Why is it that people tend to be un supportive of the things I want as freedoms and yet be so virile with their own desired "freedoms."

Why cant we all have these freedoms and maybe work on changing the laws in this nation too one very simple law...do no harm unless in self defense!

Just wondering?

Tags: Atheist, and, eating, gun, libertarian, meat, toting

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I have heard people describe the breaking of a crustacean as almost a physical joy; possibly atavistic in nature?

I wouldn't think that the joy would be atavistic. It seems that this would deal more with the reward mechanisms in anticipation of eating a tasty and nutritious morsel.

I tried to eat a lobster once and totally failed. I did manage to crack into it, but never did I feel some primitive joy. Actually, the legs started moving as I turned it his way and that in an effort to figure it out. That sparked a fearful response from me that was probably a primitive fear of creatures with more than 4 limbs.
Right.. so I'm turning this idea over in my head, and coming to a few sleep-deprived conclusions.
I love all things crustacean-y. They are delicious in drawn butter, lemon...hmm....
However I HATE the hassle of shelling them. I usually manage to cut my fingers on sharp shells and then get lemon juice in the wounds as further insult. There is no joy in getting to the yummy goodness for me.

I have this budding idea that as generations are distanced from their meaty food sources, there will be psychological changes in our make up. An example, and the only anecdotal story I can come up with is this: I know a girl whose father owned a noodle shop somewhere in China. They would literally put puppies in a sack and beat them to death as a means of slaughter. The adrenaline that the puppies produced supposedly made the meat sweeter.
Even though she's fully assimilated into American culture, this person does not have any affection for animals. She still sees all non-humans as a food source (and I mean ALL non humans. Frogs, bugs, grubs, hey...whatever!) I'm guessing that she is the far, far end of one spectrum, where as ethical vegans are on the other. Somewhere in the middle, Jim-Duck-Hunter loves his dogs, doesn't mind his wife's cat and even rescued a baby bunny last spring.
I'm not sure where I fall. I love my dog like a child. I like animals a whole lot more than most people, but I know I'd have no problem eating an animal that I wasn't friends with. (Hell, I'd probably also have no problem eating a person that I wasn't friends with if there weren't so many down sides to it.)
That said, when I'm diving, and I swim through a school of tuna, my eyes are fixated on the slow, fat one.
Lobsters, oysters, clams....these look like wonderful, delicious food to me.

So as we continue to live in a world of total disconnect from the slaughter process, we start to see animals as companions from Disney movies. The horror of having to kill our own food will eventually evolve into the disgust that they are being killed at all.
If we keep living like we do, I think that perhaps nature will even us all out by lessening the desire to consume meat and eventually the resources to grow it.
(I'm still up for vat-factories, btw!)
I dunno. I love all red meat and most fish rare or raw. Carpaccio, sashimi....funny enough, I'm not a huge fan if it is cooked. I also don't care a whole lot for poultry or pork, and probably just for that reason. (Even I don't touch those things undercooked.)
Maybe I just haven't evolved as much as everyone else........maybe I'm still part cave-woman....
No, not quite what I meant. Hunger is definitely a primal urge, and I am using "primal" loosely as you are, but we both know what we mean.

Meat IS nutritious and our brain learns quickly that it is good. It doesn't already know this like it "knows" hunger. It is learned. Michel, as well as myself, have been acclimated to a meat heavy diet and we are unlikely to change without a serious motivator.

But the same could be said for "chocoholics" and their chocolate. Maybe not on the nutrition filling part, but on all other aspects. But people raised in a society where American style sweets are not part of the diet, they will not enjoy or crave chocolate as we know and love it.

At it's basic root, yes, our eating habits as a child do impact our dietary choices as adults. I just wouldn't call our love for meat atavistic since we are currently omnivores, which better explains our desire for meat. Sorry, maybe I am being pedantic. If so, I'll let you take me out for steaks to make it up to you. ;-)
Misty, I did not need to start my day reading about puppies being beaten to death in a sack. Ugh.

So as we continue to live in a world of total disconnect from the slaughter process, we start to see animals as companions from Disney movies. The horror of having to kill our own food will eventually evolve into the disgust that they are being killed at all.

I agree with the disconnect from our food sources. Most people eat cheeseburgers and never think about a cow. I think a better awareness of our food supply would be a great thing.

But here is where I have an objection to the desensitizing of killing animals. This smacks of specieism which, in turn, shares many traits as tribalism. From Nazi Germany's dehumanization of Jews back to the Jew's own proclivity for their own at the expense of others. I don't see humans being of that much more import than any other life form in the grand scheme. Being a human, I have personal values where I do place people close to me, as well as my canine companions, of great importance. But what I think people don't have is a good sense of perspective.

This is something I still think about and is vulnerable to "slippery slope" style attacks. Obviously, I myself am conflicted also, as I will happily eat cow and chicken and fish, placing those lives below human, dog, cat, et cetera on scale of importance. But, I would be horrified if I knew the cow I was eating was brutalized and suffered terribly before their death. This does happen in factory farming situations. Luckily, I get most of my cow from the family farm these days.
~facepalm~
I'm so never taking you out to dinner anywhere nice, Reggie.
I can just picture you squealing like a girl at the imagined thought of a lobster raising from the dead, demanding you partake of its flesh as the sacrificed-
Oh. Wait. That's only Catholic lobsters.
Haha. Yeah, I didn't squeal. I don't care what witnesses say.
"Maybe that's self explanatory. If you are in the minority, perhaps that conclusion was based on a faulty process."
Yes, that is a possible explanation I have already considered. *shrugs*

Your questions, then:
1) I agree 100%.
2) I partially agree. The most that could be said is that we evolved to be omnivores who CAN digest meat if necessary but do not have to in order to survive (or thrive, even). This is not the same as being a carnivore who could not survive for long without meat: there is a world of difference between evolving to be ABLE to eat meat and evolving to REQUIRE to eat meat. And since I'm not a biology expert this is where I'll have to admit I don't know enough to be emphatic, but based on what I have read I would in fact tend to disagree with the omnivore classification anyway since our digestive physiology is much more similar to our fructivorous relatives (chimps, gorillas, orangutans) - as one would expect, surely! - than it is to the true omnivores such as pigs. I hope that answers your question sufficiently.

My question now: I'd be very interested to hear the circular argument you have heard from other vegans? I'd be surprised (though still interested!) if you could show me that my reasoning was circular. Fallacious and wrong in your opinion, perhaps, but I don't see in what way it could be circular.
Shine said it best on April 6, 2010 at 7:27pm



"I find there to be a circular nature to vegetarian/vegan logic. Initially, many vegans may say that veganism is better because it reduces suffering inflicted upon animals who are consumed. But if we remove the physical/emotional abuse of commercial agriculture and only eat pastured livestock or wild game, many vegans will still say that eating meat promotes unnecessary killing. But what about consuming plants? Plants must also die so that you can eat them. (Side note: I know that there is a sect somewhere who only eats plants which can regenerate so as to avoid killing the plant. Is it a form of Jainism? I can't remember.) If it is not the suffering of the animal that is the bad part but the actual death of the organism, then what separates the death of the animal from the death of the plant? Why is the former so much more reprehensible than the latter? At this point, I have then heard vegans say that the animal's death is worse because it is a sentient creature with complex neurology which the plant lacks. But this just circulates right back to the suffering argument as the presence of neurological complexity really only pertains to the capacity for suffering. "

It's a pretty well discussed subject here on TA, so maybe you aren't as alone as you think.
http://www.thinkatheist.com/profiles/blogs/on-being-a-vegetarian?id...

http://www.thinkatheist.com/forum/topics/carnivore-herbivore-or
I see why you think it is a FAULTY stance, and I would definitely agree with you there. But it doesn't seem to me to qualify as a "circular" argument, by which is usually meant that the concluding statement following from one's reasoning statements is actually also one of the reasoning statements used to get you to that conclusion. Anyway I breathe a sigh of relief here because my thought process doesn't go like that at all.

To see where I disagree, all you need to do is to substitute the word "humans" for all words like animal/meat/livestock/game terms in Shine's paragraph that you've quoted above. You'll then have an idea why I think those concerns are actually rather a moot point when compared with what I see as the central issue, which is the USE per se of animals as "our" property to do with whatever we see fit. Just as when we discuss slavery there is no longer any talk of "humane" slavery, because we now think that it is the keeping of other humans as property that is the actual biggest moral problem, and not just how badly the slaves are treated. So neither the suffering nor the death of agricultural animals is, for me, the prime problem, though that is of course a huge part of it and probably can't be completely separated in discussion.

What I feel is that no one has yet offered a strong enough case that any particular sentient animal's "right" to live out its own life as that animal itself sees fit should be trumped by my own desire to unnecessarily dine on that animal's flesh and secretions (or use its skin to clothe my body/furnish my house, or keep it shut up in a small box for me to look at, etc.) Note that I'm not talking about this in the context of a life and death situation - that is an altogether different discussion, one that is obviously not relevant to most of us living in an affluent western society with easy access to all manner of good quality, cheap non-animal foods and goods.

The plant question is one that I must admit I find annoying as it is really just a red herring - or often simply a tool to goad! I have a "friend" who frequently sends me links to "But what about the poor plants" or "save plants, eat a vegetarian" etc. groups on facebook, which I imagine he thinks is marvellously witty and hilarious and that no-one has thought of before! (Note that I never proselytise to this friend about being vegan, he merely happened to find out and has been having a jeering field day since then. I just ignore him.) I don't for a moment think that most people using this argument actually think that other animals = plants, any more than they think that humans = plants. People who DO - and I don't think their reasoning is necessarily faulty, I just don't think we have enough evidence yet to support any conclusion that plants are sentient - may limit their plant eating to eating just the parts of the plant that the plant "intends" to be eaten (ie. the fruit) or take some part of the plant but not enough to kill it, etc.

So, you may disagree with my conclusions because you think my premises are false, which is fair enough, but I don't think I can be said to be inconsistent, self-contradictory or circular.
Katie- fruit is generally the seed pod or young of the plant, so by comparing humans to all other animals and using others logical approaches that plants are sentient just not as quickly moving as animals you are in fact eating the young, which would be the same as eating newborn human babies...

Now this approach is extreme yes, however, it leads back too my original and extremely valid argument that your choice to eat as a vegetarian/ rawbie while based in some facts is a personal choice and possibly should not be rationalized through other means, simply accept that it is a personal choice and everyone is allowed theirs. I am (and have proven this too my rawbie sister several times) just as healthy as her, I regulate how much of what comes through my body. Again being vegetarian is a personal choice, not a medical, or socially proven as better one.

Yes there are doctors who say that it is better for you, and there are doctors who disagree. There is no real consensus other than be healthy.

For instance I am Taoist in practice, this means that I generally eat much smaller portions less frequently when it comes too meat, however, even they did not cut it out completely.

I guess one could approach this the way the American Indians did, offer blessings and thanks too the creature, or plant that by its sacrifice is allowing you too live -
and no I am not being facetious I am being absolutely logical, for I do not disagree with your assertions regarding humans being animals (i.e. potentially higher ) however, I also believe given testing done and my own experience with them that plants are also sentient just in a way that most people do not see. After all look at the plants that die if you touch just a single leaf, or how about the plants that respond with vibrant colors too music, or others that respond visually too voice...the list is long and it is my very honest opinion that they are in fact sentient or as sentient as we are just in a different way.


Again the idea of the thread is too show that we all have separate and equally valid personal opinions leading too personal choice. Everyone has a valid argument, or some do. So be more accepting of this and do not attack someone based on something that cannot be moralized, standardized, proven as better, or is anything other than a personal decision based on their rational approach. (obviously this applies too rational individuals and as I feel very strongly that religious persons are irrational based on their belief alone this would not apply- of course that is my opinion)
Jesse. Again, disclaimer I'm not a biologist but it's always been my understanding that the whole REASON a tree produces fruit is to get that fruit eaten by others, in the name of seed dispersal and therefore is an essential part of its reproduction. Thus your comparison to newborn babies is, there's no other way to put this, plain wrong!

I have no problem with being persuaded that some plants are/may be sentient in higher or lower manners than others or we are. This is exactly what I mean about facts we learn being able to inform our morals, and the sort of thing Sam Harris and others have talked about.

I'm going to bow out now - I've said my piece and I don't think we're going to get any further here. I sense you are feeling antagonised by my position ("So be more accepting of this and do not attack someone based on something that cannot be moralized, standardized, proven as better, or is anything other than a personal decision based on their rational approach."), which is unfortunate since it was not my intention. I agree with Michael R earlier in the thread who said "Jesse, I would expect people to be unsupportive of things they cannot agree with." I think that particularly when a behaviour you would like to continue involves third parties that it is rather naive to expect never to be confronted about those third parties and what responsibilities we have to them. That is the problem when a "right"/"freedom" conflicts with another's. I do not think my own position is an "attack" on yours; nor do I think that it is an inherently unreasonable stance of mine to say that we can at least TRY to work out objective morals. After all, there ARE plenty of behaviours that I strongly suspect everyone here would agree are absolutely beyond the pale in any situation (child molestation for example); why is it such a stretch to think that with enough rational open debate, information, knowledge, and investigation that other currently hotly debated topics could never be resolved with us all on one side or the other?

Anyway I wish you all the best; I've enjoyed our debate here.
"Again, disclaimer I'm not a biologist but it's always been my understanding that the whole REASON a tree produces fruit is to get that fruit eaten by others, in the name of seed dispersal and therefore is an essential part of its reproduction. "


Seed dispersal i.e. Newborn or young

I have had this discussion with others, and I will repeat my original intentions are too show that everyone has different perceptions of what is. You believe I feel attacked, in reality I am quite secure in my understanding (based in science, and medical facts) which you declined to respond too.

I understand bowing out it makes sense, after all I feel plants are sentient you do not. Our perceptions vary too the point where we are potentially unable to agree, except if we are able to agree to disagree and part civilly. (which I have been attempting by repeating the following idea for several responses...and it has been dismissed.)

"Again the idea of the thread is too show that we all have separate and equally valid personal opinions leading too personal choice. Everyone has a valid argument, or some do. So be more accepting of this and do not attack someone based on something that cannot be moralized, standardized, proven as better, or is anything other than a personal decision based on their rational approach. (obviously this applies too rational individuals and as I feel very strongly that religious persons are irrational based on their belief alone this would not apply- of course that is my opinion)"

I do not mean this with regards to anything you have said, I mean this generally as it has been the entire point of the thread, you are leaving which is a common response, others blow up, and still more may respond intelligently and than while they may not agree they will at least accept that the other person may have valid ideas. If you take the paragraph as it was meant - a single thought instead of breaking off the portion that backs your position - you will see I was not "feeling attacked lol."
Once humans are able to accept that their ideas are not the only valid ones than we as humans can get along much better!


Feel free to add me as a friend...

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