some way to verify these sources, but I guess that you really have a hard time telling what is and what isn't anecdotal.NKBJ

    "This one farmer told me one time that I'm right"...

    Honestly, you've got to be joking. You squeal when I suggest that I'm not equipped to undertake a plant-based diet, demanding scientific evidence and screaming anecdote, but when you unambiguously put forward anecdotal evidence of your own you put on blinders

    This one farmer you met one time isn't "citing" nor "expert, it's an unambiguous and stereotypical fallacious use of anecdote, and you say I'm the one who has a hard time telling what is and is not anecdotal?

    In any case, no new arguments are being made here. We've clearly reached an impasse, so unless you have something new to add, I will consider this conversation over nowNKBJ

    Why would I need to make new arguments when you haven't yet rebuked them or put forward a substantial argument of your own?
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