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So my friend and I were discussing our reason for being veg*n and he was playing the devil's advocate (and I've herd others say this before), saying what is the difference between a eating a jellyfish (a primitive lifeform) and a carrot. Both are alive and both must be killed.<br><br>
I wasn't really sure what my response was. Though for me it's the fact that one is an animal and the other isn't, but it's a hard question to answer and I wondered what all of you thought.
 

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We all have to draw our lines somewhere and for me it's between plants and animals. That makes the most sense to me because most animals definitely feel pain and the ones that we're not sure about are still probably more likely to feel pain than any plant. And even if plants felt pain, eating a plant-based diet still causes less total suffering than most diets that include eating animals. Moreover, eating plants instead of animals is better for the environment and better for human health. That's because raising animals for food means filtering the nutrients in plants through the flesh of animals. Why grow plants, feed them to animals, kill the animals, and eat the animals if you don't have to. It's wasteful and causes unecessary suffering.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>reefdweller9192</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2912632"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
So my friend and I were discussing our reason for being veg*n and he was playing the devil's advocate (and I've herd others say this before), saying what is the difference between a eating a jellyfish (a primitive lifeform) and a carrot. Both are alive and both must be killed.<br><br>
I wasn't really sure what my response was. Though for me it's the fact that one is an animal and the other isn't, but it's a hard question to answer and I wondered what all of you thought.</div>
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Are they really talking about eating a carrot vs. eating a jellyfish? I don't think so, and it's just a trap to try to excuse brutality against clearly sentient life forms like farm animals. Unless they really want to eat jellyfish, you hardly need to engage this one. Unless they're sympathetic to veg*nism and just like thinking about the finer points of sentience, what people are generally going for when they use this argument is about eating a carrot vs. a chicken or a pig or a cow. Can they really not tell the difference between a vegetable that has no nervous system or pain receptors and wasn't evolved to be able to respond to predation, and an animal with a brain, and the ability to run, cry, or cower in pain and fear? When I'm advocating veganism, I generally just deal with the animals that people actually eat.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Irizary</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2912653"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
When I'm advocating veganism, I generally just deal with the animals that people actually eat.</div>
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I've seen dried jellyfish for sale in Chinese grocery shops, so it is an animal that people actually eat.
 

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My husband is always telling me I'm prejudiced because i eat dead potatoes but not dead cows
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Chocolate Mouse</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2912658"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I've seen dried jellyfish for sale in Chinese grocery shops, so it is an animal that people actually eat.</div>
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True, but my bigger point is that, given the nature of these discussions as I've often seen them (which isn't necessarily the kind of debate the OP was having), debating eating oysters or jellyfish with someone who can't even grasp the ethical reason to not eat cows, chickens, and pigs is probably not productive. Breaking down those fine distinctions when someone can't even make the big ones doesn't seem to work.<br><br>
I actually talked with a vivisector who made the exact same argument - even using the word <i>carrot</i> (!) as in, "What's the difference between killing a carrot and using/killing a monkey, it's all taking life..." I think this argument is often the mark of being cut off from reality as it concerns other sentient beings.
 

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If there is certainty that a given organism is not and will not be sentient, then there's not a direct moral difference to a carrot. The animals that most people exploit, most of the time, however, are certainly sentient, so you should focus on pointing that out, and shift the discussion to what animal agriculture (and other forms of animal exploitation) do to sentient beings, and what people can do about that: go vegan.
 

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Although sentinence is important to my moral line-drawing, so are other things that I think are important also such as conciousness. If I couldn't feel pain, but was concious, I still wouldn't want to be killed. Plants are none of those things. We don't always know if some less complex animal life-forms do or do not experience these things, so I give them the benefit of the doubt. Certainly, animals we eat the most do, and frankly not eating jelly fish isn't really impacting my life right now so giving them the benefit of the doubt doesn't affect me at all.<br><br>
For a moral debate, I would say that if it could be conclusively proved animals experience none of these things (sentience, conciousness, etc) I wouldn't have a moral problem with eating them.<br><br>
However, for most conversations, I would also stress that people don't just eat jelly fish, they also eat many complex animals which are intelligent, able to feel and suffer, and concious, and they should probally worry about the jellyfish after they've stopped eating animals that clearly do suffer at their expense.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Identity_thief</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2912757"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Although sentinence is important to my moral line-drawing, so are other things that I think are important also such as conciousness. If I couldn't feel pain, but was concious, I still wouldn't want to be killed.</div>
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Wikipedia defines 'sentience' in a way that doesn't require pain, and that is my understanding of the concept as well:<br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><b>Sentience</b> is the ability to <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feeling" target="_blank">feel</a>, or <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perception" target="_blank">perceive</a>, or be <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consciousness" target="_blank">conscious</a>, or have subjective experiences.</div>
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And as you can see, since sentience is defined as the ability to be conscious, it is pretty much interchangeable with consciousness.
 

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We don't generally have to kill the plant to eat its fruit. There are exceptions, including carrots, but most plants want their fruit to be eaten.<br><br>
Besides that, plants don't have eyeballs so don't even see death coming, and, if they were designed with a survival instinct, they could move or they'd at least be poisonous. Instead, most are delicious and nutritious.<br><br>
Most animals will run screaming and few if any have any nutritional value. There is no need for us to eat meat, but we'd wither and/or die without fruit and veggies.
 

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My response:<br><br>
So... let me get this straight. Since plants are living things, and we'll die unless we eat living things, its also okay to eat animals because animals are also living things? ...and people are living things... SWEET! Can I eat your baby?!?!?!?
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>reefdweller9192</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2912632"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
So my friend and I were discussing our reason for being veg*n and he was playing the devil's advocate (and I've herd others say this before), saying what is the difference between a eating a jellyfish (a primitive lifeform) and a carrot. Both are alive and both must be killed.<br><br>
I wasn't really sure what my response was. Though for me it's the fact that one is an animal and the other isn't, but it's a hard question to answer and I wondered what all of you thought.</div>
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Just because plants and animals are both alive, doesn't mean they're the same. We know for a fact that most animals feel pain, but just because some animals don't, doesn't mean we should eat all others with abandon. Are the people who say, "What about the ones that don't feel pain?" gonna limit their animal consumption to the ones that don't feel pain? Probably not the vast majority of them.<br><br>
You'll probably hear the one about how plants might feel pain, too. That's just a nice little lie they comfort themselves with so they don't feel so guilty about the animal suffering they contribute to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Tofulicious</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2912925"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
We're alive so must be killed. Your friend's logic is awful.</div>
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Sorry, I meant that both must be killed in order to consume them.<br><br>
Anyways I agree with everyone here. The best response I see is what ElaineV said "And even if plants felt pain, eating a plant-based diet still causes less total suffering than most diets that include eating animals. Moreover, eating plants instead of animals is better for the environment and better for human health. That's because raising animals for food means filtering the nutrients in plants through the flesh of animals. Why grow plants, feed them to animals, kill the animals, and eat the animals if you don't have to. It's wasteful and causes unecessary suffering."
 

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My usual answer goes like this:<br><br>
OMNI: You are a hypocrite because you eat plants and they are life forms too!!<br><br>
ME: I know, and that bothers me also, however, I must eat plants to live! I don't have to eat animals to live. I can survive without eating them.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Hazelnut</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2912922"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
My response:<br><br>
So... let me get this straight. Since plants are living things, and we'll die unless we eat living things, its also okay to eat animals because animals are also living things? ...and people are living things... SWEET! Can I eat your baby?!?!?!?</div>
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lol.<br>
mine is: well, we can't live by eating rocks and sand and dirt. we have to eat living things and plant life incurs less suffering than animal life. i have a choice. and i choose plants.<br>
and then depending on who's asking, i may add: better karma.
 

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Plants have roughly the same amount of sentience as the ten million bacteria we kill each and every time we brush our teeth. The ten billion chickens raised and slaughtered for food each year are closer to the level of your cat or dog. Or your three year old, if you wanna go that far. And it's not an inaccurate comparison.
 

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Tell them to become a fruitarian if they care so much about taking the lives of plants. My main concern is not being part of the suffering and exploitation of sentient beings. People often mistake veganism for not wanting to take a life, there's more to it than that.
 

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I thought most people's answer would simply be "plants don't feel pain or have emotions".
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>GK420</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2914778"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I thought most people's answer would simply be "plants don't feel pain or have emotions".</div>
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I think the hypothetical corpse-eater would argue, and biologically correct, that jellyfish do not have a central nervous system or a brain (or any sort of specialized organ) and thus cannot feel pain or have emotions - even insects like bees have brains, which puts them one-up on jellyfish. However, the corpse-eater uses these kinds of exceptions to attempt to get the veg*n to paint themselves into a corner. Jellyfish do have a nerve "network", as I understand, but I don't know if their response to stimuli could accurately be interpreted as "feeling pain".<br><br>
My general response is that, sure jellyfish are not capable of processing pain in the cogent way that humans, dolphins, cows, and (apparently) bees are likely to - given the jellyfish's lack of a central nervous system or brain. So what? It still doesn't justify the suffering, exploitation and cruelty inflicted on the animals consumed by the corpse-eater industry - and I'm still not going to eat something that is independently ambulatory. In the case of molluscs and other stationary animals, I fall back on my rule of not eating anything that takes a sh*t.<br><br>
...<br><br>
Actually, you'd be surprised how many species that rule covers.
 
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