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  •  I suggest that there's a deeper difference (1+ / 0-)
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    kyril

    Some animals have a qualitatively different experience of "self" than others.  Cows can feel pain, yes, but they cannot anticipate it (as far as I know, they don't even exhibit learned helplessness, something which even dogs exhibit.)  That's a significant difference, and it carries moral weight to me.

    As a result, I don't buy the core moral argument against eating meat.  I can accept the utilitarian ones (it's bad for you to eat meat because of the health consequences) or the humanitarian ones (animal husbandry is wasteful at best, and factory farming goes beyond that to outright cruelty), but I don't believe the moral arguments have much merit.

    •  So if a human were brain damaged (0+ / 0-)

      in such a way that they could still move around, eat, and respond to stimuli, but could no longer anticipate pain or show cognizance of self in the standard tests, it would be acceptable to shoot them and eat their corpse?

      "They fear this man. They know he will see farther than they, and he will bind them with ancient logics." -The stoner guy in The Cabin in the Woods

      by Troubadour on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 09:41:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Morally? (0+ / 0-)

        Yes.  In fact, we do that all the time; see Schaivo, T.

        •  "Vegetative state" is not what I described. (0+ / 0-)

          There's no resemblance between that and cow-level animal sentience.  Terri Schiavo could not feed herself.

          "They fear this man. They know he will see farther than they, and he will bind them with ancient logics." -The stoner guy in The Cabin in the Woods

          by Troubadour on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 09:53:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Is there no resemblance? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kyril

            That's a pretty strong claim -- and I don't think I accept it.  Yes, a healthy steer is capable of eating or grazing.  I don't see that that proves anything about sentience.

            •  Then consult a neurobiologist (0+ / 0-)

              because there is no resemblance between a human in a vegetative state and a healthy cow capable of responding to their environment.

              "They fear this man. They know he will see farther than they, and he will bind them with ancient logics." -The stoner guy in The Cabin in the Woods

              by Troubadour on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 10:19:56 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

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