Killing an Animal Humanely? - VeggieBoards
View Poll Results: Do you believe humane meat is possible?
Yes 6 15.79%
No 32 84.21%
Voters: 38. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 Old 02-09-2013, 06:57 AM
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One of the most common reasons I've seen promoting vegetarianism and veganism is that most animals live in factory farms and that they would not be there if less animals were needed to meet meat supply. However, I very rarely see anybody give a reason for people to oppose eating pasture raised animals.

 

I became a vegetarian not because of factory farming, but because I saw animals killed painfully, and witnessed the fear in the struggles and cries of the animals. I couldn't deny the fact that they must always die before being eaten, but I doubted the common claims that almost the entire population lived in factory farms, and wondered if a 'good' life justified the fore coming torture at death. My answer was no: pain is pain, no matter when nor where. But what if an animal had a physically painless death?

 

The one single rule in my life is to avoid unnecessary pain. Raising and killing an animal without physical pain doesn't seem to conflict with that rule. But, focusing on only the animal's welfare, we don't need to kill animals to be healthy, and by doing so might limit further social and emotional experiences and pleasures they could have if they were allowed to live longer and more independently, rather than being a dispensable possession for a fleeting taste.

 

In your opinion, do you believe that it's possible to raise and kill an animal humanely if no pain were endured, or are their other factors by which you object?


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#2 Old 02-09-2013, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Ewe Nanny View Post

 

The one single rule in my life is to avoid unneseccary pain. Raising and killing an animal without physical pain doesn't seem to confict with that rule. But, focusing on only the animal's welfare, we don't need to kill animals to be healthy, and by doing so might limit further social and emotional experiences and pleasures they could have if they were allowed to live longer and more independently, rather than being a dispensible posession for a fleeting taste.

 

In your opinion, do you believe that it's possible to raise and kill an animal humanely if no pain were endured, or are their other factors by which you object?

 

There is no humane slaughter, whether the slaughterer or those exploiting the death of the animal "think" the animal does or does not experience pain.

 

Pain is not the only factor in declaring an action humane or inhumane.

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#3 Old 02-09-2013, 07:55 AM
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While, I agree that making living conditions and slaughter as painless as possible is much better that torturous living conditions and painful slaughter, I still can't view it as humane. Would you feel it was right to kill a human if it could be done painlessly?

 

Also, this is all theoretical, because unless you are raising and killing animals yourself, there is no way to know how it's being actually being done the way you would like when you purchase meat. The farm/slaughterhouse claiming they treat their animals humanely is simply not good enough in a world where there is little accountability for animal cruelty and no decent official standards for humane treatment of animals. 

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#4 Old 02-09-2013, 07:58 AM
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I think the only way to truly humanely kill an animal is when the animal is too sick and in pain to enjoy life, and it should be done by injection of anesthetics by a veterinarian. No one would want to eat meat from that animal.

Aside from that, some methods are more humane than others, but none are ethically justified.
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#5 Old 02-09-2013, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by RunnerVeggie View Post

I think the only way to truly humanely kill an animal is when the animal is too sick and in pain to enjoy life, and it should be done by injection of anesthetics by a veterinarian. No one would want to eat meat from that animal.

Aside from that, some methods are more humane than others, but none are ethically justified.

This. What makes humans think they camt control who lives and dies? We do not need to kill animals to survive, so it is wrong to do so.
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#6 Old 02-09-2013, 08:43 AM
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I don't think killing, no matter if it's an animal or a human can be done in a human way. Killing is wrong and even if someone think they came up with good living condition for the animal before slaughtering them with the least amount of pain and stress possible... it's still killing. Sure the documentaries opened my eyes but the next hour I was thinking hard about what exactly was freaking me out, was it the suffering or death? I end up realizing it was death. So to answer your poll, it's a big no for me, the end is still the same.


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#7 Old 02-09-2013, 09:15 AM
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Lethal injection is now the predominant method for executing criminals in the United States.  It's generally believed that this is always peaceful and painless.  That belief is false.

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#8 Old 02-09-2013, 09:37 AM
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Lethal injection is now the predominant method for executing criminals in the United States.  It's generally believed that this is always peaceful and painless.  That belief is false.

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#9 Old 02-09-2013, 09:53 AM
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So, I was sitting at my local bar and was telling the manager about Vegucated.  I had watched it the other day with the bartender that was working.  I started talking about the disgusting things I saw in regards to how they treat the animals.  It turns out that this guy was raised on a cattle farm.  He proceeded to tell me that the animals have a different nervous system and that it does not hur them when they casterate the cows and do all the other nasty things.  Denial is a very interesting concept.

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#10 Old 02-09-2013, 10:05 AM
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I'm not sure this is as black and white as it seems.

 

Yes of course I object to killing.  I object to killing humans, I object to killing animals. I even object to 'putting animals down' too easily.  It seems animals are put down where a human in a similar situation just wouldn't be.

 

That aside, if I was given the choice of [never existing] or [existing but I would eventually be killed (after a long free life)], surely the latter is preferable. As long as the existence is free and happy, to exist is preferable to not exist.  (Of course there is though no being sitting there in a pre-existing state wishing it could actually exist!)

 

So regarding me if I were to be given the privilege of a long full happy life but then was killed painlessly after, say, 70 years, I would take that anyday to the alternative of never existing in the first place.  And I bet most other humans would too.

 

Whether that has any bearing on the ethics of so-called 'humane meat' I don't know and there will be obviously some objections.

 

One of the most important issues for me is that an animal has a life devoid of suffering, has the freedom to exhibit natural behaviour etc.  The other most important is that they are allowed to live a full life, as in 'of natural length'.  Trivial in comparison (but also important on its own terms) is that is finally killed.  

 

'Free range meat' (or however people refer to it) has its problems though - for instance - Do the animals live a life devoid of suffering and the freedom to exhibit natural behaviour (as in - normal wild animal)?  Also - Are they allowed to live out a life of natural length?  The first might be mostly possible, the second not, because (as far as I'm aware) people wouldn't want to eat an old animal.  

 

Actually if we could swerve the killing issue by only eating animals that have lived freely and died of natural causes I wouldn't have that much of a problem with it.  Indeed I wouldn't object to animals or other humans eating humans that had died (I read that cats can occasionally eat their owners if their owner dies!).  Preferable to being cremated, certainly.  

 

But back to the real world.  I personally would still object to even humanely killed animals even if the death was instantaneous/painless because it would be humans deliberately exerting power over another species for its own benefit without it being necessary for survival to do so.

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#11 Old 02-09-2013, 03:16 PM
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If you live in the middle of nowhere, and hunt to stretch out your families food supply, I say yes.

The idea of "raising" animals to be sold at stores I give a resounding NO.

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#12 Old 02-09-2013, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by silva View Post

If you live in the middle of nowhere, and hunt to stretch out your families food supply, I say yes.

The idea of "raising" animals to be sold at stores I give a resounding NO.


Agreed.  I read the original post before voting, which made it a little easier for me.  "Do you believe that it's possible to raise and kill an animal humanely?" is a little less open to interpretation than "Do you believe humane meat is possible?"

 

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#13 Old 02-09-2013, 11:52 PM
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I think that if you look at the meaning of "humane" then yes I do beleive that there is a way to humanely kill an animal. Growing up we raised almost all of our own meat and what we didnt raise we would get from a local farmer and still kill on our own farm. When it came time to restock the freezer, us kids would round up the animals that our parents told us to, then one of us would take the rifle and take one shot between the eyes. The animal was dead instantly and not at any moment was ever stressed out. Our father always was against hurting any animal except that one shot.

 

It wasnt until I was 10 or 11 that I even knew that grocery stores sold meat (we always shopped at farmers markets that only sold veggies) and when I found out the horrible ways that those factories would kill their animals I was horrified. When I watched the docs such as earthlings I was upset as hell cuz we had been producing our own meat my entire life and I never even seen an animal flench let alone scream out in pain and horror.

 

I no longer agree with the killing of animals for food but I still think that if it is going to be done there is a humane way to do it.

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#14 Old 02-10-2013, 12:23 AM
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would it be humane to farm humans, kill them painlessly, and then harvest their organs and body parts?
In the future, I am sure that it would be possible for people to pay a company to make clones of them. The clones might take 20 years to grow to adulthood, but at that point they would be ready to harvest. I suppose that you could have many clones; one for when someone needed a new liver, one for the kidneys etc. and the good part is that there should be no rejection by the receiving person's body.

Oh, and it wouldn't be a farm that looked like a farm with mud and tractors etc, it could be an enclosed area with buildings, where the clones could live quite comfortably,;for twenty years anyway.

We should be careful how we use the word 'humane'.
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#15 Old 02-10-2013, 02:13 AM
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I've read about lethal injections being painfull before, which is a a good example of something originaly thought not to be harmful, but then proving it to be later. What if one could gaurantee that the animal was killed painlessly, and had accurate evidence to prove that whatever method they used worked?

 

Some killing is beneficial to the person being killed or perhaps necessary for the killer, but if it isn't either then I wouldn't agree since it would be limiting the experiences of the animal without changing someones life for the better. However, for the reason that there are circumstances in which the opinion is held that killing is sometimes is acceptable, how would we define when killing is 'humane'? It seems the common reasoning is: If it's unnecessary then no, if it's necessary then yes.

 

There's another point ginger said which we could consider, that perhaps it's better to live in good conditions for a short time than never at all. Personally I wouldn't feel comfortable about me or someone else killing an animal, yet if I had the choice to exist or not (hypothetically!) then what would I want? Perhaps I would have ambitions that I could never fulfill because my life had been ended before I expected it to.


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#16 Old 02-10-2013, 05:45 AM
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I'm not so sure about the point that it is better to live a happy, healthy life, when the predetermined outcome has always been that you will be killed at a certain time, rather than not exist at all. Gingerpie didn't specify whether the death would be painless or not, so there's that to consider.

 

In the case of "happily farmed" animals, and assuming their death would be painless, my intuitive reaction would be no, it's still wrong, and it almost cheapens their existence for the fact that they were never able to exist just for themselves; they would have always been a commodity with a utilitarian purpose, namely use/consumption by humans.

 

The example Blobbenstein used about cloning humans for organ harvesting is applicable here too. Such a clone would surely feel outrage about having no freedom and personal choice, regardless of having a comfortable life with all their physical wants seen to, furthermore so for knowing that their sole reason for existing was to be killed and used by another person who does enjoy freedom and personal choice. If I were in that clone's position, I think I would rather have not existed at all.

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#17 Old 02-10-2013, 06:44 AM
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I don't think killing is "humane" (except in the rare circumstance when an animal is terminally ill or injured).

However, I think there are methods of raising and killing animals that are FAR LESS CRUEL than others. And that is what the label or concept of "humane meat" means to most people.

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#18 Old 02-10-2013, 07:27 AM
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Killing is wrong.  I don't even know why we're discussing this. 

This is one of my favorite songs in the world.  Sandor Katz was a vegetarian, then wrote a book about "humane meat."  Propagandhi, an amazing vegan band, wrote a song about 'humanely' eating Sandor Katz.   Sandor was not amused.   

There is no humane meat.  And there is no such thing as killing an animal humanely if the purpose is to eat it. 
__________

Human(e) Meat (The Flensing Of Sandor Katz)




I swear I did my best to ensure that
His final moments were swift and free from fear
But consideration should be made for the fact
That Sandor Katz was my first kill
So I trust the reader will

Understand that while the screams may well have seemed 
Like conscious objections they were in reality
Simply a request to honor his strength and speed

With gratitude and tenderness I seared
Every single hair from his body
Gently placed his decapitated head in a stock pot
Boiled off his flesh and made a spreadable head cheese

Because I believe that one can only relate with
Another living creature by completely destroying it
I'm sure Sandor's friends and family would appreciate this

A rationale so moronic it defies belief
Post-vegetarian I must submit to you respectfully
Be careful what kind of world you wish for
Someday it may come knocking on your door

Let me in.
I just wanna
Fully relate

I swear I'll do my best to ensure that
Your final moments are swift and free from fear


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#19 Old 02-10-2013, 08:50 AM
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While, I agree that making living conditions and slaughter as painless as possible is much better that torturous living conditions and painful slaughter, I still can't view it as humane. Would you feel it was right to kill a human if it could be done painlessly?

 

Also, this is all theoretical, because unless you are raising and killing animals yourself, there is no way to know how it's being actually being done the way you would like when you purchase meat. The farm/slaughterhouse claiming they treat their animals humanely is simply not good enough in a world where there is little accountability for animal cruelty and no decent official standards for humane treatment of animals. 

This in full. 

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Originally Posted by RunnerVeggie View Post

I think the only way to truly humanely kill an animal is when the animal is too sick and in pain to enjoy life, and it should be done by injection of anesthetics by a veterinarian. No one would want to eat meat from that animal.

And this.

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However, I think there are methods of raising and killing animals that are FAR LESS CRUEL than others. And that is what the label or concept of "humane meat" means to most people.

And this.

 

The problem is humane almost never refers to the killing aspect. It almost always refers to how an animal was raised. At least among most people I meet. So far as the end killing, if someone let me run around on a farm, I guess I'd be more grateful than if they shut me up in a small dark space, but if I'm still killed in the end, I'd be upset about it all the same. 


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#20 Old 02-10-2013, 09:30 AM
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This isn't an appropriate discussion for the Vegan Support Forum. I'm moving it to the Compost Heap.
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#21 Old 02-10-2013, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Ewe Nanny View Post

In your opinion, do you believe that it's possible to raise and kill an animal humanely if no pain were endured, or are their other factors by which you object?

No, I see nothing humane in taking the life of another for personal pleasure. When I think about what it means to be humane in some kind of action it usually includes compassion, sympathy, kindness, etc

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/humane
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/humane
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/humane

However, if people think that killing for personal gain or pleasure is humane, please never treat me in the way you view humane.

----
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Originally Posted by gingerpie View Post

That aside, if I was given the choice of [never existing] or [existing but I would eventually be killed (after a long free life)], surely the latter is preferable.

How can you be given a choice to exist before existing?

It's one thing to claim that you're glad you exist, it's quite another to claim some hypothetical entity would rather be alive than not.
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Originally Posted by gingerpie View Post

As long as the existence is free and happy, to exist is preferable to not exist.

What does that mean? The only way I can see that this could be is after the fact of existing, it's just doesn't make sense to argue from the point of currently hypothetical entities.
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#22 Old 02-10-2013, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by goby View Post

Human(e) Meat (The Flensing Of Sandor Katz)


I swear I did my best to ensure that
His final moments were swift and free from fear
But consideration should be made for the fact
That Sandor Katz was my first kill
So I trust the reader will

Understand that while the screams may well have seemed 
Like conscious objections they were in reality
Simply a request to honor his strength and speed

With gratitude and tenderness I seared
Every single hair from his body
Gently placed his decapitated head in a stock pot
Boiled off his flesh and made a spreadable head cheese

Because I believe that one can only relate with
Another living creature by completely destroying it
I'm sure Sandor's friends and family would appreciate this

A rationale so moronic it defies belief
Post-vegetarian I must submit to you respectfully
Be careful what kind of world you wish for
Someday it may come knocking on your door

Let me in.
I just wanna
Fully relate

I swear I'll do my best to ensure that
Your final moments are swift and free from fear

 

Nice.

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#23 Old 02-10-2013, 10:09 AM
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Just in case anybody thinks I'm in support of killing animals in a 'humane' way, I'm asking because I like to consider various opinions on the subject, especialy ones including the animals point of view!


"Treat others as you wish to be treated."

- The Golden Rule

"No snowflake in an avalanche feels responsible."

- Voltair

"Be the change you wish to see in the world."

- Mahatma Ghandi

"Even dust piled up will grow into a mountain."

- Japanese Proverb

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#24 Old 02-10-2013, 10:15 AM
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Even if they're brought up in a healthy environment there is never ever a guarantee that the slaughter will be painless or stress free.

If there was only a 1/1000 chance that the animal you're eating suffered, for me that is 1 too many.

 

-Slave.

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#25 Old 02-10-2013, 11:16 AM
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All animals are slaughtered young, many while still babies. How can that be humane?
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#26 Old 02-10-2013, 11:33 AM
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I refer you to what I previously wrote, namely - " (Of course there is though no being sitting there in a pre-existing state wishing it could actually exist!)"

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nogardsram View Post

How can you be given a choice to exist before existing?

It's one thing to claim that you're glad you exist, it's quite another to claim some hypothetical entity would rather be alive than not.
What does that mean? The only way I can see that this could be is after the fact of existing, it's just doesn't make sense to argue from the point of currently hypothetical entities.
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#27 Old 02-10-2013, 12:07 PM
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Really I can only see "humane" killing in the sense of euthanasia. 

The reality is that sometimes killing is justified, and doing it in the least painful and harmful way (such as older animals) is doing it in the "most humane" way possible.

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#28 Old 02-10-2013, 12:35 PM
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I refer you to what I previously wrote, namely - " (Of course there is though no being sitting there in a pre-existing state wishing it could actually exist!)"

Yeah, I did read that. So I'm aware and you're aware of that and I'm aware that you're aware and you're aware that I'm aware of that. Therefor it doesn't make sense, to me, to even make the statement.

If however you feel that existing is more important than not existing (assuming a happy and long life, which is not at all what often, regularly, or even mostly (perhaps ever?!) happens), then I think the only way to ever even make that statement is after the fact. Completely after the person or animal has lived their life. If not how can one make the claim that it's better if there's no way to tell if the life was happy and long?

You can't make the claim beforehand and use it as justification to use therefor kill an animal. At least I don't agree with taking such a position.


----
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blobbenstein View Post

would it be humane to farm humans, kill them painlessly, and then harvest their organs and body parts?
In the future, I am sure that it would be possible for people to pay a company to make clones of them. The clones might take 20 years to grow to adulthood, but at that point they would be ready to harvest. I suppose that you could have many clones; one for when someone needed a new liver, one for the kidneys etc. and the good part is that there should be no rejection by the receiving person's body.

Oh, and it wouldn't be a farm that looked like a farm with mud and tractors etc, it could be an enclosed area with buildings, where the clones could live quite comfortably,;for twenty years anyway.

We should be careful how we use the word 'humane'.

I think this is a great way to look at the situation from a different viewpoint.

People so often separate humans from all the other animals, but we can often view the situation by making a similar one with humans. Can one 'humanely' kill a human for the pleasure it would bring the killer, whether it's because they want to eat them, utilize body parts, or simply for the sake of the 'hunt'?

I just don't see humane in qualities of killing for personal pleasure or satisfaction.

Humane killing is possible for things like terminal illness or terminal suffering (or something similar), and say with self defense, but I just don't see it with personal satisfaction or pleasure.

I believe everything.
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#29 Old 02-10-2013, 01:42 PM
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How can you be given a choice to exist before existing?

It's one thing to claim that you're glad you exist, it's quite another to claim some hypothetical entity would rather be alive than not.
What does that mean? The only way I can see that this could be is after the fact of existing, it's just doesn't make sense to argue from the point of currently hypothetical entities.

 

The view that existing > never having existed also would seem to imply that it's worse to use birth control or practice abstinence than to murder an elderly person. 

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#30 Old 02-10-2013, 05:19 PM
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nogardsram

 

Sometimes people come up with hypothetical scenarios or thought experiments.  Sometimes they are not something that could ever happen in reality but might be interesting to consider nevertheless.

 

You are correct that you couldn't know that someone had lived a long happy life until they had completely lived their life.

 

But if you could...

 

As I said, if it were possible for a non-being to consider if they wanted to come into being and live a full happy life and then be killed, I would take that scenario over not existing at all.  What I am saying is that for me personally that would be ok, that the immense experience of existing is far preferable to the non-experience of not existing even if the ending is me being killed.  If that killing was quick and painless.  A long life in all its complexity but it ends with a killing; hell, happiness need not even be guaranteed - I could just take the chance.  If I made that deal before existing what really is the difference to me just dying of natural causes?  You could even not guarantee me happiness and not guarantee me longevity and as long as I didn't suffer too much I would still, if it were possible, prefer to exist rather than not exist.

 

So I started with myself and thought how I might feel. That in exchange for life, having my moment or manner of death taken out of my hands, was a small price to pay.

 

 

And then I thought about animals and it's quite a different scenario.  For instance would they actually care if they were alive or not, would they be able to conceive what it meant to be alive and what it meant to be dead or killed?  Would they be able to reflect on their lives and have future plans?  Does life or the continuation of life mean anything to them or do they just live day to day, on instinct?

 

Perhaps the thought in my brain was to think how I'd feel and then see how the scenario worked out in relation to animals.  That after a long life where the animal was free, devoid of any man-caused suffering and could exhibit natural behaviours but they would finally be killed.  My feeling was that whilst that ultimate killing was wrong it was nowhere near as important compared to a life of suffering and compared to a life where natural behaviour is severely restricted.  Hence, to go relatively 'real world' on you, if length of life were proportionate, I consider a properly free range beef cow to have had a far better life than a battery hen.  

 

But whilst I thought that a life of suffering and a life of severely restricted natural behaviours are worse than being ultimately killed (especially when a life has been long), I still think that a human killing an animal is wrong except in the case of a survival situation, whether in self-defence or in the case the animal is the only possible food source available.  As regards 'humane' killing, well I would think that means as quickly and painlessly as possible.  If, say, beef cattle were allowed a longish, free life and then killed as 'humanely' as possible - that's got to be way preferable to a life kept in pens unable to move freely around and then killed slowly and painfully.  Whilst it wouldn't make a vegetarian or a vegan eat any differently, they would probably prefer that if someone was going to eat meat anyway that the production of that meat involved as little suffering as possible.   

 

Whilst you may wonder the relevance of beginning by talking about a non-being considered the possibility of existence, there's no harm in considering such a possibility and really my post was just working through some things on the spot rather than spending days working out pros and cons before posting. 

 

Basically I thought that for me the equivalent human life of a long-living free range beef cattle would be ok even if I was killed at the end.  

 

But an animal would still be incapable of making such a decision anyway before their potential life began; they would be unable to consent to such a life 'deal'.

 

And even if they'd had the privilege of a long free life, humans would still not be justified in killing that animal - in my opinion.  Others, though, may believe that if a human has helped bring an animal into existence, maybe helped feed it, maybe provided it with veterinary treatment and so on, they may consider its ultimate death (and consumption by humans) as a fair deal.  Of course though their interest was never about allowing a non-cow or non-sheep to exist rather than not exist (and enjoy a life), it was about that ultimate product - meat.  

 

Hope that makes some sort of sense!  wink3.gif

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by nogardsram View Post


Yeah, I did read that. So I'm aware and you're aware of that and I'm aware that you're aware and you're aware that I'm aware of that. Therefor it doesn't make sense, to me, to even make the statement.

If however you feel that existing is more important than not existing (assuming a happy and long life, which is not at all what often, regularly, or even mostly (perhaps ever?!) happens), then I think the only way to ever even make that statement is after the fact. Completely after the person or animal has lived their life. If not how can one make the claim that it's better if there's no way to tell if the life was happy and long?

You can't make the claim beforehand and use it as justification to use therefor kill an animal. At least I don't agree with taking such a position.

 
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