Are you opposed to eating oysters? - Page 5 - VeggieBoards
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#121 Old 06-23-2012, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by cornsail View Post

 

I think it's pertinent to avoid conflating "sensing" (i.e. reacting to external or internal stimuli) with "experience" (i.e. mental states).

 

There is a tree who's leaves are sought after as food by caterpillars. When a caterpillar begins to eat the leaves of the tree, the tree excretes an odor into the air. This odor attracts a certain a certain species of wasps who prey on caterpillars. Thus the tree, in a manner of speaking, senses the attack on its leaves and takes measures to combat the attack. But evolution working the way it does, adaptive mechanisms like this can come about with or without any mental/psychological factors coming into play. Just as our own body will work to heal wounds to our skin "on its own" regardless of whether they consciously hurt. Or as machines such as smoke detectors sense and react to the environment presumably without consciousness or thinking. 

 

If we assume that oysters take the measures you describe for the purpose of alleviating an unpleasant feeling, then it seems we would already be assuming that oysters are conscious (because "unpleasant" implies that it is unpleasant by the oyster's standards and so that means it would have to have a conscious subjectivity). I think the other explanation would be that the reason it takes measures to smooth out the jagged sand is because it is adaptive to do so and/or was adaptive for its evolutionary ancestors to do so and therefore those that smoothed out the sand were more likely to live and reproduce than those who did not.

I'd gotten that far on my own, but I'll be able to take it in better once I understand why a grain of sand would be harmful to the oyster, the way caterpillars are harmful to trees. It takes a long time to form a pearl. If the grain were harmful, that harm would be done before the pearl could be formed. There may well be an adaptive reason, I just don't see it yet. Oysters don't move around much in there, and the sand doesn't have much chance to cause substantial harm to the tissue. The word constantly used to describe the sand/mantle reaction is irritation. Irritation is feeling. I'll bet it drives the poor little buggers crazy, like a stone in our shoe. To the extent that their ganglia can process something akin to feeling. It brings to literal life one of my favorite phrases: "You're getting on my last nerve!"

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#122 Old 06-23-2012, 01:01 PM
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I'd gotten that far on my own, but I'll be able to take it in better once I understand why a grain of sand would be harmful to the oyster, the way caterpillars are harmful to trees. It takes a long time to form a pearl. If the grain were harmful, that harm would be done before the pearl could be formed. There may well be an adaptive reason, I just don't see it yet. Oysters don't move around much in there, and the sand doesn't have much chance to cause substantial harm to the tissue. The word constantly used to describe the sand/mantle reaction is irritation. Irritation is feeling. I'll bet it drives the poor little buggers crazy, like a stone in our shoe. To the extent that their ganglia can process something akin to feeling. It brings to literal life one of my favorite phrases: "You're getting on my last nerve!"

 

I think nobody has been listening to what I have been trying to say so I have been just about to head on out of here. The brain first has to receive a message of pain or discomfort before you are actually aware of it. If an animal has no brain, I find it SUPER unlikely that there is any way they could feel any irritation or discomfort. I will post another link. Read how pain is felt in the human body.

 

http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/en/pain/microsite/science2.html

 

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#123 Old 06-23-2012, 01:03 PM
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We vegans are a passionate bunch aren't we? whack.gif

 

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LOL You guys are all funny. popcorn.gif

 

"The people who know the least are the ones who can speak the most"  Just something to think about :)

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#124 Old 06-23-2012, 01:08 PM
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I think nobody has been listening to what I have been trying to say so I have been just about to head on out of here. The brain first has to receive a message of pain or discomfort before you are actually aware of it. If an animal has no brain, I find it SUPER unlikely that there is any way they could feel any irritation or discomfort. I will post another link. Read how pain is felt in the human body.

 

http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/en/pain/microsite/science2.html

 

"When we stub our toe, it hurts – but only because our brain says so."

 

 

You just keep making the same assertion over and over, without addressing any specific points which have been made to challenge it. Granted, an oyster is not likely to have a mental experience comparable to what you or I might experience. It has a very limited range of options and defenses available to it. But its ganglia, which plants do not have, would seem to be there to set countermeasures in motion when it experiences something irritating, so that the experience will stop. If you don't want to call it a feeling, then you're free not to. But I  acknowledge that irritation is sensation of a kind, even if it is a primitive sensation, and that in oyster world that means a very unpleasant experience. If that is the case, having its shell pried open and its flesh scooped out of the shell, and being devoured while still alive might also be highly unpleasant experiences for it. On its own primitive level, it could actually be described as suffering, even with only its tiny little proto-brain of a ganglia set to tell it so.

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#125 Old 06-23-2012, 01:44 PM
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MOD POST:  Moved to the Compost Heap since it's more relevant here.


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#126 Old 06-23-2012, 01:55 PM
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I have an ethical stance against exploiting sentient creatures.  Now there will be some grey areas and difficulty in determining where that line should be located.  For a first order approximation I draw that line at animals and so the traditional label of 'vegan' fits.

 

I didn't decide to become a vegan and so looked up all the rules I need to follow, I'm vegan because it's a useful description indicating something of my ethical stance.

 

--

 

In terms of the pearl, I don't think one has to feel anything to create a pearl, cyst, gallstone, etc.  Plants and animals will create protection tissues around some foreign substance/object all without any conscious effort.


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#127 Old 06-23-2012, 02:10 PM
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In terms of the pearl, I don't think one has to feel anything to create a pearl, cyst, gallstone, etc.  Plants and animals will create protection tissues around some foreign substance/object all without any conscious effort.

We might have some other mechanism that would serve as the kind of example you're looking for, as our bodies solve problems we don't even know we have. But our bodies don't form gallstones and cysts as an adaptive response to an alien substance. Unlike pearls, gallstones and cysts are made out of the problem substances themselves, when our bodies fail to dissipate them by ordinary means, and their appearance gives rise to worse-yet disorder. Big difference when you're comparing that to pearl formation, which is a response to an irritation that signals the problem substance, a response that alleviates the irritation.

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#128 Old 06-23-2012, 05:43 PM
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We might have some other mechanism that would serve as the kind of example you're looking for, as our bodies solve problems we don't even know we have. But our bodies don't form gallstones and cysts as an adaptive response to an alien substance. Unlike pearls, gallstones and cysts are made out of the problem substances themselves, when our bodies fail to dissipate them by ordinary means, and their appearance gives rise to worse-yet disorder. Big difference when you're comparing that to pearl formation, which is a response to an irritation that signals the problem substance, a response that alleviates the irritation.


You're right.  I was thinking of an abscess not a cyst.  I was also recently reading about a gall wasp and so made the connect to gallstones.  tongue3.gif

 

Anyways, I was trying to make the point that these are not consciously done.


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#129 Old 06-23-2012, 06:04 PM
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LOL You guys are all funny. popcorn.gif

 

"The people who know the least are the ones who can speak the most"  Just something to think about :)


I guess my wording came off a little pretentious. That's just how my natural flow tends to go sometimes--too much academic writing behind me. I don't believe my posts were without substance, though, if one can can bear the style. I also don't think I know the least about the subject.

(not even sure if you're talking about me)

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#130 Old 06-23-2012, 06:10 PM
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LOL You guys are all funny. popcorn.gif

 

"The people who know the least are the ones who can speak the most"  Just something to think about :)


I guess my wording came off a little pretentious. That's just how my natural flow tends to go sometimes--too much academic writing behind me. I don't believe my posts were without substance, though, if one can can bear the style. I also don't think I know the least about the subject.

(not even sure if you're talking about me)

I decided not to post in this thread anymore in case it was about me. Except this post.
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#131 Old 06-23-2012, 06:15 PM
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I guess my wording came off a little pretentious. That's just how my natural flow tends to go sometimes--too much academic writing behind me. I don't believe my posts were without substance, though, if one can can bear the style. I also don't think I know the least about the subject.

(not even sure if you're talking about me)


I wasn't reffering to anyone specifically cornsail. If you actually know and have scientific evidenec about something, it's cool to share, but I was just putting a quote out there because it seems very true among other sites and even here, where, if you are discussing a ethical topic you will often get a huge flame response from someone who simply doesn't have really a clue as to what they are talking about and only spurts out words based on their preconcieved prejudices and assumptions. yes.gif

 

It was "funny" because you guys and even I were going back and forth, making assumptions and trying to look for answers about oysters that no one actually has .laugh.gif


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#132 Old 06-23-2012, 06:16 PM
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I'd gotten that far on my own, but I'll be able to take it in better once I understand why a grain of sand would be harmful to the oyster, the way caterpillars are harmful to trees. It takes a long time to form a pearl. If the grain were harmful, that harm would be done before the pearl could be formed. There may well be an adaptive reason, I just don't see it yet. Oysters don't move around much in there, and the sand doesn't have much chance to cause substantial harm to the tissue. The word constantly used to describe the sand/mantle reaction is irritation. Irritation is feeling. I'll bet it drives the poor little buggers crazy, like a stone in our shoe. To the extent that their ganglia can process something akin to feeling. It brings to literal life one of my favorite phrases: "You're getting on my last nerve!"


How do you know the harm would be done before the pearl could be formed? Or that it wouldn't do more harm if the smoothing mechanism was not in place? 

 

You're right that the word "irritation" is often used and that "irritation" typically refers to a type of feeling, but I could use the word "depression" to describe a plant and my simply using the word would not make it so.

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#133 Old 06-23-2012, 06:23 PM
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I decided not to post in this thread anymore in case it was about me. Except this post.


Hah. I always think the negative non-specific things are about me. Glad you're back in. :)

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#134 Old 06-24-2012, 11:28 AM
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I just don't eat bodies. I wouldn't eat roadkill, I wouldn't eat a brain dead human and I wouldn't eat an oyster. 

Exactly! whether they can feel or not oysters are not veg*n. end of story, goodbye and farewell, If you want to eat them, fantastic, but you aint a veg*n. 

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#135 Old 06-24-2012, 12:09 PM
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Suppose hypothetically that they found a conscious plant that feels pain. If you eat it you are veg*n. "end of story, goodbye and farewell".

The question is why.

 

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Exactly! whether they can feel or not oysters are not veg*n. end of story, goodbye and farewell, If you want to eat them, fantastic, but you aint a veg*n. 

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#136 Old 06-24-2012, 12:25 PM
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Here we go, down the garden path again xD

 

popcorn.gif


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#137 Old 06-24-2012, 12:37 PM
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And with witty commentary too whack.gif

LOL J/K grin.gif

 

 

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Here we go, down the garden path again xD

 

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#138 Old 06-24-2012, 12:38 PM
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Suppose, hypothetically of course, Cato turned out to be posting here solely to get a rise out of the members.

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#139 Old 06-24-2012, 12:45 PM
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Suppose, hypothetically of course, Plant turned out to be a vegan that cannot even answer the question why she/he is vegan and feels threatened by debate and would rather put walls all around her/him.

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#140 Old 06-24-2012, 01:29 PM
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Why do people keep repeating it's not veg*n over and over when as far as I can tell no one said otherwise?

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#141 Old 06-24-2012, 03:20 PM
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We get that idea and yes it's been made fairly clear throughout the vegan community, they are simply asking, ethically why it wouldn't be okay to if they don't feel pain. It is a good question and the OP would like to hear more than just "no you can't eat that as a vegan." because that's not really a substantial argument as to why not. I have made the point that environment wise, they are important filters of the ocean (much needed for all of our pollution) and are (or were ) over harvested and organizations are trying to bring their numbers up again. So, in that ethical sense, it wouldn't be a good choice to eat them.

Because they are alive and I don't want to be responsible for the death of a living being? I don't even kill bugs. Even fruits and veggies aren't being killed, they are a seed pod that is harvested from the plant if it's done right. The fact is that oysters are alive. It's not up to me whether they are a lesser being or not. I don't think we have the deivine right (whatever that means) to go around killing things just b/c we want them. 

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#142 Old 06-24-2012, 03:21 PM
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What about the veganicity of keeping a Venus Fly Trap? As with keeping a dog or a cat, would it depend on whether it was "rescued" or not?

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#143 Old 06-24-2012, 03:25 PM
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Suppose hypothetically that they found a conscious plant that feels pain. If you eat it you are veg*n. "end of story, goodbye and farewell".

The question is why.

 

I wouldn't eat it. Now if "they" found that everything was concious and felt pain, it would be a real conundrum. We have to eat, so we would have to figure out which beings felt the least pain upon death or fruit and veggie removal.

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#144 Old 06-24-2012, 06:54 PM
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With me it has nothing to do with being alive. Plants are alive too and I eat them as do most vegans. But they do not feel and are not conscious. For all ethical purposes they are automatons and we do not treat our robots with consideration.

 

I don't think eating only fruits means you put plants on the same level of consideration as animals. After all the purpose of a fruit is to reproduce not to be eat by some other species. One can easily ask a fruitarian: you eat the reproductive material of plants so why do you not eat the reproductive material of animals (eggs)? This would reveal that fruitarians do not have the same consideration for plants as for animals. And why not? The answer I think has to be that plants are not sentient (cannot suffer) and most animals are. I see nothing wrong with "killing" non-sentient beings (that can never become sentient). I should note that when I see plants I feel some respect and have on occasion caressed them but that is just misguided and foolish if not weird tongue3.gif

 

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Because they are alive and I don't want to be responsible for the death of a living being? I don't even kill bugs. Even fruits and veggies aren't being killed, they are a seed pod that is harvested from the plant if it's done right. The fact is that oysters are alive. It's not up to me whether they are a lesser being or not. I don't think we have the deivine right (whatever that means) to go around killing things just b/c we want them. 

 

I agree.

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I wouldn't eat it. Now if "they" found that everything was concious and felt pain, it would be a real conundrum. We have to eat, so we would have to figure out which beings felt the least pain upon death or fruit and veggie removal.

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#145 Old 06-24-2012, 09:24 PM
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I'm opposed to me eating oysters, because they're bloody awful.


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#146 Old 06-24-2012, 10:15 PM
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Suppose hypothetically that they found a conscious plant that feels pain. If you eat it you are veg*n. "end of story, goodbye and farewell".
The question is why.

Then I'd avoid that plant, doesn't take away from the fact that vegans eat exclusively plants, even if they abstain from certain ones.
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#147 Old 06-24-2012, 10:46 PM
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Finally! The sweet voice of reason!

 

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I'm opposed to me eating oysters, because they're bloody awful.

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#148 Old 06-24-2012, 10:56 PM
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I know the article you're referencing and I belive the author inteded to get nonvegans to think about their food ethics rather than to get vegans to think about their food ethics. Getting vegans to chime in was mostly just about drumming up links/comments and creating controversy so that the issue received attention from omnis. I could be wrong, but that was my take on the whole thing.

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oysters do not have a central nervous system. This seems to imply beyond a reasonable doubt that they cannot feel pain and have no consciousness.

Lack of a central nervous system is not lack of a nervous sytem. There is a good chance that they feel some sort of pain. They do have nerves, afterall. I think there IS reasonable doubt.

 

Even without nerves, there are good reasons not to eat oysters:

- They're one of the most likely foods to give you food poisoning

- They're high in cholesterol

- They're gross and slimy

 

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But if we have no good reasons for our views veganism becomes dogmatic rather than compassionate and reasonable. That can give rise to contradictions and hypocrisies in our belief systems and might make it resemble a religion with baseless dogma. We must be able to offer good reasons for our beliefs.

Actually, I disagree. I believe carnism is the belief system that is dogmatic, full of contradictions and hypocrisies, as well as baseless dogma. I think anyone who is not vegan ought to think long and hard about how to justify their eating habits. 

 

 We all know that eating a plant-based diet is good for animals, the planet, and human health. We don't need complicated ethical philosophies. If you want them and like them, by all means develop them or latch onto someone else's ideas. But you don't need them. Just like you don't need a huge consistent system of ethics to know that it's wrong to go around setting random fires or stealing babies.

 

As I've said before, the animals don't care why you're vegan. So I really don't think it matters. Just try not to eat, wear, or use animal products as much as you can and you're good. Simple and practical, not dogmatic. Leave it to the scientists to draw the line between animal and plant and let the rest of us assume that this distinction is real and useful.

 

Moreover, as someone who studied a bit of philosophy in college, I think demanding a consistent ethical system is an enormous burden for the average person. There are gaping holes in every ethical philosophy; no need to force someone who is just trying to do a little good to experience a deep philosophical crisis when his or her beliefs don't all match up perfectly.

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They seem to be quite nutritious and they may taste good (I have never actually eaten them). So my reason is that they can add a healthy dense nutrition source to my diet that might taste good without hurting anyone.

NutritionData.com rates them as rather mediocre: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/poultry-products/952/2

 

And oysters are very high in cholesterol.

 

They're not some miracle food.

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I have a question for everyone. A while back there was an article about scientists producing meat in a lab (I believe only muscle cells). Such meat causes harm to no one in my view. Do you agree? Would you eat such meat if it was affordable?

You may want to use the search function. This issue has been discussed many times here on VB.

 

Personally, I welcome lab meat but I probably wouldn't eat it myself as I have no desire to eat it. I would, however, happily feed it to my cats.

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MOD POST:  Moved to the Compost Heap since it's more relevant here.

THANK YOU.

 

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Suppose hypothetically that they found a conscious plant that feels pain. If you eat it you are veg*n. "end of story, goodbye and farewell".

The question is why.

First off, that's implausible. If they can't yet determine with complete accuracy whether or not oysters can feel pain (remember, there's still some debate even about fishes!) then they's not going to be any consensus among the scientific community that some yet-to-be-discovered pain-feeling plant actually feels pain.

 

Second, it's unlikely anyone would jump on board to eat such a thing, vegan or omni. People don't generally just randomly eat new things that no one has ever eaten before. And for good reason, it might be toxic.

 

Lastly, we can cross that bridge when we come to it. Implausible hypotheticals are, IMO generally speaking, UNuseful.

 

As it stands the distinction between plant and animal is kind of complicated and has changed over time but luckily for you this distinction does seem to have this concept of pain implied. Animals are more likely to feel pain than plants, period. It's not "dogmatic" to accept this scientifically determined bright line between plants and animals as justification for veganism. Nope, it's completely sensible.

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#149 Old 06-24-2012, 11:03 PM
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Why would you avoid that plant? And why do you feel it is ok to eat non-sentient plants?

 

I guess the issue for many people here is are you vegan because you like veganism or are you vegan because you like 'vegan'? If you like veganism you must have some reason for liking it. If that is so and you believe it is wrong to eat oysters then you should explain why that is. I thought maybe someone would come up with a reason to avoid eating oysters even if it was proven beyond any reasonable doubt that they are non-sentient. So far no one has given any such reason. If you think there is nothing wrong with it then you can say so and preferably offer a brief explanation.

 

If on the other hand you avoid animal products because you like 'vegan' (the word) then that would be no different than someone becoming a Rabbi because they like being called "Rabbi" rather than really believing in the religion.

 

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Then I'd avoid that plant, doesn't take away from the fact that vegans eat exclusively plants, even if they abstain from certain ones.
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#150 Old 06-25-2012, 12:12 AM
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I do not believe that was the author's intention. But regardless, once knowledge is out there and it can be used in an argument it is of little consequence what the person who first introduced me to such knowledge intended to do with it.

 

I do not accept your claim on it being likely that they are able to feel some sort of pain because they have nerves. That is because you have not cited a source. Scientists seem to claim that it is very unlikely that they feel pain (as asserted by Peter Singer). 4everaspirit posted a source which held that lacking a central nervous system implies inability to interpret the messages from the nerves as pain.

 

Thank you for the nutrition information.

 

A consistent system of ethics is indeed a hard thing to ask of anyone. However, I am not asking for one! But if you are going to condemn something you better offer some sort of justification which does not seem absurd to everyone else (practically speaking). I base my moral position on the principle: try not to cause unnecessary suffering. I do not think anyone would consider this principle to be absurd. If no reason is given and absurd principles are allowed then anyone can claim anything about morality. People could say women should be subordinate to men and should stay at home, only people of my religion should be lawmakers, or if you break the Sabbath you shall die. Unless we are prepared to accept such nonsense we must have some sort of criteria for distinguishing acceptable moral judgements from unacceptable ones.

 

The distinction should not be plant vs animal. It should rather be sentient vs non-sentient! Sentient beings should be respected and treated with consideration whereas non-sentient “beings” need not be treated with respect or consideration as it would benefit no one to do so. I find that to be a very attractive principle. Any principle aiming to draw a moral difference between animals and plants would have to award respect and consideration based on biological or chemical characteristics and composition rather than what really matters, ability to suffer and appreciate consideration (as opposed to lacking ability to think or feel or suffer.) The second principle completely misses the mark and is an utterly corrupt and useless form of empathy. I might as well show love and consideration to my fridge or my table or my sci-fi DVD collection (not that I hadn’t considered the latter.)

 

I am glad we agree on lab meat.

 

Well yes it is implausible. It was not my intention to make it seem plausible that there are sentient plants. I hoped it would prove to others that the real distinction they make is sentient vs non-sentient. The distinction between animal and plant is most likely based on an unreasonable generalization. Such hypothetical cases have their use in testing people’s intuition not in presenting realistic scenarios. Therefore their unlikelihood makes them no less useful.

 

So I will stand by my principle and show consideration to sentient beings while not showing consideration to non-sentient beings. I do not deny them consideration because I am a mean cruel ogre! I deny it because it is utterly useless and benefits no one! If anyone disagrees and still holds that I am arguing for immorality then please tell me why and I will give it serious thought!

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Originally Posted by ElaineV View Post

I know the article you're referencing and I belive the author inteded to get nonvegans to think about their food ethics rather than to get vegans to think about their food ethics. Getting vegans to chime in was mostly just about drumming up links/comments and creating controversy so that the issue received attention from omnis. I could be wrong, but that was my take on the whole thing.

Actually, I disagree. I believe carnism is the belief system that is dogmatic, full of contradictions and hypocrisies, as well as baseless dogma. I think anyone who is not vegan ought to think long and hard about how to justify their eating habits. 

 

 We all know that eating a plant-based diet is good for animals, the planet, and human health. We don't need complicated ethical philosophies. If you want them and like them, by all means develop them or latch onto someone else's ideas. But you don't need them. Just like you don't need a huge consistent system of ethics to know that it's wrong to go around setting random fires or stealing babies.

 

As I've said before, the animals don't care why you're vegan. So I really don't think it matters. Just try not to eat, wear, or use animal products as much as you can and you're good. Simple and practical, not dogmatic. Leave it to the scientists to draw the line between animal and plant and let the rest of us assume that this distinction is real and useful.

 

Moreover, as someone who studied a bit of philosophy in college, I think demanding a consistent ethical system is an enormous burden for the average person. There are gaping holes in every ethical philosophy; no need to force someone who is just trying to do a little good to experience a deep philosophical crisis when his or her beliefs don't all match up perfectly.

NutritionData.com rates them as rather mediocre: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/poultry-products/952/2

 

And oysters are very high in cholesterol.

 

They're not some miracle food.

You may want to use the search function. This issue has been discussed many times here on VB.

 

Personally, I welcome lab meat but I probably wouldn't eat it myself as I have no desire to eat it. I would, however, happily feed it to my cats.

THANK YOU.

 

First off, that's implausible. If they can't yet determine with complete accuracy whether or not oysters can feel pain (remember, there's still some debate even about fishes!) then they's not going to be any consensus among the scientific community that some yet-to-be-discovered pain-feeling plant actually feels pain.

 

Second, it's unlikely anyone would jump on board to eat such a thing, vegan or omni. People don't generally just randomly eat new things that no one has ever eaten before. And for good reason, it might be toxic.

 

Lastly, we can cross that bridge when we come to it. Implausible hypotheticals are, IMO generally speaking, UNuseful.

 

As it stands the distinction between plant and animal is kind of complicated and has changed over time but luckily for you this distinction does seem to have this concept of pain implied. Animals are more likely to feel pain than plants, period. It's not "dogmatic" to accept this scientifically determined bright line between plants and animals as justification for veganism. Nope, it's completely sensible.

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