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Ugh, the vegetarians will probably jump all over it. No harm is done to animals, and they'll probably make the meat cultured in soy or some other vegetable oil making it even worse than current grain fed grocery store meat.

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Ugh, the vegetarians will probably jump all over it. No harm is done to animals, and they'll probably make the meat cultured in soy or some other vegetable oil making it even worse than current grain fed grocery store meat.

Does your war on grains need to show up in every single thread? You'd think you'd find the time to present some of that eveidence you've seen to reach the conclusion that grains are bad, after posting it over and over again.

The human body evolved over tens of thousands of years to eat animals, not grains, vegetables (exclusively), or bean products like soy.

I'd love to hear you describe in detail this evolutionary process, that causes grains to be bad for me, since you mentioned it. Everything I know about modern evolution theory says that you'd have a damn difficult time.

Here's some of the basics of Evolution:

http://www.allaboutscience.org/evolution-of-man.htm

Which of those principles relates to "the human body evolved to not eat grains"?

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While it is pleasing to my ear to hear practical (and therefore moral) arguments in favor of meat-eating, I think that the Paleo Diet deserves its own thread. (If it doesn't already have one.)

Isn't grocery store meat (cows, etc) mostly herbivores? AKA, plant-eaters? (How is being grain-fed a bad thing?)

I also have doubts about the vegetarians jumping all over it. Some will, some won't, I think. The "weaker" (stronger, in the sense of being a real human) ones will take full advantage of getting to have tasty food again. But the hardcore ones will avoid it as much as they avoid real meat. If they do otherwise, they'll have to admit that their bodies really are designed to eat meat. (They'll have to admit that they have no practical leg for their morality to stand on.)

EDIT: I can almost hear the next wave of anti-life attacks coming. "We can grow meat now, so you have no excuse for eating animals anymore."

Edited by Amaroq

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Grain-fed meat/dairy is less optimal (for reducing health risks of CHD, cancer, etc) due to a high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, and lack of other important nutrients that you don't get elsewhere, such as vitamin K2.

Sources: this cardiologist and this neurologist. For direct sources to journal articles, see the latter's citations on the relevant pages.

Some other Oists who have talked a lot about this specifically: Diana Hsieh and Monica Hughes.

Edited by brian0918

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Of course, torturing animals just for kicks would be very wrong. Not because it infringes upon their rights, but because it indicates pretty severe psychological problems on your part if you enjoy causing pain. (In case this would be the next point people bring up)

What about someone who abuses puppies because they want to enjoy chocolate?

Ie: Let me explain. An abused, frightened, stressed puppy's brain produces cocamine when they're extremely stressed. Cocamine is the chemical that allows us to enjoy the delicious taste of chocolate. So someone might abuse puppies because they can no longer produce cocamine themselves, so they abuse the puppy and extract the chemical from his brain

Edited by Black Wolf

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The aporia that I see is this:

The standard of good/bad is man's life, then if one protests against cruelty to animals, it has to be from man's life as the standard. That means that life as such is not a value ? I know this sounds smacks of intincism, but shouldn't life be a value in itself ? I need a formulation to ground this value within the objectivist hierarchy of values.

As for the other reply regarding cruelty being the only unpalatable reason, the context in which I put the question was different. What i wanted was an answer to the following 'syllogism':

p1. A world with less suffering is better than a world with more suffering.

p2. Animals suffer while being butchered for meat.

p3. A 'rational' man takes reasonable steps to make the world better.

p1 ^ p2 ^ p3 -> A rational man should not eat meat.

I know there is something wrong somewhere, i just can't put my finger on it.

----

Thanks & Regards

Look at p3. Better for whom or what?

I world in which I cannot have my bar-b-q short ribs is not a better world for me.

Bob Kolker

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I'm sort of reiterating what I believe to be the fundamental question for this thread (via a first post, I know - I apologize) or, at least, an implicit question that has, for the most part, gone unanswered:

Is it moral, in and of itself, to cause pain to an animal capable of experiencing it (pain) for the reason of pleasure, be that pleasure:

A) Direct (you enjoying causing the suffering in and of itself)

B) Indirect (you enjoy products of that suffering)

I am disregarding all elements of vegetarianism here, the actual butchering process, etc. I should elaborate on that second clause (B) a bit:

By "enjoy products of that suffering," I am postulating a hypothetical situation in which getting a particular product (meat, for example) required that a creature capable of suffering suffers? I am not stating or advocating that this is the case, so please, for the love of fried chicken, don't ream me on odd tangents. :D

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Is it moral, in and of itself, to cause pain to an animal capable of experiencing it (pain) for the reason of pleasure, be that pleasure:

A) Direct (you enjoying causing the suffering in and of itself)

B) Indirect (you enjoy products of that suffering)

Not sure what you mean by "in and of itself" ? Anyhow, it does not seem to have a bearing on the rest...

You used the word "enjoy", and that is vague. Whether this enjoyment is moral or not requires more information. Most typical cases of (B) that I can think of (e.g. testing the effect of some drug by making an animal sick first), would be rational and moral. As for case (A), causing suffering cannot be a rational end. To be a rational value, it would have to be the means that we are able to trace some rational end. If we do that, we're back at case (B). (Simply saying "I like to" or "I enjoy it" is not sufficient to make something rational: lots of addictions and diseases are caused by that unthinking approach.

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Not sure what you mean by "in and of itself" ? Anyhow, it does not seem to have a bearing on the rest...

You used the word "enjoy", and that is vague. Whether this enjoyment is moral or not requires more information. Most typical cases of (B) that I can think of (e.g. testing the effect of some drug by making an animal sick first), would be rational and moral. As for case (A), causing suffering cannot be a rational end. To be a rational value, it would have to be the means that we are able to trace some rational end. If we do that, we're back at case (B). (Simply saying "I like to" or "I enjoy it" is not sufficient to make something rational: lots of addictions and diseases are caused by that unthinking approach.

Hm.. ok, I should probably clarify, but I think the latter end of what you wrote fundamentally addresses the issue. Nonetheless,

Can the act be moral for the aesthetic pleasure derived from the act itself, and the selfish gain of pleasure in doing so? In defense of the question, I postulate that there acts where are pleasurable just in their own doing, not necessarily within the reasons for doing them or the results. For example, I enjoy rolling cigarettes - I'd enjoy it even if not for the end product, and I'd enjoy it even if lacking the reason of desiring the end product to begin with. I find pleasure in the process itself.

Extending that, I can imagine an (hypothetical, of course, but my argument is largely hypothetical and can probably be dismissed on those grounds) individual who derives pleasure from causing pain in an animal capable of feeling it. Maybe he likes the sounds the animal makes, maybe it's just the process itself is enjoyable. I would, I think obviously, contend that the psychology of the individual is probably something several thousand fathoms below "normal," but I'm not sure I can assert one way or the other that such a psychology is indicative of the inability or unwillingness to reason.

To summarize, I postulate that you can enjoy the act of something itself - the act of doing - bereft of its results or the reason for doing it. Actually, I'll stop there. Is this a reasonable hypothesis, or am I just missing something here?

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Anizi, you're acting on emotions rather than from reason.

Happiness is a valid goal for ethics, but a proper ethics can't be to act on whatever just happens to make you happy. That's basically like valuing whatever you just happen to value.

You need to act from reason, not from your emotions.

I'm not entirely sure how to respond to Black Wolf. I, personally, value puppies enough to seek other sources for my cocamine if enjoyment of chocolate is that important to me and if my brain doesn't produce enough.

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Extending that, I can imagine an (hypothetical, of course, but my argument is largely hypothetical and can probably be dismissed on those grounds) individual who derives pleasure from causing pain in an animal capable of feeling it.

That happens all the time, so it definitely can't be dismissed as a far fetched hypothetical. If a person really does derive pleasure from the suffering of animals, that's a sign of psychological corruption, and indulging instead of addressing and correcting it is immoral.

As an aside, people often leap to the conclusion that someone enjoys torturing animals when that's not necessarily the case. You can "harm" animals for the sake of nothing but fun (hunting, fishing), without necessarily deriving pleasure from the animal's pain.

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"Anizi, you're acting on emotions rather than from reason.."

Assert that.

"If a person really does derive pleasure from the suffering of animals, that's a sign of psychological corruption, and indulging instead of addressing and correcting it is immoral. "

Are there any Objectivist pieces on this (the premise of psychological corruption), particularly pertaining to something like the ability to derive pleasure from suffering? I agree that it is certainly immoral, but I'm curious about the premise of corruption within the context of rationality. I.e., can it be a rational action, and can you be rational even if you are, as I said before, "several thousand fathoms below 'normal'?" (Side: where in the **** does the question mark go here?)

"As an aside, people often leap to the conclusion that someone enjoys torturing animals when that's not necessarily the case. You can "harm" animals for the sake of nothing but fun (hunting, fishing), without necessarily deriving pleasure from the animal's pain."

I agree - and it's an easy accusation to make because people have very strong emotional ties to the subject (animal torture). I agree with the second statement, as well. I should probably expound on my first post: I have no interest of taking this discussion or attempting to derive from it a position in terms of the meat industry. I'm just curious.

Returning to this,

"Happiness is a valid goal for ethics, but a proper ethics can't be to act on whatever just happens to make you happy."

Aside from (what I would call the "obvious") psychological damage in an individual who derives relaxation and pleasure from torturing an animal, what would be the fundamental difference between that and someone who enjoys sitting in a comfortable chair and sipping vodka? That is, if you're arguing against the question I am asking (presuming my stance is defending the rationality of pleasure-through-animal-torture), by what means could I defend the enjoyment of the chair-and-vodka premise?

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Are there any Objectivist pieces on this (the premise of psychological corruption), particularly pertaining to something like the ability to derive pleasure from suffering? I agree that it is certainly immoral, but I'm curious about the premise of corruption within the context of rationality. I.e., can it be a rational action, and can you be rational even if you are, as I said before, "several thousand fathoms below 'normal'?" (Side: where in the **** does the question mark go here?)

Let's start with this:

"The task of evaluating the processes of man’s subconscious is the province of psychology. Psychology does not regard its subject morally, but medically—i.e., from the aspect of health or malfunction (with cognitive competence as the proper standard of health)." (Ayn Rand Lexicon / Psychology)

So it's pretty straight forward: if one's judgment is impaired by psychological issues, that person is sick and in need of medical attention. I think deriving pleasure from other people's pain is a clear sign of impaired judgment, and it is clearly a result of psychological damage, so it makes sense that the rational action is to seek a cure, not indulgence.

As to how this can be generalized from pleasure from human pain to pleasure from animal pain in general, that's an issue for psychologists (which I am not), but there is a tie between our feelings for human suffering and animal suffering, and people who torture animals for pleasure often graduate to sadism against human victims.

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Are there any Objectivist pieces on this (the premise of psychological corruption), particularly pertaining to something like the ability to derive pleasure from suffering? I agree that it is certainly immoral, but I'm curious about the premise of corruption within the context of rationality. I.e., can it be a rational action, and can you be rational even if you are, as I said before, "several thousand fathoms below 'normal'?" (Side: where in the **** does the question mark go here?)

Let's start with this:

"The task of evaluating the processes of man’s subconscious is the province of psychology. Psychology does not regard its subject morally, but medically—i.e., from the aspect of health or malfunction (with cognitive competence as the proper standard of health)." (Ayn Rand Lexicon / Psychology)

So it's pretty straight forward: if one's judgment is impaired by psychological issues, that person is sick and in need of medical attention. I think deriving pleasure from other people's pain is a clear sign of impaired judgment, and it is clearly a result of psychological damage, so it makes sense that the rational action is to seek a cure, not indulgence.

As to how this can be generalized from pleasure from human pain to pleasure from animal pain in general, that's an issue for psychologists (which I am not), but there is a tie between our feelings for human suffering and animal suffering, and people who torture animals for pleasure often graduate to sadism against human victims. Since it is an illness, not a moral deficiency, it makes no difference that animals don't have rights, the illness does exist and should be treated before the patient develops into a compulsive criminal.

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"So it's pretty straight forward: if one's judgment is impaired by psychological issues, that person is sick and in need of medical attention."

Alright, that makes sense, and I'll accept that.

On a tangent, (and this one is emotionally based, but still a valid question): is there moral or rational argument, for or against, the use of unnecessary (beyond the minimum required or, at the other end of the spectrum, in dire excess of that required minimum) harm (causing physical pain) to an animal during its raising and subsequent butchering for food?

Given that...

Returning to our good friend, Mr Hypothesis, is there a generally moral or rational argument for or against an animal-farm-and-butchery that uses a method which results in better, cheaper beef, but makes use of extremely cruel methods (methods which cause a great deal of physical pain [perhaps in excess of current methods] to the animal throughout the process)? I am not postulating that such a thing exists, ever has existed, or ever will.

Edit: I realize my hypothetical situation does sound like I am trying to derive a position on the meat industry and such. I'm not. I am genuinely trying to understand the argument which I think is fundamental to the original post, even though I am not trying to ascertain the validity of vegetarianism.

Edited by Anizi

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There is an argument against me personally doing either of those two things you mentioned (excessive cruelty in the process of using animals, for zero or minimal gain). But it's an emotional one, I personally feel empathy for animals and would have trouble treating them with excessive cruelty. I think it is a perfectly normal emotion to feel, and it would be irrational to torture myself by doing something I'd feel bad about, as long as I can avoid it without too much hassle. (If it became necessary to kill something in a way that involves pain, then things would of course change, I'd have to conquer my emotions and get on with it)

But beyond that, for people who don't mind being cruel to animals, I can' think of a reason why they shouldn't do whatever is most practical. Maybe someone else does have a good argument though.

Your second question I assume is also about the morality of being a customer of a farm which treats animals cruelly for minimal gain. Again, there is only the same emotional reason I have for avoiding the slightly lower priced beef in your example: the logic for not buying it is simply that if I don't buy it, it's less likely that I have to deal with it in any way (because I'm not connected to it and it happens less since they have one less customer). But there's no moral imperative to act to prevent the practice, so that's not what would spark not buying the meat (the way there would be against buying "blood diamonds" let's say).

In other words, if it's the only meat you could afford, then it would be OK to buy it (since there are only emotional reasons for not buying it, and hunger would definitely trump them), but if it's the only diamond you can afford, it would still not be OK (since there's a moral reason against buying diamonds that are stolen or mined by slaves).

P.S. I'm not making any statements about the diamonds currently dubbed "blood diamonds", it's possible there's nothing wrong with some of them. I'm just using the example to make an unrelated point.

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"Anizi, you're acting on emotions rather than from reason.."

Assert that.

Well, if you torture animals simply because you enjoy it, you are acting from emotion. Do you have a logical reason for wanting to torture the animal?

I am a bit fuzzy on this though. The example you bring up stumps me a bit. I'm not sure how to argue the difference between torturing an animal for pleasure and sipping vodka on a beach. I'll put my opinion out there anyway.

Torturing an animal for pleasure is essentially deriving pleasure from causing death and/or destruction. Sipping vodka on a beach is just enjoying yourself. I'm pretty sure there's an argument for it being logically valid to do so, something along the lines of "Relaxation can be productive if you're refueling to continue productive work afterward."

I'm still a bit fuzzy on this though.

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Well, if you torture animals simply because you enjoy it, you are acting from emotion. Do you have a logical reason for wanting to torture the animal?

No, I do not, but nor do I have any desire or intention to do so. I was asking a question, hence my confusion at your statement that I was being emotional.

Jake's argument (external assessment of mental health via medicinal standards) is valid. As I cannot reasonably postulate the existence of someone who desires to torture animals but who is also in good mental health, I accept that argument.

There are some additional, but largely tangential questions - mostly to do with how psychiatry is a fairly subjective field (particularly with respect to diagnosis). I don't think those questions actually contend with what Jake is saying, though. I would certainly state that the desire to torture an animal or the ability to derive direct pleasure from it is evidence of mental damage, regardless of whatever the medical consensus is. Is that a rational statement? Probably not, but I'll leave it up to those hypothetical getting-pleasure-from-kicking-kittens individuals to defend their own sanity.

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Ah, I semi-misunderstood then, and also mis-represented myself on accident. My statement was actually in answer to the question you asked. I didn't mean to accuse you of acting from emotion, but rather to answer that if you are abusing animals simply for pleasure, that you are acting from an emotion.

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Unfortunately for the compassionate vegetarians, eating meat and animal fats is a necessity to long term health. A vegetarian (or worse Vegan) diet is self destructive. The human body evolved over tens of thousands of years to eat animals, not grains, vegetables (exclusively), or bean products like soy.

Study the vegetarians you meet. It is likely they are unnaturally skinny and their skin tends to be pale and pasty. Eat meat. It's the moral thing to do.

Humans are omnivores. We have dentation for ripping flesh (the so called canine teeth, the pointy ones) and we have dentation for grinding fiberous food (lots of molars). Pure carnivores like the felines have short guts, well adapted for digesting meat. We have long guts, well adapted for digesting plant matter with lots of cellulose. We have that in common with bovines, for example.

Once agriculture become the dominant mode of food production humans ate mostly grains and succulent fruit and vegetables. But humans still need protein which is most efficiently gotten from consuming flesh.

Hence we are omnivores. A good diet will consist of some flesh, some fat, and a lot of fiber. Since we cannot make our own vitamin C we get either from animals that make a lot of it or from certain fruit and vegetables (for example citrus fruit).

One of the reasons that humans became so smart (big brained) is from the proteins available from the flesh they consumed. There is some evidence that humans were as much scavengers as hunters of flesh. Bones of animals broken longitudinally by tools indicate that humans went for the bone marrow, which was left behind by other animals that made the kill. Later on humans with big protein fed brains became first rate hunters because of social co-operation and team work. Taking down a woolly mammoth is not the work of "lone wolves". The big mammals had to be taken down by several humans working together.

Bob Kolker

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Most of those cows would never have been born, if not to be raised and slaughtered for meat. We need a new restaurant: The Grateful Cow.

Mindy

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The point is:

* Man get rights from the fact they can rationally set them. Animals do not have that faculty.

* Less primitive animals consist a minimal freedom of choice (for example, when a dog chooses whom to come to) and emotion. Therefore, they deserve rights familiar with the fact they have their anti-concept of identification of rights by suffering. They do not have rights such as life, property and happiness, but about not to be emotionally suffering (about a specific level of it) which is proven that had been by man's physical force.

* Animals are a property of someone as a result of acts he had on them to justify them as so. Then, hurting them shall be hurting a property of a man.

* Animals are eating lower customers, excluding some of the plants that some of them which man eats are 'interested' (no freedom of choice – that 's why that range is so tricky) or rather are 'designate' to be eaten so they are able to reproduce. Therefore, they agree with the standard of the food chain. No double standard.

* To go and shoot cows in the street would be immoral, not because of cow's rights, but because of the man who does it. Though, to fight it using legislation would be more immoral either.

* Man has more right than an animal by all of those arguments. Many more. Less primitive animals deserve only minimal rights against actual abusing. If man has to kill who has less rights \ almost has none, nor a right to live – he has to do that.

T.R.

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The point is:

* Man get rights from the fact they can rationally set them. Animals do not have that faculty.

I'm not sure what you mean by saying man "sets" his rights. Man recognizes those conditions (rights) that must necessarily exist to survive according to his nature. To "set" rights, even rationally, suggests that man can properly claim anything as his right. Perhaps this is just a minor communication problem, or you can explain further what you mean by "set".

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I'm not sure what you mean by saying man "sets" his rights. Man recognizes those conditions (rights) that must necessarily exist to survive according to his nature. To "set" rights, even rationally, suggests that man can properly claim anything as his right. Perhaps this is just a minor communication problem, or you can explain further what you mean by "set".

I mean that since man can logically identify the just rights he can have them.

Animals are not rational enough to agree with these rights or contradict it.

I doesn't mean that people with mental hardship should not have rights all long they are people. The rights should be just for any of those innocents by these rights' standard with the faculty lets you have them.

For example: I can contradict unreal rights in some different ways. All about the same idea: how can you have a right to contradict rights? How can you agree with rights and not agree with rights?

T.R.

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I think the morality of eating meat comes from the fact that eating meat is directly beneficial to mans life and health.

 

Queue science: http://robbwolf.com/ (I'm not here to plug the paleo solution, please don't hate me)

 

Furthermore in as much as it is impossible to deal with animals by reason it is moral to deal with them by force, as we would have to in nature. And because evolutionary biology is on my our side here it should be restated that : Because eating meat furthers mans life, via his health, it is morally proper to eat meat. If one chooses to not eat meat out of principle then that principle should be stated.

 

That principle is: Mans inferiority to nature, and his subsequent lack of a right to use it for the furtherance of his values.

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