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-   -   Veg*nism and abortion (https://www.veggieboards.com/forum/17-compost-heap/51443-veg-nism-abortion.html)

~Wonder 06-16-2006 10:57 PM

First of all, this is not a discussion on whether or not abortion is right or wrong.



I would just like to try to understand how AR/AW veg*ns who approve of abortion find compatibility between abortion and their veg*nism. And how do they determine where to draw the line? And how do pain and potential fit in?



Here's a embryo development chart for reference:

http://www.visembryo.com/baby/



Please be courteous.

Thanks,

~Wonder

Seb_0810 06-16-2006 11:19 PM

IMHO abortion is against veg*n ethics because abortion prevents life. Yet veg*ns tend to be more liberal and give the mother a right to make a choice. So thus I am not sure about veg*nism and abortion.

Sevenseas 06-16-2006 11:24 PM

Before the fetus is sentient, it cannot be harmed in a morally relevant way. "Potential" doesn't enter into it at all, a sperm has potential. And before anyone says that a sperm cannot develop into a human by itself, neither can a fetus, it needs a woman body to make that happen.

Kiz 06-16-2006 11:25 PM

Really, it's impossible to discuss this question without it veering in to whether abortion is right or wrong.



Not everyone believes life (sentient life) begins at conception.

MZCsmpsns 06-17-2006 12:05 AM

I'm not really answering your question... but I'm pro-choice, although I don't agree w/why some people get abortions. Wow, ok I could go on & on about this topic, but I'll wait for what others say & respond to that...

~Wonder 06-17-2006 01:07 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

Before the fetus is sentient, it cannot be harmed in a morally relevant way. "Potential" doesn't enter into it at all, a sperm has potential. And before anyone says that a sperm cannot develop into a human by itself, neither can a fetus, it needs a woman body to make that happen.

Ok, I can understand the sentient argument. But where do you draw the line between sentient and unaware? I mean there are other parasites (i.e. ticks, tapeworms, etc.) that cannot survive apart from another life form.



If you left the sperm alone in your body, it wouldn't develop into anything except possibly a wet dream. You can't say the same for a fetus. So a fetus has a potential that the sperm does not have. It takes action to prevent a fetus from developing into a human (apart from disease/medical problems). While with a sperm it takes action to create a human. Does this matter?



Seb_0810, I don't necessarily think veg*nism is about not preventing life. Ideally, IMO, no animals would be bred in order to be used for human consumption. This would result in less life but also less suffering. This is of course assuming that non-existence is better than what I deem to be a horrible existence.



Thanks for taking the time to help me understand your POVs.

~Wonder

GhostUser 06-17-2006 01:38 AM

Quote:
I would just like to try to understand how AR/AW veg*ns who approve of abortion find compatibility between abortion and their veg*nism. And how do they determine where to draw the line? And how do pain and potential fit in?



I think it is a good question and have wondered myself too. One thing that I have never read on this board is how does a person really* know that a fetus does not feel pain. We all preach against animals and such. Never made sense to me about a human life, pain and all.

Joe 06-17-2006 02:32 AM

There is no relationship between veg*nism and abortion, IMO. Except that veg*nism would prohibit you from eating the aborted fetus and related organs. But since people generally do not eat aborted fetusses, that is not a real issue.

troub 06-17-2006 02:59 AM

A child doesn't become sentient until puberty. We should be able to terminate our children until then.

troub 06-17-2006 03:02 AM

Heres my stance and view, posted from a different thread, I realise its not going to be a popular view on mostly liberal boards...or conservative boards for that matter lol..... but yeah:





If one extends compassion of life to the rest of the animal kingdom, why then, can't they extend that compassion to their own species?



My views are consistant for every argument posed. All life should be respected. From dogs, to cows, to bees, to baby humans.



People look at the majority of christians, who while preaching about loving your neighbor and the "weakest among you", will support war and the death penalty, they will support the slaughter of innocent creatures for food, and the slaughter of innocent people in war.



People look at the majority of vegans, who preach about all animals have a right to life. That cows,pigs,chickens, and the rest shouldn't be slaughtered for food, but then turn around and support the genocide of infant humans claiming a womans right to her body. A woman owns the child in her and can do with it what she chooses. Much like a farmer owns his cattle?



Where is the consistancy?



All beings have a right to live.

Kiz 06-17-2006 03:31 AM

Troub, again, you are overlooking the fact that a fetus is not yet "alive" (by everyone's definition). Not everyone believe life begins at conception.* At four weeks it is not yet a child.







*I'm playing the devil's advocate here a bit, I personally don't believe in abortion as a form of contraceptions.

Irizary 06-17-2006 04:10 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by troub View Post

That cows,pigs,chickens, and the rest shouldn't be slaughtered for food, but then turn around and support the genocide of infant humans claiming a womans right to her body.



that's an awfully liberal use of the word genocide, IMO. I don't equate a full-grown pig with a 2 week old fetus. It's about sentience. I support cat abortions too; they happen all the time with spaying.

Sevenseas 06-17-2006 04:35 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Wonder View Post

It takes action to prevent a fetus from developing into a human (apart from disease/medical problems). While with a sperm it takes action to create a human. Does this matter?

It takes action to create a human being out of a fetus too: it requires the mother to feed herself.



I think we can use the analogy of seed and seedling. In itself, a seed doesn't grow into anything, it has to be put in to the ground. The seedling, on the other hand, just requires light and water and the ground to "feed" it. But many would say that a seed is a potential plant, even if it's "less potential" than a seedling is. (I've read that some argue this doesn't fit into Aristotle's idea of potentia though, so I'm only talking about a common sense definition.)



As for drawing the line, I dunno where that line can be drawn exactly, but there are some evaluations about when the fetus can with some confidence be said to be non-sentient.



Quote:
Originally Posted by troub View Post

A woman owns the child in her and can do with it what she chooses. Much like a farmer owns his cattle?

And again: it's easier to argue against strawmen than real positions.

MaryC1999 06-17-2006 06:12 AM

Frankly, I wouldn't have an abortion. I merely think that every woman should be able to make her own decision.

I also don't think eating meat should be banned, though i don't think the abuse animals suffer should be allowed. I think everyone should make the choice that they can best settle in their minds.

Mary

Vegmedic 06-17-2006 10:55 AM

Here are some of my views on abortion and veganism:



*There is probably about 1000 animals killed by humans for every fetus killed. Until the time when those numbers start to converge then my priority will be the senseless murdering of animals.

*There are too many humans in the world. That leaves me caring a lot about the animals on the verge of extinction and very little about the "necessity" of bringing another unwanted human into this world.

*I would rather see a vegan who has abortions, than a meat-eater who won't have an abortion. The death toll is much higher in the latter case.

*Adults eating meat because they like the taste when there are perfectly good alternatives v a teenage girl having an abortion because it will ruin her life, end her dreams of an education and subject her and her unwanted child to a life of poverty.

*Similarly: I oppose eating humans, but I think it was justified in the case of the plane crash in the Andes in the 70s, where they spent 72 days surviving in brutal conditions through eating the dead. I also think that eating animals can be justified in certain very rare conditions. But when I walk into a grocery store and see the abundance of alternatives to eating animal products then the eating of animal products is not justified.

*I think that making the murder of animals illegal would be pointless, people would ignore the laws, juries would refuse to convict. The same goes for abortion, in Canada starting in 1970 the legal system realized that juries would no longer convict doctors who performed abortion, the law was useless and abortions were performed, and abortion clinics opened as if they were legal long before abortion became officially legal (1988). I would rather people stopped eatting meat because they realized that eatting meat is immoral, not because of a law.

*When I think of a world without the raising and consuming of animals for food, I see a world where the environment is cleaner, the people are healthier, less farm land is needed so nature has been allowed to reclaim large areas, bringing more beauty into the world. Basically I see good things.

*When I picture a world without abortion I see a world with more families living in poverty, more environmental destruction etc. I realize that due to my biases I see one world as better and the other world as worse. I also realize that a decrease in abortion would be a positive thing if it was because people became more careful etc.

*(edit)But I think that my decision to refuse to eat/wear/buy animal products was a far easier decision with only positive consequences. It has improved my way of life in everyway. Telling someone that they must carry their fetus to term is entirely different, with the potential for many negative negative consequences.

*There have been people tell me that it is inconsistent for me to be a vegan and be pro-choice. I disagree. I have always hated the idea of rigid ideologies. I live my life in the way that I believe is moral. I choose not to support the animal agricultural industry. As a man I can not have an abortion anyways, but to me this is not simply about killing of one equals the killing the another. To me it is about the health of the planet and the health and strength of our communities. The raising and slaughtering animals for food destroys both as far as I am concerned. I can't say that the fact that people choose to have abortions is causing the same damage, in fact I feel that it is not causing any damage.

~Wonder 06-17-2006 11:31 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

It takes action to create a human being out of a fetus too: it requires the mother to feed herself.



I think we can use the analogy of seed and seedling. In itself, a seed doesn't grow into anything, it has to be put in to the ground. The seedling, on the other hand, just requires light and water and the ground to "feed" it. But many would say that a seed is a potential plant, even if it's "less potential" than a seedling is. (I've read that some argue this doesn't fit into Aristotle's idea of potentia though, so I'm only talking about a common sense definition.)

The mother would feed herself regardless of whether or not she's pregnant.



Ok, with your seed/seedling analogy. Wouldn't a fertilized egg be considered a seedling because it has already been "planted" in the womb and, if not bothered, has an extremely high chance of developing into a full grown baby?



An abortion with your analogy wouldn't just be throwing the packet of seeds in the trash. It would be pulling the seedling from the ground.



Quote:
As for drawing the line, I dunno where that line can be drawn exactly, but there are some evaluations about when the fetus can with some confidence be said to be non-sentient.

According to here, the majority (85%) of abortions in the UK in 2004 (sorry couldn't find US stats, but they can't be much different) happened between 6-12 weeks of age, with the majority (32.3% of total abortions) of those happening between 8-9 weeks.



According to here (stage 17 of 1st trimester) approximately 41 postovulatory days (right under 6 weeks), the fetus has already developed a 4 chambered heart and a sense of smell. And at stage 18 (~7 weeks) nerve plexuses begin to develop on the scalp, eyes are pigmented, nipples appear, and the kidneys start to produce urine.



I would say if a line can be drawn, it would have to be drawn pretty early in the 1st trimester. Cardiac muscle contraction begins between 21-23 days post ovulation and between 27-29 days post ovulation "The brain differentiates into the three main parts: the forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain."



According to here, pregnancy tests "are usually performed after a missed menstruation or 2-3 weeks after ovulation".



Sorry, long post

~Wonder

Sevenseas 06-17-2006 01:38 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Wonder View Post

The mother would feed herself regardless of whether or not she's pregnant.

But she would feed herself less, pregnancy causes her to take additional eating actions that she otherwise wouldn't take . And I think "inability to develop into a newborn by itself" still applies both to a sperm and to a fetus: both require external agency, whether this agency occurs without pregnancy or not.



Quote:
Ok, with your seed/seedling analogy. Wouldn't a fertilized egg be considered a seedling because it has already been "planted" in the womb and, if not bothered, has an extremely high chance of developing into a full grown baby?

Yes, a sperm would be the seed and both a fertilized egg and a fetus are seedlings.



Quote:
An abortion with your analogy wouldn't just be throwing the packet of seeds in the trash. It would be pulling the seedling from the ground.

That's true, but since we're talking about the potentiality argument, these are relevantly similar actions in that both make it happen that the potential for a newborn baby or a grown plant doesn't get actualized.



Quote:
I would say if a line can be drawn, it would have to be drawn pretty early in the 1st trimester.

Well this source claims that scientific data supports pain occurring at 28-30 weeks: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.c...ract_id=526626 But I haven't read the paper so this is just a random claim from the 'net

~Wonder 06-17-2006 04:57 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

But she would feed herself less, pregnancy causes her to take additional eating actions that she otherwise wouldn't take .

Not in America

Plus if the mother didn't know about the baby, she would, hopefully, eat what she was hungry for.

Quote:
And I think "inability to develop into a newborn by itself" still applies both to a sperm and to a fetus: both require external agency, whether this agency occurs without pregnancy or not.



Yes, a sperm would be the seed and both a fertilized egg and a fetus are seedlings.



That's true, but since we're talking about the potentiality argument, these are relevantly similar actions in that both make it happen that the potential for a newborn baby or a grown plant doesn't get actualized.

You require external agency. We all need food, water, and air that is provided externally to us. You can't develop from an infant to an adult without external help. But if ignored, a sperm wouldn't develop into an infant, a fertilzed egg would. A fertilized egg has a potential that a sperm does not.



I think a fertilized human egg has just as much potential implanted in the womb as a tapeworm egg ingested by a human. Both are fertilzed eggs requiring a host and if ignored, will development into their adult forms. They will both reach that potential unless an external agent, or disease, prevents them from doing so.



And before you say that the tapeworm egg has no potential when it is not ingested, I say that you have no potential when placed outside an environment conducive to your survival.

Quote:

Well this source claims that scientific data supports pain occurring at 28-30 weeks: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.c...ract_id=526626 But I haven't read the paper so this is just a random claim from the 'net

I'd say it's hard to say when a fetus feels pain. No one remembers that far back. To play it safe, we should probably say the potential for pain exists wherever nerve endings exist. And I'm pretty sure nervous system development starts in the first month.

~Wonder

MZCsmpsns 06-17-2006 05:53 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe View Post

There is no relationship between veg*nism and abortion, IMO. Except that veg*nism would prohibit you from eating the aborted fetus and related organs. But since people generally do not eat aborted fetusses, that is not a real issue.



I agree.

MZCsmpsns 06-17-2006 05:57 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiz View Post

Troub, again, you are overlooking the fact that a fetus is not yet "alive" (by everyone's definition). Not everyone believe life begins at conception.* At four weeks it is not yet a child.







*I'm playing the devil's advocate here a bit, I personally don't believe in abortion as a form of contraceptions.



IMO I believe that from the moment of conception a life begins.



I too do not believe in abortion as a form of contraception.

MaryC1999 06-17-2006 06:06 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Wonder View Post

Not in America

Plus if the mother didn't know about the baby, she would, hopefully, eat what she was hungry for.



You require external agency. We all need food, water, and air that is provided externally to us. You can't develop from an infant to an adult without external help. But if ignored, a sperm wouldn't develop into an infant, a fertilzed egg would. A fertilized egg has a potential that a sperm does not.



I think a fertilized human egg has just as much potential implanted in the womb as a tapeworm egg ingested by a human. Both are fertilzed eggs requiring a host and if ignored, will development into their adult forms. They will both reach that potential unless an external agent, or disease, prevents them from doing so.



And before you say that the tapeworm egg has no potential when it is not ingested, I say that you have no potential when placed outside an environment conducive to your survival.



I'd say it's hard to say when a fetus feels pain. No one remembers that far back. To play it safe, we should probably say the potential for pain exists wherever nerve endings exist. And I'm pretty sure nervous system development starts in the first month.

~Wonder



There's a lot more to maintaining a pregnancy then simply eating a little more. For lots of women it requires a complete lifestyle change for at least 9 months. To try to simplify it to consuming a little more calories is an extreme injustice. In order to maintain a healthy pregnancy, a woman has to give up drinking alcohol, smoking, should lay off caffeine, not take OTC or most prescription meds, should increase her vitamin intake and also goes through many body changes not limited to a dramatic decrease in energy and hormonal changes that can cause everything from acne to hair loss. So yeah it's a lot more major than an extra helping of dinner.

I'm fairly positive the fetus can't feel pain in the first trimester. My sons were born at 27 weeks and they're nervous system was still developing then. They actually felt pain more acutely than your average newborn because all their receptors were pretty raw at that point. I would be hard pressed to believe a fetus could feel pain at 8 or 9 weeks. Human babies don't develop that slowly in utero.

A fetus is a parasite. One that the human carrying it created but a parasite nonetheless. I wouldn't expect a human to carry around a tapeworm to save it's life any more than I would expect a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy. The only thing that makes a baby more special than a parasite is the feelings the humans who created have for it.

I'm sure some people will find that cold coming from a mom, I can just understand that not all women view pregnancy as a wonderful event. I love my children and they were very much wanted but not all women feel that way.

Mary

Ludi 06-17-2006 07:39 PM

Vegmedic, sorry if I missed it, but how does raising animals for food destroy communities? This is something humans have done for 10,000 years or more....



Do you mean factory farming specifically, or any kind of raising animals for food?



Sorry this is off topic.

Moechalatte 06-18-2006 12:18 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Wonder View Post

First of all, this is not a discussion on whether or not abortion is right or wrong.



I would just like to try to understand how AR/AW veg*ns who approve of abortion find compatibility between abortion and their veg*nism. And how do they determine where to draw the line? And how do pain and potential fit in?



I am veg*an because I do not agree with the ways in which animals are treated and killed for humans' use; they are forced to live horrible lives. I do not wish that kind of suffering on any creature. That being said, I agree 110% with abortion. If a woman doesn't want her baby, I believe it's better not to bring an unwanted child into a world of suffering.

drveggielvr 06-18-2006 12:59 AM

you said it all for me.



I would add two things to think about:



1)For those against abortion, how many have opened your homes to those unwated pregnancies that were not aborted? Obviously the numbers are low.



2)For those here for abortions. Some of your arguments are would then follow this logic:



a) Someone mentioned too many animals on the verge of extinction and over population in humans.

Then does this give me the right to kill and eat animals not on the verge of extinction? Then were does this leave Veal for example? hmm...there are lots of baby calves, and they wont be good milking cows or meaty bulls...so because they are unwanted perhaps they should go also? Let's make it a painless life just to even the par with fetuses.



b) Someone compared a fetus to a tapeworm as a parasite and lacking pain receptors.

If they are on the same par, then I'll add animals that are ok to kill because they lack pain receptors: all coral, bugs with exoskelons. let's also kill people in comas, since they wont feel anything and they are a burden to society. Lets take it another step..let's kill all those that lack the ability to percieve pain, like children with CIPA...afterall, they may be a burden too.



c)Abortion is ok because otherwise these kids would live horrible lives.

My mother was almost aborted by my grandmother...she eventually gave birth, found someonese to give my mother to and here we are. I'm in school, doing a PhD...who knows, maybe I'll find something that dramatically improves our planet... but assuming that would have never given me that opportunity.

Animals now live a horrible life...let's kill them too and eat them...we don't want their lives to go in vain...let's use it to feed hungry "unwanted/lacking access to abortion" mothers and kids in Africa.



d)Its a way to control overpopulation

I say, let's control overpopulation by killing pedophiles, murderers and felons. Sure we'll make some mistakes here and there with innocent people, but then again, all fetuses have the possibility of being good, and these people have already been proven to be bad.



e)Its a burden for the mother.

She's a burden to the system too most likely. Let's just sterelize people on wellfare that are such a burden before they have abortions. Oh wait, they are societal parasites...like the tapeworm...and their future fetus....let's just kill them too before they too become a burden.



My point is that everyone should take responsibility for their actions. We all share responsiblity with something, but when it comes to making a baby, only two people share that responsibility: mother and partner.



Own up to it, or send that cute possible future Einstein/Clinton/Mandela/MLK/Elvis or whatever makes you happy





Quote:
Originally Posted by troub View Post

Heres my stance and view, posted from a different thread, I realise its not going to be a popular view on mostly liberal boards...or conservative boards for that matter lol..... but yeah:





If one extends compassion of life to the rest of the animal kingdom, why then, can't they extend that compassion to their own species?



My views are consistant for every argument posed. All life should be respected. From dogs, to cows, to bees, to baby humans.



People look at the majority of christians, who while preaching about loving your neighbor and the "weakest among you", will support war and the death penalty, they will support the slaughter of innocent creatures for food, and the slaughter of innocent people in war.



People look at the majority of vegans, who preach about all animals have a right to life. That cows,pigs,chickens, and the rest shouldn't be slaughtered for food, but then turn around and support the genocide of infant humans claiming a womans right to her body. A woman owns the child in her and can do with it what she chooses. Much like a farmer owns his cattle?



Where is the consistancy?



All beings have a right to live.


Kiz 06-18-2006 01:06 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by drveggielvr View Post

you said it all for me.





er.



Own up to it, or send that cute possible future Einstein/Clinton/Mandela/MLK/Elvis or whatever makes you happy

Or cute possible Goebbels/Oppenheimer/Vlad Tepes/Genghis Khan/Fred or Rosemary West. Than arguement always cuts both ways

drveggielvr 06-18-2006 01:11 AM

You're right...but we will never know.



Abortions take away that possibility altogether!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiz View Post

Or cute possible Goebbels/Oppenheimer/Vlad Tepes/Genghis Khan/Fred or Rosemary West. Than arguement always cuts both ways


Kiz 06-18-2006 01:13 AM

Which could be a good thing depending on one's point of view.

Sevenseas 06-18-2006 02:15 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Wonder View Post

Not in America

Plus if the mother didn't know about the baby, she would, hopefully, eat what she was hungry for.

But she'd be more hungry, which would result in additional actions because of (even if not intentionally for the sake of) the baby.



Quote:
You require external agency. We all need food, water, and air that is provided externally to us. You can't develop from an infant to an adult without external help. But if ignored, a sperm wouldn't develop into an infant, a fertilzed egg would. A fertilized egg has a potential that a sperm does not.

Well hmm, the point about external agency is a good one but I think the "if ignored" condition is pretty ad hoc (so are many of my points too though).



And strictly speaking, it is not sufficient for a fertilized egg or a fetus to develop into a baby that it is ignored, since it also needs an environment conducive to its development (I kinda borrowed this from what you said later on). But this is also true of a sperm: if it is ignored in an environment conducive to its development, it will develop into a baby.





Quote:
Originally Posted by drveggielvr View Post

Lets take it another step..let's kill all those that lack the ability to percieve pain, like children with CIPA...afterall, they may be a burden too.

That's why we can extend the issue from physical pain to negative experiences in general, or sentience. Children with CIPA are sentient, a young enough fetus is not.



Quote:
c)Abortion is ok because otherwise these kids would live horrible lives.

My mother was almost aborted by my grandmother...she eventually gave birth, found someonese to give my mother to and here we are. I'm in school, doing a PhD...who knows, maybe I'll find something that dramatically improves our planet...

In the meanwhile, if you are a Western consumer, you will probably drain the planet's resources quite a bit and cause significant harm (just like I do).

Scythe 06-18-2006 02:16 AM

I don't think the two directly affect eachother either way.

zoebird 06-18-2006 03:21 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

Before the fetus is sentient, it cannot be harmed in a morally relevant way. "Potential" doesn't enter into it at all....



i agree with this concept.



the next question, then, is when is a fetus sentient? that can be debated ad infinitum.


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