Levels of suffering, vegan ethics - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 04-17-2009, 01:32 AM
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I became vegan to avoid paying for cruelty. Cruelty to me is something like "knowingly inflicting excessive suffering on another being without the need to do so." After doing some research I concluded that there were no animal products I was comfortable consuming i.e. not fitting my definition. The ethics I follow are a combination of personal responsibility and utilitarianism.



Omnivores often make the case that slaughtering animals is no worse than "slaughtering" plants. The veg*n response is typically one of sentience or capacity to feel pain, reasoning that I completely agree with.



However, things get a little bit more complicated, because there are animals without brains that are farmed and killed for food. Namely bivalves ad starfis. Fish have brains, but they are highly brain-stem dominated. The argument that they are complete automatons has, I believe, failed thus far, but there is a lot of evidence to suggest they probably have less capacity for pain than "higher" animals (i.e. further along the evolutionary path that lead to mammals and humans) if any at all. The psychological experience of pain in humans has been tied to highly evolved cerebral regions of the brain.

I don't eat or advocate eating fish, because I don't consider evidence like this strong enough to be satisfactorily convinced. But I do consider it worth taking into account.



The traditional and predominant model of progression from full omnivorism to veganism is typically thought of as something like:



lacto-ovo vegeterian ->

lacto-vegetarian ->

vegetarian ->

vegan



I propose that a slightly different progression is best based on my personal research and internal reasoning. The idea of a progression is that we give up what causes the most suffering, then give up what causes the next to most amount of suffering, etc. This way if someone gets stuck on or satisfied with one of the levels (e.g. vegetarians who don't move on to become vegan) then they've reduced more suffering than someone who stuck with a level using an "inferior" progression. My suggested progression would be something like this:



lacto-pescetarian ->

pescetarian ->

either vegetarian or brainless-animal-itarian ->

either vegan or person-who-consumes-no-products-of-animals-with-brains



I base my reasoning on the extreme cruelty involved in the egg and dairy businesses and the fact that they kill plenty of animals in the process of churning out their products. The only difference is the slaughtered or trashed animals are not the product itself.

Fish are arguably subjected to less cruelty and also arguably have less capacity for suffering.

Brainless animals, I'm convinced do not suffer at all. I don't eat them, because I have been at least vegetarian all my life and have no desire to stop. So I consider that ethically equal to non-lacto non-ovo vegetarianism. It's much tidier to just draw the line between animals and plants, which is what I do, but I can't come up with an argument as to my line being superior to the brain line.

I might rank freeganism even higher than veganism depending on how the free food is actually obtained, but that's a seperate issue since it doesn't relate to either of these progressions.



Anticipating your flames, but curious to hear your thoughts.

Cheers.
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#2 Old 04-17-2009, 02:38 AM
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You are basing a lot of this on scientific theories that are just that: theories. Have you taken into account the simple notion of 'what if those theories are wrong'?



Fish swim away from danger and are very interested in self preservation. Thats all the evidence of sentience I require to put them on my 'don't kill list'.
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#3 Old 04-17-2009, 04:24 AM
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It's interesting how strong the tendency is to discuss inter-species ethics by conjuring up some kind of ranking list or hierarchy of moral importance. We don't seem to do that when discussing intra-species ethics, even though we could. If a psychological realization of pain and its consequences is a part of the notion of suffering, then surely many humans, other things being equal, suffer less from some cause of harm than "higher" humans. But we don't think that is really relevant anywhere, and don't talk about "lower" and "higher" forms of human life, because we take it as given that humans are equal and none of them should be exploited.



I think such hierarchy is irrelevant theoretically, and I question its use in ranking the priority order of different dietary choices, because I think the basic moral requirement is simply that people go vegan, or gradually make more and more of their consumer choices vegan. At any rate I believe the harms of the language of "higher" and "lower" forms of sentient life are greater than the practical benefits of being able to place different diets in an order of priority.



I think ethics should aim a bit higher than a comparison between baseball player cards.

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#4 Old 04-17-2009, 04:25 AM
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Originally Posted by MrFalafel View Post

Fish swim away from danger and are very interested in self preservation. Thats all the evidence of sentience I require to put them on my 'don't kill list'.



+1



Also, they're animals. Vegetarians. Don't. Eat. Animals. Why walk that line when we don't fully know? Why run the risk when it's unnecessary harm? It's been proven, at least enough for me, that fish respond directly to stimuli - if pain is introduced, they try to avoid it. That's enough for me.



To talk about bivalves and starfish...



From Wikipedia: (bivalves)



"Razor shells (Ensis spp.) can dig themselves into the sand with great speed to escape predation. Scallops, and file clams (Lima spp.), can swim to escape an enemy, clapping their valves together to create a jet of water. Cockles can use their foot to leap from danger. However these methods can quickly exhaust the animal. In the razor shells the siphons can break off only to grow back later."



(starfish)



"Although the echinoderms do not have many well-defined sensory inputs, they are sensitive to touch, light, temperature, orientation, and the status of water around them.[17] The tube feet, spines, and pedicellariae found on sea stars are sensitive to touch, while eyespots on the ends of the rays are light-sensitive.[18]"



So if the fact that they're animals isn't enough reason for you, that should be.
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#5 Old 04-17-2009, 04:28 AM
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My thought on cruelty is more along the, "do unto others as you would have others do unto you" area of thought, expanded to the entire animal kingdom as opposed to just humans. Do mollusks feel pain? Maybe not in the way I would. They do have a nerve though, and are able to identify irritants and remedy the problem (i.e. making pearls or shell growths around sand that gets in their shell.)



Regardless of whether they would feel pain, would I feel pain in that situation? Yes. The result is that I would not consume the bivalve, because I would not put another animal in the situation that I would not want to be in.
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#6 Old 04-17-2009, 04:29 AM
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My thought on cruelty is more along the, "do unto others as you would have others do unto you" area of thought, expanded to the entire animal kingdom as opposed to just humans. Do mollusks feel pain? Maybe not in the way I would. They do have a nerve though, and are able to identify irritants and remedy the problem (i.e. making pearls or shell growths around sand that gets in their shell. Regardless of whether they would feel pain, would I feel pain in that situation? Yes. The result is that I would not consume the bivalve, because I would not put another animal in the situation that I would not want to be in.



Well said.
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#7 Old 04-17-2009, 04:44 AM
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To cut to the chase - animals exist on this planet for their own reasons. They are not here to be abused, tortured or murdered by the human race for any reason whatsoever.



Oxford Concise English Dictionary definition of animal - "a living organism which is typically distinguished from a plant by feeding on organic matter, having specialized sense organs and nervous system, and being able to move about and to respond rapidly to stimuli"
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#8 Old 04-17-2009, 04:49 AM
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Originally Posted by andrewt View Post

to cut to the chase - animals exist on this planet for their own reasons. They are not here to be abused, tortured or murdered by the human race for any reason whatsoever.





+1
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#9 Old 04-17-2009, 05:54 AM
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To cut to the chase - animals exist on this planet for their own reasons. They are not here to be abused, tortured or murdered by the human race for any reason whatsoever.





+2



Vegetables don't move when I 'catch' them to eat , scallops etc do. This is more than enough reason for me.
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#10 Old 04-17-2009, 06:36 AM
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I don't buy the argument that bivalves are sentient because they respond to stimuli that signal predation. We could invent some kind of robot that would clearly not be sentient or capable of having wants or needs, or feeling pain. Yet this robot would still be perfectly capable, even designed, to respond to predation. It could have "eyes" that could see predators nearby and "ears" that could respond to nearby sounds that signal predation.



I have to say I agree with the OP on the bivalves issue...my reasons for not eating them are purely environmental.
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#11 Old 04-17-2009, 06:56 AM
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I don't buy the argument that bivalves are sentient because they respond to stimuli that signal predation. We could invent some kind of robot that would clearly not be sentient or capable of having wants or needs, or feeling pain. Yet this robot would still be perfectly capable, even designed, to respond to predation. It could have "eyes" that could see predators nearby and "ears" that could respond to nearby sounds that signal predation.

Arguments like that can be used to refute other external criteria for sentience too. For example, we might invent a robot that displays pain-behaviour -- like screaming when it would put its hand on the stove, or producing linguistic reports ("I am now in pain") -- and yet the robot could still be such that it wouldn't have any internal sentient experiences.



And then we might argue that we don't really have much reason to assume that other humans feel pain like we (I) do, because maybe they are like that robot.



The only person we can be certain is sentient is ourselves. But we don't even know whether we were sentient in the past -- our memories could be mistaken -- and whether we will be sentient when someone sticks a needle in us, because the future is always uncertain, and maybe the biological data forming the basis of us assuming we will be sentient in the future is deceptive..



--



I'm not saying that mere avoidance-behaviour is sufficient to establish sentience, but I also think that the slippery slope I tried to illustrate above shows that that kind of "robot argument" cannot be used if we are going to have a serious discussion about the empirical matter of non-human sentience.

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#12 Old 04-17-2009, 12:16 PM
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I also don't buy into the argument that bivalves are sentient just because they respond to stimuli. Not to say they don't feel pain. I am just saying that I don't buy that one argument. Many plants respond to stimuli as well. They move, they grow faster, or becomes sluggish due to stimuli. And various forms of stimuli...so don't think that it's just environmental stuff...no, even touch...there's even a word for it: thigmotropism!



However, the definition of veganism is not to use any form of animals in any way or form...end of discussion for me.
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#13 Old 04-17-2009, 04:05 PM
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However, things get a little bit more complicated, because there are animals without brains that are farmed and killed for food. Namely bivalves ad starfis.

We do not at present know all there is to know about existence. We probably never will. Knowledge obtained through the scientific approach is our best shot, but what we know now is going to change in the future. At least I hope it does, or it means stagnation.



Some scientists are proposing the presence of a secondary brain, located in, yes, the digestive tract. Though not every organism identified taxonomically as "animal" can be observed to posses a mammalian or even a vertebrate-style brain, they all posses digestive tracts, some of which may house a rudimentary brain whose structure and functions we may not be able at present to understand.



Therefore, my opinion is, as always, to give them the benefit of the doubt.





However, for those who will not accept that mollusks, echinoderms, and crustaceans may be sentient or possess brains, consider the ethics - not of preserving the environment - but of not taking more than what you need. No one needs to eat mollusks, echinoderms, and crustaceans; they are clearly different from plants in many fundamental ways, so leave them alone for their own sake. Their lots in life are tough enough, considering the many aquatic animals who DO need to feed on them to survive. They don't need humans driving them to extinction for gustatory pleasure, and neither do the many other sea animals who depend on them for survival.



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Originally Posted by MrFalafel View Post

You are basing a lot of this on scientific theories that are just that: theories.

You're getting hypothesis mixed up with theory.



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Originally Posted by Erynn View Post

because I would not put another animal in the situation that I would not want to be in.

Exactly.



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Originally Posted by AndrewT View Post

To cut to the chase - animals exist on this planet for their own reasons. They are not here to be abused, tortured or murdered by the human race for any reason whatsoever.

Agreed.

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#14 Old 04-17-2009, 04:31 PM
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Arguments like that can be used to refute other external criteria for sentience too. For example, we might invent a robot that displays pain-behaviour -- like screaming when it would put its hand on the stove, or producing linguistic reports ("I am now in pain") -- and yet the robot could still be such that it wouldn't have any internal sentient experiences.



And then we might argue that we don't really have much reason to assume that other humans feel pain like we (I) do, because maybe they are like that robot.



The only person we can be certain is sentient is ourselves. But we don't even know whether we were sentient in the past -- our memories could be mistaken -- and whether we will be sentient when someone sticks a needle in us, because the future is always uncertain, and maybe the biological data forming the basis of us assuming we will be sentient in the future is deceptive..



--



I'm not saying that mere avoidance-behaviour is sufficient to establish sentience, but I also think that the slippery slope I tried to illustrate above shows that that kind of "robot argument" cannot be used if we are going to have a serious discussion about the empirical matter of non-human sentience.



That bolded sentence was really all I was saying. That avoidance behavior is insufficient to establish sentience. I think we may be misunderstanding each other on the "slippery slope" piece, because I'm not sure how the matter of humans' sentience in the past or future is related.



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We do not at present know all there is to know about existence. We probably never will. Knowledge obtained through the scientific approach is our best shot, but what we know now is going to change in the future. At least I hope it does, or it means stagnation.



However, for those who will not accept that mollusks, echinoderms, and crustaceans may be sentient or possess brains, consider the ethics - not of preserving the environment - but of not taking more than what you need. No one needs to eat mollusks, echinoderms, and crustaceans; they are clearly different from plants in many fundamental ways, so leave them alone for their own sake. Their lots in life are tough enough, considering the many aquatic animals who DO need to feed on them to survive. They don't need humans driving them to extinction for gustatory pleasure, and neither do the many other sea animals who depend on them for survival.



First, that bolded sentence is so true! Of course we can't know all there is to know; presumably scientific inquiry will help to clarify all of this in the future.



What I really wanted to say to you, though, is that I really appreciate this ethic of not taking more than we need. I'm not 100% sure that I see it as part of my own belief system (at least not yet), since I'm not yet sure how my need fits into the whole sentience/pain equation, but I appreciate this sentiment because it is truly compassionate.
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#15 Old 04-17-2009, 04:37 PM
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What I really wanted to say to you, though, is that I really appreciate this ethic of not taking more than we need. I'm not 100% sure that I see it as part of my own belief system (at least not yet), since I'm not yet sure how my need fits into the whole sentience/pain equation, but I appreciate this sentiment because it is truly compassionate.

Thank you! Its a relatively new concept for me too. Its good to evolve our ways of thinking about these things.

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#16 Old 04-17-2009, 04:42 PM
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I think we may be misunderstanding each other on the "slippery slope" piece, because I'm not sure how the matter of humans' sentience in the past or future is related.

My point was that invoking hypotheticals about robots etc. is a brand of Cartesian skepticism about "other minds" that is not really suitable if we're discussing the empirical question of non-human cognition, because empirical questions will always leave some room for doubt.

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#17 Old 04-17-2009, 04:42 PM
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Thank you! Its a relatively new concept for me too. Its good to evolve our ways of thinking about these things.



Absolutely! My thinking has evolved tremendously since becoming vegetarian (and actually since I started lurking here, which predated my becoming veg by a few months.) In any case, I fully expect my own ideas/beliefs to evolve much more in the future. It helps to have this community to bounce ideas off of.
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#18 Old 04-17-2009, 05:34 PM
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However, the definition of veganism is not to use any form of animals in any way or form...end of discussion for me.



I dislike using a definition as a way to justify this lifestyle. I do not avoid the consumption and use of animal products simply to confine myself to the parameters of veganism, but rather I am vegan because I wish to end needless suffering and live simply. The word "vegan" does not define me nor tell me how to make my choices: it describes the way in which I live my life.



Mollusks, crustaceans and the like may or may not be sentient, but since none of us know for sure and taking their life is unnecessary, I choose not to eat them. As to the 'progression' of a meat-eater to vegetarianism and veganism, I think it is up to the individual. We are all different, we take different courses, and there is no set progression.
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#19 Old 04-17-2009, 08:34 PM
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I dislike using a definition as a way to justify this lifestyle. I do not avoid the consumption and use of animal products simply to confine myself to the parameters of veganism, but rather I am vegan because I wish to end needless suffering and live simply. The word "vegan" does not define me nor tell me how to make my choices: it describes the way in which I live my life...



Oh I am sorry...that was just a very simple way of finishing off my point. In fact that was very wrong of me...because I hate labels and I shouldn't have said that at all! I don't think the word "vegan" defines me at all!



What I was just tired of (and i am not saying that this is what the OP is suggesting or was talking about - but is what went through my head as soon as i read this post) is people making excuses for eating fish, while calling themselves vegetarian or vegan. I wasn't really justifying the definition of veganisim as why I am not eating Mollusks, crustaceans and the like. In all honestly, until this topic came up, I didn't realize that their brains were so small that their "sentianism" was ever a question. Personally I don't think that fish feels pain any less than I do. Have you ever seen a fish out of water?? It's screaming for life! But that's just how I feel. No science behind that statement.



I stopped using animal products because I was horrified of what was going on in factory farms...and every day I am learning more and more about how humankind abuses animals in every other form as well.
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#20 Old 04-17-2009, 09:08 PM
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I'm really getting tired of these "Where is the line drawn/ where should the line be drawn/ what the hell is this line made out of/ why do we care about the damn line" debates.



Can't we just agree that eating and harming animals=not okay and eating/ 'harming' plants=is okay? Why does it matter what the 'progression' is? There are no rules stating the 'progression', people just do it progressively sometimes because it's easier to adjust to and more convenient.
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#21 Old 04-18-2009, 12:56 PM
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Here's what I think:



Veg*ns don't eat fish by definition. Pescetarians do. When it comes to who is "more ethical", I think it depends. From an environmental and a health standpoint, I think veg*ns are superior. From an animal cruelty perspective it gets more complicated, because while there is a lot of evidence that fish feel pain, "lower" sea creatures may not (clams, shrimp, etc.). If I met a pesce who only eats shellfish I don't know if I can say for sure that they're doing something cruel.



So when it comes to moral superiority, I think veg*ns definitely have a leg up in the environment department (as well as health concerns). However, when it comes to animal cruelty I think it gets complicated when we start talking about animals like shellfish, comparing them to plants, etc.
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#22 Old 04-19-2009, 11:50 AM
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One thing I want to emphasize:



Most mollusks possess brains. Octopus and squid brains have remarkably fast brain neurons and I believe some have been thought to communicate with each other using bioluminescence, but I'd have to look it up. BIVALVES are the only brainless mollusks.



Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFalafel View Post

You are basing a lot of this on scientific theories that are just that: theories. Have you taken into account the simple notion of 'what if those theories are wrong'?



Yes, that is why I said "I don't eat or advocate eating fish, because I don't consider evidence like this strong enough to be satisfactorily convinced. But I do consider it worth taking into account."





Quote:
Fish swim away from danger and are very interested in self preservation.



"Interested" is the debatable part. Fish are naturally selected to avoid danger, just as plants are (e.g. growing thorns, and producing poisons).



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Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

It's interesting how strong the tendency is to discuss inter-species ethics by conjuring up some kind of ranking list or hierarchy of moral importance. We don't seem to do that when discussing intra-species ethics, even though we could. If a psychological realization of pain and its consequences is a part of the notion of suffering, then surely many humans, other things being equal, suffer less from some cause of harm than "higher" humans. But we don't think that is really relevant anywhere, and don't talk about "lower" and "higher" forms of human life, because we take it as given that humans are equal and none of them should be exploited.



I think such hierarchy is irrelevant theoretically, and I question its use in ranking the priority order of different dietary choices, because I think the basic moral requirement is simply that people go vegan, or gradually make more and more of their consumer choices vegan. At any rate I believe the harms of the language of "higher" and "lower" forms of sentient life are greater than the practical benefits of being able to place different diets in an order of priority.



I think ethics should aim a bit higher than a comparison between baseball player cards.



Most of us would agree that some immoral actions are worse than others. Most of us do not equate the suffering of dogs to the suffering of insects. If we did we would all wear masks over our mouths like the Jains to make sure no bugs got in. Yes, such hierarchies have a problematic aspect to them, but they are also inavoidable in my opinion. Sure we can avoid the terms "higher" and "lower" and instead phrase it more in terms of "amount of suffering caused".





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+1



Also, they're animals. Vegetarians. Don't. Eat. Animals. Why walk that line when we don't fully know? Why run the risk when it's unnecessary harm?



No-one has questioned that vegetarians don't eat animals.

Why eat cheese when it's unnecessary harm? Because some people find it difficult to go from a fully omnivore diet to a fully vegan diet. That's why there are imbetween stages such as "vegetarian". My point is that "vegetarian" is not the only valid imbetween stage and is not necessarily the most ethically logical one... Yet I often get the sense that it is treated as such.



Quote:
To talk about bivalves and starfish...



From Wikipedia: (bivalves)



"Razor shells (Ensis spp.) can dig themselves into the sand with great speed to escape predation. Scallops, and file clams (Lima spp.), can swim to escape an enemy, clapping their valves together to create a jet of water. Cockles can use their foot to leap from danger. However these methods can quickly exhaust the animal. In the razor shells the siphons can break off only to grow back later."



(starfish)



"Although the echinoderms do not have many well-defined sensory inputs, they are sensitive to touch, light, temperature, orientation, and the status of water around them.[17] The tube feet, spines, and pedicellariae found on sea stars are sensitive to touch, while eyespots on the ends of the rays are light-sensitive.[18]"



So if the fact that they're animals isn't enough reason for you, that should be.



Sensing the environment is a property of plants and moving in response to it is a property of certain plants (venus fly traps, flowers, and more).



Quote:
Originally Posted by Erynn View Post

My thought on cruelty is more along the, "do unto others as you would have others do unto you" area of thought, expanded to the entire animal kingdom as opposed to just humans. Do mollusks feel pain? Maybe not in the way I would. They do have a nerve though, and are able to identify irritants and remedy the problem (i.e. making pearls or shell growths around sand that gets in their shell.)



Regardless of whether they would feel pain, would I feel pain in that situation? Yes. The result is that I would not consume the bivalve, because I would not put another animal in the situation that I would not want to be in.



This line of reasoning also applies to plants. Why do you discriminate between animals and plants if not due to sentience and the capacity for pain?



Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewT View Post

To cut to the chase - animals exist on this planet for their own reasons. They are not here to be abused, tortured or murdered by the human race for any reason whatsoever.

And plants are?



Quote:
Oxford Concise English Dictionary definition of animal - "a living organism which is typically distinguished from a plant by feeding on organic matter, having specialized sense organs and nervous system, and being able to move about and to respond rapidly to stimuli"



These distinctions are irrelevant from an ethical standpoint in my opinion. Also some of them apply to certain plants, and some of them do not apply to certain animals.



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Originally Posted by Bells View Post

I dislike using a definition as a way to justify this lifestyle. I do not avoid the consumption and use of animal products simply to confine myself to the parameters of veganism, but rather I am vegan because I wish to end needless suffering and live simply. The word "vegan" does not define me nor tell me how to make my choices: it describes the way in which I live my life.



Yes, well said.
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#23 Old 04-19-2009, 11:59 AM
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Here's what I think:



Veg*ns don't eat fish by definition. Pescetarians do. When it comes to who is "more ethical", I think it depends. From an environmental and a health standpoint, I think veg*ns are superior. From an animal cruelty perspective it gets more complicated, because while there is a lot of evidence that fish feel pain, "lower" sea creatures may not (clams, shrimp, etc.). If I met a pesce who only eats shellfish I don't know if I can say for sure that they're doing something cruel.



So when it comes to moral superiority, I think veg*ns definitely have a leg up in the environment department (as well as health concerns). However, when it comes to animal cruelty I think it gets complicated when we start talking about animals like shellfish, comparing them to plants, etc.



By veg*ns you mean both vegetarians and vegans? There's no question vegans have a leg up over pescetarians, not just environmentally, but also cruelty-wise. As for vegetarians, the dairy and egg industries are horrible for the environment so I don't think there's a clear leg up.
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#24 Old 04-19-2009, 12:14 PM
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I know we're talking about this from an ethical point of veiw... but I can't help but think: I don't really want to eat a bivalve or any other form of seacreater who's sentiency is debateable. So, till I want to eat them, I'm happy enough to just give them the benefit of the doubt.



And, from an ethical point of veiw, whilst I base my veganism largely on animal rights/cruelty basis, I'm also very aware of the envionrmental, ecological and health benefits of veganism and even if it was proved that sea creatures were neither sentinent or concious I think these reasons alone would prevent me from eating them. If these reasons didn't apply and it was a matter of pure conciousness and senteniency... well that's a lot of if's if you know what I mean!



When pushed, I'd say from that senario it would seem to be ethical to then eat them but, I think for the time being I'm happy enough giving them the benefit of the doubt.
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#25 Old 04-19-2009, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by cornsail View Post

By veg*ns you mean both vegetarians and vegans? There's no question vegans have a leg up over pescetarians, not just environmentally, but also cruelty-wise. As for vegetarians, the dairy and egg industries are horrible for the environment so I don't think there's a clear leg up.



I meant both groups. I would argue that vegetarians have a leg up over pescetarians when it comes to environment and health.
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#26 Old 04-19-2009, 05:56 PM
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[QUOTE=cornsail]

This line of reasoning also applies to plants. Why do you discriminate between animals and plants if not due to sentience and the capacity for pain?

QUOTE]





Because I have to eat SOMETHING, and while today's technology has made it so that I do not need to eat any sort of meat in order to thrive and be healthy, it has not evolved to completely replace a plant-only diet in the same way. Eating plants is the lesser of the evils as far as food choices are concerned.



Also, you say you want our thoughts about the issue, but then you're trying to dispute the logic behind them. That's trolling, not collecting opinions, and since you are making the arguement FOR the eating of meat by certain individuals, and presenting it as (in your opinion) superior to lacto-ovo vegetarianism, I think you're breaking the forum rules.



Finally, if you want debate, you should be taking this to the compost heap section, and letting the lacto-ovos chime in, instead of only provoking the vegans.
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#27 Old 04-19-2009, 07:53 PM
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[QUOTE=Erynn;2299542]
Quote:
Originally Posted by cornsail View Post


This line of reasoning also applies to plants. Why do you discriminate between animals and plants if not due to sentience and the capacity for pain?

QUOTE]





Because I have to eat SOMETHING, and while today's technology has made it so that I do not need to eat any sort of meat in order to thrive and be healthy, it has not evolved to completely replace a plant-only diet in the same way. Eating plants is the lesser of the evils as far as food choices are concerned.



Also, you say you want our thoughts about the issue, but then you're trying to dispute the logic behind them. That's trolling, not collecting opinions, and since you are making the arguement FOR the eating of meat by certain individuals, and presenting it as (in your opinion) superior to lacto-ovo vegetarianism, I think you're breaking the forum rules.



Finally, if you want debate, you should be taking this to the compost heap section, and letting the lacto-ovos chime in, instead of only provoking the vegans.



Okay next time I'll just avoid responding to your posts.
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#28 Old 04-19-2009, 10:38 PM
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MOD POST



This thread has been moved to the Heap, as it's clearly turned into a debate, and not necessarily about Vegan Support.



I need to mention, however, that promoting meat-eating, even in a hypothetical "levels of suffering" discussion, is not acceptable here, no matter which forum the thread is in.

Nec Aspera Terrent
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#29 Old 04-19-2009, 10:51 PM
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I didn't realize debate wasn't allowed in the vegan discussion forum. The "Humans were MEANT to be vegan" thread seemed to involve a lot of debate.



Also, I already I explained why I discourage eating fish and bivalves. Fish because we really don't know if or how much they suffer so it's better not to take a chance. Bivalves because of ecological damage.
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#30 Old 04-19-2009, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFalafel View Post

You are basing a lot of this on scientific theories that are just that: theories. Have you taken into account the simple notion of 'what if those theories are wrong'?



Fish swim away from danger and are very interested in self preservation. Thats all the evidence of sentience I require to put them on my 'don't kill list'.



I'm hopping in late, but for the record, many vegetal organisms show apparent defenses/offenses. Onions, for a common example, make ones eyes sting upon wounding. Not to mention cacti, plants that sting, plants that poison...



Also, recent studies (no, I don't have a link on me) have discovered the plants send out a kind of 'radar' to other plants in the area when under stress- drought, toxins, etc.



But these are moot points, as scientists are releasing multiple studies as of late, letting us humans become very aware that yes, crustaceans and fish do feel pain. And plenty of it.
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