1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Is it morally justifiable to kill animals for meat?

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

  1. Malvolio

    Malvolio .

    Joined:
    14 Dec 2003
    Posts:
    4,632
    Likes Received:
    178
    Very fun thread this, I must say!

    Regrettably I feel as though not a single person has been able to appropriately grasp, and put forward an informed rebuttal to my last contribution to this thread. I'm unsure if this is due to my own falter in translation from thought to text, or if it is a failure on the part of the reader for not being able to grasp a situation outside of their own preconceived world-view.

    Lets start with a walk-through of my thought experiment: the point was that it is entirely morally justifiable. I never made a point against this fact, as I fully realised that consent on the part of the patient would allow for this under the moral system that proponents of the "animals are humans, too" doctrine would demand. If your moral system says that killing is bad, and if letting a drug go to market that kills a percentage of people with informed consent can be construed as a good thing due to the direct benefits to those whom it works for, then your initial moral of "killing is bad" therefore isn't specifically true. People were killed, but it was still moral. This is not incongruous with any of the moral systems that have been put forth; this is just a fact of daily life, and of informed consent.

    It is good to see that the main part of my argument that most people picked up on was my insinuation that we need meat in our diets. However, I would like to point out the many qualifiers present within the statement. I never intended to mean that you or I absolutely require meat with our veg - there are ways around it in western culture for those healthy individuals whom can not only afford it, but can appropriately digest it. As has been so aptly brought up by Nexxo: what about the baby in Darfur? Can her parents afford to have various legumes, grains, and other exotic vegetables imported? We don't live in a perfect world, and it is rather off-putting when other people argue morals for those that cannot enjoy imported tea on their verandas.

    There is also a massive industry formed around animal by-products that would be rather difficult to adapt to the lack thereof, even in western culture. I was honestly going to make a nice little list right here of a few good examples, but my biochemistry isn't as up to date as it could be, and the list is so numerous of animal by-products as to fill a novel in and of itself. So just trust me on this, animals are in absolutely everything.

    To touch specifically on spec's disagreement with the simple statement I was able to construct from his own - "morals can be right, even when they're momentarily wrong" - I will admit that you never specifically said as such. Regrettably I cannot find the post to which I want to refer, and I do apologise if it is not you I am attempting to debase the moral system of. However, the argument was as such: although the act of killing is immoral (or "wrong"), if situationally justifiable, one can be said the be acting as though morally justified. A specific moral is wrong at all times, irrespective of the reasons (the ends do not justify the means and all that), unless not doing so would lead to another, arguably worse, immoral act, right? A dicto simpliciter ad dictum secundum quid.

    As a student of philosophy you should know better. Philosophy underpins the majority of our existence in the western world. Without philosophy we could justify almost none of our science, morality, or politics. I used to liken philosophy to masturbation - satisfying but ultimately meaningless. Then I studied it formally. Now I realise that philosophy underpins our society, our technology, and our science, whether we realise it or not.

    This is exactly as the instructor would have wanted: make yourself feel as though an integral part of society by seeing a job everywhere. This is ok, as it is done with every form of higher-education. Strictly speaking, a designer is not needed for a building to be furnished, but they do make things a bit nicer looking. As a student of philosophy, I view philosophy as a way to make people feel as though they're important for the very reasons they're not. Philosophers use conjecture in a world of which they don't exist, and push themselves into positions to make decisions without a good concept of the real world. They're a leach within the intellectual world, hence why I chose to govern my schooling towards the religious side of things, as it is rather fun to see how a compromised human brain tends to work. This all being said, I'd never get within fifty yards of a job requiring me to utilize directly the skills or knowledge I'm paying rather a lot for.

    On the note of confessions though I feel it apt to give my argument some further point of reference as to the source: I very rarely eat meat, and shy away from animal products. Not for any moral reasons, but mainly practical. Vegetables, fruits and grains constitute the majority of my diet, with only a small meat dish once or twice a week. This is purely out of practicality: meat is expensive, and I do not directly require it in my diet on a daily basis, though I would do rather a lot of damage to myself if I didn't eat at least a little (no amount of estrogen-rich soy-milk will ever benefit somebody who trains seven days a week, several hours a day). As to animal products: there are rather a lot of suitable alternatives that are typically cheaper, so they're the ones I get. No ******** morals, no issues with seeing little Bubbles the cow die, just practicality. Though there is something to say about killing your own wild chicken, cleaning it and cooking it! Very yum.
     
  2. deadsea

    deadsea New Member

    Joined:
    9 Oct 2009
    Posts:
    197
    Likes Received:
    6
    This thread is really fascinating. Great reading at the office on a slow day.

    I don't pretend to understand everything up to here, but this 2 points I really don't get. Wouldn't the driver that knows he's wrong, but does nothing to change that fact be worse then the one that doesn't think he's wrong in the first place? Assuming of course that they both know the rules apply to them. Sure, the 2nd driver's moral compass is a bit off by my standards, but that doesn't make him more wrong, does it?

    And murder by one that thinks that it is morally acceptable is acceptable by that one person at least. That says nothing about societal norms does it? Doesn't punishment arise due to society, or the ones in power imposing their moral standards on the populace either by force or consensus? Break some social moral limit and get slapped with a punishment. Nothing to do with personal moral directions.

    Kinda reminds me of honor killings in India, morally acceptable by some, reviled by others, unacceptable by law.
     
  3. KayinBlack

    KayinBlack Currently Rebuilding

    Joined:
    2 Jul 2004
    Posts:
    5,554
    Likes Received:
    300
    Honestly, I must admit, my diet is much different, though mine is doctor-dictated. Due to the massive amounts of protein I go through trying to fix the problems that my lack of fibrillin-B1 cause, I eat lots of meat (when I can chew it, which is another kettle of fish.) There is simply no vegetable analogue to the easily accessible bulk protein found in meat due to the issues with my medical condition.

    For me, unlike for many of you, I cannot see it as the same moral issue you do. To me, it is eat or die. That said, I have been a staunch proponent of things such as hunting for food, using all that is available and even alternative meats. Would I eat human if it was grown in a tank? Depends on how much like pork it tasted. So there, Spec, I do not eat person because I consider it abhorrent, I would simply prefer other meats. I will go ahead, step up to the plate and say that if you did not murder for that human, I would sample it.

    Spec, I doff my hat to you. Malfoleo and Nexxo as well. My old foils, we have truly run a good one with this this time, and I actually had to go read books and ask questions to make sure my opinion wasn't flawed. If nothing else, you made me think.

    I know Spec is transitioning as he can toward a lower-meat lifestyle. I know the US military provides both vegetarian and kosher/halal meals as part of its MRE regimen, does the British service not do so?

    But, military service, and special hardship such as my own beg the question-if you have no choice, how wrong is it? I'm not talking about I'd rather eat bacon than fight with quinoa. I'm talking about medical necessity or times of extreme hardship as in war. There is still a juncture in many human lives at which it is literally eat or be eaten. At this point, are we still morally derelict (which I think may be a better term overall, as most people simply don't care at all) to consume the meat even though our life depends on it? Even the Ensure shakes that I will live on after my esophagus surgery tomorrow are animal protein based. I have no clinically viable option. So, am I therefore guilty of an immoral act?

    We talk in broad sweeping strokes, but this is a good way to drag it back to the personal level (which is where everything gets implemented, eventually) as well as ask a genuine honest question. My beliefs are those of my people, namely that you do not waste, you do not needlessly kill ad the land will provide for you what you need. I'm in a unique position, being half Seminole anyway. But, that is how I deal with the issue at hand. Spec, Mal, anyone-how do you see the issue I'm facing in the context of the discussion at hand?

    (the above post should be read as all completely honest questions, with no sarcasm intended. it should also be seen as not intending to be directly confrontational, but curious. it is a real question, and I am really facing it. no joke.)
     
    Malvolio likes this.
  4. Malvolio

    Malvolio .

    Joined:
    14 Dec 2003
    Posts:
    4,632
    Likes Received:
    178
    I feel you're a rather strong person to go through what you are, while still keeping your head straight. This is not something that can be said of many people.

    Your arguments are precisely what I've been trying to say throughout the thread: morals are dictated not by perfectly hewn porcelain-worlds, but by situational and societal pressures with a heavy helping of historical context and knowledge. There really isn't morality without context and present-tense thought. Regrettably this is diametrically opposed to the moral system of certain detractors. You'd still be morally "wrong" as such in your direct use of dead animals, but well justified in the action considering the circumstance of keeping you alive. Maybe this is where a vegetarian should step in and say that you should still have your death-drink, but maybe not sleep quite as well at night (or maybe they'd just throw fake blood all over you and run away).

    So enjoy your smoothies my friend, insomuch as you'll be able to anyway. As the greatest Canadian philosopher ever to have been born, Red Green, always says: When the going gets tough, switch to power tools.
     
  5. eddtox

    eddtox Homo Interneticus

    Joined:
    7 Jan 2006
    Posts:
    1,296
    Likes Received:
    15
    Wow, that sucks. I hope your surgery goes well and allows you a better quality of life in the future.

    Now your situation is precisely one where you need to eat meat (and other animal products) in order to survive. Therefore, you are morally justified in doing so.

    However, I'm sure you'll agree that doesn't mean that the killing of animals is a good thing. Intellectually and morally we can recognise that depriving a creature of life is negative/undesirable/etc, but necessity allows us to justify that negative act and therefore we sleep at night.

    If we were to do so without it being necessary, it would be much more difficult to justify the act.
     
  6. Mattmc91

    Mattmc91 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18 Oct 2009
    Posts:
    1,390
    Likes Received:
    48
    If humans weren't meant to be eaten, why are they made of meat?
     
  7. Otis1337

    Otis1337 aka - Ripp3r

    Joined:
    28 Nov 2007
    Posts:
    4,525
    Likes Received:
    121
    meat = mussel tissue
    i think? o can it be classed as any body part?

    But anyway, everything can be meat that isn't a plant pretty much lol.
     
  8. Nexxo

    Nexxo Stopped treating this country as if it was his own

    Joined:
    23 Oct 2001
    Posts:
    33,767
    Likes Received:
    1,328
    I must admit that I have been taking part in this debate mainly from a purely intellectual, academic (pedantic?) viewpoint. I am a meat eater myself. I don't eat very much of it; I think that is unhealthy and my genetic hypercholesterolemia would not take kindly to it. So it is mainly seafood, which I love, and some poultry, with the occasional bit of pork and rarely lean beef thrown in. I do this knowing full well that pigs are rather intelligent. I also know that I buy into all the cute anthropomorphications when I dote on my two pet rats, Charlie and Al (which are rather intelligent also). However that would not stop me from eating rat if that was what was for dinner. Just preferably not those two rats. :p

    My wife used to be a chef and has a rather pragmatic view on food. She thinks ducks, pigs and rabbits are absolutely cute but would have no qualms killing and slaughtering one if that was what was on the menu (having seen her at work with a cleaver, I've learned not to piss her off). She also strongly believes in respectful animal farming and the premise that it is OK to hunt as long as you only kill what you use and use what you kill.

    The reason I side with Spec in this debate was because I think his logic is solid, and the intellectual challenges to it were simply not as strong. However I also recognise that what for me is basically a thought exercise may for others well be a matter of life and death. I am not judging anybody for what they eat --I have neither the answer nor the right.

    In that respect I agree fully with Malfoleo:
     
    walle likes this.
  9. VipersGratitude

    VipersGratitude Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    4 Mar 2008
    Posts:
    3,070
    Likes Received:
    447
    Really? I still maintain that morality is human construct devised to maintain social stability. Morals are simply maxims, guides to navigate the social environment, well, until they're not - Which is why it's ok to kill in self-defence. This is why, when moral programming and social order collide, 26 out of 40 cats prefer 450 volts ;)
     
  10. TheBlackSwordsMan

    TheBlackSwordsMan Fellow of the Teelzebub Society

    Joined:
    16 Aug 2009
    Posts:
    3,835
    Likes Received:
    273
    We are not food, It is the others that make us 'Meat' because they can eat us.
    But they can't eat us because its canibalism, so they eat others species.

    “We believe that there isn’t a moral gap between humans and other animals, and that saying things like ‘the behavior patterns that wolves or chimpanzees display are merely building blocks for human morality’ doesn’t really get us anywhere. At some point, differences in degree aren’t meaningful differences at all and each species is capable of ‘the real thing.’ Good biology leads to this conclusion. Morality is an evolved trait and ‘they’ (other animals) have it just like we have it.” - Wild Justice:
    The Moral Lives of Animals (Book) 2009
     
  11. Otis1337

    Otis1337 aka - Ripp3r

    Joined:
    28 Nov 2007
    Posts:
    4,525
    Likes Received:
    121
    monkeys and pig eat each other...... just thought you would like to know that :thumb:
     
  12. TheBlackSwordsMan

    TheBlackSwordsMan Fellow of the Teelzebub Society

    Joined:
    16 Aug 2009
    Posts:
    3,835
    Likes Received:
    273
    But we are not Monkeys and Pigs, we are Homo sapiens aka The Wise Man aka The High End Product who eat the lower ranked.
     
  13. hyperion

    hyperion Active Member

    Joined:
    30 Jun 2007
    Posts:
    754
    Likes Received:
    30
    I read somewhere that if the whole world turned to vegetarianism we could solve the global food shortage problem with only 10% of the resources realocated from farming livestock to farming vegetables instead. If there's any truth to this then I think vegetarianism is something we might need to consider in order to conserve resources.

    But as rational as these arguments sound I have trouble taking them seriously when vegetarians throw them in with moral BS about the pain animals feel.
     
  14. TheBlackSwordsMan

    TheBlackSwordsMan Fellow of the Teelzebub Society

    Joined:
    16 Aug 2009
    Posts:
    3,835
    Likes Received:
    273
    You know why vegetarians exist ? Because of the humans moral concept, erase that from you head with a Quick format and keep only the basic instincts and you'll eat meat again.
     
  15. Otis1337

    Otis1337 aka - Ripp3r

    Joined:
    28 Nov 2007
    Posts:
    4,525
    Likes Received:
    121
    its true, i read that a long time ago... you think of how many cows you have on a 3 acre field, compared to how much vegetation you could put on there. no one would have to starve any more.
    Its also down to extra land needed to grow/make food for the live stock, which in turn would be made into food for us instead.
     
  16. Otis1337

    Otis1337 aka - Ripp3r

    Joined:
    28 Nov 2007
    Posts:
    4,525
    Likes Received:
    121
    Well the human body was originally vegan..... aware stomach even today is still a vegetation stomach, not built for meat.
    Also the so-called "canine teeth" are "canine" in name only....
    http://michaelbluejay.com/veg/natural.html

    So as you can see, humans eating meat as well as other animal products is a freak of nature if you spend a little time on that site.
     
  17. DXR_13KE

    DXR_13KE BananaModder

    Joined:
    14 Sep 2005
    Posts:
    9,120
    Likes Received:
    364
    A panda is a bear that eats bamboo... and has a carnivore stomach and teeth...
     
  18. Otis1337

    Otis1337 aka - Ripp3r

    Joined:
    28 Nov 2007
    Posts:
    4,525
    Likes Received:
    121
    they also eat meat
    fact! :lol:
     
  19. DXR_13KE

    DXR_13KE BananaModder

    Joined:
    14 Sep 2005
    Posts:
    9,120
    Likes Received:
    364
    We are plant eaters that eat meat and plants... what is the problem?

    edit: and yes, i was expecting you to say that fact ;).
     
  20. Otis1337

    Otis1337 aka - Ripp3r

    Joined:
    28 Nov 2007
    Posts:
    4,525
    Likes Received:
    121
    tiring to catch me out i see!!1! i know your game mr!! :nono:
     

Share This Page