Eating oysters and bivalves - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-17-2008, 04:07 PM
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Why is it wrong to eat oyster and bivalves? I don;'t because they are not vegetarian but it;s my undrstanding they have no central nvervous system and no brain. I choose to err on the side of caution, though, youknow, giving what do you call it? Benefit of the doubt.



But people question this. I am very, very bad with words and never make sense so I am looking to some people to help me out here with a better explanation because what I wrote above makes not much sense even to me.
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#2 Old 08-17-2008, 04:55 PM
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This is a ridiculous question. Here's what you should say to them:



Is it "wrong" to have sex with people in comas who are paralyzed? I mean, they can't "feel" anything, right?



Is it "wrong" to mutilate a corpse? I mean, they are dead already, right?

"Yes! Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!" Auntie Mame
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#3 Old 08-17-2008, 04:59 PM
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I know it's ridiculous question I was just not sure how to combat it.
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#4 Old 08-17-2008, 05:00 PM
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I suggest you answer the question with the questions above.

"Yes! Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!" Auntie Mame
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#5 Old 08-17-2008, 05:34 PM
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People say the same thing about ants but I've watch ants on a hot day. They walk from the shade into the sunny areas but then quickly back into the shade. Then they keep walking in the shade and get to a sunny/hot area and quickly get back to the shady area. On and on it goes. It seems to me that they feel the pain of the heat on the pavement and prefer the cooler areas in the shade.
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#6 Old 08-17-2008, 06:57 PM
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Isn't it enough that they are animals and you don't eat animals? I don't get why you feel inclined to argue with someone about the edibility of an animal that doesn't have a brain or CNS. What difference does that make?

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#7 Old 08-17-2008, 07:00 PM
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My boyriend says I am stupid for not eating oyster sauce he wants to buy me vegeteabls with oyster sauce - he thinks that is veggie enough and gets cranky when I refuse.



What is the ethical reason for not mutilating and having sex with corpses? I mean, it doesn't hurt anyone. I cant see the problem apart from the "ew" factor.
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#8 Old 08-17-2008, 07:09 PM
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Ah, it's a convenience thing. It's a PITA to special order stuff for you, when you can't see the animal in the oyster sauce. But if you don't eat it, that's that and he'll have to special order for you. It IS an inconvenience, but if you don't eat something, then it has to be done. He'll probably get used to it after a while. Maybe he's arguing with you to get himself used to the idea, or in the hope you'll give in. My hubby used to get kind of frustrated at first with all my special ordering, but he's really supportive now.



I won't answer the second question, except to say that it might not hurt the corpse, but it could hurt someone. If you were, say, a relative of the corpse, you might not take too kindly to someone having sex with it or mutilating it.

"Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you, 'There is no "I" in team.' What you should tell them is, 'Maybe not. But there is an "I" in independence, individuality and integrity." Â George Carlin
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#9 Old 08-17-2008, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zen Biology View Post

My boyriend says I am stupid for not eating oyster sauce he wants to buy me vegeteabls with oyster sauce - he thinks that is veggie enough and gets cranky when I refuse.



What is the ethical reason for not mutilating and having sex with corpses? I mean, it doesn't hurt anyone. I cant see the problem apart from the "ew" factor.



i'm kinda with you on the corspe thing. but the family of the deceased doesn't generally like it so much.
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#10 Old 08-17-2008, 07:46 PM
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Dont' get me wrong, I think it sounds like a terrible, horrible thing! It's just trying to argue ethics and philosphy it's sometimes hard to come up with a better reason that "society says it's bad!".
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#11 Old 08-17-2008, 07:51 PM
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the problem with arguing ethics is that it isn't always a good idea to argue someone else's. why do you think it's unethical? and again, isn't the "ew" factor enough? should you do it anyway just because you don't think your feeling of "ew" is good enough? i won't eat snot because of the "ew" factor, and that's plenty good enough reason for me! if anyone wants to argue with me about whether snot is okay to eat, i say, let them have it all and i'll be sure not to partake so as to let them have all the more.

"Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you, 'There is no "I" in team.' What you should tell them is, 'Maybe not. But there is an "I" in independence, individuality and integrity." Â George Carlin
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#12 Old 08-17-2008, 08:54 PM
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Tell him to respect the fact that you're vegetarian, and it doesnt matter what he feels is "veggie enough", its your diet, not his.
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#13 Old 08-17-2008, 10:18 PM
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1. The methods used to obtain the bivalves generally hurt other sea creatures (do a search on this)

2. Even if you hand-picked them yourself, thus bypassing the above (and other people who would otherwise be veg thought this was a good idea and started doing it too), other animals need to eat them too, who don't have a choice of what to eat.



But yeah, bivalves would be the animal that would be somewhat questionable in terms of suffering, if it weren't for the above issues, especially harvesting.

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#14 Old 08-18-2008, 02:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zen Biology View Post

Why is it wrong to eat oyster and bivalves? I don;'t because they are not vegetarian but it;s my undrstanding they have no central nvervous system and no brain. I choose to err on the side of caution, though, youknow, giving what do you call it? Benefit of the doubt.



But people question this. I am very, very bad with words and never make sense so I am looking to some people to help me out here with a better explanation because what I wrote above makes not much sense even to me.



Interesting, a creature doesn't necessarily need a central nervous system or a brain to experience sensations. And given one of the fundamental sensations is pain, and all non-sessile creatures tend to have an interest in avoiding harm, I'd say they may be able to feel pain. Their capacity to suffer, to what degree, I'm not so sure of; but echinoderms, lacking a brain, have been observed 'hunting' and communicating.



Let's not give up on them yet.
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#15 Old 08-18-2008, 08:07 AM
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It's disrespectful and it isn't YOURS to mess with. Then, there's the issue of CONSENT or, lack thereof.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Zen Biology View Post

What is the ethical reason for not mutilating and having sex with corpses? I mean, it doesn't hurt anyone. I cant see the problem apart from the "ew" factor.



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Originally Posted by hoodedclawjen View Post

i'm kinda with you on the corspe thing. but the family of the deceased doesn't generally like it so much.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Zen Biology View Post

Dont' get me wrong, I think it sounds like a terrible, horrible thing! It's just trying to argue ethics and philosphy it's sometimes hard to come up with a better reason that "society says it's bad!".


"Yes! Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!" Auntie Mame
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#16 Old 08-18-2008, 08:11 AM
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It's disrespectful and it isn't YOURS to mess with. Then, there's the issue of CONSENT or, lack thereof.



yeah, but sprouts and potatoes aren't mine, and they can't consent, and i eat them all the time.
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#17 Old 08-18-2008, 08:12 AM
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yeah, but sprouts and potatoes aren't mine, and they can't consent, and i eat them all the time.



Did you REALLY just say that?



'Cause your dead aunt Sue is the same as a potato, right?

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#18 Old 08-18-2008, 08:24 AM
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Did you REALLY just say that?



'Cause your dead aunt Sue is the same as a potato, right?



well... a potato is alive, for a start, so no. i dunno- when i'm dead people can do what they want with my bits as far as i'm concerned.



i spose i'd prefer they didn't eat/shag my mum though, even though logically she'll not be giving a monkeys about it at the time and her body would just be bits of decaying biological material in a relatively familar form (for a while, anyway) that i'd spent money on putting into a nice box in a nice hole.



its just that i find the idea of respecting an empty shell with no thoughts and feelings or potential for well... anything... as a bit odd, though i see why others do not, and i get why we tend to do it. but i guess this is a topic for another thread. i'm starting to sound like a bit of a wierdo.
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#19 Old 08-18-2008, 08:27 AM
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Wost case, because people don't often understand just to be spiteful, you just say you don't like it. It tastes yucky and your not eating it, end of story.
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#20 Old 08-18-2008, 09:01 AM
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well... a potato is alive, for a start, so no. i dunno- when i'm dead people can do what they want with my bits as far as i'm concerned.



i spose i'd prefer they didn't eat/shag my mum though, even though logically she'll not be giving a monkeys about it at the time and her body would just be bits of decaying biological material in a relatively familar form (for a while, anyway) that i'd spent money on putting into a nice box in a nice hole.



its just that i find the idea of respecting an empty shell with no thoughts and feelings or potential for well... anything... as a bit odd, though i see why others do not, and i get why we tend to do it. but i guess this is a topic for another thread. i'm starting to sound like a bit of a wierdo.



No, I understand where you're coming from. There's no real reason to care what people do to dead bodies. A dead body cannot consent, but since there is no capacity to not consent (which is different from having no capacity to not express consent, e.g. with living nonhuman animals) and it can suffer no harm, the only real moral obligation is bound to the deceased persons family. Because, you know, wisdom of repugnance (or, 'eww, that's gross!') is just an appeal to emotion and therefore a logical fallacy.



Not an advocation of necrophilia, I'm just interested in ethics.
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#21 Old 08-18-2008, 09:27 AM
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1. The methods used to obtain the bivalves generally hurt other sea creatures (do a search on this)

2. Even if you hand-picked them yourself, thus bypassing the above (and other people who would otherwise be veg thought this was a good idea and started doing it too), other animals need to eat them too, who don't have a choice of what to eat.



But yeah, bivalves would be the animal that would be somewhat questionable in terms of suffering, if it weren't for the above issues, especially harvesting.



Both of those arguments apply to plants, as well. I don't buy it.



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Interesting, a creature doesn't necessarily need a central nervous system or a brain to experience sensations. And given one of the fundamental sensations is pain, and all non-sessile creatures tend to have an interest in avoiding harm, I'd say they may be able to feel pain. Their capacity to suffer, to what degree, I'm not so sure of; but echinoderms, lacking a brain, have been observed 'hunting' and communicating.



Let's not give up on them yet.



Now this argument makes sense to me. We don't know how much pain these creatures are capable of feeling, as opposed to plants that we know don't feel pain as we understand it.



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#22 Old 08-18-2008, 09:30 AM
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"Yes! Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!" Auntie Mame
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#23 Old 08-18-2008, 09:51 AM
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No, I understand where you're coming from. There's no real reason to care what people do to dead bodies. A dead body cannot consent, but since there is no capacity to not consent (which is different from having no capacity to not express consent, e.g. with living nonhuman animals) and it can suffer no harm, the only real moral obligation is bound to the deceased persons family. Because, you know, wisdom of repugnance (or, 'eww, that's gross!') is just an appeal to emotion and therefore a logical fallacy.



Not an advocation of necrophilia, I'm just interested in ethics.

So you don't see any problem with freegan meat-eaters?



In our culture dead bodies cannot be separated from the living persons. In that kind of context, exploiting a dead body has a certain meaning, and it may not be a desirable one.



This holds even though this cultural context and relation to dead bodies is contingent -- i.e. it could be different, and might some day be.

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#24 Old 08-18-2008, 09:52 AM
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Both of those arguments apply to plants, as well. I don't buy it.

I think many plants eaten by humans have been cultivated solely for that purpose. And while many non-humans rely on the crops, it's not exactly the same thing as something that occurs in nature without human interference.

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#25 Old 08-18-2008, 10:15 AM
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I obstain from shellfish due to over fishing, polluting of the ocean waters from the fishing industry, and byfishing:



http://www.helium.com/items/723696-m...-worlds-oceans

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The meaning of byfishing is to catch accidentally; many do not realize the destruction it does to sea mammals such as dolphins and other aquatic animals like sea birds and sea turtles. Reportedly, worldwide there is approximately 60 billion pounds of unattended sea animals caught annually, that represents 25% of the overall worldwide catch. (Environmental, 2003) This area needs research to find a way to eliminate or at least ease the problem of byfishing.



My reason. I look at a delicious oyster and remind myself of the liklihood of a dead, endangered sea turtle. You could tell them the same, if you were to eat that oyster, you'd kill Flipper. At the very least you'll get some confused looks.
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#26 Old 08-18-2008, 11:35 AM
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When I went vegetarian 12 years ago, I kept eating mussels for two more years because I liked them too much. So for most of you I became vegetarian only ten years ago, and I would agree with you, and in fact when I am asked when I became a vegetarian I answer 1998, when I stopped eating mussels. However, I still don't feel any type of empathy for oysters, mussels and clams. I don't find the thought that other people eat them horrifying, and I don't get upset if I see them in a plate. They don't stir up in me the same reaction I feel when I see a tuna steak on a plate, because when I see the tuna I imagine the poor creature being clubbed to death in a pool of blood, trying to escape its destiny. I stopped eating mussels because I decided I had to be coherent, and stop eating every type of animal, but I feel no empathy for them.
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#27 Old 08-18-2008, 11:47 AM
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Is that a response to the thread as a whole or my post that came right before yours?



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#28 Old 08-18-2008, 12:24 PM
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So you don't see any problem with freegan meat-eaters?



How dare you!



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In our culture dead bodies cannot be separated from the living persons. In that kind of context, exploiting a dead body has a certain meaning, and it may not be a desirable one.



This holds even though this cultural context and relation to dead bodies is contingent -- i.e. it could be different, and might some day be.



I think it's a bit different wrt to consuming nonhuman animals. My post was not meant as a defence of corpse-mutilation/necrophilia, only pointing out how it's difficult to offer a rational argument against such. Now, regarding nonhuman animals, I'd assert that consuming their flesh and/or products reinforces their status as commodities and thus perpetuates the mindset that is responsible for their exploitation. Which holds up logically.



ETA:



I guess, when talking about the morality of necrophilia, I would argue that, especially if the body was that of a female, it would reinforce the process of objectifying human beings and viewing them (the living) as objects; tools for masturbatory purposes or otherwise sexual thrills.



And that, ladies and gents, is the weirdest thing I've ever written whilst eating my tea. xD
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#29 Old 08-18-2008, 12:27 PM
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I don't think people should eat bivalves and their relatives because

1) the habitat destruction and damage to 'by-catch' already mentioned

2) the toxins -- all of those animals filter-feed in coastal (polluted) waters

3) they do have nerve cells, so it is a real possibility that they feel distress when scraped up and hauled out of the water, etc.



I don't think it's anything like the dead bodies analogy. That's a cultural taboo probably biologically related to the potential for disease transmission.



By the way -- you do know 'oyster sauce' is used to refer to a sauce used to put *on* oysters? Some varieties are vegetarian, some use fish broth. Some might use oysters for all I know, but that's not where the name comes from. So depending on the source of the 'oyster sauce' you might be in good shape.
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#30 Old 08-18-2008, 12:30 PM
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Now, regarding nonhuman animals, I'd assert that consuming their flesh and/or products reinforces their status as commodities and thus perpetuates the mindset that is responsible for their exploitation. Which holds up logically.



ETA:



I guess, when talking about the morality of necrophilia, I would argue that, especially if the body was that of a female, it would reinforce the process of objectifying human beings and viewing them (the living) as objects; tools for masturbatory purposes or otherwise sexual thrills.

Well yes, eating or exploiting a body, in our culture, has a meaning of objectification. Although it is true that there does not exist a systematic oppression of human beings as a whole group that the objectification of a dead human could latch on to.

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