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Food ethics: What species do you not want other humans to eat?

 
 
Reply Mon 18 Jan, 2010 06:09 pm
Ok, in my previous attempt to get people to articulate ethical guidelines on food the conversation went all over the place and most didn't bother trying to codify their food ethics. But that's fine, it's a big subject so maybe we needed a cleaner starting point.

So on my way to trying to get people here to discuss the complexities of food ethics, I want to start with a simple question:

What animals do you not want other people to eat*?

* And for the pedantic, we are talking about killing and eating for reasons other than survival etc etc.

And at the risk of confusing the issue to muddle again, could you state whether you go so far as wanting others to be prohibited from eating the animal. For example, here are my answers:

Prohibit

I want others to be prohibited from eating endangered species, I think depriving the universe of a species forever is a cost worth depriving others of their food freedoms for.

I want others to be prohibited from eating humans. I don't want to be eaten so I support the social contract that prohibits eating others as it benefits us all.

Strongly Dislike

I strongly dislike the killing and consumption of highly intelligent animals with an emphasis on the ones that have built strong relationships with humans historically. So dogs and cats top this list but I also dislike the killing of apes, monkeys, elephants, dolphins and whales for their intelligence and ability to better conceptualize their suffering (adding more mental suffering to the physical). The intelligence of pigs is something I find problematic to my criteria, as they are highly intelligent but happen to also be the tastiest animal around and lacks the charisma of some of its peers.

My underlying criteria is suffering, so specific foods that require animal suffering are ones I find highly untoward. Given that suffering is rarely objectively defined there are few foods I think I'd prohibit altogether on the basis of this suffering, but I support prohibitions against the specific acts that cause the suffering (e.g. painful methods of force feeding).
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sullyfish6
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Jan, 2010 08:06 pm
Just keep eating the dumb chickens, I suppose.
0 Replies
 
oolongteasup
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Jan, 2010 08:32 pm
@Robert Gentel,
i do not want other humans to eat pigs

they are so charismatic

they speak to me in tongues

oink oink
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Jan, 2010 08:39 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:
Ok, in my previous attempt to get people to articulate ethical guidelines on food the conversation went all over the place and most didn't bother trying to codify their food ethics. But that's fine, it's a big subject so maybe we needed a cleaner starting point.

So on my way to trying to get people here to discuss the complexities of food ethics, I want to start with a simple question:

What animals do you not want other people to eat*?

* And for the pedantic, we are talking about killing and eating for reasons other than survival etc etc.

And at the risk of confusing the issue to muddle again, could you state whether you go so far as wanting others to be prohibited from eating the animal. For example, here are my answers:

Prohibit

I want others to be prohibited from eating endangered species, I think depriving the universe of a species forever is a cost worth depriving others of their food freedoms for.

I want others to be prohibited from eating humans. I don't want to be eaten so I support the social contract that prohibits eating others as it benefits us all.

Strongly Dislike

I strongly dislike the killing and consumption of highly intelligent animals with an emphasis on the ones that have built strong relationships with humans historically. So dogs and cats top this list but I also dislike the killing of apes, monkeys, elephants, dolphins and whales for their intelligence and ability to better conceptualize their suffering (adding more mental suffering to the physical). The intelligence of pigs is something I find problematic to my criteria, as they are highly intelligent but happen to also be the tastiest animal around and lacks the charisma of some of its peers.

My underlying criteria is suffering, so specific foods that require animal suffering are ones I find highly untoward. Given that suffering is rarely objectively defined there are few foods I think I'd prohibit altogether on the basis of this suffering, but I support prohibitions against the specific acts that cause the suffering (e.g. painful methods of force feeding).
I wish to adopt Robert 's values, as hereinabove expressed.
I will add no eating of sharks to my personal shunning list.
I 've heard that sharks and humans have something like urine
permeating the body. (I 'm not an expert.)





David
0 Replies
 
oolongteasup
 
  2  
Reply Mon 18 Jan, 2010 09:06 pm
@Robert Gentel,
furthermore

biodiversity's imperatives imply we lay off some of the plants as well as the endangered species

conversely extinctions (whilst sneaking slightly upwards under our reign) may be a precursor to our presence in this forum

it goes without saying that the universe is unfolding as it should under god so believers can only marvel at the lunch spread and chow down regardless

all death involves suffering or loss but training other species to stop chomping on each other may prove difficult cf. biodiversity

it's a dead set cert that only one species is especially deserving of being driven to extinction

which brings us back to what we believe would be best for the universe unless a beings concept of whats best is essentially all about you by definition

and finally all those ufo sightings and no aliens: whoever is eating the aliens that cross the vastness of space and time that is our universe for the simple pleasure of a playful probe please stop now



0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Mon 18 Jan, 2010 09:28 pm
Humans do not starve when food is available. so long as we continue to refuse to constrain the human population food ethics amounts to nothing more than vanity. It will make not one ounce of difference, because those who are hungry will eat what ever we refuse to eat. If we get hungry enough we will join them in the feast.
0 Replies
 
oolongteasup
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Jan, 2010 10:19 pm
@oolongteasup,
and sustainability

i'm all for euthanasia if you eat what you kill

or at least not burn it adding to global warming

create some decent roasts or casseroles or at least use the cadavers as fertiliser for crops especially genetically engineered crops even if the corpses aren't genetically engineered

and don't get me started on the effluence that is pumped into the sea instead of in your garden
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Jan, 2010 10:22 pm
I thought that the thread asking what your reasoning behind your food ethics were might have been a bit much, but now I'm just asking you to name animals you don't want eaten and I still can't get an answer.

I guess food is just not something most people want to philosophize about and they prefer random thoughts and instincts on the matter.
dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Tue 19 Jan, 2010 12:47 am
@Robert Gentel,
I can answer...but I have done so before, ad nauseum, especially to you, I'd have thought.

I am busy trying to ponder on the whole "charisma" thing.

I think charisma based ethics suck.....but there's no denying the emotional pull of it. I think pigs are charismatic, anyway, dammit!

However, I'd be better able to articulate an intelligence/capacity to suffer argument...as well as a "the violent death of one member of this animal's society traumatizes other members" one.

I think there is good reason to argue that killing a whale is traumatic for the whole pod...eg whales try to support and rescue each other...whales have a long attachment relationship with their mothers, which is crucial to successful life for a baby.


The same argument can be made for elephants and other highly intelligent social animals.

But...think of that video where all the lions attack a baby buffalo...and the entire herd comes back and rescues it.

Anyhoo:

I agree re endangered species.

I would argue that I want to stop people eating ANY animal where there is major cruelty involved in its raising and killing. So...no factory farmed animals, no foi gras, no "real" veal, no battery hens, no boiled alive lobsters or prawns.

Re intelligence and capacity for suffering.

I am very unhappy re apes, monkeys, whales, elephants, pigs, dolphins, dogs, cats, wolves etc.

I want people to stop eating animals that are slaughtered in any but the best abbatoirs, where their distress is minimised, they are kindly and quietly handled, they are not exposed to the deaths or carcases of others, where they are rendered dead as fast as technology can make it happen.

I want them transported kindly and calmly (this CAN be done.)

I am happiest if they are expertly killed where they live, after having a life as natural and fulfilling as it can be made to be.





Really....I want us (and especially me) to stop killing.


But I don't think that is currently feasible at all...so I think it better to advocate for the best treatment humanly possible.

Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Jan, 2010 01:07 am
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
I think there is good reason to argue that killing a whale is traumatic for the whole pod...eg whales try to support and rescue each other...whales have a long attachment relationship with their mothers, which is crucial to successful life for a baby.


The same argument can be made for elephants and other highly intelligent social animals.

But...think of that video where all the lions attack a baby buffalo...and the entire herd comes back and rescues it.


Yeah, I think the problem with this is that many of the underlying qualms are always there. Even just regular fishing is clearly distressing for the fish.

Have you given any thought to what was my last mental breakthrough on the whaling thread? About the use of democratization to legitimize the subjective decisions about charisma, intelligence etc?

For me the realization was that when it's ultimately the US and Australia telling Japan (but not Norway) that they are wrong to whale it is something I don't find the arguments persuasive enough to support, but if there were broader consensus it would lend the process a sense of fairness that I would personally find acceptable.

Maybe that's the ticket for you? Some of the traits you care about are going to be subjective on some level, why not employ a least-evil way (democracy) of reconciling the subjective differences?
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Jan, 2010 01:26 am
@Robert Gentel,
You know, at least in the west, I think that a greater consensus, at least about cruelty IS developing...which is, I think, a kind of democratization of empathy.

For instance.....I note that it is becoming increasingly common for rotisserie chicken shops to sell only free range birds. I used to have to go to one special shop, now they are available everywhere.

Ditto with free range eggs.

Ditto with pork that is from animals raised in farms where they can roam and root and be generally pigly.



So...I guess there is a kind of grass roots democratic vote for cruelty free products.





But...re whales...how might one find a process for such a democratic decision? I mean for the planet?

Some sort of UN like body which meets and votes on policy re animal policy, with the policies then being promulgated as the UN ones on human rights etc are?

At present it seems to be about pressure groups, and how much effect they can have, which is, I agree with you, often irrational.



I hate to raise the whale thread, but I am kind of lost re your insistence that the IWC decision is not democratic.

I may be very ignorant, but from my cursory look, the IWC is made up of many countries.

There was a hotly contested vote re allowable kills......Japan lost, and not by a big margin.

It is highly conceivable that they will win another vote.

There was lots of lobbying and deal-making and such.

Isn't that democracy as it normally grinds along?

I know it wasn't DESIGNED to be that sort of body.....but the whale people managed to convince enough delegates to get that vote.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Jan, 2010 02:13 am
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
You know, at least in the west, I think that a greater consensus, at least about cruelty IS developing...which is, I think, a kind of democratization of empathy.


I think so too, but I think you guys might be on the forefront there.

Quote:
For instance.....I note that it is becoming increasingly common for rotisserie chicken shops to sell only free range birds. I used to have to go to one special shop, now they are available everywhere.


As an example, yours probably constitute over 75% of the total "free range" mentions I've heard in my lifetime. I've never ran into anyone offline mention it.

I also admit to not really caring enough about this kind of thing much. I raised free range chickens myself (multiple times in different cultures) and visited an egg farm where they were caged and quite frankly I didn't see enough of a difference in suffering myself to buy into this one. In fact I saw enough suffering with the free range chickens (foxes, dogs, bird of prey and other predators would occasionally terrorize them in more open settings) that I am not even sure if there's always a significant difference other than in label. I can certainly imagine crowded coops that are inordinately uncomfortable but I can also imagine non-free range that isn't much different than the regular ails in the life of a free range chicken.

I treated my chickens pretty damn good (more like pets than food to me) and still didn't see a huge difference in their suffering versus what I saw in the egg farms. In our free setting the roosters rape the chickens, they establish pecking orders and fight it out. In the egg farm they looked under-stimulated (the one I visted wasn't crowded but they had little room to move) but I can't tell how much that matters to a chicken.


Quote:
But...re whales...how might one find a process for such a democratic decision? I mean for the planet?


Well an example of more consensus would be to try to get a UN resolution passed. Instead of something like 5 countries being able to control the IWC it would take more to pass a UN resolution.

Don't get me wrong, I don't actually think it has a snowball's chance in hell of happening right now so I'm not suggesting it'd work right away but it's an example of a mechanism we occasionally use to gauge more global consensus than the IWC can.

Quote:
Some sort of UN like body which meets and votes on policy re animal policy, with the policies then being promulgated as the UN ones on human rights etc are?


Yeah, see here's where I usually curse myself for responding to a post at the same time as I read it (so my going on about the UN above is unaware of your UN mention here below) and botch a fix but I'm going to leave it as is. Yeah, something like the UN indeed.

Quote:
At present it seems to be about pressure groups, and how much effect they can have, which is, I agree with you, often irrational.

I hate to raise the whale thread, but I am kind of lost re your insistence that the IWC decision is not democratic.

I may be very ignorant, but from my cursory look, the IWC is made up of many countries.


There are some very real problems I see in the legitimacy of the IWC as a tool to prevent all whaling:

1) The IWC membership is far short of UN membership, of course, but more importantly it is not a random sampling. Countries are signed on by both sides to influence the outcomes. In short, if it's democracy it's the version where the community organizers bring in vans of paid voters. And beyond that, it's still not that many countries (I seem to remember total membership in the 30s and decisions like the Southern Sanctuary being decided by a majority consisting of 5 nations).

2) The IWC's legal foundation revolves around developing sustainable whaling through a voluntary organization. So it lacks the mandate through which to enforce the goal of prohibiting all whaling and it's "charter" (it's not actually a charter, but I forget what it's called right now, it was something like a UN resolution that created the IWC but I can't recall the name of the specific legal instrument) contains verbiage that seeks to prevent such deviations from the goals (e.g. it requires the creation of sanctuaries to be based on scientific evidence about the need to protect a population).

In short, the UN is the larger consensus that made the IWC. In this consensus the IWC was a voluntary organization restricted to addressing over-whaling. Then in a short period of time many non-whaling nations joined to oppose whaling.

Anyway, even if you do think this usurpation of the organization was democratic enough the problem remains that it lacks any mandate to enforce anything. Japan can simply withdraw and join the other whaling organization (that I again can't recall) that aims to replace the IWC.

So what is needed is real leverage like significant sanctions if you want to enforce this prohibition and a UN resolution would be the most democratic way to achieve this that I can think of that currently exists.

Quote:
It is highly conceivable that they will win another vote.


Of course, it's stupid to make them lose every vote when their participation is voluntary. Look at how easy the Norwegians have it just by not joining the IWC.

Quote:
Isn't that democracy as it normally grinds along?


Yeah, I guess. But so then would be the part where Japan keeps whaling because it didn't grind good enough to get a mandate for real power. There's a reason that Australia's leaders only talk about pursuing such kinds of real legal action and never actually do it, and it's because the votes aren't there to do anything more than fail embarrassingly.

The world changed a lot in a short time, America went from making Japan whale to hating Japan for it in less than 20 years. So yes, I don't have a hard time seeing the day come when a real global consensus is here and that's the direction that Western culture has been going, but I really think it's clear that the global consensus is not there yet and that Australia and the US lead the pack in this kind of thinking.

Hell, Australia isn't even willing to hurt itself economically over it with unilateral sanctions, and the US currently allows its own whaling of more endangered whales than the Minke. I just don't see most of the world buying this very western cultural value that easily myself to be honest. By that I don't mean that I think most of the world supports whaling but that they don't feel strongly enough about it to support imposing cultural values on another country for it (because most of the world resents when this happens to them). Something like positions from folks like Thomas who think not eating meat is ideal but who don't think it's wrong to. I think most of the world doesn't see whale as food, and thinks that it'd be ideal not to eat them (especially through a species conservation angle, as many people think all whales are critically endangered) but are not willing to sign on to forcing others to stop.

So in democracy, this is the grass roots stage in my opinion and the consensus just isn't there yet.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Jan, 2010 02:16 am
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
I know it wasn't DESIGNED to be that sort of body.....but the whale people managed to convince enough delegates to get that vote.


This was edited in after I replied along those lines but the problem is that they recently voted to confirm the nature of the organization as supporting the eventual return to whaling. It was a slim vote that probably kept Japan in the IWC, but the goal of prohibiting all whaling is just not being waged out in the open in the IWC and the countries are still giving lip service to the notion that they'd eventually accept Japanese whaling to keep Japan in.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Jan, 2010 02:40 am
@Robert Gentel,
Re the chooks...you have an interestingly different experience. Home raised chooks that I have lived with seem to have a very peaceful life....they sort out the pecking order thing, then get on with it. I have seen roosters bug the hens, but not rape them. They would if the could, but they don't have hands.

I imagine it is worse in huge farms...but really, when you have to cut beaks to stop the chooks pecking each other to death from their cages, and their feathers fall out from stress, and you have to dope them with antibiotics because the conditions would otherwise lead to mass death from infection, and their bones deform from lack of exercise, and they can't do ANYTHING that is natural to them.....ewwww.

Ditto with pigs confined in tiny spaces....only worse. The anti-battery piggeries movement is growing here.

Free range is actually pretty big in a lot of western countries...not just with me...partly for health reasons (the hormones and antibiotics that battery animals are doped with seem not to be that good for humans.....plus mis-use of antibiotics is a major health problem).


You know, Oz gets hit with lots of pressure (some of it just crazy, some of it well justified) re animal rights...it's not just Japan. We usually give in easier, though.

I do wonder if our governments may end up being tougher on Japan before long, as China becomes overwhelmingly our major trading partner. (It'd be cool if we got tougher with the US, too....but I doubt it, as we still hope you guys might help us if we get invaded.)

I would think the UK and places like Germany and Holland (and the US???) would be in the forefront....not us. I do wonder if your experiences re this are atypical? You just happen to have had contact with more Australians who talk about this stuff?


Quote:
2) The IWC's legal foundation revolves around developing sustainable whaling through a voluntary organization. So it lacks the mandate through which to enforce the goal of prohibiting all whaling and it's "charter" (it's not actually a charter, but I forget what it's called right now, it was something like a UN resolution that created the IWC but I can't recall the name of the specific legal instrument) contains verbiage that seeks to prevent such deviations from the goals (e.g. it requires the creation of sanctuaries to be based on scientific evidence about the need to protect a population).

In short, the UN is the larger consensus that made the IWC. In this consensus the IWC was a voluntary organization restricted to addressing over-whaling. Then in a short period of time many non-whaling nations joined to oppose whaling.

Anyway, even if you do think this usurpation of the organization was democratic enough the problem remains that it lacks any mandate to enforce anything. Japan can simply withdraw and join the other whaling organization (that I again can't recall) that aims to replace the IWC.



Ok...interesting.


The UN lacks mandate, too, though.

I can see why pro-whaling countries would be mightily pissed off re the IWC, but I still see the changes as reflective of normal democratic processes, which are often chaotic and ugly.

The UN is famed for its "verbiage" attempting (per force) to be all things to all people...nonetheless, right or wrong, as so often happens, the verbiage was swept aside by passion for the whales.

I think that happens in all sorts of situations, and we tend to judge the process according to the extent to which we see the outcome, or desired outcome, as a "good".

Would you be as upset by the process if it was the US, rather than Japan, which ended up being targeted?


I agree we are in the grass roots stage of re-evaluating (at least in the west) our tolerance of cruelty to animals.


I do see a lot of what I view as progress.

(eg...I am not a psychologist because I refused to torture rats in second year......this torture was routinely undertaken by psych students in their thousands...meaninglessly replicating the results of Skinner in what, the thirties? Now, no university department would DREAM of insisting that students give rats electric shocks just for them to "learn" what had been demonstrated decades ago. I was denounced as mad by the powers that were when I raised the issue in 1972.)





dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Jan, 2010 02:46 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

dlowan wrote:
I know it wasn't DESIGNED to be that sort of body.....but the whale people managed to convince enough delegates to get that vote.


This was edited in after I replied along those lines but the problem is that they recently voted to confirm the nature of the organization as supporting the eventual return to whaling. It was a slim vote that probably kept Japan in the IWC, but the goal of prohibiting all whaling is just not being waged out in the open in the IWC and the countries are still giving lip service to the notion that they'd eventually accept Japanese whaling to keep Japan in.

Oh. Interesting.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Jan, 2010 03:44 am
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
Re the chooks...you have an interestingly different experience. Home raised chooks that I have lived with seem to have a very peaceful life....they sort out the pecking order thing, then get on with it. I have seen roosters bug the hens, but not rape them. They would if the could, but they don't have hands.


I was exaggerating but only slightly. The way it looked to me was the rooster would run up, leap onto a chicken (often in the middle of trying to run away) and beat its wings over the chicken (which seemed to work pretty well to control them) a few seconds and it was over.

Sure, "rape" is a concept that doesn't really work with animals (given that consent is not always clear) but my point was that they seemed happier without roosters around. Too many roosters and they'd start looking worn out.

I raised chickens in several different cities in at least two countries, so there were some more peaceful scenarios (e.g. in Brazil they weren't attacked by foxes and the occasional dog attack was more rare) than the mountain location in Japan where the foxes would come for them but there were also moments of suffering that they'd not experience in cages. The predation was especially harmful I think, I remember a rabbit we had that was frozen in fear for hours after a fox attack that took one of the chickens. Usually their agitation was the first sign we had (despite the traps, the lookout dogs and all) and at that particular place the chickens would end up cooping themselves.

Of course, maybe the big deal is that the chicken farm I saw was very humane. They were caged but could walk around a bit and I didn't see anything like cut beaks (and I wish we'd target specific practices like this more than general labels like "free range" which could still include cut beaks and get away with it). I also just didn't notice much of a sensory deprivation angle with them either.

In one place I raised chickens in a parakeet cage (a walk in one, like a miniature aviary) that was like a bathroom size. I had 10 of them (all roosters) and they seemed about as happy on days where they stayed in the cage as days we let them out (eventually they were left out during the days and cooped at night). It wasn't like a dog where I can so acutely see how much they suffer without the sensory input.

Quote:
I imagine it is worse in huge farms...but really, when you have to cut beaks to stop the chooks pecking each other to death from their cages, and their feathers fall out from stress, and you have to dope them with antibiotics because the conditions would otherwise lead to mass death from infection, and their bones deform from lack of exercise, and they can't do ANYTHING that is natural to them.....ewwww.


Yeah, I saw nothing like this. The chickens looked healthier than the free range ones. I have a feeling that regardless of how you keep them the devil is in the details. Around the world most chickens I see are free range (backyard chickens) and don't seem to have great lives having to run from the occasional stray dog and all and foraging for insects instead of being given feed by the trough. It seems that really minimizing their suffering would take consideration and care no matter which way they are raised.


Quote:
I do wonder if our governments may end up being tougher on Japan before long, as China becomes overwhelmingly our major trading partner.


Honestly, while I think each Australian cares deeply in abstract I suspect they are little different from Americans collectively in that they care the most about the economy, and if being tough with Japan means a bit of economic malaise I don't think there's much spine for that. Plus, I think there are trade laws that may complicate things.

Which brings me to one reason I object to the more zealous organization in the whaling debate:

Throughout history whales have only been spared though self-enlightened decisions. There is much more precedent for Japanese culture changing and stopping whaling than sanctions pulling it off and the animosity in the exchanges are the vinegar instead of honey that I think isn't helping.

So I'm of the opinion that donating to a company that makes a really sad Japanese TV show with a cute cartoon whale's tragic.... ok here's an easier way to explain it: a Bambi for whales. Bambi and The Yearling are powerful propaganda against killing the animals. Much better spend than publicity hounds spending millions playing pirate IMO.


Quote:
I would think the UK and places like Germany and Holland (and the US???) would be in the forefront....not us. I do wonder if your experiences re this are atypical? You just happen to have had contact with more Australians who talk about this stuff?


I certainly just happen to have more contact with Australians about this and can't draw more conclusions other than it's not prevalent enough for me to run into more often, but at least about the whaling I think you guys are the cutting edge.


Quote:
The UN lacks mandate, too, though.


There certainly are a lot of legal complexities to trying to ban whaling but it's the only game in town for this kind of thing and is responsible for just about every such kind of success in international law (e.g. Law of the Sea).

I'm not well versed enough in international law to be certain they have the tools to pull something like this off, but I am familiar enough with the dearth of alternatives to know they are the best bet to develop real tools for the goal of eradicating whaling through international law.

Quote:
I think that happens in all sorts of situations, and we tend to judge the process according to the extent to which we see the outcome, or desired outcome, as a "good".


Yes, and I think most people see my qualms with procedural issues as pedantry, seeing the ends as justifying the means. In this case I object to both the means and the end. After environmental concerns are met I hold the position that it is more right to not whale but also more right not to try to force others to accept this as a moral absolute so I object to both the process of what is happening as well as the hijacking of a goal I do support for one I don't.

But my consensus thing is really separate from the qualms I have with the IWC being hijacked. Process aside I don't consider it a quorum to legislate acceptable species to eat (which is why it doesn't really try to do it outright and hides behind the conservation clauses as long as possible), and I don't actually want there to be laws against eating whales that aren't endangered (even though I prefer that they are not eaten) but if it passed the general UN assembly I would consider it democratic enough to accept.

Quote:
Would you be as upset by the process if it was the US, rather than Japan, which ended up being targeted?


I'm not sure what you mean. If you are asking if I have personal feelings about Japan that change the issue for me then no, I feel more sentimental attachment to Australia or Brazil than Japan where I will always be a "gaijin" (gringo, foreigner).

Even though I was born there and lived there many years my experience in Japanese culture was as an outsider. I didn't learn to use chopsticks till I was an adult in California, I refused to use their toilets right up untill I left the country (and would still do so), and probably most telling of all my Japanese peaked at a very low vocabulary and I was never really fluent (right now I can't speak Japanese).....

I had something like a mother and sister for many years that were Australian though, and though I lived in Australia much less than Japan I don't really identify with Japan more than Australia. Like fbaezer says, if anything I strike him as a Brazilian.

If you are asking about some kind of situational factor to the US then I missed it entirely and need it run by me another time.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Jan, 2010 04:30 am

I wonder what the sex ratio is
among newly hatched chicks? 50/50?
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Jan, 2010 06:20 am
@Robert Gentel,
Re happy chooks: You have to limit the number of cocks!!! They normally get....er...eaten.

(One lot of chickens I have lived with shared their quarters with a large goose...she would not tolerate any fighting or bad manners!)

The farm you describe, where they were caged, but could roam around, we would describe as "barn-raised". It's a damn sight better than the battery situation that is very common for egg and table chicken raising. The latter also get big doses of oestrogen and growth hormone so they are ready to kill faster....you can actually see that their bones are deformed when you eat them.


I DO get your whaling arguments, by the way.

Quote:
If you are asking about some kind of situational factor to the US then I missed it entirely and need it run by me another time.


No...I was wondering if you consider the level of anger some have with Japan over whaling to have a racist component.

You were propelled into the original whaling thread, as I recall, because a Japanese person was upset, and saw the cartoons, for instance, as racist.

You also point out reasonably often that there seems to be less ire against Norway, or whaling by indigenous populations.

(I think that activist Ozzians appear less incensed re Norway because there is sweet FA we can do about it...in any practical sense, except at the IWC....and re the indigenous folk, where the catch is possibly detrimental to a species, I think its charismatic hunter vs charismatic prey.)

Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Jan, 2010 06:41 am
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
I think its charismatic hunter vs charismatic prey.


That's a good turn of phrase. I take a very jaundiced view of the image of "primitive" populations who indulge in this kind of hunting. The speil is that they are just pursuing a way of life they have followed for millennia. But they use modern high power rifles, they use outboard motors, and having taken their catch back to shore, and butchered and cleaned it, they retire to their western style frame houses to watch the television, while drinking beer from aluminum cans. The best argument i can see for allowing them to continue this "life style" is that it's a good thing if they are not entirely dependent on the dole. I don't think they should be allowed to hunt species on the edge of extinction just because of a disingenuous argument about their traditions.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Jan, 2010 06:55 am
@Setanta,
I strongly support people being able to continue aspects of traditional life, all things being equal...(land rights here have normally included rights to hunting etc.) it's only if the hunted species have become endangered that I think we need laws applying equally to all.

I imagine it pisses off indigenous people when we, having historically slaughtered without sense or sensibility, get all pro conservation on them!

That being said, past stupidity is no reason to continue being stupid.

It's not an issue here.....of course, some Aboriginal folk use guns....but they often use and teach traditional skills, too...and they are not endangering anything by their hunting.

Actually, for lots of larger animals, it's likely kinder to use guns.

 

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