Help ATS with a contribution via PayPal:
learn more

Round 2. Loki v Animal: Would you like fries without that?

page: 1
0

log in

join

posted on Mar, 2 2008 @ 02:07 AM
link   
The topic for this debate is "Practicing vegitarianism is morally superior to eating meat".

Loki will be arguing the pro position and will open the debate.
Animal will argue the con position.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.


There are no limits on the length of posts, but you may only use 1 post per turn.

Editing is strictly forbidden. For reasons of time, mod edits should not be expected except in critical situations


Opening and closing statements must not contain any images and must have no more than 3 references.

Excluding both the opening and closing statements, only two images and no more than 5 references can be included for each post. Each invidual post may contain up to 10 sentences of external source material, totaled from all external sources.
Links to multiple pages within a single domain count as 1 reference but there is a maximum of 3 individual links per reference, then further links from that domain count as a new reference. Excess quotes and excess links will be removed before judging.


The Socratic Debate Rule is in effect. Each debater may ask up to 5 questions in each post, except for in closing statements- no questions are permitted in closing statements. These questions should be clearly labeled as "Question 1, Question 2, etc.
When asked a question, a debater must give a straight forward answer in his next post. Explanations and qualifications to an answer are acceptable, but must be preceeded by a direct answer.

A new time limit policy is in effect
Each debate must post within 24 hours of the timestamp on the last post. If your opponent is late, you may post immediately without waiting for an announcement of turn forfeiture. If you are late, you may post late, unless your opponent has already posted.

Each debater is entitled to one extention of 24 hours. The request should be posted in this thread and is automatically granted- the 24 hour extention begins at the expiration of the previous deadline, not at the time of the extention request.

In the unlikely event that tardiness results in simultaneous posting by both debaters, the late post will be deleted unless it appears in its proper order in the thread.


Judging will be done by a panel of anonymous judges. After each debate is completed it will be locked and the judges will begin making their decision. One of the debate forum moderators will then make a final post announcing the winner.




posted on Mar, 2 2008 @ 03:08 AM
link   
This debate is paused pending the resolution of a question that has arisen. It will proceed as soon as possible, probably within the day.



posted on Mar, 2 2008 @ 05:58 PM
link   
The question on this debate is resolved and this debate can now commence. The 24 hour time limit will expire 24 hours from the timestamp on this post.



posted on Mar, 3 2008 @ 12:54 AM
link   
First I'd like to thank The Vagabond for organizing this tournament, it's good to be competing again.

Webster's Dictionary defines Morality as "a doctrine or system of moral conduct" or, more appropriately "Conformity to ideals of right human conduct"

There are literally hundreds of vegetarian groups around the world, motivated by both politics and religion, or personal belief, to abstain from consuming the flesh of animals. It is a part of their moral structure to be vegetarians. Granted, there are millions more who don't consume meat for health or other reasons, but the bottom line is that it is morally right to adhere to a vegetarian diet, for many reasons.

Meat is Murder!

No, I'm not going to link you to PETA's website or anything like that, but in truth, yes. Meat is murder. It is a part of almost everyone's moral values to abstain from cruelty to animals. Yet, in the industrial food industry, Animals are raised and slaughtered by what many believe to be hazardous and unneccessarily cruel methods. It is morally right to abstain from cruelty to animals. This, I believe, we can all agree on.

We are the stewards of the Earth!

Yes, it falls to us. We are the only sentient beings on our planet. We have control over the future of the world, or lack thereof. Humanity's methods of livestock raising and meat production are causing high levels of ecological damage to the planet. Not only does this raise the question of whether we 'should' be raising these animals in this way, but how the world will see our methods 50, or even 100 years into the future. It is morally right to consider the fate of one's offspring, and the state of the world that one leaves to them.



A 2006 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations found that animal agriculture is a leading cause of climate change and air pollution; land, soil, and water degradation; and biodiversity loss. According to the report, the livestock sector is an even larger contributor to global warming than transport (cars, trucks, airplanes, and so forth). Huge quantities of the potent greenhouse gases methane and nitrous oxide are emitted by farmed animals and their waste. Animal agriculture is also a key factor in deforestation, which releases the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. The total area used for grazing and the production of feedcrops accounts for 70 percent of all agricultural land and 30 percent of the earth’s land surface. About 20 percent of the world’s pastures and rangelands have been degraded (over 70 percent in the dry lands), mostly through overgrazing, compaction, and erosion created by livestock action.

SOURCE

Your body is a temple!

Christians know this already, but some of us may not know, that it is a sin to purposefully damage one's own body, as it is a 'temple' of the holy spirit. Meat does just that, and it has been proven. It is morally right to care for one's body, and maintain a diet that promotes strong health.


Regardless, nutritionists hardly need more evidence about the potentially negative health effects of eating red meat. For starters, the saturated animal fat in red meat contributes to heart disease and atherosclerosis. Recent research also shows that frequent red meat eaters face twice the risk of colon cancer as those who indulge less often. Red meat is also thought to increase the risks of rheumatoid arthritis and endometriosis.

Meanwhile, according to the American Dietetic Association, vegetarian diets can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, colon cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, kidney disease, hypertension, obesity, and other debilitating medical conditions. While red meat is a key source of protein and vitamin B12 in North American diets, nutritionists explain that properly planned meat-free diets easily provide these important nutrients while keeping you healthier in the long run.

SOURCE

Basically, when considering the essence of morality, the picture becomes much more clear that it is truly a moral pursuit to abstain from eating meat, as it has many benefits to not only oneself but to animals, fellow humans, and future humans. It's a simple fact that vegetarians do not require as many resources to survive as those who eat meat.(The typical meat eater’s diet can require up to 14 times more water and 20 times more energy than that of a vegetarian.) Those who consider themselves to be morally right should consider that: "Proverbs 12:10 teaches, “A righteous man has regard for the life of his beast,” and Psalm 145:9 reminds us that “The Lord is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made.” (Including steak. I mean, uh...cows.)



posted on Mar, 4 2008 @ 12:09 AM
link   
Thank you to the Vagabond once again for setting up this debate. Salutations to my opponent Loki, I sincerely look forward to this debate with you, and based on your opening I see I have my work cut out for me, my hat off to you sir.

As you all can see I will be arguing the con position, that is to say that practicing vegetarianism is NOT morally superior to eating meat.

My opponent is arguing that it is morally superior to refrain from eating meat based on the logic that it is responsible for taking a life, that eating meat is environmentally unsustainable, and that meat is bad for the body and therefore morally unjust.

I argue that while the issues he brings to light are legitimate concerns for every person on the Earth, using them to argue for an extreme, in this case ZERO consumption of meat, is over zealous.


While there are no stirrings of pleasure, anger, sorrow, or joy, the mind may be said to be in the state of Equilibrium. When those feelings have been stirred, and they act in their due degree, there ensues what may be called the state of Harmony. This Equilibrium is the great root from which grow all the human actings in the world, and this Harmony is the universal path which they all should pursue. ~Confucius

acc6.its.brooklyn.cuny.edu...


This statement by Confucius speaks of finding BALANCE. It is a call for humans to develop a way of living that rests between extremes. The call to remove ALL meat from ones diet to achieve morality is an extreme and according to the logic of The Way or Dào is out of balance.

While my opponent brings to light valid concerns, as I have already conceded, his/her stance is lacks the strength of balance.

In regards to the consumption of meat as being responsible for murder, as meat is the flesh of living beings, I say,


“Behold, all flesh is as the grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field” Isaiah 40:6.


What, in a moral sense, would allow one to justify killing a cow for food over a blade of grain? Many argue that it is the taking of the life of a sentient being that makes the difference that a cow, a goat, a pig, or a fish are in this way superior to that of the blade of grain or the fruit of the vine.

To this I say again, “All flesh is as the grass”, we are all living thanks to the one source of all life on this planet, the sun. We all live thanks to the category of life known as the “producers”, those kindly LIVING beings who transform solar energy into a form usable by all living things on the face of this green Earth. What being deserves more reverence and respect than those which make life possible? The distinction humans make between an animal and a plant is a result of anthropomorphism, where we project human traits onto non-human entities or objects. We see in animals human characteristics so we separate them from those things in which we do not see ourselves. Thus we do not eat dogs and cats (in the USA) but we do eat cows and pigs.

Yet our distinctions here become blurry. Humans, where I live, would never consider eating a dog or a cat, yet tot hem a cow is fair game. Plenty of my vegetarian friends refuse meat on their plate, yet when we go hiking their boots are leather.

Loki also makes the point that the consumption of meat is environmentally unsustainable. While this is the common theme, it is also true of the current, industrialized production of all staple foods in the industrialized world. The dependence of industrial agriculture on petroleum products for energy, fertilizers, and pesticides links it directly into the unquestionably unsustainable oil industry. The impacts of mono-crop agriculture, of oil based pesticides and fertilizers, and massive irrigation on the soils of this Earth are equally unsustainable.

Loki also noted that our bodies are temples to be highly regarded and respected. While this is true, it is also true that the OVER consumption of meat harms the temple, which leads me into my stance.

It is not simply the consumption of meat that is morally questionable, it is the OVER consumption, the thoughtless, unbalanced consumption of meat that makes it morally reprehensible.

One can choose to abstain from meat on moral grounds, but one cannot claim to be morally superior to the other who chooses to eat meat wisely and responsibly. Humans are clearly omnivores; our teeth are proof of that. We evolved eating meat and there is no reason to condemn such a habit when that habit is maintained in a responsible manner.

Thus my stance is this: The consumption of meat is no less moral than vegetarianism. The issue is BALANCE, it is true that over consumption, of anything, is morally reprehensible, the responsible consumption of meat is not.



posted on Mar, 4 2008 @ 10:19 PM
link   
Before I begin I'd like to refer my opponent to the literal definition of morality. Rules are rules, and bending or breaking of rules constitutes a failure to achieve the goals intended by the moral system, that is: Morality.

"Humans are clearly omnivores; our teeth are proof of that. We evolved eating meat"

Actually, that's not entirely clear:

like plant eaters (but un-like meat eaters), our colons are long and complex (not simple and short); our intestines are 10–11 times longer than our bodies (not 3–6 times longer); our saliva contains digestive enzymes (un-like carnivores); and our teeth resemble those of plant eaters—for instance, our canines are short and blunt (not long, sharp, and curved).

SOURCE
Keep in mind that we are essentially primates, closely related to a massive familiy of vegetarian apes. What sets us apart, however, is the ability to choose, and that includes the possibility of making the wrong choices, as I'm sure we all know.




I'd like to take a closer look now at how some other groups view Vegetarianism. I've shown that a vegetarian diet would be morally right under the umbrella of Christian doctrine. In other religions, Vegetarianism is a requirement, reinforcing the fact that it is, by the very definition of morality the morally right thing to do.

The Kharmic struggle!

In many eastern religions, it is considered extremely bad Kharma to kill another living being:

Ahimsa...is a Sanskrit term meaning non-violence (literally: the avoidance of violence - himsa) It is an important tenet of the religions that originated in ancient India (Hinduism, Buddhism and especially Jainism). Ahimsa is a rule of conduct that bars the killing or injuring of living beings. It is closely connected with the notion that all kinds of violence entail negative karmic consequences.

SOURCE

This concept fits closely with the one I raised in my previous post about meat being murder. The idea of Ahisma exists to enforce the moral rightness of its adherents.


Practice of Ahimsa develops love. Ahimsa is another name for truth or love. Ahimsa is universal love. It is pure love. It is divine Prem. Where there is love, there you will find Ahimsa. Where there is Ahimsa, there you will find love and selfless service. They all go together.

The one message of all saints and prophets of all times and climes, is the message of love, of Ahimsa, of selfless service. Ahimsa is the noblest and best of traits that are found expressed in the daily life and activities of perfected souls. Ahimsa is the one means, not only to attain Salvation, but also to enjoy uninterrupted peace and bliss. Man attains peace by injuring no living creature.


By this moral system, we can see that harming Animals is no different than harming humans, ergo it is morally right to be a vegetarian.

The Humanist within!

Humanism is a philosophy of life based on the ideal of reason. Humanists believe that our morals are based on human nature, reason, and experience. Humanist decisions should be based on evidence, and the outcomes of our choices, not by any sort of organized dogmatic religion. This is not a moral system whose rules have been set by some sacred text. Yet we find that there are humanist groups who also agree on the moral superiority of Vegetarianism.


Vegetarianism in its ethical form is an approach to life based on compassion for all animals. The Humanist Vegetarian Group understands that humans are merely animals and that the capacities which evolution has bestowed upon us for survival give rise to compassion, fairness and morality, which we apply as well as we are able to all animals.

SOURCE

By this moral system, we can see that we have been endowed by evolution with the capacity for compassion, and it behooves us as morally right humans to exercise this compassion for our fellow mammals. Vegetarianism is morally right under this moral system by virtue of ethical propriety.

Question 1: Are there any moral systems in which eating meat is a prerequisite to "morality"?

Question 2: Do you have any proof that moderate to low consumption of meat is in any way better for your body than a completely vegetarian diet?



posted on Mar, 5 2008 @ 08:43 PM
link   

Before I begin I'd like to refer my opponent to the literal definition of morality. Rules are rules, and bending or breaking of rules constitutes a failure to achieve the goals intended by the moral system, that is: Morality.


I understand the literal definition of morality and along with that I understand is that in moral debates, or ethical debates as they are synonymous, there are MANY views on what constitutes morality. In this debate I have chosen tot take the middle path, the Dào, the Golden Mean. As such I contend that your definition of morality would essentially boil down to moral absolutism. You are attempting to define a universal truth that is blind to the diversity of realities in the human world. In contrast to this I am arguing the philosophy of moral relativism, which again is the path of balance as it seeks to incorporate ALL ideologies and views into its theory; essentially creating a harmonic balance, allowing for variation where variation is due. link

According to you the Maasai of Africa would be a less moral society as their stable foods are meat, animal fat, animal blood, and animal milk. There is a Maasai saying that is resoundingly similar to the bible quote I provided, it is:

God gave us cattle and grass. Without grass there are no cattle, and without cattle there are no Maasai".
link



To you the Maasai are morally inferior. You believe that their consumption of meat makes them some how morally compromised because they are rational beings who should know better than to slay an animal. However to the Maasai eating animals is essential to life. With out a grazer (plant eating animal) to transform producer (life form that transforms solar energy into sugars) they would be unable to survive in their ancestral lands. What is more they believe that their God, undoubtedly their primary source of morality, GAVE them the cattle to possess, to consume, to survive.

First, according to your response it seems I may have slightly confused the issue of omnivore in my last post. When I said we are omnivores who evolved eating meat I was not saying we specialized in the consumption of meat, only that it was a part of our diet. Omnivore by definition means that we are not vegetarian or carnivore but they we play both fields, so to speak. The vegetarian proponent and doctor John McArdle notes that the key to understanding our omnivore past lies in several characteristics of our physiology. He notes that it is not the length of the intestine but total surface area which is more impacted by the inner texture over the length that helps to determine diet type. What is more he asserts that the human intestine is clearly in-between that of a carnivore and a vegetarian, thus an omnivore.
McArdle continues to show other examples such as: archeological records, jaws and teeth, cell types, internal “fermenting vats”, and salivary glands, all of which he contends that clearly demonstrate that humans are, and have been for a long time, omnivores. He concludes:


Humans are classic examples of omnivores in all relevant anatomical traits. There is no basis in anatomy or physiology for the assumption that humans are pre-adapted to the vegetarian diet. For that reason, the best arguments in support of a meat-free diet remain ecological, ethical, and health concerns.” link


As he him self states, there is really no debating whether or not humans evolved eating meat, there is ample proof that this is the case, and as a vegetarian advocate himself he says it is simply bets to move onto other issues that have more traction is debating the issue of vegetarianism.

In your last post Loki you talked a fair bit about moral, ethical, or spiritual philosophies to demonstrate your point, that vegetarianism is morally superior to the consumption of meat.

Once again in this endeavor you have pointed out the need to hold animals to a higher level than other life forms. You have mad insinuations that they are some how to be grated more respect than other life forms, yet you have not touched on why. One again I point out the bible quote “All Flesh is Grass”. We are all part of the same cycle of energy, life, growth, death, and decay.

The distinctions you are drawing in this debate are not uncommon in human philosophy; however they are not alone in philosophical thought. Animals are often given more moral considerations than other life forms because they bear more of a resemblance to US. We see them as reflections of ourselves. How often we see them as part of families, with friends, and relatives. We project onto them the SAME rational and emotional lives that we EXPERIENCE everyday.

Yet we do not do this for plants. Although an oak tree grows next to its parent and amongst is brothers and sisters we do not project the concept of family onto them. Although plants have been shown to react to abuse, disease, and damage we do not consider this reaction PAIN.

My point is simple. Arguing that vegetarianism is morally superior based on the fact that is takes lives is biased and skewed by the human tendency to project human qualities onto things that we can see ourselves in.

Furthermore, in the field of moral and ethical philosophy there is the common tendency for moral and ethical principles to directly conflict with one another. I will never forget my first ethics class. It was infuriating. Every other day we delved into a new ethical philosophy and each time the contradictions were rampant.

“Question 1: Are there any moral systems in which eating meat is a prerequisite to "morality"?”

Honestly the only one that I can think of, off the top of my head, is Rastafarianism.

”Question 2: Do you have any proof that moderate to low consumption of meat is in any way better for your body than a completely vegetarian diet?”

I have no proof that, in general terms, eating a balanced diet containing meat is BETTER for the body than strict vegetarian diets. But once again my argument is not about BETTER it is about EQUAL. My theme in this debate is not to argue superiority, that is your task Loki, I am arguing the ideology of BALANCE.

Q#1: Do you believe that vegetarianism is, without discrimination, that is globally, morally superior and that any person on the globe who consumes meat is less moral than those who do not?

Q#2: What is it that qualifies Animals for more moral considerations than all other life forms?

Q#3: When you say “By this moral system, we can see that we have been endowed by evolution with the capacity for compassion, and it behooves us as morally right humans to exercise this compassion for our fellow mammals” are you saying that mammals deserve more respect than say fish, reptiles, birds, or insects?



posted on Mar, 7 2008 @ 02:07 AM
link   
So, when we get right down to it, we know that morality is a construct. It is a system of rules developed by people, sometimes independent or in spite of another group's moral structure. In any of these constructs, the rules are set and followed, with the understanding that one will achieve moral rightness by adhering to these rules. It is not moral absolutim to suggest that if one does not achieve moral rightness they are 'less moral' so to speak.


I understand the literal definition of morality and along with that I understand is that in moral debates, or ethical debates as they are synonymous, there are MANY views on what constitutes morality. In this debate I have chosen tot take the middle path, the Dào, the Golden Mean. As such I contend that your definition of morality would essentially boil down to moral absolutism.


I actually talked about a few different perspectives and different moral systems in which vegetarianism is morally right, according to the moral system of each group.


Q#2: What is it that qualifies Animals for more moral considerations than all other life forms?


Please understand that I do not espouse a stance of giving animals more consideration than a human. Actually, it would be just as morally wrong to harm and kill humans as it would animals. Equality. They are alive, have been given the 'gift' of life the same as we have, therefore earn equal treatment. Remember, the ideal of Ahimsa states that "Man attains peace by injuring no living creature." Not just living animals or just living humans.


Q#1: Do you believe that vegetarianism is, without discrimination, that is globally, morally superior and that any person on the globe who consumes meat is less moral than those who do not?


As I stated above, morality is a construct; and as I stated in a previous post, man was endowed with the ability to choose. To claim that there is a set of universal morals is a difficult thing to back up, but to dismiss the idea of at least a marginally universal set of human morals is premature. I've shown several of these moral structures in which vegetarianism is morally right. It does seem to me that there is a common theme in many of them that harming animals is as bad as harming humans. The real problem, and I think we're both running into it here is that it's basically impossible to say X is morally right all the time always.

However, you brought up the Maasai culture in Africa, and asked me if they were in fact less morally right than other cultures who don't eat meat. By the standards of the Vegetarian culture, they are, completely. By the standards of the Maasai, no, they are not, because that is the circumstance in which the Maasai flourished. But that is a cultural choice and an evolutionary necessity. They adapted to their situation, in order to survive. In order to survive, people have committed murder; does the fact that they needed to do so to live make them any less than a killer, though? They have taken a human life, and so are condemned under the morality of virtually every culture over the world, yet it is done by necessity of survival. This puts us into a moral conundrum.

Who's morals are the 'real' morals, or who's right? who's wrong? Is there a universal morality flow chart? As I said before, it's almost impossible to make that claim, but we can see from various models that various systems of morality tend to develop common themes(do not kill, steal, etc etc). With notable exceptions like the Maasai, every major religion in the world has adherents who maintain a vegetarian lifestyle based on the belief that they are morally superior for doing so, and it appears, that there may be a technically correct basis for all of that.

Moral Universalism

...is the meta-ethical position that some system of ethics, or a universal ethic, applies universally, that is to all people regardless of culture, race, sex, religion, nationality, sexuality, or other distinguishing feature. The source or justification of this system may be thought to be, for instance, human nature, shared vulnerability to suffering, the demands of universal reason, what is common among existing moral codes, ...

SOURCE

...emphasis bold and italicized.


“Question 1: Are there any moral systems in which eating meat is a prerequisite to "morality"?”

Honestly the only one that I can think of, off the top of my head, is Rastafarianism.


Rastafarians follow a strict Ital diet


Many Rastas eat limited types of meat in accordance with the dietary Laws of the Old Testament; they do not eat shellfish or pork. Others abstain from all meat and flesh whatsoever, asserting that to touch meat is to touch death [with the exception of fish which can be eaten], and is therefore a violation of the Nazirite oath. However, the prohibition against meat only applies to those who are currently fulfilling a Nazirite vow, for the duration of the vow. Many Rastafari maintain a vegan or vegetarian diet all of the time.

SOURCE

There is no requirement of Rastafarians to eat meat.


Q#3: When you say “By this moral system, we can see that we have been endowed by evolution with the capacity for compassion, and it behooves us as morally right humans to exercise this compassion for our fellow mammals” are you saying that mammals deserve more respect than say fish, reptiles, birds, or insects?


Not necessarily, it was just the word that fell most easily to hand while I was writing.

Let's kick it with some bible quotes


29: Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30: And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food." And it was so.


God gave us (that being everything that has breath in it) Every green plant on the earth for food.

Other notables:

Isaiah 11:6–9
Matthew 12:11-12
Matthew 12:7
Matthew 18:12-14



posted on Mar, 8 2008 @ 10:55 AM
link   
Loki, I would like to begin by clarifying a point that seems to have become blurred in this debate, that is the over all theme, which is “Vegetarianism is morally superior to eating meat”. In this debate it is not my job to demonstrate the moral superiority of consuming meat, only to dismiss the notion that not eating it is morally superior.

In the case of Rastafarianism, first I would like to apologize I misread the question and was trying to produce for you a group that was forbidden from eating meat based on beliefs, not one that was required to, my mistake for which I apologize. However, in the case of Rasta, Hindu, and Christian examples you have provided there was no, and is no, explicit ban on the consumption of meat. And to answer your first question, I know of no religion that requires the consumption of meat.

“However, you brought up the Maasai culture in Africa, and asked me if they were in fact less morally right than other cultures who don't eat meat. By the standards of the Vegetarian culture, they are, completely. By the standards of the Maasai, no, they are not, because that is the circumstance in which the Maasai flourished. But that is a cultural choice and an evolutionary necessity. They adapted to their situation, in order to survive. In order to survive, people have committed murder; does the fact that they needed to do so to live make them any less than a killer, though?”

You make an excellent point here Loki, you demonstrate the understanding that Morals are SUBJECTIVE. That claiming moral superiority is not possible outside of one distinct group. In the context of this debate, to a vegetarian eating meat is morally reprehensible; to the hunter the idea of being banned from eating meat is morally reprehensible. Unfortunately there is no way to prove that the vegetarian lifestyle is morally superior because it is a subjective, non universal, ideal.

““So, when we get right down to it, we know that morality is a construct. It is a system of rules developed by people, sometimes independent or in spite of another group's moral structure. In any of these constructs, the rules are set and followed, with the understanding that one will achieve moral rightness by adhering to these rules…As I stated above, morality is a construct; and as I stated in a previous post, man was endowed with the ability to choose. To claim that there is a set of universal morals is a difficult thing to back up, but to dismiss the idea of at least a marginally universal set of human morals is premature.”

This is absolutely what I am talking about. There are of course Universal Morals. There are few places, I know of none, where cold blooded murder of another human being is morally acceptable; where stealing another’s property is moral; where raping a human is moral; where consuming human flesh is moral; where beating people or animals is moral. All these are basic moral precepts that are adhered to almost everywhere, the vegetarian diet is not one of these.

In Ahimsa, a cultural moral theory provided by Loki, there is a ban on the consumption of animal products provided by violent means, but within the three traditions that embrace Ahimsa the people still consume meat. They simply do so in a more reverent and respectful manner. link

In Jewish traditions there are strict laws that pertain to the consumption of meats. Leviticus 11:3-11:12 talks about what the Jewish can and cannot eat in terms of meats and fish. They are restricted to eating the animals which possess clef hooves and chew their cud; for fish, only those with fins and permanent scales may be eaten; any other form of fish or animal is “unclean”. Beyond classifying what type of fish may be eaten kosher meat products must also be prepared in a very certain manner. One of the primary regulations for dealing with the slaughter of animals ensures the least suffering. link

In Catholicism I do not know of any mention in regards to the overall dogma surrounding the consumption of meat, at least nothing as strict as in the Jewish tradition, but I do know that on Fridays, according to cannon law, Catholics are to abstain from the consumption of meat.

There is a great wiki page that expands on the theme I have started here, it list a several religions (11) and talks about their beliefs on eating meat. Of the 11 only 2 forbid consuming meat outright. All the others have sets of dogma that restrict the consumption of meat and regulate how the animals consumed are treated, but they still allow for personal choice on the matter. link

My point in this debate is really quite simple. While it is perfectly reasonable for any person or group of people to refuse to eat meat based on moral concepts there is no clear way to define these people as morally superior to those who do consume meat. The lack of consensus within the 11 major religions of today is a clear example of a lack of universal consensus within religion on the moral superiority of consuming meat.

There is always the debate the consuming meat is bad for the environment and thus is against “the greater good”; but as I have already demonstrated that is due to the current paradigm of industrialized agriculture and is not simply confined to the raising of live stock. Many people where I live only eat local (within reason) organic foods. They do not consume processed foods that are the product of the modern agricultural machine because they see it as unmoral. These people but all their food at out local Coop, I am actually one of them. A few of the things I buy here are locally raised lamb, buffalo, beef, and pork. All my meat comes from small farms; most of it was cut with in a day or two of when I eat it. I am tied into my local social, economic, and ecological community in a healthy moral manner.

Question #1: is there any metric that you know of for gauging the level of morality that would allow one to compare and contrast different examples of morality to determine superior morality?

Q#2: What is it that qualifies Animals for more moral considerations than all other life forms, specifically the plant world?






top topics



 
0

log in

join