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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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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 though if I can kill them without causing suffering, then it's OK. I don't think you actually believe that. The example of a chicken is apt: I don't believe chickens suffer in any way we would actually call suffering. I don't think they are capable of suffering any more than an eggplant is. Even if they were, we could still kill them without suffering.


              You can believe whatever you want, but I think that is a flat-out ignorant belief. Scientific research fully supports the idea that chickens (like pretty much all animals) are capable of suffering.

              Chickens have a nervous system and a brain. They are capable of feeling pain. They have instincts which they can be frustrated or denied.

              Of course, maybe you're actually debating the meaning of the word "suffering", but the dictionary definitions I've seen include things like "to endure death, pain, or distress", which is pretty clear.

              Of course, how do I know that _you_ can suffer? I can't actually feel what you feel. But I know that _I_ can suffer (feel pain, distress, fear, worry, etc.). And I know what it looks like when I am suffering (I sweat, I may bleed, I may scream, cry, thrash about, etc.)

              Therefore, when I see other humans in the same state, I can probably assume they are suffering.

              Well, if you take things that cause suffering in humans (like castration without anesthesia) and do them to animals, then they do the same things (at least some of them), like sweat, scream, thrash about, etc. Therefore I can assume that animals suffer.

              But perhaps you agree with Descartes, and believe that animals are simply machines (which leads me to wonder in what humans are not).

              As to killing without suffering, even assuming such a thing is possible, it is more or less irrelevant to my points. It is highly unlikely that we could possible raise animals in the numbers necessary to satisfy current demand without suffering.

              If the only animal products available came from animals that had been raised without cruelty and killed painlessly, then the price of those products would be astronomical (would you pay $50 for a pound of beef? $3 per egg?).

              And then your last point. Why do animals have the right to live free from human interference if they don't have the right to live free from the interference of other animals?

              Because humans, more than any other animals, are capable of acting purely based on ethics. Therefore we have an obligation to do so that other animals do not. Cheetahs are not acting unethically when they kill a zebra as they really do not have a choice.

              Inasmuch as we can choose to not cause suffering to animals, including our fellow humans, we should make those choices.
              • 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
                  • 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