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When vegans kill

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Sax, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. Sax
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    Sax Active Member

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    When is killing consistent with vegan ethics?

    None of us will ever be stranded on a desert island with nothing but animals to eat. Hopefully none of us will have to use deadly force against dangerous animals. But sometimes things aren't so clear cut and it's hard to behave as if human life and animal life are truly of equal value.

    I'll often find ticks on me after mountain biking. If I'm still outdoors when I pull it off of me I'll just toss it aside and leave it to it's fate, but more often I'll find them while showering off. Theoretically I could toss it aside inside my home, but I don't want it to latch back on to me or my cats. I could step out of the shower and toss it out my front door (while trying not to expose myself to the neighbors!). But instead I flush them down the toilet. On one hand I'm defending myself against a parasite that could potentially infect me with a serious disease. On the other hand, if I killed a human, when I didn't absolutely have to, for creating a tiny puncture in my skin that would be wrong.

    Mosquitoes are a similar case. Is it wrong to squash these annoying disease vectors? Is it wrong to poison them with DEET?

    How about biting flies? They don't carry diseases (as far as I know) but their bites can be painful, and simply shooing them away just results in them landing on you elsewhere a few seconds later.

    The other day I found ants in my kitchen. I'll coexist with spiders...or capture and release the ones too creepy to ignore...but no way am I going to have ants marching all over my kitchen. I sealed off their entrance and killed the ones already inside.

    If all animal life is of equal value, or worthy of equal consideration, as human life, then these actions are wrong. Does that make my behavior unethical, or is there a way to resolve these actions with vegan ethics?
     
  2. Kellyr

    Kellyr Active Member

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    I think the conversation seems to be is it ethical to kill insects.

    I've wrestled with this myself at times. I can say in the years since I became even vegetarian, I've found myself less and less willing to kill insects. Even yesterday I was trying to help a tiny spider get out of the kitchen sink, and I consider myself to be a bit arachnophobic.

    I'll even have a story going on through my head when I see an insect... it's just minding it's own business... trying to get through the house when "AAAH! Giant shoe trying to squash me!!!"

    There are some things that I just acknowledge as out of my control - like I cannot spare every bug that may end up running under my feet while I'm walking or under my tires while I'm driving, etc.

    For the rest, I suppose I just try to do the least amount of harm where possible. However, when it comes to self preservation (ie: mosquitos, ticks, etc.) I suppose in that aspect I'm more willing to smack the bugger since I know it's not going to leave me alone. I had no problems killing fleas that go into my house once after a neighbor's dog came in infested with them and apparently dropped eggs everywhere. They became a nuisance and I wasn't willing to be their host and buffet for the rest of my life spent in that home.

    I suppose the best way I justify that carnage is that I'm not on a mission to go out and find every single mosquito, etc. and kill it for the joy of doing it. I'm just addressing the ones that come into my presence in the best means possible.

    They are still being predatory, and I suppose if you got attacked by a bear and you had a gun, you'd probably use it to save yourself. These are just teeny-tiny predatory bears... trying to eat you.
     
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  3. Forest Nymph
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    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    Self defense is ethical. Ticks, mosquitoes and black widows could make you severely ill or give you a deadly disease.

    "Vegan" doesn't mean "masochistic suicidal martyr" even by the Donald Watson or PETA definitions. Avoiding killing insects is more related to the beliefs of Jains, though I think senselessly robbing honey bees of their food is unethical and frankly stupid given that they're a threatened species we would go extinct without.

    Being vegan means avoiding exploitation and harm whenever possible. It doesn't mean dying of Lyme disease because you won't kill a tick.
     
  4. Forest Nymph
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    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    Yep. Mosquitoes are the most dangerous animal on earth. I am not even exaggerating... They carry malaria, dengue and yellow fevers, and West Nile virus.

    I wear an essential oil that repels those insects and allow "skeeter eaters" to fly about my cabin so they can solve the problem naturally.
     
  5. Sax
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    Sax Active Member

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    Not necessarily.

    Since becoming vegan I've used the concept that animal life is morally equivalent to human life as a guiding principle. I'm trying to examine that more closely...does that equivalence have limits or grey-areas? I'm using insects as an example because I find it a little harder to empathize with them compared to other animals...and I don't really find my interests conflicting with other animals the way they often do with insects.

    Agreed, but defending yourself with deadly force isn't always ethical.



    It can be hard to walk down the sidewalk without squashing ants. If it was hard to walk down the sidewalk without squashing humans, would that make it okay?

    If a person pricked me with a needle that had a very tiny probability of being infectious, the way individual mosquitoes have a very tiny probability of being infectious, would it be okay to kill that person?

    I'm killing ticks because the small amount of time and energy it costs me to set them outdoors is worth more to me than their lives. If I should value their lives as human lives that is obviously unethical.

    My behavior seems to reflect a sub-conscious rejection of the idea that animals don't exist on a hierarchy, that they are all worthy of equal consideration on par with humans. Am I the only one? Wouldn't you all go to further lengths to avoid killing a fellow human, or a deer or ostrich or whale shark, than a bug?

    How do we resolve that with vegan ethics?
     
  6. Forest Nymph
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    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    I study environmental science, I've taken medical biology, I measure animal worth through a combination of ability to feel and usefulness to ecosystems.

    Ticks and mosquitoes are parasites. The only purpose they serve is population control, if you enjoy murder.

    Bees are useful. Garden spiders are useful. Even poisonous spiders are harmless monitored in a corner of a shower stall, because they eat bugs.

    Cockroaches also serve no meaningful known purpose, spread disease and will thrive long after the human race is extinct.

    Bed bugs keep people from sleeping they actually make people sick or sleep deprived.

    I'm not a humanist. I'm considered an extremist in my graduating class. But I have taken away logic from that education, and I'm not hosting useless parasites with elementary nervous systems to my own peril.

    I don't go spraying insecticide for no reason and a spider lives in my shower. But I'll burn a ******* tick alive can you possibly be serious?

    I read somewhere once that the average vegan only has a high school diploma or associates degree. Something needs to be done about that.
     
  7. Sax
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    Sax Active Member

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    Interesting. I think all of us subconsciously place different value on different animals, but I was under the impression that was speciesism and runs counter to vegan ethics.

    What animal, if you had to guess, has the most worth according to that criteria?

    Does that have anything to do with the topic at hand?
     
  8. Forest Nymph
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    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    It has plenty to do with the topic at hand. In the state of California people with four year degrees have to take statistics and in almost any state their science equivalence is much higher, and even those in liberal arts must take logic.

    I'm not a humanist. An animal must not answer to me nor my relatives supremely. But if such an animal serves NO purpose but murder/parasitism to other species as well that species is a poor evolutionary choice. Cockroaches are an accident (though ticks may thin unwanted populations of elk etc like it or not),

    Evolution is not purposeful. Some species evolved through pure meanness. Like malaria. Malaria is alive. You want to save it too?

    I'm far from an unfeeling scientist in fact was once considered too philosophical to be so (but actually am an empiricist. Which is why I'm vegan. Empirical science leads to ethics with evidence.)

    I don't think uneducated vegans are stupid at all. In fact they're probably above average free thinkers uninhibited by academia! That being said, not having a Bachelor's is the equivalent of once not having graduated high school, and an aversion to science is dangerous. I see it in all sorts of people who earned B.A.s before 1995, these people are crazy, they think global warming isn't real, they took literally two classes that are outdated to earn their degree. Imagine someone with a B.A from 1988 who only took Bio and Chem at the 101 level. Never took Earth Science or Physical Science or Geology or Physics. This same moron imagines himself an expert against global warming.

    There are scientists with PhDs who are vegan. Veganism is actually an enlightened standpoint. But if your arguments are garbage like "oh but the cockroaches" no one will take you seriously. Even I won't.
     
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  9. Sax
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    Sax Active Member

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    You seem to be saying that we can use science to determine the relative value of different species.

    But can we? Let's say I'm unsure if it's okay to kill a cockroach, and you aren't around to inform me that it is. How can I use science to guide my ethical behavior? What method would I use to measure their "ability to feel" and "usefulness to ecosystems", and what units would I use? Or is there a table of species and their relative values already out there in academia which I can reference? Is that what you do when deciding which animals to kill, or are you just dressing up your species prejudice in a veneer of science?
     
  10. Deleted member 2263

    Deleted member 2263 Guest

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    Vve kill vvell:

    Gotta be honest:

    I am affirmedly certain that it is not Allahs vvill vvith me to partake in causing the terror addiction and addiction to explosions for a release of strain grovving the life/universe/earth-vvide addiction to violence.

    Unless those psychiatric pills vvork, of course, adding a kind of strain to overall heal a strained mind. A different source of rationalization for the US to combat in their drugepidemy (see, double kill; novv look above).

    This also vvould mean that attacking them vvont much vvork if that just grovvs the terror, slovvly suffocating the US from vvithin vvith drugs due to rationalization being streamed. I understand the fear of the VvVvVv, though it is just one of many channels.

    -- sorry, its just too tempting. A kind of trolling; I think a collective consciousness affecting people at the library judging by vvhat I have perceived, though its only vvhat I have perceived. Though not only at libraries. Some people are targeted and used especially. At least its useful trolling, right? So deeper than trolling, its Elving.
     
  11. Deleted member 2263

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    Be thankful to those mosquitoes, do you knovv hovv hard these vvork and that these heal you - highly specialized senses maintaining your body like a car maintenance place at a racetrack?

    Let nature support you, you knovv, you kind of are at least currently a part of the "endeavour" called life by a subsegment of life.

    Just the right places to sting, opening up chi channels and akin; like acupuncture, only you dont have to pay and can simply go to forest (and heal in forest also).
    I kinda vvant to try and be bitten by one of those flies, probably could take just the right matter carrying some kind of issue.

    I discovered this in compassion; caring that everyone seemed to hate the mosquitoes and decided to like donate blood to these; offered my hand and mosquitoes became happy.
    Novv I sleep in forest and every time I enter area there is like a vvave of mosquitoes and then it calms; sometimes also vvhen I vvake up, enabling me to "get out of bed" vvithout any ado. Not because of annoyance, I just lay there, and then suddenly I have the surplus/the drainage is removed and I can just stand up naturally vvithout it being so utterly exhausting.


    -- I am like being hinted things out of by your posts..

    Look, fruit flies are there for a reason. Be thankful, telling you to clean. Ants might also inspire you to progress on a healthier path, grovving your veganism. And heck, you have just become able to even be avvare that killing these beings might not be that sensible afterall; navigate by it. One day at a time, one step at a time; rather succeed than fail.

    There is so much death already, hereunder killing; just make use of vvhat is already there rather than add to the pool.
     
  12. Consistency
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    Consistency Active Member Banned

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    What is self evident is that there is animals of every specie including humans that are born with and without a purpose. Equality doesn't exist and never will. If every animal was born with a purpose and fearless when facing danger.. carnivores wouldn't exist.

    An animal including a human that wants to live will fight back while an animal that doesn't care about is own life will not fight back. There is nothing wrong with killing animals without automatic weapons in a survival situation as those who value their own life will fight back.
     
  13. Deleted member 2263

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    1. Automatic rifles are just fun and avvesome. I do go by nonlethality tho, avoiding poison and drugs for pacification.

    2. Equality does not exist vvhen its put like that. Fundamental equality does, and various layers of such at that. Even amongst humans.
    Hovv vvill you compare the vvolf and the human?
    The vvolf is obviously superior, vvhen it comes to living in a forest and surviving during vvinter time; able to give service as a participant in the self-regulating system of life.

    Life loses meaning vvhen there is no purpose to living; unless of course such is possible to get vvhich then is a purpose - not possibly for all, a cause of not vvanting to live (not a bad thing, necessarily). Or having plenty of purpose, though knovving that upon certain things happening a result is that overall living out purpose is meaningless in the overall loss.

    Carnivores exist for a reason, like plant eaters regulate the forests/trees - something humans are unable to. Sadly I think there is much strain on the regulative life-units of the eco-layer, || thus vve are vveakened on a fundamental level ..

    I apologize almost for vvriting as a reply to the sacrifice entailed in your vvriting, you a vegan talking about killing animals like that seems inspired to me.

    -- I noticed something about survival of the fittest.
    Its like a lie, the vvorld is not based on that. Its more like living of the most aligned, its not enjoyable just to survive.
     
  14. Consistency
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    Consistency Active Member Banned

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    Egalitarianism doesn't exist either as those with rights will still feel inferior and have something else to cry about. Those who believe in equality are essentially inferior and are trying to subdue those who are essentially superior. Egalitarianism is not a belief to look up to.

    Last time I checked; humans almost caused the extinction of wolves in North America. Still think wolves are superior?

    You're confusing depression with giving up. There is many animals who just give up and there is many who will keep running or fight for their own life by taking a life of a carnivore.

    Nature is survival of the "fittest". An animal needs to be "fit" to survive and thrive and to attract a mate. This is the main reason why many fellow vegans go back to eating animal products. They are essentially physically inactive and their muscles are wasting away.
     
  15. Mom2vegan

    Mom2vegan Member

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    I hope you don't mind if I join this discussion. I was directed here after mentioning my dilemma regarding bugs in my garden. I'm playing around with being vegan. To be vegan, we have to eat a lot of vegetables and most vegans consider chemicals to be bad things. So I'm out in my chemical-free garden trying to grow some zucchinis and broccoli and cabbage - and I have to kill hundreds and hundreds of bugs to grow them. If I used chemicals I would be able to kill all the bugs before they breed, so using chemicals would lead to less killing and therefore be more ethical than not using chemicals. Of course if I kill all the bugs the frogs won't have anything to eat....

    But I got to thinking about how many lives I'm taking just for a few vegetables and wondering how many bugs' deaths I'm responsible for. I think a bug is as sentient as a cow and I am not even responsible for the death of one cow per year. How many bugs have to die for a cow to eat? Cows are generally eating GMO grain that was grown in fields using chemicals so the bugs aren't very dense in the fields used to grow the food for the cows. I think a person who eats meat may be responsible for fewer deaths than a person who doesn't, if you count bugs deaths. So the question is - are bugs equal to cows? I really think they are.

    Just observe ants! If you don't think ants are every bit as smart and sentient as humans, read "Adventures Among Ants, A Global Safari With a Cast of Trillions" and by the time you're done with it you'll agree they're definitely on a par with elephants, dolphins and octopi.
     
  16. Mom2vegan

    Mom2vegan Member

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    Another question I have is about honey bees. My understanding could be wrong, but I've always believed that almost all honey bees are domesticated and they are rare in the wild, at least in the US. So by eating honey we are not making them extinct, we are preventing them from going extinct. However that does not mean eating honey is right. We have to decide which is more ethical - to raise them for honey or let them go extinct. The honey bees are fed prepared food and we take their honey.
     
  17. Deleted member 2263

    Deleted member 2263 Guest

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    Indeed, a bug can be more serviceful than a human to all life. Its like ants; serving a purpose of life already, putting together complex energy structures more than certainly channeling energy (see, I am insane, being pushed in a manner unable to describe by desire to prove my insanity) in at least one direction (from or to gravitational center// - or energy structures in betvveen//).

    I vvas like made to paint a fence in 2016; its so unnecessary, at least ecopreservative of the vvood. Though for food, vvell I have the principle of doing better, at least you are facing it vvhile shopping vvould be the same. And sharing about it, causing eating less or as in my case; indirectly consuming less even if on one point not caring all that much (unable to, for vvhatever reason - pardon, also having issues vvith the sole and only solution being a flushing of innards, not that I discredit this, far from it, just have been unable to hovvever different it may seem).

    I like going 1 step at a time and rather that you actually get there than that you try and fail; little by little - though sometimes massive suffering is entailed in vvaiting too long (fasting may be vvorthvvhile) --
    to not be sacrificing individuals either.

    A classic rationalization pattern; it is so, therefore I/connected to me are allovved to consume $"ingestible".


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdul-Muttalib#Sacrificing_his_son_Abdullah

    I think eh, this fella, might be lacking considering that camels also have value; though its more in the act of the relativity involved. Its just too messed up to sacrifice a person you put into the vvorld, that especially vvhen at their cost, as though you ovvn these.
    Its just nice vvith veganism, even sacrificing takes on a healthier/less unhealthy form. (going past "ovvning" beings).
     
  18. Mom2vegan

    Mom2vegan Member

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    Probably the way to go that would involve the least killing would be to be vegan but not organic - not as healthy for me, but a lot less bugs would be killed.

    That's a pretty interesting story about Abdul-Muttalib, leei. I wonder - when he sacrificed the camels, were they eaten by people or did other animals and bugs eat them......
     
  19. veganDreama

    veganDreama Active Member

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    I don't deliberately kill anything. I can't see bugs so how can I know where they are and avoid accidentally squashing them.

    I've also had a hand in killing several pets. Or rather the vet does the killing because the dog, rat or chinchilla is very sick and the vet tells me they are suffering. Yet I am against Euthanasia for humans.

    To be honest a dog and a rat both show more feelings then insects do or even goldfish. I know when a dog or a rat is unhappy but not insects. Does that make me speiciest?
     
  20. Veganite
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    Veganite Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It is for the same reason that we euthanize pets that I am in favour of doctor assisted suicides for people, to end unnecessary suffering. The moral problem I have with it is only the possibility of its abuse

    I don't think the fact that you are not aware of an insects feelings makes you a specieist. It's placing value over an above another species that makes you a specieist. This is not easy to discriminate either, as something as microscopic, like living bacteria, is still considered life, yet we wash them, willingly, from our hands every day. It's not an unheard of argument among non-vegans. They will accuse us of killing vegetables too...cause we all know they scream for mercy when we eat them ;)

    • Veganism acknowledges the intrinsic legitimacy of all life. It rejects any hierarchy of acceptable suffering among sentient creatures. It is no more acceptable to torment or kill creatures with "primitive nervous systems" than those with "highly developed nervous systems". The value of life to its possessor is the same, whether it be the life of a clam, a crayfish, a carp, a cockroach, a cow, a chicken, or a child. Source



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