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  #1  
Old 11-07-2005, 12:16 PM
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Cannibalism revisited

In reading a student paper on animal rights/suffering today, a new thought crossed my mind. Much of the literature on this subject decries anthropcentrism and the tendency to value humans above other species, especially when attempting to reduce suffering and pain in the world. Given the fact that other animals experience pain and suffering, a number of people argue that the only morally acceptable way to eat meat is to let animals life 'natural' lives and refrain from causing suffering when they are killed (or die natural deaths).
It occured to me today, that people who hold to this position should also believe that cannibalism is ok as long as the humans eaten live natural lives and no suffering is involved in their deaths. In other words, if humans and other animals are equals because we all suffer, what grounds would there be for prohibiting cannibalism? It's a kind of reductio ad absurdum argument because I don't think animal rights advocates would accept cannibalism.
The only way out seems to be vegetarianism, but then that raises the problem of the value of plants.
What the issue really seems to point to, is the very basis of ethics itself. Ethics isn't based in reason and logic, but in basic feelings. We have a basic feeling that causes a preference for our own species. This accounts for why we typically are not repulsed by meat eaters, but are repulsed by cannibals. We also have feelings for other animals and dislike it when other animals suffer, but that fact does not trump our basic orientation towards our own species.
Opinions?
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  #2  
Old 11-07-2005, 12:18 PM
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If animals weren't meant to be eaten, why are they made of meat?
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Old 11-07-2005, 12:21 PM
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I'm willing to bet that most other species value thier own species above humans, and that the main reason they don't eat us is that they are physically incapable, or that we take care of their hunger in other ways (feeding a pet dog for example).
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  #4  
Old 11-07-2005, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azimyth
If animals weren't meant to be eaten, why are they made of meat?
Crack me up!
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  #5  
Old 11-07-2005, 12:39 PM
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I will eat the animals.....leave the canibalism for the british navy. ( as in Monty Python)
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Old 11-07-2005, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GermanStar
Crack me up!
wish I could claim that for my own. I read it on a bumpersticker once
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  #7  
Old 11-07-2005, 01:44 PM
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The Cannibalism taboo doesn't appear to be as strong as we might think.

They held auditions for a reality show.
They were a spoof.
After an hour or so... and eliminating some of the people...
they revealed the banner heralding the upcoming TV show:

CANNIBALS!

The people looked a bit freaked out...
but when they wheeled out trays of pigskin,
that looked just like strips of human flesh,
almost everybody ate it.

The concept of dim, desperate people, who will do anything to be on TV,
is a scary one.
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  #8  
Old 11-07-2005, 01:48 PM
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On the show 'The Surreal Life',
the cast was preparing dinner.
Corey Feldman was explaining to the others,
why he was an enlightened soul, compared to them,
because he didn't eat meat.

He doesn't believe that animals should suffer for our enjoyment.

Gabrielle Carteris asked him;
"What about your leather boots Corey?"

"Oh, they were a gift." he stammered.

"Ooooh", she said.
"Well here, I'm giving you this steak."


He left and went back into sulking mode.
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  #9  
Old 11-07-2005, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ra_
The Cannibalism taboo doesn't appear to be as strong as we might think.

.
I think it's there but is not all that difficult to overcome. If what I'm thinking is right, all the vegetarian/animal rights thinkers are in fact overcoming their own resistance to cannibalism.
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  #10  
Old 11-07-2005, 02:43 PM
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There's a clever commercial out now that depicts a middle aged caucasian guy that has been converted to some psuedo-buddhism practice or preserving life, he returns a spider to a plant, puts a floundering fish back into the pond . . . etc. then he sneezes and uses an "anti-bacterial" Kleenex tissue that "kills millions of germs."

In 'Stranger From a Strange Land" the title character is first repulsed at walking on living grass . . . but then comes to understand (grok) that the grass' existence includes being stepped on.
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  #11  
Old 11-07-2005, 03:13 PM
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It's ironic that a PETA link keeps appearing at the bottom of this page. Why not a link to the Cattleman's Association?
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  #12  
Old 11-07-2005, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerry edwards
It's ironic that a PETA link keeps appearing at the bottom of this page. Why not a link to the Cattleman's Association?

I'm a member of

People
Eating
Tastey
Animals.........


or does it mean something else.......?
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  #13  
Old 11-07-2005, 03:36 PM
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I don't buy your "pain as a condition for morality" thesis. Obviously I might be letting my feelings get in the way but consider this if that were true: We could have kept Terry Schiavo alive and harvested her organs, maybe or we could surreptitiously anesthetize people and eat their fingers. Hell we could live the life of vultures, feeding off the dead. India would never go hungry.
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  #14  
Old 11-07-2005, 03:53 PM
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I am a firm believer in vegetarianism. Feed the grass to the cow then I'll eat the cow. I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain to eat lettuce.
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  #15  
Old 11-07-2005, 03:56 PM
Ra_ Ra_ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerry edwards
If what I'm thinking is right, all the vegetarian/animal rights thinkers are in fact overcoming their own resistance to cannibalism.
I grok what you're saying...
but the rest of us seem to be the ones who have overcome our resistance?
The veg crowd might be considered to have succumbed to the influence of our ingrained resistance to cannibalism?


MTI...

I loved that book. At least I did until he started going commercial.
Would you like to share water?

I saw the Buddhist commercial last night. Very good.
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