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Food ethics: How do you choose what species are morally wrong to eat?

 
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 10:53 am
Alfred Packer, the colorado cannibal when tried and convicted, the judge commented that Packer was primarily guilty of eating every democrat in Hinsdale county, the act of cannibalism was apparently a secondary offense.
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Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 02:46 pm
@joefromchicago,
And I just watched Stranded (the documentary) on TV the other night!!

(I'd already read the book, so I knew what was coming, though).
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Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 04:17 pm
@Robert Gentel,
It is a cuteness factor. An animal that is cute and furry - tough to eat. Ugly easy to eat. For example lobster butt ugly - but I love to eat them. Cows not cute - eat em. Alligator - ugly eat em. Pigs ugly eat em up.

Doggies - cute as can be - can't eat em. Dolphins - cute can't eat em.

See what I mean.
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JPB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 05:06 pm
I ate veal until I saw a veal farm. Never ate it again... With so many alternatives to keeping an animal shackled in a tiny space so that it can't develop muscles and remains anemic, I don't need to eat veal.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 05:09 pm
@JPB,
Love veal and baby cows are not that cute so can still eat em.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 05:10 pm
@JPB,
That's actually one food rule I have, I'm not sure if it's sufficiently moral as opposed to ick... I make sure I'm aware of how the food is produced and if I'm fine with that, I will eat it. This is one reason I prefer grass-fed beef, for example, even though a cow is killed either way.

But the point is I go out of my way to understand the process rather than subscribing to ignorance is bliss.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 05:14 pm
@sozobe,
The problem with that is - I probably wouldn't eat any meat. Any sort of killing of animals (even the ugly ones) bother me - why I have to have someone else boil the live lobsters.

My good friend who is a vegatian is one because she started to think of what the meat was actually was - and then could not eat meat - the thought of the living animal caused her to feel sick.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 05:19 pm
@Linkat,
Right, that's pretty much what I'm getting at. I think it should be a conscious choice -- yep, I know what's involved, but I'm gonna eat it. (Or, whoa, if that's what's involved, I'm not going to eat it. But arming yourself with the info before making the decision.) (This is for adults, not kids, 'cause I think that could be kind of brutal, but we did make sure that our kid knew that meat used to be a living animal from when she was pretty little -- E.G.'s sister didn't find out until she was like 8 and FREAKED.)
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 05:22 pm
@sozobe,
I guess I'm not moral enough - I love my food to much!

Odd thing is I have pointed out to my kids even when they were young that the crab meat you love so much is like eating Sebastian (you know on the little mermaid) - they could care less. My kids are like me I guess, heartless.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 05:25 pm
@Linkat,
Heh!

But you're saying the opposite, right? That if you knew exactly what went into producing it, you wouldn't eat any meat? Or is that more because of "ew gross" than having a heart?

(Did you read about ammonia being injected into school lunch hamburgers? I'd already been making more of sozlet's lunches but that put me over the edge. EW.)
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 05:28 pm
@sozobe,
They don't have hamburg at school - being a small school - they have parent volunteers come in to make hot dogs/chicken fingers/grilled cheese. The other lunch options are salads (which come prepared), pizza from a local pizza place and subs from a local sub place.

It may be that I have a heart - but please don't let any one know that.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 05:29 pm
@Linkat,
I'll keep the heart part quiet. Trust me. (HEY EVERYONE, GUESS WHAT I JUST FOUND OUT ABOUT LINKAT!!!)

Er...

That's awesome about the parent volunteers. Wish we had that. School lunches suck.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 06:17 pm
My boss, a vegetarian, used to prepare meat and eat it, when married and raising her children. She said she did not enjoy that, but her husband insisted on meat. Today, she is a strict vegetarian. She said she just does not like to chew meat. She did not specifically say no one ought to butcher and consume animals. But I have heard her protest cruel treatment of them. Ethically speaking, I am not 100% certain where she really stands.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 07:52 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
The ethical considerations regarding the killing animals may be very different from those regarding the eating of animals.


In turn, the ethical considerations of killing animals for self-defense might be very different from those regarding killing animals for the purpose of being eaten. So to be clear, I'm asking about what your criteria for an acceptable animal to kill and eat is.
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georgeob1
 
  2  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 09:39 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:

[Many of the examples that you cite actually apply to the killing of animals, not necessarily to the eating of animals. For instance, if whalers were out there killing whales for oil and baleen, as in the 1840s, I'm sure we'd see the same protests that we see right now. Anti-whaling groups primarily object to the eating of whales because it leads to the killing of whales. The eating itself is a secondary consideration.

The ethical considerations regarding the killing animals may be very different from those regarding the eating of animals.


I think you are making a distinction here that has, at best very few meaningful applications. If, for purposes of discussion, we completely exclude the eating of live animals or those that have died from natural (or external causes) - both of which certainly apply in all cases under active discussion, then the eating of animals necessasarily implys killing them and whatever criteria you apply to killing them must also apply to eating them. One may apply attitional criteria to eating them, but certainly not fewer. This doesn't appear to be consistent with "very different".

My impression is that the anti whaling folks are opposed to killing whales for any purpose, and that, as you suggested, their opposition to eating them is at best incidental to that.

Indeed we are quibbling about esoteric, mostly meaningless distinctions that would only interest a lawyer or Medieval theologan. Oh, I forgot you are a ....
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 10:27 pm
@edgarblythe,
I'm not overly fond of meat, so I get what your boss said about the chewing part. I love bacon, though, so I hope no one comes along to say the slaughter of pigs is cruel ... maybe I should just stop reading this thread while I'm ahead Smile
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 10:56 pm
We could discuss the meat processing industry, and might very well put most participants in this thread off their feed for quite a while. I won't mention what i know, though.
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Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 11:01 pm
I, on the other hand, know nothing and I'll probably mention that quite often LOL.
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aidan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 03:12 am
@Robert Gentel,
I find myself more unwilling to support the meat industry as I read how much of the world's resources go into raising beef, pork and lamb for human consumption.
That's where my morals have come into play. I've never particularly liked meat or been a meat eater myself, I much prefer bread, pasta, fruit and vegetables along with fish primarily, and on occasion chicken and/or turkey. I almost never eat beef or pork, and can say that I never eat lamb or any sort of game. But I never thought that people who did were immoral in any way- until now and I find it selfish and really untenable that such a small part of the world's population is using such a large part of the world's resources to produce food that is a luxury and not a necessity.

As far as what other cultures eat - I don't find it any more disgusting than what we eat. Flesh is flesh- I've always been a little put off by that fact-and I can only begin to enjoy it when that fact is somehow disguised - that's why I've never really liked meat.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 03:28 am
@aidan,
I forgot to say, if this addresses more of the original point behind your question, that I don't think I'd ever be able to eat an animal I'd seen raised as a pet - any animal. But that's because I've never had to go hungry. I think if I were hungry enough, I could eat anything.
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