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Old 20-11-2005, 06:39 PM posted to,talk.politics.animals,alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian
usual suspect
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Default wife swap vegan episode

pro-bestiality Karen Winter wrote:

It's easy to attack something when you make it up out of whole cloth.

Then why do you continue doing that?

Veganism's sense of ethics IS an absolute.


Ipse dixit. You concede below that the list of examples I provided all
constitute "exploitation" even though you suggested wiggle room for
keeping pets. Note you avoided the subject of bestiality, which you
glowingly approve:

Is it God's moral law, or a misunderstanding
by an ancient culture? Is there any *reason* behind the
prohibition? Is the behavior harmful? Why should it be seen as
wrong? Morality, especially God's morality, is not arbitrary.

...Bestiality is an iffy one for me: I think it is wrong if the
animal is injured, but I think the original prohibition was
based on the same definition of "unnatural" as homosexuality --
a confusion of roles.
-- Karen Winter as "Cynomis," 11 May 2005

Why do we assume children and animals can express willingness or
unwillingness to engage in most other activities, but not decide
what gives them physical pleasure if, and only if, it is
connected with the sex organs of one or the other of the
partners? Why can a seventeen-year-old decide which college he
wants to attend, but not whether he wants a blow job or not?
Why can a dog decide whether he wants to fetch a ball or not,
but not whether or not he enjoys licking a human's penis?
-- Karen Winter as "Rat," 20 June 1999

Since there are no social considerations for the non-humans
involved, it's even easier to offer a rational defense for
responsible zoophilia than for intergenerational sexual
activity, which has a major social stigma attached to it.
Animals don't care if the neighbors talk.
-- Karen Winter as "Rat," 30 April 2003

The animal, like the child, can only tell you whether he/she
enjoys the immediate physical [sexual] activity. You have to be
responsible for the rest.
-- Karen Winter as "Rat," 12 July 1999

Perhaps if you read some accounts by zoophiles, you might see
why some people feel some acts with some animals are not
harmful. You could then decide if you agree or not based on
knowledge. I would then be willing to give your opinion
consideration. One interesting thing is the strong condemnation
some zoophiles have for other zoophiles they think are not being
responsible. Zoophiles do indeed have ethics, and differ among
themselves on them. If you were to read some of those
discussions, you might understand more clearly what the issues
are for those who are actually dealing with them.
Karen Winter as "Rat":


Vegans don't distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable deaths,
or cruel or non-cruel treatement.

Some may not, but most do.

Name one vegan who doesn't. I know that YOU do, Karen, because you
concede as much below.

They say *ALL* animal deaths are unacceptable,


Let me correct myself: they're hypocrites on that issue. Case in point,
the recent discovery of PETA nutjobs taking it upon themselves to kill
cats and dogs intended for adoption programs. Ingrid Newkirk has also
admitted to her own "mercy killings" of animals.

and that just about everything in a human:animal context is
exploitation of the latter by the former.

For the most part, that is true. There are individual cases where
the institutions which allow exploitation of animals in ways harmful
to them are redeemed by individual human/animal interactions, but
the institutions themselves are indeed exploitative and the animals
have little or no way to defend themselves against human power.

Why do you leave an opening (so to speak) for bestiality, one of the
most egregious of all possible examples of exploitation?

They call for an end to *all* fishing, *all* hunting, *all* animal
research, *all* fur and leather production, *all* livestock
production, and even use of honey. Many of them go even further and
want an end to humans having pets.

All of which are indeed exploitation of animals. What benefit
is it to the animal involved if a human takes his life for
food or in research or in production of fur and leather?

There are utilitarian arguments for benefits from research. An animal
used in such research may or may not directly benefit from the research,
but other animals can and will. But ARAs oppose *all* animal research
even when it bears fruit:

Even if animal research resulted in a cure for AIDS, we'd be
against it.
Ingrid Newkirk, _Vogue_; September 1989.

As for food and leather, I have no objections to what others eat. Nor to
what other species eat. In your deluded fantasy world, a predator can
eat prey but a human can't. I want to know why it's exploitation when a
human eats beef or venison, but not exploitation when a cougar eats it.

What benefit is it to the bees if humans take their food and wax?

I really haven't spent much time worrying about how bees are affected by
my lifestyle aside from making sure I don't get stung.

The issue of companion animals is more complex.

Why do you and the bitter old hag Sylvia keep pets if it's a complex issue?

Not all keeping
of "pets" is exploitation, but it often is. There is no
question that these things *are* exploitation,

I disagree with you -- I don't see these examples as exploiting anything.

even if you
believe humans are justified in this exploitation.

I believe humans are justified in eating, wearing attire, and working to
cure or prevent disease. You've failed to convince me that any of it is

And in many cases their alternatives to the above produce worse
conditions for animals.

Not for the animals involved in factory-farm production of meat
and animal products.

Please tell me what you find objectionable or exploitative about the
following "factory" farms, or how the conditions are inferior or more
inhospitable to what those animals would face in the wild (where they
would fight for territory and mating opportunities and face predators
like wolves and cougars):

They suggest replacing meat with proteins from soy and grains, like
tofu and seitan or even beans and rice; these alternatives to meat do
nothing to decrease the number of animal deaths caused by one's diet
and may in fact increase animal deaths. They likewise recommend
synthetic furs and leather even though these are made from
petrochemicals which cause immense pollution and environmental harm
during drilling and refining, all of which harms people and many more
animals than it would take to make a fur or leather jacket or a pair
of leather shoes. And natural fibers like cotton and hemp are no safer
for animals than is the abattoir -- they're no different from grain
crops with respect to collateral deaths, and in many regards they're
worse since crops like cotton are heavily treated with pesticides and
defoliants (at harvest) which are highly toxic for non-target species.
See Rick's links.

The onus isn't on those who eat meat to reduce animal suffering or

Yes, it is.

No, people who eat meat have NO objections to the deaths of animals.
They already accept that animals die in the course of food production.
It's the silly vegan vendetta against nature that suggests killing
animals is wrong, yet silly vegans do little to eliminate or reduce
animal suffering from their own diets. It's the vegans whose principles
are being violated (and by themselves), not meat eaters.

If it were not for consumers of factory-farmed meat,
there would be no factory-farmed meat.

Consumers don't demand "factory-farmed" meat, _per se_, but rather
demand their meat be as inexpensive as possible. Like any other
business, livestock producers employ various techniques to keep consumer
prices down while still maximizing profits.

You cannot use the
argument only one way. You claim vegans should regard themselves
as responsible for the deaths involved in production of the products
they use.

Because *vegans* are the ones who object to dead animals. Meat eaters
don't have objections to dead animals.

If so, than consumers of mass-market animal products are
equally responsible for the abominable conditions animals face there.

Tell me what's abominable about the following:

The onus is on meat-eaters to demand humane conditions.

For those who are concerned about such issues. Most consumers, though,
will instead search for bargains when grocery shopping. They won't care
if their pork chops came from Farmer A or Farmer B unless one costs more
than the other.

It's on those who oppose people consuming meat

Usually because of those very abominable conditions.

Tell me what's abominable about the following:

and who make categorical statements of their own moral superiority.

Which all vegans do not do.

You sure as hell do, Karen. You wrote in another post this morning,
"Vegetarians and vegans tend to be more aware..." You're the kind of
snobby elitist prig I was think about when I wrote that.

When faced with the facts, they ultimately make the same argument
you did and claim a virtue relative to the actions of others.
They're not more ethical because others are ethically "worse" than
they are (at least according to their capricious standard); they
fail their own ethics test when they measure themselves by their own

It is not you who define the standard individuals measure themselves

I'm not defining standards. I explained the *vegan* standard. I briefly
explained the norms in agriculture and synthetic textile manufacturing.
I then demonstrated that vegans fall far short of their own standard.

I doubt any honest person sees himself as fulfilling his
ethical standards *perfectly* because that is not possible for human
beings. We are all imperfect, and most of us recognize that.

This is irrelevant, Karen. The issue is whether vegan rhetoric deals in
any meaningful way with reality. It doesn't. In its general terms,
veganism doesn't even address the problem it wishes to solve because it
recommends consumption of that which can cause more of the problem (dead
animals) than existed when one still ate meat.

Is it ethical to wash one's hands of responsibility for the deaths of
living things just because one doesn't claim moral superiority?

I don't think meat-eaters, farmers, ranchers, researchers, etc., are
washing their hands; they fully accept that animals die in the course
of their consumption and/or work.

That does not make their actions right. To accept responsibility
for an action does not justify the action.

It's your task to explain why their actions are "wrong." You've yet to
do that.

The onus to minimize the suffering or death of any living thing
should be on all of us regardless of what claims we do or don't make.

Aside from images of isolated cases of wanton animal cruelty which is
already against the law (and, in many instances, the videos and images
have been used to prosecute those particular cases), I've yet to see
credible evidence that research, livestock production, farming, etc.,
is a widespread abuse of animals.

Then you have not looked or -- more likely -- have been willfully
blind to the obvious evidence.

Evidence like this?

The reasons some laws have been
passed is because the abuses are and were widespread and disgusting.

Ipse dixit. Many laws are changed because of emotive pressure put on
legislators by a very small group of people. Emotive appeal is also to
blame for what I originally thought was a decent measure in Florida a
few years ago (voter initiative to ban swine gestation pens in that
state). There weren't many pork producers in Florida in the first place
(ranked 30th in pork production in the US), and, perhaps most
importantly, there were only *two* farmers at the time the initiative
passed who actually used those crates. It was an irrational attempt to
amend the Florida constitution and its passage has caused Florida's
legislature to toughen the process of amending their constitution by