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Vegetarianism vs Omnivoreism .... discussions btw Kichi and bennyboy
#1
Vegetarianism vs Omnivoreism .... discussions btw Kichi and bennyboy
bennyboy and I have been PMing like mad regarding this topic and whether or not it should go to the "Debate Area" Our solution is that this thread be started so that we can both have the diversity of scope to explore this issue.

Many will love to chip in with their 2c of understanding and this is fine (correct me if I'm wrong bennyboy) but please do not feel that you are slighted if either of us do not respond immediately if at all to your comments.

As I have stated above, we are exploring this issue from differing positions and are liken to "babes in the wood" when it comes down to actual clarity over both positions and facts regarding both positions.

I will stress that emotionalism will be called out for what it is whether mine or bennyboy's and this is not to be seen as an attack, what I am striving for is a discussion sans the emotive rhetoric to achieve a clarity for both positions. Previous comments from the http://atheistforums.org/thread-23157.html "Any Vegetarians/Vegans here? thread are likely to surface here please do not take this as an endorsement but instead grist to the mill of scientific inquiry and discussion. Discussions on this topic will NOT be looking at balancing the four winds or at best will only lightly touch on Ayurvedic / Native/ Indigenous "medicine"

So now that is over and done with........


I will start with a "split" from the above mentioned thread

http://atheistforums.org/thread-23157-page-17.html post #809

Quote:bennyboy Wrote:
(Yesterday 09:17)KichigaiNeko Wrote:
Intrinsic to my position? Just for clarity, just what do you think my position is bennyboy?
Your position is that meat production and consumption is okay or necessary.


Correct so far



(Yesterday 10:56)bennyboy Wrote:
Intrinsic to this position are attitudes about the justification of suffering in others.


How is this "intrinsic" ??
This seems an assumption on your part


(Yesterday 10:56)bennyboy Wrote:
All meat-eaters must necessarily accept that in order to sustain themselves, they must cause suffering and death in others.

Why? This seems another assumption on your part sans any evidence so far for the previous assumptions

(Yesterday 10:56)bennyboy Wrote:
I assume, since you are a willing participant in the meat production/consumption cycle, that you accept whatever evils that process involves

Finally a bit of honesty! And just what ARE the "evils"?

(Yesterday 10:56)bennyboy Wrote:
-- environmentally and health-wise as well as in terms of suffering-- even if you have not specifically stated so.

You don't seem to be making any sense with the above statement, it just sounds like religious dogma regurgitated to sound good and convey guilt


(Yesterday 10:56)bennyboy Wrote:
Since in Australia, meat-production is also a big business, I'd also hazard a guess that you are willing to accept environmental corruption and animal suffering as part of the exchange of goods-- money for housing, electronic goods, etc. At this point, the word "necessity" starts to lose the ring of truth.

This from a person who lives in Korea which imports 95% of it's food and construction materials from other countries?

How's that apartment you are living in?

(Yesterday 10:56)bennyboy Wrote:
Quote:
Now, for what you have implied you are in North America/ Canada? Is this correct? And your country grows wheat? What else does it grow?

As far as I understand, here in Oz we have something like two growing seasons and yes wheat is a yearly crop here, along with many other grain crops (large scale). We are also only 22-23 million in population so most of our produce gets exported.
I live in Korea, but I am Canadian. Canada is similarly situated to Australia, I believe: large countries with low populations and good farmlands, but quite a lot of non-arable land: tundra in Canada, and dry regions in Australia.

You do realise that many of our forest have had to be felled so you can have your kimchi every day?

Would you enjoy some reading material?

http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/Asia-...index.html
http://www.biology.ualberta.ca/bsc/engli...r5_ACG.pdf

http://gocanada.about.com/od/canadatrave...canada.htm

http://www.weather-and-climate.com/avera...outh-Korea

http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/...limate~143

http://www.murraydarlingwetlands.com.au/...-facts.asp

http://www.murrayriver.com.au/about-the-...ing-basin/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murray–Darling_basin

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/nati...le1316188/

http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/econo...LTURE.html

http://www.agriculturemorethanever.ca/ca...log/facts/

http://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/about-us/public...1899760841

http://www.croplife.ca/just-the-facts

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topi...nd-fishing

http://countrystudies.us/south-korea/52.htm

http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/agriculture/in...kets/korea

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agriculture_in_Australia


http://t.answers.com/answers/#!/entry/wh...89472cce9a

http://australia.gov.au/about-australia/...griculture

Suffice to say the above led to an interesting Sunday afternoon's worth of reading.

Enjoy.

And further the reply

http://atheistforums.org/thread-23157-page-17.html post #811

Quote:KichigaiNeko Wrote:
(16th February 2014 02:56)bennyboy Wrote:
All meat-eaters must necessarily accept that in order to sustain themselves, they must cause suffering and death in others.

Why? This seems another assumption on your part sans any evidence so far for the previous assumptions
I think I don't understand what you're getting at. Are there any meat eaters who do not believe that eating meat involves any suffering? If so, there's a serious reality disconnect there. Please clarify.

Quote:
(16th February 2014 02:56)bennyboy Wrote:
-- environmentally and health-wise as well as in terms of suffering-- even if you have not specifically stated so.

You don't seem to be making any sense with the above statement, it just sounds like religious dogma regurgitated to sound good and convey guilt
I suspect you think my use of the word "evils" had a religious connotationor implication. I just used it to mean "very bad stuff." I don't see what's dogma about any of this.

Quote:
(16th February 2014 02:56)bennyboy Wrote:
Since in Australia, meat-production is also a big business, I'd also hazard a guess that you are willing to accept environmental corruption and animal suffering as part of the exchange of goods-- money for housing, electronic goods, etc. At this point, the word "necessity" starts to lose the ring of truth.
This from a person who lives in Korea which imports 95% of it's food and construction materials from other countries?

How's that apartment you are living in?
Yep, it's true. Korea not only imports much food, shoveling the environmental consequences of consumption onto other countries, it makes the money to do so by running big factories, here or abroad, belching out pollutants.

Quote:
(16th February 2014 02:56)bennyboy Wrote:
I live in Korea, but I am Canadian. Canada is similarly situated to Australia, I believe: large countries with low populations and good farmlands, but quite a lot of non-arable land: tundra in Canada, and dry regions in Australia.
You do realise that many of our forest have had to be felled so you can have your kimchi every day?

Would you enjoy some reading material?



Enjoy.

Bennyboy wrote: lol these are all good sources of information. However, you might want to supplement some of them with a summary and a point. What specifically are you trying to say with these links?

benny boy Wrote:What specifically are you trying to say with these links?

I am not trying to "say" anything but offering the sources of the information that I had read to support my comments. Is this not acceptable?
"The Universe is run by the complex interweaving of three elements: energy, matter, and enlightened self-interest." G'Kar-B5
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#2
RE: Vegetarianism vs Omnivoreism .... discussions btw Kichi and bennyboy
..........I just prefer to label myself an omnomnivore.
freedomfromfallacy » I'm weighing my tears to see if the happy ones weigh the same as the sad ones.
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#3
RE: Vegetarianism vs Omnivoreism .... discussions btw Kichi and bennyboy
I have to confess that I don't really seeing where you're going with the new thread, Kichi, although I'm willing enough. I'd recommend asking a mod to edit your OP to put the long lists and former-thread quotes in hide tags, and to redo the links, which have been broken by the text cut-and-paste.

Since we're now in the botany science section, I think we can agree that sources should be restricted to reliable ones: government-sourced data, or properly-cited scientific studies. Rhetorical, spiritual, or dogmatic material shouldn't be included, in my opinion, unless they are relevant to whatever path the discussion is on.

I think the economy of food would be a good place to start. By economy, I don't mean money-- I mean the efficiency by which the sun's energy is brought to a form usable by humans. At first glance, wheat and rice would be big winners. But there's more to it than that-- economy also includes issues like stability, the cost of delivery, etc.

As for the issues of animal rights, suffering, etc., I think these should also be looked from a factual angle. I don't entertain BS arguments like "animals don't really suffer," but nor do I accept BS arguments that every life directly saved represents a net reduction in suffering overall. An example would be choosing between industrial/non-industrial and vegetarian/omnivore food sources. It seems to me, for example, that milk cows endure at least as much suffering as slaughtered animals, since industrial-facitiliy cows are largely enclosed, bred to have unnaturally large and uncomfortable udders, and calves which must be slaughtered, but which most vegetarians don't think about (I think they don't anyway). Actually, our discussion so far has led me to a lifestyle change-- I've decided I either have to go vegan or to be a head-in-sand hypocrite. Valentine's chocolates have been eaten with gusto, and it's cold-turkey for me.

There are also some ways in which livestock may be said to reduce net suffering in the world. While grain-fed cattle MUST cause more death and suffering than even industrial plant cultivation, I think that industrial harvesting practices probably kill many critters. I'd argue that pure-grazed cattle would not only reduce suffering over industrial grain-fed cattle, but also over industrial grain-fed people (aka vegetarians). So there are at least some cases where the economy of food production makes even a vegetarian diet a killer.

It seems to me that a non-industrial food supply is at least as important as diet choice in reducing suffering. However, this would reduce efficiency greatly-- probably by an order of magnitude at least. Perhaps this loss of efficiency would create more jobs. Perhaps it would mean that the world simply can't sustain 7 billion people while protecting animals. Perhaps alternative technologies (bio-buildings with gardens on the roof, etc.) could be adapted to provide local sustainability with absolutely no loss of life or suffering. Perhaps technologies which create harvestable meat in organisms bred to have no nervous system would allow people to eat foods with the texture they like while silencing animal-rights people.

I think these kinds of ideas can be explored with the benefit of charts, numbers and studies, and with little reference to emotionality.
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#4
RE: Vegetarianism vs Omnivoreism .... discussions btw Kichi and bennyboy
Firstly, thankyou for responding.

(February 18, 2014 at 11:01 am)bennyboy Wrote: I have to confess that I don't really seeing where you're going with the new thread, Kichi, although I'm willing enough. I'd recommend asking a mod to edit your OP to put the long lists and former-thread quotes in hide tags, and to redo the links, which have been broken by the text cut-and-paste.

Why bother? if the mods don't like it they will let us know and as far as I can see the cut and paste of our convo only serves a a reference point for this thread. Should anyone be interested they are able to follow the link and view that thread to heir hearts content.

(February 18, 2014 at 11:01 am)bennyboy Wrote: Since we're now in the botany science section, I think we can agree that sources should be restricted to reliable ones: government-sourced data, or properly-cited scientific studies. Rhetorical, spiritual, or dogmatic material shouldn't be included, in my opinion, unless they are relevant to whatever path the discussion is on.


Agreed. I found the emotionalism concerning this issue distracting when what I was after was information and discussion.

(February 18, 2014 at 11:01 am)bennyboy Wrote: I think the economy of food would be a good place to start. By economy, I don't mean money-- I mean the efficiency by which the sun's energy is brought to a form usable by humans. At first glance, wheat and rice would be big winners. But there's more to it than that-- economy also includes issues like stability, the cost of delivery, etc.

Yes, which funnily enough involves money, so I don't think you can exclude $$$ from the equation. And yes "at first glance" is often deceptive.

(February 18, 2014 at 11:01 am)bennyboy Wrote: As for the issues of animal rights, suffering, etc., I think these should also be looked from a factual angle. I don't entertain BS arguments like "animals don't really suffer," but nor do I accept BS arguments that every life directly saved represents a net reduction in suffering overall. An example would be choosing between industrial/non-industrial and vegetarian/omnivore food sources.

I may need some more clarity here. Which country are you referring to? And can we clarify "suffering"? (anthropomorphological projection of suffering?)

As a vegetarian you chose the industrial option?

(February 18, 2014 at 11:01 am)bennyboy Wrote: It seems to me, for example, that milk cows endure at least as much suffering as slaughtered animals, since industrial-facitiliy cows are largely enclosed, bred to have unnaturally large and uncomfortable udders, and calves which must be slaughtered, but which most vegetarians don't think about (I think they don't anyway).

You don't seem to know much about agriculture at all. I'll see if I can find a link to a show made in Britain of just how some dairy producers are treating their cattle and the results of how the cattle are "suffering" ...

http://youtu.be/OLkdRg5wk_U

Sorry, currently unable to locate the series this one comes from

(February 18, 2014 at 11:01 am)bennyboy Wrote: Actually, our discussion so far has led me to a lifestyle change-- I've decided I either have to go vegan or to be a head-in-sand hypocrite. Valentine's chocolates have been eaten with gusto, and it's cold-turkey for me.

Why? Even as a vegan you are still causing "suffering". How old are you? The above seems very dramatic and black and white. The world is full of shades of grey and I seriously doubt that farmers want to treat their live-stock badly (not after investing huge amounts of $$$$ in to their health and upkeep.) at least for the majority of farmers.

(February 18, 2014 at 11:01 am)bennyboy Wrote: There are also some ways in which livestock may be said to reduce net suffering in the world. While grain-fed cattle MUST cause more death and suffering than even industrial plant cultivation, I think that industrial harvesting practices probably kill many critters. I'd argue that pure-grazed cattle would not only reduce suffering over industrial grain-fed cattle, but also over industrial grain-fed people (aka vegetarians). So there are at least some cases where the economy of food production makes even a vegetarian diet a killer.


This seems to be the case. Which is why I question the motives of organisations like PETA, Animals Australia et al. They certainly give out a great deal of misinformation. Again, which countries are we talking about? And why MUST grain fed cattle cause more suffering? Any documentation regarding this?

(February 18, 2014 at 11:01 am)bennyboy Wrote: It seems to me that a non-industrial food supply is at least as important as diet choice in reducing suffering. However, this would reduce efficiency greatly-- probably by an order of magnitude at least. Perhaps this loss of efficiency would create more jobs. Perhaps it would mean that the world simply can't sustain 7 billion people while protecting animals.

Perhaps you are right, perhaps you are wrong. Until we have some unbiased studies we really don't know for certain.

As far as I am able to understand it, the world is awash with food. Our biggest issues are the distribution of said food stuffs, both animal and vegetable. Any innovations developed in say Australia or Canada may not be applicable (able to be applied) to other food producing nations and certainly problematical for those nations that currently have limited electrical infrastructure to support these methods. If they did then we can surely end the Live Export trade and ship required amounts of animal protein to these countries rather than get treated to the spectacle of islamic countries and their festivals involving what I can only see as cruelty to animals (I would also wager that the meat tastes terrible)



(February 18, 2014 at 11:01 am)bennyboy Wrote: Perhaps alternative technologies (bio-buildings with gardens on the roof, etc.) could be adapted to provide local sustainability with absolutely no loss of life or suffering.

See, this is where I get stuck. how can you say that eating vegetables only does not cause suffering and loss of life? You are happy to be a hypocrite and regard plants as nothings but get all upset when a mammal is killed for food, then get all upset calling omnivores hypocrites when we acknowledge that some poor creature (plant or animal) had to die so that we might live in good health?


(February 18, 2014 at 11:01 am)bennyboy Wrote: Perhaps technologies which create harvestable meat in organisms bred to have no nervous system would allow people to eat foods with the texture they like while silencing animal-rights people.

It's already been done. Have you not heard of Quorm?

(February 18, 2014 at 11:01 am)bennyboy Wrote: I think these kinds of ideas can be explored with the benefit of charts, numbers and studies, and with little reference to emotionality.

And here you have come to the reason I have started this thread.

For viewing pleasure only
http://youtu.be/A-AIiNF2KmQ

Like I said, replies end up as a wall of text....hence this thread.

Interestingly, the following tow articles came across my news feed and can also lend weight to the whole vegetarian/ omnivoreism debate

Quote:Why nutrition is so confusingNearly six weeks into the 2014 diet season, it’s a good bet that many of us who made New Year’s resolutions to lose weight have already peaked. If clinical trials are any indication, we’ve lost much of the weight we can expect to lose. In a year or two we’ll be back within three kilos of where we are today.
The question is why. Is this a failure of willpower or of technique? Was our chosen dietary intervention — whether from the latest best-selling diet book or merely a concerted attempt to eat less and exercise more — doomed to failure?

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and...z2tkJvQx7F

It basically goes on to say that misinformation and poor research techniques are doing nothing to promoted good health.

Another one ....
Quote:Five myths about dietitiansThe word dietitian might sound about as palatable (pun intended) as the word dentist to some, conjuring images of super-fit health freaks consigning their poor patients to a diet of celery sticks and grapefruit.
Fear not, because the reality is not as bad as you think. Dietitians Susie Burrell, Joel Feren as well as Dietitians Association of Australia spokesperson and dietitian Melanie McGrice dispel a few common misconceptions people might have about their trade.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and...z2tkKzYC2d
"The Universe is run by the complex interweaving of three elements: energy, matter, and enlightened self-interest." G'Kar-B5
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#5
RE: Vegetarianism vs Omnivoreism .... discussions btw Kichi and bennyboy
Now while we are no the topic of economics, have you considered

Big Oil
You support the use of "synthetics" yet do you understand just WHERE these "synthetics" come from? And all the environmental disasters that entails. But hey go get your acetates, nylons, elasanes and acrylics all you want...no animal suffered? BS

Big Pharma
The use of dietary supplements necessary to maintain health and vigour, "the ability to thrive" for vegan/ vegetarians. Where most supplements require 'animal testing' and so "suffering" to be declared safe for human consumption and that the source of such supplement be identified. And just where do you think you are going to get B12, folate?

Big Agriculture
While it is laudable that per acre, vegetables are capable of supplying a 10 fold increase of protein compared to animal protein, just what sort of protein is being supplied? Companies liken to Monsanto have captured the 'niche market' of "ethical vegetarians" and devised crops that demand a sterilisation of the soil, heavy usage of non-organic fertilisers (see big oil here) and pesticides just to supply the 'niche soy-beans' market. Ever wondered why you HAVE to declare yourself an "ethical vegetarian"?

Big Food
Nothing is more insidious than this industry. You can lump sugar, protein, grain, in fact any necessary staple required for vegetarian and non-vegetarian diets in with this lot. Their governmental lobbying power is supreme to the 'animal welfare' lobbying power where both have no consideration for that which they purport to be advocates of.

The above feed into each other and are fully endorsed by "ethical vegetarians" who will complain bitterly about "environmental degradation and pollution" of our planet (and rightly so) but fail to see that they are part and parcel of the problem. This is starting to look like a circular argument and smacks of religious overtones even here. All statements to the above..... we are caught in the inconsistencies and manipulation of big corporations being in bed with our governments to legislate policy,

Also noted, a correlation (no actual causation thanks to the lack of funding to carry out such studies..I wonder why?) between the increase in obesity and the usage of margarine plus "protein enhanced" (read soy flour added as a main ingredient) bread.

Do we have any unbiased studies? No, as this is seen as a threat to the above big industries and so are avoided or obfuscated. Is it a conspiracy? Hell no, it is happening with the help of PETA et al and the science illiteracy of most of the people on the planet.

So in summary.

This is NOT about $$$ economics but about the actual usage of resources?
BULLSHIT. PETA along with any other "animal welfare organisation" is nothing more than a pseudo religion. They do fuck all for animals (better talk to your local farmer instead) and yet claim $$$$$$$$$ off the willing to do just what? Lobby governments so that nothing will change and they can still bleed those how actually DO have a conscience for more $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ to keep them in the life styles that are totally divorced from what they are preaching. Seems like religion to me and a great gig if you can swing it...hang on L. Ron Hubbard did!

So what I also will say here is
You want to eat vegetarian? GO FOR IT! IF it works for you GREAT, it didn't work for me (40kg and major organ shut down) but FFS don't come at me with the "oh you didn't do it right" BS.

And so, in this regard I would say that omivoreism is just as valid as vegetarianism. Neither should be discounted as sustaining health via nutrition.

It seriously depends on the genetic make-up of the individual body indulging in said diet.
"The Universe is run by the complex interweaving of three elements: energy, matter, and enlightened self-interest." G'Kar-B5
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#6
RE: Vegetarianism vs Omnivoreism .... discussions btw Kichi and bennyboy
(February 19, 2014 at 6:06 am)KichigaiNeko Wrote: Big Food
Nothing is more insidious than this industry. You can lump sugar, protein, grain, in fact any necessary staple required for vegetarian and non-vegetarian diets in with this lot. Their governmental lobbying power is supreme to the 'animal welfare' lobbying power where both have no consideration for that which they purport to be advocates of.

Hi Kichi,

I think its pretty clear from this statement that you think big industrial farming can do a lot of damage in the world. May I ask you then, if that is so, do you not find ways to support alternatives where possible? eg by buying locally sourced small scale farmed goods?
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#7
RE: Vegetarianism vs Omnivoreism .... discussions btw Kichi and bennyboy
This is hardly a science link, but interesting how meat and vegetables are both big health-risk culprits. Again, the connection seems to be industrialization of food production, rather than a specific diet style:

http://cookfoodeat.com/top-15-dirtiest-f...y-store/1/
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#8
RE: Vegetarianism vs Omnivoreism .... discussions btw Kichi and bennyboy


While we're on the subject of suffering as a metric. Animals in the wild typically endure more pain and suffering in the process of dying in the wild than in farming. (Though this varies.) If suffering is how we measure wrong, it would seem raping a woman as a child and leaving them to live with the trauma causes more suffering than killing the child. Yet we don't apportion punishment this way, so something seems amiss. And if you're talking about the suffering endured during cultivation, then you've moved outside of the realm in which not eating meat is the only ethical way to address the issue, as it's no longer a question about killing animals, just humanely cultivating them.

Just a couple thoughts.

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#9
RE: Vegetarianism vs Omnivoreism .... discussions btw Kichi and bennyboy
(February 21, 2014 at 11:59 pm)rasetsu Wrote:

While we're on the subject of suffering as a metric. Animals in the wild typically endure more pain and suffering in the process of dying in the wild than in farming. (Though this varies.) If suffering is how we measure wrong, it would seem raping a woman as a child and leaving them to live with the trauma causes more suffering than killing the child. Yet we don't apportion punishment this way, so something seems amiss. And if you're talking about the suffering endured during cultivation, then you've moved outside of the realm in which not eating meat is the only ethical way to address the issue, as it's no longer a question about killing animals, just humanely cultivating them.

Just a couple thoughts.


Thanks for the thoughtful input rasetsu.

I think what is amiss is the non-acceptance that humans are PART of this cycle and NOT APART from this cycle.

I would cite bennyboy's objections as special pleading.
"The Universe is run by the complex interweaving of three elements: energy, matter, and enlightened self-interest." G'Kar-B5
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#10
RE: Vegetarianism vs Omnivoreism .... discussions btw Kichi and bennyboy
(February 21, 2014 at 11:59 pm)rasetsu Wrote:

While we're on the subject of suffering as a metric. Animals in the wild typically endure more pain and suffering in the process of dying in the wild than in farming. (Though this varies.)
I agree this seems quite likely. Farm animals also don't face starvation, for the most part, which is a fundamental form of suffering.

Quote: If suffering is how we measure wrong, it would seem raping a woman as a child and leaving them to live with the trauma causes more suffering than killing the child. Yet we don't apportion punishment this way, so something seems amiss.
Good point. Clearly, neither raping her NOR killing her would be acceptable. It would be better if neither was allowed to happen to her, or if she simply didn't exist at all. I think that the calculus of value largely includes abstracts like hope of a chance to recover and experience joy again at some point. So the loss of the CHANCE of a person to interact and hopefully improve her outlook is taken as even more important than her very real physical suffering.

Here's another question: if the child, having been raped, is assessed as being highly unlikely ever to experience joy, and highly likely to suffer psychologically, should she be euthanized?

Quote:And if you're talking about the suffering endured during cultivation, then you've moved outside of the realm in which not eating meat is the only ethical way to address the issue, as it's no longer a question about killing animals, just humanely cultivating them.
Is it an anthropomorphism to see the end of a life as a kind of harm in and of itself? Most people accept that murdering humans is bad, no matter whether the person involved suffers during the process or not. Is it that animals are so low on awareness that moving them from existence to non-existence is a philosophically meaningless action?

I think it's worse to kill a human than to kill, say, a chicken, because of the complexity of a human's interaction with the world. A person sees, understands, and processes information on such a qualitatively rich level (presumably). But I wonder-- would I consider it "more okay" to kill a highly retarded person than say a concert pianist, on that same basis? I'm not sure.
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