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Sisyphus

Questions for vegans

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Callipygous is correct; the capabilities of an animal are determined by their ecology and evolutionary history. For instance, there are many species with *much* better spatial memory and reasoning than us, because they have to hide and recall hundreds of stashes of winter food.

 

Similarly, we can be pretty sure octopi can't plan on decade-long time scales, because they only live 2-3 years, so such an ability would be useless to them. But they probably can respond to visual input in a much more sophisticated way, given that they change colors to communicate.

 

"Intelligence" is nothing more than a weighted average of abilities we find important as bald apes. Other species, in other circumstances, might have highly sophisticated brains, but simply apply that ability to different tasks.

 

Mokele

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"Intelligence" is nothing more than a weighted average of abilities we find important as bald apes. Other species, in other circumstances, might have highly sophisticated brains, but simply apply that ability to different tasks.

 

I'd say it's a metric for our ability to assimilate discontiguous information and derive the underlying pattern, and that's something the neocortical column is better able to do than any other brain structure I'm aware of

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This is getting a little ridiculous. What, animals use "animal math" and "animal physics" now? Well hell, how do we know they don't WANT to be eaten? Maybe in "animal medicine" that actually heals them rather than killing them!

 

Rationalizing an anti-meat ideology by saying that other animals are just a different kind of 'intelligent' is like rationalizing creationism by saying God may well have created the universe and just put all that "science stuff" in place for us to discover just to test us.

 

Falsifiability sucks when it cuts into a beleif that's politically correct, don't it.

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If people who eat only vegetables are called Vegans

then are people who eat only mushrooms called Fungans?

 

Which then begs the question: What do Humanitarians eat!? :eek:

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Dogs spend enough time humping their owners' legs to prove that they certainly don't know they are dogs, I question whether they have a sense of self. If a dog doesn't have an understanding that it is an individual then how can it think "I am in pain"- there isn't an "I" to think that.

 

:D Only just caught up with this thread, But this "example" made me laugh like a drain. Just substitute man and plastic blow-up dolls for dogs and legs, or even for students' rolled up socks, and we are asked to conclude that if a man does such things he likewise has no notion of pain or self. Doll and sock shaggers are thus a legitimate part of the Vegan food chain.

 

Canibalism rules, O.K.? Way to go, Vegans!

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Well hell, how do we know they don't WANT to be eaten?

 

With the exception of the Ameglian Major cow (which not only wants to be eaten but can state so clearly and concisely) and certain male insects (which only want to be eaten by certain female insects), I think the basic principles of natural selection render that extremely unlikely.

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True, but we won't be seeing that particular breed for a few billion years! :)

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I wonder how many vegans eat stuff colored with cochineal too :)

 

And I hope they dont have nicely frech polished furniture, either..... the shellac is derived from insect excretions.

 

Antique furniture made with glue from boiled hoof and horn, and modern cassein glues from milk, too.

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With the exception of the Ameglian Major cow (which not only wants to be eaten but can state so clearly and concisely) and certain male insects (which only want to be eaten by certain female insects), I think the basic principles of natural selection render that extremely unlikely.

 

anally pedantically speaking, its not entirely inposible, as long as theres some kind of species-wide benifit to it. i could imagine oligomorphic species (say, ants, or certain fish) having some sacrificial morphs whos sole job it is to be eaten whilst the rest of the animals escape. fruit is the obvious example of part of a life-form that 'wants' to be eaten.

 

iirc, there are some lizards whos tail is designed to be nutreous and easily detachable, so that if a predator catches it, it'll focus on grabbing and eating the tail while the lizard buggers off and grows a new one

 

that might not translate as 'the lizard wants its tail et', but i guess it'd mind less than, say, i would if you ate my arm.

 

stuff like milk arguably falls under 'stuff animals might not be too fussed if gets consumed'.

 

maybe.

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I'd say it's a metric for our ability to assimilate discontiguous information and derive the underlying pattern, and that's something the neocortical column is better able to do than any other brain structure I'm aware of

 

Of course, but alternative methods may have evolved. Wings are a great way to fly, but insects and birds evolved grossly similar structures independently.

 

This is getting a little ridiculous. What, animals use "animal math" and "animal physics" now? Well hell, how do we know they don't WANT to be eaten? Maybe in "animal medicine" that actually heals them rather than killing them!

 

Rationalizing an anti-meat ideology by saying that other animals are just a different kind of 'intelligent' is like rationalizing creationism by saying God may well have created the universe and just put all that "science stuff" in place for us to discover just to test us.

 

Falsifiability sucks when it cuts into a beleif that's politically correct, don't it.

 

I think you're mis-understanding: I at least am not arguing all animals are mentally equal. What I am pointing out is that our criteria for "intelligent" is biased due to our heritage as a social primate (we place undue influence on social tasks in evaluating intellect), which might hinder properly evaluating the mental state of animals which display hallmarks of surprisingly advanced cognition but whose evolution, physiology and ecology are drastically different from our own.

 

Octopi were brought up because experiments have shown they are *FAR* smarter than most invertebrates, and are capable of the sort of mental tasks previously limited to the smarter vertebrates. They run mazes better than mice, play, learn by observation, solve puzzles, etc, all with a surprisingly small brain. That they don't have our social skills is more a product of ecology than intellect; they're solitary and often cannibalistic.

 

Look at nature: legs have evolved numerous times, as have limbless forms. Wings have evolved 3 separate times. Eyes, twice. There are countless organs for hearing, and just as many manipulatory appendages.

 

The brain is just another tool for dealing with nature. Most organisms don't need much of one, especially since it's so metabolically expensive, but given it's power and versatility, why *shouldn't* we expect reasonable levels of intelligence to evolve numerous times. Hell, look at parrots.

 

The point is not that everything is intelligent, but rather that other animals may be smarter than we give them credit for, and if they evolved this intelligence independently (as octopi seem to have), it may be so utterly alien to our mindset that clinging to an anthropocentric definition of 'intelligence' may hinder understanding. Otherwise you're just defining intelligence as "like us".

 

Mokele

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Well ok then, how do you feel that relates to vegan objections to meat consumption?

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Well ok then, how do you feel that relates to vegan objections to meat consumption?

 

That if they want to be morally consistent, they can't simply base their dietary choices on taxonomy, like refusing to eat deer but eating octopus without qualms.

 

Mokele

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"Quote:

Originally Posted by John Cuthber

Dogs spend enough time humping their owners' legs to prove that they certainly don't know they are dogs, I question whether they have a sense of self. If a dog doesn't have an understanding that it is an individual then how can it think "I am in pain"- there isn't an "I" to think that.

 

Only just caught up with this thread, But this "example" made me laugh like a drain. Just substitute man and plastic blow-up dolls for dogs and legs, or even for students' rolled up socks, and we are asked to conclude that if a man does such things he likewise has no notion of pain or self. Doll and sock shaggers are thus a legitimate part of the Vegan food chain.

 

Canibalism rules, O.K.? Way to go, Vegans!"

 

Yeah, sure, if that were the only eidence about dogs- which it isn't.

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Of course, but alternative methods may have evolved. Wings are a great way to fly, but insects and birds evolved grossly similar structures independently.

 

I think structures which are functionally equivalent to the mammalian neocortex have evolved in the pallium of birds. I think because of this birds may be "conscious" on levels similar to some mammals. It's certainly happened, as far as I'm concerned, so the question becomes which animals are such structures present in.

 

I think the overwhelming majority of animals lack such structures... particularly insects, and in terms of vertebrates: fish. It's my understanding that the majority of fish think in terms of simple stimulus/response mechanisms (namely Innate Releasing Mechanisms triggering Fixed Action Patterns). This has been a remarkably successful strategy for most fish, so there was never any selection pressure to integrate information at higher levels, certainly not at the cost of a larger, more energy-hungry brain.

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I have a pretty good objection to vegnism,

 

Human'sevolved to have high energy and nutrient demands, some of which can only be satisfied by the consumption of meat. Now if you allow for a person to eat fish but not mammals in order to satisfy such needs than their risk of mercury poisoning rises dramatically.

 

Its then a matter of survival and as such any human should try to have the most diverse diet he/she is capable of having.

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well, human can have a high energy and nutrient diet on fruit and veg and stuff but its only possible now since we can get fresh fruit from all around the world. back when we were hairier and hung out in trees we couldn't do that so we ate meat to get the energy.

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I think the overwhelming majority of animals lack such structures... particularly insects, and in terms of vertebrates: fish.

 

Well, all you had to say was insects. That's over 50% of animal life right there, and a good chunk of the animal biomass too.

 

It's my understanding that the majority of fish think in terms of simple stimulus/response mechanisms (namely Innate Releasing Mechanisms triggering Fixed Action Patterns). This has been a remarkably successful strategy for most fish, so there was never any selection pressure to integrate information at higher levels, certainly not at the cost of a larger, more energy-hungry brain.

 

Pretty much. One of my thesis committee does sensory physiology and behavior, examining how animals perceive and interact with their environment, and the works I've been exposed to through him have convinced me that many animals *CAN* simply be considered 'machines made of flesh'. Some astoundingly complex behaviors can be produced by some very simple rules, and even 'advanced' organisms have some fairly rigid rules.

 

Mokele

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