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Quote:
Originally Posted by nogardsram View Post

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Classic. This is a common response to my earlier statement.
Let us continue though, in principle, no, unless it reinforces to themselves the notion that a sentient creature is a commodity or object.
I don't know about immoral, however, consuming an animal, regardless of how it died, may very well reinforce the idea to yourself.
How is that similar? So in one case, I object to the commodification of animals. As such I reject the notion that we should use them for our personal gain. Consuming the body, regardless of how it was obtained does reinforce the notion that an animal is an object to be used, it commodifies them. Or reinforces the original idea I object to.
I don't see that your case is really that similar. It seems that you're trying to make a tenuous comparison based on the misguided idea that we should be concerned with all possible misconceptions. I did not claim that and I reject the cost/benefit analysis that so often comes up (I've said as much many times on VB and elsewhere).
Given your example, the result is someone being violent, perhaps based on their religious dogma. To me, that would indicate all the more that questioning such actions is required. However, if you'd like, please frame the question similarly, if not, I think there's some confusion, either in my delivery of my point or on your part.
How does that logically follow? Or what lead you to ask this?
Didn't I already object to the commodification of animals? I thought I did, and it would seem to have already answered these questions.
There seems to be some confusion here.
If I object to doing X, yet I do X, what misunderstanding is there? When I tell people that they should object to doing X, yet I continue to do X, what does that do to my original claim?
This isn't about giving up freedom, it's being aware of our message and actions and the ramifications to how those are viewed and interpreted and consequently, what's reinforced.
I tried to illustrate examples of humans, without being explicit. I'd be surprised that people would say or be okay with anything happening (think of things outside of science or research) to other dead bodies (I'm not talking about your own, since whenever anyone is dead, they don't really care, instead take examples that if the body were alive, you'd have some strong feelings against).
You might ask, what's the meaning of such an exercise. It illustrates the idea that we do not exist in a social or cultural vacuum, not the idea you're trying to make it out to be.
I was explicit with my example. It's not my fault that you're trying to change the context.
Now the closer one gets to the actual slaughter the more of an impact becoming vegan or vegetarian becomes. I guess the closest is all the way to someone raising animals, slaughtering them, and then consuming them.
Since the majority of animals slaughtered and consumed go to stores (dealing with regional distributors (or other companies who in turn deal with regional distributors) who deal with larger volumes, who in turn deal with national (or international) distributors dealing with even larger volumes, and so on) in general one person being vegan or not doesn't directly change the number of animals being killed.
Sure it seems plausible, because you missed the original point and are good at changing definitions or contexts.
smiley.gif

I would say you've missed something very vital.
It was also to illustrate how our actions do have an impact in other ways even though in terms of the 'meat industry' and how most people acquire their dead animals, one person doesn't directly change much. It illustrates that we do not live in a social or cultural vacuum, it illustrates that our actions have a cumulative impact since fortunately we live in a society, a culture.
So once again, I return to the position "the consumption of dead animals, reinforce the objectification of animals."
Your position is that there is a big difference between a dead animal and a live one and that once dead, there is no moral consideration for it.
I tried to give counter examples and reasons why I think this is false or at the least not expressing the entire picture. However, instead of me falsifying your claims (I thought it was a discussion), I'm tired of the context shifts or changing to your personal definitions. Instead how about you elaborate and prove your claims, or at the very least refute my objections (not your contextually changed ideas of my objections nor the shifting of definitions to strawman my objections).
Let's not worry about reinforcing the idea to yourself. Assume that is not an issue.

Ok you are confusing me. You said there is nothing wrong with consuming inanimate objects including corpses (if it does not reinforce viewing animals as commodities). However, as you stated a person alone cannot save a single animal (which I rejected). So if a person is isolated, even if he reinforces the idea to himself, he will not cause an increase in the amount of suffering by consuming meat himself. Nor does he influence other in either way. So there seems to be no damage at all caused by this person eating meat. Why do you still think he should not view animals as commodities when it has no effect whatsoever?

Furthermore, you admit that in itself eating the animal that died of natural causes is not wrong unless it reinforces to others that animals are commodities. However, if everyone else just took the same action as this person (eat only animals that died of natural causes) then I take it there would be no problem. But, I assume, your issue is with them doing something else like buying meat because they were influenced by this person eating animals that died of natural causes. So they are doing something that is undesirable as a result of being influenced by this person doing something which in itself is not wrong. The point I am trying to make is that the person who is influenced may do something totally different than what the original person did. I guess a relevant question is: why is "commodification of animals" wrong? Is that because someone might buy meat as a result (which is completely different from the action of eating animals that died naturally)? Have I understood you correctly?

I gave the example with the terrorist who is influenced by someone questioning religion (which in itself is not wrong) and blows up someone as a result. I can give another example which is more similar to the first case. Suppose a couple has sex. But there may be rapists who are influenced by them having sex and rape a person as a result. Or it may reinforce men to view women as objects. Although having sex is not wrong in itself would you say it should not be done because it reinforces the idea that women are commodities for men?

I am not sure I have understood you correctly.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cato View Post

nogradsram,
You said you have written on this before. Can you please point me to it?
Please be more specific. Are you referring to something in this thread or another? If it's another, please keep in mind that I have been on VB for 6 years now with almost 5,500 posts. I may be able to find something, however the search feature on this new software leaves a lot to be desired. The other option is that you can also use the search function.
smiley.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cato View Post

There seems to be an interesting consequence of your argument. Suppose that the average vegan (besides those involved actively in animal rights organizations) inspires two other people to become vegan in her lifetime. I don't think that is an unrealistic number. I would think that often it may be a conjunction of factors which may lead to new 'converts'. For example a convert may decide to go vegan because he knows 3 vegans and has read some online articles and watched some videos and so on. Overall, I don't think my number is unrealistic. Let's assume that our vegan had one 'disciple' by the middle of her life and another towards the last quarter of her life. But her first disciple may also have a disciple of his own before the original vegan dies. So then all in all a vegan may be responsible for the equivalent of two persons not using animal products in their life. That is: her own life of not using any animal products, during half of her life her first disciple did not use animal products, during a quarter of her life her second disciple did not use animal products and lets say during a quarter of her life her first disciple's disciple did not use animal products to get a nice round number of 2. So practically speaking (in essence) she is responsible for two persons not using animal products instead of one (as would be the case with someone existing in a social and cultural void). By your argument one person has not even saved even one animal. Similarly two persons would not have saved any animals. So even if we account for the fact that we do not live in a social vacuum it does not seem to have any effect on the number of animals being slaughtered within their lifetime.
I'm not sure I follow. Are you using this to say that if we continue on this argument, no matter how many people converted, they ultimately, no matter how many, will not impact the amount of animals killed with regards to the "meat industry (as a whole or even just a large company)"?

Or are you showing that one or two, it makes no difference, they do not directly reduce the number of animals killed (again, looking at the "meat industry (as a whole or even just a large company)")?

I'm not sure why this particular concept is troubling or difficult. If we wanted to look at it another way, say by sound.

Say there's some kind of music playing, and let's say it's a conglomeration of a bunch of musical instruments. Now let's say, by situational and technological constraints this music making creates a certain amount of background noise (this could be due to acoustics, feedback in speakers and mics, quality of parts in the amplifiers and so on).

Now let's say you're trying to talk. If we take the same orders of magnitude, with the musical group being analogous to the "meat industry (as a whole or even just a large company)", the noise as analogous to the losses, and your speech as analogous to your contributions or lack thereof, we can catch a glimpse of the difficulties in the impact on the whole system.

This is really no different than any other analogy or for an individual to refrain from purchasing any one product. When dealing with such large quantities, such a small amount cannot hope to make any discernible impact. This is why numbers, quantity of people, are required for change, impacts, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cato View Post

Why do you insist they gathered all this meat in one place? When I said the meat industry I meant the people who made the meat I used to eat. I know very little about the logistics of the meat industry but I would have guessed that there are many smaller centres where the meat is processed and my lack of buying would delay the production causing fewer animals to suffer.
At no time did I say all this was gathered in one place. I specifically used plural.

As for what you guess, the majority of food is processed in larger facilities and sent through distributors and so on.

As I stated this was a general you, or the 'average' person purchasing from 'the meat industry' or from a given large company. The closer you are to the growing, harvest, processing, distribution, and selling the more of an impact you make.

This would also be like the analogy of voting. The larger the voting system, the less of a corresponding impact your one vote makes. Now if we also include losses (say some percentage of the total), the larger the system, the more likely your vote doesn't matter at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cato View Post

Nonetheless, let me even consider you argument. Let's suppose that I am the only vegan in the world. Let us also suppose that it is all gathered in one big place and distributed to all the stores from there somehow. Again I do not know the logistics but it seems to me that this is the worst possible case. Do not focus on pointless technicalities, judge the idea for its own merit. Anyway, certainly even this big business must have some sort of planning in how it orders more animals. An example might be: if we sell 1 million tons of meat this month we will order 10 million animals for next month. If we sell 0.9 million tons of meat we will order 9 million animals. All values have to be rounded to the million for number of animals, and the hundred thousand for the mass. Suppose that I consumed 10kg (0.01 tons) of meat a month. If the industry has sold between 949,999.99 tons and 949,999.999999... tons of meat that month then they will order 9 million animals. If I had not been vegan and purchased my regular 10kg of meat a month that number would have been rounded to 1.0 million tons and 10 million animals would have been ordered instead of 9 million. That would mean I saved 1 million animals in a single month.
It's interesting that you say not to focus on technicalities, but then you come up with a completely contrived technicality to try to make a point. The way animals are slaughtered and their bodies are processed into edible 'food' does not work at all like your technicality. A more apt analogy would be a machine grinding away with a steady input, slowing down only as the market demands (of course there's always a lag). There's artificial price fixing (not flooding the market with too much food, or that'll drop the price), but not holding back so much that you're not making a profit. Further there are fluctuations with available food sources. This is true of all food produced on a mass scale, like the majority that you'll find at most stores.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cato View Post

But what are the chances of this happening? The chance is one in ten million (per month). But note that my expected utility remains completely unchanged regardless of how big the distribution centre is! That is, if I was consuming 50 animals a year prior to becoming vegan then my expected utility for not eating meat is saving 50 animals per year regardless of how big the production/distribution centre is. It can serve a small village or the United Federation of Planets. The expected utility remains identical, 50 animals per year. The only difference is that with an increase in size of distribution you are playing a lottery will smaller odds of winning but a greater effect if you do win. But those two values remain inversely proportional at all times. All in all the expected utility is identical!
One might say that when dealing with such big numbers the counting is not so accurate but that would be totally irrelevant. For practical purposes there must be cut-off points. Even when the counting is inaccurate the chance of my lack of consumption having an effect remains unchanged.
If the processing/distributing centre is smaller then the lottery is also smaller but in the end the expected utility is identical (i.e. saving 50 animals per year). I used different numbers, but cows and chickens have different weights so lets go with the original 50 animals per year.
It's interesting you bring up expected utility (as opposed to actual utility). Especially in defense of a claim that your actions have an expect utility (some kind of impact) on a large scale system (one person vs the 'meat industry'), yet on a small scale (eating a dead animal) has no impact.

I'm actually arguing that in either case, it has an impact, just not necessarily a direct effect. The concept of excepted utility really is useful as in the case of larger numbers (like what I had just stated that the impacts do show up when larger quantities than just individuals act). I don't see it useful in showing much in such vast differences.

Although the one aspect that your analysis (or the one you obtained) of expected utility does not take into account is the probability of waste/losses, probability of fluctuations in the market (both supply and demand), . You're assuming ideal conditions (again, a contrived example). So how about redoing the analysis, by taking into account losses and other fluctuations within the system?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cato View Post

Based on this reasoning I reject your argument that one vegan alone cannot save any animals as false.
You can't claim actual utility (that you actually saved X number of animals, which is what my argument was countering) by using an argument about excepted utility. It just doesn't work that way.

However, if you want me to concede the point that you actually saved X number of animals, you'll have to show me the X number of animals you saved.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cato View Post

Let's not worry about reinforcing the idea to yourself. Assume that is not an issue.
Do all your examples have to be so contrived? It is a possibility of reinforcing it to yourself, you can't just make a hypothetical and will away that which doesn't suit your ideas. When you dumb down a case, you're strawmanning it. You're arguing a contrived example, not the reality of the situation. I see this in a few threads on this forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cato View Post

Ok you are confusing me. You said there is nothing wrong with consuming inanimate objects including corpses (if it does not reinforce viewing animals as commodities).
I can understand how that would be confusing, since I did not state that.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cato View Post

However, as you stated a person alone cannot save a single animal (which I rejected). So if a person is isolated,
Now you're mixing statements. I was very specific in the criteria for the first part of that statement and it would definitely not apply if they were isolated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cato View Post

Why do you still think he should not view animals as commodities when it has no effect whatsoever?
Your reasoning is flawed, as I've pointed out. You ignore/neglect what doesn't suit your ideas and you attempt to combine a conclusion with a statement that obviously runs counter to the original assumptions that arrived at that conclusion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cato View Post

Furthermore, you admit that in itself eating the animal that died of natural causes is not wrong unless it reinforces to others that animals are commodities.
I'll state again, I made no such claim. You interpret and change definitions to the point that you've completely missed my original statement. If you want to continue this, you're going to have to quote exactly where I stated such a thing and be extremely careful and explicit to show how that implies what you claim.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cato View Post

why is "commodification of animals" wrong? Is that because someone might buy meat as a result (which is completely different from the action of eating animals that died naturally)? Have I understood you correctly?
I do not agree with the commodification of animals. Animals are sentient creatures with their own perceptions and lives. When I treat an animal as a commodity I treat it as an object to be used for my fancy or pleasure. (This goes for all animals, humans included).

How familiar are you with Animal Rights?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cato View Post

I can give another example which is more similar to the first case. Suppose a couple has sex. But there may be rapists who are influenced by them having sex and rape a person as a result. Or it may reinforce men to view women as objects. Although having sex is not wrong in itself would you say it should not be done because it reinforces the idea that women are commodities for men?
I am not sure I have understood you correctly.
No, I don't think you have, because I don't see how that relates. Having sex does not in and of itself imply commodification of your sexual partner. Nor does commodification rely on (but it can be a part of the issue) having other people interpret your actions.

The interacting with people (affecting others and having them affect you as well as entire social and cultural constructs, views, ideas, etc that affect us) is that we do not exist in a social or cultural vacuum or void.
 

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You said:

"So in principle, I have no real ethical problem with consuming inanimate objects. This would include animals (human or non-human) that have died due to natural causes.

In practice, since our actions do not exist in a void, the idea of consuming an animal reinforces the idea that non-human animals are food sources. To put it another way, we don't exist in any kind of social or cultural vacuum. Other people see and interpret what we do and decide. Our actions have very real consequences in how they're viewed and interpreted by others."

You said that one vegan alone cannot make any practical difference in number of animals killed. From that you went ahead and said that it is the fact that we do not live in a social void that makes the practical difference ("very real consequences"). I have accounted for the fact that we do not live in a social void and it seems that there is no practical difference in this case either (by your argument). That is, there are no real consequences. If we accept your original argument (which I do not) then it seems that a regular vegan cannot save any animals even though we do not live in a social void. By that I mean, if a person accepts your argument then he has no practical reason to become vegan as he will not save any animals despite the fact that we live in a society. You leave a regular vegan without any reason to be vegan. If it were true I would have no problem with this idea, but it is false as already shown.

My example displays the mechanism by which vegans save animals if the gathering place is huge (even if we assume they are alone in their community or that they affect no one ideologically). It was designed to make a point. No I do not know the specifics of the meat industry but this mechanism will work with similar situations.

You have given no good reason to reject this idea. No the input cannot be steady in any business that cares about money. No one wants to lose money by overproducing and then throwing their product in the trash. Planning is supposed to reduce waste.

I have no reason to believe in some mystical process by which when I stop using a product that industry alters their planning exactly so as to increase their waste allowance by the exact amount I used to consume. You can bring up any complication you wish, the exact same mechanism will be at work unless we want to imagine some sort of process like one by which the meat industry finds out I am vegan and out of spite decides to kill more animals and throw them away (just to piss me off).

Suppose you can save yourself $100 a month by simply pressing a button. Suppose now that unless you press a button once a month there is a one in ten chance that you will lose $1000. Do you have any less reason to press it every month? No! Suppose that you have over $100,000 in savings. Suppose also that unless you press a button once a month there is a 1 in 1000 chance you will lose $100,000. Do you have any less reason to press the button every month? No you do not, if money vs utility is a linear function for you. With number of animals saved vs utility there is absolutely no reason to imagine it is not a linear function for anyone who cares about animals.

For this reason anyone who cares about saving animals (to the point of becoming vegan) will be avoiding animal products regardless of the size of her distribution centre even if she is ideologically isolated (lives in a social void). It makes absolutely no difference. And I am talking about making a practical difference (saving animals) not adherence to some abstract concept.

You said:

"So much so that you yourself have saved not one sentient being due to being vegan."

You cannot make the above claim! For all you know I have saved a million animals due to veganism for to the reasons I already gave. The expected number of animals I have saved is the number I did not eat as a result of becoming vegan which I estimated at 50/year. It does not matter how big the distribution centre is the expected utility does not diminish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nogardsram View Post

Please be more specific. Are you referring to something in this thread or another? If it's another, please keep in mind that I have been on VB for 6 years now with almost 5,500 posts. I may be able to find something, however the search feature on this new software leaves a lot to be desired. The other option is that you can also use the search function.
smiley.gif

I'm not sure I follow. Are you using this to say that if we continue on this argument, no matter how many people converted, they ultimately, no matter how many, will not impact the amount of animals killed with regards to the "meat industry (as a whole or even just a large company)"?
Or are you showing that one or two, it makes no difference, they do not directly reduce the number of animals killed (again, looking at the "meat industry (as a whole or even just a large company)")?
I'm not sure why this particular concept is troubling or difficult. If we wanted to look at it another way, say by sound.
Say there's some kind of music playing, and let's say it's a conglomeration of a bunch of musical instruments. Now let's say, by situational and technological constraints this music making creates a certain amount of background noise (this could be due to acoustics, feedback in speakers and mics, quality of parts in the amplifiers and so on).
Now let's say you're trying to talk. If we take the same orders of magnitude, with the musical group being analogous to the "meat industry (as a whole or even just a large company)", the noise as analogous to the losses, and your speech as analogous to your contributions or lack thereof, we can catch a glimpse of the difficulties in the impact on the whole system.
This is really no different than any other analogy or for an individual to refrain from purchasing any one product. When dealing with such large quantities, such a small amount cannot hope to make any discernible impact. This is why numbers, quantity of people, are required for change, impacts, etc.
At no time did I say all this was gathered in one place. I specifically used plural.
As for what you guess, the majority of food is processed in larger facilities and sent through distributors and so on.
As I stated this was a general you, or the 'average' person purchasing from 'the meat industry' or from a given large company. The closer you are to the growing, harvest, processing, distribution, and selling the more of an impact you make.
This would also be like the analogy of voting. The larger the voting system, the less of a corresponding impact your one vote makes. Now if we also include losses (say some percentage of the total), the larger the system, the more likely your vote doesn't matter at all.
It's interesting that you say not to focus on technicalities, but then you come up with a completely contrived technicality to try to make a point. The way animals are slaughtered and their bodies are processed into edible 'food' does not work at all like your technicality. A more apt analogy would be a machine grinding away with a steady input, slowing down only as the market demands (of course there's always a lag). There's artificial price fixing (not flooding the market with too much food, or that'll drop the price), but not holding back so much that you're not making a profit. Further there are fluctuations with available food sources. This is true of all food produced on a mass scale, like the majority that you'll find at most stores.
It's interesting you bring up expected utility (as opposed to actual utility). Especially in defense of a claim that your actions have an expect utility (some kind of impact) on a large scale system (one person vs the 'meat industry'), yet on a small scale (eating a dead animal) has no impact.
I'm actually arguing that in either case, it has an impact, just not necessarily a direct effect. The concept of excepted utility really is useful as in the case of larger numbers (like what I had just stated that the impacts do show up when larger quantities than just individuals act). I don't see it useful in showing much in such vast differences.
Although the one aspect that your analysis (or the one you obtained) of expected utility does not take into account is the probability of waste/losses, probability of fluctuations in the market (both supply and demand), . You're assuming ideal conditions (again, a contrived example). So how about redoing the analysis, by taking into account losses and other fluctuations within the system?
You can't claim actual utility (that you actually saved X number of animals, which is what my argument was countering) by using an argument about excepted utility. It just doesn't work that way.
However, if you want me to concede the point that you actually saved X number of animals, you'll have to show me the X number of animals you saved.
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I can make any assumptions I wish in asking questions to others. If you wish to argue that often that is not how things actually work you can do so but it does not have to prevent me from giving hypothetical scenarios. Many scenarios I give may be designed to test intuition rather than serve as examples of what often occurs. You should first determine what is the purpose of the hypothetical.

Yes I do believe in animal rights, but animal rights does not imply corpse rights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nogardsram View Post

Do all your examples have to be so contrived? It is a possibility of reinforcing it to yourself, you can't just make a hypothetical and will away that which doesn't suit your ideas. When you dumb down a case, you're strawmanning it. You're arguing a contrived example, not the reality of the situation. I see this in a few threads on this forum.

I do not agree with the commodification of animals. Animals are sentient creatures with their own perceptions and lives. When I treat an animal as a commodity I treat it as an object to be used for my fancy or pleasure. (This goes for all animals, humans included).
How familiar are you with Animal Rights?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cato View Post

You said that one vegan alone cannot make any practical difference in number of animals killed.
No I did not. The claim I made was a very specific claim in regards to a very specific context, that being: the meat industry (as a whole) or a large company and in terms of your impact on the meat industry (as a whole) or a large company. You seem set on falsely generalizing. I don't know if this is by accident, deliberate, a language barrier, or an insecurity on your part to prove your position valid.

You inferred, incorrectly that I'm claiming that one vegan cannot make any practical difference, especially since I specifically said that consuming a dead animal (regardless of how it died) reinforces the idea of animals being object fit for human consumption. From this you should hopefully conclude that I did not state that "one vegan alone cannot make any practical difference in the [number] of animals killed."

I try to be deliberate in context as well as claims.

However, if you still believe that I made that claim, please quote what I stated and show that it's what you claim.
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Originally Posted by Cato View Post

You have given no good reason to reject this idea.
You have given no good reason to accept your idea that effective utility applies in this case as you indicate. I have already stated that it's overly simple. I've given real world examples supporting my case.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cato View Post

I have no reason to believe in some mystical process by which when I stop using a product that industry alters their planning exactly so as to increase their waste allowance by the exact amount I used to consume.
That isn't at all the point I was trying to make, nor what should be inferred from my example. You're making the same assumption as in your previous case that you stop consuming meat you literally save X number of animals. If I'm trying to refute that, why would I make the same assumptions?

This has to do with real world negligibility, scale of numbers and quantity, and impact.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cato View Post

You can bring up any complication you wish, the exact same mechanism will be at work
I disagree. I have a suspicion that upon encountering the idea I put forward, you did a google search. As such, you found a common refutation to this claim, however, you don't fully understand effective utility and how to account for loss and waste on a vast scale. So if what you claim is true, please demonstrate it. If not, I reject the idea that it's applicable as stated.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cato View Post

Suppose you can save yourself $100 a month by simply pressing a button. Suppose now that unless you press a button once a month there is a one in ten chance that you will lose $1000. Do you have any less reason to press it every month? No! Suppose that you have over $100,000 in savings. Suppose also that unless you press a button once a month there is a 1 in 1000 chance you will lose $100,000. Do you have any less reason to press the button every month? No you do not, if money vs utility is a linear function for you.
So in order for the example to be at all relevant to my claim, let's put in loss and waste and similar to numbers I already put forward. What your example shows completely misses my point of scale and loss/waste.

Let's say you spend $26.29 billion, now through some mechanism of moving from banks to banks or transfers and buying things, etc, when it is actually tallied in what you purchased, you only spent $25.6 billion (even though you're out $26.29 billion). So in effect, somehow about $700,000,000 was simply lost, wasted, stolen, etc.

Now, how could $50 ever be accounted for on that scale?

You continue to give cases where exact information is known, what I'm claiming is that this simply is not the case (uncertainty) and further there are losses that do not fit into you effective utility example. What I claim is that between the losses and lack of knowledge, the uncertainty is so great $50 is insignificant to that uncertainty. If you claim otherwise, please demonstrate it for my understanding.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cato View Post

I can make any assumptions I wish in asking questions to others. If you wish to argue that often that is not how things actually work you can do so but it does not have to prevent me from giving hypothetical scenarios. Many scenarios I give may be designed to test intuition rather than serve as examples of what often occurs. You should first determine what is the purpose of the hypothetical.
Sure, you can make any assumptions you like, however you've been strawmanning my position. If you want to make assumptions in refuting my claims, about my claims, best to use my assumptions and not your preconceived ideas.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cato View Post

Yes I do believe in animal rights, but animal rights does not imply corpse rights.
I didn't ask if you believed in animal rights. Perhaps there's a language barrier.

You seem kind of knowledgable about animal rights, but you asked why the was commodification of animals was wrong. I'm not sure if that was rhetorical, attempting to illicite a specific response, or perhaps simply unfamiliar with the concept of commodification. It was a question that before I answered yours (why is the commodification of animals wrong) I wanted a baseline of your familiarity with AR (animal rights).
 

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Perhaps I am not used to writing in the same way you do. I try to be very clear and if I believe the context may be complex I try to give an example to demonstrate the point. However, I can assure you there is no deliberate misrepresentation of your position. If I presented it that way it is because that is how I understood it.

As quoted before you said:

"So much so that you yourself have saved not one sentient being due to being vegan."

By practical difference in here I meant by their own consumption of animal products (or lack of it). Perhaps it was not clear but you should have been able to tell this from the next sentence:

"From that you went ahead and said that it is the fact that we do not live in a social void that makes the practical difference." (that is, not alone)

I personally care much more for the merit of ideas rather than the technicalities (in themselves), which in this case was not very ambiguous. I think you should focus on the arguments rather than nitpicking single sentences to comment on them. I have considered your position and it does not seem to me to give a person practical reasons (saving animals in this case) to become/stay vegan even if we account for the fact that we don not live in a social void. Suppose Hiroshi wants to save animals. He asks you if becoming vegan will help him achieve this goal. How do you answer? Suppose he has no intention of active involvement in animal rights organizations (as most vegans don't I would guess; attending a few meetings does not count). I take it you would answer that he can save animals by becoming vegan. Can you give him an example of the mechanism by which he would save animals? Try to use realistic numbers. Your examples don't have to be complicated they just have to make a point, like the ones I constructed.

In dealing with large numbers you deal with large intervals between cut-off points. Although this makes the chance of impact smaller it increases the effect of the impact so that the expected utility remains identical. Do you propose some other mechanism by which the impact is lost in large scale production? If yes give a simple example of it to demonstrate how it works, as I did. You give big numbers and somehow that is supposed to make the difference despite the fact that I disproved it. Do not make obscure statements which do not seem promising.

I came up with my examples. I did not see them elsewhere. If I had I would have cited the source. But I am interested to see it; if it is not too much trouble please post a link. But since you have encountered this before, apparently from at least two different individuals, you should be more careful so as not to mislead others who may simply trust you for lack of ability to analyze this sort of situation.

As for waste, imagine this. In a city of 3 million the meat producers make x tons of meat a year and waste y tons per year. In a city of 2 million with similar meat consumption per capita they make x tons of meat a year and waste (1/3)x + y tons of meat per year. This company is totally stupid in that they are greatly reducing their profit. No serious business works that way. I don't know which disciplines deal with this but I am sure there are entire fields of education training people to reduce waste and maximize profit. They must take into account the demand for their product to reduce waste. When demand falls, productions also fall in order to reduce waste. If there are big numbers here that will reduce the chance of impact for small consumers but the impact should it occur will be large. The mechanism I already described will be at work again, as previously stated.

In your example you have assumed I will somehow spend this huge sum with no implication on future planning (like reduced or delayed spending) which is the mechanism by which we save animals as vegans (by our own contribution). This example is totally irrelevant so I will give one that is relevant (planning future spending) based on your numbers. If I have 1 trillion I could, for example, say if my total spending for the month (including losses) is $26.285000025billion I will spend x + 0.01 billion dollars next month and if my total spending for the month is $26.295000025 billion I will spend x billion dollars next month. The actual spending is $26.29 billion which is closer to the lesser value therefore I will spend $0.01 billion less next month. Had I spend $50 more it would be closer to the second value which would decrease my spending by $0.01 billion next month. This is how $50 makes an impact without even being affected by the losses or lack of accuracy. There is a practical necessity for cut off points in planning. You can make the intervals between the cut-off points smaller but that will increase the chance of impact. The expected impact of spending $50 more is exactly $50! It remains unchanged regardless of the size of the intervals and regardless of the waste or inaccuracy.

No offense but I think after I presented my arguments (one of which you have seen before, evidently) you keep writing rhetoric with no substance. I have given what I think are very good reasons as to why your position is untenable and you stubbornly avoid dealing with the arguments I presented and make reference to some obscure processes which (as explained) seem no more promising. I respectfully ask you to be more objective and critical. Anyhow, I have presented my arguments and I think they clearly refute your position on this. I have done what I can; I have no control over what you decide to 'believe' so I see no more point to continuing the discussion unless you are more cooperative and critical. Respectfully :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by nogardsram View Post

No I did not. The claim I made was a very specific claim in regards to a very specific context, that being: the meat industry (as a whole) or a large company and in terms of your impact on the meat industry (as a whole) or a large company. You seem set on falsely generalizing. I don't know if this is by accident, deliberate, a language barrier, or an insecurity on your part to prove your position valid.
You inferred, incorrectly that I'm claiming that one vegan cannot make any practical difference, especially since I specifically said that consuming a dead animal (regardless of how it died) reinforces the idea of animals being object fit for human consumption. From this you should hopefully conclude that I did not state that "one vegan alone cannot make any practical difference in the [number] of animals killed."
I try to be deliberate in context as well as claims.
However, if you still believe that I made that claim, please quote what I stated and show that it's what you claim.
You have given no good reason to accept your idea that effective utility applies in this case as you indicate. I have already stated that it's overly simple. I've given real world examples supporting my case.
That isn't at all the point I was trying to make, nor what should be inferred from my example. You're making the same assumption as in your previous case that you stop consuming meat you literally save X number of animals. If I'm trying to refute that, why would I make the same assumptions?
This has to do with real world negligibility, scale of numbers and quantity, and impact.
I disagree. I have a suspicion that upon encountering the idea I put forward, you did a google search. As such, you found a common refutation to this claim, however, you don't fully understand effective utility and how to account for loss and waste on a vast scale. So if what you claim is true, please demonstrate it. If not, I reject the idea that it's applicable as stated.
So in order for the example to be at all relevant to my claim, let's put in loss and waste and similar to numbers I already put forward. What your example shows completely misses my point of scale and loss/waste.
Let's say you spend $26.29 billion, now through some mechanism of moving from banks to banks or transfers and buying things, etc, when it is actually tallied in what you purchased, you only spent $25.6 billion (even though you're out $26.29 billion). So in effect, somehow about $700,000,000 was simply lost, wasted, stolen, etc.
Now, how could $50 ever be accounted for on that scale?
You continue to give cases where exact information is known, what I'm claiming is that this simply is not the case (uncertainty) and further there are losses that do not fit into you effective utility example. What I claim is that between the losses and lack of knowledge, the uncertainty is so great $50 is insignificant to that uncertainty. If you claim otherwise, please demonstrate it for my understanding.
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Sure, you can make any assumptions you like, however you've been strawmanning my position. If you want to make assumptions in refuting my claims, about my claims, best to use my assumptions and not your preconceived ideas.
I didn't ask if you believed in animal rights. Perhaps there's a language barrier.
 

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Originally Posted by nogardsram View Post

You seem kind of knowledgable about animal rights, but you asked why the was commodification of animals was wrong. I'm not sure if that was rhetorical, attempting to illicite a specific response, or perhaps simply unfamiliar with the concept of commodification. It was a question that before I answered yours (why is the commodification of animals wrong) I wanted a baseline of your familiarity with AR (animal rights).
If the concept of commodification includes eating the corpses of animals that died of natural causes (without ever harming the animal) I say it does not fall within animal rights. A subset of that concept (commodification) would fall within animal rights, the one dealing with impact on live animals.
 

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Originally Posted by Cato View Post

Perhaps I am not used to writing in the same way you do. I try to be very clear and if I believe the context may be complex I try to give an example to demonstrate the point. However, I can assure you there is no deliberate misrepresentation of your position. If I presented it that way it is because that is how I understood it.
As quoted before you said:
"So much so that you yourself have saved not one sentient being due to being vegan."
By practical difference in here I meant by their own consumption of animal products (or lack of it). Perhaps it was not clear but you should have been able to tell this from the next sentence:
"From that you went ahead and said that it is the fact that we do not live in a social void that makes the practical difference." (that is, not alone)
I personally care much more for the merit of ideas rather than the technicalities (in themselves)
It's interesting that you refer to 'technicalities' when your counter arguments (in this thread and others both concurrent and previous) rely solely on 'technicalities.'
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Originally Posted by Cato View Post

I think you should focus on the arguments rather than nitpicking single sentences to comment on them.
I address overall ideas as well as individual comments. That is discussion. How you want to proceed is up to you, but please, do no tell others what to do.

Having said that, it's interesting you tell me this, when you yourself continue to reference and comment on, out of context, the previous above quote. If it is not a language barrier or accidental misunderstanding, then I state that it is a deliberate misrepresentation.

I have repeated that you're quoting it out of the context that it was in, yet you deliberately ignore that. You're strawmanning. If you think otherwise, prove your case or let it drop.

Cato, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

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Originally Posted by Cato View Post

Can you give him an example of the mechanism by which he would save animals? Try to use realistic numbers. Your examples don't have to be complicated they just have to make a point, like the ones I constructed.
Social and culture influences that will hopefully end in meaningful changes, combined with the growing number of already vegetarians, each vegetarian makes a contribution (like drops in a bucket) that will hopefully make lasting changes.* Finally, for those that contribute directly or near directly with animal deaths (like hunters, those buying from local slaughterhouses or animal 'producers') they make a very real and meaningful change.**

*This in no way counters my previous claim, since I already addressed this very topic. Minor noise has no impact until it becomes more than the uncertainty and losses.

**This was another point that I pointed our earlier, in that the closer you are to the animal's death/production, the more meaningful impact you will have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cato View Post

I came up with my examples. I did not see them elsewhere. If I had I would have cited the source. But I am interested to see it; if it is not too much trouble please post a link. But since you have encountered this before, apparently from at least two different individuals, you should be more careful so as not to mislead others who may simply trust you for lack of ability to analyze this sort of situation.
Then please, tell me more about effective utility and how it accounts for uncertainty and losses (which is not the same as probabilities in terms what will or won't happen).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cato View Post

As for waste, imagine this. In a city of 3 million the meat producers make x tons of meat a year and waste y tons per year. In a city of 2 million with similar meat consumption per capita they make x tons of meat a year and waste (1/3)x + y tons of meat per year. This company is totally stupid in that they are greatly reducing their profit. No serious business works that way. I don't know which disciplines deal with this but I am sure there are entire fields of education training people to reduce waste and maximize profit. They must take into account the demand for their product to reduce waste. When demand falls, productions also fall in order to reduce waste. If there are big numbers here that will reduce the chance of impact for small consumers but the impact should it occur will be large. The mechanism I already described will be at work again, as previously stated.
I referenced real numbers in terms of losses and actual numbers. Given that your statistic lack of contribution was 10 orders of magnitude smaller than the total amount in pounds of dead animals, and 8 orders of magnitude smaller than losses, I argue that your lack of contribution is insignificant to the large scale, general purchasing habits of people from the USA (as I argued earlier).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cato View Post

This example is totally irrelevant so I will give one that is relevant (planning future spending) based on your numbers. If I have 1 trillion I could, for example, say if my total spending for the month (including losses) is $26.285000025billion I will spend x + 0.01 billion dollars next month and if my total spending for the month is $26.295000025 billion I will spend x billion dollars next month. The actual spending is $26.29 billion which is closer to the lesser value therefore I will spend $0.01 billion less next month. Had I spend $50 more it would be closer to the second value which would decrease my spending by $0.01 billion next month. This is how $50 makes an impact without even being affected by the losses or lack of accuracy. There is a practical necessity for cut off points in planning. You can make the intervals between the cut-off points smaller but that will increase the chance of impact. The expected impact of spending $50 more is exactly $50! It remains unchanged regardless of the size of the intervals and regardless of the waste or inaccuracy.
(bolding mine)

You're emphasizing my point. It's impossible for your to account for that difference on the scale I was talking about. Your hypothetical rely on the false assumptions that we have exact data. We do not. That is a reality. In an ideal world where absolutely everything was perfectly known, yes I would agree, however that is not the reality we live in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cato View Post

No offense but I think after I presented my arguments (one of which you have seen before, evidently) you keep writing rhetoric with no substance. I have given what I think are very good reasons as to why your position is untenable and you stubbornly avoid dealing with the arguments I presented and make reference to some obscure processes which (as explained) seem no more promising. I respectfully ask you to be more objective and critical. Anyhow, I have presented my arguments and I think they clearly refute your position on this. I have done what I can; I have no control over what you decide to 'believe' so I see no more point to continuing the discussion unless you are more cooperative and critical. Respectfully
smiley.gif
I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I have given real world evidence to substantiate my position, I have given calculations based on those real world examples. You continue with a hypothetical world based on perfect knowledge. That is not a world we live in.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cato View Post

If the concept of commodification includes eating the corpses of animals that died of natural causes (without ever harming the animal) I say it does not fall within animal rights. A subset of that concept (commodification) would fall within animal rights, the one dealing with impact on live animals.
Consuming dead animals reinforces the idea that animals are commodities, objects to be used as we (humans) see fit, it does commodify them. Since it reinforces that idea it does impact the living animals and therefor does fall under animal rights.
 

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Again, I assure you there is no deliberate misrepresentation. I believe that if you volunteer information more freely, cooperate, and provide useful examples with vague or new concepts the effectiveness of our communication will greatly improve :)

You have made reference to some obscure process of meaningful changes through social and cultural influences. I tried to quantify realistically the effects of this process for the average vegan and it seems to make no greater difference than the individual vegan's personal difference (zero). As stated by you the effect of single vegan is zero without considering the social or cultural effects. I believe the way this process works is that it leads to new converts. I.e. since a single drop has no effect on the bucket (your claim) the vegan must add more drops to the bucket somehow (that is, convert more people to veganism or somehow decrease the consumption of animal products). If we come up with realistic numbers to how many drops a regular vegan adds to a bucket we will see that the number of new drops has no effect if a single drop has no effect. Even if we took a really high number like being responsible for five people becoming vegan as a result of your change in diet (which is doubtful for regular vegans) the total effect is still zero when considering such great numbers (your argument, I reject this even for one person). So then it seems that the social and cultural effects add to zero for a single vegan. It seems to me that you leave a person with no practical reason to become vegan even if we account for the social and cultural factors. Provide an alternative if you disagree with this.

You claim I misrepresent your position but you give such obscure concepts with no examples.

Sorry but your objections are nonsense. When you add the total you must count how much was sold to all your customers. For a store that serves 1000 people the chance that you may have an effect may be say 1 in a hundred. For a distributor that serves 1000 stores the chance that your store's order will have an effect may be 1 in a hundred (the effect being inversely proportional.) In total the chance you will have an effect on the distributor is 1 in 10,000 but the effect would be the consumption for 10,000 people. So all in all the expected effect is exactly your share of animal products!

You must add your sales and that means having trying to account for all products sold. You do not somehow magically get the big numbers, you have to add everything you sold! You can split your counting any way you want the expected effect will not change. Miscounting has no effect either unless we imagine evil forces at play. There was miscounting before you stopped using the product too, there is no reason to believe that the miscounting will play out in such a way that it will be increased so as to make up by your lack of consumption. And in trying to reduce waste they will have to consider your lack of contribution when they plan. The expected effect is exactly your own contribution.

No I am not emphasizing your point because your point is completely pointless :)

I gave specific numbers to make the specific example you gave work. In reality humans numbers like $26.29 billion and $26.28 billion will be used instead of $26.295000025 billion. All that means is that the difference will be made when the sum is between $26.284 999 950 billion to $26.284 999 999 billion instead of the number I gave previously. However the industry may round their sales to the closest 0.001 billion instead of lower values. But that makes no change whatsoever. You must try to count everything you sold. You cannot just pick at random what you count. You can not say I will arbitrarily not count this that and the other. The counting will take place at the lower levels trying to account for all products; they do not somehow count themselves. They will round to a certain figure, say the closest $1000 in the lower levels. Your $50 will make a difference if the last three digits are between $450 and $500. The chance of that is 1 in 20 and the effect is $1000 which gives an expected effect of exactly $50. Now at the next higher level of counting they may round to the closest $100 000. If the last five digits are between $49 000 and $50 000 the $1000 will make a difference in rounding. The chance is 1 in a 100 and the effect would be $100 000. At the next level they may round to the closest $0.001 billion (one million). As with the previous cases if the last digits are between 0.0004 and 0.0005 (400 thousand and 500 thousand) the $100 000 will have an effect on the rounding. The chance is 1 in 10 and the effect is one million. Let's multiply the probabilities (1/20)(1/100)(1/10)= 1/20 000. The chance of the $50 making an impact is one in 20 000 and the effect is one million. Divide one million by 20 000 and you get $50 for the expected effect. No change whatsoever!

The only way your theory works is if they out of spite miscounted so as to counteract my lack of contribution. In the real world a vegan's lack of purchasing $50 worth of animal products has the expected effect of exactly $50 regardless of the size of the distribution centre. If I eat 50 animals less my expected number of animals saved is 50!

I do not know exactly how the industry logistics function and I have no intention of spending the next couple of years finding out so that I can come up with very specific examples for you. And any such request is very unreasonable! However, common knowledge and ability to analyze the situation dictate how it works. In reality there is no truth fairy and there is no magical process by which expected effect disappears, regardless of the size of the distribution centre.

I will present yet another argument. A single vegan's personal lack of contribution in eating animals does not save even one animal (your claim). So take a city. Without worrying about the social effects (assuming they remain unchanged in order to isolate the relevant variable), if a single vegan goes back to eating meat it will make no difference in number of animals saved. But one is no different than two when dealing with such big numbers so if two people stop being vegan it will have no effect, same for three, ..., ten makes no difference after all it is just one more than nine, ..., a hundred makes no difference it is just one more than 99, ..., 1000 makes no difference it is just one more than 999, ...

You see where this is going. We can keep turning vegans one by one into meat eaters until there is no one left and it will have no effect because a single person has no effect (follows from your argument). This clearly refutes your theory.

Now, how this actually should works with big distribution centres is that when vegans are taken out one by one at a certain number, say 100 (you can use x if you like), it will have an effect. The effect it will have is the consumption of 100 people. For all we know we are the 100th vegan. If we stopped contributing we have a 1 in a hundred chance of decreasing production of animal products for 100 persons. The expected effect is exactly the same, your own (would be) contribution.

Given the consumption of others (not knowing how close to the cut-off point they are without these vegans), 99 vegans have a 99% chance that they will have an effect. 50 vegans have a 50% chance and a single vegan has a 1% chance. The effect is the consumption of 100 people so expected effect remains unchanged. That is, without even considering social and cultural effects, if a single vegan starts using animal products she can expect to increase animal suffering by the exact amount she consumes.

This is a factual matter. Just because we don't agree does not mean neither is wrong ;)

The only way your arguments might seem plausible is when shrouded in obscurity. Upon closer inspection they prove to be seriously flawed. All you might achieve with it is to confuse readers who do not have the ability to analyze this by themselves (which is the vast majority).

I realize that we often are offended when others criticize our arguments and I hope you do not take my comments as personally disrespectful but I will not relent on this without reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nogardsram View Post

It's interesting that you refer to 'technicalities' when your counter arguments (in this thread and others both concurrent and previous) rely solely on 'technicalities.'
I address overall ideas as well as individual comments. That is discussion. How you want to proceed is up to you, but please, do no tell others what to do.
Having said that, it's interesting you tell me this, when you yourself continue to reference and comment on, out of context, the previous above quote. If it is not a language barrier or accidental misunderstanding, then I state that it is a deliberate misrepresentation.
I have repeated that you're quoting it out of the context that it was in, yet you deliberately ignore that. You're strawmanning. If you think otherwise, prove your case or let it drop.
Cato, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.
Social and culture influences that will hopefully end in meaningful changes, combined with the growing number of already vegetarians, each vegetarian makes a contribution (like drops in a bucket) that will hopefully make lasting changes.* Finally, for those that contribute directly or near directly with animal deaths (like hunters, those buying from local slaughterhouses or animal 'producers') they make a very real and meaningful change.**
*This in no way counters my previous claim, since I already addressed this very topic. Minor noise has no impact until it becomes more than the uncertainty and losses.
**This was another point that I pointed our earlier, in that the closer you are to the animal's death/production, the more meaningful impact you will have.
Then please, tell me more about effective utility and how it accounts for uncertainty and losses (which is not the same as probabilities in terms what will or won't happen).
I referenced real numbers in terms of losses and actual numbers. Given that your statistic lack of contribution was 10 orders of magnitude smaller than the total amount in pounds of dead animals, and 8 orders of magnitude smaller than losses, I argue that your lack of contribution is insignificant to the large scale, general purchasing habits of people from the USA (as I argued earlier).
(bolding mine)
You're emphasizing my point. It's impossible for your to account for that difference on the scale I was talking about. Your hypothetical rely on the false assumptions that we have exact data. We do not. That is a reality. In an ideal world where absolutely everything was perfectly known, yes I would agree, however that is not the reality we live in.
I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I have given real world evidence to substantiate my position, I have given calculations based on those real world examples. You continue with a hypothetical world based on perfect knowledge. That is not a world we live in.
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Consuming dead animals reinforces the idea that animals are commodities, objects to be used as we (humans) see fit, it does commodify them. Since it reinforces that idea it does impact the living animals and therefor does fall under animal rights.
 

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Cato, when you want to bring some honesty and humility to the discussion we can continue. I'm not interested in debating someone who cannot read, refuses to comprehend, and makes strawman arguments as consistently as you.
 

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I also feel this is getting nowhere. I have spent many hours writing these posts to no avail. Rationality is a precondition for sorting this out.

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Originally Posted by nogardsram View Post

Cato, when you want to bring some honesty and humility to the discussion we can continue. I'm not interested in debating someone who cannot read, refuses to comprehend, and makes strawman arguments as consistently as you.
 

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We all are in agreeance that slaughtering animals for meat is wrong and inhumane. However, if people ate meat from an animal that just died naturally in its natural habitat (like a pasture, for instance) and wasn't killed for its meat and wasn't abused during its life, would it still be inhumane and wrong to eat its meat? I mean, the animal didn't suffer nor was it killed prematurely.
A question you don't hear to often. For my own reasons, mostly medical, I'm holding off on eating meat in the near future.

But, considering the advice of a doctor I've been listening to, Jack Kruse, I have been considering going back to sea food.

My issue like other vegetarians is the consideration for the pain of the life I would be consuming. I want to know myself is there a fish farm that raises fish and sea creatures and waits to package the meat only from natural death in the tank environment.

One, it's easier to monitor life span of sea creatures then land animals, I would assume. This helps produce timelines for production based on life span.

Two, because it's a controlled environment, medical oversight is easier to monitor healthy supplies over contaminated fish.

This to me is an open industry to both create and invest in, since I have not found any companies like this online so far.

Based on these personal parameters, I would not feel inhumane, nor should anyone else.

🥂
 

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No, it isn’t, so long as it’s retrieved immediately upon death - with the obvious qualifier that the natural cause has to be something which wouldn’t adversely affect the animal’s metabolism and nutritional intake. A sudden heart attack, for example, would be fine - cancer would likely cause adverse effects in meat quality, as it causes substantial weight loss and other issues.
 
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