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View Diary: Nicholas Kristof asks "Can We See Our Hypocrisy to Animals?" (99 comments)

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  •  PETA is full of shit (10+ / 0-)

    Among other things, their premise is that animals have more rights than humans. They're explicitly stating not that we're apart of nature but that we're above it. A cat can eat meat. An orca can eat meat. Why can't I?

    Part of the greater understanding of the natural world and our greater understanding of animal behaviour is that, yes, they're generally more sophisticated than we used to give them credit for. But that sophisticated behaviour includes acts that we would consider immoral. Dolphins torture and rape. Jane Goodall documented, essentially, a chimpanzee that was a serial killer. Many animals ruthlessly kill the offspring of others in the same species. Orcas have been observed smashing a sealion pup with their tails and tossing it around out of the water, apparently for no other reason than amusement. While we're on the subject of orcas (and other dolphins), they've engaged in cooperative hunting behaviour with humans. One wonders if they have dolphin human rights advocates who argue against the exploitation of humans to aid them in fishing.

    PETA, and others who believe many of the same things, have a romantic view of the world that's so at odds with reality that it's funny.

    •  Why can't you eat meat? (7+ / 0-)

      You do eat meat. Nobody is taking your rights away.

      Are we above nature? I don't know. You tell me. We drive in cars, fly in planes, live in houses, and sit in front of computer screens and television screens for hours at a time eating manufactured food that has no relation to nature. What other animal comes close to doing any of that? Is that natural? We get our meat from factories that lock animals in small crates and cages for years at a time and pump them full of drugs until they're ready for the slaughter. Is that natural?

      As far as animal nature goes, I don't think you've revealed any surprises. What's your point? That animals do horrible things and they need to be killed? So far we're doing a good job on that front.

      Nearly 17,300 species are considered under threat, some in such small populations that only successful conservation action can stop them from becoming extinct in future. This includes one-in-five mammals assessed, one-in-eight birds, one-in-three amphibians, and one-in-four corals.
      I think you're the one with the romantic view if you think this way of life is sustainable with no changes in our behavior. If you'd like to see how "at odds with reality" I am do some research on climate change and factory farms then get back to me.

      "If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law." - Henry David Thoreau

      by Jason Hackman on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 02:28:36 PM PDT

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    •  While I don't agree with PETA on this (1+ / 0-)
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      your argument doesn't hold either.

      A cat or an orca is unable to conceive of itself choosing not to eat meat, much less able contrive a means of surviving without meat.

      Humans can conceive of themselves as vegetarians, they can survive without meat, and what is more the can consciously decide to do so.   Therefore while it makes no sense to talk about the morality of a cat eating meat, it's at least debatable whether humans should eat meat.

      I've lost my faith in nihilism

      by grumpynerd on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:28:51 PM PDT

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    •  Not the best examples (1+ / 0-)
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      Cats and orca are carnivores, they have to eat meat in order to survive. Bears, wolves, raccoons, pigs, among others, are omnivores, and would make far better comparisons to humans, since we're also omnivores.

      First they came for the farm workers, and I said nothing.

      by Hannibal on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 07:28:01 PM PDT

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      •  Technically, we do have to eat meat of some form. (1+ / 0-)
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        Or at the very least eggs, dairy, or fish.

        There's at least one B vitamin only found in animal sources. One of the issues with some B vitamins, including that one, is that not having enough of them leads to neurological issues years after the deprivation starts.

        The only reason the Jains manage full Vegan diets without health consequences while in Asia is the rice in their diets. That did not work anymore when some of them moved to England - food safety standards kept the bug parts out of the processed rice that had been there in Asia, and those had provided just enough dietary animal content to avoid problems. Took a while for anyone to figure out differences in cleanliness standards could be the cause, if I remember correctly from the source I read about it in years ago.

        it's not as immediately dangerous as the feline dietary taurine dependence, but it is there.

        •  Simply not true. (4+ / 0-)

          The vitamin is B12 and you can get it in supplements and fortified foods.

          Barack Obama: From Nobel Laureate to excusing torture, to drone strikes, to violating the privacy of every person on earth. On the other hand, there's always Lily Ledbetter.

          by expatjourno on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 04:07:05 AM PDT

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          •  Some people lack the intrinsic factor which (1+ / 0-)
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            permits their bodies to absorb B12 readily. This used to be remedied first by having patients ingest raw liver, which was pretty disgusting, then by giving B12 injections.

            Now there are many sublingual vegetarian sources that can remedy this. As the intestines of healthy people produce their own B vitamins, eating meat is not requisite for optimal human health.

            Propaganda is the executive arm of the invisible government. ~ Edward Bernays

            by 4Freedom on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 07:48:14 AM PDT

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      •  Um. Every instance I've seen of vegetarian (0+ / 0-)

        Or vegan Dogs was an unhealthy mess.

        Canids and their cousins are omnivorous, but to suggest that they can survive without meat is an idea I really want to challenge.

        Just look at their teeth vs human teeth. We have teeth for breaking down grains, fruits and vegetables. Wolves consume those substances by eating the stomach contents of their prey. When dogs eat grass or raw carrots, for example, you'll recognize those same substances on the other end virtually unchanged.

        Many/most humans can be perfectly healthy on a vegetarian diet, and quite a few on a well-planned vegan dirt as well.

        But our animal friends aren't us.

        © grover

        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 03:32:56 PM PDT

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        •  Requires additional supplements (0+ / 0-)

          For dogs. Not a strictly natural diet, lots of processed stuff and supplements. But it has been done, and healthily too. Cats on the other hand, no. People who try to turn their cat vegan are just flat out stupid.

          First they came for the farm workers, and I said nothing.

          by Hannibal on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 02:55:43 PM PDT

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