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When vegans kill

Sax

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We're all biased...if I had to choose between a family member dying and a stranger I would choose the stranger. I don't believe my family members lives are worth more, but I am certainly biased towards protecting them. If I had to choose between a human and a cow...sorry cow. I'm biased towards humans. Mammal vs insect? I'm on team mammal. That's a reflection of our bias/subjective valuing of lives...and I think that's forgivable, as long as we recognize it as bias and not some objective hierarchy of suffering.

In reality we don't have to choose to kill either one animal or another, though. The choice is to kill or not to kill. And I think that choice should be guided by the same principles for any member of the animal kingdom...I'm just not sure what those principles are, precisely.
 

veganDreama

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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
It's the abuse of euthanasia happens with animals all the time. I've known vets to euthanise animals just because they are blind. Now I'm deaf blind and although I've also suffered at times with additional mental health issues and severe eye pain, I'm glad to be alive.
 

veganDreama

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Yes, I guess we are all biased in favour of what we know. I know dogs and can extend my knowledge of how dogs feel to how pigs, cows, goats or sheep feel. I once had a goldfish but I can't honestly say when/if the goldfish was suffering which is probably why I ate fish after I stopped eating other animals right until I became vegan.
 

Veganite

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It's the abuse of euthanasia happens with animals all the time
It's the human element. You add humans to the equation and abuse is bound to occur sooner or later.
 

Nekodaiden

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• 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

*

I honestly think bundled statements like these, if widely accepted by those practicing a vegan diet, open up the term, as so defined, to ridicule. Here’s my take on it:

- “Veganism acknowledges the intrinsic legitimacy of all life.” -

At base starting point, yes. Certain contexts change my perception of equal value, however. A multiple murdering psychopath has less intrinsic legitimacy to his/her life than someone who does not commit these crimes. We put these people in jail (suffering) or kill them when it is necessary to protect others ‘intrinsic legitimacy’ to their own lives.


- “It rejects any hierarchy of acceptable suffering among sentient creatures.” -


I reject this statement out of hand. The reason is very simple, as it rejects commonly accepted ethics and replaces them with a notion in which the following could occur: 3 hungry lions about to starve (suffering) may well be served if I threw my neighbor to them for a meal. This causes suffering to the individual but if they are in all other ways equal then it serves the greatest number (the lions). This action would also be deemed to be murder among most people, and rightly so. If someone actually believes this has served a greater good, I think it makes them very very VERY scary person to identify with, much less travel the wild with.

-” It is no more acceptable to torment or kill creatures with "primitive nervous systems" -
than those with "highly developed nervous systems".
-


If this statement didn’t include the word “torment”, then I would also reject it out of hand. I do not believe it is ever acceptable to torment with malicious intentions (nor absent that, in almost every case, at all). However, it is entirely acceptable to kill when it is needed to do so, particularly, for survival. I also don’t think anyone in a situation with a dangerous human, animal (or insect) can also practice it against their base instinct to survive, without some greater purpose (than the statement) in mind.

- “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 -


Not necessarily so. Just ask anyone what they think of their life in the moments before suicide. The assumption of any entities views on it’s own life is just that, an assumption.

If Veganism is defined by that statement (and all Vegans agreed to it), then I would happily call myself something else and know that Watson’s greatest nightmares of what Veganism could become would be manifest. A world where the Compassion Police exercise against their own species in favor of other species. A rabid dog, a dangerous spider, snake, or natural carnivore would never be persecuted for doing what they do, but a human who killed one to serve himself or another human would be subject to “species ism” because of their own need for survival. It would be sort of a religion for misanthropes, and a dangerous one at that.


“Necessary or not” is how I differentiate between what is ethical and moral in the question of killing. If I am in contact with any animal or insect (or human) where I can be reasonably sure they pose a serious threat to my life, then I have no qualms with ending their life. Except in certain special situations, eating animals/insects is never necessary, so it is therefore unethical to kill them in order to consume them.


There is a world of difference between the two.
 

Nekodaiden

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We're all biased...if I had to choose between a family member dying and a stranger I would choose the stranger. I don't believe my family members lives are worth more, but I am certainly biased towards protecting them. If I had to choose between a human and a cow...sorry cow. I'm biased towards humans. Mammal vs insect? I'm on team mammal. That's a reflection of our bias/subjective valuing of lives...and I think that's forgivable, as long as we recognize it as bias and not some objective hierarchy of suffering.

In reality we don't have to choose to kill either one animal or another, though. The choice is to kill or not to kill. And I think that choice should be guided by the same principles for any member of the animal kingdom...I'm just not sure what those principles are, precisely.

For me this isn’t just a learned bias, as if we needed to unlearn it! I don’t believe in the “no suffering” full stop because it’s an attitude that really only can be held by the hypocritical. I would challenge any person who holds it to see whether it could applied in any situation where it could cause great harm/suffering either to themselves or people they loved or even humanity in general. So they AREN’T going to kill the deadly spider in their bedroom? Or the venomous aggressive snake they meet in the wild? And the hungry pack of lions that stalk them? Because they might suffer?



Unnecessary suffering is a whole other matter. It seeks to do the least harm, where possible and practical. The notion that all life is equal doesn’t operate on that principle, and as far as I can see would only take numbers into account. Thus 3 hungry lions outweighs 1 sentient human, and throwing the human to the lion = meeting the principle, but to the sane it means murder.



This was actually talked about on one of Vegan Gains videos. Someone called in who thought it would be ok to murder slaughterhouse workers, on the premise that “all life is equal”. This kind of crap also scares a lot of people, non-vegans and vegans alike, and I think that fear is justified.

Edit: video link:
 
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Kate

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How is killing plants ethical? They are living things too. Why is the life of an animal more valuable than the life of plants?
 

Forest Nymph

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How is killing plants ethical? They are living things too. Why is the life of an animal more valuable than the life of plants?
Living creatures have varying degrees of sentience. There is actually an animal - the sessile sea sponge - which is a "link" between animals and plants which has doubtful sentience, despite being an animal. On the other end of the spectrum, animals such as pigs, cats, dogs, and cows have the intelligence of 2 or 3 year old human children. Would you kill a human toddler to eat if you were safe and sound living in a community and had thousands of other fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and pulses to eat?

There is definitely something to be said for respecting plant-life, simply because it's life, and in fact the Yurok tribe of Northern California tended to only use dead or downed redwood trees to build their cabins and boats. On the other hand, to try to compare the sentience of animals commonly used for food to plants is completely unscientific at best.
 
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Lou

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IMHO, this discussion shouldn't be about degrees of sentience, but about the ability to avoid harm.

We vegans can choose to avoid harming animals by not eating them.
Clams, oysters, mealworms, we don't eat them because they are stupid. we don't eat them because we don't have to.
Meanwhile, we kill mosquitoes, vermin, pests etc, not because they are stupid. we kill them because if we don't they will harm us.
 

marian

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That's good you chose not to kill animals, but have you ever thought about how pests like bedbugs, ants, spiders, rodents, rats are disturbing our daily lives? Apart from killing animals for food, but we should at least protect our kids from the bite of bed bugs by doing the pest inspection Sacramento and surviving from the pests.