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  #31 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 26-12-2005, 09:47 AM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,alt.food.vegan
Martin Willett
 
Posts: n/a
Default Would you like to be eaten?

Dutch wrote:
"Martin Willett" wrote

Dutch wrote:

"Martin Willett" wrote


ant and dec wrote:


But not much respect for the pig?

If we didn't eat the pigs they would never exist at all. As
long as most of their life is happy and content it must surely
better to live and die than not to.

Of course I know there's a qualifier in that statement. I put
it there, so don't bother pointing it out.


I really like your posts Martin, I agree with everything you have
said up to now, but that is a fallacy. You cannot compare living
and dying to *not* living, since never being born, never existing
is not a real state. This is called "The Logic of the Larder" and
there is one fruitcake here who has already replied to you who
makes it his life's work to promote this idea.

http://www.animal-rights-library.com/texts-c/salt02.pdf There, in
brief, is the key to the whole matter. The fallacy lies in the
confusion of thought which attempts to compare existence with
non-existence. A person who is already in existence may feel that
he would rather have lived than not, but he must first have the
terra firma of existence to argue from; the moment he begins to
argue as if from the abyss of the non-existent, he talks
nonsense, by predicating good or evil, happiness or unhappiness,
of that of which we can predicate nothing.

When, therefore, we talk of "bringing a being," as we vaguely
express it, "into the world," we cannot claim from that being any
gratitude for our action, or drive a bargain with him, and a very
shabby one, on that account; nor can our duties to him be evaded
by any such quibble, in which the wish is so obviously father to
the thought. Nor, in this connection, is it necessary to enter on
the question of ante-natal existence, because, if such existence
there be, we have no reason for assuming that it is less happy
than the present existence; and thus equally the argument falls
to the ground. It is absurd to compare a supposed preexistence,
or non- existence, with actual individual life as known to us
here. All reasoning based on such comparison must necessarily be
false, and will lead to grotesque conclusions.


Do you start your reasoning from first principles and work upwards
to conclusions and lifestyle choices that might come as a surprise
you or do you work backwards from the practical policy stances you
are most comfortable with and in the process discover what your
principles "must have been"?



I think it's probably a combination, but that does not quite capture
the essence of my argument here. In the current context you said
about livestock, "it must surely better to live and die than not to".
"Not to" implies the existence a state of *unborness*, that's where
the fallacy lies. If such a state exists, then in order to call it
inferior to "living and dying" we must know something about it, and I
submit that we don't. If it doesn't exist then the statement cannot
logically be made. As the author above says, we make such statements
with "the terra firma of existence to argue from", and a very
pleasant existence at that. I think that we *can* say something quite
similar to your statement to summarize the morality of breeding
livestock, and that is, *if* we breed animals to be food for us, and
we ensure that their lives are happy and content, then no person can
fairly accuse us of wrongdoing. Can you see what I am getting at? It
is the "ensuring that their lives are happy and content" that
contains the valid moral principle here.


From my own personal experience I know that it is possible to raise
animals for meat and they have a good life. I have seen it in action, I
have seen animals being cared for by my mother and by her father. I know
that farming is not by its fundamental nature cruel. It can become cruel
if the drive to keep down food prices is allowed to reduce the standards
of husbandry to unacceptible levels. It is the banks and supermarket
buyers that are determining how cruel farming is.

I see no reason to give up eating meat entirely for ever just because
some animals have been kept in poor conditions. I think drink driving is
a terrible thing but I don't see how going teetotal myself and whingeing
on about it to anybody who will listen (while making out that I'm not
trying to portray myself as morally superior) is the best way to prevent it.

If there is an issue with the welfare of farm animals there is an issue
with the welfare of farm animals and I say it should be addressed
directly and I will have no problem in paying more for food as a
consequence.


Do you regard lying to yourself as a form of sin?



I would have to say most likely yes, because such dishonesty would
inevitably lead to unjust behaviour towards others.

I would also like to add that it has been a very, very long time
since someone new of your caliber has come to these groups to address
these issues, I hope you decide to stay a while and share your
insights.




I like the cut of your jib.

(In case you're not familiar with that phrase I'm sure the origin is
nautical and has nothing to do with butchery.)

I think I have just worked out a new moral principle that is better than
the not eating anything smarter than a pig principle but also has the
same virtue of not making me change my ways and not painting me as a
hypocrite in the front of ravenous aliens: I'll not kill or contribute
to the death of any animal for food purposes /if that animal is clearly
capable of making a moral choice/, unless they have given me explicit
permission.

--
Martin Willett


http://mwillett.org

  #32 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 26-12-2005, 11:27 AM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,alt.food.vegan
ant and dec
 
Posts: n/a
Default Would you like to be eaten?

Martin Willett wrote:
Dutch wrote:
"Martin Willett" wrote

Dutch wrote:

"Martin Willett" wrote


ant and dec wrote:


But not much respect for the pig?

If we didn't eat the pigs they would never exist at all. As
long as most of their life is happy and content it must surely
better to live and die than not to.

Of course I know there's a qualifier in that statement. I put
it there, so don't bother pointing it out.


I really like your posts Martin, I agree with everything you have
said up to now, but that is a fallacy. You cannot compare living
and dying to *not* living, since never being born, never existing
is not a real state. This is called "The Logic of the Larder" and
there is one fruitcake here who has already replied to you who
makes it his life's work to promote this idea.

http://www.animal-rights-library.com/texts-c/salt02.pdf There, in
brief, is the key to the whole matter. The fallacy lies in the
confusion of thought which attempts to compare existence with
non-existence. A person who is already in existence may feel that
he would rather have lived than not, but he must first have the
terra firma of existence to argue from; the moment he begins to
argue as if from the abyss of the non-existent, he talks nonsense,
by predicating good or evil, happiness or unhappiness,
of that of which we can predicate nothing.

When, therefore, we talk of "bringing a being," as we vaguely
express it, "into the world," we cannot claim from that being any
gratitude for our action, or drive a bargain with him, and a very
shabby one, on that account; nor can our duties to him be evaded
by any such quibble, in which the wish is so obviously father to
the thought. Nor, in this connection, is it necessary to enter on
the question of ante-natal existence, because, if such existence
there be, we have no reason for assuming that it is less happy
than the present existence; and thus equally the argument falls
to the ground. It is absurd to compare a supposed preexistence,
or non- existence, with actual individual life as known to us
here. All reasoning based on such comparison must necessarily be
false, and will lead to grotesque conclusions.

Do you start your reasoning from first principles and work upwards
to conclusions and lifestyle choices that might come as a surprise
you or do you work backwards from the practical policy stances you
are most comfortable with and in the process discover what your
principles "must have been"?



I think it's probably a combination, but that does not quite capture
the essence of my argument here. In the current context you said
about livestock, "it must surely better to live and die than not to".
"Not to" implies the existence a state of *unborness*, that's where
the fallacy lies. If such a state exists, then in order to call it
inferior to "living and dying" we must know something about it, and I
submit that we don't. If it doesn't exist then the statement cannot
logically be made. As the author above says, we make such statements
with "the terra firma of existence to argue from", and a very
pleasant existence at that. I think that we *can* say something quite
similar to your statement to summarize the morality of breeding
livestock, and that is, *if* we breed animals to be food for us, and
we ensure that their lives are happy and content, then no person can
fairly accuse us of wrongdoing. Can you see what I am getting at? It
is the "ensuring that their lives are happy and content" that
contains the valid moral principle here.


From my own personal experience I know that it is possible to raise
animals for meat and they have a good life. I have seen it in action, I
have seen animals being cared for by my mother and by her father. I know
that farming is not by its fundamental nature cruel. It can become cruel
if the drive to keep down food prices is allowed to reduce the standards
of husbandry to unacceptible levels. It is the banks and supermarket
buyers that are determining how cruel farming is.

I see no reason to give up eating meat entirely for ever just because
some animals have been kept in poor conditions. I think drink driving is
a terrible thing but I don't see how going teetotal myself and whingeing
on about it to anybody who will listen (while making out that I'm not
trying to portray myself as morally superior) is the best way to prevent
it.

If there is an issue with the welfare of farm animals there is an issue
with the welfare of farm animals and I say it should be addressed
directly and I will have no problem in paying more for food as a
consequence.


Do you buy your food from the supermarket? Do you know or particularly
care where it comes from?




Do you regard lying to yourself as a form of sin?



I would have to say most likely yes, because such dishonesty would
inevitably lead to unjust behaviour towards others.

I would also like to add that it has been a very, very long time
since someone new of your caliber has come to these groups to address
these issues, I hope you decide to stay a while and share your
insights.




I like the cut of your jib.

(In case you're not familiar with that phrase I'm sure the origin is
nautical and has nothing to do with butchery.)

I think I have just worked out a new moral principle that is better than
the not eating anything smarter than a pig principle but also has the
same virtue of not making me change my ways and not painting me as a
hypocrite in the front of ravenous aliens: I'll not kill or contribute
to the death of any animal for food purposes /if that animal is clearly
capable of making a moral choice/, unless they have given me explicit
permission.


What prompted this rethink?

Your lack of response in other threads in interesting. - Perhaps you're
more suited to 'debating' with a sycophant.

What difference does the ability to make a moral choice have on your
want to kill and eat a species?

Do you *know* that a pig can not differentiate between right and wrong?

  #33 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 26-12-2005, 11:50 AM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,alt.food.vegan
ant and dec
 
Posts: n/a
Default Would you like to be eaten?

Dutch wrote:
"ant and dec" wrote
Martin Willett wrote:


I don't have a problem with hypocrisy, I make a rule not to eat
anything smarter than a pig,

How convenient for you, and inconvenient for the pig. Why have you drawn
this seemingly arbitrary line at pigs?

I'd like you to answer this point.


We all draw the line somewhere. Why do you believe that it is all right to
destroy animal populations in order to grow vegetables, fruit, grain,
cotton..?

[..]

Death is unavoidable, humane slaughter is not the worst death a pig could
face, very few wild pigs die in hospices surrounded by their loving
families with large quantities of euphoria-inducing pain-killers.

This line of thinking is very often pulled apart as being complete BS. by
both camps. I see some have already pointed this out.


Why is it complete BS?


You've already stated why.

When animals die in crop fields they are often
cruelly dismembered or else are poisoned and die slowly of internal
hemorrhaging. Why is that all right and a bolt through the brain is not?


Animals are dismembered, but there is no one deriving any pleasure
(being cruel) from it. One is easily avoided.


[..]


I think you're blurring the realms of hypothesis and reality under the
pretense of a "joke".


I think you are blurring human rights and our relationship with the rest of
the animal kingdom under the pretense of "morality".


Yes we have a moral responsibility to the rest of the animal kingdom.


[..]

You claim to observe this moral superiority, yet you can't give any
examples? I think it's a figment of your imagination.


You are in denial. Every time a veg*n announces that they don't eat meat,
wrinkle their nose sanctimoniously at a piece of meat,


"wrinkle their nose sanctimoniously"!

agonize rudely about
some microscopic bit of animal cells in some condiment,


"agonize rudely"!

refer to statements
like "Meat is Murder", or bring up issues like "slaughterhouses" or "factory
farming" in discussion,


What's wrong with bring-up issues like "slaughterhouses" or "factory
farming" in a discussion?

they are implicitly setting themselves up as moral
paragons. In fact another way vegans describe themselves is "Ethical
Vegetarians". If you are "ethical" then what am I?


We have different ethics. "If you are "ethical" then what am I?"


[..]

If mankind
was herbivorous we'd never have become intelligent and socially
cooperative, we'd just be living like gorillas. Like it or not meat was
a vital part of what has made us human. But of course a was doesn't make
an ought.

I agree meat was an important part of out human evolution. You and I are
fortunate to have a choice of what we eat. Perhaps more should think about
their choices, in particular what impact those choices have, rather than
blindly follow customs and practice.


The practise of abstaining from all animal products in food is no less
blindly following custom than any other choice. Perhaps vegetarians should
spend more time look closely at the impact of their own food choices instead
of just peering self-righteously at the choices others make.


"peering self-righteously"!

I was all inclusive in my statement, yet you have misread it; possibly
purposly to pull out a dietary sub-set of vegetarians.




This post typifies your modus operandi.

You seem to have labeled me as a ve*gan, and have then go on to
seemingly purposely misinterpret my posts adding inflammatory words of
no value except to demonstrate your dislike.

From what I've seen so far your posts rarely add value.


  #34 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 26-12-2005, 12:14 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,alt.food.vegan
ant and dec
 
Posts: n/a
Default Would you like to be eaten?

pearl wrote:
"ant and dec" wrote in message ...
Martin Willett wrote:

..
If mankind
was herbivorous we'd never have become intelligent and socially
cooperative, we'd just be living like gorillas. Like it or not meat was
a vital part of what has made us human. But of course a was doesn't make
an ought.

I agree meat was an important part of out human evolution.


'It has long been held that big game hunting is THE key development
in human evolutionary history, facilitating the appearance of patterns
in reproduction, social organization, and life history fundamental to
the modern human condition. Though this view has been challenged
strongly in recent years, it persists as the conventional wisdom, largely
for lack of a plausible alternative. Recent research on women's time
allocation and food sharing among tropical hunter-gatherers now
provides the basis for such an alternative.

The problem with big game hunting

The appeal of big game hunting as an important evolutionary force
lies in the common assumption that hunting and related paternal
provisioning are essential to child rearing among human foragers:
mother is seen as unable to bear, feed and raise children on her
own; hence relies on husband/father for critical nutritional support,
especially in the form of meat. This makes dating the first appearance
of this pattern the fundamental problem in human origins research.
The common association between stone tools and the bones of
large animals at sites of Pleistocene age suggests to many that it
may be quite old, possibly originating with Homo erectus nearly
two million years ago (e.g. Gowlett 1993).

Despite its widespread acceptance, there are good reasons to be
skeptical about the underlying assumption. Most important is the
observation that big game hunting is actually a poor way to support
a family. Among the Tanzanian Hadza, for example, men armed
with bows and poisoned arrows operating in a game-rich habitat
acquire large animal prey only about once every thirty hunter-days,
not nearly often enough to feed their children effectively. They
could do better as provisioners by taking small game or plant foods,
yet choose not to, which suggests that big game hunting serves some
other purpose unrelated to offspring survivorship (Hawkes et al. 1991).
Whatever it is, reliable support for children must come from elsewhere.

The importance of women's foraging and food sharing

Recent research on Hadza time allocation and foraging returns
shows that at least among these low latitude foragers, women's
gathering is the source (Hawkes et al. 1997). The most difficult time
of the year for the Hadza is the dry season, when foods younger
children can procure for themselves are unavailable. Mothers respond
by provisioning youngsters with foods they themselves can procure
daily and at relatively high rates, but that their children cannot, largely
because of handling requirements. Tubers, which require substantial
upper body strength and endurance to collect and the ability to
control fire in processing, are a good example.

Provisioning of this sort has at least two important implications:
1) it allows the Hadza to operate in times and places where they
otherwise could not if, as among other primates, weaned offspring
were responsible for feeding themselves; 2) it lets another adult
assist in the process allowing mother to turn her attention to the
next pregnancy that much sooner. Quantitative data on time
allocation, foraging returns, and changes in children's nutritional
status indicate that, among the Hadza, that other adult is typically
grandmother. Senior Hadza women forage long hours every day,
enjoy high returns for effort, and provision their grandchildren
effectively, especially when their daughters are nursing new infants
(Hawkes et al. 1989, 1997). Their support is crucial to both
daughters' fecundity and grandchildren's survivorship, with
important implications for grandmothers' own fitness.
...
http://www.google.com/url?sa=D&q=htt.../oconnell.html

'Ethnographic parallels with modern hunter-gatherer communities have
been taken to show that the colder the climate, the greater the reliance
on meat. There are sound biological and economic reasons for this, not
least in the ready availability of large amounts of fat in arctic mammals.
From this, it has been deduced that the humans of the glacial periods
were primarily hunters, while plant foods were more important during
the interglacials. '
http://www.phancocks.pwp.blueyonder..../devensian.htm

'Anthropologically speaking, humans were high consumers of calcium
until the onset of the Agricultural Age, 10,000 years ago. Current
calcium intake is one-quarter to one-third that of our evolutionary diet
and, if we are genetically identical to the Late Paleolithic Homo sapiens,
we may be consuming a calcium-deficient diet our bodies cannot adjust
to by physiologic mechanisms.

The anthropological approach says, with the exception of a few small
changes related to genetic blood diseases, that humans are basically
identical biologically and medically to the hunter-gatherers of the late
Paleolithic Era.17 During this period, calcium content of the diet was
much higher than it is currently. Depending on the ratio of animal to
plant foods, calcium intake could have exceeded 2000 mg per day.17
Calcium was largely derived from wild plants, which had a very high
calcium content; animal protein played a small role, and the use of dairy
products did not come into play until the Agricultural Age 10,000 years
ago. Compared to the current intake of approximately 500 mg per day
for women age 20 and over in the United States,18 hunter-gatherers had
a significantly higher calcium intake and apparently much stronger bones.
As late as 12,000 years ago, Stone Age hunters had an average of
17-percent more bone density (as measured by humeral cortical
thickness). Bone density also appeared to be stable over time with
an apparent absence of osteoporosis.17

High levels of calcium excretion via renal losses are seen with both
high salt and high protein diets, in each case at levels common in the
United States.10,11
..
The only hunter-gatherers that seemed to fall prey to bone loss
were the aboriginal Inuit (Eskimos). Although their physical
activity level was high, their osteoporosis incidence exceeded
even present-day levels in the United States. The Inuit diet was
high in phosphorus and protein and low in calcium.20
..'
http://www.thorne.com/altmedrev/full...alcium4-2.html

"..... Man appears to be formed to nourish himself chiefly on roots,
fruits and the succulent parts of vegetables. His hands make it easy
for him to gather them; the shortness and moderate strength of his
jaws, the equal length of his canine teeth with the others, and the
tubular character of his molars, permit him neither to graze, nor to
devour flesh, unless such food is first prepared by cooking."
-- Cuvier, Regne Animal, Vol 1, p73

After a careful and exhaustive study into comparative anatomy,
European scientist, Dr. Richard Lehne came to the conclusion,

"Quite apart from the physiological findings of nutritional science,
which perpetually alter and are always in an unsettled form,
comparative anatomy proves - and is supported by the millions-
of-years-old documents of palaeozoology - that human teeth in
their ideal form have a purely frugivorous character."
..'
http://www.soilandhealth.org/02/0201...air/asthma.htm



Thanks for that. Very interesting; of particular personal interest was
the anthropological articles on calcium and osteoporosis.


:-)



The theory I was thinking of was the "brain food theory":


Brain food

Because meat is rich in calories and nutrients, easy-to-digest food,
early Homo lost the need for big intestines like apes and earlier
hominids had. This freed up energy for use by other organs. This surplus
of energy seems to have been diverted to one organ in particular - the
brain. But scavenging meat from under the noses of big cats is a risky
business, so good scavengers needed to be smart. At this stage in our
evolution, a big brain was associated with greater intellect. Big brains
require lots of energy to operate: the human brain uses 20% of the
body's total energy production. But the massive calorific hit provided
by meat kick-started an increase in the brain size of early humans.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/prehistoric_...thought1.shtml


Mind you, this was written by Robert Winston who's has sold himself to
the food industry.

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/lords...560223,00.html
http://www.omega3.co.uk/omega3/pages/omega_3.php





  #35 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 26-12-2005, 02:44 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,alt.food.vegan
rick
 
Posts: n/a
Default Would you like to be eaten?


"ant and dec" wrote in message
...
Martin Willett wrote:
Dutch wrote:
"Martin Willett" wrote

Dutch wrote:

"Martin Willett" wrote


ant and dec wrote:


But not much respect for the pig?

If we didn't eat the pigs they would never exist at all.
As
long as most of their life is happy and content it must
surely
better to live and die than not to.

Of course I know there's a qualifier in that statement. I
put
it there, so don't bother pointing it out.


I really like your posts Martin, I agree with everything
you have
said up to now, but that is a fallacy. You cannot compare
living
and dying to *not* living, since never being born, never
existing
is not a real state. This is called "The Logic of the
Larder" and
there is one fruitcake here who has already replied to you
who
makes it his life's work to promote this idea.

http://www.animal-rights-library.com/texts-c/salt02.pdf
There, in
brief, is the key to the whole matter. The fallacy lies in
the
confusion of thought which attempts to compare existence
with
non-existence. A person who is already in existence may
feel that
he would rather have lived than not, but he must first have
the
terra firma of existence to argue from; the moment he
begins to
argue as if from the abyss of the non-existent, he talks
nonsense, by predicating good or evil, happiness or
unhappiness,
of that of which we can predicate nothing.

When, therefore, we talk of "bringing a being," as we
vaguely
express it, "into the world," we cannot claim from that
being any
gratitude for our action, or drive a bargain with him, and
a very
shabby one, on that account; nor can our duties to him be
evaded
by any such quibble, in which the wish is so obviously
father to
the thought. Nor, in this connection, is it necessary to
enter on
the question of ante-natal existence, because, if such
existence
there be, we have no reason for assuming that it is less
happy
than the present existence; and thus equally the argument
falls
to the ground. It is absurd to compare a supposed
preexistence,
or non- existence, with actual individual life as known to
us
here. All reasoning based on such comparison must
necessarily be
false, and will lead to grotesque conclusions.

Do you start your reasoning from first principles and work
upwards
to conclusions and lifestyle choices that might come as a
surprise
you or do you work backwards from the practical policy
stances you
are most comfortable with and in the process discover what
your
principles "must have been"?


I think it's probably a combination, but that does not quite
capture
the essence of my argument here. In the current context you
said
about livestock, "it must surely better to live and die than
not to".
"Not to" implies the existence a state of *unborness*, that's
where
the fallacy lies. If such a state exists, then in order to
call it
inferior to "living and dying" we must know something about
it, and I
submit that we don't. If it doesn't exist then the statement
cannot
logically be made. As the author above says, we make such
statements
with "the terra firma of existence to argue from", and a very
pleasant existence at that. I think that we *can* say
something quite
similar to your statement to summarize the morality of
breeding
livestock, and that is, *if* we breed animals to be food for
us, and
we ensure that their lives are happy and content, then no
person can
fairly accuse us of wrongdoing. Can you see what I am
getting at? It
is the "ensuring that their lives are happy and content" that
contains the valid moral principle here.


From my own personal experience I know that it is possible to
raise
animals for meat and they have a good life. I have seen it in
action, I have seen animals being cared for by my mother and
by her father. I know that farming is not by its fundamental
nature cruel. It can become cruel if the drive to keep down
food prices is allowed to reduce the standards of husbandry to
unacceptible levels. It is the banks and supermarket buyers
that are determining how cruel farming is.

I see no reason to give up eating meat entirely for ever just
because some animals have been kept in poor conditions. I
think drink driving is a terrible thing but I don't see how
going teetotal myself and whingeing on about it to anybody who
will listen (while making out that I'm not trying to portray
myself as morally superior) is the best way to prevent it.

If there is an issue with the welfare of farm animals there is
an issue with the welfare of farm animals and I say it should
be addressed directly and I will have no problem in paying
more for food as a consequence.


Do you buy your food from the supermarket? Do you know or
particularly care where it comes from?
==============================

Like you, I have no idea where the fruits and veggies I eat come
from specifically. I know that much of it is imported, very
little is actually local, and that it requires lots of processing
and transportation. Now, as to the beef I eat, I know exactly
where it comes from. Not more than a few miles away. Is
completely grass-fed, never goes to a feedlot or fed any grains,
never given any hormones, and is not given anti-biotics as a
standard practice. It goes to a local slaughter house, and then
to my freezer. The whole process occurs completely without
minutes of my house.






Do you regard lying to yourself as a form of sin?


I would have to say most likely yes, because such dishonesty
would inevitably lead to unjust behaviour towards others.

I would also like to add that it has been a very, very long
time
since someone new of your caliber has come to these groups to
address
these issues, I hope you decide to stay a while and share
your
insights.




I like the cut of your jib.

(In case you're not familiar with that phrase I'm sure the
origin is
nautical and has nothing to do with butchery.)

I think I have just worked out a new moral principle that is
better than the not eating anything smarter than a pig
principle but also has the same virtue of not making me change
my ways and not painting me as a hypocrite in the front of
ravenous aliens: I'll not kill or contribute to the death of
any animal for food purposes /if that animal is clearly
capable of making a moral choice/, unless they have given me
explicit permission.


What prompted this rethink?

Your lack of response in other threads in interesting. -
Perhaps you're more suited to 'debating' with a sycophant.

What difference does the ability to make a moral choice have on
your want to kill and eat a species?

Do you *know* that a pig can not differentiate between right
and wrong?

========================
What a coincidence, neither can usenet vegans....





  #36 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 26-12-2005, 02:51 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,alt.food.vegan
rick
 
Posts: n/a
Default Would you like to be eaten?


"ant and dec" wrote in message
...
Dutch wrote:
"ant and dec" wrote
Martin Willett wrote:


I don't have a problem with hypocrisy, I make a rule not
to eat anything smarter than a pig,

How convenient for you, and inconvenient for the pig. Why
have you drawn this seemingly arbitrary line at pigs?
I'd like you to answer this point.


We all draw the line somewhere. Why do you believe that it is
all right to destroy animal populations in order to grow
vegetables, fruit, grain, cotton..?

[..]

Death is unavoidable, humane slaughter is not the worst
death a pig could face, very few wild pigs die in hospices
surrounded by their loving families with large quantities of
euphoria-inducing pain-killers.
This line of thinking is very often pulled apart as being
complete BS. by both camps. I see some have already pointed
this out.


Why is it complete BS?


You've already stated why.

When animals die in crop fields they are often cruelly
dismembered or else are poisoned and die slowly of internal
hemorrhaging. Why is that all right and a bolt through the
brain is not?


Animals are dismembered, but there is no one deriving any
pleasure (being cruel) from it. One is easily avoided.

=========================
Your pleasure means nothing, hypocrite. the animals are still
dead, and they are dead at your behest, killer. tell us how you
propse to do the avoidance progeam of yours, fool.




[..]


I think you're blurring the realms of hypothesis and reality
under the pretense of a "joke".


I think you are blurring human rights and our relationship
with the rest of the animal kingdom under the pretense of
"morality".


Yes we have a moral responsibility to the rest of the animal
kingdom.


[..]

You claim to observe this moral superiority, yet you can't
give any examples? I think it's a figment of your
imagination.


You are in denial. Every time a veg*n announces that they
don't eat meat, wrinkle their nose sanctimoniously at a piece
of meat,


"wrinkle their nose sanctimoniously"!

=====================
Exactly. glad you agree, killer...


agonize rudely about some microscopic bit of animal cells in
some condiment,


"agonize rudely"!

==================
Yes, completely, glad you agree, killer...



refer to statements like "Meat is Murder", or bring up issues
like "slaughterhouses" or "factory farming" in discussion,


What's wrong with bring-up issues like "slaughterhouses" or
"factory farming" in a discussion?

========================
Nothing, if you also bring up the massive death and suffering
from factory-famed crops, hypocrite. the problem is that it is
always glossed over by hypocrites like you. Also, usenet vegans
like to pretend that all meat comes from some imaginary process
of wanton abuse, cruelty and brutality. Your problem is that
you've watched and listened to too many propaganda spews.




they are implicitly setting themselves up as moral paragons. In
fact another way vegans describe themselves is "Ethical
Vegetarians". If you are "ethical" then what am I?


We have different ethics. "If you are "ethical" then what am
I?"

=====================
Hypocritical. You do nothing to follow your supposed ethics,
except the false and simple rule for your simple mind, 'eat no
meat.'



[..]

If mankind
was herbivorous we'd never have become intelligent and
socially
cooperative, we'd just be living like gorillas. Like it or
not meat was
a vital part of what has made us human. But of course a was
doesn't make an ought.
I agree meat was an important part of out human evolution.
You and I are fortunate to have a choice of what we eat.
Perhaps more should think about their choices, in particular
what impact those choices have, rather than blindly follow
customs and practice.


The practise of abstaining from all animal products in food is
no less blindly following custom than any other choice.
Perhaps vegetarians should spend more time look closely at the
impact of their own food choices instead of just peering
self-righteously at the choices others make.


"peering self-righteously"!

=====================
Exactly, glad you agree, killer...


I was all inclusive in my statement, yet you have misread it;
possibly purposly to pull out a dietary sub-set of vegetarians.




This post typifies your modus operandi.

You seem to have labeled me as a ve*gan, and have then go on to
seemingly purposely misinterpret my posts adding inflammatory
words of no value except to demonstrate your dislike.

From what I've seen so far your posts rarely add value.

=============================
And your never do, fool...






  #37 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 26-12-2005, 02:52 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,alt.food.vegan
pearl
 
Posts: n/a
Default Would you like to be eaten?

"ant and dec" wrote in message ...
pearl wrote:

..

Thanks for that. Very interesting; of particular personal interest was
the anthropological articles on calcium and osteoporosis.


You're welcome.

:-)



The theory I was thinking of was the "brain food theory":


Brain food

Because meat is rich in calories and nutrients, easy-to-digest food,
early Homo lost the need for big intestines like apes and earlier
hominids had. This freed up energy for use by other organs. This surplus
of energy seems to have been diverted to one organ in particular - the
brain. But scavenging meat from under the noses of big cats is a risky
business, so good scavengers needed to be smart. At this stage in our
evolution, a big brain was associated with greater intellect. Big brains
require lots of energy to operate: the human brain uses 20% of the
body's total energy production. But the massive calorific hit provided
by meat kick-started an increase in the brain size of early humans.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/prehistoric_...thought1.shtml


If that were the case, carnivores should have massive brains!

Mind you, this was written by Robert Winston who's has sold himself to
the food industry.

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/lords...560223,00.html
http://www.omega3.co.uk/omega3/pages/omega_3.php




Proc Biol Sci. 1998 Oct 22;265(1409):1933-7.
Visual specialization and brain evolution in primates.
Barton RA.
Department of Anthropology, University of Durham, UK.

Several theories have been proposed to explain the evolution of
species differences in brain size, but no consensus has emerged.
One unresolved question is whether brain size differences are a
result of neural specializations or of biological constraints
affecting the whole brain. Here I show that, among primates,
brain size variation is associated with visual specialization.
Primates with large brains for their body size have relatively
expanded visual brain areas, including the primary visual cortex
and lateral geniculate nucleus. Within the visual system, it is, in
particular, one functionally specialized pathway upon which
selection has acted: evolutionary changes in the number of
neurons in parvocellular, but not magnocellular, layers of the
lateral geniculate nucleus are correlated with changes in both
brain size and ecological variables (diet and social group size).
Given the known functions of the parvocellular pathway, these
results suggest that the relatively large brains of frugivorous
species are products of selection on the ability to perceive
and select fruits using specific visual cues such as colour.
The separate correlation between group size and visual brain
evolution, on the other hand, may indicate the visual basis of
social information processing in the primate brain.

PMID: 9821360 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...&dopt=Abstract


  #38 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 26-12-2005, 03:02 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,alt.food.vegan
Dave
 
Posts: n/a
Default Would you like to be eaten?


Martin Willett wrote:
Dave wrote:
Martin Willett wrote:

ant and dec wrote:

Martin Willett wrote:


First published on http://mwillett.org/mind/eat-me.htm
posted by the author


A factually incorrect diatribe attempting to justify the consumption of
meat.

A troll.

How do you make that out? It strikes me you simply haven't got an answer
to the points I made.

I get accused of many things, writing stuff full of facts is rarely one
of them. What was incorrect?

Do veg*ns never use the hypocrisy of eating meat and not wanting to be
eaten as a claim to a higher moral stance? Do you think I *couldn't*
find evidence of such an argument being deployed if I could be arsed to
do so?



You probably could but "I don't eat meat in case it causes me to be
eaten
by an alien" is a misrepresentation of the argument.


I would say it was an instructive re-interpretation of the argument that
shows how truly fatuous the idea is. Veg*ns will often use the "how
would you like it if somebody ate you?" line of reasoning (well, they
think it's reasoning) without going on to flesh out the ramifications of
the argument. It is an argument by ellipses. You float the idea half
finished, let it trail in the air, and hope the other person will flesh
it out in a way that convinces them that you had a point.

Sorry about all the flesh in that paragraph, I can be such a meathead at
times.

So what does the argument actually mean? It is clearly not a recipe to
avoid being eaten by aliens as I have shown.


Yes. You have shown that the argument is not a recipe for avoiding
something it was never intended to avoid in the first place. Well done.
:-)

Any carnivore would prefer
to eat a vegetarian rather than a carnivore if there was any preference
at all, and if they were the sort of sickos that got off on the idea of
eating sentient and intelligent beings they would probably prefer to eat
the upstanding morally superior vegan rather than the hypocrite who eats
bacon and tries not to think about pigs. I can conceive of no possible
scenario in which the alien would eat carnivorous people and invite
vegans around for an after dinner game of backgammon and a chat about
the moral superiority of not exploiting animals.

So if it is isn't about a defence mechanism against consumption by
aliens what is it? An invitation to eat your way to moral superiority?
"I can out-smug you, but you could join me on this high horse". Come on,
come clean.

First alien: This roast man is delicious. A vegan, I can tell. I love
the stuffing.

Second alien: Stuffing?

First alien: Yes, the nut stuffing, really tangy. What did you use to
stuff it? Nuts, mushrooms, onions a little garlic I think. I can see
sweetcorn, what else?

Second alien: I didn't have to stuff it. It wasn't empty.


--
Martin Willett


http://mwillett.org


  #39 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 26-12-2005, 03:17 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,alt.food.vegan
Dave
 
Posts: n/a
Default Would you like to be eaten?


Martin Willett wrote:
ant and dec wrote:
Martin Willett wrote:

ant and dec wrote:

Martin Willett wrote:


First published on http://mwillett.org/mind/eat-me.htm
posted by the author


A factually incorrect diatribe attempting to justify the consumption
of meat.

A troll.


How do you make that out?



It was wrong. It is a diatribe. Humour is often used as a mollifying
device for mental conflict, perhaps caused by your recognition of your
own hypocrisy.



I don't have a problem with hypocrisy, I make a rule not to eat anything
smarter than a pig, unless I really have to. Fortunately that rule
doesn't restrict my diet very much. I have a lot of respect for the
intelligence of pigs. Chimp chops? No thanks!


It strikes me you simply haven't got an answer

to the points I made.



Does a diatribe have a point?


Why restrict yourself to one?



I get accused of many things, writing stuff full of facts is rarely
one of them. What was incorrect?



Salmon, as *one* example is a carnivorous species that we eat as a
common food.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salmon


How is this a contradiction?

"The only carnivorous species that we eat on a regular basis are fish,
animals that some people who call themselves vegetarians even try to
redefine as some sort of vegetable. I've news for you veggies, haddock
are animals that eat other animals, being cold bloodied, small-eyed and
ugly doesn't change anything, fish are not vegetables. If you eat fish
you cannot be a vegetarian."



Do veg*ns never use the hypocrisy of eating meat and not wanting to be
eaten as a claim to a higher moral stance?



What higher moral stance? Different morals perhaps. Why do you feel they
claim a higher moral stance and why? Perhaps it's your perception of
your own morality.


If people decide to avoid animal source food products for perceived
ethical reasons as the vast majority of vegans do then it follows
they must consider this to be a higher moral stance.

Oh come on. Veg*ns ooze their sense of moral superiority like Christians
and Buddhists, they use it as part of their locomotion, like slugs. Of
course they make a point of not *claiming* moral superiority while doing
all they can to ensure that other people get the message loud and clear.
Their entire bearing says "we're not claiming to be superior to you, oh
no, that would be rude and arrogant and not *nice*, but you do know that
you are inferior to us, don't you? You don't? Here, take a pamphlet,
it's all in there."


Since you obviously have a problem with it perhaps you might like to
give
veg*ns some advice. Should they avoid acting in what they consider to
be the morally superior fashion in case it makes other people feel
uncomfortable? Show they avoid trying to educate people whom they
believe have similar moral values but eat animal products out of
ignorance?
How would you act if you agreed with their views about the raising or
killing of animals?

Do you think I *couldn't* find evidence of such an argument being
deployed if I could be arsed to do so?



It is used by some.


Quite. If the cap fits, wear it.



Was I wrong in my analysis that more people eat "noble" salmon and
deer than "nasty" hyaenas and tapeworms?



More people eat salmon than tapeworms, none are more "noble" or "nasty"
than each other.


People do not eat nasty animals. At least they don't like to think that
they do. Muslims for example are taught to vilify pigs as well as not to
eat them. I am not suggesting that species are objectively noble or
nasty, that isn't the point, but the perceptions vary. We don't eat rats
and cockroaches but we do eat prawns, which in turn eat marine carrion
and excrement, but we put that image from our minds, even to the point
of calling the alimentary canal of a prawn "just a vein", when in fact
it clearly is scum sucker shit.



In what way did I justify the consumption of meat? I didn't. I simply
took apart one of the arguments sometimes used against meat eating and
showed it to be rather farcical.



You've recognised your own hypocrisy, and have attempted to make joke
out of it.


I endeavour to make a joke out of most things.

Sometimes I even succeed.



I posted this here because I was looking to see if anybody could come
up with any good case against me. Of course the original piece was
designed to be humorous (do veg*ns do humour?) and was not intended to
win any debate. I run a website that tackles dozens of issues, I don't
have a single-issue agenda. I've been doing this kind of stuff for six
years now and I've never been hounded out of any newsgroup and neither
has any newsgroup ever disbanded because they've been blown away by
the power of my analysis and rapier-like wit (with the possible
exception of alt.religion.christian.amish, but I think they had a few
philosophical difficulties before I showed up). I am here to stimulate
a conversation, not a conversion. I haven't insulted you so I'd
appreciate it if you didn't insult me. If you don't want to engage
with me then fine, don't do it. But please don't do other people's
thinking for them by hanging a ready-made hate label round my neck.



I don't hate you. From what I can see you seem a quite a nice guy!


Thanks, but it does annoy me when people are so quick to hang the
ready-made labels around people's necks. "He's just a troll." I am much
more than that.




I've just re-read your post. Is "A Troll" your usual signature? I
apologize if I misinterpreted the nature of your post.



If you were looking for a good case against you, perhaps you should have
written something for that purpose.

Your response has made me reconsider your troll status!


Good. My troll status is something I am very proud of. I am not your
common or garden troll. http://www.mwillett.org/troll.htm


--
Martin Willett


http://mwillett.org


  #40 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 26-12-2005, 04:11 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,alt.food.vegan
ant and dec
 
Posts: n/a
Default Would you like to be eaten?

pearl wrote:
"ant and dec" wrote in message ...
pearl wrote:

..
Thanks for that. Very interesting; of particular personal interest was
the anthropological articles on calcium and osteoporosis.


You're welcome.

:-)



The theory I was thinking of was the "brain food theory":


Brain food

Because meat is rich in calories and nutrients, easy-to-digest food,
early Homo lost the need for big intestines like apes and earlier
hominids had. This freed up energy for use by other organs. This surplus
of energy seems to have been diverted to one organ in particular - the
brain. But scavenging meat from under the noses of big cats is a risky
business, so good scavengers needed to be smart. At this stage in our
evolution, a big brain was associated with greater intellect. Big brains
require lots of energy to operate: the human brain uses 20% of the
body's total energy production. But the massive calorific hit provided
by meat kick-started an increase in the brain size of early humans.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/prehistoric_...thought1.shtml


If that were the case, carnivores should have massive brains!

Mind you, this was written by Robert Winston who's has sold himself to
the food industry.

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/lords...560223,00.html
http://www.omega3.co.uk/omega3/pages/omega_3.php




Proc Biol Sci. 1998 Oct 22;265(1409):1933-7.
Visual specialization and brain evolution in primates.
Barton RA.
Department of Anthropology, University of Durham, UK.

Several theories have been proposed to explain the evolution of
species differences in brain size, but no consensus has emerged.
One unresolved question is whether brain size differences are a
result of neural specializations or of biological constraints
affecting the whole brain. Here I show that, among primates,
brain size variation is associated with visual specialization.
Primates with large brains for their body size have relatively
expanded visual brain areas, including the primary visual cortex
and lateral geniculate nucleus. Within the visual system, it is, in
particular, one functionally specialized pathway upon which
selection has acted: evolutionary changes in the number of
neurons in parvocellular, but not magnocellular, layers of the
lateral geniculate nucleus are correlated with changes in both
brain size and ecological variables (diet and social group size).
Given the known functions of the parvocellular pathway, these
results suggest that the relatively large brains of frugivorous
species are products of selection on the ability to perceive
and select fruits using specific visual cues such as colour.
The separate correlation between group size and visual brain
evolution, on the other hand, may indicate the visual basis of
social information processing in the primate brain.

PMID: 9821360 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...&dopt=Abstract


Thanks again.

I have moved my position on whether meat had a major part to play in
human evolution. I will read more, but on balance there seems little
evidence to support that it did.






  #41 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 26-12-2005, 04:45 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,alt.food.vegan
Martin Willett
 
Posts: n/a
Default Would you like to be eaten?

Dave wrote:
Martin Willett wrote:

Dave wrote:

Martin Willett wrote:


ant and dec wrote:


Martin Willett wrote:



First published on http://mwillett.org/mind/eat-me.htm
posted by the author


A factually incorrect diatribe attempting to justify the consumption of
meat.

A troll.

How do you make that out? It strikes me you simply haven't got an answer
to the points I made.

I get accused of many things, writing stuff full of facts is rarely one
of them. What was incorrect?

Do veg*ns never use the hypocrisy of eating meat and not wanting to be
eaten as a claim to a higher moral stance? Do you think I *couldn't*
find evidence of such an argument being deployed if I could be arsed to
do so?


You probably could but "I don't eat meat in case it causes me to be
eaten
by an alien" is a misrepresentation of the argument.


I would say it was an instructive re-interpretation of the argument that
shows how truly fatuous the idea is. Veg*ns will often use the "how
would you like it if somebody ate you?" line of reasoning (well, they
think it's reasoning) without going on to flesh out the ramifications of
the argument. It is an argument by ellipses. You float the idea half
finished, let it trail in the air, and hope the other person will flesh
it out in a way that convinces them that you had a point.

Sorry about all the flesh in that paragraph, I can be such a meathead at
times.

So what does the argument actually mean? It is clearly not a recipe to
avoid being eaten by aliens as I have shown.



Yes. You have shown that the argument is not a recipe for avoiding
something it was never intended to avoid in the first place. Well done.
:-)


Does this mean nobody will ever use the "what would you think if
something tried to eat you?" line again? I doubt it somehow.

--
Martin Willett


http://mwillett.org
  #42 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 26-12-2005, 05:52 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,alt.food.vegan
Leif Erikson
 
Posts: n/a
Default Would you like to be eaten?

Martin Willett wrote:
Dutch wrote:

"Martin Willett" wrote

Dutch wrote:

"Martin Willett" wrote


ant and dec wrote:



But not much respect for the pig?


If we didn't eat the pigs they would never exist at all. As
long as most of their life is happy and content it must surely
better to live and die than not to.

Of course I know there's a qualifier in that statement. I put
it there, so don't bother pointing it out.



I really like your posts Martin, I agree with everything you have
said up to now, but that is a fallacy. You cannot compare living
and dying to *not* living, since never being born, never existing
is not a real state. This is called "The Logic of the Larder" and
there is one fruitcake here who has already replied to you who
makes it his life's work to promote this idea.

http://www.animal-rights-library.com/texts-c/salt02.pdf There, in
brief, is the key to the whole matter. The fallacy lies in the
confusion of thought which attempts to compare existence with
non-existence. A person who is already in existence may feel that
he would rather have lived than not, but he must first have the
terra firma of existence to argue from; the moment he begins to
argue as if from the abyss of the non-existent, he talks nonsense,
by predicating good or evil, happiness or unhappiness,
of that of which we can predicate nothing.

When, therefore, we talk of "bringing a being," as we vaguely
express it, "into the world," we cannot claim from that being any
gratitude for our action, or drive a bargain with him, and a very
shabby one, on that account; nor can our duties to him be evaded
by any such quibble, in which the wish is so obviously father to
the thought. Nor, in this connection, is it necessary to enter on
the question of ante-natal existence, because, if such existence
there be, we have no reason for assuming that it is less happy
than the present existence; and thus equally the argument falls
to the ground. It is absurd to compare a supposed preexistence,
or non- existence, with actual individual life as known to us
here. All reasoning based on such comparison must necessarily be
false, and will lead to grotesque conclusions.


Do you start your reasoning from first principles and work upwards
to conclusions and lifestyle choices that might come as a surprise
you or do you work backwards from the practical policy stances you
are most comfortable with and in the process discover what your
principles "must have been"?




I think it's probably a combination, but that does not quite capture
the essence of my argument here. In the current context you said
about livestock, "it must surely better to live and die than not to".
"Not to" implies the existence a state of *unborness*, that's where
the fallacy lies. If such a state exists, then in order to call it
inferior to "living and dying" we must know something about it, and I
submit that we don't. If it doesn't exist then the statement cannot
logically be made. As the author above says, we make such statements
with "the terra firma of existence to argue from", and a very
pleasant existence at that. I think that we *can* say something quite
similar to your statement to summarize the morality of breeding
livestock, and that is, *if* we breed animals to be food for us, and
we ensure that their lives are happy and content, then no person can
fairly accuse us of wrongdoing. Can you see what I am getting at? It
is the "ensuring that their lives are happy and content" that
contains the valid moral principle here.


From my own personal experience I know that it is possible to raise
animals for meat and they have a good life. I have seen it in action, I
have seen animals being cared for by my mother and by her father. I know
that farming is not by its fundamental nature cruel. It can become cruel
if the drive to keep down food prices is allowed to reduce the standards
of husbandry to unacceptible levels. It is the banks and supermarket
buyers that are determining how cruel farming is.


No, the ultimate responsibility for the conditions
animals are raised in lies squarely with the consumer.
If consumers demanded - and were willing to pay the
extra cost for - free range chickens and grass fed beef
and pork from hogs raised in velvet-lined stalls,
that's what would be produced. Most consumers, at
least in America, just want the food to be cheap and
reasonably healthful (Americans don't particularly care
about flavor); they are oblivious to the conditions in
which the animals are raised and transported and
slaughtered, because they just don't care.

It is indeed possible to raise animals that have a good
life, at least good as we conceive of it for them, but
that *still* doesn't mean that it's better for animals
raised humanely to have existed rather than never
existing. There is NO moral meaning, to the animal,
from "getting to exist".




I see no reason to give up eating meat entirely for ever just because
some animals have been kept in poor conditions. I think drink driving is
a terrible thing but I don't see how going teetotal myself and whingeing
on about it to anybody who will listen (while making out that I'm not
trying to portray myself as morally superior) is the best way to prevent
it.

If there is an issue with the welfare of farm animals there is an issue
with the welfare of farm animals and I say it should be addressed
directly and I will have no problem in paying more for food as a
consequence.


Do you regard lying to yourself as a form of sin?




I would have to say most likely yes, because such dishonesty would
inevitably lead to unjust behaviour towards others.

I would also like to add that it has been a very, very long time
since someone new of your caliber has come to these groups to address
these issues, I hope you decide to stay a while and share your
insights.




I like the cut of your jib.

(In case you're not familiar with that phrase I'm sure the origin is
nautical and has nothing to do with butchery.)

I think I have just worked out a new moral principle that is better than
the not eating anything smarter than a pig principle but also has the
same virtue of not making me change my ways and not painting me as a
hypocrite in the front of ravenous aliens: I'll not kill or contribute
to the death of any animal for food purposes /if that animal is clearly
capable of making a moral choice/, unless they have given me explicit
permission.


So you permit yourself to eat human infants, as well as
adults who have suffered major head trauma or who
suffer from severe mental illness?
  #43 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 26-12-2005, 06:14 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,alt.food.vegan
Leif Erikson
 
Posts: n/a
Default Would you like to be eaten?

Martin Willett wrote:

Dutch wrote:

"Martin Willett" wrote

ant and dec wrote:




But not much respect for the pig?


If we didn't eat the pigs they would never exist at all. As long as
most of their life is happy and content it must surely better to live
and die than not to.

Of course I know there's a qualifier in that statement. I put it
there, so don't bother pointing it out.




I really like your posts Martin, I agree with everything you have said
up to now, but that is a fallacy. You cannot compare living and dying
to *not* living, since never being born, never existing is not a real
state. This is called "The Logic of the Larder" and there is one
fruitcake here who has already replied to you who makes it his life's
work to promote this idea.

http://www.animal-rights-library.com/texts-c/salt02.pdf
There, in brief, is the key to the whole matter.
The fallacy lies in the confusion of thought which attempts to
compare existence with non-existence. A person who is already in
existence may feel that he
would rather have lived than not, but he must first have the terra
firma of existence to argue
from; the moment he begins to argue as if from the abyss of the
non-existent, he talks
nonsense, by predicating good or evil, happiness or unhappiness, of
that of which we can
predicate nothing.

When, therefore, we talk of "bringing a being," as we vaguely express
it, "into the world," we
cannot claim from that being any gratitude for our action, or drive a
bargain with him, and a
very shabby one, on that account; nor can our duties to him be evaded
by any such quibble, in
which the wish is so obviously father to the thought. Nor, in this
connection, is it necessary to
enter on the question of ante-natal existence, because, if such
existence there be, we have no
reason for assuming that it is less happy than the present existence;
and thus equally the
argument falls to the ground. It is absurd to compare a supposed
preexistence, or non-
existence, with actual individual life as known to us here. All
reasoning based on such
comparison must necessarily be false, and will lead to grotesque
conclusions.


Do you start your reasoning from first principles and work upwards to
conclusions and lifestyle choices that might come as a surprise you or
do you work backwards from the practical policy stances you are most
comfortable with and in the process discover what your principles "must
have been"?


Your question doesn't seem a reasonable response to the
excerpt from The Logic of the Larder that Dutch posted.



Do you regard lying to yourself as a form of sin?


How about you?
  #44 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 26-12-2005, 07:02 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,alt.food.vegan
S. Maizlich
 
Posts: n/a
Default Would you like to be eaten?

ant and dec wrote:

pearl wrote:

"ant and dec" wrote in message
...

pearl wrote:


..

Thanks for that. Very interesting; of particular personal interest was
the anthropological articles on calcium and osteoporosis.



You're welcome.

:-)



The theory I was thinking of was the "brain food theory":


Brain food

Because meat is rich in calories and nutrients, easy-to-digest food,
early Homo lost the need for big intestines like apes and earlier
hominids had. This freed up energy for use by other organs. This surplus
of energy seems to have been diverted to one organ in particular - the
brain. But scavenging meat from under the noses of big cats is a risky
business, so good scavengers needed to be smart. At this stage in our
evolution, a big brain was associated with greater intellect. Big brains
require lots of energy to operate: the human brain uses 20% of the
body's total energy production. But the massive calorific hit provided
by meat kick-started an increase in the brain size of early humans.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/prehistoric_...thought1.shtml



If that were the case, carnivores should have massive brains!

Mind you, this was written by Robert Winston who's has sold himself to
the food industry.

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/lords...560223,00.html
http://www.omega3.co.uk/omega3/pages/omega_3.php





Proc Biol Sci. 1998 Oct 22;265(1409):1933-7.
Visual specialization and brain evolution in primates.
Barton RA.
Department of Anthropology, University of Durham, UK.

Several theories have been proposed to explain the evolution of
species differences in brain size, but no consensus has emerged.
One unresolved question is whether brain size differences are a
result of neural specializations or of biological constraints
affecting the whole brain. Here I show that, among primates,
brain size variation is associated with visual specialization.
Primates with large brains for their body size have relatively
expanded visual brain areas, including the primary visual cortex
and lateral geniculate nucleus. Within the visual system, it is, in
particular, one functionally specialized pathway upon which
selection has acted: evolutionary changes in the number of
neurons in parvocellular, but not magnocellular, layers of the
lateral geniculate nucleus are correlated with changes in both
brain size and ecological variables (diet and social group size).
Given the known functions of the parvocellular pathway, these
results suggest that the relatively large brains of frugivorous
species are products of selection on the ability to perceive
and select fruits using specific visual cues such as colour.
The separate correlation between group size and visual brain
evolution, on the other hand, may indicate the visual basis of
social information processing in the primate brain.

PMID: 9821360 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...&dopt=Abstract



Thanks again.

I have moved my position on whether meat had a major part to play in
human evolution. I will read more, but on balance there seems little
evidence to support that it did.


It is UNDISPUTED by evolutionary biologists that meat
played an indispensable role in human evolution.
Meat's role was both direct and indirect. The direct
role was in providing the massive amount of protein
needed for brain development. The indirect role is as
an organizing principle of human activity.
  #45 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 26-12-2005, 07:38 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,alt.food.vegan
Martin Willett
 
Posts: n/a
Default Would you like to be eaten?

ant and dec wrote:
Martin Willett wrote:

ant and dec wrote:

Martin Willett wrote:

ant and dec wrote:

Martin Willett wrote:

ant and dec wrote:

Martin Willett wrote:


First published on http://mwillett.org/mind/eat-me.htm
posted by the author

snips

I don't have a problem with hypocrisy, I make a rule not to eat
anything smarter than a pig,



How convenient for you, and inconvenient for the pig. Why have you
drawn this seemingly arbitrary line at pigs?



I'd like you to answer this point.


I think you know the answer to that as clearly as I do: pigs are (by
quite a distance) the smartest animal I regularly eat, the only thing
that comes close is pigeons and since I gave away my shotgun I haven't
felt the need to eat any of them.


unless I really have to. Fortunately that rule

doesn't restrict my diet very much. I have a lot of respect for the
intelligence of pigs.



But not much respect for the pig?



If we didn't eat the pigs they would never exist at all. As long as
most of their life is happy and content it must surely better to live
and die than not to.

Of course I know there's a qualifier in that statement. I put it
there, so don't bother pointing it out.

Death is unavoidable, humane slaughter is not the worst death a pig
could face, very few wild pigs die in hospices surrounded by their
loving families with large quantities of euphoria-inducing pain-killers.



This line of thinking is very often pulled apart as being complete BS.
by both camps. I see some have already pointed this out.


I see. Which part of the argument? The porcine hospices? Have you got
any photographs?


Chimp chops? No thanks!


It strikes me you simply haven't got an answer

to the points I made.




Does a diatribe have a point?



Why restrict yourself to one?



We can move on, as the points are coming out.



Like a wet t shirt competition in a stiff easterly breeze.



I get accused of many things, writing stuff full of facts is
rarely one of them. What was incorrect?




Salmon, as *one* example is a carnivorous species that we eat as a
common food.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salmon



How is this a contradiction?

"The only carnivorous species that we eat on a regular basis are
fish, animals that some people who call themselves vegetarians even
try to redefine as some sort of vegetable. I've news for you
veggies, haddock are animals that eat other animals, being cold
bloodied, small-eyed and ugly doesn't change anything, fish are not
vegetables. If you eat fish you cannot be a vegetarian."



Sorry I missed that caveat. The article focused on not eating
carnivores, we eat carnivorous fish (and other things to a lesser
extent)what stops these hypothetical aliens 'fishing' for carnivorous
humans?



Nothing at all. Except that with billions of us to choose from
thinking purely as a connoisseur of meat I wouldn't be eating a 42
year old overweight male omnivore when I could have a teenage vegan
instead. I'd be fit only for sausages or pies. My granddad was a
farmer. He knew what to eat, food was his life. He always went for
local grass-fed heifer beef. I think aliens would think the same way.



I think you're blurring the realms of hypothesis and reality under the
pretense of a "joke".


This evening I'll be blurring the realms of reality with absinthe. But
jokes are good too.

Do veg*ns never use the hypocrisy of eating meat and not wanting
to be eaten as a claim to a higher moral stance?




What higher moral stance? Different morals perhaps. Why do you feel
they claim a higher moral stance and why? Perhaps it's your
perception of your own morality.



Oh come on. Veg*ns ooze their sense of moral superiority like
Christians and Buddhists, they use it as part of their locomotion,
like slugs.



I think this is a problem of your perception. Do you think I ooze
moral superiority like a slug, and why? Can you could give some
examples of personal experience as evidence?



They're too good at smugging it up to do much that you can put your
finger on. But you can tell, just like you don't have to see a man
engaged in sodomy to get a pretty good idea of whether or not he's ***,
but your observations would be easily taken apart by any competent
defence lawyer. It's obvious, but it wouldn't hold up in court.



You claim to observe this moral superiority, yet you can't give any
examples? I think it's a figment of your imagination.


And I think you're being deliberately dense because it suits your cause.
Of course vegetarians want and expect to be seen as morally superior,
but without asking for it specifically. Can you imagine anybody ever
answering the question "did you do that to be seen as morally superior?"
in the affirmative? If so please tell me what colour the sky is on your
home planet. Of course people do things in order to be seen as better
people but equally obviously they will always vehemently deny it. We
don't have to believe them.

It is a part of human nature. That is why poppies and paper lifeboats
exist and why people make stickers that say "My mummy gave blood today".
But if you ever ask them whether they did something to appear to be
morally superior they instantly make up a lot of lame excuses.

Vegetarians and vegans do not realistically expect the world to turn
vegetarian but they keep promoting vegetarianism because it allows them
*to be seen* as vegetarians. If nobody ate meat they wouldn't have
anybody to feel superior to so they'd have to give up something else or
actually do something worthy in and of itself.

If vegetarians were not regarded as morally superior and vegetarianism
was not seen as evidence of moral fibre then the Nazis wouldn't have
made so much of Hitler's spurious diet choices.

My best advice to you would be carry on. Your propaganda isn't working,
so don't change it. The world will never go vegan. You're quite safe.
You will always have access to the moral high ground by simply not
eating certain foods. Just think, other people had to charge down
machine gun nests armed with a swagger stick, get beaten up by the Ku
Klux Klan or expel the infidels from Jerusalem to get what you get, all
you have to do is pretend to enjoy mung beans and tofu.


Of course they make a point of not *claiming* moral superiority
while doing all they can to ensure that other people get the message
loud and clear.



They don't claim it, because most don't feel (in my experience) or
have a higher moral position.



How many times have you sat with somebody eating a salad who points out
that they also eat meat?



Occasionally.



Really? "I'm eating a salad but I'd like to point out to you that I'm
not a limp-wristed carrot-muncher I also eat meat"

What kind of leaves were in your salad? Where do you pick your mushrooms?

This reminds me of when I sat next to someone in a
restaurant, who said they were vegetarian, then went on to order the
duck! - Perhaps this is a meat eater trying to claim this mythical
"moral high ground", that doesn't really exist.


There is a technical term for people who do that: ignorant ****s.



Their entire bearing says "we're not claiming to be superior to you,
oh no, that would be rude and arrogant and not *nice*, but you do
know that you are inferior to us, don't you? You don't? Here, take a
pamphlet, it's all in there."



Again this is your misguided (self?) perception.



Carnivores don't wear badges and t shirts proclaiming their status for
the same reason that people don't wear "I didn't give money to charity"



Of course they do! What about "hunting pink" as just one example.


Tell me, when was the last time you saw

a) a huntsman eat a fox

and

b) somebody wear hunting pink outside of a hunt organized event where
they knew they were not likely to be surrounded or outnumbered by oiks




badges. It is totally disingenuous to make out that vegetarians and
vegans do not want people to think they are morally superior because of
their diet, in exactly the same way that Christians do. People who
expect recognition for their moral probity make a point of not asking
for it but that doesn't mean they do not expect to get it and are hurt
when they don't get it.



Unless you can give some evidence that this applies to the general
ve*gan population, I must consider this as a figment of your imagination.


No, you mustn't. You may choose to, you may want to, but there is no
compulsion on you.

I have already explained why I can't prove it. But neither can anybody
prove that there is or isn't a god. Just because something can't be
proved it doesn't follow that it isn't so. I can't *prove* Elvis isn't
running a whelk stall on Venus either.


There are irritating vegan zealots just as there are irritating
Christians, but they are few and far between, as you would get on the
"ends" of a normal population distribution.


I suppose this is the only form of normality vegans ever achieve:
statistical.

snip



Was I wrong in my analysis that more people eat "noble" salmon and
deer than "nasty" hyaenas and tapeworms?




More people eat salmon than tapeworms, none are more "noble" or
"nasty" than each other.



People do not eat nasty animals. At least they don't like to think
that they do. Muslims for example are taught to vilify pigs as well
as not to eat them. I am not suggesting that species are objectively
noble or nasty, that isn't the point, but the perceptions vary. We
don't eat rats and cockroaches but we do eat prawns, which in turn
eat marine carrion and excrement, but we put that image from our
minds, even to the point of calling the alimentary canal of a prawn
"just a vein", when in fact it clearly is scum sucker shit.



I'm sure an alien wouldn't mind cleaning your "vein".


But he'd probably prefer yours.



I don't think they'll be that picky, more likely to go after the one
that ate all the pies! The prize porker! ;-)


You're obviously well out of the loop as far as meat eating goes. The
only thing that might interest an interstellar gormet about me would
perhaps be my liver.

snip

PS. I may be away for a day or two. - Apparently there's a Christian
(traditionally meat centric) festival going on that I'm expected to
take part in!



Me and my two atheist children will be celebrating it tomorrow too. My
Christian wife is out babysitting while some Jewish friends go out for a
Christmas drink. It's a funny old world, isn't it?



Yep.


Meat is often the centrepiece of feasts because it is sharing food.
Herbivores don't share food and don't have much in the way of society,
they just use each other as bovine shields or the equivilent.



I think you've lost the plot here. Perhaps you've seen too many "turkey
on the table" movies.


No herbivorous species shares food. If you want to ingratiate yourself
with a gorilla you eat alongside them, or pretend to. You don't offer
them food. Pretty much the only food herbivores ever give away is milk.
But things are very different with meat, especially meat that is gained
via cooperative hunting. The complexity of social organization in a wolf
pack is orders of magnitude greater than in a flock of sheep.
Chimpanzees have their most interesting social behaviours when they are
cooperating on a hunt or sharing out the meat.

Collecting vegetable based material is mind numbing drudgery, gaining
meat usually requires sharp thinking and often social cooperation. It
doesn't take much in the way of IQ to outsmart a dandelion but you have
to have your wits about you to bring home the bacon. Because collecting
vegetable based food is a drudge sharing doesn't arise. The simplest way
of ensuring a fair distribution of vegetable based food is quite simply
to eat what you gather and never give any to anybody else ever, while
not deliberately getting in their way or shitting where they're grazing.
That is the recipe for vegetarian cooperation, with the only additions
being follow the herd and try and stay in the middle away from predators
and don't mate with your mother if there's another option available. No
vegetarian species is ever going to produce an intellectual titan or
ever get past the first step on the road to language because they don't
ever have anything worth saying beyond "get out of my way that female's
mine". The most intelligent herbivorous species is the elephant, I am
fairly certain that its intelligence is partly an offshoot of expanding
the brain to cope with the challenge of operating a prehensile trunk.
(They also have a prehensile penis but a penis never requires much
intelligence to operate, especially a big one) The rhino is clear
evidence that you can get by quite easily by being being a big
vegetarian as long as you're thick skinned and aggressive, intellectual
ability is a luxury that evolution has decided most herbivores can't afford.

Vegetarian hominids are a bit of an evolutionary dead end. Huge jaws,
small brains. Given the option of adding a few more grams of body weight
to the bauplan of the herbivorous hominid evolutionary forces are likely
to go for extra thickness on the skull, bigger threatening canine teeth
or bigger testes, not more grey matter.


If mankind
was herbivorous we'd never have become intelligent and socially
cooperative, we'd just be living like gorillas. Like it or not meat was
a vital part of what has made us human. But of course a was doesn't
make an ought.



I agree meat was an important part of out human evolution. You and I are
fortunate to have a choice of what we eat. Perhaps more should think
about their choices, in particular what impact those choices have,
rather than blindly follow customs and practice.


While you refuse to eat meat a Welsh sheep farmer sucks on his shotgun
because he can't pay the bills while another farmer far away takes the
money he made from selling you the beans you pretend to enjoy he goes
off and buys a chicken. But don't worry, people will think better of you
for making your stand and being so moral. It does help you score with
the appropriate (to your choice) sex doesn't it?

--
Martin Willett


http://mwillett.org


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