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Poll: Do You Think Composting With Worms Is Ethical?

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Joan Kennedy</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
We're talking in the context of people who don't eat animal flesh, for whichever reason, being as we're talking about it on the VeggieBoards. It sounds like you're confusing environmental <i>ethics</i> with environmental <i>policy</i>.</div>
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No. On VeggieBoards as in other contexts, environmental arguments will sometimes conflict with the individualistic arguments of AR.
 

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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>nogardsram</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I hope someone will put me in a box and give me a steady stream of food so I can just sit around and poop all day.</div>
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Can do! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/laugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":lol:">
 

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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>saxyphonist</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Well, it's not about harm to the worms. It's about allowing them their right to self-determination. We can't be sure whether they know or care that they're in captivity but I would prefer to err on the side of caution and give them the benefit of the doubt.<br><br><br><br><b>I don't think anyone has any problem with composting if the worms make their own way into the compost pile; it's when they're captured/bred to be added to humans' compost piles that it becomes an issue.</b></div>
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+1
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>nogardsram</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
So you're starving them or keeping food supplies low to keep them from reproducing?<br><br><br><br>
I think this notion of breeding according to available resources is a bit naive and simplistic. "Oh, apparently we've reached the peak population for our bin worms, let's stop breeding!"<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
I'm not sure what this means. I can believe killing is unethical without resorting to detailing the manner of each specific possible type of killing. I can think all sorts of things are unethical based on general guidelines (like confining another creature and use for personal reasons). I don't subscribe to the cost-benefit analysis idea, in that certain benefits somehow justify something which is normally unethical. Confining another creature to use for personal reasons is unethical to me. Vermiculture to me is unethical based on that notion.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
That was in terms of population growth. How exactly do you imagine that worms control their populations? Do they have birth control? Do they sense the finite space, the amount of surrounding worms, the steady input source of food? Perhaps there is some mechanism inside their bodies responding to their waste, food supply, and quantity of other worms (or perhaps they're conscious of this?) thereby regulating their breeding?<br><br><br><br>
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How long did you have this wormery? You never saw a dead worm that entire time? How long does it take for a worm body to break down in a wormery? What is the typical lifespan of a worm regularly and then what is it in a wormery? What is the birthrate as well as the mortality rate? What do worms die of in a wormery?<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
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Of course, like I stated in my original post in this thread, this is more just challenging the notion of a swell place it must be for the worms. I think humans tend to idealized captivity. I hear it a lot with response to bee keeping, horses, farm animals (those which are then killed and consumed or the ones which are kept for milk or eggs or wool), zoos, etc.<br><br><br><br>
"They just sit around eating as much as they want." I guess with worms the important part to remember too is that they also "poop."<br><br><br><br>
Sure sounds like an idyllic life. I hope someone will put me in a box and give me a steady stream of food so I can just sit around and poop all day.</div>
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We had the wormery for several years. When I gave it away the worms were still in there munching away and the new owners are now taking care of them. We did not 'manage' the worms breeding we just kept putting the appropriate materials in which they consumed. We'd then harvest the compost at regular intervals after going through the special procedure to separate the worms from the compost to be harvested. I never saw any dead worms, we never had to buy any new worms either.<br><br><br><br>
I will stick to my analogy that having worms is the same as keeping a cat in a house or apartment.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>MrFalafel</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><br><br><br>
I will stick to my analogy that having worms is the same as keeping a cat in a house or apartment.</div>
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Big difference between dog and cat companion animals and worms as companion animals, domestication. Worms will do just fine (if not better) on their own, dogs and cats will not....<br><br><br><br>
Also like similar to the point nog. made, "do as to others as you would have them do unto you". Would you want to be kept in a box, be used and managed by another being? Sounds like prison huh?
 

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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>luvourmother</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Big difference between dog and cat companion animals and worms as companion animals, domestication. Worms will do just fine (if not better) on their own, dogs and cats will not....<br><br><br><br>
Also like similar to the point nog. made, "do as to others as you would have them do unto you". Would you want to be kept in a box, be used and managed by another being? Sounds like prison huh?</div>
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Sounds like you are against someone owning a pet cat that is not allowed out of the house.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>MrFalafel</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Sounds like you are against someone owning a pet cat that is not allowed out of the house.</div>
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i don't know how you came to that assumption? if the cat cannot defend itself or the outside presents dangers to the animals health staying inside is a better solution.<br><br><br><br>
im against keeping un-altered cats, and not providing them with proper flea control etc.<br><br><br><br>
very much unlike keeping worms in a box inside of a house...
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>luvourmother</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
i don't know how you came to that assumption? if the cat cannot defend itself or the outside presents dangers to the animals health staying inside is a better solution.<br><br><br><br>
im against keeping un-altered cats, and not providing them with proper flea control etc.<br><br><br><br>
very much unlike keeping worms in a box inside of a house...</div>
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Well the wormery we had wasn't secure or locked. It was also kept outside in the garden. It also had a hole in the bottom for drainage so in theory the worms could have escaped if they wanted to. But I guess they preferred the warmth and protection from predators of the wormery and being fed food rather than fending for themselves in the wild. Much like how a housecat lives.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>MrFalafel</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
If you have a dog or cat or any other pet, a wormery is really just a different kind of companion animal.</div>
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<br><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?120747-Poll-Do-you-think-composting-with-worms-is-ethical&p=2701395&viewfull=1#post2701395" target="_blank">http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...=1#post2701395</a>
 

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<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><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?120747-Poll-Do-you-think-composting-with-worms-is-ethical&p=2701395&viewfull=1#post2701395" target="_blank">http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...=1#post2701395</a></div>
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I guess its too late to ask a mod to merge these two threads?<br><br><br><br>
To answer your post, I'm talking about cats and dogs and worms, not wild animals. I would think that keeping an elephant in an apartment would be cruel but a cat in that same apartment or some worms in a wormery would be OK.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>MrFalafel</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Well the wormery we had wasn't secure or locked. It was also kept outside in the garden. It also had a hole in the bottom for drainage so in theory the worms could have escaped if they wanted to. But I guess they preferred the warmth and protection from predators of the wormery and being fed food rather than fending for themselves in the wild. Much like how a housecat lives.</div>
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oh, were your worms the result of centuries of breeding and human intervention?<br><br>
nice avoidance of the question concerning if you would like to be kept in a box <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>MrFalafel</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><br>
To answer your post, I'm talking about cats and dogs and worms, not wild animals. I would think that keeping an elephant in an apartment would be cruel but a cat in that same apartment or some worms in a wormery would be OK.</div>
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But to me, having a (rescued) cat is okay because someone needs to care for the neglected cats waiting at shelters. I do not think the social practice of having companion animals is a good one. This same kind of reasoning cannot be applied to worms, which are like wild animals in this respect.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>luvourmother</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
oh, were your worms the result of centuries of breeding and human intervention?<br><br>
nice avoidance of the question concerning if you would like to be kept in a box <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"></div>
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I live in a box. My house is very box shaped, actually. Except for the pointy roof. The worms I had lived in a round wormery that had three separate floors or stages. They probably had more scaled square footage than I do. I honestly don't know anything about the breed of worms housed.
 

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<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>
But to me, having a (rescued) cat is okay because someone needs to care for the neglected cats waiting at shelters. I do not think the social practice of having companion animals is a good one. This same kind of reasoning cannot be applied to worms, which are like wild animals in this respect.</div>
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How about this: I have a backyard that is enclosed except for the top. I also have a bird feeder in the backyard. Wild birds come and go and use the bird feeder. When the bird feeder gets low, I add more birdseed. When I had the wormery, we just put one package of worms into the wormery and began feeding them. The worms could have escaped through the drainage pump or smuggled themselves out along with the compost used in the garden but they didn't. They chose to stay. Now lets say I had a parakeet that I let loose into my backyard. And for some reason it decided to not fly away but to remain in my backyard feeding on the bird feeder. Is this exploitation or abuse?
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>MrFalafel</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Now lets say I had a parakeet that I let loose into my backyard. And for some reason it decided to not fly away but to remain in my backyard feeding on the bird feeder. Is this exploitation or abuse?</div>
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If you didn't acquire that parakeet from a shelter or a place of abuse, then I think it's wrong that you "have" the parakeet, as you probably got the animal from a pet shop or the wild or something.
 

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<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>
If you didn't acquire that parakeet from a shelter or a place of abuse, then I think it's wrong that you "have" the parakeet, as you probably got the animal from a pet shop or the wild or something.</div>
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I see what you are saying. The worms were purchased from worm breeding facility. One could compare that to a chicken breeding or other animal breeding facility. But the difference is worms are not killed like chickens are. Nor are they selectively bred like dog and cat breeders to. They also do not require special subsistence (ie animal food) like dogs and cats do. They are grown and live out their full life cycle doing what they do naturally.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>MrFalafel</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I live in a box. My house is very box shaped, actually. Except for the pointy roof. The worms I had lived in a round wormery that had three separate floors or stages. They probably had more scaled square footage than I do. I honestly don't know anything about the breed of worms housed.</div>
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More avoidance, nice! Is someone using you to eliminate waste and create poop for their own purposes? is your food and resources up to another to provide?<br><br><br><br>
what if someone discovered that vegetarian poop is an excellent source of energy, and people bought, trade and sold vegetarians to keep for their poop, and we were kept in boxes and used to make poop. would u want to live as a vegetarian poop slave?
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>luvourmother</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
More avoidance, nice! Is someone using you to eliminate waste and create poop for their own purposes? is your food and resources up to another to provide?<br><br><br><br>
what if someone discovered that vegetarian poop is an excellent source of energy, and people bought, trade and sold vegetarians to keep for their poop, and we were kept in boxes and used to make poop. would u want to live as a vegetarian poop slave?</div>
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You are avoiding the simple fact that the worms could have left the wormery if they wanted to. They were not slaves. In fact, they had more freedom than a cat living in an apartment.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>MrFalafel</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
We had the wormery for several years. When I gave it away the worms were still in there munching away and the new owners are now taking care of them. We did not 'manage' the worms breeding we just kept putting the appropriate materials in which they consumed. We'd then harvest the compost at regular intervals after going through the special procedure to separate the worms from the compost to be harvested. I never saw any dead worms, we never had to buy any new worms either.</div>
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I've never seen Antartica, nor have I bought a ticket to travel there. Does that mean that it must not exist?<br><br><br><br>
I honestly don't understand why that would be proof of anything, that you never saw a dead worm. What is the water content of a worm? Considering how fast vegetable matter breaks down in wormeries, how fast do you think a gooey mass of a dead worm will break down? I'd think in less than a day it would no longer be recognizable. How many juveniles did you see? Considering that you had one, I assume you read up on the lifespan of worms and could recognize an adult from a juvenile? If you ever saw a juvenile after the initial population stabilization, it would stand to reason that at least some worms have to be dying (else there would be no stabilization). What was the ratio of juvenile to adult worms in your wormery? How about worm cocoons, did you ever see those? What did you do with the worms after you decided you were 'done' with them?<br><br><br><br>
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So I just want to clarify. This notion of a stabilization that you and lovely_rita have brought up. Further the idea which has been brought up about worm boxes being pretty great places for worms to live.<br><br><br><br>
The notion of population stabilization basically means that the birth rate is about the same as the death rate. There could be a very high birth rate, which would require a correspondingly high death rate, or a very low birth rate, corresponding to a very low death rate.<br><br><br><br>
I am wondering if you and lovely_rita (and other who push this kind of idea) believe that as soon as there is some kind of quantity of worms (based on available resources) then the worms stop breeding so that only as the 'happy' worms die of a ripe old age and a life of vigorous eating and pooping, then they breed only to replace those dead ones. This is some kind of fantasy fairy tale.<br><br><br><br>
Yes, the birth rate does go down as resources are consumed (as does with all life), I submit that it is in fact higher than the fairy tale already mentioned. Of course it's not at the other extreme, where the birth rate is as high as it was initially when the first few worms were placed in your wormery. It's somewhere in between, that in between will depend on how aggressive the worms are (which the red wriggler happens to be), how much their birth rate does fall, etc.<br><br><br><br>
Since it is in fact higher than the fairy tale, this means there is stress and competition among the worms in the wormery. I suspect very few will live to that ripe old worm age, so I suspect that the majority of death will be due to not being able to compete with the younger and more aggressive worms. Basically in your artificial environment of no predators, hopefully no disease, climate controlled (if inside, I realize you did state yours was outside), the primary driving force for population control will be each other and food supply. So in effect you're starving the older and weaker ones. I wouldn't be surprised that the lifespan is much less what it would be in the wild due to the setup of the system.<br><br><br><br>
After all you only need them to reach adulthood (which I believe is less than a year) and breed. From your eyes, considering the bodies break down so fast, you only see strong, vigorous, worms, just the kind that will be surviving at any given time.<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>MrFalafel</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Well the wormery we had wasn't secure or locked. It was also kept outside in the garden. It also had a hole in the bottom for drainage so in theory the worms could have escaped if they wanted to. But I guess they preferred the warmth and protection from predators of the wormery and being fed food rather than fending for themselves in the wild. Much like how a housecat lives.</div>
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Do you concern yourself or consider the introduction of non-native species? This is a by-product of a global vermiculture where people prefer red wrigglers.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>MrFalafel</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I live in a box. My house is very box shaped, actually. Except for the pointy roof. The worms I had lived in a round wormery that had three separate floors or stages. They probably had more scaled square footage than I do. I honestly don't know anything about the breed of worms housed.</div>
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Do your worms have a day job too? Do they go on vacations and trips around the country? Do they drive their little worm cars or just take the worm subway into town when they need new clothes?<br><br><br><br>
This is silly. I don't understand how people relate confining another creature to humans living in a house. I hear and read the same thing about zoos. It sounds like justification or rationalization rather than a conclusion based on actual reasoning.
 
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