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Old 05-17-2012, 12:36 PM    (permalink
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I don't think it would change much. I think we'd just knock them unconscious before killing them. If someone's job is to kill the animals and then sell the meat for money, i doubt they're going to stop because the animal can speak.
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:36 PM    (permalink
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Now, if you will excuse me. I am headed to an awards assembly. Afterwards I will go to lunch and feast on a hamburger, most likely topped with bacon. The cheese that accompanies the meal was merely stolen from an animal and did not cause its death.
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:39 PM    (permalink
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Ahh, but your conscience is very critical to this issue. As JR stated, if those animals could speak English he would not eat them. Why is that? I assume because their squeals and guttural moans would now convey emotional messages that would deeper impact our conscience.
Except thats almost a separate, individual thing, that is completely different from it being ethical or immoral. I totally agree that if a pig politely asked me not to turn him into bacon, I don't think I'd be able to do it. But if it did such a thing, and I didn't care, and enjoyed delicious bacon anyway, does that make it any less moral or ethical? Maybe, maybe not. Though people have shown in past before, if hungry enough, they'll eat another human (Donner pass is a prime example, though I realize the people that were eaten were already dead), so if it were a talking pig, cow, chicken, etc, I can't say I'd think it were immoral or unethical. As it is now we all know the animals are trying to communcate that they don't wish to be killed, but we do it anyway. What is the difference whether we know exactly what they are trying to communicate or not...?
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:50 PM    (permalink
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Ahh, but your conscience is very critical to this issue. As JR stated, if those animals could speak English he would not eat them. Why is that? I assume because their squeals and guttural moans would now convey emotional messages that would deeper impact our conscience.
This is basically right. The part in bold is also why I would never eat a dog. I have had a dog for my entire life. I've learned to recognize their behaviors, sounds, and facial expressions to know what is going on inside their head and they are able to convey emotions that are understandable to me despite not speaking their language. Dogs are a lower-species, no doubt about it. But due to the emotional bonds I have formed with them, I would never eat them. And I feel that we as humans could convey similar or even greater emotional messages to whatever higher species would come along.
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:56 PM    (permalink
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This is basically right. The part in bold is also why I would never eat a dog. I have had a dog for my entire life. I've learned to recognize their behaviors, sounds, and facial expressions to know what is going on inside their head and they are able to convey emotions that are understandable to me despite not speaking their language. Dogs are a lower-species, no doubt about it. But due to the emotional bonds I have formed with them, I would never eat them. And I feel that we as humans could convey similar or even greater emotional messages to whatever higher species would come along.
But what I'm saying (and I think Jvig too) is saying is that regardless of what we'd be able to communicate or to what extent, does that make them eating us immoral or unethical? For me, the answer is no. Its incredibly unfortunate if I'm talking to a being that far outweighs my intellect and ask it to not eat me, then it does anyway. Really, I'm not even looking from it from a human's perspective or whatever-this-creature-would-be's perspective. I look at it from nature's perspective, if you will. From a completely neutral standpoint, for me, the dominant creature killing a lesser creature for food isn't immoral or unethical.
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Old 05-17-2012, 01:02 PM    (permalink
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But what I'm saying (and I think Jvig too) is saying is that regardless of what we'd be able to communicate or to what extent, does that make them eating us immoral or unethical? For me, the answer is no. Its incredibly unfortunate if I'm talking to a being that far outweighs my intellect and ask it to not eat me, then it does anyway. Really, I'm not even looking from it from a human's perspective or whatever-this-creature-would-be's perspective. I look at it from nature's perspective, if you will. From a completely neutral standpoint, for me, the dominant creature killing a lesser creature for food isn't immoral or unethical.
Absolutely not. It would be very hypocritical for me to eat meat my entire life and then say it is wrong for a higher species to eat me. As for dominant creatures killing a lesser creature, we already have examples of that with humans. If a human is swimming in the ocean and is eaten by a shark, is that wrong? No, the shark needs food, he is faster and stronger than that human in the water. There is nothing immoral about eating that swimmer.
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Old 05-17-2012, 01:21 PM    (permalink
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Absolutely not. It would be very hypocritical for me to eat meat my entire life and then say it is wrong for a higher species to eat me. As for dominant creatures killing a lesser creature, we already have examples of that with humans. If a human is swimming in the ocean and is eaten by a shark, is that wrong? No, the shark needs food, he is faster and stronger than that human in the water. There is nothing immoral about eating that swimmer.
I feel relatively the same way about this situation.

Cj if the pig could speak english perhaps it would cause me to reflect on the situation a little longer, although hearing any animal cry out in pain really bothers me regardless of what it is to begin with. Regardless the way I justify letting this happen is going to be the same way I will say that a higher species using the same rational is going to be ethically justified in participating in the same practice. Saying it would be unethical because we are above other species and are able to contemplate the ethical implications is putting way too much importance on human beings. If we get knocked off the top of the food chain, we adapt we don't just sit here on our high horses thinking that because we are more rational than other animals that that makes it unethical to eat us or that there is some importance to our race.

I think its incredibly self centered to think that were justified in slaughtering countless other animals and causing many to become extinct because we are more intellectual and capable of doing so, and then turn around and saying beings higher than we who use the same logic against us are unethical.
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Old 05-17-2012, 02:23 PM    (permalink
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I'd have to think that if the animal could speak at even a preschool level in English people wouldn't want to eat it I know I'd give up Bacon if the pig talked like a person. It is an interesting disconnect isn't it? The disconnect between us and our food.
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Old 05-17-2012, 02:45 PM    (permalink
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I have a feeling that if I had grown up with pigs, cows, and chickens, I would be a vegetarian. I don't like to think about what I'm eating when I'm having a nice steak. I have no problem eating venison, but I cringe when I see pictures of my friends holding a deer they just shot and I know I could never go hunting myself.

But it's kind of weird. I could never kill a dog, horse, deer, or any other mammal for sport. But I have no problems stepping on a bug, killing a snake with an axe, or going fishing. I guess I have my own hierarchy of lesser animals. I'm pretty sure it goes

1. Humans
2. Dogs
3. All other mammals
4. Birds
5. Amphibians
6. Reptiles
7. Insects
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:05 PM    (permalink
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For the record, I never stated whether I felt it was moral or ethical. I merely asked a question that presented another level to the question. Based on my beliefs in other areas, I think the actual question has an answer that is impossible - but I digress.


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Cj if the pig could speak english perhaps it would cause me to reflect on the situation a little longer,
And what would you be reflecting on? Surely not whether your blade was sharp enough to slice the pigs throat in one slash so as to induce the least amount of suffering. No, you would be reflecting on whether your actions where then moral and ethical. I contest all the while, the pig would be making both an intellectual and emotional appeal that would make it near impossible to kill the animal.

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If we get knocked off the top of the food chain, we adapt we don't just sit here on our high horses thinking that because we are more rational than other animals that that makes it unethical to eat us or that there is some importance to our race.
I imagine, from my own intuitive thought process as well as having read a multitude of Sci-Fi novels, that humans would band together, promising to fight of this other life form, while defending our species.

The location of Pig, Cow, and Chicken Resistance HQ remains a mystery.

My Third-pounder Angus burger with bacon was, however, delicious.
I heard neither scream nor utterance of any kind.
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:10 PM    (permalink
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I eat meat for breakfast lunch and dinner but if I'm going to rationalize it one way, I'm not going to try and make a case that were any different if another species comes along and does us in the same way.
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:12 PM    (permalink
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I eat meat for breakfast lunch and dinner but if I'm going to rationalize it one way, I'm not going to try and make a case that were any different if another species comes along and does us in the same way.
Assuming that this other life-form can in no way understand our specif request to be spared - Right?
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:20 PM    (permalink
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Even if they can. When it comes down to it, the fact that something can speak doesn't make it any less horrible that you are killing another creature. It just helps us relate to them more, and thus makes it a harder decision. Whether they can or can't it doesnt matter, I'm not going to try to object to being eaten if all these years of my life I was doing the same thing they are about to do to me. I'd just fight for my survival.
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:36 PM    (permalink
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Even if they can. When it comes down to it, the fact that something can speak doesn't make it any less horrible that you are killing another creature.
It may be upon this simple point that we may have to disagree. I also highlighted speak as I think this entire argument hinges on "effectively communicate" effectively meaning I can appeal specifically to both your emotional and intellectual nature as a fellow sentient being.
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:47 PM    (permalink
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It might be weird but I feel less guilty eating an animal that I've killed myself.
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oh please. as if canadians even know what beer is.
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:54 PM    (permalink
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It is a disagreement, I don't actually kill my own animals and therefore live in a world of ignorance when it comes to how I enjoy my much loved meats. But when it comes down to it, them having the ability to talk doesn't change the fact that you are still killing an animal of lesser intelligence. I'm also assuming that these new higher beings wouldnt understand our language either.
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:57 PM    (permalink
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I think of the original scenario we would find it immoral but the higher beings wouldn't give a **** ... as they turn us to ****.
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Originally Posted by njx9 View Post
oh please. as if canadians even know what beer is.
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:04 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Jvig43 View Post
I'm also assuming that these new higher beings wouldnt understand our language either.
OK, let's build on that.
What would humans do as a species if we knew we were being hunted for food?
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:05 PM    (permalink
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By the way, this whole conversation made me think of this.

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Old 05-17-2012, 04:08 PM    (permalink
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OK, let's build on that.
What would humans do as a species if we knew we were being hunted for food?
I feel as though it would depend on the manner of our new higher species overlords. I personally wouldn't mind being farmed like an expensive veal. But the way I see it if the higher species acted like humans do half the people would go to the farm to live their lives out in comfort the other woulds likely hide in caves and fight.
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oh please. as if canadians even know what beer is.
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:12 PM    (permalink
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I feel as though it would depend on the manner of our new higher species overlords. I personally wouldn't mind being farmed like an expensive veal. But the way I see it if the higher species acted like humans do half the people would go to the farm to live their lives out in comfort the other woulds likely hide in caves and fight.
When a cow arms itself, that is when hamburgers should come off the menu.
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:20 PM    (permalink
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I like it when they fight, it is better that way.
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:23 PM    (permalink
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If another species found it's way to our planet we would have no chance in any fight just based on the level of their technology
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:44 PM    (permalink
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I like it when they fight, it is better that way.


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Old 05-17-2012, 04:47 PM    (permalink
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If another species found it's way to our planet we would have no chance in any fight just based on the level of their technology
That's not the issue (your statement, if possible, is one I would agree upon).

The question now becomes if we could meaningfully articulate with this other species, and they choose to make us a food source, would their actions be immoral or unethical?
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