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  • Location
    Québec City
  • Interests
    Semiotics, Languages, Philosophy of mind, Philosophy of Language, Ethics.
  • College Major/Degree
    Mechanical Engineering Technician and B.A. in Translation
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    Certified Translator

marie-claude's Achievements


Quark (2/13)



  1. Well, actually, the stunning doesn't kill the cows. Bullet shots are really not the norm. Stunning lets the animal supposedly insensibilized. There are lots of mishaps, though. Recently, we've had one highly mediatized case in Qc of a horse slaughterhouse where the hits where commonly missed the first time. At any rate, even if the suffering is short when done adequately, it isn't painless.
  2. I tried to find sources and reports about animal slaugther that are freely accessible to all, but most are published in peer-reviewed journals. I did read several of those. There is one here that I could find a link for which is free: http://scholarship.l...412&context=lcp As I previously said, I'd agree with you that a perfect shot would probably cause very minimal pain as it would nearly instantly cause brain death. However, not all shots are perfect shots, quite obviously, so that various amounts of pain are to be expected. Gun shots have also been reported in many studies not to be used as it sends brain pieces down the lungs of the animal in some cases, which isn't desirable given the mad cow problem. Non-penetrating stunning seems to be quoted as slightly less efficient in many studies. At any rate, if you make perfect shots at home killing your animals, well, good for you. Overall, though, in the industry, the study above says that suffering remains commonplace. Note also that the ethics proposed are one of "minimizing needless suffering", i.e. what I have been arguing all along. >>The state and federal laws described above represent significant progress >>toward minimizing needless suffering in the slaughter process. Yet such >>suffering remains commonplace, and much more can and should be done. Needless to say, I think that the most certain manner to avoid causing an animal needless suffering is to avoid raising it to one day kill it and eat it.
  3. Yup. Well, we've been having a public debate brought by politicians over reasonable accomodation for religious minorities to kill meat in the halal or casher fashion, which is deemed to be "cruel" and "more painful". This type of killing seems indeed to cause pain: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17972-animals-feel-the-pain-of-religious-slaughter.html Now, does the regular stunning method followed by bleeding causes pain? Yes it does (linking one example, but there are many for various types of animals and methods): http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S0043933906001097 Probably that killing by a bullet shot directly at the good spot wouldn't involve much suffering. Still, to die from a shot is not pain free, usually, even though the pain is very short. I didn't deny that there are more humane ways to kill sentient beings, only that suffering is usually experienced when one is dying, even shortly, unless heavily medicamented or being killed in a very efficient way, which isn't the case for most regularly consumed animals that can be bought on the market. Well, I never argued he wasn't biased in commenting the study, but you can look up the study by yourself if you can find the original source and think that he isn't reporting the conclusions adequately. Indeed. I doubt you'd have much useful meat after the last two methods. Even a shot in the head involves some pain, but it is probably more humane: http://web.mac.com/flip/AUR/Archives_of_Uncomfortable_Research/Entries/2006/9/12_The_possible_pain_experienced_during_execution_by_different_methods_files/Hillman1993Execution.PDF BTW, I wouldn't say that what Moontanman is doing sounds "evil" either. There is a whole lot of shades of gray between "evil" and "slightly unethical".
  4. I was talking short for "killing of sentient beings".
  5. Would you also dispute that a whole lot of animals we eat comes from factory farms? Plus, this type of "farming" is growing. http://markbittman.com/america-the-sht-factory Well, there is a difference between one person suffering because of her own choices and making another being suffering. Also, killing is not performed without pain. But I'd agree with you that improvements in living conditions of animals are a step in the right direction. Well, I know personally in my family three farmers, and I can say that their practices include daily suffering for the animals. Not necessarily heavy suffering, but still. Milk cows, veals, and sheeps. The veal industry is pretty pathetic. Well good for you. As for nociception... http://lmgtfy.com/?q=nociception The paper isn't itself written by that vegetarian. He only reports the study.
  6. Well. I am moved by the killing and the suffering of an animal. I wouldn't kill an animal such as a cow or a pig myself. I killed fish, I could manage preparing a rabbit, but I'd prefer to stick with growing vegetables if I have a say. Oh wait, I do have a say, and that's why I don't do it! As I said, I respect people who at least hunt or kill their own food. It's way less hypocritical than buying arranged meat in esthetic packaging enabling you not to think where it comes from. Relevant: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ulterior-motives/201202/meat-eaters-downplay-animal-minds
  7. I know we bred them as they are now, but one problem is that we bred them into creatures that possibly suffer more, not less. Debeaking chicken is ok and doesn't cause suffering? Macerating chicks doesn't cause suffering maybe? Or wait, castrating pigs doesn't cause suffering? Many procedures cause suffering, let alone the overcrowding of cages or contention of animals. Again, I never argued that "killing" was the greatest part of the problem, but the suffering is. I did offer reasons as to why we are "better" than animals in some way, though I didn't use "better" as a wording. I said that we had a more comprehensive understanding of the consequences of our actions and of the whole world in general, and that we do believe that we can choose to act as we do according to rationales. I also proposed that reducing suffering was a good thing. You still haven't debated as to why this argument is unsound or silly. Well, that too. Raising beef is ecologically unsound which is unethical. It is unethical to destroy our environment because this will ultimately cause us and all the other living beings inhabiting the world with us more suffering.
  8. Yes, if you *can* feed people and you don't, it creates unnecessary suffering. Now, ideally, producing meat requires more land, so that a solution including less meat production should be of more help than one including more meat. But I don't argue that simply producing less meat would generally and automatically lead to less people starving; there is a whole lot more considerations and logistics surrounding that problem. Yes, of course, pain and suffering are the result of evolution. That's why I did ask if we did consider humans as mere automatons or as beings able to anticipate the consequences of their decisions and able to understand the world that surrounds them in a more complete manner than, say, earthworms or shrimps. I do believe that since we can choose (or at least are under the very real illusion that we can choose) what we do, we can choose to avoid making others suffer if it ain't necessary. Failure to do so would be, IMHO, unethical. As I said, there are other ways to consider the "good" than to appeal to "suffering". People are free to debate such other views with me, if they so wish.
  9. Can animals be raised without suffering? Can they be killed without suffering? Are hens in battery something you would accept for cats? What amount of suffering would you call torture? It's but one ethical stance. If you have a better one that leads to coherent conclusions, you are free to share and debate it. What about the whole life of the cow? To me, death is only part of the suffering of farm animals' lives. *sighs* I'm telling the same thing since the very start. To me, it's about unnecessary suffering. It would be very ill-advised from me to tell people who can't do anything else but feed on animals not to do it. In the absolute, I think that killing human beings is wrong too, but if I must choose between my life and that of someone attacking me, I'll protect my own life. Survival does matter. I believe that to cause unnecessary suffering is unethical. If you want to argue the contrary, please do so. I never equated killing with suffering, you did. Of course, that being said, I'd argue that to be killed usually causes pain, but you need to take into account the suffering endured during their lives. The only required potential supplement would be B12, and you can get it from yeast. Plus, you need vitamin D supplements in winter to live in Canada. So well. What's the problem with supplementing our diets again? And, being vegan is *not* about eating only vegetables. Legumes, beans, lentils are also plant food. I didn't talk about shrimps, I said some shellfish without naming them. You are fighting strawmen. Nociception ain't the same thing as pain or suffering. Some plants show reactions to stimuli. Did I ever say the contrary? You keep assigning me opinions on things I never said anything about. It depends. Some eggs labelled "free-range" mean chickens packed in barns but "free" to roam, and more gets killed than when they are caged in batteries. Again, nociception is not pain. I already said that killing for pleasure wasn't the same thing as killing for survival. The thing is, you don't need meat to survive.
  10. I know, but failure to show how it is one doesn't make you right. I know you never argued torture; I just try to point out that applying a double-standard is possible, but if one is coherent, then one should admit torture. As for people unable to choose otherwise being unethical, this doesn't follow at all. I said that causing unnecessary suffering was unethical. When you have no choice but causing suffering, well, you have no choice. This doesn't make you unethical, no. I'd say that suffering is "pain", i.e. it is more than nociception. Well, if suffering ain't ok, why are we arguing at all? LOL. I'd be biased too. Again, it doesn't suffice to call something a fallacy to turn it into one. But we could. It takes more land to produce meat to feed people than to produce grains or vegetables for them to feed on directly. Of course, there is always the problem of making sure people starving get the food, but you know, we have a meat system and they are starving now. What do they send to starving people as food staples again? Oh, yes, grains, rice, beans. They are cheap and nutritionally interesting. My point was not a global one when I said that we didn't need meat, it was a biological one. A human being doesn't need meat to thrive. I'd not advocate that Inuits can survive where they live without meat though, that would be just plain stupid. Of course. I already acknowledge in a previous post that you most probably haven't read that the ethical argument aiming at reducing unnecessary suffering was most probably the only reason to quit all meat. I am not quiting an argument for another, just pointing out reasons that may make you want to lower meat consumption. We don't absolutely need animal proteins to thrive. There is enough proteins (and even some complete ones at that!) in the vegetable world if one wants to eat only plants. I not not everyone eats that badly, I was talking about the "American Standard Diet". Sorry, I edited my post when you were answering. I meant "I don't feel superior to anyone" -- I already pointed out that humans have a special status in my view because they can predict the outcomes of their actions in a much distant future than animals to. They can act in ways that seem to be contrary to their nature, i.e. they can use contraception, for instance. I personally try to avoid killing sentient beings. I eat yeast, but no insects. Some shellfish probably don't feel pain, but I don't like shellfish. Some insects most probably don't feel pain either, but they don't attract me much from a gustative standpoint. I prefer sticking to my insect-free diet. I'd consider it worse to eat pigs, who are as intelligent as dogs, or to eat horses, than it would be to eat insects. I think that there is a gradual continuum, as I already said, and the more an animal is able to be aware and suffer, the more I find that killing it for mere taste is unnecessarily causing suffering. Well, they do only if you give them reasons to fear you. I have not a vast experience with farm animals, but some experience, yes. Of course, eggs are not alive. The chicks that are killed in the production of eggs are the male chicks from the hatcheries. Eggs per se needn't involve animal killing, but when massively produced, yes, they do.
  11. Well, if you believe humans are only acting on instincts and beasts incapable to make rationale for their decisions, then we have nothing to discuss anymore. There is no ethics and the rapists is free to rape anyone on its instincts telling him to do so. I'd even agree that free will might very well be an illusion. But nobody acts and lives as if all his choices are illusions. We believe we can choose, and we rationalize our decisions all the time. I am only pointing out that when we rationalize, we should at least strive for coherence. If you condemn torturing a baby, you should condemn torturing an adult chimp if you are applying the same standard, because every data seems to point that the adult chimp is most probably more self-aware than a newborn. So being the only species that can use, say contraception, or make useful predictions using science... All this is rubbish and we are nothing more than mosquitoes, right? I've always been paying attention to talk about "unnecessary" suffering. Of course, I value my life and should I have no choice but eating animals, I'd eat animals. This has got NOTHING to do with our lives in developped countries where abundance of everything is allowing anyone to choose what he eats. This is not being hypocritical at all. Actually, I'd agree with this, and my post was poorly written in this respect. Like sentience, intelligence and other characteristics, I do believe that there is a continuum over the animal kingdom and our evolution history. So yes, what we call "morality" is just complex, social rules for behaving ourselves. At least, if you are coherent and think that animals have no value and we can use them for anything, then I'd say you are entitled to your opinion. However, most people are against causing suffering to animals when it's not necessary. The thing is that they consider it necessary to put tasty chicken in their mouths, when it is not. I just ask people to be coherent. If you don't care about animal sufferings for your food, why should you care about animal suffering for anyone's mere entertainment? I don't like chicken either. It's not a question of "liking" or not animals. I see no reason why "taste" should justify any amount of suffering. Well, we aren't quite still living in the woods, right? I don't deny anything you said in the above paragraph. But just stating that something is natural doesn't mean it's good. It is also pretty unnatural to wear clothes, to perfume ourselves, to shave, etc. To say that "natural" is good is committing the naturalistic fallacy. I won't compare which is best between living in the wild or in a farm as for me, it is unnecessary, at this point of the human history to continue to eat meat. Farm animals don't belong to any ecosystem in the wild. I agree that it may take more than telling them it's wrong. Actually, I started by reducing my meat consumption because many studies show that eating as much meat as we do in America is a very bad idea for your health. Our digestive system allows us to eat meat, yes, and if I'm not mistaken, we even evolved some capability to eat more meat than other apes without getting as much adversive effect from dietary cholesterol than they do, but this doesn't mean that eating the amound of meat we do now is good for us. Our diet should be mainly composed of fruits and vegetables, and supplemented by some animal proteins when available. Now look at how our plates are composed in America: a big piece of meat surrounded by a little bit of vegetables, plus, loads of dairy, especially cheese. This is not healthy at all. Also, the environmental toll of raising cattle, especially, to come back to the topic of the thread, is pretty much disastrous. These two reasons are good ones to want to reduce meat and some animal products, and they have nothing to do with animals' well-being. Of course. I don't pretend in any way to be superior to anyone else in general. I just try to be coherent. I don't believe my gustatory tastes should pass before the life of an animal. Tell me how this makes me feel superior to animals. Yes, animals don't see humans giving them food as predators. So what? I can't access eggs that didn't cause at least some chicks to be killed to bring them to my table, so it's easier to just not eat eggs. Plus, I don't need eggs to survive. And would you care to explain why Foer's quote is a strawman?
  12. Quite simply, I'd say that to invoke the "food chain" argument, you have to advocate that humans are just beasts like any other animals that walk the Earth. Usually, people believe humans have a "special status" somewhat. Now, does this special status come with increased power, or with increased responsibility? If you say humans can't help it, and that they feed on other animals following blindly their instincts, like any other animal does in the wild to survive, I'd say ok. There's no ethics involved in that. If you say humans can think about their choices and act according to some moral standard, then invoking the food chain makes no sense. What people seem to do when they invoke the food chain is applying a double standard: humans are moral, except when it comes to putting food in their plate. The tiger eats a gazelle without caring about its suffering simply because it isn't an animal that can contemplate moral arguments. If you say humans are moral animals, than I say they'd have the minimal responsibility to act like they are moral animals and at least care about how they raise animals for food. What I find the most hypocritical is that usually people will be obfuscated at cats and dogs being piled in tiny cages in shelters, after being abandoned by their owners, but happily eat pork coming from farms where they use contention crates, or eat eggs from chicken in batteries. Most people don't think it's ok to make animals suffer unnecessarily, but they don't react when animals are kept in suffering conditions to satisfy their gustatory habits and preferences. I generally agree with that. We can decide what we believe is ethical and what isn't. Of course, it's also relative, as cows probably don't want to be eaten (though, really, we have no means to know what goes on in a cow's head). We can infer from the behaviour of most animals that they usually strive not to get eaten and so they must "value" their life to the extent that their own brain development allows them to. We usually perceive suffering as bad, and many people would agree with a somewhat utilitarian view stipulating that something that is good increases one's well-being or reduces one's suffering. So we can say that we strive to avoid suffering, and that this is good. If it's good for us, it's good for others too, usually. All beings that can experience pain and suffering strive to avoid it. Some suffering might be necessary though (we have no choice but controlling pests when growing food, say). That's fine. Some suffering is unavoidable. But if we can reduce suffering, especially for sentient beings that can experience pain not only when put to death but during their lifetime, and if this suffering is the result of human behaviours that are not necessary, then why not change our behaviours? I do not *need* to eat meat. I can very well live without. Plus, many recent studies point toward health problems caused by meat, and the American Dietetic Association states the following: "The results of an evidence-based review showed that a vegetarian diet is associated with a lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease. Vegetarians also appear to have lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and lower rates of hypertension and type 2 diabetes than nonvegetarians. Furthermore, vegetarians tend to have a lower body mass index and lower overall cancer rates. Features of a vegetarian diet that may reduce risk of chronic disease include lower intakes of saturated fat and cholesterol and higher intakes of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, soy products, fiber, and phytochemicals." I avoid meat because even though it was a very useful calorific source at some point during human evolution, we now know it is not the healthiest food around. Plus, we used to eat animals living in the wild, not selectively bred animals kept confined in cages. I have much more respect for someone hunting its own food than I have for our modern ways where people buy animal parts that don't look much like animal parts because if they did, people would feel disgusted to prepare them. We put pads in meat trays so that the consumers won't see any blood that could repulse them. From animals, we've gone to "animal products". This is a twisted way to look at living things, methinks. ------------------ I'd like to quote this: "Why is taste, the crudest of our senses, exempted from the ethical rules that govern our other senses? If you stop and think about it, its crazy. Why doesn't a horny person have as strong a claim to raping an animal as a hungry one does to killing and eating it? It's easy to dismiss that question but hard to respond to it. And how would you judge an artist who mutilated animals in a gallery because it was visually arresting? How riveting would the sound of a tortured animal need to be to make you want to hear it THAT badly? Try to imagine any end other than taste for which it would be justifiable to do what we do to farmed animals." -- Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals
  13. Sorry to explode your ballooning ego.

  14. Oh, darn. I thought I was special for a moment.

  15. No, Jacob asked me to come in here.

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