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#1 Old 12-03-2003, 12:49 PM
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I have recently become a vegan but not for the reasons it seems most do, and wanted to run this by more seasoned vegans for advice. I feel that killing animals is acceptable and sometimes natural, but don't want to support the factory farm system. I ask myself, "could I do this" before I eat anything. I could hunt down and mercifully kill a deer. I couldn't keep that deer in a small box, torture it, feed it other deer, and then ship it to the horrors of a slaughterhouse to meet it's final end.



I'm finding the most difficult part of becoming vegan isn't the cuisine. In fact, I love the new foods I'm eating and never feel deprived. It's mainly other people, including other vegans! Other vegans shun me for admiring hunters, for shunning herbal medicine, wearing makeup (Eco Bella), questioning PETA's radical practices, and for eating honey. (I guess I'd be OK taking honey combs.) I've argued with Fruitarians (a fitting name I think) and Breatharians who are bona fide mental cases IMHO and wonder if veganism is somehow related, and also if I want to be associated with the likes who dump blood on patrons of steak houses. I've been on dates where men look at me like, "Oh, you're one of *those*. I don't judge anyone. I just think it's important to live according to your beliefs and values, but I don't want to have to go live under a rock and I feel alienated by vegans and non-vegans alike.



I've never seen veganism as that radical actually. I mean, a healthy omnivore diet is about 80-90% vegan, correct? So vegans are really only altering their diet about 10-20% due to the methods of production of animal product, or for many because they believe killing an animal is wrong. Why is this so radical? Is this because the typical American eats 80-90% animal product and thinks of a vegetable as a French Fry? When people ask me what I eat when I tell them I don't eat animal product, I'm always stupefied. "Uh, EVERYTHING else," is always my blunt answer.



The biggest frustration I encounter is that most people would be horrified to know where their meat and eggs come from, yet choose not to see it because they don't want to go through what I'm going through. (Don't blame them.) I have arguments with people who insist eating animals isn't wrong, and when I time and time agree with them and tell them that it's the *method* of animal production I'm protesting and not the actual animal eating, it's as if they didn't hear me. I think they're afraid. If they actually absorb what I'm saying they'd have to admit they are acting against their conscious by continuing to order hamburgers.



I'm full steam ahead, however. I'm currently trying to piece through the special interests to get some good nutritional information so I can eat a well balanced diet.



Anyway, this is becoming a bit of a vent, but thank you, thank you, thank you. Any advice or comments would be welcome.
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#2 Old 12-03-2003, 01:15 PM
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You raise an interesting point. Are We Vegans against factory farming practices or the notion of eating flesh in general? Is that a personal choice within the heading "vegan"? (I'd be interested to get some replies on this.)



My advice? Screw the vegan police. And abandon labels if it makes life easier. I'd just stick to saying "I choose a lifestyle that does not promote the cruel practices of factory farming."
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#3 Old 12-03-2003, 01:23 PM
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I can sympathize. I'm not sure how I feel about the act of killing and eating animals per se (whether it's right or wrong), but am appalled and disgusted by the treatment of animals in factory farms and animal testing. I think that eating animals is certainly unnecessary in this society. I do find it more humane for a hunter to kill a deer (if done properly, but who can guarantee that?) than an animal killed on a factory farm (whose life was misery).



So, you eat venison, then? I don't think it's accurate to call yourself vegan unless you consume no animal products, use no products containing animal derived ingredients, and use no products from companies who test on animals. But you're doing more than most, and are not contributing to the suffering.
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#4 Old 12-03-2003, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wicked_sprite View Post

I'm finding the most difficult part of becoming vegan isn't the cuisine. In fact, I love the new foods I'm eating and never feel deprived. It's mainly other people, including other vegans! Other vegans shun me for admiring hunters, for shunning herbal medicine, wearing makeup (Eco Bella), questioning PETA's radical practices, and for eating honey. (I guess I'd be OK taking honey combs.) I've been on dates where men look at me like, "Oh, you're one of *those*. I don't judge anyone. I just think it's important to live according to your beliefs and values, but I don't want to have to go live under a rock and I feel alienated by vegans and non-vegans alike.



That's fairly common. Face it, veganism isn't the norm. For some reason, when people find out you're vegan, all of a sudden it's like you're from another planet. You'll run into a lot of jerks who just want to argue with you, just for the sake of arguing.



Quote:
The biggest frustration I encounter is that most people would be horrified to know where their meat and eggs come from, yet choose not to see it because they don't want to go through what I'm going through.

A lot of people are aware of the inhumane treatment of animals on farms, but they choose to look the other way. It's easier. They'd rather leave it to someone else to try and help the animals.



Welcome aboard, btw.
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#5 Old 12-03-2003, 01:39 PM
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Hmm.



You know a breatharian? That claim makes me doubt your whole post.





Advice - don't be so worried about what other people think, do your own thing. For the most part, I've met two types of veg*ns. The majority are like you and I and hope to reduce the amount of suffering in the world -> that's good. The minority do it "for the wrong reasons" and usually only last a couple years. If you eat a vegan diet because you want to reduce suffering than the vegan police have nothing on you.



Welcome to the boards!
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#6 Old 12-03-2003, 01:43 PM
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Yeah Mike, I know a Breatharian. Not a full-timer, obviously, or they woulnd't be around long. She ate nothing but apples for a week or two, (claimed the fatigue she felt was "cleansing") and then fasted for several days afterward. Said she was feeding on "air". Not saying she's the norm, but I DO know someone who does this.



Thanks for the support. You are correct, I should follow my own advice and do what my heart tells me. Screw what others think - vegan or not.
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#7 Old 12-03-2003, 01:48 PM
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I grew up in the country where most people raised their own animals for meat. We loved our animals. The pig, cows were named and played with and treated like pets. When it came to the butcher it was done in the most painless way possible.



I do not eat meat now. I could eat the meat raised on a small farm and killed "thoughtfully." Anyone could buy a freezer and bypass the major market if they wanted.



I don't eat meat because it is not "necessary" in my culture to do so, because the industry is revolting to me and because I find it to be very unhealthy on a personal physical level as well as ecological.



Some cultures live on a diet that is primarily meat based because that is what is available to them. I think that's OK. I wouldn't go to Iceland and try to force my vegan lifestyle on them or look down on them for their diet.



My vegan philosophy is about doing what I can to uphold a cruelty free lifestyle.
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#8 Old 12-03-2003, 02:21 PM
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well, do you think the "farming methods" for bees are humane? or do you just value bees less?



you know, some people might be *****y or whiney but the reality is that someone who is a vegan is usually someone who cares..even if it is misguided at times I dont think the average vegan does it just for the right to harass other people..



and when you are dealing with vegans (unless they are "health" vegans) you SHOULD expect passionate people because they are people who care so much that they actually TAKE action and not just sit around and hope for someone else to fix the world....I understand that some people get a little obnoxious but at least its for a good cause even if its just that they arent communicating in a good manner...Do you ever actually try to level with anyone and not just get them riled up? Do you say..hey I care about this stuff too..can you please not attack me because I want to work together to end factory farming etc..



I realize that certain people are so militant that they build a bubble in their head and stop progessing but I think you have got to do your share to soften their hearts before you come whining about them.



--if you do take this approach , i apologize..i just get frustrated with people who never take the time to try to break someones barrier and hold their hand in helping the world ..especially when their anger and misery is generated from simply caring--
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#9 Old 12-03-2003, 03:20 PM
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I do try shu. Like I said, I think that people should do what they feel is right. I give that respect to others and expect it back.



As for bees, I buy my honey locally, and don't dissapprove of the methods personally. Part of the hive is destroyed in the honey collection, but not all of it and it recovers quite well. Honey is collected by hand (the collector wears a suit of course) and care is taken not to harm the bees. Considering bees consider certain other bees expendable - most live only four weeks, they sting and then die - I feel this is extending the same amount of respect for bees that they show one another.



What I was referring to was blatent attacks from those who don't share all of my views, regardless of the respect I try to show for them. I may change my views on issues like hunting, honey, etc and encourage people to challange them, but it seems counter-productive to attack a person who is trying to benefit animal welfare simply because you can't agree on every point. Hell, a person who eats meat every day and decides to eat meat every other day is at least doing something. I could see trying to encourange someone like this to do more, but attacking them isn't going to do anything except perhaps make them decide to abandon their efforts altogether.



It just seems that some vegans are in it to be part of some elite "club" and others, most it seems (hopefully), seem to be in it to truly make the world healthier and more humane.
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#10 Old 12-03-2003, 06:47 PM
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It sounds like you need to renew your purpose and think about how much good you are doing by your dietary choices and stop worrying about what other people say. You're the one that matters to you!



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#11 Old 12-03-2003, 06:51 PM
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Personaslly, it hink that killing animals isn't necesary, so i'm in the whole camp of "don't kill animals." I also don't liek factory farms. If I had to choose between eating a battery chicken or a free range... yeah yeah, you know.



Anyway, I don't necessarily fully agree with the view that wicked_sprite holds, but I definitely respect the viewpoint. I do believe that if one wants to eat meat, then one whould be accountable for acquiring it.
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#12 Old 12-03-2003, 06:59 PM
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Some cultures live on a diet that is primarily meat based because that is what is available to them. I think that's OK. I wouldn't go to Iceland and try to force my vegan lifestyle on them or look down on them for their diet.

.



http://www.vegan-traveller.com/guide...city=reykjavik
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#13 Old 12-03-2003, 07:34 PM
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It sounds like you need to renew your purpose and think about how much good you are doing by your dietary choices and stop worrying about what other people say. You're the one that matters to you!






Exactly! I think it's of very bad taste for any vegan to belittle you for your lifestyle. You're doing so much more than the typical person & should be applauded for that. As you've said, just follow your heart.
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#14 Old 12-03-2003, 08:00 PM
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I have a vegetarian uncle whose primary reasons for being so are not animal cruelty, or even health related. Rather, he is anti-establishment/anti-government and will not support any industry that the gov has any significant role in - factory farming being a big one. He has often said he would have no problem going on a hunting trip and killing his own venison, deer, elk, whatever and cooking it up himself and eating it (although he hasn't done so in the 20 years of his veg*sm). He will also eat fish occasionally when he comes down to visit my dad and they go out on the boat and catch their own.
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#15 Old 12-03-2003, 08:27 PM
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To address the heart of your question, many vegans choose their lifestyle for different reasons. If your goal is to remove yourself from the demand for factory farming, you have done a fabulous job by not eating any meat, dairy, or eggs.
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#16 Old 12-04-2003, 04:01 AM
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Wow, good to see a new vegan with so much common sense. =)



I agree with all you have said and have experienced the same frustrations in dealing with other vegans. Ignore them. You don't need my advice, you're doing great on your own.
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#17 Old 12-04-2003, 01:26 PM
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I think your ideas and opinions are really well-balanced and thoughtful it's not your fault if other people continually judge you. Ignore them.



When I went veggie my reason was because of the way animals are treated on factory farms. However, as time went by, I have grown into the strong belief that even if the animal had been treated well I wouldn't want to eat it. This is totally my opinion and down to the fact that I do not see it is as right or necessary in this day and age, plus there are so many alternatives.



When animals suffer in factory farms I don't think it's truly down to "a matter of opinion" whether you eat meat. Supporting it is unexcusable.

However, if animals are treated properely then I think it's mainly down to personal opinion whether you eat them or not.



Although I do have one question (for anyone to answer )...

Those of you who say they don't mind eating animals if they haven't suffered in factory farms -- if animals were raised properly, slaughtering them would still cause extreme pain and distress. Would you still eat the meat? After all, you've made the effort to get properly treated livestock but then is there much point when they are bashed over the head at the end? Just wondering!
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#18 Old 12-04-2003, 01:50 PM
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I don't feel that an animal killed in the wild (if done by a skilled hunter) suffers as badly as one raised and killed on a factory farm. Personally I don't want to eat any animal regardless of how they died. I have hunters in my family and could easily get venison, but I wouldn't feel right about it.



(This reminds me of an insensitive comment my husband made in the middle of the grocery store at the point where I eliminated beef and pork from my diet. He was suggesting meal ideas and said pork chops. I told him he could, but I have stopped eating beef and pork. (I quit poultry and seafood 2 months later.) In a sarcastic and biting tone, he said "So I guess it won't do any good for me to go deer hunting, then?" I was so pissed I nearly kicked him. Oh, it's all about you. [NOTE: We went to a hunter's safety course together years ago. He's gotten various renewals and licenses since then, but has never been hunting since we've been married.])
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#19 Old 12-04-2003, 01:53 PM
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My folks live in a rural area where some of the neighbors raise their own meat to eat.



One family buys two calves every year and keep them on their farm. The cows have a large grazing area, are fed good quality food, and have warm shelter. They're happy cows in general; I've visited them. Towards the end of the year, the owners begin to carry shotguns with them when they go down to feed the cows, so they get used to the guns and the sight of them doesn't cause alarm. One day, they put the shotguns to the cows heads and pull the triggers simultaneously. They both go down together and don't know what hit them. A butcher is then hired to come to the property and carve the carcasses on site, so neither animals are shipped to a commercial slaughterhouse. The meat is frozen and the family eats it over the course of a year.



I know this might be difficult for many vegans to hear, but I hope it answers your question. Not all animal killing is done inhumanely, just the vast majority of it. The argument is more about need it be done at all, which is the point you made.
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#20 Old 12-04-2003, 02:47 PM
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Welcome to VB.



My wife and I are the only vegans that I know (or have ever known). We went vegan in the past year purely for ethical reasons. All of my family (except wife), friends, and co-workers are omnivores. Although I have exchanged some humorous verbal jabs with some of the more opinionated of them, they are all accepting of my new vegan lifestyle. I have never debated it with any of them and in fact, some have shown an interest in going veg in some way because of curiosity about the change I have made. I think a positive attitude with people goes a long way.



Despite my respect for these people themselves and my positive attitude toward them, I do not respect their views at all. I believe their views toward other animals are deeply conditioned by society (as mine were) and, for the most part, they have not adequately challenged their long held beliefs in a detached and unbiased way. Do I blame them? No. Deep, long term conditioning and desire can be very difficult to overcome and I think some people are naturally better at it than others. I do hope that in the long run though, more and more people will see the light in the same way that more and more people have overcome racism.



As far as PETA and PETA haters go, I think there is room for all and I support all (except ALF and violence in general). Actually, Id change a couple of things at PETA if I were in charge, but I think every cause needs both its loud mouths and quiet rationalists. If it werent for PETA, I would be an omni right now.



Other than VB, my favorite veg*n website is www.veganoutreach.org . You might want to check them out. They are more in the quiet rationalist camp.



One more thing, about the cows getting humanely shot: if it were an innocent and very mentally disabled human who was no more intelligent than the cow and also lacked fear of the situation, would it be okay? I see the situations of the cow and the human of equal intelligence as identical, logically and emotionally. I will add that if you must eat flesh, this is much better than buying the flesh from the store.
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#21 Old 12-04-2003, 07:18 PM
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From what I've read, you're an animal welfare vegan, i.e. you don't believe in animal rights but animal welfare.



I don't agree with your view, because even if we support only animal welfare instead of animal rights, and if animal welfare objects only to unnecessary suffering and death (as distinguished from necessary for our survival), hunting deer and killing cows "humanely" is still unnecessary for our survival and is done only for the enjoyment of the taste of flesh or sport etc. (I'm not talking about Indians or Inuits here - for them it might sometimes fall into the 'necessary' category), just like bull fights happen for the visual enjoyment (although they can cause much more suffering). I haven't found any convincing arguments for the claim that any trivial motive for killing an animal would differ from killing it because of the taste of flesh.



This being said, I have very much respect for the fact that you care about the poor conditions of factory farms. Many will, even after seeing all the horror, be indifferent and continue to support the cruel practices, but you haven't, which tells me that you are much more compassionate for "food animals" than many others. Even though I do hope that your views would sometime perhaps change to an even more animal-compassionate direction and even though I give much value not only to the consequences of one's diet but also to the motives behind it, the consequences are those which in the long run matter for the animals, so your choices are indispensable.

"and I stand

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made of weak and useless men"

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#22 Old 12-05-2003, 01:55 AM
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Originally Posted by mountainvegan View Post

Welcome to VB. </quote>





As far as PETA and PETA haters go, I think there is room for all and I support all (except ALF and violence in general). Actually, Id change a couple of things at PETA if I were in charge, but I think every cause needs both its loud mouths and quiet rationalists. If it werent for PETA, I would be an omni right now.



Other than VB, my favorite veg*n website is www.veganoutreach.org . You might want to check them out. They are more in the quiet rationalist camp.



One more thing, about the cows getting humanely shot: if it were an innocent and very mentally disabled human who was no more intelligent than the cow and also lacked fear of the situation, would it be okay? I see the situations of the cow and the human of equal intelligence as identical, logically and emotionally. I will add that if you must eat flesh, this is much better than buying the flesh from the store.



Thank you for the welcome!



I have found the vegan outreach site. Thanks for the reference; I do enjoy it very much.



I agree to a certain extent on PETA. I don't dislike ALL of PETA, just the radical arm of them, as I feel it does more damage than good. Many of PETA's practices are admirable in my eyes, and I agree that even their more radical constituants have good intentions.



As for the cow and it's relevance to mentally retarded humans, it's not a matter of intelligence to me so much as the food chain I guess. Human life will always be of more value to me than other species, although that does not mean we should disregard other species, hence my foray into veganism. A cow is not capable of symbolic thought, and other things that make us uniquely human, but you raise an interesting challange that I will grok on for awhile. =)



Thanks for the response.
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#23 Old 12-05-2003, 03:58 AM
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I do have one question (for anyone to answer)...

Those of you who say they don't mind eating animals if they haven't suffered in factory farms -- if animals were raised properly, slaughtering them would still cause extreme pain and distress. Would you still eat the meat? After all, you've made the effort to get properly treated livestock but then is there much point when they are bashed over the head at the end? Just wondering!



I wouldn't support slaughtering an animal in such a manner as to cause extreme pain and distress! Animal welfare advocates would advocate for humane slaughter methods such as electric stunning. When done properly electric stunning causes the animal to become instantly unconscious and will experience no pain or distress. The most well-known worker for humane slaughter is Temple Grandin, and her website, grandin.com, is definetely worth checking out.
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#24 Old 12-05-2003, 08:23 AM
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Despite my respect for these people themselves and my positive attitude toward them, I do not respect their views at all. I believe their views toward other animals are deeply conditioned by society (as mine were) and, for the most part, they have not adequately challenged their long held beliefs in a detached and unbiased way. Do I blame them? No. Deep, long term conditioning and desire can be very difficult to overcome and I think some people are naturally better at it than others. I do hope that in the long run though, more and more people will see the light in the same way that more and more people have overcome racism.



I couldn't agree more. I truly believe that the mainstream views towards animals (along with many other issues) are indeed deeply conditioned by society. Without these conditionings, or if more people were able to break away from what they were programmed into believing, this world would be a very different place!



My yoga mentor, who I think is one of the most brilliant people I've ever met, is always referring to the conditionings and programmings of society as it relates to so many daily activities we don't even really stop to think about consciously. Whether its buying into something (media and propaganda) or what your parents told you was right or wrong, there is a very long chain of influence over humans. I'm speaking in very general terms here, this is something I could go on about much further!



But I won't, I'm getting off topic so I'll stop....
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#25 Old 12-05-2003, 11:32 AM
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A cow is not capable of symbolic thought, and other things that make us uniquely human, but you raise an interesting challange that I will grok on for awhile. =)



It's always good to hear from open-minded people. There is a lot of interesting, well-reasoned ethical philosophy on the topic that has really helped my understanding of where to draw the line, under what circumstances, and why.



One thing I should clarify, I do have preferences when other things are equal regarding moral dilemmas, such as who to save from a disaster when you can only save one.



Also, I agree that humans, as a group, are unique in rational, abstract thought. As far as those humans who have that ability (most of us), I believe they obviously have more to lose from death than those humans who do not. Birds have the unique ability to fly (which I might be willing to exchange a very tiny bit of intelligence for that kind of fun ) and I think they may have more to lose from death than a rodent. Pain and suffering, however, have no boundaries of intelligence or any other unique abilities, except for the rational human may have his or her ideas of when the suffering might end (could be a big plus OR minus).



Okay, my ramble is over for now. Stick around we like thinkers around here.





Veggiekitten a separate thread about social conditioning and its influence on our thought and behavior, (in western philosophy aka, free will versus determinism) would be very interesting indeed. Maybe I'll start one sometime.
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#26 Old 12-05-2003, 01:29 PM
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Nice!
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