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Like my title (love the Lion King), but anyway I was wondering what you say to a person who tells you that eating meat is a part of the circle of life/food chain. I mean we don't get mad at a wolf or lion for eating meat do we? so aren't we just fulfilling our part of the food chain. Because if the carnivours stopped eating meat the food chain would collapse. What is your opinion?
 

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Well, to begin with, wolves and lions are carnivores and humans are not. Wolves & lions haven't devised a system of death to feed their hunger for flesh.

Humans have devised a system to feed their preferences. For humans, meat is a factory supported preference, not a matter of survival, so we're comparing apples and oranges here.

I might be more willing to buy into the "food chain" argument if people had to hunt, kill, and butcher their own meat, but they don't. They just waltz into a supermarket and buy a nice, clean, not offensive to them package of animal flesh that has been farmed, slaughtered,and butchered in controlled conditions because they feel like eating a steak for dinner.
 

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Humans have removed their eating (and living) habits so completely from the natural realm that it is ridiculous to compare ourselves to wolves and lions. (And many of the omnis who make this claim aren't even comparing themselves to real lions--they're picturing ones animated by Disney!)
 

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I think The Muse said it quite well.

Although I may be somewhat different in my views from many others on this board, I do not believe it is intrinsically wrong for one animal to use another as food, even if the eater is human. Predator/prey relationships are deeply intertwined with the evolution of life on Earth. Both types of creatures are adapted to their role in this relationship, and it is part of how life works for all living things.

Human beings are not carnivores, however. Our bodies are very different from those of lions, wolves, etc. We are basically plant eaters who are physiologically able to consume and digest meat if needed. We can live very well without meat, we cannot live without plant foods.

In simple, pre-industrial societies where food supplies may be scarce, I do not think there is anything morally objectionable about people killing animals to supplement their diet and survive, particularly when the killing is done respectfully and with awareness of what it means to take a life.

For most of us in modern industrial societies, however, eating meat is just a wasteful excess. Animals are bred and used for food in the most inhumane, deplorable manner, without a second thought, just to satisfy consumer gluttony and corporate greed. Those aren't the right reasons to be torturing and killing our fellow creatures. It's nothing like the struggle for survival in an environment of scarce food supply.

PS - The food chain won't "collapse" if most humans become vegetarian; most of the animals we use for food are not part of any natural ecosystem, they are bred and raised only to be eaten.
 

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There are many aspects of the natural world which most people would not want to emulate: high death rates for the young; population fluctuations along with disease and famine for predator and prey alike; I suppose I could go on.

Although my love of animals is my reason for not killing and eating them, I don't look to them for guidance in how to behave.
 

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I would simply point out that humans are not carnivores, nor are they at (what some refer to as) the top of the food chain. Hunting a lion with a bow or gun is far different than unarmed combat with a lion.

The human body is mostly geared towards consumption of food that is not meat. It can handle meat, making us omnivorous, but the meat should not be even half of the diet making us primarily lean towards the herbivorous side of the omnivore spectrum.

As for the "machine" of the meat industry, let us not forget where most of us get our veggies.... from the "machine" of the agricultural industry. How many of you sustain 100% of your diet from food you grow on your own? I find the argument against the machine weak if someone has not made themselves fully sustainable without said "machine".

ETA - of course, the veggie "machine" is far more humane than the meat "machine". Just thought I should clarify that.
 

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Quote:
As for the "machine" of the meat industry, let us not forget where most of us get our veggies.... from the "machine" of the agricultural industry. How many of you sustain 100% of your diet from food you grow on your own? I find the argument against the machine weak if someone has not made themselves fully sustainable without said "machine".
Again, apples and oranges. The "machine" of the agricultural industry as it relates to plant based crops is entirely different from the machine that raises animals in abusive conditions and slaughters them to sustain peoples' desires for $.99 burgers.
 

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The notion of "circle of life", like the notions of the food chain or nature's purpose is bull****. They are all attempts to disguise our ethical values as external pre-established orders in nature that somehow give norms to us: our "role" or our "purpose" or what we are "meant to" do. I cannot emphasize enough how much I oppose this kind of thinking, as I think it is at the core of the rationalizations we have for our ruthless exploitation of billions of sentient beings every year.

As long as you project your views in nature, your views will be dogmatic mythological fairy tales. All of it should be rejected.
 

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tell them you chose to be a herbivore instead. Herbivores are part of the food chain too


oh and if they talk some **** about you being prey, remind them of all of the non-wussy herbivores like rhinos. (And maybe some carnivores that are also prey.)

oh, and all of the sensible answers other people gave are great too
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Muse View Post

Humans have devised a system to feed their preferences. For humans, meat is a factory supported preference, not a matter of survival, so we're comparing apples and oranges here.
Isn't vegetarianism also only possible based on opportunity? Some societies have been vegetarian for a long time becuase they hard yearlong warm climate and plentiful plant-growing conditions. Others did not have that opportunity and are now only able to do so by factory supported preference.

I'm not condoning the meat industry or eating meat necessarily. But I think saying humans only eat meat becuase it is a factory supported preference is not really valid. Some societies ate meat to survive during times when there was no plant life to eat. I also think Vegetarianism is primarily a factory supported preference.
 

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But I think saying humans only eat meat becuase it is a factory supported preference is not really valid. Some societies ate meat to survive during times when there was no plant life to eat. I also think Vegetarianism is primarily a factory supported preference.
I don't see where I've said that humans ONLY eat meat because it's a factory supported preference. The killing machine just makes it easier.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlindLemonPep'r View Post

Hunting a lion with a bow or gun is far different than unarmed combat with a lion.
Heh, this reminds of some news story from a while back about some guy who defended his grandson by killing a leopard with his bare hands. Talk about badass!

In any case, if someone is going to argue that vegetarianism is rejecting the food chain, they should keep in mind the fact that there are plenty of herbivorous animals, and being herbivorous hardly cancels out being at the top of the food chain - there are plenty of herbivores with no natural predators.

Unlike some veg*ns, I don't consider meat-eating to be inherently immoral, but the treament of animals in factory farms combined with the enviromental damage involved definately is. Besides, there's plenty of health reasons not to eat meat. Personally, I've struggled with horrible digestive problems for years, and they all but went away after just a couple of weeks with no meat, milk, or cheese.
 
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