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Glaukus

Ethics of being carnivorous

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I'm interested in your thoughts on this. Not looking for a discussion on whether or not eating meat at all is ethical, rather, if you do eat meat, where would you draw the line, and why. 

Livestock for consumption are generally cattle, pigs, sheep, chickens etc. Whenever we hear about eating animals like horse, we seem to have a reaction "this is taboo". Why? How did we decide that eating one animal is ok, but another is not ok?

Is it because one tastes better? Or just that certain animals have been considered as "allies" - eg domesticated dogs, horses we ride etc.

 

Second question: is is actually more ethical to eat a cow than a chicken? My logic here is that one cow might be able to feed, let's say 100 people, whereas a chicken might only feed 4. Therefore, you'd have to kill 25 chickens to feed the same number of people as one cow. Is a life of a chicken equivalent to a cow? 

 

I mostly eat vegetarian anyway, but I don't have a problem with eating meat per se. Just pondering...

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Yes, I have pondered these questions many times.

 

Some of it I think is simply a cultural difference. A great example, which is more controversial, is the Japanese hunting of whales for meat. It seems to anger even those who eat most other meats. But is factory farming cows or shipping live lambs to the Middle East better or worse than hunting whales? To me, it's the same.

 

3 hours ago, Glaukus said:

My logic here is that one cow might be able to feed, let's say 100 people, whereas a chicken might only feed 4. Therefore, you'd have to kill 25 chickens to feed the same number of people as one cow. Is a life of a chicken equivalent to a cow? 

 

I wonder how many people one whale would feed? :p There is logic in killing less to feed more but I think it is more utilitarian/economical use of resources rather than an ethical difference.

 

Its a tough one!

 

 

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I look to nature, all living things live with some input from other this that are either living or once lived.
Even plants need/get nutrients that have been through the life cycle.
It just depends at what point you are on the food chain.
The ethics question is more how the animals are treated, in nature the weak are usually killed and eaten by the strong/predators disease/infection (micro predators), or died slow painful deaths, nature does not give many animals a good death in their sleep in a bed.

Everything dies, so how that happens and the minimal harm / stress is the thing I think about, if you kill to eat you should do it with the least harm.
I lived on a farm, grew up with butchering our own animals, some we had attachment to.

Its a grey area.
A friend has an organic egg farm, the birds are allowed to get old and live naturalish lives at some point though if they are suffering it is more ethical to put them to sleep (kill them).
They then go to organic pigs, (not wasted).

I went full carnivore for a while to fix some gut microbiome problems, and it helped. (Celiacs disease) tried vegetarian first with no luck.
Still cant/dont eat processed foods, especially flour / wheat, and I would love to be able to have a slice of bread, or a pancake without getting sick.

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Basically this >picture<. Except the rabbit is on the table.

 

In all seriousness,  I think it comes down to the purpose of why and what it is your consuming. If you need to eat then you will probably eat a pet dog, probably not if it is your own pet dog. You might even let it eat you.

Can whatever I'm eating right now give me benefits in the future that outweigh the calories I would receive today? I think benefits can be emotive as well as physical.

But just because I love my dog does that mean I am going to let my family or friends starve?

Now replace the dog with you own (recently deceased to make it easier) child. You would probably not let anyone touch that body. But what if it was a person you despise? You might even nominate them straight up.

 

Why do we draw these lines? I dunno :lol:

 

 

 

 

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Edited by FickFackMD
Clarification

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On 15/08/2019 at 2:42 PM, Glaukus said:

How did we decide that eating one animal is ok, but another is not ok?

Yeah, our culture does like to pigeon hole things. Never the less some do taste better, some have other problems. Horse is usually on the lean side. It drys easily, so is less versatile or at least requires more skill when preparing. Donkey and I hear cat, stink. Dog also has a distinctive smell. If your growing your own, it's easy to get attached to some. I try to make the breeders pets and call the rest Tbone. Doesn't always work. Sometimes I think an intelligent animal, like a pig or whale, is more likely to know what is happening at the end. There for, feel fear. Probably more important is how it's raised and killed. What do you think would be better for the animal? Farmed or sustainable wild harvest? Obviously nothing rare. Wild harvest is usually a faster more humane end, quality of life varies a lot though. Again depends how its done. Think of a terrified, desperate fish, being dragged by an invisible cord, tied to a sharp piece of metal, stuck through its lip. That is incredibly cruel. Yet is all but, universally accepted.

 

On 15/08/2019 at 2:42 PM, Glaukus said:

is is actually more ethical to eat a cow than a chicken?

That's a great point. As has already been pointed out, this could be expanded to whale or maybe even farmed elephant. large scale commercial whaling has already been shown to be unsustainable. However is it ethical to waste a beached whale carcass? 

There is more to the cow vs chicken question. Some animals, like pigs and chickens are more efficient at producing protein. They use less resources, are better for the environment. Marsupials are incredibly efficient. Small critters like chickens, quail, fish, rabbits or bandicoots, also compact the ground less and if properly managed have less impact on waterways. They can also be kept at home by more people, even if they don't have a lot of space and can more easily fit into an integrated polycuture farming system. I think the most environmentally sound systems of producing food.

 

Edited by Crop
fked up.

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