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Is it morally justifiable to kill animals for meat?

Discussion in 'Serious' started by eddtox, 1 Oct 2010.

  1. eddtox

    eddtox Homo Interneticus

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    Is it morally justifiable to kill sentient beings for food?
    I am, and have always been a huge fan of meat products of all sorts, but this is a question that keeps occurring to me. What do you think?
     
  2. brave758

    brave758 New Member

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  3. M7ck

    M7ck Ⓜod Ⓜaster

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    Yes although I do not and would not (knowingly) eat halal meat.
     
  4. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    What do you think, eddtox? You say you have always been a fan of meat products, but since the question keeps coming up in your mind are you having second thoughts?

    The question is a bit broad, too. Are you asking specifically about commercial livestock raised and slaughtered for hamburger meat? Do you also include hunting? What about harvesting the animal by-products for any number of uses, both food and non-food?

    EDIT:
    Could you eleborate?
     
  5. Sloth

    Sloth #yolo #swag

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    Is it morally justifiable to kill plants for food? Afterall, you're not only killing each individual cell, but also the entire "life" that is the culmination of those cells: the plant. Does a lack of discernable intelligence or thought mean an organism's life is suddenly forfeit? Just some food for though (pun intended).

    As for meat, why wouldn't it be? Some organisms even practise cannibalism, just look at black widow spiders. Eating other creatures is part of being a predator.
     
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  6. Smilodon

    Smilodon The Antagonist

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    Yes.


    Like it or not, humans are and will always be omnivores.


    It's basically kill or be killed. Yeah, nature is cruel. ;)




    Yes, I am aware that there are synthetic alternatives to eating meat, but I choose to ignore them. ;)
     
  7. M7ck

    M7ck Ⓜod Ⓜaster

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    Does it really need any more explanation?
     
  8. Krazeh

    Krazeh Well-Known Member

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    Yes. We're omnivores which mean we eat meat which means we need to kill animals. It's simply nature, all we've done is refined it into a system that can produce enough meat for everyone.
     
  9. MaverickWill

    MaverickWill Dirty CPC Mackem

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    Apparently so.

    Halal/kosher meats are due to the nature of the animal's death. Basically, there's a big incision in the jugular, which is very quick, and then the animals bleed. Some argue it's inhumane, some argue since the brain is immediately starved of oxygen that the animal is immediately rendered unconscious, there's no pain and it's humane.

    The arguments for and against appear to be subjective, but there is agreement that the animal should be restrained prior to the cut, to ensure the death is as quick as possible (no risk of bad bleeding, blood vessels blocking, etc).

    It's a personal thing. I (and I'm assuming, supermonkey) don't mind it, M7ck does. Just the way it works.
     
  10. eddtox

    eddtox Homo Interneticus

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    I am referring to the practice of killing otherwise healthy sentient organisms solely for the purpose of providing sustenance, so this would include hunting wild animals, and the commercial rearing of animals for slaughter, but not by-products such as milk as that does not hurt the animal.

    My question is strictly regarding the act of killing a sentient being, which I believe to be a negative thing. However, IMO, a bad thing can still be morally justifiable if it can be proved necessary.

    So the question is - is it necessary for the human race to kill other animals for food - if not, is there any other moral justification for doing so.

    The question crops up in my mind as an intellectual evaluation of the morality of my (our) actions. I like meat, but just because I like doing something it doesn't mean that thing is morally acceptable, and therefore I may have to stop doing it.
     
  11. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    Yes, it does. I'm curious as to why you choose not to eat Halal meat. MaverickWill took the time to offer some information about Halal and Kosher slaughter (of which I was already aware), but you didn't mention Kosher meat. You just stated as a matter of fact that you will never eat Halal meat. I am curious to know why, and how it pertains to the discussion at hand.

    Personally, I think we're all guilty of some hypocrisy when it comes to eating animal products. Many of us cringe at the thought of the family dog being roasted over a spit because the dog is just so friendly and lovable. Instead, we opt for the more intelligent pig. I don't think I'll eat dinner tonight because I'm still full from the delicious chicken sandwich I had for lunch today. On the other hand, I'm not ready to pluck and grill up one of my mother's canaries.
     
  12. eddtox

    eddtox Homo Interneticus

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    I am obviously aware that historically speaking man has eaten meat, but the arguments from antiquity and nature do not say anything about the morality of the act. Just because something was morally justifiable a few hundred years ago, that doesn't mean it still is.

    Are we sufficiently advanced as a civilisation to be able to obtain a nutritionally balanced died from alternative sources? If we are, is it still justifiable to take lives just because we prefer meat?
     
  13. M7ck

    M7ck Ⓜod Ⓜaster

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    Its just a personal choice, I feel that it causes the animal unnecessary suffering. I maybe wrong but it is my decision. I am an animal lover but I cant think of an animal that I wouldn't eat, I don't think I am being a hypocrite by not eating Halal, I just don't agree with the method used in killing the animal.

    As to how it pertains to the discussion at hand surely again that is pretty obvious.
     
  14. Gunsmith

    Gunsmith Maximum Win

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    this thread is certainly food for thought.

































    I shall contemplate it over a sausage and bacon sandwich
     
  15. Krazeh

    Krazeh Well-Known Member

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    The killing of animals by other animals for food is something that goes on all the time in nature. It's an entirely natural consequence of having animals that eat meat in the food chain. I really don't see there's an issue of morals to be honest. As an organism our metabolism is designed to obtain nutrition from both plant and animal sources, that means we need to harvest plants and kill animals. Do you question if it's morally justifiable for a lion to kill a gazelle or for a polar bear to kill a seal? The only moral issues involved in our eating of meat are those surrounding the treatment of the animal during it's life and death, anything else is just nature taking it's course.
     
  16. Smilodon

    Smilodon The Antagonist

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    Well, most of the animals we eat are bread to be used for food. They are killed in a humane way (or should be at least) so I can't see much of a problem with it. To be honest IMO the actual living conditions for some of the "industrial animals" are worse than the act of killing them.

    At leas the animals themselves are blissfully unaware of their destiny, and they don't have to rot away in a hospital. The animals actually serve a purpose after their death.

    Maybe we should rather talk about the inhumanity of keeping some people alive?
     
  17. Grimloon

    Grimloon New Member

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    I do feel that it is justifiable as it is very much part of the natural world. If every lion or tiger on the planet went vegetarian tomorrow I might, possibly, reconsider.

    However, I'm a very firm believer in knowing where meat actually comes from. I was 12 the first time I skinned and gutted a rabbit - I have absolutely no illusions that the meat on my plate was anything other than a living creature. There are some meats I won't eat owing to the way the animals are reared - veal is definitely out, as is lamb as I only eat adult animals. Another important point for me is to use as much of the animal as possible, if the hide can't be used I tend not to eat it.

    Fur is a different matter as I can't think of any animal used for that purpose that is actually eaten.

    As far as M7ck's comments are concerned, I wholeheartedly agree regarding methods. When I used to hunt rabbits I either had a headshot or didn't shoot. Yes, the body may still briefly move but the brain is dead (particularly if you use hollow points). I'm more than a touch dubious regarding the whole "lose consciousness immediately" business with halal - who tested it? How do they know? I somehow doubt that anyone reported "Actually, it stings a bit at first but after that it's just like going to sleep". It's an educated guess at best and it always seemed more reasonable to me that destroying what is effectively the seat of consciousness would be a more humane method. Please don't get me started on what they do to chickens!
     
  18. Sloth

    Sloth #yolo #swag

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    I'm a bit confused. The question posed is whether or not it's necessary for us to kill animals for food, but you make heavy references to sentience and pain.

    If a sentient creature is painlessly killed, is its sentience pertinant anymore? No pain is caused so it makes little matter whether or not the creature would be capable of feeling pain or not. The animal will never be alive again to know it died, so it's a totally neutral action. Is that still immoral because you just don't like killing living things? In that case, see plants again. Or is it immoral because you just don't like killing sentient things for some pre-determined reason? In that case, what is so sacred about sentience?


    For my own beliefs, any human action against our environment can be justified if it has a credible benefit. Preserving our natural surroundings is something that is important to a lot of people, including myself, but eventually there must be a compromise or else you come to the conclusion that humans should not exist at all. This applies to animals as well. Humans have evolved as omnivores: it may be possible to supplement our diets to go without meat, but it is not our natural diet. As our population expands we will need to kill and eat more animals, along with grow and harvest more crops (which destroy natural landscapes with farms). As long as they are used for food or useful products then I see no reason why killing animals isn't totally justified. I don't feel any moral obligation to let Mr. Piggy live out his full healthy life when my own life depends on eating him. Indeed, we've done a fairly good job of treating our animals fairly well before slaughtering them, and even the slaughtering process is pretty painless, especially compared to the brutal methods of other predators in this world. It's a level that I am comfortable with.
     
  19. Booga

    Booga Cuppa tea anyone?

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    Self aware?

    Hmm.. bacon tastes good, pork chops taste good.

    I believe we are the only truly sentient beings on this planet, does that make it right for us to kill for food, well of course.

    We apart from are self awareness are after all animals.
    Chimps kill monkeys for food, they are our closet relative so why shouldn't we.

    Believe it or not I was a vegetarian for a while back in Uni, but that was more to do with the inhumane way that livestock is treated rather than whether it is right or not.
    Even when I was a veggie, if I killed it I would eat it.
     
  20. Teelzebub

    Teelzebub Up yours GOD,Whats best served cold

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    I find it odd how we go all moral over eating meat and think nothing of killing each other.
     

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