The Moral Status of Animals

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by entelecheia, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. entelecheia Registered Senior Member


    Could be an ethical dilemma in slaughterhouses?

    Hypothesis 1: The bioanthropologycal:
    a) Permaculture evidence that the ancient soils (with no agrochemicals and foreign detrimental microorganisms) had the potential for economic orchards able to provide a balanced vegetarian diet. Were the pythagoreans vegetarians?:

    b) It is consistent with the phylogenetics of edible plants (I.e. findings of botanist Julia F. Morton) and with the dating of the oldest cities where agriculture appeared first.

    Hypothesis 2: The ethical-aesthetic:
    a) Is it possible to hold the vision of Kant and Spinoza?: The fact that the human being can have the representation �I� raises him infinitely above all the other beings on earth. By this he is a person....that is, a being altogether different in rank and dignity from things, such as irrational animals, with which one may deal and dispose at one's discretion. (Kant, LA, 7, 127).

    b) This is not similar to the vision of the 18th century that women's brain was intrinsically unable to intellectual work?

    c) What percentage of our most important mental attributes animals we eat also possess?
    Does the fact that some wild cattle are in danger of extinction in their natural habitat eliminates the ethical dilemma of slaughterhouses?
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  3. elte Valued Senior Member

    I consider some animals to be people, at least to a certain extent, mainly the ones very friendly to us, and intelligent. For example, there was a penguin that led a very endangered scientific researcher across a deadly crevasse field in Antarctica, back to safety.

    So we seem to have some common ground in our viewpoints. :thumbsup:
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  5. entelecheia Registered Senior Member

    Some bibliography i find interesting: Adams, C., and Donovan, J. (eds.), 1995, Animals and Women: Feminist Theoretical Explorations, Durham: Duke University Press.
    Roberts, W.A., 1998, Principles of Animal Cognition, Boston: McGraw-Hill.
    Rumbaugh, D. M. and Savage-Rumbaugh, E. S., 1999, “Primate language” in Wilson & Keil (eds.) The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
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  7. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    To tie-up the loose ends of that majority of us which are still omnivorous, humankind will have to fully transcend its own status of animalhood and the "natural way", which it still has one leg, foot, toe or something buried in the bovine patty of. For one interval we conceive schemes to regulate ourselves by that seem applicable to the sublime (whether the abode of gods or post-machine archailects), and the next we're like the woodland predator that immediately gobbles-up the once injured creature that a schoolkids project cared for and released back into the wild. The beast simply doing its thing to "continue the biological process" on Earth -- as untouched, immune to and uncomprehending of some broader social order that goes beyond its own pack as Phobos orbiting Mars.
  8. entelecheia Registered Senior Member

    Eating an organism evolutionarily close to us vs. have respect for them not eating them.

    Sometimes I imagine a young millionarian obsessed with nutrition, raising monkeys and other superior animals to eat them. One different specie each meal, ...why not? where to put the moral limit? a moral based on what reasonings?

    I feel it is an enigma. If medical science considers that a well balanced lacto-ovo-vegetarian is appropriate even for a mathematician, and also considers that humans can eat chimpanzee meat because there is nothing harmful in it. Why not to eat monkeys?
  9. entelecheia Registered Senior Member

    Can you quote conclusive evidence on the role of meat on the brain size incresing of our first ancestors?

    My hipothesis of our unlimited need of edible species:
    Human brain= Complexity whose nature consist in increase its complexity= So, intrinsically could need more and more new different nutrients from new foreign plant and animal sources. The more the better. Infinite if interplanetary edible species are findable.

    Vegetarianism would go against the intrinsic nature of the brain evolution process.

    My hypothesis of our limited need of edible species:
    The main factor behind the increase of the size of our brain was the discovery of agriculture (see permaculture).

    -Cave Paintings – my interpretation: Represent the killing of competitors. That could explain why there are no representations of meat being cooked over fire.

    -Analysis of Fosilized Stools – my interpretation: Inconclusive evidence
  10. wellwisher Banned Banned

    Knowing the nutritional value of food is relatively new. We can't project today on ancient times. Humans are omnivores, based on form and function and through diversity of eating could approximate a balanced diet. I would like to see vegetarians eat only what they can find ni their local area that they need to pick themselves. In this simulation, you can't depend upon processed things bought in stores and shipped in from around the world.

    Meat was very important because there will be animals found in places where there are no veggies to eat, such as during the winter when snow covers the dead plants. The cavemen could not go to the local market for a veggie burger. The perfect veggie diet may be possible in tropical places, but once we migrate to places where there is the change of seasons, it does not work that well. But one will still be able to find fish, animals and eggs.
  11. eugene381 Registered Member

    Eating meat may have been necessary for some of our ancestors, but it is no longer necessary today. The American Dietetic Association's position paper on vegetarian diets states: "Well-planned vegan and other types of vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence. Vegetarians have been reported to have lower body mass indices than nonvegetarians, as well as lower rates of death from ischemic heart disease; vegetarians also show lower blood cholesterol levels; lower blood pressure; and lower rates of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and prostate and colon cancer."
  12. eugene381 Registered Member

    Also millions of people have lived healthy vegan lifestyles for many years, including many successful vegan athletes, such as Ultimate Fighter Mac Danzig, and nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis.
  13. eugene381 Registered Member

    It is one thing to kill animals because you are in a situation where you have to in order to survive. It is another thing to both kill animals simply to satisfy our taste buds, which is what goes on when people eat meat in the industrialized world. Also, in the case of countries like the United States, the issue is not just that animals are killed in the process, but also the suffering involved, given how modern factory farms operate.

    Regardless of what we think about the more controversial aspects of animal rights, such as medical experimentation, there is a general consensus in our society that it is ethically reprehensible to set a cat on fire for entertainment. However, since we do not need to eat meat to survive, when we choose to eat meat, we are choosing to inflict death and suffering on others simply for the pleasure of tasting meat. Considering what goes on in factory farms and slaughterhouses, setting a cat on fire is, by comparison, actually relatively humane. In both cases, all that we gain in return is just a few moments of trivial pleasure.
  14. eugene381 Registered Member

    In reply to the original question of the moral status of animals, I believe that other animals are our equals in this area.

    We often like to say that all human beings are created equal, and this is a statement I strongly agree with. However, we need to stop and ask ourselves what we mean by the phrase "all human beings are created equal." Do we mean that all human beings have equal intelligence, equal creativity, and equal physical abilities? If this is what we mean, then we are clearly in trouble, since we are not all equal in these regards. For example, a severely mentally retarded human clearly has less intelligence than you or I do.

    However, I still believe that it is accurate to say that all human beings are created equal in the sense that all human beings deserve equal compassion, and equal ethical consideration, in spite of their inequalities in these other areas. If we extend this type of "equality" to severely mentally retarded humans, then we must also extend it to other species. This is because the animals which we kill for food, clothing, and experimentation have a considerably higher level of intelligence, and capacity for social interaction, than do many severally mentally retarded humans who we correctly recognize as our equals.

    Most importantly, other animals feel pain and suffering just as we do, and they value their lives just as we value ours.
  15. entelecheia Registered Senior Member

    From a purely economic point of view, i'm wondering if the intelligence of our edible superior animals can be exploited to serve in various areas of human activity. For example, i was seen dogs (non edible) that buy things using a basket tied under their necks. But i don't know if the edible superior animals really have the innate potential to interact with humans in an economic context.

    Another example, all i understand about cats is mostly they cant be trained to develop useful skills. So if cows (horses did) and chickens are proven to lack the innate potential to develop skills in an economic context, seems to me it is a good argument if favor to slaughterhouses.

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