Does being against animal cruelty and animal exploitation make me an ethicist? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-17-2010, 11:25 AM
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Someone at my work place kept arguing with me about it.

He thinks me being against animal exploitation and animal cruelty is being biased against other cultures where it is "normal to them" that they do certain "traditions" that cause harm to animals.

I'm trying to explain to him that I'm against animal exploitation even in our own culture so how could I be an ethicist? I do not view the western culture higher than any other culture.

As an individual I view all animal exploitation and cruelty to be wrong.

Am I an ethicist?
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#2 Old 09-17-2010, 11:27 AM
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Ask him about his opinion on cannibalism and human sacrifice.

don't take my life away, don't take my life away.
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#3 Old 09-17-2010, 11:34 AM
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I think either you or that guy is confused about what an 'ethicist' is. An ethicist is someone who theorizes about ethics. Maybe you're thinking either of 'moralist' or of 'elitist'?

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#4 Old 09-17-2010, 11:46 AM
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I think perhaps they are referring to ethnicism...which either has to do with one's religion or ethnic background. Why not just say racist??
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#5 Old 09-17-2010, 11:51 AM
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I have heard this argument before and I don't really buy it.
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#6 Old 09-17-2010, 11:55 AM
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As long as you're opposed to animal cruelty in ALL cultures, and not just that which takes place outside of your own culture, you're not biased. If you supported factory farming in the United States (or wherever you're from) but criticized animal exploitation in other areas of the world, he'd have a point. But that's obviously not the case.
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#7 Old 09-17-2010, 04:50 PM
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ethnocentrism, he probably means.

You're gonna make me puke my pants.
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#8 Old 09-17-2010, 04:57 PM
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Sounds like a braindead argument to get a rise out of insecure veg*ns, imo.

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#9 Old 09-17-2010, 06:06 PM
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Doesn't make you an ethicist. Does make him a guy with no dictionary.

Keep on freepin' on

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#10 Old 09-17-2010, 09:19 PM
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Don't know if he picked it up just from seeing others use a similar line of argumentation or what, but the general 'other cultures' argument is very commonly used by industry to counter animal and environmental activists. See native trappers/hunters (apparently the commercial fur industry loves these guys), logging communities (the logging industry are their best friends), traditional whaling communities ... Often these concerned industries drop the charade and flat out abandon these communities when they are no longer useful.

Broaden the focus a bit but keep the claim being leveled. Any viewpoint that denies me the right to voice objection to say honor killings (the murder of a rape survivor by a relative as punishment for dishonoring the family by being raped) or female genital mutilation to cite two 'cultural traditions' is not acceptable. Any obligation on me to respect traditions or ways not my own is trumped by my obligations as a human being to speak out.

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#11 Old 09-17-2010, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saxyphonist View Post

Ask him about his opinion on cannibalism and human sacrifice.

+1

With that faulty line of reasoning he'd have to excuse a lot of atrocious behaviours that have been or are currently being practiced just for the sake of consistency. Cannibalism, human sacrifice, slavery, rape, torture...

I suppose in his mind we need to respect the practices of other cultures as long as those practices are only causing suffering to non-human animals. Because, you know, only human pain is important.

"If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others... why wouldn't we?" - Edgars Mission
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#12 Old 09-18-2010, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

I think either you or that guy is confused about what an 'ethicist' is. An ethicist is someone who theorizes about ethics.

This.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VegPanda View Post

He thinks me being against animal exploitation and animal cruelty is being biased against other cultures where it is "normal to them" that they do certain "traditions" that cause harm to animals.

He's arguing FOR moral relativism. Therefore, it's entirely reasonable to
Quote:
Originally Posted by saxyphonist View Post

Ask him about his opinion on cannibalism and human sacrifice.

It might be helpful to tell him that you don't necessarily believe that everyone everywhere throughout history is wrong for using animal products, but that in today's society in our culture it's absolutely wrong to use animal products because we don't need them and because using them causes animals to experience extreme suffering and death. Then show him Meet Your Meat and ask how he can think that's morally acceptable.
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#13 Old 09-18-2010, 10:24 AM
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If anything, the ultimate expression of cultural arrogance occurs when privileged Western consumers try to avoid their ethical responsibilities by tacitly comparing themselves to people living in vastly different economic and cultural contexts.

"and I stand

upon a mountain

made of weak and useless men"

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#14 Old 09-19-2010, 03:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

If anything, the ultimate expression of cultural arrogance occurs when privileged Western consumers try to avoid their ethical responsibilities by tacitly comparing themselves to people living in vastly different economic and cultural contexts.

I always love when that happens! Certainly, this can't be limited to privileged Western consumers...

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