thoughts on suffering and cruelty in nature - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 06-02-2016, 03:21 PM
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thoughts on suffering and cruelty in nature

Hello hello



I was watching a documentary about animals the other day, and it showed very graphic images of things like a lion eating two orphaned lion cubs or a jackal eating an antelope alive. I couldn't help it but think of vegans in youtube videos, saying that "meat is murder" etc, talking about killing like it's a criminal act. It seems, sometimes, like we're imposing humans standards to nature.



I don't question the suffering of these animals, but suffering exists all over in nature, so I can't demonize it. What if I was a natural carnivore? Would I be a horrible being, "commiting murders" all the time, "living of corpses", would my body be "a tomb for other animals"? Are lions tombs or murderers?



For me, being vegetarian or vegan is of course about limiting the suffering, but it's mostly about the ethics of owning and using another being like it's a machine or something consumable. Lions don't own antelopes, they don't enslave them and use them, and they trully need them to survive. Humans don't need pigs to survive, but they enslave, use and kill them just for their taste, and that's wrong. I just can't see suffering in general as something obnoxious, because nature is full of it.



I'd love to read your thoughts on that.
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#2 Old 06-02-2016, 03:49 PM
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You cannot put human standards on animals. They don't understand things the way we can. A jackal eats the antelope alive not because it enjoys making things suffer but because it's just doing its thing. Brainless and indifferent to other life is the way of nature.
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#3 Old 06-02-2016, 03:55 PM
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Hi there! I think your last paragraph hit the nail on the head.
Lions are natural carnivores and predators who are meant to hunt. Their digestive tracts are designed so that they must eat meat to survive. Yes, this unfortunately causes suffering to the animal that is their prey. However, humans have digestive tracts that are more similar to herbivores and we do not NEED meat to survive like lions do. Therefore, like you said, our choices to eat meat involve unnecessary enslavement and torture of animals just to simply satisfy our appetites. I think another argument here is that we are obviously more advanced/intelligent than lions, and therefore we can make the choice to not put these animals through the torture they go through just so we can eat them. I think that's where the "meat is murder" argument comes into play.
I read an article from National Geographic recently that stated that most of our very early ancestors ate a predominantly vegetarian diet because they were not very good hunters and often could not catch the animal they were hunting. The exception to this were people who lived in the Arctic or other areas where there is very little vegetation. It's a really interesting read. Here's the link: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/fo...ution-of-diet/
Anyway, sorry if that sounded like rambling. But those are just my thoughts. :-)
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#4 Old 06-02-2016, 05:05 PM
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Nature is a self-sustaining system. That doesn't make it a good system.

Just because nature keeps working, doesn't mean that it has any ethical value.

I suspect that we are not the only species that is troubled by carnivorism. I imagine that every vegan animal feels that way; no individual wants to suffer pain. Carnivorous animals also avoid suffering, but they are necessarily less equipped to experience compassion towards other animals. Because we evolved from animals who are 95%+ vegan, we share this troubled feeling.


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#5 Old 06-03-2016, 08:36 AM
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Humans tend to anthropomorphize nature and even inanimate objects. We project our feelings, wants, desires, and thoughts onto nature. Humans have an intelligence that many other animals do not have; our intelligence coupled with how we evolved has made us the dominant species. We're not special, but as a species, we are much more powerful than any other non-human animal.

Your hypothetical question would require too many assumptions to be clearly answered. I suspect that if you were a "natural carnivore" and didn't have the intelligence that humans do, you probably wouldn't think much of killing something else. You wouldn't know a "tomb" from a "murderer". In fact, you'd probably only worry about finding food, seeking shelter, reproducing, and avoiding the dominant species of the planet. This is what all animals do, even humans.

Sorry, but I'm not sure what your question or point is? Is it regarding the general topic of suffering? We can't control nature, nor can we control suffering in nature. Sometimes, humans think they can help an animal that they think is suffering; however, the humans end up doing more harm than good. For example, I'm not sure if you've heard about the couple of simpletons that decided to place a bison calf in the back of their car because they thought it was cold. They projected their own feelings onto the calf, which ultimately caused it to be denied by the herd/it's mother and euthanized by humans.

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#6 Old 06-03-2016, 09:58 AM
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There are already some very good points made above me. I'll add that lions and other carnivorous animals, in addition to being effective killers, are also very loving and caring providers of their families. To see them being tender with their babies is as heartwarming as watching them kill an antelope is disturbing. While I cannot relate to the violence, I can absolutely relate to their ability to love and provide for their own. They are indeed as capable of love and gentleness as any human, perhaps more so.

Animals have instincts bred into them through countless generations, which is what keeps them alive and their species thriving. The only thing capable of superseding those instincts for survival are mankind's "technological advancements". Lions are not the ones causing species extinction - we are. Are we as humans with our "superior" intellects, any better than these beautiful creatures? We have multiplied exponentially, devastated the Earth's natural resources, and kill each other senselessly over just about anything. We have SO MUCH to answer for. Compared to what we've done to the Earth, the carnivorous animals are gentle and peaceful, IMO.
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#7 Old 06-03-2016, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bitter Orange View Post
I don't question the suffering of these animals, but suffering exists all over in nature, so I can't demonize it. What if I was a natural carnivore? Would I be a horrible being, "commiting murders" all the time, "living of corpses", would my body be "a tomb for other animals"? Are lions tombs or murderers?
My friend, you are getting into the heart of the philosophical inquiry on the nature of suffering and existence. As with most things philosophy, nobody really knows anything.

What you described comes from a hedonic viewpoint, but we live in a very Darwinian world masked by socially constructed frameworks to explain our existence, purpose, and place in the overall universe.
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#8 Old 06-05-2016, 02:07 AM
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Fortunately we are humans, We can see the horrible things that humans do to all the living creatures (humans, animals etc.)

And we can do something about it, starting with ourselfes.
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My usual answer: I have never heard a convincing reason to eat meat.
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#9 Old 06-05-2016, 04:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bitter Orange View Post


For me, being vegetarian or vegan is of course about limiting the suffering, but it's mostly about the ethics of owning and using another being like it's a machine or something consumable. Lions don't own antelopes, they don't enslave them and use them, and they trully need them to survive. Humans don't need pigs to survive, but they enslave, use and kill them just for their taste, and that's wrong. I just can't see suffering in general as something obnoxious, because nature is full of it.



I'd love to read your thoughts on that.
I can see where you are coming from, and I sometimes think it is over the top when vegans call others "murderers". Maybe though, it has more to do with intent. People do not NEED to kill animals to survive or even thrive. And most often, the way it is done is very cruel. Animal farming of course is very unnatural, and involves not only ridiculous suffering and exploitation of the lives of animals, but environmental damage, a huge use of resources like water and land, and often also involves conflict with wild animals who come into contact with farmed animals. Hunting also involves unnecessary cruelty, such as the use of traps, or hound dogs, or shooting from helicopters, and shooting at all, since many animals do not die right away when shot, but run off and bleed to death. Most hunting is done for sport, or as a "rite" of passage. When humans take wild animals, they leave fewer resources for natural carnivores who have no choice.

It is frustrating when others learn about the cruelty and exploitation of sentient beings for their palate and clothes and so on, but continue to participate in it with the attitude that this is the way it is, with no regard or consideration for the consequences of this, which extends beyond the suffering of the animal itself to our environment, our culture and what we teach our children about respecting our planet/home, our health...

Sure, it is natural for carnivores to kill, and yes humans evolved as omnivores. If the way humans lived was based on what is "natural", we would all have to make some very serious changes, and I wouldn't be typing on this keyboard.

I understand suffering is inevitable with life. It would make sense then to add to it as little as possible then right? We also have innate compassion and a conscience as humans (at least most of us lol).
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#10 Old 09-18-2016, 03:40 PM
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😠 some animals have to cause suffering in order to survive
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#11 Old 10-01-2016, 01:56 AM
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thoughts on suffering and cruelty in nature

The longer I am on this earth, the more I am becoming more sensitive to suffering and cruelty in nature. Being almost vegan probably contributes, somewhat, to that sensitivity. It could be that, with the development of social media and the internet, it's more in your face...so many disturbing postings. I don't know. I don't like it. I get the urge to unplug every now and then.


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#12 Old 10-01-2016, 07:27 AM
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I'm with you, I can't really watch the slaughter house videos or any of the other disturbing things on the internet. Becoming vegan has definitely helped me sleep at night, feels good to know that i'm not buying anymore animal products that came from animals that were tortured and killed. They are sentient living things just like us humans are, they have feelings, a conciousness, family and a will to live just like all of us do.
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#13 Old 10-01-2016, 12:17 PM
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Sure, there is suffering and cruelty in nature. Humans are "nature," by the way. But the less suffering and cruelty, the better. Unlike lions, humans have a choice not engage in the systematic harm of other sentient beans, That's the key point. We should make the choice to reduce suffering, because we can. And by the way, I don't necessarily advocate a "whole plant diet" unless that's something someone wants to do. With all due respect, I think that's something of a fad that has permeated the vegan/animal rights movement and is slowing the more widespread adoption of a vegan, or at least mostly vegan, diet. The average person doesn't want to eat a quinoa salad with chickpeas, with little or no added oil or salt, on a regular basis. Only those on a mission are going to adopt that type of Spartan diet.

No, as far as I'm concerned, the type of cruelty-free, low- or no-suffering diet that has a chance of spreading beyond a sliver of the human population is one that is at least moderately high in salt, fat, and protein. So, Beast Burgers, sauteed tempeh, Quorn Vegan Chik'n Tenders, coconut milk, and some rice and bean dishes spiced up with liquid smoke and oil/salt is the kind of diet that ought to be promoted. It's the kind of diet that I typically eat. It's the kind of diet that has a greater chance of eventually spreading and thereby resulting in the reduction of suffering among farmed animals.

Last edited by Dilettante; 10-01-2016 at 12:19 PM.
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#14 Old 10-01-2016, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Dilettante View Post
Sure, there is suffering and cruelty in nature. Humans are "nature," by the way. But the less suffering and cruelty, the better. Unlike lions, humans have a choice not engage in the systematic harm of other sentient beans, That's the key point. We should make the choice to reduce suffering, because we can. And by the way, I don't necessarily advocate a "whole plant diet" unless that's something someone wants to do. With all due respect, I think that's something of a fad that has permeated the vegan/animal rights movement and is slowing the more widespread adoption of a vegan, or at least mostly vegan, diet. The average person doesn't want to eat a quinoa salad with chickpeas, with little or no added oil or salt, on a regular basis. Only those on a mission are going to adopt that type of Spartan diet.

No, as far as I'm concerned, the type of cruelty-free, low- or no-suffering diet that has a chance of spreading beyond a sliver of the human population is one that is at least moderately high in salt, fat, and protein. So, Beast Burgers, sauteed tempeh, Quorn Vegan Chik'n Tenders, coconut milk, and some rice and bean dishes spiced up with liquid smoke and oil/salt is the kind of diet that ought to be promoted. It's the kind of diet that I typically eat. It's the kind of diet that has a greater chance of eventually spreading and thereby resulting in the reduction of suffering among farmed animals.
100% agree

And I loved the
Quote:
Unlike lions, humans have a choice not engage in the systematic harm of other sentient beans
LMAO!
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#15 Old 03-19-2017, 07:40 AM
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Well, considering I'm smarter than a tiger or a bear, I can't really use that naturalistic fallacy. There are some things we avoid in nature for the better. Suffering is one of them... or rather, should be.
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#16 Old 03-22-2017, 11:45 PM
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I agree with those who say, nature isn't necessarily right. Nature is trial and error. I think we're seeing that natural carnivorousness is not the most successful evolutionary path. As planet Earth continues to mature, I believe natural predators will become more and more rare.

Ever notice how "nature" programs always focus on predators? They never seem to show the lives of say, deer, or rabbits, or bison. It's always big cats, alligators, pythons, etc. Seems rather unbalanced reporting to me.

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#17 Old 05-20-2017, 07:16 PM
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Nature is a self sustaining system. Humans have disturbed it so much that people are fearing it may become beyond repair and most life on earth, including us, will become extinct.

Veganism has nothing to do with naivete about cruelty in nature. It's just that humans have become suicidal and homicidal, on a grand scale, as a species, and veganism is one of the best ways to change the outcome.

For thousands of years, many world religions have taught vegetarianism or near -veganism, as the ethical path to enlightenment. People are a unique animal who have particular gifts and constraints. When people say "shouldn't I just be a proud carnivore" I think they're ridiculous because they aren't lions. It's like a man being proud of fathering 100 children with 100 different women, and suggesting that certain animals do the same - except those animals don't require a minimum of sixteen to eighteen years of guidance to reach full maturity. Thus is the problem with pseudointellectuals.
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#18 Old 07-12-2017, 08:07 AM
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Suffering is bad and unavoidable most of the time, which is why no one should contribute to it and make it worse than it needs to be. No one can end all suffering on earth, all you can do is reduce it.
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