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I sent this long distant friend the link to the movie Earthlings, and this was his reply to me.<br><br>
What would you say to win him over to the point of a Vegan.<br><br>
His Reply:<br><br>
Thanks for this, Joe.<br><br><br><br>
I guess what I think is that all creatures are part of a food chain. All prey on creatures below them and are preyed upon by creatures above them on this chain. This causes great suffering to those creatures lower down on the food chain. It appears to be the way this world works.<br><br><br><br>
Humans have fought themselves to the top of the food chain. This didn't always appear to be the case. There's evidence that a tremendous step function in human intelligence occurred around 45 thousand years ago. (Scientists are having a hard time explaining it. My own interpretation is that this step function was the events of the Garden of Eden.)<br><br><br><br>
At that time, humans seem to have become dominant. We drove predators out of caves we wanted to inhabit instead of ourselves being driven out. We hunted large animals such as bison and mammoths instead of being satisfied with rodents and other small animals. We started drawing on cave walls and wearing clothing and decorating the bodies of our dead, etc., etc.<br><br><br><br>
To call our subsistence on hunting for animal protein specieism is to deny how this world works. To say that we could all be vegetarians and eat only plant products also flies in the face of the fact that there is no hunter/gatherer society that are vegetarians. They simply cannot get enough protein from plant foods to survive. They all get animal protein from some source be they insects, worms, or seals.<br><br><br><br>
Nowadays, with modern food processing techniques, we can get reasonably satisfactory proteins from plant sources, but that is making tremendous use of techniques that have been developed in the past century or so. Prior to this time, it was not possible for humans to survive on plants alone.<br><br><br><br>
It's the way the world works. Specieism is practiced by all species. It's a struggle for survival and a competition for this world's limited resources. Species that fail in this competition cease to exist. True, humans, in our dominion role are capable of being ever so vicious in our exercise of this dominion, but that is not unique in this world. Most species kill only to eat. But there are many species for which this is not the case. Also, bigotry against one's own kind is not unknown. Wolves keep their species homogeneous by driving out or killing individuals who differ from the norm -- such as off-color (black or white, etc.) members and thereby preventing them from mating. Dogs developed a multitude of varieties and breeds because humans protected them from themselves and prevented natural instincts from working to homogenize the species. Wild dogs in isolation do become homogeneous after relatively few generations.<br><br><br><br>
Anyway, my response to this movie is that part of it is an unrealistic struggle against nature. Another part, yes the biggest part, is to show us the goriness of killing animals. We, who were raised on or near a farm were experienced from early years with the goriness of animal use. We saw and participated first hand in chicken beheadings, pig slaughter, the sacrifice of our own cow to our beef storage, etc. This has all been part of our life and only recently has most of the population been able to be spared this.<br><br><br><br>
Brian, on his trip to Brazil not only toured slaughter houses and watched the killing of beef cattle but he also was "privileged" to participate in the slaughter of a pig which he was subsequently "privileged" to eat. This was a shock to him as it is to almost all people in the modern world who are isolated by cellophane and shrink-wrap from the source of our animal protein. But it is our heritage, our life, the way things have always been done, and, of necessity, must always be done until and unless technology allows us to develop satisfactory artificial meat -- maybe this century, maybe encouraged by such things as this film.<br><br><br><br>
Anyway, thank you for this film. Yes, I agree, that everyone should see it. We have isolated ourselves too fully from the reality and heritage of our survival.<br><br><br><br>
An hour and half movie of this nature is pretty long. I've watched 53 minutes of it so far and may have a chance to watch the rest of it later.<br><br><br><br>
Thanks for keeping us on your dist list, Joseph.<br><br><br><br>
Grant
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Vegan Joe</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><br>
What would you say to win him over to the point of a Vegan.</div>
</div>
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Probably some random things like that if we generally adopted his ethic of "competition for resources" and whatever and try to imitate what other species do, we should give up on caring for the elderly and the disabled. His point of view could be used to justify various forms of indifference to human suffering.<br><br><br><br>
-<br><br>
But really, this is just another instance of a kind of "natural order" fallacy. There is this Natural Order or The Way Things Work, which is also The Way Things Have Been, and we are somehow forced to follow it, lest we go against Nature. But there is no Nature somehow favouring meat-eating, and we should stop looking for guidance from these magnificient constructs like The Food Chain. Instead, we can and should create our own values, independently and autonomously. There is nothing external to us telling us what we should do.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Sevenseas</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/cool3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":cool:"></div>
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<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":up:"> Thank you, for you that wonderful insite.
 

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I don't find his argument substantial. He pointed out the hunter-gatherer lifestyle as the example of "how the world works" and yet he's perfectly fine with the fact that neither he nor anyone he knows lives as a hunter-gatherer. His argument here:<br><br><br><br>
"But it is our heritage, our life, the way things have always been done, and, of necessity, must always be done until and unless technology allows us to develop satisfactory artificial meat -- maybe this century, maybe encouraged by such things as this film."<br><br><br><br>
is nonsensical, since adequate protein is available now from plant sources and no one need wait until some mystery technology presents itself. People consume meat because that's what they're used to doing, not because "this is the way things must be done."
 

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i do not think his email warrants an intelligent, well-thought-out response until you get an intelligent email.
 
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