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Ethics of Beef Production.


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Should we breed cows for eating?  

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  1. 1. Should we breed cows for eating?

    • Yes
      25
    • No
      10


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I was pondering the essence of ethics relating to cows being breed for meat, and came upon a viewpoint which makes it ethically right (as far as I can see anyway). The problem is that the idea of killing cows is obviously ethically wrong at the first glance. However as I thought about it more deeply I thought that if we did not breed these cows, than that they possibly would never have lived. And isn't Living and dying young better than not living at all? Of course the major points of relevance would be: killing age, natural death age (and hence how much of their life are we cutting short), how they are killed and if we could breed them for milk instead but would their be enough demand?

 

Please point out any points I have overlooked, as I would like to clarify this matter.

 

 

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I take a different stance. I am fine eating cows, and also think it is okay to breed them for that purpose. I just wish we could find a way to do it without all of the methane production. In short, I think it is unethical because of the negative impact on our climate.

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I take a different stance. I am fine eating cows, and also think it is okay to breed them for that purpose. I just wish we could find a way to do it without all of the methane production. In short, I think it is unethical because of the negative impact on our climate.

That just means we need to do a better job at it. We should breed and raise them in such a way that we can harvest both the meat and the methane. :)

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Quite a nice point, indeed.

 

Although, we also need a better solution to the increased risk of heart disease.

 

Not all beef causes the increase risk of heart disease, it's mostly the way you cook it that has that effect.

 

I agree with the above though, I see no ethical problem in eating beef or raising it for this purpose, I think we should just do it right. There are places that do, by the way, or at least that are on-the-way to, so it's absolutely possible.

 

Like many other things, I believe it will only improve with *some* regulations.

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Not all beef causes the increase risk of heart disease, it's mostly the way you cook it that has that effect.

 

I agree with the above though, I see no ethical problem in eating beef or raising it for this purpose, I think we should just do it right. There are places that do, by the way, or at least that are on-the-way to, so it's absolutely possible.

 

Like many other things, I believe it will only improve with *some* regulations.

 

So if we find a way to kill the cows without harming the environment or ourselves, it would be ethical? That sounds good to me. Also would it be ethical to decrease the time it takes for the cows to be ready to be harvested? How do we balance efficiency against the cows right to live?

 

I like to eat cow, they generally object if they are not dead, why is it unethical to kill a cow?

Because cows are living things and most likely have feelings.

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Because cows are living things and most likely have feelings.

That's not a valid argument. A rabid wolf is a living thing too and just might have feelings as well. Should we avoid killing any living thing just because it might have feelings?

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That's not a valid argument. A rabid wolf is a living thing too and just might have feelings as well. Should we avoid killing any living thing just because it might have feelings?

 

What i meant is that all living things deserve to live and enjoy their life, if they can, without causing more grief than they pleasure they get from their life. If a rabid wolf was going to kill two human being's , killing it would be ethical because it would be saving the lives of two humans which is worth more than one wolf in a rabid state. If it wasn't going to harm anything killing it would be pointless.

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So if we find a way to kill the cows without harming the environment or ourselves, it would be ethical? That sounds good to me. Also would it be ethical to decrease the time it takes for the cows to be ready to be harvested? How do we balance efficiency against the cows right to live?

Who gave the cows the right to live? Does a rabbit have the right not to be eaten by a hawk? How is this different?

 

The problem is that the idea of killing cows is obviously ethically wrong at the first glance.

Obvious to whom? Certainly not to me.

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Who gave the cows the right to live? Does a rabbit have the right not to be eaten by a hawk? How is this different?

 

 

Obvious to whom? Certainly not to me.

 

The rabbit does have a right not to be eaten by the hawk, they are no different. I am basing this argument on the moral judgement that living things deserve to live. Without that basic principle everybody would be killing as they see fit, and our civilisation would collapse. Also, what I meant by obvious, is that at first glance, a living being should not be killed, referring to the principle stated prior, but as you think about it more in depth, there are more hidden reasons for killing the animal that outweigh the evil of the animals death.

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What i meant is that all living things deserve to live and enjoy their life, if they can, without causing more grief than they pleasure they get from their life. If a rabid wolf was going to kill two human being's , killing it would be ethical because it would be saving the lives of two humans which is worth more than one wolf in a rabid state. If it wasn't going to harm anything killing it would be pointless.

 

Says who? It doesn't work like that in nature. Cows are prey that is eaten by predators. Nature is a bastard. It's also lacks ethics either way, it just is.

 

I don't think there's an ethical problem killing cows for food, especially since human beings seem to (in general, and naturally without additives) require meat products.

 

What I am against, however, is animal cruelty. If we kill the animals humanely and don't abuse our environment too much, I don't see a problem with it. The trouble is that a lot of companies take their profit margins way too far, and we get unethical behavior. That doesn't mean the entire thing is unethical, it just means we need to make sure the WAY we're doing it is ethical.

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Says who? It doesn't work like that in nature. Cows are prey that is eaten by predators. Nature is a bastard. It's also lacks ethics either way, it just is.

 

I don't think there's an ethical problem killing cows for food, especially since human beings seem to (in general, and naturally without additives) require meat products.

 

What I am against, however, is animal cruelty. If we kill the animals humanely and don't abuse our environment too much, I don't see a problem with it. The trouble is that a lot of companies take their profit margins way too far, and we get unethical behavior. That doesn't mean the entire thing is unethical, it just means we need to make sure the WAY we're doing it is ethical.

 

 

If that's the case am I allowed to kill someone quickly and painlessly than eat them? I know human lives are worth more than a cow's but that makes it less wrong, but still wrong nether the less. If a humans life = 1, A cows life would be worth about an 6 or something. Not 0. Disregarding a cows right to live basically denies a humans right to live. Unless there's something else in the equation I am missing.

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Says who? It doesn't work like that in nature. Cows are prey that is eaten by predators. Nature is a bastard. It's also lacks ethics either way, it just is.

 

 

 

 

Does that mean we should be nature's slave? I don't see toilets sprouting up in the woods. But without septic systems we'd all be dead.

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That's an even worse argument.

Why? Even chickens have feelings and we slaughter them by the millions. The same could be said for just about all animals that man consumes. Are animal feelings a reason not to kill and eat animals?

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Why? Even chickens have feelings and we slaughter them by the millions. The same could be said for just about all animals that man consumes. Are animal feelings a reason not to kill and eat animals?

 

Yes, yes they are. We are just focusing on cows for the moment though. Look at my other response to your comment as well, hopefully it will clear things up a bit.

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The rabbit does have a right not to be eaten by the hawk, they are no different. I am basing this argument on the moral judgement that living things deserve to live. Without that basic principle everybody would be killing as they see fit, and our civilisation would collapse. Also, what I meant by obvious, is that at first glance, a living being should not be killed, referring to the principle stated prior, but as you think about it more in depth, there are more hidden reasons for killing the animal that outweigh the evil of the animals death.

Who granted that right to the rabbit? Who is enforcing it? What about the hawk's need to eat to live? Who are you to say he doesn't get to eat?

 

People are killing everyday, presumably even you. Ever wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap? Ever swat a fly or eat lettuce? And yet civilization has grown during these activities.

 

It is unreasonable to make the jump from "living things deserve to live" to "Without that basic principle everybody would be killing as they see fit".

 

Your statements are much too broad, and you refer to rights and morals as if everyone accepts them, instead of just you.

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We evolved high intelligence and other traits that, in combination, lets us not only cultivate land for crops (which no other animal is capable of doing), but also raise animals for food (which no other animal is capable of doing). For now, both of these things help us maintain the civilization we have. We can't stop doing these things overnight or we'd cause the whole thing to collapse. We're using the advantages evolution gives us, like any other animal.

 

And like most things, we're working to improve the process. Animal cruelty was much worse in the past. We need to continue to improve the huge animal processing facilities, no doubt, and I believe it will happen.

 

Right now, science is improving tissue engineering to the point where we can grow organs and skin in a lab for medical use, and the same technology might just get us the perfect steak one day. Lab-grown, never part of a living being and who knows, maybe we can reduce the risks of heart disease as well.

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That is absolutely wrong.

 

Great. And in the spirit of a science forum, care to elaborate?

 

 

 

We might be able to make a conscious choice to avoid eating meat, but that's not to say we weren't initially built to consume it. We can argue that the ethical aspects of meat consumption should tell us to *avoid* meat now that we have the sense and free will to, but in general, we evolved throughout the ions while consuming both meat and vegitation.

 

That much can't be argued.

 

I do agree that in today's world we *are able* to avoid meat and switch to either supplements or just a different type of balanced diet, but I used the fact we have been consuming meat products throughout our evolution as an explanation to why I see this as a natural process, and hence don't quite have a problem with it in general.

 

I have a problem with the *way* we do it; the fact many companies fatten up the animals unnecessarily, keep them in deplorable conditions, kill unhumanely, treat the meat badly or mishmash meat and bone as feed to the living animals, use excessive amounts of hormones, force-feed, etc etc.

 

That much I'm completely against, but I am not against the idea of consuming meat (even if it means killing a santient animal). The two principles are completely different; one is about general natural ethics (in my eyes) and the other about how we ABUSE nature.

 

We can set better rules and regulations to make sure the abuse doesn't continue. In my eyes, that would make the entire point of ethical meat consumption perfectly fine.

 

Also, as to the health problem, just like anything else, meat products shouldn't be abused and over-consumed. You can get fat from eating sugar, that doesn't mean sugar is bad for you, it just means that you should take good care of a balanced diet and not abusing sugar.

 

Same goes to meat, dairy, chocolate, and cookies.

 

~mooey

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Another approach to consider is that cows and chickens in their current state would NEVER survive in nature... they simply wouldn't exist. You think it's natural to have breasts as large as chickens do? They've been bred for this exact purpose, and it's not like we're out slaughtering packs of wild animals. It's much more accurate to consider it another form of gardening. Vegetables are life forms, too, you know. :rolleyes:

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That's a very good point.

 

Actually, I believe chickens in general don't exist in nature, they're a bred animal (out of pheasants I believe?) http://en.wikipedia..../Red_Junglefowl

 

There are no "wild" chickens in nature.

 

 

BTW, this is a bit off topic, but that's part of the reason this whole trend now of "free range chickens" annoys the living hell out of me. It's a total bunk concept meant to charge extra money. The fact we need to treat the animals better (not lock them up in tiny tiny cages and in their own feces) does not mean their natural state is "roaming the meadows". That's a complete false dichotomy that makes it sound like chickens would be best free in nature and we're terribly abusing them to begin with by domestication.

 

(and before I get flack for being inhumane, I am against the method and bureacracy of the certification "Free Range", not the idea that chickens should be treated well and allowed to go out of their cages. For information about how silly and bureacratically misleading this certificate is, you can see the wiki article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_range )

 

</rant>

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Another approach to consider is that cows and chickens in their current state would NEVER survive in nature... they simply wouldn't exist. You think it's natural to have breasts as large as chickens do? They've been bred for this exact purpose, and it's not like we're out slaughtering packs of wild animals. It's much more accurate to consider it another form of gardening. Vegetables are life forms, too, you know. :rolleyes:

Great point. These animals are ultimately left with two alternatives, exist this way or don't exist at all. If they had the choice, do you think they'd choose to live the life we're giving them or would they choose not to be born at all?

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