Vegetarian Discussion: Do Farm Animals Benefit From Their Relationship With Humans?

Do Farm Animals Benefit From Their Relationship With Humans?
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Immortalista
2009-12-09 21:52:57 EST
The animals we raise for food are not cheated out of a longer life,
but instead they experience what life they do only because humans
raise them to eat.

Ta
2009-12-09 22:26:46 EST
On Dec 9, 9:52 pm, Immortalista <extro...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> The animals we raise for food are not cheated out of a longer life,
> but instead they experience what life they do only because humans
> raise them to eat.

The only way you could say that an animal (or a human for that matter)
"benefits" is if one can compare existence to non-existence, which of
course we can't. An animal or human that is alive only knows
existence, so no such comparison is possible.

In short, red herring.

Immortalista
2009-12-09 22:33:36 EST
On Dec 9, 7:26 pm, ta <tapa...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Dec 9, 9:52 pm, Immortalista <extro...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> > The animals we raise for food are not cheated out of a longer life,
> > but instead they experience what life they do only because humans
> > raise them to eat.
>
> The only way you could say that an animal (or a human for that matter)
> "benefits" is if one can compare existence to non-existence, which of
> course we can't. An animal or human that is alive only knows
> existence, so no such comparison is possible.
>
> In short, red herring.

Some kind of moral good or utility results from an animal being born
and getting to experience life. If "vegans" were to implement a regime
of strict vegetarianism, which obviously would lead to the near-
extinction of domestic farm animals (no need for them), there would be
a net reduction of this particular kind of moral goodness or utility.
He then goes on to conclude, irrationally and stupidly, that "vegans"
are evil for advocating something that would lead to this reduction.

Since the animals we raise for food would not be alive if we didn't
raise them for that purpose, it's a distortion of reality not to take
that fact into consideration whenever we think about the fact that the
animals are going to be killed. The animals are not being cheated out
of any part of their life by being raised for food, but instead they
are experiencing whatever life they get as a result of it. ·

Likewise then, since our children would not be alive if we did not
have them, it is a distortion of reality not consider that when
judging the morality of killing them.

But it does seem to provide an interesting test of the principle. If
we should taken into account the fact that we gave life to animals
whom we are going to kill 'prematurely', and say that the granting of
life somehow excuses the early termination of it, then why wouldn't
this apply to humans?

If we bred a certain type of humans, who otherwise would never be
born, in order to use them for food or research, and we then killed
them at a relatively young age for the intended purpose, would that be
ethical?


Ta
2009-12-09 22:46:53 EST
On Dec 9, 10:33 pm, Immortalista <extro...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> On Dec 9, 7:26 pm, ta <tapa...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > On Dec 9, 9:52 pm, Immortalista <extro...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > The animals we raise for food are not cheated out of a longer life,
> > > but instead they experience what life they do only because humans
> > > raise them to eat.
>
> > The only way you could say that an animal (or a human for that matter)
> > "benefits" is if one can compare existence to non-existence, which of
> > course we can't. An animal or human that is alive only knows
> > existence, so no such comparison is possible.
>
> > In short, red herring.
>
> Some kind of moral good or utility results from an animal being born
> and getting to experience life. If "vegans" were to implement a regime
> of strict vegetarianism, which obviously would lead to the near-
> extinction of domestic farm animals (no need for them), there would be
> a net reduction of this particular kind of moral goodness or utility.
> He then goes on to conclude, irrationally and stupidly, that "vegans"
> are evil for advocating something that would lead to this reduction.

What nonsense. There is no "reduction of moral goodness" resulting
from not being born. If I never have children, there is no "reduction
of moral goodness" -- you can't reduce from something that doesn't
exist.

> Since the animals we raise for food would not be alive if we didn't
> raise them for that purpose, it's a distortion of reality not to take
> that fact into consideration whenever we think about the fact that the
> animals are going to be killed. The animals are not being cheated out
> of any part of their life by being raised for food, but instead they
> are experiencing whatever life they get as a result of it. ·
>
> Likewise then, since our children would not be alive if we did not
> have them, it is a distortion of reality not consider that when
> judging the morality of killing them.
>
> But it does seem to provide an interesting test of the principle. If
> we should taken into account the fact that we gave life to animals
> whom we are going to kill 'prematurely', and say that the granting of
> life somehow excuses the early termination of it, then why wouldn't
> this apply to humans?
>
> If we bred a certain type of humans, who otherwise would never be
> born, in order to use them for food or research, and we then killed
> them at a relatively young age for the intended purpose, would that be
> ethical?


Ta
2009-12-09 22:49:46 EST
On Dec 9, 10:33 pm, Immortalista <extro...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> On Dec 9, 7:26 pm, ta <tapa...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > On Dec 9, 9:52 pm, Immortalista <extro...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > The animals we raise for food are not cheated out of a longer life,
> > > but instead they experience what life they do only because humans
> > > raise them to eat.
>
> > The only way you could say that an animal (or a human for that matter)
> > "benefits" is if one can compare existence to non-existence, which of
> > course we can't. An animal or human that is alive only knows
> > existence, so no such comparison is possible.
>
> > In short, red herring.
>
> Some kind of moral good or utility results from an animal being born
> and getting to experience life. If "vegans" were to implement a regime
> of strict vegetarianism, which obviously would lead to the near-
> extinction of domestic farm animals (no need for them), there would be
> a net reduction of this particular kind of moral goodness or utility.
> He then goes on to conclude, irrationally and stupidly, that "vegans"
> are evil for advocating something that would lead to this reduction.

What nonsense. If I choose to have no children or not raise chickens,
there is no "reduction in moral goodness". You can't reduce from
something that doesn't exist.

> Since the animals we raise for food would not be alive if we didn't
> raise them for that purpose, it's a distortion of reality not to take
> that fact into consideration whenever we think about the fact that the
> animals are going to be killed. The animals are not being cheated out
> of any part of their life by being raised for food, but instead they
> are experiencing whatever life they get as a result of it. ·
>
> Likewise then, since our children would not be alive if we did not
> have them, it is a distortion of reality not consider that when
> judging the morality of killing them.
>
> But it does seem to provide an interesting test of the principle. If
> we should taken into account the fact that we gave life to animals
> whom we are going to kill 'prematurely', and say that the granting of
> life somehow excuses the early termination of it, then why wouldn't
> this apply to humans?
>
> If we bred a certain type of humans, who otherwise would never be
> born, in order to use them for food or research, and we then killed
> them at a relatively young age for the intended purpose, would that be
> ethical?


Les Cargill
2009-12-09 22:56:30 EST
Immortalista wrote:
> The animals we raise for food are not cheated out of a longer life,
> but instead they experience what life they do only because humans
> raise them to eat.


Yes. My daughter may be doing graduate work in this direction.

And in class aves ( who are just about as adaptable as we are ),
humans are a serious boon to many species. Corvids, parrots and
chickens all do well around humans. Steely eyed predators often
can adapt as well, but real top predators usually don't. Red wing
hawks seem to find an interesting balance.

But even better, an ethnobotanist on PBS inverts the prohibition
against anthropomorphizing plants and describes how some species
of plants use us to become dominant:

http://www.pbs.org/thebotanyofdesire/

We get from:

Apples: Sweetness ( and in the form of cider apples,
alcohol ). Cider apples were what Johnny Appleseed
distributed; our fancy pomes only come when apple
trees are grafted. Cider apples are all but inedible.

Tulips: Beauty.

Intoxication: Opium and marijuana ( ignoring alcohol for
the moment). Modern surgery was invented with anesthesia,
and pain control keeps the traumatized alive with diminished
death from shock ( morphine saved countless lives in the Civil War,
but created a monstrous class of addicts, see the song "Soldier's
Joy" for details). Modulo the often tragic social consequences,
some people have described pain control as the most important
medical technology. You only have to watch "Sam Adams", the surgery
parts to know why.

Control: Potatoes mean people can live anywhere.

Excellent stuff, man. Good expository use of fallacy on his
part.

--
Les Cargill



Immortalista
2009-12-09 23:27:38 EST
On Dec 9, 7:49 pm, ta <tapa...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Dec 9, 10:33 pm, Immortalista <extro...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> > On Dec 9, 7:26 pm, ta <tapa...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > On Dec 9, 9:52 pm, Immortalista <extro...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > > The animals we raise for food are not cheated out of a longer life,
> > > > but instead they experience what life they do only because humans
> > > > raise them to eat.
>
> > > The only way you could say that an animal (or a human for that matter)
> > > "benefits" is if one can compare existence to non-existence, which of
> > > course we can't. An animal or human that is alive only knows
> > > existence, so no such comparison is possible.
>
> > > In short, red herring.
>
> > Some kind of moral good or utility results from an animal being born
> > and getting to experience life. If "vegans" were to implement a regime
> > of strict vegetarianism, which obviously would lead to the near-
> > extinction of domestic farm animals (no need for them), there would be
> > a net reduction of this particular kind of moral goodness or utility.
> > He then goes on to conclude, irrationally and stupidly, that "vegans"
> > are evil for advocating something that would lead to this reduction.
>
> What nonsense. If I choose to have no children or not raise chickens,
> there is no "reduction in moral goodness". You can't reduce from
> something that doesn't exist.
>

Just testing out the argument and seeing if Dutch still exists after
all these years.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_CqOd1zSxc

Les Cargill
2009-12-09 23:58:05 EST
Immortalista wrote:
<snip>
>
> If we bred a certain type of humans, who otherwise would never be
> born, in order to use them for food or research, and we then killed
> them at a relatively young age for the intended purpose, would that be
> ethical?
>

The standard is: can you replace yourself with the man on the gallows,
and being a man of sound courage and good principle, accept the
sentence, given what was done? In other words, is there the one
inexcusable failure that you cannot in good conscience rationalize
away, no matter how hard you work at it?

With animals, they are property, to be disposed of as we see fit.
We arbitrarily, for sound reasons, do not apply the same standard.
If we stopped breeding them, that phenotype would soon
disappear. They exist as an artifact of our pleasure.

Sometimes they're members of the family; sometimes they are food.
Micheal Vick didn't *eat* the dogs, so it must be child abuse...

A more extreme example of this principle was a father of a friend
of mine, who put the name of the beast in the freezer above the
freezer, so that in the Amerind tradition, you could know
what animal had been put there, and you could kinda mutter "thanks"
to the beast. At least you dinna have to run blood on your forehead.

But Shakespeare still wrote the standard that holds: No beast
so fierce what has a touch of pity; yet I have none, and therefore
am no beast.

--
Les Cargill

Bret Cahill
2009-12-10 00:12:04 EST
> > > > The animals we raise for food are not cheated out of a longer life,
> > > > but instead they experience what life they do only because humans
> > > > raise them to eat.
>
> > > The only way you could say that an animal (or a human for that matter)
> > > "benefits" is if one can compare existence to non-existence, which of
> > > course we can't. An animal or human that is alive only knows
> > > existence, so no such comparison is possible.
>
> > > In short, red herring.
>
> > Some kind of moral good or utility results from an animal being born
> > and getting to experience life. If "vegans" were to implement a regime
> > of strict vegetarianism, which obviously would lead to the near-
> > extinction of domestic farm animals (no need for them), there would be
> > a net reduction of this particular kind of moral goodness or utility.
> > He then goes on to conclude, irrationally and stupidly, that "vegans"
> > are evil for advocating something that would lead to this reduction.
>
> What nonsense. If I choose to have no children or not raise chickens,
> there is no "reduction in moral goodness". You can't reduce from
> something that doesn't exist.

You can create but you cannot destroy information.

Life = info.

Therefore the Philippines, Netherlands, and other overpopulated places
where they procreate all the time are on the right track.

Just straying a little from Malthus.


Bret Cahill




Dutch
2009-12-10 03:06:10 EST
"Immortalista" <extropy1@hotmail.com> wrote
> The animals we raise for food are not cheated out of a longer life,

Yes they most decidely are, although I would not use the word "cheat"
because that implies some moral wrongdoing, and that has not been
demonstrated. Their lives are reduced by humans to on average far shorter
lives than they would be if they lived in the wild.

> but instead they experience what life they do only because humans
> raise them to eat.

Not "instead". those two propositions are not mutually exclusive. We cause
them to be bred into existence AND we shorten their lives.

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