True, but when it comes time to weigh those interests, humans always seem to have their thumb on the scales. Even you would permit me to keep cats in a condition that would be intolerable for a human.
Remember, I thought it permissable to keep a cat indoors in so far that it didn't suffer substantially, and that it's other important interests were respected. If the oppositte were true, I don't think the same would follow.
Analogously, howabout a child who is cognitively impaired to the point that if allowed outside, there is no guarantee he will find his way home. Should you decide against letting him outside, without supervision, even though he wants to badly? As a parent, would it be impermissable to keep him inside? What if he was able to adjust to being inside and he was able to get on alright?
It has no interest in its freedom? What about its testicles (I notice you avoided that one)?
I don't have any problem setting rules for children. But then you didn't start this thread to talk about the morality of eating children, did you?
Do you mean freedom as a human interest or freedom as an animal interest? Are the two equivalent?
As for neutering an animal, perhaps it is not ideal, but given our current state of affairs it is necessary. We may in a sense have to do some harm to an animal, but the justification for such harm is important. Indeed it would have to be if we truly respect the interests of animals. There is a significant difference between harming for good reason, and harming without good reason.
If both are morally considerable, I don't see how our obligations only apply to one class.
I intended to illustrate that it would be inconsistent to say we should not treat aninmals in this way, but with humans we obviously can, given similar interests.
It is as if you make the assumption that if we have obligations to animals, on the basis of interests, those obligations are so strong that they cannot override interests of animals whatsoever, even though we do with humans. Is that a fair assumption to make?
I don't know -- you tell me. Remember, I'm not the one who thinks that "interests" form the basis for the moral standing of animals.
From whose perspective? If I kill a dog because it's annoying me, most people would consider me cruel. If I kill a mosquito because it's annoying me, most people would consider me sensible. Yet from the perspectives of the dog and the mosquito, I'm sure my actions are regarded as equally bad. You think there's a good reason to neuter house pets, but that's from a human perspective, and it takes into account only human interests. Yet, in the end, it's Fluffy's balls that are getting cut off.
Though there are various issues related to animals e.g. animal experimentation, zoos, use in consumer goods etc., I thought honing in on the ethics of meat eating might generate good discussion.
So, do you think meat eating is ethical? If so, why? If not, why not? In addition, does context matter, or do we treat all cases involving animals the same? (yes or no answers should be justified, considering this is a normative argument)
I will start by acknowledging that: (i) I am a vegetarian, and will be (ii) defending the view that animals ought to obtain direct moral standing, and (iii) at the very least certain practices used to produce meat e.g. factory farming are wrong and ought to be stopped. Further, rather than suppose any of the major moral theories e.g. utiltarianism, deontology, virtue ethics, I propose an (iv) incompletely theorized argument in that particular issues may remain unresolved, but at a general level we can agree on some things (animal cruelty is wrong).
The question was directed towards you because you seem to imply that interests between humans and animals are equivalent.
Human interest in autonomy, given self reflection, may be quite different than an non human animals interest in autonomy. So to keep a cat indoors might not be as adverse as keeping a grown adult indoors.
I think most agree that the status quo (leaving animals un neutered) leads to a poor state of affairs (too many animals to care for which results in neglect etc.).
More importantly, if animals have interests, then it seems reasonable to conclude that animals have animal interests, not human interests. If you think, for example, that there are good reasons to spay and neuter house pets, it's because there are good human reasons for doing that. That, however, is simply privileging human interests over animal interests, and I don't see any reason why we should do that if morality is based on protecting interests. Or, at least, you haven't provided any reason to justify privileging human interests over animal interests.
animal cruelty is wrong , but it is the animal protein that evolved the brain
hence a paradox
Whether you think animal and human interests are equivalent is something that is wrapped in a mystery, but then most of your position is. I'm used to it.
That, however, is simply privileging human interests over animal interests, and I don't see any reason why we should do that if morality is based on protecting interests. Or, at least, you haven't provided any reason to justify privileging human interests over animal interests.
Have you asked a cat what it thinks about that?
A poor state of affairs for whom?
How does eating insects sit with a vegetarian lifestyle choice
My own sympathy for vegetarianism is motivated by the avoidance of animal suffering. So, since locusts have nervous systems much more primitive than pigs and cows do, I would prefer eating locusts to eating pigs and cows, though I would prefer eating plants to eating locust.
I don't think it is privileging human interests over animal interests at all. All interests are taken into account, including those of animals who would be brought into the world and suffer neglect due to abandonment or lack of care.
Have you asked a cat what it thinks about that?
A number of times. I get a bunch of meows, he butts heads sometimes, but he never wants to speak english. He seems happy enough though.
For everyone involved.
You're still privileging human interests -- you just can't see it.
And that's a problem with your position. You want to grant moral standing to animals based on their interests, but you can only guess at what those interests are.
No, just for the humans involved.
Quote:You're still privileging human interests -- you just can't see it.
When comparing human with animal interests, similarities and differences may have something to say about the weight of the interests involved, in connection to well being. Obviously to favour one over the other without good reason would be privilaging.
Educated guess would be a better description. Of course it is a matter of inference, but can we have a good idea of what sort of interests matter to human beings and non human animals- sure we can.
Is it not reasonable to infer that based on such research, the grief an animal feels for having its babies ripped away from it or losing it's mother is not a morally important, if not morally relevant interest, if the well being of animal is the moral point at issue?
I'm not a speciest, or at least would be willing to rethink any inherent speciest problems in my thinking, yet you seem bent on trying to imply that I am.