Okay -- but in this scenario, the case turns on the facts around the cannibalism, not on the person evaluating the facts being a utilitarian.
I don't understand your point.
I'm still not following you. If a utilitarian and a non-utilitarian end up at the same place, that doesn't mean that the utilitarian was employing some sort of non-utilitarian analysis.
From a moral point of view, I think there is much to be said for becoming vegetarian, or even Vegan. Have you read Peter Singer: The Ethics of What We Eat? I find it hard to refute his arguments for giving up animal products entirely.
given that we bred them into being dependent on our care and protection.
Robert Gentel wrote:given that we bred them into being dependent on our care and protection.
On a tangent -- that's not quite true. One day, when you have time for idle research, you might want to Google-Scholar the term "Cat colony of Rome" or similar.
I have strong objections to humans declaring that an animal population they are responsible for are pests and should be killed.
If cats are a pest humans are the superlative pest. I'm sick of us breeding dogs and cats because they are cute and then killing them because they are a nuisance or because they eat meat like they are wont to.
I'm all for cat owners being required to keep their cats indoors and I wish breeding were much more regulated, but I really hate how acceptable it is to kill a cat or dog simply because nobody wants it anymore.
I don't like that people kill whales that they want to eat, but people killing cats and dogs just because nobody wants them anymore is so much more ugly to me given that we bred them into being dependent on our care and protection.
“Plants are not static or silly,” said Monika Hilker of the Institute of Biology at the Free University of Berlin. “They respond to tactile cues, they recognize different wavelengths of light, they listen to chemical signals, they can even talk” through chemical signals. Touch, sight, hearing, speech. “These are sensory modalities and abilities we normally think of as only being in animals,” Dr. Hilker said.
Plants can’t run away from a threat but they can stand their ground. “They are very good at avoiding getting eaten,” said Linda Walling of the University of California, Riverside. “It’s an unusual situation where insects can overcome those defenses.” At the smallest nip to its leaves, specialized cells on the plant’s surface release chemicals to irritate the predator or sticky goo to entrap it. Genes in the plant’s DNA are activated to wage systemwide chemical warfare, the plant’s version of an immune response. We need terpenes, alkaloids, phenolics " let’s move.
[...lots more cool stuff about plants, I recommend reading the whole article...]
“Even if you have quite a bit of knowledge about plants,” Dr. De Moraes said, “it’s still surprising to see how sophisticated they can be.”
It’s a small daily tragedy that we animals must kill to stay alive. Plants are the ethical autotrophs here, the ones that wrest their meals from the sun. Don’t expect them to boast: they’re too busy fighting to survive.
The French must have their horse meat
What about if they are killed not just because nobody wants them, but because they are causing immense damage to the ecology of the country, and causing other species to become extinct?
Is it ok to kill them if they are destroying the place? ......(think not just killing, but destroying the very soils of the country?)
Of course, humans are destroying the place too.......but I doubt you'd get up a culling proposal, unless you sell it as a war or suchlike, and they don't really seem to work.
Thomas wrote:Okay -- but in this scenario, the case turns on the facts around the cannibalism, not on the person evaluating the facts being a utilitarian.
I don't understand your point. What I have posited is a rule utilitarian who judges a blanket rule against all cannibalism to be more utile than a rule that permits exceptions for eating willing victims. You may disagree with this particular utilitarian analysis, but it's certainly utilitarian.....