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  • How comfortable does it make you feel to kill a chicken when you know that it did not want to die? On the other hand, there is no way to live without killing something... even washing and breathing kills bacteria.
    • Eh?

      If you are seriously trying to get people to go vegetarian or vegan with that attitude please stop. I've been an animal rights activist for the past five years and people like just make my job harder.

      Getting in people's faces and shouting at them will not ever convince them to think about the (im)morality of what they're doing. It just turns them off because the style overwhelms the message.

      When it comes to activism, style _is_ important, and yours sucks.
      • I have a question, and I don't intend to have an argument about it, I just want to know your opinion on the matter.

        I have long been an advocate for humane treatment of animals. How does this differ from the advocacy for animal "rights," if at all? Is there any distinction, even a semantic one, for you?
        • Yes, there is a definite distinction.

          What you describe is animal "welfare", which is a good thing, but doesn't go far enough, I believe.

          Animal rights means that I believe that animals, just like humans, have inherent rights, simply because they exist and are "subjects of a life" (to use a Tom Regan's term for it). IOW, animals, like humans, are conscious critters.

          When we talk about human rights we usually mean things like freedom of speech, freedom from harm by others, freedom to travel, etc.

          Obviously
          • Some quick points that I don't want to argue specifically, but want to throw out there for your consideration:
            1. You may not need to eat animals, but I do. That is, I need to eat meat more than you (or I) need electricity, from my perspective. This really isn't up for debate, unless you take the absolutist perspective that we should never impinge on the rights of animals, which you say you don't. You have a certain set of criteria whereby you determine that some things require electricity, and you are u
            • In response to #1, you have no _biological_ need to eat meat. That's what I meant by need.

              But yes, I don't need electricity based on that definition of need either. I don't think I said that I did, though. I _want_ electricity and I think it can be gotten without causing any significant harm.

              1. You improperly frame the issue as animal suffering vs. human pleasure, while there may be neither suffering on their part nor pleasure on ours. I think mentioning either one does disservice to your cause, as t

              • I think meat can be gotten without significant harm. Further, I do have a biological need for meat, because I can't eat most vegetables, let alone those fake meat products. They taste bad. So if I don't eat meat, I won't be healthy, because I will be severely malnourished. I very much do have a biological need to eat meat, and you are incapable of reasonably saying that I don't.

                And I did not say they are incapable of suffering, I said they are incapable of experiencing what we know as suffering. They
                • I think meat can be gotten without significant harm. Further, I do have a biological need for meat, because I can't eat most vegetables, let alone those fake meat products. They taste bad. So if I don't eat meat, I won't be healthy, because I will be severely malnourished. I very much do have a biological need to eat meat, and you are incapable of reasonably saying that I don't.

                  Well, this is one of the sillier statements I've ever seen when debating animal rights issues. What can I say? I think you're full of it. You certainly _could_ eat only plant products and survive. You just wouldn't like it much. What's this "I can't eat most vegetables" crap? What, if you eat it you can't digest it and get nutrition from it?

                  Re: chickens. Again, I don't know why you'd believe such a thing since it has no basis in science.

                  Eggplants cannot suffer. They have no central nervous system, therefore no mechanism for conducting pain signals nor any place to process such signals. And just as importantly, there is no evolutionary reason for plants to feel pain, since the function of pain is to cause a reaction that removes the harmful stimulus. Since plants can't move they can't really react in meaningful ways to harmful stimulus.

                  Chickens have a nervous system. It is not particularly primitive, no more so than that of most other animals. Their brain itself is more primitive but they can feel pain and frustration of insticts. That's enough to allow for a lot of suffering.

                  I can't believe I'm actually having to say these things, though.

                  Re: killing without suffering. No, I don't think that would be ok.

                  As to you having a right not to be attacked by animals. That's absurd. There is no such thing as ethical responsibilities for creatures incapable of making those judgements (i.e. babies, the severely retarded, most animals, etc). It is meaningless to discuss such an idea since anything without the capability of making ethical decisions is incapable of respecting rights.

                  Different creatures' rights interact in ways that limit certain rights and also impose responsibilities upon each other. Responsibilities are imposed only inasmuch as they can be carried out by the creature being imposed upon.

                  So we don't say that a one week old (human) baby has a responsibility not to kill. It is not capable of dealing with that responsibility.

                  But since you _can_ carry out the responsibities necessary to respect other's rights, you have an obligation to do so. Animals by and large cannot do so and therefore are free from those responsibilities.

                  All discussions of rights (and all discussions of philosophy in general) eventually come down to some sort of bedrock statements beyond which there is no explanation or proof. I believe that animals have rights. I believe that humans have rights. I don't have any explanation for those beliefs.

                  Other people may say that they believe those things because "God told me so", but that too is an unexplainable thing because it rests on belief in a god.

                  You claim I'm "doing an end run around making a real case why it is immoral." My case is pretty simple. I believe that animals should be free from suffering, and that human interference leads to suffering for animals. That's my case.

                  You tell me, what's your case for why its unethical for me to eat humans? I suspect it will also come down to some (relatively) simple statement of "killing other people (perhaps with certain caveats) is wrong."

                  I tend to get caught up in talking about suffering because I'm more interested in persuading people to take action than to agree with my particular philosophy. Frankly, I don't give a flying *beep* _why_ someone is vegan. I just want them to be vegan.

                  And if talking about suffering is what motivates people (from experience, this is the case), I'll talk about suffering. If standing on my head worked, I'd do that too.
                  • I won't respond to most of what you say except two things:

                    I can't eat most vegetables because they taste really bad to me. It's that simple. Am I capable of digesting it? Yes. But incapable of eating it. My cat is the same with many foods she is capable of digesting. You think it's silly? Tough nuts. It's my taste buds I am protecting, not yours.

                    Second, this: "I believe that animals should be free from suffering, and that human interference leads to suffering for animals. That's my case." Fine.
                    • Oh, and about vegetables, I thought I might be able to take them intravenously, but I have this thing about needles; I could take a pill, but then I don't get the roughage I so desperately need. Bah! I'm stuck requiring meat. Bring on the cows, Little Billy!
                    • Its not illogical, it simply comes from a first principle which you disagree with. My first principle, as stated, was that human interference with animals is unethical. Therefore, when given a choice (which we always are in this particular case, regardless of your culinary tastes), we should make the ethical choice, which is to not interfere.

                      As to whether or not you have an obligation not to eat animals. Of course you have such an obligation. Why would you think I believe otherwise? Just because my no
                    • As to whether or not you have an obligation not to eat animals. Of course you have such an obligation. Why would you think I believe otherwise? Just because my notion of rights is arbitrary doesn't mean I think yours has any validity, nor would I expect you to feel any differently.

                      What you expect is nonsense. Once again, you expect me to think that you're an immoral sap just because you think I am. I'm sorry that I can't oblige you. I actually don't expect anything of the sort. I expect different thi
                    • You have a rather bizarre position.

                      I think that ethics are basically arbitrary at a certain level, as are pretty much all beliefs.

                      But just because I believe that doesn't change what I want from others. Look, I think killing a person is unethical. That's an arbitrary belief.

                      But it is something that most of the people in this country agree with, and so we have laws forbidding murder, right?

                      And most people consider that a good thing. In other words, one particular viewpoint has been forced on everybody.
                    • But just because I believe that doesn't change what I want from others. Look, I think killing a person is unethical. That's an arbitrary belief.

                      But it is something that most of the people in this country agree with, and so we have laws forbidding murder, right?


                      Nope! In actual fact, we have laws forbidding murder because we have codified in our country's law the idea that it is not arbitrarily unethical, but that it is absolutely unethical, that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable righ
                    • Well, the fact that people decided this 200+ years ago based on what they thought doesn't make this any less arbitrary, does it? To illustrate: making a person of color property worth 3/5 as much as a white man is pretty arbitrary, but it was in the Constitution. (The fact that they used their religion to justify this doesn't make it any more or less true.) Fortunately, it was changed, too.

                      You're right that to compare in our law (as it stands right now) the killing of a an animal and a person is unreasona

                    • Well, the fact that people decided this 200+ years ago based on what they thought doesn't make this any less arbitrary, does it?

                      It does in the sense of why the law says murdering people is wrong, yes: in that it is not merely the opinion of a majority of people that makes it illegal, it is the very basis of our government that makes it so. If you take that away, then you take away the basis for the Constitution, which is to provide a government that exists to protect the rights of humans.

                      The Declaration