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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'm not a vegetarian - just a curious fish-eater...

I was wondering what the ethical reasons were for not eating clams? I can understand the environmental aspects of it, and maybe health reasons having to do with pollution. But I've dug my own clams for years, throwing the small ones back near a rock so that they'll spawn and I can eat them and their progency when their grown. I have trouble thinking that they have feelings. In comparison, they seem a lot closer to a potato than they do to a mammal or bird. Assuming you were lucky enough to be able to nurture and dig your own clams, would you still have objections to eating them?

My other question had to do with wool. I understand that some sheep involved in commercial wool production are inhumanely treated, and can see why people would not want to support that. But since shearing a happy sheep wouldn't hurt it, would you wear wool if you were assured that the sheep were treated well? When I was in Ireland, I saw sheep that roamed freely with just a streak of blue paint to identify them that were used for wool. I have trouble thinking that using this wool would be wrong, since the sheep did not seem to be mistreated, and shearing them wouldn't hurt them.

Sorry if these are naive questions - I'm not trying to come up with exceptions or anything. Just curious about the lifestyle and trying to figure out if it's for me...

Thanks,

Kimberly
 

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I have no problem with wearing wool. I will in the future make sure it comes from a kind shearing place though, just to make sure the little lammies are treated well, as they should be. Baaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaa

Clams...I was just discussing this with my husband. Clams aren't mammals or fish. (they dont' have a face... "I don't eat anything with a face" is a common term I've heard.) They are an animal, but it depends on your philosophy--if you won't eat anything from a fish on up or any animal at all. I think the fact that you collect them yourself is very good, cause the clams aren't coming from a vessel that strips the sea bed. (I'm much more against the meat industry type of animal slaughter) I think eating clams your way is fine. :)
 

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I just don't eat anything with "motor skills" I think clams and oysters fall under this catergory.
They don't have roots or use photosynthesis, so they don't classify as "plants", so I would classify them as animals. As far as wool, I don't wear it because I heard the animals aren't always treated very well.
 

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I have dug my own clams and eaten them. I tend to think if you are going to eat meat, it's good to be able to kill and process it yourself.

I would not eat clams now, but I don't have a problem with other people doing this. I would not eat them because whether they have feelings that we would recognise or not, they are animals. I don't eat animals.

The environmental/health reasons are worthy of consideration, though. Clams may be lower on the food chain and so less apt to be filled with toxins (like the big predator fish, tuna for example) but I've been hearing more and more lately about mercury poisoning, and other toxins in seafood. If I were eating clams, I would want to know everything I could about the quality of the environment that they came from. I know there are many places along coasts where warnings are posted, but what of the poisoned places that haven't been discovered yet? I don't know, I would just worry about it. Another argument for just not eating seafood, I suppose.
 

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My philosophy is based upon a conviction that animals (of all "intelligence" levels) are not necessarily here for our use or benefit Since so many other choices for food, clothing, etc. are available it seems selfish and misguided to eschew these other resources in favor of killing.

If you can exist perfectly well without killing and eating clams, why do so?

As far as wool goes, same thing. Sheep are not here for my personal satisfaction or benefit. There are also many other types of materials available for sweaters, coats, and socks (much less itchy too), so why mess around in the lives of sheep?

Live and let the animals live, too.
 

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Clams have a nervous system, albeit a simple one, but still it's enough for me not to eat them - they're capable of feeling pain.

As for wool - I have no interest in owning, buying or wearing anything containing wool. Even if the sheep were treated well, they are still being kept solely for human profit. And most likely they will be killed just as well once the quality of their wool declines. Besides, wool makes me itchy...
 

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I don't know about the clams (though, I don't eat them just because I don't eat animals and also I worry about pollutants) but the wool industry isn't an industry I particularly admire. Besides the occasional mistreatment of sheep (hopefully only occasional!) the fact that there are large groups of sheep mean that the protection of those groups are the main mindset of those farmers. That means that any predatory animal (wolves, wild dogs, wild cats, etc) are in danger in those areas---farmers want to get rid of all the predators to protect their 'crop.' Because of that, even if there aren't any mishaps during the shearing process (getting a little skin along w/the wool), animals are still being hurt/hunted/scared/poisoned to protect the farm and I decide to keep away from that industry.
 

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I think of clams, shrimp and other simple sea creatures like I do insects. I'm not totally convinced they feel pain, but I don't eat them or their products as a matter of principle, the principle that humans should leave animals alone. I don't think of a clam in the same way I do a cow or chicken.
 

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I don't eat clams because I think they taste disgusting.

Giving up seafood was the easiest thing in the world considering I always found it nasty
 

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" In comparison, they seem a lot closer to a potato than they do to a mammal or bird."

To begin with, a clam is a whole animal, while a potato is one small part of a potato plant.

A clam has an incurrent siphon, a mouth, an anus, an excurrent sipon, and a stomach and intestines between its mouth and anus. It has an a heart, kidney, nerves, and a central nerve ganglion. It breaths thru gills just like a fish.

A potato plant gets food from its roots and by manufacturing it in its leaves with the help of sunlight. Fluids travel up and down vessels, but it is by capillary action, not by a muscular pumping action of a heart, as in a clam. Potato plants send chemical "messages" like animals do, but no electrical nerve conduction "messages" the way animals do.

A clam has some locomotion abilities; it has a foot that it uses to move itself from spot to spot, slowly. Once it finds a nice spot it uses the muscular action of its incurrent siphon to sweep tiny particles of decaying matter found in murky water, into its mouth. It digests this decaying matter just like people digest their own food (including similar decaying matter if they eat fermented foods such as miso, yogurt, cheese, yeast breads).

http://www.assateague.com/nt-bival.html

http://anubis.ru.ac.za/virtualplant/...E/Overview.HTM

http://generalhorticulture.tamu.edu/...y/anatomy.html
 

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When people ask me a Vegan is, I tell them that,

"I don't eat anything with a face or a shell, OR anything that comes from something with a face or a shell". Inevitably, they then say something like, "You don't each CHICKEN"....me, "do chicken's have a face"....them, "well, yea"....me, "then I don't eat it". Then they usually have to lay a few more animals on me, just to make sure that they understand the face/ shell concept.

I don't do it because I have come to believe that other living beings are not here to serve us, and if we can avoid it, there is no reason to exploit them.

And, btw, I have an animal science degree from Cornell (as most here already have heard), and I took a course call, Sheep Production. There is plenty of suffering involved with producing wool - from docking all lambs tails (without anesthesia), to banding their testicles with rubber bands to neuter them (I hate to admit it, but I actually did this in a lab - I never felt good about it, either), to the indifferent way that they shear them (the sheep often are cut up because they are being sheared so quickly), to the misery of being in that coat under all weather conditions. We have bred them to have far more wool than they would have had if left to themselves.

The wool itself causes problems with the skin, and getting cases of maggots are quite common in sheep where the weather is hot and humid. Flies lay their eggs in the smallest little nick or sore, and maggots grow and develop in the living animal. It can kill them if left un-noticed. I have personally seen several cases of maggots on sheep (and one on a sheep dog - the owner wondered why the dog was scratching at the back of his ear and why he stank so badly - geeze!), and it is one of the grossest things I have seen in my life around animals.

a good article:

http://www.veganviews.org.uk/vv77/vv77wool.html

It's all bad. Really it is. I could go on, but why bother? You get the idea.

As far as the clams, I don't eat them because I'm not too fond of them. However, I go to South Padre Island regularly

http://www.sopadre.com/gallery/images/full/IMG0028.jpg

(I'm going there tomorrow in fact, for 4 days with just me, my 5 year old daughter and her best friend!). When I walk along the surf and the water recedes, you see these tiny, tiny little mollusks (the same family as clams) sending out these little rotating "arms" to dig themselves back in the sand. They are about as big as a child's pinky nail. Anyway, if you scoop up a bunch of sand with one in it - far more sand that one would think that they could detect the difference - they won't try to bury themselves. Somehow, they DO know the difference. I you put that sand back down, away they go again. I love to watch them. They are a tiny little miracle to me.

I could never eat one now that I have seen their amazing lives.
 

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One more thing. I have found several very good things on this site. Although I am not religious and don't follow organized religions at all, I look past that part of this site, and take the part that works.

Much of this tells, very well, why I won't eat a clam:

http://www.all-creatures.org/discuss/vv-cs.html

If you scroll about 1/2 way down the page, there are several great points about some Veg*ns philosophies, including mine!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I dont get the whole I cant bare to eat a cow, yet Im fine with a fish. To me an animal is an animal, And yes although there are ones I prefer over others that doesnt mean that they desereve to be eaten... Well thats just the way I look at it...

About the wool.. I wear wool, that's fine, as I'd hate to waste it, But I very much doubt I'd ever buy anything wool again.... I live in New Zealand and yes most sheep are "Happy" on their farms and are kept in ok conditions.. But still there are a few that aren't and also I find it cruel the way the animals are left outside in the freezing cold, when it snows.. when they have no wool on..

Here A LOT of sheep die due to the cold...

And I just find that very wasteful... etc

But yeah my personal reason is just that I dont want to contribute money to organisations/people that premote the ... umm.. hmm.. enslavement (thats probably too strong a word to use.. but you know what I mean)

I like those things in Harry Potter... (In the first book he saved harry from the creepy thing in the forrest... they are sort of half horses half something else... (geez Im so good at remembering names)) Anyway.. They wouldnt do anything if humans asked them to as they hated the way humans thought they could control everything.. and also they hated the way humans would just come and expect/demand things of them... even if it was in a nice way...

Its sort of the same.. We just expect the sheep to produce wool for us.. just because we think we are some kind of more intelligent been.....

Ps I love sheep!!

Danny
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Peebs

I think of clams, shrimp and other simple sea creatures like I do insects. I'm not totally convinced they feel pain, but I don't eat them or their products as a matter of principle, the principle that humans should leave animals alone.


I think that this is an important concept. Isn't it better to avoid harming something that you are unsure about, than to take a chance for gratuitous reasons? If you don't need clams to survive, why hurt them even if you're unsure that they feel pain? It really doesn't have to be a complex issue.
 
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