Much fodder is made about how humans treat animals. You’ll hear arguments about how we humans are animals (agreed) as if that means that we should be treating them as friends. I would argue that because we are animals, we should be treating them better than they would treat us. Considering many animals in the wild
would simply kill us, use what they want, then leave the carcass behind for the next creature, our use of animals is far more ethical than their use of us.That being, we are living up to a higher standard.


Vegans don’t want to use any animal products for any purpose as they believe that it’s
not ethical. Milk, eggs, leather, fur, all the obvious targets. But what would
it really take to be a true Vegan, and what would that mean for modern society
and the environment? Like most topics in the world, it’s not as black and white
and as simple as saying Meat is Murder since 1985.


When I think about Chickens, I think of eggs and meat. I eat both. This morning I had
scrambled eggs, Sausage Patties made out of Textured Vegetable Protien (Morning
Star) and Hash Browns. It was a vegetarian meal as a matter of fact. But it’s
shallow and narrow to picture chickens as just food sources. Chicken eggs are
used to incubate pharmaceuticals. The Flu Vaccine is incubated in eggs which
would be a violation of Vegan ethics even though it may arguably prevent the
deaths of 187,500 to 375,000 (250,000 to 500,000 deaths per year with a 75%
effective rate) people a year. Link Sounds like a good argument to me. It’s so
wrong to use a chicken egg that up to 375,000 people a year should die. This is
not unlike the embryonic stem cell argument at all, is it?


More over in Chickens, their billions of pounds of feathers are being used to create
new clothes. The feathers trap air better than regular cotton and make them
particularly warm. This will save billions of gallons of water in cotton
production as well as tens of thousands of gallons in cotton production from
the farm to the factory with a renewable product. Potentially the feathers can
be made into plastics as well which will again lower oil production
requirements. I suppose this is the height of immorality.


How about Pigs? I’m going to give an entirely too short synopsis of this great 8
minute TED Talk about the many uses of pigs. There are 189 commercial uses for
pigs. Many of them are not even food related. Ever heard of a pig heart valve?
How many lives have been saved by pig heart valves being installed since 1975?
How many people are alive due to pig derived insulin for Diabetics? Train
brakes, Bullets, paint, sandpaper, paint brushes, soaps, shampoo, toothpaste,
breads, cellular concrete in roads, beer, wine, juice, etc. The fact is, you use pigs daily. It doesn’t matter if you are vegan or Muslim, you are surrounded by them. Would a Vegan suggest killing this pig for the valve and not eating or using it in any other way? Video
Link


Cows have 81 uses that also surround you. Sheetrock, adhesives, glass, imitation eggs, etc. Imitation Eggs. That’s awesome. You try to actually become a vegan
only to find that you are eating cow products. You couldn’t even escape using
cows if you wanted to.



Animal use in and of itself is not an immoral thing. We are animals and many chose to
ignore this for reasons that I do not understand. By this fact alone, we are
not held to a higher standard that other animals. Nevertheless, we do act with the
intent of using the entirety of the animal that we slaughter. If you were
killed by a tiger, he isn’t going to turn your bones into glue, he’s going to
leave your bones behind with no intention of using them and the use of those
bones by others is incidental.


What would be immoral is to not eat the meat or eggs of the animal but need to
slaughter them simply for soap, or the sheen found in paint, or the sheet rock
it sits upon. When you suggest that it’s immoral to use animals for heart
valves, diabetic insulin, or the other 300 (made up number) uses, you are
frankly suggesting that either we change our way of life or potentially that
people should be dying in support of an opinion. The person making the claim
that animal users are immoral need to come up with solutions for each and every
one of the other problems. You are welcome to a vegan diet if you choose. You
are welcome to advocate it for health reasons. But it’s disingenuous to say no
meat, no leather and pat yourself on the back because you only have 298 more
problems to go or you’ve only made the animal less valuable and more susceptible
to maltreatment. Th
e problem requires much more than a simple heart string tug solution,
that is, if you actually care about animals.

Views: 604

Comment by Gaytor on November 8, 2010 at 11:58pm
Eating local might be just as important in terms of how we get oil as the benefits of eating plants over meat. For example, getting oil out of the tar sands or shale pollutes water making it unusable. If you are eating plants grown only in certain areas of the world because you can, and you can get local meat, you may find that your choice is a push.

The local dairy is interesting. In Western Washington Edaleen Dairy was forced to sell their milk directly to the regional wholesale rather than directly to local stores. They were producers and handlers. They were cheaper and had a better product with living wage jobs for 70 workers. Their business model had to change frankly because they were kicking the asses of the big boys like Dairygold and Vitamilk. So the Feds step in and now instead of the milk being shipped down the road to the stores, it goes who knows where to who knows where. The only winner is big business.
Comment by CrabApple on November 9, 2010 at 12:12am
I concur. Im a vegetarian and have been for years. But I don't push it on anyone else. I hate PETA they give normal Vegetarians a bad name. Plus they are hyprocrites. A good show to watch on this is "BullShit" with Penn and Teller. I believe it's an HBO show.
Comment by Gaytor on November 9, 2010 at 12:14am
I have the DVD's from that Season.
Comment by Atheist Exile on November 9, 2010 at 2:35am
@Neal,

I had capitalized HEALTHY when claiming that a vegetarian diet isn't sustainable in many places of the world. Just because a region has vegetarian cuisine doesn't mean that it's adequate to feed everybody or that it satisfies all human dietary requirements. Vegetarians and vegans do need to be careful to get all the nutrients they need. That's a medical fact.

India has GREAT vegetarian dishes. I love Indian food. However, I know that India and Africa are persistently plagued by famine among the poor. They're undernourished and even dying of starvation. We can't expect these people to pass up meat (although some do) if they ever get the chance.

But beyond this obvious example, there's also the fact that LOCAL veggies (something else I also emphasized) are often not enough to provide all the dietary requirements for health. For instance, here in the Philippines, many kinds of foods need to be imported. Imported foods are more expensive and, as a result, are priced outside the reach of many poor people. There might be limited local production of, say, potatoes or rice, but it's not enough to feed everybody. The price of rice is heavily subsidized in the Philippines . . . which came in handy during the rice shortage (which drove up prices). In the provinces, real grocery stores can be rare or nonexistent. People there eat what they grow locally, including livestock (mostly chicken and pigs). The Filipino diet is high in fat because they don't waste anything. I doubt provincial Filipinos could maintain health without meat.

I would dare say that there are many places in the world that can't provide for healthy diets from local foods without meat. Keep in mind that there must be enough veggies grown for everybody and there must be a sufficient variety of veggies to satisfy dietary requirements. Also important is the cost of imported foods. Cuba and the Caribbean come to mind, as does much of Africa, Asia, and Iceland and Greenland.

Without importing food, even rich countries like Great Britain, Japan and Taiwan would be unable to sustain their populations without meat (including fish).
Comment by Michael de Vere on November 9, 2010 at 11:35am
Veganism is about the reduction of suffering. Nothing more and nothing less. It is not about claiming to be the perfect abstainer. Vegans make the attempt to reduce the use of animals as much as possible. Anything less than that attempt is immoral.

We vegans fail in our attempt at perfection. No vegan will claim to be perfect. Our industrial society, where compassion rates a distant last place to the almighty profit margin, guarantees that we fail. Blame corporate greed for that, not vegans. And yes, occasionally our willpower fails and we eat meat. Blame our biology (we are omnivores after all) and a lifetime of conditioning. But we still make the attempt.

When I leave the house, I unwittingly step on ants. I drive to work and bugs die upon my windshield. I may even hit a squirrel by accident. Death is indeed a part of life and it is unavoidable. What is avoidable, however, is the false assumption that because it's convenient to use animals in the manufacture of a zillion products, it justifies it. Every single use of an animal in industrial society can be replaced with a non-animal solution. It's just inconvenient and not as cheap. Your argument is nothing more than a reiteration of the carnist view that life is cheap. Vegans disagree. We feel that life is precious. Precious to us and precious to the animals. Rationalization, purely for your convenience, will not change that fundamental viewpoint.

So now that you've patted yourself on the back for showing us how much we fail at the fine details of precise molecular veganism. Ask yourself where your morality and loyalty lies. Is it with the justification of industrial exploitation for profit or is it with simple compassion?
Comment by Michael de Vere on November 9, 2010 at 11:51am
Crap. The above post was directed at the OP. When I first viewed this topic and started composing a response, there were only a couple replies. Since then, 6 pages(!) of replies were added, making my silly post seem somewhat redundant and out of context. My apologies.
Comment by Gaytor on November 9, 2010 at 11:57am
You have multiple mis-characterizations here.
Your intent may be to reduce suffering. The Vegan Society has a list that goes as far as not using milk residue products or feathers that would otherwise be thrown away. The argument is the same as the Embryonic Stem Cell debate... the product will be used, period. The Vegan Society doesn't even want you to use the remnants of the meat production.

Sure you can form the products from other places. Let's take the renewable energy of burning the parts not used. We can burn coal instead. Let's take plastics created from chicken feathers, we could use oil instead. Let's take hair fibers used in air filters, we could instead create them out of a separate product teh is manufactured instead of using what already exists. Do you suppose the added production process will be good for the animals and us?

Ask yourself where your morality and loyalty lies. Is it with the justification of industrial exploitation for profit or is it with simple compassion?

So if the meat were made in a communist country, not for exploitation or profit, would it be morally acceptable? You are concerned over the profit motive? When I grew up on a farm we ate meat and no dollars were exchanged. Was that meat moral and my grocery store meat immoral?

I enjoy meat. You didn't evolve to run bipedally so that you could hunt legumes. You don't have canines to tear up lettuce. I would suggest that my intake of meat is considerably less than most Americans and Europeans, but it's not out of a moral concern. Your point about "precise molecular veganism" is all yours to defend. You are the one making the claim that it's immoral to eat meat and you haven't made a case yet. You have only appealed to emotions.
Comment by Michael de Vere on November 9, 2010 at 12:15pm
It's simple. The object is to reduce suffering. Suffering is reduced by not exploiting animals.

Whether the exploitation is for profit or for tastebud is immaterial. Exploitation is exploitation.

There would be no by-products to throw away if animals were not exploited in the first place.
Simply because the NEXT easiest and cheap method may be fossil-based does not mean it's the only alternative.
Your excuse that we evolved to eat meat is a strawman. Of course we did. We also evolved the rage enough to murder. Just as civilized humans have condemned homicide, we can also rise above our troglodytic heritage in the arena of diet. If we want to. What is your reason for not wanting to? Convenience? Tastebud? I have a whole bingo card waiting for your tired old excuses:

Comment by Gaytor on November 9, 2010 at 12:39pm
That's pretty good. You call my argument a straw man, as if it's fallacious, then you called the intent troglodytic which would be an Appeal to Ridicule. Nice double standard.

I also enjoy how your Bingo Card has both the argument of being an animal and not being an animal. Excellent. "Something irrelevant about caveman" Looks like a complete well thought out card.

Exploitation is such a great term. "The act of using something for any purpose." The word has so much appeal. You can toss it out however you like and as long as I were using the animal, you'd be correct. I exploit my dog for love, my health and motivation. I feel pretty bad about it too! But I wonder why you included the word profit before?

Murder is another good emotionally charged word. I'm anti-car because it makes you a murderer of squirrels. Don't you have ANY compassion? Oh wait, murder only applies to human to human interaction. I rescind my argument against cars.

Everything on the planet has this circle of life where we feed off of each other. It was that way back to early multi-cellular life. Enjoy not using animals in any way. I'm not arguing that you should use animals. I'm saying that your argument is weak and you'll be moving goal posts, like with the word profit, all day (Moving Goal Post fallacy).
Comment by Michael de Vere on November 9, 2010 at 12:54pm
I used "troglodyte" as a generic for "biologically inherent traits that were useful to our prehistoric ancestors". Any offense or ridicule taken is merely your own projection.

"My" bingo card was simply used to make the point that you are presenting nothing new or clever in the carnist rationale (excuses) for continued animal suffering.

Your attempt to get all semantic on my ass is tangential to the argument. You know very well what I mean by "exploitation" in this context. Do I need to use more elaborate and verbose descriptions here too, so that I may remain precise to the meaning intended, or can you stick to the main point that using animals causes their suffering.

My (ab)use of the word "murder" is also tangential to my point. I guess if you don't have a valid argument against my points you'll want to discuss semantics.

How is my argument weak? How have I moved goal posts?
I say that (1) we should all reduce the suffering of animals and (2) using (since I'm not allowed to say "exploiting") animal products causes their suffering.
Where is that weak? How has that goal post moved?

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